Drones give militants new precision weapon in Gaza conflict -Israeli Analysis JP

A drone is seen over the border between Israel and Gaza in June

The drone attack against an IDF Humvee by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad over the weekend was a dangerous escalation by the Gazan terrorist group. But it wasn’t the first time.

In late May, PIJ used a drone to drop a mortar shell on a tank stationed at the border. The attack, during a violent flare-up between Israel and terrorist organizations in Gaza, was filmed by the group and later released on social media.In the video, small explosions can be seen on and next to the tank, with Arabic captions reading “your defenses are nothing to us.”
A few days before, a drone armed with explosives launched from the northern part of the Gaza Strip landed in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.

While no one was injured in any of the attacks, the incident over the weekend was a warning to the IDF: terrorist groups in the blockaded coastal enclave are continuing to innovate and find new weapons to attack Israel’s military.

Beginning in late March 2018, during the “March of Return” protests, Hamas began using kites, balloons and condoms to burn Israeli land. It was a cheap but effective tool that Israel had trouble containing.

Close to a year and a half later, incendiary balloons are still being flown across the border, frustrating the military and first responders who rush to the scene to put out the flames.

Now drones are the new “it.”

This weekend’s attack is a wake-up call that Israel must take seriously because drones, like rockets, pose threats not only to troops but to the thousands of residents who live in communities near the border.

This time, an IDF Humvee was lightly damaged by an improvised explosive device dropped by the drone. And Israel hit back hard, first shelling the cell that launched the drone, and then striking Hamas targets across the northern and central Gaza Strip for close to an hour.

In comparison, five rockets were launched toward southern Israel communities the night before, leading Israel to strike several Hamas targets.

The military understands the threat, and it understands that a rocket attack on southern communities is an indiscriminate attack on civilians, while the drone attacked a military target. While there were no injuries or casualties in either event, both need to be met with an iron fist.

Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Strip have been working for years to improve their drone capabilities, both by smuggling in civilian drones and by manufacturing them locally. Israel, for its part, has worked to thwart Hamas from increasing their drone arsenal, stopping them at border crossings and, according to foreign reports, eliminating Hamas operatives involved in their drone program.

In February 2017, a Hamas drone that was making its way toward Israel from the Gaza Strip fell into the sea after being shot down by an Israeli F-16. The previous year, Hamas’s chief drone expert and engineer, Mohamed Zouari, was gunned down in his car near his home in the Tunisian city of Sfax in an operation blamed on the Mossad.

In 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF said it struck Hamas facilities in Gaza that were being used to develop drones capable of carrying explosives. Then-GOC southern commander Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo said at the time that the IDF destroyed “advanced weaponry like the development of a UAV that isn’t used for photography, but for attacks deep inside Israel.”

The IDF has been dealing with this phenomenon for years, and with the increase of small easily operable drones that can be bought cheaply online from anywhere in the world, the threat is only increasing.

And while they are cheap, they are difficult to spot and intercept even for skilled sharpshooters, making them the perfect weapon for terrorists.

Dozens of civilian companies have been working to provide solutions to intercept drones, and the air force is said to be testing several different technologies to intercept or hack drones with the aim of integrating them in the coming months.

In the meantime, the men and women on the ground who are the first at the scene, even before the military, are getting frustrated.

Eyal Hajabi, chief security officer at the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, told The Jerusalem Post that the threat posed by drones is something that has increased over the past few months and is likely not limited to military targets.

“They stopped launching balloons and started with drones,” said Hajabi. “Since 2018, we have not had any quiet. [There are] rockets, tunnels, anti-tank, kites and now drones. For the rockets, we have the Iron Dome. [For] tunnels, we have an underground barrier. For anti-tank missiles, we have more barriers, but for the threat of kites – which is so primitive – we don’t have a solution, and now we have the drone threat, which is new and dangerous.”

And for Hajabi, this is not a threat that only targets the military. “The moment they succeed against the military, they will try to target communities,” he said. “Wherever they find a target, they will want to strike. We can’t say that these drones are targeting only military jeeps or positions, but if groups in Gaza can fire hundreds of rockets toward civilian communities, who is to say that they won’t send drones to communities?”

Just like the incendiary kites and balloons that wreaked havoc on Israel’s South, the threat of drones needs to be dealt with before one of them hits its mark, killing Israeli troops or civilians and dragging Israel into another war with the Gaza Strip. 

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TRUMP REVOLUTIONARY FIGURE ALLOWS RUSSIA RELATIONS WITH THE WEST TAKE NEW FORMAT UNDER RENEWED WORLD ORDER

Google Translation

After an interview with President Vladimir Putin in the Financial Times a month ago, the theme of the future “liberal world order” in its idealized version is constantly present in London’s political discourse. Increasingly, the emphasis is on the topic of moral and political leadership in the modern world.

For decades since the war, America has been the undisputed leader of the Western world, including instilling the liberal values ​​of occupied Germany. Europe followed in everything. This state of things seems to be coming to an end. Following the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, Angela Merkel was predicted to become the new leader of the Western world. The words of the Chancellor of Germany that Europeans should take their fate into their own hands and rely primarily on themselves caused a wide resonance. But many admit that the world order, defended by the West, needs to be modernized according to the well-known maxim – if you want everything to remain as it is, change!

The decline in the confidence of the population of Western countries in the policies of their governments and the elites in general, growing material inequality and the destruction of the pillars of Western democracy, the middle class, all this as a result of global integration processes based on the liberal economy, aggravates the contradictions in society and threatens democratic foundations. At the same time, direct democracy, which the elites tend to associate with authoritarianism, insures representative when it does not work. This was clearly shown by the British referendum on Brexit.

Since then, “everything has mixed up” in the western house, which has entered a transitional state after the comfort of the announced “end of history”. That is why Trump is in a sense a revolutionary figure, not only for America. He is able to thoroughly shake up the whole American system, and with it the state of affairs in the world, in the isolationist-protectionist vein. The renewed world order and a new format of relations between Russia and the West will only begin to take shape according to the results of this “Trump revolution” (here he is promised re-election in 2020). By and large, it remains to be shown, as experts point out, whether capitalism of the 19th century is compatible with widespread democracy of the 20th century.

It is simpler for the Anglo-Americans – they take the initiative in their own hands and go further along the path of economic liberalization. Things are more complicated in Europe, where it is necessary to uphold the foundations of the liberal “end of history” understood by Europeans much more broadly – not only as a neoliberal economy, but also as a welfare state in which they have lost interest in Washington. Both that and another are incompatible – actually, from here and the crisis of the western society, which marks the resumption of the course of history.

By London standards, Russia remains among the main challenges promoted by the West values. It is believed here that Moscow is seeking recognition of its real role in world affairs and is opposed to the basic foundations of a “liberal order” led by the West, which has developed de facto, but has never become the subject of a truly collective settlement after the end of the Cold War. The West admits the possibility of humanitarian intervention, regime change, destabilization of rogue countries, primarily through sanctions pressure, which has become the main means of conducting hybrid wars.

Here they cannot openly admit that the Russian Federation adheres to the norms of the postwar international law and order with the central role of the UN. The main thing for Russia is that these standards be applied universally, and not selectively. However, the outcome of the “all against all” competition announced by Trump, and this must be directly recognized, will not be determined by the effectiveness of the corresponding efforts of Moscow, but by the course and results of the transformation processes that unfolded in the West a quarter of a century later than in the Soviet Union.

The notorious “Russian interference” in the internal affairs of leading Western countries was so actively discussed only because protest moods, dissatisfaction with the prevailing governance model – essentially uncontested, have already gained significant proportions. If the West can solve its systemic problems, and citizens believe in the viability of national governments and in the effectiveness of its proposed policies, this topic will go away by itself. In order for Russia to accept the western version of the world order, Some British experts believe that it is first necessary to restore confidence in their own countries towards the liberal democratic values ​​that they are promoting, modernize the party and political system, and also propose effective solutions to pressing global problems, such as climate change, which have come to the fore for many.

If successful, talking with Russia, according to the UK, will become easier. The Russian leadership, even if not immediately, “recognizes the realities” and gradually reformulates national interests in the spirit of a new Western consensus, the parameters of which are not yet visible. I add that any such consensus can only be effective provided that it is truly collectively agreed upon, that is, with the direct participation of Russia, and therefore will already be pan-European, will become the basis for the political unity of our continent.

In the meantime, Moscow has no motive to agree with the rules-based world order, which it considers to be exclusive by definition, unviable and proposed by countries whose models of internal structure still have to prove their worth under changing conditions. “Challenging liberal values,” experts say, Russia is fighting to ensure that Western countries do not impose on others principles of world order that lead to chaos, as evidenced by the examples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, migration and financial crises, and finally , Washington’s downfall of key arms control arrangements.

Moscow is not going to gain some ideological and political revenge over the West. Revenge takes the story for its proclaimed “end.” The West must prove its ability to adapt to new conditions that, in principle, arose in 1989, but declared themselves crisis only 20 years later. As at the beginning of the 20th century, globalization, with its enumeration and uneven distribution of benefits and costs, would still be in conflict with the tasks of the internal development of states. To overcome these contradictions, this time the war is not needed, it is necessary to restore social cohesion, which is easier to do at the national level, that is, within each individual country. And here, indeed, the advantage among the Anglo-Americans is the meaning of Brexit and Trump. Europe will also need to maintain the integration project, which is an order of magnitude more complicated, which explains the acuteness of the struggle around Britain’s exit from the European Union.

In the next 10 years, the economic and technological power of states, combined with social policy, will form a new geopolitical redivision, where the technological factor will play a key role. The “rule-based world”, as it was seen in the West at the end of the 20th century, will come into ever greater contradiction with the cultural and civilizational diversity of the real world, where only international law can be a universal regulatory principle, as always in history.

Read Original In RUSSIAN

https://rg.ru/2019/08/09/liberalnyj-konec-istorii-chto-dalshe.html

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WALMART SHOOTER MANIFESTO

This manifesto will cover the political and economic reasons behind the attack, my gear, my expectations of what response this will generate and my personal motivations and thoughts – Shooter

……………………..I am against race mixing because it destroys genetic diversity and creates identity problemsAlso because it’s completely unnecessary and selfish. 2nd and 3rdgeneration Hispanics form interracial unions at much higher rates than average. Yet another reason to send them back. Cultural and racial diversity is largely temporary. Cultural diversity diminishes as stronger and/or more appealing cultures overtake weaker and/or undesirable ones. Racial diversity will disappear as either race mixing or genocide will take place. But the idea of deporting or murdering  all non-white Americans is horrific. Many have been here at least as long as the whites, and have done as much to build our country. The best solution to this for now would be to divide America into a confederacy of territories with at least 1 territory for each race. This physical separation would nearly eliminate race mixing and improve social unity by granting each race self-determination within their respective territory(s). 

………………...My ideology has not changed for several years. My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I putting this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric. The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that. 

Many people think that the fight for America is already lost. They couldn’t be more wrong. This is just the beginning of the fight for America and Europe…I am honored to head the fight to reclaim my country
from destruction.

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Upgrade of Russian Air Force Nuclear Weapons Storage Facility Near Tver

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Like Father, Like Daughter? Ilhan Omar’s Father was Top Propaganda Official in Genocidal Barre Regime

Far Left Communist Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar’s father and other Somalian war crimes perpetrators are currently living illegally in the United States. 

No wonder she supports communists, terrorists and illegal aliens! 

The Gateway Pundit has obtained information that is damning for Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. 

Omar’s father, Nur Omar Mohamed (aka Nur Said Elmi Mohamed), is connected to the former dictator in Somalia, Said Barre. Nur and other former Barre accomplices are living in the US illegally. 


Ilhan Omar’s Father was Top Propaganda Official in Genocidal Barre Regime — Then He Changed His Name and Entered US Illegally

We now have evidence that seems to indicate that Ilhan Omar’s father (Nur Said Elmi Mohamed) worked for the cruel regime of Barre and came to the U.S. with his daughter claiming to be victims of the cruel regime. 

Maxamuud-Aar uses one twitter account specifically to defend victims of violence in Somalia and has shown that Omar’s father is a war criminal. Aar also has another account in Twitter as @MoHussein, in which he also points out whom Omar’sfather truly is. 

What’s more, there have been people of the Somali community in MINNEAPOLIS, MN, whom have spoken out on how Ilhan Omar and those within the community who back her have used intimidation and threats to silence other members of the Somali community. 

Members of the Somali Community are afraid to speak publicly about their disapproval of a candidate’s involvement in apparent fraudulent marriages.

What’s more it seems that some secrets of Ilhan Omar and her family have been exposed in City Pages when during an interview that Ilhan Omar made with city pages’ Cory Zurowski, she said the name of her father is “Nur Said Elmi Mohamed”, but a day later Zurowski changed some information from the interview by changing the name of Omar’s father to “Nur Omar Muhamed” and also changing how many brothers Ilhan Omar has from 5 which Zurowski wrote in the original article and changed it to three brothers. 

https://twitter.com/MaxamuudAar?protected_redirect=true

Did City Pages Expose Evidence of Ilhan Omar’s Marriage Controversy?

The original article also points out that Omar’s father was a friend of, and served with none other than former Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali whom served as Colonel of the Somalian Army’s 5th Mechanized Brigade in 1987 under Barre’s dictatorship. 

Both Omar’s father and Yusuf Abdi Ali fled from Somalia after the dictatorship of Barre was deposed. 

To me both Ali and Omar’s father look identical which is quite strange. 

What’s more I found the following website which shows information about Yusuf Abdi Ali and also has a picture of him. 

Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali, also called Tukeh, is a Somali native and a resident of the United States. 

In 1984, Abdi Ali and his soldiers allegedly terrorized the dominant Isaaq population by arbitrarily detaining individuals and subjecting them to torture and cruel and inhuman treatment, including starvation and beatings, and summary executions. They allegedly also burned homes, looted the wealth of dwellers and ransacked livestock. Abdi Ali is alleged to have personally participated in many instances of torture and summary executions. 
… 
Abdi Ali fled to Canada and applied for asylum. However, in October 1992, he was deported when evidence of his alleged brutality emerged. In 1993, he went to the US, where he filed for permanent residency. Despite facing deportation in 1994, in 1996 he was permitted to return to the US where he has lived openly ever since. 
… 
On 26 June 2017, the Supreme Court denied a request for judicial review of the lower court’s decision, thus affirming its outcome. This opened the path to proceed to hold Abdi Ali responsible for torture and extrajudicial killings against Warfaa under the Torture Victim Protection Act. 

The case is currently ongoing. 

Yusuf Abdi Ali 09.04.2018

edit on 19-7-2019 by ElectricUniverse because: correct comment.

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Turkish Embassy spying in Sri Lanka exposed with leak of critics’ names

Abdullah Bozkurt

The profiling of critics by Turkish embassies, part of large-scale spying on diaspora groups that has irked many host governments, has taken a new twist in Sri Lanka,South Asian country that was recently hit by a string of terrorist attacks.

The Turkish Embassy in Colombo leaked the names of critics of Turkey’s Islamist ruler, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accusing them of terrorism, when no evidence to support any of these ludicrous charges leveled by the government in Turkey exists. The critics are believed to be affiliated with the Gülen movement, a vocal critic of the Erdoğan regime over pervasive corruption in the government and Erdoğan’s arming and funding of radical jihadist groups in Syria and Libya.

The names of 50 Turks, mostly teachers and businesspeople who had been living in Sri Lanka for years, were released with their passport numbers, apparently as a result of work clandestinely carried out by the Turkish ambassador and his staff at the embassy. The goal was to push Sri Lankan authorities to crack down on Erdoğan government critics in the South Asian country. The first attempt by the embassy to smear this civic group was made in 2015, a move that was was initially balked at by the Sri Lankan government. It was not surprising given the fact that most governments have refused to work with Turkey in going after Erdoğan’s critics, who have not broken the laws of their host countries and certainly have not been involved in any crimes.

Yet, the Turkish Embassy in Colombo, under relentless pressure from a headquarters that was demanding results, continued to raise the matter with Sri Lankan authorities in 2017 and 2018. Many Turkish diplomats are obviously afraid that they could end up in jail just like some 600 diplomats who were dismissed and labeled overnight as terrorists in Turkey without any effective judicial or administrative investigation.

When churches and hotels in the capital of Colombo were targeted in a series of coordinated suicide bombings on April 21, 2019, killing 259 people, the embassy staff saw an opportunity to make a fresh attempt against Erdoğan critics just like scavengers that feed on carcasses. Branding them as terrorists, Turkish Ambassador Tunca Özçuhadar tried to exploit sensitivities in Sri Lanka and spin his own story in a bid to portray innocent and law-abiding Turkish expatriates in Sri Lanka as terrorists. In a statement put out on May 3, 2019, the Turkish Embassy admitted that it had been sharing with Sri Lankan authorities information on teachers and businesspeople affiliated with the Gülen movement for the last four years.

The illegal profiling by the embassy was also revealed by former State Foreign Minister Wasantha Senanayake, who announced that the Turkish ambassador had handed over a list of 50 Turks to the ministry when he was in office. Later, the ambassador even bypassed the foreign ministry and directly raised the issue with the Defense Ministry in the hope that he could secure the deportation or extradition of critics. The embassy faxed lists of critics to the Defense Ministry on at least two occasions.

Turkey has branded one-third of all its diplomats including high-profile ambassadors who served as advisors to prime ministers and presidents as terrorists; purged over 4,000 judges and prosecutors; and expelled over 70 percent of its generals and admirals on dubious terrorism charges. Over half a million people including journalists, teachers, professors and human rights defenders have faced criminal charges since 2016. Some 15 percent of the police force, mostly veterans and senior chiefs,  have been arrested on terrorism charges.

A local Sri Lankan newspaper published the names of Erdoğan government critics with their passport numbers.

Turkey has held the world record in recent years in terms of jailing journalists under abusive anti-terror charges. According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom, nearly 200 journalists and media workers are behind bars in Turkey on charges of terrorism for writing critically about the government.

The scandalous leak of private information by the embassy and the branding of teachers as terrorists prompted some on the list to file complaints with Sri Lankan authorities. Nordic Monitor has learned that eight Turks in Sweden who served in Sri Lanka at Gülen-affiliated schools and institutions between 2002 and 2015 lodged formal grievances with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Stockholm, asking for an explanation for the published list. Some of the people named in the list have never even been in Sri Lanka, raising questions as to how the embassy gathered the data.

“It is unacceptable that I have been declared a terrorist in Sri Lanka, where I worked for two years! I’m willing to do whatever it takes to correct this mistake as soon as possible. If necessary, I will make a request to international institutions such as the UN to rectify this situation. It is a clear assault on my personal rights that I was declared a terrorist in Sri Lankan newspapers without any evidence. I hope this serious mistake is corrected soon. Otherwise, I will act to preserve my rights in Sri Lankan and international courts,” one Turkish national wrote to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Stockholm.

About a dozen Turkish nationals who fled the long arm of Erdoğan in Sri Lanka have taken refuge in Sweden as political asylum seekers. Embassy officials responded by saying that they had conveyed the grievances to headquarters in Sri Lanka and asked for an explanation about the leaked list of names.

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Armored Upgrades And Modifications: The Evolution Of Syrian Army Tanks

Here’s a video documenting the evolution of Syrian Army tanks during the several-year civil war, which include both improvised “DIY” type modifications as well as technological upgrades organically-developed and received from allies. 

modifications

Susceptibility to rocket propelled grenades and recoilless rifle rounds quickly forced Syrian troops to develop improvised countermeasures to increase survivability. They piled sandbags on top of the armor, and hung chains and welded steel cages around the hull of their tanks. The idea was to detonate shape-charged warheads prematurely to exhaust their spalling distance before actually reaching the vehicle’s hull.

