Iran, perceiving threat from West, willing to attack on U.S. soil, U.S

Iran, perceiving threat from West, willing to attack on U.S. soil, U.S. intelligence report finds

Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 11:59 AM

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States in response to perceived threats from America and its allies, the U.S. spy chief said Tuesday.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said in prepared testimony that an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington that was uncovered last year reflects an aggressive new willingness within the upper ranks of the Islamist republic to authorize attacks against the United States

That plot “shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime,” Clapper said in the testimony, which was submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee in advance of a threat assessment hearing Tuesday. “We are also concerned about Iranian plotting against U.S. or allied interests overseas.”

The assessment signals a potentially dire new direction in the adversarial relationship between the United States and Iran, at a time when there are indications that a covert campaign is already underway to thwart Iran’s alleged ambition to develop a nuclear weapon…..

Iran, perceiving threat from West, willing to attack on U.S. soil, U.S

Iran, perceiving threat from West, willing to attack on U.S. soil, U.S. intelligence report finds

Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 11:59 AM

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States in response to perceived threats from America and its allies, the U.S. spy chief said Tuesday.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said in prepared testimony that an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington that was uncovered last year reflects an aggressive new willingness within the upper ranks of the Islamist republic to authorize attacks against the United States

That plot “shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime,” Clapper said in the testimony, which was submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee in advance of a threat assessment hearing Tuesday. “We are also concerned about Iranian plotting against U.S. or allied interests overseas.”

The assessment signals a potentially dire new direction in the adversarial relationship between the United States and Iran, at a time when there are indications that a covert campaign is already underway to thwart Iran’s alleged ambition to develop a nuclear weapon…..

Royal Navy to send HMS Dauntless to Falkland Islands

Royal Navy to send HMS Dauntless to Falkland Islands

The Royal Navy’s most sophisticated warship is being sent to the South Atlantic in a move that will send a powerful message to Argentina

11:53AM GMT 31 Jan 2012

Dauntless will set sail for the Falkland Islands in the coming weeks armed with a battery of missiles that could “take out all of South America’s fighter aircraft let alone Argentina’s,” according to one Navy source.

The Type 45 destroyer is the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world equipped with 48 Sea Viper missiles and the Sampson radar, which is more advanced than Heathrow air traffic control

The ship is in a league of its own in air defence able to track dozens of multiple targets

“It can shoot down Argentine fighters as soon as they take off from they bases,” said another Navy source. “This will give Buenos Aires serious pause for thought.”

The deployment, expected in late March, comes as Argentina has stepped up its sabre rattling over possession of the islands with a ban on all Falkland registered ships in South American ports.

David Cameron has responded that the sovereignty of the islands is not for negotiation.

Sending the £1 billion Dauntless on her first mission to the area will reinforce Britain’s position although it will cause difficulties for the Foreign Office which is trying to downplay the rhetoric.

Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and Falklands veteran, said the Type 45 has an “amazing anti-air warfare capability.”

He also sent a warning to the Buenos Aires government. “Should there be any foolish nonsense from Argentina, Dauntless can sit just off the airfield and take down any aircraft coming in. It’s a game-changing capability.”

A Navy Spokesman said: “The Royal Navy has had a continuous presence in the South Atlantic for many years. The deployment of HMS Dauntless to the South Atlantic has been long planned, is entirely routine and replaces another ship on patrol.”

Dauntless will replace the ageing Type 23 frigate Montrose.

Earlier this month the Navy sent Daring, the first Type 45, to the Arabian Gulf as tensions with Iran increase…..http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/9051564/Royal-Navy-to-send-HMS-Dauntless-to-Falkland-Islands.html

Royal Navy to send HMS Dauntless to Falkland Islands

Royal Navy to send HMS Dauntless to Falkland Islands

The Royal Navy’s most sophisticated warship is being sent to the South Atlantic in a move that will send a powerful message to Argentina

11:53AM GMT 31 Jan 2012

Dauntless will set sail for the Falkland Islands in the coming weeks armed with a battery of missiles that could “take out all of South America’s fighter aircraft let alone Argentina’s,” according to one Navy source.

