The Wire from S2 Underground

I apologize for the long hiatus for the Spiritual Preparedness Updates.  My method for creating these was quite time consuming.  In the midst of work, taking on new homestead projects, instructing, and family activities, I simply had to pause these updates.

I have a new distribution process now and hope that will streamline this process and allow me to return to daily updates.

Thanks for understanding!

Andre 

Text Version of The Wire

//The Wire//2200Z May 20, 2024//

//PRIORITY//

//BLUF: IRANIAN PRESIDENT KILLED IN HELICOPTER CRASH. SAUDI KING HOSPITALIZED WITH INFECTION. SOUTH CAROLINA PORTS OFFLINE DUE TO CYBER ISSUE.//

 —–BEGIN TEARLINE—–

-International Events-

Iran: Yesterday a helicopter carrying the Iranian President (and other VIPs) crashed in the mountains just north of Tavil. According to Iranian state media, one of the survivors was able to make a distress call via satellite phone before contact was lost. Upon notification of the incident, a neighboring Turkish military drone was dispatched to conduct an aerial search of the extremely remote terrain just south of the Iran/Azerbaijan border. The Turkish drone identified a large heat signature IVO grid: 38SPH4703992367. Ground search crews later identified this location as the crash site. No survivors were found at the site, and Iranian state media has confirmed the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, among others.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi state media confirmed that King Salman has been hospitalized following a recent illness. AC: Though reports are contradictory, King Salman has possibly been hospitalized due to pneumonia and/or a more general respiratory infection. Due to contradicting reports, it’s not clear as to if King Salman is currently hospitalized, or if he was merely examined at a hospital as an outpatient. Regardless, this is his second hospitalization in less than a month. As a reminder, King Salman handed over most royal duties to his son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a few years ago. However, King Salman still wields considerable status throughout the Middle East, in similar fashion to most aging monarchs that have provided an air of generational stability throughout the continent for decades. If King Salman’s health is declining, this could signal a new era of instability as the world seeks to test the Crown Prince as he fully steps into the role of monarch.

Slovakia: Various governmental ministers have indicated that Prime Minister Fico’s situation is improving, and that the most serious risks to his life have been averted. However, it will take more time to determine his overall condition, due to the continuing severity of his wounds.

Burkina Faso: Various anti-establishment media channels reported another attack on Captain Ibrahim Traoré’s residence Saturday night. Multiple gunmen conducted small arms attacks at the main gate of the Presidential Palace in Ouagadougou. AC: It’s not clear as to if this was a substantial attack, or a shoot-and-shoot style skirmish. This is at least the 6th attempt on Captain Ibrahim’s life since seizing power two years ago.

Red Sea/HOA: Over the weekend, Houthi forces successfully struck another oil tanker, the M/V WIND. Per CENTCOM’s statements Saturday night, coalition vessels responded to the WIND’s distress call as the WIND had lost steering and was taking on water. After a few hours, the crew was able to restore functionality and egress from the area under her own power.

-HomeFront-

South Carolina: A collection of ports have been shut down temporarily following undisclosed software issues. The South Carolina Port Authority originally stated this morning that cargo terminals would only be offline for a few hours, however the timeline for recovery has been pushed back multiple times today. AC: It is unclear as to if this software issue is affecting all South Carolina ports, or just the main North Charleston Terminal. In any case, cargo on and offloading has come to a halt while the issue is being mitigated.

—–END TEARLINE—–

Analyst Comments: Many technical details surrounding the Iranian helicopter crash do not fit within known Iranian military doctrine, or otherwise do not make sense. Based on the aerial imagery provided by Iranian media after search crews located the crash site, it is extremely unlikely that anyone survived the impact. Only the tail section of the helicopter remained relatively intact, whereas the rest of the crash site is extremely indicative of a high-speed collision. As such, these obvious details cast doubt on the satellite phone call that allegedly prompted the initial search. A passenger surviving the crash long enough to make a satellite phone call is possible. However, due to the whiteout conditions that possibly led to the crash in the first place, it is unlikely that anyone wounded would have survived such extreme temperatures for almost 24 hours with minimal (or without) survival gear.

Iranian state media issuing directly contradictory information following such an incident is standard, and to be expected following an incident of this magnitude. However, what is unexpected is the immediate declaration by Iranian authorities that this was an accident caused by bad weather and restricting visibility. Considering the capability for Iran to point the finger at any number of other nations, immediately going with an accident story is interesting.

