terrorism - Page 6

  • boston blast : the impossibility of absolute security and the need for a democratic discourse

    There is no absolute security everwhere every time all the time, even not in a country as big as Europe and even with a security apparatus and planning and legal possibilities that are unmatched with any other democracy in the world. You can only limit the possibilities and track the possible culprits but you will never be able to control any mad bomber or psycho shooter or suicide attacker all the time everywhere.

    Security is relative

    Because even when it has become really difficult for islamic terrorists to plan attacks in the US or to let them be finished you still have all those thousands of people with all kinds of arms or with access to the technology to make bombs or attack something. We should remember that the anti-Obama ex Tea Party fanatics (with a big love for guns and conspiracies of all kinds) are only one part of the crazy right which also has thousands of members of (sometimes extreme right) militias who are heavily armed, trained and determined to keep it this way (even if the law will change). The question of the role of some rightwing media - even Fox News - and the tone they have taken against a 'dangerous' president will also now have to be asked - in the first place by those media themselves. If you like democracy and freedom of the press you should also learn people to respect it even if they don't agree with it.

    The french radical 'anti gay marriage segment' is in fact calling for 'revolution' against the 'unlegitimate' government that endangers the natural order, a discourse that can have a dangerous impact on some twisted young minds of loners ready to do something 'drastic' to 'save their country' - even if this is demands blood.

  • so what if volunteers go to Syria, what else if nobody sends in troops and tanks

    Syria is the Spanish civil war all over again in which a dictator supported by two other dictators (Iran and Russia) and by the silence and diplomacy of the democratic countries can kill its population with all the military means at its disposal without any limitation

    even in Bosnia there wasn't so much military might used (even if it was horrible) and in Libya we did intervene when airplanes en tanks were going out to bombard the civilean cities

    and now we are astonished that

    * people have taken up arms to defend and protect themselves instead of demonstrating and waiting to be shot

    * that people are using any weapon the get and that they accept any soldier at their side (even if he has a beard :)) because tomorrow both may be dead anyway, so who cares about the after tomorrow

    * younger and older man are going down to Syria to have the fight of their lives because they think it is the only thing that is left to do because all the other promises mean nothing and why should you sit back and watch every day the daily stream of horrorvideos out of Syria and not trying to do something

    If you want to get any control again over the situation, we should implement the international laws of war and implement a no fly zone and we should arm the rebels with antitank weapons or take the tanks out ourselves

    And if youngsters are fighting over there, there should be three conditions (just as in the Spanish Civil war)

    * first they should be adult and not teenagers

    * they should be able to communicate with the homefront and taking away their phones and papers is not the way to do that and they should be able to come back whenever they want to

    * they should be accepted by the local forces and work for them and with them, under them (and if they aren't wanted anymore they should go home)

    that is a volunteer, all the rest is entrapment and abuse

    there is also a great psychosis about those guys when they will come back after the war (as if it is going to be finished in a few weeks) but that just diverts us from the real question, why are we not doing more to help one million refugees and stop this kind of civil war or give the opposition what it needs to win this

    and if all the men who have fought in wars were to become terrorists, we would have bombs going off all the time all around us and if all the man who were extremists at their 20 held the same believes untill their death democracy would have difficulties to survive

  • Belgium supports operation anti AlQaida in Mali with THIRTY soldiers

    the thirty soldiers will be thirsty over there :)

    The Belgian government decided to prove that they were part of the big and serious European effort to combat the first real AL Qaida threat nearly at the ports of our continent that was threatening to destabilize about 5 African countries in the short run and had already taken over a desert 5 times bigger than France. They wanted to show their support for the French troops who were send over to stop the march of those rebels to the capital of Mali which they would have taken over if the French hadn't intervened and which would had make it even more difficult not to say impossible to drive them out of there (or at a much bigger loss).

    They have promised to send over 30 soldiers - while the French thought they would be getting 300 or something. The Belgian government was off course very offended when the French didn't seem to appreciate this huge effort because there were many other even richer and bigger European states who were not doing anything - meanwhile giving great speeches about the dangers of Alqaida, terrorism and things like that, spending thousands or millions of Euro's on studies, congresses, travel, working groups and analysts analyzing everything that has already been analyzed again and again

    but when there was effectively something that could be done

    they talked the big words and made a huge empty show

    meanwhile the french and the soldiers from Tchad have effectively overrun the headquarters of the AlQaida in the Sahel and have found masses of computers, phones and papers that the intelligence services are going through now and that seem to show clearly networks and contacts (also in Europe).

