Obama Asks For The Impossible (Daniel 8)

President Obama advises India and Pakistan to exercise restraint over nuclear weapons

President Obama advises India and Pakistan to exercise restraint over nuclear weapons

The President of the US, Barack Obama, on Friday, 1st April 2016 urged both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint over military doctrines and nuclear arsenal, which he termed as the key to peace and stability in the Indian sub-continent. Speaking at the occasion of the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit held at Washington DC, which saw the participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama also announced his efforts to curtail the spread of nuclear weapons and other deadly conventional weapons across the globe.

Barack Obama, at the end of the Nuclear Security Summit, stated his desire to see peace and harmony between the two countries – India and Pakistan. He also expressed his concerns about small tactical nuclear warheads, which carry a greater risk of theft. A few days back, after the terror attacks in Brussels, it had been found that the ISIS operatives had detailed knowledge about the comings-and-goings of a top Belgium officer working in a nuclear facility. The intelligence sources soun
ded an alarm at the discovery, as it would spell doom if the militant groups get hold of a nuclear weapon.

Obama also took a dig at the much-debated Cold Start Doctrine thought up by New Delhi, which prepares to strike deep into Pakistan in response to dangerous acts of terrorism against India. Though New Delhi has repeatedly claimed of not implementing the Cold Start Doctrine and that Pakistan has historically been the aggressor, it is surprising that Obama chose to mention the doctrine at the Nuclear Security Summit. The Modi-regime, in an extension to the erstwhile UPA reign, has exercised restraint while dealing with Pakistan, even after the shocking Pathankot airbase attacks.
Pakistan has prepared battlefield nuclear weapons or tactical mini-nukes, which have been placed at the disposal of its military commanders to be used in case of India implements the Cold Start Doctrine. This has also not gone down well with the US President and other world leaders, who believe that militants have easily accessed secure Pakistani protected sites in the past, as is evident from the numerous terror attacks, so the mini-nukes are not safe at the hands of the military commanders. Pakistan did send any top officials to the Nuclear Security Summit, citing the recent Lahore terrorist attack as an excuse.

Nuclear Security Summit Hypocrisy (Ezekiel 17)

The Threat of Nuclear Weapons Is Greater Today Than It Was During the Cold War
Nuclear_Security_Summit_Obama_rtr_img
“There is no rational reason to feel secure today.”

By James Carden
April 4, 2016

Last week more than 50 heads of state converged on Washington to take part in the fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). While the summit could point to one achievement, that of an amendment that would toughen existing standards with regard to protecting fissile material, the event, like so much else in Washington, seemed primarily designed to convince the public that their leaders were acting boldly in the face of a serious problem. In reality, they have done precious little to address it.
If nothing else, the summit was well-timed, following revelations that the terror cell responsible for the airport and subway attacks in Brussels had its sights on a nuclear facility in Belgium as well. President Obama certainly seemed alive to the danger, writing in an op-ed in The Washington Post the day before the summit took place, “Given the continued threat posed by organizations such as the terrorist group we call ISIL, or ISIS, we’ll also join allies and partners in reviewing our counterterrorism efforts, to prevent the world’s most dangerous networks from obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

Some observers noted with concern that Russia’s Vladimir Putin declined to attend. No doubt details of a diabolical Russian plan to “weaponize summits” is being invented by an intrepid NATO bureaucrat as I write. It is nevertheless concerning that the head of state of the world’s leading nuclear power declined to attend, especially in light of its strong security interest in nuclear non-proliferation.

For all that, according to the geochemist James Conca, overall, the summit could boast its share of successes, particularly “the significant global reduction in nuclear weapons, the global reduction in nuclear material stockpiles, the increased security on nuclear facilities, the dozen countries that are now free of weapons-grade materials, a newly-amended nuclear protection treaty…”
But is there less here than meets the eye?

Last week I spoke with Princeton University’s Dr. Bruce Blair to get his views on the Nuclear Security Summit, the (perhaps unhappy) prospects for non-proliferation efforts, and his view of President Obama’s record on nuclear issues.

Dr. Blair is a longtime nuclear-proliferation expert and co-founder of Global Zero, a grassroots organization that seeks a nuclear-free world.

According to Dr. Blair, the four summits that have occurred since President Obama’s famous 2009 Prague speech (which Blair derided as a “high empty calorie speech”) where he declared his support for a nuclear weapons–free future, have only focused on a small slice of the nuclear pie. That is, they have been mainly focused on locating, securing and reducing stockpiles of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). The summits, thus far anyway, have not addressed the vast amounts of plutonium nor have they addressed the vast amounts of fissile material held by the world’s militaries.

