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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Satellite 2015


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Take a look at a virtual “Who’s Who” of the government and military market that will be at SATELLITE 2015:

  • Col. Chris Crawford, Director, Space Policy Implementation, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (OSD)
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  • Tina Harrington, Director, SIGINT Acquisitions Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office
  • Eron Miller, Chief, Services Division, COMSATCOM Center, Network Services, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)
  • And more!
If you are in the government and military satellite communications business, you need to be at SATELLITE 2015. Register today to secure your spot among the experts and be a part of the conversation.

Spotlight on Global Jihad

A new bulletin recently issued by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 5-11, 2015)
Issued on: 11/02/2015   Type: Article  
Following the murder of the Jordanian pilot, the Royal Jordanian Air Force carried out 
intensive airstrikes against ISIS targets in both Syria and Iraq (up to now, the Jordanians 
have only carried out airstrikes in Syria). ISIS claimed that one of the Jordania...
More      |    Full Document in PDF Format  

Who Are the Muslim Brotherhood-Linked Leaders Obama Met?

The White House has released the names of senior American Muslim leaders that President Obama met with personally last week. The list of names was included on the transcript of the White House daily press briefing on Thursday, despite journalists having requested the information much sooner. Prior to that, the White House had refused to name the leaders.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with the President meeting with representatives from any faith community and with the Muslim community in particular. Yet some of the individuals who met with the President have alarming links to the Muslim Brotherhood

Anatomy of a Bad Iran Deal

Anatomy of a Bad Iran Deal: A Preliminary Assessment

Dore Gold

The lead editorial of the Washington Post on February 5, 2015, expressed the growing concern in elite circles with the contours of the emerging nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany). Part of the concern emanates from the change in the goals of Western negotiators: rather than eliminate Iran’s potential to build nuclear weapons, they now want to restrict Iranian capabilities, which would leave Tehran in a position to break out of any restrictions in the future.

The best way to evaluate the impending nuclear agreement is to look at the statements of high-levels officials who have been involved in the negotiations. While not all of the details of the agreement have been made public, elements have been disclosed in the international media that are deeply worrying.

For example, there is the issue of the number of centrifuges that Iran will be allowed to retain. A centrifuge is a machine that separates uranium gas into two isotopes: U-238, which does not release nuclear energy, and U-235, which, when split, can release the energy for either a nuclear reactor or an atomic bomb. The enrichment process involves producing uranium with increasing percentages of U-235. At 90 percent purity, the uranium is characterized as weapons-grade.
Iran currently has 19,000 centrifuges, 9,000 of which are running and 10,000 that are installed but not operating. Israel's position is that Iran should have zero centrifuges. The reason is that if Iran truly needs enriched uranium for civilian purposes, it could import enriched uranium as do roughly 15 other countries, such as Canada, Mexico, and Spain. The Israeli position is in line with six UN Security Council resolutions that were adopted between 2006 and 2010, with the support of Russia and China. If Iran eliminated all of its centrifuges and then chose to build new centrifuges, the process would take four to five years. There would be ample time to detect Iran's efforts to enrich uranium beyond what is needed for civilian purposes and to organize an international response.

According to Gary Samore, President Obama’s former non-proliferation adviser, at the beginning of the current round of negotiations, the United States was demanding that Iran significantly reduce its stock of centrifuges to 1,500, but in doing so dropped the longstanding U.S. policy that Iran eliminate its centrifuges completely.

The numbers are important. In a scenario of "breakout,” in which the Iranians race to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for their first atomic bomb, the number of centrifuges largely determines the amount of time the Iranians will need to accomplish this goal.

