Ad by The Cutting Edge News

The Cutting Edge

Sunday January 21 2018 reaching 1.4 million monthly
Ad by The Cutting Edge News

The Edge of Terrorism

Is Turkey Losing to the PKK?

August 7th 2012

Turkish Military

On the evening of August 4, Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK] fighters attacked three military outposts in southeastern Turkey, killing six soldiers. The attack culminates a series of successful PKK operations. The Turkish military, its morale low after years of having its officers targeted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his allies and its conscripts targeted by Kurdish insurgents, has been unable to prevent attacks. Turkish claims that the PKK attacks are simply the storm before the calm and that the PKK is on the verge of disbanding itself are risible.

The United States, European Union, and Turkey also consider the PKK to be a terrorist group. Erdoğan’s embrace of Hamas, however, raises questions about whether the PKK designation should stand. After all, Hamas is a far more violent terrorist group, as likely to target civilians as soldiers. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

King Accuses White House of Leaking to Aid Syrian Rebels

August 7th 2012

Syrian Rebels

Information regarding President Barack Obama signing a supposedly secret order to provide American support to Syrian rebels was leaked to “enhance” Obama’s reputation, according to Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, during an interview Sunday on Fox News Channel.

King is alleging the source of recent news reports on a plan that should have remained secret is the Obama White House. “The administration’s leaks must stop before they further endanger the lives of men and women sent into harm’s way on our nation’s behalf,” stated Rep. King.

“To me, all the evidence points towards the White House, and that compromises us because there were two other major allies involved with us in that, and there are tremendous hard feelings and a sense of betrayal from them,” King said on Fox News. News reports appeared in newspapers and aired in broadcast news stories on Thursday and Friday saying the President gave the go-ahead to provide Syrian rebels with "non-lethal" aid. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Cairo Tightens Egypt's Blockade of Gaza After Sinai Terrorist Attack

August 7th 2012

Egypt Blockade of Gaza

An angry Egypt has tightened its five-year land, sea, and air blockade of Gaza following the spectacular weekend attack on an Egyptian border installation by Islamic terrorists traced to Gaza.

After a recent encouraging meeting in Cairo between newly installed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Hamas strong man Ismail Haniya, reports suggested that Cairo would keep the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Sinai open for a full 12 hours a day, until 9 pm nightly, The 4-hour increase was expected to allow as many as 1,500 Gazans to cross daily. The Egyptian crossing and checkpoint was Gaza’s transit point to the rest of the world. But the Egyptian government publicly rescinded all such assurances and slammed shut all access points, including tunnels. Moreover, Morsi’s government declared the ramped up blockade strictures were “indefinite.” Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Major Terrorist Attack Thwarted in Southern Israel

August 6th 2012

IDF Soldiers

IDF Air Force and Special Forces thwarted an attempt to execute a massive terrorist attack on Israel's southern border with Egypt.  At about two in the afternoon on Sunday, July 6, terrorists, presumed to be members of the Global Jihad movement, infiltrated an Egyptian outpost on the Egyptian – Israeli border. After a prolonged battle, during which sixteen Egyptian soldiers were killed and seven were wounded, the terrorists overtook the base. The terrorists then stole two BRDM armored vehicles and began to drive towards the Israeli border. One vehicle was destroyed on the Egyptian side. At about eight o'clock at night the second vehicle made it across the border and was met by the Israeli Air Force, tanks and Special Forces who destroyed the second vehicle.

The terrorists, who were carrying assault weapons, were also wearing explosive charges. There were initial concerns that some of the terrorists managed to infiltrate Israeli territory, and that an Israeli citizen may have been abducted. Israeli citizens in the vicinity were subsequently ordered to enter their shelters. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Can Kurds Create Safe Havens in Syria?

August 5th 2012

Machine Gun Bunker

As the civil war intensifies in Syria, officials and experts in the region are increasingly concerned the fighting could lead to redefining the nation’s political boundaries, possibly including autonomous regions or safe havens for Alawite and Kurdish factions.

Those concerns have increased in recent days as the Sunni-dominated Free Syrian Army on an urban corridor in the west and Kurdish rebels in the north have scored one success after another against President Bashar al-Assad’s army and his Alawite followers.

Aram Nerguizian, a Syria expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, says the concerns are not ill-founded. He says if the safety and the interests of Syria’s Alawi and Kurds are not addressed, “they will opt at least for the effort to produce some kind of autonomy and if not, a territorially contiguous space where they feel they have command and control.” Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

The Role of Iranian Security Forces in the Syrian Bloodshed

August 5th 2012

Riot Gear Police

Amid the intensifying crisis in Syria, which in recent weeks has seen massacres of the civilian population in various parts of the country, Iranian military, propaganda, and economic assistance keeps flowing in, and its aim is to help President Bashar al-Assad survive. Iran aided Assad in withstanding the waves of protest as soon as they erupted, and it is now backing him and advising him on how to overcome an existential crisis that put to the test the two countries’ strategic alliance. 

