United Kingdom

Signs Of The Time, Part 88

The Financial Times (UK) website reported yesterday that Z/Yen, billed as “the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank,” just published its eighteenth Global Financial Centres Index. GFCI 18, as it’s otherwise known, rated 84 of the world’s financial centers. From a Z/Yen press release Wednesday:

London has moved ahead of New York to reclaim the number one position. London climbed 12 points in the ratings to lead New York by eight points…

London, New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore remain remain the four leading global financial centres. New York, in second place is now 33 points ahead of Hong Kong in third. Tokyo, in fifth place, is 25 points behind the leaders…

Toronto (8th), San Francisco (9th), and Washington, D.C. (10th) were other North American cities in the “top ten” of this year’s Index.

You can read the entire Z/Yen press release on their website here (.pdf format).

YouTube Video

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

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Thursday, September 24th, 2015 Asia, Europe, North America, Signs Of The Time No Comments

Al-Qaeda Chief Calls On Young Muslim Men To Attack America, Allies

On Sunday, the Daily Mail (UK) website ran two terrorism-related pieces which might be of interest to Survival And Prosperity readers. Imogen Calderwood reported:

The leader of Al-Qaeda delivered a sinister message to young Muslim men in the United States and other Western countries, encouraging them to carry out attacks in their home countries.

Terror leader Ayman al-Zawahiri makes the call to arms in an audio recording that was posted online on Sunday…

‘I call on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hesitate,’ he said in the recording, referring to the nations making up the Western-led coalition in Iraq and Syria.

‘We must now focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America.’

The leader suggests Muslim youths take their inspiration from Tsarnaev and the Kouachi brothers, who carried out the Boston marathon bombings and the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris respectively…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Future terror attacks in the mold of Boston and Paris concern one top spy who recently retired. Keiligh Baker reported later Sunday:

The former head of MI6 has warned that it is just a matter of time before terrorists hit the West and claimed Britain would no longer be able to safeguard another massive event like the Olympics.

Sir John Sawers stepped down last year after five years as chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, a post known as ‘C’ in the service…

Today, in an interview on CNN’s Global Public Square, he said the risk of a terrorist attack hitting the West has grown substantially since he stepped down from the role

Sir John said the way terrorists carry out their heinous attacks has changed drastically since the emergence of ISIS.

‘They’re not trying to fly airliners into buildings. They’re doing simpler things,’ he said.

He cited examples such as the massacre at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January, which saw brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi force their way into the building and kill 11 employees and another man, a police officer, outside the building.

He said as an intelligence service these sort of attacks are a lot harder to prevent…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sobering reading.

I’m still convinced a major terror attack by Muslim extremists on the U.S. homeland (more complex than what was perpetrated by the Tsarnaev and Kouachi brothers) is headed our way.

Growing hatred of the United States because of our continued presence in the Middle East, poverty, continued radicalization of the young and more “moderate” Muslims, porous borders, rampant political correctness, gun “control,” and limits to our nation’s counter-terrorism capabilities all come to mind when I contemplate such an incident.

But what can someone like you or me do in the face of such danger? Is there anything that can be done?

More on that next time…

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


Calderwood, Imogen. “Al Qaeda leader calls on young Muslim men in the US and the West to copy Boston Bombers and Charlie Hebdo killers with more homegrown attacks.” Daily Mail. 15 Sep. 2015. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3232767/Al-Qaeda-leader-calls-young-Muslim-men-West-copy-Boston-Bombers-Charlie-Hebdo-killers-homegrown-attacks.html). 13 Sep. 2015.

Baker, Keiligh. “Terrorists WILL hit the West and UK would not be able to safeguard another Olympics, warns former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers.” Daily Mail. 13 Sep. 2015. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3232834/UK-not-safeguard-Olympics-warns-former-MI6-chief.html). 15 Sep. 2015.

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Jim Rogers: ‘You Should Be Prepared, You Should Be Knowledgeable, And You Should Be Worried’

Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers recently talked to J.D. Hayworth, the host of the Newsmax TV show Newsmax Prime, about a number of topics, including what he suspects the Federal Reserve will do the next time there’s panic on Wall Street. From the exchange published on the Newsmax website tonight:

What’s going to happen is every time people start calling up and panicking they’re going to do something. I don’t know what they’ll do next. They’ll buy more shares. Or they’ll buy shares, they’ll buy more bonds, they’ll do something. And then we’ll have another big rally. But J.D., that’s going to be the last rally. Maybe they can save the market one more time. But the world is starting to give up on all this artificial money printing. It’s happening in Japan, Europe, Britain, and America. It’s never happened before in recorded history that all the major central banks are printing a lot of money. This is not going to end well, J.D. You should be prepared, you should be knowledgeable, and you should be worried

We’ve had economic slowdowns every four to seven years since the beginning of the Republic. We’re going to have them again. It’s been six years since the last time. So start getting worried. Maybe it’ll be seven, maybe it’ll be eight years this time, but it’s going to come…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The former investing partner of George Soros went on to address Hayworth’s question regarding “three main things that need to happen to avert economic gloom-and-doom if possible.” You can watch the entire discussion over on the Newsmax website here.

