Houthi Shiite militants are setting up anti-aircraft batteries at a Yemen University, seemingly utilizing the educational institution to provide civilian cover against the ongoing Saudi-led air campaign against the Iran-backed fighters, Al Jazeera reports.

Dhamar University–where the Houthi jihadists are allegedly setting up their missile sites–is the largest university in Yemen.

Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri told reporters yesterday that the Houthis were utilizing the inhumane, guerilla tactics in order to keep their hold on power. The Houthis are using residential houses “as hideouts and stores for their equipment, and sometimes installing anti-aircraft equipment on top of civilian buildings to attract the alliance to bombard them and commit killing of innocents,” Gen. Asiri told the Saudi Press Agency.

Some observers have noted that the Houthis are adopting tactics akin to Iran-backed Palestinian terror group Hamas, which utilized UN buildings and residential areas to launch missile strikes against Israel last summer. During the Israel-Hamas war, the Gaza-ruling terror group also used civilians as human shields so they could launch attacks under protected conditions.

In another seemingly desperate measure, Houthi militants have allegedly released 1,800 inmates from prisons throughout Yemen, Al Arabiya reported.

Houthi officials have said they will continue to battle the 10-member Sunni coalition and try to maintain control over Sanaa.

“If Saudi Arabia continues its aggressions against the oppressed Yemeni people, [Houthi] fighters will pave the way for the Saudi regime’s destruction by conducting martyrdom-seeking operations inside Saudi Arabia in the coming hours,” a top Houthi official told Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency.

Arab leaders have pledged that the ongoing air campaign against the Houthis will continue until the Iran-backed group withdraws and surrenders.

The 10-country coalition’s campaign–codenamed Operation “Decisive Storm– seeks to reinstall Yemen’s internationally-recognized President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back into power.



AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
JOHN KERRY – AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

BOSTON – The FBI has positively identified the two robbers who in 1990 committed the largest art heist in history, stealing over $500 million worth of masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum here. One of them is a local ex-con who was free only because his lawyer, now Secretary of State John Kerry, was able to get his first-degree murder conviction overturned in 1982.

“We got justice,” Kerry told a reporter in 2009 of his work for the notorious hoodlum, “and I’ll go to my grave proud that we did.”

Multiple law-enforcement sources here have told Breitbart News that the two career criminals who committed the historic crime were Kerry’s client, George Reissfelder, and a local thug named Lenny DiMuzio. At the time, Reissfelder was 49 and DiMuzio was 42.

Both thieves were dead within a year of their breathtaking crime. DiMuzio was murdered in a gangland hit and Reissfelder died of a drug overdose that some investigators consider suspicious.

The pair gained admission to the lightly guarded museum after midnight on March 18, 1990 by posing as uniformed Boston police officers. Once inside, they disabled the two college-aged guards and spent a leisurely 81 minutes looting the museum.

Their haul included one of the 36 known paintings by 17th-century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. In addition, they stole three Rembrandts. The museum’s fourth Rembrandt was also taken down from the wall, but the thieves apparently forgot to take it with them as they hauled out the other 13 pieces.

The art has never been recovered. The museum is offering a $5 million reward for the return of the paintings and other assorted items. The Vermeer painting, The Concert, may be the most valuable missing artwork in the world. Its current estimated value is $250 million. Among the stolen Rembrandts is a tiny self-portrait and The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, the Dutch master’s only seascape.

The FBI announced last year that it had “solved” the crime, but has steadfastly refused to officially confirm the identities of Reissfelder and DiMuzio. But this month, on the 25thanniversary of the crime, the Boston FBI office produced a power-point presentation for the media hinting broadly that they robbed the museum.

Now, sources tell Breitbart News that their identities are confirmed.

Kerry’s client, Reissfelder, was a career criminal who was convicted of murdering a guard during a robbery in South Boston in 1966. In the early 1970’s, Massachusetts began giving convicted murderers what became known as “Dukakis weekend furloughs,” after Michael Dukakis, who became governor in 1975. It was one such furlough, to another convicted murderer named Willie Horton, who then fled and terrorized a Maryland couple, that became a major issue in Dukakis’ doomed 1988 presidential campaign.

Like Horton (and other convicted murderers), Reissfelder fled as soon as he was released from prison for the “weekend.” Accompanied by another convicted murderer, Reissfelder embarked on a major crime spree through the south. He was eventually captured after pointing a gun at a cop in Florida and returned to prison here.

