Travel

Russians Issue Terrorism Warning For Citizens Traveling To U.S.

Right before the weekend I blogged about the State Department issuing a “Europe Travel Alert” Thursday warning Americans about a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”

This morning, I came across the following on the website of Russian international TV network RT:

The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to citizens, urging those traveling to European and US cities in the coming months to exercise caution, as the holiday season may prompt terrorist attacks in popular destinations.

In a brief message posted online, the Situational-Crisis Center said there was an increased probability of terrorist attacks during Christmas and the New Year, between December 20 and January 20. It added the hashtags #Europe and #USA.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Russians merely having a go at America? Or does Moscow actually possess some information about a potential terror threat directed against the United States- and in particular, American cities- during this timeframe?

No mention in the RT piece about specific intel which may have led to the Russian government issuing the warning.

Still, considering we live in a time of war, it pays to be vigilant.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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State Department Issues Warning For Americans Traveling To Europe During Holiday Season

New readers of the blog may be wondering why I brought up the threat of terrorism in France yesterday. Not our circus, nor our monkeys, right? Wrong. As I wrote back on September 22, 2014:

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve taken the threat of terrorism by Muslim extremists seriously for years now- whether Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, their affiliates, or sympathizers. While it’s obvious to me a number of entities (particularly politicians) are taking advantage of the newly-minted caliphate’s boogeyman factor these days for their own gain, I do believe the Islamic State does pose a real danger to Americans here and abroad. As such, I plan on blogging about the group formerly known as ISIS/ISIL on a regular basis.

“I do believe the Islamic State does pose a real danger to Americans here and abroad”

From a “Europe Travel Alert” issued by the U.S. Department of State earlier today:

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events. This Travel Alert expires on January 31, 2018…

Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The official warning comes on the heels of a new threat directed against the Vatican by the Islamic State. Nicole Rojas reported on the International Business Times website yesterday:

Isis has made a terrifying threat against the Vatican in the weeks before thousands of faithful are set to descend on the Holy See for Christmas celebrations. A pro-Isis propaganda channel made the threat by releasing a poster showing a car attack.

The ominous poster, reading “Christmas blood” and “so wait…” depicts a masked jihadi driving towards St Peter’s Basilica in a BMW. An assault rifle, backpack and explosives ride along in the passenger seat.

The threatening poster was released by the pro-Isis Wafa Media Foundation, according to monitor Site Intelligence Group. The terror monitoring group MEMRI said the image first appeared on anonymous messaging app Telegram on Tuesday (14 November) night.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I remind readers of a speech made by Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani back on September 21, 2014. From “Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful”:

O Americans, and O Europeans, the Islamic State did not initiate a war against you, as your governments and media try to make you believe. It is you who started the transgression against us, and thus you deserve blame and you will pay a great price. You will pay the price when your economies collapse. You will pay the price when your sons are sent to wage war against us and they return to you as disabled amputees, or inside coffins, or mentally ill. You will pay the price as you are afraid of travelling to any land. Rather you will pay the price as you walk on your streets, turning right and left, fearing the Muslims. You will not feel secure even in your bedrooms. You will pay the price when this crusade of yours collapses, and thereafter we will strike you in your homeland, and you will never be able to harm anyone afterwards. You will pay the price, and we have prepared for you what will pain you

If you can kill a disbelieving American or European- especially the spiteful and filthy French- or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims]. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy, for blood does not become illegal or legal to spill by the clothes being worn. The civilian outfit does not make blood illegal to spill, and the military uniform does not make blood legal to spill. The only things that make blood illegal and legal to spill are Islam and a covenant (peace treaty, dhimma, etc.). Blood becomes legal to spill through disbelief. So whoever is a Muslim, his blood and wealth are sanctified. And whoever is a disbeliever, his wealth is legal for a Muslim to take and his blood is legal to spill. His blood is like the blood of a dog; there is no sin for him in spilling it nor is there any blood money to be paid for doing such…

If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him. Do not lack. Do not be contemptible. Let your slogan be, “May I not be saved if the cross worshipper and taghūt (ruler ruling by manmade laws) patron survives.”

If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops.

If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face. If your self refuses to do so, while your brothers are being bombarded and killed, and while their blood and wealth everywhere is deemed lawful by their enemies, then review your religion. You are in a dangerous condition because the religion cannot be established without walā’ and barā’…

And so we promise you by Allah’s permission that this campaign will be your final campaign. It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated, except that this time we will raid you thereafter, and you will never raid us. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read that entire travel advisory on the State Department website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Rojas, Nicole. “Pro-Isis propaganda channel vows “Christmas blood” in new threat against the Vatican.” International Business Times. 15 Nov. 2017. (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pro-isis-propaganda-channel-vows-christmas-blood-new-threat-against-vatican-1647517). 16 Nov. 2017.

