Thursday, July 13, 2017

Photos show US, South Korean, and Japanese aircraft on mission to flex on North Korea after ICBM test

us air force b-1b
A US Air Force B-1B Lancer prepares for takeoff from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to conduct a mission with South Korean F-15, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 fighter jets, July 7.


Three days after North Korea demonstrated its ability to hit the US with long-range nuclear missiles, the US, South Korea, and Japan put on a display of air power expressly meant to frighten Kim Jong Un.

Flying 10 hours from Guam to the Korean peninsula, US B-1 Lancer bombers joined up with South Korean F-15s and dropped dud bombs at a range near the demilitarized border between North and South Korea. On the way back, Japanese F-2 fighters escorted the US heavy bombers.

"North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland," Gen. Terrence O’ Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, said in a statement. "Let me be clear, if called upon we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces."

In the pictures below, see how the US and its allies train to respond to North Korea.

The B-1 was originally designed to carry nuclear weapons but is no longer able to. But it can carry more conventional bombs than any US Air Force plane and fly at mach 1.2.

The B-1 was originally designed to carry nuclear weapons but is no longer able to. But it can carry more conventional bombs than any US Air Force plane and fly at mach 1.2.
US Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger
 

Due to tensions in the Pacific, the US maintains a constant bomber presence in Guam.

Due to tensions in the Pacific, the US maintains a constant bomber presence in Guam.
US Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Skovo
 

Here's the US and South Korea sending a strong bilateral message to Kim Jong Un.

Here's the US and South Korea sending a strong bilateral message to Kim Jong Un. 
 
US Air Force B-1B Lancers fly with South Korean F-15 and US Air Force F-16 fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula, July 7.Republic of Korea air force
 
The US frequently flies over Korea with heavy bombers to signal resolve, but this time the Air Force stepped it up by dropping inert bombs near the DMZ.
Inert weapons dropped from US Air Force B-1B Lancers practicing attack capabilities land on the Pilsung Range, July 7.US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Steven Schneider

On the way back, Japanese F-2s escorted the B-1s.

On the way back, Japanese F-2s escorted the B-1s.
Two US Air Force B-1B Lancers fly with a Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-2 fighter jet over the East China Sea, July 7
 

Russian security firm Kaspersky denies spy agency work

Eugene Kaspersky
Eugene Kaspersky founded Kaspersky Lab in 1997  

Moscow-based security company Kaspersky Lab has denied working with Russian intelligence agencies, following US media and government suspicion.

News website Bloomberg said it had seen emails showing Kaspersky had developed tools for Russia's intelligence agency.

And, on Tuesday, the US government's General Services Administration removed Kaspersky Lab from a list of approved vendors.

But the company has now insisted it has "no ties to any government".

Kaspersky Lab is known for its anti-virus software and provides cyber-security products to businesses.

Bloomberg reported it had seen emails between chief executive Eugene Kaspersky and senior Kaspersky staff, outlining a secret cyber-security project apparently requested by the Russian intelligence service FSB.

In the emails Mr Kaspersky describes tools to "protect against attacks" and also engage "active countermeasures".

Bloomberg suggested that the tools not only deflected cyber-attacks, but also captured information about the hackers launching them, to pass on to Russian intelligence services.

In the emails, Mr Kaspersky said the software could one day be sold to corporate customers worldwide.

Refuting the claims, Kaspersky Lab said: "The communication was misinterpreted or manipulated to try to make the media outlet's narrative work.

"Kaspersky Lab is very public about the fact that it assists law enforcement agencies around the world with fighting cyber-threats, including those in Russia, by providing cyber-security expertise on malware and cyber-attacks."

However, the US General Services Administration said it had removed Kaspersky Lab from its list of government-approved suppliers "after review and careful consideration".

In a further statement, Kaspersky Lab said: "The company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber-espionage efforts.

"Kaspersky Lab believes it is completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations."

In the statement, Mr Kaspersky offered to meet US government officials and provide his company's software code for audit.

"Kaspersky Lab, a private company, seems to be caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight where each side is attempting to use the company as a pawn in their political game," the company said.