But in the meantime, Reissfelder’s codefendant in the murder case, a hood named Silky Sullivan, had made a deathbed confession to a priest, clearing Reissfelder and naming another wiseguy as his accomplice.

Kerry went to law school after failing to win election to Congress in 1972. In 1982 he owned a chocolate-chip cookie shop and was also in private practice with a close friend of his named Roanne Sragow, who later became a state judge and married the attorney general of Rhode Island.

Kerry and Sragow were appointed by the court to handle Reissfelder’s appeal as Kerry began running for lieutenant governor in 1982. Despite what had become overwhelming evidence of Reissfelder’s innocence, many in the criminal-justice system were reluctant to hand the showboating swift boat veteran a high-profile legal victory in the midst of his campaign.

Even then, Kerry was widely disliked by many in state politics for his shameless self-promotion, preening and thin skin. For his love of television appearances, he was known as “Liveshot.”

Finally, however, Reissfelder was cleared, and with the usual TV cameras trailing them, he and Kerry strolled from the state courthouse through Quincy Market. At a well-lit barroom, the grinning politician and thug then toasted one another with beers, an occasion videotaped for the evening news. Kerry went on to be elected lieutenant governor, and senator two years later in 1984.

Reissfelder, meanwhile, immediately returned to his life of crime. To fellow criminals, he bragged that he had actually murdered a man for sport while he was on his Dukakis furlough – Reissfelder said he had shot someone walking along the side of a road, and that the force of the bullet had flipped the man over.

Reissfelder always called his victim “the Flipper.”

Reissfelder eventually fell in with a local wiseguy named Carmelo Merlino. Merlino ran a cut-throat crew of burglars, armed robbers, home invaders and killers out of an auto-body shop on Dorchester Avenue.

Another member of the crew was Lenny DiMuzio, a Vietnam veteran and a top-notch burglar.

Law-enforcement sources believe that Merlino set up the Gardner heist for his two crew members. What is unknown is whether the theft was Merlino’s own idea, or if he was acting essentially as a criminal subcontractor for someone else. Contrary to the plot lines of Hollywood art-theft movies like The Thomas Crown Affair, such well-known stolen paintings are almost impossible to unload on the black market.

But in Massachusetts, stolen art has occasionally been used in plea-bargaining in criminal cases. In return for producing stolen masterpieces, convicted criminals have negotiated, or tried to negotiate, shorter prison sentences.

A year after the record heist, both Reissfelder and DiMuzio were dead. Reissfelder was found dead of a drug overdose in his Quincy apartment. According to sources, DiMuzio was plotting to take over Merlino’s crew when Merlino discovered his treachery. DiMuzio was reported missing in March 1991 and his body was discovered three months later when passersby reported a “foul odor” emanating from the trunk of an abandoned car in East Boston across from the famous Santarpio’s pizza palace. He had been shot multiple times.

After his murder at the auto-body shop, sources say DiMuzio’s corpse was stashed in his own car in the garage of a home here in Jamaica Plain. That home was later purchased by a Boston politician who knew the sordid story, and after building a bar in the garage, he named it “Lenny’s Last Call.”

As investigators began closing in on Merlino. He was convicted of a botched robbery and died in federal prison of diabetes in December 2005. Another local hoodlum believed to have knowledge of the whereabouts of the paintings was Robert Guarente. He had homes in both Massachusetts and Maine, all of which have been searched by police. Guarente died in 2004, like Merlino of diabetes.

One of Guarente’s associates, a reputed Mafia soldier from Connecticut named Robert Gentile, has also been questioned, and had his home near Hartford searched. But once again the investigators came up empty in their search for the missing masterpieces.

Of course, one man from this story remains very much in the public eye.

As the Secretary of State, Kerry continues to negotiate a one-sided nuclear deal with the Iranian mullahs in Switzerland. He will not even return here Monday for the dedication of the new museum named after his longtime Senate colleague Edward M. Kennedy. That ceremony will be attended by most of the nation’s other high-ranking Democrats, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

The new Kennedy museum is located about a mile from where Merlino hatched the Gardner heist in his garage on Dorchester Avenue.

Kerry apparently has made only one statement on his own connection to the greatest art theft in history, when Reissfelder’s name first began surfacing as a suspect several years ago.

Speaking to US News in 2009, he didn’t seem overly concerned with the potential loss of the priceless art.

