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Terrorism

Not The Onion: Stabbing suspect claims to be a terrorist but police are “keeping an open mind” about motivation

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A 19-year-old Afghan citizen with German residency is in custody after allegedly stabbing two American tourists at Central Station in Amsterdam Friday afternoon. Identified as Jawed S, he is believed to have been motivated as an Islamic terrorist to commit the attack.

The suspect claimed in police interviews to be a radical Islamic terrorist. However, police say they’re “keeping an open mind while they investigate further.”

American tourists stabbed in Amsterdam were targeted by Afghan man with a ‘terrorist motive’: officials | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/09/01/us-ambassador-victims-in-amsterdam-stabbing-are-americans.html“Based on the suspect’s first statements, he had a terrorist motive,” the city administration said in a statement on Saturday. They did not elaborate on what the statements were or in what ways they might have shown intent.

Still, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte doubled down on these claims after taking to Twitter to confirm that investigation was zeroing in the role played by extremist ideology.

My Take

This is another example of all indicators pointing towards terrorism but an extended delay before this was begrudgingly acknowledged by local officials and world press. Even after his own admission, officials are skeptical for some reason. It’s to be expected nowadays, but it’s concerning because when terrorism strikes on a mass scale or through coordinated attacks, the reluctance to state the obvious until there’s no way to hide it can end up costing more lives.

When a terrorist says he’s a terrorist, don’t keep an open mind about his motivations. Believe him. He’s a terrorist.

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As Israel destroys Hezbollah’s terror tunnels, Benjamin Netanyahu issues a warning

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As Israel destroys Hezbollah's terror tunnels, Benjamin Netanyahu issues a warning

Hezbollah was caught red-handed building tunnels from Lebanon to Israel for the sole purpose of transporting soldiers, terrorists, and weapons across the border for future attacks on Israel. This isn’t disputed, but there still seems to be a false sense of outrage towards Israel for destroying them.

There’s no way to tell how Hezbollah expected Israel to react, but they have grown increasingly threatening as the fruits of their labors are being systematically demolished. Some fear retaliation for Israel’s efforts to protect itself. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it crystal clear any actions taken against the demolition process will be met by extreme force.

“If Hezbollah makes the mistake, and decides, in any way, to attack us or to oppose our operation, they will be hit with unimaginable blows.”

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Conspiracy Theory

NIAC report shows America is insanely ill-prepared for a catastrophic power outage

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NIAC report shows America is insanely ill-prepared for a catastrophic power outage

In the United States, many citizens take the power grid for granted. There has never been a nationwide catastrophic power outage in our history. While localized events like Hurricane Katrina exposed our inability to handle smaller scale long-term outages, an alarming report by the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) says we’re still not ready for a wide-scale outage.

While our preparedness remains insufficient, the ways in which a catastrophic power outage could occur have increased dramatically. Between higher potency of natural disasters, the rise of cyberterrorism, electromagnetic events from space, and a high risk of electromagnetic attacks, the potential for such an event are higher than ever before. At this point, such events would cripple the nation, perhaps irreversibly.

The 94-page report is loaded with things one might think came from The Onion. It warns that since the council was formed in 2001, the threat risks have outpaced improvements in countermeasures. Perhaps the most alarming takeaway is that there is currently no established protocol to follow from top to bottom in case of such an event.

At this point, we’re still at the recommendation stage of determining who would be in charge of efforts to stabilize the power grid in case of catastrophic failure. While the report recommends the Secretary of Homeland Security would be in charge over both the Department of Energy and Department of Defense, that designation has not been officially made. It’s hard to imagine DHS taking command of the military in any circumstance, but that’s essentially what the report recommends.

As the Washington Examiner says, it may be time for preppers to ramp up their efforts while non-preppers should reconsider their stance.

Start prepping! Electric grid ‘prime target’ of terrorists, ‘profound threat,’ says DHS

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/start-prepping-electric-grid-prime-target-of-terrorists-profound-threat-says-dhsThe report is an urgent call to action to organize a uniform reaction to a grid attack, harden it from attack, warn of the threats and push regular Americans into preparing for the worst.

It also calls for federal spending instead of a reliance on rate hikes by individual utilities to fix their systems and said that $1 spent to protect the grid will save $6 in the case of recovery.

“The power grid is a prime target for attack by nation states, and it is not fair for ratepayers to bear the full burden for this national security function,” said the report, which looked at the potential of a “catastrophic” half-year blackout that could impact 75 million.

My Take

Yes, it’s time to prepare. The threats are so numerous and some of them are so easily achievable through terrorism, it’s hard to believe we haven’t been hit yet.

As noted earlier, it’s very discouraging that in the event of a nationwide catastrophic power outage, nobody in DC knows exactly what to do. Keep in mind, this isn’t the type of report where they would hold back information for the sake of lulling our enemies into a state of complacency. We would want them to think we had a clear handle on any situation they could dream up. If anything, this report increases the chances that someone would make an attempt.