    The military operation has so shown another huge success because the intelligence services will be able to dismantle support and sleeper cells all over Africa and Europe.

    and all that because they didn't protect their digital stuff or didn't trust it and so wrote everything down on paper

    you don't fight terrorism with studies alone

  • why we need a transparant and efficient secret service

    the first and most important thing for a secret service it keep things.... secret.

    the last week has been everything but that and maybe it is part of a temporary battle between the sitting director and an aspiring director-to-be with clans of each side leaking information to destabilize the other - but in fact destabilizing the service as a whole

    there is nothing so important for a secret service as its credibility. The moment it loses this or part of it, other organisations will stop sending or sharing new information because people who are responsable for secret information have the tendency to be quite paranoid about that. They hate taking risks and a secret service that is going through a powerbattle gives the image of being totally 'out of control'

    politicians who still remember the 80's and 90's in Belgium should also remember that a secret service that is in turmoil and destabilized internally and has problematic relations with the press, politicians and the public will not be able to intervene when other groups or interests are destabilizing the country (and I don't mean institutionally). That period of tension in Belgium - in which Belgium was at one time at the brink of fear - was characterized by the terrorist attacks of the CCC, the neonazigroup WNP who had infiltrated into the headquarters of the NATO and had manipulated the secret service, the links between traditional rightwing groups and facist militias in the streets attacking leftwing media and opponents, blind or targeted attacks by the Group of Nijvel of which many things are still hidden in your files ......

    if you remember this, you will understand why it is necessary to bring this debate back to where it belongs. After closed doors and behind a complete report and not the snippets that appear every day or two.

    the other reason why the stream of leaks and information and interviews is damaging is because it is sending the wrong signal to informers (and even if I never worked for that institutions or had any contacts with them) who may now think that even if they give like Debie very important information about international money streams who are being invested in Europe to launch hatecampaigns against the muslim community on our continent  you will be thrown to the wolves afterwards and nobody will look after you. Informers are only so important as the information they give you and the more important the information they give you, the higher the stakes are for them and the greater the danger they are in. Informers are only human and as humans you should give them the security and safety they need if they give crucual information that makes a difference - even if you dislike the person totally. It is part of the understanding, of the deal, of the relationship even if that is not on paper. It is your honor code.

    it is not wise in the present discussions to continue to send this signal to the press. Possible informers are reading these signals totally differently than what it is intended. And Belgium needs more protection programs for informers because you will never be able to hack or intercept the really important information because everybody who is doing important, classified or illegal things knows by now that the really important things should never be said over the phone, email or anything digital.

    so no we don't need to disband the secret service and no we don't need to audit it (because who will audit it without being a securityrisk ?). Maybe the secret service needs an audit cell, that's another matter....

    we need to define clearly what the secret service needs to do, what its goals and framework should be and who can control it and how and we need to adapt these goals to the same things as they have been adapted in other countries

    * more coordination of the information between the different services - even if each continues to be responsable for its territory (one should be surprised how one small bit of information from for example a tax inspector about something strange at some for example islamic fund in Belgium can lead to other things)

    * more hacking (offensive cyberwarcapabilities) and intercepting against hostile groups and agencies - even if they have to be cleared by some judiciary or inspector (especially when it is against Belgians or on our territory)

    * more preventive actions before illegal or terrorist acts are executed - even if it will be very difficult to keep them in prison afterwards, it will send them a message that they are on the radar and should cool down (this is the strategy in many European countries because instead of the centralised AL Qaida infrastructure and actions they are now confronted with inviduals who are selfradicalising by the internet and can 'flip' into action at any moment - without any coordination)

    * more awareness-campaigns throughout our industry and researhc centers that economic spionage is one of the main reasons why other countries are investing in cyberwarriors (ex hackers mostly) and sending students and investors to infiltrate.

    * more historical publications - also about more recent events. If every secret service in the world is now publishing reports and books about older historical events (for example Congo, the return of the king after the second world war and the constitutional crisis after it, the 60's or even more important the 80-90's or the planned coup (or rumours about it) in 1972,....). It should be able to protect its sources and methods, but even than it should be possible to give more viewpoints, more analysis about those periods of our history and show that their work at that time was worthwhile ..... or not.

    oh and yes, if politicians go to speak to the church of scientology who is being investigated by different police services in Belgium and worldwide, the secret service should note it, just as when international funds try to regroup individualistic hatemongers against our muslim community into a stronger organisation - untill they see the dramatic consequences of that kind of language on some people, than the secret service should take note and follow it, just as when in Brussels some people try to tunnel young desperate islamic youths to Somalia ....;

    It is not only Belgium that needs an efficient secret service, it is also Brussels (who has the highest number of international organisations, institutions, international financial transaction services, embassies of the whole world and for that matter also the biggest number of opposition groups that one day may come to rule in their country) and Belgium (with the US Shape, the NATO and one of the biggest ports in Europe). Belgium is also an ideal country for terrorists and gangsters to come and rest because in less than 2 hours by car they can chose between 4 countries to go (Holland, France, Germany, Luxembourg) to go to.

