(Edward Snowden is STILL working for the CIA- NSA job is/was a front. I suppose the proof is a National Security issue. Something he may not have mentioned [or maybe he did] they want your finger prints for any & all activities. Can you use your touch phone wearing gloves? If you can, good for you.- Ed.)
FBI Infiltrates Europe via SBU in Ukraine
Flight MH17 Fact Sheet: Evidence Increasingly Points To Moscow
Amid mounting circumstantial evidence that Russia-backed separatists caused the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, there also appears to be a concerted effort by Moscow to disseminate its own narrative and perhaps obstruct the investigation on the ground.
Here is a rundown of what we know so far:
The Buk Missile System
There appears to be consensus outside of Russia that the flight, which was carrying 298 people, was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile. Originally designed by the Soviet Union, the Buk missile system is part of both Moscow and Kyiv’s arsenal. Russia has attempted to use this fact to create plausible deniability about its role in the disaster.
But before the downing of MH17, separatists had boasted on several occasions about acquiring the Buk system, which can hit targets as high as 22 kilometers in the air.
In a June 29 tweet, the official press account of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic posted a photo of the missile launcher.
The tweet was deleted following the MH17 crash and separatists now claim not to have had the capability of striking an airliner flying as high as the 10,000 meters that MH17 was traveling.
But several Russian news outlets, including the state-run ITAR-TASS agency, had already reported on the separatists confirming possession of the weapons. And a reporter for AP said he saw a missile launcher close to the crash site shortly before MH17 went down.
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) also released a video that it claimed showed separatists escorting the Buk missile launcher — with one warhead missing — back into Russia early in the morning following the downing of MH17.
As “The Interpreter” points out, the location of the video has not yet been independently confirmed.
Alleged Recordings Of Separatists Immediately Following MH17 Crash
In audio released by the SBU, Igor Bezler, a separatist leader in Horlovka, allegedly phones a Russian military intelligence officer to tell him that fighters have shot down a plane. In follow-up calls on the same audio recording, separatists appear to realize that the plane they have hit is a civilian aircraft. In one call, Mykalo Kozitsyn, a local Cossack leader whose unit was apparently involved in the attack, expresses frustration: “Well, then it was bringing spies. Why the hell were they flying? There is a war going on.”
Bezler has since acknowledged that it is his voice in the first recording, but said he was talking about a different plane.
On July 19, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv released a statement claiming that U.S. intelligence officials had evaluated the recordings and could authenticate them.
Hindering The Investigation
The plane came down in an area of Donetsk currently controlled by pro-Russian separatists. This has made investigating the crash difficult. On July 21, a full four days after MH17 fell from the sky, the bodies of victims were still waiting in a refrigerated train car in the separatist-controlled town of Torez. The bodies were finally released to territory controlled by the Ukrainian government late on July 21.
Reports from the ground say that armed gunmen have also prevented workers from Ukraine’s state emergency service and representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from gaining full access to the crash site.
And there is still confusion about whether the plane’s black box recorders have been found — and if so, where they are.
Russia, meanwhile, has called for an independent investigation into the crash; but a recording released by the SBU over the weekend, appears to suggest its own interest in hindering international access to important information about MH17.
In the recording below, Aleskandr Khodakovsky, commander of the powerful Vostok separatist battalion, demands that an employee of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” find MH17’s black-box flight recorders and keep them under “our control.” Speaking to another separatist, he says, “Our friends from high above are very interested in the fate of the black boxes. I mean people from Moscow.”
So why would Russia want to obstruct the investigation?
If — as seems increasingly likely — MH17 was shot down by a separatist Buk missile it was almost certainly one provided by Russia. More than that, it stretches credulity that firing the weapon — which is far more complicated than shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles — and hitting a target 10,000 meters high could have been accomplished by inexperienced rebels without training or even direct assistance from Moscow.
This is the case that Kyiv itself has been making, with some suggesting that Russians themselves may have been operating the Buk system inside Ukraine.
In an SBU recording, released the day after the attack on MH17, a member of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) working with the separatists in eastern Ukraine allegedly confirms with another separatist that a Buk missile launcher has been delivered from Russia, along with a trained crew.
