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ISIS-Linked Group Calls For New Year’s Eve Attacks As Other Plots Foiled

Earlier today I looked into known terror threats for New Year’s Eve 2017.

Lots of “no known credible threats” from various authorities, but I did come across one reported on by the Daily Mirror (UK). Richard Wheatstone wrote on their website Thursday:

An ISIS-linked group has called on extremists to make New Year’s Eve celebrations “bloody horror movies”…

Islamic State-linked group Nashir Media Foundation published propaganda warning revellers: “Prepare your coffins as well. Your celebrations have become a battlefield” – according to terrorism watchdog SITE Intel Group.

#ISIS supporters calling for #NewYearsEve & holiday attacks in recent weeks, call to make celebrations “bloody horror movies” pic.twitter.com/FZlDrlEqq2

-Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) December 29, 2016…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

It sounds like jihadists in different parts of the world have been busy leading up to the last day of 2016. Wheatstone noted:

Seven people were also arrested in Moscow on suspicion of planning ISIS New Year’s Eve attacks allegedly involving automatic weapons and explosives…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

In addition, there’s this from the Daily Express (UK) yesterday. Rebecca Flood reported on their website Wednesday:

One plot to cause carnage on December 31 has been stopped in France, police revealed.

One man was arrested in Cugnaux, south west France, plotting New Year terror, while a further two were captured in raids in nearby Toulouse. One of those suspects is accused of hatching a plan to attack police officers.

Police sources said the man arrested in Cugnaux, is “known to (police) services, and he is suspected of wanting to carry out an attack on Dec 31”.

In nearby Spain National Police officers uncovered four magazines for AK-47s and roughly 30 cartridges during an operation, where they swooped on two suspected jihadis aged between 18-25 in Madrid.

The pair, whose families are from Gambia and Morocco, were arrested on suspicion of encouraging terrorism…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Russia. France. Spain.

But all quiet on the American front in the “War on Terror.”

Or is it?

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

Sources:

Wheatstone, Richard. “ISIS-linked group calls on extremists to make New Year’s Eve celebrations ‘bloody horror movies.'” Daily Mirror. 29 Dec. 2016. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/isis-linked-group-calls-extremists-9533892). 29 Dec. 2016.

Flood, Rebecca. “New Year’s Eve Terror: Two attacks foiled as helicopters with machine guns guard cities.” Daily Express. 28 Dec. 2016. (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/747941/terror-attack-plot-New-Year-Eve-foiled-police-cities). 29 Dec. 2016.

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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 Europe, Middle East, Public Safety, Religion, Terrorism, War No Comments

The Survival Podcast’s Jack Spirko On Nationwide Riots

If you’ve been following the news the last couple of days, you’re probably aware of the renewed tension in Ferguson, Missouri, on the first anniversary of the riot there. Back when I started this blog in 2010, I suspected civil strife would pick up due to worsening financial conditions and other developments.

Regrettably, I think Ferguson is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not the only one who sees more civil disturbance on the way. Modern survivalist and host of The Survival Podcast Jack Spirko has been issuing warnings as of late. And I’ve been listening attentively. Back on May 20 I blogged:

Speaking of The Survival Podcast, I was listening to a different episode (number 1566, “What the Baltimore Riots Say about our Future”) some time back and took note of some advice host Jack Spirko shared with listeners. He warned on April 28:

You know those trendy areas in downtown that everybody thinks are great places to live as a hipster, because you can walk to the donut shop and the coffee shop? Sooner or later in most of our big cities those are going to be burned to the ground. Don’t live there. Don’t live there. One more time, don’t live there. Get out of the urbanized areas. I don’t care how you do it, just do it. You’re better off anyway…

Spirko added later in the podcast:

I wish I had better news for you. I wish I could tell you that this is an isolated incident. But here’s what I believe. The potential for this type of a riot exists in every major city in America. And it actually would be relatively easy to set them off like fires. It really would. I think the right people, with the right messaging, the right agitation, the right insiders, could cause a riot like this in any city with a population over 500,000 in America today. And quite a few smaller venues too. I really do. That should scare the shit out of you. But the response should scare you even more. It’s not going to be pretty. That’s why you need to be prepared…

