Category Archive: Communication

US Embassy China issues Health Alert Update for Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

US Embassy China issues Health Alert Update – Level 2 [ Practice Enhanced Precautions ] – for China Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). More information via email.


Supplemental Info:


Health Alert Update – Novel Coronavirus in China – Level 2

January 22, 2020


Event: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Watch Level 2 Alert (Practice Enhanced Precautions) for an ongoing outbreak of pneumonia first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.


Travelers to Wuhan should:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Older travelers and those with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their healthcare provider.
  • Consult the CDC Website for the most up-to-date information regarding enhanced screening procedures.

If you have traveled to Wuhan and feel sick, you should

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Please see https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html for further updates.


U.S. Consulate General Wuhan

New World International Trade Tower I,
No. 568, Jianshe Avenue
Hankou, Wuhan 430022
China


Telephone: +(86)(027) 8555-7791
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(86)(10) 8531-4000
Fax: +(86)(027) 8555-7761


Please note that Wuhan does not provide regularly scheduled consular services.


Contact the Embassy in Beijing for consular assistance.
USConsulateWuhan@state.gov


U.S. Embassy Beijing


No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
China
Telephone: +(86)(10) 8531-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(86)(10) 8531-4000
Fax: +(86)(10) 8531-3300
BeijingACS@state.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs – 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444



U.S. Consulate General Chengdu


No. 4 Lingshiguan Road
Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC 610041
Telephone: (28) 8558-3992
Fax: (28) 8558-3520
AmcitChengdu@state.gov


U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou


No. 43 Huajiu Road, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong
Telephone: 020-3814 5775
Fax: 020-3814 5572
GuangzhouACS@state.gov


U.S. Consulate General Shanghai



9/F, Westgate Mall, No. 1038 West Nanjing Road, Shanghai
Telephone: 021-8011 2400
Fax: 021- 6148 8266
ShanghaiACS@state.gov


U.S. Consulate General Shenyang


No. 52, Shisi Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang, Liaoning
Telephone: 024 – 2335 5188, 024 – 2322 1198 ext. 5188
Fax: 024 – 2323 1465
ShenyangACS@state.gov


China Country Information sheet


Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates


https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/health-alert-update-novel-coronavirus-in-china-3/


CDC Update:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/novel-coronavirus-china


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via:  AlertsUSA.com, Threat Journal


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CDC confirms first US case of China Novel Coronavirus

CDC confirms first US case of China Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Seattle, WA. Patient is resident of the US and entered the country via an indirect flight.

Supplemental Info:

This confirmation was made only a short time ago during an ongoing CDC telebriefing.

 

CDC expanding airport surveillance for China Novel Coronavirus (2019- nCoV) to Chicago I-Hare and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International.

Supplemental Info:

Screening currently underway at LAX, SFO & JFK.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

 

via:  AlertsUSA.com, Threat Journal


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Will Cars Still Run After an EMP? The Surprising Truth

Imagine every electronic device going dark in the blink of an eye. Forget about luxuries such as your smartphone or wi-fi, and imagine basic necessities like power, heat, supply chains, and infrastructure rendered completely inoperable. Imagine communications completely disabled.

This is the potential effect of an EMP, or an Electromagnetic Pulse. An EMP could alter the landscape of the entire power-grid in an instant, rendering whole cities blacked out for prolonged periods or even permanently. Food, fuel and water may very well become inaccessible when the power has failed completely.

An EMP event is quite scary, but would all cars on the roads just come rolling to a stop when an EMP strikes? We rely on vehicles for everything from getting groceries from the store to maintaining resupply chains that make our modern life possible. If they were to stop, getting out of town would no longer be an option for most people.

For this article, we’ll look at whether a strong EMP would disable all vehicles, which vehicles are most likely to be safe from an EMP, and how you can safeguard your vehicle from an EMP attack.

What is an EMP?

An Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP, is a burst of electromagnetic energy. While energy is always in motion around us, an EMP is specifically notable for causing electronic disruptions by inducing current into electronics, sometimes severely damaging or destroying them. In extreme cases, an EMP can even knock out the power grid, or worse.

There are two main types of EMPs: natural and man-made. A bolt of lightning or a solar flare can cause an EMP, for example. The massive increase and change in electromagnetic energy as a result of a lightning bolt is a naturally occurring EMP. Solar flares causing highly charged atoms to shoot at high speeds from the sun towards the Earth is another form of a natural EMP.

Perhaps the best-known example of a man-made EMP source is from a nuclear blast. A nuclear blast shoots off multiple pulses of energy in its wake; these varied waves of energy cause significant disruptions to nearby electronics. Here is a more detailed (and scientific) explanation of EMP’s and how they damage electronic devices.

A major city after an EMP is a dangerous place to be—especially if you’re without a working car.

Many people are understandably concerned over EMP devices that are specifically designed to knock-out power, which are also known as High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulses, or HEMPs. A HEMP could either be a nuclear bomb detonated high in the atmosphere as a weapon or a device designed to knock out infrastructure and electronics without the heavy casualties of nuclear warfare. HEMPs can affect a much larger area in concentric circles from the blast. The area of effect would depend on how high in the atmosphere the device detonates. The US Congress received a detailed report on HEMP effects in 2008.

EMP attacks are not relegated to the realm of Science Fiction. A 1987 solar flare knocked out a large portion of the Canadian power grid. Lightning routinely damages electronic devices, although on a much more localized scale. British scientists, unaware of the electrical damage nuclear blasts would cause, suffered a massive instrument failure (they called it ‘radioflash‘) after their initial nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s. These events happened and they can certainly happen again. It’s a good idea to understand them and understand what EMPs are capable of.

Would an EMP Attack Disable all Vehicles?

No, an EMP attack would not disable all vehicles. According to a study conducted by the United States EMP Commission, only about 1 out of 50 vehicles are likely to be rendered inoperable. The effects of an EMP on hybrid and electric vehicles, however, have yet to be studied and is currently unknown.

Questions about the potential damage to vehicles in the aftermath of an EMP are quite common. An exhaustive study by the EMP Commission to determine the effects of an EMP on the United States (available here) were conclusive: most vehicles would survive an EMP.

U.S. EMP Commission Test Results – Key Points

  • 50 vehicles built between 1987 and 2002 were exposed to a spectrum of EMP blasts (up to 50kV/m in strength).
  • 3 out of 50 vehicles shut down while driving.
  • All 3 of these vehicles continued rolling until they safely coasted to a stop.
  • 1 of those vehicles was disabled completely and would not restart.
  • 2 of those vehicle restarted without an issue.
  • Many nuisance issues arose from the 50 exposed vehicles including radio interference, strange and erratic behavior from headlights, turn-signals or brake-lights, and one vehicle needed to have its dashboard replaced

The EMP Commission believed there was a potential for unnecessary deaths from vehicles if the vehicles were exposed to an EMP burst which exceeded 25kV/m. The potential for death and serious injury would not come as the result of an electronic failure, however, but rather due to potential accidents that vehicles slowing down suddenly could cause, especially if those vehicles had issues with their brake lights.