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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Glenn Beck: ‘Something Bad Is Coming Our Way… Here’s What I Would Suggest You Do’

Echoing what Damian McBride, a former special adviser to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, tweeted Monday was Glenn Beck. The American television/radio host and producer, political commentator, author, and entrepreneur told listeners yesterday on his radio program:

I believe there is something in our collective conscience, I believe there is something that is telling people all around, all around the globe, something bad is coming our way. And I think everybody feels it. So here’s what I would suggest you do. I would suggest that you have, you pay attention to what is in your 401(k). You make sure that there is some sort of stop on your 401(k) so you can’t just lose everything on your 401(k). That if you do have stocks you call your broker today and make sure that you have some sort of stop at 5 percent or 10 percent or whatever else you’re ready to risk. I would highly suggest that you have enough cash for a week. This is not the big crash. I just don’t believe that. Maybe it is- I don’t believe that. I’m always bad on timing, so seeing that I feel like it’s not, it probably is. However, there is going to come a time when things just stop working and they shut everything down. And they stop a run on the bank and everything else. And I don’t think we’re there. But, I would suggest that you have a week’s worth of cash on hand. And the only reason why you should have a week’s worth of cash on hand is in case they do at some point close the banks just to be able to stabilize the situation. Because that will happen at some point. I don’t think it’s happening today, but that will happen at some point. So you should have a week’s worth because what happens is, we have seen this happening now recently in other countries where they just limit the amount that you can take out. And so everybody just gets $200, you know, every couple of days you can have $200, but that’s it. I would just make sure that you have looked at your food storage, and your 72-hour food storage. If you’ve had gold or silver or whatever it is that you feel good about, you have those things on hand. Have you replenished your ammunition in your guns? How are you doing with God? Those are all the doomsday things to do, but if you have any of those unchecked on your list, I would make a point to start doing them today, because we are headed for trouble.

“Something Bad Is Coming | “The Glenn Beck Radio Program”
YouTube Video

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)

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Good Article On British Preppers

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
Advice on the looming crash, No. 1: get hard cash in a safe place now; don’t assume banks and cash points will be open, or bank cards will work”

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
“Crash advice No. 2: do you have enough bottled water, tinned goods & other essentials at home to live a month indoors? If not, get shopping.”

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
“Crash advice No. 3: agree a rally point with your loved ones in case transport and communications get cut off; somewhere you can all head to.”

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
I’m presuming the Central Banks will intervene to stop this market slide but that will just make the eventual, inescapable crash even worse.”

-Tweets from Damian McBride, former special adviser to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as global stock markets continue to plunge this week

Earlier this evening I came across a good article about British preppers on the website of the Mirror (UK).

One of the reasons I call the piece “good” is that the author, Jeff Parsons, reported on prepping without the typical bias and ridicule found in most other mainstream media works on this subject.

The Mirror Online met with a “survival expert that tells it like it is”- Steve Hart of the British prepping website ukpreppersguide.co.uk- who proceeded to explain the activity as:

Prepping itself is just another form of insurance. People have life, car or pet insurance for the “what ifs” – this is just looking at a “what if” from a slightly different perspective.

What if a serious earthquake hits? Or a tsunami or a volcano or even a bio-terrorism attack?

Funny. That’s pretty much how I’ve come to describe prepping as.

The article is an interesting look at preppers “across the pond”- with some basic prepping tips thrown in.

You can read the entire piece over on the Mirror website here.

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

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Marc Faber Recommends Equities, Real Estate, Precious Metals To Counter Stock Market Plummet

Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was on the CNBC TV show Trading Nation yesterday. Speaking by phone, the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report reminded viewers of the stock market correction he’s been predicting for some time now. Dr. Faber said:

I think that the market is in a position where’s it’s not just going to be a 10 percent correction- maybe first goes up a bit further. But when it comes it will be 30 percent or 40 percent minimum.

Famous for advising clients to get out of the U.S. stock market one week before the October 1987 crash and for predicting the 2008 global financial crisis, Faber added:

I’m not short the market yet.

