Monday, January 23, 2012

Iran Back to Threats

The USS Abraham Lincoln, which carries more firepower than the entire Iranian air force can muster, was accompanied by her normal escorts plus English and French ships as she made her way through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf. Making it seem as if Iran was bringing itself to some sort of reasonable state and that the government was standing down from their extreme stance after they had warned that no US carrier would be allowed into the Gulf. But that all changed today when the European Union announced a complete ban on Iranian oil.

Iran was quick to throw fuel back on the fire. "If any disruption happens regarding the sale of Iranian oil, the Strait of Hormuz will definitely be closed," stated Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, "If America seeks adventures after the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, Iran will make the world unsafe for Americans in the shortest possible time."

The EU sanctions will not actually go into effect until July 1, so as to not hurt the economies of European nations who need time to find alternate sources. Former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian, a current member of the Assembly of Experts, said Tehran, "should respond to the delayed-action EU sanctions by stopping sales to the bloc immediately, denying the Europeans time to arrange alternative supplies and damaging their economies with higher oil prices. The best way is to stop exporting oil ourselves before the end of this six months and before the implementation of the plan." In such a move Iran would have to hope that other sources would buy their oil, but as even, long time ally, China has cut their buying of Iranian oil there may be little hope there.

Jihadist Arrested in Chicago

Jamshid Muhtorov, of Aurora, Colorado, was arrested at Chicago O'Hare Airport on charges of working with and providing materials to a terrorist organization. His organization of choice is the Islamic Jihad Union, an extremist group based out of Pakistan that according to the Department of Justice "adheres to an anti-western ideology, opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan, and seeks to replace the current regime with a government based on Islamic law. A group that has committed attacks upon coalition forces in Afghanistan as well as suicide bombings in Uzbekistan. Muhtorov is a refugee from Uzbekistan and has gone by various aliases.

The FBI had been monitoring and investigating Mutorov for awhile, but moved in as he was making his way overseas to join the IJU. He was not planning on any sort of attacks against targets within the United States, but to join them in their fight there. "Muhtorov allegedly has sworn allegiance to the IJU, stating he was ready for any task, even with the risk of dying. The alleged activities of Muhtorov highlight the continued interest of extremists residing in the United States to join and support overseas terrorists," U.S. District Attorney for Colorado John Walsh said in a news release. If convicted Muhtorov will face up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to two hundred fifty thousand dollars.