The EMP test indicates that roughly 15% of running vehicles may shut down if exposed to an EMP blast at or over 25kV/m over a wide range of area. In other words, short of a massive solar flare, only a nuclear explosion or purpose-built EMP would create the kind of pulse needed to cause the shutdown effect to occur.

When considering the EMP Survey by the EMP Commission, there are a few points to think about. First, this study finished in 2004. Second, the cars used in the study were older models, built in a range from 1987 until 2002. Third, we do not know which specific vehicles the Commission conducted these tests on, as the Commission never released information on car makes or models. Fourth, cars have developed far more complex and integrated electrical systems since 2002, the latest model year tested. Finally, the test does not appear to have been recreated and the results are not scientifically verified as a result.

Testing a Modern Vehicle in a Lightning Strike

This video from the British car show Top Gear actually explains this concept quite well. Volkswagen has a purpose-built facility to test their cars against potential lightning strikes with charges of up to 800,000 volts. After the bolt hits, the car starts right up. Modern cars can survive a multitude of electrical issues without failing.

Resilience of Modern Vehicles

By design, modern automobiles can survive extreme temperatures and other harsh conditions. Modern cars have many fail-safe systems in case of electrical or mechanical failure. As a result, most cars will continue to run without major issue even in the face of extreme electrical disruption.

Many commentators on this subject believe the EMP study is out of date. Specifically, there’s a theory that older vehicles lacked the integrated computing systems and complex electrical engineering that modern cars have. While this is true, cars have had computers since Volkswagen introduced one to operate their electronic fuel injection (EFI) system in 1968. Engine Control Units (ECUs) have been widespread since the 1970s. It is safe to assume every vehicle in the EMP Commission Study had an ECU in one form or another.

In one sense, it’s understandable that people worry about modern vehicles being more electronically sensitive to EMP damage. However, modern vehicles have more protective shielding, grounds and plastics to replace metals now than they’ve ever have in the past. In almost all cases, modern cars should be more capable of withstanding electrical interference than they have been in the past. Except of course, if you are talking about vehicles manufactured before ECU’s and were largely mechanical based in their functions.

So, in summary, EMP’s will not disable most vehicles. Many modern vehicles which would seem unlikely to survive the EMP probably will survive the EMP, but we don’t currently have sufficient testing to verify that.

The Strongest Possible EMP Attack

Let us consider the ‘doomsday’ scenario for a moment. An EMP hits and the power goes out. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the EMP completely knocks out the entire power-grid of the United States and that no other country is willing or able to divert power to the country. Manufacturing crumbles, international trade evaporates and the America is transported back to the 1800s.

Realistically, only a nuclear explosion at a specific altitude or a strong solar flare could cause that sort of disruption. Anything with long wires leading to it will be especially vulnerable to this (such as the power grid—or anything connected to it). That’s because the long power lines will act like a giant antenna and gather massive amounts of energy flowing through the atmosphere, channeling it into whatever they’re connected to.

Modern motor vehicles do have a lot of wiring in them, but this wiring doesn’t travel out from the vehicle and are, generally speaking, coiled tightly inside the metal box that is your car’s shell. A HEMP designed to knock out power will probably fail to generate more than 25kV/m outside of the immediate blast area, meaning most cars will survive without any issues at all, as the testing done by the U.S. EMP Commission showed.

Generally speaking, your vehicle will be the least of your concerns in this type of situation.The electrical system of modern cars feature much better shielding. The electrical shielding your car has will not prevent the inevitable part failures all cars experience. The lack of spare parts or able mechanics will likely ultimately sink your vehicle, not the EMP itself.

What Type of Car is Most Likely to Survive?

In a doomsday EMP scenario, the vehicle most likely to be viable is an older model diesel vehicle that lacks electronics. Since the roads will not have maintenance you will probably want a 4×4 vehicle that can go off-road when necessary.

Most modern diesel vehicles are just as technologically advanced and electronically complex as their gasoline counterparts. The big difference between diesel and gasoline is in finding fuels in case the power goes out. A gasoline engine requires highly refined and specifically processed fuel. Diesel engines can run on almost any type of fuel, including bio-diesels like algae and vegetable oil. Yes, vegetable oil.

While both carburator based and fuel injection vehicles are likely to survive the EMP, vehicles utilizing carburetors are far less reliant on modern electronics as fuel injected vehicles are. If you worry about the lights going off and never coming back on, you should avoid fuel injection vehicles.

“If you’re serious about having a vehicle that will survive massive EMP damage, then you’re looking for a naturally aspirated diesel engine from before about 1990. A 4×4 is probably a safer bet than a front or rear wheel drive.”

How does the Military Protect Against EMPs?

The military is an interesting case study in EMP defense. The military not only faces the potential for natural phenomenon, like a lightning strike or solar flare, they also face the possibility of fighting against a foreign power that uses weapons to disrupt communications, navigation, aviation, and other critical aspects of warfare.

The military primarily uses a simple Faraday Cage to protect their equipment against the potential damages of an EMP attack. A Faraday Cage is a simple construction of grounded metal surrounding sensitive electronic wiring and equipment. During a surge of electromagnetic energy, such as the most severe EMPs, military equipment is protected from damage by this simple Faraday Cage.

Advanced equipment, such as jet-fighter planes, are mostly protected by the same concept. In both the case of a car and a fighter plane, military equipment is further designed and developed to operate independently of its electrical systems. Even if the electronics fail, there are a number of active fail-safes in place to operate both vehicles and airplanes by hydraulics and manual control, if necessary, to prevent a critical error and eventual crisis.

It should be pointed out that similar fail-safe systems are in place in civilian aircraft, civilian electronics,and yes, civilian automobiles.

Preparing Your Car for an EMP

Most vehicles will survive the doomsday scenario without missing a beat, and there really isn’t much you need to do. The real threat to a vehicle after some kind of apocalyptic event is a lack of fuel and spare parts, not an electrical failure.

To prepare for the potential EMP disaster, you could stock up on parts that could commonly fail or might be required for routine maintenance. These include:

  • Spare fuel—treated with Stabil fuel stabilizer to extend its shelf life
  • Various required filters (air filter, oil filter, and fuel filter)
  • Oil change supplies
  • Battery
  • Alternator
  • ECU
  • Sensors
  • Any other on-board computers

Keeping regular maintenance items on hand, such as those required to complete an oil change, is a great idea. The other spare parts on this list might be a bit more expensive. You can find the spare parts you need by plugging your VIN into one of the many car-parts websites and looking up replacement parts that fit your vehicle.

