House intelligence chair warns of “serious national security threat”, nature of which is unclear – National & International News – WED 14Feb2024


House intelligence chair warns of “serious national security threat”, nature of which is unclear.

Shooting at KC Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade leaves 1 dead, multiple injuries.

Gaza: UN sounds alarm on Rafah; Harrowing scene at Khan Younis hospital.



House intelligence chair warns of “serious national security threat”, nature of which is unclear

House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) issued a statement today warning of a “serious national security threat” but did not provide further details. He did, however, call on the Biden administration to declassify information about this threat so that it can be discussed in Congress and with international security partners.

The threat apparently has to do with a “destabilizing foreign military capability”, which does little to narrow it down. House Speaker Mike Johnson responded by reassuring the public that there was no cause for alarm and that “steady hands are at the wheel”. 

Turner’s comments seem to have caught the White House by surprise. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters he’d already scheduled a briefing for this week with House and Senate leadership and the intelligence chairs on the matter. Sullivan apparently set up the meeting in response to a written request from Speaker Johnson last month. However, Sullivan also provided no further details as to what the “threat” was.

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee said that, “I don’t want people thinking that Martians are landing or that your Wednesday is going to be ruined. But it is something that the Congress and the administration does need to address in the medium to long run”.

Nukes in space?

Anonymous Congressional sources told ABC News that the “threat” has to do with Russia wanting to put a nuclear weapon in space. This space nuke is apparently not designed to strike earthly targets but other satellites.

The sources did not offer any clarification about why Russia would wish to do this or what the potential damage could be. However, it has been previously reported that the US has coordinated efforts to provide Ukraine with satellite imagery to aid it in its fight against Russian invaders. The linked article suggests that these satellites are commercial rather than property of the US government. 

If this is indeed the “threat” in question, the timing of Turner’s announcement is interesting, given the current squabbles in Congress over a $95 billion funding request for military aid for Ukraine and Israel. 


Shooting at KC Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade leaves 1 dead, multiple injuries

Two suspects are in custody after a shooting at a parade held today in Kansas City, MO. The parade was to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory and about 1 million people were expected to attend.

At least one person was killed and 10 to 15 others were injured. None of the victims have yet been identified. However, reporting indicates that none of the team’s players, coaches or other staff were hurt, nor were the governors of Kansas and Missouri who were also expected to attend.

The suspects have not been identified and there isn’t yet a clear motive for the shooting.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Gaza: UN sounds alarm on Rafah; Harrowing scene at Khan Younis hospital

There is no sign that Israel has yet come up with a plan to protect the 1.5 million civilians crowded into Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, despite a looming full-scale military operation. Leaders from the UN and Arab countries have sounded the alarm, warning that an incursion into Rafah would result in mass civilian deaths. Refugees from all over Gaza have crowded into the city where about 400,000 people previously resided. They’re living in tents, mostly improvised ones, and have nowhere else to go.

President Biden said the US would not support an Israeli military operation, unless there was a “credible” plan to assure the safety of civilians. However, administration sources told Politico that there are no plans for the US to impose any consequences on Israel if they fail to protect civilians.

IDF forces evacuation of hospital sheltering 10,000 refugees

In Khan Younis, north of Rafah, the Israeli Defense Forces forced the evacuation Nasser hospital. Mohammed El Helou, a journalist who was in the hospital, shared a harrowing account and video of the events with The Intercept. On Tuesday, the IDF sent several bulldozers to the site whose operators, using bullhorns, ordered the hospitals’ staff, patients, and about 10,000 refugees to flee, in dehumanizing language that has become commonplace in Israel when referring to Palestinians: “Get out, you animals! Get out, animals”.

Shortly thereafter, the IDF sent in a handcuffed Palestinian prisoner to deliver the message: “Get out of the hospital. You need to get out of the hospital because they are going to blow it up”.

The young man was Jamal Abu Al-Ola. Abu Al-Ola had been sheltering in the hospital along with his mother. At some point, IDF soldiers had detained him outside the hospital and tortured him. They then tied his hands with zip cuffs and sent him back into the hospital to deliver the message. After delivering his warning, Abu Al-Ola’s mother pleaded with her son not to leave. According to El Helou, the young man answered, “I’ve been threatened, I have to leave the hospital or it’s going to put all the civilians in danger”.

Abu Al-Ola left, as instructed, left the hospital along with others evacuees by the route they had been told to take. As they left, Israeli soldiers opened fire on the fleeing civilians. Abu Al-Ola was shot three times in the chest while he was still within the hospital grounds.


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