the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth
will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that
Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of
his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even
him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and
signs and lying wonders”
(2 Thessalonians 2:7-9)
Mystery Of Iniquity
ENTIRE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY FLEEING SYRIAN CRISIS
Muslims vs. Muslim civil war may change character of region
Christian leaders in Syria are expressing dismay at the large number of members of their faith who are simply fleeing the region, which now is battered by violence as Muslim jihadists likely linked to al-Qaida try to overthrow the regime of Muslim President Bashar al-Assad.
The bishops say that the emigration stories are a rerun of the situation in Iraq a decade ago when a coalition of forces invaded to remove Saddam Hussein from power and will change the character of the region, just as it did in Iraq.
Father Nicola Antiba and his Chaldean Catholic counterpart Pope Raphael Sako both issued statements decrying conditions forcing Syria’s Christians to leave their native country.
Neither Syrian Christian leader could be reached for comment.
However, Western human rights groups report that the pressure on Syrian Christians to leave their homeland is becoming intense. International Christian Concern Middle East analyst Todd Daniels says Syria’s Christians live with daily threats.
“For many of them the immediate threats have forced them to leave as they are being threatened by opposition groups who have taken over the villages,” Daniels said.
Many of the stories concerning the plight of Syria’s Christians come from the Christians themselves. Daniels said he recently spoke with one.
“A Syrian church leader told me recently of how they (the rebels) came into the village and began calling out names using the loudspeakers of the mosque and giving them 48 hours to leave,” Daniels said.
“We are continuing to hear stories from Syria of forced conversions or killings by those who did not convert. It is these existential threats that are leading Christians to flee,” Daniels said.
Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra agrees that the Syrian bishops have a reason for concern, and persecuted Christians are leaving in huge numbers.
“Over two million people, many of them Christians, have been forced to flee the country. Many of them are in refugee camps along the borders with such countries as Turkey and Lebanon,” Dykstra said.
Dykstra says fewer and fewer Christians remain.
“Christians used to make up 8 percent of the country but that total is obviously less now. The targeting of Christians in the Middle East is nothing new. A Pew report said that in the 20th century Christians made up 20 percent of the population. Now it is an estimated 4 percent,” Dykstra said.
An Assyrian Christian living in the United States who asked not to be identified to protect his family still living in Syria says American Christians’ misperceptions of the Syrian crisis have one common culprit – the media.
“Overall, everything that is depicted in the U.S. media is totally false. It’s alienated from the truth,” he said.
He said the inaccurate reports mean that American Christians are unaware of the level of suffering of the Syrian Christians.
Dykstra blamed the rebels for many of the horrors facing Syrian Christians.
“Of course, many of the rebel groups are jihadists who target Christians through threats, kidnappings, rape and even murder,” Dykstra said.
Daniels said besides deteriorating conditions in Syria, those now leaving face an additional hurdle.
“The problem is there is not many safe places to go. As a USCIRF report in July documented, Christians are dramatically underrepresented in the refugee camps,” Daniels said.
“They make up approximately one percent despite making up 10 percent of the population. The reason for this is they fear that having fled if they are documented as Christians they will be targeted by supporters of the opposition,” Daniels said.
“They also fear that if Assad does stay in power they will be viewed as disloyal, making it more difficult for them in the future,” Daniels said. “We have been speaking with contacts who have been there on the ground in the midst of this. It is a really harsh situation.”
WND reported in July 2012 that Christians in Syria preferred Assad over a jihadist regime. However, that doesn’t mean the Christians like Assad. Daniels says that Christians say at least Assad is familiar.
“They are not fans of Assad, but what they see if he were to go scares them far worse. They see Islamic extremists who have a stated goal of eliminating Christians from their society and so this existential threat outweighs the repression of rights they had under Assad,” Daniels said.
The Assyrian Christian agrees. He says Syrian Christians will have every reason to flee if the rebels take control.
“It’s true 100 percent. The Assad regime is tyrannical. But who is not in the entire Middle East except Lebanon and Israel? At least in Syrian Christians are strong and always supported by the Assad regime,” the Assyrian said.
Daniels says some who have fled are in Lebanon, others in Turkey.
“For those who have left there are an estimated 25,000 who have gone to Lebanon. With its large Christian minority this is one of the more logical destinations, but it is not able to accommodate all of them but [we] have heard the church leaders there are very ready to receive them and assist however they can,” Daniels said.
