Archive for April, 2016


April 28, 2016

Daily Mail, United Kingdom, on April 27, 2016, reported that Isis has sleeper cells in the UK, Germany and Italy, head of American intelligence warned. Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper spoke to reporters in Washington, DC. He confirmed ISIS was conducting underground activities in the UK, Germany and Italy. Clapper said there was continued evidence of ISIS plotting in these countries. Excerpts below:

James Clapper, the Director Of National Intelligence, spoke at a reporters’ breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, DC. When asked whether ISIS had groups in the UK, Germany and Italy similar to those that carried out the Paris and Brussels attacks, Clapper replied: ‘Yes they do.’ He added that intelligence officials continue to see evidence of plotting on the part of ISIS in these countries, the New York Times reported.

Clapper became the country’s top intelligence official in 2010, when Barack Obama named him to replace Dennis Blair.

ISIS has pledged to attack these three countries, although experts say it is impossible to know where the terrorist group will hit next, the New York Times wrote.

Former French intelligence officer Claude Moniquet told the newspaper the UK and Germany were particularly concerned about a potential attack.

Hearing that ISIS is conducting activities in Germany, Italy and the UK is ‘not new’, Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy told CNN.
But Levitt added: ‘It’s new that Clapper is saying it.’

Clapper told reporters ISIS had groups similar to those who conducted the November 2015 Paris attacks (file picture) in the UK, Italy and Germany

He urged more European countries to join the military intervention in Syria and Iraq.
France, the UK and the Netherlands have conducted strikes in Syria.

All three as well as Belgium and Denmark have struck Iraq.


April 27, 2016

NBC News on April 26, 2016, reported that the Iraqi government has warned Sweden that the terror group ISIS may be targeting that country’s capital of Stockholm, a senior Iraqi security official told NBC News Excerpts below:.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Iraq found intelligence “about an ISIS plan to target the Swedish capital Stockholm,” involving seven or eight Iraqi citizens who were former members of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

“The government sent [this] information to the Swedish government with details about those who are involved in these plans,” the security official said.

“Those ISIS militants are Iraqis, and were able to arrive to Sweden in 2015 with those thousands who emigrate from different countries to Europe,” the official said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for deadly airport and metro bombings in Brussels on March 22 as well as the terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13.

The U.S. Embassy in Stockholm said Tuesday it “has confirmed that Swedish Police are actively investigating a potential terror threat against Sweden.”

Counterterrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp, who is Swedish but currently living in Denmark, told NBC News that Europe’s refugee crisis could have made it possible for ISIS militants to enter Sweden.

Nearly 163,000 people applied for asylum that year, and nearly 21,000 of those were from Iraq, the agency said. Iraqis made up the third-largest group of asylum seekers. Most were from Syria…

The U.S. embassy in Stockholm pointed to State Department warnings saying that terror groups are planning attacks throughout Europe, and urging U.S. citizens abroad to exercise caution in areas like public transportation or sporting venues.


April 26, 2016

Washington Times on April 25, 2016, published a commentary by two Asia experts, James A. Lyons and Richard D. Fisher Jr on theI necessity to deter Chinese military aggression with superior strength. The foreign policy of the Obama administration encourages aggression. Excerpts below:

Recent reports that the Obama White House sought to muzzle criticism of China by PACOM Commander Adm. Harry Harris — which he has denied — at least contributes to a longstanding impression that the White House has preferred to pull its punches as China seeks to impose increasing control of the strategic South China Sea.

China has deployed to Woody Island in the Paracel Island Group its 150-kilometer-range HQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles and then its 400-kilometer-range YJ-62 anti-ship cruise missiles. This now sets a pattern for Chinese missile deployment to its new large bases in the Spratly Island Group: Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef, which is only 216 kilometers away from Palawan Island of the Philippines, a U.S. defense treaty ally. China could also be building a new base on Scarborough Shoal, only 265 kilometers away from Subic Bay in the Philippines.