The Trump administration has been fighting allegations that it had contact with Russian officials during the US election in 2016.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40580896

The US had a clear shot at killing Kim Jong-un on 4 July - here's why it didn't strike

kim-jong-un.jpg

When North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile in the early-morning hours of 4 July, US military and intelligence personnel watched for a full 70 minutes, a source told The Diplomat's Ankit Panda.

During that time, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smoked cigarettes and strolled around the launchpad under the US's gaze.

The US knew North Korea was in the final stages of building an ICBM after a recent rocket-engine test. The US knew North Korea liked to test missiles on the American Independence Day to send a message. The US knew this missile was different from any it had seen before, and the US knew it could destroy it with a variety of precision-fire platforms in the region. Importantly, the US also had Kim in its crosshairs for over an hour — and did nothing.

Those facts speak volumes about the security climate in the Koreas.
While it's “fairly standard that the US didn't strike the missile ahead of the launch,” Rodger Baker, the lead analyst of Asia Pacific and South Asia at Stratfor, a geopolitical consulting firm, told Business Insider, “the unusual aspect may be saying they were watching, or at least allowing that to leak.”

Video of the launch clearly shows Kim on-site, sometimes feet away from the missile. The next day, the US and South Korea put on a blistering display of precision-guided firepower demonstrating they could have both killed Kim and stopped the launch. But they didn’t.

By letting North Korea know it watched Kim as he prepared for one of his country's most provocative missile tests ever, Baker says, the US may have sent two powerful messages.

The decision fit with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's statement that the US wanted “to bring Kim Jong-un to his senses, not his knees” and that regime change was not the US's ultimate goal.
But regime security is the reason North Korea wants long-range nuclear weapons in the first place.
If the US demonstrates it's not intent on killing Kim, that could communicate that there's “no need to continue” the missile programme, according to Baker.

But “if the program is continued,” Baker said, the US showed it could “strike it and Kim.” Though North Korea varies and tries to hide its launch points, the US tracks them vigorously, and footage of the launches always shows Kim nearby.

Perhaps rather than kill Kim and trigger a North Korean response, which could be massive, the US elected to signal that the best path to regime security would be to stay indoors and not play around near dangerous rocket engines, which have a habit of blowing up.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-kim-jong-un-us-assassination-4-july-missile-launch-testing-a7837176.html

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Armed SAS troops are posing as beggars and road sweepers in UK cities amid fears of more terror attacks




With fears of more terror attacks still gripping Britain, SAS troops have taken to our streets in a bid to prevent any further bloodshed.

Special forces soldiers armed with Heckler and Koch MP7 are disguised as beggars and road sweepers at key at key positions in cities and poised to strike at a moment’s notice.

It is hoped the troops can stop any repeat of the London Bridge or Manchester attacks or at least try to restrict casualties.

One source said: “The view is there are so many homeless people out there undercover operators will remain safe and anonymous.

“Anyone trying to pick on them would be extremely foolish and the public should feel reassured that a lot is being done to minimise the effect of another attack.”

A military source added: “The armed units have been deployed for some time now and it is unlikely the operation will be brought to a halt.

“The threat level is still assessed by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre as severe and that means an attack is highly likely so we must be ready.


Special forces soldiers armed with Heckler and Koch MP7 are disguised as tramps and road sweepers

"These soldiers provide a very good layer of immediate response at least to ­minimise casualties or stop injuries or deaths if they react quickly.

"The operation is police-led but the director of special forces is kept in touch with ­developments and is in touch with his men at all times.”

SAS soldiers from the regiment’s G-Squadron and Counter ­Revolutionary Warfare Wing have been drafted in for the operation.
Soldiers from the G-Squadron and Counter Revolutionary Warfare Wing have been drafted in
They were deployed alongside police from the Counter Terrorist Firearms Officer unit when the terror threat level went to “critical” after the Manchester attack when Salman Adebi killed 23 people, including seven children, at an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester.

The troops and police are stationed around transport hubs and in ­shopping centres.

They are fed by comrades dressed as members of the public who on rotation pass by and drop ­take-aways and drinks for them to keep up the pretence.

As well as carrying the MP7 rifle the troopers and police officers also have an ­emergency medical kit to help victims of an attack.

The police-led drive was inspired by previous armed operations such as the Millennium Dome robbery in East London which was smashed by officers who used undercover ­observation posts.

