Pipeline Bombed: Egyptian Extremists Cut Off Oil to Israel and Jordan

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Fire ripped across the deserts of Egypt today as extremists detonated bombs on the Egyptian-Israeli pipeline, cutting off the flow of oil.  Emergency services dispatched to the area have reported that the fire will take days to extinguish.  While the flow of oil was quickly halted the fire continues fester.  Nobody was killed in the explosion.  Civilians have been evacuated and advised to not return to the area until the fire is completely under control.

Israel confirmed that the flow of oil has stopped and is looking into alternative means of supporting themselves while the pipeline is repaired.  Jordan, who relies on eighty percent of their energy from the Egyptian-Israeli pipeline have been forced to import Radicals in the Egyptian government and populace seek to permanently cut off supply to Israel, due to historic hostilities.  This would be catastrophic for the countries relations; the fragile Middle East rests on the ominous edge of another tortuous conflict.

This is the third attempted bombing of the pipeline.  The first explosion halted the oil delivery for a full thirty-eight days.  The second explosives, set over a month later, failed to explode and were safely removed by Egyptian bomb squads.  Today, the third set detonated, causing skyrocketing flames and a rain of debris.

Many Egyptians are outraged that Egypt is sending valuable oil to its traditional enemy Israel; not only does more than half of the population want to stop the oil transfer many want to terminate the peace treaty between the nations.  This anger, amidst an uneasy peace that has gripped Egypt, has resulted in radicals targeting the pipeline.

Previously the Energy Minister of Egypt was arrested and interrogated for the low rates the pipeline has delivered oil to Israel. Many believed, whether they were biased by their cultural tendencies, that the oil was under priced far below market price and selling the oil to Israel was against the interests of Egypt.

Both Israel, who receives forty percent of their energy from the pipeline, and Jordan, who receives eighty percent of their oil from the pipeline, are forced to get alternative sources of fuel.  Israel is pushing forward with opening up its own oil fields, called the Tamar Gas Fields, to supplement its own energy needs.   Jordan has announced that they will import the more costly diesel.

Some are speculating that the region is set for war regardless of how this crisis is resolved, the radicals in Egypt and Jordan have gained enough power to win governmental support for attack Israel.  This pipeline sabotage might be the opening move in a long and costly war.  If this is the case, oil will be the least of concerns to what will doubtlessly evolve into the most devastating war of the twenty first century and the Jasmine Revolution.

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The IRA Rises Again: Terrorism in Northern Ireland Reignites

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Continuity IRA 2006

The Irish Republican Army

The IRA have recently reactivated, causing terror and chaos throughout Northern Ireland.  On April 3 they assassinated a young policeman, Ronan Kerr, with the detonation of a car bomb in Omagh, United Kingdom.  Today, an undetonated 500 pound bomb was discovered inside an abandoned van next to a major highway.  Fast reacting bomb squads disarmed the explosives before it detonated, doubtlessly saving dozens of lives and millions of dollars of damages.  Despite this decisive victory a dark, foreboding question has emerged in Northern Ireland: has civil war returned?

Why Have the IRA Gone on the Offensive?

They are copycats.

They are mimicking the violence seen around the world in the fallout of the Tunisia revolution.  When the non-humanitarian government of Tunisia was overthrown a domino effect rippled across the world.  The tyrants in Egypt and Algeria were overthrown and those nations are in the process of stabilizing.  Meanwhile, other revolts around the world sprang up; for example there were anti-corruption protests throughout Croatia, the prime minister of Bolivia was forced to flee Oruro when outraged strikers invaded the city, and the IRA emerged from hibernation in Northern Ireland.  The IRA’s actions were ignited by the sparks in the Middle East combined the yearning hope of a people’s revolution and what they believe to be a fair government.

Who Are the Modern IRA?

This recent spike of conflict was most likely initiated by splinter groups of the original IRA, such as the Continuity Irish Republican Army or the Real Irish Republican Army.

After the Belfast Agreement of 1998, which ended the century long struggle between Irish Separatists, Irish Loyalists, and the Her Majesty’s government the majority of conflict in Ireland ended.  Isolated incidents, caused without the approval of any recognized party, continued until 2001, dwindling steadily in number and magnitude; the attacks are attributed to these two groups, one or both of wish have gone on the offensive once again.

These smaller, radical groups never accepted the ceasefire or turned in their arms, unlike the majority of the Irish Republican Army did after the Treaty of Belfast.  They were still determined to bring Northern Ireland under Irish government, despite what the population want.  The people of Northern Ireland, as a whole, may want to reunify with Ireland, but not at the cost of war.

Will These Incidents Ignite A Large Scale Revolution?

No. The population is too heavily divided for a large-scale rebellion to gain momentum.

There are major portions of the population who would be favorable of the IRA, many North Irishmen did not sympathize with the police in regards to the recent assassination of Ronan Kerr.  However, these elements do not reflect the population as a whole.

Protestant minorities strongly favor the British Government and the Catholic majority in the region is heavily divided.  This largely silent majority is split between favoring Irish and British; however both most definitely want to avoid further conflict. The region suffered billions of dollars of damage in the concluding years of the conflict; nobody wants to return to guerrilla warfare.

More incidents of death and destruction will occur, however once the culprits are captured these bombings will cease.  Northern Ireland will return to its uneasy peace.

“LizaMoon” Virus: Eclipsing Internet Security

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Next generation virus, “Lizamoon,” has launched a new terror campaign infecting over half a million web pages, directing users unknowingly to infected domains where damaging virus soft ware, disguised as an AV scan, infects the computer.  Over 28,000 websites have been completely overrun, leading to over three million Google searches being deemed hazardous.  All infected users are forced to buy their electronic freedom from the iron grip of the virus, causing the anarchists who launched it to profit greatly.  The internet plague penetrates firewall and other defenses using a mass blind SQL injection, which exploits faulty code accessible from the home page to eliminate all information and reconfigure the webpage to redirect viewers.  So far the specific failings in the protection have not been fixed and currently only 17 of the 43 major cyber defense operators have been able to syntheses adequate defenses.  It is unknown how many more sites are vulnerable, or have already been infected.

This will mean a new age of cyber warfare, with civilians being drawn into the conflict and unwittingly weaponized by the anarchists. Currently, all except the largest internet entities only have minimal protection against SQL style attacks and only if they are up to date on their security.  This widespread attack has already begun to have copycat followers, launching undocumented attacks across the internet.  This is resulting in increased cyber defense spending from many of the mid to small tier sites, while other are corrupted and leashed upon the internet.  This move to the next round of cyber warfare will mean empowerment of both the side of the ardent defenders of security and the greedy anarchists both will have increased funds and lethality.  Those left behind the cutting edge will be increasing vulnerable.

For the average American this means a general retreat from the openness of the internet into protective web of networks, which can protect themselves and users against these bandits’ attacks.  Specific secured sites will exclusively link to each other, walling off users from generally accessing the potentially lethal web.  Facebook has already began constructing a unified network, composed of itself, CNN, and many other organizations who have fully incorporated the Facebook Like button.  Google is in the opening stages of constructing its own network, with its launch of the +1 button, their version of the Facebook like button.  This will mean a general culling of the free bloggers of the internet and ardent defenders of free speech such as Wikileaks.  A new more secure age is in the future of the internet, but we will all be a little less free.

 

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