Archive for February 16th, 2010
The above photo is the Time Magazine article of the same name as the BBC production that I am linking to. The link is for part 1 and I will post links for parts two and three once they are out there on the Internet.
This series is rather prescient given what I have been seeing these last couple years particularly on the internet where Jihad is concerned. Once the command and control underbelly for AQ to make connections has gone web 2.0 and has grown immensely. This growth has also been in the form of a tool for propaganda and recruitment for Jihad.
The younger set have taken the reigns and created bulletin boards, upload sites, and encrypted channels for their trafficking of data such as videos, pdf’s, and even power point presentations. These files are uploaded to the likes of Rapidshare and other sites like it to propagate all over the net for easy access. There is however a lesser known series of sites and connections that are more protected. These areas offer more directed material from AQ.
What this report really shows pretty well is that the jihadis have begun to work on the youth of today who have easy access to the ineternet, often feel confused and angry, and all to often can be turned into shahid fairly easily. Of course many of these kids are of Muslim heritage, but, some like Adam “Azzam Amriki” Ghadan decide on their own to seek the Muslim faith and then get brought into Jihad.
I assume that in the upcoming parts of this report you will also see the “Muslima” movement online being profiled too. This is a rather important point to cover today as the movement has been active in recruiting women as well as American or Anglo recruits for the next wave of attacks. This is something I have been seeing on the boards out there. Many sites have added English sections that mirror “most” of the content within the boards.
Another interesting point is the idea that just posessing the videos and other media make the owner available to prosecution for terrorism, at least in the UK. I am not sure how that will play out here in the US, but, I can see the same kind of ideas being put out as law and allowing the Feds to charge a person who simply “posesses” the data as a co conspirator to terrorism. Something that is kind of scary really given our first amendment rights and others granted to us in the Constitution.
Its a slippery slope really..
In any case, I suggest you view this video and see what is happening. Understanding the problem is the first step in solving it.
Anatomy of an assassination
Ynet special: Security affairs analyst Ron Ben-Yishai examines Hamas man’s assassination in Dubai in wake of dramatic police revelations, says assassins highly professional, some questions remain unanswered
Published: 02.16.10, 00:52 / Israel News
The footage of the operation that culminated in senior Hamas man Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s assassination reveals much more than what meets the eyes. Dubai is a crossroads of international trade, secret deals, and acts of espionage of all types. The local rulers are well aware of it, and they also realize that their wealth and the billions of dollars they earn from this economic activity are conditioned on maintaining security – for that reason, the entire principality is covered by security cameras, installed at almost every corner.
Dubai adopted the London model, and the fact that the city’s territory is relatively small makes this grand monitoring project easier. As result, the Dubai Police and other local security agencies were able to quickly gather recorded material from almost any site visited by al-Mabhouh, as well as members of the assassination team.
Dubai Police footage (Photo: Reuters)
The people who according to Dubai’s police chief assassinated al-Mabhouh were apparently aware of this reality, and therefore used costumes to hide their facial and body features; the photos were blurred as it is because of the cameras’ qualities, thereby making it harder to elicit details that would allow officials to launch an international manhunt for the assassins. We can likely assume that both al-Mabhouh and his pursuers made use of genuine passports that were doctored in a way that would maintain their authenticity and integrity, but make it more difficult to launch a manhunt later on.
What did al-Mabhouh do in Dubai?
Several important issues were left out of Dubai’s police reports: What did al-Mabhouh do in the principality? Who did he meet there? A serious police investigation of the type presented by officials includes tailing the victim, not only his killers. The cameras that provided so much detail about the assassins likely also provided detailed information on al-Mabhouh’s acts and the people he met. It appears that some officials in Dubai seek to refrain from humiliating Hamas and not get embroiled in a conflict – with the Iranians, the Sudanese, or other nationalities. Dubai wishes to continue serving as a global crossroads – without getting into trouble with its neighbors.
Well played my friends.. Well played indeed. This story kinda gives me a little smirk as this is carried off in Dubai, land of the ever present eye in the sky. Even more funny also because they all infiltrated in on UK passports (the other most watched country in the world) and they still pulled it off.
Mabhouh was a rat bastard arms facilitator for Hamas and Hamas is still a terrorist organisation with ties to Iran (funding and support) so in my book its all good. One can only hope that the exfil that they carried out will be so cold by the time the Dubai authorities get anywhere with them this team will be far off in other places. Hell, likely many of them went back to their sleeper identities and have re-blended in even here in the states.
This was a well carried out plan and shows you just how well the Mossad and Shin Bet can work.. for that matter, any intelligence agency’s teams “should” work this way. It’s just that the Mossad has the most experience *cough* at pulling this kind of operation off in the past.
In other words, don’t fuck with Israel and Mossad.
This also might have further reaching effects with regard to Iran and the whole nuclear situation that I was talking about last night. If they are feeling high after whacking this guy, what else might they be planning already or decide to give the green light to in the near future? Perhaps certain Mullah’s will come down with deftly virulent diseases? Or maybe something along the lines of the old Russian Polonium attack?
Another fun fact about this incident. Take a look at the faces in those passports. So many of them look kinda swarthy to be from Ireland. I am hearing that the passports were real and re-engineered for one time use in this instance. Quite the varied team. Only 4 of them did the job itself, the others were watchers and specialists in surveillance.
They likely ran multiple teams one to two man teams in front and behind of the target while tailing him. The burn phones that they were using were all out of the UK and did not use the normal Dubai networks that are completely p0wn3d by them (remember that nice little hack last year on the black berries where the software push was done? nice eh?) so these guys knew what they were doing and likely used the cells to keep in contact while carrying out the surveillance op.
