national security – Capperi http://capperi.net/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 17:23:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://capperi.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-01T215521.666-150x150.png national security – Capperi http://capperi.net/ 32 32 A new nuclear deal with Iran should not come with terrorist legitimization https://capperi.net/a-new-nuclear-deal-with-iran-should-not-come-with-terrorist-legitimization/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 16:02:18 +0000 https://capperi.net/a-new-nuclear-deal-with-iran-should-not-come-with-terrorist-legitimization/ Iran has a new demand for US diplomats as they conclude what will hopefully be the final round of negotiations for a new nuclear deal later this month: Remove the 2019 US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards of Iran (IRGC). The United States should reject this request, even if it […]]]>

Iran has a new demand for US diplomats as they conclude what will hopefully be the final round of negotiations for a new nuclear deal later this month: Remove the 2019 US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards of Iran (IRGC). The United States should reject this request, even if it risks Iran failing to comply with the negotiations. Removing the terrorist stigma from the IRGC will embolden Iranian proxies and anger regional allies.

FTO designations can be awarded to groups if they meet three criteria under US Code §1189— the group must be foreign, engaged in terrorist activities and threaten the national security of the United States. By labeling a group an FTO, the United States creates extraterritorial criminal and civil liability for parties contracted to provide material support to it. There are currently 73 listed groups and their status is reviewed every five years by the US State Department.

Maintaining the FTO designation puts political pressure on states that interact with the IRGC, namely Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to significantly alter their relationship or risk international pariah status. The Iranian market becomes dangerous for potential business partners, as any transaction with the country could be seen as IRGC funding since it is state-sponsored. The designations also clarify the United States’ attitude toward international actors and let Iran know that the actions of its paramilitary organization are not condoned by the United States, regardless of any future diplomatic re-engagement.

FTO de-designations are less common, with the United States removing only 15 groups from the list since its inception. In most cases of de-designation, groups have been removed due to their outright dissolution, which would not be the case with an IRGC de-designation. Attempts to remove still-active groups from the list, such as the Houthis, have had negative consequences for US national security.

In February 2021, the United States deleted the FTO label of the Houthis, a Yemeni Shia militia that receives direct funding from the IRGC. The purpose of this de-designation was to better provide Yemeni civilians with humanitarian aid. The designation made it difficult for human rights groups and charities to donate food, medical supplies and cash as a Saudi-led blockade starved the country. However, the Houthis made no concessions, and less than a year later the group took advantage of this gesture by launch drone strikes on the United Arab Emirates.

The aftermath of this attack was swift. During the month, the Saudis and Emiratis worked together to conduct Airstrikes over the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. The Houthis, using weapons supplied by Iran, responded with strikes on Saudi airports and other civilian sites. The US Treasury Department subsequently designed new punishments on the Houthis’ financial network, specifically implicating the IRGC. Canceling the IRGC’s designation to revert to a nuclear deal would send mixed messages from the Biden administration to the Arab world and encourage Iran to spend its newly sanction-free assets on other excellent investments in the militia to counter influence Sunni.

Not only will the UAE and the Saudis feel abandoned by the United States if they take this course, but Israel will also question the sincerity of the United States in its stated goal of preserving Israeli sovereignty, whether the Iran does not recognize. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei demands ‘all Muslims must fight until the annihilation of Israel’, and facilitating Tehran’s ability to provide its most extreme fighting force with outside money will bring the regime closer of this objective.

Instead of dropping the FTO designation from the IRGC without concessions, the United States should consider making public the non-statutory factors involved in granting such a designation. This action would inform the international community about the objective criteria involved in US counterterrorism strategies and prevent Washington from appearing disorganized on designation issues between presidential administrations.

recent Iran budget and presidential cabinet appointment should inform the Biden administration that a nuclear deal will not change Iran’s priorities to support the IRGC at the expense of the civilian population. Iran is spending more than ever on guards. Removing the bureaucracy around the IRGC as it expands its weapons research and production capabilities would betray close relationships that have taken decades to build. No nuclear deal should impact the FTO de-designation process, and past Houthi conduct justifies reluctance to cave to Iranian demands. Removing the terrorism label should require effort from the offending party, which the Islamic Republic is unwilling to provide.

John O’Malley

John O’Malley is currently a Middle East Security Intern for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)

Thank you for your registration! Please check your inbox for an email confirming your subscription.

]]>
3 years after White Supremacist Terrorist Atrocity – what have we learned? https://capperi.net/3-years-after-white-supremacist-terrorist-atrocity-what-have-we-learned/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 08:35:23 +0000 https://capperi.net/3-years-after-white-supremacist-terrorist-atrocity-what-have-we-learned/ It has been 3 years to the day that we have been shaken by our complacency. Shocked to believe that such malevolence could not burrow into our souls. Repulsed by the mutation of thought that could justify so much cruelty and vile wickedness. March 15, 2019 is etched in our history with untold pain and […]]]>

It has been 3 years to the day that we have been shaken by our complacency.

Shocked to believe that such malevolence could not burrow into our souls.

Repulsed by the mutation of thought that could justify so much cruelty and vile wickedness.

March 15, 2019 is etched in our history with untold pain and suffering.

Muslims leading their normal lives in Christchurch were attacked by an Australian white supremacist who had radicalized online out of hatred against Islam.

I remember seeing the appalling violence appear on my Facebook feed.

I didn’t understand what I was looking at.

At first glance, I thought it was a video game or a movie trailer until I concentrated.

TDB recommends NewzEngine.com

I remember recoiling in horror at what I saw.

I immediately started searching online and found his manifesto.

It was a mixture of mutant madness and unyielding hatred.

In the 3 years since his disgusting act of violence, we have struggled to understand what happened.

The government has absolved the entire intelligence apparatus of any responsibility while pretending that hate speech laws were a solution.