Later, when the rebels began receiving anti tank guided missiles (ATGM) like the BGM-71 TOW through President Obama’s arm and equip program, the improvised armor systems were of little use. Soon, the Syrian military began developing active protection systems like the Sarab variants that use infrared lights to mitigate the threats of enemy missiles.

http:// https://youtu.be/0BOqiliXt4w

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ترمپ، مشتاق مذاکره با ایران Trump, eager to negotiate with Iran

Donald Trump’s declaration of readiness to negotiate without a precondition with Iran and his explicit statements about Washington’s reluctance to a regime change project in Tehran indicates that the United States intends to bring Iran to the negotiating table by imposing economic sanctions and political pressure. The goal of Washington is to bring Tehran to the negotiating table. He goes on to say that he does not want the United States to engage with Iran in the phase of military conflicts. Washington seems to have realized the limitations of its national and military power after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the events that followed, and it does not seem necessary to launch a rally on regime change.

Another important fact is that there is no active anti-regime force inside Iran that Washington can unite with and begin a regime change operation. In Iran, there is no rebellion, no coup d’état or protest streams. The Green Movement, which considers itself inherited from the reform movement of 1376, does not believe in a subversion of government. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, Green Movement Moveers, despite the delinquency and other problems, refused to question the legitimacy of Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayed Ali Husseini Khamenei. The result of the 2009 presidential election was controversial, and Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi did not accept it. In that election, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was announced victorious. After Mr. Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi did not accept the result, popular waves came to the streets and protested the result of the election. Khamenei’s legitimacy was questioned along the lines of the demonstration, but the leaders of the Green Movement did not want to dispel the slogan of the military overthrow that Mr. Khamenei was at the head of.

The Green Movement, the reform movement, and even the supporters of Iran’s current president, Hassan Rouhani, do not want a gun battle for the fall of government in the theory. Reform Movement Leader Seyed Mohammad Khatami believes that democratic capacities are in the constitution and the current Iranian system, and should activate it and lead to more democracy. They are in favor of gradual democratization of Iran. Their aspirations are to increase the qualifications of elected institutions and reduce the qualifications of non-elected institutions. This nonviolent movement can not overthrow a coalition in a united war.

The reality of the riot, revolution and coup in Iran indicates that the legitimacy of the current leader of Iran has not been hurt very seriously. In 1996, a powerful revolutionary movement was formed in Iranian cities and it became clear that the last Shah of Iran lost its legitimacy. Seyyed Roohollah Mousavi Khomeini led the revolution. With the fall of the monarchy, its legitimacy was transferred to the deceased Khomeini. The monarchy is an institution whose legitimacy has a strong roots in the religious and cultural narratives of the region, the military’s overwhelming self-control of a major political legitimacy. This legacy was legacy and traditional. In the past, the power struggle was limited to the members of the royal family, and the executive and political powers were exercised between them. If they ruined the kingdom, he would turn his son to his successor. But in the 1979 revolution of Iran, masses of people came to the streets, and the scope of the power struggle was broad. But at the end of the work, the legitimacy of the monarchy was transferred to Khomeini, and he laid the foundation for an ideological religious rule. This religious government, but along with the religious legitimacy, considered the legitimacy of the election itself. Unlike the Saudi government and the Taliban, the religious government of Iran recognizes electoral legitimacy and selective institutions. The existence of electoral institutions has led political forces to come together in elections. Perhaps the existence of these elected institutions and the electoral institution has caused the political force to overthrow inside Iran. With the death of Khomeini, his legitimacy and authority were transferred to Khamenei, and he is currently in charge of the whole. Since all political, administrative and religious power is in his hands, the political science theorists regard the Iranian regime as an undemocratic one. The religious theory that sees the government as the right of one jurisprudent is also contradictory to the foundations of democracy. But opponents of the Iranian government’s exiles have not been able to build a social base for themselves within Iran. They have lost their ties to Iran. Perhaps this is why no foreign power, including America, desires to overthrow the Iranian government using military force and considers it useless.

But it is clear from the current US government’s behavior that the government wants to turn Iran from an hostile state to a US-friendly government. The US Secretary of State last year demanded 12 Washington calls from Tehran. Stopping Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs, capturing hostility with Israel, ending Iran’s support for Shiite militias in the Middle East and the withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria are among the most important of these. The United States now says it intends to force Tehran to put pressure on Iran to negotiate and negotiate with Washington on these issues. If Iran accepts all the demands of the United States, Washington has promised to establish normal relations with that country and will cooperate. In other words, acceptance of the demands of the United States by Tehran makes Iran a friend of America.

But it seems that Iran’s leaders do not currently intend to negotiate with the United States. Iran is waiting to be thrown off in the US election in 2020. But if Turkmen wins in that election, it is not clear what the leaders of Iran will decide. The enthusiastic tramp is that air.

ORIGINAL TEXT IN FARSI \ PERSIAN LANGUAGE

اعلام آماده‌گی دونالد ترمپ برای مذاکره‌ی بدون پیش‌شرط با ایران و سخنان صریح او در مورد عدم تمایل واشنگتن به پروژه‌ی تغییر رژیم در تهران، نشان‌دهنده‌ی آن است که امریکا قصد دارد با اعمال تحریم اقتصادی و فشارهای سیاسی، ایران را روی میز مذاکره بیاورد. هدف واشنگتن روی میز مذاکره آوردن تهران است. از سخنان ترمپ و دیگر مقام‌های امریکایی برمی‌آید که او نمی‌خواهد ایالات متحده با ایران وارد فاز درگیری‌های نظامی شود. به نظر می‌رسد که واشنگتن پس از لشکرکشی به عراق در سال ۲۰۰۳ و حوادثی که پس از آن واقع شد، محدودیت‌های قدرت‌ ملی و نظامی خودش را درک کرده است و لزومی نمی‌بیند که برای تغییر رژیم به ایران هم لشکرکشی کند.

واقعیت مهم دیگر این است که در داخل ایران هم نیروی فعال ضد رژیم وجود ندارد که واشنگتن بتواند با آن متحد شود و عملیات تغییر رژیم را آغاز کند. در ایران نه شورش‌گری است، ‌نه کودتا و نه موج‌های مردمی معترض در خیابان‌ها دیده می‌شود. جنبش سبز که خودش را وارث جنبش اصلاحات سال ۱۳۷۶ می‌داند،  به براندازی قهری حکومت باور ندارد. میرحسین موسوی و مهدی کروبی رهبران جنبش سبز به رغم تحمل حصر و مشکلات دیگر، حاضر نشدند مشروعیت سید علی‌حسینی خامنه‌ای رهبر ایران را زیر سوال ببرند. نتیجه‌ی انتخابات ریاست جمهوری سال ۱۳۸۸ جنجالی شد و آقایان میرحسین موسوی و مهدی کروبی آن را نپذیرفتند. در آن انتخابات آقای محمود احمدی‌نژاد پیروز اعلام شد. پس از این که آقای موسوی و مهدی کروبی نتیجه را نپذیرفتند، موج‌های مردمی به خیابان آمدند و به نتیجه‌ی آن انتخابات اعتراض کردند. در حواشی این تظاهرات هم مشروعیت آقای خامنه‌ای زیر سوال رفت،‌ اما رهبران جنبش سبز نخواستند که شعار سرنگونی نظامی را که آقای خامنه‌ای در رأس آن است سر دهند.

جنبش سبز، جنبش اصلاحات و حتا طرف‌داران آقای حسن روحانی رییس‌جمهور کنونی ایران،‌ در تیوری هم خواستار جنگ مسلحانه برای سقوط حکومت نیستند. کسانی مثل سید محمدخاتمی رهبر جنبش اصلاحات به این باور اند که ظرفیت‌های دموکراتیکی در قانون اساسی و نظام کنونی ایران است و باید آن را فعال کرد و به دموکراسی بیش‌تر رسید. آنان طرف‌دار دموکراتیزه شدن تدریجی ایران اند. آرمان آنان بیش‌تر شدن صلاحیت‌های نهادهای انتخابی و کاسته شدن صلاحیت‌های نهادهای غیر انتخابی است. این جنبش خشونت‌پرهیز به هیچ وجه نمی‌تواند در یک جنگ گرم متحد یک نیروی برانداز باشد.

واقعیت نبود شورش،‌ انقلاب و کودتا در ایران نشان‌دهنده‌ی آن است که مشروعیت رهبر کنونی ایران به صورت بسیار جدی و اساسی صدمه ندیده است. در سال ۱۳۷۵ جنبش انقلابی نیرومندی در شهرهای ایران شکل گرفت و با گسترش آن روشن شد که آخرین شاه ایران مشروعیتش را از دست داده  است. سید روح‌الله موسوی خمینی رهبری آن انقلاب را به دوش گرفت. با سقوط سلطنت مشروعیت آن نهاد به مرحوم خمینی انتقال یافت. سلطنت نهادی است که مشروعیتش ریشه‌ی نیرومندی در روایت‌های مذهبی و فرهنگی این منطقه داشت، نفس غلبه‌ی نظامی به یک سرلشکر مشروعیت سیاسی به بار می‌آورد. این مشروعیت میراثی و سنتی بود. در گذشته منازعه‌ی قدرت هم محدود به اعضای خاندان سلطنتی بود و اختیارات اجرایی و سیاسی بین آنان دست‌به‌دست می‌شد. اگر شاهی را خلع می‌کردند، ‌پسرش را به جانشینی او بر می‌گزیدند. ولی در انقلاب ۱۳۵۷ ایران توده‌های مردم به خیابان آمدند و گستره‌ی منازعه‌ی قدرت وسیع شد. اما در پایان کار مشروعیت نهاد سلطنت به شخص خمینی انتقال یافت و او یک حکومت  ایدیولوژیک دینی را اساس گذاشت. این حکومت دینی اما در کنار مشروعیت مذهبی، مشروعیت انتخاباتی نیز برای خودش در نظر گرفت. حکومت دینی ایران برخلاف حکومت عربستان و امارت طالبان، مشروعیت انتخاباتی را به رسمیت می‌شناسد و نهادهای انتخابی دارد. وجود نهادهای انتخاباتی سبب شده است که نیروهای سیاسی در انتخابات‌ها به مصاف هم‌دیگر بروند. شاید وجود همین نهادهای انتخابی و نهاد انتخابات سبب شده است که نیروی سیاسی برانداز در داخل ایران شکل نگیرد. با مرگ خمینی، مشروعیت  و اختیارات او به خامنه‌ای انتقال کرد و او در حال حاضر اختیار‌دار کل است. از آن‌جایی که تمام قدرت سیاسی، اجرایی و مذهبی به دست او است، نظریه‌پردازان علم سیاست،‌ نظام ایران را غیر دموکراتیک می‌دانند. نظریه‌ی مذهبی‌ای که حکومت را حق یک فقیه می‌داند نیز با مبانی دموکراسی در تضاد است. ولی مخالفان خارج‌نشین حکومت ایران، نتوانسته‌اند،‌ پایگاه اجتماعی برای خودشان در داخل ایران بسازند. آنان ربط‌شان را با داخل ایران از دست داده‌اند. شاید به همین دلیل است که هیچ قدرت خارجی از جمله امریکا، میل به براندازی حکومت ایران با استفاده از نیروی نظامی ندارد و آن را بی فایده می‌داند.

اما از رفتار حکومت کنونی ایالات متحده معلوم می‌شود که این حکومت می‌خواهد ایران را از یک دولت خصم به یک دولت دوست امریکا بدل کند. وزیر خارجه‌ی امریکا سال گذشته ۱۲ خواست واشنگتن از تهران را رسانه‌ای کرد. توقف برنامه‌های هسته‌ای و موشکی تهران، دست برداری از دشمنی با اسراییل، پایان حمایت ایران از نیروهای شبه‌نظامی شیعه در خاورمیانه و خروج نظامیان ایرانی از سوریه،‌ از مهم‌ترین این خواست‌ها است. امریکا حالا می‌گوید که قصد دارد با اعمال فشار اقتصادی بر ایران، ‌تهران را وادار سازد تا روی میز مذاکره بیاید و با واشنگتن روی این مسایل مذاکره کند و به توافق برسد. اگر ایران تمام خواست‌های امریکا را بپذیرد، واشنگتن وعده کرده است که با آن کشور روابط عادی ایجاد می‌کند و آن را همکاری خواهد کرد. به بیان دیگر پذیرفتن خواست‌های امریکا از سوی تهران،‌ ایران را به دولت دوست امریکا بدل می‌کند.

اما به نظر می‌رسد که رهبران ایران در حال حاضر قصد مذاکره با امریکا را ندارند. ایران منتظر است که در انتخابات سال ۲۰۲۰ امریکا ترمپ ببازد. ولی اگر ترمپ در آن انتخابات برنده شود، روشن نیست که رهبران ایران چه تصمیمی خواهند گرفت. ترمپ مشتاق است که ایرانی‌ها به او زنگ بزنند و روی میز مذاکره بیایند.

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Russia’s Military Scientists and Future Warfare

Eurasia Daily Monitor

  • Since the reform and modernization of Russia’s Armed Forces was initiated in late 2008, the General Staff leadership has been persistent in its appeals to the military scientific community to meet the challenges stemming from these complex processes. An essential ingredient in this public discussion is the focus on future warfare as part of the national defense strategy, to encourage greater attention to strategic foresight. The chief of the Russian General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, has pressed this issue heavily in his public speeches and articles, since his appointment in November 2012. This past March, Gerasimov outlined a new doctrine of limited actions that conceptualizes Russia’s approaches to warfare beyond its borders—particularly, as witnessed in Syria. Gerasimov also once more raised the issue of future warfare (see EDM, March 6). These views offer insights into how Russian defense specialists see future warfare and, consequently, some of the factors driving Moscow’s strategic posture.

In November 2018, Colonel General (ret.) Leonty Shevtsov authored a review article in Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer examining a monograph by General Aleksandr Vladimirov. The second edition of Vladimirov’s book, Osnovy Obshchey Teorii Voyny (The Basics of the General Theory of War), was examined in detail. In one section of the review, Vladimirov’s use of Soviet and Russian military theorists is outlined, many of whom are also frequently referred to in Gerasimov’s speeches (see EDM, March 12). In particular, Vladimirov based much of his thinking about modern warfare on Aleksandr Svechin, Andrei Snesarev and Yevgeny Messner. He refers to Snesarev: “The solution to the question of the future of war—positive or negative—remains a matter of faith, not a scientifically proven fact.” He also notes that Messner had forecast, “We must stop thinking that war is when people fight, and peace when they are not fighting. You can be in war without fighting” (Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer, November 28, 2018).

While themes and concepts drawn from some of the leading Soviet and Russian military theorists are present in Gerasimov’s speeches, showing the roots of current military thought among the General Staff leadership, elements of the interface between military science and emerging perspectives on future warfare are clearly represented in a May 28 article on this theme in Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer. Lieutenant General (ret.) Vladimir Ostankov considers the issue of Russian perspectives on future warfare and shows clearly how this is influencing Moscow’s defense posture in many areas. Ostankov is a former head of the highly influential Center for Military-Strategic Research Under the General Staff (Tsentr Voyenno-Strategicheskikh Issledovaniy Generalnogo Shtaba Vooruzhennykh Sil’ Rossiyskoy Federatsii—TsSVI GSh). It is known, for instance, that the TsVSI plays a role in the formulation of military doctrine and produces classified papers on strategy, force development and future warfare, among other issues (Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer, May 28).

Ostankov declares at the start of his article the importance high technology and modern weapons systems and their impact on shaping the views and concepts of the Armed Forces, noting that the most important aspect of strategy is to predict the nature of future wars and outline the potential of the future enemy in order to form counter measures. Ostankov then describes the main features of modern warfare as follows:

  • The massive use of high-precision and hypersonic weapons and Electronic Warfare (EW) tools;
  • Multifaceted impact on the enemy throughout the depth of its territory and simultaneously in the global information and aerospace confrontation;
  • Strengthened centralization and automation of troops and weapons control;
  • Participation in the battles of irregular armed formations and private military companies (PMC);
  • The complex use of force and non-military measures implemented with the wide use of the protest potential of the population;
  • The use of externally funded political forces and social movements.

The author asserts that modern warfare increasingly centers on the application of political, economic, information, and other non-military means. He suggests this has been used during Russian military operations in Syria, mixing military and non-means in its application of power. On this basis, Ostankov claims the present Russian political leadership has augmented deterrence by adopting a deliberate policy of intimidating potential adversaries (Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer, May 28).

However, Ostankov believes the dominant role in future warfare still lies in the application of kinetic force. He refers to the changing face of warfare and its implications for the future: “New technologies have significantly reduced the spatial, temporal and informational gap between troops and command and control. Frontal collisions of large groups of troops (forces) at the strategic and operational levels are gradually becoming a thing of the past. A remote contactless impact on the enemy becomes the main way to achieve the goals of the battle and operation. The destruction of its objects is carried out [across] the entire depth of the territory. The differences between the strategic, operational and tactical levels, [as well as] offensive and defensive actions are erased.” The author further argues that artificial intelligence will play a much greater role in the wars of the future, robotizing the battlefield but not entirely negating the needs for human involvement (Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer, May 28).

Drawing on Russia’s experiments in Syria with network-centric warfare capability, Ostankov asserts this has significant implication for Moscow’s planning for future wars: “Anticipating a similar change in the nature of the struggle, the military strategy develops requirements for the development of interspecific reconnaissance-strike and reconnaissance-fire complexes, determining their place in the combat system and share participation in the destruction of the enemy. No wonder that a unit has been created within the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to deal with this problem.” Analysis of the United States’ military capabilities has resulted in a “transition of Russia from the policy of deterring a potential adversary with nuclear weapons to a policy of intimidation by causing unacceptable damage with hypersonic weapons in response to any large-scale aggression” (Voyenno Promyshlennyy Kuryer, May 28).

It appears that a combination of views on the likely nature of future warfare, analysis of Russia’s threat environment and close attention to US military capability, has resulted in a shift in Moscow to adopting a policy of intimidating potential enemies, while strengthening its own capabilities to strike with unacceptable damage below the nuclear threshold. Ostankov’s article should not be underestimated given his background in the TsVSI and his access to and knowledge of current strategic thinking. He offers insight on Moscow adopting a deliberate policy of intimidating its potential enemies, which may be important in understanding Russia’s strategic actions in a wider context.

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Moderating Saudi Islam: Government Proposes Tightening Fundraising Rules

James Dorsey 31 Jan, 2018_A Saudi draft law could constitute a first indication that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vow to return the kingdom to a moderate form of Islam will include reshaping of the kingdom’s global funding for Sunni Muslim ultra-conservative educational and cultural facilities as well as militants.

The law, if adopted, would at the very least tighten rules governing the raising of funds in the kingdom that often flowed to militants in campaigns of which it was not always clear whether the government had tacitly approved. Tighter rules will make it more difficult for the government to put a distance between itself and militant fundraising.

To be sure, analysts have long assumed that fundraising, particularly with the help of members of Saudi Arabia’s government-aligned, ultra-conservative religious establishment, could not occur without the knowledge of a regime that maintains tight political control.

It remains unclear how tighter fundraising rules will affect Saudi Arabia’s ideological war with Iran. The kingdom has for decades invested billions of dollars in globally propagating Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism as an antidote to the Islamic republic’s revolutionary zeal.

The bulk of the funds flowed to non-violent groups, but in some cases also to ones that attacked Shiites and/or Iranian targets. That has largely not changed since the rise in 2015 of King Salman and his powerful son, Prince Mohammed.

Saudi Arabia, in the latest suggestion that tightened fundraising may target militancy rather than supremacist, sectarian and intolerant strands of ultra-conservatism, plans to open a Salafi missionary centre in the Yemeni province of Al Mahrah on the border with Oman and the kingdom.

The plan harks back to the creation of an anti-Shiite Salafi mission near the Houthi stronghold of Saada that sparked a military confrontation in 2011 with the Yemeni government, one of several wars in the region. The centre was closed in 2014 as part of an agreement to end the fighting.

