Prophecy News Watch - Week In Review/Nov 16- Nov 20
Keeping You Informed of World Events From A Biblical Perspective
Prophetic Trends & Headline News
1. Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?
Big List: All These Terror Attacks In U.S. Covered Up By Feds
As France grapples with the implications of allowing hundreds, possibly thousands of ISIS radicals into its country as immigrants and "refugees" in the wake of last week's massive terror attack on Paris, the Obama administration has continued to cover up the Islamic threads that run through two recent terror attacks on U.S. soil while doubling down on the importation of more Muslim refugees.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has called a hearing for Thursday at 9 a.m. to examine the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on national security while Speaker Paul Ryan is seeking to hold a vote on whether to cut off funding for Syrian refugee resettlement.
Ryan's proposal ignores the fact that it's more than just Syria that is sending Muslim refugees to America. The United Nations has sent more than 110,000 to America from the jihadist hotbed of Somalia since the early 1990s. Many more have come from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan, Burma and other Muslim countries.
Hundreds of Muslim immigrants have already been charged and convicted of providing material support to terrorist organizations, or attempting to launch their own attacks here on U.S. soil (see list at end of this article of recent cases).
Obama wants to import 85,000 foreign refugees in fiscal 2016, including 10,000 from Syria, with those numbers being ramped up further in 2017.
This comes amid repeated warnings by the FBI that it cannot screen Syrian refugees and that it is already chasing 1,000 active ISIS investigations in all 50 states.
But the FBI has also been less than transparent about attacks that have already occurred on U.S. soil.
The 24-year-old Muhammad Abdulaziz, who gunned down five U.S. servicemen in Chattanooga earlier this summer and the Nov. 4 knife attack by 18-year-old Faisal Mohammed against students at a California college were both carried out by devout Muslims who showed signs of allegiance to the Islamic State. But the public may never know the full details behind these crimes because the FBI has refused to release all its reports.
Investigators have said Abdulazeez was a "homegrown violent extremist" but have not offered details about what motivated the attack that began at a military recruiting center and ended when Abdulazeez was shot to death by police who followed him to the reserve center. The young Muslim came to the U.S. as an immigrant from Kuwait with is parents at the age of 6, attended U.S. schools, obtained an engineering degree and became a naturalized citizen before his family said he became more religious and took the lives of four U.S. Marines and a sailor.
"We're still trying to make sure we understand Abdulazeez, his motivations and associations, in a really good way," FBI Director James Comey told reporters during a visit to Nashville's FBI field office last Friday.
"Sometimes the way we investigate requires us to keep information secret. That's a good thing. We don't want to smear people."
Author and activist Pamela Geller, who was herself targeted for an ISIS-inspired beheading plot last spring at a Muhammad cartoon contest in Dallas, said Abdulaziz is not unlike the more than 100,000 Muslims who emigrate to the U.S. every year. Many of them get radicalized well after they arrive and settle down into their new life as American citizens.
"What he (Comey) means is that he doesn't want to smear or insult Muhammad or Islam. Sharia in America," Geller wrote Monday.
"Our boys were slaughtered in the homeland, and Obama's FBI is protecting the murderous ideology behind the savagery," she said. "How much longer is America going to put up with this treason?"
Obama plans to bring 85,000 refugees to America in fiscal 2016 and 100,000 in 2017. Well over half of the nearly 200,000 refugees will come from Muslim-dominated countries where jihadists flourish, such as Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Sudan and Yemen.
But Shariah-compliant Muslims don't just come to the U.S. as refugees from these countries. Many come on student and work-related visas from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia and other Islamic countries.
In the U.C.-Merced campus stabbings of four students by fellow student Faisal Mohammed, police found a print out of the trademark ISIS flag and a two-page radical manifesto with "vague references to Allah," police said. He planned to behead his victims, commandeer a gun and go on a shooting spree, but that was all foiled by one brave construction worker who confronted him.
Below is a sampling of more than 20 cases of terrorist plots against the U.S. by Muslim immigrants that have received little to no national media coverage over the last two years. All are documented with original news links.
An immigrant from Muslim-dominated Bangladesh, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, tried to incite people to travel to Somalia and conduct violent jihad against the United States. He was arrested in Texas in 2014.
In July 2015, a Cuban immigrant inspired by Islamic extremists plotted to explode a backpack bomb filled with nails on a beach in Key West.
An immigrant from Ghana, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, pledged allegiance to ISIS and plotted a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. He attacked an FBI agent with a large kitchen knife when the agent was searching his home in June in Staten Island, New York. The search was connected to an investigation stemming from the weekend arrest of Munther Omar Saleh, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, CNN reported.
An immigrant from Sudan living in northern Virginia, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, tried to join ISIS and wage jihad on its behalf after having been recruited online. He pleaded guilty in federal court in June 2015 to providing material support to ISIS and his friend, according to court records, is now a member of the Islamic State fighting force in Syria.
A Muslim refugee couple from Bosnia, along with their five relatives living in Missouri, Illinois and New York, were charged in February 2015 with sending money and supplies, and smuggled arms, to ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq.
A Muslim immigrant from Yemen, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, along with six other men living in Minnesota as members of refugee families, were charged in April 2015 with conspiracy to travel to Syria and to provide material support to ISIS.
A Somali refugee with lawful permanent resident status, along with four other Somali nationals, were charged July 23, 2014, with leading an al-Shabaab terrorist fundraising conspiracy in the United States, with monthly payments directed to the Somali terrorist organization.
A Kazakhstani immigrant with lawful permanent resident status conspired to purchase a machine gun to shoot FBI and other law enforcement agents if they prevented him from traveling to Syria to join ISIS. He and two others from Uzbekistan, both living in Brooklyn, were charged in February 2015 with providing material support a foreign terrorist organization.
Two female immigrants, one from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen, one of whom applied for and received U.S. citizenship, allegedly swore allegiance to ISIS and pledged to explode a propane tank bomb on U.S. soil. They were arrested in April 2015 during an FBI undercover raid on their house in Queens, New York.
A Uzbek man in Brooklyn allegedly encouraged other Uzbek nationals to wage jihad on behalf of ISIS, and raised $1,600 for the terror organization. The arrests were announced in February and April 2015.
The Boston Bombers were invited in as asylum seekers. The younger brother applied for citizenship and was naturalized on Sept. 11, 2012. The older brother had a pending application for citizenship.
A Moroccan Muslim who came to the U.S. on a student visa was arrested and charged in April 2014 with plotting to blow up a university and a federal court house.
Six Members of Minnesota's Somali-American refugee community have recently been charged with trying to join ISIS. The Washington Times reported that "the effort [to resettle large groups of Somali refugees in Minnesota] is having the unintended consequence of creating an enclave of immigrants with high unemployment that is both stressing the state's safety net and creating a rich pool of potential recruiting targets for Islamist terror groups."
An Uzbek refugee living in Boise, Idaho, was arrested in 2013 and charged with providing support to a terrorist organization, in the form of teaching terror recruits how to build bombs to blow up U.S. military installations. He was convicted in August 2015.
A teenage American citizen living in York, South Carolina, whose family emigrated from Syria, was sentenced in April 2015 for plotting to support ISIS and rob a gun store to kill members of the American military.
