The hijacking of the Munich Security Conference

The Munich Security Conference took place between 16 and 19 February [1]. Like every year, it united more than 500 European Ministers and members of Parliament, as well as a number of foreign guests. This is the most important international meeting on European Foreign Policy and Defence.

Ten years ago, in 2007, Vladimir Putin caused a scandal by claiming that it was in the interest of the Europeans not to follow the Pentagon in its military adventures, but to act independently [2]. He also reminded his listeners that his country, Russia, is also a European state, even though it is excluded from the European Union. The participants had laughed at him and his pretentions. As one, they sought protection under cover of the NATO umbrella.

This time, it was Sergey Lavrov who caused a scandal, by calling for a post-Western world order. We are obliged to admit that NATO has lost its superiority in terms of conventional warfare – even though it easily maintains first place in terms of nuclear war. We are obliged to admit that after 15 years of uninterrupted war in the «Greater Middle East», the mirage of remodelling the region into micro-states, each with less than 10 million inhabitants, and the fantasy of eradicating secular régimes for the benefit of dictatorships run by the Muslim Brotherhood, have failed.

Astoundingly, the Europeans persist in pursuing these goals, which have been imposed on them by Washington, but which the People of the United States and their President Donald Trump do not want any more. So the Europeans are counting on the deep US state (that is to say the Raven Rock Mountain Continuity of Government group who organised the attacks of 11 September). Their political leaders continue, as a preventive measure, to denounce Donald Trump’s supposed racism and Islamophobia, the same people who applauded when George W. Bush and Barack Obama killed more than 3 million people. Their Press continually insults Donald Trump, whom it presents as capricious and incapable [3].

Horrified by the opinions of Donald Trump, according to whom NATO is «obsolete», they were reassured by the declarations of his ministers, who in essence, told them the same thing – NATO no longer needs to exist in its current format - it needs to be transformed into a defensive alliance, and if you want to be part of it, you will have to dedicate 2% of your Defence budget.

Obsessed by their imperialist lunacy, the Europeans were terrified by the possible abandon of their anti-Russian investments in Ukraine and Syria. There too, they were reassured by declarations which were nonetheless as vague as could be. Trump’s ministers repeated that they would give up no interest vital to the USA in Ukraine, and that they would pursue a «political solution in Syria». So why did the Europeans understand that the People of the United States has vital interests on the banks of the Dnipro and that a «political solution in Syria» means replacing the Republic with the Muslim Brotherhood? Simply because that is what they were taught by the Obama administration – the administration that was rejected by the People of the United States.

Of course, everyone can see the struggle between the Trump administration on one side and the «Continuity of Government» group on the other. The mountains trembled when Donald Trump excluded the CIA and the Joint Chief of Staff from the National Security Council [4]. Everyone noticed the way in which the CIA, in response, refused Defence accreditation to six of the President’s advisors, and accused the National Security advisor of being a Russian spy, forcing him to resign, and how they are still pursuing four other representatives from the Presidential team. But losing a few battles does not mean losing the war, and it is distressing that the Europeans – enslaved for so long – do not know this. How can they believe that Donald Trump was going to sweep away such a powerful «deep state» in just a few days? And how could they imagine that his first defeats would be enough to make him give up? [5]

Over the last few years, this Security Conference has been a way for Germany to serve as a link between the United States and their European partners. This year, its only goal was to force the European leaders to confirm their allegiance to the deep US state, without taking into account either the will expressed by the US People, or the change in the White House.

A preparatory document, drawn up by the German organisers of the Conference, was handed to the participants. The Press was careful not to mention it. It contains an article by Volker Perthes, author of the Feltman plan for the total and unconditional capitulation of the Syrian Arab Republic [6]. This eminent «expert» presents his vision of the «Greater Middle East», or rather the vision of the US «Continuity of Government» [7].

- 1. [Even if we have not managed to remodel it,] this region will not be unaffected by the wars and the «Arab Spring». [We didn’t do all that for nothing].

- 2. The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran has become a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Chiites [which masks our geopolitical ambitions].

- 3. While everyone is caught up in this false religious conflict, no-one is paying any attention to the Palestinian situation [for the greater benefit of the colonial state of Israël].

- 4. While the Europeans are unanimously tired of these bloodbaths taking place far from their homes, and hope for the long-awaited triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood, no-one in the Greater Middle East has yet admitted to having been beaten.

- 5. During the war in Syria, the alliances have continually been sealed and unsealed at the regional level, the latest of which was the pact between Russia, Turkey and Iran, which should not last [luckily] any longer than the others.

- 6. Syria and Iraq will not beat terrorism, and will not find peace other than by inclusive government [that is to say, by accepting to introduce al-Qaëda and Daesh into their governments].