However, my favorite source for spare parts to have on hand in case of an EMP is a wrecking yard. Find a vehicle as close as possible to yours at your local wrecking yard and remove all the sensors you can find along alternator and ECU. It’ll be far cheaper than buying all brand new parts.

For a more in-depth discussion on how an EMP may affect batteries, see How Would an EMP Effect Batteries.

You may consider putting spare electronic engine components into a Faraday bag for further protection—that’s what I do. If you’ve gone to all this trouble to be prepared by buying a second set of vulnerable parts, you might as well go a little further by putting them in an EMP-proof Faraday bag such as these.

 

Another great video to check out:

Protect Generators and Cars from EMP

 

Describes using conductive cloth to protect cars and generators from a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack. Cloth can be found at https://disasterpreparer.com/?product=emp-cloth.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via:  superprepper


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Virginia governor declares state of emergency – is National Guard deployment next

Is this the excuse to use National Guard some feared.

 

Per the Emergency Services and Disaster Law:

Mutual assistance in this compact may include the use of the states’ National Guard forces, either in accordance with the National Guard Mutual Assistance Compact or by mutual agreement between states.

Governor says intelligence groups report chatter echo’s Charlottesville rally, governor says.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a state of emergency on Wednesday that bars any weapons from the Richmond’s Capitol Square from Friday to Tuesday, after he received credible intelligence that hate groups and armed militias are planning violence at next Monday’s Lobby Day against gun control legislation.

Northam, who discussed the threats at a news conference, said the state’s law enforcement analysis found that the chatter on the internet and other venues mirrored similar messages seen around the time of the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, which left three dead and more than 30 injured.

The governor declined to give exact details about the threats and the persons making them, but said that these groups, who were coming from outside of the state, talked about storming the Virginia Capitol.

“They are not coming to peacefully protest, they are coming to intimidate and to cause harm,” he said of the outside groups.

The announced weapons ban will include sticks, bats, chains, projectiles, and firearms, similar to the prohibitions issued on airlines and in courthouses, Northam said. State, Capitol and Richmond police officers will coordinate the safety in the square and set up checkpoints to make sure everyone adheres to the weapons ban.

“It makes no sense to ban every other weapon but allow firearms when intelligence shows a threat of an armed militia groups storming our capital,” Northam said.

Gun rights advocates from around the country plan on attending the state’s Lobby Day on Monday to speak out against new gun control legislation that is moving forward under the newly Democratic-controlled Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate. Some of the bills include universal background checks on guns, an assault rifles ban and a “red flag” law that would give judges the authority to order an individual to temporarily turn in their weapon if they are deemed a threat.

Seventeen states including New York and Florida, as well as Washington, D.C., have previously passed red flag laws.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, VCDL, a group that describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental human right of all Virginians to keep and bear arms,” plans on holding a rally. Northam said he respects the rights of Virginians to protest and speak their mind about the gun control bills, but emphasized that he will not condone any threat of violence.

He called on the VCDL and other gun rights groups to stick to peaceful protests.

“I call on them to disavow anyone who wishes to use Monday’s rally to advance a violent agenda,” Northam said. “Hate, intimidation and violence have no place here.”

Representatives for the VCDL didn’t immediately return messages for comment.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  abcnews


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Inside the dystopian nightmare of an internet shutdown

Government internet shutdowns around the world are insidious, isolating and on the rise.

On Oct. 1, the Iraqi government pulled the plug on the country’s internet. With no warning, out it went like a light. Ever since, the internet, messaging services and social networks have flickered on and off like faulty bulbs.

This is far from the first internet shutdown Iraq has suffered. But according to Hayder Hamzoz, CEO and founder of the Iraqi Network for Social Media, not since 2003 and the regime of Saddam Hussein has internet censorship been so severe.

In this age of reliance on internet connectivity, the idea of suddenly flicking connectivity off like a switch sounds dystopian. But for many people around the world, it’s increasingly becoming a reality. They might not even realize it’s happening until too late.

First the signal disappears from your phone, so you restart it, take the SIM card out and put it back in again. No joy, so you try the Wi-Fi, but that doesn’t work either. Maybe it’s a power outage, you think, but your other appliances are working so that can’t be right. You read a news story in the paper about a political protest that’s taking place, and it suddenly becomes apparent that it’s not just you. The government, worried about the protest, has decided to turn off the internet.

This is exactly what happened to Berhan Taye the first time she experienced an internet shutdown, while visiting family in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2016. Since then, she says, it has become “definitely something that I’ve experienced one too many times.”

Taye leads the nonprofit Access Now’s Keep It On campaign, advocating against internet shutdowns around the world. Around 200 partner organizations work with the campaign to prevent intentional shutdowns of the internet by governments around the globe, a form of repression that the United Nations unequivocally condemned in 2016 as a violation of human rights.

imagegettyimages-1179043013

Iraq has seen mass civilian protests over the past year, leading to internet shutdowns.

Picture Alliance/Getty

Authoritarian governments have long sought control over their subject populations, and internet shutdowns can be seen as a digital extension of traditional censorship and repression, notes Taye.

This is very much the case in Iraq, where anti-corruption protests that sparked the shutdown are also being combatted with curfews and violence from security forces. Over WhatsApp, Hamzoz described the violence he had witnessed in Iraq during blackouts — tear gas, hot-water cannons, live bullets and snipers.

“It sounds terrifying,” I said. “Very terrifying,” he agreed.

India: Disconnected

In 2018 there were 196 documented internet shutdowns across 25 countries, primarily in Asia and Africa, according to a report released by the Keep It On coalition. Since the Arab Spring of 2011, when censorship ran rife across North Africa and the Middle East, internet shutdowns have been widely associated with authoritarian regimes.

But the country leading the way isn’t authoritarian, or even semi-authoritarian. In fact, it’s the world’s largest democracy. Of those 196 shutdowns that happened last year, 134 took place in India. The primary target is the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a politically unstable region on the border with Pakistan.

In August, the Indian government approved changes revoking the autonomy of the Muslim-majority region, stripping it of its constitution and imposing “security measures” that prevent freedom of movement, public assembly and protest. The region will be split into two territories governed by individual leaders who will report to the Hindu-led government in New Delhi, it was announced Wednesday.

Kashmir has been without internet since the constitutional changes in August, with phone signals also dropping out intermittently.

“This blackout has pushed the entire [8 million] population of Kashmir into a black hole, where the world is unable to know what is happening inside a cage and vice-versa,” said Aakash Hassan, Kashmir correspondent at CNN-News18.

imagegettyimages-1178978738

The contested region of Kashmir has been on lockdown since early August. Internet has been shut down for much of that time.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty

The situation for journalists “couldn’t be worse,” Hassan told me. Everything from sourcing to fact-checking to filing stories often grinds to a halt. He knows of reporters trying to operate in these conditions who have been questioned, injured or detained by the authorities, while also being prevented from speaking out about what’s happening to them.