SAS troops in the past have helped in large-scale surveillance ­operations, joining forces with MI5 and the police.

But in this latest role they are there specifically to open fire on terrorists targeting civilians.

Ordinary police units are either told to avoid areas where there are undercover teams or they steer clear of them if they are nearby.

An MoD spokesman said: “We do not comment on matters relating to special forces.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/armed-sas-troops-posing-beggars-10618574






Sunday, June 4, 2017

London Bridge terror: Seven killed in van and knife attack, three attackers shot dead


At least seven people have been killed and 48 injured in central London after attackers drove a van into pedestrians before stabbing others nearby.

The vehicle was driven at high speed into people on London Bridge just after 10pm on Saturday and then continued to Borough Market.

There, the attackers, reportedly armed with foot-long knives, jumped out of the white van and stabbed people, including a British Transport Police officer who has serious but not life-threatening injuries to his face, head and leg.

Within eight minutes, armed police confronted three male attackers, shooting them dead in Borough Market.

Eight minutes of terror: What happened where

Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick condemned the atrocity as "appalling" and "ghastly". She said police believe all attackers had been "neutralised".

Referring to the speed with which officers were able to respond to the incident - in just eight minutes - she said: "We were already at a very high level of alertness.

"Severe means that an attack is highly likely and the threat level was at severe. We were prepared potentially for an incident as we have been for some considerable time."

Appealing to Londoners and visitors "to remain calm, be very vigilant", she also warned: "The last thing we need is people overreacting or take out there frustrations on other people in other communities".

Asking people to contact police if they see anything out of the ordinary, even if insignificant, she said where possible "people should carry on with their normal lives".

The injured were taken to five hospitals across London, according to the city's ambulance service. More were treated at the scene for less serious injuries.

France's President Macron said two of the victims were French citizens, with one in a serious condition.

:: Witnesses tell of gunfire and stabbings

A man on the ground with canisters attached to his chest. Pic: Gabriele Sciotto
Image: A man on the ground with canisters attached to his chest. Pic: Gabriele Sciotto
:: The moment police took down terrorists
The Premier Bankside hotel was evacuated and three hospitals - Guy's, St Thomas' and Evelina London Children's - went into lockdown "to keep patients, relatives and staff safe".

Police also responded to an incident in Vauxhall at 11.45pm but later said this was a stabbing unrelated to the two terrorist incidents.

People leave the area with their hands up after an incident near London Bridge in London
Image: People were told by police to leave the area with their hands up
:: Trump uses London attack to promote travel ban
Prime Minister Theresa May has returned to Downing Street for security briefings and will chair a meeting of the Government's emergency response committee - Cobra - later today.

She said the "terrible incident" was being treated as a "potential act of terrorism".

National campaigning in the General Election has been suspended by the Conservatives and Labour in the wake of the attack, with the PM likely to come under pressure to cancel or postpone Thursday's poll.

But London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who described the atrocity as a "barbaric act", has insisted he is not in favour of delaying the election.

He said: "One of the things we can do to show we are not cowed is to vote in the General Election on Thursday."

Police attend to an incident on London Bridge
Image: Police attend to an incident on London Bridge
Spectator journalist Will Heaven was at London Bridge shortly after the incident and wrote on Twitter that he had seen casualties - one on the pavement and one on the edge of the road.

He told Sky News: "It was about 10.15pm. I was in the back of an Uber cab driving over London Bridge...there was somebody down on the pavement with a small crowd around them clearly very concerned.

"It looked like someone had collapsed. We drove a bit further and noticed there was another person on the right hand side of the bridge who was also not on the pavement but in the road itself.

Was it a mistake to lower the UK terror threat?
"The penny dropped something quite serious was happening. Suddenly the traffic came to standstill. The driver said something bad is happening here.

"We could hear sirens coming and the suddenly ahead of us we noticed another casualty in the road."

He added that "it did not look like an accident", adding it was clear that police "thought they were responding to something far more serious than a road traffic accident".

A witness who gave his name as Jamie was in a restaurant near London Bridge. He said: "We heard a fight and everyone got up and everyone rushed out of the restaurant and we heard a massive, massive bang.

"Then we hid under the table and people came into the restaurant and knocked a bunch of stuff over, like the till.

