May 122010
 

Quote of the Day

The policy of nuclear ambiguity, by which we fool only ourselves and nobody else, is not good for us any more.

–Tel Aviv University chemistry professor Uzi Even, on Israel’s decades-old policy of neither confirming nor denying the existence of its nuclear deterrent.

Terrorists Could Acquire Australian Nuclear Waste for “Dirty Bomb,” Expert Says

An expert has warned that relocating unwanted nuclear material to a proposed national repository in Australia could make the waste vulnerable to seizure by extremists, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today (see GSN, May 11, 2009).

The proposal would open a trove of material usable in a radiological “dirty bomb” to theft during transit, said John Large, a British nuclear analyst who has consulted for government and private groups. The plan would involve the land-based transfer of radioactive material over great distances to the proposed site, located at Muckaty station in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The “transport of radioactive waste by road raises concerns relating to the security of waste [while] in transport to the facility and the potential for a significant impact on transport routes as a result of an accident,” the Northern Territory’s government said in a statement to an Australian Senate panel.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, though, informed the panel that the waste relocation would not pose a significant risk.

Last Friday, the legislative committee acquiesced to Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson’s plan to establish the new storage site. Australia’s governing administration could submit a bill to the legislature as soon as this week to permit establishment of the facility.

A current nuclear waste storage site — located about 20 miles from Sydney — is under constant police surveillance and is surrounded by fencing topped with razor wire, said David Sweeney of the Australian Conservation Foundation. Army antiterrorist personnel are also based in the area.

By contrast, no more than six security guards would monitor the proposed waste dump in shifts, Sweeney said.

Large’s firm, Large & Associates, said in a report that extremists in the United Kingdom had obtained atomic energy plant blueprints and the site of radioactive waste storage plants. Terrorists have “no reservations about the use of radioactivity” to produce chaos, according to the report (Lindsay Murdoch, Sydney Morning Herald, May 11).

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Israel Accuses North Korea of Supplying Syria With WMD,/font>

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday charged that aspiring nuclear power North Korea was providing Syria with weapons of mass destruction, which he said jeopardized stability in the Middle East and East Asia, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Sept. 16, 2009).

“The cooperation between Syria and North Korea is not focused on economic development and growth but rather on weapons of mass destruction,” Lieberman said to Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Tokyo, according to the diplomat’s office (see GSN, Feb. 1; Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, May 11).

He tagged the two nations and Iran as an updated “axis of evil” engaged in WMD production and proliferation, the Associated Press reported.

“We saw this kind of cooperation only two or maybe three months ago with the North Korean plane in Bangkok with huge numbers of different weapons with the intention to smuggle these weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah,” Lieberman said to journalists.

Thailand has said the North Korean arms shipment seized in December contained surface-to-air missile parts, explosives and grenades. The flight was officially headed to Iran, though observers suspected the weapons could have been ultimately intended for militant groups in the Middle East that have received backing from Tehran.

North Korea is also providing key aid to Iranian and Syrian “missile programs,” Lieberman said.

“This axis of evil that includes North Korea, Syria and Iran — it’s the biggest threat to the entire world. Not to Israel but to the entire world,” he said (Malcolm Foster, Associated Press/Google News, May 12).

“This cooperation endangers stability in both Southeast Asia and also in the Middle East and is against all the accepted norms in the international arena,” Lieberman said.

Jerusalem has previously charged Pyongyang with providing Syria with nuclear technology, AFP reported. A 2007 report in the London Sunday Times stated that Israeli commandos had captured North Korean-origin nuclear material during a covert raid at an undeclared Syrian nuclear site which was later destroyed in an aistrike. Damascus says the facility was not nuclear in nature.

The North Korean government has also maintained that it was not conducting nuclear work with Syria.

The term axis of evil was used by former U.S. President George W. Bush to describe the grouping of Iran, North Korea and prewar Iraq (see GSN, April 7; Agence France-Presse).

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Bin Laden’s Location Known to Some in Pakistan, Clinton Claims

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she believes that some Pakistani officials know the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in what was one of the strongest accusations of supporting terrorism that the United States has ever issued to its South Asian ally, the Times of India reported today (see GSN, Dec. 4, 2009).

Clinton’s comments seemed aimed at Islamabad’s military and intelligence sectors rather than the civilian government, according to the newspaper.

