Sunday, December 26, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
This seems to be a basic foundation for not only personal preparedness, but the necessity to pass on this knowledge of the ways of survival to our children. Basic homesteading, proper care and use of firearms etc. should be required learning in the modern Jewish educational system!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
December 15, 2010
U.S. Thinks of Strategy for the Unthinkable
By WILLIAM J. BROAD
Suppose the unthinkable happened, and terrorists struck New York or another big city with an atom bomb. What should people there do? The government has a surprising new message: Do not flee. Get inside any stable building and don’t come out till officials say it’s safe.
The advice is based on recent scientific analyses indicating that a nuclear attack is much more survivable if you immediately shield yourself from the lethal radiation that follows a blast, a simple tactic seen as saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Even staying in a car, the studies show, would reduce casualties by more than 50 percent; hunkering down in a basement would be better by far.
But a problem for the Obama administration is how to spread the word without seeming alarmist about a subject that few politicians care to consider, let alone discuss. So officials are proceeding gingerly in a campaign to educate the public.
“We have to get past the mental block that says it’s too terrible to think about,” W. Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview. “We have to be ready to deal with it” and help people learn how to best protect themselves.
Over the years, Washington has sought to prevent nuclear terrorism and limit its harm, mainly by governmental means. It has spent tens of billions of dollars on everything from intelligence and securing loose nuclear materials to equipping local authorities with radiation detectors.
The new wave is citizen preparedness. For people who survive the initial blast, the main advice is to fight the impulse to run and instead seek shelter to save themselves and their families from lethal radioactivity.
Administration officials argue that the cold war created an unrealistic sense of fatalism about a terrorist nuclear attack. “It’s more survivable than most people think,” said an official deeply involved in the planning, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The key is avoiding nuclear fallout.”
The administration is making that argument with state and local authorities and has started to do so with the general public as well.
Its Citizen Corps Web site says a nuclear detonation is “potentially survivable for thousands, especially with adequate shelter and education.” A color illustration shows which kinds of buildings and which rooms offer the best protection from radiation.
In June, the administration released to emergency officials around the nation an unclassified planning guide 130 pages long on how to respond to a nuclear attack. It stressed citizen education, before any attack.
Without that knowledge, the guide added, “people will be more likely to follow the natural instinct to run from danger, potentially exposing themselves to fatal doses of radiation.”
The Obama administration is preparing a separate, more detailed communications guide for state and local authorities.
Specialists outside of Washington are divided on the initiative. One group says the administration is overreacting and exaggerating an atomic threat that is all but nonexistent.
Peter Bergen, a fellow at the New America Foundation and New York University’s Center on Law and Security, recently argued that the odds of any terrorist group obtaining a nuclear weapon are “near zero for the foreseeable future.”
But another school says that the consequences, notwithstanding low risks, are so high that the administration is, if anything, being too timid.
“There’s no penetration of the message coming out of the federal government,” said Irwin Redlener, a doctor and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. “What’s new over the past few years is the realization that small amounts of preparedness can save hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s deeply frustrating that we seem unable to bridge the gap between the new insights and using them to inform public policy.”
White House officials say they are aware of the issue’s political delicacy but are nonetheless moving ahead aggressively.
The administration has sought “to enhance national resilience — to withstand disruption, adapt to change and rapidly recover,” said Brian Kamoie, senior director for preparedness policy at the National Security Council. He added, “We’re working hard to involve individuals in the effort so they become part of the team in terms of emergency management.”
A nuclear blast produces a blinding flash, burning heat and crushing wind. The fireball and mushroom cloud carry radioactive particles upward, and the wind sends them near and far.
The federal government initially knew little about radioactive fallout. But in the 1950s, as the cold war intensified, scientists monitoring test explosions learned that the tiny particles throbbed with fission products — fragments of split atoms, many highly radioactive and potentially lethal.
But after a burst of interest in fallout shelters, the public and even the government grew increasingly skeptical about civil defense as nuclear arsenals grew to hold thousands of warheads.
In late 2001, a month after the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the director of central intelligence told President George W. Bush of a secret warning that Al Qaeda had hidden an atom bomb in New York City.
The report turned out to be false. But atomic jitters soared. The government embarked on dozens of defensive programs.
“History will judge harshly those who saw this coming danger but failed to act,” Mr. Bush said in late 2002.
His administration focused on prevention but also dealt with disaster response and the acquisition of items like radiation detectors.
“Public education is key,” Daniel J. Kaniewski, a security expert at George Washington University, said in an interview. “But it’s easier for communities to buy equipment — and look for tech solutions — because there’s Homeland Security money and no shortage of contractors to supply the silver bullet.”
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 revealed the poor state of disaster planning, public and private officials began to question national preparedness for atomic strikes. Some noted conflicting federal advice on whether survivors should seek shelter or try to evacuate.
In 2007, Congress appropriated $5.5 million for studies on atomic disaster planning, noting that “cities have little guidance available to them.”
The Department of Homeland Security financed a multiagency modeling effort led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The scientists looked at Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other big cities, using computers to simulate details of both the urban landscape and terrorist bombs.
The results were revealing. For instance, the scientists found that a bomb’s flash would blind many drivers, causing accidents and complicating evacuation.
The big surprise was how taking shelter for as little as several hours made a huge difference in survival rates.
“This has been a game changer,” Brooke Buddemeier, a Livermore health physicist, told a Los Angeles conference. He showed a slide labeled “How Many Lives Can Sheltering Save?”
If people in Los Angeles a mile or more from ground zero of an attack took no shelter, Mr. Buddemeier said, there would be 285,000 casualties from fallout in that region.
Taking shelter in a place with minimal protection, like a car, would cut that figure to 125,000 deaths or injuries, he said. A shallow basement would further reduce it to 45,000 casualties. And the core of a big office building or an underground parking garage would provide the best shelter of all.
“We’d have no significant exposures,” Mr. Buddemeier told the conference, and thus virtually no casualties from fallout.
On Jan. 16, 2009 — four days before Mr. Bush left office — the White House issued a 92-page handbook lauding “pre-event preparedness and dissemination of guidance to the public.” But it was silent on the delicate issue of how to inform the public.
Soon after Mr. Obama arrived at the White House, he embarked a global campaign to fight atomic terrorism and sped up domestic planning for disaster response. A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the new administration began a revision of the Bush administration’s handbook to address the issue of public communication.
“We started working on it immediately,” the official said. “It was recognized as a key part of our response.”
The agenda hit a speed bump. Las Vegas was to star in the nation’s first live exercise meant to simulate a terrorist attack with an atom bomb, the test involving about 10,000 emergency responders.
But casinos and businesses protested, as did Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader. He told the federal authorities that it would scare away tourists at a time when unemployment was already unacceptably high.
Late last year, the administration backed down.
“Politics overtook preparedness,” said Mr. Kaniewski of George Washington University.
When the administration came out with its revised planning guide in June, it noted that “no significant federal response” after an attack would be likely for one to three days.
The document stressed the importance of educating the public beforehand but also noted the sense of fatalism from the cold war and antiterrorism campaigns, whose suggestions for making safe zones with plastic sheeting and duct tape had met with skepticism.
Still, it said, planners have an obligation to help the public “make effective decisions.” The guide said messages for predisaster campaigns might be tailored for schools, businesses, and even water bills.
“The most lives,” the handbook said, “will be saved in the first 60 minutes through sheltering in place.”
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Mountain View, California (CNN) -- The world has mostly caught on to Steve Wozniak's vision of having a computer in every home. But this digital lifestyle can sometimes turn rotten, he said last week.
Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and designed, programmed and built some of the world's first personal computers, laments the byproducts of a culture that's always connected to electronics.
Leading a tour through an exhibit of computer artifacts -- including giant supercomputers and Atari game systems -- that opens next month at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Wozniak paused to criticize the stranglehold technology has on our lives.
"We're dependent on it," he said at the museum, which holds one of the world's largest collections of vintage computers and sits about six blocks from Google's headquarters. "And eventually, we are going to have it doing every task we can in the world, so we can sit back and relax."