Washington Building Its Own Case
On July 20, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on American news channels to argue Washington’s case that U.S. intelligence shows that Russia-backed separatist fighters shot down MH17.
“We picked up the imagery of this launch,” he said in one interview. “We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing, and it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know from voice identification that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterward.”
The imagery to which Kerry referred has not been publicly released.
…As Is Russia
On July 21, Moscow began articulating its own case, rejecting the building consensus that pro-Russian separatists had shot down MH17. In a press conference, Andrei Karopolov, of Russia’s general staff, claimed that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet equipped with air-to-air missiles had been detected within three to five kilometers of MH17 at the time of the disaster.
Karopolov demanded an explanation, while also claiming Ukraine’s own Buk missiles were within striking distance of the plane.
Downing of EgypyAir Flight MS804 Implicating Terrorist Activity
EgyptAir crash: Flight data points to ‘internal explosion’ on plane once daubed with graffiti saying ‘We will bring this plane down’
- EgyptAir flight MS804 crashed with 56 passengers, 10 crew
- All passengers including British man, Richard Osman, feared dead
- Who are the victims? What we know so far
- ‘Smoke detected inside the aircraft cabin’
- Experts say flight data ‘seems to point towards a bomb‘
- First body parts returned to Cairo for identification
- Charles de Gaulle airport ‘won’t tighten security again’
- EgyptAir flight MS804 disappears: everything we know
Data from the final moments before EgyptAir flight MS804 crashed into the Mediterranean suggest an “internal explosion” tore through the right side of the aircraft, a pilot said last night.
Investigators trying to determine whether the A320 was brought down by terrorism or a technical fault are poring over a series of warnings indicating smoke filled the cabin shortly before it disappeared from radar.
French authorities confirmed that smoke detectors went off aboard the flight a few minutes before it crashed but said it was not clear what caused the smoke or fire.
A commercial pilot with a major European airline told The Telegraph that other parts of the data log suggested that windows in the right side of the cockpit were blown out by an explosion inside the aircraft.
“It looks like the right front and side window were blown out, most probably from inside out,” said the pilot, who flies an A330 similar to the crashed A320 and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The data was taken from the plane’s Acars system, which sends short transmissions from the aircraft to receivers on the ground.
Until investigators find the aircraft’s black boxes, which are still missing in the Mediterannean, the Acars offers the best sens on what was happening aboard.
Three different warnings showed there were faults in the windows next to the co-pilot, suggesting they could have been blasted outwards by an onboard bomb. That does not mean the explosion came from the cockpit but indicates the right side of the plane was more badly damaged than the left.
The pilot suggested the smoke detectors may have been triggered not fire but by fog which filled the cabin as it lost air pressure in the moments after the explosion.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian military released images of shoes, handbags and other forlorn items pulled out of the sea near the crash site. Video footage showed unused life vests and torn up parts of seats scattered across the deck of an Egyptian naval ship.
French and Egyptian ships are focused on trying to recover the black boxes, which would reveal what said in the cockpit before the plane crashed.
Although no terrorist group has claimed responsibility, French detectives are examining a pool of around 85,000 people with “red badge” security clearance that gives them access to restricted areas of Charles de Gaulle airport.
The task is complicated by the fact that many work for sub-contractors and turnover is high. Screenings are often limited to checking an employee has no criminal convictions and does not appear on a terror watch list.
Last December around 70 red badges were withdrawn from staff at Charles de Gaulle who were found to have praised the attacks in Paris, prayed at mosques linked to radicalism or showing signs of growing religiosity like refusing to shake hands with women.
A French trade union also warned that short stopovers like that made by Flight 804, which was on the ground a little over an hour, gave little time for security staff to carry out thro
With no bodies to bury, Egypt continued to mourn the loss of 30 of its citizens but was unable to carry out formal funerals.
Among the dead was a husband and wife who sold everything to pay for lifesaving cancer treatment and now leave behind their three young children as orphans.
Ahmed Ashery, 31, sold his family’s flat and car to raise money so his wife Reham could undergo cancer surgery in France, according the Egyptian newspaper Masrawy.
The couple left their young son and two daughters with his mother and spent a month in Paris, where Mrs Ashery had surgery and seemed on the path to a full recovery. They boarded Flight 804 on Wednesday night excited to be reunited with their small children but the plane never made it back to Cairo.
