|« Terrorists Returning From Syria Pose a High Security Risk » – British Intelligence
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 01:37 PM PST
February 20th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Al Thawra
– – Translated by Samer Hussein –
Lone-wolf terrorists, returning home from Iraq and Syria (among whom are no longer only the males), are starting to pose a dire security threat for Britain (and about which Syria previously warned), bigger than ever before, especially now that it might also include women and children who are ready to carry out terrorist attacks.
Because of this the British security service is starting to make calls for a greater cooperation in fight against terrorism. For the authorities, the things are highly challenging, as the number of terrorists who have previously been trained by and fought for ISIS are now returning home en masse. As such these people pose a high security risk and can carry out attacks at any moment.
Excerpts from the report which was prepared by the the intelligence officers of the British Prime Minister’s Office and was yesterday published in the Daily Mail, indicate that there is not only a possibility of the lone-wolf style attacks carried out by women and children, but also that there is a critical lack of knowledge as regards dealing with this kind of threat. It is not even clear how many of the British citizens have actually returned to Britain. The report is the first of its kind to provide information on the exceptional number of women and children who are ready to carry out terrorist attacks. Women, however, could avoid being interrogated if it is possible for them to prove that their husbands forced them to come with them.
The report also warned that some of the British women had allegedly served in the so-called Khansa Brigade, an all-women police enforcement entity belonging to the terrorist group ISIS.
Alex Younger, the chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service described the level of terrorist threats as « unprecedented ».
Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, head of the London’s Metropolitan Police also said that the possibility of a terrorist attack is inevitable, and that the case is no longer about the extent of the possible attack, but rather when the attack will take place.
Various reports indicate that more than 850 British citizens have traveled to Iraq and Syria so far. Majority of them are believed to have joined ISIS and at least half of them have since returned to Britain. About 80 women and 90 children, all of whom were born in Britain, are believed to have stayed in Iraq and Syria, indicating that the real number of returnees may be greater than excepted, especially because many of the British-born terrorists also had their children born while waging jihad in the Middle East.
In January, Ben Wallace, British Minister of State for Security Affairs, warned that ISIS terrorists are planning attacks with chemical weapons in Britain. According to his statement, ISIS want to use the chemical weapons in order to be able to cause as many casualties as possible.
|German direct investment in Russia rose to € 1.95 billion in 2016
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 09:29 AM PST
February 20, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
ANK [German-Russian Foreign Trade Chamber], translated by Tom Winter –
German direct investment in Russia rose to € 1.95 billion in 2016
German companies invested more in Russia in 2016 than in 2015. In 2016, German direct investment amounted to € 1.95 billion, an increase of 170 million more than in the previous year (2015: € 1.78 billion).
This is apparent from preliminary data from the German Bundesbank. In the fourth quarter of 2016, however, investments fell by € 92 million.
German direct investment in Russia 2016:
First quarter: € 1.074 billion
Second quarter: € 655 million
3rd quarter: € 307 million
Fourth quarter: – € 92 million (preliminary data)
« With almost two billion euros of German direct investment, 2016 was a good year, » says Matthias Schepp, Chairman of the Board of the German-Russian Foreign Trade Chamber. « German companies, including many small and medium-sized enterprises, have again clearly contributed to Russian value creation in 2016. There is also no negative value from the fourth quarter. »
The investment activity of German companies continues. For example, in the fourth quarter, the medium-sized tool maker Special Tools Technology (STT) signed an investment agreement with Sergey Morozov, the governor of the Ulyanovsk region, to form a joint venture. Further plant openings are planned this year.
Negative number – negative trend?
An explanation for the negative balance in the fourth quarter is that investment projects that are designed for years are more likely to be pushed to the beginning of the year. In the last months of the year, cash flows tend to be lower.
A further reason is that partial profits are transferred back to the German parent houses at the end of the year. At the end of 2016, this was more attractive than in the previous years, because the Russian ruble was significantly stronger. In January, the exchange rate was just under 90 rubles for one euro, but by the end of the year under 65.
The German-Russian Foreign Trade Chamber is the representation of German companies in Russia and Russian companies in Germany. It currently has over 800 member companies.
The number of companies with German capital participation in Russia amounted to 5,237 companies at the end of 2016.
NOTE: An error has occurred. In an earlier version, the increase in direct investment between 2015 and 2016 was estimated at 190 million euros. This is wrong: 170 million. We regret the error!
|Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin dies ‘suddenly’ in New York
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 09:27 AM PST
February 20, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
By J. Arnoldski –
At 20:06 Moscow time on Monday, February 20th, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported the death of Vitaly Churkin, Moscow’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
The ministry’s press report
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia with deep regret informs that on February 20th, the day before his 65th birthday, the Russian Federation’s Permanent Representative to the UN, V.I. Churkin, died suddenly in New York.
