Tuesday, October 29, 2019

ISIS is expanding around globe despite Baghdadi death – carrying out ‘on average 10 terror attacks EVERY DAY’

ISIS is expanding around the globe despite elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death - carrying out an average 10 terror attacks EVERY DAY, an expert warns.
While US President Donald Trump says that the shadowy group is "100 per cent" defeated, politicians and experts urge people to remain vigilant as ISIS "still has fighters".

 'We must remain extremely vigilant to mitigate the risk ISIS poses' say politicians and experts
General Sir Richard Barrons, former commander Joint Forces command – who led the UK Armed Forces until his retirement three years ago – told LBC that his death was a “significant moment in the campaign against ISIS".
He added that Baghdadi, “was their most iconic leader, and his death is a major blow to that organisation."
But, the expert added, we “should absolutely in no way think that this is the end of ISIS.
“It’s already a very distributed organisation, that claims something like 10 attacks around the world every day.
"So the death of Baghdadi in Syria is not going to affect what may now happen in the Philippines, or Nigeria, or elsewhere in Syria and Iraq.
“It still remains a powerful and very violent organisation that wishes us all here in the UK serious harm.”
And Republican Mike Rogers, who is on the House Homeland Security Committee, warned: "About 10,000 ISIS fighters remain in the region and will continue to carry out guerrilla attacks and seek new territory."

Russia Launches New Battle Ship to ‘Defend National Interests’ in the Arctic

Russia has unveiled a new combat icebreaker vessel in St. Petersburg on Friday which it says will help defend its national interests in the Arctic, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
The launch of the Ivan Papanin comes amid Russia’s rapid military and economic development in its strategic Arctic region. Earlier this month, over 12,000 troops took part in nuclear war drills across Russia’s Arctic. Russia has also said it obtained new data that supports its territorial claims in the Arctic.
According to Viktor Cherkov, an admiral at the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation responsible for the ship’s construction, the Ivan Papanin is “unique” for its versatility and will able to perform the tasks of a tugboat and patrol ship in addition to its role as an icebreaker.
“We wanted to create a ship that can give security to our fleet in the Arctic. At the same time it will be able to assist in scientific research. Overall the fleet will defend our national interests in the Arctic.”
The ship will be supplied with a portable anti-aircraft missile system and artillery installation and will act as a permanent base for a military helicopter.

German Role in Developing Soviet Nuclear Program Revealed in Newly Declassified Documents

Russia’s state nuclear firm Rosatom has declassified the personal files of German scientists involved in the Soviet nuclear program after World War II.
The Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb ahead of schedule in 1949, an achievement largely attributed to German experts and Soviet espionage on the U.S. Manhattan Project. Stalin had awarded prestigious state prizes to German specialists in the late 1940s and early 1950s for their contribution to the Soviet atomic bomb project.
Rosatom’s newly declassified trove features special-purpose questionnaires filled out by six German scientists, one of which was completed by Nobel Prize winner Gustav Hertz
The trove also includes a declassified order by NKVD intelligence service chief Lavrenty Beria to move German special equipment to a Soviet lab dated May 15, 1945, less than a week after Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender.
Pavel Oleynikov, a group leader at one of two centers for Russia’s nuclear program, detailed the role of German scientists in the Soviet nuclear program for the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California.
“While the Soviets did not need the Germans’ help to build an atomic weapon, their contributions certainly accelerated the Soviets’ push to become a nuclear weapon state,” Oleynikov wrote in 2000. 
Rosatom has published a series of previously classified documents in the past week to commemorate next year’s 75th anniversary of the Russian nuclear industry.

British SAS heroes ‘took part in hunt and kill mission that saw ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blow himself up’

ELITE SAS troops took part in the daring raid to hunt down and kill ISIS boss Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
American special forces descended on the terror chief’s Syrian bolthole on Saturday night, where he was hiding after the fall of the “Caliphate”.
 Al-Baghdadi at a secret location in an ISIS propaganda video earlier this year
Al-Baghdadi at a secret location in an ISIS propaganda video earlier this yearCredit: AP:Associated Press
 Rubble above the site of the tunnel where Baghdadi is believed to have blown himself up, in north-western Syria
Rubble above the site of the tunnel where Baghdadi is believed to have blown himself up, in north-western SyriaCredit: AFP or licensors
Donald Trump said the cowering killer died “crying, whimpering and screaming” along with eight of his henchmen after soldiers blasted their way into his compound in Idlib province.
And super troopers from the elite British unit also took part in the dramatic shootout, The Mirror reports.
A source told the paper: "The UK has an exchange deal which is long standing with the US special ­operations in Iraq, which mounted the mission.
"No doubt lessons were learned from previous operations."
The MoD cannot confirm or deny the presence of SAS soldiers in the raid, as it does not comment on Special Forces operations.
Eight choppers swooped on the terror compound over the weekend, ferrying the commandos to their target.
US aircraft, mostly twin-rotor CH-47 helicopters, had taken off from Al-Asad air base in western Iraq - with villagers noticing the helicopters hovering low on the horizon.
Mr Trump explained: "We flew very, very low and very, very fast. It was a very dangerous part of the mission."
An unidentified resident told the Associated Press: "We went out in the balcony to see and they started shooting, with automatic rifles. So we went inside and hid."
Next came a large explosion that Mr Trump - watching the action unfold in the White House Situation Room - said was the result of soldiers blasting a hole in the side of a building because they feared the entrance might have been booby-trapped.
Hearing the soldiers enter his compound, a startled Baghdadi fled into a network of underground bunkers and tunnels that snaked through the compound.
The stout, bearded militant leader wore a suicide vest and dragged along three children as he ran from the American troops.
He ignited his vest, killing himself and his three kids.
Trump said: "The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him."
No US personnel were killed and 11 children were rescued in the operation.
Baghdadi – who had led the murderous cult since 2010 when it was still an underground al-Qaeda offshoot in Iraq – had been the subject of an international manhunt for years and had a £19.4m ($25m) bounty on his head.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Russian Spies Are Recruiting MGIMO Students – Proekt

