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Aug 21, 2021
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Chaos at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021.  ALLOW IMAGES

Chaos in Kabul

Aug 21, 2021
Between August 15-18, the following related Flash SMS
messages were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

8/15 - U.S. Ambassador and the flag have formally left the embassy in Kabul. Taliban pouring into capital. Canada suspends diplomatic ops, Germany closes embassy.

8/15 - Live stream of Taliban inside Presidential Palace in Kabul. Expected to declare the est of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

8/15 - State Dept: Safe evacuation of all Embassy personnel complete. All Embassy personnel located at Hamid Karzai Intl Airport and are secured by the US military.

8/16 - POTUS to address the nation at 3:45 PM ET today. Expected to announce resettlement of tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in the U.S..

8/18 - State Dept tells Americans in Afghanistan it "cannot ensure safe passage" to Hamid Karzai International Airport for evacuation flights. Details via email.

What You Need To Know

On 12 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding a variety of safety and security matters. Five of these alerts dealt with the unfolding tragedy in the evacuation of Kabul.

The Taliban has overthrown the Afghan government and taken control of the country after seizing the capital. This past Sunday, AlertsUSA subscribers were some of the first in the nation to learn that U.S. Ambassador Ross Wilson and the American flag had formally left the embassy in Kabul and is now working with other embassy staff in a makeshift facility located at Hamid Karzai Intl Airport where they are secured by the US military.

Afghanistan airspace is now closed for commercial flights and overflying traffic is being told to reroute around the country. US commercial carriers have now been completely banned by the FAA from operating within Afghanistan’s airspace, in a further tightening of restrictions following the deterioration of the country’s political stability. Only military aircraft that are evacuating citizens are allowed to land at the airport in Kabul.

The U.S. State Dept. has issued alerts advising Americans in Afghanistan that while U.S. government-provided flights are departing Kabul, it is up to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and their spouses and unmarried children to get to Hamid Karzai International Airport when it is safe to do so.

Quoting the latest state department / U.S. Embassy message:

"The U.S. government cannot ensure safe passage to the airport."

Despite this statement, President Biden said on Wednesday that the U.S. was committed to evacuating every American out of Afghanistan, even if that means extending the military mission beyond his August 31 deadline for a total withdrawal. It remains unclear exactly how many Americans are awaiting airlifts from the country, though estimates put this figure into the thousands.

President Biden this week stated that there were no reports of people being stopped from reaching the airport by the Taliban. This statement has been refuted by numerous reporters, as well as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who told lawmakers on Friday that Americans trying to leave Afghanistan have been beaten and harassed by Taliban fighters.

Foreign terrorist organizations have been lighting up social media this week with praise and accolades over the turn of events and Taliban's rapid dominance of the ground game. This week, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a statement offering its "congratulations and blessings" for the Taliban "conquest" of Afghanistan.

"Two decades of jihad, steadfastness, and willpower in the struggle with the Crusader West and infidel forces around the world have culminated in complete victory in the proud land of Afghanistan--the graveyard of empires and superpowers--and the defeat of America."

"This victory shows that jihad and combat is the legitimate, realistic way to recover our rights, expel the invaders and occupiers... and return the Islamic nation to its glory... As for the games of democracy and peaceful methodologies, these are deceptive illusions."

China also leveraged the disastrous situation in Afghanistan to provide Taiwan a warning. The Global Times, a tabloid controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, warned Taiwan on Monday it could face the same fate as Afghanistan if it continued relying on the United States as an ally.

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.


8/18 - M7.1 EQ, Port-Olry, Vanuatu S. Pacific. TSUNAMI THREAT for coasts located within 300 KM of the epicenter. AlertsUSA monitoring..

8/19 - U.S. Capitol Police responding to a suspicious vehicle near the Library of Congress. Complex on lockdown. Avoid the area. Add'l alerts as warranted.

8/19 - US Capitol Police: Man drove truck onto sidewalk near Library of Congress, claims he has a bomb. Negotiations w/police ongoing. Complex remains on lockdown.

