Archive | December 18, 2015

Shipment of Smuggled Blank Passports Seized in Turkey*

Shipment of Smuggled Blank Passports Seized in Turkey*

Two suspects were arrested in Istanbul allegedly trying to smuggle a shipment of blank European passports.

Two suspects were apprehended by Turkish authorities in Istanbul airport while allegedly trying to smuggle 148 blank European passports hidden in pizza-making equipment, AP reports citing a local government source.

According to the source, one of the suspects is a Belgian citizen of Turkish descent while the other is a native of Syria.

There were British, Irish, French and German passports among the confiscated papers, and all of the documents were authentic, the source added.

The investigators intend to determine how the suspects came into possession of these documents and how they were planning to use them, according to the authorities.

Earlier, U.S. media reported citing a report by Homeland Security Investigations that Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) militants may actually possess equipment needed to print forged passports, and that some individuals using such documents may have travelled to the United States.

Other media reports also suggest that Daesh has at least 3,000 authentic Syrian and Iraqi passports stolen from the national authorities.


Related Topics:

Corrupt Insiders, Lax Laws, and How High-Tech Passport Security*

U.S. Air Force Hires Private Companies to Fly Drones in War Zones*

U.S. Air Force Hires Private Companies to Fly Drones in War Zones*

By Chris Thompson

Reaper drone in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Photo: Defence Images.

U.S. Air Force officials has begun to hire private companies to fly drone aircraft operating over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The unprecedented move is in response to demands from the Obama administration to dramatically expand the drone war just as the Pentagon faces a critical shortage of military pilots.

As a result, civilian pilots will directly participate in military operations for the first time since the drone wars began about a decade ago. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Air Force signed contracts with two private companies in 2015 to provide enough pilots to fly two “combat air patrols” or 24-hour surveillance flights that would involve as many as eight MQ-9 Reaper drones per day. The Air Force plans to eventually expand its fleet of privately piloted drones to 40 over the next four years.

Of the two companies, one, Aviation Unmanned,  is a small, veteran-owned outfit operating out of Dallas, Texas, which was awarded a contract on August 24. The second is General Atomics, a large San Diego, California-based military contractor that builds both the Reaper and Predator drones and has been paid at least $700 million over the last two years for a variety of drone support services. Their contract was awarded April 15.

This is not the first time that private contractors have played a role in the drone wars. Companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics and SAIC  have long held contracts to analyze surveillance data gathered by drones flying over war zones.

While Reaper drones are designed to be able to carry multiple Hellfire and Sidewinder missiles, the Pentagon insists that these privately operated Reapers will simply do reconnaissance and not carry weapons, nor will the pilots have clearance to fire missiles.

Nonetheless, these contracts mark a dramatic uptick in the direct involvement of private companies in military actions, which has drawn criticism even from within the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s office who say that such involvement may be a violation of international law. “Military services should be vigilant to avoid contracted intelligence activities where civilians may exert a significant amount of influence or control over targeting and weapons release decisions,” wrote Major Keric Clanahan, a legal advisor to the U.S. Special Forces, in a recent article in Air Force Law Review. “It is imperative that contractors not get too close to the tip of the spear.”

The decision to deploy private drone pilots stems from a longstanding crisis inside the U.S. military In early 2015, the Air Force operated 65 combat air patrols, or up to 260 drones patrolling war zones around the world, but was under pressure from the  Pentagon to expand the number of drones in the air to 360. But pilots, overwhelmed by the complexity of the work and the grueling schedule, began to vote with their feet and quit.

At an October conference of military contractors and government officials, General Robert Otto, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, summed up the problem. “Those crews have been stressed about to the limit,” Otto said. “Over time, pulling twelve hour shifts, six days a week, year after year, and the only light at the end of the tunnel is their Form DV-214, which their, you know, separation from service. And many of the pilots have decided to take that option.”

This summer, the Air Force was forced to reduce the number of combat air patrols from 65 to 60, in order to keep its remaining pilots from retiring at the end of their contracts. Nonetheless, the Air Force projects that it will be 400 pilots short of the roughly 1,200 it needs to keep the drone program running at current capacity.

Officials hope that the private contractors, along with additional support from Army drone pilots, will fill the gap in the short term. But over the long term, the problem of keeping a fleet of pilots in the service is expected to get substantially worse.

According to a separate Los Angeles Times article, the Air Force recently announced plans to radically expand its global drone operation, adding 65 new Reapers to its fleet, doubling the number of pilots, and building new drone operations centers at Air Force bases around the U.S. The plan is expected to cost roughly $3.5 billion, and the service will have to get Congressional approval before conducting the expansion. Even if lawmakers go along, training new pilots and building the new drone centres will take years. It will be a long time before the service’s current pilots see any relief, so the contractors may well be called upon again to fill an ever-widening gap.


