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April 8, 2023
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A Dark and Dangerous World  - ALLOW IMAGES

A Dark and Dangerous World

April 8, 2023
On April 7th, the following related Flash SMS
message was sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

4/7 - US Embassy Israel issues security alert warning of mortar and rocket fire due to heightened tensions. Caution and vigilance urged. More via email.

 
What You Need To Know

Tensions are increasing around the world. Let's take a tour...

France

Hundreds of thousands of people have continued to demonstrate across France against Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise the national pension retirement age from 62 to 64. Violent clashes with police are common in cities like Paris and Lyon, to include the burning of government vehicles, the defacing of civic property, and the smashing of bank windows. Macron's favorite brasserie was also set on fire.

On Thursday of this week, protesters invaded an office building housing the Paris headquarters of BlackRock, the world’s largest investment and asset management company. About 100 people, including representatives of several labor unions, were inside the building burning flares and setting off fireworks and smoke bombs. Protesters targeted BlackRock’s office due to the company’s role in managing and privatizing pensions.

UK / Northern Ireland

Last week, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified that the UK's internal security service MI-5 raised the terror threat level in Northern Ireland to SEVERE due to increased dissident activity and the targeting of police.

This week, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said it had “very strong” intelligence that officers would be targeted in Londonderry on Easter Monday, April 10th. This day is symbolic as it marks the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the peace deal that created power-sharing in the province and brought an end to the 30 years of conflict known as the Troubles.

Readers are reminded that Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Sunak will both arrive in Northern Ireland on Tuesday in order to attend a day of commemorative events marking the agreement on Wednesday.

Finland Joins NATO

The Republic of Finland formally became the 31st member of NATO on Tuesday of this week, finalizing the fastest accession process in the treaty's history at just under 12 months. Finland has 832 mi of common land border with Russia, meaning Russia's border with NATO more than doubles. In May of last year shortly after the NATO membership process began, Threat Journal reported on Russia's deployment of mobile nuclear-capable Iskander short-range ballistic missile to the city of Vyborg, approximately 125 miles east of Helsinki.

Map showing expanded NATO borders with the addition of Finland to the alliance.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stated this week that in the event forces and assets of other NATO members are deployed in Finland, "we will take additional steps to reliably ensure Russia's military security."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO had not yet seen any changes to Russia's nuclear posture that would require any change by the alliance. He added there would be no NATO troops stationed in Finland without the consent of the government in Helsinki.

Israel

On Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of a security alert issued by the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem warning of mortar and rocket fire due to heightened tensions. This crisis kicked off with Israeli raids in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The raids were carried out as protesters had stockpiled large amounts of fireworks and large rocks, which are used to attack Jewish worshipers in the Old City. These raids were followed by a barrage of 34 rockets fired from Lebanon into northern Israel. The IDF countered with airstrikes on targets belonging to the Palestinian militant group Hamas in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

This year is one of only three times in a century when Easter occurs at the same time as Passover and Ramadan. That assures Jerusalem and other sites across Israel are jammed packed. On Friday alone, two British-Israeli sisters were gunned down in the Jordan Valley, and a vehicle ramming incident on Tel Aviv's waterfront killed an Italian tourist and injured several others.

U.S. citizens are strongly urged to exercise caution and vigilance if in Israel during this period of tension.

Taiwan / China

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy welcomed Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen for a historic meeting on American soil Wednesday, underscoring US lawmakers' growing support for the self-governing island as tensions rise with China.

Beijing has reacted to past trips by Taiwanese presidents through the U.S., and to past trips to Taiwan by senior U.S. officials, with shows of military force. In a recent example, China responded to a visit by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last August with its largest live-fire drills in decades, including firing a missile over the island.

In response to this week's meeting, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that Beijing would take “resolute and forceful measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Also on Thursday, China announced three days of military exercises encircling the island of Taiwan. The exercise is reported to include boarding and inspection of cargo vessels in the Taiwan Strait, as well maneuvers and drills in the sea and airspace to the north, south and east of of the island.

Korean Peninsula

South Korea's Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup told the National Assembly's defense committee on Thursday that North Korea has already completed preparations for what would be its seventh nuclear test, and is capable of carrying out that test at any time. Lee went on to say that the North's next test, if pressed ahead, might be designed for "final technological verification" needed for the mass production and operational deployment of nuclear warheads.

United States

Following last week's tragic attack on a Christian school by a transgender activist that left three children and three adults dead, AlertsUSA again cautions readers that social media platforms and online forums continue to reveal extraordinary expressions of anger, along with threats, from trans activists and their supporters.