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Mrgunsngear And Flat Tires

Is it just me, or is there a flat tire epidemic going around these days?

My girlfriend’s car and my Mom’s crossover both suffered punctures not too long ago. And then I spotted the following on the Mrgunsngear Channel (YouTube.com ) this morning. For those not familiar with Mrgunsngear:

Here on the channel I do reviews of firearms and related gear. I’ll probably throw in the occasional how-to video here and there as well.

Good information/presentation, and I tune in on a regular basis. Anyway, here’s Mrgunsngear filming his flat tire ordeal the other night, along with some advice:


“Broken Down Late Night In A Bad Neighborhood: Be Prepared!”
YouTube Video

Mrgunsngear recommended having a flashlight on hand for such an occasion. I agree.

However, I’m also a big fan of LED headlamps. I just used one of mine the other evening while inflating tires on my girlfriend’s sister’s crossover. I’ve found headlamps can be much more convenient than handheld flashlights with certain tasks.

Speaking of tire inflation, keeping a portable air compressor/tire inflator in your vehicle might be a good idea. Such a device allowed me to deal with a slowly-leaking tire until I could get to a repair shop, and inflate a more significantly-punctured tire adequately enough to drive the vehicle two blocks to my mechanic buddy’s place of work.

One last thing. How many readers out there actually know how to change a flat tire? It’s also probably a good idea to learn/practice how to perform this fix before actually needing to do it “for real.” My vehicle’s owner’s manual has detailed instructions for changing a flat, so maybe check there first.

As Mrgunsngear pointed out in the video:

It’s definitely a better feeling to be prepared and have some sort of skills and tools at your disposal to be able to handle these situations.

Happy motoring. More on the topic of vehicles later…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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47 Chicago-Area Expressway Shootings Year-To-Date

While I was watching the local news at lunchtime today WGN-TV (Chicago Channel 9) reported that the in-bound Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) was closed due to yet another shooting (people in two vehicles firing at each other- one crashed).

Reporter Sarah Jindra remarked during the live broadcast that she thought this latest incident marked the 46th time in 2016 that a Chicago-area expressway was closed due to gunfire- compared to 38 last year- but that she was also awaiting confirmation from the Illinois State Police on these numbers.

A couple of minutes ago, Jindra reported via Twitter that the Illinois State Police said this was in fact the 47th time Chicagoland expressways have been shut down this year due to shootings, and posted the following numbers for comparison:

Expressway Shootings
2012- 9
2013- 6
2014- 19
2015- 37
2016- 47 (through 12/5)

Once again, the trend is not Chicago’s friend here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, December 5th, 2016 Crime, Public Safety, Transportation, Travel, Vehicles No Comments

Project Prepper, Part 45: Top 3 Threat Priorities

“As a result of my research and this blog, I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones), and think it’s probably wise to acquaint myself more with ‘prepping’ via a sustained ‘hands-on’ program of learning and doing, which I’ll call ‘Project Prepper.’

Through a series of posts on this blog which I suspect should last for quite some time (years?), I’ll be able to share my preparedness experiences with you…”

Survival And Prosperity, “Project Prepper, Part 1: It Begins,” October 24, 2012

This week’s “Project Prepper” post is going to be a little different. While I’m currently working on a number of projects related to fulfilling seven “innate survival needs” (hat tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast):

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

Today I’m going to talk about threat priorities. As a forty-something homeowner residing with my girlfriend in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, in 2016, “I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones).” Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I blog about them frequently. But from my vantage point, here are the “top 3” I’m mostly concerned about:

1. Severe Weather
2. Financial Crisis
3. Terrorism

Concerning severe weather, here in the Chicagoland area residents have to contend with spring and summer storms that can consist of high winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes. Winter can bring along with it ice storms (not too often), significant snowfall/blizzards, and brutally-cold temperatures. Consequently, structural damage, utility outages, hazardous travel conditions, and other threats to life and property accompany such events.

Case in point, prior to my girlfriend and I moving into our house in 2013, a large part of the Chicago metro area suffered significant damage from a “derecho” (widespread, long-lived wind storm) event that left many area homeowners without electricity for several days. A real nuisance for most of those affected, but potentially deadly to those with serious health issues- like my elderly father. And in case readers think I’m talking about those far-off “suburbs” of Chicago here (I remember one real estate agent referring to Rochelle- approximately 80 miles west of Chicago- as a “western suburb” during the housing boom last decade), these extended outages were taking place in near “North Shore” enclaves. I remember watching one furious Northbrook homeowner being interviewed on the local televised news, saying how he had been without power for a number of days and couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been restored yet considering the high taxes he paid to live in such a nice area. Anyway, severe weather tops the list for me. Not as “sexy”- as some would say- as preparing for the “Zombie apocalypse,” but oh well.

