Posts Tagged With: Destruction

Here Are the Ancient Sites ISIS Has Damaged and Destroyed


Picture of the temple of baal

The ancient city of Palmyra, located in war-torn Syria, flourished as a Roman trading outpost around A.D. 200. ISIS militants seized it in May, and are destroying some of its historic buildings.
PHOTOGRAPH BY YOUSSEF BADAWI, EPA/COBIS

Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria continue their war on the region’s cultural heritage, attacking archaeological sites with bulldozers and explosives.

The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) released a video that shocked the world last month by showing the fiery destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin, one of the best-preserved ruins at the Syrian site of Palmyra. Last weekend, explosions were reported at another Palmyra temple, dedicated to the ancient god Baal; a United Nation agency says satellite images show that larger temple has largely been destroyed.

The destruction is part of a propaganda campaign that includes videos ofmilitants rampaging through Iraq’s Mosul Museum with pickaxes and sledgehammers, and the dynamiting of centuries-old Christian and Muslim shrines.

ISIS controls large stretches of Syria, along with northern and western Iraq. There’s little to stop its militants from plundering and destroying sites under their control in a region known as the cradle of civilization.

The militant group is just one of many factions fighting for control of Syria, where a civil war has left more than 230,000 dead and millions more homeless.

The group  claims the destruction of ancient sites is religiously motivated; Its militants have targeted well-known ancient sites along with more modern graves and shrines belonging to other Muslim sects, citing idol worship to justify their actions. At the same time, ISIS has used looting as a moneymaking venture to finance military operations.

“It’s both propagandistic and sincere,” says Columbia University historian Christopher Jones, who has chronicled the damage on his blog. “They see themselves as recapitulating the early history of Islam.”

A guide to cultural sites that ISIS has damaged or destroyed so far:

SYRIA

Palmyra

Palmyra thrived for centuries in the desert east of Damascus as an oasis and stop for caravans on the Silk Road. Part of the Roman Empire, it was a thriving, wealthy metropolis. The city-state reached its peak in the late 3rd century, when it was ruled by Queen Zenobia and briefly rebelled against Rome.

Zenobia failed, and Palmyra was re-conquered and destroyed by Roman armies in A.D. 273. Its colonnaded avenues and impressive temples were preserved by the desert climate, and in the 20th century the city was one of Syria’s biggest tourist destinations.

ISIS seized the modern town of Palmyra and the ancient ruins nearby were seized in May. The militants initially promised to leave the site’s columns and temples untouched. Those promises were empty: In August, they publicly executed Khaled al-Asaad, a Syrian archaeologist who oversaw excavations at the site for decades, and hung his headless body from a column.

Picture of Isis allegedly blowing up part of Palmyra

The Temple of Baal Shamin at Palmyra was attacked last month by ISIS fighters using improvised explosives. The group released photos of the destruction, and satellite images have since confirmed the Roman-era building was wiped out.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KYODO, AP

And the group released photos last month of militants rigging the 1,900-year-old Temple of Baalshamin with explosives and blowing it up. It was one of Palmyra’s best-preserved buildings, originally dedicated to a Phoenician storm god. Now it is nothing but rubble.

Just days later, explosions were reported at the Temple of Baal, a nearby structure that was one of the site’s largest, and aUnited Nations agency says the building was flattened.

Mar Elian Monastery

The Christian monastery was captured in August, when ISIS militants captured the Syrian town of al-Qaryatain near Palmyra. Dedicated to a 4th-century saint, it was an important pilgrimage site and sheltered hundreds of Syrian Christians. Bulldozers were reportedly used to topple its walls, and ISIS posted pictures of the destruction on Twitter.

Apamea

A rich Roman-era trading city, Apamea has been badly looted since the beginning of Syria’s civil war, before ISIS appeared. Satellite imagery shows dozens of pits dug across the site; previously unknown Roman mosaics have reportedly been excavated and removed for sale. ISIS is said to take a cut from sales of ancient artifacts, making tens of millions of dollars to fund their operations.