Related Topics:

U.S. Drones Attack Syria’s Military, “Disguised as an Airstrike against ISIS”*

Drones That Shoot Tasers Are Now Legal for Police Use in North Dakota*

Anti-war Protesters in Germany Slam U.S/. Drone Strikes*

Ex-Drone Pilot ‘They don’t care who gets killed’*

Drone Pilots have Bank Accounts and Credit Cards Frozen by Feds for Exposing US Murder*

U.S. Special ops Forces Told to Leave Libya after Arriving*

The Joint U.S-Russia U.N. Security Council Draft Resolution “To Defeat ISIS!?*

New York Court Overturns Vaccination Requirements for Pre-schoolers*

New York Court Overturns Vaccination Requirements for Pre-schoolers*

Kids Flee Deadly Vaccine by David DeesBy Catherine J. Frompovich

On that day, His Honor, Judge Manuel J. Mendez, J.S.C., handed down the decision overturning a Mayor Bloomberg-era regulation requiring all children 6 months through 59 months of age must obtain a flu vaccine in order to attend pre-schools, day care centres and Head Start Programs regulated by the City of New York.

Interestingly, the Judge in his order wrote on page 6,

“The Court of Appeals further stated that §558(b) of the New York City Charter ‘contains no suggestion that the Board of Health has the authority to create laws‘.”

That very issue of authority to create laws should be challenged whenever parents, employees, or individuals are being force-fed the standard vaccine ‘dogma’ of “it’s the law” to get vaccinated or else you can’t work or your child can’t go to school.

Everyone who has done his/her homework about the ‘safety and efficacy’ of vaccines knows how dangerous they truly are, and should do as several NYC parents did: Brought suit against The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; The New York City Board of Health; and Dr. Mary Travis Bassett in her Official Capacity as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.

His Honor, Judge Mendez further stated that NYC Board of Health, et al, lacked statutory authority to require such vaccinations. Here is the court order, which I think every parent should print out, study and save for future reference, as the judge got this one right, I say. Consequently, the NYC Board of Health, et al, are permanently enjoined from implementing and enforcing forced flu vaccinations on infants and toddlers in order to attend pre-schools, day care centers and Head Start Programs regulated by New York City.

Next, what needs to happen is a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers challenging vaccine trials and the unfavourable data withheld, which was not presented during vaccine licensure applications.


Related Topics:

Five Year Old Girl Died from the MMR Vaccine Required for Kindergarten*

Mandatory Vaccines in the Rotting Apple*

Mandatory Vaccines for Californian Schools*

Parents Stop Unethical Forced HPV Vaccine*

Author of Mandatory Meningitis Vaccine Bill Caught Taking $420k From Big Pharma*

Standing up against Forced Vaccinations in the Balkans*

Virginia to Compensate Victims of Forced Sterilization*

Australia Bans Children who Refuse Vaccination from Attending Kindergarten*

U.S. Special ops Forces Told to Leave Libya after Arriving*

U.S. Special ops Forces Told to Leave Libya after Arriving*

Libya’s air force said in a Facebook post that 20 U.S. commandoes arrived at Wattiya airbase and disembarked “in combat readiness,” only to be told to leave. Pentagon sources confirmed the U.S. had sent a Special Forces unit to Libya as part of a mission.

The Libyan Air Force said the 20 soldiers arrived at the airbase on Monday, but left soon after local commanders asked them to go because they had no right to be at the base “without prior coordination with protection force base.

The Libyan air force published a Facebook post on Wednesday which included photographs of the Special Forces unit. It noted the 20 soldiers had disembarked “in combat readiness wearing bullet proof jackets, advanced weapons, silencers, handguns, night vision devices and GPS devices.”

Photos from ‎رئاسة أركان القوات الجوية Libyan Air Forces‎’s post

When questioned by Libyan soldiers, the American troops said they were “in coordination with other members of the Libyan army,” the Libyan Air Force said. The Libyans were unconvinced.

“The response from your heroic army stationed at Wattiya base was to tell them to depart immediately and the group left, keeping their equipment with them,” the post added.

The photographs show three men armed with assault rifles, boarding a blue-and-white-striped passenger plane and driving a yellow dune buggy.

Pentagon sources confirmed to NBC News that the Special Forces unit was part of a mission sent this week, but it was unclear if the soldiers had left the country. Commandoes have been in and out of Libya” for “some time now,” unnamed U.S. officials told NBC, but the outlet reported they were there “purely to advise Libyan forces rather than conduct combat operations or training.”

According to the Associated Press, the failed debarkation happened just as Libya’s rival parliaments signed a landmark United Nations-sponsored deal to form a government in the war-torn country. Libya has been in chaos ever since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by NATO-backed rebels in 2011.

The Guardian reported that the embarrassing incident marks the first confirmed deployment of American forces to Libya since July of last year, when Delta Force commandos seized Ahmed Abu Khattala, now on trial in New York accused of the 2012 killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.”


Related Topics:

USA Drone Base in North Africa*

Libya Takes Goldman Sachs to Court*

Clinton Emails Reveals Egyptian Special Forces Role in the Destruction of Libya*

British Government Firms Behind ISIS Oil Sales*

The Syrian oil fields targeted in U.K. airstrikes were already “obliterated” by Russia*

Israel Grants Oil Rights in Syria to Murdoch and Rothschild*

Mali, Al Qaeda & The Rothschilds