From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Breaking News: ISIS takes over Iraq's largest oil refinery
Date: Wed Jun 18 19:09:14 MDT 2014
Body:
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Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Iraq
ISIS insurgents take over Iraq’s largest refinery, continue advance toward Baghdad

Earlier this morning (Wednesday) ISIS Islamic militants took over Iraq’s biggest oil refinery, located near the town of Baiji, 130 miles north of Baghdad. The fall of the refinery is a major blow to the already-reeling government of Nouri al-Maliki. The refinery provides about 40 percent of Iraq’s refined oil needs, and if the supplies dry up, the Iraqi economy would be paralyzed within a few days, and Iraqi citizens would be without power or gas for their cars. As was the case since the ISIS campaign began late last week, the Iraqi military and security forces put up only a token resistance, with most of their units melting away and leaving their arms and equipment behind without even engaging the militants. Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC.

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The State Department yesterday (Sunday) that non-essential employees at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad were being evacuated, but that the United States would remain “fully equipped to carry out its national security mission.” The Pentagon has ordered an aircraft carrier and two missile-carrying ships to the Persian Gulf, hinting at the possibility of imminent U.S. air strikes against the advancing Sunni insurgents. The Sunni insurgents who now control about a third of Iraq said Sunday that they had executed 1,700 Iraqi soldiers, stressing that all those who killed were Shi’as. Iran had sent 2,000 advance troops to Baghdad, and General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Qods Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, is coordinating the defense of Baghdad.

Terrorism
Growing Jihadist threat demands new U.S. strategy to combat terrorism: RAND study

There is a growing terrorist threat to the United States from a rising number of Salafi-jihadist groups overseas, according to a new RAND study. Since 2010, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups, a doubling of jihadist fighters, and a tripling of attacks by al Qaeda affiliates. The most significant threat to the United States, the report concludes, comes from terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. There is a medium-level threat from terrorist groups operating in Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Algeria. There is also a low-level threat from Salafi-jihadist groups operating in such countries as Tunisia, Mali, and Morocco.

Cost of war
Cost to U.S. of Iraq, Afghanistan wars to exceed $4 trillion

A new study from Harvard University, calculating the cost to the United States of the wars in Iraq Afghanistan, has concluded that that cost will come to between $4 trillion to $6 trillion. This cost includes the spending on medical care for wounded soldiers and repairs to and replacement of military gear used in the two wars. The decision by the Bush administration to pay for the wars with borrowed money has increased their costs, the study says. In all, the two wars have added $2 trillion to the U.S. debt, accounting for about 20 percent of the debt incurred from 2001 to 2012.

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