    Reason enough to have a sufficient secret service (and no, you can't hack everything, so you will have to work with people - unless you can bug any house, arrest any suspect and read every mind but even than you need people and those people need an efficient secret service if you want them to give you information in secret.

  • the war in Mali - the map

    this map shows the war but it doesn't show the strategic importance of the war that is being fought there because the occupied terrorist territories were in the middle of such an important part of Northern Africa that it could lead to much more problems and wars and economic and political and military disruptions as if there wasn't already enough of that and people and the new slowly developing 'democracies' (going through phases like our societies during our revolutions in the 18th century and afterwards) didn't need that 'en plus'

    the same reason that it was essential that Europe intervened in Bosnia before it spread throughout the whole region and so on

  • all the documents about the Raid on Bin Laden that you would like to read (instead of seeing a movie)

    Washington, DC, January 17, 2013 The poster for the blockbuster movie Zero Dark Thirty features black lines of redaction over the title, which unintentionally illustrate the most accurate take-away from the film - that most of the official record of the hunt for Osama bin Laden is still shrouded in secrecy, according to the National Security Archive's ZD30 briefing book, posted today at www.nsarchive.org. The U.S. government's recalcitrance over releasing information directly to the public about the twenty-first century's most important intelligence search and military raid, and its decision instead to grant the film's producers exclusive and unprecedented access to classified information about the operation, means that for the time being – for bad or good – Hollywood has become the public's "account of record" for Operation Neptune Spear.

    As often happens when the government declines on secrecy grounds to provide an authoritative account of a controversial event, leaked, unauthorized and untrustworthy versions rush to fill the void. In this extraordinary case, a Hollywood motion picture, with apparent White House, CIA, and Pentagon blessing and despite its historical inaccuracies, is now the closest thing to the official story behind the pursuit of bin Laden.

    Zero Dark Thirty 's screenwriter, Mark Boal, has claimed that the film is "a movie not a documentary" and should not be treated as history. But the U.S. government's widely reported support and its official silence about the raid have made Zero Dark Thirty (the military designation for 12:30 AM) more than a mere thriller. Today, in an effort to balance the record, to the extent currently possible, the National Security Archive has collected, posted, and analyzed in one Electronic Briefing Book all of the available official documents on the mission to kill the notorious al-Qaeda leader.


    you can find there all the information

    in Belgium we can't have this kind of information and maybe it is time to uplift our transparancy with these standards

  • Gaza : the first airborne drone war : drones as advance airplanes

    Drones overhead were buzzing in the background, completely non-stop. They are very annoying at first, but then you sort of get used to it and it becomes a bit unusual when they're not there.


    Bombing here usually occurs on two phases. First, a drone fires a rocket, which is sort of a sign for owners to leave. Ten minutes later, an Israeli F-16 comes swooping over and blows up the whole place.

  • Gaza : the most important attacks were not where the camera's were

    She said the UN, was however calling international humanitarian efforts for Gaza of which construction material, which had been severely lacking previously as well, was now in even more need. She said they were hearing the almost all the tunnels into the strip which had previously been used to transport the material into the strip had been destroyed by the Israeli missiles onto the strip. 

    so this may explain a lot

    you read that the Israeli's had x hundred of attacks a day during the few days of attacks

    but on tv you only saw now and than a building exploding or burning

    and you ask yourself where were those hundreds of other bombs or missiles going ?

    To the tunnels they were

    The last weeks the Israeli's said that the border with Egypt was a very virtual one because everything - including missiles and weapons were passing under the ground - some said that there were thousands of these tunnels (which were also the lifeline for the local economy and society)

    maybe the real targets were not only the launching pads but also the provisioning lines for the missiles - for once and for all

  • US holds successful tests with Eletronic Magnetic Pulse weapons

    CHAMP approached its first target and fired a burst of High Power Microwaves at a two story building built on the test range. Inside rows of personal computers and electrical systems were turned on to gauge the effects of the powerful radio waves.