Wozniak's musings have undertones of science-fiction, drawing parallels between the internet and robots bent on taking over humanity.
"All of a sudden, we've lost a lot of control," he said. "We can't turn off our internet; we can't turn off our smartphones; we can't turn off our computers."
"You used to ask a smart person a question. Now, who do you ask? It starts with g-o, and it's not God," he quipped.
Earlier that day, Wozniak said the biggest obstacle with the growing prevalence of technology is that our personal devices are unreliable.
"Little things that work one day; they don't work the next day," he said enthusiastically, waving his hands. "I think it's much harder today than ever before to basically know that something you have ... is going to work tomorrow."
Reciting an all-too-common living-room frustration, Wozniak told a story about the countless hours he spent trying to troubleshoot his media player, called Slingbox.
"There is no solution," Wozniak said of tech troubles. "Everything has a computer in it nowadays; everything with a computer is going to fail. The solution is: kill the people who invented these things," he said with a smile.
Joking aside, by that logic, Wozniak should be target No. 1 on that hit list. He developed the Apple I, a hobbyist computer, and its more mainstream successors. His work jump-started the personal computer revolution.
As it happens, the museum exhibit is called "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing." Wozniak, one of 52 fellows at the museum, was asked to hand-pick eight items on display.
"It's transformed our lives," Computer History Museum CEO John Hollar said of the personal computer. "It's transformed our cultures."
Wozniak, 60, the computer whiz whose Apple shares easily sustain his Segway-riding lifestyle, retired from full-time employment at Apple in 1987. But "the Woz" has remained in the spotlight, thanks to a turn as a "Dancing with the Stars" contestant in 2009 and a much-publicized relationship with comedian Kathy Griffin.
Last month, he appeared in London for the auction of a rare Apple I computer that sold for $213,000. One was also on display at the Computer History Museum.
During Wozniak's short-lived run on "Dancing with the Stars," gossip bloggers noted his short, portly frame and compared him to a teddy bear. In person, he comes off as kind, humble and patient -- although one of the few things that test his patience, it seems, is computers.
Despite his frustrations with gadgetry, Wozniak is still a gearhead. He says he carries five to 10 cell phones around with him at a given time. Sometimes he'll set up half a dozen of them, along with standalone GPS units, on his car's windshield, all navigating him to the same spot.
On Thursday, he had three: two iPhones (including an elusive white model that has yet to be sold in stores) and another running Google's Android operating system.
He is a voracious news consumer whose days are engrossed in "thousands of tech headlines." And Wozniak recently made headlines of his own.
In one, he compared Android to Microsoft's Windows and said that Google's system would eventually dominate the smartphone market. He echoed this sentiment to CNN.
"Apple likes to sit and control the whole user experience better, and it's a tradeoff," Wozniak said. "The Android platform might have the greater market share, but individually as a company, I'm sure Apple will probably wind up on top in mobile phones."
Wozniak also created some blogosphere buzz when he was quoted as saying Apple had acquired language-software maker Nuance, a tip that turned out to be incorrect. Last week, he made repeated mention to the similar company that Apple actually did buy, called Siri.
Wozniak appears most excited about these types of software, which interpret what you're saying and translate that into actions readable by computers.
"Eventually, we might just be wearing our computers like a watch and speaking to them," he said. (He's already there; he wears a touch-screen iPod Nano with a band around his wrist.) "Every step of the way, things get less in our way. It's less like the technology is there. It's more like our thoughts go directly into the actions that we want."
That's the ideal future, he said.
Technology romanticism aside, Wozniak says his favorite device is a laptop: the MacBook Pro.
His hesitations about the world's reliance on computers sometimes fade into fond memories of the early days of computing. The first Apple computer was a homebrew distributed for free.
"I didn't design this computer to make a lot of money," Wozniak said later when the tour stopped in front of the original Apple computer, a wooden and silicon contraption that's rough around the edges. "I wanted to accelerate the world's advancement in the social revolution that it would cause. So I gave away my designs for free.
"But eventually, Steve Jobs came and said, 'Why don't we build it for (consumers)?'" he continued. That was after his then-employer Hewlett-Packard "turned me down five times on the idea," he said.
Whether computers work all the time or not, the formula certainly worked to make Apple a wildly successful business. And it gives Wozniak time to observe the revolution he helped make.Find this article at:
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
We would like to encourage you'all to spread the word and make this coming year even more prepared than the last!
Anyone familiar with the Chanukka story understands that the Hashmonaim were basically Jewish preppers of ole that took a terrible situation into their own hands and managed to survive against all odds.
Happy Chanukka and Semper Paratus!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
When the Jews stood near the Red Sea with the Egyptians close behind them and they cried out to G-d, G-d said to Moses "Ma Titzak Alai, Daber el Bne yisrael Ve'yisa'u- For what do you cry out to me? Tell the Children of Israel to go forward!" Exodus 14:15
This seemingly could be a Biblical source for Prepping, since we see that Moses was commanded to take action instead of sitting by and praying. But as I delve more into this theme, I find a disturbing trend of Jews that have a very different interpretation of this verse.
The Emek Davar's (Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (1816-1893), known as the Netziv) commentary on this verse, explains that Moses was being admonished by God for praying to him at a time of spiritual peril and since it was not a 'natural war' it was deemed inappropriate. While he notes that when the Jews fought Amalek (and the battle at Jericho) and Moses had his hands raised to the heavens in prayer, it was a physical war and was then appropriate to pray.
I've discussed this concept with others who confirm this viewpoint and note that Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman HY"D (1875-1941) made a speech shortly before being killed explaining that they should consider themselves as holy sacrifices and should spend their last moments in prayer and repentance.
Now although you do hear of isolated cases of religious Jews joining the resistance movement, the vast majority did not resist. Why? Hypothetically, and without passing any judgement (since who are we to judge people that were there?) why didn't the heads of the multitudes of Yeshivas instruct their deciples to grab kitchen knives (assuming they had nothing else to arm themselves with...) and at least kill or injure their attackers? Even if they were all slaughtered in the fight, some of the attackers would be killed and preventing from killing others in the future!
Now, I can possibly accept the point of view that in the beginning of the war (WWII) it was thought that if there was an organized uprising, the rest of the Jews would have to suffer greater and would perhaps put more lives at risk. But by the end of the war, wasn't the enemy's intent clear? Wasn't it obvious that they wanted to wipe out all the Jews? And if so, why don't we hear of more cases of resistance?
It seems to me, that this approach is incorrect and that Jews are obligated to defend themselves and their brothers whenever and however possible. It is, in my humble opinion, so mandated in the Torah and is unwise, and perhaps criminal to not act!
I'd love to hear your opinions on this. Please continue the discussion...
Friday, November 19, 2010
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans had mental illness in 2009
Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:17pm EST
By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) - More than 45 million Americans, or 20 percent of U.S. adults, had some form of mental illness last year, and 11 million had a serious illness, U.S. government researchers reported on Thursday.
Young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of mental illness at 30 percent, while those aged 50 and older had the lowest, with 13.7 percent, said the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.
The rate, slightly higher than last year's 19.5 percent figure, reflected increasing depression, especially among the unemployed, SAMHSA, part of the National Institutes of Health, said.
"Too many Americans are not getting the help they need and opportunities to prevent and intervene early are being missed," Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA's administrator, said in a statement.
"The consequences for individuals, families and communities can be devastating. If left untreated mental illnesses can result in disability, substance abuse, suicides, lost productivity, and family discord."
The 2009 mental health survey hints at the impact of record unemployment rates, which last year hit a 25-year high as struggling employers slashed jobs to cope with a weak economy.
For many, lost employment meant loss of health insurance, leaving many of the nation's mentally ill unable to get treatment.
According to the survey, 6.1 million adults last year had a mental health need that went untreated, and 42.5 percent said it was because they could not afford it.
It found 14.8 million Americans had major depression last year, and 10 percent of the jobless did, compared with 7.5 of retired people or those not in the job force, 7.3 percent who worked part time and 5.4 percent who worked full time.
Only 64 percent of adults aged 18 or older with major depression were treated last year, compared with 71 percent a year ago.