Nevertheless, it sounds like the “crash prophet” is prepared. “Dr. Doom” shared with viewers:

I don’t want to be 100 percent in cash for the simple reason that I don’t trust governments, and I don’t trust banks. So I want to own some equities, I want to own some properties, and I want to own some precious metals. And when we talk about stocks, the only group that stands out as great value around the world are gold mining shares.

Faber went on to talk about gold stocks more in-depth.

“Marc Faber talks protection strategies”
CNBC Video

Later on in the show, Dr. Faber added:

If I look at the ignorance of central bankers, and their recklessness of printing money from the U.S. to the ECB to Japan to the Bank of England, I want to own some precious metals.

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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U.S. Troops Being Deployed To Ukraine By End Of Week

On Monday, a U.S. Army brigade commander confirmed in a think-tank discussion that American troops were being deployed to the Ukraine later this week. While attending a Center for Strategic & International Studies event in Washington, D.C., yesterday, Colonel Michael L. Foster, Commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, told attendees:

As we have worked in Operation Atlantic Resolve, the U.S. Army has brought regionally-aligned forces forward to Europe to participate in that and to take part in it. So initially, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division came over last fall. They relieved us and took up responsibility for Atlantic Resolve. They have since been replaced by the other brigade combat team that’s in Europe that has the mission right now. And now that we are in the month of March we are going to change the mission again. 1st Brigade of 3rd Infantry Division will be picking up some of the responsibility for Atlantic Resolve. We’ll be putting elements of the brigade back forward toward that mission. And then additionally as we continue to look forward, we- we meaning U.S. Army Europe and the European Command- we are expanding Operation Atlantic Resolve further to the south. And so Poland and the Baltic States- they’re what we’re now referring to as Operation Atlantic Resolve North. And here later this month we’ll be sending forces to Romania, Bulgaria, and what we’re going to be calling Operation Atlantic Resolve South. And that has the potential this summer to expand to include potentially Hungary, potentially Georgia, at some point in time the Czech Republic. And so by the end of the summer you could very well see an operation that stretches from the Baltics all the way down to the Black Sea. So geographically, you connect countries. You will see a line of deployed U.S. troops. And then very specifically for the brigade, here before this week is up, we will be deploying a battalion-minus from the brigade I’m a part of to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place in the eastern portion of their country. So, very unique- a separate event from Atlantic Resolve that kind of certainly tied into deterring Russian aggression.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Colonel Foster added later:

We are training national guard companies with our companies. So we have got them paired up. A U.S. company with a Ukrainian company is the primary avenue for conducting that training. Initially, the plan is to go for 6 months. So through the October timeframe. There have been discussions about how to expand both the duration of that event and the scope. You know, there are other things the U.S. can assist with from a military perspective… So right now what we have got laid out is 6 United States companies that will be training 6 Ukrainian companies throughout the summer, and we have got 3 battalion headquarters elements aligned with 3 Ukrainian battalion headquarters elements to work at that level. But really, nothing above battalion staff level at all.

“Relooking Europe: The Role of Land Forces”
(Eastern Europe/Ukraine deployment discussion really begins @ 13:27)
YouTube Video

Last week, Britain announced it was sending 75 military advisers to train Ukrainian army personnel.

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

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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 Europe, Foreign Policy, Government, Military, War No Comments

Britain’s MI5 Chief, Former CIA Deputy Director Issue Terrorism Warnings

There’s no doubt in my mind that terrorism will soon be coming to our doorstep again.

Conducted both “lone wolf” style and via organizational activity.

And two high-profile members of the U.S. and U.K. intelligence communities are suggesting the same. From the Agence France-Presse (AFP) website yesterday:

The head of Britain’s domestic spy agency MI5 warned on Thursday that militant Islamists in Syria were planning “mass casualty attacks” in the West and that intelligence services may be powerless to stop them.

“We know… that a group of core al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning mass casualty attacks against the West,” Andrew Parker told journalists in London a day after an Islamist attack in Paris claimed 12 lives.

“Although we and our partners try our utmost, we know that we cannot hope to stop everything,” he added…

“We still face more complex and ambitious plots that follow the now sadly well-established approach of al-Qaeda and its imitators — attempts to cause large-scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets,” he said.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

There’s also this from former CIA Deputy Director and CBS News Senior Security Contributor Michael Morell back on December 15, 2014. From an exchange between CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell and Morell (speaking about the Australian lone-wolf terrorist event going on that day):

O’DONNELL: Michael, when other countries will look at this incident, perhaps as ISIS succeeding in some way in encouraging lone wolves to carry out these types of attacks. What concerns you the most?