In addition to the number of centrifuges that Iran has, there is also the issue of the amount of enriched uranium that Iran has already stockpiled. With enough low-enriched uranium, Iran can make a final push to weapons-grade uranium for an atomic bomb. Robert Einhorn, the former special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control during the Obama administration, has calculated that if Iran uses 1,500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium and inserts it into 2,000 centrifuges, Iran will have one bomb’s worth of weapons-grade uranium in 12 to 14 months.4
But from what we know today about the impending nuclear deal, Iran will need much less time to "breakout" to a bomb. According to multiple press reports, Western negotiators have raised the ceiling for the number of centrifuges that Iran will be allowed to have: they have gone from 1,500 to 4,500, and they now appear to be ready to let the Iranians have 6,000 centrifuges. According to Einhorn’s calculations mentioned above, with 1,500 kilograms of enriched uranium and 6,000 centrifuges, Iran can produce enough weapons-grade uranium for an atomic bomb in six months.

David Albright, formerly with the International Atomic Energy Agency, has estimated that with just 2,000-4,000 centrifuges Iran could achieve "breakout" in six months.7 Others suggest that the breakout timeline is even less than six months. For example, Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the HouseForeign AffairsCommittee, has warned that on the basis of expert testimony given to his committee, should Iran be permitted to keep just 4,000 centrifuges, it would have a breakout time of only three months.

There are other factors that can shorten this breakout time even more. Iran has second-generation IR-2 centrifuges that are more sophisticated and powerful which have not been activated yet. The IR-5, with an even higher rate of enrichment, is in advanced stages of research and was already tested last fall. If these advanced centrifuges are activated, the Iranian breakout time will be cut precipitously.

Albright concluded that a six-month breakout time would be the minimum needed to allow for an effective international response – presumably U.S.-led – to an Iranian violation. Thus, the 6,000 centrifuge limit that the P5+1 negotiators are presently proposing will not allow sufficient time to respond to an Iranian breakout.

However, if the Obama administration decides to proceed, countries in the Middle East are likely to conclude that under these conditions, the United States has reached a bad agreement with Iran. The evaluation here is largely based on the number of centrifuges the agreement allows.
There are other dimensions to the nuclear deal with Iran that are no less important. Dennis Ross, who also served in the Obama administration and worked on the Iran file, co-authored an article on Jan. 23 expressing similar concerns. "During the course of the nuclear negotiations over the past year, Iran has been the beneficiary of a generous catalogue of concessions from the West," Ross wrote. "The 5-plus-1 has conceded to Iranian enrichment, agreed that Tehran need not scale back the number of its centrifuges significantly or dismantle any facilities and could have an industrial-size program after passage of a period of time."

Undoubtedly, other countries in the Middle East will react to these concessions by accelerating their own nuclear programs. It was not surprising to see the news report on Feb. 10 that Egypt was to procure a new nuclear reactor from Russia. Nuclear proliferation is likely to spread to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, and others. A multipolar Middle East, which is currently facing a radical Islamist wave, will have none of the stability of the East-West balance during the Cold War. A bad agreement with Iran, in short, will leave the world a much more dangerous place. 

Listen Before You Decide


Dear Michael

On March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on the topic of Iran's nuclear program.  We cannot think of a more important issue for the United States, Israel and the entire West.  And we cannot think of a more important voice on this issue than the leader of our front-line ally, Israel. 

But will your Congressmen be there to hear him?  Don't be so sure. 

To our great disappointment, Vice President Biden and over a dozen members of Congress have already announced that they won't be attending this speech.  They've cited concerns about the manner in which Speaker of the House Boehner invited the Prime Minister to Washington.  But given the late hour and the high stakes, such excuses could not be more petty. 

Your representatives in Washington may or may not agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  But shame on any member of Congress who presumes to vote on Iran sanctions without even hearing him out. 

Please click here now to let your representatives know that you expect them to attend this speech!

Please click here now to make sure that Prime Minister Netanyahu's important voice is heard!

Attending this speech is not merely an opportunity for our representatives; it is their responsibility.  

CRM-Team Islam Radicalization

Sehr geehrter Herr Rohr,

ich danke Ihnen für Ihre Zuschrift.

