Al-Qaeda Dares The Apprentice

© Yahya Arhab/Eupropean Pressphoto Agency A woman walks past a graffiti in Sanaa, Yemen, protesting U.S. military operations in the country.
IRBIL, Iraq — President Trump is “foolish” and has ignited the “flame of jihad” with a raid in Yemen in which civilians were killed, al-Qaeda said Friday in its first official comments on the new U.S. administration.That the raid came only days after Trump’s vow to eradicate Islamist terrorism in his inauguration speech, makes it “clear for us that the threat was not directed to the Islamic militants only, but to all the Muslims, men, women and even children,” al-Qaeda’s al-Nafeer bulletin said, accusing the Trump administration of intentionally killing women and children.U.S. Central Command, or Centcom, has not specified how many civilians were killed in the raid Saturday, in which a Navy SEAL also died. Among those reported dead was the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric with al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike.

Civilian casualties also provide easy fodder for extremist propaganda, and Trump’s comments indicating that he will heavily bomb Islamic State militants have caused nervousness for some in the region. In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where about 750,000 civilians still remain in areas under Islamic State control, the United States has so far used strict rules of engagement.
But Trump’s executive order on defeating the Islamic State said a plan should recommended changes to U.S. rules of engagement and other “policy restrictions that exceed the requirements of international law.”
Analysts have also expressed fears that such policies as Trump’s travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries could fan international extremism and stoke anti-American sentiment, causing more danger to the United States, rather than protecting it. On online forums and social media, Islamist militants have hailed the ban as proof that the United States is at war with Islam.
Aaso Ameen Shwan contributed to this report.

The Antichrist Says "Americans Get Out"

Shiite cleric says Americans should have to leave Iraq: “You should get your nationals out”
“It would be arrogance for you to enter freely Iraq and other countries while barring to them the entrance to your country,” al-Sadr wrote on his website on Sunday, according to Reuters. “And therefore you should get your nationals out.”
The Iraqi parliament expressed similar sentiments on Sunday. “Iraq is on the front line of the war on terrorism,” said the parliament’s foreign committee in a statement. “It is unfair that the Iraqis are treated in this way.”
This isn’t the first time that al-Sadr has attempted to galvanize his followers by opposing one of Trump’s policies. On Tuesday he announced that he would consider an American decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem as a “declaration of war on Islam” and called for the creation of a special force that could “liberate Jerusalem.”
Mogtada al-Sadr rose to prominence during the second Iraq War in 2003, when he formed the Mehdi Army in order to create an Islamic state within Iraq as opposed to the secular alternative preferred by the American government or the positions taken by the Iraqi army and many other Shias. Although the Bush administration initially wanted him killed, they eventually reversed course in 2004. As a result, al-Sadr was able to maintain and expand his power even after disbanding the Mehdi Army in 2008. Today al-Sadr’s supporters make up the second largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament.

How the Antichrist Will Undermine Trump’s Plan

President Trump’s ban targeting certain Muslim-majority countries is supposed to make the U.S. safer, but in doing so he may have guaranteed defeating ISIS will get harder.