“I don’t know if those paintings ended up on eBay,” he quipped, “but they’re not on my wall!”

Follow Howie Carr on Twitter @howiecarr show. You can listen to his radio show 3-7 PM EST on





All the rumors from Lausanne indicate that the U.S. is on the brink of a disastrous deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. If these leaks are true, a final agreement will leave the Islamic Republic, as it calls itself, in possession of centrifuges and other facilities––27 that we know of–– needed for producing nuclear materials and weapons. Token concessions, such as limiting the number of centrifuges, will count for little given that the Iranians claim that key sites such as Fordo will remain off limits to IAEA inspectors, as will other sites devoted to missile development and other military applications.

In the end, it won’t matter if sanctions are phased out quickly or slowly, if Iran ships its enriched uranium to Russia (an unreliable monitor, to say the least), if some sort of easily gamed “inspection” process is established, or if some “sunset” clause ends all these restrictions on Iran’s nuclear development in 5 years or 10. Iran will still possess the technical knowledge and infrastructure for enriching uranium and manufacturing a nuclear weapon, its economy now unhampered by the dismantled sanctions regime. But to paraphrase the Taliban, we Westerners may have the watches, but the slaves of Allah have the time. This deal means one thing: sooner or later Iran will become a nuclear power.

How we got to this dangerous pass involves the obvious leadership failures of Barack Obama. But equally to blame are the bad ideas shaping the minds of many Western leaders.

Obama came into office proclaiming a new era in American foreign policy. According to the narrative created by progressives and their court scribes in the mainstream media, George Bush’s alleged unilateralism, “torture,” “gulags” like Guantanamo, and itchy trigger finger had damaged U.S. relations abroad and functioned as a recruiting poster for jihadist terror. In contrast, Obama was going to “reinvigorate,” as he put it, multilateralism, diplomatic engagement, and international institutions, and “extend his hand” to our inveterate enemies, especially Iran.

Hence from the beginning of his presidency, Obama has courted the mullahs, sending holiday greetings, personal letters, and solicitous offers to negotiate in order to improve “cooperation in regional and bilateral relations,” as he wrote to Khamenei in May 2009.  Even after Iran was caught lying 5 months later about its enrichment facility at Qom, Obama reassured Khamenei, “We remain committed to serious, meaningful engagement with Iran.” Don’t forget, during this same time Iran was killing our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, facilitating training and travel for terrorists to those same countries, and fomenting terror across the region and beyond. And of course, it was spinning the centrifuges and honing the technical skills necessary for creating nuclear weapons.

Indeed, true to Obama’s wish, we now have de facto “cooperation in regional and bilateral relations” with Iran, cooperation that benefits the mullahs at our expense. We are coordinating our air support with the Iranian fighters and their Iraqi Shi’a clients in northern Iraq, and our negotiators in Lausanne are the regime’s best advocates, defending the Iranians from our own Congress, and from our allies like France, which has reservations about the pending deal. Indeed, according to a member of the Iranian team who recently defected, “The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

We can speculate endlessly on Obama’s motives, and argue whether he is actively trying to undermine our influence in the region out of hatred for America, or is blinded by his exaggerated estimation of his powers of persuasion, or is hungry for some legacy achievement to offset the myriad foreign policy disasters for which he is responsible. There is also the dubious “realist” view that America’s activism in the region is creating disorder and blowback, and hence a “rebalancing” of our foreign policy commitments is in order. But one thing is beyond speculation and debate: his behavior reflects bad ideas that go beyond his personal incompetence or dark designs.

One particularly dangerous idea is the notion endemic to progressives that the U.S. is a bad international actor, a neo-imperialist, neo-colonialist instrument of capitalist depredations, racist oppression, and greedy exploitation, one responsible for all the world’s ills. This Marxist-inspired distortion of history has long been gospel for Western intellectuals. In 1941 George Orwell wrote, “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality,” and for leftists “it is a duty to snigger at every English institution.” Today these attitudes have spread beyond the intellectual elite into school curricula and popular culture. They are second nature to progressives, and have enabled the appeasement of our enemies ever since the Cold War, just as Orwell saw that the fashionable self-loathing of England’s intellectual elite contributed to the appeasement of the 1930s.

