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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2015 11:02 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
There is a need for a td. covering global intel news,so here goes.

The shady history of Argentina’s Intelligence Secretariat
The agency, which president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner wants to dissolve, runs domestic spying on a scale to rival the communist bloc, Tuesday 27 January 2015 02.28 GMT
Alberto Nisman, the Argentinian prosecutor found dead just over a week ago. Photograph: Israel Sun/Rex

On Monday night, Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, took the bold step of announcing a plan to dissolve the country’s Intelligence Secretariat and send to congress a draft bill for the “reform of Argentina’s intelligence service” in the wake of the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman nine days ago.

A possible explanation for Nisman’s death, which came only days after he announced charges that aimed to put Fernández on trial for an alleged conspiracy with Iran, seems to be hidden inside a complex saga of mind-boggling intrigue involving the intelligence agency she now intends to reform.

Created as the Information Division (División Informaciones) by Argentina’s strongman General Juan Perón in 1946, the service’s first task was to arrange the postwar transport of Nazi war criminals to Argentina, some of whom then went on to serve in Perón’s intelligence agency.

Since then, the service has changed its name a number of times, its latest incarnation being the Intelligence Secretariat, better known by its Spanish-language acronym SI. Under Fernández, Argentina’s secret service is alleged to have been involved in domestic spying on a scale rivalling that in Eastern European nations before the fall of the Berlin wall.

Nisman’s connection at the SI was Antonio, aka “Jaime” Stiuso, an enigmatic figure who for years reputedly ran a vast eavesdropping network that made him the most feared man in Argentina.

Few details about the man are in the public domain. He is a 61-year-old communications expert who joined the service in 1972 at 18 years of age. He has three daughters (for whom he reportedly sought security protection from a Buenos Aires court recently) and is reputedly extremely charming. “He’s charismatic, very relaxed, he laughs a lot,” says Rodis Recalt, a journalist from Noticias magazine who interviewed him last month. “After months of tracking him, he called me. I never saw him face to face.”

Under Férnandez in recent years, and under Néstor Kirchner, the president’s now-deceased husband and predecessor, Stiuso’s power is alleged to have grown exponentially, thanks to the extensive wiretapping services on political opponents that he allegedly carried out for the Kirchners.

“But last October, when Fernández found out through military intelligence that Nisman was preparing charges against her for an alleged cover-up of Iran’s role in the bombing, she became understandably furious that Stiuso had not alerted her,” an intelligence source told the Guardian.

By late December, when she began to suspect that it was actually Stiuso who had poisoned Nisman against her, she fired Stiuso and began preparing to dismiss Nisman as well. “She was doubting between replacing Nisman completely, or appointing two assistant prosecutors by his side to neutralise him,” the source maintains.

The president’s alleged fury was fuelled by the extensive use of wiretaps provided by Stiuso that Nisman made in his 300-page accusation against her.

In an long statement posted to her website last week, Fernández seemed to make the case that Nisman’s accusation was actually written by Stiuso, and that Nisman was then killed by the same people who convinced him to present the charges. “They used him alive and then they needed him dead,” Fernández wrote. “As sad and as terrible as that.”

Former president Kirchner introduced Nisman to Stiuso 11 years ago, when Kirchner put the prosecutor in charge of solving the 1994 bombing of the Amia Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people, the deadliest terrorist attack in Latin America. “The two developed a father-son relationship,” says the intelligence source, who knew both men well.

Only the security cameras on the front gate and an Argentinian flag draped from a white metal pole above the entrance indicate the location of the Judicial Observations Department on Avenida de los Incas 3834, a six-storey redbrick building in the upscale neighbourhood of Belgrano. An endless series of press articles and books allege, and at least one court raid has proven, that housed inside are a vast array of computers and recorders continually monitoring the activity of Argentina’s politicians, judges, prosecutors and journalists. Court-ordered wiretaps are also carried out there, since by law only the SI is permitted to intercept calls in Argentina.

Nisman made extensive use of the powerful eavesdropping capabilities of the facility while investigating the Amia blast. It was while poring over calls between Argentina and Iran that Nisman says he discovered the secret offer by Argentina’s government to shield Iranian officials from his arrest warrants, in return for Iranian oil. The calls were made to Iranian offical Moshen Rabbani in the city of Qom, who, as the former Iranian cultural attache in Buenos Aires at the time of the bombing, speaks perfect Spanish, the language used in all the transcribed calls.