But Hassan also knows first hand of the toll internet shutdowns can take on people’s personal lives and relationships. During the recent shutdown his grandmother passed away. It took him 14 hours to learn of her ill health, by which point he had missed his chance to say goodbye.

“I was just one hour away from my home,” he said. “But due to the communication blackout, I couldn’t see her face for the last time.”

Most of India’s internet shutdowns are ordered at the regional government level, although it’s often hard to tell where the orders come from. Legally, it’s hard to fight shutdowns, although there are often attempts to do so. For a start, governments rarely acknowledge that internet shutdowns have taken place. When they do, they often give ambiguous reasons for their actions.

For the public good?

The Keep It On campaign tries to map the justifications governments give for shutting the internet down against the actual causes. The most frequently used reason is “public safety,” but in reality this is a broad church that can mean anything from public protest to communal violence to elections.

Jan Rydzak, a research scholar at the Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator, has been monitoring shutdowns in Kashmir for some years. If public safety is the real priority, he says, shutting down the internet is unlikely to make much difference. In February 2019, Rydzak published a paper demonstrating that shutdowns didn’t discourage or prevent violent protests from taking place.

“Public safety is always a convenient excuse,” he said, “because in the vast majority of the cases it is written into the law of a given country that in situations of public emergency or public safety concerns, the government has special powers to, for example, cut off communication.”

Public safety is indeed the excuse that has been used in this most recent shutdown in Kashmir, which Rydzak describes as a “digital siege.” This excuse is plausible in line with the levels of violence the long-contested region has witnessed, but according to Rydzak, there are ulterior motives.

“They’re looking basically for something that would extend their control over the territory to the greatest extent possible,” he said. The Indian government doesn’t know what will work, he explained, which has led to it “crudely cutting off all contact with the outside world.”

imagegettyimages-1166905415

Attempting to use the internet in Kashmir has been fruitless for much of the last three months.

SOPA

There are many reasons why they shouldn’t, starting with Rydzak’s own research in India, which shows empirically that shutting off internet access does not reduce violent protests, and sometimes even perpetuates them.

As an ascendant power, Rydzak adds, the frequency with which India is shutting down the internet is setting a bad example for other countries. Seeing shutdowns as another tool in their arsenal for tackling outbreaks of violence or protests, more and more countries are experimenting with shutting off the internet just to see how it goes, he said.

This is echoed by Keep It On’s research, which shows an escalation in the number of new countries opting to use shutdowns for the first time, according to Taye. Often they do so around the time of elections — a trend that has increased over the past year, starting with Bangladesh at the end of 2018, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Benin.

“From 2018 I can list 10 countries that did not shut down the internet, but this year they are the frequent culprits of shutdowns,” she said. “Benin is a fairly democratic country. I never would have assumed they would have shut down the internet, but they did.”

Now aware that elections might result in shutdowns, the Keep It On campaign is keeping a particularly close eye on countries where elections are imminent to monitor for disruption.

From shutdowns to slowdowns

Measuring shutdowns is important to know where the rights are being violated, but keeping track isn’t always easy. Telecoms infrastructure is poor in many countries where shutdowns take place, so a steady internet connection isn’t something that can be relied on at the best of times.

“It’s very difficult for a lot of people to figure out if it’s an intentional shutdown, or if it’s just a fiber cut, or if your internet is just having a bad day,” said Taye.

This is further confused by the fact that many governments use less obvious, more insidious tactics in hyperlocal shutdowns or slowdowns. Often they’ll target specific social media services for throttling, or slowing down the bandwidth. WhatsApp, widely used in developing countries due to its low data costs, and Facebook are regular targets.

Either governments can make the services unavailable altogether, or can make them painfully slow to use. Some of these slowdowns are designed specifically to stop people being able to send pictures and videos, which would be more likely to inflame tensions or serve as evidence.

“We are deeply concerned by the trend in some regions and countries towards shutting down, throttling, or otherwise disrupting access to the open internet,” said a spokeswoman for Facebook. The company offers training to governments and law enforcement to help them address emerging situations by maintaining their own online presence and combating the spread of misinformation with appropriate counter speech.

Another justification used by governments to shut down internet access is to stop the spread of misinformation. Following the Easter bombings that took place in Sri Lanka earlier this year, for instance, some Western media were quick to praise the government’s decision to block access to social media to prevent the spread of false information.

image

The Easter bombings in Sri Lanka led to the government blocking social media for the purpose of curbing the spread of misinformation.

Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/Getty


But it did no such thing. Just as shutdowns in Kashmir didn’t stop political violence, misinformation ran rife and even ended up in the coverage of major international news outlets. A Brown University student was at one point falsely identified as the attacker.

Blocking social media doesn’t prevent the spread of false information, according to Keep It On. It simply delays it. Taye gives an example, again from Ethiopia, where in July this year the government shut down the internet for a week following a series of assassinations of important political figures.

“When they turned on the internet, all of the conspiracy theories, all of the craziness that was happening in the offline space did not stop,” she said. It was all still there, just pending, waiting for people to be reconnected so it could continue to spread.

In the meantime, the last information put out before a shutdown often becomes the dominant narrative — whether or not it’s accurate.

As for the social media blockage in Sri Lanka, it wasn’t only unsuccessful at preventing the spread of fake news, Yudhanjaya Wijeratne of the LIRNEasia think tank wrote in a Slate op-ed following the bombing. It also prevented people from getting in touch with one another to report their safety, and it hid the inability of the police to control violent protests — which were partially caused due to the spread of misinformation.

Living in the dark

As if the lack of evidence to support the effectiveness of blackouts wasn’t enough to dissuade countries from deploying them, the economic toll of shutting off the internet can also run to millions of dollars per day.

According to a study conducted by Deloitte for Facebook in 2016, shutdowns can cost high-connectivity countries up to 1.9% of their GDP per day. Shutdowns in India are estimated to have cost the country over $3 billion since 2012, according to a report published by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations last year.

But they also have a trickle-down effect that takes a huge toll on the livelihoods of individuals who over the past 10 years have come to rely on the internet for their income. “Behind every figure like that are dozens of businesses that went out of business,” said Rydzak.

In Iraq, Hamzoz said, tech startups and local Uber rivals providing taxi-hailing services are losing out daily without steady access to the internet for themselves or their customers. Startups are going out of business. Women who rely on taxi-hailing apps for safety reasons must either stay home or risk their safety.

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s government is one of many to employ internet shutdowns for the first time in the past 12 months.

Federico Scoppa/Stringer

Similarly in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, internet access has allowed the informal economy, which women and other marginalized groups rely on for an income, to thrive. When people live in remote places or don’t have access to physical premises, business is often conducted through WhatsApp or Facebook groups and relies on digital payments.

According to Ashnah Kalemera, programs officer at Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa, this extends to all manner of casual work, including the buying and selling of food, laundry and hairdressing services.