Prince Mohammed’s use of ultra-conservative Sunni Islam in his controversial war with the Houthis was also evident in the appointment as governor of Saada of Hadi Tirshan al-Wa’ili, a member of a tribe hostile to the Shiite sect, and a follower of Saudi-backed Islamic scholar Uthman Mujalli. Mr. Mujalli reportedly serves as an advisor to Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the exiled, kingdom-backed Yemeni president.

Writing in Al-Monitor, Brookings fellow and former CIA official Bruce Riedel argued that continued government support of ultra-conservatism served not only Saudi Arabia’s regional ambitions but also as a pacifier for a religious establishment that, despite public endorsement of Prince Mohammed’s social reforms, is deeply uncomfortable with changes like a loosening of restrictions on women and greater entertainment opportunities.

“After three years on the throne, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are pursuing the most aggressively sectarian and anti-Iran policy in modern Saudi history. The Wahhabi clerical establishment is an enthusiastic partner, which is good internal politics for the royals…it’s a way to keep the mainstream Wahhabi establishment and the Al Sheikhs content that their core interests are safe,” Mr. Riedel said, referring to the descendants of 18th century preacher Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, who constitute the ruling Al Sauds’ religious counterpart.

If adopted, fundraisers would have to be authorized before launching a campaign. Failure to obtain authorization would result in a jail sentence of up to two years and, in the case of foreigners, deportation. Fundraisers would only be allowed to accept donations from Saudi nationals and institutions.

The stipulation that the fundraisers themselves too would have to be Saudi nationals would effectively block foreign individuals and groups from Pakistan and elsewhere that have been supported for decades by Saudi Arabia from independently seeking financial support in the kingdom.

A litmus test of the impact of the law, once adopted, will be how Saudi Arabia deals with people like Pakistani cleric Maulana Ali Muhammad Abu Turab. Mr. Abu Turab was identified last May as a specially designated terrorist by the US Treasury at the very moment that he was in the kingdom to raise funds for his militant madrassas or religious seminaries that dot the border between the Pakistani province of Balochistan and Afghanistan.

A member of Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology that oversees whether legislation is in line with Islamic law, Mr. Abu Turab is a leader of Ahl-i-Hadith, a Pakistani Wahhabi group supported by the kingdom for decades, and a board member of Pakistan’s Saudi-backed Paigham TV.

He also heads the Saudi-funded Movement for the Protection of the Two Holy Cities (Tehrike Tahafaz Haramain Sharifain) whose secretary general Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil has also been designated by the Treasury.

Similarly, Pakistani militants reported over the last 18 months that funds from Saudi Arabia were pouring into militant madrassas in Balochistan against the backdrop of indications that the kingdom may want to try to destabilize Iran by stirring unrest among the Islamic republic’s ethnic minorities, including the Baloch.

Saudi efforts to more tightly control fundraising may also serve Prince Mohammed’s unconventional effort to fill depleted government coffers at a time of economic recession. Prince Mohammed launched in November what amounted to a power and asset grab packaged as an anti-corruption campaign after the kingdom’s elite had failed to respond to a request to make patriotic contributions to help shore up government finances.

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said last week that authorities had received a total of roughly $100 billion in out-of-court settlements from around 350 people accused in the purge. As a result, tougher fundraising rules could potentially mean that donations would increasingly favour domestic rather than foreign causes.

However, with no indication that Saudi Arabia is willing to reduce tension with Iran, it is unlikely that the kingdom will halt funding of its ideological war with the Islamic republic. Nor is there an apparent Islamic packaged alternative to the propagation of ultra-conservatism as its primary soft power tool.

In short, tighter fundraising rules are certain to enhance control of the causes for which money is solicited and who will be allowed to raise funds. It may well also result in support for advocacy of interfaith dialogue and greater tolerance as recently propagated by the World Muslim League, a government-controlled non-governmental vehicle that for decades funded the global spread of ultra-conservatism. The rules, however, are unlikely to mean an end to funding of ultra-conservatism and sectarianism that serves Saudi Arabia’s existential battle with Iran.

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What to Do with Islamic State Returnees?

………………In a letter to his family in Germany, he wrote: “I miss you very much. Maybe you’ve heard I’ve been captured?” The letter was delivered via the Red Cross from a detention camp near the northern Syriantown of Qamishli. In another letter, he wrote: “Mama, please let me know how you’re all doing and whether you know how to get me out of here. What do the authorities say? I just want to come home. I want to get out of here.”

Bajram G., 25, is a German citizen and the son of immigrants from Kosovo. He was only 20-years-old and still in school when he disappeared from Germany and, according to investigators, joined Islamic State (IS). He is one of thousands of Islamists who left Europe to join the fight, a large number of whom are now sitting in prisons run by the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia YPG. These fighters of the “Caliphate” have now become prisoners of war.

The German government must now grapple with several difficult questions: How should it deal with these prisoners of war? Must someone like Bajram G. be repatriated? What would be done with him once he returned? So far, Berlin has yet to come up with any concrete answers.

Playing for Time

Authorities have been deliberating for some time about what to do with the overseas IS fighters. In the past few weeks, the defeat of the militant group has become tangible, with the last remaining fighters having barricaded themselves in an area smaller than a single square kilometer. Many foreign fighters have spent months, or even years, in prisons in northern Syria and Iraq — so far, without much prospect of ever returning home.

In recent months, the Syrian Kurds and their U.S. allies have pressured the Europeans to take back their citizens and put them on trial. But so far, the Europeans have been playing for time.

According to German diplomats, Berlin made the decision to not to get too involved with the imprisoned jihadists. “Our marching orders were, ‘We’re actually required to, but we’re not going to,'” says one official. Now, however, the clock on this evasive tactic has run out.

A recent tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump put the issue at the top of the agenda: “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them……..”

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-ponders-what-to-do-with-islamic-state-returnees-a-1254631.html#ref=nl-international

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Iran Builds A New Tanker At Sadra

Iran’s Sadra Island shipyard is currently constructing another AFRAMAX tanker, satellite imagery acquired by Planet Labs confirms.

Workers at the shipyard began laying the keel in late April 2018 but very little progress was made until November — the targeted month for the return of U.S. oil sanctions. New international orders have not been revealed in public reporting which suggests that the tanker will be delivered to the domestic market (despite denials). Additional crude carriers have not been built at the shipyard since Iran negotiated the construction of three Venezuelan AFRAMAX vessels for PDVSA. The PDVSA tankers however were quietly cancelled and the first vessel, which Iran completed, was sold to a third party. Notably, infrastructure upgrades at the Sadra Island yard remain incomplete. The Goliath crane that was erected in 2012 to help speed-up the delivery of the Venezuelan order has never been utilized. The rail on which the crane may eventually operate still appears inoperable. Additional reclamation activity however has been ongoing throughout 2018, according to imagery.

Between November 2018 and January 2019, new sections of the vessel’s keel were laid in the drydock. These sections were originally part of Venezuela’s second ship and they’ve been sitting next to the dock since 2012. In 2016, President Rouhani’s government placed a 10-tanker order for the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy, sparking tensions with Iran’s IRGC-associated Khatam Al-Anbia Construction HQ. General Ebadollah Abdollahi, former commander of the group, publicly described the order as “treason”. “The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line’s disrespect for the domestic potentials is a treason,” Abdollahi was quoted as saying. In response, Abdollahi echoed a proposal for a consortium between Sadra and ISOICO shipyards to construct the 10 vessels. However to date, ISOICO has never finished a tanker. The one tanker ISOICO attempted to construct in the late 2000s still remains at the Bostanu-based shipyard without its deck house. All things considered, domestic actors may have little confidence in the ability of Iran’s shipyard to deliver the order. But of course, Iran may not have much choice. Over half the vessels the regime operates are more than 15 years old, and oil tankers typically have a lifespan of 20-25 years.

Bottom Line: No Iranian shipyard has fulfilled an order to successfully construct a crude carrier for a domestic customer despite the extraction of rents to do so. However, with the implementation of new sanctions, Iran may be forced back into self-reliance as its crude fleet continues to age.

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The Spy Who Overthrew Macedonia’s Government

For two years, he had watched his country slip into what he thought was a dictatorship. Then the engineer, who had been working for the secret service for 25 years, threw himself into a quest that was much more likely to get him arrested than to overthrow the government.

Borjan Jovanovski

Eventually, it did both.

Lazarevski was one of the three Macedonian intelligence agents who helped topple the allegedly corrupt and authoritarian regime of the then-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski by leaking hundreds of thousands of audio files. The recordings had been made by regime loyalists from his agency while illegally wiretapping thousands of Macedonians over three years.

occrp

Gjorgi Lazarevski, a former Macedonian intelligence officer who helped expose a massive wiretapping scheme that brought down the government.  (Credit: Nova TV)

Lazarevski had known about the massive interception of conversations — which took place without court orders — since 2008. But when he saw special forces raiding A1 TV, a station that had been critical of the government, he finally had enough.

“It was a shock for us,” Lazarevski remembered.

“I did not expect to experience such a thing in Macedonia,” he told OCCRP.

With Zvonko Kostovski, a colleague who worked on the unlawful surveillance but felt the same way about it, Lazaraveski developed a plan.

Kostovski would secretly make copies of the controversial files and Lazarevski would take them out of the building and decrypt them on a private computer.

Thousands of Macedonians, including ministers, government employees, journalists, and judges were wiretapped. The two agents often could not believe what they were hearing: Conversations that revealed high-level corruption; government influence of prosecutors, judges and media; extortion of businesses; discussions of politically-motivated arrests, election-rigging, and even attempts to cover up a murder.

At first, the two agents worked alone. But the scope of wrongdoing revealed in the files kept growing, and they soon discovered that even Gruevski’s Interior Minister, Gordana Jankulovska, had been wiretapped.

That’s when the two agents realized the magnitude of the information they were sitting on and started to consider bringing in someone else.

They approached Zoran Verusevski, the former chief of intelligence.

“Both Zvonko and I trusted Verushevski,” Lazarevski said. “He used to be our superior. He is a professor, and he’s the one who taught me that corruption is the biggest threat to the security of a state.“

Meanwhile, in 2013, police conducted an operation codenamed “Spy,” aimed at finding moles within the agency. Afraid of being exposed, Lazarevski quit his job.

“An atmosphere of fear had been created,” he said. “Everyone was scared.”

Kostovski was also afraid — but Verushevski convinced the two that they were “on the right side.” He soon shared the audio files with Zoran Zaev, head of the country’s opposition party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.

In a September 2014 TV interview, Zaev announced that he would soon make big revelations he referred to as “bombs.”

Macedonia started to simmer.

But a few months later, after searching Verushevski’s computer and finding his correspondence with Lazarevski, the police arrested him on January 23, 2015.

This is what prompted Lazarevski to go to the Ministry of Interior and report the wiretapping.

“I testified in front of a colleague in the police station. There was a prosecutor in the next room,” Lazarevski said.

“I told the truth to two institutions, but instead of giving me the status of a whistleblower, I was charged with espionage,” he said, describing the drama he, his family, and the whole country were going through.

In response, three days later, Zaev played the first batch of the audio files to reporters, exposing pressure on the judiciary, election rigging, and corruption.

He continued to play the files in a series of weekly press conferences, shocking the public with revelations about the brutality of Gruevski’s regime.

Macedonians heard orders to beat opposition politicians, to set regime opponents’ properties ablaze, threats of murder, and corrupt deals.

Gruevski counterattacked, accusing the foreign intelligence services of manufacturing the recordings in order to “brutally destroy” his party and the country.

Macedonia boiled over.

Days-long street protests staged by Gruevski supporters on one side and Zaev supporters on the other brought the country to a halt, prompting the European Union to get involved. The EU negotiated early elections and the appointment of a special prosecutor mandated to look into the scandal.

Gruevski had wiretapped allies and opponents alike.

An investigation conducted by experts hired by the European Commission concluded that his government had misused the security service “to control top officials in the public administration, prosecutors, judges and political opponents.”

In December 2015, Zaev submitted 606,555 audio files of the illegally wiretapped conversations to the new Special Prosecutor’s Office.

In May 2017, he won the elections, but because of obstructions by Gruevski’s supporters, he was able to form his government only half a year later.

Kostovski, Lazarevski, and Verushevski watched most of this from their jail cells, where they spent 11 months before the Special Prosecutor’s Office dropped the charges against them.

At the same time, prosecutors opened a new investigation into the former minister of interior, the intelligence chief, and his closest associates.

“While I was in custody, my optimism was upheld by the everyday events that were leading towards the breakdown of the system I thought was impossible to crush,” Lazarevski said.

“People were thrilled with the developments and that gave me strength,” he added.

It was painful to hear a colleague in the intelligence service defending Gruevski’s regime and accusing Lazarevski and his co-conspirators of “undermining the reputation of the service.”

“I think that we saved the reputation of that institution,” he said. In fact, he added, it was the employees who watched what was happening in silence who undermined its reputation.

Now, though he still feels guilty for what the three families went through, Lazarevski looks back at the episode with no remorse.

“The pleasure of knowing that we managed to unmask an evil system is great,” he said. “What happened was exactly what I wanted. It ended like a fairy tale.”

“I did not live in vain.”

 

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Probable Solid Propellant Missile Plant Al Dawadmi, Saudi Arabia [24.220N, 44.706E]

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Image allegedly showing two Saudi launch pads, #1 pointing in direction of Israel, and #2 pointing in direction of Iran

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Egyptian President’s Regrettable “60 Minutes”

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi was hoping to demonstrate that he was a reliable ally of United States and Israel in the Middle East and worthy of international recognition, but the 60 minutes interview took another turn says Professor Seif Da’na

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HIZB UT TAHRIR ON MUSLIMS IN CHINA

On Saturday 5th January, China’s main English newspaper, Global Times, reported that the Chinese government passed a law to make Islam in line with socialism. The paper stated that government officials, “agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion” (adapt it to a more ‘Chinese’ way of practice) within the next 5 years. Earlier this month, authorities in China’s Yunnan province closed down 3 mosques established by the marginalized Hui Muslim ethnic minority.

Comment:

These latest moves by the Chinese regime are a continuation of its brutal campaign to erase Islam from its Muslim population and force them to adopt its atheist beliefs through intimidation and fear. The regime has already outlawed in parts of its state – fasting, wearing of the Islamic dress, growing of a beard, and children under 18 from entering mosques to listen to Islamic sermons. The government has also prohibited parents from giving their new born babies certain Islamic names, and from providing their children an Islamic education or from participating in Islamic activities. This is alongside pressuring Uighur Muslims into marrying individuals from the non-Muslim Han Chinese population. In 2016, as part of its crackdown on Islam, the regime launched its “Becoming Family Campaign” – a system where officials or Han Chinese people temporarily move in with Muslim families in Xinjiang to surveil and report on signs that their hosts’ attachment to Islam maybe ‘extreme’ – including refusing alcohol, praying Jumma, fasting in Ramadan, or even having pictures with Islamic texts on their walls. In December 2017, Xinjiang authorities mobilized more than a million cadres to spend a week living in Muslim Uighur homes for this purpose. Other basic Islamic activities have also been labelled as extreme, such as choosing to eat Halal food and even giving the Islamic greeting of Salaams. Communist Party leaders in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang province, launched a campaign against Halal products, leading cadres to swear an oath to “fight a decisive battle” against what they termed, ‘pan-halalisation’. Indeed, the hatred of this regime towards Islam is such that it has even forced Muslims to abandon Islamic burials and accept instead the Chinese tradition of cremation which the state is rapidly expanding in the western Xinjiang province.

Alongside all this, more than 1 million Uighur Muslims are being detained indefinitely in internment camps in Xinjiang according to the UN, where they are forced to renounce their faith, drink alcohol and eat pork, as well as pledge allegiance to the atheist ruling Communist Party. Many of those incarcerated are tortured or even killed. Furthermore, at least 2 million Uighur Muslims are in “re-education camps” where they are subjected to forced political and cultural indoctrination to abandon their Deen, as well as criticize their Islamic beliefs and recite communist propaganda. According to the AFP, one government document related to those in the “re-education centres”, states that to build better Chinese citizens, the centres must first, “break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections and break their origins.” The Chinese state also operates orphanages for Uighur children taken from parents who are incarcerated in the detention camps or who are in exile. In these orphanages, the children are educated in a manner to erase their Islamic identity and sever them from their Islamic Aqeeda. The aim of the regime is to convert future generations of Uighur Muslim children into its loyal subjects who embrace atheism, Han Chinese customs and Beijing’s vision of destroying the Uighur Muslim population and purging Islam from its shores.

Yet, despite this overt war against Islam being waged by the Chinese state, and its campaign of ethnic cleansing against its Muslim population, there has been a shameless but unsurprising silence from the regimes and rulers of the Muslim world. Indeed, even the Chinese government’s declaration of Islam as an “ideological mental illness” and a “virus in the brain”, was not enough to invoke a spark of genuine anger and response in these useless rulers of governments of Muslim lands who clearly care nothing for the sanctity of Islam or the lives of the Believers. These regimes and rulers in the Muslim lands are trigger-happy when it comes to slaughtering Muslims in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere…yet refuse to use an ounce of political, military or economic leverage for the sake of Islam and the Muslims. Pakistan’s government for example has deployed 15,000 troops to secure its China-Pakistan economic corridor and Chinese nationals working on infrastructure projects in the country; yet has not mobilized a single soldier to secure the honour of Islam and the Ummah! No doubt that China’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, that aims to facilitate world trade, including with Asia and the Middle East with Beijing, through the building of trade routes, which mainly pass through Xinjiang….will further buy the silence of these sell-out regimes towards the Chinese government’s crusade against Islam. So while the status quo remains, where there is no genuine Islamic leadership to stand for the sanctity of Islam and the Believers, China’s atheist drive against the Uighur Muslims will continue unabated; and they will continue to have a free hand to persecute them with impunity with no-one to stand in their way. So we ask those in the Muslim armies…..what is it that still ties you to these cowardly rulers who have sold their soul to the enemies of your Deen? How can you bear to live under their shadow and serve their treachery? Give your support with urgency to the establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) based on the method of the Prophethood which will raise your position to one of honour, champion your Deen and defend your Ummah!

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَشۡتَرُونَ بِعَهۡدِ ٱللَّهِ وَأَيۡمَـٰنِہِمۡ ثَمَنً۬ا قَلِيلاً أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَا خَلَـٰقَ لَهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ وَلَا يُڪَلِّمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَا يَنظُرُ إِلَيۡہِمۡ يَوۡمَٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ وَلَا يُزَڪِّيهِمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

“As for those who sell the faith they owe to God and their own pledges for a trifling gain, surely they shall have no portion in the hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them, nor will He look upon them on the day of resurrection nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful chastisement.”

[3:77]

Dr. Nazreen Nawaz

Director of the Women’s Section in The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

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OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE

President Donald Trump may believe the U.S. military has soundly defeated ISIS in Syria, but a new report suggests that the terror group is simply biding its time in its home country of Iraq ahead of a deadly resurgence.

According to a new analysis by in Jane’s Intelligence Review, ISIS is “exploiting the chaotic and unresolved security situation” in Iraq to reconstitute itself, regaining a territorial foothold in the country’s northern Qara Chokh mountains despite the loss of its primary stronghold in Mosul just over a year ago.

“[ISIS] is exploiting remote, often sparsely populated areas in which it can establish a physical and logistical infrastructure to offer shelter and food for its fighters,” explains Dr. Jonathan Spyer in Jane’s.

These mountain footholds, like the tunnels that have stymied U.S. forces in the anti-ISIS fight in Syria, are “strongholds for the movement, where it may exercise control, from which operations can be planned and launched, where it may domicile its leadership and its most committed cadres, and to which it can fall back when facing pressure from the ISF and Kurdish Peshmerga forces,” he added.