Stiuso’s name was known to only a select few until 2004, when justice minister Gustavo Beliz, a politician with a reputation for honesty in a political arena widely considered to be mired in corruption, unmasked him. Beliz displayed a blurry photo of Stiuso on television and accused him of having mounted “a kind of Gestapo” to coerce politicians and journalists to follow the bidding of his political masters. Far from being rewarded for his courage, the minister was fired by Kirchner.

Beliz went into self-imposed exile in the United States and Uruguay, unable to return to public office. His withdrawal into silence is considered a testament to Stiuso’s far-reaching secret network.

But not everybody has such a negative vision of the man who reputedly pulled the secret strings of power in Argentina. “You should have seen how well received he was at the CIA and the Mossad,” says another intelligence source who worked closely with Nisman and Stiuso on the Amia case.

The two men became convinced, partly on the basis of intelligence provided by the United States and Israel, that Iran had been behind the blast. The biggest advance in the case came in 2007, when Interpol agreed to issue international “Red Notices” for the arrest of their five main Iranian suspects, Rabbani chief among them.

But when Argentina and Iran, as a result of the alleged secret negotiations Nisman uncovered, signed a public memorandum in 2013 to set up a joint “Truth Commission” to investigate the blast, effecitvely killing Nisman’s investigation, Stiuso and Nisman became disenchanted with Fernández. The slowly widening rift could explain Nisman’s decision to press charges against her, perhaps with Stiuso’s surrport, as Fernández seems to feel.

“Stiuso is an intelligence officer who follows commands to the letter,” says the intelligence source who worked on the Amia case. “But he was not prepared to betray his geopolitical alliance and put in jeopardy the great prestige he enjoyed with the western intelligence services.”

From 2013 onwards, the sources agree, Stiuso’s disenchamntment with Fernández led him to feed information to the courts and to journalists related to some of the numerous cases of corruption that have made headlines in Argentina in the last two years.

According to one of these sources, Stiuso has left Argentina for the United States. “He called me from the US a few days ago,” the source says. “He told me he was sickened by what is happening at the intelligence service, particularly by the firing of his 20 closest collaborators.”

In the face of the failed memorandum of understanding with Iran and the fact the “Red Notices” from Interpol are still standing, at least one former secret service chief has worries that extend far beyond the Nisman case.

“The purge of the service’s best anti-terrorist experts and the failure of the agrreement with Iran has left Argentina open to another Amia-style bombing,” says former Intelligence Secretariat chief Miguel Ángel Toma, who knew Stiuso and is also a firm believer that Iran had a hand in the bombing. “We managed to find even the exact date and hour at which the decision to bomb the Amia was taken in Qom,” Toma says. “I am extremely worried.” ... dy-history

PS:The Litvinenko case is coming up again in London,where the former KGB defector was allegedly murdered using polonium.WEstern agencies accuse Russia of the deed while the Russians accuse Western agencies,Russian oligarchs,of the same as an attempt to defame Pres.Putin.

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2015 11:35 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Spy vs Spy! Mad mag must be having a good laugh. Watch from the 29th on telly the 3rd series of the excellent spy thriller,"The Americans",about deep cover Soviet agents in the US during the Cold War.With US-Russian relations in sh*t street,as bad as during the days of the Cold War,we can expect many more tit-for-tat arrests,exposes,etc. coming out of both the US and Russia.


US charges Russian 'spies' suspected of trying to recruit New Yorkers

Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobny allegedly conspired to gather intelligence on behalf of Russia and to recruit Americans
Alan Yuhas in New York, Tuesday 27 January 2015
A courtroom sketch of Evgeny Buryakov, arrested in New York as a Russian spy. Photograph: Jane Rosenburg/Reuters

The FBI has arrested a Russian man as a spy, breaking up a trio of agents who allegedly sought to recruit New Yorkers into the service of the Kremlin’s foreign intelligence service.

Federal officers arrested 39-year-old Evgeny Buryakov – “aka Zhenya” – in the Bronx on Monday and charged him with conspiracy to gather intelligence on behalf of Russia. Igor Sporyshev, 40, and Victor Podobny, 27, – both of whom have left the US – were charged in absentia with the same offence, the office of New York prosecutor Preet Bharara confirmed.

At an initial court appearance on Monday, assistant US attorney Adam Fee portrayed Buryakov as a professional spy skilled at duplicity. “His life here, your honor, really, is a deception,” the prosecutor said.