“Hundreds more have also gone to Turkey. Despite the government arranging a camp in Midyet specifically for Christians they have refused to enter it as they view it as simply an open-air prison. So they have attempted to find housing and work and live in the Turkish cities like Mardin, Midyet, and Gaziantep,” Daniels said.
“The Turkish church is not as numerous or stable as that in Lebanon and they are having a greater difficulty in assisting them. ICC is actively working with partners in these surrounding countries to provide assistance to Christians who have fled,” Daniels said.
One tragic aspect of the story is that Syria’s Christian population includes some of those Christians who fled Iraq. Daniels says the Iraqi refugees are repeating the scenario.
“They are searching for a place of refuge and their options are limited. Following the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, an estimated 1.8 million of that country’s Christians fled to Syria,” Daniels said.
“The increasing Islamic nature of politics and society left them no room in Iraq and Syria was seen as a safe haven. That is no longer the case,” Daniels said.
The Middle East was the birthplace of Christianity and Damascus has one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Daniel’s says it’s a tragic situation.
“Christians are fleeing the areas that were the birthplace of Christianity. There are churches and monasteries that date back 1500 years that have been defaced and destroyed,” Daniels said.
“The loss of the Christian community is the loss of a moderating voice in the conflict as well, and so their loss is very significant,” Daniels said.
Dykstra says others need to start responding.
“Christians in the West need to wake up to the reality that perhaps in their lifetime there will be almost no Christians left in the Middle East,” Dykstra said.
He wonders about the level of interest American Christians have in their Middle Eastern brothers and sisters.
“Do we care enough to help stop the forced exodus by Muslim extremists?” Dykstra asked.
He adds that American Christians can help by at least praying for their Syrian brothers and sisters.
“Please pray how you can make a difference. Perhaps even holding an International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church observance in your home, school, church or small group on Nov. 3,” Dykstra said.
Investigation into secret project aimed at 2017
Posted: September 29
PART 1: INTRODUCTION TO CONCEPT by John McTernan
Easing People Into What Is Coming
There is not a more spine-chilling section in the entire Bible than Revelation 13;. This chapter describes a world dictator, who appears just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He is commonly known as the Antichrist or the Beast.
This Beast uses a universal numbering system placed on people called “the Mark of the Beast.” No one can buy or sell without this “Mark.” It seems that everyone knows about the number “666,” even those with little knowledge of the Bible, as it is identified as the infamous “devil’s number.” This is probably one of the most widely known verses in the entire Bible.
And he causeth all…to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six [(666]). (Revelation 13:16-18)
For centuries, the fulfillment of these verses was a mystery. No one could understand how a marking system would control buying and selling throughout the entire world. It no longer takes “simple faith” to believe this, as the literal fulfillment is now coming together with incredible speed right before your eyes.
Computers, the Internet, Wi-Fi, social media, all modern technology, plus worldwide trends, (such as a one-world economic system and government), are creating conditions that can fulfill Revelation 13:16–18. As the Prophet Daniel wrote twenty-five hundred years ago, knowledge would explode at the very time the 666 Surveillance System came together.
Today a person can use a credit card virtually any place in the world. It has become the universal financial instrument. This instrument is taken for granted, but think how technologically advanced transactions have become when a person can make a purchase in a foreign country without currency. This same purchase is then instantly registered and the funds withdrawn.
All merchandise now is identified with a RFID (radio-frequency identification) labels or the QR (Quick Response (QR) Code for electronic tracking. A smart phone can read the QR Code. The International Business Machines Corporation (commonly referred to as “IBM”) is now working to identify and track every item manufactured and sold in the world; this is in the trillions. Then it will be very easy to match these items with the purchaser. With the rapidly advancing technology, this is not far off.
The technological ability to operate a world-wide cashless economic system is now in place for a good percentage of the world. The elimination of cash is all that is needed to bring this system on line. As Tom Horn said on radio this past week, world-wide economic crisis could be the catalyst to set this up.
The Bible states that no one is going to buy or sell without a “mark in the right hand or forehead.” This “Mark” is in the advanced developmental stage with various applications to put “electronic tattoos” on the body. One idea is to merge technology with biotechnology. The micro-electronics technology is called an epidermal electronic system (EES). The idea is to have a substance like silk-laced microelectronics that dissolves and leaves the circuits on the skin. This system is planned to be tied into a universal Wi-Fi. With this structure in full operation, there could be real-time monitoring of everything being sold. No one will be able buy or sell without government approval.
