USAREUR General: Terror threat in Europe highest in world

Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti speaks during a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

 

(WASHINGTON, DC) The threat posed by violent extremism is higher in Europe than anywhere else in the world, apart from actual war zones and hotspots, US European Command head General Curtis Scaparrotti said, commenting on Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London.

“The number of threat streams that we have of this type within Europe – it’s probably higher in Europe than any other part of the globe, with the exception of the places we’re actually physically fighting [terrorists], like Syria […] Afghanistan and Iraq,” the senior US military leader in Europe, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Continue reading

Iran’s Spymaster Claims Pro-Regime Agents Operating in D.C., London, Canada

Iranian intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi / Getty Images

 

Claims pro-Iran ‘lobby’ pushing Tehran’s agenda in D.C.

Iran maintains a network of spies and lobbyists who clandestinely push the Islamic regime’s agenda in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, according to the head of Iran’s ministry of intelligence, who touted the pro-Iran network’s ability to spread its ideology to the West.

Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s intelligence minister, in recent remarks independently translated by the Washington Free Beacon, bragged about the Islamic Republic’s ability to operate an unnamed “lobby group” in D.C. that helps to push the regime’s hardline agenda. Continue reading

U.S. carrier confronts two sets of fast boats in Strait of Hormuz

Iranian fast-attack boats. /Getty Images/File

 

A U.S. aircraft carrier on March 21 deployed helicopter gunships to track two sets of Iranian fast-attack vessels during a confrontation in the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy said.

Navy commanders told Reuters the USS George H.W. Bush confronted the Iranian boats after they approached a U.S.-led, five-vessel flotilla as it entered the Strait, Reuters reported. Continue reading

Israel Threatens to ‘Destroy’ Syrian Air Defense Systems

Avigdor Lieberman. Source: REUTERS

 

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after the Syrian military launched ground-to-air missiles against Israeli warplanes illegally carrying out strikes against targets in the country.

“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” The Time Of Israel quoted Lieberman’s statement on Israeli public radio. Continue reading

Saudis’ upcoming trip to China sends strong signal to US

© Getty Images

 

King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia is leading an entourage, including 25 senior princes and 10 ministers, to China later this month, part of a month-long tour of the Asia-Pacific, as the kingdom is seeking to hedge against an unpredictable and divided White House.

While it yearns for a renewed American role in the Middle East and reassurances from President Trump that Riyadh remains an ally, Saudi Arabia now faces a period of uncertainty due to the unpredictability of Trump’s foreign policy stance. That reason alone could explain why a trip to Beijing was planned before a trip to Washington.

Despite its efforts at economic diversification, Saudi Arabia will remain dependent on oil exports for a long time, and China provides the kingdom with a stable market for its energy exports for decades to come. Continue reading

US armored column at Manbij to block Russians

The Pentagon announced Tuesday, March 6, that a US armored convoy was deployed around the disputed northern Syrian town of Manbij, and in an unusual move, released a video depicting the convoy and its men.

A US military spokesman tweeted that the US deployment was a deliberate action taken to assure that forces within the US-led coalition deterred aggression and kept the focus on defeating ISIS.

Affirming that the US-led coalition was aware of the location of Russian-backed Syrian forces, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters Monday. Continue reading

Epic US, Russian, Turkish military summit on Syria

 

EXCLUSIVE:  For the first time ever, the top soldiers of the United States, Russia and Turkey are holding a secret meeting in the Turkish town of Antalya for an urgent two-day effort to avert a clash between their three armies, which stand ominously face to face in northern Syria.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian armed forces, and Gen. Hulusi Akar, Chief of Staff of the Turkish army sat down together on Tuesday, March 7. Continue reading

Iran is source of 80%+ of Israel’s security problems – Netanyahu

“Iran is the greatest generator of terrorism in the world,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony marking 25 years of the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires by Hizballah. He said it is necessary to fight this terrorism “which is just one of Iran’s arms of aggression, that includes the drive for nuclear arms, the development of ballistic missiles, and the sowing of instability through the Middle East.” In addition, he said, the Iranian regime “continues to threaten Israel with destruction.” Continue reading

Concern over Matttis plan to appoint Anne Patterson to high Pentagon post

US Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis’ plan to appoint former US ambassador to Cairo Anne Patterson as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, the third top Pentagon position, is causing disquiet in American Jewish circles and Jerusalem. Continue reading

U.S. Gives Soros Groups Millions to Destabilize Macedonia’s Conservative Govt.

