January 2, 2021 Newsletter #8.0

Good morning everyone,

Happy New Year! Thank you everyone for all of the support you have given the page. The past year has been a rollercoaster ride for Atlas News with the main page being taken down and having the back-ups shadow banned, but we survived thanks to you all. We are starting off the year with a new news letter format from Beehiiv, which makes publishing these weekly much easier for everyone. I also have some big news to share: the website and app are almost finished so stay tuned for more updates on that. Great things are to come in 2022 for the page.

So with that, let's dive in:



Wednesday, December 29, 2021: Jefferey Epstein associate and enabler Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty of five of the six charges against her from her child sex trafficking trial, which include:- Conspiracy to Entice Minors to Travel to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts- Enticement of a Minor to Travel to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts- Transportation of a Minor with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity- Sex Trafficking Conspiracy- Sex Trafficking of a Minor  

The only charge she was found not guilty on was Conspiracy to Transport Minors with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity. Maxwell faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison, which would be the rest of her life depending on how long that will be. A sentencing date has not been chosen yet. Questions have been raised whether or not she is willing to give up names conspirators involved in Epstein’s sex crimes for a lighter sentence, however, it has been confirmed no plea bargains were made, which means Maxwell's lips are sealed.

Table of Contents


    • Somalian President and PM Locked in Power Struggle

    • South African Special Forces Soldier Killed During ISIS Ambush

    • Turkish Airstrike Kills Five Leaders of Kurdish Revolutionary Movement in Syria

    • Israeli Defense Company Accused of Launching an Explosive Drone at Manned Position During Sales Pitch


    • Over 20 Naval Ships Commissioned This Year

    • Good Look at Twin-Seat Stealth Fighter Prototype


    • Mali Accused of Hosting Wagner PMCs

    • Big Year for Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile


    • Libya Update

    • Captagon Bust in Lebanon

    • Weapon of the Week: UZI




Military forces gather in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu on Monday. (PHOTO: Feisal Omar)

Monday, December 27, 2021: Tensions have risen drastically in Somalia after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo suspended Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble over accusations of corruption. The Prime Minister called the move a “coup” and said that he would be assuming responsibility of all governmental and military functions himself, referring to Farmajo as a “former president.” Both Roble and Farmajo have been at odds in a power struggle for months now over delayed elections, in which Farmajo has been accused of using his authority to remain in power. 

Soon after the decision to sack Roble, pro-Farmajo military forces began converging on the capital of Mogadishu to maintain security and potentially detain Roble if he did not comply. At the same time, pro-Roble forces began converging on the capital as well, threatening to overthrow Farmajo. The U.N. has stepped in to try and de-escalate the situation, speaking with both men and urging them to put the interests of their country first. Meanwhile, fears of a potential civil conflict remain as forces loyal to both Roble and Farmajo remain in the capital. Likewise, there are fears al Shabaab militants may take advantage of the political instability to launch attacks.



Corporal Tebogo Edwin Radebe

Tuesday, December 21, 2021: South African Special Forces (Recces) Corporal Tebogo Edwin Radebe was killed last Tuesday during an Islamic State ambush in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, which also killed at least two other Mozambican soldiers. Radebe’s remains were returned home on Thursday and his death marks the first Recces KIA since 1989 during the Border War. Cabo Delgado has faced an intense Islamic insurgency for the past two years, drawing in a coalition of Mozambican, Rwandan, and South African forces to counter it.



Per Syrian Revolutionary Youth Movement

Saturday, December 25, 2021: A Turkish airstrike killed five leaders of the Syrian Revolutionary Youth Movement (Tevgera Ciwanen Soresger e Suriye) in Kobane, Syria, as well as wounding several others on Christmas. The Revolutionary Youth Movement is considered the youth wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, which is linked to the PKK. Turkey considers the PKK and any of its affiliated groups to be terrorists and routinely carry out strikes against them in Iraq and Syria. This is a separate group from the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (Tevgera Ciwanen Welatparezen Soresger, YDG-H), which is the militant youth wing of the PKK in Turkey. The Syrian Revolutionary Youth Movement is more focused on student led activism and protests rather than direct fighting. The organization released a statement stating that the strikes will not go unanswered, stating “As the Revolutionary Youth Movement and the Young Women's Union, we will make the promise of our martyrs Viyan Kobanê, Nujiyan Öcelan, Rojin, Welîd and Merhef the basis of our struggle and actions and take revenge. The Revolutionary Youth Movement and the Young Women's Union promise to respond to these attacks with a greater will and revolutionary activism.”



