Prepping for Disaster
EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse)
End of Days
Nuked: The Last Days of America: Why Cold War Links to Today's Global Terror Could Point to America's Fall
China: A Growing Threat
Cyber-attacks on the Pentagon, plots to cripple the U.S. carrier fleet in the Pacific, selling nuclear technology to Iran and spying "aggressively" on U.S. infrastructure -- what is going on with China and where is this going?.
Is Russia Preparing for War?
As the U.S. government warns of rise of 'Western-looking' terrorists, Russia sends an 11 ship carrier group to the Mediterranean Sea, and Israel warns of war on "all fronts".
18 Essential Items for Your Get Home Bag
Why your family (especially kids) each need a thoroughly packed Get Home Bag. Disasters, rioting, and looting can unfold at anytime -- what to do and what to carry in your Get Home Bag when the objective of the day is to survive.
Soon our editor asked: If America falls to foreign forces after a nuclear attack by terrorists, how could this happen? How could America's government be taken down successfully by enemy nations? First of all, it would take a number of strategic alliances. Second of all -- it would take a number of people operating within our borders.
Which brings us to the point of this article: International organized crime.
Both organized crime operating internationally and here at home in America would open up channels for rogue nations and terrorist groups to smuggle large amounts of weapons, money, and illegal aliens into the U.S.
The governments of these nations have direct access to organized crime, and in recent years it's come to light that many of these governments are suspected to play a part in organized crime.
What does all that mean for the United States?
We may find out soon enough.
Keep in mind we've never seen this scenario in a history book.
Terrorists and International Organized CrimeBy now Americans with a pulse understand that Al Qaeda and other radical terrorist organizations are intent on doing the United States and other allied Western countries harm.
Further, most people who own a television or read a newspaper are well aware that North Korea and its government are at terrible odds on several critical issues with the United States.
This is especially true when it comes to North Korea's pursuit to stockpile nuclear weapons.
However, the reality is that there are far more countries for America to worry about than the usual suspects (North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, for example). What's more, the dangers foreign countries pose are difficult to see because they are somewhat clouded in secrecy.
Said another way, a huge transnational crisis appears to be emanating from foreign organized crime networks.
Thus, let us turn our attentions to the organized crime networks in North Korea, China, and Russia. After all, it appears that criminals from these areas may very well pose a huge danger to Americans, particularly when it comes to their ability to sell weapons, smuggle weapons, and a willingness (or, desire) to do so.
North Korea and Organized Crime
"In essence, North Korea has become a 'Soprano state' - a government guided by a Worker's party leadership whose actions, attitudes, and affiliations increasingly resemble those of an organized crime family more than a normal nation," David Asher, a former senior advisor on East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. State Department told RFA back in late 2006. In fact, he indicated that near 40 percent of North Korea's economy is supported by international crime.
Why would he say such a thing?
When the RFA piece first aired, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes Stuart Levy indicated that the country of North Korea had their hands in several organized crime activities such as drug trafficking and counterfeiting. In essence proving this, a Pong Su ship seized by Australian authorities back in 2003 was found to have 150 million dollars of heroin on board. Oh yeah, and it also "was a vessel owned by the Korean Worker's Party (KWP), and with a KWP secretary on board," Asher said. In case you didn't know, Kim Jong-Il just so happened to be the general secretary of the KWP.
Asher further noted that the seizure "clearly demonstrates the role of the North Korean government in the area of narco- trafficking. It's not a coincidence given the patterns we've seen in the past."
By the way, the pattern(s) Asher is referring to involve the fact that Pyongyang makes their own drugs and then distributes them through Chinese criminal organizations on every continent. An interesting connection, no?
We'll get back to China soon.
In addition to the drug trafficking, it would seem important to note that the charges of counterfeiting are certainly not without base. Along with this, the president of the Irish Workers' Party chose to not show up for an extradition hearing related to allegations that he and comrades purchased North Korean counterfeit money.
In the end, though the talk of drugs and counterfeiting is worrisome, it's not -- in a direct sense, anyway -- what has the United States most concerned. Rather, it's the idea that North Korea and it's government hate us, are criminals at heart, are intent on developing weapons of mass destruction, and would seemingly not be adverse to selling such weapons to terrorist organizations (in part funded by all of the aforementioned).