Spyer, a longtime Middle East analyst and chronicler of ISIS’ evolution, has actively observed ISIS activity near the Qara Chokh mountains over the last several months, and and the long-term implications of these growing strongholds are clear, per his report in Janes: “Ultimately, the group may seek to develop (or revive) its capability to conduct operations across [a] far broader area, including into Baghdad, Mosul city, and Samarra, and then onwards into Syria and Iran.”

Who’s to blame for this sudden resurgence?

According to Jane’s, it’s partially the ISF who spent too much time clashing with the Kurdish militias that are ostensibly their allies in the anti-ISIS fight rather than thoroughly ridding the remote regions of the country of ISIS holdouts.

“The ISF has not attempted a comprehensive ‘cleaning out’ of the inhabited villages in this area,” Spyer writes. “This has enabled the Islamic State to establish a presence inside many of them, and to seek to disrupt and destroy communication between local tribal structures and the security forces – assisted in this by the sectarian [behavior] of certain ISF elements.”

The Jane’s report comes during a period of major uncertainty for both Operation Inherent Resolve and the multinational alliance to defeat ISIS itself. On Dec. 19, Trump abruptly announced the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria; days later, top Trump administration envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and diplomatic architect of the anti-ISIS mission Brett McGurk resigned in protest.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” Trump tweeted on Dec. 19.

After months of embracing an indefinite U.S. troop presence in Syria, a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly inspired Trump to order the withdrawal in direct conflict with counsel from Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who resigned that day in protest.

“Ultimately, the group may seek to develop (or revive) its capability to conduct operations across [a] far broader area— Dr. Jonathan SpyeI love you lyses

According to Pentagon data released part of an August inspector general report for Op delete againeration Inherent Resolve and Operation Pacific Eagle–Philippines, ISIS has an estimated 15,500 to 17,100 fighters in Iraq, as well as 14,000 fighters in Syria. A report from a United Nations panel of experts released at the same time concluded that ISIS  “has up to 30,000 members roughly equally distributed between Syria and Iraq and its global network poses a rising threat.”

For their part, OIR officials appear confident they can wipe out the remaining pockets of ISIS fighters floating around in Iraq’s northern regions.

“The ISF are relentlessly pursuing ISIS fighters wherever they hide,” an OIR official wrote on Twitter on Dec. 22 amid the Syria withdrawal chaos, accompanied with aerial footage of an airstrike on a purported ISIS hideout. “The Coalition will continue to provide support and joint fires as needed to bring about the lasting defeat of ISIS in Iraq.”

But whether the ISF and their international partners can completely root out ISIS fighters remains to be seen, according to the Jane’s report — and those forces may not even experience the full consequences of overlooked footholds until years later.

“This does not appear to herald an imminent large-scale campaign,” writes Spyer of the ISIS footholds in northern Iraq. “Rather, the Islamic State appears to be in a phase of rebuilding its structures to prepare for a future recommencement of insurgency in Iraq, accompanied by a steady drip of armed attacks.”

FY2018_LIG_OCO_OIR3_JUN2018_508.PDF 

 

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Senate Votes to Authorize the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office

Office of Public Affairs

Senate Votes to Authorize the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 2018 (H.R. 7213).  The House unanimously passed this bill earlier this week.  This legislation permanently establishes the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), granting it needed authorities to protect the American people against evolving WMD threats.

“I applaud today’s congressional action, which will provide DHS with the authorities needed to guard against biological and chemical threats, and which will build on our already broad authorities to protect against radiological and nuclear dangers.  The United States faces rising danger from terrorist groups and rogue nation states which could use weapons of mass destruction to harm Americans.  There is no question that such an attack could have a devastating effect on our country.  This legislation will keep us a step ahead of our enemies, and I am grateful Congress has voted to send it to President Trump’s desk.  I look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to deploy these new authorities.

“This has been a milestone year.  DHS has worked closely with Congress to ensure we can effectively combat emerging and persistent threats.  Among other measures, we have established the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to defend our nation on the digital battlefield.  We have secured authorities to counter the threat of nefarious drones.  And now we have a law that will allow us to better protect Americans from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.  There are other areas where we continue to seek Congressional assistance, but I am grateful for the bipartisan support that has provided us with authorities we need to secure our great nation.”

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen established the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office in December 2017 in one of the most significant reorganizations of the Department in a decade. The CWMD Office is led by Assistant Secretary James F. McDonnell, who was appointed by President Trump in May 2018.

 

 

 

 

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IAEA Releases Updated Country Profiles For Commercial Nuclear Power Plants

Description

         The Country Nuclear Power Profiles (CNPP) publication compiles background information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes across participating International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Member States. The publication summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in each participating State. The descriptive and statistical overview of the economic, energy and electricity situation in each State and its nuclear power framework is intended to serve as an integrated source of key background information about nuclear power programmes throughout the world. This 2018 edition contains updated country information for 37 out of 50 participating Member States.   

https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/cnpp2017/pages/index.htm 

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THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BLACK PANTHERS

The

1950S-1960S

CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT REACHES ITS PEAK

 Urban and race riots are spreading nationwide.. African-Americans blaming the increased racial tensions solely on law enforcement is unfair and inaccurate, as responsibility for this polarized, combustible atmosphere also lies with them. Everyone, regardless of skin color, should respect the law and societal norms, no matter their economic or social grievances. Instead, many African-Americans are taking their frustrations out on police,  encouraging militancy and radicalism and fighting against law and order

Rachel Segal

1960S
RACIAL SEGREGATION RISING IN OAKLAND, CA
 Contrary to complaints, the rising poverty among Oakland’s African-Americans is not the fault of Oakland’s white population. While certain federal and local government policies have promoted suburban economic development outside of Oakland, they have not deliberately come at the expense of inner-city economic development. It is only natural that as industries move out of the city center, jobs and the middle-class follow, leaving empty storefronts and unemployment among those who remain, who are African-Americans
SEPT 1966
HUNTERS’ POINT UPRISING
  • It is tragic enough when a San Francisco policeman murders an unarmed African-American teenager, but it is provocative to send 1200 National Guard troops, tanks and artillery to terrorize defenseless residents angry that the murderous cop had not been arrested. Stationed at Hunters Point in San Francisco, these discriminatory policies reverberate among African-Americans throughout California and the rest of the country. Mass rebellion and arming our communities are the only ways to protect themselves against police heavy-handedness and white oppression.
 Despite signing into law the Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation and requiring equal employment opportunity, and the Voting Rights Act, prohibiting all forms of voting discrimination, African-Americans are still staging uprisings. It’s further shocking that when three African-American teenagers in LA break the law by stealing a car and running from police, members of California’s African-American communities rebel against white authority and stage an uprising with civil disobedience and looting in poor, inner-city neighborhoods.
OCT. 22, 1966
BLACK PANTHER FOR SELF-DEFENSE PARTY FORMED
  This Marxist political organization, led by radical Oakland community organizer and an ex-con-turned-college-student, is nothing more than a gang seeking to justify violence with an ideology. Preaching revolutionary war and declaring a willingness to use violence to accomplish their aims will lead to nothing but chaos for all, including for those they pretend to protect. This militant party wants nothing more than to exploit economic inequality to further stoke racial unrest and pent-up anger within African-American communities. Their antics will not be accepted in a law-abiding state.
MAY 2, 1967
ARMED BLACK PANTHERS MARCH INTO STATE CAPITAL
  When 30 armed militants storm into the State Capital with the blatant intent to intimidate legislators mid-session, these officials have a responsibility to their constituents to do all they can to protect their safety and maintain social order. For the safety and security of California residents, Gov. Ronald Reagan has no choice but to sign the Mulford Act into law and disarm the militant Black Panthers given their repeated standoffs with police officers, who are just trying to do their jobs. Governor Ronald Reagan has acted responsibly.
1967-69
MAKING HEADLINES FOR ARRESTS AND INFIGHTING
  • A number of Black Panther members, including the group’s Minister of Defense, Huey Newton, make headlines for their involvement in violent confrontations and shootouts with police. Though a white officer is killed in one such incident, Newton ends up as a political prisoner, a victim of a bias court system. The media and FBI portray the Black Panthers as murderous and violent, despite the police being the ones to gun down innocent members, like unarmed teen Panther Treasurer, Bobby Hutton, who was shot eight times in Oakland with his arms raised to surrender.
 Civilian violence will be met with a police response, as this is what the police is employed to do. While the Black Panther members constantly blame law enforcement for repressive behavior and US courts for discrimination, they should look inward to see who is really responsible for their destructive behavior and negative reputation. Violent conflicts within the Black Panther party are to blame for many members’ deaths, not excessive force by police. There are numerous members found beaten, tortured or murdered at the hands of each other.
1969 – EARLY 1970S
PANTHERS OFFER FREE BREAKFAST FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM
  • Putting compassion and humanity before politics, the Black Panther party creates a much-needed social program, feeding Oakland community kids free breakfasts in school cafeterias. The Free Breakfast for School Children Program fills a need that the federal government has long ignored, providing hundreds, and eventually upwards of 30,000 of inner-city kids nationwide, their only source of food before school each day. Party members and volunteers approach local supermarkets for donations, consult with nutritionists and prepare and serve breakfast, all for free.
 While the party’s breakfast program sounds positive, it is merely a ruseto recruit vulnerable children and indoctrinate them with Black Panther philosophy. While the program does actually feed the children breakfast, its true intent is to fill their minds with messages of black power, white’s subjugation of African-Americans in an attempt to fuel revolution against white law enforcement.  Even J.Edgar Hoover and the FBI recognize this program for what it is: a communist-inspiredinfiltration into American society, aimed at turning citizens against its government.
JUNE 1969
FBI’S COINTELPRO BEGINS INFILTRATING BPP
 With the Cold War heating up and anti-war protests erupting, J. Edgar Hoover has a responsibility to swiftly respond to domestic threats. The FBI’s counterintelligence program, COINTELPRO, is necessary to domestically spy on citizens and eliminate hate groups, which the Black Panthers are. The party espouses Marxist/Leninist ideologies, clamoring for a socialist revolution in America. Its members have perpetrated countless assaults on police officers and its newspaperpublicly calls for more violent confrontations. They pose the greatest threat to America’s internal security and must be stopped.
AUG. 19, 1969, 1971
BOBBY SEALE ARRESTED FOR CHICAGO 7 TRIAL
 Bobby Seale was not alone but one of eight people charged under the anti-riot provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 for his involvement in the riots at the Democratic National Convention. Seale was charged with conspiring with his co-defendants to cross state lines with intent to incite a riot and impede law enforcement officers from carrying out their jobs. His four-year prison sentence, which was later reversed, was his own doing, for repeatedly showing contempt of court, calling the trial’s judge and government attorneys “racists,” “fascists” and lying pigs.
1972-33
BOBBY SEALE RUNS FOR MAYOR
  • Tasting freedom again after release from a 21-month prison sentence, Bobby Seale begins reorganizing the Black Panther party, which fell apart – or, more accurately, was torn apart by the FBI –  in his absence. Still driven to attain equality and improve the lives of fellow community members, he runs for Oakland mayor in 1973, even renouncing violence as a means to an end
  Bobby Seal running for mayor is a desperate attempt to keep Black Panther movement relevant. Times have changed, given that this former militant is welcome as a candidate in a system he used to protest against. The fact that Seale comes in second out of nine candidates and losing a run-off election, is a sign that his popularity, and that of the Black Panthers, is no longer popular and therefore less of a threat.
1982
BLACK PANTHER PARTY IS DISSOLVED
  • Thanks to the FBI’s continued tactics of sowing disinformation and mistrust among Panthers, the party remained in disarray brought on by white establishment. Bobby Seale, worn out after his failed mayoral run, and Huey Newton, charged for embezzling funds from the party’s Oakland Community School, were both out of the picture. The Black Panther party, which had once boasted more than 40 chapters and 5,000 members therefore dissolved, having brought more awareness of, though not the desired lasting change to, issues of race in America.
  It wasn’t just J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI or police forces that contributed to the Black Panthers’ collapse. It was more self-implosion. Already in 1974, the Black Panther party was suffering from party factionalism and infighting, drug abuse, and police raids. The party further unraveled amid external, societal change. The Vietnam War was over, affirmative action was gaining steam, and the party’s confrontational style was no longer welcome – not that it had ever been.
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HSBC: Security Breach Exposes Account, Transaction Data

Unauthorized users accessed HSBC accounts between Oct. 4 and 14, the bank reports in a letter to customers. 

HSBC Bank has informed account holders of a data breach affecting an undisclosed number of users, the organization reported this week. In a letter (Check Below) sent to customers and the California Attorney General’s Office, it states online accounts were compromised from Oct. 4 to 14.

The bank reports compromised information may include full names, mailing and email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, transaction histories, payee account data, statement histories, and account numbers, types, and balances.

6a724a78-8a68-4c43-910f-08492da732fc-original.png

HSBC suspended access to affected accounts and is contacting victims about changing their online credentials. It says it has improved its authentication process for HSBC Personal Internet Banking and is offering customers a complimentary, year-long subscription to Identity Guard, which they can use to monitor accounts for credit fraud and malicious activity.

Data leaks caused by negligent third-party providers are increasingly common, says High-Tech Bridge founder and CEO Ilia Kolochenko. Oftentimes, large businesses deploy demo systems to production and forget about them, leaving data and systems vulnerable. Abandoned US-based Web systems containing customer data could be a possible attack vector.

HSBC’s response has been prompt and technically adequate, he explains, but there is still potential for consequences. “This will, however, unlikely exonerate them from private lawsuits and, perhaps, even a class action by disgruntled customers and privacy watchdogs,” Kolochenko says.

                                                       unnamed.jpg

HSBC Letter

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2018/11/06/hsbc-bank-usa-admits-breach-exposing-account-numbers-and-transaction-history/#488922d85af3

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ALLAH ARMY: “SIRILANKA” TALKS

 

Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake took over as the 22nd Commander of the Sri Lankan Army in June 2017. The conduct of the army in the past, during the island’s civil war that it ended by defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009, and its contentious presence and role in the country’s Tamil-majority north and east since then continue to dominate the discourse around post-war resettlement and reconciliation. Amidst growing calls from the Tamil political leadership and the people for demilitarisation of the war-scarred areas, what is the army’s role and vision as Sri Lanka tries transitioning into peace?

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SWITZERLAND NEST OF SPIES

https://tp.srgssr.ch/p/inline?urn=urn:swi:video:44423580&locale=en

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IS-linked media validation after IED attack in Isulan, Mindanao on August 28 may inspire further local militant plots – Philippines Alert

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“WINTER” Religious IDF Commander Promoted to Military Secretary of Defense Minister – July 27, 2018

Defense Minsiter Avigdor Lieberman, taking into advisement the recommendation of the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, decided to appoint Brigadiere General Ofer Winter to the position of Military Secretary to the Minister of Defense. This appointment replaces  Brig. Gen. Yair Kolus who served in that capacity ofver the past few years. – Yeshiva World News

Winter currently serves as the Chief Officer of the Central Command Headquarters in the IDF. Previously, he was the head of the Givati brigade where he created and developed the Charedi infantry unit known as Tomer. He also served as the commander of the northern section of the Gaza periphery, the head of brigade 646, chief officer of the Duvdevan special forces unit, and the chief officer of the Gadsar special forces unit in Givati. Under Winter, the Duvdevani special forces were deployed for the first time in a live conflict in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.

Lieberman tweeted the following shortly after the decision: “I have decided to appoint Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter as my Military Secretary. I am certain that a proven and experienced quality officer such as him will assist me greatly,”

Winter was recently overlooked for an appointment to the new position of Military Secretary for the Prime Minister, a position he coveted, and believed, according to some reports in the Israeli media, that he was passed over due to the fact that he is religious. Following the disappointment, he told associates that if he would no longer be able to grow in his career, then he would be forced to leave the IDF.

Winter is 47 years old, married and a father of eight children. Winter previously gained notoriety when he wrote in a letter to his soldiers the following statement which inflamed the left-wing politicos in Israel. “History has chosen us to spearhead the fighting against the terrorist ‘Gazan’ enemy which abuses, blasphemes and curses the God of Israel’s defense forces,”

Since then, Winter’s career has stagnated, and he believed that this most recent disappointment was due to that same glass-ceiling which he had struck. However, the new appointment opened up new career paths and possibilities for the high-ranking religious officer.

In his famed letter, Winter also wrote: “I cast my eyes heavenward and call out with you: “Shema Yisroel, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad. Hashem, G-d of Israel, please pave the way that we are to go and fight for your nation Am Yisroel against an enemy that blasphemes your name successful.”

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The Solberetsky. The Bellingcat and The Insider managed to confirm the involvement of Petrov and Boshirov in the special services

Солберецкие. The Bellingcat и The Insider удалось подтвердить причастность Петрова и Боширова к спецслужбам

 

A joint investigation of The Bellingcat and The Insider has made it possible to establish that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, suspected by Britain of the poisoning of the Violins, are indeed officers of the Russian special services.

This is confirmed by a number of documents, as well as direct and indirect evidence. Today we publish the first part of the investigation, the full version of which will appear early next week.

“Do not give information. Top secret”

If you look at the data of Alexander Petrov in the FMS database, it seems that he was “born” in 2009. That is, according to the passport, he was born on July 13, 1979 in the city of Kotlas, but in reality there are no traces of his presence in this world until 2009, when he was issued this passport. In ordinary FMS files on “mere mortals” there are notes on obtaining other national and foreign passports, the facts of registration at different addresses. In Petrov’s file there is nothing of this. His passport in 2009, he received “in return for the spoiled,” and the dossier listed the number of this “spoiled” passport, which never existed in nature.

Солберецкие. The Bellingcat и The Insider удалось подтвердить причастность Петрова и Боширова к спецслужбам

On the file with the passport data the stamp of “data not to give” appears:

Солберецкие. The Bellingcat и The Insider удалось подтвердить причастность Петрова и Боширова к спецслужбам

A file with a biography is empty: except for the stamp “information not to give” it is only the signature “ss” (top secret)

Солберецкие. The Bellingcat и The Insider удалось подтвердить причастность Петрова и Боширова к спецслужбам

On the file with the passport data the stamp of “data not to give” appears:

It is curious that in the residence of Alexander Petrov used to live another man with the name Petrov, whose passport data is different.

Strange passports

According to the data on the registration of passengers on the flight (the document is available to The Bellingcat and The Insider), the numbers of Boshirov and Petrov’s passports differ by only one figure (Boshirov’s passport ends at 1294, Petrov’s at 1297). And in the FMS database, where the “mere mortals” of the passport are indicated, for some reason Boshirova and Petrova do not have these passports.

By the way, from the registration data it follows that both “tourists” bought tickets the day before the departure, on the 1 st day (there are no data on the reservation in the database, which happens when the ticket is purchased and registration is made in one session, and this is possible only one day before departure) : this contradicts their words that the trip was planned in advance. Whence such rush – it is possible to assume: hardly earlier in this day tickets to London were bought by Julia Skripal. It is unlikely that this coincidence: it is possible that the “tourists” thought that this might somehow affect their plans, and decided to hurry.

No less interesting are Russian passports. Firstly, they were issued to the Federal Migration Service 770001 in the city of Moscow – “ordinary mortals” do not receive passports there. Passports in this FMS receive either privileged persons for a bribe (for them this is a synonym for “criminal” numbers of the car), or representatives of the security forces.

For example, a former deputy chairman of Rosneft, Eduard Khudainatov, a media manager Sergei Lisovsky (a member of the United Russia General Council), a passport in this FSB was received by Colonel Alexander Emets, deputy chief of the logistics department of the Moscow Interior Ministry’s logistics department, ex-head of the General Directorate of the threat Interior Ministry Vyacheslav Trubnikov and other significant personalities. There are among the recipients of passports in this FMS and strange persons with a secret biography, not present in any social networks: probably the same “tourists” as Petrov and Boshirov.