    Seconds later the PC monitors went dark and cheers erupted in the conference room. CHAMP had successfully knocked out the computer and electrical systems in the target building. Even the television cameras set up to record the test were knocked off line without collateral damage.


    “This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,” said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works. “In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive,”

    or it can be used against your own

    this is not in the interest of the us as they have for the moment a strategic advancement in the development of such electronic and computerized weapons that would be hit or turned out by such weapons

    it would cost as much as to build such weapons (even smaller ones) than repair the ones that are broken down

  • why the book about the raid on Bin Laden came out and why it is too late to censor it

    Last week officials scrambled to get a copy of the book to see whether Bissonnette’s account, No Easy Day (written under the pseudonym Mark Owen), revealed classified information. But by the time government vetters got their hands on it, thousands of copies had already been shipped to stores and the title stood atop Amazon’s sales list.

    “We were caught completely off guard,” conceded one senior Pentagon official, who says national-security personnel are obligated to submit manuscripts containing sensitive information for prepublication review (Bissonnette’s lawyer says the regs merely “invite” authors to show vetters but don’t require it). Late last week, Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson sent a letter to Bissonnette in a last-ditch bid to minimize the damage. The threat of legal action was aimed at pressuring Bissonnette and his publisher, Dutton, to submit to the Pentagon’s demands for prepublication review. In the past, the DOD has succeeded in halting distribution of books, even in some cases pulping printed copies. But in the case of No Easy Day, it is likely too late to prevent the book from receiving wide public exposure.

    so this is thanks to

    * a writer without fear (to write it without giving it)

    * a lawyer without fear (to defend it without giving it)

    * a publisher without fear (to publish it without giving it)

    * Amazon without fear (to sell it without asking)

  • stratfor mails : US snipers can shoot to kill from a 1000 yards

    Email-ID 1641103
    Date 2011-04-26 20:43:25
    From burton@stratfor.com
    To secure@stratfor.com

    ** not for pub - pls do not forward ** sole source information

    Obama won't approve a finding for covert action inside MX based on
    "moral ground". Calderon has told a few that violence has reached a
    point that he would turn a blind eye to unilateral CIA or DEA actions,
    if they wanted to go down that path, as long as he has "plausible

    One of the scenarios discussed to kill El Chapo or other Zeta HVT's was
    a 1000 yard head shot by a U.S. shooter, to plant the seed of paranoia
    in the minds of the narcos as to who pulled the trigger.

    CIA "Ground Branch" assets and/or DEA SO have stated they have the
    ability and intelligence to pull it off without getting caught.

  • 12 september and nothing happened yesterday

    security is built upon the following principles

    * risk

    * opportunity

    * prevention

    * remediation

    there was a risk that 10 years after the 9/11 attacks and the same year that Bin Laden has been killed and that the organisation Al Qaida an sich has been weakened that they would try to do - even a small - attack just to get into the news or because some lone supporter wanted to revenge the death of his spiritual leader by his own death (and that of many others)

    so because of that risk everyone involved in security made up lists of opportunities that terrorists would have to blow up something or to attack (this is in fact done on a permanent basis but should be updated frequently)

    the last stage is that when you have selected the most obvious targets (and the weakest links) you start taking action to prevent any attacks as much as possible (without turning it into a policestate or becoming totally paranoïd)

    and you prepare for what should happen if something goes wrong (disaster management)

    well, I think that since a few months I have read that intelligence and security-agencies were preparing themselves for this anniversary and that when there were indications that maybe some terrorists may have slipped through the safety-nets or under the radar, some arrests were made and everybody was given more attention to every detail

    and so it was for most of the people a very normal day of rememberance while thousands of others in the first line and in coordination and intelligence centers were keeping a global watch to keep it this way

    it wasn't a quiet day because the terrorists decided it would be a quiet day, security doesn't come like this, it is the result of investment and endurance

  • 9/11 anniversary under increasing high tension

    it was to be foreseen that the year that Bin Laden has been killed and numerous other Al Qaida operatives and leaders have been arrested or killed some-one somewhere would get the idea to do something on the day of the 10th anniversary (that makes a splash in all media around the world) of the attack

    an Icarus attack because it led to the downfall of Al Qaida in the end

    now specific terorist threats are being investigated in the Us and in Berlin

    in Belgium, capital of Europe, there will be more police on the street and as the tension is increasing in the anti-terrorist community (and as more details become known about the failed plot in Berlin) more (secret) actions may be put in place in and around our capital and other strategic places

    it is a perfect day for a lone wolf  (or two of them) because it is

    * an anniversary of a terrorist attack that will go into history (most other recent attacks are already more or less forgotten because they didn't change the course of history and the way the world is)