Pictured is an Aeronautics Orbiter loitering munition.

Friday, December 30, 2021: Israeli defense company and loitering munition manufacturer Aeronautics, as well as three unnamed senior employees, have been charged with violating weapon export laws after Israeli prosecutors accused the company of targeting a manned Armenian military position with an explosive drone to show the effectiveness of its product to Azerbaijani customers back in 2017. Aeronautics has denied the claims, stating that the system was used post-purchase.



Visualization of their newest vessels.

China’s Navy (PLAN) commissioned 22 vessels this year, which include:- 2x Type 075 LHDs (Hainan-31, Guangxi-32)- 3x Type 055 Stealth Guided Missile Destroyers (Lhasa-102, Anshan-103, Dalian-105)- 7x Type 052D Guided Missile Destroyers (Huainan-123, Kaifeng-124, Suzhou-132, Nanning-162, Guilin-164, Zhanjiang-165)- 9x Type 056A Corvettes- 1x Type 094A Ballistic Missile Submarine (Changzheng-18)

There are also numerous other vessels currently under construction or are expected to commission within the next few years:- 1x Type 003 aircraft carrier (Commission expected in 2023)- 4x Type 055 stealth guided missile destroyers (Commissions expected 2022)- 4x Type 052D guided missile destroyers (Commissions expected 2022)- 3x Type 054A frigates (Commissions expected 2022)- 1x Type 075 LHD (Commission expected 2022)- 1x Type 096 ballistic missile submarine (Commission expected 2025)


J-20 Prototype

Very clear image of a Chinese twin-seat J-20 5th Gen stealth fighter prototype with WS-10C engines. This is significant, as this would be the world’s first dual-seat stealth fighter where the WSO/CSO would be in charge of not only navigation and weapons handling, but likely the command of loyal wingman drone systems as well. Photos of the aircraft first began appearing online in October, but this appears to be the first in a finished livery.  




Wagner PMCs, Location Unknown

Tuesday, December 28, 2021: Canada, Germany, France, and the UK, as well as 11 other European countries, have accused Mali of allowing the deployment of Russian Wagner PMCs in the country as France continues to withdraw its military forces. Mali’s transitional government denied the claims, stating that only “official Russian military trainers” have been invited to help support and strengthen their military’s operational capabilities as the country continues to counter a growing insurgent threat by Islamic State aligned terror groups. Last week, a Russian Air Force Tu-154 owned by Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin flew into Mali from Benghazi, Libya, where Wagner PMCs have been supporting LNA forces. Wagner also has a large presence in the Central African Republic, where it has been aiding government forces in counter-rebel operations.   



Tsirkon missile being launched from the Admiral Gorshkov.

2021 has been a big year for Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile testing for Russia, with the state-owned RIA Novosti media outlet reporting today that over 70 test fires were carried out this year. The two largest test firings came about in September with over 10 being launched in a single trial and more recently on December 24 when an unspecified number were salvo launched at both naval and ground targets. Most if not all of the tests occurred in either the White or Barents Sea. Likewise, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has announced that the Admiral Gorshkov conducted a total of 10 Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles test fires this year, with the the Project 885 Yasen-class submarine also test launching an additional two. The Tsirkon, which Russia claims can reach speeds of up to Mach 9, can be launched from naval and ground platforms. Hypersonic weapons are significant as they travel so fast, conventional anti-missile systems cannot detect or intercept them in enough time.  



By @Renegade.Journal

Libya has seen a sharp uptick in violence this past month as clashes and confrontations have been reported in both the Turkish-occupied west and LNA-occupied east.

On Tuesday Dec. 14, a firefight erupted in the LNA-occupied city of Sabha, a major gateway separating Tripoli and the southern oil fields. After hours of skirmishing between the LNA’s 166th Battalion and units led by warlord Al-Mabrouk Sahban, one death and two injuries were reported. Adding to the chaos, Brigadier General Khalifa Abu Nab of the national unity government was targeted with an assassination attempt in Tripoli on the same day, leaving him seriously wounded. On Wednesday Dec. 15, Turkish-aligned Al-Samoud Brigade led by controversial Chairman of the Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi stormed the Presidential Council in Tripoli hoping to expand al-Menfi’s power and cancel the upcoming elections. The attempted coup failed after an armed confrontation with the Presidential Guard.

