ISIS Bears The Mark Of The Beast (Revelation 13:18)

Isis fighters abduct up to 400 civilians in major attack on Deir ez-Zor 

Kareem Shaheen and Agence France-Presse in Beirut
Sunday 17 January 2016 12.55 EST
Islamic State fighters have abducted more than 400 civiliansafter capturing new ground in a major assault on the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor that left dozens dead, according to reports.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Isis killed at least 135 people in the multi-front attack that began on Saturday.
The dead included 85 civilians and 50 regime fighters, according to the human rights monitor, which said on Sunday that Isis also kidnapped more than 400 civilians from captured territory.
“Those abducted, all of whom are Sunnis, include women, children and family members of pro-regime fighters,” said the director of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman.
He said they had been taken to areas under Isis control in the west of Deir ez-Zor province and to the border with Raqqa province – Isis’s main stronghold in Syria – to the northwest.
The monitor said at least 42 Isis fighters had been killed in the attack and that fighting was ongoing, with regime forces backed by Russian airstrikes trying to recapture lost ground. It added that regime forces were bringing additional troops and military equipment from elsewhere in the city to the battlefront.
It was not possible to independently verify the reports.
Much of the oil-rich Deir ez-Zor is under Isis control. Syria’s eastern desert has long played a role as a conduit for jihadis into Iraqi territories across the border, even during the American occupation.
The oil and gas fields in the province, which are a key source of income for the militant group, have been repeatedly bombed by the US-led coalition and by British warplanes when they began bombing Isis targets in Syria in December.
Deir ez-Zor city, the capital of the province, is mostly under Isis control except for a few districts still held by forces loyal to the government of Bashar al-Assad. Residents there have endured months of siege by the militants.
The offensive in Deir ez-Zor may be intended to burnish the terror group’s image in its redoubts in Syria and Iraq, having lost much territory in recent months to different forces. In Iraq, it has lost the city of Ramadi to an army-led campaign, as well as the city of Sinjar, the ancestral home of the Yazidi community, to an offensive by the Kurdish paramilitary, the peshmerga.
In northern Syria, close to the capital of their self-proclaimed caliphate in Raqqa, the militants have lost vast tracts of land to an American-backed offensive by Kurdish militias, whose forces are now just 30 miles from the city.
If confirmed, the death toll in the assault would be one of the highest in a single attack by Isis, though the jihadis have carried out mass murders before.
In 2014, its fighters killed hundreds of members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe in Deir ez-Zor province after they opposed the jihadis. In August 2014, the group massacred about 200 Syrian soldiers when it overran the Tabqa military base in Raqqa province.
The jihadis have carried out mass abductions before, seizing more than 200 civilians from central Homs province in August 2014 and at least 220 Assyrian Christians from villages in the northeast of the country months earlier.
Some of those abducted in those incidents have been freed in small batches, in some cases reportedly in exchange for ransoms.
The assault came despite a Russian air campaign targeting the group that began in September and more than a year of strikes by a US-led coalition against the jihadis in Syria.

America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

New York Destroyed
Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events 
The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.
“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal“Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”
Among the findings:
  • The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
  • 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
  • Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina
“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”
Frightening Results From New Study
The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.
New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis
Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:
    • The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.
    • Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.
“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.
Others agree.
“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.
This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

Russia Continues To Test More Nukes (Daniel 7)