Here is the list of New Zealand security apparatuses, many acronyms you may never have heard of, that are supposed to protect us with mass surveillance powers against this very type of terrorism…

  • The SIS (Secret Intelligence Services)
  • The GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau)
  • The NSG (National Security Group)
  • Police Intelligence Unit
  • The CNSN (Committee of the National Security Cabinet)
  • The ODESC (Officials Committee for the Coordination of Internal and External Security)
  • The SIB (Security and Intelligence Board)
  • The CTCC (Counter-Terrorism Coordination Committee)
  • The NICC (National Intelligence Coordination Committee)
  • The DAI (Direction of Intelligence and Evaluation)
  • The NRU (National Risk Unit)
  • NSPD (National Security Policy Directorate)

…they collectively cost us over $100 million a year, and when it comes to spying on Muslims, Nicky Hager, me, Greenpeace, Maori protesting oil drilling, environmentalists and the MANA party, oh the state violates our rights all the time without batting an eyelid, but a white supremacist terrorist who has used white supremacist keywords online, with complaints from the Muslim community itself and complaints from other gun owners to fire, oh no, apparently our entire intelligence apparatus failed and had no idea.

You can see why they imposed a 30 year secrecy clause on everything.

These departments are supposed to be the ones who ask “what if”, they are supposed to be the ones with the imagination to see where the next threat is coming from and they have enormous mass surveillance powers and resources to do so.

And yet, nothing.

What is most egregious is that instead of brutally flaying these goddamn departments for this cascading failure, the Labor government is disconcertingly allowing their failure to be quietly eclipsed by this shitty ‘solution’ by putting in implementation of blasphemy and heresy laws and hate speech powers over gender identity?? ?

What do laws protecting religion and gender identity have to do with the utter failure of the massive intelligence apparatus?

The solutions beyond hate speech law are all pretty disappointing.

• Assign Minister Andrew Little responsibility for coordinating the government’s response to the report and the implementation of its recommendations

It was a bureaucratic failure of the whole intelligence bureaucracy and the job solution is more bureaucracy?

• Creation of a Ministry of Ethnic Communities to support the work program on social cohesion

Of course, but the Muslim community had already complained of a serious increase in violence in the streets, so how is a new ministry going to solve this problem?

• Establish a new agency within the police called Te Raranga, The Weave which will respond to alleged hate crimes

Sure. It is very good.

• Extend the Safer Communities Fund so that communities at risk of hate crimes can improve their safety mechanisms

Awesome.

• Graduate Program in Creation and Ethnic Communities in Public Service

Good idea.

• Establish a national center of excellence to bring together academia, civil society and government to research radicalization and violent extremism and social cohesion in New Zealand

Handsome.

• Amendment of the law on the suppression of terrorism to strengthen the anti-terrorism legislation

Hmmm. What? What exactly does this imply?

• Create an early intervention program to develop comprehensive support for people who show early signs of radicalization. It will be run by the police

Great.

But none of this answers the central problem, how did all of our intelligence services miss this and why?

Forcing religious and sexist hate speech laws in response to such terminal cascading security failure is too Nu Zilind for words.

This tragedy deserved more than a signal of virtue.

The most insightful explanation of what really happened was quietly released just before Christmas in 2020, when no one noticed…

Attention from spy partners dictated lack of far-right intelligence, says GCSB boss

International priorities have dictated a gaping hole in the collection of far-right intelligence reports, according to the main communications spy agency.

The Royal Commission heard that the Government Security Communications Office received 7,526 intelligence reports on terrorism and violent fanaticism over a three-month period at the end of 2018-2019.

But not a single one involved right-wing extremism.

This “was not the result of the GCSB’s own intelligence-gathering parameters,” the bureau’s chief executive, Andrew Hampton, told RNZ in a statement.

“The intelligence reports that the GCSB receives from its international signals intelligence partners are what those agencies collect themselves based on their own priorities.”

These partners had their own legal mandates, which could also influence the information they collected, Hampton said.

Let me see if I can figure it all out.

It’s not the fault of the GCSB, this mass surveillance GCSB that gets hundreds of millions to protect us from threats, it’s not their fault that there’s been a massive intelligence failure because our partners abroad only provide us with inferior intelligence that is distorted by their own bias and legal blind spots?????

Is this the best they found?

Watch how that excuse implodes later in the interview…

However, he added: “GCSB shares our intelligence and security priorities with its partners and since the March 15, 2019 attacks has emphasized to them the importance for New Zealand of countering white identity extremism. “.

…law.

So if the GCSB had told our partners in the first place that we were concerned about white supremacy, they would have provided everything they had?

See how it always comes down to the GCSB’s lack of ability to see white supremacy as a threat?

We’ve opened ourselves up to NSA mass surveillance for intelligence that can’t actually detect a legitimate threat and is so secret that no one can assess whether that excuse is legitimate or not?

What the hell did we sign up for?

We know from Snowden that the 5 eyes allow the NSA unfettered access to everything Key ratified it and the GCSB received hundreds of millions for the upgrade but when asked why the hell they couldn’t spot a basic keyword search threat, suddenly it’s all the big guys are feeding us crumbs and that wasn’t us an excuse was it?

If we are not protected from legitimate threats, why the hell are we here?

How come we are less safe?

Let me be very clear. I’m in no way suggesting that we give these clowns MORE powers, oh my god no, I’m just demanding that they use the powers they currently have!

The most dangerous mutations of white supremacy trace their stories back to certain historical events. A basic keyword search of these historical events would have sent the terrorist ringing alarm bells.

The Echelon program that preceded the Snowden revelations had basic keyword research functions, claiming that’s not possible now just isn’t believable.

The problem here is that their own confirmation bias saw the enemy as Hager, Muslim students, environmentalists, Maori nationals, German internet entrepreneurs and trade unions.

Blaming the inability to think for themselves on biased intelligence from our Spy Lords only begs an answer as to why we are indebted to these Spy Lords in the first place if they cannot detect a legitimate threat to us!

It still amounts to a cascading failure across the entire New Zealand intelligence apparatus to see white supremacy as a threat.

My fear is that after the Dumb Lives Matter protests where MPs convinced themselves they survived a January 6th attack in Washington DC and where middle-class Marxists decried everyone as Nazi freaks that the overreaction and the new police state quietly forged in the background will either protect us or harm us.

None of this has been answered in the 3 years since that terrible day in Christchurch.

Having more and more independent opinions in a mainstream media environment that mostly echo each other has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice, please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but would like to help, feel free to share our blogs on social media.

]]>
Potential 9/11 hijacker released from Guantanamo Bay, returned to Saudi Arabia for mental treatment https://capperi.net/potential-9-11-hijacker-released-from-guantanamo-bay-returned-to-saudi-arabia-for-mental-treatment/ Tue, 08 Mar 2022 02:49:00 +0000 https://capperi.net/potential-9-11-hijacker-released-from-guantanamo-bay-returned-to-saudi-arabia-for-mental-treatment/ Families of 9/11 victims and Republicans expressed outrage when the so-called “20th 9/11 hijacker” was released from Guantanamo Bay prison and returned to Saudi Arabia for psychiatric treatment. Potential terrorist Mohammed Ahmad al-Qahtani, 46, who allegedly missed boarding a plane to the World Trade Center because he was being held by authorities on immigration charges, […]]]>

Families of 9/11 victims and Republicans expressed outrage when the so-called “20th 9/11 hijacker” was released from Guantanamo Bay prison and returned to Saudi Arabia for psychiatric treatment.

Potential terrorist Mohammed Ahmad al-Qahtani, 46, who allegedly missed boarding a plane to the World Trade Center because he was being held by authorities on immigration charges, has been returned to his native country, Pentagon officials said Monday.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who sent a letter last week to President Joe Biden urging him not to go through with the release, said it was a “massive mistake that poses a risk serious for our national security”.

“Al-Qahtani is a terrorist who has made it his goal to kill Americans,” Rubio said. “I believe he remains committed to jihad and the destruction of the United States.”

“Now, because of the Biden administration’s misguided policies, he has the opportunity to return to the battlefield once again.” The decision to transfer al-Qahtani is not just an error in judgment, it is a massive mistake that poses a serious risk to our national security and the security of our allies.

Al-Qahtani’s release, which was approved last month by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, comes as the Biden administration pressures Saudi Arabia to release more oil amid the crisis in Ukraine.

Angela Mistrulli, whose father Joseph died at the World Trade Center on September 11, said she was frustrated by the lack of due process.

“I think it’s said very well to be a child of someone who was killed on 9/11 not to have a day in court for my father and the other 3,000 people who were murdered,” he said. she declared. “I find more and more that they take away their ability to pursue and get to the truth.”

In August 2001, al-Qahtani was turned away from the United States at Orlando airport by immigration officials who were suspicious of his trip. The main 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, was going to seek him out to participate in the plot, according to previously released documents.

US forces then captured him in Afghanistan and sent him to Guantanamo, where he was subjected to brutal interrogations that the Pentagon legal officer in charge of war crimes commissions says amounted to torture .

Mohammed al-Qahtani was released by US authorities and returned to Saudi Arabia for psychiatric treatment

He has been at Guantanamo for 20 years, but the charges against him were dropped years ago.

“After two decades without a trial in custody in the United States, Mohammed will now receive the psychiatric care he longs for in Saudi Arabia, with the support of his family,” said Ramzi Kassem, a law professor at City University of New York. York who represented al-Qahtani with the help of students for more than a decade. “Keeping him in Guantanamo, where he was tortured and then repeatedly attempted suicide, would have been a probable death sentence.”

Joseph Mistrulli, who was a union carpenter working for Windows on the World on 9/11, was killed in the attack.  Daughter Angela says Biden is taking away her ability to know the truth about what happened

Joseph Mistrulli, who was a union carpenter working for Windows on the World on 9/11, was killed in the attack. Daughter Angela says Biden is taking away her ability to know the truth about what happened

This treatment included beatings, exposure to extreme temperatures and noise, sleep deprivation and prolonged solitary confinement. In 2002, an FBI official observed al-Qahtani talking to nonexistent people, hearing voices, and squatting in a corner of his cell while covering himself with a sheet for hours at a time.

Al-Qahtani, who is the second Guantanamo Bay prisoner released by President Joe Biden, has suffered from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses since childhood, according to medical records.

There are now 38 prisoners still in custody at US military installations in Cuba.

However, only half of the men held there have been released and no decision has been made on what to do with the others, including those still on trial by military commission.

“It worries me that the administration is fertilizing the ground for another terrorist attack,” Mistrulli said.

The Department of Defense notified Congress of its intention to transfer al-Qahtani in February, sparking outrage among some Republicans.

Rubio and fellow Republican Senators Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Jim Risch of Indiana sent Biden a letter last week urging him not to let the Saudis go.

“We are concerned that he may attempt to resume his terrorist activities once released from US custody,” they said in their letter.

“The individuals who remain at Guantanamo are among the most dangerous terrorists in the world and have dedicated their lives to attacking Americans and our allies,” the trio wrote. “As such, they should not be given the opportunity to return to the battlefield in any role.”

Al-Qahtani was believed to have been on one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center before being arrested by immigration authorities

Al-Qahtani was believed to have been on one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center before being arrested by immigration authorities

There are now 38 prisoners still in custody at US military installations in Cuba.

There are now 38 prisoners still in custody at US military installations in Cuba.

Al-Qahtani’s lawyers won a federal court order in 2020 requiring a medical examination of the prisoner by an independent medical panel, which could have ordered his repatriation under army regulations if his doctors’ diagnosis was confirmed. . The Trump administration challenged the order, a legal fight that was dropped under Biden.

The 38 remaining prisoners at Guantanamo include 19 who have been approved for repatriation or resettlement by the review board. There are 7 others that can be reviewed. Ten prisoners are being tried by military commission, five of whom are accused of having taken part in the attacks of September 11, 2001. Their death penalty case has been stalled for years in the preliminary phase.

The other two prisoners at the base have been sentenced, one of whom, former Maryland resident Majid Khan, is set to complete his sentence under a plea deal.

]]>
Things are getting hot ? Russia ‘prepared the battlefield’ for US a long time ago, officials say https://capperi.net/things-are-getting-hot-russia-prepared-the-battlefield-for-us-a-long-time-ago-officials-say/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 19:17:01 +0000 https://capperi.net/things-are-getting-hot-russia-prepared-the-battlefield-for-us-a-long-time-ago-officials-say/ As raucous pro and anti-Trump crowds poured into Washington for the presidential inauguration in January 2017, DC Police Department city surveillance cameras stopped recording. Within seconds, 123 of its 178 surveillance cameras, including those monitoring the streets around the White House and the headquarters of several federal agencies, had been “accessed and compromised”. The lack […]]]>

As raucous pro and anti-Trump crowds poured into Washington for the presidential inauguration in January 2017, DC Police Department city surveillance cameras stopped recording. Within seconds, 123 of its 178 surveillance cameras, including those monitoring the streets around the White House and the headquarters of several federal agencies, had been “accessed and compromised”.

The lack of intelligence lasted three days, from January 12 to January 15. In the wake of Russia’s covert intrusions into the 2016 campaign, officials initially feared Vladimir Putin – or other bad actors, from China, Iran or North Korea. – had dramatically upped their game to create more chaos in American society and its politics.

In the end, it was none of them. A couple of low-level Romanian hackers had stumbled upon the system and used it in a ransomware demand for a paltry $60,800 in bitcoins in exchange for releasing control of the system. The suspects were found 11 months later and extradited to DC, where they pleaded guilty.

The incident further chills veteran agents who have spent decades worrying about such things. It could happen again, in spades, if the Ukraine crisis escalates into direct military competition between Russia and the United States, intelligence veterans say.

Decades ago, defectors from Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency said its operatives had planted weapons caches in the US and Europe for sabotage attacks should war break out . One said it was “likely” that GRU agents had placed “poison stockpiles near tributaries of major US reservoirs,” including the Potomac River that supplies Washington, DC with drinking water.

Defectors have corroborated the accounts of others, but it is unclear whether any caches here have ever been discovered. Swiss authorities reported finding a cache with an explosive mechanism to destroy evidence if an unauthorized person tried to dig it up.

But the blinding of DC surveillance cameras in January 2017 “underscores the fact that police, fire, emergency medical services, cities and municipalities are as vulnerable as private sector entities to cyberattacks.” says Ammar Y. Barghouty, a highly decorated retired FBI agent who ran a program responsible for computer threats from terrorist organizations. Like many homeland security officials over the past quarter-century, Barghouty, now director of cyber consulting for The Soufan Group, said key infrastructure organizations “should implement best practices” to defend against cyberattacks.

Yes, but it’s late, says Bill Evanina, a career FBI special agent who became director of domestic counterintelligence in the Obama administration. Utilities and financial networks began to ‘raise their drawbridges’ as the Ukraine crisis deepened, he and others said, but the Russians had ‘prepared the battlefield for many years already’ , he says. SpyTalk.

“They’ve been planting malware in critical infrastructure for over a decade,” said Evanina, who also led the CIA’s counterintelligence group.

As Putin threatens war over Western sanctions and possible transfer of Polish warplanes to Ukraine, Evanina says his ‘biggest concern is the use of intelligence agents here to do damage nearby’ . By that he means Russian agents sliding into targets with electronic devices to hack or disconnect their operating systems — or more, physically cutting their cables and peppering his fire control offices with expert snipers.

It happened in April 2013 at the Silicon Valley-adjacent Metcalf Power Plant, an incident that 60 minutes revisited February 27. Investigators found the unidentified perpetrators ‘fired 100 shotgun shells into 17 transformers, crippling the substation for a month and causing $15 million in damage,’ the NBC Bay Area affiliate reported. in 2015. “The attack lasted just 19 minutes but sparked widespread concern that it was either an act of terrorism or a trial for an even larger assault on the national power grid ” Subsequent investigations showed that the shots were fired and the cables cut with unusually high precision. Few physical security upgrades were made at power plants across the country in the wake of the attack. , 60 minutes found.

It was not Middle Eastern terrorists who attacked Metcalf, US intelligence agencies have concluded. The Obama administration has refrained from publicly blaming Moscow, but officials told a closed-door congressional committee that only three actors were capable of carrying out such a sophisticated operation: the United States, Israel and Russia – and it wasn’t Israel. The Russians have been suspected of carrying out more anomalous attacks on US power plants in recent years.

Meanwhile, in 2020, SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, was singled out in the hack of IT management company SolarWinds, which “may have exposed the networks of more than 18,000 companies and government agencies”. [and] inserted malware into an update to Orion, the company’s software platform that monitors network traffic,” a Columbia University panel said. Then, six months later, the Russians launched a massive ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, which controls about half of the fuel flowing to the US East Coast, Moscow blamed Russian “criminals” for being responsible for the attack.

Like Evanina, retired senior CIA official Gregory Sims sees it all as Russia prepares the battlefield for war.

“Russian doctrine clearly suggests that these vulnerabilities are being exploited not only to gather intelligence, but also to recognize critical US networks in order to lay the groundwork to disrupt or destroy them,” Sims wrote in January.

America’s national security leaders, he said, would be well advised to expect the unexpected, a shock on the order of Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor or Al’s audacious plot. -Qaeda on 9/11.

“By the summer of 1941, American officials knew that war with Japan was a real possibility, especially after they imposed an oil embargo in response to Japanese military actions in French Indochina, a crippling blow given that Japan was then importing 80 % of its oil from the United States,” Sims wrote for The brief cipher, a website populated by retired intelligence officers. “What was surprising was not that Japan attacked in December 1941, but that it dared to attack the American Pacific Fleet in its home port of Pearl Harbor.”

“Sixty years later, in the summer of 2001,” Sims added, “the warning signs of another enemy, this time Al-Qaeda, were also ‘flashing red.’ The policy makers repeatedly received indications that al-Qaeda was planning a spectacular attack. Yet again, the failure was not to anticipate an attack, but to fail to imagine its breathtaking audacity.”

Now the lights are “flashing red” in the cyber realm, but Sims says officials should broaden their focus.

Going deep

“It is worth reflecting, for example, on the fact that Russia has developed, at great expense, a sophisticated capability using exotic and highly specialized nuclear submarines and ships to attack the vast network of undersea cables that carries 97% of the world’s communications traffic, including the equivalent of $10 trillion in financial transactions per day,” wrote Sims, who toured several times as station chief or deputy chief of the CIA before retire at the end of 2018.

“A large-scale, coordinated attack on this network would have the potential to wreak enormous economic, political and social havoc on both sides of the Atlantic,” Sims added. “According to Putin’s calculations, couldn’t this be an appropriate response to a Russian ejection from SWIFT or other sanctions designed to cripple the Russian economy?”

Anything is possible, say other intelligence veterans, given Putin’s excited state of mind, but the recent history of the Kremlin’s covert activities suggests its attacks will remain in cyberspace, its ‘centre of gravity’ , as former DHS intelligence chief Brian Murphy puts it. . Cyber ​​saboteurs could blow up gas pipelines or open the floodgates of a massive dam.

As for the arms caches, Murphy said SpyTalk in an interview, “We heard things from time to time…from sources who heard something, from sources with less than credible access. I never heard anything come out of it.” Again, he says, “it wouldn’t surprise me” because Iranian operatives here had in the past been caught extracting ammonium nitrate and other chemicals from cold packs to make bombs. Ten years ago, the FBI and DHS issued an alert to local law enforcement to be on the lookout for suspicious cold pack accumulations. You would expect the Russians to be more sophisticated than that.

GRU defectors who told their stories of sabotage years ago corroborated the accounts of others, but it’s unclear if any caches here were ever discovered. Swiss authorities reported finding a cache with an explosive mechanism to destroy evidence if an unauthorized person tried to dig it up. But, as Evanina said SpyTalksimply disabling half a dozen major transportation hubs, like airports, via mobile cyber devices could create chaos across the country.

“As you know, we panic like no one else in America, don’t we?” he said. “So my biggest concern is the use of intelligence operatives here to do harm in close quarters.”

The United States recently fired 13 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage activities, with the last expulsions dating back to the Obama administration.

Alas, it’s not just the Russians that the authorities have to worry about. Just two weeks ago, three white supremacists pleaded guilty to conspiring to dismantle power grids in three different regions to hasten “economic distress and civil unrest”.

But the main worry right now is Russia’s intelligence agencies, because of their proven expertise, sophistication, and long history of assaulting US institutions, from infrastructure to elections.

“I think Putin is ready to do whatever it takes,” said Gregory Sims SpyTalk.

“His mindset should be about the world.”

This article by Jeff Stein first appeared on Spytalk.co.

Show full article

© Copyright 2022 SpyTalk. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

]]>
Cardinal in search of justice | Daily FT https://capperi.net/cardinal-in-search-of-justice-daily-ft/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 23:38:27 +0000 https://capperi.net/cardinal-in-search-of-justice-daily-ft/ The Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm, Cardinal Ranjith, this week met with Pope Francis and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, in Rome and Geneva respectively. According to reports citing the Catholic Church, the subject of those discussions was the lack of progress in national legal processes to deliver justice for […]]]>

The Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm, Cardinal Ranjith, this week met with Pope Francis and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, in Rome and Geneva respectively. According to reports citing the Catholic Church, the subject of those discussions was the lack of progress in national legal processes to deliver justice for the Easter Sunday attacks that hit the Christian community the hardest in Sri Lanka, when three churches became the target of suicide bombers.

With his moves this week, the cardinal crossed the proverbial Rubicon on international justice, finally accepting that the local criminal justice system failed to hold the perpetrators accountable. His pleas to the international community echo the calls for justice made by thousands of Sri Lankan victims of atrocities and human rights abuses since the end of the civil war as, time and time again, the processes the island’s judiciaries simply fail.

After being elected on a national security and public order list following the 2019 bombings, after two years in office, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivered neither. Despite numerous Boards of Inquiry, law enforcement investigations, and a few indictments, no one directly responsible for the crime or guilty of criminal negligence has yet been held accountable in court for the Easter terrorist attacks. The whole process was also undermined by negotiations and political interference. For example, former President Maithripala Sirisena, who at the time was also Minister of Defense and Minister in charge of Police and all State Intelligence, received a free pass after returning to the perch in the bosom of the Rajapaksa regime.

That the Cardinal has now resorted to international legal and advocacy options is an indictment in the local justice system which for many years has failed the victims, whether it be the 100,000 people or disappeared or extrajudicially killed or those who are routinely murdered in state custody. The Easter terrorist attacks are just another reminder of this broken justice system. The failings are even more concerning after SSP (Rtd.) Shani Abeysekera’s latest claims that state intelligence agencies had repeatedly interfered in CID’s investigations into the terrorist cell and its networks before and after. attacks.

Abeysekera’s petition to the Supreme Court detailing these links has yet to be challenged or at least rejected by the government. The former CID leader made the allegations at risk of perjury and contempt of court and could be jailed if he lied in his Supreme Court petition. The fact that no denial, even symbolic, has been issued by the government regarding these serious allegations is astonishing.

Instead of seeking the truth and offering some semblance of justice to the victims, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration has been involved in a systematic effort to silence those who demand judgment. Shehan Malaka Gamage, an activist demanding justice for the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings, was arrested by the CID on February 14 in connection with a mafia kidnapping. Earlier, the CID questioned the Reverend Cyril Gamini Fernando, a Catholic priest, at length about a statement he allegedly made during a webinar. Such intimidation and harassment of individuals demanding the truth and seeking justice for the victims will only cement the idea that the current government and its military and security apparatus are involved in a grand conspiracy to cover up the true motives of the incident.

The cardinal has not always been a champion of human rights or efforts to seek justice for victims of state crimes internationally. Shortly before the Easter Sunday attacks, he proclaimed that human rights were “the religion of the West”. But there is no joy in this reversal of opinion by the head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, for it is the pain and denial of closure for his flock that the cardinal takes with him to Rome and in Geneva.

In his quest for justice for the victims of the heinous Easter bombings, it is hoped that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith will also carry the prayers and appeals of thousands of Sri Lankans across the island who are still crying out for justice 10, 20 and 40 years on the road. God’s speed, Your Eminence.


]]>
Senior Iranian lawmaker reiterates call for removal of IRGC sanctions https://capperi.net/senior-iranian-lawmaker-reiterates-call-for-removal-of-irgc-sanctions/ Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:32:59 +0000 https://capperi.net/senior-iranian-lawmaker-reiterates-call-for-removal-of-irgc-sanctions/ Iran’s parliament reiterated Tehran’s demand to remove the IRGC from the US list of terrorist entities, as one of the steps needed to revive the JCPOA nuclear deal. Spokesman for the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh-Meshkini, said on Sunday that all demands of the Islamic Republic in the talks in […]]]>

Iran’s parliament reiterated Tehran’s demand to remove the IRGC from the US list of terrorist entities, as one of the steps needed to revive the JCPOA nuclear deal.

Spokesman for the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh-Meshkini, said on Sunday that all demands of the Islamic Republic in the talks in Vienna must be met.

“When we say the lifting of all sanctions, it means institutions, companies and individuals; removing the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) from the list of terrorist organizations is also one of the expectations of the Islamic Republic”, did he declare.

Abbaszadeh-Meshkini added that there are five or six issues left in the Vienna talks, which are important and sensitive priorities for the Islamic Republic, noting that these are the country’s red lines.

Last week, 250 of the 290 members of parliament issued a statement urging President Ebrahim Raisi not to agree to a new nuclear deal without meeting Iran’s demands.

Iran insisted on obtaining a political guarantee from the United States that it would not renege on a new nuclear deal and would remove all sanctions imposed on Iran, whether for nuclear or other reasons, such as violations of human rights or terrorism. The United States said it would only remove nuclear-related sanctions.

Earlier in February, Israel urged US not to suppress IRGC from its list of terror groups, saying the IRGC – which has been designated as a terror group since 2019 – sponsors Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Houthis.

]]>
Three years of Balakot airstrike: Don’t settle for terror https://capperi.net/three-years-of-balakot-airstrike-dont-settle-for-terror/ Fri, 25 Feb 2022 07:37:03 +0000 https://capperi.net/three-years-of-balakot-airstrike-dont-settle-for-terror/ On February 26, 2019, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets took off from India and crossed the border to carry out a punitive strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) facility in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan. Dubbed Operation Bandar, the attack was carried out in retaliation for the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 soldiers from […]]]>

On February 26, 2019, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets took off from India and crossed the border to carry out a punitive strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) facility in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan. Dubbed Operation Bandar, the attack was carried out in retaliation for the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 soldiers from the Central Reserve Police Force. “During an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest JeM training camp at Balakot. trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadists who were being trained for fiddayin action have been eliminated,” the foreign ministry said.

The Balakot strike was the first time India had carried out a bold maneuver, justifying it as a non-military preventive action in the face of imminent danger. Credible intelligence, India said, indicated that more fidayeen attacks were planned. The intention of the Indian government has been conveyed unequivocally to Pakistan and the world that it will no longer resort to dialogue with a nation that has repeatedly failed to deliver on its promises made in 2004 that Pakistan would not allow its territory for terrorism against India.

The world was in favor of India. Pakistan has tried to deny the damage, saying the attacks only destroyed a few trees and there was no loss of life. This plausible deniability, an oft-repeated tactic by Pakistan’s inter-agency public relations, has once again come to light, as it did during the Kargil intrusion, initially blamed on militants and fighters of the freedom of Kashmir.

The jury is still out on the casualty scale in Balakot, but enough water has flowed under the bridge since then.

Pakistan is reeling from economic pressures with repeated bailout requests from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; the nation continues to double its debt every five years. Inflation levels are at an all-time high, with a huge budget deficit. This precarious financial situation will not fail to fuel disillusionment with the current government, which came to power with the promise of a “Naya Pakistan”. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s honeymoon with the Taliban, which came to power in Afghanistan after the US exit, is worsening day by day, with reports of repeated clashes along the Durand Line. The illegal sale of arms seized from departing US forces has given a new impetus to this trade, which will only fuel further unrest in the region.

For China, whose much-vaunted “higher than the mountains and deeper than the seas” bond with Pakistan continues to thrive, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan poses its own challenges. China must remain vigilant against the spread of terror and militancy with the growing influence of the TIP and TTP coupled with Uyghur unrest in the Xinjiang region. This poses significant risks for Beijing’s investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Moreover, China’s strategic alliance with Pakistan will be tested in the near future, with the perilous situation in the neighborhood after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and disillusionment within Pakistan. in the face of its worsening economic crisis.

Investments in relationships and policies, when made with vested and parochial interests, will never pay dividends. Pakistan’s policy of fomenting terrorism through its soil, China’s alliance with Pakistan to protect itself from India, Pakistan’s support for the Taliban to provide strategic depth, and the US partnership with Pakistan to exerting influence over Afghanistan have all ensured that the chickens have finally returned home to their roost.

After the Balakot strike, there was a noticeable downward trend in infiltrations across the border and terrorist attacks/incidents. India’s diplomatic clout and military capability with the induction of Rafale fighter jets with specialized precision weapons has only increased since then.

The last Fire Power Display (FPD), carried out by the Indian Air Force, took place two days after the Pulwama attack. This year’s PFD takes place on March 7.

The lull in terrorist attacks should not make us complacent. No. The powder must be kept dry and innovative options must be considered and debated, because cold, calculated and decisive actions, incorporating surprise and deception, will pay dividends and ensure that national security is not compromised.

Is the monkey of cross-border terrorism finally on India’s back? Only time will tell.

Anil Golani is Additional Managing Director, Center for Air Power Studies, New Delhi

Opinions expressed are personal

]]>
Biden ordinance on frozen funds an atrocity, says former Afghan President Karzai – The Diplomat https://capperi.net/biden-ordinance-on-frozen-funds-an-atrocity-says-former-afghan-president-karzai-the-diplomat/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 13:14:28 +0000 https://capperi.net/biden-ordinance-on-frozen-funds-an-atrocity-says-former-afghan-president-karzai-the-diplomat/ Advertising The former Afghan president on Sunday appealed for an order from the White House to keep $3.5 billion in Afghan assets held in the United States for the families of victims of 9/11, an atrocity against the Afghan people. Former President Hamid Karzai, during a crowded press conference, asked for the help of Americans, […]]]>

The former Afghan president on Sunday appealed for an order from the White House to keep $3.5 billion in Afghan assets held in the United States for the families of victims of 9/11, an atrocity against the Afghan people.

Former President Hamid Karzai, during a crowded press conference, asked for the help of Americans, especially the families of the thousands killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to pressure President Joe Biden to rescind last week’s order. He called it “unfair and unfair”, saying Afghans were also victims of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden was brought to Afghanistan by Afghan warlords after he was expelled from Sudan in 1996. These same warlords later allied with the US-led coalition to oust the Taliban in 2001. However, c It was Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar who refused to hand bin Laden over to the United States after the devastating 9/11 attacks that left thousands dead.

“The Afghan people share the pain of the American people, share the pain of the families and loved ones of those who died, who lost their lives in the tragedy of 9/11,” Karzai said. “We sympathize with them (but) the Afghans are as many victims as the families who lost their lives. … Withholding money or seizing money from the Afghan people in their name is unfair and unjust and an atrocity against the Afghan people.

Biden’s order signed last Friday released $7 billion in Afghan assets currently held in the United States, half of which goes to humanitarian assistance to Afghans. The other half will be set aside as potential compensation for 9/11 victims, pending the outcome of legal efforts.

Like this article ? Click here to register for full access. Just $5 per month.

9/11 victims and their families have a lawsuit against the Taliban and the $7 billion US banking system. The $3.5 billion has been set aside for a US court to decide if it can be used to settle the claims of families of 9/11 victims. US courts would also have to approve before the aid money is released.

We are “calling on the US courts to do the opposite, to return the Afghan money to the Afghan people,” Karzai said. “This money does not belong to any government, this money belongs to the Afghan people.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s order calls for the $3.5 billion allocated for humanitarian aid to be placed in trust and used to help Afghans, bypassing their Taliban leadership.

But Karzai demanded that the $7 billion be returned to the Afghan central bank to continue its monetary policy. He opposed the granting of Afghan reserves to international aid organizations to provide humanitarian aid.

“You give us our own money so that it can be spent on foreigners who come here, to pay their salaries, to give it to (non-governmental organizations),” he said.

The Afghan economy is on the verge of collapse after international money stopped flowing into the country with the arrival of the Taliban in mid-August. Last month the United Nations appealed for $5 billion for Afghanistan. The UN warns that one million children are at risk of starvation and that 90% of Afghans live below the poverty line of just $1.90 a day.

Karzai was Afghanistan’s first democratically elected president after the US-led coalition toppled the Taliban in 2001. He served until 2014 and succeeded Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country on August 15, leaving the doors open to the Taliban takeover of Kabul. Karzai was highly regarded as encompassing all of Afghanistan’s many ethnic groups, but his administration, like subsequent Afghan administrations, was dogged by accusations of widespread corruption.

Karzai spoke at a packed press conference inside his sprawling compound in the capital of Kabul. Dozens of Pashtun- and Persian-speaking Afghan journalists vied for space in a second-floor conference room with more than a dozen television cameras.

Karzai used the press conference to pressure the country’s Taliban leaders and their opponents to find a way to come together. He pushed for the traditional Afghan grand council, or loya jirga, as a way to find consensus and establish a more representative administration.

“We as Afghans and the current sitting Islamic government must do our best not to give America or any other country any excuse to be against us,” he said.

Like this article ? Click here to register for full access. Just $5 per month.

Anger has been mounting in Afghanistan since Friday’s announcement at the White House. Protesters marched again in Kabul on Sunday demanding that the money be returned to Afghanistan. However, the Taliban, who also condemned Biden’s order, dispersed protesters as they tried to gather near the city’s Eid Gah mosque.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission, in a tweet on Sunday evening, said four activists who went missing more than two weeks ago had returned home.

At the end of January, Tamana Zaryabi Paryani and her three sisters disappeared, allegedly seized by a group of men after taking part in a demonstration against the forced wearing of the Islamic hijab. The Taliban denied taking them.

“The UN welcomes encouraging reports that the four ‘disappeared’ Afghan women activists, some of whom have been missing for weeks, are being allowed to return home. Their well-being and safety are of paramount concern,” the UN agency said.

International media have however reported that several British nationals and an American are still being held by the Taliban, including freelance cameraman Peter Jouvenal, a dual British and German citizen who has covered Afghanistan for more than 40 years. He has been missing since December and the Taliban did not respond to questions from The Associated Press.

His wife, an Afghan, launched a plea for his release.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that an American was being held by the Taliban along with “a number of British nationals”. He gave no further information, saying only that Washington was “actively working to secure his release.”

]]>
Look behind the hijab | The Indian Express https://capperi.net/look-behind-the-hijab-the-indian-express/ Sun, 13 Feb 2022 03:27:22 +0000 https://capperi.net/look-behind-the-hijab-the-indian-express/ LAST WEEK, I found myself unwittingly embroiled in the hijab saga. I didn’t want to get caught up in it, but when I saw well-meaning women, especially Priyanka Gandhi, proclaiming that to wear or not to wear the hijab was a matter of choice, I felt it was necessary to point out that it was […]]]>

LAST WEEK, I found myself unwittingly embroiled in the hijab saga. I didn’t want to get caught up in it, but when I saw well-meaning women, especially Priyanka Gandhi, proclaiming that to wear or not to wear the hijab was a matter of choice, I felt it was necessary to point out that it was rubbish. Women raised in conservative Muslim homes are taught from an early age that veiling is an act of piety and that they should accept it without question. When this idea is taken to its logical conclusion, we get Afghanistan, Iran, and the horrible ISIS caliphate. When the Caliphate was at the height of its power and glory, women could be shot in the streets for showing their faces in public.

When the Prophet of Islam urged women to dress modestly, he may not have realized that what exactly modesty meant would be determined by men. This is what happened, and there is no point in pretending that wearing the hijab is a matter of choice. It’s not. This is why the sight of young women demanding the “right” to wear the hijab is distressing and to see powerful-voiced liberal ladies supporting them even more. Islam has given the world beautiful ideas about equality and brotherhood, but the treatment of women is not one of them. Since India is not an Islamic country, Muslim women should be encouraged to get rid of their dresses and head coverings instead of being encouraged to fight for their “right” to wear a hijab.

Once embroiled in the controversy, I began to take a closer look at what was happening in Karnataka, and the closer I looked, the more worried I became. What worried me the most was that the students who were part of the initial protest were supported by the Campus Front of India (CFI), which is the student wing of the Indian People’s Front (PFI). It is a violent jihadist organization. It has an army of jihadists who often take part in military exercises. The next is scheduled for Murshidabad next week, February 17, with the stated aim of tackling “Hindu and fascist forces”.

My own interest in the PFI started in 2010 when he ordered an attack on a teacher in Kerala, Professor TJ Joseph, and in that attack his hand was cut off by PFI fanatics. He was punished because in the eyes of the PFI he had insulted the Prophet Muhammad. The PFI embodies the kind of radical Islam that has been directly responsible for most of the jihadist terrorist attacks around the world and which gave birth to the Taliban government that rules Afghanistan today. Indian Muslims who feel increasingly alienated in Narendra Modi’s “New India” are particularly vulnerable to ideas of political Islam propagated by organizations like the PFI. Thus, it should come as no surprise if when a proper investigation into the hijab manifestation is conducted, it turns out that the PFI sponsored it. Without strong backing, it’s hard to imagine how a small group of Muslim college students were able to take their hijab claim all the way to the Supreme Court.

It is equally difficult to understand how a protest that began at a government college in Udipi was able to so quickly and easily garner support from veiled Muslim women in cities across India. Veiled protesters in different cities carried the same signs saying, “The hijab is my right.” This protest is no longer about Muslim girls who are denied access to education, but about Muslim girls who unwittingly become pawns of political forces whose ideology and ideas are the opposite of the ideas that define the India in our Constitution. What is more disturbing is that the men who control the PFI have convinced these young girls that it is the Constitution of India that gives them the right to freedom of religion and worship. It gives them that right. What it does not give is the right for forces like the PFI to spread their violent and ugly ideology unchecked.

On a personal level, I first noticed the spread of radical Islam in our southern states over 20 years ago. I was in Coimbatore to investigate the serial bombs that exploded on February 14, 1998, in which 58 people were killed and over 200 injured. I remember going to a Muslim locality around a large mosque and finding that Tamil Muslim girls who once wore sarees like their Hindu sisters now wore salwar-kurtas and walked around in elaborate hijabs. When I tried to strike up a conversation with them, they said they weren’t allowed to talk to strangers unless they got permission from the local maulvi. So I went to the mosque to look for her, but if I remember correctly either the girls were not allowed to speak or the maulvi remained elusive.

After the attacks of September 11, radical Islam spread exponentially among our Muslim communities. Before Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, they said it was a response to Islamophobia and the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Today, they say it’s a response to what the PFI videos call “Hindu and fascist forces”. What is clear is that these developments are dangerous to national security and must be investigated and stopped urgently and decisively.

]]>
Reward offered for information on ISIS leader Sanaullah Ghafari and Kabul airport attack https://capperi.net/reward-offered-for-information-on-isis-leader-sanaullah-ghafari-and-kabul-airport-attack/ Sat, 12 Feb 2022 04:11:38 +0000 https://capperi.net/reward-offered-for-information-on-isis-leader-sanaullah-ghafari-and-kabul-airport-attack/ The US State Department’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, offers a reward of up to $10 million each for information that identifies or locates the head of the Islamic State Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab. al-Muhajir, and for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country […]]]>

The US State Department’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, offers a reward of up to $10 million each for information that identifies or locates the head of the Islamic State Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab. al-Muhajir, and for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of those responsible for the August 26, 2021 terrorist attack at Kabul airport.

In June 2020, Sanaullah Ghafari was appointed by ISIS core to lead ISIS-K. Ghafari is responsible for approving all ISIS-K operations throughout Afghanistan and arranging funding to conduct the operations. On November 22, 2021, the Department of State designated Ghafari as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (EO) 13224, as amended.

On August 26, 2021, terrorists launched a suicide bombing attack on the airport as the United States and other governments conducted a large-scale evacuation of its citizens and vulnerable Afghans from the country. At least 185 people were killed in the attack, including 13 US servicemen supporting evacuation operations. More than 150 people, including 18 American soldiers, were injured. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

On September 29, 2015, the US government designated ISIS-K as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), and on January 14, 2016, the Department of State designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

More information about this reward offer can be found on the Rewards for Justice website at www.rewardsforjustice.net. We encourage anyone with information about past or anticipated attacks on U.S. persons or property in Afghanistan to text Rewards for Justice via Signal, Telegram, or WhatsApp to +1-202-702-7843. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid out more than $200 million to more than 100 people around the world who have provided actionable information that has helped prevent terrorism, bring terrorist leaders to justice, and solve crimes. threats to the national security of the United States.

Learn more at the State Department

]]>