MORELL: What concerns me the most is that we’re going to see this kind of terrorism around the world, and we are going to see it here, Norah. We are going to see this kind of attack here. And we need to be prepared for that. It shouldn’t surprise people when this happens here sometime over the next year or so- guaranteed.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“When this happens here sometime over the next year or so- guaranteed”

Yikes. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard a timeframe being attached to a threat like that.

And a guarantee to boot.

Does Morell know something you and I don’t?

Considering his background- probably.

CBS Video

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

(UPDATE: The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism-related intelligence bulletin Friday to 18,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies in the wake of the Paris terrorist events. However, it did not specify any specific threat to the U.S. homeland connected to the incidents in France.)


“Militants planning mass casualty attacks against West.” Agence France-Presse. 8 Jan. 2015. (http://news.yahoo.com/militants-planning-mass-casualty-attacks-against-west-uk-005654650.html). 9 Jan. 2014.

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Peter Schiff: Swiss ‘No’ Vote May Signal Gold’s Bottom, Return Of Bull Trend

“Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected an initiative on Sunday that would have forced the country’s central bank to hold one-fifth of its assets in gold, a move that would have eroded its ability to conduct monetary policy.

Citing projections from results in 19 of the country’s 26 cantons, Swiss television said roughly 78% of voters opposed the initiative, dubbed ‘Save Our Swiss Gold.’ The gold initiative would have also barred the Swiss National Bank from selling gold in the future…”

The Wall Street Journal website, November 30, 2014

I hadn’t been paying too much attention to that Swiss vote on gold. But after the mainstream financial news outlets cheered the Swiss citizens rejecting the initiative, I thought this could rank right up there with the United Kingdom selling off half its gold reserves in 1999 when the precious metal was valued at only $300 an ounce- a 20-year low at the time.

In other words, a move the Swiss may very well come to regret in the coming years.

To each their own, I always say.

And Wednesday, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Peter Schiff, shared his thoughts about Switzerland’s rejection of the yellow metal. From his December 3 SchiffGold “Gold Videocast” entry on YouTube.com:

I actually believe that the “no” vote- from the long-term perspective- is even more bullish for the price of gold than had Switzerland voted to back their currency with 20 percent gold…

Thinking about it from a historical perspective, if there’s a chance that we saw the lows for the entire gold move on Sunday night, it would be ironic, and then I think makes a lot of sense, that the Swiss “no” vote on adopting even a modified gold standard would mark the low point for gold. Just like you have the Bank of England dumping a bunch of gold at the lows, I mean, central banks or actions around central banks sometimes mark key points. And the fact that the Swiss said “no” to gold, “we don’t want it,” that may be the day that gold actually bottomed out and now we’re resuming the bull trend. Only time will tell whether that is the case. But again, if it’s not the absolute bottom, I think it’s close enough not to worry about it, and I think that people need to be buying the gold that the Swiss citizens just told their bank not to buy. And not only the gold, silver. Because if gold goes up, silver’s going up. So buy both metals.

“Gold Videocast: Swiss Franc No Longer a Safe Haven
and a Possible Bottom in Gold”
YouTube 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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Islamic State May Now Have A Dirty Bomb, But What About A Nuke?

“Militants in Iraq have taken hold of nuclear materials at university science facilities near the northern city of Mosul, the Iraqi government has said in a letter to the United Nations.

But two U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday that the small amounts of uranium aren’t enriched or weapons-grade, prompting only minimal concern…”

-CNN website, July 10, 2014

I remember reading about the Islamic State getting their hands on that nuclear material near Mosul this summer. And I also remember the American response to it happening- which was basically “who cares?”

Now, I distinctly recall what I was thinking when I heard the news:

The caliphate is going to build themselves some dirty bombs.

From the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission website:

A “dirty bomb” is one type of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) that combines conventional explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive material. The terms dirty bomb and RDD are often used interchangeably in the media. Most RDDs would not release enough radiation to kill people or cause severe illness – the conventional explosive itself would be more harmful to individuals than the radioactive material. However, depending on the situation, an RDD explosion could create fear and panic, contaminate property, and require potentially costly cleanup… A dirty bomb is not a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” but a “Weapon of Mass Disruption,” where contamination and anxiety are the terrorists’ major objectives

A “weapon of mass disruption.” Cute.

On Saturday, the Daily Mirror– a British tabloid- ran the following:

Islamic State fanatics have built a dirty bomb, it has been claimed.

The fighters are said to have made a device using radioactive uranium stolen from Iraq’s Mosul University after seizing control of the city last June.

And this week they were boasting of the damage it would cause if blown up in London, although sources insist security measures would make it almost impossible to transport here…

If the bomb does exist, militants are far more likely to use it in Syria or Iraq, rather than trying to smuggle it into a Western country.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Although sources insist security measures would make it almost impossible to transport here.”