It was revealed this week that on March 31st, Elbert County, Colorado authorities arrested a teenager planning a series of attacks on schools and churchs in Colorado Springs. According to a news release by the local District Attorney, a teenage biological male named William Whitworth, who identifies as female, was charged with two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree, criminal mischief, menacing and interference with staff, faculty or students of educational institutions.

According to the arrest papers, a family member of the suspect called authorities claiming their sister “threatened to shoot up a school.” Once the arrest was made, the police account of which is pretty mind blowing, Whitworth began to reveal details of the attack preparation, including floor plans for at least one target, drawings of a detonation device using a mechanical clock, a manifesto, and a list of possible human targets.

AlertsUSA once again urges renewed caution and vigilance at any house of worship or affiliated school with doctrines and teachings against these lifestyles. As immorality and lawlessness continue to spread in our society, those institutions which are anchored in and teach conservative Judeo-Christian religious principles are increasingly being targeted. Now is the time to increase your security posture.

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


AlertsUSA.com

SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

4/3 - Security increasing in NYC preparation for the arraignment of former president Donald Trump at the Manhattan Supreme Court on Tues @ 2:15 PM ET. Caution urged.

4/2 - M6.7 earthquake, near the east coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. NOAA: No tsunami threat from this earthquake.

4/2 - M7.4 earthquake, 47 km ESE of Ambunti, Papua New Guinea. AlertsUSA monitoring for damage reports and tsunami warnings.

 
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As part of the latest traunch of military assistance to Ukraine, the U.S. is providing nine 30mm “gun trucks” to destroy Iranian-made drones. This is the same Gatling gun used on the A-10... - ALLOW IMAGES

Ukraine War Update+

April 7, 2023
What You Need To Know

According to the Institute for the Study of War:

  • Russian milbloggers responded with speculative anxiety to reportedly leaked (and possibly altered) classified US military documents about the war in Ukraine, indicating continued fear over the prospect of future Ukrainian counteroffensives in the Russian information space.
  • The Kremlin continues to indicate that it is not interested in legitimate negotiations while placing the onus for negotiations on the West.
  • A Ukrainian official reported that Russian aviation units are changing tactics, possibly as a result of aviation losses and depleted stocks of high-precision weapons.
  • High-ranking Russian officials reportedly can only leave Russia with permission from Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
  • Former Russian officer and prominent critical milblogger Igor Girkin revealed on April 7 that a volunteer battalion that he previously promoted is essentially a sham.
  • Russian forces continue to build defenses in occupied Zaporizhia and Kherson oblasts.
  • Russian officials continue measures to support Russia’s ongoing spring conscription cycle amid continued crypto-mobilization efforts.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence:

Russia’s campaign to severely degrade Ukraine’s unified energy system (UES) within the 2022-23 winter has highly likely failed. Russia has conducted long range strikes since October 2022, but large-scale attacks have become rare since early March 2023. Smaller scale strikes (with fewer than 25 munitions) continue, but are highly likely having much less impact on the UES.

Ukraine’s network operating companies continue to source replacement transformers and other critical components. Transporting and installing these components is a major logistical challenge, especially high voltage transformers which weigh at least 100 tonnes.

Ukraine’s energy situation will likely improve with the arrival of warmer weather. Planning and preparations for next winter have likely already begun.

Ukraine conflict map as of April 8, 2023. Image: @war_mapper with permission. - ALLOW IMAGES

Al-Qaeda's Looming Threat: Are We Looking Over the Wrong Horizon? - ALLOW IMAGES

Commentary / Analysis / Research

April 8, 2023

Al-Qaeda's Looming Threat: Are We Looking Over the Wrong Horizon?

As the world watches Russia’s war in Ukraine, events in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia are heating up. A dozen years after the death of Osama bin Laden, his dreams and plans of another attack against the United States—with effects that would far exceed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks—may be close to coming true, and an “over-the-horizon” counterterrorism strategy might not be the solution.

~ READ MORE HERE (Lawfare Blog) ~

China's Race to Dominate the Military and Emerging Technologies

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) openly says it wants to establish dominance in emerging critical technologies as part of its strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power, establish a new world order and replace the US-led international system established after WWII.

The US has only a little time left in this race. Reports indicate that deep cuts to the military made by several administrations have severely impaired its ability to catch up. Remaining talent and resources will possibly be reallocated in a new administration, if it is not too late by then. China has been supercharging its military for years while the U.S. has sat back, watched, and argued about unrelated social issues.

~ READ MORE HERE (Gatestone Institute) ~

The Quantum Computer Threat to the US Financial System

Due to the deep interconnectivity between public and private institutions and the inherent sensitivity of equity and credit markets, the financial sector network presents a prime target for a quantum attack. Even if America’s financial sector could install sufficient protections against conventional cyberattacks, it will remain a valuable and vulnerable target for a quantum-powered cyberattack.