Kimberly Dozier

01.29.17 1:38 PM ET

Team Trump’s travel ban, or pause, or whatever reverse politically correct term you want to call it, has sparked simmering fury among America’s Muslim allies. The media splash meant to show that President Donald Trump means business about keeping America safe, and keeping his campaign promises, is ironically damaging the very campaign against terrorism he wants to put into overdrive.
Key allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State are dumbfounded, but few are making official statements, unwilling to pick a fight with the pugnacious new White House. 
But the Iraqi government, managing a fragile and fractious multi-ethnic coalition against ISIS, is treading carefully. Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told the AP that Iraqis are hoping the “measures will be temporary and for regulatory reasons and not permanent at least for Iraq.”
Other allies? Not so diplomatic.
“This is an insult to us all,” said one Afghan official reached Sunday. “To treat all as terrorists is not what inspires support and confidence among friends.”
Afghanistan is not among the seven nations listed in President Donald Trump’s executive order, but the official said the public response to the order was prompting questions in Kabul about how long the government could allow U.S. troops to remain, without suffering a backlash from its own people.
The order signed Friday suspends travel for 90 days for travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations deemed to be centers of terrorist activity – Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The executive order also suspends the entire U.S. refugee program for four months. Trump insists it’s “not a Muslim ban” but he’s also spoken of giving Christian refugees priority, which has been read in the Muslim world as casting them as second-class citizens.
Anger is spreading to the Arab street, reflected in social media and newspaper articles – the kind of RAGE that fueled the Arab Spring revolt against Mideast dictators – therefore, the kind Muslim leaders take very seriously.
Like the Afghan official, others say that if this sentiment builds, it will make it harder to cooperate publicly with the U.S. on counterterrorist issues, and harder still to host U.S. troops on their soil.
The various officials who spoke to The Daily Beast say they understand the implementation had to be a surprise, so as not to spark a rush for the U.S. border ahead of an announced deadline. But the haphazard execution at U.S. border entry points, and the lack of briefings even after the order was signed have made it harder for them to defend America’s actions back home.
 “We read about it in leaks to the media, and kept waiting for State Department officials to brief us, but the calls never came,” said a senior Mideast diplomat who didn’t know what to tell his government when the news broke.
That may be because most State Department officials were blindsided too, according to multiple persons familiar with the matter. U.S. diplomats in Baghdad complained the ban would keep a top Iraqi general in the ISIS fight from visiting family in the U.S., stop General Electric from hosting Iraqi delegates in the U.S. as part of a $2 billion energy deal, and send the wrong signal to some 62,000 applicants being considered for relocation for aiding the U.S. during the war. That was among the possible fallout of the new policy, listed in a letter obtained by The Wall Street Journal, sent Saturday from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad to the State Department.
A State Department spokesman declined to comment on the letter, but said they remain “in close contact with our coalition partners on a range of issues,” in the quest to defeat ISIS.
Already, Iraqi militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr called on all American citizens to leave Iraq. Sadr’s group killed hundreds of U.S. troops during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, but has held its fire during the ISIS fight, as it technically answers to the Iraqi prime minister, under the umbrella of the 140,000-strong Popular Mobilization Forces. General Stephen Townsend, who commands the coalition effort in Iraq, told The Daily Beast in December that PMF forces were behaving mostly lawfully and not attacking U.S. troops. The U.S. even intercepted some communications from some members asking their leadership for permission to attack the Americans – and being told to stand down.
But that was before the Trump White House delivered what is being taken as an insult to Muslim pride – seeming to apply suspicion to all, in the same vein as National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s tweet that “Fear of Muslims is rational.” 
So far, the mission against ISIS has been going as planned. 
“We remain focused on killing the bad guys,” with strikes, training, surveillance and intelligence support to the Iraqis and other local forces continuing, said a U.S. military official who is part of the fight. “All those missions continue with no disruption.”
But it’s unclear to U.S. military officials what sort of knock-on effect this will have on programs that bring Iraqi officers or politicians to the states for short term courses or high-level meetings – the kind of effects the U.S. embassy warned of in its letter.
 “We gotta let the rules play out and determine what the impact is,” the officials said.

Antichrist wants Americans out over Trump’s ban on Muslims

Top Iraqi cleric wants Americans out over Trump’s ban on Muslims
Press TV
Prominent Iraqi cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has censured US President Donald Trump over his executive order to ban entry into the US of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, calling for the expulsion of American nationals from the Arab country in retaliation.
“It would be arrogance for you to enter freely Iraq and other countries while barring them the entrance to your country … and therefore you should get your nationals out,” Sadr said in a statement published on his website on Sunday.
Iraqi parl. says govt. must reciprocate US travel ban
Meanwhile, Iraqi parliament’s foreign affairs committee has decried the measure as “unfair,” and asked the Iraqi government to “reciprocate” the travel curbs imposed on Iraqis.
“We ask the Iraqi government to reciprocate … the decision taken by the US administration,” the committee said in a statement, adding, “Iraq is in the frontline of the war of terrorism … and it is unfair that the Iraqis are treated in this way.”
“We clearly demanded that the Iraqi government deal reciprocally in all issues… with the United States of America,” Hassan Shwairid, the deputy head of the committee, told AFP.
On January 27, Trump signed a sweeping executive order to make good on his promised Muslim Ban.
The new Republican president’s order imposes a 90-day ban on the entry of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia, blocks refugees from Syria indefinitely, and suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days.
Iraq’s popular forces want Americans out
In a related development, the pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces, commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, also urged Iraqi authorities to bar the entrance of Americans into the country.
“After the decision of the American president to prohibit the entry of Iraqi citizens to the United States of America, we demand Americans be prevented from entering Iraq, and the removal of those of them who are present,” Hashd al-Sha’abi said in a statement.
The statement did not clarify whether the demand applies to the US military personnel already deployed to Iraq or not.
Thousands of American troops are currently in Iraq as part of the so-called US-led coalition against Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters joined forces with Iraqi army soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in a major operation on October 17, 2016 to retake the strategic northern city of Mosul from Daesh extremists.
The pro-government fighters also played a major role in the liberation of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers northwest of the capital, Baghdad, as well as Fallujah city in the western province of al-Anbar among many areas in Iraq.
The reactions to Trump’s Muslim ban come amid reports that the Iraqi government plans to lobby the US administration to mitigate the impact of restrictions on Iraqi travelers and preserve cooperation in the anti-Daesh campaign.
On Saturday, protests broke out at major US airports, including Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and New York, after border agents began detaining refugees and immigrants arriving in the country.
Families anxiously waited to learn the fate of their loved ones at terminals, while protesters chanted “Let them in” and “This is What America Looks Like.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also filed a lawsuit, challenging Trump’s executive order on behalf of two Iraqis who were detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport on Friday.
ACLU lawyers successfully argued for a temporary stay, allowing the detained travelers to stay in the country.