Being jobless also increased the risk of suicide.
Adults who were unemployed last year were twice as likely to have serious thoughts of suicide as people who were fully employed, with 6.6 percent of the unemployed considering suicide, compared with 3.1 percent of those who were working.
The survey also found that 23.8 percent of women had some form of mental illness, compared with 15.6 percent of men.
(Editing by Maggie Fox and Sandra Maler)
You need to keep in mind this:
Thursday, November 18, 2010
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press Mon Nov 15, 7:06 pm ET
PULLMAN, Wash. – It's usually cheaper to fly one way, even to Mars.
Two scientists are suggesting that colonization of the red planet could happen faster and more economically if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America — not expecting to go home.
"The main point is to get Mars exploration moving," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored an article that seriously proposes what sounds like a preposterous idea.
At least one moon-walking astronaut was not impressed.
"This is premature," Ed Mitchell of Apollo 14 wrote in an e-mail. "We aren't ready for this yet."
Also cool to the idea was NASA. President Barack Obama has already outlined a plan to go to Mars by the mid-2030s, but he never suggested these space travelers wouldn't come home.
"We want our people back," NASA spokesman Michael Braukus said.
The article titled "To Boldly Go" appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Cosmology, which featured more than 50 articles and essays on Mars exploration.
Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies, a physicist at Arizona State University, argue that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe on Earth. They believe the one-way trips could start in two decades.
"You would send a little bit older folks, around 60 or something like that," Schulze-Makuch said, bringing to mind the aging heroes who saved the day in the movie "Space Cowboys."
That's because the mission would undoubtedly reduce a person's lifespan, from a lack of medical care and exposure to radiation. Radiation could also damage reproductive organs, so sending people of childbearing age is not a good idea, Schulze-Makuch said.
Mars is a six-month flight away, and it has surface gravity, a thin atmosphere, frozen water, carbon dioxide and essential minerals. The two scientists propose the missions begin with two two-person teams, in separate ships that would serve as living quarters on the planet. More colonists and regular supply ships would follow.
The technology already exists, or is within easy reach, they wrote. By not taking the extra fuel and provisions necessary for a return trip to Earth, the mission could cut costs by 80 percent.
Davies and Schulze-Makuch say it's important to realize they're not proposing a "suicide mission."
"The astronauts would go to Mars with the intention of staying for the rest of their lives, as trailblazers of a permanent human Mars colony," they wrote.
They acknowledge the proposal is a tough sell for NASA, with its focus on safety, and suggest the private sector might be more fertile ground.
"What we would need is an eccentric billionaire," Schulze-Makuch said. "There are people who have the money to put this into reality."
Indeed, British tycoon Richard Branson, PayPal founder Elon Musk and Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos are among the rich who are already involved in private space ventures.
Isolated humans in space have long been a staple of science fiction movies, from "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" to a flurry of recent movies such as "Solaris" and "Moon." In many of the plots, lonely astronauts fall victim to computers, madness or aliens.
Psychological profiling and training of the astronauts, plus constant communication with Earth, would reduce debilitating mental strains, the two scientists said.
"They would, in fact, feel more connected to home than the early Antarctic explorers," they write in their article.
The mental health of humans in space has been extensively studied. Depression can set in, people become irritated with each other, and sleep can be disrupted, studies have found. The knowledge that there is no quick return to Earth would likely make that worse.
Davies' research focuses on cosmology, quantum field theory and astrobiology. He was an early proponent of the theory that life on Earth may have come from Mars in rocks ejected by asteroid and comet impacts.
Schulze-Makuch is the author of two books about life on other planets. His focus is eco-hydrogeology, which includes the study of water on planets and moons of our solar system and how those could serve as a potential habitat for microbial life.
Both men contend that Mars has abundant resources to help the colonists become self-sufficient over time. They write that the colony should be next to a large ice cave, to provide shelter from radiation, plus water and oxygen.
Despite the lack of enthusiasm from NASA, Schulze-Makuch believes many people would be willing to make the sacrifice.
He and Davies believe a Mars base would offer humanity a "lifeboat" if Earth became uninhabitable.
"We are on a vulnerable planet," Schulze-Makuch said. "Asteroid impact can threaten us, or a supernova explosion. If we want to survive as a species, we have to expand into the solar system and likely beyond."
By Pam Benson, CNN National Security Producer
Washington (CNN) -- A highly complex computer attack that may have been targeting Iran's nuclear power plants is posing a serious security threat to critical infrastructure worldwide, according to government and cyber-industry experts testifying Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
The computer worm known as Stuxnet was discovered this past July and specifically targets computers that run critical infrastructure such as the electric power grid, water treatment and oil and gas pipelines.
The head of the Cybersecurity Center at the Department of Homeland Security said Stuxnet is an incredibly large, complex threat with capabilities never seen before.
"This code can automatically enter a system, steal the formula for the product you are manufacturing, alter the ingredients being mixed in your product, and indicate to the operator and your anti-virus software that everything is functioning as expected," Sean McGurk told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
McGurk called the development of Stuxnet a "game changer."
McGurk said there is not enough knowledge to identify what specifically was the target of the attack.
"To say it was specifically designed to target a particular facility is very difficult for anyone to say with assurance," said McGurk.
However, a study by the Symantec Corporation, a cybersecurity firm, indicated Iran's nuclear plants could be the intended target. "Stuxnet is a threat targeting a specific industrial control system likely in Iran, such as a gas pipeline or power plant," according to the report.
Symantec official Dean Turner told the lawmakers that "even if something like this is tied to one particular country or group of countries, the ability of it to have a global reach is enormous."
He said there were approximately 44,000 unique Stuxnet infections worldwide with 1,600 of them in the United States. Nearly 60 percent of the global infections were in Iran.
Who was behind the attack also remains a mystery. DHS's McGurk said the department's analysis of the code did not point to where it was developed. The Symantec study did not identify a source of the attack.
The sophistication of the malware makes it unlikely it could easily be duplicated by others.
"Stuxnet has such complexity requiring significant rescues to develop that few attackers will be capable of producing a similar threat," Turner said.
The discovery of Stuxnet was a wake up call to government and industry, agreed all those who testified. Michael Assante, the president of the National Board of Information Security Examiners said, "We're not only susceptible, but we're not very well prepared."
Enhanced cooperation between the federal government and private sector was cited as one key component to fending off cyber threats.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, lamented that critical cybersecurity legislation needed to combat cyber threats will have to wait until the new Congress convenes next year.
"I'm sorry to say it seems unlikely we can pass this bill in this lame-duck session, although we should. I've been disappointed that the administration and some other committees that have an interest in this issue have been slow to engage," said Lieberman.
Find this article at:
Sunday, November 14, 2010
EXTENDING THE SHELF LIFE OF CRITICAL CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR AND RADIOLOGICAL (CBRN) MEDICAL MATERIEL USING THE FDA/DOD SHELF LIFE EXTENSION PROGRAM
To assure preparedness for war or other contingencies, the Department of Defense (DoD) maintains significant pre-positioned stocks of critical medical materiel. All drugs possess finite, labeled expiration dating. Routine replacement of them can be quite costly for the DoD and the taxpayer. To reduce overall costs, and taxpayer burden for these stocks, the DoD participates in cooperative product evaluation program with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA/DoD Shelf Life Extension Program is a key component of the Medical Readiness Strategic Plan (MRSP) as developed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the Military Medical Departments in response to Congressional concern over the conservation of military medical resources. The program’s focus is to defer drug replacement costs for date sensitive pre-positioned stocks by extending their useful life. The following organizations participate in the program: the FDA, the Defense Medical Standardization Board (DMSB), Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Defense Supply Center-Philadelphia (DSCP) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and the Veterans Administration Emergency Preparedness Program. The DSCP manages the medical materiel for the DoD to include the depot system. The SNS manages our Nation’s medical materiel stocks for responding to Chemical, Biological, Nuclear/Radiological, or conventional weapon terrorist attacks on the American people and the Veterans Administration maintains its own pre-positioned stocks for a CBRN event.
