Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate

Algae might seem easy to ignore, but they are the ultimate source of all organic matter that marine animals depend upon. Humans are increasingly dependent on algae, too, to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are driving the life-and-death dynamics of the algae’s blooms, even when all else stays essentially the same, and this has important implications for our climate.

Location and Biophysical Characteristics of the Study Area

Caption: This is a location map. Black rectangle delineates the area shown in Figures 1B and 2. (B) Map of surface chlorophyll from June 22, 2012 (day 174), emphasizing the phytoplankton patch as a distinct area of high chlorophyll concentration. Thick black lines mark the main attracting Lagrangian coherent structures from calculation of finite-size Lyapunov exponents. To facilitate the presentation, we plotted only the highest 20 percent of FSLEs (for the entire FSLE field, see Figure 2C). Thin black contour outline region of strong Chl gradient is used to define patch boundaries. Magenta diamonds mark the position of Argo floats used for extracting the mixed layer depth in the patch vicinity. Green diamonds mark the location of the sampling stations. Continue reading “Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate”

Chinese hackers’ stole data on Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield

Group linked to PLA accused of stealing documents on Iron Dome shield


PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 9:50pm

Reuters in Vienna
Three Israeli defence contractors behind the Iron Dome missile shield and related systems were robbed of hundreds of documents by hackers linked to the Chinese government starting in 2011, a US-based computer forensics expert said.

Comment Crew, as the hacking group is known, stole designs for Israeli rocket systems in a spree of attacks during 2011 and 2012, Joseph Drissel, chief executive of Cyber Engineering Services, said.

The targets of the online attacks were top military contractors Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. The companies built the system that now partially insulates Israel from rocket barrages from Gaza. Continue reading “Chinese hackers’ stole data on Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield”

Why the Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas

An Islamic State fighter gestures as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014.

Most of today’s Salafist jihadist movements have no interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for the time being regarding it as irrelevant. Instead, their call is to engage in intense, bloody confrontations involving bombings, executions, and suicide attacks against governments headed by Muslims and against Muslim civilians.
The Islamic State does not regard fighting Israel as legitimate and calls instead for first “purifying” the Islamic world, including challenging Hamas.

Author Ali Mamouri

Posted July 29, 2014

Al-Qaeda has followed this course for decades, and now the Islamic State (IS) is following in al-Qaeda’s footsteps, fighting a brutal war across swathes of Iraq and Syria and in an effort to “purify” these areas through killings and population displacement. Once taking territory, it is not mobilizing the populations under its control in opposition to the Israeli military operations in Gaza. Why is this?

Some jihadists or pro-jihadist Salafists have issued video clips and tweets explaining their lack of assistance to the Palestinians. One tweet stated, “The Hamas government is apostate, and what it is doing does not constitute jihad, but rather a defense of democracy [which Salafists oppose].” Another tweet said, “Khaled Meshaal: Hamas fights for the sake of freedom and independence. The Islamic State: it fights so that all religion can be for God.” Meshaal is head of Hamas’ political bureau. Continue reading “Why the Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas”

Live virus used in polio vaccine can evolve and infect, warns TAU researcher

” Can act like wild poliovirus and continue the threat of contagion ”  November 7, 2011 _ Requested Re-Post from our HRR Site

Health professionals and researchers across the globe believe they are on the verge of eradicating polio, a devastating virus which can lead to paralysis and death. Despite successful eradication in most countries, there are still four countries where the virus is considered endemic — and many more in which the virus still lurks.

Dr. Lester Shulman of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Israeli Ministry of Health has spent years tracking isolated cases of live poliovirus infections, often discovered in countries that are supposedly polio-free. When the live-virus version of the vaccine, called Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) evolves, he says, it can act like wild poliovirus and continue the threat of contagion.

None - This image is in the public domain and ...

Continue reading “Live virus used in polio vaccine can evolve and infect, warns TAU researcher”

World heading for ‘collapse in decades’: Nasa-funded study

Adam Withnall
17th Mar 2014 5:38 AM

MODERN civilization is heading for collapse within a matter of decades because of growing economic instability and pressure on the planet’s resources, according to a scientific study funded by NASA.

Using theoretical models to predict what will happen to the industrialized world over the course of the next century or so, mathematicians found that even with conservative estimates things started to go very badly, very quickly. Continue reading “World heading for ‘collapse in decades’: Nasa-funded study”

Israel navy seizes Iranian missile ship heading for Gaza

Gaza Strip 1999
Gaza Strip 1999 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
DEBKAfile March 5, 2014, 2:03 PM (IST)

Israel’s elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) early Wednesday, March 5, boarded an Iranian Panama-registered cargo vessel KLOS C. Concealed in its hold were dozens of 302mm rockets with a range of 200 kms, manufactured in Syria and destined by Iran for the Gaza Strip, after being offloaded at Port Sudan. The missiles were described by a military source as game-changing weapons for the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip. They would have put Israel’s international airport and main cities within range. The Israeli commandos seized the vessel on the high sea on the maritime border of Sudan and Eritrea, 1500 km south of Israel, and is being towed it to Eilat.   Continue reading “Israel navy seizes Iranian missile ship heading for Gaza”

Israel PM slams Iran move to send ships towards US

EEV: This may eventually lead to the escalation of Iranian missiles being within striking distance of the U.S. Mainland.


3 hours ago
An Iranian warship docks in the Sudanese town of Port Sudan, on October 31, 2012

Jerusalem (AFP) – Israel on Sunday denounced an Iranian announcement that it was sending naval ships towards the United States as further evidence that loosening sanctions on Tehran was counterproductive.

The move to send warships to the Atlantic was announced by the commander of Iran’s northern naval fleet on Saturday, who described it as a “message.”

The ships “have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa,” said Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, in remarks quoted by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency. Continue reading “Israel PM slams Iran move to send ships towards US”

Benjamin Netanyahu under fire from right wingers for letting his son date a non-Jew

‘I bet it pains him.Any Jew… wants to see his son marry a Jewish girl,’ says politician from the  ultra-orthodox Shas party

Katie Grant

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Likud Party led by Benjamin Netanyahu wins...
The Likud Party led by Benjamin Netanyahu wins a narrow victory in the Israeli general election (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticised by right-wing politicians in Israel who have accused the country’s prime minister of failing to set an example for the Jewish people by not preventing his son from dating a non-Jewish girl. Continue reading “Benjamin Netanyahu under fire from right wingers for letting his son date a non-Jew”

Movie producer was working secretly for Israeli intelligence on arms deals and claims other Hollywood figures including Sydney Pollack helped him

Revealed: Arnon Milchan – the Hollywood producer behind hits Pretty Woman, Fight Club and LA Confidential who became a real-life James Bond

Arnon Milchan at the premiere of Mr and Mrs Smith, which he produced

Friday 22 November 2013

In the early 1980s, movie producer Arnon Milchan presided over a string of hits, collaborating with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Sergio Leone and Ridley Scott. But what his film industry friends didn’t know was that while his Hollywood career flourished, Milchan was also winding down a secret double life as an arms dealer. The mogul behind hits such as Pretty Woman, Fight Club and LA Confidential also spent about 20 years as a leading Israeli intelligence agent.

Although Milchan’s clandestine career was widely known, he had never confessed to it in public until now. The Israeli investigative documentary series Uvda (“Fact”) will broadcast an interview next week, in which Milchan revealed that he facilitated arms deals on behalf of Israel, beginning in the 1960s. Speaking to Uvda host Ilana Dayan, he asked, “Do you know what it’s like to be a twentysomething-year-old kid [and] his country lets him be James Bond?”

Continue reading “Movie producer was working secretly for Israeli intelligence on arms deals and claims other Hollywood figures including Sydney Pollack helped him”

Reclusive heiress Huguette Clark’s estate sues New York hospital and doctor ‘for failing to discharge her for 20 years in order to extract gifts’

  • Dr Henry Singman and Beth Israel Medical Center were less dedicated to Huguette Clark’s welfare than their own,  says  the new lawsuit
  • Clark died at Beth Israel aged 104 in  2011, leaving no close relatives and a roughly $300 million  estate

By  Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 01:46 EST, 22  November 2013 |  UPDATED: 01:46 EST, 22 November 2013

A reclusive copper heiress’ estate is seeking  more than $100 million from a doctor and a hospital where she spent two decades,  furthering a fight over her fortune after a feud over her disputed will was  resolved.

Dr. Henry Singman and Beth Israel Medical  Center were less dedicated to Huguette Clark’s welfare than their own, says a  lawsuit filed on Thursday.

A public administrator’s office, a local  government entity, represents the estate of Clark, whose father was a Montana  copper baron and founded Las Vegas.

Continue reading “Reclusive heiress Huguette Clark’s estate sues New York hospital and doctor ‘for failing to discharge her for 20 years in order to extract gifts’”

Rogue US-Israeli cyberwar weapon ‘infected Russian nuclear plant’

Even the space station has been infected by malware, claims Kaspersky

 By  John Leyden,  11th November 2013

Stuxnet – the famous worm widely credited with crippling the Iranian nuclear weapons programme for several years – also infected the internal network of a Russian nuclear plant. Unspecified malware has even reached the International Space Station, according to the boss of Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab.

Eugene Kaspersky said he heard about the nuclear infection from a “friend of mine” at the unnamed nuclear plant. The unnamed staffer “sent a message their nuclear plant network which was disconnected from the internet … was badly infected by Stuxnet,” Kaspersky said, SC Magazine reports. The malware apparently got into the air-gapped network of the nuke plant on an infected USB stick.

Kaspersky told the anecdote during a recent presentation to the Canberra Press Club during which he spoke about cybercrime, cyber-espionage and attacks against infrastructure systems to members of the mainstream press in Australia.

The charismatic securityware businessman went on to claim that even machines on the International Space Station had been affected by malware, after – unnamed – cyber nasties were carried there on removable media by Russian astronauts.

“Scientists, from time to time, they are coming to space with USBs which are infected. I’m not kidding,” he insisted. “I was talking to Russian space guys and they said from time to time there are virus epidemics in the space station.”

The most famous Stuxnet infections occurred in Iran’s bombproof, deeply buried uranium enrichment facility at Natanz in 2009 and 2010, wrecking high-speed centrifuges after infecting computers connected to SCADA industrial control systems at the plant. The Obama administration last year leaked its role in developing Stuxnet as part of a wider US-Israeli information warfare effort, codenamed Operation Olympic Games, that began under the presidency of George W Bush.

The worm was detected after it escaped onto the internet, and first described by Belarussian firm VirusBlokAda in June 2010.

According to Mr Kaspersky there are only two major infrastructure malware attacks a year worldwide, the only one this year having been targeted against banks and media organisations in South Korea.

The security-biz chieftain’s remarks on Stuxnet at the Canberra Press Club are at approximately 26 minutes into the video below. ®

Disaster recovery protection level self-assessment

US loses Unesco voting rights after stopping funds over Palestine decision

Some Americans warn of loss of influence over world culture and education after US misses deadline to pay debt

Associated Press in Paris, Friday 8 November 2013 06.27 EST

Unesco conference
The Palestinian ambassador to Unesco, Elias Sanbar, at the agency’s general conference. Photograph: Jacques Brinon/AP

American influence in culture, science and education around the world took a high-profile blow on Friday after the US automatically lost voting rights at Unesco after missing a crucial deadline to repay its debt to the world’s cultural agency.

The US has not paid its dues to the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in protest over the decision by world governments to make Palestine a Unesco member in 2011. Israel suspended its dues at the same time and also lost voting rights on Friday.

Under Unesco rules, the US had until Friday morning to resume funding or explain itself, or automatically lose its vote. A Unesco official, who was not authorised to speak publicly about the issue, said nothing was received from either the US or Israel.

The suspension of US contributions, which accounted for $80m a year – 22% of Unesco’s overall budget – brought the agency to the brink of a financial crisis and forced it to cut or scale back US-led initiatives such as Holocaust education and tsunami research.

Many in Washington are worried that the US will become a toothless Unesco member with a weakened voice in international programmes fighting extremism through education and promoting gender equality and press freedoms.

Some fear that a weaker US presence will lead to growing anti-Israeli sentiment within Unesco, where Arab-led criticism of Israel for territorial reasons has long been an issue.

“We won’t be able to have the same clout,” said Phyllis Magrab, the Washington-based US national commissioner for Unesco. “In effect, we [now won’t] have a full tool box. We’re missing our hammer.”

The Unesco tension has prompted fresh criticism of US laws that force an automatic funding cutoff for any UN agency with Palestine as a member. The official list of countries that lose their votes was expected to be read aloud on Saturday before the entire Unesco general conference.

Israel’s ambassador to Unesco, Nimrod Barkan, told the Associated Press that his country supported the US decision “objecting to the politicisation of Unesco, or any international organisation, with the accession of a non-existing country like Palestine”.

Unesco is probably best known for its programme to protect the cultures of the world via its heritage sites, which include the Statue of Liberty and Timbuktu in Mali. But its core mission, as conceived by the US, a co-founder of the agency in 1946, was to be an anti-extremist organisation. It  tackles foreign policy issues such as access to clean water, teaches girls to read, works to eradicate poverty, promotes freedom of expression and gives people creative thinking skills to resist violent extremism.

Among Unesco programmes already slashed because of funding shortages is one in Iraq that was intended to help restore water facilities. Also in danger was a Holocaust and genocide awareness programme in Africa to teach about non-violence, non-discrimination and ethnic tolerance, using the example of the mass killing of Jews during the second world war.

This loss is a particular blow to the US, since Holocaust awareness was one of the areas the country aggressively promoted in the agency’s agenda when it rejoined in 2002 after an 18-year hiatus, during which the US had withdrawn from the organisation over differences in vision.

The Palestinian ambassador to Unesco, Elias Sanbar, said other countries were beginning to make up for the US shortfall.

“Is this in the interest of the US, to be replaced?” he asked.

The Unesco director general, Irina Bokova, lamented the change. “I regret to say that I’m seeing, in these last two years … a declining American influence and American involvement,” Bokova said.

“I can’t imagine how we could disengage with the United States at Unesco. We are so intertwined with our message. What I regret is that this decision became so divisive and triggered this suspension of the funding,” she added.

Bokova said she accepted political reality and would find ways for Unesco to continue its work, despite a 2014 budget that is down by an estimated $150m.

Some worry about more serious consequences if Palestine joins other agencies such as the World Health Organisation.


Was ISRAEL behind the hacking of millions of French phones and NOT the U.S.? Extraordinary twist in spying saga revealed

  • Agents said  to have intercepted 70 million calls and text messages a  month
  • France had  previously blamed the United States of America
  • US was  first suspected of hacking into Nicolas Sarkozy’s phone in  2012

By  Nabila Ramdani

PUBLISHED: 11:32 EST, 25  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 11:34 EST, 25 October 2013

Israel and not America was behind the hacking  of millions of French phones, it was claimed today.

In the latest extraordinary twist in the  global eavesdropping scandal, Israeli agents are said to have intercepted more  than 70 million calls and text messages a month.

Up until now the French have been blaming the  USA, even summoning the country’s Paris ambassador to provide an  explanation.

France first suspected the US of hacking into former president Nicolas Sarkozy's communications network when he was unsuccessfully trying for re-election in 2012 

France first suspected the US of hacking into former  president Nicolas Sarkozy’s communications network when he was unsuccessfully  trying for re-election in 2012

But today’s Le Monde newspaper provides  evidence that it was in fact Israeli agents who were listening in.