“Militants are far more likely to use it in Syria or Iraq, rather than trying to smuggle it into a Western country.”

Not sure I agree with those statements. First off, you don’t need to “transport” the components required to construct a dirty bomb. There’s a good chance the bad guys would be able to source that locally in the U.K.

Second, going back to that NRC statement about dirty bombs being “weapons of mass disruption” rather than “destruction”- it’s my understanding that Iraq and Syria are way past being “disrupted.” Why would the Muslim extremists waste such fear-inducing devices there? New York City makes more sense as a potential dirty bomb target. Think Wall Street during the business week or Times Square on New Year’s Eve. That’s what I’d be trying to prevent if I were still in government and in the counter-terrorism field.

So the caliphate may have a dirty bomb. Not shock there if this turned out to be true considering the relative ease of constructing one. More of a concern should be the Islamic State getting their hands on a nuclear weapon. Why’s that? Because these guys have proven themselves to be hard-chargers and probably wouldn’t hesitate to detonate the damn thing among their enemies. Joe Cirincione, an expert on nuclear proliferation, penned on the Huffington Post website on November 28:

It is impossible now for ISIS to build a nuclear bomb from scratch. Doing so would require large, industrial facilities to enrich uranium, billions of dollars and gigawatts of energy. But if they could get the highly-enriched uranium — about 100 pounds would do, about the size of a soccer ball — it is possible that they could assemble the equipment and small technical team to build the bomb.

Jeffrey Lewis described in the superb documentary, Countdown to Zero, how few people are actually required to do this and how little it would cost. But it does require a sophisticated operation. ISIS has the capabilities required.

We have never encountered a terrorist group like ISIS. Their demonstrated brutality and willingness to kill large numbers of innocents is shocking, but is now the kind of terrorism that we have become familiar with over the past 20 years. ISIS adds three capabilities that catapult the threat beyond anything seen before: control of large, urban territories, huge amounts of cash (perhaps as much as $2 billion), and a global network of recruits.

With these assets they could illicitly acquire the nuclear material for a bomb from vulnerable storage sites in Russia or Pakistan, and possibly nuclear expertise as well

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Remember that phrase “if you build it, they will come” from the 1989 film Field of Dreams?

It’s seems like “if they build it, they will blow s**t up” as it concerns these particular jihadists.

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


Dorman, Nick and Doyle, Neil. “British ISIS fanatics have built a dirty bomb and boast of the damage it could inflict on London.” The Mirror. 29 Nov. 2014. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/british-isis-fanatics-built-dirty-4721561). 2 Dec. 2014.

Cirincione, Joe. “Preventing a Nuclear ISIS.” Huffington Post. 18 Nov. 2014. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-cirincione/preventing-a-nuclear-isis_b_6180120.html). 2 Dec. 2014.

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Al-Qaeda Targeting 5 European Passenger Jets Before Christmas?

And just when you thought Al-Qaeda had been relegated to the tabloids comes this from the website of the Sunday Express (UK)- a British tabloid. Donal MacIntyre reported Sunday:

EXCLUSIVE: Al Qaeda plot to blow up 5 passenger planes in Christmas ‘spectacular’

TERRORISTS are plotting to blow up five European passenger jets in a Christmas “spectacular”, security experts say

The warning comes as Whitehall officials admit that a terror strike on the UK is now “almost inevitable” particularly with British jihadis returning from fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

An airport security source told the Sunday Express: “We’ve been told that five planes are being targeted in a high profile hit before Christmas. They’ve been waiting for the big one.

“We have many scares but this one nearly got hand baggage pulled from all airlines. The threat is still alive and real.”

According to MacIntyre, the plot was uncovered by U.S. intelligence.

Take the above for what it’s worth. That being said, I blogged back on August 29:

Much of the mainstream media is playing up the threat to the U.S. from the Islamic State. Personally, I’m more concerned about Al-Qaeda beating them to the punch. I’ve already talked about Ayman al-Zawahiri needing to establish his “street cred.” But the emergence of the other band of terrorists formerly known as ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) puts even more pressure, I suspect, for bin Laden’s standard bearers to carry out a successful major operation against the U.S. homeland, and with haste.

Still feel the same way as 2014 rapidly comes to a close…

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


MacIntyre, Donal. “EXCLUSIVE: Al Qaeda plot to blow up 5 passenger planes in Christmas ‘spectacular.’” Sunday Express. 30 Nov. 2014. (http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/541725/REVEALED-Al-Qaeda-plot-to-blow-up-5-European-passenger-jets-in-Christmas-spectacular). 30 Nov. 2014.