“Many women are running businesses in this informal economy set up to ensure financial security,” she said. “Let’s not forget that African women are still largely excluded from the funds afforded to their male counterparts for formal tech startups.”

If the internet goes down, income streams are abruptly interrupted. For some women this means suddenly not being able to afford to feed their families, to send their children to school and to access other basic necessities.

Enterprising people have found ways to get around shutdowns — the use of VPNs to access social media is widespread. In a total blackout, however, these are also often rendered ineffective. In Iraq, Hamzoz told me, some people use international SIM cards, but they are expensive and the signal is often weak.

As we spoke over the course of October, when protests over corruption and poor living standards in Iraq raged on, Hamzoz reported the ongoing flickering status of his country’s internet and social media outages. On Oct. 16 he said mobile internet was partially restored. Then on Oct. 25, when mass protests broke out, it went down again. At the time of publishing, Iraq has largely been without internet for almost an entire month. Hamzoz said he expected blackouts and slowdowns to continue until the political issues in the country are addressed.

For Iraq, just like Kashmir, Jammu, Ethiopia and many other places around the world, that means internet shutdowns are likely to be a fact of life for the foreseeable future.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

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India airstrikes in Pakistan

AlertsUSA is monitoring events in S. Asia. The Indian Air Force has carried out strikes in Pakistan territory. Tensions are high between the two nuclear powers.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi warns that India has committed aggression by violating the LoC & country is prepared and has the right to respond to attack.

Supplemental Info:

India and Pakistan, both modern nuclear powers, have gone to war in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999, along with numerous military operations other than war (MOOTW), skirmishes and standoffs. Control of Kashmir has been the principle cause of all major conflicts between the two countries, with the exception of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
A short time ago, the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control (LoC) by several miles within Pakistani-administered Kashmir and dropped ordnance. The action comes following a suicide bombing attack on an Indian security convoy in Pulwama, in Indian-administered Kashmir. If reports are accurate, this will be the first time since the 1971 that the Indian Air Force has crossed the LoC.

This is a dangerous situation. Many defense experts speculate that the next war between India and Pakistan will be with a nuclear backdrop.

AlertsUSA is monitoring the situation and will provide additional alerts as events warrant.

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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP 9-9-18

From AlertsUSA

 

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Two Americans Stabbed in Amsterdam Terror Attack Attempted Bombing of US Embassy Egypt

 

Sept 8, 2018

 

   

Between August 31 and Sept 4, the following related Flash SMS messages were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

8/31 – Two people wounded in stabbing incident at Amsterdam’s central railway station. Suspect shot by Dutch police. AlertsUSA monitoring.

9/1 – US Embassy Netherlands: The 2 victims in the 8/31 stabbing incident at Amsterdam central train station were American tourists, the attacker an Afghan national.

9/1 – Dutch police (Korps Nationale Politie) now classify 8/31 stabbing of two Americans in Amsterdam as an act of terrorism based on first statement from suspect.

9/4 – Man detained after attempting to detonate explosive device near the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. American citizens warned to avoid the area. See email.

9/4 – US embassies worldwide now on a heightened state of alert. Anticipate poss delays. Caution urged. Visiting a US Embassy abroad? Call ahead. More via email.

What You Need To Know

On 20 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters.

Most important for this update:

Last Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of a double stabbing at the Central Train Station in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In this incident, a 19-year-old Afghan national, Jawed Santani, who is registered in Germany as an asylum seeker, pulled a knife and repeatedly stabbed two men standing at an information kiosk. Dutch police report that the assailant was being monitored by surveillance officers who were positioned nearby as lookouts for pickpockets. Within seconds of the attack taking place, uniformed officers opened fire, severely wounding the suspect in the hip.

The following day, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, issued a statement saying the two 39 year old victims of the knife attack were American citizens.

Following initial questioning of the suspect, Dutch prosecutors issued statements indicating they have classified the incident as an act of terror, and that the suspect intentionally traveled to the Netherlands to carry out an attack because of what he said were repeated Dutch insults to “the Prophet Mohammad, the Koran, Islam, and Allah.” Police have also clarified that this was not a targeted attack on the American visitors.

Readers are reminded that on multiple occasions this year alone, AlertsUSA has warned subscribers of repeated threats and calls for attack by both the Islamic State and al Qaeda in western nations, and that the use of knives for such attacks in crowded public venues is a heavily promoted tactic due to the ease of the weapon’s acquisition as well as concealment.

ATTEMPTED EMBASSY BOMBING

On Tues, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an attempted bombing of the US Embassy is Cairo, Egypt. In this incident, the bomber can be seen on video walking across Simon Bolivar Street just outside of the heavy blast walls that surround the embassy in the Garden City area of the capital. Moments later, a device the suspect was carrying in his backpack appears to partially detonate, emitting a large plum of smoke and knocking him to the ground.

Police quickly arrested the man. Soon thereafter. an Egyptian explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the backpack in a controlled explosion. Following the failed attack, the US Embassy issued a warning message to US citizens urging them to stay away from the area.

According to the Egyptian Interior Ministry, the suspect, 24-year-old Abdullah Ayman Abdel-Sameea, embraced an “extremist” ideology and that he intended to use the material he carried in a “hostile” act. As of the time of this reports’ preparation, few other details have been revealed about the suspect.

– – – –

As a follow-up to these two stories, readers are reminded that U.S. government facilities worldwide remain in a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. U.S. citizens abroad, regardless of your location, are urged to regularly monitor the local news as well as maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, ideally through registration in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Additionally, as the U.S. government regularly warns, terrorist groups including ISIS, al-Qa’ida, their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking U.S. citizens wherever they are. Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to target U.S. government and private interests. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles as weapons.

To this end, extremists increasingly aim to assault “soft” targets, such as:

  • high-profile public events
  • hotels, clubs, and restaurants
  • places of worship
  • schools
  • parks
  • shopping malls and markets
  • tourism infrastructure
  • public transportation systems
  • airports

On again, AlertsUSA cautions American citizens, and in particular, those traveling abroad, to maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.

 


 

AlertsUSA.com

OTHER SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

9/2 – AlertsUSA monitoring possible active shooter situation, Legends Casino, Toppenish, WA. Heavy police presence. Avoid the area. Additional alerts as warranted.

9/3 – BBC HQ on Duchess St. in London in lockdown mode as bomb squad investigates suspicious van. AlertsUSA monitoring.

9/5 – Emirates Flt #203 (Dubai – JFK) lands with ~100 ill passengers. Quarantine of flight in effect. FDNY & hazmat on scene. Add’l details forthcoming.

9/5 – AlertsUSA awaiting statement from health authorities on Emirates Flt #203 from Dubai. Some passengers now disembarking.