Financial crisis. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity and its predecessor know I’ve been on the lookout for coming “tough times” for some years now. From this blog’s “About” page:

Back in 2004 when SP’s creator/editor Christopher Hill was surveying the economic and investment landscape in support of his own investing activities, he concluded from his own research that the United States was heading towards a financial crash. Deciding that this was something other Americans might want to know about, Mr. Hill launched the independent financial blog Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog on Wall Street,” on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 with the purpose of warning and educating others about the approaching U.S. economic crash. He has been credited with calling last decade’s housing bubble and subsequent bust, the 2008 global economic crisis, and the “Great Recession” as a result of his work on this project. Chris wrote over 1,500 posts on Boom2Bust.com during its nearly three-year run, with many of these picked up and republished on the web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Fox News, Reuters, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times group, the Austin-American Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the West Orlando News, among other media outlets. Chris was also interviewed for a May 2009 MSNBC.com article as a result of his work with the blog.

Since Memorial Day Weekend 2007, I’ve stood by and watched as the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and subprime mortgage crisis was quickly followed by carnage on Wall Street in the autumn of 2008 and a “Great Recession.” I also observed how the Washington politicians and the Fed responded by “papering up” the mess with massive government and central bank intervention. But as everyone knows, you can only “kick the can down the road” so far. And my concern is that the road is rapidly coming to an end. Visit this blog often enough and you might get that sense as well.

Consequently, I’ve come to believe that the U.S. financial crash I still see headed our way won’t be like an airplane that suffers a sudden, catastrophic failure and plummets back to Earth like a rock. Rather, taking into account the abilities of the federal government and central bank to keep the aircraft aloft for quite some time, the crash may be more akin to a slow- yet-unavoidable descent into the ground. At which point, Americans might be left pondering what had happened to them, just like Argentines did after their economy crapped out in the early 2000s after prosperous times.

Making matters worse is the fact that I still reside in Cook County and Illinois, whose financial troubles are well-publicized. While I’ve left Chicago, I still haven’t made Wisconsin my permanent home address.

When the “balloon goes up” locally and nationally, I suspect everyday living is going to get particularly gritty around these parts.

As terrorism is concerned, post-9/11 I found myself working in the public safety field. As part of my duties at a local fire department, I catalogued potential terrorist targets in the area in the hunt for money to upgrade the agency’s response capabilities. It was my belief that the threat was real then, and it remains so today. Even more so in 2016, as U.S. border security is quite suspect at a time when those who would wish to harm the “homeland” continually make their operational capabilities and future desires for wreaking death and destruction known.


“Border Patrol Admits US Citizenship Doesn’t Matter”
YouTube Video

Like I’ve repeatedly said before on this blog, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the United States suffers terror attacks possibly resembling what occurred in Beslan (Russia) in 2004, Mumbai (India) in 2008, and more recently in Paris and Brussels. And a terrorist strike rivaling or even surpassing the carnage of September 11, 2011, is not out of the question as far as I’m concerned. New jihadists continue to replace their fallen predecessors in this “War on Terror,” and the religious duty of killing “infidels” remains the same. On May 6, 2011, I wrote:

In 2005, Dr. Paul L. Williams, a journalist and author, published the book The Al-Qaeda Connection, in which he discussed plans for a future nuclear terrorist strike, dubbed “American Hiroshima.” He wrote:

Bin Laden asserts that he must kill four million Americans- two million of whom must be children- in order to achieve parity for a litany of “wrongs” committed against the Muslim people by the United States of America. The “wrongs” include the establishment and occupation of military bases between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, the support of Israel and the suppression of the Palestinian people, the Persian Gulf War and the subsequent economic sanctions, and the invasions of Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

These days, the Islamic State has stolen the headlines from Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists. But such religious fanaticism as a whole remains a top concern for me.

Severe weather, financial crisis, and terrorism are natural and man-made threats that register the most on my radar. But this doesn’t mean I discount other potential dangers to life and property either (pandemic, severe space weather, and war would probably be the next three on the list). As such, an “all-hazards” approach is emphasized in my “Project Prepper” activities.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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In Print: Blockade- The Diary Of An Austrian Middle-Class Woman 1914-1924

Slowly but surely, I’ve been bringing back those different series of posts I started running in November 2010. It’s been a while since I published an “In Print” piece (December 2014), but truth be told, I’ve hardly had time to read any books (to completion) for quite some time. Seriously. That’s changing, and a number of titles I have in my possession will be presented and discussed in future “In Print” posts. Some real good material there too.