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Global Economy Flashes Warning Signals

I’m picking up on a growing number of “bad vibes” about the global economy these days.

First, Rich Miller reported on the Bloomberg website Thursday about the findings of the latest Bloomberg Global Poll of international investors:

The world economy is in its worst shape in two years, with the euro area and emerging markets deteriorating and the danger of deflation rising, according to a Bloomberg Global Poll of international investors.

A plurality of 38 percent of those surveyed this week described the global economy as worsening, more than double the number who said that in the last poll in July and the most since September 2012, when Europe was mired in a recession.

Much of the concern is again focused on the euro area: Almost two-thirds of those polled said its economy was weakening…

Europe isn’t the only source of concern in the global economy, according to the quarterly poll of 510 investors, traders and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers. More than half of those contacted said conditions in the BRIC economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China — are getting worse, compared with 36 percent who said so in July.

(Editor: Bold added for emphasis)

Granted, it’s just a poll. But there’s also this from British Prime Minister David Cameron in a piece he penned that was published on The Guardian (UK) website Sunday:

Six years on from the financial crash that brought the world to its knees, red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.

As I met world leaders at the G20 in Brisbane, the problems were plain to see. The eurozone is teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too. Emerging markets, which were the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery, are now slowing down. Despite the progress in Bali, global trade talks have stalled while the epidemic of Ebola, conflict in the Middle East and Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine are all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Cameron added the following, which I thought was pretty funny (disturbing?):

When we faced similar problems in recent years, too many politicians offered easy answers, thinking we could spend, borrow and tax our way to prosperity. Those were the wrong answers then; they are the wrong answers now. We are not going to repeat the mistakes of the past…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sound like any country you know?

Finally, exacerbating fears about global economic health was the following “shock” announcement. Mitsuru Obe and Eleanor Warnock reported on The Wall Street Journal website this morning:

Japan Falls Into Recession

Japan’s economy shrank for a second quarter in a row, after a sales-tax increase took the steam out of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ’s bid to turn Japan into a global model of revival.

Mr. Abe, who has sought to revive the world’s third-largest economy after two mostly sluggish decades, is set to announce this week that he will delay plans to raise the nation’s sales tax next year and call elections in December…

“Two mostly sluggish decades”

Some really bright financial-types suspect Japan’s so-called “zombie economy” is what’s ultimately in store for America. While I have no doubt about a coming U.S. economic crash, I remain somewhat more optimistic for the country’s prospects upon emerging from the coming carnage.

Stay tuned…

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


Cameron, David. “David Cameron: Red lights are flashing on the global economy.” The Guardian. 16 Nov. 2014. (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/16/red-lights-global-economy-david-cameron). 17 Nov. 2014.

Miller, Rich. “World Economy Worst in Two Years, Europe Darkening, Deflation Lurking: Global Investor Poll.” Bloomberg.com. 13 Nov. 2014. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-13/world-outlook-darkening-as-89-in-poll-see-europe-deflation-risk.html). 17 Nov. 2014.

Obe, Mitsuru and Warnock, Eleanor. “Japan Falls Into Recession.” The Wall Street Journal. 17 Nov. 2014. (http://online.wsj.com/articles/japan-falls-into-recession-1416182404). 17 Nov. 2014.

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Jihadists Conducting Recon Of British Parliament?

Something tells me our friends in Western Europe might suffer a major terrorist attack before a strike against the United States. Sunday morning I was reading the “Travel” section of my Chicago Tribune when I spotted the following under “World watch”:

United Kingdom: Authorities warned of potential terrorist threats against the Houses of Parliament in London, prompting calls to close the Palace of Westminster to the public. The ISIS-related threat was announced after British intelligence learned of suspected jihadists visiting Parliament for tours in recent weeks. The Palace of Westminster, where the House of Lords and House of Commons meet, is Britain’s most iconic structure, with the attached tower and Big Ben clock being the nation’s most recognizable symbol. Military police are refreshing their training to prevent a terrorist attack, and tourists should follow local media for updates when planning to visit Parliament…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Kids. Big Ben. Parliament. Allahu Akbar!

“European Vacation- Roundabout”
YouTube Video

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


Burlison, Dani and Habegger, Larry. “World watch: Threats may leave London travelers outside Parliament.” Chicago Tribune. 29 Oct. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-trav-1102-world-watch-20141029-story.html). 4 Nov. 2014.

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Riot-Inspired Purchases During The Ferguson And 2011 England Unrest

It’s interesting- at least, for me- to see what sort of gear, supplies, and tools are being acquired while the protests continue in Ferguson, Missouri, for another night. Yesterday, Kerry Picket reported on Breitbart.com:

The use of tear gas by Missouri law enforcement has caused a run on gas masks in the St. Louis area. Local residents, reporters, and video production crews are making last minute calls to places like Uncle Sam’s military surplus only to find out that gas masks, gas mask filters, and bullet proof vests are all sold out

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Picket added later in the piece that ear plugs, “bullet proof chest plates” for vests, and tactical vests are in demand as well.