In demonstrations executed by PACOM, on March 23, the nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine USS Ohio made its first visit to Subic Bay, a former and future base for U.S. naval forces. Then in the first week of April as part of the annual U.S.-Philippine “Balikatan” military exercises, the United States for the first time deployed its precision-guided High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

This is the correct way to begin to respond to China’s increasing missile threat. The Ohio class submarines can carry up to 154 1,300-kilometer-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the U.S. Navy has four of these submarines. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System demonstrated the firing of 70-kilometer-range artillery rockets and can fire the 300-kilometer-range Army Tactical Missile System.

…Washington needs to deploy a “wall of missiles” that can utterly destroy China’s new air-naval and missile bases if it uses them against U.S. friends and allies.

…deployment of hundreds of Army tactical missiles to the Philippines [is needed] to allow for instant retaliation if China uses its new island military bases. Pentagon could convert older U.S. Air Force bombers like the B-52 or B-1 to carry scores of small but smart and long-range missiles, making them “arsenal aircraft.” But the U.S. Navy also requires “arsenal ships” and “arsenal submarines” to complete a “wall of missiles.”

When used in concert, the arsenal aircraft, arsenal ship and arsenal submarine could be used to overwhelm China’s new small island bases in the South China Sea, quickly mobilize multiple thousands of missiles to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, or deter China from attacking Japan’s islands in the East China Sea.
These U.S. missile platforms are needed to counter China’s other missiles, the ones usually called North Korean intercontinental range ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Washington’s goal should be to rapidly build these arsenal platforms and equip them with new intermediate- and medium-range ballistic missiles, which complement defensive missiles. Such a “wall of missiles” can deter China well into the next decade, which is far preferable to allowing China to start skirmishes that will lead to wars and destroy the peace that is the foundation of Asian and American prosperity.

James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Richard D. Fisher Jr. is a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Comment: The geopolitical danger of China is obvious.The country is the largest continental nation in Eurasia and presently occupies the globe’s most advantageous position. As Sir Halford Mackinder pointed out already in 1919 China then had the potential to build for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western.Already in the 1950s China has called for the return of so called “lost territories”. Chinese maps also include eastern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia.

Chinese civilization has a superficial Western modernity but also a heritage of hydraulic civilization similar to civilizations in the Near East. In the 21st century China is still an oriental despotism that believes Nepal, Burma, Indochina, Taiwan, Korea, the island of Sakhalin, Outer Mongolia, Amuria, and Ussuria should be returned to the Fatherland. The belief that Chinese expansion can be contained by including the country in global trade organizations is a false hope. At present the annual GDP growth is slowing down but this development may only hasten the aggressive policies especially in the South China Sea. Peking may feel it needs to use its growing military strength before a serious slowdown of the economy. An American “wall of missiles” is therefore a prudent contribution to the defense of the democracies of East Asia.

Before Mackinder the Swedish Professor Rudolf Kjellén, the father of geopolitics, warned that Japan’s soul in the Chinese body would mean a world empire that would put both the United States and Russia in the shadow.


April 12, 2016

Fidel Castro soon after taking power on Cuba started promoting Latin American guerrilla movements. Already in 1959 bands of Cuban-supported insurgents landed in Caribbean countries to spark insurgencies. Cuba’s General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) established a special department, National Liberation, for revolutionary support. It soon grew to become the largest entity of the DGI.

On Cuba Latin American volunteers were trained in combat. The Cuban schools for subversion grew. In 1962 at least 1,000 to 1,500 Latin Americans were trained and indoctrinated. The largest group came from Venezuela, which at the time was Fidel Castro’s main target. Some courses lasted for four weeks, others up to a year.

Cuban propaganda invited the revolutionaries from other countries and told them that Cuba would pay all expenses and train them in underground organization techniques, in guerrilla warfare, in sabotage and terrorism. Then they would be provided with support to return to their home countries. Tthey would be supported by Havana and receive propaganda material for distribution. Training aids would be given for expansion of local guerrilla forces and secret communication methods would be provided. Funding and specialized demolition might be offered.

The advice for the revolutionaries when they returned was to steal military weapons from the army. To acquire funds they would have to rob banks.

