>NOTE: At Once Upon a Time in West we use two news categories to speculate that the world might be weeks, days, or possibly hours away from a nuclear war or major terrorist attack. MISSILE DAY ALERT is our highest alert and is frequently attached to the ongoing and well-publicized activities of the Russian Air and Strategic Rocket Forces, particularly as they suggest mobilization and penetration of Western airspace. Our new category Event Convergence Alert takes second place in terms of urgency. We are not privy to the inner workings of the Kremlin and, thus, we can only make informed guesses based on open-source information.
Pictured above: Russia’s supersonic Tu-160 Blackjack bomber. Royal Air Force jets chased two such aircraft away from the northern coast of Scotland on September 14, in the latest of a series of similiar incidents this year by Russian bombers on the periphery of NATO and NORAD airspace. The US Air Force’s Air Combat Command was scheduled to standdown on the same day for a nuclear munitions transfer procedural review. In spite of the concerns for continental security expressed by some bloggers, such as yours truly, journalist Jerome Corsi related on September 15 that the standdown was completed without any unusual incidents.
Event Convergence Alert
On September 4 or 5, 2001 Russian fighter jets threatened to shoot down a US Navy P-3 surveillance plane in the North Pacific Ocean. The Washington Times reports:
Russian warplanes threatened patrolling U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean last week as the American planes monitored a military exercise in the region, The Washington Times has learned. At one point during the aerial harassment, a MiG-31 interceptor pilot flew his jet within 50 feet of a P-3 maritime patrol and reconnaissance plane. The incident was similar to a Chinese aerial intercept that resulted in a collision earlier this year. One alarming sign of the Russian intercept was a radio message sent by one MiG-31 pilot to his base stating his fire-control radar had “locked on” to the U.S. surveillance plane, U.S. intelligence officials said. A radar “lock” is a pilot’s final step before firing a guided missile. “It was a threatening action,” said one official.
Five days later, during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the USA, the neo-Soviet state was “coincidentally” holding pre-announced strategic bomber exercises over the Arctic, North Pacific, and North Atlantic Oceans. The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) reports that “the main task was reportedly to penetrate air defense of NATO and North America (NORAD).”
Maneuvers to simulate defense against a large-scale airspace attack began on September 10. According to Chief of the Air Force Anatoli Kornukov, they were intended to cover the whole Arctic, as well as northern parts of the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, including, specifically, the vicinity of Norway, Iceland, the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The main task was reportedly to penetrate air defense of NATO and North America (NORAD). As part of the exercise, long-range bombers were moved to auxiliary bases in Anadyr, Tiksi, and Vorkuta. A new element of these maneuvers was, according to newspaper reports, training for the use of long-range ALCMs outside the reach of NORAD (since Russia has had long-range nuclear ALCMs since the 1980s, apparently these reports meant conventional ALCMs, which began to appear in Russian Armed Forces only in the late 1990s). The only real launches planned in these regions involved short-range missiles launched from Tu-22M3 over Kamchatka Peninsula in a simulated attack against an aircraft carrier group.
Immediately following the attacks, the White House contacted the Kremlin and insisted that the Russians cancel their air force’s “exercises.” The Washington Post reports: “U.S. officials also sent a message to the Russians, who were planning a military exercise not far from Alaska, urging them to rethink their plans.” At the link above NTI relates a similar post-attack scenario:
The plan was abruptly changed immediately after news of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001 reached Moscow. To avoid possible complications and misperceptions, the [Russian] Air Force terminated all “practical activities” planned for the ongoing maneuvers following a request from the United States. This included a termination of flights not only toward U.S. territory, but also “around the corner” toward Norway and Iceland. Launches of short-range ALCMs from five Tu-22M3 bombers (three belonging to the Naval Air Command and two from the Air Force) over Kamchatka against seaborne targets were still conducted, but only within Russian territorial waters. Also, both heavy and medium bombers practiced missile launches at an internal Russian test range near the Caspian sea.
On Monday, September 17, 2007 state-run Novosti has announced that Russian strategic bombers which, in any case, have resumed permanent patrols per President Vladimir Putin’s August 17 announcement, will again be conducting maneuvers between the 18th and 21st of this month.
Russian strategic bombers to conduct exercises this week
14:3117/ 09/ 2007
MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russian strategic bombers will conduct a series of long-range training flights, with aerial refueling during the exercises, scheduled for September 18-21, an Air Force spokesman said Monday.
“During the exercise on September 18-21, Russian strategic bombers Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22M3, and Il-78 aerial tankers will conduct long-duration daytime and night flights with mid-air refueling,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.
Major-General Pavel Androsov, the commander of the Russian Air Force’s strategic aviation, will supervise the exercise.
Moscow announced in mid-August that routine flights by strategic bombers had been resumed, and would continue on a permanent basis, with patrol areas including commercial shipping and economic production zones.
According to various sources, the Russian Air Force currently deploys 141 Tu-22M3 bombers, 40 Tu-95MS bombers, and 14 Tu-160 planes.
An accompanying news blurb at the same link explains that beginning on Tuesday more than 50 “Tu-160 Blackjacks, Tu-95MS Bears and Tu-22M3 Backfires would fly above the Arctic and Pacific oceans and the Black and Caspian seas.” Thanks for the heads up, Ivan!