By Ryan Faith
January 14, 2016 | 9:11 am
Russian media outlets are running stories saying that the Russian Strategic Missile Force is going to keep itself busy in 2016, carrying out a total of 16 intercontinental ballistic missile tests. This poses a few obvious questions: Is that a lot of tests? Are we all going to die? Do I need to start digging a bomb shelter in my backyard right this instant?
The answers are, respectively, yes, no, and it’s complicated.
First off, 16 tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, is a lot. Last year, Russia conducted eight, and doubling a nuclear missile test program is kind of a big deal. Of the planned 16 tests, 14 will be for new systems, while the remaining two launches are meant to test extending the life of existing missiles.
What, then, are the Russians testing? Well, they’re testing road-mobile missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and beginning the test program of their new heavy ICBM, which NATO calls the SS-X-30 Sarmat. “The missile is in early phases of development and engineering,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.
There’s a lot of really weird psychology and game theory at work when you start talking nuclear deterrence, but one thing that creates huge amounts of angst among people in charge of nuclear armaments is, basically, performance anxiety. Nuclear deterrence is built on the idea that even if you get a jump on me and take me down, you’re still going to get taken out by that vicious response I’ve kept in storage just for that occasion.
The sweet spot for avoiding nuclear apocalypse is when both sides have enough nuclear capability to ensure their retaliation will have full effect — but without having so much strike capability that it creates a fear in your opponent that the other guy can get enough of a jump on you to take both you and your retaliatory ability out in one fell swoop. If both sides think they have a strong second-strike ability, but know that their first strike would not totally obliterate the opponent, then everybody is going to just chill.
According to Jeffrey Lewis, a big nuke wonk at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, of all the kinds of nuclear sneak attacks, Russian leaders live in perpetual fear of a decapitation strike. Kinda like it sounds, a decapitation strike kills all the top bosses, so that there’s nobody around to send the signals or release the launch codes for the retaliatory attack.
Of all the tools a country keeps on hand to ensure that a delayed-action strike hits the target even if they’ve been taken out, submarine-launched nuclear missiles are among the most potent. With max loadout, a US missile sub carries something like 288 warheads on 24 missiles; each warhead has about 25 times as much destructive power as the Hiroshima bomb. And really, anyone with a nuclear missile sub worth its salt (and the Russians have some very good ones) can effectively annihilate a country if they put their mind to it. Thus, missing just one submarine in your surprise sneak attack means you’re still in for an incredibly awful retaliation.
Enter US missile defense. According to the US, missile defense is important because a state that has nuclear weapons (say North Korea) and one that might one day (say Iran) might just be crazy enough to try nuking the US anyway, deterrence or not. Furthermore, the US says, the systems aren’t aimed at Russia or China; there wouldn’t be enough interceptors to make a noticeable dent in the cloud of incoming Russian or Chinese missiles to really help much anyway.
But some Russians nuclear experts say those US claims are disingenuous, and that neither Iran nor North Korea are anywhere competent enough to launch a nuclear strike against America. But the Russians also note that the US missile defenses could, for instance, shoot down missiles launched from Russia’s naval bastion, the one safe place where it could launch missiles from. So Russian fear boils down to the notion that the US could conceivably take out Moscow and top leadership in a surprise first-strike decapitation, and then rely on missile defenses to mop up the few missiles that did get launched in a counterattack.
Thus, with these new ICBM tests, we can expect to see a lot of measures intended to give Russian warheads an edge against US defenses. But that has the effect of making the Russians less paranoid that a massive nuclear sneak attack form the Americans would work, and when people with the nukes are more chill, we’re all more chill.