Iran, which has invested great military, economic, and political resources in Syria – a main pillar of the anti-Israel “resistance camp” and the gateway to aiding Hizbullah – now views Syria, amid the rapid changes in the Middle East, as a key battleground to confront the West. How this conflict unfolds will determine the new landscape that is being shaped in the region.

Syria as a Battlefield

The present state of affairs is highly reminiscent of what transpired after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005. Iran backed Hizbullah while Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, and Western states, supported the Lebanese freedom forces. The eventual outcome was Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon at the height of President Bush’s democratization campaign after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi elections of January 2005. Iran then viewed Lebanon as the first line of confrontation with the West, which was trying, unsuccessfully, to impose a rapid democratization there, too, and disarm Hizbullah. At present, Hizbullah weapons are serving as part of Assad’s apparatus of violent repression – under Iran’s command. Read more ..

Iran's Nukes

Iran Claims to Have Launched New Short-Range Missile

August 4th 2012

Iran Missiles

Iran's defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, says that Tehran has tested a new version of its Fateh 110 short-range missile. He claims the newer missile can hit "enemy" targets in neighboring countries, and targets at sea in the Persian Gulf. Lebanon's Hezbollah reportedly has stockpiles of an earlier version of the missile.

The reported test of the Iranian short-range missile with a new guidance system was announced on government TV Saturday, accompanied by video of rockets being launched. It was impossible to verify if the rocket launch video is recent or from archives.

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi described the upgraded missiles at a press conference, lauding his country's technological prowess. He stresses that the specificity of this missile is its ability to hit targets with precision. He also praises Iran's talented scientists and home-grown defense industry. Read more ..

The Weapon's Edge

Pentagon To Ground V-22 Aircraft in Japan

August 4th 2012


A tranche of American hybrid airplane-helicopters won’t be buzzing over the skies of Japan anytime soon. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto announced on Friday that U.S-led operations of the V-22 Osprey aircraft would be suspended in the country until Tokyo is satisfied the aircraft are safe to fly.

"Until that we confirm the safety of it, the United States will refrain from flying Osprey" in Japan, Morimoto said during a joint briefing at the Pentagon. The Ospreys destined for the Pacific will replace the older CH-46 helicopters flown by Marine Corps units attached to Marine Expeditionary Force III stationed in the region, according to a Pentagon statement.

The first group of V-22s will arrive at the service's air station in Iwakuni in late July, according to the Pentagon. The aircraft, built by Bell-Boeing, is designed to take off and land like a helicopter and fly like a fixed-wing plane. But the planes will remain dormant on U.S. airfields at Iwakuni until DOD completes its investigations on recent incidents with the Osprey in North Africa and Florida. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Al-Qaeda Resurgent In Iraq On The Back Of Syrian Turmoil

August 4th 2012

Syrian Fighters

Al-Qaeda is back in Iraq, a fact underscored by a wave of spectacular attacks this summer. With 325 Iraqis killed by militants, according to statistics released on August 1 by the Iraqi Health Ministry, July was the country's deadliest month in two years. Al-Qaeda, believed to be on the wane in the country when U.S. forces withdrew troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, played a direct role in the violence through affiliates.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which carried out numerous large-scale attacks in 2004-07, has taken the opportunity provided by the U.S. withdrawal to regroup and even expand its reach abroad. And the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an umbrella group of militant organizations that includes Al-Qaeda in Iraq, has taken responsibility for a number of deadly attacks recently. One, on July 23, involved tens of coordinated strikes across the country that targeted Shi'a and left more than 100 people dead. Both appear to have benefitted from the unrest in neighboring Syria.

Mexico on Edge

Tourism Stays Strong, Despite Violence in Mexico

August 4th 2012

Mexico crosses

The gruesome violence associated with the drug war has done grave damage to Mexico’s global image, and potential tourists searching for a sunny, safe vacation cannot overlook the 50,000 drug-related homicides that have been committed throughout the past six years. Tourism accounts for nine percent of the country’s GDP and provides 2.5 million jobs for Mexican citizens. The importance of sustaining this industry is twofold in that it is not only an important sector of the economy, but also a shrinking tourist industry will come with the cost of already scarce jobs, with the unemployed being inclined to resort to the illicit drug market as a source of income. The year 2009 proved to be a low point for tourism in Mexico, but since then, President Felipe Calderón’s administration’s attempts to protect this key industry have led to positive and visible results. Despite the drug war’s widespread violence and Mexico’s besmirched image, the tourism industry has continued to perform in spite of the persistent violence.

According to former Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda, drug-related violence has plateaued at a relatively high level but is not increasing, with a steady 1,000 drug-related homicides per month, which eventually could prove to be a disaster to the Mexican economy. Although foreign media networks tend to concentrate on the violence in Mexico, the rate of homicides per every 100,000 people in Mexico is still less than Venezuela, El Salvador, Colombia, and Brazil. Read more ..