Despite the many benefits that quantum computing is poised to bring to the financial sector, the threat of quantum-enabled cyberattacks and, more specifically, quantum decryption holds the potential to outweigh any gains in computational efficiency and accuracy. The impact of a cascading quantum attack on major banks, the Federal Reserve, or stock exchanges and derivative exchanges could be calamitous for the United States and the global economy. The risk of a catastrophic attack and financial collapse rises to levels that eclipse the 2008–09 crisis or the Great Depression.

~ READ MORE HERE (Hudson Institute) ~


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of April 3, 2023.  - ALLOW IMAGES
 
U.S. Navy Fleet and Marine Tracker
April 3, 2023

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of April 3, 2023 based on U.S. Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting.


Army Green Berets load onto a Finnish army transport helicopter during Exercise Talvikotka in Lapland, Finland, March 12, 2023. The bilateral exercise seeks to enhance arctic training tactics and techniques. Image: DoD
 
World News Roundup
April 8, 2023

AMERICAS

US lawmaker compares Xi to Hitler in meeting with Taiwan’s VP
Lockheed unit loses protest of Army tiltrotor award to Textron’s Bell
Was there a U.S. nuclear weapons accident at a Dutch Air base?
Army Special Operations Command captured random civilian in training foul up
Jill Biden's plane diverted back to Denver after aircraft issue
Congress seeks details on spying risks from Chinese cargo cranes
Knife attack on B.C. bus was ISIS terrorism, RCMP alleges
Chinese spy balloon DID gather intel from sensitive military sites...
Shooting targets founder of progressive news site Tennessee Holler
GAO denies Sikorsky-Boeing FLRAA protest; Bell, Army clear to proceed
UN court says it can hear Guyana-Venezuela border dispute
Buenos Aires airport turns into unofficial homeless shelter
Colombia informal miners end month of protests, will dialogue with govt

EUROPE

Russia's 'merchant of death' warns Trump his life is in danger
The 10 "invisible" jihadists in Greece
Ukraine and Poland to jointly produce 125 mm tank shells
FSB confiscates passports from Russian officials
Ukraine war plans leak prompts Pentagon investigation
Army prepositioned stock facility opens in Poland
Finland to buy Israel’s David’s Sling air defense system
Largest air exercise in NATO history to include hundreds of Guardsmen
Sweden's NATO ratification likely to wait until after Turkey's elections
NATO: Why is spending 2% of GDP on defence so controversial?

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

How to ensure Iranian drones don’t include US components
After Burkina Faso ousts French, Russia’s Wagner may arrive
EACRF says full troops deployment in eastern DR Congo achieved
More than 30 civilians killed by Islamic extremists in Congo
Azerbaijan expels four Iranian diplomats for 'provocative actions'
Ethiopia to integrate regional forces into central army, police
Hundreds protest in Khartoum as government deal delayed
Saudi-led coalition lifts more restrictions on Yemen's imports

ASIA

China says it will board Taiwan ships in strait
China imposes further sanctions on Taiwan's US representative
Philippines announces locations of four new US bases
China weighs export ban for rare-earth magnet tech
Analysis: This is a delicate moment for US-China relations
After years of restraint, North Korean propagandists take aim at US
S. Korea, U.S., Japan urge int'l community to repatriate N. Korean workers
NZ pilot's kidnappers tell Indonesia to negotiate
US, S.Korea, Japan concerned over N.Korea's 'malicious' cyber activities
Balochistan: Top Baloch militant arrested, claims Pakistan Army
Spike in anti-Muslim rallies since BJP retook India’s Maharashtra

PUBLIC HEALTH

Pfizer hid data on waning immunity as millions lined up to get its covid vaccine
Physio-metabolic and clinical consequences of wearing face masks
Pfizer’s RSV vaccine for older adults linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome
Pets could be gene-edited under new English law, says RSPCA
Fauci becomes strategic advisor in Italy


Peak Prosperity with Dr. Chris Martenson.
Global Rescue: Wander the World Without Worry

Alert! Symbol - ALLOW IMAGES

Travel Security Resources

With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to research the security situation at your destination prior to booking, and again prior to departure.

The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide.

Active USGOV Travel Notices

Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Other USGOV Travel Resources

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) - Registering your overseas trip with the Department of State STEP program allows you to receive information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) - Joining OSAC provides a variety of USGOV resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.

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

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

See what other governments are telling their own citizens about the safety and security aspects of your destination.



Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation's threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.


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