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Sept 14, 2014
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U.S. to Launch Airstrikes in Syria,
Terror Threat Remains High
Sept 14, 2014
Between Sept 9-12, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

9/12 - Australia raises terror threat level to HIGH, indicating an attack is likely. Move comes on specific intel suggesting Islamic radicals targeting country.

9/10 - Pres. Obama announces multi-nation coalition to battle Islamic State, opens door to US strikes in Syria, will deploy hundreds of add'l US soldiers to Iraq.

9/9 - Escalation: Pres. Obama expected to announce expanded USMIL action against ISIS, incl US strikes in Syria, during national address tomorrow, 9/10 @ 9 PM.

What You Need To Know

Twice this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the run up to a major expansion of military operations against Islamic militants in Iraq, Syria and possibly elsewhere in the region. On Wed., President Obama provided a broad description, but little depth, on how the U.S. would be mounting a multinational effort to begin going on the offensive. These efforts would include the deployment of even more U.S. soldiers, an increasing tempo of airstrikes on Islamist ground positions and work to further train and equip the Iraqi military and Syrian rebel forces.

Despite administration claims there will be no U.S. boots on the ground, more than 1500 U.S. soldiers are already in Iraq, along with hundreds more from within the special operations community. AlertsUSA sources within the Department of Defense say these numbers could realistically grow to more than 5000 before the end of the year.

Defense analysts and retired U.S. military leaders all convey the same message that a significant contingent of U.S. ground forces will ultimately be needed in order to defeat the Islamic State. News reports late this week indicate that military leaders pressed for this option with President Obama but were overruled.

The bottom line is that It is impossible to defeat the enemy using air power alone. Further, anyone within the U.S. military can tell you that in order wage an effective campaign of air strikes, you often need assets on the ground such as Forward Air or Joint Terminal Attack Controllers identifying and marking targets. They can't just be hunted from above.

Next up is Syria. Since President Obama's national address discussing the formation of a broad coalition, several traditional allies including the UK and Germany, have made clear they will not be participating in any military action in Syria. Further, the nation of Turkey, a NATO partner who shares a common border with Syria and Iraq, has also made clear this week they will not allow air strikes into either country to be launched from their territory.

And late this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed the idea of airstrikes in Syria, warning that the strategy may target not only areas controlled by Islamic State militants, but it will also serve as avenue to quietly launch attacks on Syrian troops in order to weaken the government of Bashir Assad. Readers will recall that exactly one year ago President Obama was on the verge of launching air strikes on Syrian government forces following accusations of the use of chemical weapons, but decided to punt to COngress at the last min.


For starters, it is clear that the U.S. is again entering into what could turn out to be multiple years of additional overseas warfare against a well funded, well armed enemy. Where is the funding coming from you ask? The initial bulk is reported to have come from having overrun the Iraqi Central Bank in Mosul, as well as other smaller banks early in their campaign. This is being continually replenished from the sale of oil from fields now under their control. Their large supply of arms has come, in part, from weapons depots taken when Iraqi military bases were overrun. These weapons depots were prepared for the Iraqi army by the U.S. and paid for with American tax dollars.

As the Islamic State is recruiting new radically-minded individuals from across the globe, it is to be expected that conflict will spread to other areas in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia, which is the grand prize.

It is also highly likely that the U.S. homeland, as well as that of our allies, will experience an increasing tempo of attempted terrorist attacks, not to mention the targeting of U.S. citizens and interests elsewhere in the world.

AlertsUSA again stresses to readers that despite a lack of any recent large scale terror attacks on the homeland, this is not for a lack of trying (see this and this). As the U.S. is now repairing to engage the Islamic State in earnest, now is not the time to grow complacent. Don't operate out of fear, but be ready. AlertsUSA strongly recommends maintaining an appropriate level of situational awareness when out and about and to be prepared for emergencies.

As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the growing tensions in this region and will immediately notify service subscribers of new U.S. force deployments, changes in threat posture or any other related developments which signal a change the overall terrorism threat picture, as events warrant.


9/12 - NOAA warns strong geomagnetic storm now underway. May trigger power grid fluctuations, satnav problems. Auroras possible as low as PA to IA to OR.