The Defense Edge

U.S. Nuclear Targeting Unaltered Since 2008

August 3rd 2012

Bomb blast

Behind doors that can be opened only by spins of a combination lock or an electronic scan of fingerprints or eyeballs, Defense Department officials periodically work out the details of America’s plans to drop nuclear explosives on aggressive enemies.

Not many outsiders get to peer in, particularly those dispatched from another branch of government, like Congress. But twice in the past 20 years, a few analysts at the Government Accountability Office have been allowed to get a rough sense from closed-door Pentagon briefings — not from actual documents — of the conditions and manner in which the United States could detonate its nuclear bombs.

The resulting reports to Congress have been highly classified, so they don’t offer much to a broader audience. An unclassified version, released July 31, says virtually nothing about what’s actually in the U.S. nuclear war plan. It is, in fact, even shorter and less detailed than its sketchy 1991 predecessor. Read more ..

The Weapons Edge

Army Tank That Could Not Be Stopped

August 3rd 2012


The M1 Abrams tank has survived the Cold War, two conflicts in Iraq and a decade of war in Afghanistan. No wonder — it weighs as much as nine elephants and is fitted with a cannon capable of turning a building to rubble from two and a half miles away. But now the machine finds itself a target in an unusual battle between the Defense Department and lawmakers who are the beneficiaries of large donations by its manufacturer.

The Pentagon, facing smaller budgets and looking towards a new global strategy, has decided it wants to save as much as $3 billion by freezing refurbishment of the M1 from 2014 to 2017, so it can redesign the hulking, clanking vehicle from top to bottom. Its proposal would idle a large factory in Lima, Ohio as well as halt work at dozens of subcontractors in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states.

Opposing the Pentagon’s plans is Abrams manufacturer General Dynamics, a nationwide employer that has pumped millions of dollars into congressional elections over the last decade. The tank’s supporters on Capitol Hill say they are desperate to save jobs in their districts and concerned about undermining America’s military capabilities. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Khamenei Reportedly Concerned For Safety of Hezbollah Leader if Assad Falls

August 3rd 2012

hassan nasrallah - hezbollah

Kuwaiti media is reporting that Tehran is concerned over the safety of the Secretary General of Hezbollah arch terrorist Hassan Nasrallah after the expected fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has demanded that Nasrallah come to Iran out of fear that there will be assassination attempts on Nasrallah’s life in the event that Syria’s opposition takes power.

According to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa, the Iranian government has planned for two scenarios regarding Nasrallah and Hezbollah in Lebanon.  One option is that if Assad’s regime falls, a large transfer of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon will take place, in an attempt to deepen its hold on the country. In addition, Tehran would also send reinforcement troops from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Read more ..

The Bear is Back

Putin Wants NATO Military Base in Russia?

August 2nd 2012


In a surprise to many who remember the Cold War years, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his government is interested in having the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) build and staff a base in Russia, according to a Wednesday statement.

The proposed location will act as a NATO warehousing and distribution facility on Russian territory, because such a hub would benefit his country, said the former Soviet KGB official. The base would be built in the central city of Ulyanovsk, which would aid NATO in the delivery of equipment and other consignments to and from Afghanistan.

Putin stated that Russia would definitely not participate in any of the combat operations in Afghanistan, but that down the line Moscow would benefit from peace in that war-torn country. "Now there numerous NATO troops in Afghanistan. They need help. Let them keep fighting there and we will help them," Putin stated.

The President stressed that he wished Russia to help deliver NATO's consignments rather than to send troops to Afghanistan. "It is a pity that all the states participating in Afghan events are thinking how to escape from there," Putin said.

"Perhaps Putin forgets the results of Russia not pulling out of Afghanistan when they were the occupiers. It contributed to the fall of the Soviet Empire," said Mike Baker, a political consultant and historian. While NATO is expected to allow Russia's involvement, some veterans find the arrangement ironic. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

The Specter of Syrian Chemical Weapons

August 2nd 2012

Syrian Missiles

The unraveling of the al Assad regime in Syria will produce many geopolitical consequences. One potential consequence has garnered a great deal of media attention in recent days: the possibility of the regime losing control of its chemical weapons stockpile. In an interview aired July 30 on CNN, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said it would be a "disaster to have those chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands -- hands of Hezbollah or other extremists in that area." When he mentioned other extremists, Panetta was referring to local and transnational jihadists, such as members of the group Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been fighting with other opposition forces against the Syrian regime. He was also referring to the many Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, which have long had a presence in Syria and until recently have been supported by the al Assad regime.

The fear is that the jihadists will obtain chemical weapons to use in terrorist attacks against the West. Israel is also concerned that Palestinian groups could use them in terrorist attacks inside Israel or that Hezbollah could use such weapons against the Israelis in a conventional military battle. Read more ..