The summit, Blair pointedly told me, is “not about nuclear weapons, it is only about civilian fissile material.” Currently, there are approximately 1,500 tons (or 55,000 weapons-equivalent) of HEU in the world, of which only 8 percent (4,500 weapons-equivalent) of the total is civilian. The rest is military.

One of the gravest challenges that face us is an “unauthorized, mistaken launch” of a nuclear weapons. The risk that such an event could occur has “not only grown since end of Cold War, but continues to grow.”

According to Blair, the agenda of the NSS is frankly “beneath the pay grade of these world leaders. They should be looking at the big picture and big agenda—into ways to secure civilian materials but also focusing on all fissile materials. They should engage in a serious dialogue on how to begin to reduce the size of the stockpiles on a path to their elimination.” Blair says, “There are 16,000 nuclear weapons, but there is over 200,000 weapons-equivalent material and it will never be secure unless we get these leaders into the same room to talk about how we get to rid of all fissile materials.”
Down the road from the hideous Washington Convention Center where the summit took place, Global Zero held a panel discussion for 50 grassroots activists in support of a nuclear-free world. Former Clinton administration defense secretary William Perry said, “The danger of nuclear weapons is greater today than it was during the Cold War, I believe that firmly.” California Governor Jerry Brown said (perhaps half-jokingly) that he was lending his support to the cause “because I talked to Bill Perry and he scared the hell out of me.” Brown also noted “one thing I’ve noticed” from a lifetime in politics “that this is not a normal problem…because its so big no one wants to talk about it.” Perhaps, though, we can discern a silver lining in the fact that organizations like Global Zero are indeed talking about it:Recognizing a problem, after all, is a prerequisite to solving it

Nuclear War is Eminent (Revelation 15)

Updated: JANUARY 15, 2016 — 12:34 PM EST
by Patrick Malone, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY.
U.S. efforts to keep nuclear explosive materials out of the hands of terrorists are losing steam and will be undermined without a concerted new diplomatic push, an independent nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., warned on Jan. 14.
The chill in U.S.-Russian relations and a range of problems elsewhere — bureaucratic inertia, inadequate funding, public distraction, and a weak grasp of the peril in some nations — have combined to slow international progress towards locking down all the building blocks of a potential terrorist bomb, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a nonprofit organization, said in a new report.
“We are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe, and the world’s leaders must run faster,” said former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), who helped found NTI and played a leading role in organizing U.S. assistance for nuclear security efforts in Russia after the Cold War, In an introduction to the report.
Nunn, speaking at a cavernous Washington building where the Obama administration is scheduled to convene its fourth and final international summit to promote nuclear security measures in late March, sounded an unusually dour note as he surveyed the status of those efforts.
He said nations with lower nuclear profiles look to Russia and the United States for cues, and both nations are now updating their nuclear arsenals while curtailing their diplomatic contacts. At the same time, “brutal attacks and incidents by ISIL, al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other organizations are on the rise, raising the specter of catastrophic nuclear terrorism if they or other terrorists get control of dangerous nuclear material,” Nunn said. “And of course, that’s what the world must prevent.”
Reports like The Center for Public Integrity’s article in November that disclosed worries about exposing a missing trove of Soviet-era highly enriched uranium (a nuclear bomb fuel) “should provide all the impetus needed to act swiftly,” Nunn said.
NTI’s new study is the third such analysis by the group since 2011, and it again ranked key nations based on detailed assessments of their safeguards for keeping nuclear explosive materials — plutonium and highly-enriched uranium — out of the wrong hands. Among the 24 nations with enough material for bomb, Australia again got the top mark, while North Korea came in last.
India’s overall rank was 21st in that group, and South Africa was 16th. Worrisome activities by both countries were detailed in articles published this year by the Center. Japan, which was separately profiled by the Center last year, improved its ranking somewhat (to 12th place) by publishing nuclear security laws and regulations and hosting a review of its precautions by experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN group. Seven of the 24 nations have never had such a peer review, the report noted.
The report further noted that more than 80 percent of all nuclear explosive materials are held by militaries, whose practices and safeguards are not covered by international agreements on the security of such materials. It urged all the nuclear weapons-states to agree on a set of security precautions they would each implement.
For the first time, the report also included a detailed and alarming analysis of the susceptibility of nuclear sites around the globe — including reactors, storage facilities, and factories — to cyberattack and sabotage.
Among 47 nations with the most nuclear materials or power plants, the report said, twenty don’t require even the most basic cybersecurity measures, it said. Terrorists, it warned, could exploit computer vulnerabilities either to overcome security precautions and gain direct access to nuclear materials, or they could deliberately disable a reactor’s cooling systems, provoking a disaster on par with the Fukushima plant meltdown in March 2011.
Nations with new or developing nuclear energy programs, such as Chile, Egypt and Indonesia, are particularly susceptible to sabotage because their legal and regulatory structures are immature, undermining oversight and enforcement of sound safeguards.
The NTI gave the United States a fairly high rating for cybersecurity — a 6thplace ranking — but internal government audits have been more critical. The Energy Department’s inspector general, for example, reported in a Novemberaudit that officials had failed to properly report about contractors’ computer systems, impeding oversight.
A separate audit in June 2015 faulted the nuclear weapons laboratories for weak cybersecurity practices, including a failure to test systems for vulnerabilities and to protect against insider threats by ordering frequent password changes.
An audit released this week by Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general of cybersecurity at its Secure Operations Center, which contains sensitive details about nuclear power plants and generators in the U.S., showed attempts to gain unauthorized access or to insert malicious computer code had increased by 18 percent from fiscal years 2013 to 2014. Over the same period, cyberattacks throughout the U.S. government grew by 9.7 percent.
North Korea’s ranking at the bottom of the cybersecurity list as well as the nuclear security list was not surprising, according to Leo Abruzzese, director of global forecasting at public policy at the Economist Intelligence Unit, an offshoot of The Economist magazine that gathered and analyzed data for the report. North Korea is averse to the type of international cooperation and transparency that provides security assurances that the index rating system rewards, he noted, calling the country “dead last by a wide margin.”
Samantha Pitts-Kiefer, senior program officer for scientific and technical affairs at NTI, said the three summit meetings convened by the Obama administration so far have been helpful. A dozen nations have eliminated all nuclear explosives from their territories since the first summit, although only one acted in the past two years.
She and her colleagues said they worry that global leaders will be less attentive to the risks after the final summit this year.
“The results of this report should sound a warning not only that the work of securing all weapons-usable nuclear materials is unfinished,” the report said, “but also that attention and commitment to preventing a terrorist from building and using a nuclear weapon must intensify.”
The Center for Public Integrity is a non-profit, independent investigative news outlet. A list of its funders can be found here. For more of its stories on this topic go to publicintegrity.org.