I guess from all my posts on the Google debacle and cyberwar I may have gained some attention that I don’t really want. It seems that some folks in China have become rather interested in my little IP address.
So nmap’s huh? I mean, well you aren’t really being all stealth are ya chairman? I just love seeing the “peoples republic government systems” in the logs…
Meanwhile, someone attempted a UDP DoS on my system too. The IPS seems to have handled that one just alright.
It’s always fun watching the logs…
February 12, 2010
Trend News, 12 Feb 10: Interview with Clare Lopez (Vice President of the Intelligent Summit and CI Centre Professor, retired CIA case officer)
Trend News: Iranian president announced yesterday that the country has finished producing its first batch of 20-percent enriched uranium. Do you believe the nuclear program influences Iran’s domestic policy?
Lopez: Iran’s nuclear weapons program is considered by its clerical rulers to be indispensable for both domestic and foreign policy. Internally, the mullahs believe that acquisition of a deliverable nuclear weapon would encourage national pride, but also convince dissidents and internal opponents that if the entire world could not stop Iran from getting a bomb, then their quest for liberty is also a hopeless one. Externally, Tehran wants a nuclear weapons capability for two key objectives: geostrategic dominance, including adventuresome aggression, in the Persian Gulf and Middle East region, and to seize leadership of the international Jihad movement away from the Sunnis. The idea is ‘Shi’a Rising,’ Persian Empire reborn, and Shi’a at the forefront of the Islamic Jihad vs. the Western, non-Muslim world.
Q: Do you think that Iran has the necessary technology to use the enriched uranium that it supposedly has?
A: It is my conviction that Iran has already developed nuclear warheads and tested them in non-chain reaction, non-fission, trigger device testing, probably in deep underground sites. I don’t think there is any doubt whatsoever that Iran has mastered the full nuclear fuel cycle….moving to 20 percent enrichment is merely the latest challenge to the impotence of the international community. Once a nation has mastered enrichment even to 4-5 percent, moving additional steps beyond that is merely an exercise in the re-calibration of the centrifuges. The hardest technological challenge comes at the beginning, learning how to build and install and calibrate centrifuges and to link them into cascades. Once that is mastered, the rest is actually much easier – also a quicker process to reach Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) at 90 percent or even Weapons Grade, which is 93 percent enriched. Finally, we are fools if we think that Natanz and Qom are Iran’s only two nuclear enrichment sites. We have no idea at what stage of enrichment the other clandestine sites are.
Q: Do you think that Iran’s nuclear program will stop under pressure of economic sanctions?
A: No, Iran’s nuclear weapons process will not stop for any reason whatsoever except actual credible threat to the survival of the regime itself. Sanctions are useless.
Q: On the whole, what is the possibility to stop Iran’s nuclear program with discounts? What is the role of the U.S.?
A: The only possibility to stop Iran from achieving a deliverable nuclear weapon in the very near future is forcible destruction of their known sites, and/or regime change. Regime change is possible by a number of conceivable methods: internal implosion (the founders of the revolution actually fighting among themselves); internal dissident movement, like the Green opposition, but this has a long, long way to go and is under severe repression; external attack by Israel, the U.S., and/or the international community. It seems highly unlikely that the U.S. will lift a finger to either support or assist the internal dissidents because the Obama administration wants to preserve what it naively thinks to be a possibility of negotiating a nuclear deal with the mullahs. This will never succeed. The international community, especially the IAEA, the U.N., and the Security Council are essentially impotent, in part because China and Russia do not see it in their national interest to stop Iran right now. Only Israel retains the ability and will to act. I believe Israel will strike eventually when it perceives that its final red lines have been crossed, or when Iran is about to acquire a game-changing air-defense missile system (like the S-300 from Russia), or when it decides is the best moment to achieve tactical surprise. For Israel, this is an existential question.
Got a little story for you…
Back in the early 90’s after the Sov state fell, there was a little operation designated “SAPPHIRE” that managed to move about half a ton of U235 out of Kazakhstan and at least one box of Beryllium that was marked “Tehran” on it.
For those not in the know, this is an element that is used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons and either the Sov’s had intended selling it to Iran or, those in charge of it when the Sov’s pulled out decided to make a quick buck. Either way, this would have put the Iranian program much further ahead than they are today had this not been discovered and removed.
Fast forward to today, well a couple days ago, when Mahmoud announced that Iran is a Nuclear nation for having enriched some uranium. Of course their enrichment is not up to the level it would need to be for making a nuclear bomb, it is a step closer to their ambitions. It’s the thought that counts huh?
We are at a precipice in time with Iran’s Mullah controlled nation state and their most fervent desire to be a nuclear power. I fear that this administration has got some balls to grow and not spend so much energy on talking to Mahmoud and his handlers in Iran.
Talk will get us nowhere with them. Just as much as talk will get us nowhere with the AQAP and all of the other jihadist groups. This analyst is right. Natanz was just one facility of more than a few I would agree and the Israelis are the only ones who have the balls and are crazy enough to just nuke it from orbit…
“It’s the only way to be sure”
Last I checked too, we were in a bad way with regard to assets “in country” in Iran. So the intelligence gathering there is likely to be less than stellar too. Sound familiar? Kinda like a few other nation state *cough Muslim cough* situations we have?
So big O wants to talk and sanction them. Say, how long did Muammar go with sanctions and still stand tough against us? How about Saddam? Yeah, those examples don’t really bode well for this situation do they? The fact is sanctions will only allow the people to suffer and the repression of said people to increase. We have tried this and hoped in the past that the people would rise, but, that didn’t go well either did it.
I fear this will go badly.