terrorism - Page 4

  • NSA total surveillance program did not catch 10% of all terrorists before attacks in the US

    But an analysis from the non-profit policy group New America Foundation, released today, shows that NSA surveillance programmes have been used to apprehend only 17 of the 225 people charged with an act of terrorism in the US since 9/11. The report also argues that the NSA's mass surveillance, which began after the Al-Qaida attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, would not even have helped to prevent those attacks.


    The key issue in the failure to prevent 9/11 was not a lack of information, the report claims, but poor sharing of existing intelligence between the CIA and other government departments. One of the plane hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar, was already known to the CIA after he attended an Al-Qaida summit in Malaysia in 2000. Despite this, his name was not added to any watch lists, and the FBI was never told about Mihdhar so they could pursue him in the US.

    why wouldn't that surprise me

    because if you are planning an attack you should know by now that you shouldn't use any social or digital media to send out your message or to make arrangements

    the less is done the greater the chance that it will stay under the radar

  • after the cyberdefense, the military defense of critical infrastructure

    One incident against a small US electrical installation has made the headlines again and swifted some of the all-is-cyber obsession to the physical aspects of security

    Around 1:00 AM on April 16, at least one individual (possibly two) entered two different manholes at the PG&E Metcalf power substation, southeast of San Jose, and cut fiber cables in the area around the substation. That knocked out some local 911 services, landline service to the substation, and cell phone service in the area, a senior U.S. intelligence official told Foreign Policy. The intruder(s) then fired more than 100 rounds from what two officials described as a high-powered rifle at several transformers in the facility. Ten transformers were damaged in one area of the facility, and three transformer banks -- or groups of transformers -- were hit in another, according to a PG&E spokesman.

  • belgium has in western Europe highest number of Syria fighters per captiva

    according to new numbers which take into account the lowest and highest estimates


    in total there are now around 11000 foreign fighters in Syria (but we never counted them for Bosnia for example although it was known to be a 'weekend trip' for islamists with the Bosnians and extreme rightwing paramilitaries with the serbs

    and yes, these are our youngsters fighting in Syria because we even don't have the guts to enforce a nofly zone, to get through private firms trainers and weapons or just force have a real show of force that would weaken the regime immediately

    they shouldn't be fighting there because our regular armies should - otherwise what do we have UN and armies for (to wait for the never coming next big war)

    it also is an indication that our integration is failing with the new generation (we are still calling immigrants, maroccans and so instead of just Belgian who are born here and live here and are just as Belgian as you and me even if they look different)

    it also makes it a new risk factor because out of so many combattants at least one will do the stupid thing of wanting to take revenge on our society just standing by while he was fighting a just war without the necessary weapons and resources to win against one of the most brutal dictators around (make me think of hitler in more than one case)

  • superbowl, the biggest sport event in the US is being monitored for dirty bombs

    read this

    By game time the NYPD will have had a full complement of security measures in place for a week, including: police helicopters with special sensors to detect radiation on the ground, a counter terrorism 360-degree camera car to look for suspicious packages, bomb dogs, video cameras mounted as the NYPD’s “eyes in the sky” at various event locations, lots of radiation detection boats in addition to the usual complement of heavily armed cops.

    the biggest fear or paranoia or Hype-of-the-moment in terrorism are dirty bombs which are normal bombs but to which one has added some biological, chemical or nuclear material so that it would affect or infect more people at the scene. This wouldn't make it a nuclear attack or a biological or chemical attack because those components are not the main part of the bomb. The main part is the explosion and the direct effect of the bomb, all the rest is there to increase the number of possible victims and the panic.

    but in the first place, enjoy the event, security is in place for you to enjoy the event

  • how many bombs would you let go on a plane - play (airportscanner)

    this is a free game for android and ipad that gives you the possibility to put you into the place and responsability of the people you see scanning thousands of bags everyday looking at all kinds of stuff being responsable to find everything that is hidden or broken up in several parts


    The potential is also there, Mitroff said, for the Airport Scanner game to play a role in Transportation Security Administration training and standard operating procedures. The research team now has access to more than 1.5 billion trials from the smartphone app for analysis.

  • the most secret US warfare drone in Area51 finds some details leaked

    this is how it would look like


    The RQ-180 carries radio-frequency sensors such as active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and passive electronic surveillance measures, according to one defense official. It could also be capable of electronic attack missions.