Pakistan’s New “Conventional” War (Revelation 16)


Pakistan’s mini-nukes won’t guarantee security, only annihilation

Pakistan believes that dropping low-yield nukes on India will counter a conventional attack and yet the war will remain limited. This is stupid.

Pervez Hoodbhoy

That Pakistan may first use nuclear weapons in a future war with India was announced recently by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry. Coming just two days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States in the last week of October, this could be considered a reiteration of the army’s well-known stance. But, significantly, it came from the Foreign Office rather than Army General Headquarters or Strategic Plans Division. Coming from both ends of the power spectrum, this confirms that Pakistan has drastically shifted its nuclear posture.

In the late 1980s, Pakistan had viewed nuclear weapons very differently: they were the last-ditch means to deter a possible nuclear attack by India. But Pakistan now says it intends to use low-yield nuclear bombs, also called tactical nuclear weapons, to forestall the possible advance of Indian troops into Pakistan under India’s Cold Start operational doctrine.

Floated by Gen Deepak Kapoor in 2010, Cold Start calls for cutting Pakistan into “salami slices” as punishment for hosting yet another Mumbai-style terrorist attack inside India. It assumes that this limited action would not provoke a nuclear exchange. India strenuously denies that such a doctrine is official or that it has been made operational.

This denial cut no ice across the border. In 2011 a successful test of the Nasr “shoot and scoot” short-ranged missile was announced by Inter Services Public Relations, the Pakistan military’s official voice. Ensconced inside a multiple-barrelled mobile launcher, the four 60-kilometre-range missiles are said to be tipped with nuclear warheads each roughly one-tenth the size of a Hiroshima-sized weapon. Pakistan says these tactical weapons will not destabilise the current balance or pose significant command and control problems, a claim that many believe as incorrect.

Grave escalation

Pakistan is not the first country tempted by nuclear force multipliers. Nor, as claimed by ISPR, is making small warheads a significant technical feat. In fact in the 1950s, the Americans had developed even smaller ones with sub-kiloton yields, and placed them on the Davy Crockett recoilless guns deployed at forward positions along the Turkey-USSR border. The nuclear shell, with a blast yield that would be dialled as required, could be fired by just two infantrymen. This was a tempting alternative to artillery but the Americans were eventually unnerved by the prospect of two soldiers setting off a nuclear war on their own initiative. The weapon was withdrawn and decommissioned after a few years.