”I am not saying they are at the highest level … but I believe somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and where [Taliban leader] Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Taliban are,” Clinton said in a “60 Minutes” interview. ‘”We expect more cooperation [from Islamabad] to help us bring to justice capture or kill those who brought us 9/11.”

On the run following the invasion of Afghanistan, Bin Laden is thought to have found refuge in Pakistan’s Waziristan region.

Earlier this week, Obama officials accused the Pakistani-based Tehrik-e-Taliban of being behind the failed Times Square terrorist bomb plot in New York City (see GSN, May 10).

“This is the threat we share,” Clinton said in comments directed toward the Pakistani government. “We have a common enemy … there is no time to waste … go as fast and hard as we can.”

“We cannot tolerate having people encouraged, directed, trained and sent from Pakistan to attack us,” she added (Chidanand Rajghatta, Times of India, May 10).

Despite assertions by Washington that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attempted bombing not many experts believe the Pakistani army would move quickly to target extremists’ camps in North Waziristan, the Associated Press reported.

“I don’t think the timing of this operation will be dictated by American pressure,” Islamabad-based defense expert Riffat Hussain said. “You will find an intensification of the search and destroy operations and deepening intelligence coordination to get hold of the people linked to the Pakistani Taliban, especially people who are part of the network that sponsored [accused bomber] Faisal Shahzad” (Chris Brummitt, Associated Press/Google News, May 10).

May 122010
 

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea claimed Wednesday that its scientists succeeded in creating a nuclear fusion reaction, but experts doubted the isolated communist country actually had…

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea claimed Wednesday that its scientists succeeded in creating a nuclear fusion reaction, but experts doubted the isolated communist country actually had made the breakthrough in the elusive clean-energy technology.

Fusion nuclear reactions produce little radioactive waste — unlike fission, which powers conventional nuclear power reactors — and some hope it could one day provide a virtually limitless supply of clean energy. U.S. and other scientists have been experimenting with fusion for decades, but it has yet to be developed into a viable energy alternative.

North Korea’s main newspaper, however, reported that its own scientists achieved the feat on the occasion of the “Day of the Sun” — a North Korean holiday marking the birthday of the country’s late dynastic founder, Kim Il Sung, in April.

Often, North Korea’s vast propaganda apparatus uses the occasions of holidays honoring Kim or his son, current leader Kim Jong Il, to make claims of great achievements that are rarely substantiated.

North Korean scientists “solved a great many scientific and technological problems entirely by their own efforts … thus succeeding in nuclear fusion reaction at last,” the Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a report carried Wednesday by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

Experts, however, doubted the North’s claim.

“Nuclear fusion reaction is not something that can be done so simple. It’s very difficult,” said Hyeon Park, a physics professor at Postech, a top science and technology university in South Korea.

Park, who conducts fusion research in South Korea, said the North may have succeeded in making a plasma device and produced plasma, a hot cloud of supercharged particles — only one preliminary step toward achieving fusion.

He said outside experts need to know the scale of the experiment and method of generating plasma to assess the details of the North’s claim.

South Korea is one of a seven-nation nuclear fusion consortium to build the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER in Cadarache in southern France by 2015. Other members include China, the European Union, Japan, Russia, India and the U.S.

The aim of ITER is to demonstrate by 2030 that atoms can be fused together inside a reactor to efficiently produce electricity. Current forms of nuclear power do the opposite, harnessing the energy released from splitting atoms apart.

A South Korean official handling nuclear fusion at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said the North appeared to have conducted only a basic experiment.

The official said the fusion has nothing to do with making nuclear bombs and said he could not make any further comment. He asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to media.

All of North Korea’s nuclear projects are of intense concern because of worries the country is building its arsenal of atomic weapons. Pyongyang conducted two nuclear weapons tests in 2006 and 2009, drawing international condemnation and U.N. sanctions.

Energy-starved North Korea has said it would build a light water nuclear power plant. Ostensibly for civilian electricity, a nuclear power plant gives North Korea a premise to enrich uranium, which at low levels can be used in power reactors but can also be used in nuclear bombs.

