National Security & Defense

Russian Prime Minister Putin to meet with China’s Party Secretary Wen Jiabao about expanding its ‘loose Central Asian security alliance’ to include Pakistan and Iran

November 7, 2011

“Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabaowill meet Monday to discuss expanding their loose Central Asian security alliance to include Pakistan and Iran.

Putin will host host Wen in his native city of Saint Petersburg almost exactly 10 years after the two countries joined forces with the four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics to form the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Russia has previously billed the alliance as a regional alternative to NATO and discussed at past meetings the option of including other regional powers in its ranks.

“We are talking about Pakistan and Iran, which have applied for membership,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters ahead of the talks.”

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United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency to release most detailed report on Iran’s research towards a nuclear bomb this week

November 6, 2011

“The U.N. nuclear watchdog is expected this week to issue its most detailed report yet on research in Iran seen as geared to developing atomic bombs, heightening international suspicions of Tehran’s agenda and stoking Middle East tensions.

Western powers are likely to seize on the International Atomic Energy Agency document, which has been preceded by media speculation in Israel of military strikes against Iranian nuclear sites, to press for more sanctions on the oil producer.

But Russia and China fear the publication now of the IAEA’s findings could hurt any chance of diplomacy resolving the long-running nuclear row and they have lobbied against it, signaling opposition to any new punitive U.N. measures against Iran.

Iran rejects allegations of atomic weapons ambitions, saying its nuclear program is aimed at producing electricity.

The report is tentatively scheduled to be submitted to IAEA member states on November 9 before a quarterly meeting the following week of the agency’s 35-nation board of governors in Vienna.

It “will be followed by a U.S.-European Union push for harsher sanctions against Iran at the U.N. Security Council, where Western powers will meet stiff resistance from Russia and China,” said Trita Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iran relations.”

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Israel President Shimon Peres: Chance for diplomacy with Iran is fading; The military option is ‘closer’

November 6, 2011

“President Shimon Peres on Friday said that he believes Israel is closer to utilizing the military option in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program than it is to finding a diplomatic solution to the threat.

In an interview with Channel 2, the president suggested that the media speculation about a potential attack on Iran may have some basis in truth. “Intelligence services in many countries are looking at the clock and warning their leaders that not much time remains. I do not know if these world leaders will act on this advice.”

Peres said that Iran could be as close as six months from becoming nuclear-armed and it is Israel’s role to warn the world of the danger. He suggested that the speculation about an attack on Iran may be a way of reminding the world of the Iranian threat.”

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Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura: “”I will never stand for a national anthem again. I will turn my back and I will raise a fist”

November 5, 2011

“The former Navy SEAL said he had lost his patriotism.

“I will never stand for a national anthem again. I will turn my back and I will raise a fist,” he said.”

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Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura in response to the TSA lawsuit dismissal: I’m gonna spend more time in Mexico and less time in the “Fascist States of America”

November 5, 2011

“Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is so upset by the dismissal of his airport security lawsuit that he threatened Friday to apply for dual citizenship so he can spend more time in his beloved Mexico — or run for president of what he labeled “the Fascist States of America.”

Ventura, also a former wrestling star, sued the U.S. government in January, alleging that airport scans and pat-downs amounted to unreasonable search and seizure. A district judge threw out his lawsuit Thursday, ruling it should have been filed in a Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ventura has said a titanium hip implanted in him in 2008 sets off metal detectors and that agents previously used hand-held wands to scan his body. He said he was subjected to a body pat-down after an airport metal detector went off last November. Ventura said he hasn’t flown since and won’t fly commercially again.”

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FEMA to test nationwide Emergency Alert System on November 9th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time for 30 seconds

November 4, 2011

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency today notified participants in the upcoming nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System that it will run just 30 seconds rather than two-and-a-half minutes as originally planned.

The test, scheduled for Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. Eastern, will be the first official test of a Presidential Emergency Action Notification. All broadcast radio and TV stations must take part in the tests along with participating cable and satellite operators. The national alert system relies on a daisy-chain architecture whereby the EAN is transmitted to designated radio stations that are monitored by State Primaries, which in turn retransmit the alert to Local Primaries that notify all other broadcast and cable participants. The United States is divided into 550 local EAS areas, each with at least two Local Primaries monitoring two sources for presidential alerts. A single failure within the system can leave hundreds of participants out of the loop.”