Wars are fought to be won, not to be lost. So how will Pakistan’s new weapons help us win a war? This fundamental question is never even touched. But let us assume their use in a post Mumbai-II scenario. For every (small) mushroom cloud on Pakistani territory, roughly a dozen or more Indian main battle tanks and armoured vehicles would be destroyed. After many mushrooms, the invasion would stop dead in its tracks and a few thousand Indian troops would be killed. Pakistan would decisively win a battle.

But then what? With the nuclear threshold crossed for the first time since 1945, India would face one of two options: to fight on or flee. Which it will choose is impossible to predict because much will depend upon the extant political and military circumstances, as well as the personalities of the military and political leaders then in office.

Official Indian policy calls for massive retaliation. In 2013, reacting officially to Pakistan, Shyam Saran, the head of the National Security Advisory Board, declared that, “India will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, but if it is attacked with such weapons, it would engage in nuclear retaliation which will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage on its adversary. The label on a nuclear weapon used for attacking India, strategic or tactical, is irrelevant from the Indian perspective”.

Simply stated: whether struck by a micro-nuke or mini-nuke or city-buster, and whether on its own soil or outside its borders, India says it will consider itself under nuclear attack and react accordingly.

A tit-for-tat exchange

This is plain stupid. It violates the principle of proportionate retaliation and pushes aside the barriers to hell. But could the National Security Advisory Board be bluffing? It may be that if push comes to shove, India will not actually launch its large nuclear weapons. The sensible instinct of self-preservation might somehow prevail, and the subcontinent live to see another morning.

More likely is that in the heat of the moment, reckless passions will rage and caution will take a backseat. A tit-for-tat exchange could continue until every single weapon, small and large, is used up on either side. It is difficult to imagine how any war termination mechanism could work even if, by some miracle, the nuclear command and control centres remain intact. At the end both India and Pakistan would win, having taught the other a terrible lesson. But neither would remain habitable.
The subcontinent’s military and political leaders are not the first to believe that a nuclear war can remain limited, and perhaps even won. President Ronald Reagan puzzled over the possibility of Armageddon, uncertain whether or not God was commanding him to destroy earth or to leave it in His hands. Allen Dulles, the first CIA director, had repeatedly railed against the stupidity of those Americans, “who draw an ‘artificial’ distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons and cannot realise that atomic bombs should be treated like bullets”.

Tactical nukes will not make Pakistan more secure. This dangerous programme should be immediately abandoned. Nukes may win a battle for us but at the cost of losing Pakistan. Instead our security lies in ensuring that Pakistan’s territory is not used for launching terror attacks upon our neighbours. We must explicitly renounce the use of covert war to liberate Kashmir – a fact hidden from none and recently admitted to by Gen Pervez Musharraf.

As for India: your security depends upon adopting a less belligerent attitude towards Pakistan, stopping a menacing military build-up that is spooking all your neighbours, and realising that respect is earned through economic rather than military strength.

These are tall orders for both countries. Any optimism is currently unwarranted.

Putin Preparing For The Inevitable (Rev 15:2)

Vladimir Putin orders Russian security council to stockpile nuclear protective equipment

  • Damien Sharkov
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his security council to assess Russia’s readiness to survive a nuclear, chemical or biological disaster and has told them to stockpile protective equipment if necessary.

The order was given during one of Putin’s regular meetings with the council that is made up of the heads of Russia’s intelligence, defence and law enforcement agencies. High-ranking ministers and the speaker of the Russian house of parliament are also permanent members of the group.

According to the government website, Putin told the council that it was important to review and potentially strengthen Russia’s defence protocols against “nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological threats, both in peacetime, and—God forbid, of course—in wartime.”

“We have to analyse to what extent they correspond to the realities of today and, if the need arises, make the required revisions,” Putin said.

The Russian president also proposed to the council that Russia should begin developing and producing personal protective equipment against nuclear, biological or chemical threats. “In the near future we should set up an inventory of individual means of protection for citizens, to determine which of them have become theoretically and technically obsolete, and develop measures to replenish stocks of such assets in accordance with modern designs,” Putin said.

During his address, Putin used the example of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan to illustrate the the need for the new defences. He also said that Moscow should be wary about the safety of nuclear power plants and businesses that handle toxic chemicals and make sure that they follow updated procedures to avoid accidents. According to the country’s state nuclear agency Rosatom, Russia has 10 nuclear power plants.

