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July 19, 2014
Threat Journal is a weekly supplement to the AlertsUSA National Threat
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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
Now Published Each Saturday Afternoon
 
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Passenger Jet Shot Down,
Russian Military Returns to Cuba
July 19, 2014
 
On July 17, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

7/17 - Malaysia Airlines 777 w/295 aboard crashes in Ukraine near Russian border. Flt from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

7/17 - Interfax news agency reporting Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down from altitude of 10km by ground-based missile.

What You Need To Know

On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribes were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH-17) in Ukraine near the border of Russia in the troubled Donetsk region. The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200 twin-engine passenger airliner that was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur carrying 298, which includes passengers and crew.

U.S. intelligence sources state that the aircraft was shot down using a surface to air missile and both the Ukrainian and Russian governments are pointing their fingers at each other as being responsible.

MH-17 Fliht Map - ALLOW IMAGES

To add some clarity to the blame game and to save readers time wading through the disinformation and redirects of the mainstream media, there is a high likelihood that the militaries of both the US and Russia knew within seconds of the launch of the missile, the location of the launcher, as well as the moment the missile's flight terminated with an impact on or near the aircraft.

While not spoken of widely in public forums, the U.S. and Russia both maintain extensive satellite surveillance capabilities and are constantly on the lookout for what are referred to as "special infrared events," which are the superheated exhaust plumes indicative of a missile launch. This, along considerable ground-based and airborne long-range radars deployed throughout the region, makes it extremely difficult to fly above a certain altitude and NOT be detected, even more so given this is a war zone. Both Russia and the NATO alliance go to great lengths to keep a close eye on what is happening across the three dimensional battlespace and there are few airborne surprises.

With this in mind, it is also safe to assume that while the national command authorities of the U.S., Russia and key NATO member states likely already know most of the details surrounding the event, comparatively little will be shared with civilian authorities or the media as to do so would reveal highly sensitive sources, methods and capabilities. It would also reduce options if, say..., explanations other than the truth were needed.

For instance, while most fingers are pointing toward Russian backed separatists as being responsible as they are already known to have downed multiple Ukrainian military aircraft in just the past few weeks (see this and this), there is another side to this story and as we have shown in the past, the standard mainstream narrative is often far from accurate.

That said, on Wednesday, just one day before the attack on the airliner, the Pentagon publicly expressed deep concerns over the renewed buildup of Russian forces on the Eastern border of Ukraine.

According to Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren:

“We believe there are now between 10,000 and 12,000 Russian troops on the border. A few weeks ago, about 1,000 Russian soldiers were along the border. I can’t speak for what they intend to do. Certainly, it is intimidating.”

Suffice it to say this incident and other recent events dramatically compounds tensions in the region and globally. NATO member states are now operating at heightened states of alert, increasing defensive patrols and civil aviation authorities worldwide are directing commercial airlines to completely avoid Ukrainian airspace.

RUSSIAN MILITARY TO RETURN TO CUBA

With tension between the U.S. and Russia at their highest point since the days of the Cold War, this week Russia announced a new agreement with Cuba to reopen a powerful electronic surveillance station on the island near the city of Lourdes located approximately 20 miles South of Havana.

Russian SIGINT Antenna, CUBA - ALLOW IMAGES

Before it was mothballed in 2001 due to a closer relationship with the U.S., the station was Russia's largest signals intelligence facility abroad, measuring 28 square miles in size and hosting upwards of 3000 intelligence, military and engineering personnel. Given the decline in relations with the U.S. over the last several years and Russia's increased military presence in this hemisphere, the decision was made to reopen the facility.

The agreement finalizing the move was reportedly signed late last week during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to the island.

As AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor events in this region and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat picture as events warrant.


AlertsUSA.com

OTHER ALERTS ISSUED THIS WEEK

7/14 - USGOV warning foreign govs of substantial terror threat to flights in / out of London's Heathrow airport. Threat emanates from terror orgs in Yemen and Syria.

 
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HEADS UP!
INTERNATIONAL QUDS DAY PROTESTS NEXT WEEK

In light of expanded air and ground war now underway between Israeli defense forces and the Hamas terror organization (and others) in the Gaza strip, AlertsUSA warns readers that next Friday is the last day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and also International Quds Day. This is an annual event started by Iran in 1979 to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, to protest the existence of the Jewish state and their control of Jerusalem. This year, formal rallies and protests are schedule for 14 of the largest cities in the U.S. as well as in Vancouver and Toronto in Canada. They are often violent, troublesome gatherings. Beware.


Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

  06/30/2014
  06/24/2014
  04/10/2014
   
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

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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