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CIA Facility gathering information from Facebook, Twitter, newspapers, TV & all other public content set-up after 9/11 Commission

November 4, 2011

“At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.

From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.

Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn’t know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center’s director, Doug Naquin.

The center already had “predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime,” he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the center. CIA officials said it was the first such visit by a reporter the agency has ever granted.

The CIA facility was set up in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, with its first priority to focus on counterterrorism and counterproliferation. But its several hundred analysts — the actual number is classified — track a broad range, from Chinese Internet access to the mood on the street in Pakistan.”

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Federal Judge dismisses former Governor Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over the use of full-body scans and pat-downs

November 4, 2011

“A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in which he sought to challenge the use of full-body scans and pat-downs at airport checkpoints.

Ventura sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration in January alleging that the scans and pat-downs violated his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizure.”

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Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu orders investigation into alleged leaks of Israel’s plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities

November 3, 2011

“According to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida, the main suspects are the former heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet, respectively Israel’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.

Netanyahu is said to believe that the two, Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin, wanted to torpedo plans being drawn up by him and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, to hit Iranian nuclear sites. Tzipi Livni, leader of the opposition Kadima party, is also said to have been persuaded to attack Netanyahu for “adventurism” and “gambling with Israel’s national interest”.

The paper suggested that the purpose of the leaks was to prevent an attack, which had moved from the stage of discussion to implementation. “Those who oppose the plan within the security establishment decided to leak it to the media and thwart the plan,” it said.”

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Israel test-fires missiles as the debate over Iranian military intervention continues

November 3, 2011

“Israel test-fired a missile from a military base on Wednesday, two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of the “direct and heavy threat” posed by Iran’s nuclear program. The noon launch near Tel Aviv, which had not been announced in advance, coincided with a week-long surge of speculation in local media that Netanyahu was working to secure cabinet consensus for an attack on Israel’s arch-foe.

Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the reports, which were unsourced and unconfirmed, and which some commentators suggested might be disinformation designed to jolt war-wary foreign powers into stepping up sanctions against Tehran. The Defense Ministry described the launch from Palmachim base as the test of the propulsion system of a missile on which it declined to elaborate.”

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Report: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rallying support in his cabinet for an attack on Iran

November 3, 2011

“”Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to rally support in his cabinet for an attack on Iran, according to government sources.

The country’s defence minister Ehud Barak and the foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman are said to be among those backing a pre-emptive strike to neutralise Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

But a narrow majority of ministers currently oppose the move, which could trigger a wave of regional retaliation.”

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United Kingdom’s military considering contingency options against an Iranian nuclear program

November 3, 2011

“The Ministry of Defence believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission, despite some deep reservations within the coalition government. In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air and sea campaign.

They also believe the US would ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British Indian ocean territory, which the Americans have used previously for conflicts in the Middle East. The Guardian has spoken to a number of Whitehall and defence officials over recent weeks who said Iran was once again becoming the focus of diplomatic concern after the revolution in Libya. They made clear that Barack Obama, has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s presidential election.”

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Iranian hackers threaten to break into and “occupy” a virtual United States embassy website to be launched later this year

November 3, 2011

“Representatives of the Islamic Union of Iranian Students announced it intended to ensure the website crashed the moment it opened. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, announced last week that Washington would launch the online embassy by the end of the year.

It will include information on American education programmes as well as visa requirements to assist Iranians in bypassing government curbs on internet use. “We will not allow the United States to enter Iran,” said the union secretary, Seyed Ali Mousavi.”

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Iran warns Israel, United States it may retaliate against a strike on its nuclear program in a “surprising way”

November 3, 2011

“Iran would cause serious damage to the United States and Israel should Jewish state strike the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, Iran’s top military official said on Wednesday.

The “Zionist regime’s military attack against Iran would lead to heavy damages to the US as well as [to the] Zionist regime,” Iran’s Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Hassan Fayrouz Abadi said.

Iran would attack Israel in a “surprising” way, he was quoted by Army Radio as saying.”

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