“Ahmed sold everything to save his wife and ease her grief,” said Mohamed al-Shenawi, a family friend.
“I advised him to accept the command of God and look for treatment in Egypt but he insisted on travelling. They spent a month and then they returned onboard the plane which didn’t arrive and now will never arrive.”
Family and friends of flight attendant Yara Hany Farag gathered at a Coptic church in Cairo to grieve around a large cross of white flowers with a picture of the young woman. Her grandmother stood in front of the picture crying: “Yara answer me, I want hold you.”
Her mother described her unmarried daughter as “a bride for heaven”.
Earlier in the day the family were asked by EgyptAir to provide DNA samples to help with eventual identification of bodies. So far a few human parts but no full bodies have been recovered.
Coordination on the Execution of Russian Ambassdor in Ankara
Russian ambassador shot dead in Ankara gallery
ANKARA The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday by an off-duty police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire.
President Tayyip Erdogan, in a video message to the nation, cast the attack as an attempt to undermine NATO-member Turkey’s relations with Russia – ties long tested by the war in Syria. He said he had agreed in a telephone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to step up cooperation in fighting terrorism.
At a special meeting at the Kremlin, President Putin ordered increased security at all Russian missions and said “the bandits” who committed the act would feel retribution.
“We must know who directed the killer’s hand.”
The assassination of an ambassador, not least of a major power such as Russia, marks a dangerous escalation of tension in the region and beyond. Security sources said he was off duty and some witnesses said there was no security scanning machine at the entrance.
The attacker was smartly dressed in black suit and tie and stood, alone, behind the ambassador as he began his speech at the art exhibition, a person at the scene told Reuters.
“He took out his gun and shot the ambassador from behind. We saw him lying on the floor and then we ran out,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified. People took refuge in adjoining rooms as the shooting continued.
A video showed the attacker shouting: “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” and “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greatest”) as screams rang out. He paced about and shouted as he held the gun in one hand and waved the other in the air.
Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes helped Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. Turkey, which seeks Assad’s ouster, has been repairing ties with Moscow after shooting down a Russian warplane over Syria last year.
The gunman was killed by special forces. Three other people were injured.
“We regard this as a terrorist act,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively.”
Erdogan, who has faced a string of attacks by Islamist and Kurdish militants as well as an attempted coup in July, identified the attacker as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, who had worked for Ankara riot police for two and a half years. CNN Turk TV said police had detained his sister and mother.
A senior security official said there were “very strong signs” the gunman belonged to the network of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says orchestrated the failed coup in July. Erdogan has denounced Gulen as a terrorist, but the cleric, a former ally, denies the accusation.
Gulen described the killing as a “heinous act of terror” that pointed to a deterioration of security in Turkey resulting from Erdogan’s wide-ranging purge of police as well as the army, judiciary and media following the coup bid.
The government says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, created a “parallel network” in the police, military, judiciary and civil service aimed at overthrowing the state.
Suspicion could also fall on a group such as Islamic State, which has carried out a string of bomb attacks in Turkey in the last year as Ankara has pressed a military campaign against the militants in Syria. The group has urged “lone” attacks in the West.
U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was due to meet his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Russia on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Syria. Officials said the meeting would still go on, despite the attack.
“The attack comes at a bad time: Moscow and Ankara have only recently restored diplomatic ties after Turkey downed a Russian aircraft in November 2015,” the Stratfor think-tank said.
“Though the attack will strain relations between the two countries, it is not likely to rupture them altogether.”
However, both Russia and Turkey indicated that they were looking to work together to find the combat militant attacks.
The U.S. State Department, involved in diplomatic contacts with Russia in an attempt to resolve a refugee crisis unfolding around the city of Aleppo, condemned the attack, as did the United Nations Security Council.
Tensions have escalated in recent weeks as Russian-backed Syrian forces have fought for control of the eastern part of Aleppo, triggering a stream of refugees.
(Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun, Nevzat Devranoglu, Tulay Karadeniz, Ercan Gurses and Gulsen Solaker in Ankara; Humeyra Pamuk and Ece Toksabay in Istanbul; Andrew Osborn and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow; Writing by Daren Butler and David Dolan; editing by Ralph Boulton and Mark Trevelyan)