Category Archive: Power

Prep Your Apartment or Suburban Home for Riots and Civil Unrest: How to Get Ready FAST

When you live in an urban or suburban location and it looks like all heck is about to break loose, how can you prepare your place fast for the potential of unrest? As we’ve seen in cities across the country, a peaceful protest can turn into a violent riot in the blink of an eye. How do you prepare when the spark is lit in your hometown?

While our first recommendation on this website is always “don’t be there” we know there are some situations in which leaving isn’t an option.

Therefore, this article is based on the premise that, for whatever reason, you’re going to need to hunker down in your home. The reason you’re there doesn’t matter – the concept is simply that you’re there. With only a couple of exceptions, we’re also going to use things you can commonly find in homes with no special trips to the store.

For a detailed overview of civil unrest and riots, check out Selco’s on-demand webinar on the topic.

Timing is essential

The first thing to consider is that speed is of the essence. If there’s something going on in your hometown that could cause unrest, like the announcement of a verdict or sentencing, you will probably know about it at least a day ahead of time. This allows you a bit more leeway in gathering supplies.

But we don’t always get that warning. Sometimes the response of outrage is immediate, as we’ve seen in the cases of several police shootings recently. In these cases, sometimes the outrage is warranted, and other times it’s not, but that part doesn’t matter when there are people who want to destroy, loot, and burn.

It’s best if you have an idea of how you’re going to prepare ahead of time. If you know this, then you can have on hand the supplies that you need. If not, you’ll be using what you have on hand.

As soon as you feel that unrest is a possibility, it’s time to take action if you plan to stay in place. Don’t just “wait and see.” Assume that bad things are coming your way and act accordingly.

Blend in

We’ve talked a lot about the gray man principle in the preparedness world. You can learn more about it in this article. In situations of unrest, it’s helpful if your home is also “gray.”  But it’s important to understand that gray isn’t always just non-descript or non-memorable. It can mean you are adapting to the baseline of your area. And sometimes that means adapting to it whether you agree with it or not.

How do you do that? Well, it depends where you are and who the potential threat is.

Many of the recent riots in the United States have been related to race and police brutality. These two things give you some hints on what you might want at your home and also what you might not want.

An important thing to note: I’m well aware this advice will not be popular in our circles, but remember that we’re talking about survival. Not about right vs. wrong, free speech, or your love of the United States of America. You have to be the one to make the decision whether you place precedence on the lives of your family or on your patriotism and principles. Sometimes, like matter, the two cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I can’t tell you what is right or what is wrong. I can simply point out things that could make your home a target.

First, consider the things you may want to remove temporarily.

It’s a sickening fact that homes flying American flags have been targeted by arsonists. It’s practically unbelievable that this is happening in the United States, but it is.  Due to this, you may want to remove anything that is obviously patriotic from the exterior of your home.

If you’ve got a “Thin Blue Line” sticker on your car, you’ll want to park it in the garage. In these harrowing times, obvious support of law enforcement is a sure way to capture the ire of a mob that wants to see the police eradicated. The same thing goes for flags and exterior decorations that show support of LEOs. In Minneapolis, it was discovered that police officers were being followed home and their families and properties were targeted.

Depending on the situation in your area, you may want to add some things to make your home a less desirable target. A small sign in the window that says something like “Racial Equality” may indicate the residents are sympathetic to the cause of those rioting and could be enough to deter them from smashing your windows and setting your home on fire. I’m not suggesting you have to go full-on BLM with your signage. But consider something small and relatively innocuous to use as a type of “camouflage.” I don’t see this as very different from the quarantine tape I have stashed away to make my home look undesirable in the midst of a pandemic.

Unless others in the neighborhood are boarding up their windows, you may not want to batten down the hatches with plywood on the exterior. Keep reading for more information on boarding up your windows.

Aside from these things, be sure to remove anything from the front of the house that could be used to break the windows, like planters and lawn furniture.  Secure your belongings like bicycles and toys indoors or you may discover they’ve been taken by self-entitled rioters.

Finally, if you are home during the riots, gather in one room. This way you know where everybody is if things get crazy and you know that everyone is practicing proper light control. Keep the lights off – some rioters really want a confrontation, so they’ll be looking for homes that look occupied. Keep your blinds or curtains closed and make sure any light you use is dim and not very noticeable. Before an event occurs, test things out. Can you still see the television in the family room from the outside when the curtains are closed? How bright is that nightlight in the bathroom? Can you identify people walking around inside through the blinds? Make the appropriate adjustments before any violence erupts.

Be harder to get to

The next thing to do is to harden your home. You don’t want to be an easy target. When discussing this, a lot of folks immediately think “booby traps.” I’m not recommending anything like that. We’re not in a Mad Max situation right now, even though it could feel like it in the moment. Booby traps are illegal and you will be held both criminally and civilly liable for any injury or death that occurs from a trap you set.

As per the Geneva Convention:

Without prejudice to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict relating to treachery and perfidy, it is prohibited in all circumstances to use:

a. any booby-trap in the form of an apparently harmless portable object which is specifically designed and constructed to contain explosive material and to detonate when it is disturbed or approached, or

b. booby-traps which are in any way attached to or associated with:

1. internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals;

2. sick, wounded or dead persons;

3. burial or cremation sites or graves;

4. medical facilities, medical equipment, medical supplies or medical transportation;

5. children’s toys or other portable objects or products specially designed for the feeding, health, hygiene, clothing or education of children;

6. food or drink;

7. kitchen utensils or appliances except in military establishments, military locations or military supply depots;

8. objects clearly of a religious nature;

9. historic monuments, works of art or places or worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples;

10. animals or their carcasses.

It is prohibited in all circumstances to use any booby-trap which is designed to cause superfluous injury or necessary suffering.” (source)

Explosives, sharpened items, devices that cause guns to fire, and devices that produce toxic fumes upon contact are all prohibited.

While some folks may be bitterly disappointed that they can’t spear their adversaries with a custom-made booby trap, you can still protect your home

This happens in layers.

Securing the outside

First things first, anything outside that keeps people further away from the home itself is good. Lots of folks have fences around the front but leave their gates unsecured. If there is any inkling your neighborhood could be a target of unrest, lock your gate! Do this with a padlock or with a bar secured across the inside of the gate.

In nearly every situation, I’d advise you not to leave pets outside to “guard” the home. Pets can be seriously injured or killed. They can also be used like a hostage by unsavory people to lure the homeowners out. Keep your pets inside during times of unrest.

As mentioned above, remove anything from the exterior that could be used to gain access by breaking a window.