France first suspected the US of hacking into  former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s communications network when he was  unsuccessfully trying for re-election in 2012.

Intelligence officials Bernard Barbier and  Patrick Pailloux travelled from Paris to Washington to demand an explanation,  but the Americans hinted that the Israelis were to blame.

The Americans insisted they have never been  behind any hacking in France, and were always keen to get on with the French,  whom they viewed as some of their closest allies.

They were so determined to be friends with  the French, that US briefing notes included details of how to pronounce the  names of the Gallic officials.

A note published in Le Monde shows that the  Americans refused to rule out Mossad, Israel’s notoriously uncompromising  intelligence agency, or the ISNU, Israel’s cyber-intelligence unit.

Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the branch  of the US National Security Agency (NSA) which deals with cyber-attacks, is  referred to throughout the note.

It reads: ‘TAO intentionally did not ask  either Mossad or ISNU whether they were involved as France is not an approved  target for joint discussions.’

Le Monde’s article, co-authored by US  journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose main contact is NSA whistleblower Edward  Snowden, however, hints that the Israelis were doing the spying.

Both US and French intelligence work closely  with Mossad, but there is known to be a great deal of suspicion between all the  agencies.

A 2008 NSA note says that the Israelis are  ‘excellent partners in terms of sharing information’, but it also says that  Mossad is ‘the third most aggressive intelligence service in the world against  the United States’.

A spokesman for the Israeli government told  Le Monde: ‘Israel is a country which is a friend, ally and partner of France and  does not carry out any hostile activity which could pose a threat to its  security.’

France has complained in the past about  Mossad’s use of its soil to plan so called black operations including the 2010  assassination in Dubai of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh of the Palestinian movement  Hamas.

Read more:–Extraordinary-twist-spying-saga-revealed.html#ixzz2ikrEHKWT Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Iranian cyber warfare commander shot dead in suspected assassination

The head of Iran’s cyber warfare programme has been shot dead, triggering further accusations that outside powers are carrying out targeted assassinations of key figures in the country’s security apparatus.

President Hassan Rouhani

The killing of Ahmadi coincides with a new diplomatic effort by President Hassan Rouhani (pictured) Photo: JOHN MINCHILLO/AP
Damien McElroy

By , and Ahmad Vahdat

8:00PM BST 02 Oct 2013

Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters, was found dead in a wooded area near the town of Karaj, north-west of the capital, Tehran. Five Iranian nuclear scientists and the head of the country’s ballistic missile programme have been killed since 2007. The regime has accused Israel’s external intelligence agency, the Mossad, of carrying out these assassinations.

Ahmadi was last seen leaving his home for work on Saturday. He was later found with two bullets in the heart, according to Alborz, a website linked to the Revolutionary Guard Corps. “I could see two bullet wounds on his body and the extent of his injuries indicated that he had been assassinated from a close range with a pistol,” an eyewitness told the website.

The commander of the local police said that two people on a motorbike had been involved in the assassination.

The Facebook page of the officers of the Cyber War Headquarters confirmed that Ahmadi had been one of their commander and posted messages of condolence. But Alborz users warned that the openly accessible book of condolence could harm Iran’s national security.

“Stop giving more information about him. The counter-revolutionaries will take advantage of his murder,” said one post. “It sounds like a hit job for a security officer of this importance”.

Subsequently, a statement from the Imam Hassan Mojtaba division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps said that Ahmadi’s death was being investigated. It warned against speculating “prematurely about the identity of those responsible for the killing”.

Western officials said the information was still being assessed, but previous deaths have been serious blows to Iran’s security forces. Tighter security measures around leading commanders and nuclear scientists have instilled a culture of fear in some of the most sensitive parts of the security establishment.

The last victim of a known assassination was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemist who worked in the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, who died when an explosive device blew up on his car in January last year.

The death of Ahmadi, a leading specialist in cyber defences, could be an extension of this campaign of subterfuge. Iran has been accused of carrying out a number of cyber attacks detected in the West. Shashank Joshi, an expert at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), said this was seen as a lesser threat than the nuclear programme. “Iran’s cyber attacks on Israel and elsewhere in the region are a rising threat and a growing threat, but it hasn’t yet been seen as a major and sustained onslaught, so it would be pretty novel and significant to take this step in the field of cyber-warfare at this time,” he said.

The Revolutionary Guard has also been accused of lending its expertise to Syria’s regime, helping it to hack Western targets through a body known as the Syrian Electronic Army.

The killing of Ahmadi coincides with a new diplomatic effort by President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s newly elected leader. He has voiced the hope that Iran’s confrontation with America and the leading Western powers over its nuclear ambitions can be settled within months.

Reports ‘warned’ of Kenya mall attack

28   Sep  2013
Nairobi (AFP)

Kenya’s government had been warned, including by Israel, of the high risk of an attack before the deadly assault on a Nairobi mall by Islamist gunmen, security sources said Saturday.

Cabinet ministers and Kenya’s army chief had received information warning of a plan to carry out a major attack, officials told AFP, confirming an intelligence report leaked in Kenyan newspapers.

“Israel had warned of attacks on their business interests but apart from just being tossed from one office to another, nothing was taken out of the intelligence reports,” said one official speaking on condition of anonymity.

On September 21, gunmen with automatic weapons and grenades burst into the upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi in an attack that lasted four days and left at least 67 dead.

It was claimed by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab group as retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia.

The Nation newspaper said the treasury, interior, foreign affairs and defence ministers, as well as the army chief, had been told of an elevated risk.

“Briefs were made to them of increasing threat of terrorism and of plans to launch simultaneous attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa around September 13 and 20, 2013,” according to the report quoted in the paper.

The report said Israel, which has close security ties with Kenya, had warned of plans to attack Israeli property in September, a month which included several Jewish holidays.

The Westgate mall, popular with expatriates and wealthy Kenyans, is part owned by Israelis and had long been considered a prime potential target.

“The Israeli embassy in Nairobi has raised concern with the foreign affairs ministry that Iran and Hezbollah from Lebanon have been collecting operational intelligence and open interests in Israeli and Jewish targets around the world including Kenya,” the report said.

According to security sources, Israeli services are playing a lead role in the ongoing investigation into the attack, which saw gunmen storm the mall and spray bullets on shoppers before hunkering down to fight off special forces for three days.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Tuesday that the siege was over.

The head of Kenya’s National Intelligence Service, Michael Gichangi, is scheduled to be grilled by lawmakers on Monday amid growing public concern that the state was inadequately prepared.

Security officials said Kenya’s security agencies were casual in their response.

“There is no way one can say there was no intelligence on this attack because those reports started trickling in from late last year. And they were specific with targets including Westgate,” one of them told AFP.

“Whenever these reports come, they are shared all across the government with relevant authorities at high levels, but they still take them casually.

“They must learn a lesson from this (attack) and start to take matters seriously, ” said the official, who said he could not give his name for fear of losing his job.


Syrian rebels plan chemical attack on Israel from Assad-controlled territories – media

Syrian rebels plan chemical attack on Israel from Assad-controlled territories - media

Photo: AFP

A chemical attack may be launched on Israel by Syrian rebels from government-controlled areas as a “major provocation”, a number of sources have told Russian media.

The news comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed that Syria puts its chemical weapons arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction in order to prevent a possible military strike against the war-torn republic.

Moscow also urged the Syrian authorities to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The offer has already been passed over to the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who met Lavrov in Moscow for talks on Monday.

Syria welcomes Russia’s proposal to put its chemical weapons under intl control – Syrian FM

Syria welcomes a Russian proposal to place the nation’s chemical weapons under international control, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem said on Monday after talks in Moscow, praising the Kremlin for seeking to “prevent American aggression”.

Moualem, who spoke to reporters through an interpreter after Russia expressed hope the proposal could avert military strikes against Syria, stopped short of explicitly saying that President Bashar al-Assad’s government accepted it.

“I state that the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes the Russian initiative, motivated by the Syrian leadership’s concern for the lives of our citizens and the security of our country, and also motivated by our confidence in the wisdom of the Russian leadership, which is attempting to prevent American aggression against our people,” he said.

“We are calling on the Syrian authorities not only agree on putting chemical weapons storages under international control, but also for its further destruction and then joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier.

Moscow proposes Syria’s chemical disarmament in exchange for peace

Russia has offered Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

After talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Moscow, Lavrov called on Syria to “place the chemical

“We have passed our offer to Al-Muallem [Syrian Foreign Minister] and hope to receive [a] fast and positive answer,” Sergey Lavrov said.

“We are calling on the Syrian government to reach agreements on the putting their chemical weapons storage facilities under international control, subsequent destruction of these weapons, and on the full-fledged joining to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),” he said.

If establishment of control over chemical weapons in Syria can help avoid a strike, Russia will immediately join it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at press-conference.

Moscow will try to broker a deal in which Syria submits its chemical arsenal to international control and the West drops plans to attack Syria, Lavrov added.

Announcing this in Moscow on Monday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said Moscow is already stoking up diplomacy to this end.

The chemical attack on August 21 allegedly was orchestrated – Lavrov

“The chemical attack on August 21 allegedly was orchestrated,” Russian Foreign Ministed Sergei Lavrov said during the meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem.

Voice of Russia, RT, Reuters, TASS, Interfax


RT source: Israeli strike on Syria was carried out from Turkish base

Published time: July 15, 2013 04:00   Edited time: July 15, 2013 13:00                                                                            

Israel used a Turkish military base to launch one of its recent airstrikes against Syria from the sea, a reliable source told RT. Israel has been under scrutiny since last week, when it was reported to be responsible for a July 5 depot attack in Latakia.

News that Turkey assisted Israel in attacking another Muslim  state could result in serious turmoil for Ankara, once the  information is confirmed.

“Our source is telling us that Israeli planes left a military  base inside Turkey and approached Latakia from the sea to make  sure that they stayed out of Syrian airspace so that they cannot  become a legitimate target for the Syrian air force,” RT’s  Paula Slier reports.

In response, Turkey has denied that Israel has used its base to  strike Syria.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the media that  existing reports of the incident are “absolutely wrong”   and those who spread such rumors are in “act of  betrayal.”

“Turkey will neither be a part nor a partner of such   ‘attacks.’ The ones who claim this want to damage Turkey’s power  and reputation,” he added.

Responding to RT’s request for comment, the Turkish embassy in  Moscow has said: “We officially inform that this allegation is  definitely not true.”

Israel has also declined to comment to RT and refused to confirm  or deny the information.

The Israeli PM’s office told RT that they “will not be  taking part in your broadcast,” while an IDF spokesperson  renewed the stance that the military is “not commenting on  this issue.”

Relations between Turkey and Israel were strained until March  2013, as a result of a flotilla incident which happened more than three  years ago. In protest against Israel’s refusal to apologize,  Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and severed military ties.

The two agreed to normalize their relationship after Israeli  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip  Erdogan.

Ankara has been known for its assistance to foreign-backed  militants, allowing them to train on Turkish territory before  infiltrating into Syria.

Shortly after the July 5 airstrike, the Free Syrian Army said that rebels  were not responsible for the attack, which destroyed Yakhont  anti-ship missiles being stored there.

It was not the FSA that targeted this,” Qassem  Saadeddine, FSA’s Supreme Military Council spokesman told  Reuters. “It is not an attack that was carried out by  rebels.”


A general view of the port of Syria's Mediterranean city of Latakia (Reuters / Khaled Al Hariri)A general view of the port of Syria’s Mediterranean city of Latakia (Reuters / Khaled Al Hariri)


The FSA suggested the attack “was either by air raid or  long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.”

Rebels described massive blasts, saying that the firepower  exceeded the capability of weapons available to the opposition.  They speculated that the attack was launched with the use of  modern military weapons, like those which may be possessed by  Israel.

On Saturday, US officials speaking on condition of anonymity also  revealed Israel’s involvement with the explosions. They did not  provide details on the extent of the damage or the number of  missiles struck.

At the same time, Britain’s Sunday Times cited its Middle East  intelligence sources who reported that a contingent of 50  Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles were targeted and  destroyed. However, the newspaper claimed that Israeli submarines  carried out the attack rather than the Air Force.

Netanyahu  hesitated to comment on reports when speaking to CBS-TV’s “Face  the Nation” on Sunday.

“My policy is to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to  Hezbollah in Lebanon and other terror groups as well. And we  stand by that policy,” the PM said. “And I’m not in the  habit of saying what we did or didn’t do,” he added.

If the recent airstrikes are proven to have been carried out by  Israel, the July 5 strike will be the fourth known Israeli air  attack against targets in Syria this year. The previous three   attacks targeted an area near Damascus on  January 30, May 3, and May 5.

Photo reportedly showing the explosions hitting Damascus suburb of Jamraya on May 3Photo reportedly showing the explosions hitting Damascus suburb of Jamraya on May 3


In late January, an airstrike hit a weapons convoy that carried  Russian-made SA-17 surface-to-air missiles, marking the first  incursion by Israel into Syrian airspace in six years.

In May, Israeli warplanes conducted two days of airstrikes,  targeting a shipment from Iran of Fateh-110 missiles. Such  missiles have the capability to strike Tel Aviv from southern  Lebanon.

Middle East expert and historian, Tariq Ali told RT that Israel  continues to attack Syria to get square with Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah is like a red [rag to a] bull to Israelis and  Israelis haven’t been able to wipe it out, though they tried many  times. Now they are hoping they can do it by weakening or  completely destroying the Syrian regime. Indirectly they are  providing help to the rebels,” Ali said. “Israel is a  country that considers itself above the law.”

Israel attacks Syria to destroy Russian-made ‘Yakhont’ anti-ship missiles

подводная лодка проекта 636 Варшавянка подводная лодка Варшавянка

Photo: RIA Novosti

It is for the first time that Israel has used its state -of-the art submarine fleet to hit a facility on Syria’s territory.

 According to today’s issue of “The Sunday Times” of London, in the early hours of July 5th, the Dolphin-class submarine fired medium-range missiles which destroyed the ammunition depots near the port of Latakia in Syria, located on the Mediterranean Sea.

 According to “The Sunday Times”, 50 Russian-made “Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles which Russia had supplied to Syria, came under fire as a result.

 Judging by the facts, the Israeli attack was carried out in close coordination with the USA, the newspaper says. Some time ago Israel received the Dolphin-class submarines from Germany.

 According to “The Sunday Times”, now the Israeli Navy has 5 Dolphin-class submarines.

 The latter are equipped with US Harpoon missiles, which are armed with nuclear warheads and which have a range of 130 kilometres.

 The latest attack was the fourth in succession, which Israel has carried out to hit the targets on Syria’s territory over the past 2 years, “The Sunday Times” says.

 Earlier warplanes were involved in similar attacks.

 Israeli airstrike targeted Russian-made missiles in Syrian Latakia – report

 Several blasts that took place on July 5 at a critical Syrian port was the result of airstrikes by Israeli fighter jets, multiple US officials said. Friday’s CNN report cited three unnamed US officials as saying that the airstrikes targeted Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles.

 No one had officially claimed responsibility for the explosions at Latakia, in Syria’s north.

 Israel’s government has also declined to comment on the allegations.

 The Yakhont is a cruise missile with a range of 300 kilometers, capable of delivering a warhead weighing in at 250 kilograms.

 Russia supplied Syria’s armed forces with a Yakhont missile battery in 2011.

 Russia denies S-300 delivery to Syria

 Russia has not yet delivered any S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman said Monday.

 “We take our responsibilities very seriously,” stressed Alexander Lukashevich of the Russian foreign office. “And we would never do anything that would be considered a violation of international rules,” he added.