    This aircraft’s design is key for the shift of Air Force ISR assets away from “permissive” environments—such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where Northrop Grumman’s non-stealthy Global Hawk and General Atomics’ Reaper operate—and toward operations in “contested” or “denied” airspace. The new UAS underpins the Air Force’s determination to retire a version of the RQ-4B Global Hawk after 2014, despite congressional resistance. The RQ-180 eclipses the smaller, less stealthy and shorter-range RQ-170 Sentinel.

    and this is how the production and testing of the plane is covered for Google and other satellites



    there will be always some-one talking to the press, it is as if it is a sickness

    they wanted it to be stealthy and long-range which means that it is intended to be used in operations overseas - in warzones or above countries like North Korea and Iran and China where they are not supposed to fly spydrones. It also means as that they won't be discovered by electronic means that only the human eyes from pilots or watch towers will be able spot them - and that more easily if certain zones are no-fly zones where not airplanes would have been present. But these no-fly zones make only sense for intelligence operations.

  • Turkey has already arrested and turned back 1500 European suspected Syrian fighters

    After other countries informed Turkey that their citizens were using Turkey as a transit country to take up arms in Syria, Turkey arrested 1,100 European Union citizens with the help of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Gendarmerie forces and police units in 41 operations in 2013. The report says there are still around 1,500 European citizens who want to go to Syria and fight on the front lines along with al-Qaeda and that Turkey has been on alert about suspected jihadists. The report states that intelligence sharing between Turkey and European countries on the suspected jihadists has been made through Interpol. The report also states that Turkey has carried out 141 operations against al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-linked groups in last three years and detained 518 suspects, imprisoning 217 them.


    The participation of citizens from foreign countries in terrorist organizations clashing in Syria has been increasing day by day, according to reports in both the Turkish and international media. Apart from those who have come from European countries -- mainly from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, there are also foreign fighters in Syria from Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to fight with the al-Qaeda-linked groups the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the al-Nusra Front.

    As long as the international community does nothing this will not work - only trying to limit the damage done

    Other routes will become more popular (Irak, Jordan, Libanon,....)

  • DHS (and others) use an app to coordinate first reponders on an incident site

    that really makes sense, no laptops who are out of batteries in max two hours but tablets who will work for 5 to 9 hours (if you configure it rightly) or smartphones



    source image text

  • interpreting (leaked nsa) documents without context is very difficult

    it is very important to remember that it is very difficult to interpret documents - especially powerpoints in which the spoken words are more important than the presentation - for any outsider (especially if he is not assisted by people who know the jargon, culture and procedures of the 'target')

    So Greenwald will make mistakes and will jump to conclusions and another reason for this is that these documents are still used by a limited number of journalists and there is no social searching or commenting on them (even on a limited scale with only professionals)

    it now seems that the number of itntercepted calls and metadata for each country also includes the information that was given by that country about its own interception activities (as Norway did in Afghanistan to protect its troops in the UN mission) question : does Belgium have interception and monitoring operations in the countries where it has troops stationed ?

    so Greenwald - and any other journalist - do not think that you are Leonardo Da Vinci or nearly god and do not think that you understand every word, term or number in this slides and texts. Probably you have enough explanation in these thousands of documents (go for documents for training and the definitions of operations and look also for changes in wording and definitions among documents for the same operation or kind of intelligence)

    take time to study all these documents first before you read the other documents just as any new officer would do who is thrown in a new organisation or enterprise

  • an example why redactions of (NSA) released documents are not always smart

    Eagle-eyed Marcy Wheeler, however, has noticed two things. First, the absolute geniuses at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence left the date of the ruling in the URL of the file. You can mouseover to see it, or just know that it's: http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/1118/CLEANED101. Order and Supplemental Order (6-22-09)-sealed.pdf. See that in there? That pretty clearly indicates this is Walton's order from June 22nd, 2009. Good job, team redaction!

    Oh, and it gets even stupider. It turns out that this same document was already declassified in an earlier data dump... with totally different redactions. Both files are embedded below.

    From that, you can see that the redactions (in both) seem rather arbitrary (especially redacting the dates). In many cases, it's difficult to understand why any of these points were redacted in either document

    and we always supposed that redactions were necessary to protect operations and save lives :)

  • the US internet kill switch exists and the President or the DHS may use it

    the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Department of Homeland Security must disclose to the Electronic Privacy Information Center details of the department’s Standard Operating Procedure 303, which permits the DHS to block Internet and cellular traffic regionally or nationally with the expressed intention of preventing the detonation of radio-controlled ordinances. In reality, however, SOP 303 is feared to have the potential to be used to stop free speech and to be abused, and — in at least one case — it is thought to have been used in just that manner.

    the main normal reason would be to stop the detonation of gsm guided remote bombs (as was the fear during the Boston Marathon) or to stop looters from organizing themselves (as the police wanted during the London Riots) but in this case it was used against the protests by Anonymous-Occupy against the BART (Boston Area Rail Transport) police force.