The Type 45 destroyer is the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world equipped with 48 Sea Viper missiles and the Sampson radar, which is more advanced than Heathrow air traffic control

The ship is in a league of its own in air defence able to track dozens of multiple targets

“It can shoot down Argentine fighters as soon as they take off from they bases,” said another Navy source. “This will give Buenos Aires serious pause for thought.”

The deployment, expected in late March, comes as Argentina has stepped up its sabre rattling over possession of the islands with a ban on all Falkland registered ships in South American ports.

David Cameron has responded that the sovereignty of the islands is not for negotiation.

Sending the £1 billion Dauntless on her first mission to the area will reinforce Britain’s position although it will cause difficulties for the Foreign Office which is trying to downplay the rhetoric.

Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and Falklands veteran, said the Type 45 has an “amazing anti-air warfare capability.”

He also sent a warning to the Buenos Aires government. “Should there be any foolish nonsense from Argentina, Dauntless can sit just off the airfield and take down any aircraft coming in. It’s a game-changing capability.”

A Navy Spokesman said: “The Royal Navy has had a continuous presence in the South Atlantic for many years. The deployment of HMS Dauntless to the South Atlantic has been long planned, is entirely routine and replaces another ship on patrol.”

Dauntless will replace the ageing Type 23 frigate Montrose.

Earlier this month the Navy sent Daring, the first Type 45, to the Arabian Gulf as tensions with Iran increase…..http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/9051564/Royal-Navy-to-send-HMS-Dauntless-to-Falkland-Islands.html

Mossad chief holds secret U.S. meetings on Iran nuclear threat, Senate

Mossad chief holds secret U.S. meetings on Iran nuclear threat, Senate panel reveals

During a broadcasted meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA Director, panel Chairperson indicate they met Tamir Pardo in Washington this week; U.S. official: Iran willing to attack U.S. targets if threatened.

Latest update 19:18 31.01.12

Mossad chief Tamir Pardo held secret talks with top U.S. officials in recent days, cursory comments made during a public Senate hearing indicated on Tuesday.

The clandestine Washington visit was exposed during a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which was participated by CIA Director David Petraeus, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate panel.

During the meeting, Feinstein asked Clapper whether or not Israel intended to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with the top U.S. intelligence official answering that he would rather discuss the issue behind closed doors.

Feinstein then indicated that she had met Mossad chief Pardo earlier in the week in Washington, with Petraeus adding that he too met Pardo and cited what he called Israel’s growing concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The CIA chief also said that it was important to note that Israel considered a nuclear Iran as an existential threat….http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/mossad-chief-holds-secret-u-s-meetings-on-iran-nuclear-threat-senate-panel-reveals-1.410233

Mossad chief holds secret U.S. meetings on Iran nuclear threat, Senate

Mossad chief holds secret U.S. meetings on Iran nuclear threat, Senate panel reveals

During a broadcasted meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA Director, panel Chairperson indicate they met Tamir Pardo in Washington this week; U.S. official: Iran willing to attack U.S. targets if threatened.

Latest update 19:18 31.01.12

Mossad chief Tamir Pardo held secret talks with top U.S. officials in recent days, cursory comments made during a public Senate hearing indicated on Tuesday.

The clandestine Washington visit was exposed during a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which was participated by CIA Director David Petraeus, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate panel.

During the meeting, Feinstein asked Clapper whether or not Israel intended to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with the top U.S. intelligence official answering that he would rather discuss the issue behind closed doors.

Feinstein then indicated that she had met Mossad chief Pardo earlier in the week in Washington, with Petraeus adding that he too met Pardo and cited what he called Israel’s growing concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The CIA chief also said that it was important to note that Israel considered a nuclear Iran as an existential threat….http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/mossad-chief-holds-secret-u-s-meetings-on-iran-nuclear-threat-senate-panel-reveals-1.410233

Federal taxes to jump 30% in 2 years…

CBO: Taxes Will ‘Shoot Up by More Than 30 Percent’ Over Next 2 Years

January 31, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – The amount of money the federal government takes out of the U.S. economy in taxes will increase by more than 30 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to the Budget and Economic Outlook published today by the CBO.

At the same time, according to CBO, the economy will remain sluggish, partly because of higher taxes.