Dura-Europos

A Greek settlement on the Euphrates not far from Syria’s border with Iraq,Dura-Europos later became one of Rome’s easternmost outposts. It housed the world’s oldest known Christian church, a beautifully decorated synagogue, and many other temples and Roman-era buildings. Satellite imagery shows a cratered landscape inside the city’s mud-brick walls, evidence of widespread destruction by looters.

Mari

Mari flourished in the Bronze Age, between 3000 and 1600 B.C. Archaeologists have discovered palaces, temples, and extensive archives written on clay tablets that shed light on the early days of civilization in the region. According to reports from locals and satellite imagery, the site, especially the royal palace, is being looted systematically.

Picture of the Temple of Bel in Syria

The Temple of Baal was one of the main attractions at Palmyra, a Roman-era trading outpost in the desert northeast of Damascus, Syria. A UN agency says it was mostly flattened over the weekend by explosions detonated by ISIS.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDRA AUGER, REUTERS

IRAQ

Hatra

Built in the third century B.C., Hatra was the capital of an independent kingdom on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. Its combination of Greek- and Roman-influenced architecture and Eastern features testify to its prominence as a trading center on the Silk Road. Hatra was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

In 2014, Hatra was taken over by ISIS and reportedly used as an ammo dump and training camp. A video released by ISIS in April 2015 showed fighters using sledgehammers and automatic weapons to destroy sculptures in several of the site’s largest buildings. “The destruction of Hatra marks a turning point in the appalling strategy of cultural cleansing underway in Iraq,” UNESCO head Irina Bokova said at the time.

Nineveh

Ancient Assyria was one of the first true empires, expanding aggressively across the Middle East and controlling a vast stretch of the ancient world between 900 and 600 B.C. The Assyrian kings ruled their realm from a series of capitals in what is today northern Iraq. Nineveh was one of them, flourishing under the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib around 700 B.C. At one point, Nineveh was the largest city in the world.

NG MAPS
SOURCE: INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR

Its location on the outskirts of Mosul—part of the modern city is built over Nineveh’s ruins—put it in ISIS’s crosshairs when the group took over the city in 2014. Many of the site’s sculptures were housed in the Mosul Museum (see entry below), and some were damaged during the rampage through the museum documented on video. Men were also shown smashing half-human, half-animal guardian statues called lamassus on Nineveh’s ancient Nirgal Gate. “I’m not sure there’s much left to destroy in Mosul,” says Columbia’s Jones.

Mosul Museum and Libraries

Reports of looting at Mosul’s libraries and universities began to surface almost as soon as ISIS occupied the city last summer. Centuries-old manuscripts were stolen, and thousands of books disappeared into the shadowy international art market. Mosul University’s library was burned in December. In late February, the ISIS campaign escalated: Mosul’s central public library, a landmark built in 1921, was rigged with explosives and razed, together with thousands of manuscripts and instruments used by Arab scientists.

The book burning coincided with the release of the video showing ISIS fighters rampaging through the Mosul Museum, toppling statues and smashing others with hammers. The museum was Iraq’s second largest, after the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. Statues included masterpieces from Hatra and Nineveh.

Margarete van Ess, head of the German Archaeological Institute’s Iraq field office, says that a trained eye can tell that about half of the artifacts destroyed in the video are copies; many of the originals are in the Iraq Museum.

Nimrud

Nimrud was the first Assyrian capital, founded 3,200 years ago. Its rich decoration reflected the empire’s power and wealth. The site was excavated beginning in the 1840s by British archaeologists, who sent dozens of its massive stone sculptures to museums around the world, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum in London. Many originals remained in Iraq.

Picture of nineveh iraq

The walls of Nineveh were built around A.D. 700 to protected the Assyrian capital, at the time probably the largest city in the world. In February, ISIS fighters released video of fighters smashing sculptures and gates at the ancient site.
PHOTOGRAPH BY RANDY OLSON, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

The site itself is massive: An earthen wall surrounds 890 acres. The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities says ISIS bulldozed parts of the site, but the extent of the damage isn’t yet clear. Some of the city was never uncovered and remains underground—protected, one hopes.