The FDA evaluates candidate materiel for shelf life extension by testing samples submitted from the SLEP Participants. The DMSB coordinates the program and acts as the single interface between the SLEP Participant and the FDA. The SLEP Participant funds the program, manages their portions of the program, and receives the benefit of deferred materiel replacement costs. The Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP) assures only safe and effective drugs are provided to personnel during war or other contingencies.
Prior to the introduction of the program, the Services were investing significant funds in replacement costs for pharmaceutical products of potency dated pre-positioned stocks, war reserves and depot stocked pharmaceuticals. Replacement costs for these drugs in 1986 totaled $2.5 million. One of the methods suggested to limit expenditures and defer drug replacement costs for this materiel was testing for potential extension of their useful life.
In July of 1985, representatives from the Air Force Surgeon General’s Office and the FDA met to determine the feasibility of testing drugs for extension. An agreement was reached at this meeting to establish a pilot project for testing. The Air Force identified a list of items representing stock costing $3,000 or more and within 12 to 18 months of its expiration. The FDA screened the list and established test protocols for 56 of the items. Samples of the items were sent to the FDA for testing. After 8 months of testing, the final results exceeded expectations. 80% of the items were tested, and 84% of all lots tested, were extended. Although the FDA was conservative in their estimates, some of the tested items were granted extensions of up to 3 years beyond their initial expiration date.
In January of 1986, an interagency agreement was signed forming the FDA/DoD Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP). The DMSB was tasked as the Quad-Service, DoD focal point for the program. Testing of items submitted by the Services and DSCP was not started until fiscal year (FY) 87. By FY 91, the program had grown enough for the FDA to increase dedicated program resources (facilities and personnel) to support requirements for new as well as retest projects.
The program has changed significantly over time, as pharmaceutical industry practices and knowledge about product safety and stability have evolved. Today the SLEP is geared towards the testing of “military significant” products, those that are either military-unique, possessing no commercial (non-DoD) market, or those drugs for which the DoD procures such large quantities for pre-positioned stocks that vendors are unwilling to accept them for credit upon expiration.
The FDA is the independent evaluator and proponent for quality control of medical materiel, performing all required testing of items entered into the FDA/DoD SLEP. The FDA uses the U.S. Pharmacopoeia or the original manufacturer’s test data on each item to establish a protocol for testing. Accelerated testing (also called stress testing) is the method used most often to predict the extension period. The accelerated testing protocols are designed to increase the rate of chemical or physical degradation of the drug substance by using exaggerated storage conditions. Each item is "stressed" (placed in chamber which maintains a temperature of 50 degrees centigrade and 75% humidity) for 60 days. The potency of the stressed samples is compared with the standard for each item, and using the comparison, the FDA estimates the extendable life of the product. The FDA testing process, from the time the DMSB presents the project’s candidate list until the results are received by the DMSB, requires approximately six months.
The FDA will not test all items presented to them as program candidates. The FDA’s Center for Biologics Research (CBER) has never permitted the testing of any biological products (vaccines, toxoids, serums, blood products, etc.) in the SLEP. In addition, nutritional products and products with a history of poor performance in the SLEP testing process (i.e., water purification tablets and Mefloquine) are not accepted for testing nor are items where the testing is time and/or cost prohibitive.
The testing conducted by the FDA is comprehensive and scientifically sound. The FDA bases their expiration date extensions on conservative estimates of the useful life of the product as substantiated by the test results. Statistical methods are employed to predict when each product would be expected to breach the acceptable potency specification, and a date less than that expected breach is chosen. The FDA grants the extensions for all SLEP Participates having the materiel as specified by lot number, expiration date, and manufacturer that has been stored under appropriate conditions. Testing of SLEP products is an ongoing process. Annual or biannual the materiel is retested to confirm extended dating (or even permit further extensions). This is a mandatory requirement for all materiel remaining in the SLEP. Products that fail testing at any time will be destroyed. Products that are not tested or do not receive additional extensions are destroyed upon reaching their final expiration date.
The Current SLEP Process
All pre-positioned stocks should be rotated when possible; however, quantities often exceed peacetime requirements. In June 2005, the FDA/DoD Shelf Life Extension Program moved from an Access database that could only be accessed on Ft Detrick to a Web Based Oracle database that may be accessed by all users of the SLEP system through the internet. The system requires all Users to enter their on-hand inventory of CBRN medical materiel, pandemic influenza, and anti-malaria medicals as soon as they receive those items. They are then required to update their inventory once a quarter. Service POCs now use this data for budgeting, reporting and management of CBRN and anti-malaria materiel
Once a quarter, the DMSB SLEP Program Manager pulls the on-hand inventories of all materiel that is going to expire in the next 180 days. This list is scrubbed against the total on-hand quantities and the original expiration date of the item. No item will be extended beyond 10 years from its original manufacturer’s expiration date. Some items have a shorter period that the FDA will consider them for extension, e.g. silver sulfadiazine cream which turns brown after 5 years of testing. The FDA requires that there be at least $10,000.00 of a lot still on hand to test, otherwise it is not cost effective to test. Great importance is placed on SLEP Users to ensure all stock is identified in the SLEP website to ensure testing decisions are based on the most accurate data. There are exceptions, if an item is in short supply and required for possible/actual event/operation.
Once a lot has been identified as a possible test candidate, it is marked in the system with a Lot Status: Add to Test. At this time, the FDA gets the list of all possible test candidates for the next 180 days and request samples. Samples are requested through the automated system to the Customer (Service) POCs. Service POCs turn notify one of their Activities’ that they are to provide x amount of materiel, by lot and NSN, to the FDA and it is to be shipped to one of two FDA sites. Sometime the FDA will only request a copy of the label on the product. This is usually when the manufacturer produced several lots from one batch. This is usually a one-time request in the testing history of the lot. The FDA usually requests enough materiel for the first test, plus two more test, since most item are usually tested three times before they fail or their on-hand quantity falls below the testing threshold. . The FDA requires sample receipt within 45 days of the request. If an item’s samples are not received in 45 days, the item is dropped from the project and testing on the samples that were received begins. Timely submission of samples is critical to successful completion of a project.
When the FDA has received all the samples for new test, or it has been 45 days since the request for samples was sent, The FDA assigns a project number, sends the list of products by lot numbers that will be tested and, a list of lot numbers that will not be tested to DMSB. DMSB enters this information in to the System and then sends an email message out to all user of the SLEP system as well as a message through the Defense Messaging System to identified Commands.
Upon completion of testing, the FDA forwards the results to the DMSB who inputs them the SLEP System, and then sends an email message out to all user of the SLEP system as well as a message through the Defense Messaging System to identified Commands. Any SLEP participating activity having those declared items in the database by lot number may extend that materiel to the new expiration date, but only if that materiel has been properly stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Once a product has been tested, it will be re-tested biannually or annually until the product fails testing or stocks are depleted.
The direction of the program has changed since its inception. The switch from a large, DoD depot supply system to one supported predominantly by prime vendor suppliers and just-in-time deliveries for day-to-day requirements has refocused the program on pre-positioned CBRN, pandemic influenza, and anti-malaria materiel. The prime vendor system has reduced the need for centrally controlled warehousing of drugs and therefore reduced the pool of products that are eligible for testing. Additionally, all Medical Treatment Facilities in DoD have the ability to return goods for credit or replacement of expiring stocks of medication in individual facility inventories. Return goods assure replacement of expired products with little or no cost to the facility.
The DoD enjoys a high rate of success with the SLEP because only products known to have a high probability of being extended are included in test projects. Due to the DoD’s history and knowledge gained with the program, items with low probability of being extended are not included unless there is a compelling reason for the testing.
Labeling Requirements and Guidance
The FDA requires that product be labeled and relabeled in accordance with the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (or subsequent amendments) or the Food and Drug Modernization Act of 1997. Products not relabeled in accordance with these laws or FDA regulations are considered misbranded if they are sold, distributed, or dispensed and are in violation of these Acts.