- 7. All of this could only end, for all the populations of the Greater Middle East, by a major international conference during which the Westerners would determine their future, just as, at the Congress of Vienna (1814), the Quadruple Alliance decided the fate of the rest of the world.

Quite clearly, neither faced with the vote of the US People, nor the Resistance of the Arab Peoples, do the European leaders intend to change – they can only be dismissed by the European People

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Hate crimes against Muslims surged by 67% in US: FBI

Hate crimes against Muslims across the United States spiked last year, according to new statistics released by the FBI, a rise which experts say was partially fueled by anti-Muslim rhetoric of Donald Trump, the US president-elect.  

Anti-Muslim hate crimes shot up 67 percent in 2015, compared with the year before, according to the bureau’s Hate Crime Statistics report issued on Monday. At least 257 of hate crime incidents against Muslims took place in 2015 while 154 happened in 2014.

“That is the highest number since 2001, when the al-Qaeda attacks on New York and elsewhere drove the number to its highest ever level, 481 hate crimes,” said Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organization that tracks hate crimes.

“I wasn’t surprised to learn that anti-Muslim hate crime statistics spiked in 2015.” said Jordan Denari Duffner, research fellow at The Bridge Initiative, a research project on Islamophobia at Georgetown University.

“The official FBI statistics confirmed what many of us predicted – that anti-Muslim acts, many of them violent, were on the rise,” Duffner added.

Hate crimes overall grew by 6.8 percent in 2015 to a total of 5,850 incidents reported throughout the year, compared with the 5,479 incidents reported in 2014.

The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

                                                     American Muslims attend a community event. (File photo)

Reports of hate crimes and racially motivated violence against minorities have further increased in the United States after the election of Republican candidate Trump as president.

There was a spate of hate crimes reported on social media and to police last week that targeted Muslims, Latinos and African Americans.

Trump’s supporters have been accused of numerous attacks following his election victory last week, including racist graffiti, death threats and physical assaults.

Trump’s campaign had been hit with many controversies since its inception in early 2015. He repeatedly made disparaging remarks against minorities in the US. His comments include a call to ban all Muslims from coming to America as well as stopping Mexican migrants by building a long wall along the US-Mexico border.

Despite all this, the billionaire businessman still managed to stun the world by defeating the heavily-favored Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the November 8 election.

Trump tells supporters to ‘stop it’

                                           US President-elect Donald Trump talks to CBS' "60 Minutes" program broadcast on Sunday/CBS

Trump told his supporters in an interview on Sunday to stop attacks against Latinos and Muslims.

“I am so saddened to hear that,” Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes” program, when the host told him Latinos and Muslims were facing harassment. “And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it -- if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it.’“

Trump has been criticized during his presidential campaign for his inflammatory language against Muslims, immigrants, women and other groups.

The SPLC civil rights organization has monitored a rash of racially motivated violence in campuses around the country.

“I think this is absolutely clearly a result of Trump’s election,” Mark Potok, a senior fellow at SPLC, told the Guardian last week. “Donald Trump has ripped the lid off Pandora’s box.”

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European countries tighten security following Nice terror attack

Countries across Europe are strengthening security following the Nice terror attack which claimed the lives of at least 84 people. It comes as France extends its state of emergency for an additional three months.

In a Thursday television address following the fatal attack, French President Francois Hollande announced that the current state of emergency, which was set to expire on July 26, would be further extended.

Now other European Union countries – including Belgium, the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic – are taking measures in an attempt to combat the threat of terror.

 
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said following a morning meeting of the country's Security Council that additional “appropriate measures” would be taken for next week's National Day celebrations, scheduled to take place on July 21, AP reported.

“We have already taken a certain number of steps in connection with preparations for July 21, as you can imagine, and our security services are permanently evaluating the measures that are necessary,'' Michel said in a radio interview. “It's certain that our security services are going to include information resulting from this act committed last night in Nice in their analyses.''

Michel went on to state that the OCAM, an independent body that assesses the risk of an extremist attack in Belgium, is maintaining the country's threat level at 3 on a 4-point scale. In order for it to be raised, there must be “concrete and precise” information about an imminent attack, Michel said, adding that such evidence was not present.

He added that Belgian authorities had already considered the possibility of a vehicle being used as a method of attack on a large crowd.

The prime minister's statements come less than four months after suicide bombers killed 32 people in Brussels Airport and the city's subway. Brussels was also home to many of the attackers behind the terror attacks in Paris which killed 130 people on November 13, 2015. All of the attacks were claimed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May said that security officials are reviewing Britain's security situation.

“The threat level in the UK is already at severe, that means a terrorist attack is highly likely. Senior officials today will be reviewing what more we can do to ascertain if there is any further action we need to take, but our security services and our police are ever vigilant,” May said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he will review the British capital's safety measures following the Nice attack. He added that the capital will “stand united” with France, stating that the “poisonous and twisted” terrorists would be defeated.

