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Sun, 19 Feb 2017
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Study: ISIS has fallen into financial pit, income halved since 2014

© Stringer/Reuters
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has been experiencing deep financial troubles, with the average income dropping by a half since the terrorist group advanced in Syria in 2014, a new study has found.

"In the years since 2014, Islamic State's annual revenue has more than halved: from up to $1.9bn in 2014 to a maximum of $870mn in 2016. There are no signs yet that the group has created significant new funding streams that would make up for recent losses," a report, released by the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) and accounting group Ernst & Young on Friday states, predicting that "with current trends continuing, the Islamic State's 'business model' will soon fail."

The group made major gains in Syria and Iraq in 2014, when it declared a Caliphate and its fighters began looting banks, taking over oil fields and introducing taxes on the territories they took over. These became the group's main sources of income, but, according to the study, all of them saw a "dramatic decline" in the course of the past two years with local fighters starting to push back militants with air support from Russia and the international coalition.

"All three of [IS's] major sources of revenue - taxes, oil, and looting - have declined. This is particularly true for looting and confiscations, which depend on the group's ability to capture new territory," the study states, noting that, according to figures provided by the Global Coalition, by November 2016, Islamic State had lost 62 percent of the territory in Iraq it had in mid-2014, as well as 30 percent of the land it occupied in Syria.

Comment: Without ISIS, what will the US do?

The CIA and friends would have to replace ISIS with a standard military, producing a war in the Middle East would be astronomically pricey. The likelihood of that coming to pass is slim, so... what next?

A new 'Islamic' proxy army?


Syringe

Vaccine pusher Bill Gates warns of potential bioterrorism dangers in next 15 years as vaccine efficacy is questioned

© Michaela Rehle / Reuters
The next deadly worldwide epidemic could happen at the hand of a terrorist, employing biotechnology for an attack, Bill Gates has warned at the Munich Security Conference. The Microsoft founder also compared the pandemic to nuclear war and climate change.

"The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus ... or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu," he warned in a speech published by Business Insider.

"Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year. And they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years," he warned.

Comment: Gates is concerned about pandemics reducing populations yet advocates vaccines to do the same!: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: "Vaccines reduce population growth"


Brain

Just how dumb does a globalist 'thinker' have to be?

© 4th media.org
Who from the Czech Republic follows Lockheed Martin on social media? Well, Atlantic Council experts to begin with. A recent Atlantic Council article by Jakub Janda and Ilyas Sharibzhanov caught my attention in my pursuit of the real "Fake News" perpetrators. If CNN is the broadcast tabloid champion of world media, then the Atlantic Council is bidding to become the "Fake Thinkers" of the world. Here's how dumb the globalist lies have become.

If the title Six Outrageous Lies Russian Disinformation Peddled about Europe in 2016 doesn't blast warning alarms down your brainstem, you should stop reading right here. You are too far gone, the global cartel has you by the medulla oblongata. For those of you either entertained or fascinated by lairs who call everyone else liars, read on to find out about the unimaginable power of Putin and Russia.

Who still reads articles from Washington think tanks? There are two kinds of people basically. The first kind are pitiful creatures hopelessly umbilical led by vested interests tied to a dying hegemony. The second kind are folks who are simultaneously amazed at the extent of the idiocy, and at the same time fearful of the damage being done by psychopaths.

Let me go through these "six" bit of information America's brightest thinkers consider outrageous. But first it seems important to mention the fact the Atlantic Council piece fits perfectly into this Radio Free Liberty "Power Vertical" news. I add this just in case association with a notorious Cold War propaganda channel matters.

Comment: Mr. Butler has an interesting premise, unfortunately his examples are not confirmed nor proven by the very argument he touts. He merely offers refuting rhetoric instead of refuting evidence.


Arrow Up

Germany to increase defense budget, meet NATO obligations

© Getty Images
Chancellor Merkel, FM Schaeuble, DM von der Leyen, FM Gabriel
Chancellor Angela Merkel and FM Sigmar Gabriel have pledged to eventually increase Germany's military spending to meet NATO targets to counter numerous security threats, including Russia's perceived "aggression." "Germany is conscious of its responsibility," Merkel said at a joint briefing with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following their meeting in Berlin.

The chancellor stressed that Germany would abide by its commitment to raise defense spending by two percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) but added it's a long-time goal that is likely to be reached only by 2024. In 2014, NATO members agreed at a summit in Wales that those countries that spend less than two percent of their economic output on defense will bring it in line with NATO demands in ten years.

Comment: The EU timetable for all participants to meet the NATO financial commitment is strung out over ten years -- plenty of time for another war or two at the US taxpayer expense. This is still a bad deal, but only for the US.