Many people board up all their windows with plywood. If you plan to do this, get the plywood well ahead of time and pre-drill the holes so you can install it quickly. You can store plywood between your mattress and box springs, or under your bed. I’ll go into this more in a moment but do not cover every single window of your home with plywood. You don’t want to create a prison from which you have no escape. Generally, just cover the front windows and sidelights by your doors.

Make sure alternative entrances are protected with warning devices. I hang windchimes on windows and decorative bells on doorknobs. Even when I travel, I carry a little windchime to hang on the doorknob of my Airbnb or hotel room to alert me to potential trouble. When my daughter and I faced the potential of unrest in Virginia, I set up a tripwire at the back gate that fired 22 caliber blanks when triggered. Notice – I said blanks. As I mentioned above, you don’t want to set up anything that might hurt someone. 22 caliber isn’t overly loud but it’s enough to alert you that something is going on, and may even scare away less hardy intruders.

Deterring entry

If your home is breached, all is not lost. Your next goal is to make it difficult to get to you. We’ve already discussed that your lights should be turned off. This gives you the advantage of knowing the layout while those who broke in have no idea what they’re walking into.

But darkness isn’t your only advantage. When I was staying with my daughter in her downtown apartment during the COVID lockdowns, we realized that our front hallway was a true weak spot. The front door was solid glass and there were also glass sidelights. The door frame of the old building wasn’t of the highest quality and I could easily see the door being breached, either by the glass being broken or by a strong person simply breaking through due to the weak frame. As renters this is not something we could replace. So, we got plywood cut to fit and I added spacers that allowed the blinds to be between the plywood and the glass, making it look less obvious that we had boarded things up.

However, this didn’t do anything to prevent someone from breaking down the door, so our next step was to make the hallway harder to navigate. I came across this solution accidentally. We had come home late one day and dropped our purchases on the floor right inside the door, along with a purse and a backpack. I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and fell facefirst over a giant box of industrial trashbags. When I tried to catch myself, my foot got tangled in the long strap of my daughter’s purse. This, of course, was all gracefully executed. But as I sat there on the floor with my knee throbbing, I thought, hey, they call these things “stumbling blocks” for a reason.

The next day, I created my own stumbling blocks. I took some of our carry-on luggage and weighted them down with hard cover books. I lined these suitcases along the side of the hallway most of the time, but when unrest was nearby, I could easily roll them where I wanted and lay them down at different angles to make the hallway a bit more difficult to traverse. At the very least, these things will make some racket and slow people down before they get to your refuge.

Setting up a safe zone

And that leads us to the safe zone. You may not have time to create an entire safe room, but you can at least designate one room as a safe zone. Make this room the furthest from the most likely point of entry. (For us the most likely entry would have been the front door and the best option for a safe zone was a bedroom in the back part of the house.) The room needs to have a door to the rest of the house and an emergency way to exit.

You want your safe zone to be comfortable enough for the whole family to hang out in – this could mean pulling an extra mattress into a bedroom or rearranging the furniture. Plan to spend the evening together in this room.

Adults should be armed and prepared in the event that their home is breached. If your home is breached your priority is the safety of those under your care. If you have small children or anyone who is unfamiliar with the safe handling of firearms, please keep your gun on your person for safety purposes. In fact, I recommend that you keep your gun on your person at all times during these situations anyway. You’re not going to be able to say to intruders, “Oh, hold on, I forgot my Glock in the master bedroom.” A gun is like a trauma first aid kit. If you need it, you need it instantly, not in in five minutes.

You should have a plan to barricade the door to the safe zone.  This could mean relocating a heavy piece of furniture near the entrance where you can quickly push it in front of the door if necessary. Your goal here is to slow down and deter intruders.

While you should definitely call 911 if your home is breached to have it on record that you did call for official help, don’t rely on them to dispatch assistance with sirens blaring.  As a woman from Kenosha, Wisconsin recounts of her experience during the riots, “It was apparent from the beginning there was no help. No police, no fire trucks no ambulances. None.” Don’t expect your situation to be any different.

If you have intruders, you may wish to issue a verbal warning letting them know you are armed and will open fire if they continue to try and breach your safe room. For some people that will serve as enough of a deterrent. For others, swept up in the mob mentality, it could serve to enflame them further.

For the love of all things cute and fluffy, remember that you are probably not John Rambo. You might be able to take out a few intruders, but if dozens of people are swarming into your home, you won’t be able to take out all of them. Read this article for more information on escaping an angry mob. You may have family members who will suffer due to your actions, so think things through ahead of time. Don’t just blindly react.

Create a funnel

If, despite your best efforts, people do get into your home, there are things that you can do to manage where they go. Most people in mobs are participating in more of a group mentality – you won’t see a lot of critical thinkers. This means that you can often strategically guide them to the place where you want them.

Where you want them depends upon your goal and this is where the conversation gets tricky. Do you want them to head to the opposite side of the house from where your safe zone is to give yourself more time to escape? Do you want them to be in an area where you can take defensive action from a protected position?

I cannot advise you on a public website to set up some kind of shooting gallery in your home. But consider the following thoughts.

  1. Think about backstops. In the event that you have no option but to defend yourself, what is behind the intruders after you funnel them into your desired location? Would gunfire go through to the next apartment? Out into the street? Or would it be stopped by a concrete wall?
  2. Understand the difference between cover and concealment. Television has done us a terrible disservice when it shows someone tipping over a wooden kitchen table and taking “cover” behind it to survive the intruders opening fire with fully automatic weapons. Concealment means you’re hidden. Cover means you’re protected from most gunfire. If you ARE planning to take aggressive defensive action, you’ll want to do it from a place of cover.
  3. Understand that there will be legal ramifications. Even if you are innocent of all charges, you must prepare yourself for a lengthy and expensive court battle. Any set up you’ve done in advance will likely be used against you in such a battle. If your area is more sympathetic toward rioters than us average folks, you could be in for a barrage of negative publicity and harassment.

Consider all of these things before taking defensive actions. And perhaps reconsider leaving if that remains a possibility it all.

Now, back to our funnel. It’s fairly easy to guide people to where you want them to go. Most people, especially those who are untrained, will take the path that looks most direct and easiest. Figure out all of the options a person in your funnel might have. Options might include open rooms, doors to closed rooms, and exits.

Once you’ve considered what the options are, then make the options you want them to choose EASY and the options you don’t want them to choose CHALLENGING.

Going back to our long front hallway in my daughter’s city apartment, we wanted people in our hall for as long as possible, not scattering to rooms off the hallway. One bedroom near the door had a second door that led to the back part of the house. We definitely didn’t want intruders going that way because we’d end up flanked in our safety zone. I solved this issue by putting a bookcase loaded with books in front of the bedroom door that led to the hallway. Who is going to try and move a giant bookcase when there’s a hallway with 3 open doors ahead of them?