Spriko wasn’t about to leave listeners “hanging” on this topic, so on July 29 he released episode 1614, “The Danger Of Nationwide Riots.” From that show:

So here’s what I think you need to do for your own protection. Number one, you need to be at some level of in touch with your local law enforcement. Sheriff’s department, local PD, whatever. You need people that will tell you what they know if things are starting to go sideways. And they will know when they start to go sideways long before a TV says so. You need to be paying attention to chatter with a police scanner or a scanner app or something like that in your general community on an ongoing basis. Just once in a while. Couple times a day just checking in to see what’s going on. Some local PDs have like online now where you can go online and see all the police activity…

The closer you live to a city, the more you need to have a plan to eventually say, “As much as I want to stay and defend my home, it’s not worth it, I’m leaving.” And I know the survivalist mentality is strong in our community. And I will stay here, I will pick up my guns, I will do no harm to anybody, but if you come here and take what I have, I will lay you flat out. I know that is in you, because it’s in me. I mean, that’s how I feel. And in many instances, it’s the course I would take. You can do whatever you want until you mess with me or my neighbors and then it’s on bitches. But you have to think about the result. If your home’s burnt to the ground, that’s what insurance is for… And I would rather rebuild my life with fire insurance, than I would want to try to rebuild my life from behind the bars of a penitentiary, which is a place you may end up if you take that stance. There may come a time when you have to, where you have no choice… I mean what you need is a neighborhood banded together. You’ve seen the signs after hurricanes and stuff- 20, 30 friggin’ rednecks with guns. “You loot, we shoot.” Usually that is enough to defer and cause avoidance. But the closer you live, the less likely that is to be. So the closer you are in, the more you need to have a plan to bug out, which you should have anyway because hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, they are also reasons you might have to bug out. Illnesses, pandemic… There’s times getting out of the way make sense.

You also have to have a good, solid bug-in plan. The bug-in plan is the most important plan you need for this. For most of us, we do not live in the streets where these types of things actually happen. The spillover into suburbs, etcetera will be limited. And it will be more like one-off type things. It will not be wholescale rioting. The safest course of action for most people is going to be for a month or more to hunker down, live off of what you have, go out as little as possible, coordinate with your neighbors, coordinate with what’s left of local law enforcement, and wait this thing out if it happens. It’s going to be the most sane, rational thing that you can do. It going to be the only way no matter how good your intentions are you’re not going to be part of one of the groups pouring gasoline on the fire. So the bug-in plan is important, which means all your basic preps- food, water, energy, medical, health, etcetera. It means if you live in a city that is particularly vulnerable to this and you work where they will be a problem, or you’d have to cross the problem to get to work, this is the time now to start talking to your boss about and say, “Hey look, if something did go sideways in this town, don’t you think it would make sense if we had ways for our people to work remotely, so that the company’s operations can continue, but nobody’s life had to be at risk.”

You need to be tied in to your neighbors. You need to have agreements with your neighbors… There’s some neighbors you really can’t go deep with them about this, but you just need to know them. What’s their name? What’s their spouse’s name? When do they work? When do they come home? What are they like? So when this stuff starts to go sideways, instead of telling them it may go sideways, it’s going sideways right now, let’s work together to protect our neighborhood. You need to be part of your neighborhood, part of your community. Whether it’s a rural one or an urban dense one, doesn’t matter. You need to know as many people’s names as possible.