It is also interesting that if you change the last digit in the passport Petrov or Boshirova, then you will again find people with strange questionnaires, with incomplete addresses (for example, without an apartment) – and absent in any social networks and databases.

 

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Pakistan: Allah, Army and America continue to remain relevant

By Col (Dr) Tej Kumar Tikoo (Retd.) Date : 21 Apr , 2016

 

 

 

 

History of Pakistan since its independence has been one of a vassal state, mostly of the U.S., which used its (Pakistan’s) pre-eminent geo-strategic location during the cold war, to its advantage. Pakistan, besides facilitating the U.S. in keeping a close watch on the two communists giants, also helped America in keeping a hawk eye on the happenings in the Mediterranean, West Asia and the Gulf. This close clinch between the two seemingly incompatible countries, for most of the initial four decades after Pakistan’s creation, ensured that it not only survived as a nation, but became strong enough to threaten India, even going to war with it in 1965.

However, with the America’s own relations with China improving subsequently, and Europe becoming a far more important theatre of big power play geo-politically, the United States would have had little use for Pakistan. But Allah had something else in mind to ensure that America stayed as a steadfast friend. This happened immediately when Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The third ‘A’ of those who run Pakistan, i.e., its Army (America and Allah, being the other two), was at hand to ensure that Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1978, was turned into an opportunity to its own advantage. Gen Zia-ul-Haq, the new dictator of Pakistan, turned the Pakistan-American clinch into a bear hug. The close cooperation between the two countries during this entire phase of soviet occupation of Afghanistan, was such that during a press conference in Washington DC, Zia-ul-Haq, in the presence of Ronald Reagan said, “Our hearts beat in unison.”

Pakistan took full advantage of being a frontline state in the U.S and its allies’ war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It got everything it wanted; military hardware, dollars in abundance and international support for many of its policies which would, otherwise, have been frowned upon by the international community. Developing nuclear weapons and starting insurgency in Punjab and Kashmir, being just the two of these.

After the Soviet armies were thrown out of Afghanistan, the Taliban, products of ISI run refugee camps of Peshawar during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, gained power in the war-torn Afghanistan. America, having already achieved its objective of throwing the Soviet armies out of Afghanistan and freeing most of Eastern Europe from the Soviet control and breaking the Soviet Union, now lost interest in South Asia.

Pakistan’s role as a strategic ally had little use in the changed geo-political calculation in a unipolar world, of which the U.S. was now the only super power. But Allah wished otherwise. The Taliban, now ruling Afghanistan, hosted Osama bin Laden, who created Al Qaeda, which hit the U.S. on 9/11, in the biggest terrorist strike to take place on the American soil. Despite enormous pressure exerted on the Taliban and their mentor, Pakistan, the U.S. was unable to get the custody of their nemesis, Osama, the prime suspect in the 9/11 strike on the World Trade Towers in New York.

Under American threat of being “reduced to stone age”, Gen Musharraf, the new dictator of Pakistan, had to give up on their blue-eyed boys, the Taliban. Thereafter, America invaded Afghanistan, using Pakistan’s proximity to the latter and its knowledge of the Taliban network to its advantage.

Thus, Pakistan once again became a ‘Stalwart Ally’, as Gen Collin Powel, the U.S. Secretary of State, put it. For the next over decade and a half, Pakistan, once again, got bailed out economically and militarily by the U.S., even though reluctantly this time.

In the meantime, Pakistan continued to develop its relations with its all weather friend, China; both strategically, as also economically. Development of Gwadar as a trading and military port on the mouth of the strategically important Gulf, extending the Karakoram Highway, cutting right through Pakistan, till the Gwadar port, and cooperation in the nuclear field ensured that Pakistan remained an entity in the existing geo-political environment in the post 9/11 world.

Pakistan’s notorious ISI, with the help of CIA and Saudi Intelligence agencies, created and sustained the huge terrorist infrastructure to ostensibly fight Soviets in Afghanistan. However, on the quiet, it also spread terrorism in India’s Punjab and later created insurgency situation in Jammu and Kashmir and still later, carried out terrorist strikes in mainland India. This has been going on since middle of eighties and continues till date. As a matter of fact, this policy has now become part of the Pakistan’s state diplomacy, in that, some terrorist groups, like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are treated as strategic assets by Pakistan in its confrontation with India.

Nevertheless, such a policy has had two detrimental effects on Pakistan. Firstly, it came to be widely seen as a sponsor of terror worldwide and became a pariah state and secondly, it gave rise to numerous terrorist groups within Pakistan, which refused to toe the ISI line.

Some extreme religious groups like Lashkar-e-jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba (both Sunni militant groups, who have been targeting Shias and other non-Muslim groups in Pakistan and have killed many of them during the past two decades) and the breakaway faction of Taliban, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP- who have repeatedly struck against the existing state set up in Pakistan) have destabilised the Pakistani society by indulging in grave human rights violations (attack on Army Public School, Peshawar, just to quote one such strike). Even the most prosperous and progressive state of Pakistan, i.e., Punjab, has not been spared by these terrorist groups.

Though theoretically, ISI has been trying to sell the theory of differentiating between good terrorist and bad terrorist, but in practical terms this differentiation has not worked. Today, when Pakistan says that “it, itself is a victim of terrorism”, it must realise that it is situation that Pakistan has itself created.

After the Peshawar attack on the Army Public School, in which over 150 innocent children were slain in a most barbaric manner, the all powerful Army decided to launch a crackdown on the militant groups. The fact that most of the children killed were Army wards, did contribute to such decision making. It is a moot point whether such a crackdown would have been launched had the children belonged to non-military families.

Nevertheless, in the subsequent crack down, two types of militant groups were targeted. The first one was the TTP and its allies who were and are in the forefront of anti-Pakistan militancy; the second one included the sectarian religious groups who have been targeting Shias/Christians and people belonging to other minorities. The latter are wholly driven by their desire to wipe out those whom they consider Kafir or apostates.

Nearly three hundred terrorists, whose death sentences were held in abeyance, have been hanged till now. This included the killer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. In its campaign against such sectarian militant groups, some important leaders of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba too were killed in encounters.

Despite huge protests against such killings, Pakistan’s powerful Army continued their relentless operations against these militant groups, including in Punjab.

However, the policy of leaving Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad untouched during these operations, has once again confirmed that as far as these groups are concerned, Pakistan is unwilling to change its long held policy, i.e., state sponsored terror against India will continue to be a part of its state policy and to achieve that objective, Pakistan will continue to treat these anti-Indian terror groups as strategic assets.

Pakistan is therefore, unwilling to accept that it has to eliminate all forms of terrorism, root and branch, and not treat some of them as strategic assets for future use against India. These double standards are at the root of the existing dilemma that Pakistan faces.

India’s reaction has been on the expected lines. Its policy towards Pakistan is based on the assumption that the elected Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, will deliver on its promises; be it Mumbai, Pathankot or granting MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status to India. But like most prime ministers before him, Narendra Modi too is likely to eat a humble pie. Pakistan’s foreign policy is dictated by the General Headquarters at Rawalpindi and not by its foreign office at Islamabad.

In fact, the present government put a great deal of its reputation at stake by going out of its way to placate the elected government in Pakistan. But the recent events have confirmed that the present Army Chief, Gen Raheel Sharrief, is determined to use the powerful Army to sidetrack the elected government, particularly when it comes to Pakistan’s policies towards India, Afghanistan and the U.S. The fact is that ever since its creation, Pakistan has rarely had a civilian government which did not have the powerful Army breathing down its neck – i.e., when the Army did not rule directly.

In the eighties, due to the patronage showered on them by the military dictator, Gen Zia-ul-Haq, the radical Islamic parties too became powerful and were co-opted into the governance of the country at certain levels. This made them disproportionately powerful, compared to the actual support they enjoyed among the masses. However, as a consequence, it also contributed to the radicalization of Pakistani society, thus posing a serious threat to the very fabric of the Pakistan’s inter-provincial cohesion.

But now, it appears that the present Army Chief is unwilling to share power with these parties and has, therefore, gone after them. Needless to say, it has created a piquant situation in the country. The Islamist parties have turned against the government, further leading to enhanced levels of violence directed at State machinery, some sectarian groups and minorities.

With Army launching an all out offensive in Baluchistan, FATA and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, fissiparous tendencies in many provinces have further accentuated. Baluchistan is far from being quiet; Even in PoJK voices of dissent have become shriller and recent events indicate that clamour for Azadi has grown there; TTP is nowhere near annihilation and democratic institutions are getting emasculated with every passing day.

In the meanwhile, the U.S. continues to patronise Pakistan by supplying modern aircraft and weaponry in the hope that somehow these supplies will keep it floating, as the former has no stomach for creating another Iraq for itself. It is, of course, a different matter that it is India that will get adversely impacted by the arming of Pakistan. But the U.S. thinks that India can manage such a situation in view of the expanding Indo-U.S. strategic cooperation. As far as China is concerned, its cooperation with Pakistan is strictly in keeping with its (China’s) national interests. It is using Pakistan to outflank India, gaining access to the Gulf through Gwadar and establishing a foot hold in PoJK, so important for it to protect the Karakoram Highway.

Before the arrival of Daesh (IS) on the scene, nearly every terrorist strike in the world had a Pakistani connection; be it the terrorists themselves, their training, logistics or funding, etc. But Pakistan’s continued relevance due to reasons mentioned above, ensured that it got away with its Shenanigans. Today, as far as the international community is concerned, its focus has shifted from Pakistan to IS (Daesh). Therefore, as of now, Pakistan is no more than a lesser liability than the IS, unless another terrorist strike, having Pakistan connection, brings it back into international glare. As far as India is concerned, Mumbais and Pathankots will continue to occur so long as Pakistan continues to use terrorism as a state policy. India has to live with this headache.

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When “MEDIA BECOMES ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE…………”

POLITICUSUSA_ According to Boston 7 News, “There is an increased police presence at The Boston Globe’s headquarters after a bomb threat was made against the newspaper Thursday in wake of a tweet that was sent out by President Trump, officials said.”

The president sent out this tweet Thursday morning after the Globeand hundreds of other newspapers defended the free press in a series of editorials:

The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!

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“Sergey Alexandrovich”:” We Are Smarter, Stronger and More Determined’-Der Spiegel Online

SPIEGEL: Sergey Alexandrovich, NATO is boosting its presence in Eastern Europe in reaction to recent Russian advances. Western politicians have warned that the two sides could stumble into a situation that might result in war. Are such warnings excessive?-Christian Neef

Karaganov: I was already speaking of a prewar situation eight years ago.

SPIEGEL: When the war in Georgia broke out.

Karaganov: Even then, trust between the great powers was trending toward zero. Russia began rearming its army and, since then, the situation has worsened considerably. We warned NATO against approaching the borders of Ukraine because that would create a situation that we cannot accept. Russia has stopped the Western advance in this direction and hopefully that means that the danger of a large war in Europe has been eliminated in the medium term. But the propaganda that is now circulating is reminiscent of the period preceding a new war.

SPIEGEL: You are hopefully referring to Russia.

Karaganov: The Russian media is more reserved than Western media. Though you have to understand that Russia is very sensitive about defense. We have to be prepared for everything. That is the source of this occasionally massive amount of propaganda. But what is the West doing? It is doing nothing but vilifying Russia; it believes that we are threatening to attack. The situation is comparable to the crisis at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s.

SPIEGEL: You are referring to the stationing of Soviet intermediate-range ballistic missiles and the American reaction?

Karaganov: Europe felt weak at the time and was afraid that the Americans might leave the continent. But the Soviet Union, though it had already become rotten internally, felt militarily strong and undertook the foolishness of deploying the SS-20 missiles. The result was a completely pointless crisis. Today, it is the other way around. Now, fears in countries like Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are to be allayed by NATO stationing weapons there. But that doesn’t help them; we interpret that as a provocation. In a crisis, we will destroy exactly these weapons. Russia will never again fight on its own territory …

SPIEGEL: …Rather, if I understand you correctly, you will pursue the strategy of forward defense.

Karaganov: NATO is now 800 kilometers (497 miles) closer to the Russian border, weapons are completely different, strategic stability in Europe is shifting. Everything is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.

SPIEGEL: Russian politicians, including President Vladimir Putin, are trying to convince their population that the West wants war in order to fragment Russia. But that’s absurd.

Karaganov: Certainly there has been some exaggeration. But American politicians have openly said that the sanctions are aimed at bringing about regime change in Russia. That’s aggressive enough.

SPIEGEL: The evening news on Russian television seems to be even further removed from reality. Even a Moscow-based newspaper recently wrote of the “illusion of an external threat.”

Karaganov: The political elite in Russia don’t want domestic reform, they aren’t ready for it. As such, they welcome an external threat. You have to remember that Russia rests on two national concepts: defense and sovereignty. We approach the question of security much more reverentially than other countries do.

SPIEGEL: Your council has presented foreign and defense policy premises that speak of reclaiming a position of leadership in the world. Russia, the message is clear, does not want to see its power eroded. But what proposals have you put forth?

Karaganov: We want to prevent further destabilization in the world. And we want the status of being a great power: We unfortunately cannot relinquish that. In the last 300 years, this status has become a part of our genetic makeup. We want to be the heart of greater Eurasia, a region of peace and cooperation. The subcontinent of Europe will also belong to this Eurasia.

SPIEGEL: Europeans see current Russian policy as being rather enigmatic. The intentions of the leadership in Moscow are unclear.

Karaganov: We currently find ourselves in a situation where we don’t trust you in the least, after all of the disappointments of recent years. And we are reacting accordingly. There is such a thing as tactical surprise. You should know that we are smarter, stronger and more determined.

SPIEGEL: The partial Russian withdrawal from Syria was a surprise, for example. You intentionally left the West guessing how many troops you were withdrawing and whether you would secretly redeploy some of them. Such tactics don’t exactly create trust.

Karaganov: That was masterful, that was fantastic. We take advantage of our preeminence in this area. Russians aren’t good at haggling, they aren’t passionate about business. But they are outstanding fighters. In Europe, you have a different political system, one that is unable to adapt to the challenges of the new world. The German chancellor said that our president lives in a different world. I believe he lives in a very real world.

SPIEGEL: It has been difficult to ignore the Russian pleasure at the problems Europe is currently facing. Why is that?

Karaganov: Many of my colleagues view our European partners with derision and I always warn them not to be cocky and arrogant. Some among the European elite have sought out confrontation with us. As a consequence, we won’t help Europe, although we could do so when it comes to the refugee question. A joint closure of borders would be essential. In this regard, the Russians would be 10 times more effective than the Europeans. Instead, you have tried to make a deal with Turkey. That is a disgrace. In the face of our problems with Turkey, we have pursued a clear, hard political line — with success.

SPIEGEL: You have said that you are disappointed with Europe because it has betrayed its Christian ideals. In the 1990s, Russia wanted to be part of Europe — but the Europe of Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle.

Karaganov: The majority of Europeans want that Europe too. For the next decades, Europe will not be a model that is attractive to Russia.

SPIEGEL: In its premises, your council demanded the use of military power when “important interests of the country are clearly” threatened. Ukraine was such an instance?

Karaganov: Yes. Or a concentration of troops that we felt posed the risk of war.

SPIEGEL: The stationing of NATO units in the Baltics isn’t sufficient?

Karaganov: This chatter that we intend to attack the Baltics is idiotic. Why is NATO stationing weapons and equipment there? Imagine what would happen to them in the case of a crisis. The help offered by NATO is not symbolic help for the Baltic states. It is a provocation. If NATO initiates an encroachment — against a nuclear power like ourselves — it will be punished.

SPIEGEL: On Wednesday, the NATO-Russia Council is to meet for the second time since the Crimean crisis. You also don’t think that a resumption of this dialogue platform is worthwhile?

Karaganov: It is no longer a legitimate body. Plus, NATO has become a qualitatively different alliance. When we began the dialogue with NATO, it was a defensive alliance of democratic powers. But then, the NATO-Russia Council served as cover for and the legalization of NATO expansion. When we really needed it — in 2008 and 2014 — it wasn’t there.

SPIEGEL: You mean during the Georgian war and the Ukraine conflict. In papers issued by your council, terms like national dignity, courage and honor often appear. Are those political categories?

Karaganov: They are essential Russian values. In Putin’s world, and in mine, it is inconceivable that women be harassed and raped in public.

SPIEGEL: Are you referring to the sexual assaults that took place in Cologne on New Year’s Eve?

Karaganov: If men were to do something like that in Russia, they would be killed. The mistake is that Germans and Russians haven’t spoken seriously about their own values in the last 25 years — or they didn’t want to understand each other on the topic. During Soviet times, we too claimed there were only universal values, just as the West is doing now. It scares me when the Europeans demand more and more democracy. It sounds like times past, when people here demanded more and more socialism.

SPIEGEL: Where do you think Russian foreign policy has gone wrong?

Karaganov: In recent years, we didn’t have a political strategy for dealing with our immediate neighbors, the former Soviet republics. We didn’t understand what was really happening there. The only thing we did was subsidize these countries and buy their elite — with money that was then stolen, likely together. As a result, it wasn’t possible to prevent the Ukraine conflict. The second problem: Our politics was focused for too long on fixing past mistakes — fixing the mistakes made in the 1990s.

SPIEGEL: In the Russian press, there has been some conjecture that Russia will send out signals of rapprochement following parliamentary elections in September. Is such conjecture justified?

Karaganov: We believe that Russia is morally in the right. There won’t be any fundamental concessions coming from our side. Psychologically, Russia has now become a Eurasian power — I was one of the intellectual fathers of the eastward pivot. But now I am of the opinion that we shouldn’t turn away from Europe. We have to find ways to revitalize our relations.

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Maria Butina: “Welcome To Russia Comrad”

Krypt3ia

AGENT OF INFLUENCE:

The arrest of Maria Butina, the poor man’s Anna Chapman has opened a whole new avenue of investigation by the amateur spy hunters as well as the professionals this week. As it turns out, Maria had been under surveillance for a while and a known quantity to the FBI/DOJ as well for some time. Butina was even in the news cycles back in 2016 attached in stories to Alexander Torshin, a Russian Oligarch cum Bratva/Mobster with ties to the FSB and to Putin. This however did not make her a household name and in effect many people in the media were caught off guard I think when the feds arrested her and presented the affidavit in court on her FARA violations and flight risk potential.

Butina had been a fixture in 2015-2016 with the NRA circles and in fact it seems that she and Torshin had been a part of a plot to funnel money to the NRA as well as attempt to garner access to the Trump campaign/admin as well as others in the Republican party vis a vis entree from the NRA itself and a certain person 1, in the affidavit. Person one turns out to be Paul Erickson, an alleged master of the political universe in his own mind. He and Butina had been living together and it has become clear that it was a task that Butina felt she had to carry out to complete her mission per conversations the feds have picked up during their surveillance of her.

It seems that Butina, and Torshin with the help of Erickson and one other person yet unnamed, were able to potentially funnel money through the NRA to the Trump campaign and to the tune of 30 million dollars. With this access and her machinations to meet and greet as many players as possible (a list was provided by Erickson it seems to hit up with his direction) they would also have access and influence over CPAC, the conservative political action group as well. With this kind of access it seems that perhaps, with more information to come to confirm this, Russia had an access and influence campaign that changed the Republican platforms stance on Russia to be more along the lines of what Trump is evincing today.

Poor Man’s Anna Chapman:

After all the information started coming out post the affidavit’s publication online it then became an interesting rabbit hole to go down and see just how this operation was carried out and with what skill. After looking at things myself I am going to say here that I do not believe this was a well thought out operation that was being run by the likes of the SVR nor the FSB. I think that this was a condoned and “let’s see what happens” kind of operation that was a sideshow to the main events of the influence operations by the GRU and SVR that we are all dealing with today. I say this for a few reasons;

1) Torshin is connected to the FSB but he is not FSB: He in fact likely is an asset of the FSB much like some mobsters have been to the CIA in the past.

