A Road in the Desert

By Dr. Ross L. Riggs

Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in the dream saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him. (Matthew 2:13 NASB)

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt… and the Lord was with Joseph… But Joseph said to them, do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 39:1, 50:19-20
NASB)
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The route of Abraham’s travels in ancient times would have been nearly identical to the traders’ route that those who purchased Joseph would take to Egypt and later Joseph’s brothers and family would eventually take to Cairo. Centuries later, Joseph, step-father of Jesus, would take the same route when fleeing Herod in Jerusalem.
The point marked on this map with a is the location of current day Bir al-Abed. (See map later in this monograph).

Joseph, the great-grandson of Abraham was taken to Egypt and lived there around 2900 BC. (The Exodus under Moses took place about 2450 BC and King David ruled in Jerusalem 1003 to 970 BC)

Archaeologists believe that a massive volcanic eruption followed by a tsunami of epic proportions wiped out the coastal cities of Sinai in 1500 BC. This would have been during the years of the Judges before the reign of King David. A city in the location of Bir al-Abed during the travels of Joseph and his family would have been destroyed and then, perhaps, rebuilt by the time that Joseph, Mary’s husband would have brought the Messiah to Egypt in the 1st Century AD.

In the 7th Century A.D., Islam began to grow in the areas of Mecca and Medina in the area today known as Saudi Arabia. In the years following Mohammad, Islam spread west along the northern shores of Africa in a bloody campaign by those loyal to Mohammad.

On Friday November 24, 2017 Terrorists attacked the Al Rawda Mosque in Bir al-Abed in northern Sinai. Though not yet claimed, as of this writing, likely the local Islamic State of ISIS is responsible for the attack that killed 235 with more than 100 wounded. Sources claim “it was the worst terrorist attack on civilians in modern Egyptian history. It was well-planned, highly coordinated and aimed at slaughtering as many people as possible.”
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Al Rawda (also spelled in some sources, Al Rouda) is a Sufi mosque, a branch of Islam known for its mystic ways that involve chanting and enchantments meant to draw worshippers closer to a spiritual awareness. Many of the worshippers in Bir al-Abed are workers in a local salt mine.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi vowed that the attack “will not go unpunished” and that Egypt would persevere with its war on terrorism. But he did not specify what new steps might be taken. U.S. President Trump took to his Twitter account and called the crisis a horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshippers. The world cannot tolerate terrorism” he said on Twitter, “we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!”

According to sources, the terrorists approached the mosque in four off-road vehicles with at least a dozen terrorists entering the mosque where hundreds were gathered. Very likely they approached the city along highway 40, the same road that had carried travelers and tradesmen and in the centuries before the destruction by a massive volcano and tsunami may have carried the 17-year-old prisoner Joseph who would one-day rule Egypt and generations before that the caravan of his great-grandfather Abraham. That same road carried the body of Joseph’s father, Jacob, back to the Promised Land in a great procession, where he would be buried. Jacob’s directions for his burial are recorded in Genesis 49:30-32.

“…in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site. “There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah – the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth.”

Over four-hundred years later, when Moses was bringing the nation of Israel, now millions strong back to the Promised Land they would be carrying the bones of Joseph only for another Joseph to travel that way again to bring his wife and toddler step-son, baby Jesus, the Messiah to Egypt for safety.
Jesus Christ, by this time a young boy, after the death of Herod, would have passed along this same area again, returning to Israel perhaps even staying the night in a town on or near the site of Bir al-Abed.

On this Friday in November, just a few weeks before the Christian world celebrates the nativity of our Savior Jesus Christ, terrorists used the this non-descript road in the desert to bring about carnage, bloodshed, tears, pain and death.

They were firing rocket propelled grenades and firing indiscriminately into the crowd. One boy of 14 who had shrapnel and a bullet wound described the carnage. He said “I saw many people on the floor, many dead. I don’t think anyone survived,” he said at a hospital in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, where around 40 of the wounded were taken, including many children.

The Egyptian army has been battling ISIS-linked militant Islamists in the Sinai four years with limited success. But if the world knows little about this fierce ongoing struggle, that is no accident. The Egyptian government has imposed an almost total media blackout on its efforts to repress what is becoming a deeply embedded insurgency

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Egyptian president al-Sisi claimed that “the attack would only “add to our insistence” on combatting extremists. Addressing the nation later on television, he said Egypt is waging a battle against militancy on behalf of the rest of the world, a declaration he has often made in seeking international support for the fight.”

Egyptian president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi went on Egyptian television Friday evening to declare three days of mourning and denounce the attack, which he called the work of cowards. He vowed to respond with air strikes and “brutal force.”
desert

But the use of such brutal force, which critics say is also indiscriminate, has created greater resentment among Sinai residents. It has also radicalized the local population and generated new recruits for the terrorists – even as most Egyptians reacted with shock and outrage to the assault on a holy mosque during the Muslim day of prayer, a rarity in the deeply religious country.

While no group immediately claimed credit for the attack on the Al Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed in northern Sinai, the culprits were almost surely the local branch of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State.