 Mr. Lukashevich said the contract to supply the Syrian regime with S-300 missile systems was signed long ago but has not been fulfilled as of yet.

 Israel concerned about prospects of S300 missiles supplies to Syria: ‘They may fall into the wrong hands’ – Israel’s deputy FM

 Israel is seriously concerned about the prospects of the S300 missiles supplies to Syria as it may fall into the wrong hands, said the deputy foreign minister of Israel, Ze’ev Elkin, today.

 “The weapons, which in Russia are supposed to be defensive, turn into offensive ones in the Middle East. When such a system is deployed in Damascus, it covers nearly the entire territory of Israel, that is, it can shoot down any passenger plane,” added Mr Elkin.

 According to him, given the unstable situation in Syria, “who knows who will get their hands on them (the weapons). “This explains Israel’s deep concerns,” underscored the deputy foreign minister. “I hope Russia understood our stance on this issue.”

 Voice of Russia, Interfax,TASS, RIA, CNN, Haaretz, RT

Israel admits holding second secret prisoner / Prisoner X2

A second secret prisoner is being held in same jail that Israeli-Australian spy known as Prisoner X killed himself in 2010


Prison guard keeps watch from tower at Ayalon prison

A prison guard keeps watch from a tower at Ayalon prison, where Prisoner X2 is being held. Photograph: Nir Elias/REUTERS

Israel is holding a second unidentified security prisoner in conditions of extreme secrecy, according to court documents released this week in relation to Prisoner X, the Australian-Israeli secret agent who hanged himself in jail in 2010 and whose case caused a sensation when it was exposed earlier this year.

The existence of another top-secret prisoner was acknowledged in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, although no details were disclosed.

But former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman described it as “an exceptionally grave case”, and the lawyer for Ben Zygier, who was dubbed Prisoner X when details of his case were revealed in February, said the second prisoner’s alleged offences were “sensational”.

Israel insisted it was acting within the law in regard to secret prisoners held in isolation and whose identity is concealed even from prison guards.

The existence of “Prisoner X2” was revealed in an appendix to a document released by the justice ministry on the circumstances of Zygier’s death. It referred to “a separate prisoner jailed in Block 13”, a high-security cell in Ayalon prison. No further details were contained in the document.

Lieberman, the chairman of the foreign affairs and defence committee of the Israeli parliament, told politicians: “Following all the talk about prisoners X, Y and Z, I want to emphasise that the state of Israel abides by the law and all these incidents are being closely supervised by the legal and parliamentary establishment … Israel protects all the rights of prisoners in accordance with the law. We handle the matter scrupulously, even though this is an exceptionally grave case.”

The public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, denied that he had lied when he said in the aftermath of disclosures about Zygier that there were no other secret prisoners in Israeli jails.

On Wednesday he told parliament: “There are indeed no disappeared prisoners in Israel whose families don’t know of their arrest. Nor are there disappeared prisoners whose cases aren’t handled by the legal authorities.”

He added: “Nevertheless, sometimes there are cases whose existence cannot be widely publicised, in order to prevent damage to national security. In these cases a judicial gag order is imposed.

“There are also sometimes cases in which it is necessary to hold a prisoner under a false name to prevent damage to national security. But even in these cases all the prisoner’s rights are meticulously protected, and these prisoners are certainly not ‘concealed’ from the courts.”

Avigdor Feldman, who was Zygier’s lawyer, confirmed the existence of a second secret prisoner at the time his client was being held in isolation. Speaking on an Israeli radio station, he said “Prisoner X2” was male, an Israeli citizen, Jewish, and worked for the secret services.

Asked to compare Prisoner X2’s alleged offences with Zygier’s, Feldman said: “Without getting into details? Much more grave. Much more sensational. Much more amazing. Much more riveting.”

The reasons for Zygier’s detention are still unknown. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which revealed his identity in February, later said he had unwittingly sabotaged a secret operation to return the bodies of Israeli soldiers missing in Lebanon back to Israel. The Mossad, the Israeli secret service body for whom Zygier was an agent, was forced to abort the operation.

Zygier, an Australian Jew from Melbourne, had moved to Israel to join the Mossad around 10 years before his death. He was secretly imprisoned by the Israeli authorities for a number of months before hanging himself in his cell in December 2010. The outcome of disciplinary proceedings against six prison guards and officers in relation to Zygier’s suicide is expected soon.

Zygier’s family is reported to be seeking compensation over his death, saying the Mossad and the prison service were aware he was a suicide risk. According to the court documents released this week, Zygier’s mother emailed one of his lawyers from Australia on the day of his death, saying she feared he could be suicidal following a rift with his wife.

Prisoner X2 is being held in the same high-security facility. According to a report in Thursday’s print edition of Haaretz, based on accounts from prison service officials, Prisoner X2 is held in a cell without windows, has no contact with other prisoners or jailers, and prison guards do not know his identity or any charges on which he has been convicted.

He is allowed a short, solitary walk in a courtyard each day, and is monitored by security cameras around the clock.

Exclusive: Banned Cleric’s Outspoken Deputy Visits White House

Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender’s secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed

A new documentary claims the showbiz psychic is involved in global espionage – and that after 9/11 he was ‘reactivated’ as a pyschic spy. Geoffrey Macnab finds out more

Geoffrey Macnab

Friday, 14 June 2013

We may know him for spoon bending antics and for his lengthy friendship with pop star Michael Jackson but showbiz psychic Uri Geller has seemingly had a lengthy second career as a secret agent for Mossad and the CIA, albeit one that was more Austin Powers than James Bond.

Geller was at the Sheffield Doc Fest this week for the premiere of Vikram Jayanti’s The Secret Life Of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?, a new film that offers compelling evidence of his involvement in the shadowy world of espionage.

“Uri has a controversial reputation. A lot of people think he is a fraud, a lot of people think he is a trickster and makes things up but at the same time he has a huge following and a history of doing things that nobody can explain,” Jayanti says of his Zelig-like subject.

Speaking to The Independent, Geller acknowledged alarm when he first saw Jayanti’s documentary.

“I was worried and I am still concerned,” Geller said of the way the documentary outs him as a spy. “I didn’t realise that Vikram was going to do such a thorough job of tying all the loose ends…making that the little hints I dropped throughout my career were real.”

When he signed up for the doc, the psychic didn’t realise quite how diligently Jayanti would track down his old spy masters. Nonetheless, he is happy that the doc is showing “a serious side” to him. “Some countries think I am a freak, bizarre, an eccentric,” he sighs.

On camera and in interview, Geller still remains coy about his espionage activities. Nonetheless, the psychic acknowledges that his handlers once asked him to use telepathy to stop a pig’s heart. He refused, knowing that if he had succeeded, the next target would almost certainly have been a human.

“I tried to execute missions that were positive,” Geller claims. “I said ‘no’ to dark things.”

Jayanti didn’t rely on Geller’s own cryptic testimony. Instead, he spoke to the high-level officials involved in recruiting and using him. These include scientists from The Stanford Research Institute as well as senior CIA operatives. Among the interviewees with first hand knowledge of Geller’s psychic spying activities are former CIA officer Kit Green, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell (the sixth man to walk on the moon), physicists Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff, and retired US army colonel John Alexander (of The Men Who Stared At Goats fame). A Brit, Nick Pope, once the British Government’s UFO boffin, also puts in an appearance. We also learn about Geller’s stint as a psychic bodyguard for Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo.

The doc leaves a question mark in its title but provides so much background evidence that we are left in little doubt that even its most outlandish assertions are rooted in truth. Whether or not Geller had psychic powers, US security forces were certainly prepared to take a very hefty wager on him.

It is inferred that Geller attempted to use his psychic powers to disable radar during the “raid on Entebbe,” when Israeli commandos stormed a hijacked plane.

The spoon bender also used his mind powers to try erase the contents of floppy discs being carried back to Russia by Soviet diplomats in Mexico and to convince a Russian minister to sign a nuclear arms reduction treaty. (Geller is pictured alongside the minister flanked by a youthful and grinning US Vice-President Al Gore.)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears in the doc, testifying to his many years of friendship with Geller.

Jayanti’s thesis is that Geller was recruited as the US security forces were caught up in “psychic arms race” with their Soviet rivals, who were almost certainly bluffing about the strength of their own psychic warriors.

“When Jimmy Carter was elected President, one of the first things he did was to have Uri Geller give him a four hour briefing on the Soviet psychic threat. America didn’t want a psychic gap and Uri was the go-to guy about these things,” Jayanti said. “Sometimes, you wonder whether Uri’s entire public career has actually been a front for his shadow world activities.”

After 9/11, Geller was apparently “re-activated” as a psychic spy.

The key formative event in Geller’s youth appears to have been his near-death experience while fighting for the Israeli army during the Six Day War. He came face to face with a Jordanian soldier and shot him to save his own life.

“Out of the entire war, that one incident, that split second of killing another human being, left me scarred and I definitely have recurring nightmares about that. I learned to live with it,” Geller tells me. “When I woke up in hospital in Jerusalem, I realised what I had committed…that soldier is embedded in my soul now. He is like my brother. That is the way I feel. Although these recurring nightmares are such that he comes and grabs me and says what did you do to me, I still feel his soul is in my soul.”

Although Geller is coy about how he helped the Mossad, he had one revealing anecdote about Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan in a restaurant.

“He (Dayan) was an avid collector of archaeological items, very ancient ones, four, five six thousand years old. They’re all around Israel. When he met me and saw my powers, the first question he asked me, after the serious questions of military use and all that…was ‘Uri, do you think you can find for me some archaeological artefacts with your powers.’ I said, ‘You know, Moshe, I’ve never done it but let’s try!’”

This led to various late night trips when Geller would take Dayan with him as he went dousing for ancient relics. “I found quite a few things for him. He loved it. He used to collect them in his garden.”

Spying for the CIA is one thing, football another. In Sheffield, Geller belatedly offered his apologies to the Scottish people for using his psychic powers from a helicopter above Wembley to try to make the ball move before Gary McAllister took his fateful, missed penalty against England during the Euro 1996 tournament. He acknowledged that was one occasion when he had most definitely crossed ethical lines.

“I then realised after I got hate letters, hundreds and hundreds from Scotland, that it was absolutely and utterly unethical,” Geller confessed. “Guess what, I bought a Scottish island. I made up with Scotland. I am an owner of a Scottish island. That, to me, means I am partially Scottish.”

(The Secret Life Of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy? Was a premiere at the Sheffield Doc/Fest and will be broadcast by the BBC later in the year.)

“Suspicious” death in France after medicine alert: ! Diuretic furosemide may contain the sedative zopiclone !

Source: Reuters – Sun, 9 Jun 2013 02:33 PM

Author: Reuters

(Adds Teva statement, ANSM inspection plan)

MARSEILLE/PARIS, June 9 (Reuters) – French police are investigating the death of a 92-year-old man as “suspicious” after he was given medicine that may have been wrongly labelled as a diuretic drug, a police representative said on Sunday.

The man’s death on Saturday was two days after France’s pharmaceutical watchdog ANSM asked pharmacies to take off the shelves 190,000 boxes of the diuretic furosemide supplied by Israeli drugmaker Teva, saying that they may contain the sedative zopiclone.

The ANSM also asked patients who had been sold some of the identified batch of boxes to return them to their pharmacies.

Police found open boxes of furosemide in the dead man’s home, the representative said. An autopsy will be conducted on Monday to determine the cause of death.

The ANSM said in a statement on Sunday that it was aware of the police investigation but said it was too early to say whether the death was caused by mislabelled drugs.

It intends to make an on-site inspection of Teva’s generics lab on Monday to look into the labelling problem.

A Teva spokesman said that this was a local incident limited to France only and that the company is conducting its own inquiry into whether there is a link between the death and its product.

The ANSM said that zopiclone causes drowsiness and sleep that can last one or two days for elderly patients. It cited a risk of coma for patients already taking sedatives.  (Reporting by Francois Revilla in Marseille and Sophie Louet in Paris; Additional reporting by Tova Cohen in Tel Aviv; Writing by Lionel Laurent; Editing by David Goodman)

US discloses Israel’s top-secret military base outraging Tel-Aviv

  Published time: June 04, 2013 19:17      Edited time: June 04, 2013 21:05                                                                            

An Arrow II battery, a U.S.-backed Israeli missile shield, is seen at Palmachim base, south of Tel Aviv May 29, 2013.(Reuters / Amir Cohen)

An Arrow II battery, a U.S.-backed Israeli missile shield, is seen at Palmachim base, south of Tel Aviv May 29, 2013.(Reuters / Amir Cohen)

The US government has inadvertently revealed the details of a top-secret Israeli missile base in published bid requests, leaving military officials in Tel-Aviv in the state of shock.

Israel has turned to the US government with its plans to build a  state-of-the-art facility to host the new ballistic-missile  defense system, the Arrow 3, McClatchy’s Washington Bureau  reports.
In accordance with its usual procedure, the US Defense Department  has published the details of the $25 million project on a federal  business opportunities website so that contractors could bid on  it.
Over 1,000 pages of specifications included a thorough  description of the future base from the depth of the underground  complex to building materials to be used in construction.
The information on the facility at Tel Shahar is classified in  Israel, with the local military even refusing to officially  confirm its location between the cities of Jerusalem and Ashdod.
“If an enemy of Israel wanted to launch an attack against a  facility, this would give him an easy how-to guide. This type of  information is closely guarded and its release can jeopardize the  entire facility,” an unnamed Israeli military official  commented, refusing to say if the plans for the base will be  altered as a result of the disclosure.

“This is more than worrying, it’s shocking,” he added.

An Israeli Air Force Sikorsky CH-53 helicopter lands in the Tel Nof air base in central Israel.(Reuters / Baz Ratner)

According to the bid requests, the Arrow 3 system will include  six interceptor missiles in vertical launch positions to be  placed at the base, with a gantry crane to be erected for further  missiles.
High-grade concrete reinforced with steel mesh grids will be used  to build the structures encasing the interceptor system, which  will have steel blast doors and a system to protect electrical  wiring from the pressure during the launch.
The Arrow 3 is a defense system designed to intercept ballistic  missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s expected to become  operational in 2015-16 to tackle possible threats from the  nuclear weapon program developed by neighboring Iran.     “We’re thinking mostly about the nuclear threat,” Col. Aviram  Hasson, who heads the Arrow 3 project, is cited as saying by “We want to reach a situation in which Israel has a  ready defense for any threat, present or future.”
Earlier, the head of the bidding process at Israel’s Defense  Ministry, Lt. Col. Peleg Zeevi, told Reuters that the project was  given to the Americans as the IDF needed “a player that has the  knowledge, ability and experience” in the field.
Since 1998, the US had built military facilities worth $500  million for the Israeli army, which, according to Zeevi, was   “aware of the security issues that arise in deals with foreign  firms.” But it seems that the scale of the disclosure of a  top-secret facility was too much to handle for the Israeli  officials.

Bill Clinton is being paid $500,000 to speak at Israeli President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday party

By  Meghan Keneally

PUBLISHED: 17:53 EST, 3 June  2013 |  UPDATED: 17:55  EST, 3 June 2013

Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one in their  powerful family to be raking in cash on the speakers circuit as former President  Bill is scheduled to make a half a million dollars for speaking less than an  hour.

President Clinton is being paid $500,000 to  speak at Israeli President Shimon Peres’ birthday celebration in Israel on June  17.