Dick CHITLER Says Iraq War Was Right! (Rev 13:10)


Dick Cheney: ‘We were right’ to invade Iraq

09/01/15 02:43 PM
By Zachary Roth

Dick Cheney just won’t let it go.

In a new book, the former vice president mounts a furious assault against President Obama’s foreign policy, which Cheney argues has damaged American security by retreating from a position of global leadership. And Cheney takes the obligatory shot at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. But Cheney often seems more concerned with defending the disastrous foreign policy decisions of the Bush administration—from invading Iraq to the use of torture—made more than a decade ago.

In “Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America,” Cheney, writing with his daughter Liz Cheney, a former State Department official during the Bush administration, takes aim at the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, writing it will “guarantee an Iranian nuclear arsenal.” The Cheneys insist that invading Iraq was the right call, writing “things were in good shape” in the country when Obama took office. Oh, and they suggest that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was probably a Russian spy.

Almost the first half of the book is devoted to defending Dick Cheney’s tarnished legacy as perhaps the most important figure in the Bush administration’s push for war in Iraq and its handling of the war on terror.

At one stage, the Cheneys write that “history will be the ultimate judge of our decision to liberate Iraq.” But just two pages later, as if unable to resist re-engaging the issue, they describe the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein as a “grave threat to the United States” before concluding: “We were right to invade and remove him from power.”

They even insist that U.S. troops “were in fact greeted as liberators,” just as Dick Cheney predicted before the invasion—a quote that Bush administration critics have frequently hung around his neck.
The Cheneys also offer a strained rationale for why, even though Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, the terror attacks still were a reason to invade Iraq. “[A]fter 9/11 … we had an obligation to do everything possible to prevent terrorists from gaining access to much worse weapons. Saddam’s Iraq was the most likely place for terrorists to gain access to and knowledge of such weapons.”

As for the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation program, “it worked,” the Cheneys write. “As we pieced together intelligence about al Qaeda in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the enhanced interrogation program was one of the most effective tools we had. It saved lives and prevented attacks.”

And, they claim, it’s a “falsehood” to say that the torture that occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison “represented official policy,” or “had something to do with or was related to America’s enhanced interrogation program.”

The prison at Guantanamo Bay “was and remains safe, secure, humane and necessary,” according to the Cheneys. And people who oppose the Bush administration’s controversial warrantless wiretapping program “will be accountable for explaining to the American people why they fought to make it more difficult for the United States government to effectively track the communications—and therefore the plans—of terrorists inside the United States,” they write.
Still, the thrust of the book is an attack on Obama’s foreign policy, which, the Cheneys argue, has made the U.S. less safe by failing to wield American power around the globe.

“President Obama has departed from the bipartisan tradition going back 75 years of maintaining America’s global supremacy and leadership,” the Cheneys write, calling the idea that that “America is to blame and her power must be restrained” the “touchstone of [Obama’s] ideology.”
With the Iran nuclear deal, Obama “is gambling America’s security on the veracity of the Mullahs in Tehran,” they write, calling it a “falsehood” that the pact will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. “The truth is the opposite,” they write. “This agreement will guarantee an Iranian nuclear arsenal.”

Indeed, the Cheneys compare the deal to the Munich agreement of 1938, a frequently used example among conservatives of the dangers of appeasement.

Hitler got Czechoslovakia,” the Cheneys write (in fact, at Munich, Hitler got the Sudetenland, an area of western Czechoslovakia mostly inhabited by German speakers). “The Mullahs in Tehran get billions of dollars and a pathway to a nuclear arsenal.”

The Cheneys also take the chance to go after Clinton on Benghazi, in an effort to reinforce questions about her character as she runs for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. They accuse her of “adopting a false narrative because it serves political purposes,” adding, “It is the difference between lying to the American people and dealing with them truthfully.”

Dick Cheney also recounts that a Pentagon official told him in a phone call that the administration’s “pivot to Asia” was “all about budgets.” From this Cheney writes: “President Obama was pretending the war on terror was over so that he wouldn’t have to continue to allocate significant military resources to the Middle East.”

“We’ll decline comment on second-hand anonymous quotes, but the President has been clear about the re-balance and its place in our national security. The re-balance to the Asia-Pacific region is based on a comprehensive assessment of long-term U.S. interests,” Defense Department spokesman William Urban told msnbc. “The security and prosperity of the United States depends on continued stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and therefore, the United States will stay fully engaged in the region to ensure that we continue to promote those interests.”