Khorsabad

Khorsabad is another ancient Assyrian capital, a few miles from Mosul. The palace there was built between 717 and 706 B.C. by Assyria’s King Sargon II. Its reliefs and statues were remarkably well preserved, with traces of the original paint still decorating depictions of Assyrian victories and royal processions.

Most of the reliefs and many of the statues were removed during French excavations in the mid-1800s and by teams from Chicago’s Oriental Institute in the 1920s and ’30s, and are now in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad as well as in Chicago and the Louvre in Paris. It’s not clear what part of the site ISIS targeted.

“We don’t have photography showing how far the damage might go,” van Ess says. “The only information right now is from local people and Iraqi antiquities ministry.”

Mar Behnam Monastery

Established in the 4th century, the monastery was dedicated to an early Christian saint. The holy site, maintained since the late 1800s by Syriac Catholic monks, survived the Mongol hordes in the 1200s but fell to ISIS in March. The extremists used explosives to destroy the saint’s tomb and its elaborate carvings and decorations.

Mosque of the Prophet Yunus

Mosul’s Mosque of the Prophet Yunus was dedicated to the biblical figure Jonah, considered a prophet by many Muslims. But ISIS adheres to an extreme interpretation of Islam that sees veneration of prophets like Jonah as forbidden. On July 24, ISIS fighters evacuated the mosque anddemolished it with explosives.

Like many of Iraq’s sites, the mosque was a layer cake of history, built on top of a Christian church that in turn had been built on one of the two mounds that made up the Assyrian city of Nineveh.

Imam Dur Mausoleum

The Imam Dur Mausoleum, not far from the city of Samarra, was a magnificent specimen of medieval Islamic architecture and decoration. It was blown up last October.

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Sunday, December 7th, 1941–Admiral Chester Nimitz…..


Sunday, December 7th, 1941–Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone. He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet.
He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.
There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat–you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.
On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters every where you looked.

As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, “Well Admiral, what do you think
after seeing all this destruction?” Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.

Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?”

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, “What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?” Nimitz explained…

Mistake number one : the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning.
Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave.
If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk–we would have
lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two : when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired.
As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America . And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply .
That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or God was taking care of America.

There is a reason that our national motto is,
IN GOD WE TRUST

Why have we forgotten?

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Oregon’s Next Huge Earthquake: Not If, But When….


The clock is ticking on the next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, and experts fear it will be a monster

 

Following the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Oregon legislators commissioned a study of the impact a similar quake could have on the state, according to the Associated Press.
The report, “Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami,” was presented to legislators Thursday (March 14).
Within its pages is a chilling picture of death and destruction that would cripple the entire Pacific Northwest, from Northern California to British Columbia.
More than 10,000 people led. Bridges, dams, roadways and buildings — including Oregon’s State Capitol in Eugene — in a state of utter collapse. No water, electricity, natural gas, heat, telephokilne service or gasoline — in some cases, for months. Economic losses in excess of $30 billion.

The seismically active region has felt temblors before, most notably a massive earthquake and tsunami in January 1700 that wiped out entire forests in what is now Oregon and Washington and caused a deadly tsunami in Japan, thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. [Waves of Destruction: History’s Biggest Tsunamis]
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, chair of the commission that developed the report, told Oregon legislators, according to the Daily Mail. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”
That titanic 1700 shaker was a megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia Fault, a seismic zone that stretches for almost 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) just off the Pacific Northwest coast. Based on current understanding of the fault’s seismic history, scientists estimate quakes occur along the line roughly every 240 years.
In other words, another big Cascadia Fault earthquake is “long overdue,” the International Science Times reports.
The report also noted that, geologically speaking, Japan and Oregon are mirror images of each other. There is, however, one important difference: Japan is much more prepared for earthquakes.
And Oregon is hardly the only region of North America overdue for a large earthquake: The Lake Tahoe region on the California-Nevada border is home to the West Tahoe Fault, which generally sees a quake every 3,000 to 4,000 years, and the most recent temblor occurred 4,500 years ago.
Elsewhere in California, the southern San Andreas Fault last produced a big temblor in 1690, and has been relatively quiet ever since. That isn’t good news, since a major earthquake usually occurs there every 180 years, according to recent research, and the fault line now has more than 300 years of pressure built up.
Whereas the West Coast is usually considered the most seismically active region of North America, the East Coast also has earthquakes, just not as often. Fault lines have recently been discovered near New York City, and the Indian Point nuclear power plant, about 24 miles (39 km) north of the city, straddles the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones.
In virtually all of these regions, preparation for earthquakes has been woefully inadequate, say many experts. Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, laments the state of readiness: “Oregonians as individuals are underprepared,” Wacker told the Daily Mail.