Now, one of those new-fangled nukes is a big beast of a missile, the SS-X-30 Sarmat. Kristensen explained that the decision to pursue the Sarmat is “partially motivated by desire for a design that can deploy missile defense-evading payloads.” And being a very heavy ICBM, the Sarmat could theoretically pack a whole lot of that.
One of the cooler bits is the speculation that the Russians are going way, way back to their grandad’s playbook for some vintage nuke tech and re-introducing the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, or FOBS. Many decades ago, even the US and Soviet Union could see that putting nukes in orbit was an absolutely destabilizing thing, because if you have nukes flying over your enemy’s head, you could detonate one in space at any moment, frying electronics courtesy of the blast’s electromagnetic pulse, and have free rein to nuke at will. So, in a rare bout of accord, both countries agreed that allowing any sort of weapon of mass destruction in space was just crazy talk, and they banned it.
Sometime later, the Soviets took a hard look at the treaty language and noted that it only banned orbital weapons Weapons that went around the Earth in a complete orbit. But, they reasoned, if the weapons only went part of the way around before coming back to Earth, then they wouldn’t be considered Nukes in Space, but merely Nukes with a Strange Deployment Method. The theory was nukes launched that way could come around the South Pole and hit the US without lighting up all the early warning radars strewn across Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.
Eventually, the US got to putting up satellites to detect launches so the Soviets couldn’t get away with any of this sneaky FOBS business, and the whole toolkit was put on ice in 1979.
Anyhow, along comes missile defense. Missile defense systems are pretty limited in the area they can cover, so a missile coming out of central Russia is going to be way, way, way beyond the reach of interceptors based in Alaska. But, just to be on the safe side, perhaps hedging against potential sea- or air-based anti-missile systems, the Russians dusted off the FOBS idea. Or at least according to Major General Vladimir Vasilenko, former head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Fourth Central Scientific Research Institute.
Now, Russia is a huge-ass country. There’s no way that the US can possibly afford to cover the entire Russian perimeter with kit to shoot down missiles, so if Russian missiles can leave in any one of a number of directions, they’ll be able to bypass US missile defenses, and the Russians will be confident in their retaliatory capability. That means they will probably chill out, according to that deterrence theory, and we can all die of something other than being nuked to death.
But here’s the thing: It’s not entirely certain if the Russians are going through all this hubbub because they’re on to some sneaky US nefariousness or because they’re downright paranoid. Which leads us to our third main question: Do I need to start digging a bomb shelter in my backyard right this instant?
It’s not certain that Russian concerns about missile defense are legit, but the Russian ICBM modernization is going along anyway as if they were. (Those efforts began in earnest in 1997, Kristensen said, so this isn’t exactly a “new” move for Russia.) And as this Russian development program begins wrapping up, it so happens that the US nuclear modernization program will be kicking off in earnest. And based on concerns about all these new badass Russian missiles, it will probably be upgraded pretty substantially.
What we have at the end of it all is a long series of back-and-forth, tit-for-tat moves that are actually only sort of related to each other, but, to the casual observer, look like a straight-up nuclear arms race. Which at this point it isn’t, but it might take a life if its of its own and turn into a real arms race even if none of the participants wanted to race at all.
So, if this were a sane, logical, and just world, there’d be no reason to start digging your fallout shelter right this instant. And all things considered, it doesn’t look like you should. But looking into a side gig selling Geiger counters around the neighborhood might be a good idea.