Tied into the ability to control all buying and selling will be the complete monitoring of everything related to you. The Mark of the Beast is a numbering system and now through your Social Security Number, all information about you can be monitored. You need this number for everything from bank accounts to a driver’s license along with all medical information and credit cards. Everything now revolves around your SSN. With the added advantages of newly developing technology, everything controlled by the SSN will be centralized into one file and controlled and updated in real time. This is not theory; it is on the way.
Starting in 2013, the federal government has the Utah Data Center (UDC) nearly in full operation. This is a $2 billion complex with one hundred thousand square feet of computer space. All of the Global Information Grid will be routed through the UDC with computers that can store ottabytes (1,024 bytes). Everything that is digitalized about you will be stored there, down to parking tickets. Nothing will be left out.
To handle this vast information, the computers will operate at petaflop speed pera second (1,015). To transmit this vast amount of information, researchers invented chips with built-in lasers which use multiple wavelengths of light that can transmit data at terabit speed per second (1,012).
In addition to controlling buying and selling, we are now heading into a time of a total surveillance society. Every day surveillance cameras are being installed in vast numbers throughout America. Every mall is under total surveillance. By 2015, the government plans for thirty thousand surveillance drones in the sky. There are now x-ray machines that can peer through the walls of your home and auto. The government is using robot insects wired with microphones for spying. There is now software that allows tracking hundreds of cellphones at once and as well reads tens of thousands of emails. Homeland Security recently admitted monitoring Facebook, Twitter, and Google. All the high- tech in your vehicle and cellphone can easily be tracked and stored for your location. All this will be stored in the UDC.
The rebuilding of the World Trade Center shows how advanced and all-encompassing the 666 Surveillance System has become. Surveillance equipment will cover the entire area, with state-of-the-art technology used, including facial recognition systems, retina scanners, and fully-automated, highly “intelligent” cameras that use artificial intelligence along with software to automatically detect any “unusual” movements. All people-movements will be tracked by the computers to detect suspicious behavior and alert the police when necessary. There will be infrared sensors and heat detectors capable of spotting explosives and radiation detectors. All people movements will be tracked by the computers to detect suspicious behavior and then alert the police. The WTC is a prototype of what is coming everywhere as I write [and the secret program outlined in Beast Tech for the year 2017 will take most people completely by surprise]. Picture this surveillance system in every city, state, and nationwide.
All this surveillance information can be instantly tied into the Internet through the coming national Wi-Fi. The ability for complete surveillance of your life is just a few technological advancements away. As technology advances, just imagine how your life will come under complete surveillance. The 666 Surveillance Society is going to be all inclusive and this is leading to an incredible high-tech mouse/man trap with no way out. This is exactly what the Bible said would happen: no one will buy or sell without government approval.
A world dictator, the Antichrist , will soon come to power and use the 666 Surveillance System to require everyone to worship him. Whoever resists will be killed. The “Mark” placed on (or in) the body will be the initiation into this system, which includes worshiping the Antichrist. This means the total rejection of Jesus Christ. The Bible warns that everyone who takes this “Mark of the Beast” will be damned for eternity. Once one receives it, there is no hope; their fate is sealed forever. Please keep that in mind as you read the upcoming new series and book Beast Tech. Right now you can choose Jesus Christ as your Savior, and I urge you to do so. Tomorrow will be a different set of situations as the 666 Surveillance System—as will be thoroughly documented—is coming at petaflop speed.
STATE 'WEEDING OUT' CHRISTIAN BELIEFS
Foster-care officials declare parents with traditional values unacceptable
A video has been uncovered of Massachusetts officials promising to weed out foster parents with conservative values who would only “tolerate” a youth’s gender confusion and not endorse it.
The video was featured by political activist Amy Contrada, who researches family issues through the non-profit Massachusetts-based group Mass Resistance organization.
In a new report, she wrote: “It’s now official policy in Massachusetts. Adults holding traditional values will no longer be allowed to adopt or be foster parents.”
Contrada said the video is of a Boston Bar Association forum with the state Department of Children and Families and the state agency on homosexual youth.
“The DFC speakers confirmed that they are ‘weeding out’ adoptive and foster parents who are not willing to wholly accept and support LGBT (lesbian, “gay,” bisexual, or transgender) self-identification by a child in their care,” she wrote.
Michelle Gordon, a recruitment officer for the state child welfare office, is shown on the video speaking.