Vier Millionen Muslime leben in Deutschland, zwei Millionen haben die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit. Sie sind ein Teil von Deutschland, und der Glaube, der ihnen wichtig ist, ist es inzwischen auch. Sie sind Bürgerinnen und Bürger dieses Landes, sie fühlen sich Deutschland verpflichtet und bringen sich mit ihrer Kraft hier ein.

Wir erwarten, dass sie die deutsche Sprache sprechen, wir erwarten, dass sie sich zu unserer Rechtsordnung bekennen, und sie dürfen von uns erwarten, dass wir sie dann auch als zu uns gehörig annehmen. Eine Ausgrenzung entspricht nicht unserem Verständnis von Staat und Menschenwürde.

Angesichts des islamistischen Terrors dürfen Muslime in Deutschland nicht unter Generalverdacht gestellt werden. Die allermeisten Muslime in Deutschland sind rechtschaffene, verfassungstreue Bürger. Der Glaube des Islam kann in Deutschland im Rahmen unserer Verfassung und der übrigen Gesetze frei ausgeübt werden. Bekämpfen werden wir jede Form islamistischer Gewalt mit der ganzen Entschlossenheit unseres Rechtsstaates.

Es wäre unverantwortlich, Muslime mit Islamisten gleichzusetzen. Muslime sind Menschen, die vor allem an einen Gott glauben und friedfertig sind. Islamisten berufen sich zwar auf „Gott“, sind aber in Wahrheit gewaltbereit. Wir sind dankbar, dass die Muslime selbst die Trennlinie ziehen und sich klar gegen Gewalt wenden.

Das Gedankengut der Salafisten hingegen ist gefährlich und mit unserer freiheitlich-demokratischen Grundordnung unvereinbar. Was die Salafisten fordern, entspricht nicht dem, wie die überwiegende Mehrheit der Muslime in Deutschland leben will. Unter dem Deckmantel der Religionsfreiheit werben sie für extremistische Ziele und befürworten Gewalt gegen vermeintlich Ungläubige. Zu Recht werden sie vom Verfassungsschutz beobachtet.

Wenn eine radikal-islamische Minderheit auf unseren Straßen einen religiösen Verhaltenskodex propagiert, werden wir dies nicht hinnehmen. Die Scharia wird auf deutschem Boden ebenso wenig geduldet wie die Abschottung in islamischen Parallelgesellschaften und Paralleljustiz.

Radikal-islamischen Umtrieben muss mit allen rechtsstaatlichen Mitteln Einhalt geboten werden. Dazu gehören eine konsequente Strafverfolgung, die Prüfung der Ausweisung Einzelner sowie die Prüfung von Vereinsverboten.

Bundesinnenminister de Maizière ist entschlossen gegen die Anhänger der Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat in Deutschland vorgegangen. Mit dem von ihm ausgesprochenen Betätigungsverbot dürfen Anhänger der Terrormiliz ab sofort keine Flaggen oder Symbole öffentlich zeigen und dürfen nicht für ihre verbrecherischen Ziele werben. Damit ist klargestellt: Für den IS ist in Deutschland kein Platz.

Für ausländische Straftäter wollen wir das Ausweisungsrecht verschärfen. Wer einen Bezug zu terroristischen Vereinigungen hat, religiösen Hass predigt oder Gewalt zur Durchsetzung seiner religiösen Ziele anwendet, missachtet unsere Grundwerte und muss damit rechnen, ausgewiesen zu werden.