9/12 - NOAA issues warning on sizable Earth-directed solar storm. Potential for disruption of radio transmissions, sat navigation and power grid fluctuations.

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Ebola Virus Closeup - ALLOW IMAGES
Ebola Cases Go Exponential,
Threat of Becoming Airborne,
U.S. Military Headed to West Africa
Sept 14, 2014
Between Sept 7-9, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:

9/9 - Air ambulance company used for Ebola evac flights admits moving "a lot" more cases to US than pub disclosed. State Dept. mum on details & treatment locations.

9/8 - USGOV considering enhanced restrictions on travelers from W Africa due to Ebola. WHO warns "Many thousands of new cases" expected this month in Liberia alone.

9/8 - CDC reports possible Ebola-infected individual being treated at Miami area hospital. Further details withheld at this time. Developing situation...

9/7 - CDC warns of major outbreak of severe respiratory virus in children in 10 Midwest states from CO to NC. Thousands of cases suspected. Developing situation...

What You Need to Know

On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the worsening Ebola outbreak. On Monday, the World Health Organization warned that Ebola infections are increasing at an exponential rate and many thousands of new cases are expected this month in Liberia alone.

WHO also warned that conventional means of controlling the outbreak are not working and the number of cases and deaths have doubled in just the past 3 weeks.

Disease modelers at Northeastern University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center predict as many as 10,000 cases of Ebola could be detected by Sept. 24th. According to Dr. Ira Longini, a biostatistician at the University of Florida and an affiliated member of Fred Hutch's Vaccine and Infectious Disease and Public Health Sciences divisions:

"The epidemic just continues to spread without any end in sight. The cat's already out of the box – way, way out.”

Early in the week President Obama described the outbreak as a national security threat to the United States and has authorized the deployment of U.S. military forces to the region to assist in the setting up field hospitals and isolation units, to provide protection for medical staff as well as other tasks in an effort to help in the overall international response.

DHS Not Ready for Pandemic

It was revealed this week by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the inspector General that DHS is "ill-prepared" for something like the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic -- or something worse, such as a global Ebola outbreak.

"The Department of Homeland Security failed to effectively manage its stockpile of pandemic personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security has no assurance it has sufficient personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures for a national pandemic response."

More Ebola Patients Transported to U.S. Than Reported

It was also revealed this week that the USGOV has been quietly transporting many more Ebola exposed and Ebola infected individuals to the U.S. than has been previously disclosed. According to Dent Thompson, vice president of Phoenix Air Group, the specialized air ambulance company contracted by the State Department five weeks ago to bring two American missionaries infected with Ebola to Emory University:

“We moved a lot of other people who had an exposure event."

Thompson states that medical privacy laws and his company's contract with the State Department prevent him from revealing the figure, though he does indicate that Phoenix Air has flown 10 Ebola-related missions in the past six weeks.

The State department refuses to identify neither the locations the patients were flown to or the names of the medical facilities where they are being treated.

Danger of Ebola Becomming Airborne

Late this week Michael T. Osterholm, the director of the highly respected Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, wrote a lengthy op-ed piece for the New York Times within which he discusses the growing global danger from this outbreak, as well as the strong potential for Ebola to become airborne. Osterholm states that "viruses like Ebola are notoriously sloppy in replicating, meaning the virus entering one person may be genetically different from the virus entering the next." He goes onto state that "the current Ebola virus's hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years."

Here again, AlertsUSA again strongly recommends that airline travelers and those using public transportation become hyper sensitive about your proximity to those visibly ill during your trips.

While health authorities currently stress that Ebola is not airborne, it is transmissible, as with most other contagions, via airborne saliva particles and droplets, such as those released in coughs and sneezes. Additionally, the CDC now admits that casual contact, meaning anywhere within 3 feet of an infected person, does pose a risk of transmission. As such, your increased, polite vigilance can only be a benefit to your overall safety.

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Previous AlertsUSA Threat Journal Coverage

August 23, 2014
August 16, 2014
August 9, 2014
August 2, 2014
July 26, 2014
March 29, 2014

As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments with the spread of this virus and will immediately notify service subscribers of major changes in its spread to different regions, important notices and warnings by government agencies or any other major changes in the overall threat environment as events warrant.

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

See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

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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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