Perhaps the strangest charge in the book is the one about Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked a trove of classified documents before fleeing to Hong Kong, and, ultimately, Russia.
“Whether Snowden was a Russian operative at the time he stole the U.S. secrets is a subject of debate, although it is hard to conceive of his landing in Moscow as a coincidence,” the Cheneys write. Snowden has denied being a Russian spy.

ISIS Horn Attacks Babylon (Dan 8:8)

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IS claims US Prophet cartoon attack

BBC NEWS

FBI agent examines car used by gunmen outside the centre in Garland. FBI agent examines car used by gunmen outside the centre in Garland. 4 May 2015

Islamic State (IS) has said that it was behind the attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in the US state of Texas.

It said that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out the attack at a conference centre near Dallas.

IS’s al-Bayan Radio news bulletin said the exhibition “was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Muhammad”.

Both suspects were shot dead after opening fire at the contest on Sunday.

Correspondents say that it is believed to be the first time that IS has claimed to have carried out an attack in the US.

“We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things,” the statement released by the group said.

Court documents have shown that one of two gunmen shot dead had been a terror suspect.

Elton Simpson had been under surveillance since 2006 and was convicted in 2010 for lying to FBI agents about plans to go to Somalia to engage in violent jihad, or holy war, the files reveal.

A judge found him guilty of making a false statement and he was sentenced to three years’ probation and a $600 (£400) fine.

The judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence that the false statement involved international terrorism.

He had shared a flat in Arizona with the person named by officials as the other alleged gunman, Nadir Soofi.

On Monday, FBI agents searched their home in Phoenix and a white van parked outside.

‘Gonna make it to the battlefield’

The court documents also showed that Simpson had been under investigation since 2006 because of his association with an individual the FBI believed was trying to set up a terrorist cell in Arizona.

Simpson had told an informant in 2009 that it was “time to go to Somalia”, adding: “We gonna make it to the battlefield.”

He later said he was planning to travel to South Africa and then on to Somalia.

The incident on Sunday unfolded when a car drove into the car park of the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, a city near Dallas, where a Muhammad Art Exhibition organised by the controversial American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) was being held.

The conference included a contest that offered a $10,000 (£6,600) prize for a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. Depictions of Muhammad are offensive to many Muslims.

The two men in the car opened fire with assault rifles on two security officers, Garland police said.

One of the officers, a traffic policeman, returned fire and killed both gunmen.

The AFDI is run by controversial blogger and activist Pamela Geller who said she was standing up for free speech, adding: “This terrible incident reflects the need for such conferences.”

Iran Will Keep Their Uranium For The End (Rev 15:2)

uranium-enrichment

White House: Negotiators still working on Iran’s enriched uranium

BY: Brian Hughes March 30, 2015 | 12:02 pm
The White House Monday hit back at the suggestion that Iran had agreed to and then backed out of a deal to send its stockpile of enriched uranium abroad, saying the issue could still be overcome ahead of the Tuesday deadline for talks.
“The idea that there had been an agreement that Iran had backed away from in the last 24 hours is not true,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One, as President Obama traveled to Boston for an event honoring the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.
In terms of what’s going to happen with that stockpile, that is something our negotiators are working through, but it’s not accurate to say there had been an agreement that was then backtracked. As we’ve said all along, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.”
Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told reporters late Sunday that his country would not send its stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia for storage, which had been sought by P5+1 nations to keep Iran at least a year away from being able to develop a nuclear weapon.
Negotiators insist the Iranian position is not a deal breaker but concede that a number of issues remain with the Tuesday deadline swiftly approaching.
Critics, however, say the development is proof that Iran can’t be trusted to live up to terms of an agreement keeping it from building a nuclear weapon.
Schultz reiterated Monday that Obama would indeed walk away from the deal if the framework did not meet his conditions.

Time To Nuke Up One Last Time (Daniel 7)

Russia ends US nuclear security alliance

18loosenukes - In this Wednesday, Dec. 24, 1997 file photo, soldiers prepare to destroy a ballistic SS-19 missile in the yard of the largest former Soviet military rocket base in Vakulenchuk, Ukraine, 220 kilometers (137 miles) west of Kiev. The U.S. helped Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations secure former Soviet nuclear weapons and dismantle some of them under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program initiated by Sens. Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar. (Associated Press)

The United States helped Russia secure and dismantle nuclear weapons in the Cooperative Threat Reduction programs.

WASHINGTON — The private diplomatic meetings took place over two days in mid-December in a hotel overlooking Moscow’s Red Square.