You need to be trained in self-defense and you need to be armed. In spite of what I said about the fact that you could get into a situation where if you defend yourself you could be prosecuted, there’s a point at which that goes out the window. When you legitimately feel that your life or the life of a loved one is being threatened, and lethal force is the only alternative, the time to use it is two-and-a-half seconds ago. But you can’t go back two-and-a-half seconds so the time is now…

But overall what you need is a plan… I don’t know anything about you individually, okay? So in the end, you have to say to yourself, “Self, this is something that could happen. If it did, near me, what would we do, and when would we act.” In other words, when would we say, “Okay, nobody is going to school or work.” What would be the level of danger that we would have a clearly-defined border, and once that occurred, how long could we be okay? How long would we be alright?… If we did leave where would we go? What would be our basic rules of engagement? When would we act? Who would I contact first in the neighborhood? What would I say? You just need to mentally run the scenario in your head. Not to the point where you start to fear from it or have apprehension from it. Just to the point where if it does occur, it’s not like, “Holy shit, what do I do now?” like you’ve never thought about it before. See, that’s the big thing I want to leave you with today… What matters is that you’ve mentally drilled into yourself that there’s something I can do and these are the things that I would do. That’s what makes you able to adapt and survive.

Whew. Wise words from Spirko on dealing with a disturbing event that I predict Americans will be experiencing more frequently in the coming years.

You can listen to episode 1614 in its entirety here, and episode 1566 here, on the The Survival Podcast website.

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

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Robert Shiller: ‘I Think Now Could Be A Good Time To Invest In Oil’

Yale economics professor Robert Shiller spotted the U.S. housing bubble last decade and the dot-com bubble a few years earlier. And these days, the “crash prophet’s” observations have led him to think crude oil may be a good investment. According to an Agence France-Presse article from March 23:

Asked how he would invest his money, Shiller replied: “It’s difficult. But I think now could be a good time to invest in oil or in a rise in oil prices,” he said.

“Prices are very low and there are a lot of reasons to assume that they won’t stay low. That’s what I’ve bet on,” Shiller said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dr. Shiller repeated his belief that European stocks were more reasonably priced than U.S. equities. From the AFP piece:

Shiller said European stocks, including German stocks, were still a bargain, compared with US stocks.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I blogged back on February 19:

The Nobel Prize-winning economist was on CNBC’s Squawk Box TV show Wednesday and talked equities (among other things) with Becky Quick, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Brian Sullivan. From their exchange:

SHILLER: The things that is really striking- and maybe not today- is the low-level, long-term interest rates. It is just stunning how low they have gotten. Recently, the 30-year TIPS real rate was at half-a-percent. That’s incredible for 30 years. And that is pushing the stock market up. But it’s not the kind of euphoria that we saw notably in 2000.
SORKIN: What percentage do you have in equities?
SHILLER: It’s about half.
SORKIN: Half?
SHILLER: Yeah.
SORKIN: Have you changed it recently? Will you change it?
SHILLER: Yeah. I’m thinking of getting out of the United States somewhat.
SORKIN: You are?
SHILLER: Yeah. I think Europe is so much cheaper.
SORKIN: And you’d buy big multinationals based in Europe? You’d buy smaller companies in Europe? What would you do?
SHILLER: Well, what I have done is I’ve invested in Italy indexes. Spain index.
SORKIN: Are you hedging currency?
SHILLER: No, I’m not.

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

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Source:

“ROBERT SHILLER: It’s not euphoria driving this stock market boom- it’s fear.” Agence France-Presse. 23 Mar. 2015. (http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-fear-behind-current-stock-market-highs-nobel-laureate-2015-3?utm_source=gatehouse&utm_medium=referral). 28 Mar. 2015.

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Robert Shiller: ‘I’m Thinking Of Getting Out Of The United States Somewhat’

The second topic from earlier this week I’ll be revisiting tonight is Robert Shiller. The Nobel Prize-winning economist was on CNBC’s Squawk Box TV show Wednesday and talked equities (among other things) with Becky Quick, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Brian Sullivan. From their exchange:

SHILLER: The things that is really striking- and maybe not today- is the low-level, long-term interest rates. It is just stunning how low they have gotten. Recently, the 30-year TIPS real rate was at half-a-percent. That’s incredible for 30 years. And that is pushing the stock market up. But it’s not the kind of euphoria that we saw notably in 2000.
SORKIN: What percentage do you have in equities?
SHILLER: It’s about half.
SORKIN: Half?
SHILLER: Yeah.
SORKIN: Have you changed it recently? Will you change it?
SHILLER: Yeah. I’m thinking of getting out of the United States somewhat.
SORKIN: You are?
SHILLER: Yeah. I think Europe is so much cheaper.
SORKIN: And you’d buy big multinationals based in Europe? You’d buy smaller companies in Europe? What would you do?
SHILLER: Well, what I have done is I’ve invested in Italy indexes. Spain index.
SORKIN: Are you hedging currency?
SHILLER: No, I’m not.