May 122010
 

Shariah Finance Watch

One of the most popular web sites among American Muslims is Islam Online, which was founded by Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi, a man we have written about extensively on SFW.
Qaradawi is perhaps best known in the Western world for being banned from travel to the USA and the UK because of his ties to Jihadist terrorist organizations. Qaradawi also served as the chair of the Shariah Advisory Board for Bank al-Taqwa, a bank shut down by the US Treasury Department several years ago because it was funneling millions of dollars to several Jihadist terrorist groups.
In 2008, Qaradawi called for Islamic finance and economics to replace capitalism.
Despite all this baggage, Qaradawi is considered the most prominent Sunni Shariah scholar in the world and one of the ideological leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the political wing of the global Jihadist insurgency.

The man with whom Qaradawi is pictured in this story is the ruler of Saudi Arabia.

At SFW, we customarily call Qaradawi “Creepy Qaradawi” for his ties to terrorism and for his vile statements on how it is not always okay to beat your wife because some women “enjoy” being beaten.
This week, while conducting research on the web on the connection between Zakat (tithing in Islam) and Jihad (war against non-Muslims), we came across the forum section of IslamOnline. A forum member from Egypt asked a direct question:

“IS A MUSLIM ALLOWED TO SPEND SOME OF THE MONEY OF ZAKAH ON HIS JOURNEY TO TAKE PART IN JIHAD IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH?

JUST getting their fatwa on…

May 122010
 

Mayor In London, Meets With Police Chief And Examine City’s Security System Consisting Of 500,000 Cameras
Fact: Average Person Can Be Filmed 300 Times In A Single Day In London

THEY LIVE !!!

Mayor Bloomberg was in London on May 11, 2010, to meet with the city’s police chief about ways to enhance NYC’s security.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his eye on more security against terror attacks. He went to London Tuesday to check out their surveillance camera system, one of the largest in the world.

Ever since the Times Square car bomb scare on May 1, the mayor’s been looking to build up New York’s camera network.

That means adding to the ring of steel in Times Square, similar to central London’s. The mayor said more NYPD surveillance cameras may prevent another terror scare.

London has 500,000 surveillance cameras, more than any other city in the world.

Bloomberg visited London’s mayor to see how these help Britain fight terror.

“We live in a world of suicide bombers. We live in a world of international terrorism,” Bloomberg said.

And a world where both cities have been targets. Bloomberg came to take a closer look at the sprawling security network throughout London — known as the “Ring of Steel.” The mayor’s hoping to beef up New York’s own surveillance system in the wake of the failed car bomb attack in Times Square.

“It’s not clear that they would have helped in Times Square. Other than if the perpetrator knew there were cameras, he might not have tried to come into Times Square,” Bloomberg said.

London’s about the same size as New York and its transit systems handle roughly the same number of people every day.

Nearly everywhere you look in London, there’s someone or some “thing” looking right back at you. In fact, you could be caught on camera as many as 300 times in the course of one day.

JUST ONE World Order but that’s JUST My Opinion…

May 122010
 

Videos Posted by Fox News

An Illinois high school says it’s denying its girls’ basketball team the opportunity to play in an Arizona basketball tournament over the Grand Canyon State’s new immigration law.

Highland Park High School Girls' Varsity Basketball Team

Parents in Illinois are outraged over a move by a local high school to scrap its girls basketball team’s trip to Arizona over the Grand Canyon State’s new immigration law.

The Highland Park High School varsity basketball team has been selling cookies for months to raise money for a tournament in Arizona.

Now, after winning their first conference title in 26 years, the girls are being denied the opportunity to play in the tournament because their school had some safety concerns — and determined the trip “would not be aligned” with its “beliefs and values,” Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson told the Chicago Tribune.

Parents said there was no vote or consultation regarding the decision, which they called confusing, especially since they say no players on the team are illegal immigrants.

The father of one of the players also expressed confusion over the school’s approval of a student trip to China.

“The beliefs and values of China are apparently aligned since they approved that trip. … I mean, I don’t understand that reasoning. I really don’t,” Michael Evans told Fox News.

One player who said she is against the Arizona law told Fox News she didn’t see how the tournament was related.

“It’s ultimately the state’s decision, no matter what I think. Not playing basketball in Arizona is not going to change anything,” she said.

For now, Hebson says, Arizona is off-limits, due to uncertainty over how the state’s new law, which makes it a crime to be in the country illegally, will be enforced.

“We would want to ensure that all of our students had the opportunity to be included and be safe and be able to enjoy the experience,” Hebson told the Tribune about the tournament, scheduled for December. “We wouldn’t necessarily be able to guarantee that.”