A Muslim immigrant from Syria living in Ohio, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was accused by federal prosecutors of planning to "go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style."
A college student who came to America as a refugee from Somalia, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, attempted to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon. He was sentenced in October 2014 to 30 years in prison.
An immigrant from Afghanistan, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, and a legal permanent resident from the Philippines, were convicted Sept. 25, 2014 for trying to "join Al Qaeda and the Taliban in order to kill Americans."
An Iraqi immigrant, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was arrested in May 2015 for lying to federal agents about pledging allegiance to ISIS and his travels to Syria.
Two Pakistani-American brothers living in New York, who later applied for and received U.S citizenship, were sentenced in June 2015 to decades-long prison sentences for plotting to detonate a bomb in New York City.
An immigrant from Muslim-dominated Yemen, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was arrested in September 2014 in Rochester, New York, for allegedly trying to join ISIS. He was also charged with attempting to illegally buy firearms to try to shoot American military personnel.
An immigrant brought here by his family from Kuwait at age 6, and who was later approved for U.S. citizenship, carried out the jihadist attack that recently killed four U.S. Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga on July 16, 2015, using an AK-47 semi-automatic weapon against unarmed military men.
Russia’s New ‘Nuclear Torpedo’ Can Create Giant Tsunamis And Wipe Out Entire Coastal Cities
While the eyes of the world are on ISIS, Russia is creating weapons unlike anything the world has ever seen before. Plans for a giant self-propelled nuclear torpedo that can create a giant tsunami more than 1,000 feet tall were recently “leaked by mistake” by the Russian media.
Apparently the warheads on these torpedoes are designed to create so much radiation “that everything living will be killed” – including those that try to survive the attack by hiding in underground shelters. These “robotic mini-submarines” would have a range of up to 10,000 kilometers and would be able to evade all existing U.S. detection systems. To say that such a weapon would be a “game changer” would be a massive understatement.
I know that you are not just going to take my word for any of this. So like I do in all of my articles, I am going to carefully document what I am saying.
The reason why we know about the plans for this new nuclear torpedo is because they were displayed on Russian state television for a few moments during a recent broadcast. According to Russian officials, this was an “accident”. The following comes from a report in the Independent…
Secret plans for a new Russian nuclear torpedo system have been shown on state-controlled television in what the Kremlin said was an accident.
A close-up of a confidential document detailing “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” was broadcast for several seconds by Channel One Russia and NTV during coverage of a meeting between Vladimir Putin and military officials.
Could it be possible that this “accident” happened on purpose?
Could it be possible that it was intended as a warning for the Obama administration?
You never know.
But without a doubt, this is the kind of weapon that would keep military planners up at night. According to RT, this new nuclear torpedo is designed to create “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that no “military, economic, business or other activity” would occur in that area for a very long time…
The presentation slide titled “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” showed some drawings of a new nuclear submarine weapons system. It is apparently designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while also causing heavy damage to “important economic facilities” along the enemy’s coastal regions.
The footnote to the slide stated that Status-6 is intended to cause “assured unacceptable damage” to an adversary force. Its detonation “in the area of the enemy coast” would result in “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that the region would not be used for “military, economic, business or other activity” for a “long time.”
In addition, Konstantin Sivkov of the Russian Geopolitical Academy told the BBC that this kind of weapon could be used to create a tsunami more than 1,000 feet high…
“A warhead of up to 100 megatons could produce a tsunami up to 500m (1,650ft) high, wiping out all living things 1,500km (930 miles) deep inside US territory“
As I have written about previously, a whopping 39 percent of all Americans live in counties that directly border a shoreline. The detonation of just a handful of these weapons could wipe out the entire east coast and kill off a very substantial percentage of the U.S. population.
On top of all that, the BBC is reporting that a state-run Russian publication is suggesting that these new torpedoes are being fitted with extremely radioactive cobalt warheads…
According to state-run Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the destructive power attributed to the new torpedo’s warhead would fit the description of a cobalt bomb.
That would be a type of thermonuclear warhead with a layer of cobalt-59, which on detonation would be transmuted into highly radioactive cobalt-60 with a half-life longer than five years.
Such a weapon would guarantee “that everything living will be killed”, the paper said – there would not even be any survivors in bunkers.
A cobalt bomb has never been tested because of the devastating radiation it would unleash.
Worst of all, we would have no advance warning that these torpedoes were coming. They can be launched from anywhere, they reportedly have a range of up to 10,000 kilometers, and they are designed to “avoid all acoustic tracking devices and other traps”…
On the diagram the giant torpedo’s range is given as “up to 10,000km” (6,200 miles) and depth of trajectory is “up to 1,000m” (3,300ft).
It was developed by Rubin, a submarine design bureau in St Petersburg.
It would, apparently, be launched by nuclear-powered submarines of the 09852 “Belgorod” and 09851 “Khabarovsk” series.
Rossiiskaya Gazeta called the torpedo a “robotic mini-submarine”, traveling at 100 knots (185km/h; 115mph), which would “avoid all acoustic tracking devices and other traps”.
We already know that Russia has been building “black hole submarines” that NATO officials admit are undetectable.
So Russia already has the capability to approach our coastlines without us even knowing about it.
But these new nuclear torpedos take the game to an entirely new level.
And of course this is not the only new weapons system that Russia has been developing in anticipation of World War III. Earlier this year, I discussed several more in an article entitled “The Next-Generation Weapons That Russia Will Use Against The United States In World War III“.
Sadly, the Obama administration seems almost totally oblivious to this threat. Our strategic nuclear forces are so outdated that floppy disks and rotary phones are still being used, and Barack Obama is fond of saying that “the Cold War’s been over for 20 years“.
Unfortunately for us, the Russians do not see things the same way. Anti-American sentiment inside Russia is at an all-time high, and every time the U.S. interferes in Syria or Ukraine the Russians get even angrier.
Just like we do, there are “talking heads” on Russian television that tell people what to think. And many of these “talking heads” on Russian television are openly talking about how war with the United States is inevitable. These days, the Russians consider themselves to be the great force for good in the world, and they consider America to be the great force for evil in the world. In fact, one of their most popular talking heads named Alexander Dugin has publicly called the U.S. the “kingdom of the Antichrist”.
And even though the Russian economy has dipped into recession, the Russians continue to feverishly prepare for war. This year alone, Russian military spending is up 33 percent.
Yes, ISIS is a far greater threat than most Americans would even dare to imagine as I discussed yesterday. In the times to come, I fully expect to see terror attacks inside this country unlike anything we have ever seen before.
But I am completely convinced that the greater long-term strategic threat is Russia.
The Russians are feverishly preparing for World War III while Barack Obama acts like it could never possibly happen.
Hopefully Obama is right, because if he is wrong the consequences for this nation will be absolutely unthinkable.
World Leaders Failure To Understand Islamic End-Time Beliefs Cripples Approach To Terrorism
While world leaders are currently attempting to come to a solution regarding ISIS in light of the attacks in Paris, their strategies will all be doomed to failure if they continue to refuse to understand the nature of Islamic end-time prophesies regarding their messiah, a leading expert on the subject said in Jerusalem last week.