8/19 - Suspect who made a bomb threat near the U.S. Capitol has surrendered to authorities without incident. Lockdown remains in place while investigation continues.

8/20 - DHS: To minimize spread of COVID-19, the US is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at land & ferry crossings with CAN & MX through Sept 21.

8/20 - Hurricane Watch issued for N & S shore of Long Island, New Haven, CT to Sagamore Beach, MA, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, & Block Island. See email.

8/20 - TSA extends face mask requirement across all US transport networks, incl at airports, on commercial aircraft, buses and rail systems through Jan 18, 2022.

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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (teal) infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (orange), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID - ALLOW IMAGES

Coronavirus Quick Hits

Aug 21, 2021
What You Need To Know

According to data provided by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of Friday evening there have been just under 626,000 total deaths in the U.S. attributed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to data provided by the HHS / CDC / ASPR Community Profile Report, total new deaths in the U.S. over the last 7 days were just under 4,900, which is a 21% increase over the previous 7 day period. Total confirmed COVID-19 hospital admissions in the U.S. over the last 7 days was 70,500, which is an increase of 29% over the previous 7 day period.

Health professionals say Delta variant making people sicker faster. The Delta variant continues to drive case and death numbers up across the country. Daily caseloads have increased tenfold since late June.


Case numbers and hospitalizations are increasing in all provinces but Manitoba.


Brazil remains the regional leader in daily new case numbers and deaths, followed by Mexico and Argentina.


While many many EU nations have reopened for business and are accepting travelers from the U.S., the continent is a patchwork of different rules and regulations, as well as widely differing COVID infection standings.

Nationwide COVID-19 Metrics - ALLOW IMAGES

Important COVID-19 Headlines

FDA to grant full approval to Pfizer vaccine WITHOUT
advisory committee meeting or public discussion

US says Kabul evacuees don't need COVID tests...
Moderna jab investigation after data shows 2.5x higher risk of heart problems
CDC changes definition of "Fully Vaccinated" due to booster
Brit in Singapore given 6 weeks in prison for not wearing face mask
US records >1,000 COVID deaths in a single day for first time since MARCH
New Zealand enters nationwide lockdown over one COVID case
Pfizer Covid jab declines faster than AstraZeneca: study
WHO Africa: COVID-19 booster shots make ‘mockery’ of equity
Variants vs. vaccines - is the COVID-19 race ever going to end?
Delta variant cases overwhelm contact tracing in hard-hit states
Health professionals say Delta variant making people sicker faster
Delta variant ‘faster like a cheetah’


Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)


Commentary / Analysis / Research

Aug 21, 2021

How Russia Spies: Active Measures & Subversion

Earlier in the year, the U.S. Intelligence Community released its annual threat assessment. When it came to Russia, American intelligence assessed that it poses one of the most serious intelligence threats to the U.S., sowing discord and division within the U.S. while trying to divide Western alliances, such as NATO and the European Union, alongside preserving and increasing Russia’s global standing.

Heading this campaign of subversion are Russia’s potent intelligence agencies: The SVR (foreign intelligence), FSB (domestic intelligence and counterintelligence), GRU (military intelligence), and FSO (a mix of domestic law enforcement, border patrol, presidential guard, and signals intelligence).


Europe’s Latest Terrorism Threat Report

Skeptics who deny that violent Islamic jihadist immigrants would or could ever illegally cross land borders and attack western nations in the midst of mass-migration crises will surely want to run and hide from Europol’s latest European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2021 (TESAT).

The just-published annual TESAT report documents that perpetrators of five completed terrorist mainland attacks (out of 10) during 2020 had “entered the EU as asylum seekers or irregular migrants”. Other immigrant border-crossing terrorist infiltrators struck the United Kingdom after smuggling in through the Channel Tunnel or across the North Atlantic last year.


Online Jihadist Propaganda - 2020 In Review

The third edition of Europol’s annual report on Online Jihadist Propaganda provides a comprehensive analysis of the major trends and developments in online propaganda of the most prominent jihadist organisations for the year 2020.