“We are sort of setting new expectations,” Gordon said. “We’re weeding out some of this passiveness and sort of destructive behaviors that are occurring. It is often so subtle.
“There is some weeding out of foster homes that are still going on,” she said.
The session was led by Erika Rickard of the state Commission on LGBT Youth.
Rickard said there is an urgent need for “supportive” foster parents for “gender-confused” children, estimating 20 percent of youth in foster care in the state are “gay” or lesbian.
The goal, she said, is “safe, welcoming and affirming homes.”
Eventually that will include all foster parents, officials said, since the state now requires them to take annual training on alternative sexual lifestyles.
Some foster parents say they’re comfortable with a child expressing confused feelings but really aren’t, the state officials said.
Then, when a child is in their home, they fail to provide “proper support,” according to the state.
Contrada reports: “Every social worker in the Massachusetts DCF system now has LGBT issues training. … The DCF also now runs a mentoring program for foster and adoptive parents. The 8-hour course includes discussion of sexual orientation, gender identity, and trauma understanding.”
Contrada, whose work also was posted online at the Inter-American Institute, continued her report on the seminar: “The question was asked, ‘Can transgender people be foster parents?’ The answer: ‘We [at DCF] are not considering your sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s about your fitness.’ You can’t have a criminal background; you must be able and willing and have the means to support a child.”
The panel warned “passive acceptance” is not enough, and full endorsement is needed.
The panel members said that applying the policy is becoming easier, because the pool of foster parents who hold more traditional values is aging, and many no longer qualify.
Newcomers are being warned right away that the state will not accept “destructive” conservative attitudes for a caretaker.
See the seminar:
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Only a year earlier, Virginia had ruled that agencies could not be forced to provide adoption services to same-sex duos. But in many states, traditional faith-based adoption agencies already have been forced to close down by homosexual activists who demand that the religious organizations give children to homosexuals.
Foster care and adoption are closely linked, because in some states, a family is required to provide foster parenting before adoption is even considered.
A Syrian solution to civil conflict? The Free Syrian Army is holding talks with Assad's senior staff
Secret approach to the President could reshape the whole war
29 September 2013
Six weeks ago, a two-man delegation arrived in secret in Damascus: civilians from Aleppo who represented elements of the Free Syrian Army, the rebel group largely composed of fighters who deserted the regime’s army in the first year of the war. They came under a guarantee of safety, and met, so I am told, a senior official on the staff of President Bashar al-Assad. And they carried with them an extraordinary initiative – that there might be talks between the government and FSA officers who “believed in a Syrian solution” to the war.
The delegation made four points: that there must be an “internal Syrian dialogue”; that private and public properties must be maintained; that there must be an end to – and condemnation of – civil, sectarian, ethnic strife; and that all must work for a democratic Syria where the supremacy of law would be dominant. There was no demand – at least at this stage – for Assad’s departure.
The reply apparently came promptly. There should indeed be “a dialogue within the Syrian homeland”; no preconditions for the dialogue; and a presidential guarantee of safety for any FSA men participating. And now, it seems, another remarkable development is under way: in seven rebel-held areas of Aleppo, most of them under the control of the FSA, civil employees can return to work in their offices, and government institutions and schools can reopen. Students who have become militiamen over the past two years will be disarmed and return to their classrooms.
Some members of the FSA have formed what they call the “National Union for Saving Syria”, although members of the political opposition in areas outside government control disrupted meetings by condemning the government army and, according to those involved in the “Union”, making sectarian comments and condemning Shiites and Iran. Last week there were several defections of FSA units to the al-Qa’ida-linked al-Nusra Front, which has complicated matters still further. If the FSA is prepared to talk to the regime, how many are now left to take part in future agreements between the two sides?
For months now, pro-regime officials have explored how they might win the army defectors back to their side – and the growth of al-Nusra and other Islamist groups has certainly disillusioned many thousands of FSA men who feel that their own revolution against the government has been stolen from them. And in areas of Homs province, it is a fact that fighting between the FSA and the army has virtually ceased. In some government-held villages and towns the FSA are already present without being molested.
And the advantages to Assad are clear. If FSA men could be persuaded to return to the ranks of the regime’s army in complete safety, large areas of rebel-held territory would return to government control without a shot being fired. An army reinforced by its one-time deserters could then be turned against al-Nusra and its al-Qa’ida affiliates in the name of national unity.