An Illinois high school basketball team is barred from attending a tournament in Arizona over the immigration law. Do you agree with this decision?

Watch video on FB

May 122010
 

Shout to my friend Paul ~ Photo Copyright Getty Images

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States posted an $82.69 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $20.91 billion shortfall registered in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

http://www.iheartradio.com/pages/whitehousebrief.html?an=Deficit-growing-400-in-1-year

A New Way to Experience Politics Hosted by Paul Westcott

It was more than twice the $40-billion deficit that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast and was striking since April marks the filing deadline for individual income taxes that are the main source of government revenue.

Department officials said that in prior years, there was a surplus during April in 43 out of the past 56 years.

The government has now posted 19 consecutive monthly budget deficits, the longest string of shortfalls on record.

For the first seven months of fiscal 2010, which ends September 30, the cumulative budget deficit totals $799.68 billion, down slightly from $802.3 billion in the comparable period of fiscal 2009.

Outlays during April rose to $327.96 billion from $218.75 billion in March and were up from $287.11 billion in April 2009. It was a record level of outlays for an April.

Department officials noted there were five Fridays in April this year, which helped account for higher outlays since most tax refunds are issued on that day.

But for the first seven months of the fiscal year, outlays fell to $1.99 trillion from $2.06 trillion in the comparable period of fiscal 2009, partly because of repayments by banks of bailout funds they received during the financial crisis.

Receipts in April — mostly from income taxes — were $245.27 billion, up from $153.36 billion in March but lower than the $266.21 billion taken in during April 2009.

Receipts from individuals, who faced an April 15 filing deadline for paying 2009 taxes, fell to $107.31 billion from $137.67 billion in April 2009.

The U.S. full-year deficit this year is projected at $1.5 trillion on top of a $1.4 trillion shortfall last year.

White House budget director Peter Orszag told Reuters Insider in an interview on Wednesday that the United States must tackle its deficits quickly to avoid the kind of debt crisis that hit Greece.

May 122010
 

by Steve Emerson

Federal law enforcement officials call it a front for Hamas terrorists which “has been under numerous investigations for financing and [providing] aid and comfort to bad orgs and members.”
The U.S. Census Bureau calls it landlord.

Thank you Steve for all you do…the risks you take…the death threats and insults…you know you are my hero !

In gearing up for the 2010 Census, the General Services Administration (GSA) leased office space throughout the country. One location is a 6,654 square foot section of a two-story building on Edsall Road in Alexandria, Va. owned by the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque. The United States government is spending $582,000, or about $23,000 per month, to lease the space from November 2008 through the end of this year.
The GSA helped the Commerce Department find office space for the Census. A GSA spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment or for clarification of the lease’s true cost. Fairfax County property records indicate that Dar Al-Hijrah bought the 40,000-square-foot building in May 2008 for $5.8 million.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism obtained the reports referencing Dar al-Hijrah through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records related to a brief detention of Awlaki. Those records were copies of TECS reports – a computer database operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Some of the reports released to the IPT are redacted.
TECS data generally provides a summary narrative and referral to more detailed case references and case agent contacts.
The TECS reports dated in 2002 obtained under this FOIA stated that Dar Al-Hijrah was “associated with Islamic extremists” and was “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.” A report dated in December, 2007, said the mosque “has been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing” and “has also been associated with encouraging fraudulent marriages.” Another December 2007 report advised Dar Al-Hijrah, “has been under numerous investigations for financing and proving (sic) aid and comfort to bad orgs and members.”
The TECS reports indicate that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) generated the information.
Federal law enforcement officials have become well acquainted with Dar al-Hijrah over the years.

It was home to radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, today considered the inspiration to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hassan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man who tried to detonate an explosive in his underpants on a flight to Detroit Christmas Day. Reports also indicate that Times Square attempted bomber Faisal Shahzad was inspired in part by Awlawki.
In February, Dar Al-Hijrah hosted a fundraiser for Sabri Benkahla, who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence after being convicted in 2007 for obstruction of justice, perjury before a grand jury, and making false official statements to the FBI in the course of an investigation into the Virginia Jihad terror cell.

Yes I’m biased but with good backing…JUST MUST read this…

May 122010
 

There are very few airborne-qualified Marines. Even fewer of those devil dogs happen to be female. So a person could probably imagine how honored, then Sgt., Jacquelyn Samuel was when she became the first female Marine in history to attend the U.S. Army High-Altitude, Low-Opening parachutist course.