    as you can't be asked to release internal documents that don't exist, the documents about the jamming or stopping of internet or mobile services is there, the problem will be to interpret it

    and after all, no internetblockade stopped any protest during the Arab Spring

  • While Merkel is making a lot of hot buzz about her phonetapping she approves secret antiterrorist operations in Germany with the CIA-NSA

    just taken into consideration that some of the 'proof' is chatter by ex-intelligence officers who are looking for their moment of fame (and are not activists) and so where some caution should be in order (some people seem to mix hearsay with personal opinions and to forget to check hard facts) but the investigation has taken two years by several journalists (and probably backup researchers) and is the basis of a book and a long documentary that will be aired next week

    it shows why in Europe we need a real Freedom of Information Act, a real framework for real Congressional hearings and to review the secrecy (and the length of 100 years in Belgium for example) so that we don't have to wait for generations (and some books) before public democratic discussions about our history and our present policies can start and we can learn things (or hope that some-one will learn something out of it)

    it also shows why we need an European Intelligence Community so it is not possible anymore that the American Intelligence Community can not pressure one European country after another into near submission without any normal legal democratic framework

    one should also keep in mind that since 9-11 the NSA-CIA believes that there are still many terrorist cells in Germany that will have to be followed or neutralized before they strike in Europe or the US (or elsewhere). Read the book 'The Cell' if you don't understand this obsession with sleeping terrorist cells in Germany (and you can be assured that the German intelligence services think the same thing and that German politicians don't want another 9-11 to be planned and prepared on their soil because it would shame also them) 

    one should also keep in mind that Germany was during the cold war the spycenter of the world and Echelon (the big NSA partner network) had also installations in Germany listening in on the Russians and the other SovietBloc countries. It was also the battleground for spies during that time in which all kinds of secret operations were conducted by both sides of the Cold War. One shouldn't be surprised that with the new obsession about terorist sleeping cells that those agreements, cooperation methods and installations were quickly re-activated and adapted to confront this (imaginery ?) new threat.

    what does the article say

    * that the US is flying 50 drones above Germany without any approval but that is only for 'training'. The question is why you would train in a country where your 'foreign' drones have (as could be asked) no legal approval to fly. The only reason you could train your drones in Europe or Germany is for operations in forests and between mountains or in urbanized area's without having the legal procedures (and political backslash) that they would have in the US (which shows why we need a democratic legal framework for drones in Europe)

    the' reason may also be practical as it seems that Frankfurt plays at least a major role in the decision when to execute an assassination-by-drone worldwide

    * that the CIA center in Frankfurt was (re)used as coordination center for the secret abductions of suspected terrorists for 'hard' investigations (torture) around the world (the black flights). This shouldn't come as a real surprise as the same infrastructure is probably used for the coordination of other military US-NATO operations around the world.

    * that CIA operatives and 270 of the  private firms working for the industrial-intelligence-complex are conducting all kinds of secret operations (like arrests (probably before the passengers arrive at the frontier) on German soil

    and more will probably be coming our way


  • why should terrorists now steal guns if they can 3D print them ?

    Solid Concepts, a world leader in 3D Printing services, manufactures the world’s first 3D Printed Metal Gun.


    Austin, TX – Solid Concepts, one of the world leaders in 3D Printing services, has manufactured the world’s first 3D Printed Metal Gun using a laser sintering process and powdered metals. The gun, a 1911 classic design, functions beautifully and has already handled 50 rounds of successful firing. It is composed of 33 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, and decked with a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip. The successful production and functionality of the 1911 3D Printed metal gun proves the viability of 3D Printing for commercial applications.


    “We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing,” says Kent Firestone, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts. “And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”

    what is next, a bomb ?

  • why spytainment like 24hours and Homeland security is in fact brainwashing us

    this from a national US poll that is organized yearly

    Second is the the influence of spy-themed entertainment, or “spytainment.” I have been researching for some time whether spy-themed entertainment (particularly on television and the big screen) has become adult education for intelligence. Last year, I found a strong correlation between frequent spytainment viewing and approval of aggressive counterterrorism tactics, including rendition, assassination, and harsh interrogation methods. In fact, support for torture was higher in 2012 than it was during the Bush administration. The influence of spytainment, I posited, helps explain why. Here are some of the statistically significant findings from my 2012 national poll:


    • 38 percent of frequent spy TV watchers believed that waterboarding terrorists was the right thing to do, compared to 28 percent of infrequent watchers.
    • 60 percent of frequent spy TV watchers thought transferring a terrorist to a country known for using torture was right versus 45 percent of infrequent watchers.
    • 34 percent of frequent spy moviegoers said that they thought it was right to chain terrorist detainees naked in uncomfortable positions in cold rooms for hours. Only 27 percent of non-movie goers thought the naked-chaining-stress-position approach was right.