What you’re really doing here is using psychology to manipulate your potential attackers to the place where you want them. This article has a lot of excellent in-depth guidance on preparing your space for such a siege.

Be prepared for fire

One of the most common weapons we’re seeing used in the current spate of riots is fire.

Fires are very common during incidents of civil unrest. Generally, vehicles and commercial properties are where fires are set but in some incidents, homes have been burned too.

Fire is a cowardly attack that doesn’t require any interaction on the part of the arsonist. It flushes out the family inside, leaving you vulnerable to physical assaults. This is the one area in which you may need to make some advance purchases. However, all of these fire-related items are good things to have in your home during ordinary circumstances as well. You probably already have at least one fire extinguisher. If that is all you have, keep it with you in your safe zone.

  • Have fire extinguishers mounted throughout your home. You can buy them in 4-packs from Amazon.
  • During tense times, keep a fire extinguisher right beside your bed. You can use it as both a way to extinguish fires and a weapon if necessary.
  • Be sure to test them frequently and maintain them properly. (Allstate has a page about fire extinguisher maintenance.)
  • Have fire escape ladders that can be attached to a windowsill in all upper story rooms.  Drill with them so that your kids know how to use them if necessary. When I travel by vehicle, I have a fire-escape ladder in with my preps. Hotel fires are not uncommon and I want to have options.

Fires can easily spread from one building to the next, especially if firefighters can’t respond safely or can’t get their fire truck through the mob. Be on the watch for fires in your vicinity.

Fire can also be used as a weapon. Here’s an article about dealing with firebombs and Molotov cocktails should such an event arise.

Don’t close off your escape routes

Something I see a lot are plans that keep everybody out and firmly secure every possible point of entry. And I thought that was a fantastic idea until I took an urban survival course with Selco in Croatia and he pointed out that this can also be appropriately considered a “trap.”

If you put bars on every door and window, you’ve created a prison for those inside. What happens if your home is set on fire? What happens if your home is breached? You need some exits. They don’t have to look obvious and can take only minimal preparation.

For example, I told a family member living in a downtown area to remove the screens from her windows. That saves precious seconds and allows for a far more silent exit than if she were to have to remove the screens while rioters were breaching her front door. She can easily slip through the window, close it back so that nobody immediately realizes where she exited, and head out the back with a minimum of noise.

At the same time, her windows are secured with shatter-resistant film and a bar to prevent them from being raised. That bar can be instantly removed from the inside if she needs to make her escape.

Never ever make your home so difficult to breach that you cannot escape. While your plan may be to stand your ground no matter what, being burned alive would be a terrible way to go.

How would you quickly secure your home if tensions broke out nearby?

I’ve generally lived in places where I had a bit more control over my situation, but when unrest broke out in Virginia near the home I shared with my daughter during the lockdown, I had to creatively secure the apartment using things we had on hand. I hope that some of the ideas we’ve used are useful to you.

We all live in different settings and some of us are more likely than others to face the scenarios mentioned in this article. But take a moment and imagine that “peaceful protesters” were bussed into your neighborhood (or were expected.) Do you have a plan? Does your family know the plan? Do you have any ideas to add to the ones above?


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




via: theorganicprepper


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Weekly National Situation Update 3-8-2020

From AlertsUSA

 

WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP

 

Coronavirus Spreads Across the U.S. and Europe

Johns Hopkins CSSE COVID-19 Case Count (Interactive map updated multiple times daily) - ALLOW IMAGES

March 7, 2020

  

Between Feb 29 – March 6, the following related Flash SMS
messages were sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

 

2/29 – President Trump to address the nation at 1:30 PM EASTERN on developments concerning the COVID-19 coronavirus. Check national media.

 

2/29 – Level 4 Travel Advisory (Do Not Travel) forthcoming for areas of Italy and S. Korea with coronavirus activity. Bulletins will be sent by email when published.

 

3/2 – San Antonio Mayor bans 120+ current and former COVID-19 evacuees quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio from travel into or through the city.

 

3/3 – CDC: “What is happening now in the US may be the beginning of what’s happening abroad.” More COVID-19 cases expected from travel, contact & community spread.

 

3/4 – Government of Italy orders closure of all schools and universities across the country from tomorrow until mid-March due to COVID-19 coronavirus.

 

3/4 – Los Angeles County Public Health declares state of emergency due to COVID-19 outbreak. 6 new cases confirmed. AlertsUSA monitoring.

 

3/4 – California Gov. Newsom declares state of emergency due to growing number of COVID-19 cases as well as first related death. More via email.

 

3/5 – CA Gov bars Grand Princess cruise ship from docking. Ship ordered to remain offshore until all passengers and crew can be tested for COVID-19. Monitoring.

 

3/5 – CDC Director: State of WA “is the tip of the spear” for coronavirus in the US. “You’re now at the stage where we are beginning to see community transmission.”

 

3/6 – DoD deploys Crisis Response Force of ~160 soldiers to San Ysidro, CA and El Paso, TX to erect temp barriers at ports of entry + force protection for CBP.

 

3/6 – VPOTUS: 21 individuals (19 crew, 2 passengers) on Grand Princess cruise ship near San Francisco test positive for COVID-19. More via email.

 

What You Need To Know

 

On 11 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters. All of these alerts dealt with the increasingly dangerous situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

 

Starting last Saturday (shortly after our last weekly update was issued), the U.S. State Department announced Level 4 Do Not Travel advisories for areas of Italy and S. Korea with coronavirus activity. With respect to Italy, the advisory urges avoiding all travel to the Lombardy region (Milan), as well as the Veneto region (Venice), due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures.

 

With respect to South Korea, the advisory urges avoiding the city of Daegu, again, due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures.

 

The remainder of Italy and S. Korea are under Level 3 advisories, which urges American citizens to reconsider travel to the countries entirely.

 

Additionally, new boarding restrictions are in place for airline passengers in Italy and S. Korea headed to the U.S.:

As of 12:00 AM March 3, all passengers on U.S.-bound flights from Italy and S. Korea whose temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit are not being permitted to board. Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

 

SAN ANTONIO MAYOR BANS QUARANTINED EVACUEES FROM CITY

On Monday, the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas declared a public health emergency and banned current and former coronavirus evacuees quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland after an individual, who twice tested negative for the virus, was released into the city and was later found to have a positive test result. This individual, a woman, spent more than 12 hours in public where she checked into a hotel before visiting North Star Mall where she sat for a meal in the food court. The mall was subsequently closed for 24 hours while it was cleaned and disinfected.