Instructions had been given by Cubans before departure on how to use invisible ink in secret writing, how to use addresses and “mail boxes” to keep up contact with Havana. Communications equipment was also provided.

Later the National Liberation Department was renamed the Americas Department. In the 1970s an army of “internationalists” from Cuba would follow. Tens of thousands were sent for military intervention in Angola and Ethiopia. Large units of Cuban soldiers fought military battles in support of African Marxist revolutionary regimes. Smaller military missions were sent to Nicaragua and other countries in Central America. The goal was to establish Marxist-Leninist revolutionary regimes. Special Troops of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior were the vanguard of these missions.

Among the “internationalists” were Cuban doctors, other medical personnel, technicians and intelligence advisors. A speciality, shared by East Germany, was to offer presidential and leadership protection in nations that were under Cuban influence. East Germany established its own “Africa Corps”.

Cuba received extensive financial support from the Soviet Union to pay for revolution and terror. Venezuela has received thousands of Cubans to support the revolutionary regime there. When the oil prices were high Venezuela provided Cuba with a lifeline after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 2015 the Obama administration took Communist Cuba out of the list of terror supporting countries. It is therefore important to remember that from 1959 to 2015 Cuba and the Soviet Union provided training and financial support for left wing revolutionaries around the world. The present Cuban leader, Raul Castro, is a general of the Cuban army who from 1959 has been deeply involved in training for terror and revolution on many continents.

Source: Castro’s Secrets by Brian Latell (2012). Dr. Latell is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami.


April 11, 2016

Daily Mail, United Kingdom, on April 9, 2016 published an AFP report on Swedish radical Islamist radical national Osama Krayem, who is charged with terrorist murders over the Brussels metro bombing. Excerpts below:

The son of Syrian exiles from the [notorious] Rosengard district of the southern Swedish city of Malmo…Krayem was arrested on April 8 in Brussels with Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini and several other men.

Belgian prosecutors said on April 9 that Krayem is the man caught on closed circuit television cameras speaking briefly to Khalid El Bakraoui moments before the latter blew himself up in a subway station near the European Union headquarters in Brussels on March 22.

Krayem, 23, was also said to have been caught on camera buying bags in a Brussels shopping mall that were used to carry the suicide bombs that Khalid’s brother Ibrahim and fellow suicide bomber Najim Laachraoui, believed to be the bomb maker, set off at Brussels airport on the same day.

A personal friend of Krayem recalled how the young man lived it up in the Seved neighbourhood which has a reputation for drug trafficking.

“In the two or three months before he left, he stopped seeing his friends. He listened to the sermons of the imams on his cell phone. He grew his beard. He became someone else,” another friend recalled.

Krayem suddenly disappeared in early 2015 before resurfacing in Syria posing for a photograph posted on Facebook where he is seen wearing a uniform and clutching a Kalashnikov assault rifle with an Islamic State flag in the background.

The photos were apparently taken in IS-controlled Deir Ezzor, the capital of the province of the same name that borders Iraq.

Investigators retraced his steps after his return from Syria.

On September 20, 2015, he registered under the alias Naim Al-Hamed on the Greek island of Leros. In early October in the German city of Ulm, a car rented by Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam picked him up.

Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels on March 18 following a four-month manhunt and is now awaiting his extradition to France.

Mohamed Belkaid, a 35-year-old Algerian who lived in Sweden, was shot dead during a March 15 police raid on an apartment in Brussels where Salah Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found.

In 2010, Taymour Abdel Wahab, a Swede born in Iraq, blew himself up in a failed attack on a street in Stockholm. He was carrying a Belgian identity card.

Comment: The growing Swedish-Belgian radical connections is a sign that Stockholm is failing to come to grips with the growing number of Muslims in the country that are linked to ISIS. The city council in Malmoe, Sweden’s third largest city, has shown a lack of interest in dealing with the growing number of radical Islamists in some of the city districts, especially Rosengard. Malmoe is also infamous for being one of the most anti-Semitic cities in Europe.