The FDA Center for Drugs (CDER) compliance office recommends for the DoD, that the extended product be relabeled with the lot number, new expiration date and FDA project number. The new sticker does not have to be the same font and color as the old label. However, the new sticker must not obscure the writing on the original label and the new sticker must be legible. In addition, the sticker must adhere to the old label in such a way that if it was peeled off, what was underneath it would also peel off. It is not necessary nor is it advised to remove the original label on a product and put a new label. The FDA does not want the original product label removed. Putting on a new label on the product will require approval by the FDA compliance office. The intent of this is to instill confidence in the ultimate user, that the products they are given or administered are of high quality and safety, and will work effectively as expected.
The FDA has authorized a deferral of the requirement to have every individual unit of issue relabeled, but only while the materiel is maintained under centralized SLEP Participants control. This was requested in order to reduce the cost for multiple relabeling efforts, as SLEP products may be extended multiple times prior to being issued to individual service members. The FDA will permit SLEP Participants to label only the outer cartons of products with the updated information so long as they remain in centralized storage, control, and management. This materiel must be relabeled completely, down to the individual units of issue, before being distributed/issued to activities or individuals. Due to the requirements for immediate readiness of all SNS drugs, they have opted to relabel all SLEP items immediately after the FDA grants extensions.
Sampling of Data from Items Tested under SLEP
The table provided below represents a number of products tested over several years in the FDA/DoD SLEP.
Table 1. Sample of SLEP Testing History
Product Length of Original Dating Average Total Years Extended Total Shelf Life Obtained
Atropine Sulfate 2mg/ml, 25ml multidose vial 2 years 13 years 15 years
Atropine 2mg/0.7ml Autoinjector 5 years 5 years 10 years
Atropine Sulfate Inhalation Aerosol 4 years 4 years 8 years
Pralidoxime Chloride 600mg/2ml Autoinjector 5 years 13 years 18 years
Pyridostigmine Bromide 30mg tablets 5 years 5 years 10 years
Diazepam 10mg/2ml Autoinjector 4 years 5 years 9 years
Doxycycline 100mg tablets 2 years 5 years 7 years
Ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets 3 years 10 years 13 years
Sodium Nitrite 300mg/10ml vial or ampoule 2 years 8 years 10 years
Sodium Thiosulfate 12.5gm/50ml vial 2 years 14 years 16 years
It is important to note that products tested under this program are maintained under tightly managed, controlled conditions at a limited number of locations. Extrapolation of these data to drugs stored by others would be inappropriate. Storage conditions may vary widely across the population and SLEP data are not generalizable unless storage conditions are identical and verifiable. Even within the SLEP, products known to have been stored under adverse conditions (i.e., high temperature or low temperatures) by SLEP Participates are excluded from the program, unless they are marked and tested separately from “normal” stocks.
The SLEP Program never considers individual prescriptions issued to patients for extension. Items issued to individuals are considered dispensed prescriptions and are never permitted back into the supply chain, regardless of SLEP testing results, since the storage conditions of these items by individuals cannot be assured. Dispensed products that are turned in after completion of an operation are destroyed. Similar practices are executed in routine peacetime care in both DoD facilities and civilian medical practice.
The number of drugs being tested has reduced to an average of 13 every year, but the size of the lots, and number of lots of each drug has drastically increased.
This program is a large cost saver to the taxpayer but is only for large stockpiles of medical materiel, or for medical materiel, that has limited commercial use (i.e., antidotes for chemical agents). The FDA will not normally test any materiel that has less then $10,000 of a lot on hand by the SLEP Participants. This program is not for the small quantities stocked by most local pharmacies, hospitals or clinics.
POCs: CDR Michelle Hupp or Mrs. Mindy Scruggs
Updated: 1 Oct 2009
Friday, November 12, 2010
No, this is not a drill.
You've seen the TV footage of food riots in parts of the developing world. Yes, they're a long way away from the U.S. But most foodstuffs operate in a global market. When the cost of wheat soars in Asia, it will do the same here.
Reality: Food prices are already rising here much faster than the returns you are likely to get from keeping your money in a bank or money-market fund. And there are very good reasons to believe prices on the shelves are about to start rising a lot faster.
"Load up the pantry," says Manu Daftary, one of Wall Street's top investors and the manager of the Quaker Strategic Growth mutual fund. "I think prices are going higher. People are too complacent. They think it isn't going to happen here. But I don't know how the food companies can absorb higher costs." (Full disclosure: I am an investor in Quaker Strategic)
Stocking up on food may not replace your long-term investments, but it may make a sensible home for some of your shorter-term cash. Do the math. If you keep your standby cash in a money-market fund you'll be lucky to get a 2.5% interest rate. Even the best one-year certificate of deposit you can find is only going to pay you about 4.1%, according to Bankrate.com. And those yields are before tax.
Meanwhile the most recent government data shows food inflation for the average American household is now running at 4.5% a year.
And some prices are rising even more quickly. The latest data show cereal prices rising by more than 8% a year. Both flour and rice are up more than 13%. Milk, cheese, bananas and even peanut butter: They're all up by more than 10%. Eggs have rocketed up 30% in a year. Ground beef prices are up 4.8% and chicken by 5.4%.
These are trends that have been in place for some time.
And if you are hoping they will pass, here's the bad news: They may actually accelerate.
The reason? The prices of many underlying raw materials have risen much more quickly still. Wheat prices, for example, have roughly tripled in the past three years.
Sooner or later, the food companies are going to have to pass those costs on. Kraft saw its raw material costs soar by about $1.25 billion last year, squeezing profit margins. The company recently warned that higher prices are here to stay. Last month the chief executive of General Mills, Kendall Powell, made a similar point.
The main reason for rising prices, of course, is the surge in demand from China and India. Hundreds of millions of people are joining the middle class each year, and that means they want to eat more and better food.
A secondary reason has been the growing demand for ethanol as a fuel additive. That's soaking up some of the corn supply.
You can't easily stock up on perishables like eggs or milk. But other products will keep. Among them: Dried pasta, rice, cereals, and cans of everything from tuna fish to fruit and vegetables. The kicker: You should also save money by buying them in bulk.
If this seems a stretch, ponder this: The emerging bull market in agricultural products is following in the footsteps of oil. A few years ago, many Americans hoped $2 gas was a temporary spike. Now it's the rosy memory of a bygone age.
The good news is that it's easier to store Cap'n Crunch or cans of Starkist in your home than it is to store lots of gasoline. Safer, too.
Write to Brett Arends at email@example.com
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Monday, November 8, 2010
I just found this link. Let me know if you know of other kosher foods with long shelf lives.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Has Israel 'attacked' the Iranian nuclear program already?Ralph Alter
Since at least 2001, speculation in the Western media has focused on the possibility of an Israeli or combined American/Israeli attack on the burgeoning Iranian nuclear program. A report in the Eurasia Review suggests that the attack has already taken place, albeit in cyberspace:
...one of the most sophisticated and powerful computer worms ever developed (is the) Stuxnet malware likely designed to infiltrate Iranian industrial computers which controlled numerous automated processes in factory production cycles. The most likely target according to most experts consulted would be Bushehr nuclear reactor complex, which last year was reported by Israeli media to have been sabotaged and faced extensive production delays. The speculation is that the centrifuges refining uranium for use in the facility may've been undermined by deliberately erroneous commands which may've either destroyed to equipment or corrupted the enrichment process.
The size and scope of the cyber attack suggests that only a sophisticated nation state capable of devoting considerable resources to the effort would be capable of mounting such an effort. Of course the most likely nation to mount such an attack would be Israel. From PC World :
Researchers studying the worm all agree that the Stuxnet was built by a very sophisticated and capable attacker-possibly a nation state-and it was designed to destroy something big...some of the researchers who know Stuxnet best say that it may have been built to sabotage Iran's nukes.
Greg Keizer at Computerworld marvels at the sophistication of the Stuxnet malware:
Once within a network-initially delivered via an infected USB device-Stuxnet used the EoP vulnerabilities to gain administrative access to other PC's, sought out the system running the WinCC and PCS 7 SCADA management programs, hijacked them by exploiting either the print-spooler or MS08-067 bugs, then tried the default Siemens passwords to commandeer the SCADA software.