The fee is being paid by the Jewish National  Fund, a non-profit group that will write the check to the former President’s  charity, the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Pricy speaker: The $500,000 fee that Clinton is eliciting will go to his charitable foundation 

Pricy speaker: The $500,000 fee that Clinton is  eliciting will go to his charitable foundation

The interests of the two groups align as they  are both dedicated to environmental preservation initiatives and global health  programs.

Clinton is due to speak at the Peres Academic  Center in Rehovot, Israel where a celebration is being held in honor of Peres’  90th birthday in two weeks.


The New York Post  reports that many Israeli media  commentators are upset about the size of the speaking fee, as it is  significantly higher than the average fee that President Clinton normally  receives for his time on the speakers circuit.

On average, he mades $180,000 per speech, and  the one at Peres’ birthday is expected to only take about 45 minutes, making it  shorter than most.

Living legend: Clinton will be traveling to Israel to speak at a birthday party for Shimon Peres (seen here with President Obama during his March visit to the Middle East) 

Living legend: Clinton will be traveling to Israel to  speak at a birthday party for Shimon Peres (seen here with President Obama  during his March visit to the Middle East)

Shindig: The event will be held on June 17 at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot 

Shindig: The event will be held on June 17 at the Peres  Academic Center in Rehovot

The editorial staff at Haaretz, a liberal  newspaper in Israel, wrote that the fee being paid by the Jewish National Fund  is a ’cause for embarrassment’.

‘Aren’t (the JNF) supposed to plant trees  with donor cash? I guess money does grow on trees,’ they wrote in response to  the non-profit’s decision to spend the money on the speech.

While the hefty sum is causing uproar in  Israel, it isn’t breaking any records for Clinton, has his most lucrative speech  came when he spoke to technology company Ericsson and brought home $750,000 in  doing so.

Prior engagements: Clinton has spoken in front of the Jewish National Fund in 2001 (left) and 2006 (right)Prior engagements: Clinton has spoken in front of the Jewish National Fund in 2001 (left) and 2006 (right)

Prior engagements: Clinton has spoken in front of the  Jewish National Fund in 2001 (left) and 2006 (right)

He made $75.6million from 2001 to 2010 from  speaking engagements, making $10.7million in 2010 alone and an additional  $13.4million in 2011.

His wife, former Secretary of State and  likely 2016 presidential nominee Hillary, is also making a dent on the speaking  circuit.

In April she gave her first speech since  leaving office and was expected to make a six-figure sum for speaking to the  National Multi Housing Council in Dallas.

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Israel ‘will know what to do’ over Russia missiles deliveries to Syria

С-300 зенитно-ракетный комплекс российская армия россия армия Оружие России

S – 300. Photo: RIA Novosti

Israel “will know what to do” if Russia delivers anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, its defence minister said Tuesday, in an apparent allusion to another air strike on the war-torn neighbouring country.

 “The deliveries have not taken place, and I hope they do not. But if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do,” Moshe Yaalon said.

 His comments came after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said providing the missiles to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad would be a “stabilising factor” aimed at deterring any foreign intervention in Syria.

 Voice of Russia, AFP


Dead sea scrolls go up for sale as family sells off fragments it secretly stashed in a Swiss safety deposit box

  • Palestinian family who originally sold  them  admits if kept fragments in a Swiss safe deposit box
  • Scraps are postage-stamp-sized, and some  are blank

By  Mark Prigg

PUBLISHED: 05:19 EST, 27 May  2013 |  UPDATED: 05:20  EST, 27 May 2013

Nearly 70 years after the discovery of the  world’s oldest biblical manuscripts, the Palestinian family who originally sold  them to scholars and institutions is has begun selling fragments it kept hidden  in  a Swiss safe deposit box.

Most of these scraps are barely  postage-stamp-sized, and some are blank.

But in the last few years, evangelical  Christian collectors and institutions have spent millions buying parts of the  archaeological treasure.

A Rabbi studies one of the 'Scrolls from the Dead Sea' on display in Glasgow. now the family that discovered them is set to sell more 'fragments' to collectorsA Rabbi studies one of the ‘Scrolls from the Dead Sea’  on display in Glasgow. now the family that discovered them is set to sell more  ‘fragments’ to collectors



The Dead Sea Scrolls consist of more than  10,000 manuscript fragments  representing 900 separate texts, including the  oldest biblical texts  ever found.

They were discovered in caves in the Judean  desert alongside the Dead Sea.

Most of the scrolls are animal skin  parchment, a few are  papyrus, and one is made of copper.

At least 90 percent are written in  Hebrew,  while the rest are in Aramaic and Greek.

They include 200 manuscripts representing every book in the Hebrew Bible  except Esther, most  in small fragments.

They predate the era of Jesus by about 80  years.

They also include previously  unknown works, thought to have been composed by a community or communities that  believed the End of Days was imminent.

This angers Israel’s government antiquities  authority, which holds most of the scrolls, claims that every last scrap  should be recognized as Israeli cultural property, and threatens to seize  any more pieces that hit the market.

‘I told Kando many years ago, as far as I’m  concerned, he can die with those scrolls,’ said Amir Ganor, head of the  authority’s anti-looting squad, speaking of William Kando, who maintains his  family’s Dead Sea Scrolls collection.

‘The scrolls’ only address is the State of  Israel.’

Kando says his family offered its remaining  fragments to the antiquities authority and other Israeli institutions, but they  could not afford them.


‘If anyone is interested, we are ready to  sell,’ Kando told The Associated Press, sitting in the Jerusalem antiquities  shop he inherited from his late father.

‘These are the most important things in the  world.’

The world of Holy Land antiquities is rife  with theft, deception, and geopolitics, and the Dead Sea Scrolls are no  exception.

Their discovery in 1947, in caves by the Dead  Sea east of Jerusalem, was one of the greatest archaeological events of the 20th  century. Scholarly debate over the scrolls’ meaning continues to stir  high-profile controversy, while the Jordanian and Palestinian governments have  lodged their own claims of ownership.

But few know of the recent gold rush for  fragments – or Israel’s intelligence-gathering efforts to track their sale.

Written mostly on animal skin parchment about  2,000 years ago, the manuscripts are the earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible  ever found, and the oldest written evidence of the roots of Judaism and  Christianity in the Holy Land.

They are also significant because they  include the Hebrew originals of non-canonical writings that had only survived in  ancient translations, and because they prove that multiple versions of Old  Testament writings circulated before canonization around 100 AD.

While some of the scrolls are nearly  identical to the traditional Hebrew text of the Old Testament, many contain  significant variations.

The scrolls were well preserved in their  dark, arid caves, but over the centuries most fell apart into fragments of  various sizes.

A section of the Dead Sea Scrolls: now smaller, blank fragments are set to be sold to collectors 

A section of the Dead Sea Scrolls: now smaller, blank  fragments are set to be sold to collectors

Israel regards the  scrolls a national treasure and keeps its share of them in a secure,  climate-controlled, government-operated lab on the Israel Museum campus in  Jerusalem. Pnina Shor, who oversees the antiquities authority’s scroll  collection, said the trove of fragments is so numerous – at least 10,000 – that  staff haven’t finished counting them all.

Israel has been criticized for limiting  scholarly access, but is partnering with Google to upload images of scrolls  online.

How most of the Dead Sea Scrolls ended up in  Israeli hands is a tale that begins with a Bedouin shepherd who cast a stone  inside a dark cave and heard the sound of something breaking. He found clay  jars, some with rolled-up scrolls inside.

After a return visit, he and his Bedouin  companions had found a total of seven scrolls.

They sold three of them through an  antiquities dealer to a Hebrew University professor, and four to William  Kando’s father, a Christian cobbler in Bethlehem who in turn sold them to the  archbishop of the Assyrian Orthodox church.

On the eve of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the  archbishop smuggled the scrolls to the U.S. and advertised them in a Wall Street  Journal classifieds ad.

Yigael Yadin, Israeli war hero and later one  of Israel’s pre-eminent archaeologists, bought them through a front man.

For the next decade, archaeologists dug up  thousands more scroll fragments in Dead Sea area caves and began to  assemble them, like a jigsaw puzzle, in the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum in  east Jerusalem, then ruled by Jordan.

Bedouins also found fragments and sold them  to Kando, who in turn sold most of them to the museum.

Other fragments went to Jordanian and French  state collections, and universities in Chicago, Montreal and Heidelberg,  Germany.

In the 1967 Mideast war, Israel seized the  Rockefeller collection, and sent soldiers to Bethlehem in the West Bank, 8  kilometers (5 miles) south of Jerusalem, where Kando was rumored to hold another  important scroll.

After a brief imprisonment, Kando revealed  the parchment scroll in a shoe box under a floor tile in his bedroom, and sold  it to Israeli authorities for $125,000, according to a written account by Yadin.

It is called the Temple Scroll, because it  partly describes the construction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. At 8.15  meters (26.7 feet) long, it is the longest ever found.

but now more fragments have emerged 

In 2001 scholars announced that the scrolls, dating  between 250 B.C. and A.D. 70, have nearly all been published, 54 years after  their discovery by archaeologists in caves on the western shore of the Dead Sea  – but now more fragments have emerged

But Kando held much more than he surrendered  to Israel.

William, his son, said his father had  fragments tucked away which he eventually transferred to Switzerland in the  mid-1960s.

In 1993, just as scholars finally began  publishing research of Israeli-held scrolls, and the world was abuzz with Dead  Sea Scroll fever, Kando died, bequeathing his secret collection of fragments to  his sons.

It was the perfect time to sell.

Norwegian businessman Martin Schoyen, a  73-year-old collector of biblical manuscripts, purchased his first Dead Sea  Scroll fragment a year later, said Torleif Elgvin, a scholar with the Schoyen  Collection.

He eventually purchased a total of 115  fragments, many of them from Kando and some from an American scholar and a  British scholar who kept them as souvenirs in the early days after their  discovery.

A few years ago, Schoyen suffered financial  losses in a business investment and could not afford to continue collecting  scrolls, said Elgvin.

William Kando then took his business to the  U.S., startling manuscript collectors who didn’t know there was any scroll  material still available for purchase.

‘These were the hurdles I had to pass with  collectors in America,’ said Lee Biondi, a California dealer who sold pieces on  behalf of Kando.

‘The impossibility of it; people saying, `you  can’t get a Dead Sea Scrolls fragment. That’s impossible.”

In 2009, Asuza Pacific University, an  evangelical Christian college near Los Angeles, bought five fragments, along  with biblical antiquities, for $2,478,500, according to Azusa’s 2010 tax form.

The college said it had purchased the  fragments through Biondi and a private collection. Kando told The Associated  Press he was the source of all the fragments.

Between 2009 and 2011, Southwestern Baptist  Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, negotiated with Kando for the  acquisition of eight fragments kept in the Kando family’s safe deposit box at  UBS Bank in Zurich, according to a book published last year by the seminary  president’s son, Armour Patterson.

The Seminary did not disclose the sum of the  acquisition, but one family said it donated $1 million for the exhibit, and  another family said it donated $500,000 for the purchase of a Leviticus  fragment, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Qumran in the West Bank, Middle East, where parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found 

Qumran in the West Bank, Middle East, where parts of the  Dead Sea Scrolls were found

That scroll fragment includes passages from  chapters 18 and 20 concerning the laws of sexual morality, and carried a special  price tag because of the text’s significance, said Bruce McCoy of the Seminary.

‘The particular passage is a timeless truth  from God’s word to the global culture today,” said McCoy. In 2009 and 2010, the Green family, evangelical  Christians in Oklahoma City and owners of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts  retailer, bought 12 fragments for its private collection, the world’s largest of  rare biblical manuscripts.

Jerry Pattengale, who oversees the scrolls in  the Green Collection, would not say who sold them and for how much, and  Kando denied they came from his collection.

Representatives of the collections in Norway  and the U.S. say they will publish their research on the writings in a few  years.

Pattengale would only provide a basic  inventory of the Green Collection’s fragments: it includes material from Genesis  through Leviticus; Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Micah, Daniel, and Nehemiah; a  Psalm and a mysterious extra-biblical Hebrew document known as an Instruction  text.

‘They are really small pieces, but they are  important because you may have two or three lines that may have not been found  anywhere else.

‘And suddenly it adds a lot to the history of  the Dead Sea Scrolls,’ Pattengale said.

‘There is at least one rather amazing  discovery in one of them.’

Two examples of the pottery jars that held some of the Dead Sea Scrolls documents found at Qumran 

Two examples of the pottery jars that held some of the  Dead Sea Scrolls documents found at Qumran

He said a non-disclosure agreement bars him  from revealing the finding until it is published.

He estimated it would be released in about 18  months and published by Brill, the leading publishing house of Dead Sea Scroll  scholarship.

For decades, scholarly access to the scrolls  was tightly controlled by a small circle of researchers. Access is freer now,  but digital sharing of the artifacts among Israel, Schoyen, and U.S.  institutions is limited.

Governments have also jockeyed for ownership  of the scrolls, a dispute rooted in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the redrawn  borders that changed control of the desert region where the scrolls were found.

Palestinian officials claim rights to the  material because it was found in today’s West Bank, Jordan claims rights because  the material was discovered when it ruled the territory, and both have  unsuccessfully petitioned to seize scrolls when they were displayed abroad in  Israeli government-sponsored exhibitions.

Israel considers the scrolls its national  patrimony, and says all fragments should be in its large repository for best  preservation and research.

Ganor of the antiquities authority said under  Israeli law, all scrolls located abroad were removed illegally.

‘Whoever buys these takes a risk that the  State of Israel would sue,” Ganor said.’

But Kando said his father transferred  fragments to Switzerland in the mid-1960s – before Israel passed its 1978 law  preventing the unauthorized removal of antiquities from the country.

Biondi, the California dealer, said if it  weren’t for private collections able to pay large sums, fragments would still be  languishing in the Kandos’ safe-deposit box, and important historical  discoveries would not see the light of day.

‘It was kind of like a rescue operation, to  get this stuff out of the vault,’ said Biondi. Kando  would not say how many more fragments are in his family’s collection.

But since 1995, Israeli officials have been  keeping tabs on his attempted sales – and the correspondence of dealers and  middlemen – in an effort to determine what Dead Sea Scrolls his family has left.  They estimate that the Kandos are still holding onto around 20 fragments.

The Associated Press was given partial access  to the contents of a classified Israeli dossier – a thick red binder  which includes photocopies of foreign passports, photos of tiny scroll scraps,  letters written by Kando to prospective buyers, and testimony from informants on  attempted sales.

One such testimony alleges that in 2007, a  well-known professor in Jerusalem offered to facilitate the sale of a  Deuteronomy fragment to a U.S. dealer for $250,000.

A document dated May 17, 2012, marked  ‘confidential,’ listed eleven scroll fragments and their sizes, only a few  centimeters large.


Dead Sea Scrolls are currently located in the  following collections:

– Israel Antiquities Authority (More than  10,000 scroll fragments) – Shrine of  the Book at the Israel Museum (Seven of the most complete Dead Sea Scrolls)  – France National Library (377  scroll fragments representing 18 scrolls) – Amman Museum (fragments of 20 scrolls, including the Copper Scroll)  – Heidelberg University in Germany  (four phylactery pieces) –  Franciscan private museum in Jerusalem’s Old City (two fragments)  – Terre Sainte Bible Museum in Paris  (two scroll fragments) – University  of Chicago (one fragment) – McGill  University in Montreal (a few fragments) – St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, N.J. (fragments of  three scrolls) – Schoyen Collection  in Oslo, Norway (115 fragments) – Asuza Pacific University in Asuza, Ca. (5 fragments) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tx. (3 fragments)  – Green Collection in Oklahoma City,  Ok. (12 fragments) – Private  collection of Spaer family, Jerusalem (2 fragments) – Private collection of Kando family in Bethlehem, West Bank (the family does  not reveal how many fragments remain in its collection, but  estimates range  between 20 and 40.)