The Scarlet Woman Is Herodius (Mark 6:34)

September 17, 2015 Daniel Greenfield 36
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton told a cheering Silicon Valley audience, “There is a special spot in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
If there is such a place in hell, Hillary has reserved parking there. It’s hard to think of any other politician who has done as much to exploit women while doing so little for them. Except maybe her husband.
While Hillary pontificated about the glass ceiling, the tabloids were filled with new allegations of sexual abuse about Clinton pal Jeffrey Epstein by one of his former “slaves”. Bill Clinton had taken frequent rides on Epstein’s private jet which had been nicknamed the “Lolita Express” because of its transportation of underage girls for the use of Epstein and some of his friends and associates.
Hillary Clinton was lecturing on feminism while new allegations were coming out about the former slave’s meeting with Bill Clinton on the “Lolita Express” and the favors that Bill owed Epstein.
Jeffrey Epstein was good at cashing in his favors. Despite buying girls as young as twelve, he served a year in the private wing of a Palm Beach prison with “work release” for six days a week and sixteen hours a day which he used to fly the Lolita Express back to his private island.
That island was a special place in hell for some little girls, but not one that Hillary Clinton was interested in doing anything about.
Now Hillary has decided that she stands with rape victims.
“I want to send a message to all of the survivors,” she said. “Don’t let anyone silence your voice, you have the right to be heard, the right be believed, and we are with you as you go forward.”
But the right to be believed didn’t extend to the twelve-year-old Arkansas girl who was beaten into a coma and raped.
On tape, Hillary Clinton can be heard laughing about her client failing a lie detector test. She had known all along that it was the rapist who was lying.
Hillary Clinton took me through Hell,” the victim said.”You are supposed to be for women? You call that for women, what you done to me? And I hear you on tape laughing.”
If there’s a special spot in hell, Hillary belongs there.
Hillary’s right for rape victims to be believed doesn’t apply once she is being paid to lie about them. And she still continues to break new ground for her special spot in hell by covering up her donors’ rapes.
When one of her donors, Howard Gutman, was made ambassador to Belgium in exchange for his generous donations and fundraising for Hillary and Obama, whistleblowers who reported that he had escaped his security detail to “solicit sexual favors from minor children” were targeted.
Hillary’s close aide, Cheryl Mills, oversaw a cover-up of the Gutman case, just as she had on Benghazi.
Hillary Clinton stood with the abuser as she had always done in her personal life and her political life.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Kathleen Willey, one of her husband’s victims, responded to Hillary’s “Message to Survivors of Sexual Assault,” ad by saying, “She believed what happened for sure. She just chose to ignore the plight of all of his victims, thus enabling him to continue to abuse and rape women in the future.
“She’s a lying pig. I cannot believe that she had the gall to make that commercial. How dare she? I hope she rots in hell.”
Hillary didn’t stand with victims then. Instead she ran a “war room” targeting the women her husband had harassed in a repulsive political cleanup operation. But for her, the agenda has always come first. And women have come last. When Senator Bob Packwood was facing sexual harassment charges, Hillary told a friend that she was “tired of all those whiney women” because she needed HillaryCare to pass.
To Hillary Clinton, victimized women are just “whiney”. That’s the way it was. That’s the way it is.
Hillary Clinton is trying to win back the female voters abandoning her sinking campaign by promising to fight for women the way she claims to have done as Secretary of State. But if there’s a special hell for women, it’s Saudi Arabia. And Saudi Arabia was Hillary’s own special spot in hell.
Hillary Clinton traveled to a lot of countries, but one of her favorite destinations was Saudi Arabia. The Saudis weren’t just allies; they had donated as much as $25 million to the Clinton Foundation which Hillary would be using to help launch her presidential campaign.
The constant visits to Saudi Arabia, a country where little girls are married off, gang rape victims go to jail and women can’t travel without permission from their male guardians, were in sharp contrast to the image of an advocate for women that the Clinton Foundation was buying for her using Saudi money.
A kingdom where women can’t even drive was helping fund Hillary Clinton’s fake image as a feminist.
But Saudi rape problems didn’t just stay in Saudi Arabia. When Hillary Clinton visited Saudi Arabia in 2012, a rape trial against a member of the entourage of a Saudi prince had just wrapped up in New York. The victim, who had been drugged and raped, later sued the prince claiming that the rapist had been hired to lure women to the hotel.
The Plaza Hotel, where the assault took place, was more concerned for the rapist than his victim. But then it was owned by yet another Saudi prince who had also had a rape accusation leveled against him.
In 2010, Saleha Abedin, the mother of close Hillary aide Huma whose organization supported child marriage, female genital mutilation and marital rape, welcomed Hillary Clinton to her college in Saudi Arabia. Abedin assured Hillary that “no goats or sheep or camels will be offered for the lovely hand of your daughter, Chelsea”.
Hillary responded by praising Abedin and the Saudi king for recognizing “the fundamental importance of the education of women.” Then Hillary blamed the “American media” for its “unidimensional view of Saudi women.” Instead of challenging the Saudi king, Hillary Clinton blamed America.
And that is what she always does.
Whether it’s Bill Clinton or the Saudi King, Howard Gutman or some Arkansas rapist, Hillary Clinton panders to male abusers at the expense of the women and girls they hurt. It’s what she has always done to take her career to the next level.
Hillary Clinton is not here because of her talents. She’s here because she helped powerful men cover up their crimes, from her husband to the Saudi royal family. She has only gotten power by serving power and sacrificing other women to its demands.
She isn’t here to help women, men or children. Not unless they can get her closer to what she wants. Hillary is no philanthropist. She doesn’t do anything without a reason. Every move is calculated to get her a check or a favor owed.