The civil unrest looks to be spurring sales of certain personal safety products on Amazon.com as well. Charlie Spiering reported on the Breitbart website this morning:

As protests continue in Ferguson, Missouri, gas mask sales are skyrocketing at Amazon.com. Sales of the online retailer’s most popular gas mask model have risen 434 percent in the past 24 hours…

Another popular gas mask sold on Amazon, the Israeli Civilian Gas Mask, has rocketed up the sales charts by 250 percent…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As I type this, that “most popular gas mask model”- the NBC 40mm NATO SGE 400/3 Anti-Riot Military Gas Mask Made In The USA– is running low (only 16 units left in stock), while sales are still up 63 percent over the past 24 hours.

As for the other popular gas mask- the Israeli Civilian Gas Mask with NBC NATO Filter and Drinking Hydration Tube– that’s also still up 58 percent.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Civilian Gas Mask w/ Nato Filter (no drinking hydration tube) has jumped ahead of the other two, racking up a 128 percent increase in sales over the past day last time I looked.

Compare all this to what the English were buying during their 2011 bout with civil strife. I blogged back on August 12, 2011:

Apparently, pots, pans, and rubber hoses just aren’t cutting it for some Brits on the front lines of the rioting and looting. Reuters’ Rosalba O’Brien reported yesterday:

Sales of baseball bats and batons have shot up more than 5,000 percent in the last 24 hours on Amazon’s British website, as London suffered its worst violent unrest in decades.

Seven of the top 10 ‘movers and shakers’ in Amazon’s sports and leisure list were baseball bats of various kinds, their sales since Monday rising between 1,756 percent and 5,149 percent.

A “military police telescopic baton”, described by the manufacturer as useful for “effective self-defence with extra reach”, was the 110th best selling item among Amazon’s sports and leisure customers, up from a ranking of 5,622 just 24 hours ago. Actual sale number of the items are not given.

A look at the Amazon UK site right now shows that the top “mover and shaker” in the “Sports & Leisure” category is a folding shovel by Gelert. This forged steel shovel has a serrated edge for sawing- or for seriously ruining the day of some threatening rioter/looter.

In the past twenty-four hours, the sales rank of this folding shovel has skyrocketed 283,300 percent from 2,834 to number one in the sports and leisure category.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

283,300 percent? While this Gelert folding shovel is still available on the Amazon UK site, I couldn’t find it on the U.S. counterpart. The closest folding shovel I saw on our Amazon looked to be the Wenzel Tri-Fold Shovel– although Amazon customers are raving about the similar-in-function US Military Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel.

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


Picket, Kerry. “Run On Gas Masks In Ferguson.” Breitbart.com. 18 Aug.2014. (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/18/Run-On-Gas-Masks-In-Ferguson). 19 Aug. 2014.

Spiering, Charlie. “Popular Gas Mask Sales Up 434 Percent On Amazon.” Breitbart.com. 19 Aug. 2014. (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/19/Popular-Gas-Mask-Sales-Up-434-Percent-On-Amazon). 19 Aug. 2014.

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5.56 NATO And .223 Remington Lethal Enough?

Anyone read that article on The Washington Times website about the Russian military’s new gear that’s being “shown off” in the Ukraine? It’s quite interesting. Rowan Scarborough wrote on April 20:

“They’ve got better equipment than they had five years ago,” said Scott Traudt, an executive with Green Mountain, a Vermont gun manufacturer. “They’ve got new grenade launchers that are awesome. The helmets are better than our helmets. The body armor is better than our body armor. They’re doing a lot of things right. I’m pretty amazed at it.”

However, it was something said later in the piece which really grabbed my attention. Scarborough added:

U.S. soldiers have complained that their main rifle and round, the M4 carbine and its 5.56, lacked lethality in Afghanistan against a Taliban enemy that does not often wear body armor. Without a shot to the head, the enemy could take several 5.56 hits and keep going, soldiers said in surveys…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

5.56 x 45mm NATO or 5.56 NATO was originally chambered for the M16 rifle and is a standard cartridge for NATO and many non-NATO armies. It’s similar, but not identical to, .223 Remington. Both are used extensively by American shooters, including preppers/survivalists.

Now about that part in the article where U.S. soldiers are complaining about 5.56 NATO and its “lethality”- should preppers/survivalists and others using the same or .223 be concerned their ammunition also won’t be lethal enough when it matters most?