Antichrist says Americans should leave Iraq

Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr delivers a sermon to worshippers during Friday prayers at the Kufa mosque near Najaf, Iraq September 23, 2016
Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani
It would be arrogance for you to enter freely Iraq and other countries while barring to them the entrance to your country … and therefore you should get your nationals out,’‘ Moqtada al-Sadr said on his website, commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision.
The Iraqi government has so far declined to comment on the executive order signed by Trump on Friday, which suspends the entry of travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days {nL1N1FH1XY].
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, editing by Larry King)

The Antichrist Admonishes The US

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr delivers a speech to his supporters following Friday prayers at the grand mosque of Kufa in the holy city of Najaf, on April 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO / HAIDAR HAMDANI (Photo credit should read HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would amount to a “declaration of war against Islam” that would require the formation of an armed group to liberate the holy city, said prominent Shiite Iraqi cleric and powerful militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.
U.S. President Donald Trump, in a break with previous administrations, has vowed to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy there.
“Transferring the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be a public and more explicit than ever declaration of war against Islam,” said the Shiite cleric, leader of the powerful Mahdi Army militia responsible for attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq a decade ago, according to Middle East Eye.
Sadr called for the “formation of a special division to liberate Jerusalem were the decision to be implemented” and urged the Cairo-based Arab League, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s leading pan-Islamic body, to either take decisive action on the issue or disband themselves.
If President Trump honors his promise to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, Iraq should immediately close the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, said Sadr.
Some fighters from the PMU currently participating in the offensive to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) are reportedly receiving assistance from the United States.
Sadr’s comments about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem echo a sermon given by the Palestinian Authority’s supreme Sharia judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash earlier this month.
“The new American administration intends to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem. In a simple, calm, and rational manner, in clear words that need no explanation and which are unambiguous: Such a step, for every Muslim, is a declaration of war on all Muslims,” declared Habbash, also a senior aide of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“We are not enemies of the U.S. and we do not want to be. However, when something harms our faith and our existence, we cannot stand by and do nothing,” he added.
The control of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with each side asserting claims over the holy city.
While Israel considers Jerusalem, including the eastern Palestinian sector, as its “eternal, undivided capital,” the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as a capital of their future state.
“Occupied Jerusalem is our eternal capital, the capital of our existence and the capital of our state. In politics, there can be compromises here and there… However, in matters of religion, faith, values, ethics, and history, there can be no compromises,” proclaimed the Palestinian Authority’s supreme Sharia judge.

The Antichrist Condemns US Embassy Move to Jerusalem

Middle East Eye
“Transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem would be a public and more explicit than ever declaration of war against Islam,” he said in a statement.
Sadr, a Shia cleric whose powerful Mahdi Army militia once fought US occupation forces in Iraq, called for the “formation of a special division to liberate Jerusalem were the decision to be implemented”.
Sadr said the Cairo-based Arab League as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s main pan-Islamic body, should take a decisive stand on the issue or dissolve themselves.
The Najaf-based cleric also called “for the immediate closure of the US embassy in Iraq” should Washington go ahead with its promised embassy transfer in Israel.
Sadr supporters protesting against the lack of services and widespread corruption in the Iraqi state stormed the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad twice last year.
The protesters entered the parliament buildings and the prime minister’s office but did not attempt anything against the US embassy there, which is Washington’s largest foreign mission.
The Mahdi Army has been reorganised as the Peace Companies and now fights in the system of militias known as the Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation Units.
The US provides military backing for the Iraqi offensive to retake large parts of the country seized by the Islamic State group.
The final status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel considers Jerusalem – including the eastern Palestinian sector it annexed in 1980 – as its indivisible capital. The Palestinians want to make east Jerusalem the capital of their future state.
The White House on Sunday appeared to play down suggestions that a move was imminent, with press secretary Sean Spicer saying: “We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject.”