Joel Rosenberg is a former US and Israel political advisor as well as a New York Times best-selling author. Last Wednesday, Rosenberg spoke at the Jerusalem Leadership Summit where he warned that millions of Muslims were looking for their messiah in much the same way Christians are looking for the return of Jesus Christ.
“If you look at some of the polling that’s been done about the attitudes in the Muslim world, you see that 90% or more are moderate, really peaceful people,” said Rosenberg, during his lecture at the Inbal Hotel, noting that only between 7%-10% of Muslims claim to express approval of radical Islam.”
“However, in a world of 1.6 billion Muslims, 10% is 160 million people. That’s half the population of the United States; if you grouped them in one country...you have one of the largest countries on the planet.”
Although political leaders, including Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, go to extreme lengths to avoid using the term Islam to describe terrorist attacks, including Fort Hood and the recent attacks in Paris that left scores of people dead, Rosenberg said one can debate whether those who practice Islam are peaceful, but it is foolish to try and claim that those conducting these attacks are not motivated by something within Islam.
“You cannot say that those in the 160 million category are not driven by Islam,” Rosenberg said.
“They say they are. You can call it a ‘perversion,’ but you have to understand why they would say that Islam motivates them. Whether that’s pure Islam or not, I’ll leave that to the Islamic scholars.”
While many in the West, including most Christians, fail to realize is that, just like the Bible with its prophesies in Daniel, Revelation and other books, Islam also has its end time prophesies and many of them have an eerie parallel to what the Bible predicts during the Tribulation.
Just like many Christians, those who subscribe to what Rosenberg refers to as Apocalyptic Islam also believe we are in the End Times.
A Pew poll conducted in 2012 asked respondents about the imminence of two events that, according to Islamic tradition, will take place before the Day of Judgment: the return of the Mahdi and the return of Jesus. In nine of the 23 nations where the question was asked, half or more of Muslim adults say they believe the return of the Mahdi will occur in their lifetime, including at least two-thirds who express this view in Afghanistan (83%), Iraq (72%), Turkey (68%) and Tunisia (67%).
Muslims expect that during the End Times, there will arise a Muslim leader called al-Mahdi, meaning "The Guided One". He will be the leader of all the Muslims and will wage jihad against the rest of the world and bring the entire world under Islam. Muslims expect his kingdom will be world-wide and his accomplishment will surpass all the great empires in history. Thus, he will be an unparalleled ruler over the whole world.
Some refer to this belief as Mahdism. Several prominent Muslim figures including now deceased Osama bin Laden and former President Ahmadinejad of Iran had made speeches concerning this belief. Ahmadinejad had even done so in a speech before the UN. Ahmadinejad has made no secret he may one day seek the office of President again. Except this time he will have the ability to accomplish his dream of "wiping out the Jews" with nuclear weapons that the US is now helping Iran achieve.
While Muslims claim to revere Jesus in an attempt to reassure American Christians that both religions are similar, what they fail to mention is that they believe that when Jesus returns he will be subservient to the Mahdi as his deputy. Then Jesus will force all Jews and Christians to convert to Islam or die.
Apocalyptic Muslims believe they must commit acts such as what we are seeing by ISIS and Iran to help bring in the Mahdi’s global Islamic caliphate or kingdom. Rather than the Great White Throne Judgment, Muslims believe they will face the Mahdi who will judge them based on their ability to carry out his orders.
Some Christian prophecy experts believe Islam will play a larger role in the end times than many currently believe, including possibly an Islamic Antichrist that parallels the Islamic expectations regarding the Mahdi. For a more thorough of examination of this perspective we recommend the following link which gives a chart matching Bible Prophecy in light of Islamic prophetic expectations.
What happened in Paris should serve as a wake-up call that the enemy is not just interested in territory, but truly believes they are bringing in events to herald the arrival of their messiah. This is why the world needs to acknowledge who the enemy really is. Until the western governments acknowledge this, they are guaranteed to lose the fight against radical Islam.
Forget Paris: GOP Candidate To Double Funding For Syrian 'Refugees'
In the wake of the deadly Paris attacks by ISIS, some GOP presidential candidates such as Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and even Marco Rubio are calling for an end to Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S.
Most of the others have been silent or vague on the issue of Syrian refugees – about 2,000 of whom have already arrived in the U.S. despite warnings from the FBI that it's impossible to vet their backgrounds.
But there is one candidate who is clearly on the record wanting more Syrian Muslims to pour into American cities and towns as "refugees," despite the fact that at least one of the seven attackers in Paris had a Syrian passport and entered France as a "refugee."
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who positions himself as a war hawk against ISIS, is co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to nearly double the amount of funding Washington spends on resettling refugees from Syria.
On the day after the multi-pronged shooting and bombing attacks on Paris, which killed 129 civilians and injured 352, Graham pounced again on the theme that ISIS must be attacked at its core in Syria and destroyed, or there would be more attacks on Western cities.
One of Graham's favorite talking points is, "If we don't stop them over there, they are coming over here just as sure as I stand here in front of you."
It's curious, then, say his critics, that he would be pushing for escalating the importation of more Islamic refugees into U.S. cities and towns from the world's most notorious hotbed of jihadist activity – Syria.
Graham's press secretary did not respond to requests for comment from WND.
Without giving a number, Graham has said the U.S. should accept its "fair share" of Syrian refugees.
His bill provides some insight on what that number might be.
According to the Hill, the legislation doesn't specify how many Syrian refugees should be accepted into the United States but the amount of funding requested would allow for the resettlement of up to 100,000 Syrian refugees over two years, Leahy's office said.
Even President Obama has never explicitly said this many Syrians should be allowed into the U.S, although that could be his plan given the vague nature of his statements. Obama's State Department has called for 10,000 Syrians to be admitted in 2016 and "many more" in 2017.
FBI Director James Comey explicitly warned Congress in a hearing last month the U.S. does not have the ability to screen Syrian refugees because data on their background history does not exist.
And the number given by Leahy – 100,000 – also correlates with the number being requested by various human rights organizations and resettlement agencies.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for 100,000 Syrian refugees to be resettled in the U.S., as have the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the International Rescue Committee and others.
The latest call for 100,000 Syrian refugees to be imported into the U.S. came just last week from Eleanor Acer, senior director of refugee protection at Human Rights First, a leading proponent of refugee resettlement and the transfer of Islamic nationals from the Middle East to the West.
Acer gave kudos to none other than Lindsey Graham in a Nov. 12 op-ed for the Hill, citing his courage in calling for more Muslim refugees to be sent to America as part of the bill co-sponsored with Leahy.
Just one day before the Paris attack, Acer said Graham's bill had "bipartisan support."
"There is bipartisan support for increased appropriations to address the refugee crisis, as evidenced by the introduction of the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act by Sens. Graham and Patrick Leahy," she wrote. "This bill would provide an extra $1 billion in emergency funding for humanitarian aid and resettlement of Syrian refugees."
Importing the threat while calling for war abroad
In Graham's own state of South Carolina, refugee resettlement has become a hot-button issue. World Relief, an evangelical Christian aid group, announced in March it has been given permission by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley to import dozens of Middle Eastern and African refugees into the state, which has not traditionally been a major receiver of Muslim refugees.