But unlike in previous such gatherings, the sense of camaraderie, even brotherhood, was overshadowed by an uncomfortable chill, according to participants.

In the previously undisclosed discussions, the Russians informed the Americans that they were refusing any more US help protecting their largest stockpiles of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from being stolen or sold on the black market. The declaration effectively ended one of the most successful areas of cooperation between the former Cold War adversaries.

“I think it greatly increases the risk of catastrophic terrorism,” said Sam Nunn, the former Democratic senator from Georgia and an architect of the “cooperative threat reduction” programs of the 1990s.

Official word came in a terse, three-page agreement signed on Dec. 16. A copy was obtained by the Globe, and a description of the Moscow meeting was provided by three people who attended the session or were briefed on it. They declined to be identified for security reasons.

Russia’s change of heart was not unexpected.

The Globe reported in August that US officials were concerned about the future of the programs, because of increased diplomatic hostilities between the United States and Russia. The New York Times reported in November that it appeared likely many of the programs would end.

On hand for the Moscow meeting were nearly four dozen of the leading figures on both sides who have been working to safeguard the largest supplies of the world’s deadliest weapons, according to the three-page agreement.

The group included officials from the US Department of Energy, its nuclear weapons labs, the Pentagon, and the State Department, and a host of Russian officials in charge of everything from dismantling nuclear submarines to arms control.

Specialists said the final meeting was a dismaying development in a joint effort that the United States has invested some $2 billion in and had been a symbol of the thaw between East and West and of global efforts to prevent the spread of doomsday weapons. An additional $100 million had been budgeted for the effort this year and many of the programs were envisioned to continue at least through 2018.

Since the cooperative agreement began, US experts have helped destroy hundreds of weapons and nuclear-powered submarines, pay workers’ salaries, install security measures at myriad facilities containing weapons material across Russia and the former Soviet Union, and conduct training programs for their personnel.

Officials said estimates of how much bomb-grade material has either been destroyed or secured inside the former Soviet Union is classified but insist the stockpiles are enough to make many hundreds of atomic bombs.

The work has been driven by deep concern that large supplies of nuclear material could be stolen by terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction or diverted by underpaid workers susceptible to bribes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision last year to invade the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and then back an armed rebellion in eastern Ukraine prompted a series of US and EU sanctions against Russia, which stirred fears that the era of nuclear cooperation was at risk.

Now security upgrades have been cancelled at some of Russia’s seven “closed nuclear cities,” which contain among the largest stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, according to the official “record of meeting” signed by the sides in December.

The Russians also told the Americans that joint security work at 18 civilian facilities housing weapons material would cease, effective Jan. 1. Another project at two facilities to convert highly enriched uranium into a less dangerous form also has been stopped.

Lack of US funding and expertise also jeopardizes planned construction of high-tech surveillance systems at 13 buildings that store nuclear material, as well as a project to deploy radiation detectors at Russian ports, airports, and border crossings to catch potential nuclear smugglers.

A limited amount of cooperation will continue in other countries that have highly enriched uranium that originated in Russia. The two sides also will continue working on ways to secure industrial sources of radioactive material, which could be used to make a “dirty bomb.’’ The Russian decision will not affect inspections that both sides regularly conduct of each other’s active nuclear arsenals as part of arms control treaties.

But that is little consolation for those like Siegfried S. Hecker, one of the nation’s premier experts on nuclear weapons. Hecker, a former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, has traveled more than 40 times to Russia since 1992 as part of the joint security efforts. While he said vast improvements have been made in Russia’s atomic security since the end of the Cold War, “you’re never done.”

“They need continuous attention and international cooperation,” he said in an interview. “You cannot afford to isolate your country, your own nuclear complex, from the rest of the world.”

The Russian embassy in Washington, and the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation in Moscow, did not respond to requests for comment. In the December document, the Russians said they are capable of securing their own nuclear facilities, out of Russia’s federal budget.

But a number of former US government officials and nuclear experts expressed doubts about the Russian pledge, pointing to recent economic troubles.

“The Russians say they are going to put a lot more of their resources into this,” said Nunn, who is cochairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington nonprofit that works to reduce the dangers of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. “That would be good news if they do, but with their economic challenges now and with the huge distrust built because of Ukraine and the deterioration of the ruble, the proof will be in the pudding.”

Another key architect of the programs, former Republican senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, who last visited some of the facilities in 2012, said he wonders if the Russians have the expertise needed to keep track of the vast amount of nuclear bomb material.