Why Nuclear War With Russia Is Not In Prophecy (Daniel 7:7)

Nuclear war with Russia is LESS likely under Donald Trump ‘because Hillary Clinton was more likely to use Nato to threaten Russia’

Clinton was more likely to pull Ukraine into Nato ‘putting Russia on edge’, a former CIA analyst and intelligence chief says
A NUCLEAR war is LESS likely under Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton because the Democrat would use Nato to threaten Russia in eastern Europe, a former intelligence chief says.
In recent months Trump has shown an unwillingness to become embroiled in the Ukraine conflict and even suggested sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of the annexation of the Crimea and Donbass regions could be lifted.
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Nuclear war is less likely under Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton, it is claimed
This is because Trump is less likely to test Putin’s resolve by incorporating Ukraine into Nato
This is because Trump is less likely to test Putin’s resolve by incorporating Ukraine into Nato
Mathew Burrows, a former CIA analyst and National Intelligence Council boss, said this shows Trump views Vladimir Putin’s aggression in the region as less of a “matter of principle” than his Democratic former opponent.
Dr Burrows told The Sun Online that nuclear war could be triggered by Nato attempts to incorporate Ukraine, noting Putin’s Russian military doctrine called for the use of “tactical” nuclear weapons if it was threatened.
He explained: “This is (Putin’s) big legacy – that he got Crimea back from Ukraine and got it away from Nato. If Russia were to have to back down on this and see Ukraine become part of Nato then I think he is willing to use force to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Why WW3 Is Not Against Russia (Daniel 7/8)