Not to mention they might be okay with bringing weapons into America themselves in order to do us harm.
Along with this, some North Korean establishments have already been targeted as weapons proliferaters by the United States government and (at the time of this writing) the United States has vetoed any dealings by Americans with numerous North Korean "corporations":
Hesong Trading Corp. and Tosong Technology Trading Corp, both owned by Korea Mining Development Corp. (KOMID); Korea Complex Equipment Import Corp., Korea International Chemical Joint Venture Co., Korea Kwangsong Trading Corp., Korea Pugang Trading Corp., Korea Ryongwang Trading Corp., and Korea Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture Corp., all owned by Korea Ryonbong General Corp.
Now would seem a good time to talk about one of North Korea's apparent bed mates in this, China.
China and Organized CrimeBack in 1997, Louise Shelley, a professor from American University, said the following to a House Committee on International Relations: "Transnational organized crime will be one of the major problems facing policy makers in the twenty first century. It will be a defining issue of the twenty first century as the Cold War was for the twentieth century and Colonialism was the for the nineteenth."
Further, Shelley noted that "China, with a long history of domestic crime groups (Triads) is increasingly acknowledging the pervasiveness of these groups (organized crime groups) in the booming economy of Southern China and their inroads in other regions."
So let's start talking about the threat from Chinese organized crime. First, up to 100,000 Chinese illegals are smuggled into the United States every single year. Most of these are just people looking for a better life. The interesting thing is that when we discover these illegals, they can often avoid deportation under a presidential executive order that grants asylum from "birth control persecution."
In other words, Beijing's one child policy helps to grant Chinese aliens asylum.
Unfortunately, the fact that all of these aliens are making it into the U.S. does/ says two things. First, Chinese Triads (organized crime organizations) make money off of illegals being smuggled in. Second, their ability to get illegals into the country- to infiltrate America- would seemingly mean that they themselves would have no trouble at all getting in (speaking to American security flaws). This, of course, would allow them access to making illegal money in our country.
And perhaps doing us harm in more ways than one.
Along with this, Chinese Triads (most of which were groups that initially formed in order to fight off non-Chinese invaders during the Manchu Qing Dynasty and evolved into criminal organizations later) control multi- billion dollar heroin trafficking (as was indicated earlier, they are in bed with North Korean organized crime on this), prostitution, gambling, extortion, money laundering, and illegal alien trafficking businesses.
Here's what's even worse, though. Triads are at least in part control of China right now, and that includes the government. Reinforcing this, back in 1997 China's Minister of Public Security Tao Siju said the following:
"As for organizations like the Triads in Hong Kong, as long as these people are patriotic, as long as they are concerned with Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, we should unite with them. I believe that the more people we unite with the better."
Further, Siju noted that Chinese police have maintained contact with triad organizations for years.
Talk about corruption.
Beyond that, it's important to understand that these Chinese Triads do not have as obvious an organizational structure as the Italian Mafia, for instance (though make no mistake, they are quite effective). Thus, like terrorism networks, when someone gets caught it doesn't necessarily lead to large scale arrests.
If Triads are at least in partial cahoots with the Chinese government, consider the following. In November 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao came to Latin America and did some business. Namely, he concluded over 400 business deals, including major trade agreements, with countries and businesses, many of which were tied to emerging leftist governments.
Besides the fact that these deals concluded with China having more control over the Panama Canal (that's huge as 200 million tons of cargo pass through it each year) it also left them with a seeming ally with nuclear capability (Brazil).
Thus, in the end we know the following about Chinese organized crime. First, they are able to easily infiltrate our borders. Second, they make money off of being and/ or getting to our country. Third, there are tons of them already over here. Fourth, they have strong links to the Chinese government. Fifth, because of their governmental ties they have some control over the Panama Canal (beyond the amount of cargo, it's also near borders).
And last, they have drug ties - perhaps more than that - with North Korean organized crime, which is really like saying that they have ties to the North Korean government.
On top of that, according to the Wall Street Journal (July 27, 2007), China is selling sensitive military technologies to Iran for use in Iran's nuclear program.
Wall Street Journal: China-Iran Trade Surge Vexes U.S.