 

Under Texas state law, the mayor of a municipality may control who comes in or out of a disaster area.

 

CA GOVERNOR BARS CRUISE SHIP FROM DOCKING

On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom barred the Grand Princess cruise ship from docking in San Francisco until passengers and crew could be tested for the coronavirus. The move came after a 71-YO man who had been on the ship’s previous cruise died of the coronavirus. Health authorities later disclosed that at least nine other people who were on the same excursion were also found to be infected. And some passengers from that trip stayed aboard for the current voyage.

 

Friday evening, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of an announcement by Vice President Mike Pence that a portion of the 3500 passengers aboard the cruise ship were tested and 21, including 19 crew members and 2 passengers, were also found to be infected. Vice President Pence further indicated that the cruise ship would proceed to an unspecified non-commercial dock where the passengers would disembark and at least a portion transferred top quarantine facilities.

 

DOD DEPLYS SOLDIERS TO US/MX PORTS OF ENTRY

Also on Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed that the Dept. of Defense was deploying a 160-soldier Crisis Response Force to San Ysidro, CA and El Paso, TX to erect temporary barriers at ports of entry as well as to provide force protection to Customs and Border protection agents. According to CBP, the deployment is necessary in case a federal appeals court nixes a Trump Administration policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” which could result in large groups attempting to forcibly enter the United States, as well as due to coronavirus containment concerns.

 

NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE

Once again, AlertsUSA strongly encourages reader to use the totality of U.S. and foreign government actions in response to this global public health crisis as your cue prepare yourself, your family, and any business interests, for the possibility that the virus has a greater impact here in North America. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health all warn that we are only witnessing the tip of the iceberg and that more cases of the coronavirus will be appearing across the United States, especially now that we have accurate testing capabilities being deployed to state and local labs nationwide.

 

To further drive home the seriousness of the need to prepare, consider the following quote made Friday by Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, during an interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News:

“I’ve been working on epidemic preparedness for about 20 years, and completely dispassionately, without elevating the temperature or speaking hyperbolically, this is the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career, and that includes ebola, it includes MERS, it includes SARS. And it is frightening because of the combination of infectiousness and a lethality that appears to be many-fold higher than flu”

 

OFFICIAL CASE NUMBERS

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)

Johns Hopkins CSSE COVID-19 Case Count (Interactive map updated multiple times daily) - ALLOW IMAGES

 

WHO RISK OF SPREAD & IMPACT ASSESSMENT

China Very High
Regional Level Very High
Global Level Very High

 

PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS RESOURCES

 

Official Coronavirus Information Pages:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization

 

Official Pandemic Preparedness Guidance:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Homeland Security / Ready.Gov
World Health Organization

 

Assorted Resources

(While some of the resources below were prepared for pandemic influenza, the broader guidance contain therein is directly applicable to the current coronavirus crisis).

Home Care for Patients w/ Suspected Coronavirus Infection
Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza
Fundamentals of Emergency Planning for Schools
Healthcare Systems Preparedness for COVID-19
Pub Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness & Response (SARS)
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
Faith-based & Community Org. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist
WHO Checklist for Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Planning
Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu
Dept of Defense Coronavirus Response Page
DHS Supplemental Instructions For Inbound Flights


View Last Week’s Issue


 

Additional Coronavirus News Items

Why do so many epidemics originate in Africa and Asia?
A second LAX screener tests positive for the coronavirus
Pentagon is ‘fully confident’ military can withstand threat of coronavirus
Officials Prep to Keep Pentagon Running in Event of Major Outbreak
British army on standby over coronavirus spread
Greece shuts schools as WHO warns about local transmission
Chaos at hospitals due to shortage of coronavirus tests
Satellite images reveal the effects the coronavirus has had
Italy calls in retired doctors to help fight coronavirus
15-minute virus test used in China, Italy and Japan – but NOT in the UK or US
Coronavirus: UN asks 9 countries to delay peacekeeper rotations
UK officials are secretly arranging for 200 mobile morgues
Coronavirus cases pass 100K globally as Iran threatens force to restrict travel
Another senior Iranian official dies from coronavirus
Report: US Congressional Staffer Tests Positive for Coronavirus
IRGC claims coronavirus outbreak ‘may be an American biological invasion
KSA: Extraordinary measures to protect Mecca and Medina from COVID-19
Virus ripples through travel, energy, financial markets
Bodies ‘pile up’ in morgue as Iran feels strain of coronavirus
Virus fears grip markets again; stocks and bond yields slide
Wall Street drops over 3% on virus fears, travel shares slammed
IMF provides $50bn to fight coronavirus outbreak
Virus ripples through travel, energy, financial markets
Trade group: Airline industry will lose at least $63B due to COVID-19

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, 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

AlertsUSA Service for Mobile Devices Ad - ALLOW IMAGES

* 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.
* 18 Years in Operation!

 

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

 

 


Greek security forces intervene in asylum seekers, who attempt to cross the barbed fence at the closed-off Greek-Turkish border, in Kastanies, Greece on March 04, 2020. - ALLOW IMAGES

Commentary / Analysis / Research

 

March 7, 2020

 

Asylum-Seekers, Coronavirus Collide with Complicated Results

This week, thousands of asylum-seekers sit at the intersection of a pair of fast-moving news stories — a spike in migration in Europe and uncertainty about the global spread of the new and sometimes deadly virus. They have found themselves trapped between two worlds, at the mercy of political machinations and governments that are telling them in no uncertain terms: We don’t want you here.

~ READ MORE HERE ~

 

Europe Must Not Fall Victim to Erdogan’s Blackmail

Turkey would apparently like to see more progress in the talks to grant it admission as a full member of the European Union…. Erdogan would most certainly like the West overlook his massive democratic deficit, and to help Turkey secure even more dominance over the Greek islands off its coast, as well as its claims on the gas fields beneath the eastern Mediterranean.

~ READ MORE HERE ~

 

Far-Right Terrorism: Analyzing Roots and Motivations

Online publication of pre-attack manifestos is becoming common among individuals seeking to commit violence. Each manifesto contains a variation of the author’s justification for the planned attack, as well as a personal interpretation of the world’s problems. As such, the report provides a qualitative analysis of theoretical motivations behind this violence.

~ READ MORE HERE ~

 


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of March 2, 2020  - ALLOW IMAGE8

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker

 

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of March 2, 2020 based on Navy and public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.