Bad Guys

'Blind Sheikh' behind 1993 World Trade Center bombing dies in NC prison

© Reuters
Omar Abdel-Rahman
An extremist Muslim cleric known as 'the blind sheikh' convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing has died in a North Carolina prison where he was serving a life sentence for his role in conspiring to commit acts of terror in the US.

Omar Abdel-Rahman, 78, died of natural causes at the Butner Federal Correctional Facility's Medical Center where he had been incarcerated for nearly 10 years.

Abdel-Rahman's son Ammar confirmed the death to Reuters, saying he was contacted by a US representative. The cleric's daughter Asmaa tweeted about her father's passing.

Eye 1

CIA spies on political parties in France while NYT claims 'Russian' interference

New York Times Editorial, February 18, 2017: Keeping the Kremlin's Hands Off France's Elections
With the United States engulfed in questions about Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election, France is determined to head off any such meddling in its coming presidential election.
Wikileaks, February 16, 2017: CIA espionage orders for the 2012 French presidential election
All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA's human ("HUMINT") and electronic ("SIGINT") spies in the seven months leading up to France's 2012 presidential election. The revelations are contained within three CIA tasking orders published today by WikiLeaks ...

Chess

Judicial Watch planning to sue FBI, NSA, CIA over likely illegal Flynn wiretap recordings

© Getty
Conservative foundation Judicial Watch is planning to sue several government agencies if they do not hand over records related to the wiretapping of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The group filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the records weeks ago but are planning to sue by next week for the records if they do not receive anything by then.

Judicial Watch filed the requests with the FBI, NSA, CIA, and Treasury Department, according to the group's Director of Investigations and Research Chris Farrell.

Arrow Up

Hospital CEO wins major court victory in lawsuit accusing CNN of reporting fake news

Those who accuse CNN and other mainstream media outlets of "fake news" will probably revel in a recent decision by a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia. While Judge Orinda Evans didn't all out declare that CNN was peddling in falsehoods, she did take aim at the network in an initial judgment in favor of a former hospital CEO who sued CNN accusing them of purposely skewing statistics to reflect poorly on a West Palm Beach hospital. Judge Evans didn't mince words in her 18-page order allowing the case to move forward, and dismissing CNN's attempt to get it thrown out of court.

Davide Carbone, former CEO of St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN after they aired what he claims were a "series of false and defamatory news reports" regarding the infant mortality rate at the hospital. CNN's report said the mortality rate was three times the national average. However, Mr. Carbone contends that CNN "intentionally" manipulated statistics to bolster their report. He also claims that CNN purposely ignored information that would look favorable to the hospital in order to sensationalize the story.

Comment: Perhaps if it were no longer financially viable for mainstream media sources to produce lies packaged as "news", there would be less mainstream media propaganda and more actual reporting of the truth.


Chess

Setting up for cooperation with Russia? US VP Pence says US to hold Russia accountable over Ukraine while searching for common ground

© Michael Dalder / Reuters
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence
US President Donald Trump believes common ground can be found with Russia, but Moscow must still be held accountable for the Ukrainian crisis, Vice President Mike Pence has said.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Pence said, "The United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground, which as you know, President Trump believes can be found."

In his first major foreign policy address for the Trump administration, Pence issued a hardline statement, saying the US would demand that Moscow "honors the Minsk agreement, beginning by deescalating the violence in eastern Ukraine." The US and its European allies have been claiming that Moscow is backing the rebel movement in eastern Ukraine against the post-coup Kiev government.

Comment: Perhaps the Trump administration is reassuring NATO while continuing to setup the foundation for diplomatic cooperation from Russia. From The Duran:
But, while Pence sought to calm a wimpy and corrupt group of European leaders, who rely on American blood money to keep their lavish lifestyles in tact, Pence did hint at Russian détente ever so slightly...

"Know this: The United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground which as you know President Trump believes can be found."



Whistle

What a real war on terrorism requires and why the US isn't fighting one

© Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters
Since 2001, when then US President George Bush announced his "War on Terror," presidents and politicians both in the United States and among America's allies, have repeated this phrase and have done their utmost to convince the public that indeed, the West was fighting a "War on Terror."

Yet there is something disturbingly ambiguous about what exactly the "War on Terror" consists of, who it's being waged against and how it could ever possibly be brought to a successful conclusion.

It is also often referred to as the "Long War," and for good reason. America's ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is the longest armed conflict in US history. Additionally, US troops still find themselves in Iraq, some 14 years after the initial invasion and occupation of the state in 2003.

Because of the ambiguous nature of the "War on Terror," politicians have been given much room to maneuver their rhetoric, explaining why more wars must be waged, more liberties curtailed at home and more wealth and power channeled into fewer and fewer hands.