What we have is both Russia and China helping Iran with it's nuclear program.
| CNN: China's Military Might|
- CNN - August 1, 2007 - With an army of over 2,300,000 troops, CNN reports that China has been secretly modernizing it's armed forces. It has used a ground based laser to blind a U.S. reconnaissance satellite, and has used a submarine to shadow the U.S.S. Kittyhawk Aircraft carrier group. Though the U.S. is quick to say that "China is not a threat", this may just be "diplomatic talk" as the fact is, we don't know what China's intentions are, while the Pentagon knows that China is indeed a real threat.
Now, back to North Korea.
Here's some food for thought. What if North Korea wanted to launch an attack against the United States on our soil? They have the money to make / buy nuclear weapons. Further, they have ties to Chinese Triads. Oh yeah, and the Triads seem to have little trouble getting over here or smuggling things (or people) in.
Not to mention, it's not like we have a great relationship with the Chinese government to begin with.
Now, what if they simply wanted to help Al-Qaeda by providing Al-Qaeda with nuclear weapons, such as a handful of 10 kiloton nuclear suitcase bombs? If Al-Qaeda nukes the United States, who will the U.S. attack?
Al-Qaeda doesn't have a "return" mailing address. That fact should make people realize that America is more at risk than the general public can accept. With so many enemies in the world, and Al-Qaeda so willing to attack America, it is only a matter of time before one of these foreign regimes gives Al-Qaeda nuclear weapons.
Russia and Organized CrimeAccording to Shelley, "post-Soviet organized crime has emerged on the international arena with an intensity and diversity of activities unmatched by other transnational crime groups. Organized crime groups number in the thousands because they often consist of looser network structures rather than more rigid hierarchical structures as are known in the prototypical organized crime family.
While many crime groups specialize in a particular area such as drug trafficking, prostitution rings, gambling or weapons smuggling, post-Soviet organized crime has a full range of illicit activity as well as large scale penetration into the presently privatizing legitimate economy.
Post-Soviet organized crime exploits the market for illicit goods and services (prostitution, gambling, drugs, contract killing, supply of cheap illegal labor, stolen automobiles) and extorts legitimate businesses. It also includes such diverse activities as illegal export of oil, valuable raw materials, smuggling of weapons, nuclear materials and human beings."
In other words, when it comes to organized crime, the Russians have become kingpins (by the way, you heard the part about weapons smuggling, did you not?). Further, their organizations are all over the United States. But the unusual nature of the corruption in the former Soviet Union - with so many able scientists and former / current officials of Russia involved- is alarming.
Says Shelley, "the unusual coalition of professional criminals, former members of the underground economy, members of the Party elite and the security apparatus defies traditional conceptions of organized crime groups even though much of their activity is conducted with the threat of violence. Their ranks contain highly trained specialists (such as statisticians and money launderers) not readily available to other transnational crime groups."
And, of course, Russia hardly has the resources to combat these criminals on their own. The question is, however, do they even want to?
In other words, the aforementioned corruption may go very high. Further, it may directly transcend to terrorism networks (how scary is that?).
After all, according to former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko "when Putin spoke on the anniversary of the founding of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (CheKa, 1917)
| NEWSWEEK: The 'Frosty Side' of Russian President Vladmir Putin (article no longer available on Newsweek website)|
June 11, 2007 - "Vladimir Putin has gone from genial host to scary guest. In the last 12 months he has been at the center of a series of ugly incidents, including rows with neighbors and the expropriation of foreign oil company assets in Russia. Moscow has also sold air-defense systems to Iran, jet fighters to Syria and a nuclear reactor to Burma. Inside Russia, meanwhile, Putin's opponents have started turning up dead, or have been jailed and beaten by the police."
NEWSWEEK: Putin: From U.S. Ally to Global Tyrant (article no longer available on Newsweek website)
Consider that Russian outfits have been supplying weapons to Chavez and Iran. Now further that with the notion that Al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri has been reported to be ex KGB. Last, understand that this may mean he has the ties -- or the direct understanding -- of where those former dead drop sites for Cold War nuclear weapons might be in the United States (check out that article at SecretsofSurvival.com if you haven't already).
Oh yeah, and Russian / American ties have been somewhat difficult lately, have they not?
In the end, Russian organized crime may be just as likely as anyone to sell terrorists weapons (they have the means perhaps beyond any other organized crime network).