April 10, 2016

In 2016 there is no doubt that there was in the beginning of the Cold War many hundred Communist and pro-Soviet operating in the West. They managed to wield great leverage on U.S. policy. In some cases they even made or guided key decisions. Classic cases were Soviet agents Harry Dexter White who disinformed Henry Morgenthay and Alger Hiss who disinformed Edward R. Stettinius Jr. 100 of millions of people were added to the Communist sphere of the world. Then China fell to Communism a few years later. Later followed other Marxist conquests in Indochina. Cuba and Nicaragua were added and in Africa countries like Angola. It was not through conventional armies marching across borders, but by actions of subversives inside the nations targeted.

An interesting case in point was the Yalta Conference in 1944,that would doom East European countries to decades of Communist tyranny. For some reason President Franklin Roosevelt brought Soviet agent Alger Hiss along. In most academic studies Alger Hiss role at Yalta id downplayed. In reality he was an outspoken participant in a large number of topics. Stettinius noted in his diaries:

At this point Mr. Hiss brought up the question of China and stressed the importance which the United States attached to U.S., British-Soviet encouragement and support for an agreement between the Comintern and the Chinese Congress in order to further the war effort and prevent possible civil strife.

In the official record of Yalta there is no mention of this.

What influenced Great Britain during World War 2 to choose Tito as partner instead of anticommunist General Draza Mihailovich. Aiding the Tito case in the Balkans was James Klugmann at the British intelligence station in Cairo. Klugmann had been a member of the Cambridge circle of the 1930s with future Soviet spies like Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt. Records exist of Klugmann explaining to an official of the British Communist Party that he (Klugmann) had in Cairo acted to switch British support from Mihailovich to Tito. He was among other things able to control the selection and destination of agents bound for Yugoslavia.

These are only two examples from a book published a couple of years ago. The authors of the book called for more information tracked down in the future. Much of the information of Soviet subversion in America is hard to come by. In the dominating history research there has been a fixation on cases in which subjects were caught passing documents to Soviet handlers. This means that numerous agents, contacts, and episodes with impact on policy matters have been excluded.

Source: Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein (2012)

Comment: There is much more that deserves more research in the future. Of special interest would be further research on how Soviet influence agents caused the United States to stop supporting the government of the Republic of China. The result was that China in 1949 was conquered by Mao’s Soviet supported military forces.


April 2, 2016

Washington Times on March 31, 2016 reported that Donald Trump in an interview said that asking Japan and South Korea to pay more for their own defense “could mean nuclear.” He said the issue “at some point is something that we have to talk about.”

When asked at a town-hall event this week whether he would ever consider using a nuclear weapon in Europe, Mr. Trump replied, “I am not taking cards off the table.”

Mr. Obama hosted a meeting on March 30 with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, focusing on the threat of North Korea’s nuclear belligerence.

Mrs. Park said North Korea’s recent nuclear tests and missile launches create an “urgent” security challenge for all three allies.
Nearby in Washington, Mr. Trump was meeting with his newly created foreign-policy team and paid a surprise visit to the headquarters of the Republican National Committee.

Comment: It seems reasonable to ask for more contributions by Japan and South Korea for theiw own defense. Should the two countries consider nuclear weapons necessary for their nation defense it seems reasonable that there would be consultations with Washington DC on the matter. With growing Chinese aggression in the Asia-Pacific area there is an urgent need for a forward strategy against China. One can only hope that the next US president will consider talks with free Asian nations on an increased defense spending in the area.


April 1, 2016

Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty on April 1, 2016 reported that the US announced that it will provide Ukraine with $335 million more in “security assistance” after a meeting on March 31 between U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Excerpts below:

The aid is badly needed as Ukraine has faced an acute economic crisis since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and fomented a separatist revolt in Ukraine’s east.

It is reported that Biden told Poroshenko that more aid will come if he keeps up efforts to install a new reform-minded government.
An attempt earlier this week to form a new governing coalition failed after one faction raised demands that would have rolled back some reforms sought by the West.

Comment: This is good news as the United States urgently needs to support and strengthen the Ukrainian military in its fight against Russian aggression.