The Islamist fighters in the Syrian opposition are certainly a source of deep concern to everyone involved in the war – not least, of course, the Americans, who continue to dither over whether they should give weapons to the rebels. Had the US administration followed John McCain’s advice, for example, some of the arms that might have been given to the FSA would already be in the hands of al-Nusra now that three units within the FSA have gone across to the Islamists.The Islamist fighters in Syria are meanwhile turning into a serious threat to the very existence of the country’s Christians. Bishops and patriarchs from across the region met in Beirut last Friday to lament the exodus of the Christians of the Middle East; Catholic Maronite Cardinal Bechara Rai of Lebanon described how for Christians, “the ‘Arab Spring’ had turned to winter, to iron and fire”.
The prelates were particularly upset at the massive damage to churches in Raqqa – now under the control of the al-Nusra group – and at the al-Nusra attack on Maaloula. I saw myself last week how perverse was this assault on the largely Christian Syrian town north of Damascus. In Christian homes, crucifixes had been smashed, but the al-Nusra invaders seemed to take a perverse pleasure in wrecking their homes. In one basement flat they had emptied the fridge of food and stuffed it full of shoes.
Now that’s something to bend your mind!
The Washington Free Beacon
Russia, China Hold Large-Scale War Games
September 26, 2013
Pentagon intelligence agencies are closely watching Russian and Chinese war games now taking place in Europe and Asia involving tens of thousands of troops.
Meanwhile, NATO military forces are set to conduct large-scale maneuvers in November that will be designed to counter growing concerns of a westward Russian military encroachment, according to U.S. officials.
“The Russians are moving forces closer to Europe, and that is troubling,” said a military official.
Russia’s Zapad-13 military exercises in Belarus are scheduled to end Thursday. They included practice attacks on a western state, said one official familiar with reports of the maneuvers.
Some 13,000 Russian and Belarusian troops took part with over 60 aircraft and helicopters and up to 250 vehicles.
The forces practiced “rapid reaction” drills.
Russian officials recently denied Polish press reports that the Zapad-13 would include a notional nuclear attack on Warsaw. However, Russian officials have said the war games will involve practicing precision air and missile strikes.
On the Russian air base, Russian air force chief Lt. Gen. Vladimir Bondarev announced in June that the air base for Su-27 jets in Belarus would be opened near the city of Lida, near the border with Poland and Lithuania.
Bondarev said the warplanes would bolster a 1997 defense agreement between the two countries in response to NATO expansion.
It will be Russia’s first military base in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and along with it the Warsaw Pact, in 1991. Moscow currently has military bases in Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has moved away from democracy and shifted the former Soviet republic away from Europe and toward Russia, restoring many symbols from Soviet Belarus.
In response to Polish press reports on the simulated nuclear strike on Poland’s capital, state-run Interfax news agency in April denied the reports. “Claims that West 2013 will allegedly practice a preventive nuclear strike on Warsaw are nothing but imagination of Polish journalists,” a high-ranking officer was quoted as saying.
Belarusian Deputy Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Pyotr Tsikhanowski said in June, “The theme of the exercise is the training and the engagement of troops in order to ensure the military security of the Union State [of Belarus and Russia].” New weapons and military equipment will be tested during the exercises, he added.
War game scenarios include an “escalation of relations with countries based on interethnic, interreligious differences, and territorial claims,” he said.
“At the same time, the conflicting states are hypothetically located within the actual borders of Belarus and the three western and northwestern regions of Russia,” Tsikhanowski said.
U.S. military officials said the war games are part of a larger Russian effort to use military power to bolster its position in the former Soviet republics with a larger military presence.
Russia also has a ballistic missile warning radar at Baranovichi, Belarus, and a Navy communications facility used to communicate with Russian submarines. Moscow also supplied Belarus with advanced S-300 missile defenses and Tor-M2 surface-to-air missiles.
The exercises drew criticism from Eastern European NATO governments.
“Russia has officially stated that these are anti-terrorism exercises,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas told AFP. “But the number of participants and amount of military equipment indicates that that this is not their agenda.”
Senior Estonian military official Lt. Col. Eero Rebo said: “The Kremlin claims that the exercise is about fighting terrorism, but based on the information we have on Zapad 2013, the exercise has an anti-West agenda.”
“If you look at the Baltic sea region, the strategic balance has been changing quite drastically in the last decade, and not in our favor,” Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said Friday.
“We are concerned because we see such large-scale exercises in context,” he added. NATO approved special defense plans for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, which have a combined population of just over six million, in 2010.