They could then program the so-called PLC (programmable logic control) software to give the machinery new instructions.
On top of all that, the attack code seemed legitimate because the people behind Stuxnet had stolen at least two signed digital certificates....
So scary, so thorough was the reconnaissance, so complex the job, so sneaky the attack, that (all the experts consulted) believe it couldn't be the work of even an advanced cybercrime gang.
A Virus Bulletin security conference is scheduled in Vancouver, B.C. on September 29, at which experts from the Kaspersky Lab (the security experts consulted for this article) and Microsoft will present papers regarding the Stuxnet worm. Surely the pressure is on the Microsoft team to find a solution to the violation of the operating system provided by them to Siemens and in turn to the Iranian mullahocracy.
In the meantime, the operating computers at Iranian nuclear facilities should continue to appear to have minds other than their own.
Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target www.rightot.blogspot.com
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
We have only a few pairs of green khaki sleeveless cotton Tzitzit from Israel in stock. They look similar to these except without any logo:
We only have them left in XL. They are only $10 plus shipping for our readers!
Friday, July 16, 2010
By Sara Hussein (AFP)
WASHINGTON — From the outside, Jerry Erwin's home in the northwestern US state of Oregon is a nondescript house with a manicured front lawn and little to differentiate it from those of his neighbors.
But tucked away out of sight in his backyard are the signs of his preparations for doomsday, a catastrophic societal collapse that Erwin, 45, now believes is likely within his lifetime.
"I've got, under an awning, stacks of firewood, rain catching in barrels, I've got a shed with barbed concertina wire, like the military uses," he told AFP.
He and his wife also have also stockpiled thousands of rounds of ammunition and enough food for about six months.
"Several years ago I worked on paying off the house, replacing all the windows, and just very recently, I'm proud to say, we've replaced all our exterior doors with more energy-efficient ones, with as much built-in security features as I could get," he told AFP.
"Plus I'm going to be adding some more structural improvements to the door frames to make it hopefully virtually impossible to take a battering ram to them."
Erwin and others like him in the United States and elsewhere see political upheaval and natural disasters as clear signs that civilization is doomed.
"We're hitting on all cylinders as far as symptoms that have led other great powers to decline or collapse: resource depletion, damage to the environment, climate change, those are the same things that affected other great societies," he said.
For Erwin, the decline is irreversible and the best approach is to prepare for the inevitable.
His pessimism is shared by a wide range of people, from left-wing environmentalists who believe climate change and capitalist greed will doom human society to Christian fundamentalists who think sin will do the same.
They label themselves "preppers," "doomers," and "survivalists," and take a variety of different approaches to the same question: How best to prepare for the coming apocalypse?
Jim Rawles, who Erwin describes as "the patron saint of survivalism," prefers an isolationist, Christian-influenced approach.
He homeschooled his children, declines to say where he lives, and advises readers of his website survivalblog.com to "relocate to a safe area and live there year-round."
"When planning your retreat house, think: medieval castle," he adds, extolling the benefits of using sandbags to protect any new home.
Rawles, like many on the most conservative end of the survivalist spectrum, is also anti-tax, pro-gun rights, and suspicious of anything that smacks of socialism.
But the survivalist movement also includes left-wing community activists, who are devoted to living off the land and have never fired a weapon, and people like Chris Martenson, who quit a job with a six-figure salary that he felt was "an unnecessary diversion from the real tasks at hand."
He began growing his own food and developed a "Crash Course" that urges people to better prepare for societal instability. He also took over management of his investments and boasts of a 166 percent return on his portfolio.
For Martenson, the wake-up call was the September 11, 2001 attacks, when he felt gripped by uncertainty and totally unprepared.
Erwin had always felt that society would eventually disintegrate, but he and many other US survivalists say the dysfunctional response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina was what spurred them to action.
"I thought, okay, things are not going to get better... maybe this society, our civilization, the American empire, will collapse during my lifetime," Erwin said.
For John Milandred, no single event pushed him to leave his suburban home and set up a farm in Oklahoma.
"We just got fed up of working all the time to pay bills and not accomplishing anything," he said.
A member of the American Preppers Network, Milandred said he and his wife aspired to "grow our own foods and be self sufficient... to live like the pioneers, like our great-grandparents."
It is unclear how many people subscribe to the lifestyle, but there are hundreds of websites devoted to the movement, and Erwin's surburban-self-reliance.com attracts visitors from around the world.
The global financial crisis has increased interest in survivalism "bigtime," Erwin said, but he feels sorry for latecomers to the movement.
"We'll help them if we can," he said. "But a lot of people are climbing on board at the last minute and its going to be hard for them."Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
Homelessness and Survival
I was driving home today and saw a homeless man on the street and my mind began to wonder (as it often does ;-))
It dawned on me that the poor homeless person is better equipped to deal with a disaster than many of my friends or I am! I think this is an epiphany of sorts. It is an amazing reality that each of us should spend a few minutes contemplating about.
Think about how simple a life they are forced to live. A life devoid of all the luxuries we feel are necessities. Then think about our dependency on gadgets, on technology...
Imagine a living on the street 24/7, 365 days a year. No source of income. No regular food or shelter.
So much we can learn from the simple homeless man. If only we could tap into his wisdom!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
and last but not least...
Updated: June 28, 2010
An increasing number of American Muslim extremists have been involved in terrorist plots and conspiracies in the U.S. in which Jews or Jewish institutions have been targeted or been considered for attack since 9/11. Many other American Muslim extremists arrested or convicted of a wide range of terror-related charges have expressed similar hatred of Jews and Israel.
A recent example of this phenomenon is the American convert to Islam who attempted to bomb the federal courthouse in Springfield, Illinois. Michael Finton, who was arrested on September 23, 2009, allegedly told a law enforcement source of his desire to obtain military training and travel to Gaza to fight the Israelis on behalf of the Palestinians. In addition to stating his ambitions to join Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas or Islamic Jihad, Finton purported that an attack against the courthouse would force the U.S. government to curtail its financial support of Israel, and the "big bully behind Israel (the United States) would not be there anymore."
In another recent incident, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot two uniformed American soldiers - one of whom was killed - at a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Muhammad, an American convert to Islam arrested in June 2009, had "political and religious motives," according to Little Rock police. He reportedly searched for information about Jewish institutions on the Internet and used the Google Maps application to investigate these institutions, as well as a Baptist church, a day-care center, a post office and military recruiting centers in several different cities.
In an interview from prison the week following his arrest, Muhammad warned that "Muslims in this country and others elsewhere are going to attack [the U.S.] for doing those things they did," which he alleged include desecrating the Qur'an and killing Muslims.
The deadly shooting in Arkansas came two weeks after four other Muslim converts, three Americans and one Haitian, allegedly plotted to attack synagogues in the Bronx and to shoot down airplanes at a military base in Newburgh, New York. The men began surveillance of several synagogues and a Jewish Community Center in the Bronx in April 2009. "These were people who were eager to bring death to Jews," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Snyder said at a court hearing the day after the arrests.
The men reportedly converted to Islam while in prison, reminiscent of a similar plot to attack Jewish and military targets in Los Angeles in 2005.
The threat posed by American Muslim extremists has also extended overseas. In December 2009, U.S. citizen David Coleman Headley was charged for his alleged involvement in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which killed more than 170 people. In the years leading up to the attacks, Headley allegedly conducted extensive surveillance of the targeted locations, including the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Indian news sources have reported that Headley posed as a Jew during a July 2008 visit to the Jewish center, in which six people were tortured and killed during the terrorist attacks four months later.
While Muslim extremists motivated by hatred of Jews and Israel have targeted Jews in the U.S. for many years, an alarming number of post-9/11 plots and conspiracies have involved or been led by American Muslim extremists. Well over 100 American Muslim extremists have been arrested on various terror-related charges since 9/11, ranging from bomb plots to providing material support to terrorists. More than half of them are U.S. born and about a third are converts to Islam.