Cpl. Bobbie A. Curtis, 2nd Marine Logistics Group

There are very few airborne-qualified Marines. Even fewer of those devil dogs happen to be female. So a person could probably imagine how honored, then Sgt., Jacquelyn Samuel was when she became the first female Marine in history to attend the U.S. Army High-Altitude, Low-Opening parachutist course.

Attending the course for Marines in military occupational specialties requiring “jump wings” can be compared to a college football player getting a job in the National Football League. Not everybody will get the chance to go, and for those who go, it isn’t guaranteed they will make it through the rigorous program.

After attending the U.S. Army Basic Airborne Course in Ft. Benning, Ga., a physically demanding 3-week crash course focused on the art of jumping out of a C-17 Globemaster, Marines serving in specific MOS’s can earn the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia, indicating a Marine or sailor completed a minimum of five additional static-line jumps. If a Marine is in a billet or job requiring them to freefall out of an airplane, then they may have the opportunity to attend the HALO and High Altitude, High Opening parachutist courses.

Unless a Marine is “Ricky Recon” (amphibious reconnaissance), a air delivery specialist (Samuel’s MOS), or attached to one of the Corps’ Air Naval Gun Liaison Companies they will never likely get the chance to attend the HALO course due to the limited school seats that are reserved for those MOS’s that absolutely require the course.

Samuel, now a staff sergeant, was extremely honored when in August 2008, she was put in the position to become the first female Marine to become HALO qualified, and it is obviously an accomplishment she is proud of.

“It’s actually the highest title I carry, and I carry it proudly,” she explained.

Her destined rendezvous with the HALO course came to fruition when she became an instructor at the Parachute Rigger Course in Ft. Lee, Va., where she taught our nation’s future military parachute riggers from October 2006 – January 2010. Her students’ future responsibilities would be to insure that all parachutes are safely packed for use in real-time operations and training throughout all branches of the U.S. military.

She explained that becoming HALO qualified was required for her to teach a follow-on portion of the course all Marines are required to attend after they complete the standard curriculum taught by the school. During this course Marines learn how to pack more advanced, steerable parachutes used on advanced freefall jumps – requiring a more advanced parachutist to teach the skills.

Not many Marines get to make such a prominent mark in history. Throughout Marine Corps Recruit Training, recruits are introduced to famous Marines who accomplished amazing feats, and who were the first to walk along an untraveled path. Samuel may not be Opha Mae Johnson, the first female Marine, but she has certainly made a huge impact on the Marine Corps’ airborne community.

And the pressure of being the first, made failure inconceivable.

“The pressure of knowing you’re the first one makes you know you have to do it … you have to pass,” she said. “It was exciting knowing that I didn’t follow in somebody else’s foot steps. I made the foot steps.”

She hopes her accomplishment will open up the door for future females who wish to attend the course.

“Will it open the door for females going… hopefully it will,” she stated.

Master Sgt. John Abney, a 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps and long -time member of the Corps’ airborne community explained Samuel’s achievement does several important things for the Corps and the airborne MOS’s.

“There are no limits since we started the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq,” said Abney, who has over 400 static-line and free-fall jumps. “It’s asymmetrical … there’s no front and rear anymore. Females have played a pivotal role; this just proves there is no limit to the potential roles they can and will play in our future success.”

Her groundbreaking milestone is proof that females can be successful in filling roles traditionally held by males. Abney also believes this could help improve airborne MOS’s by making them better-rounded.

“It gives the community more diversity and flexibility,” he continued. “You can now spread the responsibilities around so you’re not looking for males to be subject matter experts.”

Both Samuel and Abney agree the HALO course is much more challenging than the basic airborne course, stating the HALO course is a lot more physically and mentally challenging. The course requires servicmembers to learn a lot about their bodies and become familiar with the affects free falling through the sky at 120 mph has on it.

“We all know we have feet, hands, arms and legs … it’s different to have to know where they are while you’re free falling,” Samuel said. “It was a challenge that was well worth it.”

“That’s not an easy school,” exclaimed Abney. “If you’re willing to go down there and deal with the challenge and pass the school, I have a lot of respect for you. I tell you this … they don’t cut corners for you if you are a female.”