Friday, August 29, 2014
Britain's terror threat level was dramatically raised to severe today amid fears that UK Jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria could launch attacks.
The severe warning means an attack is “highly likely”, rather than the earlier assessment of substantial where a terror strike is “a strong possibility”. Home Secretary Theresa May stressed there was no intelligence to suggest an imminent attack.
After the decision by Britain’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, she added: “The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq, where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West.
“Some of those plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have traveled there from the UK and Europe to take part in those conflicts. We face a real and serious threat in the UK from international terrorism. I urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”
Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned days ago that close to 200 potentially “militarized” fighters are back in London. He also proposed UK Jihadists have their passports revoked to stop them returning here.
U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and amid the continuing battle for supremacy between Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, current and former U.S. officials told TheBlaze.
“We’ve noticed a significant increase in chatter among Islamic terrorist organizations overseas both on the Internet and phone lines,” said a U.S. government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.
“This is certainly concerning, but as of yet we can’t pinpoint what or if they are planning a particular attack. We did see this kind of increase in chatter before the September 11 attacks. We just hope the public continues to remain vigilant.”
Intelligence agencies have registered similar spikes in threats to the U.S. ahead of previous 9/11 anniversaries.
Adding to the concern, however, is Al Qaeda’s competition for dominance over the Islamic State, after the two terror groups had a falling out of sorts earlier this year.
“Core” Al Qaeda is led by Ayman al-Zawahri, who is fighting to maintain leadership with Muslim followers from his base in Pakistan.
The Islamic State, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has defied orders from Zawahri and his brutal tactics have gained him prominence on a global scale with young Muslims.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake and at least 25 aftershocks rocked the San Francisco Bay Area early Sunday morning, centered in the Napa County town of American Canyon, causing widespread power outages in Napa, causing minor damage across the region, and forcing the CHP to close down a bridge on a major highway.
Officials in the city of Napa say 15 to 16 buildings are no longer inhabitable. The earthquake sent at least 87 people to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, where officials set up a triage tent to handle the influx.
This was the largest quake to hit the Bay Area since the 6.9 magnitude quake hit Loma Prieta nearly 25 years ago. Initial reports had the earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude.
The CHP is closing a bridge on Highway 37 in Vallejo while they inspect it for possible damage.
Widespread power outages are impacting Napa, and the reports of damage continue to be accessed across the region.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
The Pentagon on Friday called a Chinese jet’s encounter with a U.S. anti-submarine warfare aircraft an “aggressive” and “dangerous” act and said it has protested the action with Beijing.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters that the incident took place Tuesday in international airspace.
“We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law,” Kirby said, adding that the incident was “very, very close, very dangerous.”
“Also—and we’ve made this clear—that it undermines efforts to continue developing military-to-military relations with the Chinese military.”
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Pool said the aerial incident took place 135 miles east of Hainan Island when a Chinese J-11, a version of the Russian Su-27, came within 20 feet of a U.S. Navy P-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
“The intercept was aggressive and demonstrated a lack of due regard for the safety and well-being of the U.S. and Chinese aircrews and aircraft,” Pool said in a statement, noting it was one of the most dangerous aerial encounters with the Chinese since the April 2001 EP-3 mid-air collision with a Chinese J-8.
Friday, August 22, 2014
The ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. Senate is warning that ISIS terrorists, those who this week beheaded an American journalist, are trying to develop the capability of blowing up an entire American city.
The comments from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., came in an interview with the Fox affiliate in Oklahoma City.
He said the U.S. now is in “the most dangerous position we’ve ever been in.”
Responding to questions about terror and the threat facing Americans, he said: “They’re crazy out there. And they are rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major U.S. city. You just can’t believe that’s happening.”
According to a report in The Hill, ISIS, also known as Islamic State, “has long threatened to carry out a catastrophic attack on American soil, with a spokesman recently boasting that the militant group would fly its flag over the White House.”
U.S. intelligence sources said the al-Qaida splinter group includes thousands of European and American jihadists who fought in the Syrian civil war and came to Iraq to train and fight, first on behalf of various jihadist groups and now ISIS.
ISIS has declared the establishment of a caliphate that includes portions of northeastern Syria and western and central Iraq. It has threatened to expand throughout the Levant, which includes Syria, southern Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Saudi Arabia.