It should be pointed out again that Novosti has adopted the position of the International Left, as represented by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and Faux Right, as represented by conspiracymonger Alex Jones, in charging that the Bush Admin is plotting to once again stage terrorist attacks on US soil. Referring to Paul Craig Roberts, Novosti on July 20, 2007 propagandized: “A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year.” Pravda, the official organ of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union, citing Novosti, re-published the same lies on September 11, 2007. No one in the White House, as far as we know, has endeavored to refute these lies of neo-Soviet officialdom. Clearly, US President George W. Bush, his advisors and, for that matter, most members of the US Congress are either oblivious to the Kremlin’s blatant anti-Americanism or lack the courage to oppose Moscow’s machinations.
Following an original denial, Kremlin proxy and Islamo-Marxist terrorist Osama bin Laden admitted that his organization Al Qaeda orchestrated the 911 attacks. On November 11, 2001 The Telegraph released excerpts of a transcript of a “previously undisclosed video which has been circulating for 14 days among his supporters”:
The Twin Towers were legitimate targets, they were supporting US economic power. These events were great by all measurement. What was destroyed were not only the towers, but the towers of morale in that country.
The hijackers were blessed by Allah to destroy America’s economic and military landmarks.
If avenging the killing of our people is terrorism then history should be a witness that we are terrorists. Yes, we kill their innocents and this is legal religiously and logically.
The towers were supposed to be filled with supporters of the economical powers of the United States who are abusing the world. Those who talk about civilians should change their stand and reconsider their position. We are treating them like they treated us.
There are two types of terror, good and bad. What we are practising is good terror. We will not stop killing them and whoever supports them.
Bush and Blair don’t understand anything but the power of force. Every time they kill us, we kill them, so the balance of terror can be achieved. It is the duty of every Muslim to fight. Killing Jews is top priority.
On December 13, 2001 the US Department of Defense also published a transcript of a video of OBL speaking to an assembly of supporters, possibly in Qandahar, Afghanistan. The DOD speculates that the meeting occured in mid-November and is possibly the same video cited by The Telegraph, above.
The brothers, who conducted the operation, all they knew was that they have a martyrdom operation and we asked each of them to go to America but they didn’t know anything about the operation, not even one letter. But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes.
(…inaudible…) then he said: Those who were trained to fly didn’t know the others. One group of people did not know the other group.
(…inaudible…) (Someone in the crowd asks UBL to tell the Shaykh about the dream of ((Abu-Da’ud)).
We were at a camp of one of the brother’s guards in Qandahar. This brother belonged to the majority of the group. He came close and told me that he saw, in a dream, a tall building in America, and in the same dream he saw Mukhtar teaching them how to play karate. At that point, I was worried that maybe the secret would be revealed if everyone starts seeing it in their dream. So I closed the subject. I told him if he sees another dream, not to tell anybody, because people will be upset with him. (Another person’s voice can be heard recounting his dream about two planes hitting a big building).
They were overjoyed when the first plane hit the building, so I said to them: be patient.
The difference between the first and the second plane hitting the towers was twenty minutes. And the difference between the first plane and the plane that hit the Pentagon was one hour.
Since September 7, 2007 OBL has released three videos. The first video was an extended anti-capitalist rant that attributed the Iraq war to multinational corporations in league with President Bush. The third video, released today, exhorts Al Qaeda cells to “take Islamist terrorism to Western countries.”
Al-Qaeda urges terror in West in third 9/11 video
Video calls on Islamists to take terrorism to Western countries to create climate of fear.
First Published 2007-09-17, Last Updated 2007-09-17 12:14:48
DUBAI – Al-Qaeda called on Islamists to sow terror in the West to create a climate of fear, in a third video marking the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States which was posted on the Internet on Monday.
Called “reasons and motives for the attacks on New York and Washington,” the video features a montage of images of the burning World Trade Centre towers and scenes from Islamist training camps.
“We must take Islamist terrorism to Western countries so that it becomes a normal part of life like natural disasters,” a voiceover says.
“In that way, we will have acts of mass extermination in which people will feel that their affluence also brings death… and we will have created a balance of deterrence between us and them,” the unidentified voice adds.
The new video also includes clips from old voice recordings of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as a short video clip of Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid, also known as Sheikh Said, the group’s commander in Afghanistan.
Al-Qaeda already released a videotape and an audiotape featuring bin Laden earlier this month to mark the sixth anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.
A third release had been trailed by Al-Qaeda’s media arm, As-Sahab. In the event the new video was issued in the name of Al-Tanzem, prompting suggestions the network has launched a new media arm.
Source: Middle East Online
Notwithstanding the International Left’s attempt to portray OBL as a “CIA asset” throughout the 1980s, we do not hesitate to characterize the Saudi terrorist as a “Kremlin proxy” since his lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri, in particular, possesses all of the hallmarks of an agent of the Russian Federal Security Service. “Given Zawahiri’s travels to Russia and China, given the full context of Russia’s double game in Chechnya,” wrote American geopolitical analyst Jeff Nyquist in 2002, “we ought to entertain the possibility that China and Russia secretly supported the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11.” We hold to the position that Russia’s air force was airborne on September 11, 2001 for one of two reasons: 1) Moscow wanted to cover itself in case President Bush and his advisors decided that the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC were the prelude to a strategic nuclear attack, or 2) the 911 attacks were indeed the prelude to a strategic nuclear attack that was cancelled due to some operational failure on the part of the hijackers (such as the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which might have been heading for the White House or the Capitol Building).
Russian bombers will again be airborne over three oceans this week and Moscow’s ally OBL has released three videos in the last 10 days. Got preps?