Israel is keen to obtain one scrap in  particular from Kando: a well-preserved Genesis fragment shaped like a butterfly  and about the size of a cereal box – ‘The largest fragment in private hands,’  Kando claims.

About 5 years ago, Israeli diamond  billionaire and antiquities collector Shlomo Moussaieff offered to buy the piece  and donate it to the country. Ganor, of Israel’s antiquities authority, said  Kando’s price of around $1.2 million was too high.

The fragment includes passages that tell the  story of Joseph, and is written in Paleo-Hebrew, an ancient Israelite script  pre-dating the Hebrew block characters adopted by Jews around the 5th century  B.C. and still in use today.

The Kando family agreed to display the  Genesis fragment, for the first time, in Southwestern Baptist Theological  Seminary’s exhibit.

After the exhibit closed in January, Kando  said the fragment returned to his family’s Swiss safe deposit box, still mounted  in the glass frame in which it was displayed.

Kando is said to be asking for about $40  million for the Genesis piece, according to Pattengale of the Green Collection.  Kando would not disclose financial details of his dealings, and said his family  is currently not participating in any new negotiations for additional scroll  sales.

Scholars consider Kando’s fragments to be  authentic because his father was directly involved in the sale of scrolls when  they were first discovered.

Scholars examining the Dead Sea Scroll fragments 

Scholars examining the Dead Sea Scroll  fragments

New scroll fragments from the Dead Sea region  have surfaced in recent years from different sources. In  2005, Israeli police raided the home of Hanan Eshel, an Israeli scrolls scholar,  after he facilitated the purchase of scroll fragments from a Bedouin man who  said he discovered them in a cave a year before.

The fragments were unrelated to the Dead Sea  Scrolls trove, but were found in the same region and dated to the 2nd century  A.D.

Eshel had already given the fragments to  Israeli authorities before the raid, and had said it was never his intention to  purchase them for himself, but Israel’s antiquities authority said he had acted  illegally. Eshel died in 2010.

In mid-2010, a team of 30 Israeli undercover  agents and officers staged a stakeout at Jerusalem’s Hyatt Hotel, posing as  interested buyers, and seized a papyrus fragment dating to the 2nd century A.D.  The Palestinian dealers offering the papyrus for sale were arrested.

It is likely more ancient manuscripts, and  even Dead Sea Scrolls, remain hidden in caves next to the

Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, waiting  to be discovered.

Many cave entrances are hidden by vegetation  and rock falls, or their approaches are eroded, said Lenny Wolfe, a Jerusalem  manuscripts dealer.

‘I would not at all be surprised if more  material were to be found,’ Wolfe said.

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Syria vows to retaliate against Israel

01.02.2013 Сирия Дамаск указатель оружие война

Photo: EPA

A series of massive explosions illuminated the dark sky over Damascus early Sunday, igniting renewed claims that Israel has launched attacks into the war-torn country.

 Syria’s government said the explosions were the second Israeli airstrike in three days. The latest target, officials said, was a military research facility outside the Syrian capital. A top Syrian official told CNN in an exclusive interview that the attack was a “declaration of war” by Israel.

 Syrian authorities vowed to retaliate against Israel but did not specify what action they would take.

 The Israeli military would not confirm or deny the Syrian claim that Israel fired rockets that hit the Jamraya research center in the Damascus suburbs.

 “We do not comment on these reports at all,” an Israeli military representative said.

 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “grave concern” over the reports of Israeli airstrikes in Syria Sunday but stressed that the U.N. is not “in a position to independently verify what has occurred,” his spokesman said.

 Sunday’s explosions mark the third time Israel has been accused of striking inside Syria this year.

 US not warned of Israeli aggression on Syria 

 The United States was not given any warning before air strikes in Syria against what Western and Israeli officials say were weapons headed for Hezbollah militants, a U.S. intelligence official said on Sunday.

 Without confirming that Israel was behind the attacks, the U.S. intelligence official said that the United States was essentially told of the air raids “after the fact” and was notified as the bombs went off.

 Ki-Moon warns against Syrian escalation 

 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned against escalating the situation in Syria after Israel struck targets near Damascus on Sunday, targeting what its officials said were Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah militants.

 Israeli officials said the raid, the second in 48 hours, was not connected to Syria’s civil war. It was aimed, rather, at stopping Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, acquiring weapons that could be used to strike Tel Aviv if Israel followed through on threats to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

 According to Syrian reports Israel targetted an arms depot, a research center and two brigades of presidential guards and killed over 300 soldiers.

 Voice of Russia, Reuters,, DPA, CNN


Israeli strike killed 300 Syrian soldiers – news portal

The Sea of Galilee is seen in the background as an Iron Dome, a short-range missile defence system, is positioned on a hill in northern Israel, on May 5, 2013.
The Sea of Galilee is seen in the background as an Iron Dome, a short-range missile defence system, is positioned on a hill in northern Israel, on May 5, 2013.

Photo: AFP

The news portal has quoted Syrian sources as saying that Israel’s nighttime air raid on Syrian military facilities near Damascus has left some 300 Syrian soldiers dead and hundreds others injured.

 Four targets came under attack: two brigades of presidential guards, an arms depot and a military research center.

 Israeli air strikes ‘open door to all possibilities’ – Syria’s government

 Israeli strikes on sites inside Syria open the door “to all possibilities,” Syria’s government said on Sunday, but without elaborating on any potential retaliation.

 “The government of the Syrian Arab Republic confirms that this aggression opens the door wide to all possibilities,” the cabinet said in a statement read at a news conference by Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi.

 Egypt, Arab League condemn Israeli attacks in Syria

 Egypt on Sunday condemned reported Israeli air strikes on Syria, with the Arab League also demanding that the UN Security Council act to stop what it called “Israeli attacks” against the war-torn country.

 The Egyptian presidency said in a statement the air strikes “violated international law and principles that will further complicate the situation.” The air strikes reportedly targeted rockets destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

 The Arab League, which like Egypt sides with rebels against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, demanded the Security Council “act immediately to end Israeli attacks on Syria,” which it described as a “dangerous violation of an Arab state’s sovereignty.”

 Israeli strike ‘aims to give direct military support to terrorist groups’ – Syria

 Syria has condemned the Israeli airstrikes against targets around Damascus, saying the attacks aim “to give direct military support to terrorist groups” fighting the government.

 The Syrian Foreign Ministry also said Sunday in a letter sent to the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council that the “Israeli aggression” killed and wounded several people and “caused widespread destruction.”

 Syria’s government refers to rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime as “terrorists.”

 Israeli airstrike on Syria is ‘declaration of war’ – Syrian deputy FM

 Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said the Israeli airstrikes are a “declaration of war” by Israel and that Syria would retaliate in its own time and way.

 He said the attack proved that there is an alliance between Israel and Islamists trying to topple the Syrian government.

 Following attack on Syria, Israel deploys Iron Dome missile defenses in the north

 The IDF has moved two Iron Dome anti-missile installations to northern Israel. The move follows media reports according to which Israel took out two weapons shipments in Syria. The installations were moved overnight Saturday, and have been set up in Haifa and Tzfat.

 Apparently bracing for possible retaliation, Israel deployed two Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the north of the country on Sunday morning, hours after it reportedly struck a shipment of Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah near Damascus.

 The Iron Dome can shoot down medium and long-range missiles and rockets. It has been used with a great degree of success to protect cities in southern and central Israel from Hamas rocket attacks.

 The move comes as Israel faces growing tension with its northern neighbors, Syria and Lebanon, over alleged airstrikes. IAF planes reportedly flew over Lebanese airspace to hit targets in Syria.

 Today, Lebanon’s National News Agency stated, “Israeli occupation army raised the degree of mobilization of its troops along the Lebanese southern border, in the wake of the raid by Israeli warplanes at dawn on targets inside Syria, a thing which was met by increased security measures by the Lebanese army and UNIFIL, in anticipation of any military developments.”

 At the inauguration of a new interchange at the northern end of the Begin Highway in Jerusalem today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not comment on the situation in Syria. At the ceremony of the interchange, named for his late father, Netanyahu said, “He taught me about the enormous responsibility that we have to ensure the security of the State of Israel and build up its future. This heritage needs to unite us all every day and so it does.”

 Iran condemns Israeli attack on Syria, urges countries in region to stand against the action

 Iran condemned an Israeli attack on Syria and urged countries in the region to stand against the action, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday.

 Israel carried out its second air strike in days on Syria early on Sunday, a Western intelligence source said, in an attack that shook Damascus with a series of powerful blasts and drove columns of fire into the night sky.

 Israel declined to comment, but Syria accused the Jewish state of carrying out a raid on a military facility just north of the capital.

 The Fars news agency paraphrased Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying Iran condemned Israel’s strike on Syria and said it was part of an effort by Israel to create instability and insecurity in the region. He urged countries in the region to stand against the “assault,” Fars reported.

 Massive explosions shake Damascus, Syria blames Israel (VIDEO)

 The blasts occurred a day after an Israeli official said his country had carried out an air strike targeting a consignment of missiles in Syria. The research centre hit on Sunday was also targeted by Israel in January.

 “The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army,” Syrian television said, referring to recent offensives by President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces against rebels.

 The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted eyewitnesses in the area as saying they saw planes in the sky at the time of the explosions. It said the blasts hit the Jamraya military centre and a nearby ammunition depot.

 There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials on Sunday’s explosions. “We don’t respond to this kind of report,” an Israeli military spokeswoman told Reuters.

 A senior US official confirmed to NBC News that Israeli Air Force bombed the military research center.

 The overnight Israeli strike reportedly targeted Iranian-supplied missiles to Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, a Western intelligence source told Reuters. “In last night’s attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah,” the source said.

 Massive explosions have been heard near Mount Qasioun in Damascus. The area hosts the Jamraya military research center, which came under Israeli attack earlier in January and marked the first incursion by Israel into Syrian airspace in six years.

 There have also been reports that the airstrikes targeted the 104th and 105th brigades of the Syrian Republican Guards, Russia Today reports.

 US President Barack Obama said that he will let the ”Israeli government confirm or deny whatever strikes they have taken.”

 Video footage uploaded onto the Internet by activists showed a huge ball of fire rising into the night sky on the edge of the Syrian capital.


 The Israeli Air Force conducted an airstrike on Syrian territory on Friday, reportedly targeting a shipment of advanced missiles. Unnamed US officials claimed that the missiles had been en-route from Iran to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

 Among the varying descriptions of the actual rockets, Fateh 110s have come up, which are advanced enough to strike Tel Aviv from southern Lebanon and, therefore perceived as a threat by Israel.

 Voice of Russia, AFP, Reuters, Arutz Sheva, The Times of Israel, Globes, Reuters, RT, dpa, BBC, TASS


Experts doubt Anonymous Mossad spy outing claims are kosher


Tinker, tailor, soldier, cobblers

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 26th March 2013 12:56 GMT

Free whitepaper – IT infrastructure monitoring strategies

Hacktivists claim to have published leaked data on more than 30,000 Israeli officials, including members of Israel’s Mossad secret service agency.

The boast by members of Anonymous follows a denial of service attack against the Mossad website ( over the weekend as part of the ongoing #OpIsrael protest. Previously obscure Anonymous affiliate Sector 404 launched the DDoS attack while elements of Anonymous and a Turkish hacker collective called RedHack carried out the data snatch and dump. Experts are however doubtful that leaked information is kosher.

The leaked data – including names, email addresses and physical addresses – were released in the form of spreadsheets through HackerLeaks, Google Docs and other sites and services. A small percentage of the leaked data include ID numbers and phone numbers.

Middle East Internet expert Dr Tal Pavel told [1] the Times of Israel that the data probably referred to Israeli citizens but is unlikely to be a secret list of spies and members of the Israeli defence forces, as the hacktivists claim.

“There is no doubt that they got some identification information about Israelis, but the claims that they hacked the Mossad site and got a list of Mossad agents is most likely psychological warfare, and not a hack into an important database,” says Pavel, who has downloaded and analysed the leaked documents.

The data contain many duplicate records, list people with homes in Palestinian towns and links to businesses addresses such as schools, show manufacturers and charities. Pavel, a professor at Tel Aviv University and director of the Middle East Internet Monitor website, reckons the information came from earlier breaches involving Israeli citizens, rather than a new attack against Mossad and the military.

Forbes is also skeptical [2], even going so far as to suggest that parts of the list had already appeared online months before last weekend’s events and noting the implausibility of foreign-based Mossad operatives maintaining Israeli email addresses.

Neither the Israeli government nor Mossad has commented on the claimed breach. ®


#OpIsrael is building up to a planned attack on 7 April that aims at “erasing Israel from the internet” in protest against its treatment of the Palestinian people.

Symantec discovers 2005 US computer virus attack on Iran nuclear plants

Internet security firm finds early ‘Stuxnet O.5’ version revealing espionage and sabotage virus released under George W Bush


    • Charles Arthur, technology editor
    •, Tuesday 26 February 2013 13.19 EST


Iran uranium-enrichment facility near Qom

An alleged uranium-enrichment facility near Qom, Iran. Symantec have discovered a ‘missing link’ 2005 version of a computer virus ‘Stuxnet 0.05’ believed to be used the US and Israel against Iran’s nuclear programme. Photograph: Digital Globe/Reuters

Researchers at the security company Symantec have discovered an early version of the “Stuxnet” computer virus that was used to attack nuclear reprocessing plants in Iran, in what they say is a “missing link” dating back to 2005.

The discovery means that the US and Israel, who are believed to have jointly developed the software in order to carry out an almost undetectable attack on Iran’s nuclear bomb-making ambitions, were working on the scheme long before it came to public notice – and that development of Stuxnet, and its forerunner, began under the presidency of George W Bush, rather than being a scheme hatched during Barack Obama‘s first term.

The older version of the virus, dubbed “Stuxnet 0.5” – to distinguish it from the “1.0” version – also targeted control systems in Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility, the researchers said.

“Stuxnet 0.5 was submitted to a malware scanning service in November 2007 and could have begun operation as early as November 2005,” Symantec notes in a report. It may have been submitted to see whether Symantec’s defences would recognise it as malware – in which case it would have been useless. One key to Stuxnet’s success was that it was not detected by conventional antivirus systems used in corporate and state computer systems.

The success of Stuxnet – in both forms – is reckoned to have averted a planned military strike by Israel against Iran’s reprocessing efforts in 2011. During 2010 it had seemed increasingly likely that Israeli jets might target the heavily-armoured plant to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

But the computer virus, one of the most visible forms of a cyberwar that is increasingly raging between nation states, made that unnecessary, and is reckoned to have put Iran’s plans back by years.

The 1.0 version of Stuxnet is reckoned to have infected Iranian computers after being copied onto USB sticks which were left in locations in India and Iran known to be used by Iranian nuclear scientists and their contacts. It then spread into computer systems and took over the connected Siemens control systems, spinning centrifuges to dangerous speeds in order to damage the systems.