The palpable elephant in the room is illustrated by the grand question…was this the result of an act of sabotage? At the moment, only a forensic examination of the evidence at hand will provide more clarity as to the potential for any nefarious activities. Right now the biggest indicator of nefarious intent is purely speculative instinct; world leaders critical of certain parties suddenly being shot, hospitalized, or killed in a helicopter crash within a few days is quite coincidental and very suspicious, even considering the complete lack of correlating information at present. Though suspicious timing alone cannot be treated the same as definitive proof, absolutely perfect and airtight smoking-gun evidence is not necessary for basic risk assessment at the operational level. Nor is it needed in order for world leaders to take heed of the heightened risk to their personal safety that comes with the unprecedented tensions currently tightening around the world. In other words, no one can prove this incident was an assassination, but the various world leaders in similar diplomatic positions would likely benefit from treating it as such, just to be on the safe side.

Regarding this specific helicopter crash, nefarious intent may be easy to assess, but factoring in nefarious actions may be more difficult considering the overall situation. Flying in such mountainous and rugged terrain is exceptionally dangerous under the best of conditions, and outright fatal in even the slightest inclement weather. Contrary to popular belief, most helicopter pilots rely on visual cues to fly. Even for the most experienced IFR-rated helicopter pilot, it is an uncomfortable prospect to fly at high altitude (where the aircraft engines are already struggling due to the lack of oxygen, and the rotor blades strain to generate lift through the thinning air), in narrow canyons with no visibility. If the weather was indeed as bad as Iranian state television claims it was (which can happen in mere seconds in such mountains), a normal flying day can transition into a nightmare scenario faster than a suitable landing site can be found.

What is more interesting are the overall circumstances of the incident, along with the details of the rescue attempts. For instance, it is strange that an aircraft full of VIPs was flying alone instead of in echelon with a sister ship. Most world leaders of such notoriety would be expected to fly with at least one other helicopter escort, purely for maintenance and security reasons. A sister ship also is absolutely vital in the event that something happens to one of the aircraft; having an aerial asset immediately on hand to check for survivors, radio for help, and coordinate emergency landing zones is why almost all militaries around the world (to include the heliborne transportation used by almost every other world leader) includes at least a pair of aircraft, not just one airframe.

Other details likely to cause international embarrassment are that Iran had to request assistance to locate the helicopter of their own President from another nation, Turkey. The Search and Rescue operation being headed up by the Iranian Red Crescent (instead of an IRGC military unit) also is quite telling. Understanding the difficulties of conducting Search and Rescue operations in such inhospitable and remote terrain, the lack (or failure) of technical SAR sensors and/or radios provides a wealth of information to the world regarding how seriously Iran treats threats, to include inclement weather. In other words, if the average tourist hiker climbing the neighboring peaks in Turkey has better access to Search and Rescue assets via consumer-grade devices, this does not bode well for the capabilities of a nationstate. As such, the transportation and security of Iranian officials (especially the Ayatollah) is almost certainly being re-examined following this incident. Only time will tell whether or not this incident was sabotage. However, considering the multiple high-risk practices illustrated by this incident, world leaders with similar travel habits are likely to take note of both the technical vulnerabilities as well as the coincidental nature of recent security incidents that have taken place around the world.

Analyst: S2A1

//END REPORT//

Spiritual Preparedness Comments

Note: Iran has confirmed that other aircraft accompanied the Ayatollah’s helicopter.  This will be in the next update.

God determines the term, reign, and lifespan of the world’s rulers.  Whether something nefarious was involved in this accident or not, we know that God orchestrates and even uses rival nations to raise up and close down dynasties, empires and nations.  If he was willing to use Babylon and Egypt to discipline his children in Israel, and then Persia to return Israel to her land; he can use whatever circumstances–even the weather–to direct politics today.  

In all our warnings and concerns, doubts and fears, and that nagging sense that us little people can’t do anything substantial to influence our nation, we have the clear certainty that God is entirely in control of every authority and politician.  That God is our loving heavenly father, who orders all things for good.  

That doesn’t mean we won’t endure trials, tribulations (or THE Tribulation…but that’s a different discussion), and loss.  It does mean, however, that in the midst of it all, Jesus will walk with us as he did with his servants in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace.  

I know we know this.  I also know that a reminder of such basic things is always helpful as we ponder what the days’ events might mean for us.