It is just a road in the desert, probably the current-day road is one with a heritage that is as old as civilization itself. It has witnessed the dawn of mankind’s growth as a people of the One Creator God, the historic events that took place across it and it witnessed the sons of Abraham trying to survive horrific draught and famine. It witnessed the funeral processions of patriarchs of the Christian faith and the escape and return of the Messiah from Israel to Egypt and the fulfillment of prophecy, “Out of Egypt I have called my Son.”

This map shows that simple road. Notice the red color, the subscript of the source just says, “Travel Not Recommended.” So, when one wants to plot their travel from Cairo to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, there is a bit of a side-trip. That side trip is shown in the next map.5

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You will notice a red line and a blue one. One is the distance to go directly from Cairo to Tel Aviv. The direct route is 395 km and if you travel at 85 km/h it will take you just under 5 hours, depending, of course on how well you swim; so you may want to add some time if you choose to stay on dry land. Because of the violence, however, you will likely have to take the more circuitous route which will take you 9 hours to travel the 756 km. Sounds like the same kind of problem Moses had getting to Israel from Egypt!
There could be close to 300 people dead, men, mostly salt mine workers, women and children all who practice a strange cult version of Islam dead for no other reason than a group of another cult find their worship untenable.

The terrorist lives to strike fear into the hearts of those who just want to live out their lives in relative peace. When Christ returns there will be a time of tribulation on the earth with its purpose to bring back to the faith those who have run away from God, chasing false teachings and empty promises of peace. The violence earlier today was there just for the sake of indulging in terror.

God save us from ourselves and walk beside us along a little-known road in the desert.

 

InSCIghts on the ISLAMIC STATE

International Caution for World Travelers – worldwide impact threatens business and worldwide travelers

Developing a deeper understanding of terrorism today to aid local law enforcement tomorrow
Developing a deeper understanding of terrorism today to aid local law enforcement tomorrow

Analysis by Security Consulting Investigations, LLC – Your premier private investigative service worldwide – Dr. Ross L. Riggs, Director SCI

THE ISLAMIC STATE is terminology that is worthwhile as a non-identifier which aides U.S. media in re-drawing the lines as to what constitutes 1) a Member of the Islamic State 2) a State Action by the Islamic State (as compared to non-State action and classified as a ‘private’ action’ even when the subject identifies themselves in allegiance to the Islamic State and declares their actions as designed to further the Islamic State. In other words, IS has become a tool for the politically correct to redefine it however they need to for their purposes.

If one traces the etymology of the term Islamic State, a direct correlation can be found with its predecessors of ISIS including but not limited to: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; ISIL, the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant as well as others. The purpose of the re-codification of the terminology is to bolster the Obama Administration’s claim following the death of Osama bin Laden that al Qaeda is decimated and on the run, that terrorism as such was eliminated from the known threats for the citizens of the US by al Qaeda’s demise.

Nothing, of course, is further than the truth – al Qaeda has been growing and morphing into all varieties of terrorist outlets all across the Middle East and northern Africa. One cannot deny the vitality of the terrorist movement, unless, of course, you consider events such as the pathetic attempt by major media outlets in the U.S. kowtowing to pressure from the Obama Administration to label the beheading of Colleen Hufford, age 54 and the brutal stabbing of Traci Johnson, who remains in serious condition, by Jah’Keem Yisrael a known Muslim extremist who tried to convert co-workers to Islam and screamed Islamic phrases as “workplace violence.” According to reliable sources, Nolen began attending worship services this May at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. This is the same Mosque that Breitbart News report that Imam Suhaib, who had ties to al-Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki used to attend.

Ja'Keem Yisrael
Ja’Keem Yisrael

Under the category of “NAH… HE DIDN’T REALLY SAY THAT, DID HE?” is the report on CNN September 30th during the morning expose’ on the Oklahoma beheading case, stating that the prosecutor was not going to seek the death penalty, the talking heads of psychobabble were declaring the actions by Jah’Keem Yisrael aka Alton Alexander Nolen a result of the build-up of family and personal pressures since he was a child and the resulting violence was the proximate result of his environment.

Ja'Keem 2

The anchor, John Berman, closed the segment with the statement, this case is a difficult case (referring to the beheading) … “any way you slice it.” In fact, the news watch Buzz Feed News counted 3 times in 10 seconds that he used the phrase referring to the beheading.

A SECOND THREATENED BEHEADING IN OKLAHOMA CITY – MAN ARRESTED
After a verbal altercation and on-going difficulty in an Oklahoma base nursing home, one employee threatened to behead a female employee. The man, arrested on charges of TERRORISM, claimed that he represented ISIS. Here are the basic facts from MAILONLINE:
• Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, worked 20 miles away from beheading scene
• A Muslim, he was fired on Wednesday for the threats at Bellvue Nursing Home
• Muriithi told the victim he would cut off her head and post the footage on Facebook Kenyan native

• Police arrested him Friday – the same day Alton Alexander Nolen was identified as the suspect in the beheading at Vaughan Foods in Moore, OK.
• Muriithi is now being held on terrorism charges with his bail set at $1million

Police Response

How does local law enforcement take this type of INTEL to prevent this type of TERRORISM in their communities?