Broken Borders

Dream Act: Condemned by Lawmakers, Enforcement Agents

August 1st 2012

Border Patrol shakedown

Senator David Vitter (R-LA), a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, slammed President Barack Obama's immigration policy changes Sunday during an appearance on Fox News Channel. Vitter. Sen. Vitter told anchor Shannon Bream that he and a number of senators are joining federal law enforcement officials in blocking Obama's attempt at incremental "amnesty" through fiat.

Vitter said Sunday that he supports the fight against the White House by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who held a press conference televised on Fox News Channel on Thursday, along with officials from two major unions that represent federal law enforcement agencies, in order to increase national awareness of the Obama administration's continued descent into lawlessness.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Christopher Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, the union representing America’s more than 7,000 ICE agents and personnel, and Border Patrol agent George McCubbin, President of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing America’s more than 17,000 border agents and personnel, both blasted President Barack Obama's de facto "Dream Act," and the actions of superiors at their respective agencies. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Chicago Jihadi Pleads Guilty

July 31st 2012

FBI dudes

A homegrown, radical Islamist from Chicago pleaded guilty on Monday to planning a trip to Somalia in 2010 specifically to help a terrorist organization in its fight against Somali government forces. He also toyed with the idea of going to Afghanistan to kill American soldiers.

Shaker Masri pleaded guilty to intentionally trying to help provide material support to Al Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization, knowing that the group was engaged in international terrorism. The guilty plea resolves all charges that have been pending since Masri was arrested as he was preparing to leave the United States in August 2010.

The 28-year-old U.S. citizen lived in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, and will remain in federal custody awaiting sentencing, which U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman scheduled for Oct. 16, 2012. Masri’s plea agreement calls for a sentence of nine years and 10 months. Attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization also carries a $250,000 fine in addition to the prison time. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Israeli Police Intercept 16-Year-Old Before Apparent Suicide Attack Bid

July 31st 2012

Hamas head

A 16 year old boy was arrested near the Kerem Shalom kibbutz recently in connection with a planned suicide attack against Israeli Jews. According to Israeli Police, the Palestinian boy jumped over a border fence and walked for two days, from Gaza into Israel. Israeli soldiers with the IDF’s Golani Brigade spotted the boy, with a large axe, as he approached a kibbutz, and arrested him.  He was taken to a hospital in Soroka for medical treatment, and it was during his time there that more information was gathered about his intentions. While speaking to a nurse in Arabic, the boy informed her that he had come to Israel to kill Jews and had brought the axe as protection against dogs and other animals that might try to harm him on his journey. According to Israeli’s Channel 2 News, the boy is not believed to be affiliated with any terrorist group, and he has been charged with “armed infiltration” in district court.

Mohammed Jibrin, who is representing the 16 year old in court, says his client is innocent and is not linked to any terror organization. Read more ..

Domestic Terrorism

Violent Aryan Brotherhood Member Sentenced to Federal Prison

July 30th 2012

FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

A member of the white-supremacist, prison-based Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) gang was sentenced on Friday in Houston to serve 10 years in prison for his role in an aggravated assault that took place in Tomball, Texas.

David Harlow, aka “Bam Bam,” was found guilty by a federal jury on Mar. 21, 2012, of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit racketeering aggravated assault for his role in the severe beating of a prospective ABT member. The 43-year-old Harlow was convicted of both counts and sentenced to serve three-years on count one and 10-years on count two, to run concurrently. In addition to the prison term, Harlow was fined $2,000 by U.S. District Court Judge Ewing Werlein Jr.

According to court documents, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is a powerful and violent race-based organization that operated inside and outside of state and federal prisons. The ABT was established in the early 1980s within the Texas prison system. The gang modeled itself after and adopted many of the precepts and writings of the original Aryan Brotherhood that was created within the California prison system during the 1960s. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

New—And Less Expensive—Direction for Terrorist Nuclear Materials Detection

July 30th 2012

Truck passing Advanced Spectroscopic Portal
Truck passing through Advanced Spectroscopic Portal

Federal officials in charge of detecting dangerous nuclear materials charted a new strategy at a House hearing on July 26, in the aftermath of the government’s failed attempt to build large, advanced radiation scanners for ports and border crossings.

Huban Gowadia, the acting director for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, said her office will sharply increase the use of hand-held monitors, which she said are both cheaper and more reliable than the stationary scanners the government spent six years trying to develop. But she emphasized that the task of preventing the importation of dangerous nuclear materials—including those that could be fashioned into so-called “dirty bombs”—remained an “inherently difficult technical task,” and offered no near-term, comprehensive solution.

The nuclear detection office, part of the Homeland Security department, sunk $230 million into developing 13 Advanced Spectroscopic Portals that scientists and nuclear security experts assessed as a bad investment. Read more ..