Das Werben um Sympathie für eine ausländische terroristische Vereinigung bereitet den Nährboden für Radikalisierung bis hin zu terroristischer Gewalt. Dies belegen zahlreiche Fälle von islamistischen Tätern aus Deutschland und Europa. Es war ein Fehler von Rot-Grün, im Jahr 2002 Sympathiewerbung für kriminelle oder terroristische Vereinigungen als Straftatbestand abzuschaffen. Wir wollen, dass dieses Werben wieder unter Strafe gestellt wird.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Sabrina Merten


Bürgerservice der CDU-Bundesgeschäftsstelle

Iran reveals 'new' fighter type

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

09 February 2015
The 'second generation' Saeghe-2 jet was revealed on 9 February. Source: Iranian MoD
Iran has unveiled the 'second generation' of its indigenously developed Saeghe (Thunderbolt) combat aircraft, state media announced on 9 February.
The Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces Logistics agency announced the unveiling of the Saeghe-2 jet, and its delivery to the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF), the Mehr news agency reported.
While the original Saeghe was based on the single-seat Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter, the Saeghe-2 is modelled on the twin-seat F-5F operational trainer. On the surface, the Saeghe-2 bears the same twin-tail modification as the Saeghe, although it is not possible to ascertain what internal improvements may have been made to either model.
The IRIAF is believed to have 17 F-5F aircraft remaining in its inventory, which may be suitable for conversion to the Saeghe-2 configuration.

Related articles:

The Saeghe-2 is modelled on the twin-seat F-5F Tiger II operational trainer. (Iranian MoD)

The Saeghe-2 is modelled on the twin-seat F-5F Tiger II operational trainer. (Iranian MoD)Like the single-seat Saeghe, the Saeghe-2 features a twin-tail configuration. (Iranian MoD)
Like the single-seat Saeghe, the Saeghe-2 features a twin-tail configuration. (Iranian MoD)The IRIAF is believed to have 17 F-5F aircraft remaining in its inventory, which may be suitable for conversion to the Saeghe-2 configuration. (Iranian MoD)
The IRIAF is believed to have 17 F-5F aircraft remaining in its inventory, which may be suitable for conversion to the Saeghe-2 configuration. (Iranian MoD)

Last US Islamic State hostage Kayla Mueller confirmed dead

The US has confirmed the death of aid worker Kayla Mueller, the last American hostage known to be held by Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

Her family said they were "heartbroken" to learn the news, and released a letter written during her captivity.

Paying tribute to her, President Obama said "she represents what is best about America".

Islamic State said she had died in a Jordanian air strike, but the Pentagon says there is "no doubt" IS killed her.

US Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby added that officials have not learned yet how Kayla Mueller died.

"Let's not forget in whose hands this woman died. And let's not forget who's ultimately responsible for it," he said.

Jordan also denied that Ms Mueller had been killed in air strikes launched following the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by IS.

Lies From the White House

President Obama: "We always devote enormous resources to freeing captives or hostages anywhere in the world"

Ms Mueller, 26, was abducted while working in Aleppo, Syria in 2013.

"Our hearts are breaking for our only daughter, but we will continue on in peace, dignity, and love for her," her family said in a statement.

In a letter written in 2014, Ms Mueller tries to reassure her family, saying that she had been treated with "utmost respect + kindness".

"I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears," she wrote.

"I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing."

Ms Mueller's death was determined after her family was contacted privately by her IS captors over the weekend, with US intelligence then confirming the details of the message.

"She has been taken from us, but her legacy endures, inspiring all those who fight, each in their own way, for what is just and what is decent," President Obama said in a statement. 

"No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death."

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, the president also rejected the suggestion that the US could have done more to free Ms Mueller.

Mr Obama said that he had launched a rescue operation in 2014 to free Ms Mueller and other hostages but that it had "missed them by a day or two". 

He added: "We devoted enormous resources and always devote enormous resources to freeing captives or hostages anywhere in the world."