NATO will hold an Eastern European exercise in November called Steadfast Jazz in the Baltic region and Poland with around 6,000 NATO troops.
The alliance claims the exercises from Nov. 2 to Nov. 9 are not aimed at Russia.
“For the past 10 to 12 years we have become incredibly proficient at the counter-insurgency mission that we have been fighting in Afghanistan,” NATO’s military commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, told reporters in Brussels Sept. 18.
To defend an alliance state, “we have to be prepared for the more high end of military operations,” he said, according to Reuters.
The exercise scenario will involve NATO forces ousting a foreign invader that Breedlove denied was a hypothetical counterstrike to a Russian invasion.
Meanwhile in China, Chinese military forces are engaged in large-scale exercises involving some 40,000 troops.
The People’s Liberation Army announced its “Mission Action 2013” began Tuesday.
Troops from the Nanjing and Guangzhou military regions and air forces were set to take part.
The PLA troops will conduct maneuvers over large areas using military ground vehicles, trains, ships, and aircraft to test forces for “real war” conditions.
The exercises will include coordination between military and civilian assets, including civilian jets and trains to transport forces, according to state-run Chinese press reports.
Chinese aircraft taking part in the war games include jet fighters, bombers, and other aircraft.
The exercise also will seek to boost Chinese combined arms warfare capabilities that integrate air, naval, and ground forces for long-distance fighting, joint air defense, and joint warfighting on unfamiliar terrain.
KREMLIN FEARS BLOODSHED AT OLYMPICS
1,500 Russian Islamists train for urban warfare in Syria
F. MICHAEL MALOOF
WASHINGTON – With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, less than five months away, Russian officials are raising major alarms over the number of Islamists from the North Caucasus now getting urban warfare experience in Syria.
They’ll be returning home, right in the shadow of the international sporting events, of course.
The games, which are to take place from Feb. 7-23, 2014, have been threatened with destruction by the leader of the Islamist militants, Doku Umarov, who has called for “maximum force” to ensure that they don’t take place.
These North Caucasus fighters now in Syria come from such southern Russian provinces as Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia.
They are closely aligned with the al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra Front, which has sided with the rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad but wants to establish Syria as an Islamic caliphate, a goal opposite of what the Syrian rebels have in mind.
Sources add that Islamist militants from Russia include from 400-500 Chechens, 600 Dagestanis and 200 Tatars and Bashkirs, all of whom are fighting in Syria.
In all, Russian officials believe there could be as many as 1,500 Russian Islamist militants fighting in Syria on the side of the Syrian opposition against the government of Assad.
Russian officials have expressed concern that these fighters who are battle-hardened in urban warfare will return in time to launch attacks on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which is located next to the contentious Muslim provinces.
Russian officials say that Chechens, for example, travel to Azerbaijan and then head for Turkey, which is next door to Syria. They leave their regions under the pretext that they are going to undertake Islamic studies when, in fact, they head to Turkey.
Turkey has been a harbor for the Syrian opposition, including foreign fighters, in an effort to topple the al-Assad regime.
“They will come back and that, naturally, is posing a serious danger,” according to Sergei Smirnov, deputy director of the Federal Security Service, or FSB.
This development has posed a particular problem for Moscow-picked Ramzan Kadrov, leader of Chechen province.
He previously has denied that Chechens were fighting in Syria. But now he’s alleged that foreign security services have been recruiting North Caucasians to fight in Syria.
The fact that Kadrov can’t seem to rein in Chechens from going to Syria and coming back to Russia with urban warfare experience has particularly irked Moscow.
The North Caucasian fighters now have formed their own group called the Al-Muhajireen. It is affiliated with al-Qaida and is based in the region of Aleppo in northern Syria.
Most of them had prior military experience in the North Caucasus before heading for Syria.
They are led by a Chechen commander, Abu Abdurakhman.
“People here know that the Russian government supports Bashar Assad’s regime, so participation in the hostilities against Syrian authorities is for them a continuation of the war with Russia,” one Chechen source said. This is a reference to the two Russian-Chechen wars that began in the 1990s.
To underscore the militancy of these fighters, one from Dagestan was videotaped slitting the throats of two Christian priests in Syria. Before becoming a militant, this fighter belonged to Dagestan’s anti-extremism special police unit. Then he switched sides and joined the Islamist fighters.
If and when these fighters return to Russia after fighting in Syria, they are expected to join Umarov’s Caucasus Emirate, which he has declared to encompass the predominantly Muslim Russian provinces.