Israel and Lebanon

Israeli Security to Upgrade Intelligence Gathering

July 29th 2012

X band radar

With the Hezbollah terrorist group being used as a proxy paramilitary by Iran, Israeli security forces are planning to upgrade their border defense with a new system that officials claim will dramatically increase the effectiveness of Israel's intelligence-gathering capabilities on its border with Lebanon, a source said yesterday.

A report from the Israeli source claims that the early warning Multi-Sensor System (MSS) possesses the most sophisticated technology available. Israeli officials plan to install a number of hi-tech, electro-optic cameras as well as radar units that enable systems operators to quickly create visual and audio intelligence throughout both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border.

The system is scheduled to be installed and operational in a few months. The intelligence-gathering equipment will be operated by specially-trained personnel at army outposts along the border, the Israeli source said. The Israel-Lebanon border has not been subjected to hostility since July 2006, when Hezbollah terrorists showered Israeli cities and communities with thousands of rockets during a 33 day period forcing the Israeli military to strike back. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Is Syria Falling into the Hands of Al-Qaeda?

July 28th 2012

Free Syrian Army

Once the jihadists get rid of Assad, they will move on to hijack the "Arab Spring" in Jordan in the hope of replacing the monarchy with another Islamist state in the region.

The "Arab Spring" in Syria, which began as a popular and non-violent uprising against Bashar Assad's regime, has been hijacked by Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist organizations.

In the past few weeks, thousands of bearded Muslim fundamentalists from various Arab and Islamic countries have converged on Syria to participate in the fighting against Assad's forces.

Many of these armed extremists who appear every day on Arab TV stations have made no effort to conceal their aspiration to establish an Islamist caliphate in Syria. The men who are fighting against Assad's army are anything but reformists and democracy-loving activists. Most appear to be ruthless terrorists and militiamen who came to Syria to carry out suicide bombings and massacre innocent civilians. Read more ..

Border Wars

Obama Administration Conceals Serious Crime on Mexican Border

July 27th 2012

Militia man patrol

The Obama Administration is deceiving Americans by underreporting serious crime along the Mexican border, according to the Texas lawmaker who chairs a congressional Homeland Security committee.

The Obama Administration “is not giving the American people a complete picture of security on our border with Mexico” and data on crimes and violence along the southern border is “deceiving and underreported,” Michael McCaul, the Texas congressman who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials who deal firsthand with violent Mexican drug cartels will deliver testimony to prove it at a special committee hearing, according to a public-interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption. Authorities at every level will tell the “real story” of how they are “outmanned, overpowered and in danger of losing control” of communities to “narco-terrorists,” says McCaul. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

International Alarm Rising Over Besieged City

July 27th 2012

syrian explosion

Despite mounting international criticism, the Syrian government's offensive on the northern city of Aleppo intensified Friday as government aircraft bombed the country's commercial heart. The United States, Britain and the United Nations have voiced growing alarm of an imminent massacre there as government troops appear poised for a showdown with rebel fighters. Deaths have been reported but figures cannot be confirmed.

Army troops and rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army have been locked in battles for nearly a week. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said President Basher al-Assad's forces were using helicopter gunships in several Aleppo neighborhoods Friday. It reported clashes and explosions in other areas of the city. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

The Persistance of Terrorist Threats to Soft Targets

July 26th 2012

James Holmes and counsel

In the early hours of July 20, a gunman entered a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and opened fire on the audience that had gathered to watch the premiere of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 others. Though police are looking for potential accomplices, the attack appears to have been conducted by James Holmes, a lone gunman who, according to some police reports, may have had a delusional fixation on the Joker, a violent villain from an earlier Batman movie.

On July 18, just two days before the Colorado attack, a man reportedly disguised in a wig and posing as an American tourist in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas, Bulgaria, detonated an improvised explosive device hidden in his backpack as a group of Israeli tourists boarded a bus bound for their hotel. The blast killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver and wounded dozens more. It is unclear if the incident was an intentional suicide attack; the device could have detonated prematurely as the man placed it on the bus. In any case, the tourists clearly were the intended targets. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Hezbollah Claims: Vanquished the CIA and Mossad

July 26th 2012

Hezbollah Troops

As the civil war continues to rage in Syria, American and Israeli officials have voiced their fears that the Syrian stockpile of chemical and biological weapons may end up in the hands of the Islamist terror group Hezbollah.

The top leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah warned the United States government that any attack by the U.S. military on either Syria or Iran would result in violence throughout the Middle East, the Syrian and Iranian-backed Hezbollah also boasted it had "vanquished" the U.S Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel's intelligence group Mossad. "Our security... has exposed several American and Israeli plots," Hezbollah' Members of the Lebanese Parliament, said to reporters outside the parliament building.  Read more ..