9/5 – Emirates flt update: At least 10 transported to Jamaica Hospital. 12 being treated at JFK airport. 430+ now deplaned. Cause still not specified by authorities.

9/5 – Shallow M6.7 EQ strikes Japan’s Hokkaido island. NOAA prelim assessment of no tsunami threat. AlertsUSA monitoring..

9/5 – Widespread landslides, power / utility outages, and some buildings destroyed on Japan’s Hokkaido island following earlier M6.7 quake. AlertsUSA monitoring..

9/6 – AlertsUSA monitoring active shooter situation, Fifth Third Bank, Fountain Square, Cincinnati. Avoid the area.

9/6 – AlertsUSA monitoring active shooter report, Sanford Hospital, Aberdeen, SD (SW of Fargo). Local schools on lockdown. Developing..

9/6 – Deep M8.1 EQ, 115 km SE Fiji. NOAA prelim evaluation indicates no tsunami threat expected. AlertsUSA monitoring..

9/6 – Cincinnati PD reports 4 dead (incl suspect) + 2 injured in active shooter incident at the Fifth Third bank bldg at Fountain Square.

9/6 – East coast residents from GA to NJ should be paying attention to Hurricane Florence. Growing potential for coastal impact as major storm next week. See email.

9/6 – The US Embassy area in Baghdad’s Green Zone has come under mortar fire within the last hour. No casualties reported. Add’l alerts as warranted.

9/7 – AlertsUSA monitoring ongoing active shooter / hostage situation, Sky Motors, Pacific Ave. S., Parkland, WA. Avoid the area. Add’l alerts as warranted.

9/7 -FEMA will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Sept 20, 2018. See email for more info.

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* Issued Hours and Days before the MSM.
* On your Cell Phone, Tablet or Email.
* We Give The Clear Truth, Unlike the MSM.
* 15 Years in Operation!

We are NOT part of the government.
In fact, they are our customers!

 

 


 

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The Tiger and the Dragon:India as a Counterbalance to China in the Indo-Pacific

The areas linking the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean—including the South China Sea, Malacca Straits, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands—are of vital strategic importance to all the major regional players, as more than a quarter of all global trade and energy transportation passes through these waterways.

The United States, China, and India are all beholden to each other to the extent that each exerts a distinct influence over these routes. For this reason, China’s effective annexation of parts on the South China Sea is particularly dangerous. The United States cannot respond to this type of threat unilaterally; and beyond Japan and South Korea, US willingness to come to the defense of its other Asian allies is viewed as questionable. In many ways, India represents a natural counterbalance in a region where China’s strength, leadership, and boldness are increasing.

This report provides an analysis of the spaces in which the United States may find success working with India to counterbalance China’s challenge to the status quo—as well as an assessment of the potential hurdles in attempts to do so—both in general and through an examination of specific lessons from the South China Sea.

Read the Full Report Here

 


 

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Sept 8, 2018

 

An Overview of Current Trends in Terrorism and Illicit Finance

In this testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance on Sept 7, 2018, Colin Clarke of the RAND Corporation does a deep dive into terrorist financing, discussing its historical context, how terrorists generate income, how their methods have changed over time, current trends including the crime-terror nexus, as well as how ISIS may attempt to finance a renewed campaign of terror. Read More Here

European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend (TSAT) Report 2018

This 2018 edition of the annual TESAT provides an overview of the nature and volume of terrorism that the EU faced in 2017. Although the majority of Member States reported that they did not experience any terrorist attacks during the reporting period, the human suffering and the threat of attacks remains high. The report includes accurate numbers on the number of terrorist attacks in 2017, as well as arrests and convictions for terrorist crimes. A brief overview of the terrorist situation outside the EU is also included. Read More Here

Russia is Rehearsing for a Global War, and Giving Early Warning

What are we to make of Russia’s Vostok (East)-2018 exercise? From September 11-15, Russia’s Far East will host Vostok-2018, the largest Russian military exercise since Zapad (West)-1981. According to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, this latest exercise will engage some 300,000 Russian troops, over 1,000 aircraft, the Pacific and Northern Fleets, the entire Airborne forces, including 30 aircraft and fixed-wing helicopters, and Mongolian and Chinese troops. Read More Here

 

 


 

Air Force Capt. Andrew "Dojo" Olson, commander of the F-35 Heritage Flight Team, performs a high-speed pass during the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto, Sept. 1, 2018. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook. - ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup

 

Sept 8, 2018

 

Other Developments We Are Following

AMERICAS

Why you might soon undergo a body scan to ride the subway or bus
‘It’s like Bin Laden reaching out from the grave’: 9/11 still killing FBI agents
Trump’s GITMO Plan Could Force Court Battle Over Legality Of ISIS War
Alexander Ciccolo, son of Boston cop, to serve 20 years on terror charges
US Navy Aircraft Carriers Are Getting a Big Upgrade
African migrants surge at U.S.-Mexico border; Rio Grande drownings up
U.S let foreign govs screen terrorist suspects against US databases.
The moment Brazilian far-right presidential candidate is stabbed during rally
Teen from New Mexico compound says he was trained for jihad: FBI
Lawmakers tell Mattis not to divert military funds for border wall
Russia’s S-500: An F-35 or F-22 Stealth Slayer?
U.S., India Sign Military-Intelligence-Sharing Agreement
US, India to carry out large-scale joint military exercises in 2019

EUROPE

Salisbury Novichok poisoning: Threat from Russia is ‘real’ – GCHQ
GCHQ’s warns it will deploy its entire arsenal on ‘brazen’ Kremlin
Three arrested on suspicion of funding terrorism in west London
Russian Forces Flood Into The Med Ahead Of Syrian Offensive
British Airways data breach affects almost 400,000 customers
US Considering Enhanced Military Presence in Greece
Migrant arrivals drop as Hungary enforces tough law
Swedish far-right leader receives death threat letter with ISIS flag
We’re insubordinate’: The rural towns at forefront of Swedish populist wave
Georgia extradites Russian data theft suspect to US

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

US begins military exercise in Syria in response to Russian military threats
Erdogan: Turkey won’t fulfill ‘unlawful requests’ on U.S. pastor case
Officials: Mortar explosions in Baghdad happened near a US Embassy
U.S.: Syrian forces could be preparing chemical weapons for attack on Ibib
Trump says he won’t give aid to Palestinians unless they agree to peace deal
Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil War
Baghdadi’s ‘last ditch’ effort to save ISIS
Infighting in Tehran: Are U.S. policies succeeding?
Paraguay moves Israel embassy back out of Jerusalem.
Turkey will not ‘watch from the sidelines’ any killings benefiting Syrian agenda
Russia Threatens To Attack Key U.S. Outpost In Southern Syria
Morocco says it has stopped over 50,000 migrants crossings to Europe
Anger as Italy arrests Tunisian fishermen ‘rescuing migrants’
Israel says it launched 200 strikes in Syria since 2017
Israel’s Army Ready for Any War Scenario Amid Watchdog’s Gloomy Report

ASIA

Russia’s massive military exercise with China aimed at Pacific leverage
Why Russia and China Are Expanding Their Roles in Afghanistan
British Navy warship sails near South China Sea islands, angering Beijing
Pakistan on course to become world’s 5th largest nuclear power
Chinese Tax Authorities Join Hunt for $21 Trillion in Overseas Assets
China Using Cyberespionage to Gain Military and Tech Advantages
China ‘relieved’ Philippine warship towed from shoal in disputed S. China Sea
China Responds to B-52s in the South China Sea — RCD
China Carried Out Several Dozen Hypersonic Arms Tests
China ‘nearing mass production’ of J-20 stealth fighter

 

 


 

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Homeland Security

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Since 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has used the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin to highlight the continuing terror threat to the U.S. Homeland.