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Portable “Ray Gun” biggest threat…send us to the 18th Century in seconds….


The nation’s attention of late has focused on a nuclear bomb or an intense solar storm as the source of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, assault on the nation’s vulnerable electrical grid system that could fry our electronics and wreak havoc on critical infrastructures.

Estimates are that tens of millions of fatalities could occur in the aftermath of such an event as food, fuel and power supplies evaporate and the nation is transported instantly back to the 18th-century lifestyle without a power grid or anything else electronic.
However, a similar threat has emerged from the so-called lone-wolf terrorist who can devise a portable EMP device and aim it at computers in a building, telecommunications linkages and banking automated teller machines – all on which the society has come to rely heavily for present-day existence.

And it can be done without a trace of who did it.

Recent concerns have been raised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the lone wolf – someone who strikes out on his or her own without any group affiliation – is considered a larger threat than one from al-Qaida or other organized groups.

Such individuals either may see themselves as supporting the views of various terrorist groups or may have a personal grudge.

Such an individual with a penchant for electronics can pull together components from a Radio Shack or electronic store – even order the components off of selected Internet websites – and fashion a radio frequency, or RF, weapon.

As microprocessors become smaller but more sophisticated, they are even more susceptible to an RF pulse. The high power microwave from an RF weapon produces a short, very high power pulse, said to be billions of watts in a nanosecond, or billionths of a second.

This so-called burst of electromagnetic waves in the gigahertz microwave frequency band can melt electrical circuitry and damage integrated circuits, causing them to fail. Ironically, this type RF weapon won’t affect humans, although there are some forms that experts say can affect the body’s own electrical system.
The pulse from an RF weapon travels at the speed of light and can be fired without any visible emanation. These weapons can come in ultra-wideband or narrow-band, with the latter acting like a laser emitting a single frequency at very high power. This pulse then is directed at a specific electronic target.

What makes RF weapons so dangerous is their compactness and ability to be powered by hand-carried energy sources. Experts say that their range of intensity is from 200 meters to 1,000 meters, or from some 656 feet to 3,281 feet.

Concern over the effects of RF weapons has been known to the U.S. Congress since at least 1997 when retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Robert L. Schweitzer testified before the congressional Joint Economic Committee on RF weapons and their impact on the U.S. infrastructure.

His concern then was that readily available technology, much of it off-the- shelf, places the capability of making RF weapons in the hands of lone wolves or more organized terrorists.
Given the rush to decontrol critical technologies due to the downward spiral of Western economies, they are often available to other countries without the needed scrutiny of U.S. licensing officials and are readily available for people residing in the U.S.

When he testified, Schweitzer called for drawing up a list of those technologies needed to make RF weapons and placing them on what was then called the Militarily Critical Technologies List, or MTCL, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. While the MTCL wasn’t a control list, it did show how technologies relate to the development of weapons systems.

However, many of the items listed on the MTCL were not placed on control lists of dual-use technologies administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce or the munitions list overseen by the U.S. Department of State.

Today, that list remains only as a reference and no longer is updated. Everything on the MTCL isn’t subject to export controls and isn’t referred to that often to show how certain technologies relate to developing weapons systems.

Part of the reason for virtually ignoring the MTCL today is economic, but the basis for eliminating the MTCL mostly was political, since calling them “critical” suggested that they be subject to export controls and then would interfere with the ability to conduct business in a competitive world.

At the time of Schweitzer’s testimony, however, consideration of placing certain technologies under export control was meant to deflect the ability of countries and terrorist groups from easily gaining access to those technologies.