    Nowhere in these films or series do you see that they have to consider legal and ethical considerations, they go immediately for action with a direct result phone directly with the President of the US to get permission who says they have to do what they have to do to stop the terrorists (and they always 'nearly or in the end finally' do)

    Nowhere in these series it is shown that intelligence and investigations take hours, days, weeks, months, year of work looking at all kinds of details and dead-ends and having more office politics and budgetfights than direct calls to the President himself

    Nowhere in these series it is shown that intelligence and antiterrorism don't depend solely on some rambo man or some small supersecretive totally paranoid team that can do whatever they want they way they want it

    Nowhere in these series are the other effects shown of this kind of methods and mentality and that in the end it doesn't help a bit, on the contrary in the end you are facing a much bigger crowd of angry people and very tense diplomatic and political relations

    it is time for some real intelligence people to show how intelligence is done the intelligent way and how this can be done within the democratic and legal framework we have and why this is better for the privacy and security of all of us

  • this is why there is a second headcount in the airplane before departing (air canada fake tickets)

    Air Canada is investigating how five people boarded an Air Canada flight with fake tickets on Friday. The flight was bound for Toronto.


    According to The Star, the airline confirmed that four Iranians and an Afghan were ejected from the flight in Caracas, Venezuela, which resulted in an five-hour delay. According to GlobalNews, Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, said in an email on Monday that a discrepancy, in a number of passengers on board, was detected during the secondary loan verification process.


  • more trouble for the NSA : US supreme court will have to make a decision about warantless wiretapping

    The Justice Department for the first time has notified a criminal defendant that evidence being used against him came from a warrantless wiretap, a move that is expected to set up a Supreme Court test of whether such eavesdropping is constitutional.

    Prosecutors filed such a notice late Friday in the case of Jamshid Muhtorov, who was charged in Colorado in January 2012 with providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a designated terrorist organization based in Uzbekistan.

    Mr. Muhtorov is accused of planning to travel abroad to join the militants and has pleaded not guilty. A criminal complaint against him showed that much of the government’s case was based on intercepted e-mails and phone calls.

    The government’s notice allows Mr. Muhtorov’s lawyer to ask a court to suppress the evidence by arguing that it derived from unconstitutional surveillance, setting in motion judicial review of the eavesdropping.

    this means that their broad warantless tapping even for terrorist cases can be curtailed which would of course only increase its dependence on its intelligence partners like Enchelon and the need to have a comprehensive collaboration with the intelligence services of the EU based upon mutual respect and democratic oversight within a clear legal framework

    this decision may take a few months or even years to be final, but it is a clear signal that the times for the NSA of being a nearly total independent state within the state (contrary to the CIA who after the Church Investigations got pressured back into a strict legal framework) are coming to an end

    just as the WAR against terrorism is coming to an end as a WAR, which doesn't mean that the fight is over, but the WARlike powers and liberties (and the silencing of all dissident voices as if they are traitors) should be coming to an end

  • the pakistan government is informed about the US drone attack plans

    Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA’s drone campaign, top officials in Pakistan’s government have for years secretly endorsed the program and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos obtained by The Washington Post.


    The files describe dozens of drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal region and include maps as well as before-and-after aerial photos of targeted compounds over a four-year stretch from late 2007 to late 2011 in which the campaign intensified dramatically.

    Markings on the documents indicate that many of them were prepared by the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center specifically to be shared with Pakistan’s government. They tout the success of strikes that killed dozens of alleged al-Qaeda operatives and assert repeatedly that no civilians were harmed.

    Pakistan’s tacit approval of the drone program has been one of the more poorly kept national security secrets in Washington and Islamabad. During the early years of the campaign, the CIA even used Pakistani airstrips for its Predator fleet.

    so forget the grandstanding before the tv and the international press

    they are all too pleased that somebody else is doing their dirty business because they have lost nearly all control over some whole (tribal) regions in the North of their country where there even is no real army presence anymore so the only way to destroy those bases and get back at some of the planners of the terror campaigns in Afghanistan AND pakistan is by air and the best way to do this without risk for your own miliary is with drones and the country who has the best drones and the best intelligence to chose the best targets at the best time is .... the USA

    unless you don't want to do something against the AlQaide-Taliban alliance in your own (nuclear) country. Remember that with the last offensive of the Taliban in Pakistan they got as near as 100 km from where the nuclear weapons are based (and the US was already planning how to get them out of the country with or without the cooperation of Pakistan)

    so how is this for a nuclear nightmare

    if you take away the drone attacks, than you should also understand the bigger pictures and the consequences in the longer turn (and no, these guys are not into peace negotations - a truce maybe but not real peace negotiations)

  • this is why even deep (Iranian or North Korean) bunkers are no defense anymore

    just as the castles in the Middle Ages were destroyed by canons and traditional military lines of defense were broken through with the ease of new tanks and overflown by waves of planes

    the US bunkerbuster in a very rare picture changes the bright idea of the Iranians to build their nuclear weapons building site under a mountain and deep into ground into a vulnerability and makes the prospect of being able to lose it all with one bombing even greater (and changes the negotiation positions at the table)