Khan went on to state that the UK's government crisis response committee, COBRA, will meet on Friday.

The Italian government has also told all local prefects and police chiefs to reassess current security measures and reinforce all “sensitive targets” following the Nice attack.

 
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that Italy's security alert remains on the second-highest level, just under that of being under attack.

Alfano recalled that IS had urged sympathizers as far back as 2014 to use “car jihad” to attack the West, adding that Italy had responded by closing traffic to the main boulevard leading to the Vatican during Pope Francis' holy year.

Spain's acting interior minister, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, said on Friday that the country would increase security in areas with high tourist activity, and at events where large numbers of people are expected to gather. He added that high levels of security put in place at the French border for the European Championship soccer tournament will remain in place.

The Interior Minister also stated that information gathered by Spanish and French intelligence suggested the attack was a jihadist act.

"It is a brutal attack which, despite not being yet claimed, looks like being part of the offensive of jihadist terrorism, a question on which our intelligence services coincide with the French services," he told journalists, as quoted by Reuters.

Meanwhile, Germany has announced it will strengthen border controls at airports, as well as at road and rail crossings into France.

"In coordination with the French security authorities the federal police are strengthening their control in the area of cross-border traffic into France," the German Federal Police said in a statement.

Further east, the Czech Republic's top police officer says security has been boosted at the airport in Prague, as well as at other international airports, train stations, and other locations where sports and cultural events take place.

At least 84 people were killed and around 100 injured in the terror attack in Nice on Friday, when a lorry drove into a crowd of people gathered to watch Bastille Day fireworks.

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Putin: Russia will respond to 'aggressive NATO rhetoric'

Russia will take adequate measures to counter NATO's increasingly “aggressive rhetoric," President Vladimir Putin told MPs at the closing session of the State Duma. He called to create an international security system open to all countries.

It’s necessary to create a collective security system void of "bloc-like thinking" and open to all countries, Putin said on Wednesday in Russia's parliament.

"Russia is ready to discuss this extremely important issue," he said, adding that such proposals have been so far left unanswered by Western countries.

"But again, as it was at the beginning of WWII, we don't see any positive response," he continued. "On the contrary, NATO ups its aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions near our borders."

"In this environment, we must pay special attention to strengthening our country's defense capabilities," he concluded.

Terrorism has become the major threat to international security, Putin said, comparing it to the rise of Nazism before WWII. Facing this challenge, the international community should work together rather than remain separated and divided, he said.

"What kind of lessons are needed to get rid of old-fashioned ideological discord and geopolitical games and unite in the fight against international terrorism? This common threat is rising right in front of us," Putin said.

Security issues should not prevail over economic growth and well being, the president warned: “Security and international affairs are equally important, but there is nothing more important than economy and welfare.

“These are indeed very complicated and tough issues, but our country’s future depends on how we will tackle them.”

NATO aims to feed fears by painting Russia as ‘treacherous enemy’ – Russian Defense Ministry

Putin’s keynote address comes amid NATO’s build-up in Eastern Europe. After Crimea’s re-unification with Russia in 2014, the bloc started deployment of troops, equipment and infrastructure to Poland and Baltic countries, arguing that it would protect the region from alleged “Russian aggression.”

At the upcoming Warsaw summit in July, NATO leaders are expected to green-light deployment of four battalions of up to 800 troops in each unit to the Baltic States and Poland, along with intensifying the scale and pace of multinational military exercises. Recent live-fire drills, Anakonda 2016, Saber Strike and BALTOPS, involved thousands of troops and hundreds of combat vehicles to simulate large-scale operations in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Moscow says NATO’s build-up and its hostile rhetoric towards Russia aren’t helping to improve security and stability in Europe, and have triggered reciprocal measures.

The State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, is expected to go into summer recess before the general election starts this autumn. MPs will spend two months in the summer visiting their constituencies to meet voters, gearing up for the Duma elections scheduled for September.

Addressing the lawmakers, President Putin said the race has to be fair and transparent, and free of foul play. “I would like to thank all of you for everything that has been done over the past years … and, of course, look forward to seeing what we will be doing together with the parliament in the future,” he told MPs.

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Terror suspect with salt & cookie-filled vest arrested in Brussels

A suspect who was arrested following a bomb alert in a Brussels shopping mall was wearing a fake explosive belt filled with salt and cookies, authorities said. Soon after, two metro stations were said to have been evacuated.

The incident happened at the City2 Shopping Mall in the heart of the Belgian capital, local media said, adding that it was a bomb alert. The area was cordoned off and emergency services along with sappers arrived at the scene.