One of the items Schweitzer gave as an example of technology that should be controlled was Reltron tubes. He said that these tubes can be small or large, generate intense radio frequency pulses and can be used as RF weapons.
While RF weapon components are on the MTCL, Schweitzer said at the time that even then there were no up-to-date guidelines or directives on limiting their access to end-users. He added that several countries have RF weapons programs and Russia admits to selling some technologies to various countries, making them readily available.

“Users of new weapons can be criminals, individuals, or organized gangs of narco or domestic terrorists – or a determined, organized, well-funded foreign adversary, either a group or nation who hates us,” Schweitzer said.
RF weapons emit a non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse, even though they project the same type of pulse that a nuclear weapon does.
“As a practical matter,” Schweitzer testified, “a piece of electronic gear on the ground, in a vehicle, ship or plane does not really care whether it is hit by a nuclear magnetic pulse or a non-nuclear one.

“The effect is the same,” he said. “It burns out the electronics. The same is true of the computers in this Senate office building, in industry, or on Wall Street.”

Schweitzer also referred to the possible existence of radio-frequency munitions which contain high explosives that produce radio frequency energy “as their primary kill mechanism.”

“Applications or potential targets would include all military computers, circuit boards or chips, of any description and include …key components of our military and national infrastructure,” he said. “They would have equal impact on civilian targets with the advantage less power would be required.”

Schweitzer pointed out that the effects of RF and EMP weapons have been known to presidential commissions, the Infrastructure Protection Task Force, a Critical Infrastructure Working Group, an Information Warfare School at National Defense University as well as divisions on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon.

At the time, Schweitzer pointed out that there were some 90 to 100 references in 26 pages of the 70-page Quadrennial Defense Review that speaks to this new threat and there were some 2,800 references “while a more thorough search found many tens of thousands of documents where the key words ‘radio frequency weapons’ appear.
“For many reasons the knowledge is diffused,” Schweitzer testified. “In the public sector the subject has yet to draw any real attention or concerted action.”

Schweitzer added that while the federal government is aware of these threats from RF weapons, “a general understanding is lacking. This is true not only of RF weapons, but of their immediate threat to our (Department of Defense) and national infrastructure.”

Nevertheless, Schweitzer said that vulnerable targets include airplanes, ships and vehicles.

“Of interest is the fact that we are doubly vulnerable because we are, and will remain, in an era of dual-use of military and civilian systems,” he said.

As an example, Schweitzer pointed to military communications.

“Our military communications now passes over civilian networks,” he said. “If an electromagnetic pulse takes out the telephone systems, we are in deep trouble because our military and non-military nets are virtually inseparable.

“It is almost equally impossible to distinguish between the U.S. national telecommunication network and the global one,” Schweitzer said. “What this means is that it is finally becoming possible to do what Sun Tzu wrote about 2,000 years ago: to conquer an enemy without fighting.

“The paradigm of war may well be changing,” Schweitzer said. “If you can take out the civilian economic infrastructure of a nation, then that nation in addition to not being able to function internally cannot deploy its military by air or sea, or supply them with any real effectiveness – if at all.”
Schweitzer warned that in addition to the advanced countries, “pariah” nations have similar interests in developing RF weapons and some have the financial resources to develop or procure them.

“Russian information on RF weapons has been moving across borders for many years,” he said. “The horse is out of the barn.”

To determine whether cheap, home-made RF weapons could be built by people with little technical know-how, the U.S. Army a few years ago conducted tests at its Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

The tests, conducted on behalf of the Department of Defense, were successful.

“The message here is that any number of groups in the U.S. or other countries can do just this, relatively easily and at relatively low cost,” said Mike Powell of Schriner Engineering in Ridgecrest, California. Schriner Engineering made the weapons.

The RF weapons were made from components readily available from electronic stores and out of catalogs. They generated an extremely short but powerful pulse of electromagnetic radio waves.

Powell said that such RF weapons also would be capable of bringing down an aircraft.

“Our whole nation is vulnerable,” said David Schriner, who helped design the RF device. “We dance along with all this high technology, and we’re very dependent on it. But if it breaks, where will we be?”