“In particular, between 2012 and 2014, revenues in CBO’s baseline shoot up by more than 30 percent,” said CBO, “mostly because of the recent or scheduled expirations of tax provisions, such as those that lower income tax rates and limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and the imposition of new taxes, fees, and penalties that are scheduled to go into effect.”

The U.S. economy, CBO projects, will perform “below its potential” for another six years and unemployment will remain above 7 percent for another three.

“The pace of the economic recovery has been slow since the recession ended in June 2009, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects that, under current laws governing taxes and spending, the economy will continue to grow at a sluggish pace over the next two years,” said CBO. “That pace of growth partly reflects the dampening effect on economic activity from the higher tax rates and curbs on spending scheduled to occur this year and especially next. Although CBO projects that growth will pick up after 2013, the agency expects that the economy’s output will remain below its potential until 2018 and that the unemployment rate will remain above 7 percent until 2015.”

According to the CBO report, federal tax revenues equaled $2.302 trillion in fiscal 2011, and will increase to $2,523 trillion in fiscal 2012, $2,988 trillion in fiscal in 2013, and $3,313 trillion in 2014.

As a percentage of GDP, according to CBO, federal tax revenues were 15.4 percent in fiscal 2011, and will be 16.3 percent in 2012, 18.8 percent in 2013, and 20.0 percent in fiscal 2014.

In dollar terms, the anticipated increase in federal tax revenue from fiscal 2011 ($2.302 trillion) to fiscal 2014 ($3.313 trillion) is $1.011 trillion. That is an increase of 43.9 percent.

From just 2012 to 2014, the increase in federal tax revenues from $2.523 trillion to $3.313 trillion equals $790 billion—or 31.3 percent…..http://cnsnews.com/news/article/cbo-taxes-will-shoot-more-30-percent-over-next-2-years

Federal taxes to jump 30% in 2 years…

CBO: Taxes Will ‘Shoot Up by More Than 30 Percent’ Over Next 2 Years

January 31, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – The amount of money the federal government takes out of the U.S. economy in taxes will increase by more than 30 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to the Budget and Economic Outlook published today by the CBO.

At the same time, according to CBO, the economy will remain sluggish, partly because of higher taxes.

“In particular, between 2012 and 2014, revenues in CBO’s baseline shoot up by more than 30 percent,” said CBO, “mostly because of the recent or scheduled expirations of tax provisions, such as those that lower income tax rates and limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and the imposition of new taxes, fees, and penalties that are scheduled to go into effect.”

The U.S. economy, CBO projects, will perform “below its potential” for another six years and unemployment will remain above 7 percent for another three.

“The pace of the economic recovery has been slow since the recession ended in June 2009, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects that, under current laws governing taxes and spending, the economy will continue to grow at a sluggish pace over the next two years,” said CBO. “That pace of growth partly reflects the dampening effect on economic activity from the higher tax rates and curbs on spending scheduled to occur this year and especially next. Although CBO projects that growth will pick up after 2013, the agency expects that the economy’s output will remain below its potential until 2018 and that the unemployment rate will remain above 7 percent until 2015.”

According to the CBO report, federal tax revenues equaled $2.302 trillion in fiscal 2011, and will increase to $2,523 trillion in fiscal 2012, $2,988 trillion in fiscal in 2013, and $3,313 trillion in 2014.

As a percentage of GDP, according to CBO, federal tax revenues were 15.4 percent in fiscal 2011, and will be 16.3 percent in 2012, 18.8 percent in 2013, and 20.0 percent in fiscal 2014.

In dollar terms, the anticipated increase in federal tax revenue from fiscal 2011 ($2.302 trillion) to fiscal 2014 ($3.313 trillion) is $1.011 trillion. That is an increase of 43.9 percent.

From just 2012 to 2014, the increase in federal tax revenues from $2.523 trillion to $3.313 trillion equals $790 billion—or 31.3 percent…..http://cnsnews.com/news/article/cbo-taxes-will-shoot-more-30-percent-over-next-2-years

Assad may start regional war if UN tells him to step down

Assad may start regional war if UN tells him to step down – Gulf sources

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2012, 7:23 PM (GMT+02:00)

In confidential conversations with his advisers, Syrian President Bashar Assad is reported by Persian Gulf sources Tuesday, Jan. 31 to have threatened to start up armed hostilities in the region if the UN Security Council Tuesday night endorses the Arab League proposal for him to step down and hand power to his deputy.