In June 2015, the Voice of America claimed that “Macedonia has become a major transit route for thousands of Middle Eastern and African refugees and migrants who cross over from Greece and then continue into Serbia.”

In 2016, the official German media outlet Deutsche Welle reported: “Macedonia has been the main transit point for almost 700,000 migrants heading from Greece to Western and Northern Europe on the so-called Balkan route since the beginning of 2015. Macedonian authorities are finalizing the construction of a new barbed-wire fence at the border with Greece.” Continue reading

Marine Le Pen Blacklisted by EU Bureaucrats

Marine Le Pen Blacklisted by EU Bureaucrats

 

(PARIS, FRANCE) European Union lawmakers lifted the EU parliamentary immunity of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Thursday for tweeting pictures of Islamic State violence.

  • Le Pen, who leads her National Front party in the European legislature, is under investigation in France for posting three graphic images of Islamic State executions on Twitter in December 2015, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley.
  • Le Pen’s immunity shielded her from prosecution. By lifting it, after a request from the French judiciary, the parliament is allowing any eventual  against her.
  • The move grants the prosecutor looking into the affair power to bring Le Pen in for police questioning.
  • In the next steps, the prosecutor could drop the case, appoint an investigating magistrate to delve further into it, or send it straight to trial.
  • A trial date ahead of the election in April and May would require the French legal process to go much faster than it normally does.

The offence being considered is “publishing violent images”, which under certain circumstances can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros ($78,930). Continue reading

Russian jets mistakenly bomb US-backed forces in Syria: US

Syrian army tanks are positioned on the eastern outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 17, 2017 (AFP Photo/George OURFALIAN)

 

Washington (AFP) – Russian warplanes bombed US-backed fighters in several small villages in northern Syria after they mistakenly thought Islamic State group forces were in the area, a US general said Wednesday.

Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend said Russian and Syrian regime aircraft attacked the villages to the south and east of Al-Bab in Aleppo province on Tuesday, resulting in an unspecified number of casualties.

The Russians apparently had observed Islamic State fighters moving from the area and wrongly assumed that other forces remaining were jihadists. Continue reading

Is Germany Ready to Fire Shots?

Caption: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 2017 Munich Security Conference on February 18 (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

 

Bundeswehr officials expect a more active and a more lethal role for Germany in the Middle East.

German military leaders are preparing to take on a more active role in the fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East. This news emerges following the February 17–19 Munich Security Conference. Spiegel Online reported on February 20 that German diplomats and military officers left the conference feeling that some major challenges ahead of them go far beyond merely increasing the nation’s military budget. The feeling was that Germany must get ready to fire shots.

German generals expect future missions to include air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and possibly an increased deployment of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. Spiegel Online quoted a German military general who attended the conference as saying, “[United States President Donald] Trump doesn’t only want more money from us but he also wants us to finally fire shots” (Trumpet translation throughout). Although former President Barack Obama had previously insisted on a more active NATO involvement, the quoted general believes that the tone is sharper now and that Germany must prepare to pull the trigger. Continue reading

Europe: Laughing at the Messenger

In response to US President Donald Trump’s recent reference to “what’s happening” in Sweden, Swedish Twitter users mocked him by posting photos of people putting IKEA furniture together. The joke would have been funnier had a failed asylum seeker from Eritrea not murdered Carola Herlin (left) and her son in an IKEA store in Västerås, Sweden, in August 2015.

 

  • Once again, an American has pointed to a failing in European society, and instead of focusing on the problem identified or even admitting that there is a problem, the European response has been to point at the American and blame him for creating the problem he has in fact merely identified.
  • We are being given an accurate representation of a serious problem.
  • If the response to every problem is denial, and the response to anyone pointing to the problem is opprobrium, legal threats or hilarity, it suggests that Europe is not going to make the softer-landing it could yet give itself in addressing these issues.
  • It might make us feel better, but every time we attack or laugh at the messenger, rather than addressing the message, we ensure that our own future will be less funny.

How can one excavate the minds of so many European officials and the extraordinary mental gymnastics of denial to which they have become prone? Continue reading