The federal government pays World Relief and agencies like it nearly $2,000 for every foreign refugee they resettle in the U.S.
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Christina Jeffrey, former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives and a leading activist against Haley's decision to allow the federal refugee program into South Carolina, said Graham and politicians like him seem confused. They call for war on ISIS abroad while importing the threat to the homeland.
"We should be defunding refugee resettlement not funding more," Jeffrey told WND. "And I think the majority of people in South Carolina would agree. I'm not seeing much support for the refugee program (even before the Paris attacks) and I'm not seeing it among the black people I associate who are Catholics, who are students, who I exercise with at the WMCA," the professor said.
Yet, it has to be more than just ignorance or naivety on Graham's part, Jeffrey said.
"It's not possible for me to think of our senator, Lindsey Graham, as not intelligent so I'm sure he has reasons for what he does but I don't know what they are," she said.
British historian and philosopher Arnold Toynbee said great civilizations do not die. They commit suicide.
Jeffrey, an adjunct professor of history at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, says Paris must not be viewed in a box. This attack is just the latest in a historical pattern in which the dark side of Islam has been reawakening. The problem is, only one side in the war seems to be aware of what is at stake.
"We're watching the suicide of the West and I don't think America wants to join in that suicide," Jeffrey said. "The steps by which a civilization commits suicide begins with the leaders not sharing the interests of the people, and when that happens the people will lose heart, they will begin to lose their heritage and hate their country and pretty soon you have no nation. It cannot survive."
The Obama administration has already agreed to bring in 85,000 foreign refugees from all countries in fiscal 2016 and 100,000 in 2017. More than half of these refugees typically come from Muslim-dominated countries like Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As an example of how oblivious most of America is to the historic clash of civilizations, nearly 100 mayors have signed a document calling for Obama to vastly increase in the number of Syrian refugees being resettled in their cities.
During World War II, would U.S. mayors have called on the federal government to send them more Japanese or German nationals, imported directly from the countries with whom America was at war?
"And I think people wonder, why are there 100 U.S. mayors who want to increase the number of refugees in their cities. It defies logic," Jeffrey said.
Even if none of them were terrorists, which is unlikely given the FBI warnings, bringing in unskilled people from Third World countries who will take the jobs of Americans and send much of their paycheck back home to their families abroad doesn't make good sense for America, Jeffrey said.
More than 90 percent of refugees from the Middle East also sign up for food stamps, 61 percent are on Medicaid and 24 percent live in public housing, according to studies by the Congressional Research Office. The costs of educating their children far exceed what it costs to educate a native English speaker or even a Spanish speaker.
"How is this going to help our economy?" Jeffrey said.
For an in-depth, inside look into what motivates Islam's holy war against the West, check out historian Dr. G.M. Davis's timely new release, "House of War: Islam's Jihad Against the World."
The fact that Obama, Graham and Congress are not calling for Syrian Christians and Iraqi Christians to be rescued and brought to the U.S. as refugees proves they are not really all that concerned about humanitarian issues, Jeffrey said.
These religious minorities are being hunted down and forced to convert under threat of death by ISIS, yet no American politician seems to have championed their cause.
"We're standing by and watching genocide and we don't even have the excuses that we had in World War II that we were fighting a war," she said.
The majority of the refugees fleeing Syria are men. Almost all of them, 97 percent, are Muslim and the majority of those are Sunni Muslim, many subscribing to Salafist beliefs, which are the most extreme in their interpretation of the Quran and adherence to Shariah law.
Graham's bill to almost double the funding for Syrian refugee resettlement also would put more pressure on the already strained FBI and law-enforcement agencies who are trying to keep up with open ISIS investigations in all 50 states, said Lauren Martel, an attorney in the Hilton Head Island area who, like Jeffrey, is trying to stop the flow of refugees to South Carolina.
People ‘forget he's running for president'
"He (Graham) is being reckless with our own military, our law enforcement and homeland security, and he's supposed to be such a proponent of making sure those people are taken care of," Martel said. "The fact he's running for president, everyone forgets that. He's signed an oath and he's supposed to be protecting America and its Constitution and here he is asking for more money for a United Nations refugee program. It's our money."
Martel said Graham should drop out of the race.
"How can he even continue to be a candidate if he's filing his kind of legislation," she said.
Opposing bills would halt refugee resettlement
On the flip side of the Graham-Leahy bill is another being put forth by U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who wants to place a tighter rein on all federal funding flowing to Syrian refugees.
Grassley's bill, introduced Nov. 4, would stop all funding for Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S. until the national security issues are address.
Another bill by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, would halt all refugee resettlement from all countries until a full accounting of the program's costs and risks to national security can be assessed. That bill, introduced July 29, is now up to 46 co-sponsors in the House.
Babin, a freshman congressman, warned in a floor speech to the House that the United Nations-run refugee program poses a "grave threat" to American security.
Babin told WND that people in all states should contact their congressmen and tell them to support bis bill, HR 3314.
Others, such as Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, have been issuing the same type of warnings about Syrian refugees.
The attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 now make those warnings prophetic.
2. Israel - God's Timepiece
Palestinian Incitement/Conspiracies Continue - Blame Israel For Paris Massacre
It should come as no surprise that Palestinian groups that formerly blamed the Jews for the attacks of 9/11 and the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year in France are now suggesting Israel is also responsible for the Paris massacre.
The official PA daily al-Hayat al-Jadida published an op-ed blaming Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, and its “octopus arms,” for the six coordinated attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people and injured over 352.
The story suggests that it’s no coincidence that “human blood was exploded in Paris” at the same time that “certain European sanctions” are being implemented.” Referring to the European Union’s decision to approve guidelines that require member states to stop carrying the “Made in Israel” label for products made in the "occupied territories"
The PA government is attempting falsely to compare Israel's actions of self-defense against terrorism as, ironically, terrorism itself. The PA's twitter account tweeted the following, “Terror is terror and we condemn all terror. Be it destroying houses in Nablus and killing our children by Israel or hitting a Russian plane over Egypt. The Paris attacks are criminal acts done by coward terrorists.”
The daily also compared Israel to ISIS by publishing a cartoon showing an Israeli decapitating the Al-Aqsa Mosque alongside an ISIS terrorist beheading a hostage.
According to the Algemeiner Journal, Palestinian National Council member Bassam Abu Sharif also blamed Israel for the attacks in Paris. He criticized US and Western leaders for not taking a stand against Israel and the “Zionists,” and implied that the West had a hand in the attacks, because it has “used terror organizations before” to carry out Israel’s and their own “schemes” in the Middle East.
This conspiracy rhetoric comes on the heels of more terror attacks in Israel which saw a Rabbi and his son murdered while on their way to a wedding celebration on Friday. A Red Crescent ambulance passed by the site of the deadly terrorist attack and ignored the victims as they lay dying. The Israeli government will be launching an international campaign against the organization, which in principle does not treat Jews - despite being bound to treat all casualties regardless off their identity. Netanyahu noted that "no such thing" had ever occurred with Israeli emergency services "who provide aid without distinction to Jews, to Arabs, to everyone."
While Israelis may not currently be experiencing mass casualty attacks like France they have endured weeks of constant attacks which have seen many Israeli's lose their lives and their entire population set on edge.