This outstanding Russian diplomat died at work.
|Syria and the « Shia Crescent »
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 08:16 AM PST
February 20th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Op-ed by Samer Hussein –
One of the most bizarre theories that I frequently spotted in the mainstream media outlets over the past few years is the so-called “Shia Crescent” theory.
According to the sources, peddling this kind of misinformation of a rather manipulative nature, in the Middle East there was allegedly established a religio-political block, consisting of an alliance formed by Syria, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah. Because this so-called “Shia Crescent” supposedly represents a grave danger for the remaining powers in the region, Saudi Arabia, Gulf states and Turkey were forced to create an alliance that would counter the influence of the so-called “Shia Crescent”. But now we have to ask ourselves: is any of this actually true? Let’s take a look at Syria as the best example.
It is definitely not a secret that Syria is having very close ties with Iran, an Islamic Republic and a Shia-majority country. But is Shiism really the key factor that binds the two? Syria is a secular Arab republic whereas Iran is an Islamic republic. It may be true that the Iranian leadership is of Shia and Bashar Al Assad, Syria’s president, of Alawite background (The Alawites are an offshoot Shia group, though not exactly Shias in the same context as Shias), however, at the same time, it is also true that the leadership of Syria is predominantly Sunni.
This is nothing surprising since more than two thirds of all Syrian citizens are Sunnis. The fact that Bashar al Assad is an Alawite is a pure coincidence. Bashar Al Assad does not rule as an Alawite or Shia. He rules as a president of the Syrian Arab Republic and in accordance with the basic principles of the Syrian Constitution, which was adopted by the People’s council of the Syrian Arab Republic.
None of his laws or decrees are signed in the name of Alawism (and thus Shiism) or for the benefit of Alawite community as such. These undeniable facts naturally contradict the mainstream media narrative on Syria, according to which, Syria is under (complete control) of the Alawite community that is said to be pulling all of the strings in the country.
Not only the outlets that peddle this type of narrative are spreading “fake news” and misinformation, in most cases they are also breaching their local laws which prohibit defamation of communities of people.
It shall be made clear that neither domestic nor foreign policies of Syria include any sectarian elements. It’s all just about politics (and economy). And for nothing else than these reasons, Syria is an ally of Iran and Hezbollah. Syria cannot align itself with Turkey-Saudi Arabia-Gulf axis since, in terms of politics, stands on the opposite bank of the river.
Syria is and independent state with its own defined policies, not a puppet of Washington and does not supports its agenda (as is the case with Turkey/Gulf States/Saudi Arabia). While indeed a lot of Shias worldwide have a sympathy for Syria only because Bashar Al Assad is an Alawite and thus consider him as Shia, this hardly has anything to do with the exact geopolitical reality.
An alliance with Iran is understandable, if not already unavoidable, given that both countries are not only firmly resisting the Atlanticist and Globalist influence (and are thus not only sharing the same political essence), but are being sanctioned by these same powers.
As such the two countries need to cooperate not only on a political, but on an economic level as well as it is beneficial for both. Syria is being isolated and so is being Iran.
Nevertheless, the Syrian ties with Russia are even stronger than those with Iran. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of weapons to Syria, hence the close ties between the two shall not come as a surprise. Indeed, the conspirators behind the Crescent theory mysteriously “forgot” that the Syrian ties with Russia are actually stronger than those with Iran.
The latter, despite being a self-declared Islamic Republic with strong Shia majority, is not pushing any sectarian agenda in daily political life. This was best evident during the war in Armenian Karabagh. The Iranian leadership declared its support for the Armenian and not the Azeri side, despite Azerbaijan being a Shia-majority country. The defining factor here was the fact that Azerbaijan aligned itself with US, NATO, Israel and Saudi Arabia, the political powers otherwise known for their hostility towards Iran. Again, we can see it was politics that prevailed in the end.
Something similar we could also say for the relatively new Saudi-Turkish alliance. What exactly do the Turkish secular republic that mostly makes its revenue off tourism and an Arab Wahhabist state that mostly makes its revenue off oil, despite both allegedly having a Sunni majority, have in common?
What is there that would legitimize the urgent need for maintaining an alliance? Apart from politics, nothing really. The two simply want to want to counter the influence of Syria and Iran who are resisting their ambitions. Countering the Syrian-Iranian influence would not only be beneficial for their own ambitions, but for those of their masters in Washington as well.