“Shiller: Europe so much cheaper than US”
CNBC Video

The Yale professor talked about exiting his U.S. stock positions not too long ago. I blogged on December 10, 2014:

Dr. Shiller appeared on CNBC Tuesday morning and told viewers the following when asked what he’s doing with his own money:

I worry about valuation in the stock market. And I’ve been wondering if I should pull out. But I have not. And in fact I’m still thinking that even at the CAPE ratio of 27, the expected return is still higher than you expect to get on either housing, on real estate, or fixed income. So it still seems like- I feel a little trepidation because I know my own indicator is looking kind of scary. I wouldn’t over go into the market, but I wouldn’t be completely out either.

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

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Dr. Shiller’s latest book (revision, actually)…

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Chicago Transit Authority Train Passengers Now Being Randomly-Screened For Explosives

Chicago Transit Authority train riders may spot something new at the stations in the coming weeks. From the ABC 7 (Chicago) website this morning:

CTA passengers are now subject to random screening for explosives at train stations across the city.

There is no known threat to the CTA, but Chicago police said the precautionary measure is another layer of security. The screenings went into effect Monday morning.

The Multi-Mode Threat Detector is capable of finding trace amounts of explosive compounds, officials said. A team of CPD transit officers will work at one CTA station a day with the machines.

A random number of people will be selected each time. For example, if that number were 10, every tenth person would be approached by an officer and the outside of his or her bag would be swabbed. That swab is then read by the Multi-Mode Threat Detector for the presence of any explosive residue…

“One CTA station a day with the machines.” “A random number of people will be selected each time.” Not exactly airtight security, but it’s a start when it comes to protecting passenger trains and their riders against potential terrorist attacks. And when I say “start,” I mean the bare minimum.

Which makes me wonder if it’s not all just for show- certain politicians and public safety types trying to give Chicagoland the impression they’re doing something to combat potential terrorism, when the reality may be that the measures taken might not be all that effective in stopping a determined bomber.

I hope I’m wrong. But checking around cyberspace, there’s no shortage of critics of the new security screenings. Bill Savage, a Northwestern University professor, wrote in an opinion piece on the Crain’s Chicago Business website last week:

Maybe this plan will deter any terrorist who happens to pick the one station a day being staked out. That terrorist will, of course, be too nearsighted to notice the cops. That terrorist will be randomly selected. That terrorist will be too tongue-tied to refuse the swabbing and then walk the half-mile to the next station that isn’t hosting our crack one-station-at-a-time anti-terror team.

Security Theater will keep us all safe and sound, and everyone will live happily ever after.

Pass the popcorn. This is going to be an entertaining show.

If Chicago is going to perform random screenings for explosives on CTA trains going forward, my wish is that they have a plan in place to develop the program to be truly effective in thwarting a terrorist attack- while ensuring minimal intrusiveness to riders. Otherwise, “Security Theater” might not be able to stop something like this:


Madrid Train Bombings
(Warning: Violent Images)
YouTube Video

God bless those people.

In the meantime, CTA train riders should know the random bomb screenings have now started to take place. It’s probably not a bad idea for commuters to factor in a couple of extra minutes for ride times in case they’re selected to be swabbed.

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

Sources:

“CTA Adds Random Screenings For Explosive.” ABC 7. 3 Nov. 2014. (http://abc7chicago.com/traffic/cta-adds-random-screening-for-explosives-/378414/). 3 Nov. 2014.

Savage, Bill. “It’s not CTA security- it’s street theater.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 27 Oct. 2014. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20141027/OPINION/141029821/its-not-cta-security-its-street-theater). 3 Nov. 2014.