Extortion from the Pakistani and Korean Nuclear Horns

Two troubled countries. Two similar strategies.
By Seth Oldmixon
January 16, 2016
Two important and unsettling events took place earlier this month: North Korea claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear bomb, and India’s Pathankot airbase was the victim of an attack by Pakistan-based militants. While seemingly unrelated, the two events have more in common than readily apparent: Each fits a long established pattern of behavior intended to extort international concessions by exploiting global anxiety about nuclear terrorism.
The most immediate connection between these two events is the provenance of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program: Pakistani metallurgist A.Q. Khan, the man who stole nuclear secrets from his employer in Holland and passed them on to Pakistan’s military. In the 1990s, Pakistan sold nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, as well as Iran, Libya and possibly other states. A.Q. Khan was briefly held under house arrest until he received a full pardon from Pakistan’s military dictator and president Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Yet, there is another commonality between North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and a fidayeen attack on an Indian airbase: strategy.
Writing in Foreign Affairs, Sung-Yoon Lee and Joshua Stanton described North Korea’s foreign policy in this way: “Offer a fake overture of peace; raise the stakes for your foes with a provocation; act unstable and threaten to escalate even further; and finally, call for talks and act reasonable. Pyongyang seizes and maintains the initiative from beginning to end and leaves its adversaries anxious for negotiations in the face of provocations.”
Such a strategy should sound remarkably familiar to South Asia watchers, as it echoes the strategy employed by Pakistan.
The Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande has chronicled four recent examples of Pakistan making overtures of peace, followed by a vicious jihadi attack, and finally culminating in the Pakistani government declaring its desire to proceed with peace talks so that the terrorists don’t win. The attack on Pathankot airbase also follows this pattern.
Increasingly, the Pathankot attack appears to have been carried out by jihadi militants associated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a transnational terrorist organization founded by Masood Azhar under the patronage of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the country’s premier military intelligence organization. After having been dormant for several years, JeM resurfaced in early 2014 when Masood Azhar addressed a rally well orchestrated in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir shortly after Gen. Raheel Sharif took over as Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff.
Gen. Raheel has declared a policy of “zero tolerance” for militancy, a position that he reiterates after each militant attack. In practice, however, certain militant groups are tolerated, if not directly sponsored by the military. Last year, the State Department praised Pakistan for following through on its international obligations to ban Islamist militant groups including the Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, only to find out that the groups were not actually banned at all. Even nominally-banned groups, such as the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a virulent anti-Shia organization, are expanding.
This is no accident. Pakistani National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz has openly admitted that the state has no interest in shutting down militant groups that it deems friendly to Pakistan’s interests. Well-meaning sympathizers accept the Pakistani contention that they can’t actually go after all militants because doing so would present an insurmountable threat – there are so many militants that taking them all on would destabilize the entire country, putting at risk its ever expanding nuclear arsenal. This conveniently ignores the fact that the problem is one of Pakistan’s own making.
Pakistan cultivated jihadi militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and JeM for decades both as force multipliers and proxy forces that can carry out attacks without the clear imprint of the state. The last part is key: Pakistan’s jihadi assets provide the cover of plausible deniability that allows the state to approach India or the U.S. and pretend that it is sincerely working to change the situation. The problem is that Pakistan’s jihadi monster has grown bold enough that it’s turned on its patron. Around 30,000 Pakistanis have been killed by jihadi militants, including over 1,000 in 2015. After militants killed 140 schoolchildren in 2014, Pakistan’s security establishment promised to change its ways, but “pro-Pakistan” militants have continued to flourish.
If North Korea’s international strategy is based on Richard Nixon’s “Madman theory” – the gamble that other countries will not risk provoking them for fear of an unpredictable and disproportionate response, Pakistan uses a slightly more sophisticated technique: “Good Cop, Bad Cop.” The “good cop” being the Pakistani state, the “bad cop” being jihadi militant groups. Pakistan promises to restrain its jihadis if only the U.S. or India will make certain concessions. As a result, the U.S. has provided Pakistan’s military with billions of dollars in cash payments and arms sales. In return, Pakistan has continued to support a variety of jihadi militant groups, including those responsible for attacks on American soldiers.
The White House has cast doubt on North Korea’s claims, saying that early evidence is inconsistent with the detonation of a thermonuclear device. Nevertheless, it is clear that North Korea is once again turning to its tried and true strategy to improve its negotiating position. Regarding Pakistan, White House Spokesman John Kirby told reporters following the Pathankot attack that “the Government of Pakistan has said publicly and privately that it’s not going to discriminate among terrorist groups.” Of course, Pakistan has said this before, and it will continue to so as long as Washington continues to believe them. And the cycle will repeat until either Washington decides to break it, or Pakistan finally loses control completely.
Seth Oldmixon is president of Oldmixon Group, a Washington, D.C. public affairs firm and the founder of Liberty South Asia, a privately funded campaign dedicated to religious freedom and political pluralism in South Asia.