Despite the PA's attempts to convince people it is on the side of those fighting terror, the wave of incitement by Palestinians on social media and by Government representatives continues unabated.
A few recent examples:
Songs about stabbing Jews to death -- including one by the winner of the Arab equivalent of "American Idol" -- are all the rage on West Bank airwaves, a year after the twisted hit parade featured calls for running down Israelis with cars.
A store in Gaza named “Hitler” has armed its display mannequins with knives
The Palestinian Authority’s UN representative claimed Israel is harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians.
Both the PA and Fatah continue to encourage rock-throwing against Israelis. Recent cartoons in the official PA daily states that the rock is the "best friend ever" of Palestinians.
Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi, who murdered two Israelis and wounded two others last month, had a football (soccer) tournament named after him by the Yasser Arafat Youth Center in Jenin. Deemed a martyr for his murder of Israeli civilians, the 19-year-old Halabi has also been honored in other ways, including the Palestinian Authority (PA) naming street after him, Abbas’s Fatah movement bringing soil from the Al-Asqa mosque to Halabi’s grave (so he could “hug the soil for which he died”), and the PA Bar Association awarding him an honorary law degree.
It's no wonder a full 369 members of the House of Representatives issued a stern letter to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas demanding that he stop inciting terrorism.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on world leaders to show the same level of indignation over terror against Israelis as they do over terror attacks around the world.
“The time has come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world,” Netanyahu said. “It would be proper for Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], who condemned the attack in France yesterday, to condemn ruthless terrorism against innocent people in Israel and fight the incitement that motivates it.”
5. Apostate Christianity
The Great Falling Away - Evangelists Shying Away From Preaching Repentance
The watering down of the Gospel from being an imperative for lost sinners needing to be saved from Hell to mere suggestion or another lifestyle continues, as a new report indicates evangelists in one of America’s largest denominations are now steering away from calling sinners to repentance in their messages.
The new revelation comes from an early report of the August conference of the Research Services of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The report is called 1001 New Worshipping Communities, and it states that “millennials respond to a different style of evangelism than did previous generations.”
"Millennials, it is argued, do not feel guilt and shame the same way older generations do. … As such, they do not respond to what one person referred to as 'fire and brimstone scare tactics,'" read the report.
"Telling them that they are sinners and need to repent does not work. Millennials respond to evangelism that tells them the world is [broken], and it is only through Jesus that it can be fixed."
The problem is the report suggests that in the past people enthusiastically received the Gospel, and that, contrary to the suggestion that millennials do not respond to the Gospel the same way, the reality is the Gospel has always met with resistance.
During the ministry of Gen. William Booth, who founded the Salvation Army, as the men and women in his organization would attempt to share the Gospel with sailors along city docks, they would have rockets launched at them, while others would attack and hurl rotten vegetables at them and their uniforms. During the preaching of Billy Sunday and DL Moody, they would often meet with resistance as they preached against the specific sins of their era.
The Apostle Paul said the preaching of the cross was foolishness to the world and he was often attacked and even stoned once for preaching the Gospel. This has been a common thread throughout church history.
The report went on to advocate for more of a lifestyle evangelism approach rather than offering a plain Gospel presentation.
"The people we spoke with primarily emphasize service and mission as their way to honor God by being God's 'hands and feet.' And, through modeling this behavior publicly and around non-Christians, they hope to bring more people to God in a subtle, less 'fire and brimstone' manner."
"They also mention the importance of going out into the community and working side-by-side with non-Christians as well as other Christians. In this strategy, leaders often (but not always) emphasize the importance of not engaging in God-talk while doing service activities."
What this fails to address is that by doing so they are essentially suggesting that salvation is not the only way to heaven, which contradicts Jesus when he said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” The reality is a person cannot be saved unless they realize what they are being saved from. If a person simply accepts Christ because he or she thinks it is a good idea, then they are following a philosophy rather than an individual.
People today will respond to the Gospel just like people of old if it is presented in a straightforward manner. I have done so on a number of occasions with people ranging from prisoners to executives. I present it matter-of-factly, such as when I take them to the Great White Throne Judgment where it mentions that ALL liars shall have their part in the lake of fire. Then I ask them, according to this verse where does it say any of us who have ever told a lie deserve to end up?
Whereas they may disagree as to whether liars go to hell, they must admit the verse says that is where they are going. It is then much easier to share with them the good news of why Jesus died for them. The Gospel has worked for over 2,000 years and it will continue to work. We don’t need to come up with a newer method, thinking we know better than God does about how to lead people to Christ.
6. The Rise of Islam
British Pastor Facing Jail For Criticizing Muslim Terrorists
While Muslim terrorists with ISIS have begun an aggressive new campaign against the West including the bombing of a Russian airliner and murdering at least 129 people in Paris, a 78 year old British pastor may end up going to prison for criticizing the violent elements of Islam.
Pastor James McConnell was preaching a sermon in a church at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in May, 2014, when he called Islam a “satanic” religion for wanting to punish Meriam Ibrahim, a pregnant woman who committed the crime of refusing to renounce her Christian faith and marrying a Christian man.
During his message McConnell said that it is impossible that the God of the Hebrew and Christian Bible is the Allah of the Koran. He said:
"The Muslim religion was created many hundreds of years after Christ. Mohammed, was born in 570. But Muslims believe that Islam is the true religion, dating back to Adam, and that the biblical Patriarchs were all Muslims, including Noah and Abraham and Moses, and even our Lord Jesus Christ.
"To judge by some of what I have heard in the past few months, you would think that Islam was little more than a variation of Christianity and Judaism. Not so. Islam's ideas about God, about humanity, about salvation are vastly different from the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Islam is heathen. Islam is satanic. Islam is a doctrine spawned in Hell."
It was those words that streamed live on the Internet — violated the 2003 Communications Act by "sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive."
While the words spoken by McConnell may sound harsh in today’s culture of “microagressions,” it is nothing more than traditional bible teaching by great men of God over the years including George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, DL Moody, and many others. Indeed, one of the foundations of Christianity is that Jesus is the only way of salvation and all other ways lead to hell.
Yet it now appears that preaching traditional Christianity is now illegal in the UK. Following his sermon, McConnell was told that he was facing hate crime charges and has a court date scheduled for Dec. 14-16 in a Belfast court.
McConnell is refusing to back down for his statements defending Christianity and criticizing Islam, saying at the time he made his comments he was specifically referencing Ibrahim.
“It began with the Muslim issue when I protested (through my sermon) concerning the young Muslim woman who was pregnant and had been converted to Christianity,” the pastor wrote. “She was to receive 80 lashes and possibly martyrdom. Thankfully she and her husband are now living in the United States. I have no regrets about what I said. I do not hate Muslims, but I denounce Islam as a doctrine and I make no apologies for that".
McConnell said, his situation should be alarming for everyone, including those who disagree with him because of the implications for the right to engage in free speech and to freely practice religion.
“I also appeal and challenge every Muslim who lives in this country. No-one is questioning your right to worship here and practice your religion,” McConnell wrote. “If I was living in many Muslim countries in the world, I would be forbidden to practice my religion and would probably be imprisoned or even put to death for doing so. Yet you, as a Muslim, have perfect liberty here. So I appeal to you, come with me and protest.”