The USS Toledo arrives at Ice Camp Seadragon in the Arctic Ocean, March 4, 2020, to kick off Ice Exercise, a biennial exercise that offers the Navy the opportunity to assess its operational readiness in the Arctic and train with other services. - ALLOW IMAGES

 

World News Roundup

 

Other Developments We Are Following

 

AMERICAS

Pentagon Failed to Vet Saudi Military Recruit Who Killed 3 Americans
Pentagon to Spend Billions Mass-Producing Hypersonic Weapons
Brazil and United States Sign Unprecedented Military Agreement
Nazi name lists in Argentina may reveal loot in Swiss bank
SecDef: Soleimani’s killing dealt big setback to Iranian terrorism
Former soldier sentenced for attempting to provide support to ISIS
U.S. prosecutors accuse Honduran president of taking drug bribes
Canada urges Iran to give access to downed airliner’s black boxes

 

EUROPE

Met officer suspected of belonging to group linked to terrorism
Clashes between Greek police, migrants reported on Turkish border
Five years on, ill-prepared EU sees migrants on its borders
Refugees told ‘Europe is closed’ as tensions rise on border
‘Open the gates,’ migrants chant at Turkey-Greece border
EU ‘won’t be pressured’ over Greece-Turkey border crisis
Ukraine president: Putin has one year to strike deal to end war
Germany: Alleged Isalamic State terrorist goes on trial
Germany: Thousands of protesters demand EU open borders
Turkey deploys 1,000 police at Greek border as tensions rise
Greece places Aegean on alert as concerns mount of Turkish provocations

 

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

US blocks UN statement backing Syria ceasefire: diplomats
Syria war: Idlib ceasefire between Russia and Turkey begins
Trump extends sanctions against Zimbabwe
Turkey’s Operation “Spring Shield” delivers blow to Hezbollah
Tense calm, sporadic clashes in Idlib as Russia-Turkey ceasefire broadly holds
Turkey kills 21 Syrian troops as cease-fire with Russia signed
Iraq forces continue fight against ISIL without US air support
Six killed in attack on Nigeria military base
Zambia’s leader blames church officials for mob violence
Sudan’s June crackdown may have killed 241 people: Rights group
Guinea protests: One dead in anti-government demonstration
Congo protests against unpaid pensions as gov’t debt balloons
Farmers fear impact of Nile River dam
Iran says IAEA case for inspecting sites based on fake Israeli intel

 

ASIA

USGOV has intel that the Taliban do not intend to honor the peace deal
Trump: Taliban could ‘possibly’ seize power after US troops leave
At least 27 people are killed in attack on political rally in Afghanistan
North Korea’s Ballistic Bluster May Mask Major Epidemic
North Korea stays quiet on Kim Jong Un letter
India protest violence leaves thousands displaced
Myanmar violence: Thousands displaced by fresh fighting
Uzbek jihadist group congratulates Taliban for ‘victory’ in Afghanistan
Japan postpones highly anticipated Xi, Abe summit
India restores internet in Kashmir after 7 months of blackout


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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.

 

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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.

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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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Do you have a backup generator or Social Security? Think about both.

The news headlines read, “Deadly 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Plunges Puerto Rico into Darkness”; and “Powerful Puerto Rico Earthquake Knocks Out Entire Island’s Power.”

It was enough to prompt a friends mother to call, four times, to make sure he was OK.

There’s been a string of fairly strong earthquakes lately in Puerto Rico… which is incredibly unusual for this part of the world. It’s been more than a century since the island was rocked by anything of this magnitude.

But as he explained to his parents that the press had blown things out of proportion as usual. They were running video footage that made it seem as if the island had been blasted back into the Stone Age.

It’s true that there were some displaced families and property damage near the epicenter.

But most of the island was not substantially affected. None of the major news organizations bothered to show footage of busy shopping malls, crowded restaurants, and packed movie theaters teeming with consumers.

It’s also true that the electrical grid went down: the island was without power for some time. In his community, the power came back on after 2 days. Some people had it on after a day, some after 3 or 4 days.

But here’s what people don’t realize– the electricity problems in Puerto Rico have a lot less to do with the seismic activity, and a lot more to do with the island’s decade-long economic depression.

Puerto Rico’s economy has been in the dumps since at least 2006. The government is bankrupt and defaulted on many of its debts as far back as 2015. And Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is bankrupt as well, having defaulted on billions of dollars worth of bond obligations.

All of this financial insolvency means that neither the government nor PREPA has the resources to invest in the electrical grid.

And most of PREPA’s electrical production assets are in desperate need of replacement.

The largest power plant in Puerto Rico is the 820 MW Costa Sur facility, and according to PREPA, it was built in the 1950s!

This makes Costa Sur more than twice as old as the average power plant in the US.

They simply don’t have the money to modernize or upgrade their facilities. And people who live here understand this reality: the electrical grid in Puerto Rico is incredibly weak.

I’m serious. Power outages are commonplace here. The power at my house goes out at least 2-3 times a month, usually for a couple of hours.

That’s because every time a mouse farts on this island, something goes haywire at the electrical plants and the power goes out.

But again, Puerto Ricans know this. They have little confidence in their government, and even less confidence in the electrical grid.

So everyone who has the means in Puerto Rico owns a generator. It’s their Plan B. The power goes out, the generator comes on, and everything is OK.

My friends house is equipped with a huge generator… plus a backup cistern in case the water company goes down too.

This isn’t some wild conspiracy theory. In Puerto Rico, there’s nearly a 100% certainty that the system is going to fail… so having a backup generator is a perfectly sensible precaution to take.

And people who take this precaution are well-protected in the event that disaster strikes.

This way of thinking can obviously be applied to a lot of things… like retirement planning.

It’s no secret that government pension funds around the world are woefully underfunded.

University studies, non-profit research groups, mainstream financial press, and even government agencies themselves have reached the same conclusion: national, state, and local pension funds are trillions of dollars in the hole.

They simply do not have enough cash, nor will they have enough cash in the future, to pay the retirement benefits they owe.

Social Security in the United States is a great example.

Social Security’s Board of Trustees, which includes the United States Secretary of the Treasury, states quite plainly in their annual reports that Social Security’s primary trust funds will run out of money in 15 years.

Specifically, on page 5 of the 2019 Social Security Trustees Report, they state:

“Trust Fund asset reserves become depleted and unable to pay scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis in 2035.”

This isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory either. This is the US Treasury Secretary stating that in just 15 years, Social Security’s trust funds will be out of money and unable to pay the benefits that they’ve been promising people for decades.

This is just like Puerto Rico’s electrical issue: you know there’s nearly a 100% certainty that the program is going to run out of money.

I mean, seriously, the people in charge of program are telling you that it’s going to run out of money. It couldn’t be any more clear than that.

So it seems fairly sensible to have a backup generator for your retirement.

Everyone has a different situation– but there are plenty of options.