    * an enormous media attention so that any attack will have an enormous media fall-out, millions of times even the impact of the attack itself

    so he too, will be famous for the rest of the history of 9-11 instead of some attack that is already more or less forgotten

    for critical installations and businesses it problably means that the physical securitypeople will work throughout the weekend in high alert

    and if nothing happens, it was a good yearly exercise to be sure that everything is still as it should be and that nothing has been forgotten or overseen which would give that minute of opportunity to any physical attack (terrorism, vandalism, theft, social engineering, political activism,....)

    and take time-zones into account, 9-11 has the same meaning around the whole world, do NOT take only your central time-zone into account

  • 9/11 why it still matters to me

    First I have been on the twin towers (in the restaurant) a few years before and I still remember the magnificient view of NY at night

    I have been there - that changes a lot

    secondly I will never forget the reaction of my little princess (much younger than) when she was watching Ketnet and that when the programmes where interrupted she called my wife (still) and said 'Mummy there are planes flowing in towers, that is not right' and mum thought it was another japanese kind of animation or what

    thirdly it changed so much

    * the discussion between privacy and security

    * security and 'possible terrorist attacks and techniques and targets' became mainstream

    * the way the antidemocratic terrorist (fearmongering) policeview got all the funds and powers it had asked for ever since (time to re-evaluate some things)

    * the warmongers didn't only blow Al Quaida out of Afghanistan (it wasn't their safe haven anymore) but also went for the wrong reasons to Bagdad (and ruled it the totally wrong way - read the Green zone)

    but ten years later, I am happy

    * that Bin Laden is finally dead and that Al Qaida has no safe haven anymore (but attention for the sinai and somalia and some regions in Yemen or in the sahel - but those are not any near a nuclear country like Pakistan)

    * that it is the people who overthrew the arabic dictatorships, not some guerilla or terrorist group - even if Libya needed a liberation army

    * the rule of law and the principle of democracy and right to a free speech are becoming more important than the 'war on terror' or something like that

    untill the next big attack they have been planning for a few years (9/11 took 2 years)

    and that is finally why it matters

    somewhere out there are some fanatic islamic, nazi or other deranged guys or women preparing the next enormous attack and we should prevent them from doing so without so much limiting our democratic freedoms

    my last thought goes to the victims and the courage of the emergency services (dying slowly of cancer without getting a cent for it)

    it will take another generation to forget 9/11 and who would say 'so what'  just as any other historic event

  • #unmanifest this is hilarious fun and some examples (to distribute)

    In fact you can do two things with his manifesto

    You can read it and become sad of such stupidity and dangerous tunnel vision

    or you can show that it is totally ridiculuous

    first all documents here have been cleaned of the terrorist practical part

    secondlly there is a folder with a clean Word version for you to copy

    so than you open the document and you go to search and replace and you replace words throughout the document with other words

    for example islam with smurfs or with any other word you come up with

    you can change one word or several words so it really becomes nonsense

    what it really is

    and than you send it everywhere and place it everywhere

    and somewhere someone will download it and will find it strange or a good joke on a stupid text

    Viva groucho marx


  • the brussels journal refuses to explicitly condemn the terrorist action in Norwegen

    "Bitter criticism of Islam, a "grass-roots" profile, islamophobia: that's what "experts" immediately point to in the wake of the disaster created by a so-called "Christian extremist" (or, in contradiction, a freemason).  Compared with the Oslo bombing and the Utøya killings, a small anti-christian killing in Egypt or elsewhere is explained simply as an act of an unbalanced lunatic, or as the effect of social tension caused by the "American-Zionist" masters of the universe.  That is the iniquitous model of the bankable explanation presented to us.

    Without reducing the inexcusable aspect of his acts, let's focus on the circumstances in which Anders Behring Breivik planned his crime. Was he a "lone wolf", like the Oklahoma City bomber or the failed assassin of Chirac? Is he a white knight trying to stop the supposed implosion of a derailed world by shooting at the heart of the future elite?  Let's follow this hypothesis for a while, and hence reject that he was pathologically affected. His rage, fed by video games, may also have been caused by the lack of real debate on the radical changes caused by a multiculturalism.