2) Torshin and Butina’s utter lack of OPSEC leaves me to believe that this was not a managed operation by the FSB/SVR/GRU because plainly it was so inept

3) Butina seems to be a clean skin (i.e. no history as an operative) but does have a backstop story of being a Russian business owner. She isn’t really a classic kind of “illegal” because she did not have a cover identity and paperwork like the illegals busted back in 2010 who were actually trained in tradecraft and sent here undercover.

In fact the absolutely poor OPSEC with which these two carried out communications online and off is a sign to me that there were no official handlers to the operation. If there were then they were negligent to the point of idiocy. There is even an amusing exchange between Butina and Torshin about being on a phone call and it being insecure where Butina recommends using WhatsApp but it is not clear if Torshin could handle using it and that they went silent so to speak. It seems overall that they did not and the feds have quite a bit of material on them both.

Add to this the fact that they carried a lot of these conversations in email and on facebook and Twitter and you can see a clear pattern of lack of tradecraft as opposed to what we have all seen come out of the indictments recently of the GRU operation against the DCCC and DNC as well as the disinformation operations. So once again I am gonna call it as amateur hour with a side of Anna Chapman Sparrow wannabe syndrome. This can also be reinforced with Torshin’s comments on how Butina is like and or had surpassed Anna in her operations.

A Noisy Operation:

What Maria Butina lacked in tradecraft, she easily made up for in ability to entice 54 year olds like Erickson with sex and access though. It seems that she played on this quite a bit and thought of herself as the next Anna super spy given all these photos she had taken by Oleg Volk, a photographer with a gun fetish in Tennessee. Her portfolio there is all guns all the time and since she was playing the part of a Russian NRA right to bear arms supporter it all fit the greater theme. However, even with her sex appeal and her playfulness, she managed to not be overly subtle either and her connections to Torshin were pretty clear. The media and certain people in the government noticed and asked for her to be investigated as well as her connections to the NRA.

As you can see from the text here she was a known quantity but all of these people around her did nothing to report her. They all just went along with the money and the possible access to her and Russia via Torshin. It really amazes me how people can just eschew all ethics and morals when large sums of money are being handed to them in order to further their own cause. As for the Republicans and the access there, like I said above I believe there is much more yet to come on her connections to individuals and the movements of money from them to NRA to Trump. I look forward to more of this coming out and in fact a little teaser yesterday was that a new player showed up at court for Butina’s hearing on being a flight risk.

That new player is a prosecutor who’s specialty is with trials concerning espionage. It turns out that though she has been arrested on FARA issues, she may in fact be later charged with espionage given that this prosecutor has shown up. It is also interesting that during the hearing there were two guys from the Russian consulate there and the reason that Butina was remanded without bail was the concern that she had packed all her things, moved money overseas, and that the consulate folks looked like they were planning an exfil if she was let go.

Giggity.

Players Yet To Be Named:

I also have to wonder who Person 2 is as well as others out there who had connections and or friendships with Butina. They all must be shitting bricks right about now I would think. One of those people mentioned in the articles I got in my OSINT searches was Cleta Mitchell. I looked her up and wouldn’t you know it, she is involved on the International Foundation for Electoral Systems board as well as seems to have raised the alarm about Russia, the NRA, and money and access being funneled from it to Trump.

I guess she saw it all up close and personal…

I wonder when we will have some more names added to the list and perhaps some indictments or at the least subpoena’s served on this matter. Overall though, this case could be a lynch pin for the Mueller investigation in a couple of ways. Certainly there is the money angle, and Mueller is following the money most certainly. The players here could end up helping the investigation for immunity as well. However, the big thing for me is that in this net of collusion and money, we may see even more republicans touched by this case. It seems pretty clear that the Republicans changed their attitudes toward Russia after the money spigot opened and perhaps this NRA money funnel and perhaps to CPAC will crack open and give us some answers on why people like Nunes and Gowdy for instance, are so available to subverting the constitution in favor of Trump and Russia.

Perhaps they are trying to hide their guilt because, gee, there’s kompromat on them as well.

Maybe some pics of Butina, guns, and naked senators somewhere…

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North Korea’s dispersed and hidden weapons complex highlights the challenge of denuclearization

The warheads — at least 20 in number, and perhaps as many as 60 — remain for now in their bunkers, somewhere in the rugged hills north of Pyongyang. Until today, there has been no public pledge from North Korea to dismantle them, or to allow inspectors to see them, or even to disclose where they are kept. —Joby Warrick

Work continues daily in the country’s radiochemistry lab near Yongbyon, where plutonium for new bombs is extracted from spent fuel rods. Just across a small river from the lab, testing continues on a 20-megawatt reactor capable of producing nuclear fuel for scores of additional bombs.

The facilities are among hundreds that exist across a North Korean weapons complex that has shown itself capable not only of making sophisticated nuclear and chemical weapons, but also of expertly hiding them from public view. It is why weapons experts around the world expressed astonishment Wednesday at President Trump’s claim that the danger posed by Pyongyang’s decades-long weapons buildup had been effectively eliminated — that there was, as Trump wrote in a Twitter posting, “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

While the U.S.-North Korean summit may have lessened the immediate risk of a war, the elimination of the North Korean threat is at best a distant prospect, according to weapons experts and veterans of past negotiations with Pyongyang. Such an achievement would require difficult negotiations, years of dismantling and verification, and — perhaps most important — a profound change in the behavior of a state with a long history of cheating and deception on its past commitments, analysts said.

Hours after Trump’s declaration of victory at the Singapore summit, some derided the notion of a suddenly defanged North Korea as naive and perhaps even delusional.

“North Korea’s capabilities today are no different than they were a week ago,” said Robert Einhorn, a Brookings Institution scholar and formerly a State Department arms-control official under Republican and Democratic administrations. Einhorn, who sat across the table from North Korean negotiators during previous talks on restraining the country’s missile program, said the elimination of the North Korean nuclear threat had occurred so far only within a “parallel universe” inside the president’s mind.

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2017 Independent Intelligence review

Michael L’Estrange, Stephen Merchant

Description

The 2017 independent review of the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) has prepared findings and recommendations on the AIC and related issues below in a classified report for the government, along with this unclassified version of that report.

The review focused on the Office of National Assessments, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Signals Directorate, the Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation.

It examined the relationship and engagement between those agencies and the members of the broader National Intelligence Community, including the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

The review considered, among other things:

  • how the key aspects of our security environment and the nature of security threats have changed in recent times, including as a result of technological advancements, and how they are likely to change further over the coming ten years or so
  • how effectively the AIC serves (and is positioned to serve) Australian national interests and the needs of Australian policy makers
  • whether the AIC is structured appropriately, including in ensuring effective coordination and contestability
  • whether the AIC is resourced appropriately, including to ensure the right balance of resources across the AIC and that agency resources are properly matched against national security priorities, and the impact of the efficiency dividend
  • whether legislative changes are needed, including to the Intelligence Services Act 2001
  • whether capability gaps, including technological, are emerging and how these might be met, noting potential efficiencies and that any new proposals would need to be consistent with the Government’s overall fiscal strategy
  • the effectiveness of current oversight and evaluation arrangements
    the development path of overseas intelligence partners and lessons for Australia

READ FULL. REPORT  2017-Independent-Intelligence-Review-2

 

 

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CHAINSOFF GOES DIGITAL PAYMENT

Digital Downloads

DATA References on Dark Web, Cyber Intelligence, Cyber Crime, Cyber Threat, Cultural Intelligence, Military and Defense marketing data, etc… Something that I’ve worked on for many years. Available now online, 10$ for each download down

$10.00

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An Assessment of the Islamic State in 2018

By all accounts, the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is virtually over — save for a few mopping-up operations. In December 2017, the Iraqi government declared that, after almost four years of fighting, ISIS had been defeated and no longer controlled any Iraqi towns. _Joseph V. Micallef

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the same declaration and announced that some Russian troops will soon be withdrawn from Syria, although it does not appear that any withdrawal has yet occurred.

U.S. President Donald Trump has also announced, on several occasions, that he will soon withdraw the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops and special operationsforces from Syria, although the Pentagon continues to claim that there is no specific timetable for a withdrawal.

THE WAR AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATE

According to the Pentagon, ISIS has been expelled from 99 percent of the territory it controlled in June 2014. As of June 2018, ISIS controlled a small triangle of territory south of Deir ez-Zor and to the west of the Euphrates Valley; a pocket in Iraq west of Al Hadar; and a third pocket east of Al Suwar, along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

In addition, much of its senior leadership, including many of its most experienced field commanders, have been killed or captured, although its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, remains at large. His death has been announced on several occasions, most recently by Russian military forces but, in the absence of any confirmation, he is presumed to still be alive.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Pentagon has been given six additional months, possibly longer, to finish final operations against ISIS in eastern Syria. It’s estimated that the ISIS militants in the two remaining pockets number several hundred fighters. With little prospect of escape, they are expected to fight tenaciously.

In the meantime, over the month of May, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) renewed their offensive against ISIS militants along the Syrian-Iraqi border. Called Operation Roundup, the operation is designed to capture or kill jihadist fighters in the ISIS pocket that abuts into territory controlled by the SDF in eastern Syria.

At the same time, Iraqi forces have moved in to seal off the Iraqi border area, and Iraqi air forces have launched attacks across a 30-mile front along the Iraq border. French special forces have also been deployed to support the SDF.

The offensive occurred while Turkish military forces and Kurdish militia were at a standoff over Turkish plans to take control of the town of Manbij and while Turkish military units, supported by various affiliated militia units, were taking control of the Kurdish-controlled canton, or district, of Afrin.

The transfer of some Kurdish fighters to Afrin led to a temporary suspension in the SDF’s campaign against the Islamic State.

Notwithstanding the above progress, however, Islamic State forces retook some territory in May that had been previously seized by Syrian military forces around the city of Deir ez-Zor. Four Russian soldiers and 43 insurgents were reported killed as a result of those attacks.

There were conflicting reports on the scope of the casualties, however. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights placed the death toll at 76 Syrian Army troops and 25 ISIS militants.

The international coalition against the Islamic State has also made significant progress in shutting down ISIS’ propaganda machine. Although these operations are conducted by civilian police forces rather than the military, they are an important component in the continuing war against ISIS.

In April, a joint U.S.-EU law enforcement operation conducted by police forces from the U.S., U.K., Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, the Netherlands and Romania took down a range of Islamic State media outlets and the servers they use to distribute their propaganda across the internet.

Among the targets were Amaq, the ISIS media outlet used to broadcast confirmation of attacks, as well as other media channels such as Bayan radio, and the Halumu and Nashir news services. The operation also resulted in identifying domain registrars and domain names used by ISIS as well as the administrators behind its media outlets.

The operation, the third such strike against the Islamic State’s internet presence, was the most extensive so far. Notwithstanding its success, however, ISIS has shown a remarkable resiliency and, in the past, has succeeded in restoring its web presence. The cyber war against the Islamic State is as relentless and as long term as the ground war against its militants.

SITREP: ISLAMIC STATE

As anticipated by many analysts, the rollback of the territory under its control has not destroyed the Islamic State, but simply caused it to revert back to its roots as an insurgency.

Unlike 2014, however, when its attacks were almost entirely in Iraq and Syria, it is now demonstrating a broad, though usually low-level, attack capability that spans virtually the entire globe.

In May, ISIS militants were implicated in a series of three bombings of Christian churches in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city. The attacks were a family affair by Dita and Puji Kuswanti and their four children, aged 9 to 18. The attacks, which killed 13 people, were the deadliest since the Bali car bombings that killed 23 people in 2005.

ISIS took credit for the attack, although it is believed the attackers were actually part of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). JAD is led by Aman Abdurrahman, a vocal proponent of ISIS in Indonesia.

The next day, another family, this time of five people, carried out an attack against a police security checkpoint in Surabaya. Four police officers and six civilians were injured. Four of the five bombers were killed; the fifth, an 8-year-old child, survived the bombing but was injured.

In Libya, ISIS militants staged an attack against the offices of Libya’s Electoral Commission in Tripoli, killing at least 13 people. The Islamic State was also suspected in a car bomb attack in Alexandria against Gen. Mostafa al-Nimr, the city’s head of security. The attack killed two Egyptian policemen.

Elsewhere, Islamic State militants attacked a voter registration center in central Kabul that killed approximately six dozen Afghanis and several western journalists. The attack occurred within the city’s heavily protected ring of steel, where many government offices and foreign embassies are located.

The broad reach of Islamic State was also underscored by the arrest in Brazil of eleven ISIS supporters charged with attempting to organize a jihadist cell, as well as arrests in Australia, South Africa and London.

This pattern of random, small-scale, localized attacks has increasingly become the norm for the Islamic State. These attacks are carried out by militants who have been radicalized by either ISIS or another jihadist organization without any direct support or direction from the leadership of Islamic State. It is not clear to what extent ISIS even has knowledge of these attacks before they are carried out.

When ISIS first declared the establishment of its caliphate, dozens of jihadist movements rushed to affiliate themselves with it and declare their allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Many were formally recognized as “provinces” of the Islamic State regardless of how much physical territory they actually controlled.

Significantly, none of these organizations has renounced its ties to the Islamic State, even as ISIS’ territorial reach has been largely rolled back. Moreover, a revitalized al-Qaida has steadily been building out its international network. It has heavily promoted Osama bin-Laden’s son, Hamza bin-Laden, as his successor and positioned itself to absorb ISIS supporters into its own ranks.

ISIS has not mounted a significant military operation since the attack on the southern Philippine city of Marawi, on the island of Mindanao, a year ago. The siege, which lasted several months, was carried out by the Maute Group, an ISIS-affiliated jihadist organization.

Maute is a separate organization from the Moro Liberation Front, a jihadist group that has been fighting with the Philippine government for decades and has also voiced support for the Islamic State.

The siege left the center of the city of 50,000 inhabitants largely destroyed and displaced about one-quarter of the town’s population. About 1,000 civilians were killed. Even now, a year after the siege was lifted, residents have not been allowed to return home except to retrieve personal possessions.

Concurrently, ISIS has moved aggressively to make up its lost revenues by expanding into the international narcotics trade. ISIS militants have been implicated in the smuggling of marijuana and hashish from the Balkans into Europe.

They are also believed to be challenging the Taliban’s control over the Afghan heroin trade, and there are reports they may also be involved in the smuggling of South American cocaine, via West Africa, across the Sahara into Europe.

Every major international jihadist organization is now involved with the illegal narcotics trade and is developing broad links to criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking. This union of terrorism and narcotics, so-called narco-terrorism, is an unprecedented development and one of the defining features of international terrorism in the 21st century.

THE FUTURE OF JIHADISM

There are two key operational texts that explain the jihadist mindset and have underscored the international jihadist movement. Both remain deadly relevant, and both emphasize that jihadism is a long-term struggle against the United States and its allies.

The al-Qaida operational text for jihadists is titled Management of Savagery. The text lays out a strategy of creating or capitalizing on regions of chaos or savagery where political and administrative controls have broken down to establish al-Qaida branches.

Those branches would join together to proclaim a worldwide caliphate that would be triggered by the collapse of the Saudi monarchy and al-Qaida gaining control of the Islamic world’s religious capital of Mecca.

It calls for continuing the jihadist struggle against the West, while biding patience until the time is ripe for the establishment of a new caliphate. While violence by militants continues to be encouraged, the group has avoided large, high-profile attacks like the one on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, recognizing that such attacks will only trigger an escalation in the American effort to eradicate the organization.

In al-Qaida’s analysis, the Islamic State’s declaration of a caliphate was premature as the West had not been weakened sufficiently to permit a caliphate being established and defended from attacks by the U.S. and its allies.

From al-Qaida’s perspective, the “regions of savagery” have exploded significantly since the attack in September 2001. At that time, the group was limited to Afghanistan and Somalia. Today, they have been joined by Iraq, Syria, Libya, northern Nigeria, Yemen, and a broad band of sub-Saharan Africa from Mauritania to Somalia. In addition, significant political vacuums have emerged in certain regions of countries like the Philippines, Tunisia and Indonesia.

The ISIS text, called the Fiqh al-Dima or The Jurisprudence of Blood, is a Salafist-inspired work that lays out both the purported Quranic justification of the Islamic State’s actions as well as a practical “how-to manual” for jihadists. Termed the jihadist bible, the text is intended to validate the horrific acts perpetrated by ISIS militants, from beheading to the taking of slaves.

The manual openly advocates the “indiscriminate killing of warring infidels” and beseeches its supporters to “kill them, fight them by every means that may snatch away their souls, drive their spirits from their bodies, cleanse the earth from their filth and removing their scourge from mankind, whatever the means may be.”

The text was used to indoctrinate and radicalize the 5,000 to 10,000 western Muslims that joined the Islamic State and continues to serve as the basis of ISIS’ recruitment and indoctrination. Its call for random, indiscriminate acts of violence has become the pattern of ISIS-inspired attacks around the world.

AN ASSESSMENT

The fight against the Islamic State is far from over. At the very least, the cyber war to take down its digital presence will continue unabated, ebbing and flowing as each successive attempt by ISIS to re-establish its digital caliphate is taken down by Western police agencies.

While the role of military forces fighting ISIS will likely diminish in the next six to nine months, special operations forces will continue to be involved in supporting anti-Jihadist groups around the world.

The continued growth of ISIS-affiliated militants in Afghanistan may at some point result in a broader U.S. role in fighting ISIS there. It is likely that large-scale, localized attacks, like the siege of Marawi last year, will continue to crop up.

In the meantime, ISIS-inspired, low-level, ad hoc attacks against civilians will continue. Such attacks are difficult to anticipate or prevent. Moreover, they will continue regardless of what happens to ISIS.

They are destined to be an ongoing feature of modern life.

— The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Military.com. If you would like to submit your own commentary, please send your article to opinions@military.com for consideration.

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“Q”: Merkel Connected To Hitler…

“Q” posted a few times about Merkel.

“Q” ‘s Latest post strongly indicates that the research was correct, espacially regarding her real parents and Hitler.

 

 

Merkel is connected in the Q posts with:

1. immigration problem in Germany / Europe

2. Hitler

3. Deepstate / Cabal Pupet

       Russian Archives 

According to documents from the former German secret service (Stasi), current German chancellor Angela Merkel is the daughter of Adolf Hitler, reports Pravda.rs.

Stasi’s documents reveal German Chancellor Angela Merkel is Hitler’s successor – she was born in 1954, the official date of her birth is July 17th, however per documents available in the archives of the Russian KGB, Merkel’s real birth date is July 20th, 1954. Merkel has the same birthday as Adolf Hitler, reports Pravda.rs.

Details of Angela Merkel’s birth are written in the memoirs of Dr. Karl Clauberg, also known as the angel of death who after WW2 was prosecuted and convicted of war crimes.

For his experiments on civilians, Dr. Clauberg was first jailed by the Russians and served a seven year prison sentence. However, he was freed in exchange for secret Stasi documents. It was then that the Russians found out of Hitler’s frozen sperm and Clauberg’s technique for artificial insemination, reports Pravda.rs.

Little is known of Hitler’s father who changed his last name. He was the son of Solomon Rotschild and his mistress Maria Ana Schicklgruber.

According to Stasi documents it was Dr. Clauberg who brought Eva Braun from Western to Eastern Germany. Initially, she was selected as a surrogate mother, the one that will carry Hitler’s child.

Once Clauberg was released by the Soviets, he went back to Western Germany to work on the artificial insemination which resulted in the birth of Angela Merkel in 1954. Shortly after this Dr. Clauberg was suddenly picked up and jailed by US authorities in Western Germany. In 1955 he died in his cell from an alleged heart attack while awaiting his trial. With Dr. Clauberg’s death, it remained unknown who the surrogate mother was, at the same time the man who performed the deed, the main witness was now gone.