The police were notified at 5.30am “of a suspicious situation," said Ilse Van de Keere, spokeswoman for the Brussels-Ixelles police. "A security perimeter was established and the SEDEE unit [Belgian armed forces] is at the site. The operations are still ongoing.”

Traffic at the nearby Jardin Botanique Boulevard was blocked as well as at Rogier metro station.

Initially, a spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor said the man “arrested at 5.30 this morning” was “possibly in possession of explosives.”

However, later RTL prosecutors said sappers found no explosives in the building and the belt turned out to be a fake.

The Belgian security source confirmed to Reuters that no explosives were found on the suspect. Similar information appeared in the Flemish-language VTM Nieuws newspaper.

While DH cited sources claiming the ‘terror incident’ was a joke. The 26-year-old man apparently made a fake ‘explosive belt’ filled with salt. He then called police flagging up a “terror alert.”

Document : voici la fausse ceinture explosive du

 
The man initially claimed that he was kidnapped and had to wear an explosive device that could be detonated remotely.

He said he was abducted by unknown people in a car that could be found in Shaerbeek area of Brussels. The car was later located by police.
 
 
 

According to RTL sources, the suspect may have mental health problems. The SEDEE unit found no explosives in his belt.

The man was known to Belgian authorities for various offenses, prosecutors said, as cited by Belgium’s VTM news.

“In 2014, he was involved in a case of the federal prosecutor. He has recently namely contacted the police and stated that he joined the terror group Islamic State in Syria."

Schuman, De Brouckere stations evacuated

Soon after that, Schuman and De Brouckere stations in the Belgian capital were evacuated, locals reported on Twitter. Schuman serves the European quarter of Brussels and is located near EU buildings.

After a meeting of the National Security Council, Michel told journalists “the situation is currently under control.” He added that security services “remain extremely vigilant.”

Brussels has been on high alert since twin suicide bombings hit Zaventem Airport and Maelbeek metro station on March 22. The station is near the buildings of the EU Commission and the Council of the European Union, as well as NATO’s headquarters.

Earlier in June, reports emerged that Belgium’s capital may once again see terror attacks beginning this month. Extremists may target schools, hospitals and public places, where people gather for Euro-2016 related events, during the Islamic Ramadan holiday.

READ MORE: 3 Belgians charged with attempting to commit terror acts after overnight raids

Numerous raids have been conducted in the mainly Muslim Molenbeek area of Brussels, which is often referred to as an “Islamist hotspot.” Many of the suspects involved in the Paris attacks grew up and lived in Molenbeek, including terror mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Abdeslam brothers, and Mohamed Abrini, who was also involved in the Brussels attacks. 

On Friday, at least 12 people were arrested during anti-terrorist operations across Belgium on suspicion of plotting attacks. Three of the suspects have been charged with attempting to commit terrorist acts, while nine were released.

Reports surfaced that a detained suspect worked at Zaventem Airport and had previously contacted one of the Brussels’ suicide bombers.

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ISIS fighters en route to Europe for attacks on Belgium & France – security sources

Belgian and French security forces have received an anti-terror alert about a group of Islamic State fighters who recently left Syria and are heading to Europe. They are allegedly planning attacks in Belgium and France, according to security sources cited by Reuters and AP.

The Belgian crisis center has said the alert was sent to all police forces in the country.

However, there were no immediate plans to raise the security level to the maximum showing an imminent threat of an attack, the source added.

The terrorists in question "left Syria about a week and a half ago to reach Europe via Turkey and Greece by boat without passports," Belgian newspaper DH reported, quoting the alert.

A source in the French Interior Ministry said Belgian authorities had sent the alert to their French counterparts, who were now reviewing the data. "We know the threat is very high," the source said, as quoted by Reuters. "We're reviewing all the elements (in the alert)."

"We know there are fighters who are coming back (to Europe)," French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told a news conference Wednesday.

However, French authorities remain “very cautious” about the alert, as they receive such notes very often, AP quoted their source as saying.

 
The latest news comes just days after an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighter attacked a French police commander and his partner at their home outside Paris.

Tensions are also running high over the Euro 2016 football championship in France. Some 90,000 police and private guards have been mobilized to manage events in the face of the terror attack threat, and dual steel rings have been set up to ensure the maximum protection at venues.

Both Belgium and France have come under attack in the last few months. Belgium was hit on March 22, when 32 people died in coordinated bombings at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport and a Metro station, and last November, 130 people were killed in a series of suicide bombings and a mass shooting in Paris.

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Iraqi Authorities Find Mass Grave with 400 Bodies near Fallujah

BAGHDAD - Iraqi security forces have found a mass grave containing more than 400 bodies near the Islamic State-controlled city of Fallujah, where government troops recently launched an offensive against the terrorist group, a security official told EFE on Monday.

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