    If there were a real counter-power, symbolic or spiritual, enabling a critical debate on the role of Islam in the world without being accused as a racist, maybe this  inexcusable and vile act would have taken another form? Nobody knows. But please, do not put all the blame on islamo-criticism gone wrong. This criticism is either absent in the mainstream, or demonized. The thousands and thousands of people murdered by (radical) Islam should weigh heavier than these 92 deaths.

    So, let us remain rational and ask ourselves why such extreme acts are perpetrated. Don't put the blame solely on populism and its derivatives. Lacking real debate, society is forced, even raped, to the point of disappearing, dissolving the people and replacing it with another one - and whoever refuses is treated as a racist. If this continues, we should not be surprised to see other tragedies occur. "


    copy of the post here

    Norwegian Tragedy And Absence Of Debate - The Brussels Journal_1311582251692.png

    just for a good understanding : this blog has asked many times at skynetblogs to take down an al-qaida taliban propaganda blog to no avail

    so what are they saying at the Brussels Journal

    that it is normal that he has done it

    that it is normal that others will do it

    that they understand, comprehend but not condone (but where is the difference) what has been done and what will be done

    and that if we don't want it to happen again - by other lunatics inspired by their writings - we should implement their solutions

    this puts the brusselsjournal in the same melting pot as all those rightwing forums on which there is now talk that it was a CIA-Mossad operation-cover up or not serious compared to all the killings by Muslims or whatever stupidity

    they are a bit more ideological or respectful - but the tone is set - and that tone is dangerous

    in fact they are doing the same excuse trick some islamic ideologues are-were using with Al Qaida (sorry for the victims, but I can understand that....) and for which they were rightly attacked

    there are only two ways to change a democratic society, by democratic means or by violence - your choice. If you condone terrorism (and please don't begin with calling everyting violence and going back to some black periods of European democratic history) you can't be democratic.

    it will be interesting to read if all the contributors and sponsors of this multi-author blog agree with this (and how long the post stays online). The comments are already telling....

    these (click to enlarge) are some of the people he has killed (traitors of the highest degree) the day before

    I am a democratic socialist but if it were liberals, nationalists or whatever, everybody in a democratic society has right to an opinion as long as it doesn't threat the well-being and lives of others


  • why Israel is not on Google maps and our Belgian minister of defense would be interested to know

    Our Belgian minister of defense wanted to talk to Google maps to be sure that some information was blurred on Google maps because it could be used by some inspired wacko's to fly an airplane in it (as if you could miss them....)

    Israel is one of the few countries where the Satellite Imagery of Google maps is more blurred than elsewhere

    "That's because, in 1997, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, one section of which is titled, "Prohibition on collection and release of detailed satellite imagery relating to Israel." The amendment, known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, calls for a federal agency, the NOAA's Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs, to regulate the dissemination of zoomed-in images of Israel.

    When asked about the regulation, a Google spokeswoman said to Mother Jones, "The images in Google Earth are sourced from a wide range of both commercial and public sources. We source our satellite imagery from US-based companies who are subject to US law, including the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997, which limits the resolution of imagery of Israel that may be commercially distributed."

    but as some reader points out streetview and photo's that are added by readers try to give the missing detail (so you know where to park your carbomb or send your missile if you believe the panick stricken security people)


  • European terrorism alert : are targets changing again

    While trying desperately to have another impact-attack on US soil and while trying to regroup its priorities on the Arabian-African continent after its losses in Iraq and the military pressure in Afghanistan, Al Quaida has found  another 'zone without statecontrol' to rebuild without a concerted military-intelligence response to fight it while it is still in its first stage of development, the Sahel. It is an enormous desert without  clear borders and where there is no permanent police or military surveillance with mountains to hide behind and nomads to travel with. It is also known to be a zone where smuggling, kidnapping and tribal warfare or powersharing is more important than anything else.

    When you talk about the Sahel, you talk about France and when you talk about France you talk about Europe.

    It means that while we were more or less off the Al Quaida radar, we are again part of it.

    Belgium has no new increased risk for attacks is being said but don't be fooled, we have too many international civil and military targets to be no target.  We are a natural target, like it or not. This is no fear-mongering. This is just a fact. Which means that for any important building or service in Brussels or near such an internationally important service (or transport) physical security and ID checks and good evacuation procedures (and real testing of them) are an essential part of your securityplanning. Like Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.

    You can't say that Belgium as a whole has a limited risk because that is nonsense. You can say that the risk is higher around international and important buildings and transport centers but that the risk is minimal in 90% of the rest of our country.