The Defense Edge

Pentagon Efforts to Straighten out Bookkeeping Face Billion-dollar Cost Overruns

July 25th 2012

USMC Harrier Lands on USS Essex

Multiple Pentagon efforts to account precisely for the flow of military spending are facing major delays and at least an $8 billion cost overrun, according to a new report by the Defense Department’s inspector general.

The internal watchdog, in a report last week, said that the military services have missed their deadlines for designing and integrating new accounting software meant to bring their bookkeeping up to modern standards and manage their parts and weapons inventories more efficiently. In the Army’s case, the launch date for its new accounting system has slid 12 years, from 2004 to 2016.

The delays threaten to derail Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s goal of completing a major financial audit for the Pentagon by 2017, according to the inspector general’s report. The aim of such audits is give the Pentagon’s top brass a better understanding of how their funds are being spent and help avoid misspending and waste. Read more ..

The 2012 Vote

Romney Calls for Special Counsel to Probe National National Security Leaks

July 24th 2012

mitt romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused President Obama of putting the nation at risk through politically motivated intelligence leaks and defense cuts and called for a special counsel to investigate the national security disclosures.

Romney's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national convention in Reno, Nev. aimed to paint Obama as weak on national security and naïve on foreign policy, two areas where the president has consistently polled higher than his opponent.

“It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence,” said the GOP presidential contender of the leaks. “Obama appointees, who are accountable to President Obama's Attorney General, should not be responsible for investigating the leaks coming from the Obama White House. “This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis,” he added, calling it “contemptible.” Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Flight School Trained Illegal Aliens

July 23rd 2012

Flight training

In a shocking discovery, the U.S. government allowed up to 25 illegal aliens to attend a flight school in Boston, according to a Government Accountability Office report and a Fox News Channel story on Friday.

The illegal aliens included eight who had entered the country illegally and 17 who had overstayed their allowed period of admission into the United States, according to an audit by the GAO. Even more shocking was the report that the owner of the flight school is an illegal alien.

Three of the illegal aliens were actually able to get pilot’s licenses, according to the GAO. The revelation of the illegalities occurring at the FAA-licensed flight school occurred when local police officers -- not members of the multi-billion dollar budgeted Homeland Security Department -- captured the owner of the school during a traffic stop and were able to determine that he was an illegal alien. Read more ..

Rwanda on Edge

US Aid Cut to Rwanda

July 23rd 2012

Rwanda child victim

An official of the Democratic Republic of Congo said he hopes the U.S. decision to withhold $200,000 of military aid to Rwanda will help enhance efforts to restore peace to the Great Lakes region. The United States cut its military aid to Rwanda saying it had evidence that Kigali was supporting Congolese rebel groups, including M23. The Rwandan government has repeatedly denied helping the rebels.

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, told the French Press Agency (AFP) that “Rwanda is neither the cause nor the enabler of instability in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.”  But, Congo’s information minister, Lambert Mende, said the U.S. decision to cut its aid to Kigali reinforces his government’s claim that Rwanda has been supporting Congolese rebel groups.

“We think that this is a very positive signal to have Rwanda cooperate with the pacification of this region that has suffered a lot.  It is a good move because it is a matter of life of death for millions of Congolese, who have suffered a lot during the last 20 years,” he said.

Although the U.S. action cuts off aid allotted to a Rwandan military academy, U.S. spokesman Darby Holladay reportedly said Washington will continue to provide assistance to Rwanda to enhance its capacity to support peacekeeping missions. Mende said, even though the DRC has problems with some criminal elements, it does not want to see a cut-off of aid to Rwanda. “For us, the problem is not to make Rwanda disappear.  It’s a neighboring country; they are brothers and sisters.  Though we are having some criminal networks there, we have to live together.  So, what we need is such [a] signal that a country like the United States sends such a message to tell Rwanda to be cautious with the security on the Congo and Rwanda border,” Mende said. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Israel Prepared to Deal with Syrian Chemical Weapons

July 23rd 2012

Israeli Jet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country is prepared to act to neutralize the threat posed by Syrian weapons of mass destruction in a post-Assad era. The prime minister was interviewed by two U.S. television networks. Benjamin Netanyahu says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s days are numbered.

“I think the [Syrian] regime will go," he said. "I do not know if it is days or weeks or months, but I do not think it is sustainable.” Appearing on Fox News Sunday, the prime minister said he worries chaos in Syria could allow chemical weapons to fall into the hands of sworn enemies of Israel.

“Can you imagine Hezbollah - the people who are conducting, with Iran, all these terror attacks around the world - can you imagine that they would have chemical weapons?  It would be like al-Qaida having chemical weapons.  It is something that is not acceptable to us,” he said.