Many of these American Muslim extremists are fueled by hatred of Jews, Israel and America, and have been influenced, to some degree, by the ideologies of extreme intolerance propagated by terrorist movements overseas.
In some cases they are exposed to jihadist materials on the Internet. In other cases, they are radicalized in their communities by a charismatic leader or recruiter. Several cases illustrate a desire to travel oversees to fight with terrorist groups or provide them with material support such as weapons or funding. Most, however, do not belong to any specific terrorist group or organization and seem to be motivated to commit violent or criminal acts by their own radical interpretations of Islam.
While most of the plots have been foiled by law enforcement, usually at the stage when these extremists need to get explosives, the Muslim extremist threat has become a significant and growing domestic terror threat.
Motivation: Hatred of Jews and Israel
American Muslim extremists fueled by hatred of Jews and Israel have planned a number of terrorist attacks within the United States. Foreign nationals motivated by a similar hatred have also planned attacks against Americans, both Jews and non-Jews alike.
In September 2009, for example, a Jordanian national attempted to detonate explosives at the 60-story Fountain Place building in Dallas, Texas. In prior conversations with an undercover agent, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi allegedly expressed his desire to attack the U.S., in part for its incursions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Smadi has also espoused a hatred of Israel and Jews, calling for the "destruction of the Jews" and seeking to kill the Jews as retribution for Israel's activities in Gaza.
The following sampling illustrates the degree to which American Muslim extremists have targeted or considered attacking Jews or Jewish institutions throughout the U.S. since 9/11, as well as the degree to which hatred of Jews and Israel has motivated those individuals involved in other terror-related activity.
2010 � New Jersey
Two men arrested in June 2010 for allegedly planning to kill American soldiers overseas, participated in rallies organized by Revolution Muslim (RM) and the Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS), both New York-based anti-Semitic extremist groups. While it is unclear how closely linked the two men - Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte - are to the groups, their alleged plan to travel to Somalia to fight with an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group is consistent with RM ideology and advocacy. During an ITS protest against the Israeli Day Parade in New York in May 2010, Alessa led a chant with the anti-Jewish slogan, �Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaish Muhammad sawfa ya�ud,� evoking the Quran�s account of a battle between the Prophet Muhammad and the Jews of the town of Khaibar, which resulted in the subjugation of the Jews of Arabia. In addition, Almonte posted a picture on his Facebook profile of himself at another anti-Israel rally in December 2008, attended by members of ITS and RM, where he is carrying a sign that reads, �Death to All (zionist) Juice.�
2010 � Ohio
An Ohio couple was charged with attempting to provide funds and vehicles for Hezbollah to use against Israel. According to the indictment, Hor and Amera Akl, who both hold dual American and Lebanese citizenship, researched and proposed at least ten different ways to send money and goods to Lebanon for Hezbollah to use �to target Israel.� One method involved shipping pickup trucks and other vehicles to Lebanon that would be used by Hezbollah to transport weapons and rockets to be fired at Israel. The couple was arrested in June, shortly after purchasing a vehicle and preparing to conceal funds inside it to send to Hezbollah.
2009 � Illinois
A U.S. citizen from Illinois who expressed anger at the United States for supporting Israel was arrested for attempting to bomb the federal courthouse in Springfield. According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Michael Finton told a law enforcement source of his desire to obtain military training and travel to Gaza to fight the Israelis on behalf of the Palestinians. Finton, who allegedly stated ambitions to join Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas or Islamic Jihad, projected that an attack on American soil would force the U.S. government to curtail its financial support of Israel, and the "big bully behind Israel (the United States) would not be there anymore."
2009 � North Carolina
Six American citizens from North Carolina and a permanent U.S. resident arrested for engaging in weapons training and conspiring to carry out "violent jihad" overseas may have been motivated by hatred of Israel. According to initial reports, the group raised money and trained for possible terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv, Israel. Several of the men returned to the U.S. from Tel Aviv in June 2007 after "having failed in their attempt to engage in violent jihad," according to the indictment. The Facebook profile of one of the suspects includes a quote that reads, "I am not going to give 1 inch of Palestine to the Jews."
2009 � Arkansas
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the American Muslim convert who shot two uniformed American soldiers - one of whom was killed - at a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas, reportedly searched for information about Jewish institutions on the Internet. He used the Google Maps application to investigate these Jewish institutions, as well as a Baptist church, a day-care center, a post office and other military recruiting centers in several different cities.
2009 � New York
Four Muslim converts, three American and one Haitian, were arrested for an alleged plot to attack two synagogues in the Bronx and to shoot down planes at a military base in Newburgh, New York. The men allegedly began surveillance of several synagogues and a Jewish Community Center in the Bronx in April 2009. "These were people who were eager to bring death to Jews," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Snyder said at a court hearing the day after the arrests.
2007 � New Jersey
Five Muslim immigrants, including one naturalized U.S. citizen, conspired to kill American soldiers at New Jersey's Fort Dix army base. "Anti-Zionist hatred is one of the reasons, if not the primary reason why they planned to attack Ft. Dix," according to court documents. The men were motivated by "their desire to 'avenge' the supposed crimes of Zionism," according to the Department of Justice. One of the men, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, an American citizen who was born in Jordan, told an undercover informant that his first choice would have been to kill Jews in Israel, "I love to kill Jews. I tell you this, in all honesty, it is a dream of mine."
2007 � New York
A group of men plotted to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), in part because they wanted to take revenge on the U.S. for its diplomatic relationship with Israel. The men, led by a naturalized U.S. citizen from Guyana named Russell Defreitas, planned to plant explosives and blow up the airport's major jet-fuel supply tanks and pipeline. Defreitas, who previously worked as a cargo handler at JFK, reportedly was motivated to carry out the plot after seeing missiles loaded onto a plane he believed was headed for Israel. Defreitas told an informant that "Muslims also incur the wrath of the world while Jews get a pass," and that he "wanted to do something to get those bastards," according to court documents. Defreitas also suggested targeting a nearby Jewish school or a predominately Jewish neighborhood. The men reportedly obtained satellite photographs of JFK via the Internet and conducted video and photo surveillance of the airport on several occasions in January 2007.
2006 � Illinois
Derrick Shareef, an American Muslim convert who planned to set off grenades in an Illinois shopping mall in 2006, also discussed attacking local government facilities as well as Jewish targets with an undercover informant. During secretly recorded conversations with the informant, Shareef said he found synagogues on MapQuest and planned to grab Jews and "shank one or two of them" as they entered the synagogue on a Saturday morning. "I probably would have eventually ended up just stabbing the [expletive] outta some Jews or something," Shareef told the informant. Shareef also said that he became interested in attacking Jews during the 2006 Lebanon war, according to court documents.
2006 � Washington
Naveed Afzal Haq, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, shot and killed one woman and wounded five others at the Jewish Federation building in Seattle in July 2006. Haq, who allegedly forced his way through a security door by holding a gun to a 13-year-old girl's head, told Federation staff members that he was "a Muslim-American" who was "angry at Israel." During the assault, Haq said, "These are Jews and I'm tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East," according to court records. Haq chose his target after searching on the Internet for Jewish organizations, according to Seattle police.
2005 � California
A group of California men planned attacks against Jewish institutions and U.S. military locations in Los Angeles during Yom Kippor in retaliation for the U.S. and Israeli governments' policies towards Muslims. The group planned to attack several synagogues, the Israeli consulate, the National Guard and U.S. military bases and recruiting offices. The men also gathered information via the Internet on El Al and planned to target the airline's ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. The leader of the group, Kevin James, converted to Islam in prison and urged other inmates to target the Jews and the U.S. and Israeli governments.
2005 � California
Hamid Hayat, a U.S. citizen from Lodi, California, attended terrorist training camps in Pakistan between 2000 and 2004. An undercover informant recorded Hayat talking about Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists in 2002. "They killed him. So I'm pleased about that," Hayat said. "They cut him into pieces and sent him back. That was a good job they did. Now they can't send one Jewish person to Pakistan."