In sum, the ramifications of all of these organized crime networks is alarming. First, their governments are corrupt. In other words, organized crime has infiltrated them in a big way. Along with this, these criminal networks are about making money; thus, if weapons proliferation is the way to accomplish this, they'll take it. If murder is the way, they'll take it.
Who wants weapons? Terrorists. Further, who is willing to pay in order to hurt Americans? Again, terrorists. This creates a very interesting and potentially unstable situation for America.
Could Al Qaida, Hezbollah, or whomever make a deal with an organized crime network to get their people into the United States? Of course they could (and likely already have). WorldNetDaily.com has published numerous reports of Al-Qaeda's connections with Mexican organized crime and the MS-13 street gang. On top of that Hezbollah is reported to have an actual terrorist training camp in South America.
WASHINGTON POST: Terrorists team up with drug cartels
Though they keep a distance from each other publicly, you can bet that Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah have close connections privately. America's pursuit of Al-Qaeda and it's supporters in Pakistan, along with multiple drone attacks in Pakistan's borders -- killing a number of civilians in some of these attacks, according to reports -- could bring Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah in a strong alliance, with a shared enemy: the United States of America.
Sleepless Nights at the PentagonYou can bet this scenario is something considered by the Pentagon. Ever wonder what keeps those men and women up at night? Probably something like this. Though I write this as a "hypothetical", the truth is I believe this is something that is actually more probable than most people are willing to acknowledge.
For most people, though, it's easier to believe in a zombie apocalypse than something out of a Cold War nightmare.
However, the Cold War nightmare is more likely to take place. Who knows? At the rate things are going you might see both; which sounds a lot like something out of the Book of Revelation. If that's the case, Americans, without any doubt in mind, should embrace a long-hated, yet also long-embraced Biblical word: Repent. If that word repent is one you decided a long time ago was a bit old fashioned, well, rest assured it's not old fashioned. That word is timeless. It's a lot like what God reveals to us in the pages of the Bible: that He is also timeless. And here's one more thing revealed in the Bible: It's not too late for you to turn to God.
But each day that passes, it's probably too late for America. America, unfortunately, has most likely become the Titanic, you know the one that history records as being "unsinkable".
If America is today's Titanic, well, it has already hit the iceberg.
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Organized Crime and TerroristsWould an organized crime network sell terrorists weapons?
Obviously, the answer is once again yes (remember, it's all about making money for them).
Last, with all of the ties between governments hellbent on having or accumulating nuclear weapons (North Korea, for instance; Russia's ties to Iran being another example) and native organized crime networks (in some cases - such as with North Korea - where the governments are really organized crime networks) one has to be concerned.
After all, it doesn't take great imagination for a nuclear weapon to get from a government / organized crime network to a terrorist willing to set it off.
Further, one has to wonder how organized criminal networks might act after a nuclear weapon was detonated in America.
The final question that needs to be asked is this: Why would organized crime networks want to suddenly lose business that's being conducted inside the United States? If a handful of U.S. cities fell to a few nuclear suitcase weapons, wouldn't organized crime groups stand to lose money from future business deals that would normally take place in those cities?
Of course, we're not just talking about organized crime anymore. We're talking about organized crime and foreign governments that strongly dislike the United States government.
Where is this going?
Let's brainstorm for a moment.
An Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea alliance with Russia and China would open up many doors. Cold War fears of Soviet sleeper cells could finally be realized; at the same time, you can bet that China could place it's own sleeper cells in America, and possibly have even more people in place, than Russia, waiting to carry out orders at multiple levels of government.
That would help explain the high amounts of Russian and Chinese espionage on America reported in recent months, the large arrest of Russian spies that has taken place as well, and also explain why the Chinese Military has become such a threat with computer hackers; a threat apparently that could cripple America's infrastructure, knock out power and communications and from the sound of things several layers of national defense.
CBS NEWS: FBI: 10 Russian Spies Arrested in U.S.
Someone should probably explain to Leno and other late night comics that China's Military probably isn't hacking U.S. networks just so they can learn the secrets to making Coca-Cola or download the latest Hollywood blockbuster before it's on DVD.
The threat from China today and the growing threat of China's Military having access (through hacking) to countless systems critical to America's infrastructure, should alarm a lot of people. Maybe it's time to take notice.
References:Venezuela-Russia Deal May Harm South America
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