McConnell summed it up this way: "Islam is allowed to come to this country, Islam is allowed to worship in this country, Islam is allowed to preach in this country and they preach hate. And for years we are not allowed to give a tract out, we are not allowed in Islam, we are not allowed to preach the gospel. We are persecuted in Islam if we stand for Jesus Christ."
Interestingly, McConnell has received support from Suzanne Breen, a prominent Irish journalist and editor.
“As an atheist, I carry no candle for Christian fundamentalists, but there is something seriously wrong in hauling a pensioner pastor in ill health through the courts for simply expressing his opinion," Breen wrote.
While it is easy to dismiss the issue as something that is happening “over there,” Christians in America need to realize that it is just a matter of time before the same thing happens here.
Following the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, President Obama responded to the attacks by saying “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
There is also a move by the United Nations to make criticism of Islam a crime against humanity. For years the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been pushing for a UN resolution that would make defamation of religion a criminal offense.
While the resolution does not mention any single religion, it is noteworthy that the resolution has been aggressively pushed by Muslim countries. The Obama administration strongly supports the resolution.
In 2011, the State Department and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sponsored a closed door conference in Washington on implementing the resolution. The stated purpose of the conference was to establish international standards for criminalizing “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief.”
In 2012, a Pennsylvania judge dismissed assault charges against a Muslim man who attacked an atheist for insulting his faith.
American Atheists Pennsylvania State Director, Ernest Perce was attacked by a Muslim while dressed as a zombie Muhammad in a Halloween parade. During the same parade another atheist was dressed as a zombie Pope, but there were no reports of a Roman Catholic attacking anyone.
In dismissing the charges, Judge Mark Martin berated the victim, saying essentially he deserved it and should be grateful he did not live in an Islamic country where he could face the death penalty for daring to insult Islam.
The judge, who is an admitted Muslim said, “There’s a big difference between how Americans practice Christianity – I understand you’re an atheist – but see Islam is not just a religion. It’s their culture, their culture, their very essence, their very being.”
He continued, “Whenever it is very common, their language, when they’re speaking to each other, it’s very common for them to say, uh, Allah willing, this will happen. It’s, they’re so immersed in it. And what you’ve done is, you’ve completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very, very, very offensive. I’m a Muslim. I find it offensive.”
Are More ISIS Attacks In U.S. Inevitable?
In the wake of the horrific Friday terrorist attacks on Paris, it's easy to overlook what happened in Beirut, Lebanon, on the same day in which twin suicide bombings killed over 40 people.
Experts are expressing frustration that the Obama administration appears unable or unwilling to address the likelihood of future attacks against America.
Last year was the most lethal year of terrorism on record with 16,800 terrorist attacks resulting in 43,500 deaths and 40,900 injuries. This represents an 80 percent increase in lethalities from 2013 to 2014.
How can terrorism be overcome? Scott Thuman, reporting from Beirut for "Full Measure," asks, "[I]s prevention truly possible? Nations once declared part of a revolutionary Arab Spring in most cases over the past few years have fallen flat. Inter-government fighting and instability sent them spiraling, creating vacuums for terror groups, who've gained strength, and their sights on America and its allies are no longer so distant."
Lebanese citizens say America should do more, and point out that as the United States moves away from the region, it creates a huge problem because the area has become the backyard for all the terrorists in the region.
"House of War: Islam's Jihad Against the World" conveys what the West needs to know about Islam and the violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government
Sharyl Attkisson of "Full Measure" asked Thuman why they think the United States is the one to come to help them.
Thuman replied that those on the ground in Beirut reiterate that if someone is to come to their rescue, it's the United States.
"Not only does the U.S. provide a lot of the military equipment that's being used in the fight against the Islamic terror groups," he said, "but also human intelligence comes from the U.S. – a lot of the training, a lot of the resources – and they feel if you don't have U.S. intervention at a high level, perhaps higher than any other country, then the mission just can't be accomplished."
The Arab Spring movement created an ideal environment for terrorism to grow and thrive. Islamic terrorism expert Steve Emerson of Investigative Project on Terrorism denies Obama's assertion that ISIS is contained.
"I'm pretty shocked," said Emerson in response to Obama's comments. "Our intelligence on the ground is so poor, we have no idea about the number of fighters that are coming in from Europe every month; nor do we know about the number of fighters that are coming in from Lebanon. As far as being contained – the territory shifts literally every week. So if he's saying ‘contained,' maybe it's contained for that one moment. Frankly the notion that it's contained suggests it's contained politically around the world; and as we see in France, it's not contained."
FBI agents "who want to retain their jobs" are expressing "exasperation at the fact that they do not have a handle, and they do not believe that headquarters has a handle, or this administration has a handle, on ISIS," said Emerson.
The predictability of ISIS attacks – from the Middle East, coming to Africa, then Europe, then the U.S. – begs the question of why America hasn't been able to do anything about it.
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"The fact that they succeeded," noted Emerson, "eight guys ... had been able to paralyze an entire country with the third largest powerful military in the world – what do you think that tells them? That tells them they can do almost anything."
The idea that Arab Spring revolutionary uprisings might open the door to terrorists was well recognized by analysts at the time, including William Braniff, Executive Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
Braniff confirmed the impact of the Arab Spring on terrorism. "Terrorist organizations need a safe haven, a place where they can organize, mobilize, recruit, train," he said. "The Arab Spring created a series of security voids, and terrorists sprang up to fill them."
He confirmed more attacks on Europe and the U.S. are inevitable. "ISIL has an apocalyptic goal in mind," said Braniff, "to establish a caliphate and purify Islam through the establishment of that caliphate, to expand the borders of that caliphate, and ultimately usher in a civilizational conflict between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world."
He defined a caliphate as a political religious institution similar to a nation-state, a nation for the Muslim community.
"The American way is to win the hearts and minds, and look for areas of compromise and coexistence," observed Attkisson. "Does that fit in at least with these extremists, and how they view the world?"
"There's certainly no compromising with ISIL," replied Braniff. "They have distinguished themselves ... by being uncompromising. They're unwilling to compromise on their interpretation of God's law. They're unwilling to compromise on their interpretation of the supremacy of Islam.
"This is not an organization you can negotiate with," he concluded.
Start of WWIII? France May Invoke The NATO Mutual Defense Treaty
Reports are coming in that on Monday France will invoke Article 5 of the NATO Mutual Defense Treaty. NATO's collective defense clause compels all NATO members – including America – to fight alongside France against ISIS.
In response to Friday's series of coordinated attacks across Paris, French President Francois Hollande declared on Saturday that France would respond with a "pitiless" war against the group responsible. Speaking from the Bataclan, the site of one of the attacks, he stated, "We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless."
ISIS is claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks. In an online statement in Arabic and French which authorities say appears to be genuine, the attacks are called a "miracle" carried out by "eight brothers wearing explosive vests and assault rifles." The statement called Paris the "capital of abomination and perversion."
The Guardian reports security analyst Charlie Winter said he has seen huge amounts of ISIS propaganda and he believes the statement is definitely from the group, though it was "put together hastily" and it is not clear whether the attacks that killed 127 people were directly ordered by ISIS or only inspired by the group.
