(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for March 11th, 2010

Information handcuffs: Counterterrorism IT needs support from the top, Congress told

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Information handcuffs: Counterterrorism IT needs support from the top, Congress told

There is no technological silver bullet for identifying would-be terrorists in the terabytes of information the National Counterterrorism Center receives each day, a deputy director for that center said today.

Russell Travers, NCTC’s deputy director for information sharing and knowledge development, said the center has many technological tools that sort, sift and cull through the swaths of information it receives each day from some 30 networks that feed the center. But privacy and policy considerations put boundaries on what officials can do with the data.

“The further you move in the direction of comingling foreign and domestic data in a single enclave where you can effectively apply tools, the harder the legal and policy and privacy issues become,” Travers told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Travers testimony comes as intelligence agencies work to remedy problems exposed by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s alleged attempt to blow up an airplane en route to Detroit on Dec. 25. Officials have said the inability to foil the plot was a failure of integration and analysis rather than a problem of information hoarding.

Travers said the failure to thwart the attack wasn’t due to a lack of information sharing, but rather the longstanding problem of identifying and integrating fragmented information in absence of an obvious threat.

“Notions of a Google-like search or a federated search are actually of relatively limited value,” Travers added. “We actually have significant Google-like searches that will go across many message-handling systems and we still would not have come across” Abdulutallab. Even with search capabilities, Travers said a challenge was conducting a precise query.

Speaking of jihadi sites and OSINT, here we have a peek at the NCTC’s problems where data is concerned. It seems that they have a fire hose to gulp from at times and at other no one is talking to one another.

So what can be done?

This article and the testimony clearly point out a basic premise.

“They need support from the top”

This is the only way things will hppen. Its the same with infosec in the private sector. If you don’t have buy in from the top, nothing will actually be enforceable below. So, what needs to happen for these folks and frankly, in my opinion, the private sector are the creation and enforcement of some rules.

In the case of the spook “community” and military, they need to be able to share what they know. This especially goes for the federal entities like the FBI who are known to be pricks about jurisdiction and need to know. If they can’t get this stuff straight we will have another 9/11 situation where you had the 19 living just down the road a piece from Ft. Meade and memos on Arab men taking flying lessons who were not interested in landing, on the desk of some SAC with his finger in his ass.

In the private sector, we need some laws and rules as well as real honest to goodness repercussions if you are not compliant. This whole HIPAA and SOX game today just does nothing for security really.

I have little hope of change though.


Written by Krypt3ia

2010/03/11 at 23:28

“Jihobbyists” No More: English-Speaking Western Jihadists Coming of Age

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“We were ordinary members at the al-Ekhlaas forum and we learned a lot from the brothers who took charge of jihadi media work before us—and it is only normal for us to start our own active campaign at the first chance we got. And that’s what we did, so we established this site, and told everyone we knew from the al-Ekhlaas network about this forum…We went outside the usual jihadi media route, but we terrorize in the real world as much as we terrorize online, so whoever wishes to join is welcome, and those who don’t should hold their tongues about us and go away. And although low in number, we are strong in determination, and anyone who joins us will realize that immediately.. say, if any of the brothers at al-Fajr Media wishes to receive assurances about us and if you are in communication with them, then inform them that we would like to meet with them. We ask them to come here and distribute a bulletin outlining the action plan for the al-Ansar network—and we are willing to blow ourselves up near the infidels at any moment, and if they have enough resources to provide us with the necessary financing, then a terrorist is ready.”

Full post HERE

CTC Sentinel Report on Al-Ansar Network

My report on Al-Ansar Network Map

“Hapless wannabe’s” is the term used for the likes of Jihad Jane before her little trip to Europe to attempt to assassinate a cartoonist. Or, maybe you would like to talk about Nidal, and his spree shooting incident instead. Both have touches of being spurred on to committing these crimes by the online jihadist networks as “lone wolf” actors.

Who or what are these jihadist networks online?




… and the list goes on. Many of them now customed out with English mirror content (almost mirrored, sometimes the translations differ) to make it easier for the non Arab US/UK Muslim or in the case of Jane, Nidal, and Abdumutallab, mentally unbalanced individual to wage jihad.

English however, is just a subset now and these sites are popping up in German as well as Malay, Thai, etc. The jihadists are branching out with franchise opportunities. Many of these sites you may have seen here on this blog of late as I have been mapping them and writing about these changes.

So how do we police this? Obviously in the case of Nidal and Jane, they were known to have ties and or conversations online with known actors. Yet, they were allowed to walk about until they finally “went off” Why is that? Perhaps they weren’t being tailed online as well as they could be? Perhaps they were just deemed to be “hapless” and non threats?

*scratches head*

I dunno.

What I do know though is that Jane is just one in perhaps many more to follow on the Muslima jihadi path. These sites have been lately developing a content area(s) for muslim women to become shahid.

It’s the next wave.

What I want to know is: “How is this news to anyone in the CT arena?” This has been going on for months now. I can see the media just picking up on this, but the CT folks should be up on this.

Anyway, what needs to happen here? These sites to be taken down permanently by governments? Used for surveillance and capture? Perhaps a little agent provocateur action?


We can just DoS them for 30 minutes at a time… Oh, wait, that’s useless.

It’s an interesting question and I don’t have the full answer. I believe though that they should be used against them. These sites should be p0wn3d and all data harvested. Agent provocateurs inserted into each and every one of them and arrests made. Not just one’sy two-sy arrests either. For that matter get the intel and send in the predators.

In short use them as the OSINT/INTEL sources that they are.

Keep your eyes on the news people. I expect to see more women and lone wolf actors to come.


Written by Krypt3ia

2010/03/11 at 20:01