While looking at things the way they are we quickly realize that the driving wheel behind this particular geopolitical cruise is still nothing else than politics. Even though some of the figures on this geopolitical chessboard might appear a bit sectarian-driven, in the end, it’s not sectarianism that orders the things around and decides their fate.
|Ukraine fails to withdraw heavy weapons
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 07:40 AM PST
Feburary 20th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –RusVesna – Translated By James Harmon
Ukraine has once again failed to adhere to the agreement on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line.
The Trilateral contact group met in Minsk on Wednesday, February 15th, and among an agreement to observe a ceasefire, the removal of heavy weapons was also agreed upon.
Despite the positive note of the meeting in Minsk, the coming days revealed that Ukraine did not adhere to the specified agreements, and thus took no action for the withdrawal of heavy weapons in places of deployment. The DNR and LNR reported continued shelling of settlements within their territories.On the morning of Monday, Feburary 20th, Leonid Matyuhin, the speaker of the press-center headquarters « ATO », spoke on a Ukrainian television broadcast stating that Kiev does not see any prequisites for the removal of heavy weapons from the front line.
« Despite the agreement on the withdrawal by 20th of February of heavy weapons from the front line, there were 5 military attacks from midnight », says Mathuhin, stating that 62 bombardments killed a soldier of the UAF.
It is important to note that the armed forces of the DNR and LNR have both stated emphatically that any measures taken were defensive in nature against the UAF.
|American spies missed Crimea because Russians operated like in 1941
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 06:56 AM PST
February 20, 2017 – Fort Russ News
Komsomolskaya Pravda – Translated by Kristina Kharlova
Dmitry Smirnov interviewed Igor Ashmanov, head of « Ashmanov and Partners » at Russian Internet Forum
American spies have trapped themselves in virtual reality while Russians operate in the real world
– We are recording this interview on tape in IPhone, how many intelligence services can listen to it right now?
– Ours, I think, can’t. Not ours… You need to understand that this phone is under the full control of Apple, and they had a scandal even six or seven years ago, when CarrierIQ program was discovered. It was supposed to help the provider, but it turned out that quite a lot of user data was transferred who knows where. Apple had to remove it, then it reappeared. Wikipedia describes in detail in the article about CarrierIQ.
But in reality, we know that in the US PATRIOT Act of 2001 requires Internet companies and providers, device manufacturers to share data. As Snowden told us, this act created channels to continuously collect user data without any formalities.
– How big is the amount of data collected?
– Regular users have no idea. Just Google has 5-10 million servers! Hundreds of data centers around the world. NSA has about the same. Generally search engines such as Yandex and Google always save four or five copies of the entire Internet, simply because of technology. And social networks save all comments and posts of all users over the years. Mobile operators save all texts, moves, call logs, and now, I think, conversations. All of this is what intelligence keeps.
– Why with such resource, the US government missed Trump?
– Because it was not about propaganda or tapping. Trump is the answer to the need for justice in American society. But it was predicted that someone like him can win in the next four years, but for now everyone agreed to crown Clinton. All the media, all politicians, all bankers, and all the education community were for Hillary
The ratio of media – Clinton had 500 media outlets, Trump – 26. The gap was twenty times, but they themselves have created an information bubble which is described by the formula « No one I know voted for Putin ». This anti-Trump establishment convinced itself that they are all set. And when Trump won, they had a cognitive dissonance. They are in shock, they cry, they go to protests in universities, for example, creating special crying rooms, bring fluffy dogs to pet and calm down. My friend is a professor at American university, he was shocked about what was happening.
And now all the American media are trying to understand: what trick did Trump use, which they did not know about. It is rationalization (not to recognize the obvious). And the obvious is that Trump won in « real reality ». He said something, which did not require 500 media outlets. It spread like wildfire on social media, and Hillary and her team didn’t see it inside their information bubble.
The media can’t understand why their propaganda did not work. Just as American media is deceiving themselves, so is the US intelligence, which has recently become media-like. They are so used to working on open sources and tapping that they can’t work any other way.
So for example, they completely missed Crimea. Why? They did not expect it, it wasn’t in the press, nothing on phones. Those who took Crimea did not use cell phones, they got special communication packages by foot as in 1941. Russia for them today is a black hole, and much of what happens there is news for them.
– Tell us the truth about the Russian hackers
– I have managed programmers for 30 years, sometimes I come across people associated with hacking activities, but rarely. We don’t have them on staff, neither as contractors, we don’t have such needs. We had one employee who unexpectedly turned out to be a former hacker and a few years ago he was arrested in Cyprus « by fax » from the Americans. He worked as a computer programmer with us, went on vacation to Cyprus and there he was arrested at the request of the Americans on made-up charges. I didn’t even know him, we have a lot of people. For nine months we helped him and pulled him out. Americans came into his cell, without agreement with lawyer or consul, and asked, « Why are you so stubborn? Agree for extradition, you will do one year, we’ll give you a green card, because you will work for intelligence, make good money. And don’t forget your toolkit, you will use it ».