In the US, for example, tax deferred structures like a SEP IRA or Solo 401(k) can help you put away $50,000+ each year for your retirement in a really tax efficient way.

It’s even possible to use these structures combined with a side business like selling products on Amazon, renting out Airbnb units, etc. This means that you can channel income from your side business into your retirement account, helping you accumulate the savings you need to be comfortable in the future.

And, hey, even if Social Security is magically bailed out by benevolent space aliens, or some other crazy scenario, it’s not like you’ll be worse off having more retirement savings.

This is definitely worth considering and speaking to your tax adviser about.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via:  SovereignMan.com
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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.

image

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.

via:  cnet


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Millions of Californians could be without power for a week

PG&E may shut off power due to fire risk.

 

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced Monday it may shut off power this week in nearly 30 northern California counties in response to strong and dry winds posing a fire threat.

“We would encourage residents and businesses to prepare for being without power for potentially as long as seven days,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a press conference Monday night.

Nearly 2 million people could be affected if there is a shutdown Wednesday, Liccardo said, as well as about 67 schools.

The public safety power shutoff would span across northern, central, coastal and Bay Area counties, the utility company said. PG&E has previously said it’s “probable” that its equipment started the 2018 Camp Fire — California’s deadliest and most destructive blaze — when a power line touched nearby trees.

An investigation by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection found the company responsible for the fire, which killed 85 people and destroyed thousands of structures.

The National Weather Service issued a Fire Weather Watch for Wednesday through Thursday across northern portions of California, warning of “potential of rapid spread of fire” and reporting “potentially strong, damaging” winds and relatively low humidity.

“This has the potential to be the strongest offshore wind event of the year,” the weather service said. “The time to prepare is now.”

The city of San Jose had been preparing for a similar event since June, the mayor said.

“Some of what we need to do to get ready will in fact take years,” he said. “That is ensuring we have sufficient backup power generation, establishing microgrids where we can do so, things of that nature.”

In the meantime, he urged residents to shelter in place, as street lights and signals will not be working in the event of a power shutoff. He also encouraged households to create emergency plans and kits which include food and water for all family members and pets.

 

Late last month, PG&E shut off power to more than 48,000 northern California customers in precaution following dry and windy conditions. It was the second consecutive public safety power shutoff in that week, after the company had previously left about 24,000 customers across three northern California counties in the dark.

On September 13, the utility giant announced it had reached an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies for claims stemming from the devastating 2017 wildfires across northern California and the 2018 Camp Fire.

And in June, PG&E paid $1 billion in damages to local governments for blazes linked to its power lines and other equipment.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  cnn.com, keyt.com
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PG&E Turns the Lights Out

California utility PG&E cut power to customers in several northern California counties on Saturday, citing high winds that could knock over equipment and cause fires. You might remember the company was found responsible for a series of lethal fires that tore through the area in 2017 and 2018.

  • PG&E equipment caused last year’s Camp Fire, which killed at least 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise.

Who was affected? Starting at 6am on Saturday, 1,600 businesses and homes had no power. PG&E cut off power to 26,900 additional customers at 9pm, some of which were in Paradise. Frustrated businesses are turning to generators to keep things running.

Zoom out: After state officials said PG&E was on the hook for the Camp Fire, legal liabilities threatened to destroy the utility. It filed for bankruptcy protection in January. 

Bottom line: PG&E barely made it through last year’s disaster intact and knows it can’t make a single misstep. NorCal residents can expect more precautionary shut-offs.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via: morningbrew
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Deteriorating situation in Venezuela – US withdraws remaining personnel

State Dept announces withdrawal of all remaining personnel from US Embassy Venezuela due to deteriorating situation in country. AlertsUSA monitoring.



Supplemental Info:

This late announcement was made by SecState Pompeo a short time ago.


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US to withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela


U.S. To Pull Diplomats Out Of Embassy In Venezuela

The country has been beset by a major power outage in recent days, and drivers wait in line for hours at the few gas stations that are still operational.

Some neighborhoods have no functioning water pumps, the majority of the country’s Internet network remained offline.

For his part, Maduro said the outage was an “electric coup” carried out by “criminal minds” in the U.S., CNN reported. “The imperialist government of the United States ordered this attack,” he said.

Other reading:

Venezuelan breaking off relations with the US. American diplomatic personnel have 72 hours to leave.

In Venezuela, a Box of Pasta Can Cost $300 — And That’s Not Even the Worst of It

Stockpiling of Food Banned in Venezuela

Venezuela Enforces Fingerprint Registry to Buy Groceries: What to Do Before Rationing Starts in America

This Is What Food Shortages Look Like

Fingerprint Scans Required to buy Groceries

Argentine president battles inflation by launching government clothing line

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Venezuelan breaking off relations with the US. American diplomatic personnel have 72 hours to leave.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro says he is breaking off relations with the US. American diplomatic personnel have 72 hours to leave the country.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was breaking diplomatic relations with the United States, after the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s interim president.

Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, socialist leader Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

Earlier Wednesday, the Trump administration ratcheted up pressure on Maduro on Wednesday, announcing U.S. recognition of Guaido as interim president and signaling potential new sanctions against its vital oil sector.

With street protests against Maduro underway across Venezuela, Trump said the United States recognized Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled Congress, as the country’s leader and called socialist Maduro’s government “illegitimate.”

“I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy,” Trump said in a statement, encouraging other governments in the Western Hemisphere to also recognize Guaido.

The administration had been waiting to issue its announcement after Guaido had been sworn in as the country’s temporary president on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Venezuelan opposition sympathizers had been urging Guaido to assume the presidency since Maduro was inaugurated to a second term on Jan. 10 following a widely boycotted election last year that the United States and many other foreign governments described as a fraudulent.

Guaido, a newcomer on the national scene who was elected to head Congress on Jan. 5, had said earlier he was willing to replace Maduro if he had the support of the military, with the aim of then calling for free elections.

U.S. officials in recent days had stated openly that Maduro no longer had a legitimate claim on power.

This story is developing.


Venezuela has been the example of what can happen to a country and the actions governments can take when things get bad.


Check out these other posts for more info:

2018

Venezuelans regret gun ban, ‘a declaration of war against an unarmed population’

2018 August – Venezuela slashes five zeros from its old currency, renaming it the Sovereign Bolivar and tying it to a state-backed cryptocurrency in a bid to tackle rampant hyperinflation.

The UN warns of a migration “crisis”, estimating that economic woes and food and medical shortages have caused more than two million Venezuelans to leave their country since 2014. Most are settling in nearby Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil, leading to tensions in the region.

2016 February – President Maduro announces measures aimed at fighting economic crisis, including currency devaluation and first petrol price rise in 20 years.