As a side note, Schriner sought to bring to the U.S. Capitol an RF weapon he made himself for display purposes when he testified before the Joint Economic Committee as far back as February 1998.
When the Sergeant-at-Arms to the U.S. House of Representatives heard what the capability of the device was – namely, capable of frying the electronics of computers that were in all the Capitol office buildings – Schriner was not allowed to bring the device into the building.
His point was to show that the low-end technolIn his testimony titled “The Design and Fabrication of a Damage Inflicting RF Weapons by ‘Back Yard’ Methods,” Schriner told of how he made one in his own garage.ogy needed to fashion together an RF weapon was readily available at very reasonable cost. In fact, his testimony went into detail on how a person can fashion such a device in his own home.

Schweitzer similarly had told the congressional Joint Economic Committee that he had challenged a group of young scientists from a national laboratory to devise an RF weapon. He testified that they had gone to a Radio Shack and bought the components needed to make the RF weapon. They then mounted it on top of a minivan.
“So, you’ve got a situation on the one hand where you could put components from Radio Shack inside of a van no bigger than a UPS (United Postal Services) truck with an antenna. And, that’s really what an RF weapon often looks like, a radar or antenna showing, and drive it around the Dirksen (Senate Office) Building, make a series of passes over the Pentagon or the White House, or the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration facility out at Langley) and pulse,” Schweitzer said.

The FAA facility at Langley, Va., just outside Washington up the George Washington Parkway shares a highly guarded campus with the Central Intelligence Agency.

With a radar loaded in the back of a van or pickup truck, it can be directed at whatever target is intended. Because the radar is directional, it won’t have any effect on the vehicle carrying the radar as long as it is pointed away from its electronics.

“You make a number of passes around the building and emit these pulses,” Schweitzer said. “They go through concrete walls. Barriers are no resistance to them. And, they will either burn out or upset all of the computers or the electronic gear in the building.”

Given such power, it may be able to penetrate the walls at CIA, even though the windows are covered with a fine copper mesh to avoid listening devices picking up on classified conversations inside the buildings.

A surplus radar which operates at a multiple Gigahertz level and capable of reaching out over a thousand kilometers easily can be fashioned into a directional RF weapon.
Schweitzer in his testimony had pointed out that a radar mounted in the back of a truck and aimed toward traffic or buildings would make a very effective RF weapon.

Open source information also has documented how an RF weapon can be used against aircraft in an Intentional Electro Magnetic Interference, or IEMI. In a 2005 technical paper titled “Potential IEMI Threats Against Civilian Air Traffic,” D. J. Serafin outlined such a scenario.

“An airport area could be a selected target for (Electro Magnetic) terrorism due to the high concentration of electronics equipment likely to be perturbed by EM threats, so producing broad chaos,” Serafin wrote.

Serafin said that the main areas for a terrorist RF attack would be the airport terminal, including registration and transit areas, the traffic control tower, the parking areas for the planes and the touch down and take-off runways.

“Potential targets inside these areas include communication and navigation systems devoted to flight aircraft and safety…as well as computer networks…”

Sarafin gave the scenarios on introducing a small RF weapon concealed inside a suitcase, placed near terminal computer networks and a truck-mounted RF weapon, which could be located near an airport with direct view of the runways with a range extended to 1,000 meters, or the length of three 100-yard football fields.
In the case of Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., like many airports throughout the U.S., such a van or car could park at a lot adjacent to the runway where planes take off or land. On the flight path of the aircraft flying into Reagan National Airport, they fly over the Potomac River coming from the north and either fly across or near Roosevelt Island, which is a U.S. Park Service-administered site complete with woods and deer, with a statute dedicated to the first environmental president, Theodore Roosevelt.

There are many areas on the island in which someone easily could set up a radio-frequency weapon under the cover of a canopy of trees and through the various openings aim the device at aircraft that either are making their approaches or taking off, depending on wind direction.

In his scenario of introducing RF weapons into the area of the airport, Sarafin provided detailed descriptions of the microwave bandwidth, distance and megahertz ranges for the most effect – something which a technically competent terrorist would easily understand and duplicate.