Russian intelligence services are actively recruiting students from the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), the independent Proekt online outlet reported in an investigation Thursday.
MGIMO is considered one of Russia’s elite academic institutions, training future government leaders and diplomats, as well as businesspeople, journalists and thinkers. Its alleged ties to Russia's secret services came into focus last year when Poland’s foreign ministry said it had fired hundreds of MGIMO graduates as part of a large-scale overhaul.
“It’s no secret that they recruit into the security agencies at MGIMO,” Proekt quoted an unnamed graduate, who reportedly attended a recruitment drive in 2010, as saying.
Another student recounted a 2015 meeting with a recruiter who drew attention to his “unique” knowledge of the Montenegrin language and urged him to think about “the future, the motherland and a career.”
Intelligence services around the world regularly recruit graduates from top diplomatic schools, prizing them for their language and analytical skills.
The Proekt investigation came ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Gerasimov State University of Cinematography (VGIK) Thursday, where he called Russian students’ work abroad a “major soft power.” 
Putin also lauded MGIMO alumni’s “patriotism and fidelity to duty while protecting our country’s foreign policy interests” on the 75th anniversary of its founding earlier this week.

Russians accused of extremism cut wrists in court

Vyacheslav Kryukov (far left) and Ruslan Kostylenkov (2nd left) in court
Two Russians on trial for belonging to an anarchist organisation have slit their wrists in a Moscow courtroom.
The pair, Ruslan Kostylenkov, 25, and Vyacheslav Kryukov, 20, face extremism charges after being accused of belonging to Novoye Velichiye (New Greatness) group.
They were removed from the witness stand. Their condition is not yet known, Russian media report.
Both had called to be put under house arrest but had their request rejected.
When their request was denied, they reportedly told the courthouse: "This is an unfair trial" and "Glory to Russia, freedom of Russia, freedom of political prisoners."
They then slit their wrists.
Lawyer Alexander Lupashko said it was unclear how the pair had managed to get sharp objects into the courtroom.
"They were checked by dogs. I believe either a piece of glass or a piece of a blade was carried in there," he said.
The pair are part of a group of 10 young people facing trial on charges of creating an extremist organisation and seeking to overthrow President Vladimir Putin's government. The suspects include teenagers.
One alleged member of the group, Anna Pavlikova, 19, has already been charged. Her health deteriorated in prison and she was later placed under house arrest.
The prosecution's case largely relies on the testimony of an undercover policeman who infiltrated the group.
Human rights groups say the suspects were set up. Parents of the suspects say the group discussed everyday life such as school, work and in some cases, politics.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Russia detains American diplomats for traveling to top-secret military site


Russian authorities detained three American diplomats because they allegedly tried to enter a highly secret weapons testing site in northern Russia, according to reports. The site in question is located near the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk. The city is home to a number of military shipyards and is thus restricted for non-Russians. The latter require a special permit to enter it.
In August of this year, Western media reported on a mysterious explosion that took place in a weapons research site located near Severodvinsk. The explosion allegedly happened during testing of a top-secret prototype rocket engine. Russian authorities revealed that five workers died as a result of the explosion, but denied media reports that the explosion had caused a radiation leak that had affected Severodvinsk. The Russian Ministry of Defense also denied allegations that a large-scale nuclear clean-up operation had been conducted in and around Severodvinsk. At the same time, Russian authorities restricted maritime traffic in the White Sea, on the shores of which Severodvinsk is situated.
On Wednesday, the Russian news agency Interfax reported that three American diplomats had been detained by authorities near Severodvinsk, allegedly because they tried to enter the city without the necessary permits. The diplomats were not named but are believed to be military attachés that serve in the United States embassy in Moscow. Interfax said the three were detained on Monday while onboard a passenger train. They were removed from the train, questioned and eventually released. However, they might still face charges of trying to enter a restricted area without permission.
The United States Department of State issued a statement claiming that the three diplomats “were on official travel and had properly notified Russian authorities of their travel”. A State Department spokesman said on Wednesday that the three diplomats’ travel plans had been authorized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. But authorities in Russia said that the three military attachés had been authorized to travel to the city of Arkhangelsk, which is located approximately 30 miles east of Severodvinsk. “We are quite willing to provide the United States embassy with a map of the Russian Federation”, the Russian statement concluded.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis