Swiss Authorities Arrested 42 SuspectsConnected To The PlayPen Child Porn Site

After the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the administrator then took control of the child porn website PlayPen, investigators all over the world arrested about 900 users of the illicit site. Now, Swiss authorities have reported that they have detained 42 suspects who were alleged members of PlayPen.

In December 2014, the FBI took control of the PlayPen child porn website for 13 days after arresting the administrator. While the Bureau was controlling the website, they uploaded malware, which they call NITs (Network Investigative Techniques), which provided them the IP address of the users who logged on in that 13 days. With the IP addresses acquired, the FBI had an easy job tracking down the criminals to their actual location. From 2015 to now, the federal agency managed to start investigations against hundreds of suspects, and law enforcement authorities all over the world arrested about 900 users of the child porn website.

Soon after the public was informed about Operation Pacifier (the law enforcement action led by the FBI and the US Department of Justice), the FBI received negative criticism from privacy advocates stating that the agency breached the civil liberties of the suspects. Additionally, some federal judges in the United States had ruled against the warrant the Federal Bureau of Investigation used in the course of the operation.

In connection with the PlayPen child porn website, 870 suspects were arrested worldwide with 368 of them located in Europe. According to the FBI’s report, 296 child victims of sexual abuse were rescued of identified internationally, the Bureau added that the vast majority of the abused children are located outside of the US. The Federal Bureau of Investigation declared Operation Pacifier as the most successful law enforcement action against criminals who are located on the Tor network. One of the investigators said that Operation Pacifier was “one of the largest and most complex investigations ever undertaken in this field”.

https://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1611100/playpen.jpg?w=736

“We were only able to pull it off with a lot of support from our international partners and field offices,” Special Agent Dan Alfin, who investigated the case as part of the Bureau’s Violent Crimes Against Children section, said in a statement.

The notorious PlayPen website on the dark web, while it was up and running, allowed its 150,000 online members to anonymously upload and access tens of thousands of illegal child porn images and videos. According to law enforcement authorities, the site’s child abuse content was indexed by age, sex, and type of sexual activity involved, with one section focusing exclusively on toddlers and another on incest.

The 58-year-old Steven Chase, who created PlayPen and was the lead administrator of the website, from Florida, was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this week, with two other administrators jailed for 20 years. Law enforcement authorities started an investigation against Chase soon after the website launched in the summer of 2014. The Federal Bureau of Investigation stated that they had become aware of the child pornwebsite, however, “given the nature of how Tor hidden services work, there was not much we could do about it,” Special Agent Alfin said. The investigation went on until December 2014, when a gap on the PlayPen website was discovered by foreign law enforcement authorities, who alerted the FBI. The PlayPen site has been down for more than two years, however, the FBI warned that similar sites continue to operate on the dark web providing child pornography content for their users.

“It’s ongoing and we continue to address the threat to the best of our abilities,” said Alfin. “It’s the same with any criminal violation: As they get smarter, we adapt, we find them.

On May 7, the Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) in Switzerland reported that law enforcement authorities arrested 42 suspects, who they believed that were the past members of the PlayPen child porn site. According to Cathy Maret, a spokeswoman for the Fedpol, the United States provided information to the Swiss Federal Office of Police in 46 cases. The report by the US authorities led to 42 arrests and criminal proceedings. In the police operation, apart from Fedpol, 14 cantonal and local police forces were involved.

According to Maret, the majority of the criminal proceedings were directed at consumers of child pornography, however, more serious sexual crimes were also discovered during the law enforcement operation. For example, investigators uncovered new information on a sexual assault case, which was committed ten years ago against a child. The suspect, who was unmasked by the FBI, is in temporary custody in Switzerland. The prosecution charged the defendant with 12 counts of sexual assault.

In the fight against the spread of child pornography content on the internet, the number of suspicious cases had seen a major increase in Switzerland, Maret said. The spokeswoman explained that this increase is the result of numerous reports received from the FBI. Last year, Europol received data from the United States on approximately 3,000 cases, where Swiss citizens were allegedly in connection with child pornography. After the Europol had received the information from US law enforcement authorities, they transferred it to Swiss authorities. The Fedpol took over the investigation, examined the data, and forwarded to the cantonal judicial authorities.

US law enforcement authorities gathered the data from internet service providers (ISPs), who filter all the data traffic, the spokeswoman said. When suspicious content is found, providers warn US authorities, who apparently sent the bulk of the information to the Swiss Federal Police.

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The Trump Documents

Source: The Trump Documents

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The Trump Documents

The Onion has obtained hundreds of documents from an anonymous source within the White House.

Classified files provided to The Onion by an anonymous whistleblower in the White House

President Trump Discusses Air Force One Upgrades With Boeing CEO

1-Trump_Air_Force_One_SCAN

Secret Recording: White House Tour Complaints

http://www.theonion.com/live/secret-recordings-55947/entry/326/v/5806

Secret Recording: Steve Bannon Eating Lunch

http://www.theonion.com/live/secret-recordings-55947/entry/325/v/5804

Secret Recording: White House Aides Discuss Sean Spicer’s Punishments

http://www.onionstudios.com/embed?id=5805“>http://www.onionstudios.com/embed?id=5805

FOR ALL DOCUMENTS http://www.theonion.com/interactive/the-trump-documents

 

 

 

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Dutch Drugs Labs via Dark Web Floods U.S with Crystal Meth and Ecstasy; Officials Claims

Dieter Csefan, Austria’s chief drug said that crime officials have seized the synthetic opioids like Cocaine, Crystal Meth, Fentanyl and Finally Cannabis these are considered to be Class A Drugs.

Source: Dutch Drugs Labs via Dark Web Floods U.S with Crystal Meth and Ecstasy; Officials Claims

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Dutch Drugs Labs via Dark Web Floods U.S with Crystal Meth and Ecstasy; Officials Claims

Death due to drugs is rising. Even a few days ago a student falls from the top floor and died due to dark web drugs consumption. On Monday, Senior Austrian Officials told that Europe and the US are distributed with Ecstacy as well as Crystal Meth from narcotic labs producing these drugs. But Netherlands is not taking enough effort to close it down.

The Past year report let out by the Austro-German Team has revealed that it had come across almost 6,000 packages weighing 170 Kgs.

Netherlands drug labs send large quantities via German Postal Service which was seized by the authorities told the Austria’s Interior Minister Wolfgang.

Still, both the parties should work hard to get better cooperation and it is very much crucial that these sites are shut down Immediately.

Dieter Csefan, Austria’s chief drug said that crime officials have seized the synthetic opioids like Cocaine, Crystal Meth, Fentanyl and Finally Cannabis these are considered to be Class A Drugs.

The production was rapid. Almost 500Kgs are being produced using the movable labs mainly made up of Shipping containers. These laboratories are very hard to find since they are dug underground which is almost 5 to 6 meters below and often found in the southern Netherlands region.

All these drugs which have been confiscated are mainly for people created for top markets like the United States and Austria.

Franz Lang, Austria’s Federal Criminal Police head made a statement and criticized against Netherlands for not putting and end to such trade.

Lang pointed out that even they wished to act with dutch judiciary but didn’t permit in any way even the bigger market Czech Republic and its authorities cooperated and planned to put a break to this illegal online sale.

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Trump budget proposal kills Obama’s counterterrorism partnerships fund

Joe Gould–President Trump’s budget announced Tuesday proposes an end to President Obama’s signature counterterrorism training program, long criticized on Capitol Hill as too broad to be effective.

The White House proposal would zero out the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, from $1.8 billion in fiscal 2017. CTPF, billed as a means to provide security assistance to moderate allies fighting extremists in Africa and the Mideast, endured successive cuts in Congress and criticism Obama was too light on strategy and specifics for Congress’s liking.

The Trump administration does propose $1.8 billion for a Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Train and Equip Fund — a continuation of three accounts  consolidated in the 2017 budget Congress passed earlier this month. That fund is meant to support Iraqi government forces as they retake Mosul, Iraq, and vetted Syrian forces as they retake Raqqa, Syria, from the Islamic State group. The proposed funding is under the off-budget overseas contingency operations (OCO) account.

Obama, in 2014, announced the CTPF in a speech at U.S. Military Academy at West Point commencement, as a means to “more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.” He envisioned a fund of up to $5 billion, to “allow us to train, build capacity, and facilitate partner countries on the front lines” of Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Mali and beyond, he said.
But the CTPF, contained in OCO, was controversial with lawmakers of both parties, and they repeatedly acted to cut or kill it. Over the White House’s strong objections, Congress funded just $1.1 billion of the total request for fiscal 2015 and $750 million of the $1 billion request in 2016.

The 2017 defense policy and appropriations bills moved the CTPF money into the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s budget account as part of a broader security cooperation reform effort driven by Congress. The intent was to increase transparency and sustainability of security cooperation funding rather than continuing the habit of creating new standalone “funds” every time a new emphasis area popped up.

“The counterterrorism partnerships fund was a dismal failure,” one Senate aide said Tuesday. “That money can definitely be used in more effective ways.”

According to budget documents, the CTPF provided $500 million to a program train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces to fight the Islamic State group. But the Obama administration was forced to reboot that program after Gen. Lloyd Austin, then-chief of U.S. Central Command, told Congress in late 2015 there were no more than five U.S.-trained Syrian fighters left.

The bulk of CTPF has, since its inception, gone to fight violent extremist groups in the Levant and East Africa. The Obama administration credited train-and-equip programs funded through CTPF for the ouster of militant group al-Shabaab from Mogadishu, which let the Somali government take hold.
Colby Goodman, director of the Security Assistance Monitor, said Tuesday there is a risk that without the fund, Africa and Central Asia will get less counter-terrorism support from the U.S.
“With the partnership fund, we saw a big increase to the Sahel, East Africa and Central Asia,” he said. “Part of the challenge is the funding is pulled from that and it goes to … these other programs.”
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Trump Administration and Saudi Arabia Sign the Largest Arms Sale in History

The president announced the package Saturday, but a legal analysis prompted by congressional inquiries warns against it.-Akbar Shahid Ahmed,

Akbar Shahid Ahmed–A $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia that President Donald Trump announced Saturday would be illegal because of the Saudis’ role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen, according to a legal analysis the Senate received Friday.

The U.S. “cannot continue to rely on Saudi assurances that it will comply with international law and agreements concerning the use of U.S.-origin equipment,” Michael Newton, a prominent Vanderbilt University law professor and former military judge advocate general, said in an opinion sent to the full Senate by the human rights arm of the American Bar Association. He cited “multiple credible reports of recurring and highly questionable [air]strikes’’ by the Saudi military that have killed civilians.

In a 23-page assessment, Newton said the strikes have continued “even after Saudi units received training and equipment to reduce civilian casualties.”

“Continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia ― and specifically of arms used in airstrikes ― should not be presumed to be permissible” under the two statutes covering most sales of military equipment by the U.S government to foreign nations, he said.

The State Department said Saturday in a statement that the sales would occur under the foreign military sales process. Newton told senators that should not be available to Saudi Arabia until the Saudi and U.S. governments offer new certifications to prove that the Saudis are following the law on using U.S. weaponry. The arms package includes tanks, artillery, ships, helicopters, missile defense systems and cybersecurity technology worth “almost $110 billion,” according to the statement.

The Obama administration committed to many elements of the package, but the Trump administration is presenting it as a major accomplishment. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a White House aide, has built a rapport with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and personally intervened with weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin to get the Saudis a better deal, The New York Times reported.

The bar association’s Center for Human Rights requested the assessment after receiving several congressional inquiries about the legality of continued sales to the Saudis. Senators skeptical of the Saudi campaign in Yemen unsuccessfully tried to block a $1.15 billion arms transfer last fall. The legal analysis suggests that they should try again.

There’s already an apparent appetite for such a move: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), an architect of last year’s effort, blasted the deal in a HuffPost blog post on Saturday. “Saudi Arabia is an important friend and partner for the United States,” Murphy wrote. “But they are still a deeply imperfect friend. $110 billion in weapons will exacerbate, not ameliorate, those imperfections.”

A U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition of countries has been at war in Yemen for over two years, fighting Iran-backed militants who have taken over much of the country. The coalition has been repeatedly accused of war-crime violations for its role in the deaths of thousands of civilians in the Arab world’s poorest country.

The United Nations has reported nearly 5,000 deaths have occurred, and said the actual toll is likely far higher. U.N. experts have repeatedly singled out coalition airstrikes, which are supported by American aerial refueling, as the single largest cause of civilian casualties during various periods in the conflict. Meanwhile, naval blockades by the coalition and interference in aid deliveries by the pro-Iran militants have caused a major humanitarian crisis: 19 million Yemenis are in need of aid, according to the U.N., and a famine may soon be declared.

Extremist groups, notably al Qaeda, have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their power.

Then-President Barack Obama authorized U.S. assistance to the coalition in March 2015. His administration halted some arms transfers last December after a major Saudi-led attack on a funeral, but it kept up the majority of U.S. support.

Obama approved a record-breaking $115 billion in arms sales to the Saudis during his time in office, but the country’s leaders frequently claimed he abandoned them because of his nuclear diplomacy with Iran and reluctance to strongly intervene in Syria. Trump’s team is speaking of the deal as a sign of a renewed commitment to the longtime U.S. partner ― even though he often criticized the Saudis on the campaign trail.

Newton, in his analysis, charged that Saudi military strikes have deliberately targeted markets and hospitals where few, if any, enemy combatants were located.  He also cited Saudi Arabia’s domestic human rights abuses, its failure to hold military officers accountable and its illegal use of cluster munitions as justifying an immediate end of U.S. military support.

U.S. personnel or contractors could be vulnerable under international humanitarian law if the military sales continue, Newton added ― especially because the armaments could be used in an anticipated Saudi assault on the Yemani port of Hodeidah, which would have a devastating impact on millions. One-time military lawyer Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has suggested that such prosecution is possible.

Despite failed private efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen, the Trump administration has not expressed much public concern about the Saudis’ conduct in the conflict. It’s instead loudly cheered the kingdom ― and chosen it as the site for Trump’s first foreign visit, which the Saudis are promoting as an epoch-defining moment.

“This package demonstrates the United States’ commitment to our partnership with Saudi Arabia, while also expanding opportunities for American companies in the region, potentially supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the United States,” the State Department said Saturday in its release.

The statement did not mention the U.S. and Saudi role in the controversial Yemen war.

Speaking Saturday in the Saudi capital, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said continued U.S. arms transfers were meant to help Saudi actions in Yemen.

The Saudi side suggested total coherence on the issue, despite the war crimes allegations and lawmakers’ vocal complaints.

“There are many who try to find gaps between the policy of the United States and that of Saudi Arabia, but they will never succeed,” Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said in a statement issued Friday by the Saudi Embassy in Washington. “The position of President Trump, and that of Congress, is completely aligned with that of Saudi Arabia. We agree on Iraq, Iran, Syria and Yemen. Our relationship is on an upward trajectory.”

READ FULL DOCUMENT ABA-CHR-Assessment-of-Arms-Sales-to-Saudi-Arabia

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QALAMOUN SHIELD FORCES. WHAT IS IT?

In early April 2017, a new pro-government group appeared in the Syrian-Lebanese border area, “The Homeland Shield Forces – Special Tasks”. The force consists of 400 fighters from 14 Lebanese villages from the Al-Beka’a area on the Syrian-Lebanese border. It is led by al-Haj Muhammad Jaafar and was founded with the direct support of the Russian military to secure the Al-Beka’a area.

Source: QALAMOUN SHIELD FORCES. WHAT IS IT?

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QALAMOUN SHIELD FORCES. WHAT IS IT?

South.Front–The Qalamoun Shield Forces (QSF) appeared as a noticeable auxiliary force of the Syrian military in the first half of 2016, with the goal of protecting the Al-Qalamoun areas from terrorist threats and securing the Syrian-Lebanese border.

The group includes approximately 2800 fighters, most of whom are volunteers from the eastern towns of Al-Qalamoun, along with a few hundred former fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA). A number of FSA fighters had joined the QSF after a reconciliation agreement with the Syrian government.

Qalamoun Shield Forces. What Is It?

The QSF is linked to the Third Armored Division of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), and works with both the Syrian Republican Guard and Lebanese Hezbollah.

The QSF has several bases in Yabroud and Al-Nabak. It’s led by Lieutenant Firas Khaza’a, and mainly funded by the Syrian Ministry of Defense. The QSF is one the groups supported by the Russian military, which armed and trained all of its fighters in the early 2017.

At least a part of the training took place in the Damascus countryside:

Qalamoun Shield Forces. What Is It?

Qalamoun Shield Forces. What Is It?

The QSF controls a number of important border points in eastern Qalamoun, especially the area of Flitah, near the Lebanese area of Jurod Arsal, the stronghold of ISIS militants. It has managed along with the Syrian Republican Guard and Hezbollah to repel several attacks of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the vicinity of Flitah.

The QSF has also foiled several infiltration attempts between Lebanon and Syria, as well as prevented several drug smuggling operations, which are often considered means of financing terrorist groups in the Lebanese area of Jurod Arsal.

In 2017, the QSF participated in its first battle outside eastern Al-Qalamoun area. In the middle of March 2017, QSF units deployed to the Hama front, where QSF participated in repelling the second joint attack of HTS, Jaish al-Izza and other militant groups on the strategic town of Qomhana in the northern Hama countryside.

The QSF continued its operations alongside the SAA’s Tiger Forces, the National Defense Forces and other pro-government groups and took part in restoring control of Khattab village on March 31, Mahardeh village on April 11, Souran on April 16, the towns of Taibat al-Imam and Halfaya on April 22 and 23. Then the QSF took part in capturing the Al-Zalaqiat village and hill. In case of continuation of clashes in northern Hama, the QSF will likely participate in future government attacks aimed at capturing Morek and Lataminah.

Qalamoun Shield Forces. What Is It?

In May 2017, a part of QSF fighters were redeployed from northern Hama to the province of Homs in order to participate in a widely-expected government advane on the city of Deir Ezzor besieged by ISIS.

In early April 2017, a new pro-government group appeared in the Syrian-Lebanese border area, “The Homeland Shield Forces – Special Tasks”. The force consists of 400 fighters from 14 Lebanese villages from the Al-Beka’a area on the Syrian-Lebanese border. It is led by al-Haj Muhammad Jaafar and was founded with the direct support of the Russian military to secure the Al-Beka’a area.

The force may work in the future with the QSF in an expected operation to secure the Syrian side of Jurod Arsal in order to prevent any terrorists infiltrating the Syrian territory in case the Lebanese Army launches an operation against ISIS and HTS militants in the region.

The QSF is armed with medium weapons, such as vehicles armed with 23/14.5 guns; it is also armed with Konkurs ATGM. The forces also use heavy Syrian Bourkan(Volcano)-type rockets.

The QSF is a successful example of a rapid reaction force protecting the Syrian border and has proven that it can support the SAA in any area when necessary. The forces have carried out offensive and defensive missions in the northern Hama countryside very successfully. It could be expected that its financing and fighter numbers will be expanded if the joint Syrian, Iranian, Russian and Turkish efforts aimed at imposing ‘de-escalation zones’ will not been able to launch a successful peace process in Syria.

Qalamoun Shield Forces. What Is It?

The further expansion of the QSF and other QSF-style groups, that would include former “moderate rebels”, will be clearly linked to a possibility of the Syrian government and its allies to implement their reconciliation agreements strategy in the countryside of Damascus and across Syria.

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RUSSIA’S STATE ARMAMENTS PROGRAM FOR 2018-2025

The political instability of the European Union, the rise of nationalists in Ukraine, the Baltics, and NATO’s overt hostility toward Russia, and the erratic foreign policy pursued by the Trump Administration compelled to take heed of the globalist faction of the US elite, all point to the need to bolster Russia’s ability to fight a large-scale land war in the foreseeable future.

Source: RUSSIA’S STATE ARMAMENTS PROGRAM FOR 2018-2025

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