Several times a year ‘Russian hackers’ are arrested around the world, it is a kind of recruiting for Pentagon or NSA.
The entire story with Russian hackers is a media bubble. In the summer of 2016, Americans announced that they are going to equate cyber attacks to real military actions. That is, allowed themselves or NATO to respond with conventional war to cyber attacks. It is clear that an attack on critical infrastructure is an act of war, for which the answer is conventional war. That can be traced if not on by trail, but by who benefits.
But they equate a cyber attack to war, to get rid of responsibility to produce evidence. To have the perfect excuse to use it at any point in time.
– And can there be evidence?
– No hackers leave a trace. This is ridiculous. There’s even a video of John McAfee, the author of one of the first anti-virus, who is now done with business, but still remains a professional. In his video he examines what US intelligence wrote about « Russian hackers »:
« They found Cyrillic symbols in the code comments ». That is, comments in Russian in some sort of viruses. Are you crazy? Will Russians write comments in Russian? Then they found that it was written « on a Cyrillic keyboard. » McAfee asks « Has technology reached the point when you can identify a keyboard? » It is nonsense. « They argue that the compiler used by the hackers leaves a timestamp which corresponds to the business hours in Moscow (hackers work at night, not during business hours!!!). And found IP addresses that come from Russia!
Of course, there can be no traces of this kind. But even if there were, how do you present it to the public? It’s just some long strips of some numbers, logs of some anonymous servers. This cannot be explained. It is all at the level of Colin Powell’s vials with white powder.
|BREAKING: Four killed, two Russian servicemen wounded in car explosion
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 07:31 AM PST
Feburary 20th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
Russian Ministry of Defense -By James Harmon
In a statement released by the Russian ministry of defense, regarding the February 16th explosion which killed 4 and injured 2 Russian servicemen, the ministry stated « »Russian military medics are fighting to save their lives ».
The vehicle struck by a mine blast was part of a convoy escorting both Syrian military and Russian military advisers who were en route from the Tiyas airbase on the front lines fighting the Islamic State, to the city of Homs.
This follows a December 5th attack in which opposition-affiliated terrorists attacked a Russian military hospital killing two Russian military medics and wounding one, in addition to local residents who also suffered injuries in the attack.
The Russian Federation has been conducting a counter terrorism campaign in the Syrian Arab Republic since September 30th, 2015, at Bashar Al Assad’s request.
|Zakharchenko slams OSCE: « We don’t owe anyone anything else » (VIDEO)
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 05:41 AM PST
February 20, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
At a joint press conference of the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko harshly responded to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s deputy head, Alexander Hug.
When Hug claimed that both sides of the conflict, « including the two of you [Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky] » should make weapons « disappear » from the frontline, DPR head Zakharchenko interrupted the translator and responded:
“I’m sorry, but we need to do the following: ensure the security of our states, the safety of our citizens, and we don’t owe anyone anything else.”
Zakharchenko’s words were met with the audience’s eruption into applause.
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|Survey: Half of Russians support the struggling Donbass republics
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 05:12 AM PST
February 20, 2017 – Fort Russ –
– translated from Polish by J. Arnoldski –
More than one third of Russians (36%) are in favor of Russia being neutral in the Ukrainian conflict, while nearly one fourth (24%) believe that the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics should be recognized, the latest survey by the All-Russian Center for Research on Public Opinion shows.
“In the conflict between the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Kiev, half of Russians support the DPR and LPR in one form or another: 8% have in mind aiding the establishment of autonomy; 24% believe that their independence must be recognized, while 18% are for their induction into Russia,” the authors of the survey explained. In the last survey, the figures were similar at 8%, 23%, and 14% respectively.
The head of research projects at the All-Russian Center for Research on Public Opinion, Mikhail Mamonov, emphasized: “According to the majority of Russians, the DPR and LPR are already no longer parts of Ukraine. This is the main conclusion of the study.”
Meanwhile, those Russians who support the Kiev authorities account for 4% of respondents. According to them, Russia should help Kiev restore control over the territories of the DPR and LPR. In 2016, only 3% of Russians held such an opinion.
A neutral position was taken by 36% of respondents. Last summer, this was expressed by 38% of Russians.
Around one fifth of respondents (19%) believe that Russia should not undertake any actions if the Minsk Agreements are not complied with, while 16% say that it is necessary to address these issues through diplomatic channels. The same amount of respondents believe that it is necessary to “put pressure on Kiev”, while 11% stand for “supporting Donbass.”