War by Other Means

BERLIN/KIEV/MOSCOW - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is convinced that the West will be "victorious" in the power struggle with Moscow. Merkel told the Munich Security Conference on the weekend that the Ukraine conflict "cannot be won" with military means. That is why "a new way must be found." Comparing the current power struggle to the Cold War, she reaffirmed, "I am a hundred percent convinced that, with our principles, we will win." Earlier, Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, had expressed a similar view proposing that a "double strategy" be applied in the West's power struggle with Russia. According to the journal of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the power struggle, which currently cannot won with military means, should be returned "from the military to the economic level." To this effect, Berlin has launched a diplomatic offensive that should lead to talks in Minsk on Wednesday.


Russia selects new assault rifles

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected two assault rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern as new standard issue firearms for the Russian Ratnik soldier modernisation programme.

"We have already made a deal and selected assault rifles from Izhmash. It won in cost to effectiveness terms. The quality is also acceptable for us," Deputy Minister of Defence Yuriy Borisov stated on Russian radio on 24 January.

Borisov stated that two assault rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern were selected by the Armed Forces: the AK-12, chambered in 5.45x39 mm, and the 7.62x39 mm AK-103-4.
"We also increase the number of ordered Ratnik systems from 50,000 to 70,000", Borisov added.
According to Borisov, the AK-12 is quite similar to its predecessor, the AK-74M, and has some common parts. The Russian army is expecting the price of the AK-12 will be 25% more than the AK-74M.

The AK-12 is a fifth generation AK-pattern rifle, featuring several ergonomic improvements, a bolt catch, accessory rails, and a telescopic buttstock. The AK-12 is also has a lower recoil impulse than the AK-74M. Design work on the AK-12 began in August 2011 with the first prototype unveiled on 24 January 2012. The rifle is fed from 30 round AK-74 box magazines, but 60 and 95 rounds magazines are also available.

The 7.62 mm chambered AK-103-4 is the newest revision of the AK-47. It is also equipped with a Picatinny rail, telescopic folding buttstock and effective muzzle device.

The AK-12 is set to be used by only the elite Russian units equipped with Ratnik system. The remainder of the Army is expected to use an upgraded AK-74M, developed by Kalashnikov under military requirements and was shown for the first time at the Oboronexpo fair in August 2014.
Meanwhile, a carbine variant of the AK-12, chambered in 7.62 mm, was selected by the Russian Federal Protective Service (FSO) to replace its current AKS-74U and AK-104 carbines and AK-103 rifles.

The Ratnik soldier modernisation programme is designed to provide the effectiveness soldiers on the battlefield. The system consists of 50 components, including small arms, sights, ballistic protection, as well as communication and navigation devices.
The Russian Army tested four assault rifles to be part of the Ratnik system, two chambered in 5.45x39 mm and two in the 7.62x39 mm cartridge: the AK-12 and AK-103-4 rifles designed by the Kalashnikov Concern (formerly Izmash), and the A-545 and A-762 rifles from the Degtyarev Plant. The latter are updated variants of the AEK-971/973 rifles designed in early 1980s for the AK-74M replacement programme, but which lost to the Nikonov AN-94 rifle (which was never adopted in large numbers).
In December 2014, the Russian MoD announced that all the rifles had passed the trial programme.


The selection of the Kalashnikov Concern rifles is surprising as previous information suggested that the Russian Army preferred the A-545 over the AK-12. The A-545 was recognised as a truly modern rifle design, which as a result of its counter-balanced recoil system was said to offer a 10-15% reduction in recoil compared to the AK-12.
Indeed, the AK-12 was not originally accepted for the state trials in 2012. The army subsequently allowed the rifle to be tested under political pressure, albeit at the expense of the manufacturer - the testing of the A-545 and A-762 were funded by the military.
One reason cited for the selection of the AK-12 was the existing manufacturing capability of Kalashnikov Concern, while the Degtyarev Plant would have had to build a new production line from scratch. As a result Izhevsk won the programme on the basis of a lower production cost.
Winning the prize of this large-scale contract, the Kalashnikov Concern should help the firm to survive any US and EU sanctions, as well as assist the firm in exporting its new generation AK-pattern rifles.