World Domination

After Merkel’s birth, Russia, USA and the Vatican made a deal that the Catholic Church who already had great relationship with Germany’s Lutheran Church would be the appointed guardians. At that time, Merkel’s birthdate was tweaked by three days and given a name Angela Dorothea Kasner, reports Pravda.rs. For a fake father was chosen Horst Kasner, a priest at the Lutheran Church, while her mother was certain Herulind, a German and English teacher.

One of the agreement between the three sides was that Merkel will become powerful internationally.

n 1977 Angela Kasner married a physicist and changed her last name to Merkel. She was appointed the new chancellor of Germany shortly after Joseph Ratzinger became the new pope, as per the three page agreement between the US, Russia and the Vatican.

Merkel had a short lived marriage, she divorced in 1982, however kept the last name.

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Speculations Rise Over Cost of Denuclearization

A study estimates that the direct costs could total about $5 billion – Choi He-suk , KoreaHerald

With the US-North Korea summit set for June 12, questions over who will shoulder the cost of denuclearization are rising.

Publicly, the cost of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, and who will cover it, has yet to be discussed by the concerned countries.

According to one estimate, the cost of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program could be at least five times higher than that of Ukraine.

This pool photo shows the demolition of North Korea`s Punggye-ri nuclear test site on May 24, 2018. (Yonhap)

In the 1990s, the US offered Ukraine $175 million to help cover the cost of dismantling its nuclear arsenal. At the time, Ukraine reportedly had over 1,800 nuclear warheads produced before the fall of the Soviet Union. The overall cost, borne by the international community, is estimated to be about $460 million.

A recent study by Kwon Hyuk-chul of Kookmin University suggests that the overall costs, those arising from dismantling of weapons to indirect costs such as economic aid, would come to about $20 billion.

Of the total, Kwon estimates that the direct costs — dismantling existing nuclear weapons and disabling research facilities — would come to about $5 billion, spread out over a number of years.

Despite US President Donald Trump’s comments that North Korea appears open to denuclearizing quickly, experts say that the process will likely take years.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Yong-chol, Trump said that he believes that North Korea is open to denuclearizing quickly.

“Well, I think they want to do that. I know they want to do that,” he said when asked if he thinks North Korea will denuclearize “all at once.”

A recent study from Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, however, suggests that a complete denuclearization would require 10 years or more to achieve.

The study suggests a comprehensive roadmap that covers all phases of denuclearization from stopping tests to redirecting North Korean personnel involved in the nuclear weapons program.

According to reports, South Korean intelligence community estimates that North Korea’s nuclear weapons workforce stands at about 3,000 individuals including 200 experts of the field.

The cost of denuclearization, however, will not end with dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The Moon Jae-in administration, which played the role of a matchmaker between Pyongyang and Washington, hopes to go beyond denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

While the US has hinted at economic aid and allowing private sector investment in the North, Trump recently noted that much of the burden will have to be shouldered by Seoul.

“No, I don’t think the United States is going to have to spend. I think South Korea will do it. I think China — I think, frankly, China will help out,” Trump said in response to the question whether he will offer economic aid at his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

He went on to say that Japan will also shoulder some of the economic aid, stressing that the US will not be “spending a lot of money.”

According to a report by London-based investment firm Eurizon SLJ Capital, achieving denuclearization and lasting peace on the peninsula could require as much as $2 trillion over the course of 10 years. The model assumes reunification of the Koreas, and uses the model of German unification.

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A conversation with ex illuminati insider Ronald Bernard and Sacha Stone

 

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Watch Korean Central TV Video of Unofficial visit of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un in China.

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N.Korea: Kim Jong Un Reinstates Female ‘Pleasure Squads’ for Sexual Service

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is reportedly following in the creepy footsteps of his father by founding a “pleasure squad” of young women to demonstrate his “sexual power.” –  TheDailyDot

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that the group, called Gippeumjo, was disbanded following the 2011 death of Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, and sent to work at summer villas owned by the Kim family.

The younger Kim apparently developed a taste for the group’s talents while being treated for gout last year.

The women, who were reportedly handpicked by Kim’s advisors, are currently undergoing security training at a hotel in the capital city of Pyongyang.

While the practice of keeping sex slaves has never officially been confirmed, like most of the secretive state’s other outrageous oddities, many defectors have testified to its existence.

Lee Il-nam, who attended private school with Kim in Geneva, said that the “satisfaction team” traditionally serviced not only the nation’s ruler, but also the senior leadership circle.

The girls retire at the age of 25 and sign a pledge of secrecy, apparently in their own blood, “in return for money and gifts.”

It’s unclear how Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju, who gave birth to his daughter in 2010, feels about the idea.

In 2010, Marie Claire published the harrowing account of a 15-year-old girl who was “recruited” into one such group while Kim’s father was still in power.

“Refusal was not an option,” the article said. “Any attempt at dissent, or to defect, was an offence punishable by death.”

Once chosen, the new recruits undertake a rigorous training regimen. For six months, each young woman is assigned to one of Kim Jong-il’s many luxurious villas and palaces around the country – including his lavish secret lair underneath Mount Baekdusan on the border with China.

Many pleasure squad ingenues are sent overseas to perfect their song, dance and massage skills and then typically, if they are chosen by Kim Jong-il for full admittance into the cadre, are required to sign a pledge of allegiance in their own blood. They are then inducted into one of the teams.

“This has been going on under three generations of the Kim family ruling North Korea,” Professor Toshimitsu Shigemura of Tokyo’s Waseda University told the Telegraph, “and it has become a tradition that is also a demonstration of the leader’s power over his people and his sexual power.”

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North Korea reported to have destroyed nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri

Dagyum Ji and Oliver Hotham 

North Korea on Thursday dismantled its nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri, the Associated Press reported, in a public event attended by 30 international journalists.

Further details on the demolition are expected in the next few hours, with initial reports from South Korean press pool members who attended the event saying its decommissioning began at 1100 and continued until 1617 local time.

“North Korea destroyed at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site,” CNN reported with a Punggye-ri byline.

“Before the explosions, the journalists said they were invited to view the explosives rigged in the tunnels, before moving a safe distance away to witness their detonation,” the report added.

It remains unclear whether DPRK leader Kim Jong Un attended the event.

A press delegation featuring journalists from AP, CNN, CBS, Sky News, RT, and others departed from Beijing Capital Airport on Tuesday to witness the site’s demolition.

The following day saw eight reporters from South Korea’s News 1 and MBC join them – following days of uncertainty on whether Pyongyang would grant ROK press access to the event.

The South Korean reporters departed from Seoul Air Base around midday on Wednesday, taking a chartered flight direct to Wonsan – the second such flight this year.

A group of reporters reportedly left a hotel at around 1800 local time yesterday and headed to Wonsan Station, with their train believed to depart for the nuclear test site around an hour later.

North Korea first announced it would dismantle its “nuclear test site in the country’s northern side” following a meeting of the country’s ruling party in late April.

That plan was later confirmed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in during talks with Kim Jong Un on April 27, during which the DPRK leader reportedly said he would invite international press and experts to the event.

“To disclose it to the international community in a transparent manner, [Kim] unveiled [the plan] to invite South Korean and U.S. experts and journalists to North Korea,” a senior official at the ROK presidential office said at the time.

The DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this month said Pyongyang would invite international journalists to witness the dismantling of its northern nuclear test ground, without making any mention of the attendance of experts.

No experts were reportedly in attendance on Thursday – a move which will likely raise questions about the verifiability of the site’s destruction.

Executive Director of the Arms Control Association Daryl G. Kimball on Thursday welcomed the move, though said having press at the event was “not sufficient to ensure nuclear testing won’t occur again.”

Monitoring by Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CBTO) and North Korean ratification of the CBT were “logical next steps,” he added.

Thursday’s event has drawn parallels with the DPRK’s 2008 demolition of the cooling tower of the Yongbyon nuclear complex, during which officials from the U.S. State Department and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) watched the blast from the stand around one km away from the cooling tower.

Punggye-ri nuclear test ground in Kilju County, North Hamgyong Province

Punggye-ri — until Thursday the world’s only known active nuclear test site — has been the location of all six of North Korea’s nuclear tests since the country’s first in October 2006.

The country tested further nuclear devices in May 2009, February 2013, and January and September 2016.

The northern nuclear test ground is reportedly comprised of four tunnels, with the east portal believed to be where the North conducted its 2006 test. It is believed to be no longer usable.

The DPRK’s five subsequent nuclear tests are believed to have been conducted at the north portal, while the other two have never been used.

The country’s most recent test was in September last year, when the North claimed that it “successfully carried out” the test of a hydrogen bomb that could be placed on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un two months later declared the completion of his country’s state nuclear force.

One long-time North Korea watcher said the demolition of the test site was largely a symbolic exercise to build trust ahead of a planned DPRK-U.S. summit next month.

“It’s good as both a confidence-building measure and a piece of good political theater,” Andrei Lankov, director of the Korea Risk Group – which owns and operates NK News – said.

“The real significance is somewhat doubtful because the nuclear test site is not a particularly important part of their nuclear weapons development structure. If necessary, it could be relatively easily and cheaply built anew in a different place,” he continued.

“But it was meant to be a goodwill gesture and a signal which will also make a good TV picture, which is very important nowadays.”

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Thursday said that the dismantlement of the nuclear test ground would the North’s “first measure” towards denuclearization.

“We are expecting that the action can serve as the opportunity for the complete denuclearization,” ministry spokesperson Noh Kyu-duk said at a regular news briefing.

Noh said Seoul believes there will be the discussion on follow-up measures to be taken by international organizations, including the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).

A press officer at the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) told NK News that the agency had not detected any seismic waves as of 1520 local time on Thursday, adding that they weren’t sure seismic waves caused by the dismantlement of the nuclear test ground were strong enough to be detected.

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N.Korea: Channeling Foreign Information Technology, Information to Regime Goals

Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive: December 2003 Archives

Pyongyang is working with Koreans abroad and other foreign partners in information
technology (IT) ventures, sending software developers overseas for exposure to international trends, granting scientists access to foreign data, and developing new sources of overseas information in a bid to develop the economy. Cellular telephones and Web pages are accessible to some North Koreans, while foreigners in Pyongyang have access to foreign television news and an Internet café. While such steps are opening windows on the world, however, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) officials are largely limiting such exposure to areas required for economic development. Moreover, they are applying IT tools to develop new means of indoctrinating the public in North Korea and reaching audiences overseas.

 Working With Foreign Partners in IT Ventures North Korea is promoting cooperative ventures with foreign partners to develop IT, which DPRK media have repeatedly described as a priority area in science and technology.

An editorial in the 10 November 2003 issue of the party newspaper Nodong Sinmun, for example, named IT as the first of three technical fields, along with nanotechnology and bio-engineering, to which “primary efforts should be directed.”

North Korean media suggest that officials have grasped the potential of leveraging IT for national development. A recent article in the government’s newspaper asserted that

(1) “IT trade surpasses the automobile and crude oil industries” and

(2) “IT goods are more favorable in developing countries than they are in the developed nations” (Minju Choson, 7 March).

ROK analysts, such as those who compiled a survey of Pyongyang’s IT industry (Puhkan-ui IT Hyonhwang-mit Nambuk Kyoryu Hyomnyok Pangan, 1 January), have suggested that DPRK policies for promoting a domestic IT industry reflect the nation’s lack of capital, dearth of natural resources, and relative abundance of technical talent.

Hoonnet.com CEO Kim Pom-hun, whose extensive experience in North Korea includes residence in Pyongyang from December 2001 to October 2002, has assessed North Korean IT manpower as resembling “an open mine with the world’s best reserves of high-quality ore” (Wolgan Choson, 1 January).

Pyongyang is partnering with Koreans in South Korea, Japan, and China, as well as Chinese, in ventures to develop both software and hardware, including:

• The Morning-Panda Joint Venture Company in Pyongyang, a partnership between North Korea’s Electronic Products Development Company and China’s Panda Electronic Group, which began making computers in late 2002.

• The Pyongyang Informatics Center (PIC) and South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology (PUST), which are cooperating to develop virtual reality technology. In addition:

• The ROK’s Hanabiz.com and PIC launched the Hana Program Center in Dandong, China, in August 2001 (http://hanabiz.com/history.html) for joint software development and training of DPRK programmers.

• IMRI—ROK manufacturer of computer peripherals—and CGS—a Tokyo-based software company affiliated with the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (GAKRJ, a.k.a. Chosen Soren)—joined hands in July 2000 to form UNIKOTECH (Unification of Korea Technologies) to develop and market software. Both partners maintain links to North Korean IT enterprises.

• The ROK’s Samsung Electronics and the DPRK’s Korea Computer Center (KCC) have been developing software together at a Samsung research center in Beijing since March 2000 (Chonja Sinmun, 15 October). Venturing Overseas To acquire information on foreign IT trends and to promote their domestic industry, North Koreans have begun venturing overseas in recent years.

• State Software Industry General Bureau Director Han U-ch’ol led a DPRK delegation in late September 2003 to the China International Software and Information Service Fair in Dalian. The North Koreans joined specialists from China and South Korea in describing conditions in their respective IT industries and calling for mutual cooperation. Participants from China and the two Koreas expanded on the theme of cooperation at the IT Exchange Symposium, sponsored by the Dalian Information Industry Association, Pyongyang’s State Software Industry General Bureau, and Seoul’s Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Dalian Alios Technical Consulting, a company run by Chinese Korean Yi Sung-nam, hosted the exchange (www.kotra.or.kr, 15 October, http://hanabiz.com, 9 October).

• Pyongyang opened, in April 2002 in Beijing, its first foreign exhibition of DPRK software products developed by Kim Il-song University, Korea Computer Center (KCC), PIC, and other centers of software development (DPRK Korea Infobank, 16 May 2002).

• KCC Deputy Chief Technician Kim Ki-ch’ol led a delegation of DPRK computer technicians to the World PC Expo 2001, held in September 2001 outside Tokyo. KCC has worked with Digiko Soft—a company run by a Korean resident of Japan—to develop commercial software. Through Digiko Soft, the expo was the first show in Japan “of computer software developed in [North] Korea” (Choson Sinbo, 22 October, 1 October 2001).

• KCC computer programmers Chong Song-hwa and Sim Song-ho won first place in August 2003 in a world championship software competition of go—an Asian game of strategy—held in Japan. KCC teams have visited Japan and China on at least eight occasions since 1997 to compete in program contests for go, taking first prize three times.

Gaining Access to Foreign Data North Korea has been acquiring foreign technical information from a variety of sources in recent years, benefiting from developments in technology, warming ties between the Koreas, and longstanding sympathies of many Korean residents in Japan.

Limiting Information to Technical Areas, Harnessing IT for Domestic Indoctrination and
Foreign Propaganda Development of the nation, rather than empowerment of the individual, appears to be driving DPRK efforts to develop domestic IT infrastructure and industry. Officials, scientists, and traders can now access and exchange information pertinent to their duties within the domestic Kwangmyong Intranet. Those with a “need to know” can even surf the worldwide Web for the latest foreign data. While Kim Chong-il reportedly watches CNN and NHK satellite broadcasts (Kin Seinichi no Ryorinin, 30 June) and supposedly surfs the Internet, the public has no such freedom to learn of the outside world without the filter of official propaganda.

Indeed, Pyongyang is using IT to indoctrinate the public and put its propaganda before foreign audiences. In addition to studying the party line through regular group reading of Nodong Sinmun in hard copy, a practice for indoctrinating members of work units throughout North Korea, the installation of computer networks now brings the newspaper to some workplaces on line, as the photograph below shows:
Moreover, Pyongyang has put its propaganda on the Internet.

Authorities have held the annual Pyongyang International Scientific and Technological Book Exhibition since 2001, bringing foreign vendors and organizations related to S&T publications to North Korea (KCNA, 18 August).

The Trade and Economy Institute, advertised as North Korea’s “sole consulting service provider” on international trade, has been exchanging information with “many countries via Internet” since September 2002 (Foreign Trade of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 1 April).

According to PUST President Pak Ch’an-mo, who has extensive DPRK contacts in academic and scientific circles, North Korea has been purchasing technical books from amazon.com and from South Korea (Kwahak-kwa Kisul, 1 April).

Pro-Pyongyang Korean residents of Japan have long sent technical literature to North Korea.

ROK organizations, including PUST and IT publisher youngjin.com, have been donating technical publications on IT in recent years to DPRK counterparts as a means of earning good will and contributing to the eventual unification of Korea (Chonja Sinmun, 11 August). Cell Phones, Web Pages, and NHK Within North Korea, the advance of IT technology has been suggested by a number of recent developments:

Approximately 3,000 residents of Pyongyang and Nason have reportedly purchased cell phone service since November 2002 (The People’s Korea, 1 March).

Installation of a nationwide optical-fiber cable network in 2000, launch of the Kwangmyong 2000 Intranet the same year, and establishment of computer networks have made available domestic access to extensive technical databases maintained by the Central Scientific and Technological Information Agency, the Grand People’s Study House, and other repositories of technical information.

Via North Korea’s Silibank Web site (www.silibank.com), established in Shenyang, China, in September 2001, registered foreign users can exchange e-mails with DPRK members.

In August 2002, Kim Pom-hun, CEO of the ROK IT company Hoonnet.com, opened an
Internet café in Pyongyang, the only place in North Korea for the public to access the
Internet. Most customers of the service, which uses an optical cable linking Pyongyang
and Shanghai via Sinuiju, are foreign diplomatic officials or international agency
staffers; steep fees reportedly keep most Koreans from going on line (Wolgan Choson, 1
January).

Foreign guests in Pyongyang hotels have had access to foreign news broadcasts of
Britain’s BBC and Japan’s NHK since May 2003, according to a Japanese television
report (TBS Television, 2 September).

KCNA offers Pyongyang’s line in English, Korean, and Spanish at a Web site in Japan at
http://www.kcna.co.jp.

News and views of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan and its
affiliated organizations appear on the group’s site at http://www.chongryon.com.

DPRK media, including newspapers Minju Choson and Nodong Sinmun, have appeared
on sites originating in China, such as http://www.dprkorea.com and http://www.uriminzokkiri.com

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RUSSIA HAS 2 BATTERIES CLOSE TO AL-LAQABAH – INTELLIPUS

has two separate batteries in place for S-400 SA-21 GROWLER strategic SAMs. One is located in the hills just west of Al-Laqbah.  April 8, 2018

Operators and other versions

Map with S-300 operators in blue and former operators in red

A S-300 of the Bulgarian Air Force

Russian S-300PMU2 during the Victory Day Parade 2009

The S-300 is mainly used in Eastern Europe and Asia although sources are inconsistent about which countries possess the system.