International Business Times notes: "NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday the alliance would stand with France and remain ‘strong and united' against terrorism. Although France hasn't announced whether it will invoke Article 5, Stoltenberg told the Journal NATO's members stand ready to assist. ‘The important thing is we support French authorities in their determination to deal with the terrorist threat,' he said."
"The defense clause of NATO's founding treaty stipulates that if invoked, each of the members will assist the party attacked," continues IB Times. "NATO's military resources include more than 3 million troops under arms, 25,000 aircraft and 800 oceangoing warships, according to Foreign Policy. Economically, the alliance is also an intimidating force, representing more than 50 percent of global GDP. … The only time Article 5 has been invoked was after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the New York and Washington, which prompted NATO's participation in the Afghanistan military mission. Should France become the second country to do so, ambassadors of the 28 nations would need to convene for consultation to determine a plan of action. The last country to request such a consultation was Turkey after attacks by ISIS in 2014."
"House of War: Islam's Jihad Against the World" conveys what the West needs to know about Islam and the violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government
Security expert Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow with the Paris-based Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique (FRS), in speaking with DW, said, "I believe it is now time for a united front in Europe and along with our NATO allies to see whether we can coordinate better and act more vigorously against the jihadi terrorist threat in all its components. One of the things that will be discussed in the coming hours and days is whether or not the clauses of solidarity which exist in EU treaties and in the NATO treaty's Article 5 should be called upon and put into effect. Certainly on the French side, there is a hope that our European friends and allies will also contribute to the military action against ‘Islamic State' in Iraq and Syria in a more proactive way."
If France involkes Article 5, it is essentially declaring war, not just an authorization for the use of military force.
However the situation is complicated by the fact that ISIS is based in Syria.
"Russia is defending Syria to assist Syrian President Bashar Assad," notes SuperStation95. "When NATO goes to get ISIS, they will necessarily have to go into Syria … where Russia is defending. Will Russia relent and let NATO attack? Or will Russia decide this NATO action is a thinly disguised effort to unseat Bashar Assad, and cause Russia to battle NATO?"
Tertrais noted that Paris-style attacks could happen in every major Western city.
"It does not really come as a surprise," he said. "All the intelligence services and police knew that a major attack of the kind we had [on Friday] was not only possible, but almost likely. It is the kind of attack that police has tried to prevent for several years now, but it was absolutely not a surprise. Of course, it was a huge shock, especially because of the simultaneous nature of the attacks and the fact that for the first time ever, we had suicide bombers operating on the national territory.
"It's the combination of a new modus operandi, the suicide attack, with the number and coordination of the attacks which is particularly troubling and shocking. But that is not even the worst thing. The worst thing is that they could be testing us for an even bigger attack; at least that is a hypothesis that some of the intelligence services are working on right now. This tells me that there is both the intent and the capability to try to do serious harm to the French republic. And if they were able to do that yesterday night, they unfortunately are able and likely to do it again. And I am certain that the French government is also working on that hypothesis."
Speculation is strong that France's declaration will usher in World War III.
According to SuperStation 95, currently high-level discussions are taking place in Congress about whether to intern all Muslims in America, similar to the way the Japanese were interned during World War II after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.
"According to well-placed sources in the Defense Department," writes SuperStation 95, "inquiries have been made by staff from the congressional leadership, asking if the camps created under the REX-84 program in the mid-1980s are available for use? When told ‘Yes' the congressional staff revealed that discussions are taking place among the highest levels of U.S. congressional leadership about possibly interning ALL Muslims in the United States. … The prevailing thinking is that Muslims of today represent a much more dangerous threat than the Japanese during World War 2 and if the U.S. is going to declare war upon ISIS, it may be necessary to control the Muslim population within the USA."
Speculation about whether to intern Muslims in America go back as far as July, in the wake of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, shootings in which four Marines and a Navy petty officer were killed by a 24-year-old Muslim man.
7. Increase in Knowledge/New Technologies
Biometric Payments: Will it Replace Bank Cards / Passwords
In spy films, like those in the James Bond franchise, biometric fingerprint scanners are commonplace. There’s nothing good ole Q can’t dream up. But fiction has now become reality. Government agencies as well as private sector corporations are developing state-of-the-art technology that can collect, store, and recognize details of not only a person’s fingerprints, but also their face, irises, and even veins.
Homeland Security, the NSA, and the Pentagon have used biometric scanners for a number of years, but the technology is only now making its way to the private stage. Apple acquired the technology when it purchased AuthenTec in 2012 and incorporated a fingerprint reading app into their iPhone 5S model soon after. Samsung quickly followed suit for their Android phones.
Today, private sector companies have seen Apple’s success and are researching the best way to service their customers using biometrics. The success rate of this burgeoning new technology varies depending on security and strategy of use.
What biometrics are being used?
Fingerprint scanners were created using the same philosophy found in law enforcement forensic science: no two fingerprints are alike. To date, many overseas banks are using this technology in-house. When using mobile phone fingerprint apps, however, security plummets. Banks have turned away from phone apps for this reason. Android phones in particular are vulnerable to hackers, though Samsung is currently working to fix the problem.
Facial recognition software has proven too costly for widespread commercial use, though Asian online retail giant Alibaba is testing their selfie to pay system, utilizing a complicated facial recognition algorithm they say will revolutionize security in biometrics. MasterCard is also purportedly interested in implementing the technology. Experts argue, however, that facial recognition programs are unreliable simply because one’s face can change over time.
The two most reliable biometric systems being tested today are iris scanners, which most of us are familiar with from movies and television, and the more obscure finger vein recognition. Each person’s iris is unique and would be much more difficult to hack than fingerprints. Your vein pattern, in this case in your fingers, is established in the womb and does not change throughout your life, making it far more reliable than facial recognition. Implementation of these biometric formats is slow-going due to the complications in making it work and the expense involved.
When you’re banking, security is paramount. We have used bank cards and PIN numbers for a number of years, but banks are betting biometrics will make cash withdrawals and transactions more convenient and more secure. But how vulnerable is biometrics?
I have been lectured many times about password security because I tend to use the same one for every website. Proponents of biometrics say that the expanding new technology will eliminate that problem since passwords are easy to steal, but aspects of your body are not. Critics agree that using one password for everything is not smart, but what is biometrics if not that? Once biometrics are logged, they become ones and zeros. If hackers can steal that, it would be literal identity theft and usable for life.
How do we overcome the security faults?
One of the world’s most successful hackers is using his powers for good and consulting with corporations to improve security. He believes that proper biometric protection requires, “two-factor authentication, based on two completely independent components from one of three methods: knowledge - password; possession - smart card; and biometrics.” In other words, biometrics is fine so long as you combine it with another layer of security, such as PIN numbers, security questions, or imbedded Smartphone chips.
The bigger danger could come from corporations themselves. MasterCard has recently stated they plan to store users’ biometric information on their company servers rather than keep them on individual site computers. This has sparked an outcry from cybersecurity consultants, who decry not only the potential invasion of privacy issues, but also the greater vulnerability to hacking. Top corporate servers fall victim to hackers on a weekly basis, lending weight to these contentions.