The 0.5 version, by contrast, was transmitted as part of an infected control archive for specific Siemens systems used for uranium enrichment. Once active, it infected the network and control systems and closed off valves, a move that would cause serious damage to the centrifuges and the enrichment system. It also recorded data about the system it was on, which it would send back over the internet to a set of “command and control” servers – which at the time had been faked to look like a group of internet advertising agencies created in 2005, with names such as and, and all bearing the same phrase on the front: “Believe What the Mind Can Dream.” (They have since been adopted by other companies, or closed.)

“The 0.5 version was a mixture of sabotage and espionage – affecting the valves and reporting back,” said Sian John, Symantec’s director of security strategy for UK and Ireland Enterprise. “This really goes to show that with the right impact and amount of research, these groups can create very targeted attacks.”


Secrets and lies – the double life of Prisoner X

Rumours swirl about ‘Mossad man’, Ben Zygier, found dead in Israeli jail

Alistair Dawber

Sunday, 17 February 2013

He was “a double agent working for Iran”; he was “responsible for the botched operation in a Dubai hotel in 2010” in which Mossad agents killed a senior Hamas commander; he was “just a loud mouth who couldn’t keep quiet” about being a member of Israel’s secret service. These are some of the many theories about why Ben Zygier, or “Prisoner X” as he was known until last week, was held in Israel’s most secure prison for a few months before apparently killing himself in December 2010. His detention was kept so secret that even his guards didn’t know his name; his presumed crime so grave that even his family haven’t gone public about his case.

Zygier’s name, and indeed his existence, would not have been known had it not been for an investigation by Foreign Correspondent, a programme produced by Australia’s ABC television, which unearthed details about the Israeli-Australian. They disclosed that his body was returned to his native Melbourne just before Christmas (and just after the birth of his second daughter) in 2010.

What Foreign Correspondent did not reveal was why Zygier was secretly jailed, a void that the Israeli government has not been eager to fill. So what exactly did this keen Zionist, a volunteer in the Israeli army, do to warrant such treatment? He was held in solitary confinement in the cell designed for Yigal Amir, the killer of the then Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and had access to nothing but a few books. Even Australian officials in Canberra admitted last week that they were unaware of Zygier’s case, despite his status as an Australian national.

The lack of official information has inevitably been filled by speculation. Because of the timing, the first theory was that Zygier had been involved in the operation in Dubai to kill the Hamas agent Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January 2010. Zygier was arrested just a month later.

Several countries were outraged when it was revealed that some of the Mossad agents had travelled on fake passports – indeed, Australia expelled an Israeli diplomat in the aftermath. Was Zygier responsible for the images of Mossad agents being captured by CCTV? Was he responsible for bungling the passports? Or, more seriously, did he get turned by domestic security agents, as a Kuwaiti newspaper suggested last week?

One of the men who took part in the Dubai mission was Joshua Daniel Bruce, almost certainly an alias. The picture in a forged passport identifying Bruce appears to be of a man about the same age as the then 34-year-old Zygier, and of the 26 suspects he bears the greatest resemblance to Zygier. But on Friday a forensic facial recognition report commissioned by Reuters showed that Zygier and Bruce are not the same person, but it does not entirely dismiss the idea that Zygier was somehow involved in the Mabhouh operation.

At the beginning of 2010, the Australian journalist Jason Katsoukis uncovered evidence that Zygier was one of three Israeli-Australians running a front company in Italy, which ostensibly sold electronic equipment, to Iran among others. Zygier denied being a Mossad agent when asked by Mr Katsoukis, but it seems likely that he was working on contacts within the Sunni group, Jundallah, which has launched attacks against the Shia Iranian government.

Could Zygier’s incarceration be linked in some way to the arrest in February 2010 of Abdolmajid Rigi, the leader of Jundallah? Did Rigi blow Zygier’s cover and tell Iranian officials about the operation in Italy? In an interview with the Iranian Press TV after his arrest, Rigi said that American and Israeli agents were trying to persuade Jundallah to take their fight to Tehran. Rigi was eventually hanged, but what did he tell the authorities in Iran first?

Even if Zygier had compromised Rigi, would that have warranted the tough treatment Zygier received? Moreover, while the Israeli government will never comment on the cases, there is evidence to suggest that it has had a hand in the deaths of a number of leading Iranian nuclear scientists, some killed in their cars as they travelled to work; a grisly, if nonetheless successful way of checking Iran’s nuclear progress.

Did Zygier deliberately, or inadvertently, feed information about Mossad operations to Iran, or other hostile countries? Was he a fully fledged double-agent? Was he feeding information about Israeli operations back to officials in Australia – it certainly seems as though one official at the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv knew about Zygier’s activities and he was known to Australia’s secret service agents.

The answer to all these questions is that we don’t know. Little information has leaked out and even those closest to Zygier seem unprepared to speak. What we do know is that whatever he did, it ultimately cost him his life.–the-double-life-of-prisoner-x-8498165.html#


Prisoner X unveiled? Man who killed himself in Israeli jail-within-a-jail ‘was Australian Mossad agent’


Martin King

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A prisoner so anonymous that apparently not even his jailers knew his name or why he was locked up was a 34-year-old who had been recruited by Mossad, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He committed suicide in the Israeli jail in 2010 after being held for months, the ABC reports. It says evidence strongly suggests he was Ben Zygier, who used the name Ben Alon in Israel and had moved from Melbourne 10 years earlier. The reason for his imprisonment remains a mystery.

ABC reports: “The death goes part of the way to explain the existence in Israel of a so-called Prisoner X, widely speculated in local and international media as an inmate whose presence has been acknowledged by neither the jail system nor the government.”

It says the case is regarded as one of the most secretive secrets of Israel’s intelligence community and that the Prisoner X cell was a jail within a jail at Ayalon Prison in the city of Ramla.

“When an Israeli news website reported that the prisoner died in his cell in December 2010, Israeli authorities removed its web pages.”

“Egypt is descending into chaos,” Paul chief of staff Doug Stafford told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We should not be arming them with advanced weapons”

Rand Paul: No fighter jets, tanks for Egypt

Posted By W. James Antle III On 1:20 PM  01/31/2013 @ 1:20 PM In Daily Caller News Foundation,World | No Comments

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul sought Thursday to block the transfer of F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks to Egypt.

“I think it particularly unwise to send tanks and our most sophisticated fighter planes to Egypt at a time when many are saying the country may be unraveling,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

Lockheed Martin shipped 20 F-16s to Egypt last year while General Dynamics signed a contract to deliver parts for 125 Abrams M1A1 tanks to be manufactured in Egypt the year before, the New York Times reported.

U.S. aid to Egypt has been controversial since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood under new President Mohamed Morsi. But the Obama administration resumed the aid to reward the country’s democratic progress.

The senator has previously attempted to suspend all American foreign aid to Egypt.

“I think this is particularly unwise since Egypt is currently governed by a religious zealot, a religious zealot who said recently that ‘Jews were bloodsuckers and descendants of apes and pigs,’” Paul continued. “This doesn’t sound like the kind of stable personality we would be sending our most sophisticated weapons to.”

Paul also expressed concern “that these weapons threaten Israel’s security” and promote a regional arms race. The senator recently returned from a high-profile trip to Israel during which he repeatedly expressed his commitment to a strong alliance with the Jewish state.

“Egypt is descending into chaos,” Paul chief of staff Doug Stafford told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We should not be arming them with advanced weapons. It is not in our interest, it is not in the interest of the Egyptian people and it is not in the interest of Israel.”

“We don’t know who will control those weapons and we don’t know who they might be used on in the future,” Stafford added.

Paul’s measure is a proposed amendment to the bill extending the debt limit until May, which the Senate is expected to vote on Thursday.

Update: Paul’s amendment was defeated by a Senate vote of 79 to 19.

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Israeli air strike: Syria and Iran vow to retaliate

Arab League, Egypt condem attack. But target remains unclear

31 January, 20:45

An Israeli F-15 jet fighter (archive)
An Israeli F-15 jet fighter (archive)


(ANSAmed) – BEIRUT – Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, has been quoted by US media as saying that “there will be serious consequences for the Israeli city of Tel Aviv” in retaliation for an Israeli air strike on a Syrian military site. The threat was echoed by the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, who said that Damascus reserves the right to carry out a “surprise” strike against Israel as payback for the Israeli air strike in Syria on Tuesday night. Syria may “unexpectedly decide to respond to the attack by Israeli planes,” said the diplomat, Ali Abdul Karim, quoted by the Tayyar website of the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese former general Michel Aoun’s Maronite Christian party (allied with the pro-Syrian Hezbollah).

The Syrian government has today called on the UN to take action so that “the Israeli violation” is not repeated, and called for intervention by “international forces”. The news was given by Syrian state TV via a screen overlay of a Foreign Ministry statement. The ministry has urged “the commander of international forces to take the necessary measures within the UN against the dangerous Israeli violation, and to guarantee that this does not happen again,” according to the statement. The reference is to the UN buffer zone forces (UNDOF) deployed since 1974 on a part of the Golan Heights occupied by Israel. The target of the alleged Israeli air strike was a location north of Damascus and – according to reconstructions by Israeli media – the UNDOF area of competence was not part of the route used by the Israeli fighter jets, which instead allegedly crossed Lebanon and entered Syria from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Almost 48 hours after an Israeli air strike in Syria, amid the utter silence of Israeli authorities, the objective of the attack remains unclear. Was it a site for military research, as the Syrian army announced, or a convoy transporting weapons to the Shia militias of the Lebanese Hezbollah, as Western diplomatic and security sources say?    The Syrian Armed Forces issued a statement on state TV yesterday evening saying that the attack had targeted a ”centre for research to raise resistance and self-defence levels” in Jamraya, about fifteen kilometres north-west of Damascus, near the Lebanese border. It also stated that the air strike had killed two people and injured five others.
Several Western diplomats and security chiefs who asked to remain anonymous have instead said that the Israeli jets hit a convoy carrying arms to the Lebanese Hezbollah (allies of the Syrian regime). A US official quoted by the New York Times and the BBC said that the load included SA-17 Russian anti-aircraft missiles, supplied by Moscow to Syria after a previous attack reportedly carried out in 2007 on the Al-Kibar nuclear site in Deir Az-Zor. The attack was never officially acknowledged by Israel, while Damascus never officially acknowledged that the target was a nuclear weapons production facility, nor did it   carry out any retaliatory attacks on that occasion. Lebanon has simply stated that on Tuesday night (when the attack occurred) several Israeli plans violated its air space. However, even the route taken by the jets remains unclear. The website of the Israeli daily Maariv reports that the planes flew over the Golan Heights and then headed north, all the way to the objective, flying along the border between Lebanon and Syria. Haaretz instead reports that it was likely that the Israeli jets flew north over the Mediterranean to Beirut, and then turned east towards Damascus.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby on Thursday condemned Israel’s “hateful aggression” against a Syrian military research center, calling it “a clear violation of the sovereignty of an Arab state that contravenes the UN Charter”. El-Araby called on the international community to take responsibility for Israeli “aggressions” and defended Syria’s right “to defend its territory and its sovereignty.”

Egypt also has condemned the “Israeli attack on Syrian territory”, warning against similar attacks posing a “danger to regional security”. The remarks were made by Egypt’s foreign minister, Kamel AmrHe noted that the attack violated international law. Amr asked the international community to officially lay the blame on Israel for these “acts of aggression against Arab lands. (ANSAmed).


Forced contraception of Jewish Ethopian women is tip of global iceberg

A report claims Israel pressured women to reduce its poor black population. Reproductive rights need defending across the world

Lisa Hallgarten, Wednesday 30 January 2013 06.58 EST


Ethiopian Jewish woman hands

The hands of an Ethiopian Jewish woman during ‘Sigd’ prayers in Jerusalem. A report has revealed ‘Ethiopian women have been given injections of Depo-Provera without sufficient understanding of the purpose or side effects of the drug’. Photograph: Dan Balilty/AP

Should gynaecologists need to be told not to give women contraceptive injections without establishing fully informed consent? Of course not. But that is what has happened in Israel after it was revealed in a report by a women’s rights organisation that Ethiopian women have been given injections of Depo-Provera without sufficient understanding of the purpose or side effects of the drug. Some Ethiopian women in transit camps were refused entry to the country if they refused the injection, and others wrongly believed they were being inoculated against disease. While Israeli demographers discuss the need to “preserve a clear and undisputed Jewish majority among Israel’s total population“, it may seem anomalous that women in the Jewish Ethiopian population are forced or coerced into using this highly effective contraceptive method.

However, the conclusions of the report, written by Hedva Eyal, are that the injections given to Ethiopian women are “a method of reducing the number of births in a community that is black and mostly poor”.

Many people may be unaware that the Israeli case is merely the tip of a global iceberg of human rights abuses in the field of reproductive health. Forced sterilisation of people with learning disabilities and people of minority ethnic groups was documented across Europe and the US in the 20th century. Under the state of emergency in India between 1975 and 1977, thousands of men and millions of women were bribed, coerced and sometimes forced to undergo sterilisation. As recently as 1996 in Peru, a demographic policy led to a sevenfold increase in sterilisations in just two years, effected through widespread violations of women’s rights. A provider explained: “Many [providers] did not inform women that they were going to be sterilised – they told them the procedure was something else. But I felt this was wrong. I preferred to offer women a bag of rice to convince them to accept the procedure and explained to them beforehand what was going to happen.”

And on into the 21st century. What litany of coercive practice would be complete without reference to China’s one-child policy, the violent implementation of which was highlighted in two particularly horrific cases last year? From Uzbekistan also come reports that doctors working to quotas have been sterilising women without their consent during caesareans. Likewise in 2010, HIV-positive South African women reported being sterilised while undergoing caesareans, abortions or shortly after childbirth without their knowledge. Others were made to consent under duress: “She [the nurse] snatched something that I wanted, you know? She made up a choice. She made up a choice for me.” These are just the abuses that spring to mind – many more are being reported around the world.

The flipside of these is the concerted attempt by reactionary groups to deny women access to reproductive and contraceptive healthcare altogether. Right now Republican politicians in the US are fighting for the right of employers to refuse women contraceptive cover in their health insurance, and clogging up state legislatures around the country with bills aimed at eradicating abortion services. It has taken 15 years to pass a reproductive health bill in the Philippines that will allow poor women access to affordable contraception for the first time: the Catholic church fought it every step of the way and began its campaign to overturn the bill minutes after it was passed. Meanwhile 47,000 women a year die from complications of unsafe abortion in countries where abortion is legally restricted, or where services are inadequate to meet their needs. In Latin America, women and doctors are imprisoned for having or providing abortions, and women such as Savita Halappanavar are dying unnecessarily because of laws that prevent the termination of pregnancies that are life-threatening – even when they are not viable.

These cases are all connected – whatever the detail, wherever they are happening. They are all indicative of a fundamental disregard for women’s lives. Forcing women to bear children, or preventing them from doing so, denying them life-saving treatment during pregnancy, or carrying out medical interventions without establishing informed consent, these all threaten women’s safety, dignity and bodily integrity. They are serious violations of women’s reproductive and human rights and must not be supported or countenanced by governments or doctors any more.