This week’s “In Print” selection is entitled Blockade- The Diary of an Austrian Middle-Class Woman 1914-1924, which was written in 1932 by Anna Eisenmenger. I’m not sure exactly how I heard about the “diary,” but I’m glad I did- as were others. You see, I had just finished reading it when I posted the following comment on the blog area of the SHTF School website (produced in conjunction with well-known Balkan region war survivor/prepper/survivalist “Selco” and “dedicated to urban survival and preparedness”):

“Suggest someone who is dear to you to read real life experiences.” Selco, I recently read a book (diary actually) from around your part of the world that I found relevant and intriguing- Anna Eisenmenger’s 94-page “Blockade – The Diary of an Austrian Middle-Class Woman 1914-1924,” available for free on archive.org. “Diary of an Austrian woman who lived through World War I and the interwar years in Vienna. She witnessed the devaluation of the currency and the government controls on food, fuel, and travel. Her sons were wounded in the war and one turned to extremist ideals in the wake of the war. Interesting personal view of a sometimes overlooked historical period.” Eisenmenger talked about a range of topics, including asset protection, bartering, civil unrest, food shortages, health issues, urban versus rural when TSHTF, and going to extremes to save one’s family.

In response to a question of how to download the diary in a “readable format,” I added later:

If Selco and gang don’t mind me posting it here, below is the link on archive.org to the page where Mrs. Eisenmenger’s diary can either be read (page top) or downloaded (page right). I opted for the .pdf version, which worked fine in my Acrobat Reader. If the link gets stripped, you can go to archive.org, enter “Blockade The Diary” in the search engine (not that “WayBackMachine” box) and the link to the page where you can read/download it should appear near the top of the search results. Hope this helps. I found the diary insightful and sobering. Hard to believe it was published in 1932 as it reads like a modern manuscript…

https://archive.org/details/Blockade-TheDiaryOfAnAustrianMiddle-classWoman1914-1924

Selco and others were grateful to me for pointing out this free resource, with one blog reader going so far as to write:

Thank you so much for recommending this book. What a great read and if I was part of a prepper group, this book would be recommended reading…

No problem. And now I’m recommending it to Survival And Prosperity readers.

You can use that link to Blockade I shared with the SHTF School folks. I just tested it and it’s still “live.”

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Info/link added to “Resources” page. Tomorrow though as I’m beat from doing chores at the family’s place in Wisconsin earlier today and driving back to Illinois.)

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NotifyChicago: The City Of Chicago’s Emergency Alert Program

Back when I was living in Chicago I remember reading that the city had a system in place where residents could receive alerts about emergencies going on.

I never signed up for the program, but if I were still living at my old pad on the Northwest side today, I’d give it a try.

Enter NotifyChicago. Via the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications web page, under “Notification Program Overview”:

NotifyChicago

Notification Program Overview

Welcome to NotifyChicago, the City of Chicago’s tool for providing residents with direct emergency and non-emergency information. NotifyChicago is a city service that supplies residents with text messages and/or e-mail alerts for incidents/conditions such as severe weather emergencies, hazardous materials, traffic impacts, etc. Preparedness and being informed is key in an emergency. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) urges residents to subscribe to receive alerts sent directly to mobile phones or email accounts to stay informed. Signing up for NotifyChicago is FREE. However, depending on your service plan, you may be charged for messages and data on your devices. Contact your mobile service provider for details on costs in your plan.

How Does Notify Chicago Work?

In the event of an emergency, the city’s designated personnel will send text messages and/or e-mail alerts directly to the registered phones or email accounts using this NotifyChicago system. Non-emergency alerts may be issued for traffic disruptions to keep public informed of related major street closures or events impacting traffic. Those registering for texts/emails can choose to receive both emergency and non-emergency notifications or just emergency notices. Once registered, alerts will be sent to the mobile phone/email address designated as situations arise…

NotifyChicago sounds like a terrific tool for a Chicago worker, resident, and visitor to have access to during an emergency. I tried to find out if Cook County and the State of Illinois had similar emergency alert programs, but didn’t see any advertised on their respective web sites (I plan to investigate more).

Interested in finding out more about NotifyChicago? Head on over to the program site here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Survival And Prosperity
Est. 2010, Chicagoland, USA
Christopher E. Hill, Editor

Successor to Boom2Bust.com
"The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street"
(Memorial Day Weekend 2007-2010)

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