Here is some more insight on 5.56 lethality from people who know a thing or two about the subject in a combat zone…

First, there’s this from a U.S. Marine scout/sniper who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and submitted the following to The Truth About Guns website regarding a firefight in Fallujah, Iraq. He was using an M-16A4 with a heavy barrel, improved trigger, and scope- as well as standard 5.56 ammo- in the following action:

This bad guy took a knee and started to aim his RPG at our building. I fired once, hitting him square in the chest. The man stumbled a bit but regained his balance and steadied his weapon. I fired again, again hitting him. But this time, it did not faze him and he was able to touch off that grenade. The explosion rattled the building and injured a Marine below me on the second floor.

The bad guy dropped the RPG once he fired it, got up, and ran down the alley away from me. He still had the AK on his back. I fired again, twice, both times hitting him in his upper thoracic region. He was not phased. My L-T was shooting at him while yelling at his sniper (me) to kill him!

The man started pushing himself up a short wall near the end of the alley way. The wall was maybe 4 1/2ft tall. I decided to take a head shot at about 125yds. I centered the cross-hairs, and squeezed. JUST as the round broke, the man ducked his head, the bullet entered his brain housing group just at the base of the skull, effectively removing the back portion of his dome. I skull capped him.

He stumbled over the wall and fell down behind it, out of my view in the dead space. For a split second, I thought “there…” until I saw him RUNNING away from me, brains leaking from his head! As soon as I saw him, he fell down and did not get up again. It took 5 well aimed rounds to put this guy down. Granted, he was most likely on something, but it still took 4 in the chest, and one head shot to stop this guy. I was not the only Marine to be involved in something like this. Who is to say that an attacker in the U.S. is not “on something?”

Now, is the .223 (5.56) a deadly round? Absolutely! A .22lr is deadly in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. Is it effective? In this Marine’s opinion, no. The .223 is a varmint round, meant to kill targets no larger than a rabbit or coyote…

Then there’s this from the Daily Mail (UK) website from just over a year ago that talked about Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) jettisoning the 5.56 NATO cartridge. Mark Nicol reported on March 16, 2013:

The rounds currently issued as standard to SAS troops for their rifles are 5.56 mm calibre. In future, the troopers will be given 7.62 mm rounds – which are almost twice as heavy and designed to kill with a single shot.

Last night, a regiment insider said: ‘The shoot-to-wound policy was based on the assumption that once he was wounded an enemy combatant would stop fighting, and so would his comrades to give him first aid.

But this backfired against the Taliban. The 5.56 mm rounds did not take a big enough chunk out of them, allowing fanatical insurgents to keep on fighting despite their wounds. As a result, more SAS soldiers were shot and badly wounded.

‘The need for a heavier round was highlighted in the regiment’s post-Afghanistan report. Tests are now taking place on at least three rifles specially designed to fire the 7.62 mm rounds.

‘The difference in killing power between 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm is startling – the heavier rounds pack so much more of a punch.’

Nicol added later in the piece:

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a former Army commander, said: ‘The 7.62 mm round is a good, meaty bullet and will drop your enemy with a single hit. The 5.56 mm cannot compete with it for stopping power and, according to many soldiers, the round has fallen short in Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘Insurgents who would have been fatally wounded by a 7.62 mm have been able to continue fighting and endanger the lives of our soldiers.

‘This is a positive step and I hope other regiments give consideration to returning to 7.62 mm rounds in the infantryman’s standard rifle. It could save lives and win battles.’

So should preppers/survivalists and others using 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington be concerned their ammunition lacks lethality?

In the past, I understood these calibers were- if anything- at least adequate in lethality. I also thought firearm proficiency and shot placement skill had a lot to do with stopping the threat as well.

I don’t think I’m wrong in believing the latter (user ability) is still important.

Readers- care to add your two cents?

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


Scarborough, Rowan. “Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear.” The Washington Times. 20 Apr. 2014. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/20/tactical-advantage-russian-military-shows-off-impr/?page=all#pagebreak). 29 Apr. 2014.

Farago, Robert. “Marine: .223 May Not Be Lethal Enough for Civilians.” The Truth About Guns. 9 Jan. 2013. (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/01/robert-farago/marine-223-may-not-be-lethal-enough-for-civilians/). 29 Apt. 2014.

Nicol, Mark. “SAS to use bigger bullets to kill enemy outright after claiming ‘shoot-to-wound’ policy put their lives at risk.” Daily Mail. 16 Mar. 2013. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2294631/SAS-use-bigger-bullets-kill-enemy-outright-claiming-shoot-wound-policy-lives-risk.html). 29 Apr. 2014.

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