CURRENTLY ACTIVE NTAS BULLETIN

PDF (1 pg, 186 KB)
Web Version

 

 


 

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Travel Security

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation at your destination well prior to departure.

Active USGOV Travel Notices

Worldwide Caution

 


 

Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Alphabetical Country List

Dynamic Map

 


 

Other USGOV Travel Resources

Traveler’s Checklist

Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)

Travelers with Special Considerations

Travel to High-Risk Areas

Faith-Based Travel Information

Information for Women Travelers

Cruise Ship Passengers

Students Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Driving and Road Safety Abroad

 


 

Safe Travels During Storm Season

Department of State Guidance

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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.

Mariners and U.S. citizens considering maritime travel should also review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Portal, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Global Affairs Canada

 


 

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Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs

 


 

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UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

 

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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP 8-5-18

From AlertsUSA

 

Tajik vehicle ramming suspects pledging allegiance to the Islamic State - ALLOW IMAGES

 

Two Americans Killed in Vehicle Ramming and Knife Attack

 

Aug 4, 2018

 

  

On July 30, the following related Flash SMS messages were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

7/30 – Four foreign cyclists, incl two Americans, killed late 7/29 in deliberate vehicle ramming and knife attack in Danghara, Tajikistan. 3 other persons injured.

7/30 – Islamic State claims responsibility for vehicle ramming & knife attack in Tajikistan’s Danghara district that killed four foreign cyclists, incl two Americans.

What You Need To Know

On 10 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters.

Most important for this update:

Beginning Monday, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of a vehicular attack which claimed the lives of four cyclists, including two Americans. In this incident, a group of seven cyclists touring the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan were mowed down by an automobile in the Danghara district of the country, approximately 100 miles south of the capital, Dushanbe. Multiple assailants then got out of the car and attacked the victims with knives (watch a video of the attack here).

The Tajik interior ministry said police pursued and killed four of the attackers, with a fifth being captured and multiple others believed involved in the planning taken into custody.

Less than a day later, the Islamic State’s Amaq news agency issued a formal claim of responsibility for the attack, saying that a unit of Islamic State soldiers killed four Crusaders, injured four others, and that the next attacks will be more “devastating and bitter.”

A video has also been released showing the five attackers joining hands and pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the terrorist group’s leader (stillframe shown above). The footage was published after police in the Central Asian state accused a banned opposition party of organising the attack. The release of the video suggests that the attackers had, at a minimum, a digital connection to the Islamic State, allowing them to send the video footage to the group prior the attack.

According to the US Embassy in Tajikistan, the assailants “hit seven foreign cyclists with their vehicle, exited the car, and stabbed the cyclists with knives.” Four people, including two Americans, were killed. The other two victims have been identified as Swiss and Dutch nationals.

AlertsUSA Threat Journal subscribers have previously been warned that vehicle rammings followed by knife attacks is a tactic widely promoted by the Islamic State in online propaganda and guides. Past examples of the tactic being employed include a Nov. 2016 incident at Ohio State University, the Mar. 2017 attack near British parliament, and the June 2017 London Bridge attack.

Continued Vigilance Urged

Readers are cautioned that despite the recent lull in the tempo of terrorist attacks within the U.S., this is by no means a sign that the threat is abating. In fact, the opposite is true. According to the House Homeland Security Committee’s monthly report of terrorism in America (PDF LINK), jihadist threats from homegrown terrorists continue to increase each month, with at least nine foreign born individuals living in the United States arrested or convicted in June of attempting to launch attacks on behalf of ISIS and other global terrorist organizations.

The committee’s monthly report highlights the federal government’s difficulty in thwarting terror plots across America. Domestic terror threats in the United States also have grown due to an even greater number of Western jihadists operating in Europe, where it is much easier to travel freely into the United States.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.

 


 

AlertsUSA.com

 

OTHER SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

7/29 – 3 dead, at least 7 injured in New Orleans mass shooting. Heavy police presence around 3400 block of Claiborne Avenue. Avoid the area. AlertsUSA monitoring..

7/31 – Aeromexico flight #AM2431 has crashed near Guadalupe Victoria Durango Intl. Airport in Mexico. ~80
lives onboard. More details to follow.

7/31 – Mexican Sec of Communications and Transport states 97 passengers and four crew members were on board Aeromexico #AM2431. Plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

7/31 – In light of the earlier AeroMexico crash, the State Dept is urging US citizens in MX to contact loved ones to let them know of their welfare & whereabouts.

8/2 – AlertsUSA monitoring response to suspicious vehicle incident near White House. North Fence along Penn Ave and Lafayette Park are closed. EOD units on scene.

8/2 – Active shooter report, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (OH), Bldg 830. Base on lockdown. Add’l details as warranted.

8/2 – Large police presence in/around Wright-Patterson AFB. Situation ongoing. Initial reports indicate armed individual contained on 4th floor of base hospital.

8/2 – “All Clear” message issued for Wright-Patterson active shooter incident.

 

* Threat Info Direct to Your Mobile Device
* Get Away Early, Give Your Family Extra Safety.
* In Wide Use By Gov, 1st Responders, Travelers.
* 24/7/365 Monitoring. No Hype. Just the Bad Stuff.
* Issued Hours and Days before the MSM.
* On your Cell Phone, Tablet or Email.
* We Give The Clear Truth, Unlike the MSM.
* 15 Years in Operation!

We are NOT part of the government.
In fact, they are our customers!

 

 


 

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Commentary / Analysis / Research

 

Aug 4, 2018

 

Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

The growing opposition to 3D-printed guns shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped. Read More Here

A Global Approach to Rooting Out Terrorism

“Terrorism is a global problem, and it requires a global response,” said Special Agent Rick Hernandez, who provides counterterrorism training to the FBI’s international partners. The Bureau’s highest priority is to prevent terror attacks in the United States, Hernandez noted. “But if we can prevent an act of terrorism anywhere in the world, it helps keep America safe and it helps keep our partners safe.” Read More Here

Regime Change in Iran: Watch What You Ask For

Mike Pompeo’s speech in May signaled a desire for regime change in Iran, but the U.S. will have to change its approach to shape a positive outcome. This could involve targeting sanctions more narrowly rather than seeking to impoverish the general population. And lifting the ban on Iranian visitors to the U.S. would be a good start. Read More Here

Should the DoD be Planning for an Occupation of Iran,
Even Though It’s a Nightmare Scenario?