First – it is critical to reinforce with local police and with the public that other than a very rare ‘in the right place at the right time’ kind of moment, police very seldom have the ability to “prevent crime” or “protect the citizens” – to understand the concept, refer to this author’s published article “To Protect and Serve” There is only one person who must accept the responsibility to protect and that is the individual who is facing the attacker. Police respond to a call for help which means that the attack has already taken place. If police take it upon themselves to be the ultimate guardian of the population then every time they fail to be at the exact right spot at the exact time, they will count themselves a failure – great for destroying a job satisfaction and increasing stress exponentially. If the public actually believe that the police officer will come springing out of a phone booth, blue tights and a red cape ready to whisk them to safety, they will certainly be eager to vote down the next safety levy and bad mouth the police every chance they get. Can crime be prevented by having a police force that is strong, resilient, professional in appearance and highly visible with a great track record of cases solved and convictions received? “Yes! Absolutely!” The ‘less –stupid’ criminals will go hunt their prey is cities where the probability of being apprehended either in the act or following the investigation is much less. The point, however, is that the individual citizen must be ready at a second’s notice to not be a victim. (I have another whole diatribe on why we should drop that word from our language all together!) The local citizens must be willing, equipped and prepared to defend themselves. Local law enforcement can learn from these recent instances however and take action to prevent such acts of terrorism in their communities.

FIRST ACTION POINT: Local Law Enforcement should get behind quality, self-protection training for their citizens; everything from identifying trouble, reporting suspicious persons and events (sometimes to their employers and to local police).
Recently in a small town in NE Ohio a 90 plus year old woman who lives alone was nearly stabbed to death one evening because she partially opened her front door to someone asking for ‘gasoline’ because his car broke down. This assault never had to happen. A peep hole in the door. A front camera with a video screen, or simply knowing that as a 90 year old woman, she does not answer the front door after dark. Yes, it is a sad commentary on our times but, these are the times in which we live and we must be prepared to protect ourselves.

SECOND ACTION POINT: Local Law Enforcement should train employers on their responsibility to take the reports by employees of bullying, extreme behavior of any kind, and threats very seriously and have a course of action laid out based on the type of threat or incident.

Develop connections within neighborhoods. COPS NEED TO GET OUT OF THEIR CARS – talk to people, develop a rapport with young people, elderly people, shop owners, – Cops need to develop their people skills. The earliest signs of someone about to cause serious trouble (even within normally closed communities like a Mosque) there are always people who either know or suspect something is building and about to happen. Usually these people would tell the authorities if they had someone they trusted and that they knew how to reach. It does not happen overnight but it will never happen if the department does not start.
Here come the ‘nay-sayers’ – not enough money, short on personnel – we’re running from call to call now and have no time to stop and walk the beat, eating the grocer’s apples and getting the kitten down from the tree (oops, that’s the fire department’s job, skip the last one!)
There are always excuses. There are always obstacles. PRO-ACTIVE POLICING requires no longer being satisfied just going from call to call as ‘responders’ – Someone once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done; you always get what you’ve always gotten.”

If you go all the way back to 9-11, there was information out there about the hijackers. The citizens who were in contact with them – such as at the flight school, were not trained on what to be looking for and there was no connection for people to know who to call, how to call or what to report. The car bomb in Times Square – how many times did those guys drive cross-country and go around buying up chemicals in quantities that only the world’s largest hair salon would need that many of those kinds of chemicals… Did you know that those guys did not exactly fit the description of ‘Che Robere’s House of Hair’? Someone, somewhere had a gut instinct that these guys were up to something but ‘who you gonna’ call?’ Agencies must not forget the lessons of 9-11 and begin to retreat behind their walls of non-cooperation. Organizations such as the International Counter Terrorism Officers’ Association continue to support inter-agency cooperation, training and information sharing. We have the tools, the people, the equipment and methodologies to stop these attacks but we have to get back to some good old fashioned police work.

Security World Map 2

map with ISIS

                Beheading of French tourist –
                                   The Islamic state claims responsibility

A 55 year old professional mountaineering guide from Nice France, Herve Gourdel was kidnapped on September 28, 2014 by a jihadist group called Jund al-Khalifa (caliphate soldiers). She had been hiking in an Algerian national park. The group claims allegiance to the Islamic State. They had threatened to kill Gourdel unless France stopped bombing ISIS targets in Iraq. A search by a large contingent of security forces of Algeria in the Tizi Ouzou region failed to locate Gourdel. Thirty minutes after President Obama urged the world to unite against ISIS and destroy what he called a “network of death” ISIS released the short video of Gourdel’s beheading.

Gourdel

Travel

According to the Langley Intelligence Group, “an international appeal from ISIS in which it called on its backers everywhere to attack Europeans… jihadists in the Philippines declared that they were holding two Germans hostage and would kill them unless Berlin withdrew support for the U.S. led campaign against ISIS or paid ransom… jihadists in a wide array of other locations, including Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Pakistan and the Caucasus are among those who have pledged allegiance to ISIS, which is gaining supporters around the world… as this terror network grows, so too does the danger to the security of Americans and other westerners who seek to travel the world.”