Last June, Umarov made a video calling on his fighters to disrupt the Winter Olympics in Sochi with “maximum force.”
In the video he took credit not only for the deadly attacks on Moscow’s subway in 2010, which killed 40 people, but also Moscow’s Domodedovo airport attack in 2011 that killed 37 people.
“Today we must show those who live in the Kremlin that our kindness is not weakness,” Umarov said. “They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on our land by the Black Sea. We as mujahideen are required not to allow that, using any methods that Allah allows us.”
The Russians, along with technical help from the United States and Britain, have invested heavily in security. However, Russian officials are suggesting that what has been done to date may not be enough.
The Olympics have seen terror before. In 1972 in Munich, nearly a dozen members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually murdered. The attackers were identified as the Palestinian group called Black September.
AMERICANS WARNED BANK 'BAIL-INS' COMING
Experts say institutions will grab deposits without warning
F. MICHAEL MALOOF
WASHINGTON – With the United States facing a $17 trillion debt and an acidic debate in Washington over raising that debt limit on top of a potential government shutdown, Congress could mimic recent European action to let banks initiate a “bail-in” to blunt future failures, experts say.
Previously the federal government has taken taxes from consumers, or borrowed the money, to hand out to troubled banks. This could be a little different, and could allow banks to reach directly into consumers’ bank accounts for their cash.
Authority to allow bank “bail-ins” would be in lieu of approving any future taxpayer bailouts of banks that would be in dire need of recapitalization in order to survive.
Some financial experts contend that banks already have the legal authority to confiscate depositors’ money without warning, and at their discretion.
Financial analyst Jim Sinclair warned that the U.S. banks most likely to be “bailed-in” by their depositors are those institutions that received government bail-out funds in 2008-2009.
Such a “bail-in” means all savings of individuals over the insured amount would be confiscated to offset such a failure.
“Bail-ins are coming to North America without any doubt, and will be remembered as the ‘Great Leveling,’ of the ‘great Flushing’ (of Lehman Brothers),” Sinclair said. “Not only can it happen here, but it will happen here.
“It stands on legal grounds by legal precedent both in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.”
Sinclair is chairman and chief executive officer of Tanzania Royalty Exploration Corp. and is the son of Bertram Seligman, whose family started Goldman Sachs, Solomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers, Bache Group and other major investment banking firms.
Some of the major banks which received federal bailout money included Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.
“When major banks fail, they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts,” according to financial expert Michael Snyder. “This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the Western world.”
Given the dire financial straits the U.S. finds itself in, these financial experts say that Congress could look at the example of the European Parliament, which recently started to consider action that would allow banks to confiscate depositors’ holdings above 100,000 euros. Generally, funds up to that level are insured.
Finance ministers of the 27-member European Union in June had approved forcing bondholders, shareholders and large depositors with more than 100,000 euros in their accounts to make the financial sacrifice before turning to the government for help with taxpayer funds.
Depositors with less than 100,000 euros would be protected. Considering protection of small depositors a top priority, the E.U. ministers took pride in saying that their action would shield them.
“The E.U. has made a big step towards putting in place the most comprehensive framework for dealing with bank crises in the world,” said Michel Barnier, E.U. commissioner for internal market and services.
The plan as approved outlines a hierarchy of rescuing struggling banks. The first will be bondholders, followed by shareholders and then large depositors.
Among large depositors, there is a hierarchy of whose money would be selected first, with small and medium-sized businesses being protected like small depositors.
“This agreement will effectively move us from ad hoc ‘bail-outs’ to structured and clearly defined ‘bail-ins,’” said Michael Noonan, Ireland’s finance minister.
The European Parliament is expected to finalize the plan by the end of the year.
The purpose of this “bail-in,” patterned after the Cyprus model, is to offset the need for continued taxpayer bailouts that have come under increasing criticism of the more economically well-off countries such as Germany.
Last March, Cyprus had agreed to tap large depositors at its two leading banks for some 10 billion euros in an effort to obtain another 10 billion European Union bailout.
While this action prevented the collapse of Cyprus’ two top banks, the Bank of Cyprus and Popular Bank of Cyprus, it greatly upset depositors with savings more than 100,000 euros.
WND recently revealed that the practice of “bail-ins” by Cyprus a year ago was beginning to spread to other nations as large depositors began to see their balances plunge literally overnight.
