“Nobody should be surprised by what happened in San Bernardino . . . If it happened right now this afternoon, this evening, tomorrow . . . nobody should be surprised.” ~ Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who headed the New York City’s emergency response forces on 9/11
Last week, Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik cautioned Americans to be “extremely vigilant” regarding jihadi terrorism, because “this enemy is here to stay.” He emphasized that his warning is not just for this holiday season: “Regardless of the holidays, put the holidays aside . . . The fact of the matter is that there’s an enemy that wants to destroy this country, destroy our society . . . Whether they can get away with it during the holidays or some other time, they’re going to try to do it . . . We have to be extremely vigilant and make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey more recently noted faint praise for the heralded recent win in Ramadi in hoping that, unlike in past encounters, the Iraqi Armed Forces will get “organized enough that they don’t run at the sight of ISIS, but rather take them on and beat them.” He then warned that “ISIS is still going to come after us here in the United States, they’re going after more replays of Paris and Europe. We’ve got a long, hard sluff ahead of us.” Then, he urged that U.S. efforts in the continuing battles against ISIS “over there” be strengthened.
Indeed, we need to be alert to against jihadis with connections to the Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or other jihadi terrorist groups, whether of Sunni or Shia persuasions. (ISIS is a more radical version of Sunni al Qaeda and the Saudis who perpetrated 9/11 under a game plan hatched by Osama bin Laden.)
Our months of limited air strikes are having little impact on ISIS as it seeks to expand its “Caliphate,” according to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and reinforced by Rep. Pete King (R-NY) on Fox News Sunday. A member of the House Intelligence Committee, King also noted that Russia’s air attacks have little impact on ISIS, that ISIS is expanding its reach beyond Iraq and Syria and that “In the last several months it has become clear that they [ISIS] do want to launch an attack on the U.S.”
This concern should be taken into account in recalling the November 13, 2015 ISIS-sponsored attack in Paris that killed 130 and injured hundreds, and the Dec. 2 San Bernardino Inland Regional Center rampage by a married couple with apparent ISIS ties, which killed 14 people and injured 22 others before the Chanukah-Christmas-New Year’s holiday season began.
Notably, Tashfeen Malik swore allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook post on the same day that she and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, committed the San Bernardino rampage. A Pakastani, her K-1 Visa permitted her entrance to marry Farook, an American citizen she had contacted vie social media and perhaps “radicalized.”
Such observations, coupled with Kurik’s warnings, deserve consideration if un-vetted refugees flood into the United States in spite of objections from numerous governors and members of congress – and as the Obama administration moves to close Guantanamo and transfer the last of the jihadis there somewhere in the U.S or somewhere else overseas. (Click here for a brief report on the recent arrival in my home state, South Carolina.)
Moreover, we are threatened by nation states, particularly Iran whose Supreme Leader makes clear his intentions with a backdrop of mullahs and their Shia followers chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” On this end, Sunni and Shia jihadis agree – and in that sense, “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.”
We seem to have been oblivious to the implications of this looming reality. Our leaders have enabled a terrible nuclear deal with Iran, even as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, a longtime ally of Iran (and Syria’s President Assad – not to mention Hezbollah), is becoming the “strong horse” leader in the Middle East. While Russia and China modernize their nuclear forces (and ours continue to atrophy), our “leading from behind” strategy and apparent weakness serves to embolden our enemies while our friends increasingly distrust us.
Consider Clifford May’s recounting of “The Early Returns on the Iran deal.” May begins by reminding us that this actually “unsigned” (Can you believe that?) executive agreement should have been a Treaty requiring concurrence by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate for ratification. We should remember and hold accountable the Republican leaders who permitted this terrible mistake – indeed paved the way for this terrible mistake – as well as the Democrats (and 2 Independents) who supported the deal (not a single Republican did).
Cliff then points out the Iranians have long been lying about their clandestine nuclear weapons research programs. Big surprise – Olli Heinonen, former IAEA deputy director general and head of its Department of Safeguards told us this years ago. So what else is new?