2004 � New York
James Elshafay, a U.S. citizen from Staten Island, New York, plotted to bomb New York's Herald Square subway station in 2004 with Shawar Matin Siraj, a Pakistani who entered the U.S. illegally in the late 1990s. In secretly recorded conversations by an undercover informant, Elshafay talked about his hatred of "Zionists" and his solidarity with the Palestinians, according to court documents. The men also watched jihadi videos at the bookstore where Siraj worked, and Siraj gave Elshafay books that claimed the Jews were conspiring to take over the world's economy.
2004 � Virginia
Ali al-Timimi, a U.S. citizen who frequently gave anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Western lectures at the Dar al-Arqam mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, inspired a group of men dubbed the "Virginia Jihad Network" to attend terrorist training camps in Pakistan. In one such sermon, al-Timimi declared that the 2003 explosion of the Columbia space shuttle foreshadowed the ultimate destruction of the West and Israel, according to the indictment. American Muslim convert Randall Todd Royer, who was influenced by al-Timimi, set up an Internet newsletter for the Pakistan-based Islamic terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba while attending one of the training camps in Pakistan. Royer's newsletter contained several anti-Semitic sections, including an article entitled "Who is Ruling the USA Today" and a section on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
2003 � Virginia
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a U.S. citizen raised in Virginia, was extradited from Saudi Arabia to the United States after he told Saudi authorities that his "hatred of the United States for support of Israel against the Palestinian people" caused him to join Al Qaeda. While attending college in Saudi Arabia, Ali met with former Al Qaeda leader Zubayr Al Rimi between September 2002 and June 2003 to discuss plans to assassinate President George W. Bush. Ali also planned to hijack and destroy civilian airliners and researched nuclear power facilities in the U.S. at the behest of an Al Qaeda operative, according to the Department of Justice. After his arrest, U.S. authorities found audio tapes in Arabic at Ali's home in Virginia that promoted the killing of the Jews and a Muslim battle against Christians and Jews.
2002 � Florida
Shueyb Mossa Jokhan, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Trinidad, and Imran Mandhai, a Pakistani, plotted to bomb several targets in Southern Florida in 2002, including Jewish-owned businesses in Weston, the Israeli Consulate in Miami, Jewish community centers in Aventura and Broward County, electrical power stations in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the National Guard Armory in Hollywood and Mount Rushmore. The men planned to set off a series of explosives that would cause massive power blackouts in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, which they hoped would result in lootings and chaos in Southern Florida. Jokhan and Mandhai also planned to demand the U.S. to stop sending aid to Israel, free Muslims from U.S. jails and change U.S. policy on the Middle East.
2002 � Los Angeles
Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a U.S. permanent resident, opened fire on an El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles International Airport on July 4, 2002. Hadayet, whose support for the Palestinian cause had reportedly become increasingly militant in years leading up to the attack, killed two Jewish Israelis at the El Al ticket counter and injured four others before being killed by an airline security officer. The FBI ruled the incident a terrorist attack related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2002 � Washington
Earnest James Ujaama, an American Muslim convert who tried to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, made anti-Semitic speeches labeling the Jews as "the enemy." In the mid-1990s, Ujaama moved to London and attended Finsbury Park mosque, which was headed by radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri and frequented by Richard Reid, the so-called "shoe bomber," and Zacarias Moussaui. Ujaama, a computer technician, designed and maintained al-Masri's militant Islamic Web site. A video made prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks shows Ujaama giving a speech with al-Masri at the Finsbury Park mosque, stating: "There are many Muslims who have forgotten that the Jews and Christians are our enemies�.today the crusade is against Islam and they [sic] are led by the Jews because they are misguided�and so they are used in Israel's long awaited campaign to destroy Islam and to dominate the world."
2002 � New York
Sahim Alwan, from Lackawanna, New York, was one of six U.S. citizens that attended an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. After his arrest, authorities reportedly found several cassette tapes at Alwan's home that called for fighting against the "West" and referred to Presidents Clinton and Bush as "donkeys for the Jews to ride." Another member of the group, Mukhtar al-Bakri, had in his residence a cassette tape asking "Allah to give Jews and their enablers [U.S.] a black day," according to investigators.
2001 � Oregon
In October 2001, seven people dubbed the "Portland Seven" were charged with trying to aid the Taliban and other crimes. One member of the group, Patrice Lumumba Ford, a U.S. citizen, came to the attention of authorities after he sent a series of anti-Semitic emails to the mayor's office in Portland. Another member, Jeffrey Leon Battle, was recorded saying that he considered killing Jews at a synagogue or a Jewish school in Portland. According to court documents, Battle "discussed having considered, but ultimately rejected, committing terrorist acts in the U.S.-specifically, mass murder at a Jewish synagogue or school." Ahmed Ibrahim Bilal, a third member of the "Portland Seven", referred to Jews as "lampshades," a Holocaust reference, in recorded conversations.
Muslim extremists motivated by hatred of Jews and Israel have targeted Jews and Jewish institutions in the U.S. for many years. Unlike many post-9/11 plots and conspiracies, which have involved or been led by American Muslim extremists, the role of Americans in a majority of the plots prior to 9/11 was significantly smaller.
For example, in July 1997, Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Palestinian living in the U.S. illegally, plotted to blow up a subway station in Brooklyn because he wanted to "kill as many Jews as possible." Police raiding Abu Mezer's apartment days before the planned attack found a fully-rigged pipe bomb, an unfinished bomb and a letter threatening to "burn the Jews." He chose the Atlantic Avenue station as his target because there are "a lot of Jews who ride that train." Abu Mezer later testified that he planned to send the letter to the FBI about the U.S.'s support for Israel. According to court documents, Abu Mezer stated that he was "taking the path of Jihad against Israel and the United States." Abu Mezer was sentenced to life in prison in 1999.
Many pre-911 incidents were partially motivated by anti-Semitism and planned or carried out primarily by foreign nationals. For example:
* In 1997, Ali Abu Kamal, a Palestinian, engaged in a shooting spree atop the Empire State Building, killing one person and injuring several others before killing himself. Kamal reportedly carried a note in his pocket indicating the attack was meant to vent his anger at the U.S. for using Israel as an "instrument" against the Palestinian people.
* In 1994, Rashid Baza, a Lebanese cab driver, opened fire at a van carrying 15 Hasidic students on the Brooklyn Bridge, killing a 16-year-old boy. After his arrest, authorities found anti-Jewish literature in his house.
* In 1993, a car bombing at Tower One of the World Trade Center in New York City killed six people and wounded more than 1,000 others. Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the attack, first planned to bomb Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but settled on the World Trade Center because "the majority of people who work in the World Trade Center are Jews," according to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a co-conspirator in the attack.
* In 1993, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian cleric and alleged leader of the terrorist group Gama'a al-Islamiyya, led a plot to bomb five major landmarks in New York, including the United Nations Headquarters, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Holland Tunnel, the George Washington Bridge and the FBI office in New York. In addition, he plotted to attack New York's diamond district, an area largely populated by Jews, which according to one of his co-defendants would be like "hitting Israel itself."
* In 1993, a Pakistani national murdered two CIA employees and wounded three others near the entrance of the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, alleging that the "government of the United States has caused enormous damage to Muslims in the Middle East by supporting Israel and imposing economic sanctions against Islamic countries."
Even the 9/11 attacks were motivated, in part, by anti-Semitism. Mohamed Atta, one of the hijackers, and Ramzi Binalshibh, a key planner of the attacks, considered New York City the center of a global Jewish conspiracy. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the hijackings, had previously planned several attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets.
Although post-911 plots and conspiracies in the U.S. are increasingly led by or involve American Muslim extremists, the threat from foreign nationals in the U.S. remains. For example, Ahmed Hassan Al-Uqaily, an Iraqi, purchased machine guns and grenades from an undercover agent to target two Jewish facilities in the Nashville area in 2004. Al-Uqaily had expressed animosity toward Jews and identified two Jewish facilities that he knew about, according to his plea agreement.
Any effort to combat the domestic terrorist threat posed by Muslim extremism must take into account both the threat from foreign nationals as well as the growing participation of American citizens motivated by hatred of Jews, Israel and America.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
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