The Army’s obesity problem: By the numbers

*Repost at request
In 2007, 116 troops were dismissed for being out of shape. In the first 10 months of this year, that figure was a rather massive 1,625
By Samantha Rollins | December 11, 2012
Members of the U.S. Army at a food court: While these soldiers look rather fit, some of their colleagues are struggling to stay in shape.
Members of the U.S. Army at a food court: While these soldiers look rather fit, some of their colleagues are struggling to stay in shape.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

When an entire nation has an obesity problem, it should be no surprise that its army will have one as well. These days, being “too fat to fight” is an increasingly common concern in the U.S. military. According to The Washington Post, obesity is now the leading cause of ineligibility among potential Army volunteers and current military personnel. Indeed, as pressure mounts for the Army to cut its budget, it has begun to dismiss troops who need to cut a few pounds. Here, a look at the Army’s weight problem, by the numbers:

Maximum weight, in pounds, for female enlistees

Maximum weight, in pounds, for male enlistees

Troops dismissed from the Army in 2007 for being out of shape

Troops dismissed from the Army in the first 10 months of 2012 for being out of shape

Percent of U.S. troops classified as overweight or obese in 2010

Percent of U.S. adults who are obese

Percent of civilians hoping to volunteer for the Army in 2009 who were physically ineligible to join, with obesity being the leading cause

Morsi blames media : Muslim children “must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue!,” Morsi 2010 Quote

Morsi blames media for his ‘apes and pigs’ comment

Posted By Neil Munro On 11:02 AM  01/17/2013 @ 11:02 AM In DC Exclusives – Original Reporting,World | No Comments

Egypt’s moderate Islamist president is complaining to U.S. Senators that his venomously anti-Semitic statements are being taken out of context by Western media.

His statements, such as “dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them,” reflect the long-standing ideology of Morsi’s political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Muslim children “must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue!,” Morsi said during a rally at his hometown in 2010. A video of the rally was released by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Morsi offered his “out-of-context” excuse during a Jan. 16 in a Cairo meeting with several U.S. Senators, including Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

“The president stressed they were taken from comments on the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and stressed the need to put the remarks in the right context,” said an Egyptian government statement released after the meeting.

The Egyptian president “stressed his commitment to the principles he has always insisted on, including full respect for religions, freedom of faith and religious practices, especially the heavenly religions,” of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Morsi also tried to cast his anti-Semitic statements as criticism of Israel, which has defended itself from numerous Arab attacks in 1948. He “stressed the need to differentiate between Judaism and its adherents from those who practice violent actions against Palestinians,” said the statement.

The growing recognition of Morsi’s orthodox Islamic views exacerbates the growing problems with President Barack Obama’s Muslim-outreach policy, which began in 2009.

The strategy gambles that the region’s popular Islamist movements will become non-violent and moderate when they have to keep local economies running.

But GOP leaders are already skeptical that Obama’s outreach policy is suppressing raids by the Islamists’ ideological cousins in jihadi groups, such as al Qaeda. GOP leaders are increasingly critical of the large-scale military and civilian aid to Egypt’s Islamist government.

Morsi’s vitriolic statements have long been tracked by experts and by mainstream media sites, such as The Daily Caller.

But on Jan. 15,  The New York Times recognized his comments, prompting an establishment media relook at Morsi’s ideological beliefs, and a bland response from the White House.

The New York Times article also cited a 2010 videotape of Morsi in 2010 calling Jews “apes and pigs.”

Jews are “bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs,” Morsi says in a 2010 video, distributed by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

The “apes and pigs” comment is boilerplate in Islamist politics, because the “apes and pigs” description is a quote from the Koran, which Muslims regard as the direct and unalterable command of Allah.

Morsi also said Jews caused conflict and wars long before the creation of Israel in 1948. “They have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout their history,” he said, highlighting other Islamic texts about Jews’ refusal to accept the new Islamic religion in the 620s.

“They are hostile by nature,” he said of Jews.

Hackers break into International Atomic Energy Agency servers

The UN nuclear watchdog has acknowledged one of its former computer servers had been hacked. The stolen information was contained in a statement by a group with an Iranian-sounding name calling for an inquiry into Israel’s nuclear activities. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is investigating Iran’s nuclear program.
A group called Parastoo Farsi for the swallow bird and a common Iranian girl’s name claimed responsibility for posting the names on its website two days ago. The group had been known to be critical of Israel’s undeclared nuclear weapons program.
The IAEA deeply regrets this publication of information stolen from an old server that was shut down some time ago,” agency spokesperson said and agency experts had been working to eliminate any “possible vulnerability” in it even before it was hacked.
Israel and the United States accuse Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability, a charge Tehran denies, and says the Islamic state is the main proliferation threat.
It is commonly believed that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, though it has never confirmed, nor denied the fact. Tehran has strongly denied any allegations, insisting that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Photo-Mohit+(Mobile)Mohit Kumar aka ‘Unix Root’ is Founder and Editor-in-chief of ‘The Hacker News’. He is a Security Researcher and Analyst, with experience in various aspects of Information Security. His editorials always get people thinking and participating in the new and exciting world of cyber security. Other than this : He is an Internet Activist, Strong supporter of Anonymous & Wikileaks. His all efforts are to make internet more Secure

Israel’s killer robot cars

   Posted By John ReedTuesday, November 20, 2012 – 12:33 PM

As Israeli ground forces literally stand on the brink of invading Gaza, they are likely being aided by the world’s first operational unmanned ground vehicle, the Guardium, which is already prowling the borderbetween Israel and Gaza.

Looking like a Smart Car on steroids, the Guardium is an unmanned armored car that carries more than 660-pounds of cameras, electronic sensors and weapons, according to the Israel Defense Forces’ blog (notice how the blog says it has built-in protection against denial of service attacks, that’s expensive). The killer go-kart can be operated in real time by a driver sitting in distant command center — similar to the way armed drones are flown by far-off pilots — or they can be programmed to “run patrol on predetermined routeswithout human intervention,” according to the blog. (Human Rights Watch will love that last bit.)

The Guardium can even “react to unscheduled events, in line with a set of guidelines specifically programmed for the site characteristics and security routines,” brags its manufacturer, Israel-based G-NIUS Unmanned Ground Systems. (The Guardium is basically an armored version of the U.S.-made Tomcar desert buggies.) That means that if the Guardium sees something it doesn’t like, it can apparently take action all on its own –likely alerting a command center to the presence of something suspicious, not opening fire without notifying a human operator first.

While the U.S. Army is conducting very, very limited trial runs of robo-jeeps in Afghanistan, the Guardium is fully operational, according to the IDF. Unlike the Army’s robot jeeps, which are pretty much serving as pack mules that accompany infantry units, the Guardiums are being used in a similar manner as UAVs, running patrols by themselves and using their sensors, equipped with “auto-target acquisition,” to look for the enemy and their weapons and…well, we’ll see. The IDF says the little robo-cars can “use various forceful methods to eliminate” threats.

“In case of suspicious activity, the Guardium can quickly respond and hold the suspicious elements back until manned troops arrive, or use various forceful methods to eliminate the threat,” reads the blog. “Its many sensors, including video and thermal cameras with auto-target acquisition, sensitive microphones, powerful loudspeakers and a two way radio, combined with a top-speed of up to [50 miles per hour] make the Guardium a very reliable partner on routine patrols in dangerous environments” (emphasis IDF’s).

Click here for more pictures of the Guardium.


Israeli minister vows Palestinian ‘holocaust’

Palestinian woman mourns

Relatives of a Palestinian boy killed in an Israeli rocket attack

By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem

2:25PM GMT 29 Feb 2008

A senior Israeli politician provoked controversy today when he warned that Palestinians firing rockets from Gaza would be punished with a “bigger holocaust” from Israeli armed forces.

The use of the Hebrew word for holocaust, “shoah”, tends to be used exclusively in Israel to describe the Nazi persecution of Jews.

Palestinian activists routinely claim to be suffering a “shoah” at the hands of Israel, but the Jewish state normally denies any moral equivalence between the suffering of Palestinians today and European jewry under the Nazis.

Matan Vilnai, deputy defence minister, broke that taboo when he used the term “shoah” during interview on Army Radio.

“The more qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” he said.

His use of the term reflects the febrile atmosphere in Israel where public opinion demands the government does something decisive to stop the daily barrage of rockets fired from Gaza over the border into Israel.

The issue dominates the media, sparking angry protests from Israelis who live within rocket range of Gaza and prompting an intense national debate about whether to negotiate with the Hamas authorities in Gaza.

Israel has lost eleven of its citizens to qassam strikes since the first one was launched in 2003. Many hundreds of Palestinians, mostly militants but civilians as well, have been killed in retaliatory Israeli attacks.

The Israeli government moved quickly to try to defuse the impact of Mr Vilnai’s use of the sensitive term. His office put out a statement later trying to water down the meaning of the word.

“Mr. Vilnai was meaning ‘disaster’,” the statement said. “He did not mean to make any allusion to the genocide.”

The foreign ministry also got involved seeking to downplay the linguistic faux pas.

“Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai used the Hebrew phrase that included the term ‘shoah’ in the sense of a disaster or a catastrophe, and not in the sense of a holocaust,” Arye Mekel, Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman, said.

This was not enough to placate Palestinians who sought to exploit the use of the word.

“We are facing new Nazis who want to kill and burn the Palestinian people,” Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman, said.

The tit-for-tat exchanges between militants firing rockets from Gaza and the Israeli armed forces trying to hit them and their commanders continued, with the Palestinian death toll reaching 31 since Wednesday. One Israeli has been killed in that period.

Tens of thousands of Gazans took to the streets to protest the worsening violence on Friday.

“Gaza today faces a real war, a crazy war led by the enemy against our people,” Ismail Haniyeh, one of the most senior Hamas leaders, told a crowd gathered outside the mosque where he attended weekly prayers.

Israel has tried ground offensives into Gaza before to silence the rocket threat but they have failed to deal with the problem once and for all.

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, has so far been wary of launching a ground offensive, which could incur heavy casualties and derail US-backed peace talks with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian national authority.

Israeli Hackers Leak Credit Card Data from Palestine ISP

!!EEV: Again, always proceed with caution when clicking unknown links!!

Along war with airstrikes between Israel and Palestine, Cyber war between hackers from both country on fire.
First Hackers from all over world who supporting Palestine start attacking Israeli sites, now a hacker going by name “yourikan” has leaked a complete database from an ISP called PALNET (
In a statement, hacker told ‘The Hacker News’, “this is in react of the latest terror from Palestine in the missiles against Israel and the cyber war against us say no to Palestine! say no to terror!
Leaked database has been posted on pastebin and downloadable file on anonfiles and including credit card details and full personal address, numbers, names of various Israeli users and admin password and snmp secrets files.

About Author:

Photo-Mohit+(Mobile)Mohit Kumar aka ‘Unix Root’  is Founder and Editor-in-chief  of ‘The Hacker News’. He is a Security Researcher and Analyst, with experience in various aspects of Information Security. His editorials always get people thinking and participating in the new and exciting world of cyber security. Other than this : He is an Internet Activist, Strong supporter of Anonymous & Wikileaks. His all efforts are to make internet more Secure.

Jane Harman and Israeli Spying : NSA wiretap in 2005 had picked up Harman promising a suspected Israeli agent that she would aid people indicted for espionage on behalf of Israel

Possible New CIA Director Already Politically Compromised

Jane Harman and Israeli Spying


It is astounding to find that one of the handful of prospects being floated to become CIA director following the fall of General David Petraeus is a person reportedly implicated in a 2005 Israeli spy scandal.

CNN, Politico, and others have all listed former Congresswoman Jane Harman as a potential new CIA head. Oddly, however, none have mentioned reports in 2006 and again in 2009 that an NSA wiretap in 2005 had picked up Harman promising a suspected Israeli agent that she would aid people indicted for espionage on behalf of Israel.

According to reports, Harman allegedly told the Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two top officials for the powerful Israel lobby organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

In return, the suspected Israeli agent (who may have been a dual-citizen American) reportedly pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman was already the ranking Democrat on the committee.

At the end of the conversation, Harman reportedly said: “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

The two AIPAC officials had been indicted for illegally obtaining classified documents about Iran and passing these on to Israel. They also gave them to prominent Washington Post journalist Glenn Kessler, whose speaker bio lists three topics: “Global Affairs, Jewish Interest, Middle East Issues.”

One of the indicted AIPAC officials has since defended himself by stating that his actions were routine for AIPAC – that AIPAC staffers regularly obtain and hand on classified U.S. information to Israel and others.

AIPAC, worried at public exposure caused by the indictments, fired the two men. Subsequent lawsuits over their firing provided considerable information, from sleazy details about AIPAC high officials to the fact that dozens of AIPAC donors had provided monetary assistance to the two men, despite evidence that they had leaked classified U.S. documents to a foreign country.

Among these donors were Slim-Fast billionaire Daniel Abraham, philanthropist Lynn Schusterman, and Haim Saban, an Israeli-American who is one of the major donors to Democratic candidates. Saban, who is close to Harman, says his “greatest concern is to protect Israel.”  (His wife was recently nominated to be US ambassador to the UN.)

Harman, who frequently speaks at AIPAC events, is widely known for her strong advocacy for Israel and of Middle East wars on behalf of it.

She backed the attack on Iraq and now similarly maintains that Iran is a threat to Americans, despite the fact that Iraqquickly turned into a tragic, unnecessary, and disastrously costly debacle; that Iraq had none of the weapons of mass destruction that had been claimed; and that current claims against Iran are similarly tenuous.

The Jewish Forward calls her a “pro-Israel stalwart,” and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports, “Harman is beloved by the pro-Israel lobby and is a sure-bet appearance at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference.”

According to Open Secrets, Harman was one of the top recipients of pro-Israel campaign donations.

JTA reported that her departure from Congress in 20011, “earned her an unusually effusive statement of regret from AIPAC director Howard Kohr.”

Like AIPAC, Harman currently pushes the alleged need, often promoted by flawed media reports, for the U.S. to address what she claims is Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, despite the fact that U.S. intelligence agencies continue to find that Iran is actually not developing them. (She also neglects to mention that Israel has a stockpile of nuclear weapons and has refused to sign the nonproliferation treaty).

In her nine terms in Congress, Harman focused on military and security affairs and served on all the major security committees: six years on Armed Services, eight years on Intelligence, and four on Homeland Security.

Harman, who was married to billionaire Sidney Harman, owner of Newsweek, until his death last year, was listed as the second-richest member in congress.

Harman resigned from Congress in 20011 to head up the Washington DC Woodrow Wilson Center, part of theSmithsonian. The Wilson Center is listed as the 16th most powerful think tank in the world.

Like Harman, the longtime chair of the Wilson Center, Joseph B. Gildenhorn, is extremely close to Israel. He endowed theInstitute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland and may at one point have been an AIPAC board member. Wilson Co-chair Sander R. Gerber has been an AIPAC board member for many years.

In explaining her decision to leave Congress in order to direct the Wilson Center, Harman said: “Serving at its helm provides unique opportunities to involve the House and Senate, top experts and world leaders in ‘great debates’ about the most pressing foreign and domestic policy matters.”

While Congressional Quarterly’s Roll Call contains an article in which Harman denies the espionage-related reports, the publication seems to have taken down the report to which Harman was responding and to which numerous other articleslink: “Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC,” by Jeff Stein, Congressional Quarterly, April 19, 2009. (It’s unclear whether the removal of Stein’s article is related to the fact that three months after the story broke, Congressional Quarterly was bought by the Economist Group.)

In the report, investigative journalist Jeff Stein provided additional details about the incident and explained that whether or not Harman delivered on her promise (she did not attain her desired chairmanship), the making of the promise was sufficient to constitute, in legal terms, a “completed crime.”

Despite considerable outcry and calls for a Justice Department investigation, Harman eluded prosecution, the expected full investigation of the powerful southern California Democrat never happened, and Harman’s allegedly subversive actions seem to have dropped from sight.