Clearly, Iran’s past history clearly indicates that this Deal does not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons – indeed, prudent U.S. leaders should assume that Iran already has nuclear weapons as exhaustively discussed by my colleague Dr. Peter Vincent Pry in his recent Family Security Matters article.
And their recent ballistic missile tests – not covered by “The Deal” but violations of Iran’s previous United Nations’ commitments – make clear that Iran is committed not only to obtaining nuclear weapons but also the ballistic means for their delivery to attack the “Little Satan” Israel and the “Great Satan” America. To rub salt in the wound, Iran’s military leaders claim that Iran has increased its ballistic missile testing since the advent of the Deal.
Cliff reported that Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan explained such actions “tell the world that the Islamic Republic of Iran acts based on its national interests and no country or power can impose its will on us.” He observed Iran is also sending this message other ways – perhaps most notably, by launching threatening cyber-attacks.
Iran has included cyber-attacks on the electric power grid, upon which the viability of the United States depends, as my messages have repeatedly reported over the past couple of years.
For example, Breitbart News reported on December 13, 2015 that a California researcher identified such attacks. And the December 20, 2015 Wall Street Journal reported that “Iranian Hackers Infiltrated New York Dam in 2013.” So, they’ve been after the grid for some time.
If Iran – or anyone else – attacks the U.S. electric grid, we should anticipate that they will attack it with all effects – physical, cyber and electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A ballistic missile delivered EMP attack likely would be the coup de grâce – following a number of precursor attacks to confuse and distract U.S. defensive measures.
Furthermore, we should preparer to counter the possible conjunction of ISIS (or other jihadi terrorists) and nation state (i.e., Iran) threats. For example, ISIS might somehow obtain a nuclear weapon and use it against us. Or at least ISIS could conduct physical attacks on the grid (such as the 2013 attack on the Metcalf substation in San Jose, California) and/or a cyber-attack as precursors to launching a high altitude EMP attack on the United States.
The urgent bottom lines are that we have threats from within and without.
We must wake up to the threat from within even as un-vetted refugees exacerbate the problems in identifying and countering it. Of great concern to High Frontier as the key threat from without is that Iran presents an existential threat to the United States – and it is not being addressed. Reversing these trends is our challenge for next year.
For over two-and-a-half years, I have been trying to persuade the powers that be that Aegis BMD offers an affordable, effective pathway to protecting the United States from the existential EMP threats, especially from the South. We will continue trying to wake up the “powers that be.”
Urgently needed is a serious assessment of all aspects of the threat to the electric power grid – a worthy objective for the recently re-established EMP Commission. The Commissioners should monitor all plans for addressing these threats. If they do, it will be hard for them to miss the important role that the Aegis BMD systems can play, but is not playing.
It would be best, of course, for the administration “powers that be” to arrive at this obvious conclusion so that the Commission can evaluate the progress being made.
Defenses are not the entire answer, because no defense is perfect. Furthermore, solar storms and even hand-held EMP devices can also pose major EMP threats – and as noted above the growing threat of cyberattack. We need to harden the electric grid – and other critical infrastructure – to all these threats.
Then, the reinstated EMP Commission can address the appropriate balance on of how best to apply the nation’s resources to provide needed protections for all Americans.
Pray for better leadership in another year. We have been here before, most recently with the “malaise” of the late 1970s – with Ronald Reagan at the helm, we made our way back to an America that made us proud. Pray we can find a way to repeat that return to the American dream that has previously stirred so many – and kept us free.
Include a prayer that we preserve this the greatest nation in History for our posterity.
Near Term High Frontier Plans.
We will continue to inform our readers of the looming threats we confront – and where appropriate urge them to engage in countering that threat. Our leaders are failing at their sworn duty “to provide for the common defense”
We will press for building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses possible and working with South Carolina folks to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to the existential threats to the electric power grid.
We are especially focused on the nuclear power reactors that produce 60-percent of SC electricity-and more generally 20-percent of the nation’s electricity.
If it can be assured that they “operate through” a major blackout of the electric power grid – and I believe it can, then these reactors can play a very important role for resurrecting the grid over an extended time and supporting the general public’s survival in the meantime.
What can you do?
Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.
Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org, for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.