Category Archives: Terror

Here Are The Photos Of The First Two F-35A Stealth Jets En Route To Give Israel The Edge In The Middle East

The Israeli Air Force is being delivered the first two 5th Generation stealth jets on Monday. They will help Israel “retain its edge” in the Middle East.

The IAF is expected to take delivery of its first 2 F-35A Lightning II jets at Nevatim airbase, in southern Israel, on Dec. 12.

The aircraft, lacking the Israeli low-visibility roundels (that will be applied once delivered to the “customer”) are flown by U.S. pilots and supported by a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker.

On their way to Israel, the 5th generation jets have performed a stopover in Lajes, Azores, where they arrived using radio callsign “Retro 11” and “Retro 12” on Dec. 6, and then in Cameri, Italy, where they have landed on Dec. 8.

The photographs in this post were taken by photographer Daniele Faccioli at the Italian airfield, home of the European Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility, that will assemble all the F-35A and F-35B jets for the Italian Air Force and Navy, and build F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

F-35A “Adir” 902 landing at Cameri airbase on Dec. 8, 2016.

The two Israeli F-35s, are the first and only of 50 Lightning II jets, designated “Adir” (“Mighty One”) by the Israeli, to be flown from the U.S.: the rest will be shipped by sea according to the IDF (Israeli Defense Force.)

“As the Middle East grows more and more unstable, and as groups that threaten to destroy us race to stockpile weapons, we need to stay a step ahead of the game. The F-35 gives us the edge we need to take on groups and armies with even the most advanced technology,” says the IDF in a blog on the imminent delivery.

The Israeli F-35s will have some domestic modifications and components provided by Israeli companies, including Israel Aerospace Industries that will produce the F-35’s outer wings, Elbit Systems-Cyclone, that will provide center fuselage composite components as well as Elbit Systems Ltd. that will provide Gen. III helmet-mounted display systems to be worn by all Lightning II pilots.

“Once the F-35 lands in Israel, it will be all our own. The IAF is adding its own systems to the jet, bringing a touch of the Start Up Nation to this already state-of-the-art plate.  All maintenance and testing of the plane will be done in Israel, and the planes are projected to be operational in about one year.”

The IAF F-35As will be different from the “standard” F-35s, as they will employ national EW (Electronic Warfare) pods, weaponry, C4 systems etc. For this reason, Israeli F-35s are sometimes dubbed F-35I (for Israel.)

As we have already reported, IAF may also purchase some F-35Bs, the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) version of the Joint Strike Fighter, that would allow the Israeli to have a squadron or two of multirole aircraft able to take off and land from austere/dispersed landing strips should Iran be able to wipe out IAF airbases with precision weapons.

Image credit: Daniele Faccioli

 

Online flight tracking exposes FBI Aerial Surveillance over San Bernardino Mosque after Terrorist Attack

FBI aircraft have been particularly active over San Bernardino, California, during and after the mass shooting.

As already highlighted on Twitter, several assets, including FBI planes and media helicopters, could be tracked online on Dec. 2, during the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

Interestingly, the following days, the FBI conducted aerial surveillance in the vicinity of the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah-Amer mosque in San Bernardino.

The activity was conducted by an aircraft registered to PXW Services (a fake company established by the FBI), that loitered for 4 hours near the mosque on Dec. 3. Similar surveillance missions were conducted the next day, including a flight by another FBI aircraft with registration number N404KR.

The mosque was visited regularly by one of the attackers, Sayed Farook, and is approximately 5 miles away from the initial attack site at the Inland Regional Center.

You can view an animation of the surveillance flight (based on FlightRadar24 data) prepared by The Aviationist’s contributor Eric Rosenwald here:

Many thanks to Eric Rosenwald for contributing to this post.

Chilling Video of the AK-47 Attack on a Paris restaurant highlights some tips to survive an Active Shooter Scenario

U.S. Navy SEALs and Special Operation Forces have some advice for surviving an active shooter scenario.

On Friday Nov. 13, Paris and its northern suburb Saint-Denis, France, were hit by a series of terrorist attacks which killed 129 and injured 352 people.

The attack consisted of suicide bombs and mass shootings like the one you can see in the following chilling footage.

The video shows a sustained attack on a restaurant in the 11th district by means of AK-47: according to the Daily Mail, that obtained the recordings of three CCTV cameras inside the pizzeria, at least 30 bullets came into the premises, where terrified diners immediately ran for cover behind counters and under tables.

None of them died during the attack, even though, as you can clearly see in the clip a young woman was quite close to it: she was saved by the assault rifle that either misfired or ran out of ammunition.

Anyway, the footage speaks for itself and, if you look for more details, the Daily Mail has a much accurate description of the scene.

Watch the video then continue reading below.

When I saw the clip for the very first time, it immediately thought of an interesting article by Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL, published by SOFREP in the aftermath of the Colorado shooting in Aurora, back in July 2012.

Among the tips to survive in case of attack by a gunman Webb shared with the “average citizen” I’ve picked those that probably apply to most scenarios (you can read them all here). As you will see, some of them have probably contributed to save the life of the diners in the Paris restaurant.

Don’t Make Yourself an Easy Target

According to the former Special Operator, at public events, cinemas or even at the restaurant (as in the Paris massacre…) you should always opt for seats that give you good and east vantage points and quick exit points. “It’s the reason I still combat park (back in to a space) and sit with my back to the wall when I’m eating,” Webb pointed out.

Active Shooter Scenario Advice

“Take cover and not concealment.  Concealment hides, cover hides AND protects.  It’s the difference between hiding behind a movie seat or a concrete wall.” Quite obvious, but you may not think to this when bullets are flying above your head. Webb says that it is better to keep the eyes wide open and to act instead of waiting for first responders: they may arrive too late.  Furthermore, “a moving target is extremely hard to hit, even for the well-trained shooter.”

Alter Your Lifestyle, and it May Save Your Life

This is quite obvious. You should avoid large crowds that make rewarding targets for all kind of terrorists. In this case the target was a soft-one, almost randomly selected but, generally speaking, you should take some basic precautions. A few more tips to survive a terrorist attack are included in this more recent story written by former Navy SEAL and JSOC operator Clinton Emerson for SOFREP.

Top image credit: screenshot from the Daily Mail video

 

A dozen French Air Force jets conducted massive air strikes against ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria

France strikes back with Rafale and Mirage 2000 jets.

According to the French MoD (Ministry of Defense), a dozen French aircraft conducted air strikes against ISIS targets located in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 15.

The aircraft, Mirage 2000N and Mirage 2000Ds and Rafales, were launched at 19.50 and 20.25 CET, struck an Islamic State command center and a training camp: about 20 targets even though there are reports of more buildings hit by the French bombs.

The raids come about 48 hours seven coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 132 people and injuring 352.

Raqqa is an ISIS stronghold. It was reported earlier on Sunday Nov. 15 that the U.S. intelligence has intercepted communications between Raqqa and the terrorists in Paris ahead of the deadly attack on Friday Nov. 13.

The aircraft that took part in the “massive” airstrike in Raqqa are part of Operation Chammal, the French air campaign in Iraq and Syria launched on Sept. 19, 2014 and consisting of 12 tactical jets (six Rafale, three Mirage 2000D and three Mirage 2000N aircraft) and one Atlantique 2 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft). On Sept. 27, five Rafale jets, an Atlantique 2 and a C-135 tanker aircraft “launched by airbases located in Jordan and the Persian Gulf,” were involved in the first French mission against an ISIS training camp in Syria as part of Operation Chammal.