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Jim Rogers: ‘The Whole World Is Going To Collapse’

“Crash prophet” Jim Rogers appeared on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, a Canadian business news television series which airs weekdays on CBC Television and CBC News Network, on December 3. The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund had a dire warning for viewers. From the discussion between host Amanda Lang and Rogers:

LANG: Are there any kind of big events- macro events- that could change your story for you in terms of where you’re putting your money?
ROGERS: Yeah sure- worldwide collapse. You know, if Spain suddenly goes bankrupt, Italy suddenly goes bankrupt- and they might. And they well might. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. But eventually Amanda- of course, the whole world is going to collapse. We in the West have staggering debts. The United States is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. This is going to end badly. We’re all floating around on a sea of artificial liquidity right now Amanda. This is not going to last. No, no. And when it ends, the bull market in commodities will probably end too. But, the bull market in a lot of stuff will end.
LANG: So that was going to be my next question. A lot of people are now gravitated towards equities partly because there’s nowhere else to go. As we see if we see that correct, do you see some come to commodities or do you see all of it correcting together?
ROGERS: Well, eventually Amanda, when the next big collapse comes- and we’ve had them every four to six years since the beginning of the American republic and the Canadian republic- you’re going to see serious, serious problems. The next correction when it comes- because the debt is so very very high. You know, 2008 was worse than 2002 because the debt was so much higher. You wait until 2015 or 16, Amanda. The debt has gone through the roof. The next one is going to be very bad. Be very careful. Be prepared, be worried, and be careful.


“Commodities Bust”
CBC Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Thursday, December 5th, 2013 Commodities, Crash Prophets, Debt Crisis, Europe, Stocks No Comments

Behold The Golden Bear: Russia Now World’s Biggest Gold Buyer

For years I’ve heard the term “Russian Bear” being used to describe Russia and its might.

For example, “NATO better not put too many missiles in Eastern Europe, or they’re going to anger the Russian Bear.”

After reading this morning about Russia acquiring literally tons of gold over the last ten years, perhaps they should be referred to as the “Golden Bear” going forward.

Scott Rose and Olga Tanas reported on the Bloomberg website this morning:

When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he’s not just talking. He’s betting on it.

Not only has Putin made Russia the world’s largest oil producer, he’s also made it the biggest gold buyer. His central bank has added 570 metric tons of the metal in the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg. The added gold is also almost triple the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I’m starting to see what legendary investor Jim Rogers was getting at regarding Russia.

While a number of “developed” countries are selling the precious metal these days- including economically-troubled France, Portugal, and Spain- “developing” nations are acquiring it with a fervor. Rose and Tanas added:

Quantitative easing by major economies to support financial asset prices is driving demand for gold in the emerging world, said Marcus Grubb, head of investment research at the World Gold Council. Before the crisis, central banks were net sellers of 400 to 500 tons a year. Now, led by Russia and China, they’re net buyers by about 450 tons, Grubb said by phone from London, where his industry group is based…

“That’s a very significant switch, and obviously a very positive one for the gold market,” Grubb said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Meanwhile, the price of paper gold is taking a hit this morning. Barbara Kollmeyer and Myra Saefong reported this morning on the MarketWatch website:

G-7 nations could release a statement this week reaffirming a commitment to “market-determined” exchange rates, responding to heated talk about a currency war…

The Group of 20 nations will meet later in the week, with currencies expected to be at the top of the agenda.

As gold has benefitted from currency devaluations, traders are wary of these developments.

In addition, light volumes due to Asia’s observance of the Lunar New Year and a lack of economic data being released today are fueling downward pressure on the gold price.

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

Sources:

Rose, Scott and Tanas, Olga. “Putin Turns Black Gold to Bullion as Russia Outbuys World.” Bloomberg.com. 11 Feb. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-10/putin-turns-black-gold-into-bullion-as-russia-out-buys-world.html). 11 Feb. 2013.

Kollmeyer, Barbara and Saefong, Myra. “Gold hit on worry of possible G-7 currency salvo.” MarketWatch. 11 Feb. 2013. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-edges-higher-as-dollar-weakens-2013-02-10). 11 Feb. 2013.

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