If President Donald Trump’s most recent tweets about Iran are any indication, a military confrontation with Iran is not off the table. And yet, there is almost certainly little consensus, even within the administration, about the wisdom of such a course of action. Mark Perry’s recent Foreign Policy article about Defense Secretary James Mattis’s efforts to avert war with Iran notes Mattis harbors no illusions regarding Iranian threats, but that he is also keenly aware any military strike would have broad and negative repercussions for the United States. One such repercussion is how an Iranian conflict might lead to regime change, possibly forcing the United States into another occupation in the region. Read More Here

 

 

 


 

United Nations Command Honor Guard members move cases of remains from one aircraft to another during a repatriation ceremony at Osan Air Base, South Korea, Aug. 1, 2018. The command repatriated 55 cases of remains from North Korea. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kelsey Tucker - ALLOW IMAGES

 

World News Roundup

 

Aug 4, 2018

 

Other Developments We Are Following

AMERICAS

Senate outlines fed efforts to avert financial chaos from potential bio attack
GOP Intelligence Senator: Russia Trying ‘to Bring Down Our Entire System’
Mexico’s Murder Rate Hits Highest Level in Decades
TSA dismisses report it is ending passanger screening at smaller airports
Can Canadian border agents search your phone or laptop?
WTC developer loses final 9/11 lawsuit against insurer
Decisions near for man charged with helping Syria radicals
Reddit warns system users of data breach
Militia leader accused of Minn. mosque bombing took orders from ‘higher-ups’
DoD to face increased operational restrictions under defense authorization bill
Venezuela’s president admits economy has failed
Judge tosses terror convictions after high court ruling
Cyber Command wants to partner with private sector to stop hacks
New Crypto-Mining malware exploits multiple CVEs for maximum impact
Mexico extradites accused gunman in ‘Fast and Furious’ case
DOJ questions AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson on wartime business in Iraq
Trial for Montreal man accused of Flint stabbing postponed

EUROPE

Suspected Russian spy found working at US embassy in Moscow
In Soviet echo, Putin gives Russian army a political wing
U.S. Military Sites in Europe Are Dependent on Russia for Electricity
Russia has data on possible military plans by US, other countries, says Lavrov
Watch Russian Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile Destroy Mock Enemy Vessel
UK Police release statement re ongoing investigation into Amesbury incident
Terrorist expelled by SRI from Romania
Fileless malware PowerGhost targets corporate systems
Sheffield man admits terrorism offences
Ecuador, Britain in talks over Assange fate: Ecuadorian president

MIDDLE EAST / Africa

Israel warns Iran of military response if it closed key Red Sea strait
Israel halts fuel shipments to Gaza citing continued fire balloon launches
Turkish court rejects U.S. pastor’s appeal
U.S. imposes sanctions on Turkish officials over pastor’s detention
Iran rejects Trump offer of talks as ‘humiliation’, without value
Somalia: ISIL members sentenced to 15 years in prison
Tunisia: No Intention to Deport Bin Laden’s Bodyguard to Germany
1 killed, 90 wounded by Israel in Hamas-led Gaza protests
UK man arrested on suspicion of terrorism offence
Yemeni political settlement talks to return to Geneva in Sept
Armed raid on Tunisian bank treated as terrorism-related – official
Attack on convoy kills 4 soldiers in Mali’s central region
Syria rebels announce new coalition in Idlib
Exposing Al-Shabaab’s Leadership Structure and Precept Ideology
Algerian Army Confirms Slaying 4 ‘Terrorists’ in Search Operations
Egyptian forces kill five suspected militants north of Cairo: ministry

ASIA

Chinese theft continues in cyberspace as new threats emerge, U.S. warn
U.S. spy agencies: North Korea is working on new missiles
U.S. welcomes home remains of presumed war dead from North Korea
AI, immune to fear or favour, is helping to make China’s foreign policy
My son, Osama: the al-Qaida leader’s mother speaks for the first time
Bin Laden ‘deliberately’ wanted to tarnish Saudi-US relations
221 alleged terrorists nabbed, 21 shot dead weeks before Asian Games
‘I attempted murder’ on behalf of ISIS, student Momena Shoma tells police
Survivor of Basilan blast convinced of foreign identity of van driver
Philippines nabs cleric over bomb claimed by Islamic State
U.S. freezes assets of Pakistanis linked to militant group
Taliban’s Red Unit commander and his 5 guards killed in drone strikes

 

 

 


 

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Homeland Security

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Since 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has used the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin to highlight the continuing terror threat to the U.S. Homeland.

CURRENTLY ACTIVE NTAS BULLETIN

PDF (1 pg, 186 KB)
Web Version

 


 

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Travel Security

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation at your destination well prior to departure.

Active USGOV Travel Notices

Worldwide Caution

 


 

Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Alphabetical Country List

Dynamic Map

 


 

Other USGOV Travel Resources

Traveler’s Checklist

Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)

Travelers with Special Considerations

Travel to High-Risk Areas

Faith-Based Travel Information

Information for Women Travelers

Cruise Ship Passengers

Students Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Driving and Road Safety Abroad

 


 

Safe Travels During Storm Season

Department of State Guidance

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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.

Mariners and U.S. citizens considering maritime travel should also review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Portal, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Global Affairs Canada

 


 

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Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs

 


 

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UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

 


 

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Via: threatjournal


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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP 7-22-18

From AlertsUSA

 

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State Dept. Issues New Travel Advisory for Mexico “Violent Crime is Widespread”

 

July 21, 2018

 

On July 17, the following related Flash SMS message was sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

 

7/17 – US Dept of State issues updated travel advisory for Mexico. “Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.” See email.

What You Need To Know

On Tuesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of the State Department’s release of a new travel advisory for Mexico warning that “violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.” According to the the advisory, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico as U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to these areas.

Additionally, U.S. government employees are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. government employees are also not permitted to drive from the US-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico with the exception of daytime travel on Highway 15 between Nogales and Hermosillo.

AlertsUSA cautions readers that if you, a family member, or colleague are planning a trip to Mexico, regardless of the destination or duration of travel, it is extremely important that you;

1.) Read the State Department’s country information page.

2.) Read this most recent Mexico Travel Advisory.

3.) Follow the State Department’s recommendations, including:

Do not travel to:


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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival eBooks & PDF for 06-06-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks and PDF’s? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks and PDF’s!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks and PDF’s, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks and PDF’s are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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