Netanyahu declined to specify what Israel might or might not do. “Do I seek action?  No.  Do I preclude it?  No,” he said. The Israeli prime minister repeated his contention that Hezbollah, backed by Iran, was responsible for last week’s suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and wounded several others.  Hezbollah has not commented on the incident.  Iran has denied the allegation and says it condemns all terrorist acts. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Israel's Mossad Hunts Iranian-backed Terrorists Targeting London Olympics

July 22nd 2012

Hamas Terrorists

Iranian agents are planning an attack against Israeli athletes at this summer's Olympic games in London, Israeli officials fear. Agents from Israel’s elite intelligence organisation, Mossad, are hunting Iranian-backed terrorists in Europe, who are allegedly planning an “anniversary” attack 40 years after the Munich massacre, Britain's The Sunday Times reports. Concerns have only grown after an attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last week that left five dead and 32 wounded. Israel has blamed Iranian-backed Hezbollah for the attack. This summer is the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics, where Palestinian terrorists abducted and murdered Israeli athletes during the summer games.

Israel has intelligence indicating that Iran's Quds Force – largely regarded as Tehran's hit squad – was planning to use a suicide bomber against Israeli targets overseas. According to the report, the Mossad agents sent to [Bulgaria] informed both Jerusalem [and] the agency's London station of the discovery. The Israeli Olympic mission has already arrived in London. The past few months has seen Israel detect – and thwart – several terror plots against Israelis, most recently one in Cyprus and one in South Africa. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Why Iran is Targeting Israelis Abroad

July 21st 2012

Bus bombing, Bulgaria, 18 Jul 2012

This weeks’s terror attack on an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria could lead to war.

The bomb killed at least six and wounded 32 others. Israeli officials quickly accused Iran and its Lebanese terror arm, Hezbollah, of the attack. “Only in the last two months, we have seen attempts to hurt Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus, and other places,” noted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “This is an Iranian terror offensive that is spreading throughout the world,” he continued. And: “Israel will react strongly.” He promised reprisals against Hezbollah, but if it becomes clear that Iranian agents played a role in the attack, action against the Tehran regime may also be on the table.

Israeli analysts likened Iran and Hezbollah to cornered animals, so desperate has their strategic situation grown. Read more ..

Pakistan on Edge

Terrorist Violence Returns the Pakistan's Major Cities

July 21st 2012

Terik i Taliban Pakistan
Hakimullah Mehsud (c), leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban terrorists

At dawn July 12, militants raided a prison guard residence in Lahore, Pakistan, leaving nine staff members dead and three more wounded. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the guards had mistreated prisoners who were members of the Pakistani militant group. The raid came just three days after militants ambushed an army camp in the district of Gujrat, killing seven soldiers and one police officer who were searching for a missing helicopter pilot. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan also claimed that attack.

Over the last two years, Pakistan has had something of a respite from dramatic attacks such as those that plagued the country from 2007 to 2010. During those years, a series of high-profile and highly disruptive attacks against police, army and intelligence targets challenged the government's ability to control the country. The attacks occurred in Pakistan's most populous province, Punjab, in cities such as Lahore and in the capital, Islamabad.

While suicide bombings and attacks in Pakistan's troubled northwest (along the border with Afghanistan) have continued apace since 2010, major attacks in Pakistan's Punjab-Sindh core have essentially ceased. The sole instance of dramatic violence involving government targets outside of the northwest since 2010 was an attack on a naval station near Karachi following the death of Osama bin Laden Read more ..

The War on Drugs

Bolivia Struggles to Turn the Tide of Narco-Trafficking

July 20th 2012

Bolivian army weed-wackers
Bolivian military coca plant eradication.

Foreign Minister of Colombia María Angela Holguín announced on June 7 that she has intelligence regarding the presence of Colombian drug cartels in Bolivia, to which Bolivian President Evo Morales pleaded ignorance. The increasing pressure from international drug cartels throughout Bolivia has elicited concern among several regional leaders, such as Ruben Costas, governor of the department of Santa Cruz, who fears that Bolivia will become another “Ciudad Juárez.” This dilemma is in no way novel, but also of no small importance. While Morales has downplayed the issue, as economist Carlos Toranzo Roca observes, it is the government’s responsibility to “eliminate the problems of the country that are devouring citizens’ everyday life.”

Foreign Minister Holguín asserts that Colombia’s success in the war against drugs has forced drug traffickers to disseminate their product in neighboring countries,i especially those characterized by “friendlier operating environments.” As John Lyons from Inter-American Security Watch argues, the governments of Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia have failed to effectively combat drug trafficking within their respective borders,v making those areas attractive for traffickers. Read more ..

The Race for Smart Grid

Electrical Grid Is Not Well Protected

July 20th 2012

transformer farm

A government watchdog is calling for tighter — and more coordinated — cyber security efforts by federal agencies to protect the U.S. electricity grid, a potentially vulnerable target for U.S. enemies.

The volume of malicious software and online attacks targeting overall U.S. computer networks has tripled in the last two years, raising the possibility of an eventual threat to the flow of electric power to homes, businesses, and the Internet itself, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday.