Given that this myth permeates American culture high and low, it is no surprise that the historically challenged Obama, a creature of the university, accepts it as fact. Thus any notions of America’s role as a unique force for good in the world are just irrational prejudices typical of similar parochial attitudes found in other countries. Hence the constant apologies that have marked his tenure, which in turn reflect his notion of America’s sins, the fundamental assumption of his foreign policy. Who can forget the Cairo speech in 2009, when our president blamed tensions with the Muslim world on “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations”? Thus in 2007 he promised he would conduct foreign policy “not in the spirit of a patron but in the spirit of a partner––a partner mindful of his own imperfections.”

The corollary to this self-loathing is the superstition that all conflict can be resolved through the give-and-take and rational discussion of negotiations with foes whose enmity is probably our fault anyway. After all, everybody prefers peace to war, and physical comfort to spiritual or ideological certainty. This is an old belief, still clung to by many in the face of numerous bloody examples of its failure. Even as Hitler’s tanks were rolling into Poland, an American senator said, “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” This same delusion has driven Obama’s engagement with the rest of the world, again confirming the promises he made as a candidate to favor diplomacy over force or even the threat of force.

History should disabuse us of these assumptions. If both sides share fundamental principles about peace and tolerance and human rights and mutual respect, negotiation can create agreements that defuse conflict. But even then, national self-interest can trump the desire to make a deal, principles be damned. In 2002 Georg Bush spent several months negotiating with our allies for a U.N. Security Council resolution approving the overthrow of Saddam Hussein for violating 17 previous resolutions and the terms of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire agreement. For reasons of national economic and political self-interest, Germany and France lobbied against the resolution, going so far as actively pressuring other Council members to vote against it. The delay caused by these ultimately successful efforts––the resolution was withdrawn lest it be voted down–– gave Hussein precious time to dismantle his WMD programs and destroy or export stockpiles to other countries.

Yet when the adversary does not share fundamental beliefs and principles, negotiation merely offers the enemy an opportunity to buy time by dickering over or even approving an agreement it has every intention of gaming and violating. The history of nuclear arms treaties with the Soviet Union and Russia, and the dismal failure of diplomacy to keep North Korea from creating a nuclear arsenal are recent examples. As those failures show, an enemy intent on achieving a strategic aim will lie, cheat, conceal, and misdirect until it can announce success with a fait accompli. This pattern can be seen as early as the 1920’s, when the Germans undermined the Versailles Treaty’s disarmament clauses with harassment and deception of the Inter-Allied Commission of Control, secret weapons research facilities, the construction of factories easily converted to military uses, delays in meeting obligations, and lies about various organizations the purpose of which was to train officers and study military innovations and theory. When Hitler came to power in 1933, everything was in place for a rapid reconstruction of Germany’s war machine.

The Iranian regime does not accept its dishonorable subordination to an alien, infidel power any more than Germany had accepted the reduction of its national power and influence after World War I. On the contrary, the expansion of Iranian aggression and influence in the region from Syria to Yemen testifies to its aim of becoming the region’s hegemon at the expense of the U.S. and its allies, a role its possession of nuclear weapons will make inevitable. Given that aim, our current negotiations, predicated on the mistaken belief that Iran wants “cooperation in regional and bilateral relations,” as Obama said, are doomed to fail. Of course Iran will negotiate for more time, of course it will “cooperate” with us in destroying ISIS. But as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, the enemy of our enemy is still our enemy. And as its actions for 35 years have shown, the current regime in Iran is our most inveterate enemy.

The stark contrast between our beliefs and interests and those of Iran make a negotiated resolution of our conflicts a pipe dream. Only force can decide which side will prevail. We need to remember this tragic truth, one understood by Abraham Lincoln. In his December 1864 address to Congress, he reminded his fellow citizens of this hard fact:

“On careful consideration of all the evidence accessible it seems to me that no attempt at negotiation with the insurgent leader [Jefferson Davis] could result in any good. He would accept nothing short of severance of the Union, precisely what we will not and cannot give. His declarations to this effect are explicit and oft repeated. He does not attempt to deceive us. He affords us no excuse to deceive ourselves. He cannot voluntarily reaccept the Union; we cannot voluntarily yield it. Between him and us the issue is distinct, simple, and inflexible. It is an issue which can only be tried by war and decided by victory. If we yield, we are beaten; if the Southern people fail him, he is beaten.”

These words accurately describe our struggle with Iran. Unfortunately for us, Barack Obama is no Abraham Lincoln. He “can and will give” the Iranians what they want, his understanding of the “issue” is the direct opposite of “distinct, simple, and inflexible,” and he is eager to “voluntarily yield” nuclear weapons to the enemy. Unless Congress, including Democrats, intervenes to stop this disaster, Iran will win, and we will be beaten.





By Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, originally published at


For the first time in history, a terrorist attack on the electric power grid has blacked-out an entire nation. Media attention has been so focused on the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), on their brutal conquest of northern Iraq and advance toward Baghdad, that the perhaps even more significant terrorist threat in Yemen has been ignored.

On June 9, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), used rocket propelled grenade launchers and mortars to destroy transmission towers, plunging the whole of Yemen into blackout. The AQAP blackout of Yemen’s electric grid has gone largely unreported.

Yemen, a nation of 24 million, is an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism and has been the scene of some of the most significant episodes of that war. AQAP, based in Yemen, is notorious for its aggressive and ingenious terror operations against the United States.

For example, on October 12, 2000, AQAP used plastic explosives to convert a motorized dinghy into a torpedo that blasted the USS Cole, killing and injuring 56 sailors, and nearly sinking the sophisticated guided missile destroyer, worth almost one billion dollars. The 9/11 Commission attributed U.S. failure to retaliate for Cole as the proximate cause for Al Qaeda’s launch of the September 11, 2001 holocaust that killed 3,000 Americans.

AQAP has disguised bombs to look like soft drinks, underclothing, and printing cartridges in its persistent efforts to smuggle explosives aboard airliners bound for the United States.

Last year, the Obama Administration evacuated U.S. embassies across the Middle East in response to a plot led by AQAP, involving coordinated activity by terror groups throughout the region.

On August 2, 2013, Administration and intelligence community officials disclosed that just days earlier, the U.S. intercepted communications among senior leaders of Al Qaeda indicating a major and imminent threat to U.S. interests somewhere in the region of the Middle East and North Africa.

Consequently, the State Department announced it was executing an “orderly downsizing”, in effect an evacuation, of some two dozen embassies and diplomatic missions. The unprecedented evacuation included facilities in Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Yemen.

According to the Obama Administration, last year’s terrorist teleconference was attended by more than 20 leaders of Al Qaeda and affiliates participating from the Middle East and North Africa. Al Qaeda members in the conference included Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Pakistani Taliban, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, Al Qaeda in Uzbekistan and others. One intelligence officer reportedly described the gathering as “a legion of doom”.

During the terror conference, Al Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri promoted AQAP’s leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi to “Ma’sul al-Amm”–roughly equivalent to “General Manager” of Al Qaeda.

The full objectives of last year’s terror plot are unknown, but one goal included the takeover of Yemen. Teams of terrorists allegedly were already in position, many of them disguised as Yemeni military personnel, ready to attack and seize military bases throughout Yemen.

Why Yemen? Possibly because North Korea has provided to Yemen at least 15 Scud-B mobile missiles, capable of delivering nuclear, chemical, biological or high-explosive warheads weighing one ton to a range of 300 kilometers. Iran has demonstrated that Scud missiles can be ship-launched from a freighter.

The Obama Administration credited itself with thwarting last year’s big terror plot by evacuating embassies and publicly warning allies, because nothing much happened. Some analysts, including myself, criticized the Administration for disclosing sources and methods, making it more likely that the U.S. and allies would be surprised the next time.

Is it possible that the big terror offensive now rolling across the Middle East is the unfolding of the plot planned last year? Media reporting acts as if the ISIS conquest of northern Iraq, Taliban attacks on nuclear-armed Pakistan, and the terror blackout in Yemen are unrelated. But all of these actors were plotting something together last year.

Worry most about the Yemen nationwide blackout–which tomorrow could be the United States.

A study by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that attacks on just nine key transformer substations could blackout the entire nation for weeks or months. The Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Commission warned that a nuclear Scud missile launched from a freighter could blackout the U.S. for a year or more, killing up to 9 of 10 Americans by starvation and societal collapse.

Yemen is yet another warning to protect the U.S. electric grid.

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a Congressional Advisory Board, served in the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, the CIA and is author of the books Apocalypse Unknown and Electric Armageddon both available from and



2013 – A 90-minute docu-drama, “American Blackout” reveals in gritty detail the impact of what happens when a cyber attack on the United States takes down the power grid. The question is: when the lights go out, what do we do next.

2013 – An astrological event (EMP) knocks out power to the world, but residents of a middle-class suburb band together and thrive without modern conveniences. When neighboring communities learn of their success, they attack and spark a war between subdivisions.