Rather than running headlong into a fancy new technology, establishing the front-end before tightening down the back-end, caution should be seen as the eldest child of wisdom here. Research the security concerns, implement stronger firewalls to keep away the bad element, and design a system that doesn’t trample on privacy issues.
There is no rush. Our bank accounts will still be there, even if we have to use a card and a PIN. I’m sure those of us in older generations will push back on the technology anyway.
In Die Another Day, Q, the snarky technology whiz tells the stodgy James Bond, “it’s called the future, so get used to it.”
New Spy Regulations Monitor Every Online User Experience
With the recent terror attacks in Paris, more and more people will be willing to exchange privacy for security as the general population looks to the government to do whatever is necessary to make them feel safe.
Under the guise of fighting terrorism, police and security services in the UK will soon be able to access the browsing history of every resident under new legislation announced by the Home Secretary.
A new Investigatory Powers Bill is expected to be introduced in both Houses of Parliament that will attempt to bring the surveillance powers of the various security services such as MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the police under the jurisdiction of a single piece of legislation instead of the patchwork of regulations that currently govern their right to access information through wiretaps and other forms of communication.
Under the legislation, internet providers would be required to store and archive the entire web history or each of their customers for an entire year. The information would be kept even if a person clears their web browsing history. Like most bills that expand government snooping powers, such as the Patriot Act in the US, the bill is being touted as necessary because of the popularity of online communications among terrorists, including social media.
In an interview with Sky News, former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, Chris Phillips said, “The world has moved on so quickly: people communicate on many different means, whether it’s WhatsApp, whether it's Facebook, whether it's email or telephone. So it's really important that the laws keep up. [Without new laws] we'd be in a very dangerous place.”
The bill attempts to be a workaround to current privacy laws by classifying browsing history and information on emails sent and received as communications data rather than refer to it as content. To clarify the difference, communications data is considered the basic details of a message or web page visited such as details on an itemized phone bill or information on the outside of an envelope, whereas officials are defining content as the letter sent with your bill or the words spoken on a phone call. Under current UK law, accessing data does not require a warrant like accessing content does.
The bill also addresses the issue of personal encryption of data. Governments, including the US, have been pressuring companies that provide encryption services to create their systems with a back door to allow government surveillance without a warrant. Companies such as Apple have so far been pushing back on the idea, noting that the back door would make their systems more vulnerable to a hacker.
Under the UK bill, communications firms would have to go even further and help government agencies hack into people’s computers and smartphones.
While the purpose may sound noble, at a time when free speech is coming increasingly under attack, including attempts to prevent anonymous internet postings, it is easy to see how such power could be abused by authorities. Indeed, as the recent IRS scandal in the US showed, groups with political beliefs opposite of the Obama administration’s liberal agenda have even been harassed by having to provide such information as the content of their prayers.
With many Bible teachers believing the internet will help usher in the antichrist’s economic system of preventing those without the mark of the beast from buying or selling, it is easy to see how having access to this level of personal information could come in handy in waging war on Christians here on earth during the tribulation. The UK government just may have moved things closer in that direction.
8. Christian Worldview/Issues
Despite Attempts At Secularization, Americans Still Believe In Genesis Account
While much of the rest of the world rushes to embrace Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and survival of the fittest, a new poll reveals that Americans are resisting that trend.
A recent study by Lifeway Research shows that a huge majority of Americans, including those who are not even religious, believe that the universe was divinely created.
The survey asked participants if they agree with the following statement. “Since the universe has organization, I think there is a creator who designed it.” Amazingly, 72 percent of all those asked responded that yes, they agreed. What is even more interesting is that 46 percent of those who identify as “none” regarding choice of religion, which would include atheists, agnostics and other non-religious people also responded affirmatively.
Not surprisingly, the top group who agreed about a divine creation of the universe was evangelicals and older adults. In addition when asked about “the fact that we exist means someone created us,” 79 percent said yes.
The study appears to back up a claim in Science 2.0 last year that said science seems to indicate that a belief in a creator is hard-wired into our DNA.
The article titled, “Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke,” noted that “Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.”
“Atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think,” Graham Larson, an avowed atheist wrote in the New Scientist. “They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.”
The Science 2.0 article notes that the belief in a being greater than ourselves is a common theme of literature and movies.
“Indeed, it appears that stories exist to establish that there exists a mechanism or a person—cosmic destiny, karma, God, fate, Mother Nature—to make sure the right thing happens to the right person. Without this overarching moral mechanism, narratives become records of unrelated arbitrary events, and lose much of their entertainment value. In contrast, the stories which become universally popular appear to be carefully composed records of cosmic justice at work.”
The issue has even crept into the 2016 presidential race as well-known atheist Richard Dawkins has said all of the current Republican candidates are creationists, which he calls “disgraceful.”
“The fact that one of the two major political parties, every single candidate except one says they don't believe in evolution, they don't even believe in the fundamental principle of biology, which is a fact," Dawkins lamented.
During an interview with Fox News Radio, Dawkins was asked if there was anything that could cause him to believe in God. Dawkins claimed he was open to the possibility, saying “Just show me some evidence and I’ll change.”
Dawkins seems to be holding belief in God to a higher standard than other scientific beliefs. For years scientists have believed in the existence of black holes. In fact, most scientists even go so far as to believe that each galaxy has a massive black hole at its center. Yet, there is no direct evidence to substantiate their belief. However, whenever Christians point to indirect evidence of a creator these same scientists reject the evidence, saying it is not direct proof.
Ken Ham, Christian Museum CEO and President has noted that Dawkins has been presented with numerous evidence yet still refuses to change his beliefs.
“Dawkins has been shown overwhelming evidence by many people," Ham said on his Answers in Genesis blog, noting that the atheist author reminds him of the Pharisees in the Bible.
"After Jesus had healed the man blind from birth, the Pharisees questioned the man and his parents, and even with the evidence glaring at them, they refused to believe. People like Dawkins also remind me of the chief priests in John 12:10 who wanted to kill Lazarus, the man Jesus raised from the dead," Ham continued.
“"Because of their hardened hearts, they refused to believe Jesus raised Lazarus and decided to try to kill Lazarus to get rid of the evidence! Yes, these are apt comparisons when you consider people like Richard Dawkins. We need to pray for him. His heart is hard and he is blind.”
Ken Ham and the Creation Museum will be opening North America's largest creation themed endeavor on July 7, 2016 in Williamstown Kentucky which will be the site for the 91 Million dollar project called the "Ark Encounter".
Ken Ham had the following to say about the project which will include a life size ark:
"At Answers in Genesis and the coming Ark Encounter attraction, we want to equip Christians and non-Christians to understand that God's Word is true, that Noah really did build a huge ark, that the animals really could have fit on board, and that the global flood really happened as an outpouring of God's judgment on a wicked generation," he added.
"At the same time, Noah's Ark is also a picture of God's mercy and salvation. God had Noah build an ark of salvation — and those eight people who went through the one door were saved from the waters of the flood. We want people to know that God has provided an ark of salvation for us, too — the Lord Jesus Christ," he added.
"We are constructing a full-scale, all-wood ark based on the dimensions provided in the Bible (Genesis 6), using the long cubit, and in accordance with sound established nautical engineering practices of the era. It should become the largest timber-frame structure in the USA."