What’s worse is that the report recommends essentially handing over control of recovery efforts to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Currently, that person is Kirstjen Nielsen. While she seems competent enough to handle her duties, there have been questions about her job security. Her biggest defender has been Chief of Staff John Kelly and he’s on his way out this month. Will Nielson be next? If so, would an attack on our power grid be timed by our enemies during a transition period? Scary thought.

It isn’t just the government who seems completely unprepared based on the report. Most Americans are scarcely able to survive a week without a trip to the grocery store. Alarmists have been screaming for years. Today, it may be time to start listening.

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Opinions

Despite UN vote, Palestinian terror is still a losing strategy

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Despite UN vote Palestinian terror is still a losing strategy

Israel’s foes scored a tactical victory in New York, but their defense of terror is marginalizing them, not the Jewish state.

 The U.N. General Assembly narrowly defeated a resolution last Thursday that would have condemned Hamas for its terror campaign against Israel. Three days later, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a group of Jews waiting at a bus stop near the West Bank Jewish community of Ofra and wounded seven people, including a pregnant woman whose life and baby were endangered by the assault.

Taken together, the two events painted a dismal picture of international indifference to terror directed at Israelis and Jews. After the vote on Hamas failed, the U.N. General Assembly then passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements by a 156-5 vote with only Israel, the United States, Australia, Liberia and the Marshall Islands voting against it.

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which opposed the measure aimed at the bitter rivals of P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party, declared victory. Hamas then endorsed Sunday’s shooting attack. And should the culprit for the drive-by shooting be found, the supposedly moderate P.A., which sits in the United Nations with non-member observer status, will pay them and their family regular pensions to reward them for the shedding of Jewish blood.

But rather than regard these events as proof that Israel’s critics are right about time running out before outrage over its policies would lead to its complete isolation, the truth is just the opposite. The vote actually illustrated that the world is losing patience with the Palestinians.

It wasn’t long ago that neither the United States nor Israel would have bothered trying to pass anything that condemned Palestinian terror. Yet 87 nations voted to condemn both Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns, as well as its use of civilian infrastructure to mask its ability to commit such war crimes. It was only because of a last-minute vote to require a two-thirds majority for passage that it failed. But a majority of nations still voted yes, with 57 voting no and 33 abstentions.

So while outlets like The New York Times tried to depict the result as a defeat for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley before she leaves her office at the end of the year, the numbers actually ought to trouble Palestinian leaders and their exploited followers.

Despite the pro-forma support for the Palestinians in such settings, most of the world has lost interest in their century-old war on Zionism.

Part of the credit for this shift must be given to the both Haley and the Trump administration. A year ago, Haley vowed that in the future, the United States would be noticing which nations opposed Washington on key votes, saying she would be “taking names.” Trump made it clear that he would consider cutting U.S. aid to those who flouted American objectives while taking its money. To some extent, that was a hollow threat. But Haley’s successful combination of tough rhetoric and private diplomacy paid dividends, and the 87 votes against Hamas shows it isn’t impossible for America to make progress at the world body long known for its anti-Israel measures.

It also demonstrates that despite predictions that U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would further isolate America and Israel, the opposite has happened.

Yet Abbas and Hamas also know that even many of those Arab nations that voted with them at the United Nations are content to go on paying lip service to the Palestinians in New York, while dealing with and supporting Israel in private. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and many other Sunni nations have to keep voting against Israel in such forums because to do otherwise would spark outrage among their largely anti-Semitic populations. But in practice, these same governments look to Israel as a strategic ally against both Iran and radical Islamic movements like ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Those nations are perfectly happy to isolate the terrorist state in Gaza that is blockaded by both Israel and Egypt. They also fear an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank might soon be ruled by Islamists who pose as much of a threat to Cairo, Amman and Riyadh as it would to Jerusalem.

Were the entire Muslim world truly united in their support for the Palestinians, it wouldn’t be possible for Israel to make new friends in Africa and Asia, or to continue to integrate into the global economy as it has done in recent years.

Were the Palestinians serious about peace, this might not be the case. But though American left-wingers who back BDS are willfully ignorant of the last 25 years of history, most of the world knows that it is the Palestinians who have repeatedly rejected peace and who cling to terrorism.

While many thought the anomalous and unpleasant status quo in the West Bank couldn’t last, it continues because of incidents like the latest terror attack and the periodic rocket barrages from Gaza.

Israelis understand that neither Abbas nor Hamas is capable of making peace. Every rocket launched and every drop of Jewish blood spilled merely reinforces support for the Israeli government’s refusal to make more territorial concessions until the Palestinians demonstrate they have given up their long war and the brutal terror it engenders.

It’s painfully obvious that the Trump peace plan crafted by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner—slated to be released in 2019—will get nowhere because the Palestinians are, as they were when they rejected previous peace proposals, simply incapable of recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state. Few, even in the Muslim world, will care much after that leaves the Palestinians stuck in the same ideological dead end where they’ve allowed themselves to remain for 70 years.

The make-believe world of the United Nations may sometimes yield symbolic results that cheer Israel’s enemies. In the meantime, Israel will continue to grow stronger, militarily, economically and diplomatically, and its isolation will continue to ease. If Hamas thinks that’s a victory, I’d like to see what they call a defeat.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS — Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

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