    Another thing to notice is that the plans were not against military or politically important building but against landscape buildings, buildings that are important because they are remembered as such by millions of people. The Atomium is one building like that. The Palais de Justice in Brussels is one like that. The European Commission building. Or Manneke Pis :)

    What is the chance ? The chances are historically minimal, but don't be fooled. If you aren't prepared (at least on paper) your losses when we get hit will be enormous compared to your preparations now.

    Don't get yourself lost in big enormous comprehensive plans that take years and thousands of Euro's to accomplish. Keep it simple and be sure that have other advantages from it. Security controls and monitoring of the flow of people in and around your building also limits espionage and sabotage or criminal activity. Backups and different data locations keep the network and services running when some hardware failures occur. Procedures of authority when people are not 'available' are also useful when somebody important has an accident or is unavailable for some time. No discussions, just follow the procedures.

    Just think of the following : what do i need to keep my business or service running and how long can I afford certain parts of my business or service to be unavailable. Terrorism, bad weather, strikes, sickness.... whatever the reason, just use the one that your management will accept, even if it is just the fad or hype of the day.

  • memorial day today 9/11 no other postings

    9/11 is the day the world changed

    privacy had to be reduced to combat terrorists

    and some used it to inspire fear and reduce our freedoms as well

    war had to be waged in Afghanistan to destroy their international base (and we are still there)

    and some used it to invade Iraq for the wrong reasons

    and according to the book Green zone (must read) made a total mess of it

    9/11 is the day thousands of all races, languages, religions and nationalities died

    no matter what the motives or religion of the attackers

    no matter what you think about any aspect of the US policy somewhere in the world

    there is no excuse for this mass murder


    meanwhile we can say that after a few other date-11 attacks and some lunatics in the US

    and some discovered plans in Belgium and elsewhere in the world

    we should be careful to keep a dialogue of peace and understanding open

    with all democratic and modern people of all religions and nationalities

    because extremists - whatever their religion or nationality - have exactly the same language

    and goals and methods

    we should also honor those who in the background are trying every day to prevent another attack from happening (and in Belgium without the necessary resources compared to other countries)


    my girl said that day, because the childrenprograms were interrupted - as the rest of all the TV channels

    "mama there is a plan flying in a building, that can't be"

    " no you are joking" (sitting in the next room)

    look ..... and than the tv stayed on for days

    she still remembers it as if it were yesterday, 9/11 is her first confrontation with terrorism

    and religious extremism in its most violent form


    as for Belsec, we have always supported for more power and resources for the Belgian anti-terroristforces and we will continue to do so as long as it is done without paranoia or without the goal of total-observation-of-everybody-anytime-anyway-anyhow-anywhere

    because not everybody is a criminal or terrorist or extremist and those should be monitored and controlled and limited in their possibilities with every democratic means at our disposal

    so my girls will still live in a safe environment but that is also a democratic and open environment

  • why we do need a transparant secret service in Belgium

    first we don't need all these articles in the press about our secret service because two clans are fighting for survival (the actual director) or for renewal (those who want to replace him). It undermines the confidence in the secret service. Confidence in a secret service is having confidence that you are keeping things .... secret.

    secondly those articles undermind the confidence because during those times of anxiety and paranoia and the top from the secret service (and going down to all the levels beneath it) people ara making amateuristic mistakes that undermine the image of professionalism of many who work there (I don't know anybody there and if I would I wouldn't tell you :) 

       there are many professional people working in a professional way over there trying to get things done - or prevented - within the limited legal and material framework they have. We didn't have many terrorist attacks in Belgium or Brussels the last decennium to give one example

    so if someone thinks he or she can win something by undermining confidence in the service to be much more able to retake the castle, that person or clan may find the castle burning or burnt-out when they finally enter and it will take years to restore a confidential relationship with sources and colleague-services inside and outside the country.

    Everybody working with secrets tends to become paranoid in keeping those secrets secret and will rather not share it - even if there are a thousand reasons to do so - if the risk of having it become public too soon is too great.

    Over time, all secrets will become public, but it is the timing that is important. A secret can become public when it is of more use when it is public or because the problem has been resolved.

    Maybe all those journalists, ex and present workers at the secret service and politicians should end their tunnelvision of the secret service and look at the big picture.

    The big picture is brussels. No capital in the world - even Washington - has more embassasies and international organisations and lobbyists than Brussels. It will also have the most spies, influence brokers and representatives of radical organisations or dissident groups of every country in the world who may become the next leaders. Nowhere else are there so many people, organisations and institutions to follow and to protect as in Brussels.

