Archive for February, 2010

Iran’s ICBM Capability on Global Display

By Sean Osborne, Assistant Director, Military Affairs Specialist

3 February 2010: According to various news sources Iran launched an indigenously manufactured Omid (Hope) satellite into a 55 degree inclined low earth orbit (LEO) at 18:30 GMT yesterday via their indigenously developed Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) launch vehicle. Other reports cite the launch vehicle as being the Safir-2 making the specific identification unconfirmed.

Early direct and parametric observations are indicating that this was a 2-stage launch to orbital altitude. One orbit of the Omid and rocket body is accomplished in 90 minutes and the orbital altitudes range from an apogee of 200 miles to a perigee (closest approach to earth) of 150 miles. The perigee altitude is just 50 miles above the minimum altitude required for sub-orbital space flight, making the Omid’s orbit analogous to that of an orbiting ICBM warhead.

The launched satellite is reportedly a capsule carrying live animals (a rat, some turtles and worms). The live animals onboard the satellite would tend to indicate that Iran intends to precisely de-orbit the satellite for a return to earth at some point. Even if the animals fail to survive this “space mission” a successful de-orbiting of the capsule would be the primary objective of the mission. I cannot help but to speculate that given Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad recent statements of a “surprise” on 11 February that this capsule is to be de-orbited on that date.

Assessment: Iran is using the anniversary of its Shi’a Islamic revolution to demonstrate its new intercontinental ballistic missile system and warhead de-orbiting capability to the West and to Israel despite months and months of futile Western-imposed economic sanctions. The message sent by this launch is now crystal clear: time has now expired with respect to making a decision to act against the Iranian nuclear weapons and delivery program.

Director’s note: Also something (very unpleasant) to think about: EMP 101

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The “Lone Wolf” Terrorist: a deceptive description

By Doug Hagmann

3 February 2010: If one considers the Christmas Day bomber Umar Abdulmutallab as a “lone wolf” terrorist, then remember that wolves are pack animals – predators – that excel at observational learning. While they might be “lone” in one given situation, a “lone wolf” inherently nonetheless adheres to a pack mentality. Like wolves, terrorists exist in various packs, some more feral and ultimately more dangerous than others. Like the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt, there will be more attempts driven by that very same pack mentality that so many are attempting to explain away as unrelated.

Instead of acknowledging the common traits that exist among the so-called “lone wolf” attackers, our current administration and the Department of Homeland Security is striving to downplay their common behavioral characteristics and the Islamic ideology behind them.  The blame for this mentality is rooted in post-9/11 events by misplaced fears of backlash and bias against Muslims in North America. Although Obama and members of his administration are not the architects of this environment, they have certainly excelled this mindset by commission and omission. And through their efforts, they have succeeded in potentially creating the most dangerous terror environment within our own borders since 8:45 am ET on 11 September 2001.

The overt predisposition of our current administration to downplay or eliminate the association of Islam to terror attacks on our soil currently lays squarely at the feet of Barack Hussein Obama, himself no stranger to Islam. The most transparent aspect of the Obama administration to date, at least with regard to issues of national security, has ironically been to obfuscate the motives behind recent series of terror attacks. This obfuscation has led to the decision to conduct criminal trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terrorists, only to toss the five admitted terrorists into unnecessary legal limbo. It has resulted in the predominate mishandling of the Christmas Day bomber, and advanced the pernicious policy of eliminating the classification of enemy combatants that affords our very enemies the same legal rights as citizens loyal to America.

It has allowed the unparalleled example of a nation at war the ability to wage war without having to identify our enemy by name. Of the 7,000-plus words State of the Union speech delivered by Obama, not one time did he mention Islamic terrorism by name. Rest assured that the “wolves” were listening.

The wolves of Islam, operating alone or in packs, have taken notice of this as the Arabic language web sites and terrorist forums once again flourish. To them and contrary to what many have heard, Obama in the White House is akin to “having a friend at the factory.” Some see it as a weakness of Obama as commander-in-chief and primary protector of our nation; others see it as a perfunctory approach to Islamic terrorism that is directly related to his upbringing, while others see it as simply a green light for launching terror attacks inside the U.S. without fear of the arcane notion of a trip to Guantanamo.

Regardless of how it is perceived, one thing is clear: the drumbeats that have historically portended Islamic terror attacks within our borders have not been this loud since 9/11. And the tempo is rising as well. The idea of a “lone wolf” terrorist might be comforting, but it is deliberately deceptive. Be forewarned.

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Looking ahead at 2010

1 February 2010: [UPDATED WITH DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINK]: Doug Hagmann was a guest on TruNews with Rick Wiles today, discussing the terror outlook for 2010, as well as the “terror environment” being cultivated by our own government. Is there something more behind this?  Listen to the program at this link - right click on link to download the file in mp3 format (10MB file). This program is a “must listen.”

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