2016 September – Hundreds of thousands of people take part in a protest in Caracas calling for the removal of President Maduro, accusing him of responsibility for the economic crisis.

2016

In Venezuela, a Box of Pasta Can Cost $300 — And That’s Not Even the Worst of It

2015

Stockpiling of Food Banned in Venezuela

2014

Venezuela Enforces Fingerprint Registry to Buy Groceries: What to Do Before Rationing Starts in America

2014 February-March – Protests over poor security in the western states of Tachira and Merida spread to Caracas, where they win the backing of opposition parties and turn into anti-government rallies. The government accuses the opposition of seeking to launch a coup and breaks up the protests. At least 28 people die in the violence.


2013 September – A massive power cut leaves 70% of Venezuela, including parts of Caracas, without electricity. President Maduro blames “right-wing saboteurs”.


2013 November – With inflation running at more than 50% a year, the National Assembly gives President Maduro emergency powers for a year, prompting protests by opposition supporters. Mr Maduro uses the powers to limit profit margins.


2013 December – The ruling Socialist Party and allies win local elections by a margin of 10% in a poll widely seen as a test of the government’s handling of the continuing economic crisis.

2012

Venezuela bans private gun ownership

Venezuela profile – Timeline

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  cnbc, bbc
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Weekly National Situation Update 10-14-18

From AlertsUSA

 

WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP

 

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Election Day Bombing Thwarted

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

On Oct 10, the following related Flash SMS message was sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

10/10 – NY man arraigned in federal court for manufacturing a ~200 lb explosive device for use in a Election Day bombing on the National Mall in DC. See email for more.

What You Need To Know

On Wednesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of the arraignment of a New York man on charges of unlawfully manufacturing an a 200-pound bomb which he intended to detonate in a suicide attack on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Election Day next month. Paul Rosenfeld, 56, was arrested in Rockland County, New York after authorities received a tip from an unidentified individual.

According to the federal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Paul Rosenfeld, age 56, sent letters and text messages to an individual in Pennsylvania detailing his plans to build an explosive device and detonate it on November 6, 2018, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The suspect’s stated reason for these acts was to draw attention to his belief in “sortition,” a political theory which advocates that government officials should be selected by lottery rather than popular vote.

On Oct. 9, Rosenfeld’s car was pulled over. He agreed to answer questions and was taken to an unnamed police station where he was interviewed by the FBI, waiving his Miranda rights and answering questions.

Later that same day, federal law enforcement and conducted a search of Rosenfeld’s home In the basement, agents found what appeared to be a functional black powder-based explosive device weighing approximately 200 pounds. Rosenfeld is reported to have told law enforcement that components intentionally added to the device would ensure that he was killed in the blast.

Federal officials have locked this story down good, providing little additional information about the suspect, the extent of the plot or the involvement of accomplices.

As AlertsUSA regularly warns, American citizens should not grow complacent due to the current reduced tempo of domestic terror attacks.

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

 

10/11 – New Islamic State propaganda poster depicts armed jihadi and drone w/ package targeting Paris. English message reads; AWAIT FOR OUR SURPRISES. See email.

10/10 – Two dead, two injured in shooting at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers, FL. Shooter at large. AlertsUSA monitoring…

10/9 – Hurricane resources, incl storm data, recovery and disaster assistance, and real-time road condition links sent via email.

10/8 – Michael now a CAT1 hurricane. Rapid strengthening to CAT3-4 by landfall Wed. SE AL, GA, FL Panhandle, Big Bend residents & interests should be preparing.

10/7 – FL Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency for counties in the Panhandle & Big Bend as TS Michael strengthens towards hurricane strength. See email.

* 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!

 

 


 

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing on Threats to the Homeland - ALLOW IMAGES

Thousands of Active Terror Investigations Underway Threat of Attacks Using Drones Very Real

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

What You Need To Know

On Wednesday of this week during testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on threats to the homeland, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that the Bureau’s agents are conducting thousands of terror investigations around the world.

“Right now, as I sit here, we’re currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world, and about a thousand of those cases are homegrown violent extremists and they are in all 50 states.”

He added that in the last year, the FBI has made hundreds of arrests of terrorism subjects and the threat of a large scale, big city attack still exists from groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, but homegrown violence is as prevalent as ever.

“The FBI assesses homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) are the greatest terrorism threat to the homeland. These individuals are global jihad-inspired individuals who are in the U.S., have been radicalized primarily in the U.S., and are not receiving individualized direction from foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs.) We, along with our law enforcement partners, face significant challenges in identifying and disrupting homegrown violent extremists. This is due, in part, to their lack of a direct connection with an FTO, an ability to rapidly mobilize, and the use of encrypted communications.

Another area of significant concern covered in Director Ray’s testimony dealt with the topic of drones.

“The threat from unmanned aircraft systems in the U.S. is steadily escalating. While we are working with FAA and other agencies to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system, the FBI assesses with high confidence that terrorists overseas will continue to use small UAS to advance nefarious activities and exploit physical protective measures. While there has been no successful malicious use UAS by terrorists in the United States to date, the FBI assesses that, given their retail availability, lack of verified identification requirement to procure, general ease of use, and prior use overseas, UAS will be used to facilitate an attack in the United States against a vulnerable target, such as a mass gathering. This risk has only increased in light of the publicity associated with the apparent attempted assassination of Venezuelan President Maduro using explosives-laden UAS.”

Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee

Homeland Security Threats

Read FBI Director Wray’s Full Written Testimony.

Watch a Video of the Full Hearing.

 


 

Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland Against Threats of Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbances - ALLOW IMAGES

Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland Against Threats of Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbances

The Department of Homeland Security has announced the release of the Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland against Threats from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD).

The Strategy lays out a clear vision and an approach for DHS to take to protect critical infrastructure and prepare to respond and recover from potentially catastrophic electromagnetic incidents. The Strategy also reflects a consensus Intelligence Community assessment of the EMP threat posed by our nation’s adversaries.

Electromagnetic incidents caused by an intentional EMP attack or naturally-occurring GMD events, while unlikely, could cause serious damage to the nation’s critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, communications equipment, and transportation capabilities.

While the Strategy is primarily focused on Departmental activities, it recognizes the importance of continued close collaboration with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial decision-makers, sector-specific agencies, and private sector critical infrastructure owner-operators. This partnership is essential to help critical infrastructure owners and operators to manage EMP and GMD risk.

The Department is currently developing an accompanying Implementation Plan, which will include measures that enable DHS to evaluate progress toward addressing identified capability gaps. Together, the Strategy and its companion Implementation Plan will improve the Department’s management oversight and optimize resource utilization for our EMP/GMD protection, response, and recovery activities.