    The bigger picture is belgium. THis is the country where Shape (US forces in Europe) is located and uses it bases for international operations. This is the country where the NATO has its headquarters. This is the country where there might be nuclear missiles. THis is a country with nuclear energy, one of the biggest ports in Europe with a big petrochemical industry and which of its geography has always been an ideal place as 'resting place' for gangsters and terrorists (in maximum 2 hours you can go to 4 countries from anywhere in Belgium).

    So we need a transparant secret service which is modern, digitalized and present on the terrain and can give anonymous general information and can be the spearpointing specific preventive and informative operations. In France they are now intervening from the moment they see that people go from selfradicalisation to selfpreparations for an attack or to go to fight elsewhere in the world. They don't wait untill the bombs explode. This means that the infiltration of all those extremist groups is becoming much more important (even if manipulation (even to proof your commitment) is always lurking behind the corner).

    Only in a transparant organisation with a clear mission one can have enough confidence to let it work as it should work. In secret.

    After reading the story in De Morgen this weekend about how a shadowy Canadian businessman sponsered an anti islamic conference with dangerous intellectual hatemongering nuts who inspired another nut to kill people on an island (after which the inititiave disappeard into 'nothing') in the parliament of the Flemish Region hosted by our extreme right party here (of which their contact also says that members of this party in Brussels were looking for real weapons and had contact with the neonazi group BBET (made up of paramilitary) that was arrested before they could do something with their arsenal of weapons) than I am glad that there is still a secret service out there and that there are dedicated people doing the work they should do (protect us by preventing ugly things to happen).

    We are also from the generation that has known 'the plomb years' in which we had (a manipulated) communist terrorgroup CCC, links between facist groups (FNJ) and respectable parties and organisations even if they were responsable for firebombing leftwing media and for street fights and attacks, the neonazi WNP of which the last word hasn't been said (only that they have infilttrated into the NATO headquarters) and so on.....

    this kind of secret service we don't want to see returning and this kind of 'strategy of fear and tension' our democracy doesn't need now, especially during this economic and financial crisis

    and to be sure we need a democratic professional transparant secret service to make this 'never again'

    not a service of which we learn every day another version about how and when and what they communicated with their informant Debie in the extreme rightwing party Vlaams Belang (to the astonishment of many)

    one thought, even if I dislike about everything about Debie, I feel somewhat sorry for the life he will have or not have after his 'outing" right now. He will never be trusted again, he will have some enemies forever (over the whole world in fact by uncovering the conference). He will have stress, anxiety and his problems will only have really started from now on. If he was an agent or informer, the state should look after him (even if he has a problem with the actual director of the secret service) because he did what he had to do. Inform our services that some millionaire was trying to manipulate European opinion and setting groups of people up against each other - whatever the consequences (untill they effectively saw the possible consequences). He should be rewarded for that - like any other informer in any other country.

    This is also necessary  as a principle for a secret or police service to keep its credibility (whatever you think of the informer as a person). People who come with information should feel that if you could do something with that information, that when they have taken personal and professional risks and they have worked within the legal bounderies and agreements, they should be protected and looked after if that gets them into problems.

    How the hell would you want other informers and contacts to come forward ? Pay them like Stratfor did ?

    The information itself is always more important than the person but to get the information you must always work on the persons. Those who have informed you and those that you would like to get information from (if you can't intercept or hack it). And for that you need credibility. And that you earn or lose every day.

    So would everybody start shutting up and discussing this matter where it should be discussed - after closed doors and without any leaking afterwards :) so everybody can get back ot its job

    by the way .... who will and can audit a secret service without being a security danger ? And what can you audit  ? Is there a special consultancy firm that audits secret services all over the world (get a mole in there) ? This is also a laughable and dangerous idea. I suppose there are enough intelligent people inside the organisation who - if they could speak totally anonymously - can propose enough ideas to consider - before introducing this new securityrisk into your organisation (and its credibility)

    one last thing - I think that just as with the CIA and other democratic secret services - our secret service should publish much more historic information (and this they can protect sources) and that yes our generation (nearing 50) has the right to know what happened in the 80-90's when Belgium was destabilized by WNP, Bende Van Nijvel and CCC (not the parts of the files that some journalists have seen or assembled from inidividual leaks). More historical would be of course the 60's, the schoolwar, the decolonisation of Congo and so on....

    because to have credibility you have also to show that at critical times in our history your analysts were right, even when nobody at that time was ready to listen and your agents were able with their information to prevent more bloodshed and a deepening of the crisis.