“Terrorists, hackers, and other non-government groups all have the desire and are trying to gain the ability to get into our electricity infrastructure,” Gregory Wilhusen, the director for information security issues at GAO, said in an interview. “The impact of widespread outages could have national security implications. And, in residential areas, it not only affects homes and customers. It also has major effects on commerce.” Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Syria's Chemical Weapons: Military Options

July 19th 2012


Given the complexities of military action, Washington and its partners should pursue a policy of deterrence, assistance, containment, and elimination to prevent the use or diversion of Syria's chemical arsenal.

Growing violence in Syria has raised concerns that the Assad regime might use its massive stockpile of chemical weapons (CW) against the opposition, or that antiregime insurgents, al-Qaeda, Hizballah, or other states might divert some of these arms for their own use. Just yesterday, Nawaf al-Fares -- Syria's former ambassador to Iraq who recently defected to the opposition -- warned that the regime would use CW if cornered. Such concerns have prompted calls for action to deal with this threat. Yet past experience in Iraq and Libya demonstrates the complex nature of this operational and policy problem.

Syria has probably the largest and most advanced chemical warfare program in the Arab world, reportedly including thousands of tube and rocket artillery rounds filled with mustard-type blister agents, thousands of bombs filled with the nerve agents sarin and possibly VX , and binary-type and cluster CW warheads filled with nerve agents for all its major missile systems. Its CW infrastructure is believed to include several production facilities and numerous storage sites, mostly dispersed throughout the western half of the country. (Syria is also believed to have a biological warfare research and development program, though it is not believed to have produced biological weapons.) Read more ..

The Race for Smart Grid

Europe Recommends Making Its Grids Less Vulnerable

July 19th 2012

electric power lines

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has published a report that makes ten recommendations to the public sector involved in the definition and implementation of smart grids. Smart grids offer benefits to the society at large but their dependency on computer networks and applications, as well as on the Internet, increases exposure to malicious cyber attacks. Vulnerabilities of communication networks and information systems could indeed be exploited for financial or political motivation to shut off power to large areas or directing cyber-attacks against power generation plants.

However, the communication infrastructures are not the only source of vulnerabilities, the report indicated. Software and hardware used for building the smart grid infrastructure are at risk of being tampered with even before they are linked together. Rogue code, including the so-called logic bombs which cause sudden malfunctions, can be inserted into software while it is being developed. As for hardware, remotely operated “kill switches” and hidden “backdoors” can be written into the computer chips used by the smart grid and allowing outside actors to manipulate the systems. Read more ..

China Rising

China's Red Star Rises in the East

July 18th 2012

Chinese cruiser Harbin
American sailors observe Chinese warship 'Harbin'.

Over the past decade, the South China Sea has become one of the most volatile flashpoints in East Asia. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan each assert sovereignty over part or all of the sea, and these overlapping claims have led to diplomatic and even military standoffs in recent years.

Because the sea hosts numerous island chains, is rich in mineral and energy resources and has nearly a third of the world's maritime shipping pass through its waters, its strategic value to these countries is obvious. For China, however, control over the South China Sea is more than just a practical matter and goes to the center of Beijing's foreign policy dilemma: how to assert its historic maritime claims while maintaining the non-confrontational foreign policy established by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1980.

China staked its modern claim to control of the sea in the waning days of the Chinese Civil War. Since most of the other claimant countries were occupied with their own independence movements in the ensuing decades, China had to do little to secure this claim. However, with other countries building up their maritime forces, pursuing new relationships and taking a more active stance in exploring and patrolling the waters, and with the Chinese public hostile to any real or perceived territorial concessions on Beijing's part, Deng's quiet approach is no longer an option. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

London 2012 Olympics Continues to Loom as a Major Terror Target

July 18th 2012

Olympic Runners

Organizers of the 2012 London Olympics have said the games will be a "symphony of inspiration" -- uplifting and unifying.

For Britain's Islamic radicals, however, the Olympics are providing inspiration of a different sort.

During the past month, British authorities have made a series of arrests in connection with terror plots against the Olympics.

Others, like Islamic convert Richard Dart, were arrested for separate plots against London targets. Dart is reportedly a follower of London-based cleric Anjem Choudary, who leads frequent demonstrations calling for Great Britain to be ruled by Islamic Sharia law.

"The Olympics is about division. It's about separation," Choudary stated. When asked if he and his followers would have a presence at the games, Choudary answered, "We will have a huge presence, wherever the people are gathering for the celebrations or watching the events."

Choudary said that true Muslims should oppose the Olympics. British authorities are concerned that some will do much more than that. Among those they've been monitoring is a suspected al Qaeda terrorist who's visited the Olympic site at least five times. As a result of such threats, the London Olympics are the most heavily secured events in the city's history. The British military has even installed missiles on the rooftops of residential homes near the Olympic site in East London.


See Earlier Stories 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

Copyright © 2007-2018The Cutting Edge News About Us