View the DHS EMP/ GMD Strategy Document Here (PDF)

 


 

Espionage theme atop darkened Chinese flag - ALLOW IMAGES

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

FBI Director: China Is Bigger Counterintelligence Threat Than Russia

“China in many ways represents the broadest, most complicated, most long-term counterintelligence threat we face,” FBI Director Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “Russia is in many ways fighting to stay relevant after the fall of the Soviet Union. They’re fighting today’s fight. China’s is fighting tomorrow’s fight.” READ MORE HERE

In Pacific, US Army Shifts Training
from Disaster Relief to War

Not long ago, U.S. Army forces in the Pacific spent most of their training time preparing for humanitarian relief missions, evacuations from natural disasters, and efforts to build up allied security forces. Not anymore. Since President Donald Trump has come to office, the administration has issued a new National Security Strategy focused on the persistent potential for conflict with China and North Korea. The Army has shifted gears accordingly. READ MORE HERE

Can the Chinese Be Trusted to Lead Global Institutions?

The detention of Meng Hongwei, a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party and president of Interpol, shows that under Beijing’s increasingly confident global authoritarianism, serious questions arise about the fitness of any member of the Chinese Communist Party to serve in a leadership position in international organizations. READ MORE HERE

The Two Faces of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

At issue is what is called the two faces of AQAP: the domestic insurgency and the international terrorist organization. These two strands have always coexisted in AQAP, as they have for most terrorist groups. But the two are often conflated into one overall picture of the group. We hear AQAP and think of international terrorism, not the domestic insurgency. This failure by journalists, analysts, and officials to distinguish between AQAP’s two sides leads to a mistaken impression of the threat the group represents to the West. READ MORE HERE

 

 


 

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jade Woodend, assigned to Battalion Landing Team 3/1, fires a FIM-92 Stinger antiaircraft missile from the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during a regularly scheduled deployment of Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in the Arabian Sea Oct. 7, 2018. - ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

Other Developments We Are Following

AMERICAS

‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war
More Illegals Having Anchor Babies in LA than Total U.S. Births in 14 States
‘Unimaginable destruction’: Hurricane smashes rows of houses.
America’s obesity is threatening national security, according to this study
Solar-powered drug tunnel discovered on Mexican border with California.
Entire F-35 fighter jet fleet grounded by military after crash in September
Our Goal Is to Horrify’: ISIS Concert Threat Depicts Jihadist with Grenade
Chinese Prof In Child Porn Case Also Under Scrutiny For Alleged Espionage
Group Recognized For Efforts To Thwart Nigerian Email Scams
Pompeo Says No More US Reconstruction Aid To Syria If Iran Stays
DOJ Charges Chinese Spy w/ Attempting To Steal Trade Secrets
Man Gets Probation For Forcing Emergency Landing In Oklahoma
Trump And Trudeau Discuss Border And Terrorism In Phone Call
DOJ IG Fails To Identify Leaker Of Manchester Bombing Report
Sacramento ISIS Suspect Faces Certain Execution If Sent Back To Iraq
DHS Funds Airport Navigation App That Guides You From Check-in To Gate
Trump’s DHS Begins Defense Against Nuclear Bomb ‘Electromagnetic Pulse

EUROPE

Migrant celebrates Swedish citizenship w/ rape: “Now I can do what I want”
Rocket Fails, and American and Russian Astronauts Make Emergency Return
Russia opens criminal probe after rocket malfunction forces emergency landing.
Russia Sends Troops & Missiles Into Libya To Enforce Hold On The West
EU Security Chiefs & Sessions Hold Stadium Terrorism Exercise
Possibility Of Chemical Attack In UK Getting Closer Security Minister
UK Terror Attacks: Report Examines 23 Arrests
Belgium Charges Iranian Diplomat With Planning Bomb Attack
Did Two Russian Spies Who Poisoned Skripals Have An Accomplice?
Closer EU Int’l Cooperation To Fight Hostage-taking, Kidnapping & Terrorism
ISIS Supporters Stopped From Travelling To Syria May Attack UK Instead
At Least 160 Radical Muslims Are Under Dutch Local Authority Surveillance

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

U.S. Raises Pressure On Saudi Arabia Over Missing Journalist
U.S. Navy returns to Israeli port in sign of ‘deep alliance’
F-22 stealth jets got 587 enemy aircraft to back off in ‘combat surge’ over Syria
Secret deal with Turkey paves way for American pastor’s release
Intel: Why Turkey outed an alleged Saudi ‘hit squad’
Iranians stock up as U.S. sanctions damage Iranian economy
Egypt: Military court sentences 17 to death for church bombings
Ebola could spread from DRC to Uganda, Rwanda, WHO warns
Burkina Faso attacks open new front in France’s anti-terror fight
Libya’s eastern forces arrest top Egyptian al-Qaeda fighter
U.S. Conducts Airstrike In Support Of The Federal Government Of Somalia
Scores Detained In Anti Terror Operations Against PKK’s Urban Wing In Turkey
ISIS Leader ‘orders 320 Of His Followers To Be Killed For Disloyalty’

ASIA

China’s H-20 stealth bomber to take to the skies soon
China ‘legalises’ internment camps for million Uighurs
U.S. tightens controls on China imports of nuclear components
S. Korea walks back on possibly lifting sanctions on North
China, Russia, DPRK call for adjusted sanctions ahead of denuclearisation
Here’s What Needs to Happen to Stay Out of War With China
Islamist hardliners protest as Pakistan awaits blasphemy ruling
Indonesia earthquake: Search for survivors extended for one more day
North Korea intends to abolish all nuclear weapons, South says
North, South Korea to hold high-level talk next week
Moon Jae-in urges US to declare end of war with North Korea

LEFTIST VIOLENCE / TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME

Antifa Attacks GOP Headquarters in NYC, Warns ‘Merely the Beginning’
Clinton: ‘No civility with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for’
Trump May Not Be Crazy, But He’s Driving The Left Insane
Antifa Website Promotes Home Abortion Classes
Conservative Students Attacked, Threatened over Kavanaugh Posters
Trump Supporters Being Attacked – Montage
Bloody scenes in San Jose as protesters attack Trump supporters outside rally
After Its Kavanaugh Loss, The Left Gets Even More Unhinged
Truck set on fire because of pro-Trump stickers, owner says
Federal Court Orders Hearing Seeking Testimony of Hillary Clinton
Leftist ‘gender studies’ prof arrested for theft of conservative election signs
Dem senate candidate calls Arizona “meth lab of democracy”
Leftist threatens to rape a Conservative woman on camera

 


 

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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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