A “bail-in,” as opposed to a bailout that countries especially in Europe have been seeking from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, is a recognition that such outside monetary injections won’t be forthcoming.
Sinclair said that the recent confiscation of customer deposits in Cyprus was not a “one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone ‘troika’ officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets.”
“A joint paper by the U.S. federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England (BOE) dated December 10, 2012 shows, that these plans have been long in the making, that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland, and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds,” Sinclair said.
He pointed that while few depositors are aware, banks legally own the depositors’ funds as soon as they are put in the bank.
“Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay,” Sinclair said.
“But until now, the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash,” he said. “Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into ‘bank equity.’ The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank.”
“With any luck,” Sinclair said, “we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.”
Such plans already are being used, or under consideration, in New Zealand, Poland, Canada and several other countries.
The Devil's Promenade: Inside the rural American town haunted by mysterious light that even Army engineers are at a loss to explain
On a road outside Joplin, Missouri, where the rolling Ozarks merge into the endless flatness of Oklahoma and Kansas, locals report seeing a light called the Spook Light
The anomaly is variously described as a golden, red, or blue light but is always seen as one or more floating orbs
In the early 1940s, the Army Corps of Engineers studied the lights in a failed attempt to scientifically explain them
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 29 September 2013
A photographer has lifted the lid on a famously unexplained light phenomenon that appears in an area of the Missouri known as the Devil's Promenade
Locals in the Ozarks hills say they have seen the light and heard the tales of it all their lives.
The name of the area is the title of the series, created by artists Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal,- but the mysterious apparition itself is known to the townspeople in southwest Missouri as the Spook Light.
Spook Light appears as a basketball-sized orb of light, but only every so often and only by chance on a road called E50, where the rolling Ozark hills disappear into the endless flatness of Kansas and Oklahoma.
On E50, also known as Spook Road, there's a gathering south of the town of Joplin each year at Halloween, when hopeful visitors and locals alike seek a chance encounter with the Spook Light.
Meanwhile, the cause of the light--which hovers in the sky and is seen to change colors as it moves towards and away from the viewer--remains a mystery.
Even the Army Corps of Engineers once tried to pinpoint the cause of the floating orb. They traveled to the area outside Joplin, a town now known as the 2011 site of a devastating F5 tornado, to study the Spook Light in the early 1940s.
They were unable to come to any conclusions.
Local legend has it that the first to see the lights were the local Quapaw Indians, and some stories saw the light is actually the tormented spirits of two Quapaw lovers run off a cliff by an angry Chieftan.
Other folklore says the light is the torch of a Quapaw or Osage Indian who was beheaded and is searching for his head. Still others maintain it's the spirit of a decapitated miner or Confederate soldier in search of his lost head.
And for every story behind the lights, there's another name for them. It has been referred to as the Hornet Ghost Light, Devil's Jack-O'-Lantern, Ozark Spook Light, and Joplin Ghost Light.
Regardless of the tale behind it or its proper name, the locals who've seen the phenomenon are adamant it is real.
Roberta Williams from Carthage, Missouri has seen the light and told her story to Mysterious Universe.
‘It was before midnight,’ she said. ‘It was like a big, huge ball with a yellow glow and it went right straight through our car. I just screamed.’
Mary Roundtree, a local historian, told NPR she's seen the light, too.
'Its very spooky,' she said. 'It looks like a light way far off, and then its right on you.'
Roundtree said she saw the light as a kid when she and her parents were lured to E50 out of curiosity.
'My heart was just pounding and it was up in my throat and I thought my head was going to explode and my hands got all cold,' she said.
And like almost everyone else whose seen the bobbing orb, she has her own variation of the tale that's behind it.
According to Roundtree, a old Indian man came across some dead bodies in the woods where the Spook now appears. After he buried them, a white farmer came by carrying a lantern. The two killed one another but the light of the lantern still hangs there as an apparition.
The Devil’s Promenade is as dedicated to the the inhabitants of the rural, impoverished area as it is to the Spook Light. The series paints a vivid picture of both the haunting landscape and the fascinating people who populate it.
'We feel the frequent and mysterious appearance of the Spook Light has come to represent for the people we meet a desire for redemption and the fear of slipping into darkness,' write Shipley and Dolezal. 'Our aim is not to provide documentation, but to suggest a narrative that, in the spirit of the light, is part fixed in this unique region and part afloat in a mysterious, otherworldly realm.'
Until next week...keep on believing.
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”