"And then we ran into the restaurant into the kitchen, where there was a bunch of other people and a guy had been stabbed and he was cut and he was bleeding quite a lot."

Emergency services attend to an incident near London Bridge in London
Image: Emergency services attend to an incident near London Bridge in London
:: Stars to sing at concert 'with greater purpose'
A female companion said: "We were in the restaurant and we just saw three guys come into the restaurant, stabbed someone in the face and someone in the stomach.

"One of them had a big knife, then he came in and walked around the restaurant, I guess they just kind of stabbed anyone that they saw and knocked things on the ground and then we just hid."

Police asked people to avoid the areas affected, with London Bridge being closed in both directions.

London Bridge, Bank, Vauxhall and Borough stations were closed, although Bank and Vauxhall have since reopened.

The attacks come less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester.

Ariana Grande, who had been performing that night, tweeted: "Praying for London".

:: Anyone concerned about friends or relatives who may have been caught up in the attacks can call the police casualty bureau on 0800 096 1233 or 020 7158 0197.

http://news.sky.com/story/knife-attack-after-car-mounts-pavement-in-london-reports-10903580 


UPDATE
Raids taking place across the Barking region of London, 12 arrests made at one apartment block. More raids are going on.









Saturday, May 20, 2017

UK terror plot: Met Police arrest four men in east London on suspicion of planning attack

metropolitan-police.jpg

Four men have been arrested on suspicion of plotting a terror attack in the UK as part of an investigation by MI5.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police's counter terrorism command detained the suspects during raids on their homes.
The men, aged between 18 and 27, remain in custody while searches continue at five homes in east London and a nearby business address.
A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said they were detained “on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.
“These arrests were pre-planned as part of an ongoing investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command and MI5,” he added. “The arrests are linked to activity in the UK.”
Investigators gave no further details on the operation, which follows a series of stings targeting alleged Isis supporters in Britain.
Security has been intensified in the capital since alleged Isis supporter Khalid Masood killed five people in a car and knife attack in Westminster in March.
Last month, a man was arrested while carrying several knives in Whitehall. Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali, 27, has since been charged with preparing a terrorist act and two explosives offences dating back to time spent in Afghanistan in 2012.
In an unconnected case that emerged on the same day, three women have been charged with preparation of a terrorist act and conspiracy to murder following a police raid in Willesden that saw one of the women shot.
Rizlaine Boular, 21, her mother Mina Dich, 43, and Khawla Barghouthi, 20, remain in custody ahead of a hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday.
Separately, 24-year-old Sabbir Miah pleaded guilty to spreading Isis propaganda videos on Tuesday.
British security services have prevented 13 potential terror attacks since June 2013, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley revealed.
Intelligence agencies have been monitoring suspected extremists, as well as tracking the return of some of around 800 Brits who went to fight for Isis in Iraq and Syria.

Police use train station to stage practice terror attack with 200 'victims'

Police use train station to stage practice terror attack with 200 'victims'
The terror training exercise at Leipzig station

Hundreds of police officers, firefighters, rail workers, and rescue workers practiced their terror-fighting skills late on Tuesday night in a mock terror attack at Leipzig central station.
As part of their training, the officers practiced how to respond should armed terrorists attack the station, according to the federal police. Fake perpetrators simulated the assault with automatic rifles and explosive devices, while police had to act fast.
“The women and men of the federal police were confronted by a ‘horror scenario’ tonight in Leipzig train station,” said local federal police president Jörg Baumbach in a statement.
“We never want to experience such an attack in real life, but if it happens, we must be the utmost prepared.”
There were also around 200 officers from around the country acting as victims of the attack, who had to be saved, according to broadcaster MDR.

In total, 500 people took part in the training exercise. MDR reported that travellers had been informed about the exercise at the station, and train travel was not impacted.
Numerous spectators also gathered to watch what was happening, despite the fact that it was hard to observe due to two blocked off platforms.
According to Baumbach, the operation was a success.
“The federal police must act quickly, proactively, decisively against the attack or attackers, and that is exactly what we successfully saw today,” he said. “This exercise stretched my forces to the limits.”


https://www.thelocal.de/20170517/police-take-over-leipzig-station-to-stage-practice-terror-attack-with-200-victims