December marked the most violence in Libya since deadly border clashes with the Chadian Army in September. With the fragile Government of National Unity just having formed in March, any persistent increase in violence is likely to destabilize progress made in the nascent national unity structures.

On December 24, Libya was set to hold its first nationwide elections since 2014, but these elections were postponed by the Government of National Unity indefinitely, citing “technical, security, and judicial concerns.” Many Libyans view the postponement as a power grab to ensure that the status quo is not disrupted, with both the western and eastern factions fearing a loss of their power. The Turkey is said to be the primary actor that benefits, as it now has an extended deadline to extract from the Libyan economy. Protests have been organized in multiple cities.

Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif, has confirmed his intention to run for President of Libya after being disqualified and then reinstated as a candidate by Libyan courts. Gaddafi is expected to receive considerable support from many of Libya’s central and eastern tribes, but faces competition in former ambassador to the UAE Aref Ali Nayed, Minister of Interior Fathi Bashaga, PM Abdulhamid al-Dabaiba, LNA leader Khalifa Haftar, Presidential Council Chairman Mohamed al-Menfi, former PM Ahmed Maiteeq, and Speaker of the House Aguila Saleh Issa, assuming none are assassinated. Libya’s voting blocs are split largely on ethnic lines between Turkic, Arab, and Amazigh tribes.

Even if elections resume at some point, Libya’s election process faces numerous problems, including a UN-backed winner-take-all system that diminishes pluralism and grants extensive powers to the executive administration. Such a model is likely to keep sectarian tensions renewed in a highly heterogeneous country such as Libya. The tides of Tripoli remain uncertain, for now.



By @Narcotic.Void

Lebanon has seized millions of the amphetamine pill "captagon," which were hidden inside oranges at the Port of Beirut. Captagon pills are produced mainly in Syria, where there are allegations the Assad Government is involved in the production. The pills are primarily trafficked through Lebanon or Jordan, before reaching its final destination in the Gulf, where it is popular among the affluent youth. The captagon pill is often described as the ‘poor mans cocaine’ and is a fairly cheap upper which has been popular across the Middle East, with both militants and partiers taking the pill. 

A huge amounts of the pills are trafficked through Lebanon to Saudi Arabia. The traffickers are extremely creative in their methods, hiding the pills in fruits other than oranges, like apples and pomegranates, and other food like spaghetti. The amount of pills being trafficked was so vast that Saudi Arabia, along with other reasons, initially banned agricultural imports from Lebanon, and then banned all imports in October this year. This has had crushing effects on the agricultural industry in Lebanon as Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf region in general, were one of their biggest markets for exports. The Lebanese state wants this to show they will attempt to crack down more on the trade in order to win back favour with neighbouring countries. As Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi stated "We want to send a message to the Arab world about our seriousness and our work to thwart evil from harming our Arab brothers."



By @Infamoussidearms

Pictured: Uziel Gal with an UZI

Originally named Gotthard Glass, Uziel Gal was a German born Jew who fled to Palestine with the rise of Nazism in Pre-WWII Germany.

Arrested for firearms possession by British authorities in Palestine, Gal studied mechanical engineering while he completed his prison sentence and continued his work upon release.

The Nation of Israel was declared in May 1948 and attacked by its neighboring countries of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan shortly thereafter in the Israeli-Arab War.  The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) defended the new nation with as few as 200 machine guns, 10,000 rifles, and almost no armor. 

IDF Lieutenant Gal answered a military procurement challenge to develop a new submachine gun that would be lightweight and affordable.  Israel, as a new country could not import arms due to political implications and budget constraints, at the time most of the new nation’s arms were left from WWII and smuggled into the country.  

Gal created a compact submachine gun that took 25 and 32 round 9mm magazines into the pistol grip, it could be fired in semi- and full- automatic modes, included 3 safety mechanisms, and could be fired at 600 rounds per minute.  The Uzi has an effective range of 200m and can be chambered in 9mm, .22, .41AE, 9x21mm IMI, and ,45 ACP. 

The Uzi Submachine Gun was born in 1952. 

The Uzi was carried by IDF paratroopers in the 1956 war, in the West Bank, and Golan Heights.  It is favored by IDF security forces, paratroopers, Mossadd (Israeli National Intelligence), and issued to troops and operators in Japan, Germany, Belgium, Peru, and Brazil.

A reliable submachine gun made of stamped parts that stood the test of time, the Uzi has been phased out and replaced in many organizations but remains an iconic weapon worldwide.


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