While former Petraeus deputy (and currentlyacting director) Michael J. Morell seems to be the current frontrunner for CIA head, Harman and others are reported to still be in the running.  Also, Morell could prove to be a temporary choice to prevent a lapse in leadership while the long-term director is chosen.

If Harman does becomes CIA director, her appointment would no doubt be greeted with glee by the Israeli government. Whether or not Harman made treasonous promises to an Israeli agent, there is no doubt that she is a committed advocate for the Israeli regime.

Americans, on the other hand, might have less reason for joy.

* * *

For more information on the incident, see TPM, Salon, Time, Stephen Walt, the New York Times, and C&L.

For more information on the AIPAC case, see the investigative work by Grant Smith at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy – IRmep.

For more information on the pro-Israel lobby, see Introduction to the Israel Lobby by the Council for the National Interest.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew and president of the Council for the National Interest.

NATO in global cyberwar games

Nov 12, 2012 19:35 Moscow

глобус мир интернет коды

© Collage: The Voice of Russia

In the four days of its annual Cyber Coalition wargames beginning with Tuesday, NATO will be practicing operations to neutralize crippling cyberattacks on the infrastructure. In the scenario, an unnamed African country deploys a computer worm to down a military transport jet in Hungary and damage vital infrastructure installations in Estonia. NATO responds, in both cyberspace and the real world.

Head of the Moscow-based Social and Political Studies Centre Dr Vladimir Yevseyev sees an ulterior purpose to this exercise:

“Responding in cyberspace requires time. Responding offline spells war with God knows whom and is absolutely unrealistic. Indeed, any detected cyberattack could have been launched from anywhere in the world, including the United States. I suspect the ‘African country’ in the scenario is Russia, and the exercises are aimed at further souring the West’s relations with it.”

NATO, meanwhile, is quite serious about cyberwar. Germany, for instance, operates a permanent cyberwar unit within its armed forces. Great Britain’s De Montfort University in Leicester trains cyberwarriors for the MI6 and the MI5. Last October, Foreign Secretary William Hague urged young gaming and hacking geeks to waste no time in signing up to the course.

The powers with an appreciable cyberwar capability currently number between 20 and 30 and include the US and Israel. The two latter powers are widely suspected of having been behind the Flame attack that wrought havoc on Iran’s computer networks and the Stuxnet attack that disabled many of that country’s uranium enrichment centrifuges.

According to the Russian cybersecurity guru Yevgeni Kaspersky, putting curbs on hacktivism of this kind will remain a distant dream until appropriate international agreements take effect. Unfortunately, hroposals to hammer out such agreements encounter strong opposition as many argue that freedom of expression and information would come under threat.

Israel fires into Syria for second day: “it made direct hit, believed to be on Syrian mobile artillery”

IDF says it made direct hit, believed to be on Syrian mobile artillery, in response to shell landing near post in Golan Heights

Smoke in Israeli-Syrian border

Smoke rises after shells explode in the Syrian village of Bariqa, near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP

Israeli forces have fired into Syria for the second day in a row after a mortar shell landed close to an army post in the Golan Heights, amid fears that Israel could become sucked into the conflict across the border.

The Israeli military confirmed that tank shells fired by its troops in response to the mortar had made a direct hit. According to military sources, a Syrian mobile artillery battery was the target.

An Israeli government official hinted that the Damascus regime could be deliberately targeting the Golan. “Up until yesterday, our assessment was that ordnance that had fallen in Israel was a spillover from the internal conflict inside Syria. Our assessment has changed in the past 24 hours,” the official told the Guardian.

On Sunday, the Israel Defence Forces fired across the ceasefire line between Syria and the Golan Heights – which Israel has occupied since 1967 – for the first time since the Yom Kippur war almost 40 years ago.

Israel has filed complaints with the United Nations, whose forces patrol the demilitarised zone between Syria and the Golan, and warned that cross-border fire “will be responded to with severity”.

Mortars from Syria have landed in the Golan five times in the past week. There has also been some cross-border gunfire, and three Syrian army tanks briefly entered the demilitarised zone last weekend.

Some Israeli observers fear that Syria’s beleaguered president, Bashar al-Assad, may seek a confrontation with Israel as a way of rallying support for the regime after more than 18 months of civil war.

Israel’s military chief, Benny Gantz, warned a week ago that the “Syrian issue … could become our issue.”

On Sunday, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, called for restraint from both Israel and Syria. “The secretary general is deeply concerned by the potential for escalation. He calls for the utmost restraint and urges Syria and Israel to uphold the disengagement agreement, respect their mutual obligations, and halt firing of any kind across the ceasefire line,” said a statement issued by his office.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 six-day war, and later annexed it. Although the two countries are still technically at war, the area has been relatively quiet. However, the Syrian government has demanded the return of the Golan as part of any peace agreement with Israel. About 20,000 Druze villagers living in the Golan identify strongly with Syria and there are close family links across the buffer zone.

The Israeli government has been reluctant to comment publicly on the civil war in Syria but it is deeply concerned about instability in the region. It says Islamic jihadists are increasingly operating in Syria, the Egyptian Sinai and Gaza.

Meanwhile, rockets continued to be fired from Gaza into southern Israel despite Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire after a weekend of escalating violence.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told a gathering of 50 ambassadors in Ashkelon, a city close to the Hamas-governed territory, that Israel had “the right and obligation to defend its citizens”.

Amid speculation that Israel may be preparing a ground operation inside Gaza to halt rocket fire, Netanyahu said: “We will not sit idly in front of recurrent attacks that occur almost daily, against our citizens and our children … None of your governments would accept such a situation. We do not accept such a situation, and I as prime minister of Israel am not prepared to accept this situation, and we will act to stop it.”

More than 20 people were treated for shock after a rocket hit a house in Netivot on Monday morning. Six Palestinians, including four civilians, were killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza over the weekend.

Harvard ‘deeply troubled’ by row over Israeli buffet

Print Edition

Photo by: Courtesy
Business School responds to former student’s criticism, description of Israeli dining station as affront to Arabs.
Harvard Business School is “deeply troubled” for having offended Arab  sensibilities due to the mischaracterization of various foods appearing on the  menu of the dining room’s Israeli Mezze Station, Brian Kenny, chief marketing  and communications officer of the school, was quoted by Al-Arabiya as saying  Friday.

The controversy over the Israeli food station arose after  Lebanese Harvard graduate Sara el-Yafi on October 28 posted to her Facebook page  a letter of protest to the university describing the Israeli buffet’s menu as an  affront to Arabs, as such foods as humous and couscous are not of Israeli  origin.

“That ‘Israeli Mezze Station” is the ultimate multicultural,  multireligious ‘f*** you’ in the face of ALL Arabs at once from North Africa to  the Levant,” el- Yafi wrote.
“Israel already has a hard time keeping face  in the Arab world for the way it has ‘appropriated’ its lands since 1948, don’t  make it worse for them by having them appropriate other peoples’ foods as well,” she added.

El-Yafi also pointed out that haloumi cheese is in fact “Cypriot,” and therefore “until Cyprus becomes another conquered Israeli  territory, haloumi is considered NOT Israeli.”
She concluded that at the  very least the buffet should be renamed “Mediterranean Mezze Station.”

In  response to el-Yafi’s Facebook protest, which as of Friday had garnered more  than 4,500 “likes,” Kenny reportedly said that “we are deeply troubled that we  offended anybody by doing this buffet item, particularly considering that our  reason for doing the international buffet each day is to celebrate cultural  diversity.”

“We’ve been following the comments and the [Facebook] posts,” Kenny continued, which have “prompted us to have some extensive conversations  here internally… to understand how this happened and to make sure that it  doesn’t happen again.


Generation Hate Attacks and Creative Islamic hackers


November 9, 2012: In late October Israeli police were ordered to stop using the Internet or plugging USB memory sticks into their PCs. All this was prompted by the recent discovery of stealthy hacker software hidden in some police PCs. The source of this infection was a Trojan horse program delivered by official looking emails with a compressed (.rar) file attached. If a policeman opened the rar file that installed a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) which allowed the sender of the email to secretly take control of infected PCs. The police department network protection software should have detected this infection but did not, at least not quickly enough. Now, as the police scramble to improve their network defenses, they temporarily ordered their staff to stay off the Internet and not use memory sticks (another way to getting RATs onto a network.) This has been one of the most successful Islamic terrorist uses of hacking so far. For over a decade now Islamic terrorists have been trying, without a lot of success to make attacks on Israel via the Internet. The Islamic hackers were expected to get better over time, but Israel believed its defenses could improve faster. That has not always been the case.

Four years ago Islamic Hackers attacked the web site of the Bank of Israel on Passover weekend (April 19-20), and shut it down for two days. The hackers identified themselves as “The Moorish,” indicating that they belonged to a known Algerian hacking organization. But Israel suspected Hezbollah, which had been trying to build a Cyber War capability. The bank insisted that the damage was minimal, but they would say that in order to deny the hackers any inside information on how successful they were. Moslem hackers have been attacking Israeli commercial and government web sites for years. Until recently they have had little success, as the Israelis have been constantly improving their defenses.

It was expected that eventually Islamic terrorist hackers would get better. That’s because of Islamic terrorist connections to the hacker community. It’s no secret that the Internet is overrun with scams and crooks. We only have to look at the stuff that slips through our spam filters to get a taste. Less known is the fact that some of these Internet crooks are doing it to support Islamic terrorism. For over five years intelligence agencies and Internet security companies have known of hackers that also maintained several Islamic radical websites, and that used some of their stolen credit card profits to buy communications gear and laptops of the type favored by terrorists. Many of these terrorist hackers have been arrested, but in this aspect of the war on terror, you don’t broadcast success. That’s because you want the people the hackers work with (rarely face-to-face) to believe the Islamic radical hackers are still in business. That way, you can identify more of the people involved, especially those terrorists on the receiving end of stolen money and goods.

While the pro-terrorist hackers have suffered a lot of losses, the use of PCs and the Internet had expanded rapidly among Moslems in the past decade. This has created a generation of young hackers, many of them eager to go after those they have always been taught to hate. For a Moslem kid, that mainly means Israel. ©      2012

Israeli vehicle comes under Syria fire in disputed Golan Heights

­An Israeli military vehicle has come under fire from the Syrian side of the occupied Golan Heights near the demarcation line, according to the Israeli army.  Earlier the chief of the army, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz warned that Israel might be drawn into the Syrian conflict after Syrian tanks entered the buffer zone on Sunday. Syria and Israel have never officially ended the 1967 Middle East War in which Tel Aviv captured part of the Golan Heights and annexed it in 1981. Since a 1974 disengagement agreement between the two countries, UN forces have patrolled a buffer zone on the Heights.

Israel ‘planned Iran attack in 2010’

Binyamin Netanyahu ordered military to prepare for strike against Iran two years ago, according to TV documentary

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Binyamin Netanyahu: the order to raise the alert level was not carried out after strong opposition from Israeli security chiefs. Photograph: Reuters

Israel‘s prime minister and defence minister ordered the country’s military to prepare for a strike against Iran‘s nuclear installations two years ago, according to a television documentary.

But the order was not carried out after it met with strong opposition from two key security figures, the military chief of staff and head of the Mossad, claimed Uvda (Fact), broadcast yesterday.

It said that at the end of a meeting of selected ministers and officials Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak ordered the army to raise its level of preparedness to P Plus, a code signifying imminent military action.

But the army chief, Gabi Ashkenazi and the Mossad head, Meir Dagan, who were at the meeting, opposed the move. According to the hour-long Channel 2 programme, Dagan told Netanyahu and Barak: “You are likely to make an illegal decision to go to war. Only the cabinet is authorised to decide this.” The programme reported Dagan saying after the meeting that the prime minister and defence minister were “simply trying to steal a war”.

Ashkenazi voiced fears that raising the alert level would “create facts on the ground”, making a military strike inevitable. He was quoted as saying: “This is not something you do unless you are certain you want to execute at the end.”

Both security chiefs have since left their posts.

Barak, who was interviewed for the programme, said the order was not carried out because the military did not have the necessary operational capability. He rejected the notion that security chiefs vetoed the order.

“The things you are describing are the responsibility of the government,” he said. “The idea that if the chief of staff does not recommend something that is possible to do, then we cannot decide to carry it out – this has no basis in fact. The chief of staff must build the operational capacity, he must tell us from a professional point of view whether it is possible to carry out an order, or if it is not possible, and he also can – and must – give his recommendation. [But] it can be carried out against his recommendation.”

Barak also said that raising the alert level “did not necessarily mean war”.

The reporter for the programme, Ilana Dayan, said Israeli military censors prevented her from disclosing the date in 2010 for the order.

Since leaving office, both former security chiefs have made clear their opposition to premature military action against Iran’s nuclear programme. In August, Ashkenazi said “we’re still not there”, urging more time for sanctions and diplomacy.

Dagan said bombing Iran was “the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard“. He told CBS’s 60 Minutes: “An attack on Iran now before exploring all other approaches is not the right way … to do it.”

The current senior echelon of Israel’s military and intelligence establishment in Israel is also believed to have serious reservations about launching unilateral military action. The US has urged restraint, arguing that sanctions need time to take effect.

In his speech to the United Nations in September, Netanyahu pulled back from the likelihood of an imminent Israeli strike when he declared that a “red line” – the point at which Iran is close to nuclear capability – would not be crossed until next spring or summer. The Iranians say their nuclear programme is for domestic use, not to create weapons.

Scott Johnson, a senior analyst with IHS Jane’s, said that Israel still faces the same capability issues as two years ago. “The capability issues that prevent them from performing a unilateral strike are the same now as they were in 2010,” he said, citing the lack of air-to-air refuellers and heavy-duty bombs needed to penetrate underground bunkers. “They can plan and prepare for a unilateral strike as much as they want, but they can’t actually do it without the US.”

The timing of the broadcast, two months before a general election in Israel, could be significant, said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born Israeli analyst. “If Netanyahu and Barak are shown as too eager to go to war without considering opinion inside the cabinet and security establishment, that makes them look reckless. The fact that the [Israeli] military censors allowed the programme to be aired could mean that they are trying to show it was the military establishment that basically saved Israel from possible disaster.”

Channel 2’s disclosures came as a respected Israeli thinktank, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), published the outcome of a war game simulating the 48-hour period after an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear installations. In the scenario, Israel does not inform the US of its operation until after its launch. Iran reacts by launching around 200 missiles at Israel, and urging its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas to do likewise. However, it is careful to avoid attacking US targets in the immediate aftermath of a strike.

According to the INSS, there are two opposing outcomes of an Israeli attack: “One anticipates the outbreak of world war three, while the other envisions containment and restraint, and presumes that in practice Iran’s capabilities to ignite the Middle East are limited.” Its war game “developed in the direction of containment and restraint”.

Iran claims production of new advanced drone

The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran —

Iran’s media is reporting the country has produced a domestically-made drone capable of hovering in midair.

The Sunday report by several newspapers including the conservative Resalat says an advanced vertical take-off and landing or VTOL drone will be displayed in February.

Resalat quoted Abbas Jam, who is director of the project, as saying that the drone can also fly in silence.

Earlier in October Iran said it obtained images of sensitive Israeli bases taken by a drone that was launched by Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement that month and downed by Israel.

Iran says other drones made dozens of apparently undetected flights into Israeli airspace from Lebanon in recent years. Israel has rejected that.

Iran frequently claims breakthroughs in military technology and other achievements. Most are impossible to independently confirm.

Copyright The Associated Press