  •  Algeria– 4/8[89]battalions of S-300PMU2 were ordered in 2006
  •  Armenia– S-300PS (SA-10)
  •  Azerbaijanbought two S-300PMU-2/SA-20B SAM battalions in 2010
  •  Belarus– S-300PS systems delivered from Russia in 2007 to replace older S-300 model in Belarusian inventory.[93]Four divisions of S-300 missiles to be delivered in 2014.
  •  Bulgaria– ten S-300 launchers, divided into two units with five launchers each.
  •  People’s Republic of China– China was the first customer of S-300PMU-2.[16]China also built the HQ-15with the maximum range upgraded from 150 to 200 km (93 to 124 mi). The total number of the S-300PMU/1/2 and HQ-15/18 batteries in PLA are approximately 40 and 60 respectively, as of 2008. The total number of the missiles is well above 1,600, with about 300 launcher platforms.[96]Five such SAM battalions are deployed and in active duty around Beijing region, six battalions in Taiwan strait region and the rest in major cities like Shanghai, Chengdu and Dalian. Two Rif (SA-N-6) systems were purchased in 2002 for the Chinese Navy for the Type 051C destroyers. By 2011, it had obtained 15 battalions (4 systems) S-300PMU-2.
  •  Egypt– The S-300VM “Antey-2500” missile system was ordered in 2014, as part of a multi-billion Egyptian-Russian arms deal signed later that year. The $1 billion contract comprises 4 batteries, a command post and other external elements. In 2015, Russia started delivering the system components, Egyptian soldiers began their training in Russian training centers.[102]By the end of 2017, all batteries were delivered to Egypt.[ Russia is in talks with Egypt on the delivery of additional Antey-2500 systems.
  •  Greece[105]– S-300 PMU1 system acquired after the Cyprus Missile Crisisand operated by HAFon Creteconsisting of 1 Battallions/4 batteries/16 launchers / 80 missiles.[106]. Greece first fired an S-300 during the White Eagle 2013 military exercise, which was the first time it was used since it had been bought 14 years earlier.
  •  IndiaS-300air defence platforms (from Russia).[108][109]
  •  Iran– Originally purchased in 2007, Iran’s S-300 order was blocked until April 2015 when the Kremlin lifted its self-imposed ban on the sale due to international lifting of some sanctions against Iran. The country purchased and received an unknown number of S-300 (probably the S-300PMU2 system, a modified version of the S-300PMU1[110]) in 2016, it was fully tested and implemented in 2017. Iran received four S-300PMU2 batteries from Russia in 2016, each consisting of a 96L6E target acquisition radar, a 30N6E2 target engagement radar, and four 5P85TE2 towed transporter-erector-launchers (TELs). These systems are supported by two 64N6E2 battle management radars and linked using FL-95 antenna masts. Iran also owns an unknown number of a domestically produced Bavar 373, developed before the arrival of Russian S-300 system.
  •  Kazakhstan– 10 battalions after the refurbishment (PS – version)[113](2009 or later), 5 free of charge (2014),[114]and 5 free of charge (2015)
  •  North Korea
  •  Russia– All variations. Russian Air Defence Forces, (part of the Russian Air Force), /(1900 (S-300PT/PS/PMU, 200 S-300V/S-300V1 in 2010 year))[118]2000 in total launchers.[119]All production in 1994 (actually 1990) or older, all the complexes S-300PM have been repairing and upgrading (Favorite-S).[120]S-300P/PT have been retired before 2008, some S-300PS in service, but were to be retired in 2012–2013 Modernization of all version S-300P to the version S-300PM1 was to end in 2014. Resource of each taken increased by 5 years. PM 1 continued to version PM 2.[121]By 2015 S-300V4 was to have been delivered. Modernization of all S-300V to the version S-300V4 was to end in 2012.
  •  Slovakia– One battery S-300PMU and 48 missiles type 5V55R inherited from Czechoslovakia. 3 missiles were fired during exercise in Bulgaria in 2015.[124]
  •  Syria– Own, official government data – there in 2013 (literally – the individual components are placed),[125]a total of 6 was ordered, 1 (V family) has been sold in Egypt.[a]A battery of Russian S-300V4 air defense missile launchers has been transported to Syria, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. Its stated purpose is to defend a Russian naval base and warships.
  •  Ukraine– S-300PS, S-300PMU, S-300V and others. Only six systems have been repaired since 2004; as a result only 40% of Ukrainian S-300 systems were in good condition prior to 2014.[133]The crisis with Russiaresulted in a program of accelerated modernisation,[134]with at least 4 batteries overhauled in the period 2014-15. 34 launchers remained in the Crimeaafter its 2014 annexation by Russia.
  •  Venezuela– Ordered 2 battalions of S-300VM“Antey-2500”, delivered in May 2012.
  •  Vietnam– Bought two S-300PMU-1 for nearly $300 million.[138]and RLS 96L6 after 2009[129][139]Bought S-300 PMU-2 in 2012.
  •  Czechoslovakia– One battalion created in 1990. Passed to Slovakia in 1993.
  •  East Germany– Passed on to West German Army.
  •  Germany– Retired after re-unification.
  •  Georgia
  •  Moldova
  •  Turkmenistan
  •  United States– S-300P purchased from Belarus (1994). The system was devoid of electronics. S300V was purchased in Russia officially in the 1990s (complete set (except for 9S32 GRILL PAN multi-channel guidance radar)). Also acquired from Croatia.
  •  Uzbekistan

Cancelled

SOURCES: Wikipedia

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DNC hacker Guccifer 2.0 is reportedly a member of Russian military intelligence

VOX-Jen KirbyMar 22,–Guccifer 2.0, the supposed lone hacker of Democratic National Committee emails, just so happens to be an agent of Russian intelligence, the Daily Beast reports.

The Daily Beast’s Spencer Ackerman and Kevin Poulsen reconfirmed what US intelligence had conjectured: that Guccifer 2.0 was not the lone Romanian hacker he claimed to be, and was instead a front for the Russian military intelligence agency known as GRU.

But Ackerman and Poulsen add to this narrative: Guccifer 2.0 is a specific (but still unnamed) Russian military intelligence officer. It turns out the hacker who caused chaos in the United States elections made a small but critical error that allowed US investigators to trace his identity:

But on one occasion, The Daily Beast has learned, Guccifer failed to activate the VPN client before logging on. As a result, he left a real, Moscow-based Internet Protocol address in the server logs of an American social media company, according to a source familiar with the government’s Guccifer investigation. Twitter and WordPress were Guccifer 2.0’s favored outlets. Neither company would comment for this story, and Guccifer did not respond to a direct message on Twitter.

Working off the IP address, U.S. investigators identified Guccifer 2.0 as a particular GRU officer working out of the agency’s headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow. (The Daily Beast’s sources did not disclose which particular officer worked as Guccifer.)

The Guccifer 2.0 revelation is a big deal for a few reasons:

1) It piles on to the evidence that Russia attempted to interfere in the US elections.

2) It raises more questions about the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, given the well-documented chats between Guccifer 2.0 and Trump adviser and surrogate Roger Stone.

3) Finally, it could mark a development in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, though Mueller’s office declined to comment for the Daily Beast’s story.

Attributing Guccifer 2.0 to Russian military intelligence means Mueller can charge someone

In February, Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals tied to the Internet Research Agency, accusing them of spreading propaganda to interference and influence the US elections. It’s highly unlikely that those Russians will ever see the inside of a US courtroom, but the indictments laid out a compelling case against the Kremlin.

Those indictments did not tackle other elements of Russia alleged cyber campaign against the US, including the hack of the DNC and the subsequent email dumps released by WikiLeaks. But if US authorities have attributed Guccifer 2.0 to a specific member of Russian military intelligence, Mueller likely has the ability to charge him or her.

The Daily Beast reports that Mueller has, in fact, taken over the investigation into Guccifer 2.0, and has brought the investigators who tracked the officer down onto his team.

It’s unclear what, if anything, might come next. But it will be much harder for Trump, or his defenders, to blame the hack on just “a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” That goes for Stone, who tried to push the narrative that Guccifer 2.0 was a random dude, not the Russians, and released messages the two exchanged to debunk the Kremlin connection.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other top law enforcement officials are hosting a press conference Friday morning to cover a “major cyber law enforcement announcement.” It is reportedly not related to Mueller’s investigation, but the timing sure is interesting.

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How Israel Rules The World Of Cyber Security-Full Episode

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Petition: Tim Cook : #Stop Removing Iranian Apps from the @AppStore · Change.org

Dear Mr. Cook,

Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc.

We’re sending you this petition from Iran, a country in which Apple iOS devices are actively being used by around 6 Million people. More than 11% of our smartphones are iPhones and this makes Iran one of Apple’s biggest markets in the MENA region. In a country which the average monthly wage is around $470, people are paying $850 for a brand new iPhone.

Having hundreds of talented iOS developers in Iran, there have been many widely successful Iranian applications on the App Store. Unfortunately, we have always been facing serious problems using international or even domestic applications via App Store. Namely, the “Error 1009” which has been bugging every Iranian iOS owner for a very long time now. It often prevents users with an Iranian IP address from doing almost anything with their devices [It even includes updating the existing applications].

But recently these unkind actions by Apple Inc. has been taken to a whole new level. Iranian iOS application owners have been receiving a message stating that:

“We are unable to include your app, [App’s name] on the App Store. Under the U.S. sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute, or do business with apps or developers connected to certain U.S. embargoed countries.

This area of law is complex and constantly changing. If the existing restrictions shift, we encourage you to resubmit your app for inclusion on the App Store. “

Many of Iran’s most famous startups have been removed from the App Store due to this new policy in place. Digikala and Snapp are examples of startups affected by the new policy. Former one is Iran’s largest e-commerce platform with millions of users and later one is a localized version of Uber with more than hundred thousands of drivers in 5 largest cities of Iran. This, will have drastic effects on the startup ecosystem and economy. On one hand, we are losing touch with our most needed application and services and on the other hand, it might cause many jobs to be lost.

Today, the digital world is no longer limited to a set of computers connected to each other. It’s everywhere. We, the people of Iran, believe that the soul of technology transcends every policy set in the world. The global village vision for this world was achieved through nothing but technology and Apple has always been on the forefront of this globalization. Yet surprisingly, Apple is now bordering access to one of the most used technology platforms in the world.

We are asking you Mr. Cook, to recognize our rights as Apple customers. Please stop removing Iranian applications from App Store and lift policies that are limiting our access to the products and services offered via Apple’s platforms by people of the world, for the people of the world.

Sincerely yours,

Iranian residents of global village

Cc’d to Mr. Javad Zarif – Iran Foreign Affairs Minister.

————————————

Persian Translation

————————————

آقای کوک عزیز

مدیرعامل شرکت اپل

ما این تقاضا را از ایران برای شما ارسال میکنیم. کشوری که محصولات اپل توسط 6 میلیون نفر مورد استفاده قرار میگیرند. بیش از 11% از گوشی‌های هوشمند مورد استفاده در ایران آیفون هست و این موضوع ایران را به یکی از بزرگترین بازارهای اپل در منطقه خاورمیانه تبدیل کرده است. کشوری که میانگین درآمد ماهانه حدود 470 دلار است و مردم برای خرید یک گوشی نو آیفون 850 دلار میپردازند.

وجود صدها برنامه نویس مستعد iOS در ایران باعث شده که اپلیکیشن‌های موفق زیادی در اپ‌استور قرار بگیرند اما متاسفانه ما همیشه با مشکلات جدی در استفاده از اپلیکیشن‌های بین المللی و حتی داخلی از طریق اپ‌استور روبر هستیم. ارور 1009 یکی از شناخته شده ترین این مشکلات است که مدتهاست باعث آزار کاربران ایرانی شده است که اغلب از هرگونه فعالیت کاربران ایرانی جلوگیری میکند.

اما اخیراً اقدامات غیر دوستانه اپل وارد مرحله جدیدی شده است و صاحبان اپلیکیشن‌های ایرانی با پیامی با شرح زیر روبرو شده‌اند:

“متاسفانه ما قادر به قرار دادن اپلیکیشن شما در اپ‌استور نیستیم. تحت قوانین تحریم ایالات متحده اپ‌استور نمی‌تواند میزبانی، توزیع و یا انجام کسب و کار با برنامه‌ها یا توسعه دهندگان متصل به کشورهای ممنوعه داشته باشد.

این حوزه قانون پیچیده و دائما در حال تغییر است. اگر محدودیت های موجود تغییر می کند، شما را تشویق می کنیم تا برنامه خود را برای ورود به اپ‌استور مجدد ارسال کنید.”

بر اساس این تفسیر جدید از قانون تعداد زیادی از استارتاپ‌های معروف ایران درحال حذف شدن از اپ‌استور هستند. دیجیکالا و اسنپ مثالهایی از این استارتاپ‌ها هستند. دیجیکالا بزرگترین فروشگاه آنلاین ایران با میلیونها کاربر و اسنپ نسخه ایرانی اوبر با بیش از صد هزار راننده در 5 شهر بزرگ کشور. این موضوع تاثیر زیادی برروی اکوسیستم و اقتصاد استارتاپ‌ها میگذارد. ازیک سو درحال از دست دادن اپلیکیشن‌های مورد نیازمان هستیم و از سوی دیگر این موضوع می‌تواند باعث از دست رفتن تعداد زیادی شغل شود.

امروز دنیای دیجیتال دیگر محدود به ارتباط تعداد محدودی کامپیوتر نیست. تکنولوژی در همه جا هست و ما مردم ایران باور داریم که روح تکنولوژی فراتر از قوانین جهان است. دهکده جهانی چشم‌اندازی بود که بوسیله چیزی بجز تکنولوژی بوجود نیامد و اپل همیشه در خط مقدم این جهانی سازی بوده است. شگفت‌آور است اپل امروز مشغول مرز کشی در دسترسی به یکی از تکنولوژی‌هایی است که بیشترین استفاده‌ را در دنیا دارد.

آقای کوک ما از شما می‌خواهیم که حقوق مشتریان اپل در ایران را به رسمیت بشناسید. لطفاً به حذف شدن اپلیکیشن‌های ایرانی از اپ‌استور خاتمه دهید و دسترسی ما به پلتفورم اپل برای استفاده از سرویس‌هایی که توسط مردم دنیا برای مردم دنیا ساخته شده‌اند به حالت عادی باز گردانید.

با احترام

ساکنان ایرانی دهکده جهانی

رونوشت: محمد جواد ظریف – وزیر امور خارجه ایران

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Japan Coast Guard Sinks North Korean Spy Ship – 2015

This is resurfaced footage from the Battle of Amami-Ōshima, also known as the Spy Ship Incident in the Southwest Sea of Kyūshū in 2001! A North Korean Spy Ship was sunk there by Japan after a six-hour confrontation between the Japanese Coast Guard and an armed North Korean vessel, which took place near the island of Amami-Ōshima, in the East China Sea. The encounter ended in the sinking of the North Korean vessel, which the Japanese authorities later announced was determined to have been a spy craft. The encounter took place outside Japanese territorial waters, but within the exclusive economic zone, an area extending 200 miles from Japanese land, within which Japan can claim exclusive rights to fishing and mineral resources. The 15 North Korean sailors who manned the ship were left to perish in the East China Sea.

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Michael Cohen: A Modern Mafioso

Before he became President Trump’s self-styled consigliere, Michael Cohen made a fortune in the taxi business.
The Daily Beast Michael Daly

So, he certainly had the means and the ability to have hopped a cab down to Manhattan federal court on Friday morning to answer a judge’s queries regarding what appeared to be Trumpian exaggerations.

Instead, Cohen remained uptown, chatting with the president on the phone and lounging with friends in the springtime sun outside his luxury Manhattan hotel. He did this even though the prosecution had filed papers attesting that it had established probable cause to believe he had committed multiple federal crimes.

The president’s lawyer left his own lawyer, Todd Harrison, to explain to a dubious Judge Kimba Wood how he figured that the FBI had seized “thousands, if not millions” of documents from “multiple clients” when it executed search warrants at Cohen’s home, office, hotel room and safety deposit box last Monday.

Harrison made that claim while seeking a temporary restraining order to get prosecutors to hold off on examining the materials the FBI had seized. The suggestion was that the sheer volume of the material and the number of cases they involved placed attorney-client privilege in jeopardy.

Unless, Cohen’s lawyers said, they had a hand in deciding which materials should be excluded.  Sure.

In their response papers, the prosecutors countered, “Cohen is not a criminal defense attorney… and is being investigated for criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings. Based on information gathered in the investigation to date… Cohen has exceedingly few clients and a low volume of potentially privileged communications”.

The prosecutors added, “Cohen has told at least one witness that he has only client – President Trump.”

And Cohen’s HUGE case with Trump may not fall under constitutional safeguards.

“There is reason to doubt that even communications with his only publicly identified client regarding payments to Stephanie Clifford, who is also known as Stormy Daniels, would be protected by attorney-client privilege,” the prosecutors wrote.

Trump himself had helped make that possible.

“Among other things, President Trump has publicly denied knowing that Cohen paid Clifford, and suggested to reporters that they had to ‘ask Michael’ about the payment,” the court papers say.

Cohen may well learn the hard way that there is no such thing as consigliere-client privilege.

The prosecution’s submission also called into Cohen’s contention regarding the number of documents. The judge asked Cohen’s lawyer how he came by that estimate. Harrison had no immediately clear answer.

“How do you know there are thousands if you can’t answer my question?” Wood inquired.

“That is our best understanding,” Harrison said.

Wood was not going to leave it there. The president to whom Cohen has sworn his undying loyalty may deal in unending lies and exaggeration, but Manhattan federal court remains a realm of truth.

“How did you get that understanding?” Wood asked.

“Discussion in the defense team” Harrison said.

“Really,” Wood said. “Who in the defense team?”

“Judge, I’m not prepared to get into discussion of the defense team,” Harrison said. “That’s an approximation. I don’t have the exact number for you. It might be less than a thousand. I don’t know for sure.”

“What I need to know is whether you had a basis as an officer of the court to tell me there are ‘thousands and thousands of privileged documents,’” Wood said.

As 3 p.m. approached, Wood called a recess, saying she wanted a list of Cohen’s clients when the hearing resumed at 4 pm.

“I can’t do that by 4 o’clock,” Harrison said.

“I believe you can, so I want you to try,” Wood replied.

Harrison could have gotten on his cellphone to Cohen, who could have just cabbed it down to the courthouse and provided the judge with a list of his clients, along with a more authoritative estimate of the number of documents involved.

But Cohen stayed uptown and was photographed sitting outside Loews Regency Hotel with some pals who were smoking cigars. He does not look exactly carefree in the picture, but he also does not look like a man who fully appreciates the import of a prosecution document that repeatedly indicates that he faces more than one kind of serious trouble.

“The searches are the result of a months-long investigation into Cohen, and seek evidence of crimes, many of which have nothing to do with his work as an attorney, but rather relate to Cohen’s own business dealings,” the document says.

Note the plural “crimes” and the word “many.”

Back down at the courthouse, the hugeness of the case had become apparent in the trembling hands of the manifestly un-Trumplike attorney, Joanna Hendon, who had been retained to represent his interests at the hearing. She spoke to the court before the break of “the exceptional nature of my client.”

“What’s at stake?” she asked. “The viability of this prosecution. It has to be done right. He is the president of the United States.”

When the court reconvened at 4 pm. Harrison said he had been unable to assemble a full and reliable list of clients.

“Do you have access to your client over the weekend?” Wood asked.

Maybe Harrison was unaware that Cohen was at almost that very moment being photographed chilling in the sunshine uptown.

“I believe I’ll have access to him over the weekend,” Harrison said.

Wood said that she intended to make the client roster public. That may include fellow GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy, for whom Cohen allegedly arranged a $1.6 million payment for a former playmate who had become pregnant.

Wood allowed that she would redact from the list those clients whose very names would make clear the nature of their case. Wood said she understood concerns regarding the privacy of the clients in question if indeed there were more than one. She did not add that she had once had her own personal life muddied and smeared by the New York Post.

At the time, she had already become well known. President Clinton had moved to nominate her for attorney general only to reconsider after it turned out she had hired an undocumented immigrant as a nanny. The previous nominee, Zoe Baird, had been dropped for her own nanny trouble, the whole thing being called Nannygate even though such hires were not then illegal.

Wood now sits on the bench as a decent person made better by adversity. She is a judge who is not judgmental, but judicious. She is also a believer in fact.

“Your inability to answer these questions suggests that Mr. Cohen should be in court next time,” Wood said.

So, on Monday afternoon, the self-styled consigliere will be in the courthouse from which any number of actual gangsters have been sent to prison.

But hey, maybe along with calling Cohen on Friday to “check in,” Trump was giving his consigliere an unspoken message by pardoning Scooter Libby, the former consigliere to Dick Cheney turned convict for perjury.

One thing Trump would not want would be for Cohen to become so much like a real modern Mafioso that he turns rat.

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