The threat assessment is based on primary sources, including the groups’ publications, videos and audio speeches, which have been collected by the Europol’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) in 2020.


The Taliban: China’s Deal With the Devil in Afghanistan

After a lightning-fast series of advances throughout the country, the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15. The setting up of a formal government is only a matter of time, and then China will be faced with a seeming nightmare: an extremist Islamic government on its borders.


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of Aug 16, 2021  - ALLOW IMAGES
USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker
Aug 21, 2021

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Aug 16, 2021 based on U.S. Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

A soldier jumps from an Army CH-47 Chinook into a lake during helocast training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 17, 2021. - ALLOW IMAGES
World News Roundup
Aug 21, 2021


FBI finds 'SCANT' evidence the Capitol riot was an organized plot
Russia is Top Military Threat to U.S. Homeland, Air Force General Says
Air Force Academy requires training linked to CRT and BLM
Trump’s Pledge to Exit Afghanistan Was a Ruse, His Final SecDef Says
Biden admits Taliban could welcome Al Qaeda back in less than 18 month
Biden IGNORED Mark Milley's request to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan
Did America just lose Afghanistan because of WhatsApp?
Where's Kamala, the 'last person in the room' on Afghanistan?
US Treasury moving to block IMF aid to Taliban
WaPo under fire for suggesting Taliban incite less violence than Trump
State Dept Insists US Coordinated Afghan Withdrawal With NATO Allies
Sen. Cruz: U.S. 'Must Not and Will Not Leave Our Citizens Behind'
US Treasury Freezes Billions In Afghan Reserves, Depriving Taliban Of Cash
Data of 40 million plus exposed in latest T-Mobile breach


Russia won’t deploy troops to Afghanistan, instead to focus on diplomacy
Russia Ready to Help Evacuate Afghans Fleeing Taliban
‘It Was All for Nothing’: Russia Marks 1991 Coup With Regret, Indifference
Britain, France, Germany: 'Grave Concern' Over Iran's Uranium Enrichment
Europeans rap Iran as clock ticks on nuclear surveillance
Russia's Putin, Italy's Draghi and France's Macron discuss Afghanistan
Putin REJECTED Biden request for bases in countries surrounding Afghanistan
Merkel-Putin Era Ends: Dogs, Flowers and Tart Ripostes


CIA: Opiate Trade s a Key Source of Revenue for the Taliban
Daring Israel and US to act, Hezbollah says fuel tanker to sail to Lebanon
Explosions rock Syria in Israeli airstrikes on Hezbollah arms depots
Taliban triumph means more worries in Africa
As the Taliban controls Afghanistan, 'the idea you can win' is reverberating
Africa's jihadists: What Taliban takeover of Afghanistan means
Morocco's king denounces 'methodical attacks' on his country


Afghanistan: Who's who in the Taliban leadership
Ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani resurfaces in UAE
Afghanistan: Pakistan rejoices at Taliban victory as West flounders
The Taliban Have Seized U.S. Military Biometrics Devices
No One Wants to Be the First Country to Recognize the Taliban
Taliban face financial crisis without access to foreign reserves
US troops will stay until all Americans are out of Afghanistan
Taliban's arms seizures embarrass Washington
Taliban suppress more dissent as economic challenges loom
Where Is Taliban Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada?
After Kabul, China exploits perceptions of American weakness
China vows to 'crush' any US troops on Taiwan 'by force'
Twitter Will Not Ban The Taliban While Trump Is Still Banned
Chip shortage: Toyota to cut global production by 40%

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Book - Three Seconds Until Midnight by Dr. Steven Hatfill et al..

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Travel Security Resources

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

Active USGOV Travel Notices
Worldwide Caution

Active USGOV Travel Advisories
Alphabetical Country List
Dynamic Map

Other USGOV Travel Resources
Traveler's Checklist
Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)
Travelers with Special Considerations
Travel to High-Risk Areas
Faith-Based Travel Information
Information for Women Travelers
Cruise Ship Passengers
Students Abroad
Your Health Abroad
Driving and Road Safety Abroad

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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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

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Take Advantage of These Resources

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