“The housekeeping by the Russians has not been comprehensive,” Lugar said in an interview. “There had been work done [with the United States] hunting down nuclear materials. This is now terminated.”

Some warn that the distrust on both sides could bleed into other areas, including arms control treaties.
“It’s important for the US and Russia to have nuclear security, but it is also important for us to believe we have nuclear security,” said Matthew Bunn, a weapons proliferation specialist at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. “That’s hard to do just by saying so.”
US government officials, for their part, insist they are trying to make the best of it.

“We are encouraged that they stated multiple times that they intend to finish this work,” said David Huizenga, who runs the nonproliferation programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration, an arm of the Department of Energy. Huizenga led the US delegation to Moscow last month.

But he said US officials still hope that the Russians will change their mind and restart a partnership that by most accounts has significantly strengthened global security.

“[It will be] harder to resurrect if we don’t actually engage in any meaningful way,” Huizenga said.
Bryan Bender can be reached at bender@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeBender.

The Korean Nuclear Horn Extends Its Arms (Daniel 7:7)

S. Korea claims Pyongyang has nuclear missiles that could reach US

South Korea says its northern neighbor has developed compact nuclear warheads that could reach mainland America. Seoul also alleges Pyongyang shows no signs of stopping its nuclear program and has gained access to tons of weapons-grade plutonium.

The South Korean Ministry of Defense published the revelations in a white paper, which states that North Korea has achieved significant technological progress in their attempts to create nuclear warheads for ballistic missiles.

The missiles could allegedly reach mainland America. Pyongyang has carried out a series of tests on long-range missiles, but no signs have been detected that Pyongyang has put such missiles into service, Seoul said.

“North Korea’s capabilities of miniaturizing nuclear weapons appear to have reached a significant level,” the ministry said in a statement adding that North Korea has stored 40 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods and that it’s working on a highly enriched uranium program.

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on June 30, 2014 shows launching of a tactical rocket during a firing drill by the Korean People's Army Strategic Force at an undisclosed place in North Korea. (AFP/KCNA)

This undated picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on June 30, 2014 shows launching of a tactical rocket during a firing drill by the Korean People’s Army Strategic Force at an undisclosed place in North Korea. (AFP/KCNA)

This is not the first time that Seoul has made such statements and it is difficult to confirm the information. North Korea is a closed country and occasionally does like to boast about its missile capabilities. In June, Pyongyang tested what it says were new precision-guided missiles.

Speaking in May 2014, the South Korean Defense Minister, Kim Kwan-jin, told journalists that Pyongyang had reached the final stages of preparations to conduct a nuclear test. However, North Korea has yet to conduct a test, adding to the theory that Pyongyang enjoys keeping its rivals on edge through a series of veiled threats.

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on June 30, 2014 shows launching of a tactical rocket during a firing drill by the Korean People's Army Strategic Force at an undisclosed place in North Korea. (AFP/KCNA)

This undated picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on June 30, 2014 shows launching of a tactical rocket during a firing drill by the Korean People’s Army Strategic Force at an undisclosed place in North Korea. (AFP/KCNA)

After South Korea latest statement, Pyongyang demanded that Washington, who is committed to defending South Korea in the event of aggression from the north, should think carefully if it wishes to further antagonize Pyongyang.

“If Washington does not make the correct choice regarding the Korean question, then there will continue to be a period where Pyongyang will strengthen its war capabilities. If the US decides to stop being hostile and meddling in North Korea’s internal affairs, Pyongyang will look favorably on this decision,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

Relations between North Korea and the US have become even more strained after Washington introduced further sanctions, designed to impede access to the US financial system in the wake of a cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which the Obama Administration has said was supported by the reclusive country.

China has meanwhile urged North Korea and South Korea to improve their relations through dialogue in order to maintain peace and safety in the region.
“As a near neighbor of the Korean peninsula, China has always supported the process of improving relations between North and South Korea through dialogue,” the TASS news agency quoted the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

In October 2014, North Korean officials held talks with their South Korean counterparts in Incheon, the first time such a high level meeting has taken place since 2007. Both parties agreed to resume high-level talks, which have been strained by military tensions on the peninsula.

AFP/KCNA via KNS

AFP/KCNA via KNS

During his New Year’s address last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who was absent from that meeting in Incheon in October, said that there was “no reason” not to hold a high-level summit with neighboring South Korea. This came days after South Korea made a similar offer to resume dialogue with Pyongyang.

“If South Korean authorities sincerely want to improve relations between North and South Korea through talks, we can resume stalled high-level meetings,” he said, as reported by Reuters.