Targets for the RF weapon would include such aircraft equipment as onboard navigation and global positioning systems. Because of the antenna on top of the aircraft’s fuselage, these systems would be vulnerable, as would the display unit or computer inside the cockpit.

While the scenario concerned aircraft, there are reports that RF weapons have been used to defeat security systems, disable police communications and disrupt bank computers.

More advanced RF weapons can jam satellites, cause aircraft to crash, create pipeline explosions and large gas spills and cause life-saving medical equipment to malfunction. They also can be used to cause public water systems to malfunction and potentially create flooding as a result.

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Pearl Harbor…Dec 7th, 1941…Will History repeat and once again we suffer….


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aerial-view-of-the-initial-blows-struck-against-american-ships-as-seen-from-a-japanese-plane-over-pearl-harbor

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Man pleads guilty of plotting to blow up New York houses of worship…..


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One of two New York men charged last year with plotting to blow up synagogues and churches in Manhattan pleaded guilty on Tuesday and faces a decade in prison.
Ahmed Ferhani, 27, admitted to conspiring to attack the biggest synagogue in Manhattan as well as churches to send a message of violence to non-Muslims. Ferhani, who was arrested in May 2011, entered the plea in New York State Supreme Court.
Justice Michael Obus said he intends to sentence Ferhani to 10 years in prison. The judge said that after his sentence, Ferhani, an Algerian immigrant who lived in the borough of Queens, may be deported to Algeria.
Ferhani’s plea is the first conviction in New York under a state terror statute enacted in 2001 after the September 11th attacks and one of only two cases Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has brought since the statute was enacted.
As part of his plea, Ferhani told the judge that he conspired with another man, Mohamed Mamdouh, and the undercover New York police detective to “develop a plan to attack and damage a synagogue in New York County or elsewhere in New York City using explosives.”
“By targeting a synagogue, which I knew to be a Jewish house of worship, in this manner, I intended to create chaos and send a message of intimidation and coercion to the Jewish population of New York City, warning them to stop mistreating Muslims,” Ferhani told the judge.

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Battle of Britain….People and Places


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“Super volcano”, global danger, lurks near Pompeii


POZZUOLI, Italy (Reuters) – Across the bay of Naples from Pompeii, where thousands were incinerated by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, lies a hidden “super volcano” that could kill millions in a catastrophe many times worse, scientists say.

The boiling mud and sulphurous steam holes of the area west of Naples known as the Campi Flegrei or Phlegraean Fields, from the Greek word for burning, are a major tourist attraction.

But the zone of intense seismic activity, which the ancients thought was the entrance to hell, also could pose a danger of global proportions with millions of people literally living on top of a potential future volcanic eruption.

[Related: Super volcanos — is this the way the world ends?]

“These areas can give rise to the only eruptions that can have global catastrophic effects comparable to major meteorite impacts,” said Giuseppe De Natale, head of a project to drill deep under the earth to monitor the molten “caldera.”

One such meteorite impact is thought to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago when debris thrown into the atmosphere from the huge explosion plunged the earth into darkness.

Scientists plan to drill 3.5 km (2.2 miles) below the surface to monitor the huge chamber of molten rock near Pompeii and give early warning of any eruption from a 13-km-wide collapsed volcanic caldera.

The Campi Flegrei are similar to the Yellowstone caldera in the U.S. state of Wyoming but of more concern because they are in an area populated by around 3 million people in the Naples hinterland.

“Fortunately, it is extremely rare for these areas to erupt at their full capacity, as it is extremely rare for large meteorites to hit the earth,” De Natale told Reuters.

“But some of these areas, in particular the Campi Flegrei, are densely populated and therefore even small eruptions, which are the most probable, fortunately, can pose risks for the population,” said De Natale, from the Vesuvius observatory at Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology.

“That is why the Campi Flegrei absolutely must be studied and monitored. I wouldn’t say like others, but much more than the others exactly because of the danger given that millions of people live in the volcano.”

However, the project, funded by the multi-national International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme, has run into major opposition from some local scientists who say the drilling itself could cause a dangerous eruption or earthquake.

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