I write about national security, especially its business dimensions.
Donald Trump’s election as president signals a big shift in the political landscape. Many observers have commented on how unpredictable the country’s future course now seems. However, there is at least one thing that will not change over the next four years. Avoiding nuclear war will remain the top priority of the U.S. government, because it is the one danger that can destroy our democracy in a day.
Trump understood this from the beginning of his campaign. He said early on that the U.S. needed to modernize its aging nuclear deterrent, and he returned to that theme over and over again in stump speeches. He was right: maintaining an assured ability to retaliate after a surprise attack is the main reason why potential aggressors don’t attack in the first place. So Washington needs to pick up the pace of nuclear modernization.
However, there is more to averting nuclear holocaust than having a robust strategic force. The U.S. needs to avoid getting into non-nuclear conflicts and crises that could escalate to the nuclear level. Eastern Europe is the place where such a scenario is most likely to unfold, because since the Cold War ended, the U.S. has extended security guarantees to former Soviet republics and satellites that lie close to the Russian heartland.
Avoiding nuclear war isn’t just about having a resilient strategic force. You also need modern ground forces that can deter conventional aggression — the kind of aggression that might escalate to nuclear conflict. (Credit: Wikipedia/National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office
For instance, after a NATO summit in July, President Obama reiterated America’s “unwavering commitment” to the security of countries on Russia’s doorstep, proclaiming that “we will defend every ally.” Coming as they did from a president who has reduced U.S. ground forces to a mere two brigades in a region where Moscow enjoys huge military advantages, Obama’s statements were extremely dangerous.
If Russia decided to move on Ukraine or the Baltic states, nuclear weapons might be the only way Washington could avoid quick defeat. NATO strategy envisions such a possibility, which is one reason why Obama’s senior security advisors rebelled against a proposal earlier this year to publicly state the U.S. would never be the first country to use nuclear weapons in a future war. Fact is, NATO strategy assumes it might be.
But because there are no guarantees Washington can get along with Moscow, something else needs to be done to minimize the likelihood a future European conflict will escalate to all-out nuclear war. Washington needs to modernize the conventional warfighting capabilities of U.S. military forces in Europe so Moscow sees little opportunity for quick victory in a future crisis. If Moscow is deterred from launching conventional aggression, there is little danger of a local conflict escalating to unrestrained nuclear war.
U.S. policymakers understood the linkage between conventional strength and nuclear deterrence during the Cold War. They talked about being able to prevail in Europe at each rung on the “ladder of escalation.” Judging from the way the Obama team denuded U.S. ground forces in Europe of warfighting capabilities, it didn’t see the connection. So now, in addition to working on improving relations with Moscow and rebuilding the nation’s nuclear force, the Trump team needs to restore some semblance of conventional deterrence in Europe.
Other than buying the F-35 fighter, which is crucial to defeating Russia’s regional air defenses because it is invisible to radar, this is mainly about upgrading the Army. The U.S. needs more than a “tripwire” defense on the ground, and the forces it fields must make Moscow doubt that a quick victory is possible. It is the illusion of easy success that could lead Russia to launch a military campaign in a future crisis, and thereby lead to nuclear escalation. So the U.S. Army must be able to stop a Russian advance without escalating to nuclear use.
This would not be expensive for a government that spends $11 billion per day. In fact, it could be accomplished by adding a little over one’s day’s worth of federal outlays to the Army’s equipment budget, as long as forces were redeployed to deter aggression more effectively. Basically we’re talking about improving the firepower, survivability and connectivity of combat systems the Army already owns, like the Abrams tank, the Bradley fighting vehicle, and the Stryker troop carrier. Accelerated modernization of Army helicopters, improved electronic countermeasures and defenses against Russian drones would also be needed.
These improvements need to be made anyway, because Army modernization accounts have been starved for funding during the Obama years, and enemies are beginning to catch up. Seriously — Americans spend more on beer every three months than the Army gets in a year for new equipment. That needs to be fixed, not just because soldiers will die otherwise, but because having a resilient, robust ground force in Europe is our best insurance against the outbreak of a regional conflict that escalates to nuclear Armageddon during the Trump era.
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The Russians know this, and have their own strategy for going nuclear in a future regional conflict. The Russian military’s chief of staff said in 2011 that local conflicts anywhere along his country’s borders could result in use of nuclear weapons, and doctrine has been developed for how Moscow would use nuclear weapons to gain the upper hand in a fight. Problem is, once the weapons of mass destruction start flying, the fight could escalate to an all-out strategic exchange.
If it did, American democracy might not survive. Tens of millions of Americans could die during the first weeks of war. There is little indication President Obama gave any thought to this possibility before extending his ill-advised commitments to countries lying only a few minutes from Russian military bases.
Although President-elect Trump is often derided by critics for not knowing much about geopolitics or strategy, the evidence to date suggests he sees the strategic landscape more clearly than Obama does. Trump understands that when a country has a thousand nuclear weapons aimed at your homeland, you need to work hard to stay on good terms with them. Even if it means conceding they might have legitimate security concerns near their own homeland.

Nuclear Modernisation of Babylon the Great

The United States’ replacement and upgrade of aging nuclear weapons reflect a need to maintain the nation’s deterrence posture, but the modernization push does not signal a renewed arms race, former deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and missile policy Brad Roberts told Sputnik.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Roberts served as US deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and missile defense policy from April 2009 to March 2013. In that role, he also served as policy director of the Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review.
“Modernizing these systems is a challenge that the country did not face from the end of the Cold War until quite recently — meaning, when the Cold War ended, we had just been through the Reagan defense buildup,” Roberts said on Tuesday.
“There were new nuclear submarines, new nuclear bombers, new ICBMs, new warheads and bombs, a new command-and-control system, and for essentially 30 years we have lived on the coattails of those investments and now the bill has come due.”
“It is not as if the modernization plan is aimed at putting new technical capabilities in the ground that are significant improvements of what is already there, as it is simply a replacement program to ensure that we do not unilaterally disarm as the systems age.”
“Russia and China and North Korea are building up and so is Pakistan,” according to Roberts. “And of course we can agree that the world would be a better place if Russia and China and India and Pakistan, and other states abandoned any interest in nuclear weapons.”
What would a world without nuclear weapons look like?
“Now there is an interesting question,” Roberts said. “Would this be a world in which conventional war would become the norm among major powers?”
He added: “We do not know the answer to that question, but it is certainly historically the case that the advent of the nuclear bomb punctuated the end of centuries of large-scale war among major powers. Now it may be that the pattern of war broke for other reasons, but you cannot prove that hypothesis.”
In contrast to the Cold War, nuclear arms play a relatively small but necessary role in the United States’ current defense strategy.
“Nuclear weapons do not play the kind of global roles they played during the Cold War in supporting our military strategy and posture, and they do not play a role in our global power projection,” Roberts averred. “But they do play a unique role on preventing nuclear armed states from directly attacking interests of the United States and its allies.”