Those sources told DEBKAfile that the heads of the Syrian armed forces and intelligence have been given their orders and some units are on the ready. Other Middle East sources reported that the Lebanese Hizballah has also shown signs of military preparations in the last few hours. And the Russian flotilla berthed at the Syrian port of Tartus, led by the Admiral Kutznetsov aircraft carrier, also appears to be on the alert for ructions in the wake of the Security Council Syria session.

During the day, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov warned that pushing the Arab League’s UN resolution was “the path to civil war.” Our Moscow sources report that top-level discussions are still going back and forth in the Kremlin over a final decision on a veto.

DEBKAfile reports that the military flurry in advance of the critical Security Council session included US naval movements. Sunday, Jan. 29, the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis, escorted by the guided missile destroyer USS Momsen sailed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea. This looked like a Washington warning for Tehran to keep its military fingers out of Syria if the confrontation there escalates.

It was not the first time Assad has threatened Syria’s neighbors. On Aug. 9, 2011, four months into his savage crackdown against protesters, he warned Turkey that, six hours after the first shot was fired against Syria, he would “destroy Tel Aviv and set the entire Middle East on fire.”

That was his answer to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu when he came to Damascus with a demand from his and other NATO governments that the Syrian ruler stop the slaughter.

Davutoglu urged Assad to take a look at Libya and try to understand that if he carried on, he might be in for the same fate as Muammar Qaddafi – a strong hint at military intervention by NATO, including Turkey.

Earlier still on May 10, one of Assad’s close kinsmen, the international tycoon Rami Makhlouf, warned: “If there is no stability in Syria, there will be none in Israel. No one can be sure what will happens after that. God help us if anything befalls this regime.”

http://www.debka.com/article/21696/

Assad may start regional war if UN tells him to step down

Assad may start regional war if UN tells him to step down – Gulf sources

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2012, 7:23 PM (GMT+02:00)

In confidential conversations with his advisers, Syrian President Bashar Assad is reported by Persian Gulf sources Tuesday, Jan. 31 to have threatened to start up armed hostilities in the region if the UN Security Council Tuesday night endorses the Arab League proposal for him to step down and hand power to his deputy.

Those sources told DEBKAfile that the heads of the Syrian armed forces and intelligence have been given their orders and some units are on the ready. Other Middle East sources reported that the Lebanese Hizballah has also shown signs of military preparations in the last few hours. And the Russian flotilla berthed at the Syrian port of Tartus, led by the Admiral Kutznetsov aircraft carrier, also appears to be on the alert for ructions in the wake of the Security Council Syria session.

During the day, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov warned that pushing the Arab League’s UN resolution was “the path to civil war.” Our Moscow sources report that top-level discussions are still going back and forth in the Kremlin over a final decision on a veto.

DEBKAfile reports that the military flurry in advance of the critical Security Council session included US naval movements. Sunday, Jan. 29, the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis, escorted by the guided missile destroyer USS Momsen sailed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea. This looked like a Washington warning for Tehran to keep its military fingers out of Syria if the confrontation there escalates.

It was not the first time Assad has threatened Syria’s neighbors. On Aug. 9, 2011, four months into his savage crackdown against protesters, he warned Turkey that, six hours after the first shot was fired against Syria, he would “destroy Tel Aviv and set the entire Middle East on fire.”

That was his answer to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu when he came to Damascus with a demand from his and other NATO governments that the Syrian ruler stop the slaughter.

Davutoglu urged Assad to take a look at Libya and try to understand that if he carried on, he might be in for the same fate as Muammar Qaddafi – a strong hint at military intervention by NATO, including Turkey.

Earlier still on May 10, one of Assad’s close kinsmen, the international tycoon Rami Makhlouf, warned: “If there is no stability in Syria, there will be none in Israel. No one can be sure what will happens after that. God help us if anything befalls this regime.”

http://www.debka.com/article/21696/