Buryakov’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, lost an argument for bail after a magistrate judge agreed with the government that he had an incentive to flee since his cover was blown. Shroff argued the married father of two deserved bail, calling the charges “merely allegations”.

According to the criminal complaint unveiled on Monday, the three Russians’ alleged mission was to recruit Americans and gather “economic intelligence” – meaning secrets of everything from bankers’ plans to US policy details and the workings of major US industries.

They were also accused of helping a “leading Russian state-owned news organisation,” gather information which would help the SVR.

The complaint does not identify the news organization, but the complaint adds: “The news organization has been publicly identified by former SVR agents as an organization that is sometimes used by Russian intelligence to gain access to and gather intelligence under cover of the news media.” In recent years the Kremlin has made a push into western countries with state organs such as RT and Sputnik launching English-language versions and opening bureaus around the world.

In court, prosecutor Adam Fee said Buryakov had previously worked in a different country as a banker for Russia’s intelligence service, the SVR.

In 2010 the FBI broke up a similar “deep cover” spy ring, arresting 10 SVR operatives who posed as ordinary Americans, and had for years lived in east-coast suburbia under false names. The mission of the “illegals” ended with a major spy swap between the US and Russia, which were then on comparatively friendlier terms under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev. The Kremlin welcomed the Russian spies home as heroes, instantly elevating one, the auburn-tressed Anna Chapman, to the status of celebrity and fashion icon.

The officials charged on Monday were not impressed by their sleeper cell predecessors. Podobny told one of his colleagues: “They weren’t doing shit here, you understand.”

The latest arrests are likely to put further strain on US-Russian relations, which are already at their lowest point since the end of the cold war - largely due to Russia’s support of pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine.

According to the complaint, Buryakov worked as a “deep cover” agent for the SVR. He entered the US as a civilian and posed as an employee in a Russian bank in New York, while reporting to Sporyshev and Podobny “using clandestine methods and coded messages”.

While in the US, Sporyshev and Podobny were both protected by diplomatic immunity – the former a trade representative and the latter an attaché to Russia’s permanent mission to the UN – but also named as SVR agents in the complaint. Sporyshev and Podobny “acted as covert intermediaries” for Buryakov, presumably reporting back to SVR superiors in Moscow.

A Evgeny Buryakov is listed as a “deputy representative” at Vnesheconombank (the Russian Development Bank), according to LinkedIn, but a representative there refused to confirm that he was the man who had been arrested. Vnesheconombank is not a commercial bank but a state-owned institution that works to “improve the competitiveness of the Russian economy”.

Mark Galeotti, an expert in Russian security services at New York University said the latest arrests showed that “to the Russians, as it was to the Soviets, the intelligence services are sort of the Swiss army knife of the state. They’ve always got a tool”.

Galeotti said that the spies interest in economic information was part of a Russian shift to gain an advantage – or at least “make up for a shorftall” – with the west financially and technologically. “To think that you could find assets that can help you understand the secrets of modern finance doesn’t really make sense,” Galeotti said, “but for Putin there’s not really anything the security services can’t do.”

The complaint details how FBI surveillance teams watched the three men at as they slipped “a bag, magazine or slip of paper” to each other in outdoor locations, and how the Russians held brief phone calls – eavesdropped by the FBI – about delivering a “ticket”, “umbrella” or “hat” to one another. The justice department notes in wonder how only once did the men actually discuss going to a movie, but never actually attended or spoke about another event that would require tickets.

Instead, conversations intercepted by the FBI show that the two Russian officials talked openly about recruiting Americans, including employees of unnamed major companies and “several young women with ties to a major university located in New York”. Podobny even explained how he went about recruiting Americans, telling Sporyshev that he courted a New York consultant with “cheating, promising favors, and then discarding the intelligence source”.

“This intelligence method to cheat,” Podobny says, is to “promise a favor for a favor. You get the documents from him and tell him to go ****** himself.”

Of that same consultant, Podobny says: “I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am.”

Podobny explicitly states in a recorded phonecall that he works for the SVR, and even expresses their disappointment that spycraft was not what they dreamed of. Podobny told his colleague, “The fact that I’m sitting with a cookie right now at the … chief enemy spot. ****** Not one point of what I thought then, not even close.”

He then mutters something regarding “movies about James Bond”, and concludes sadly: “Of course, I wouldn’t fly helicopters, but pretend to be someone else at a minimum.”

The two officials even discussed terms of their SVR employment, according to the complaint, talking about how “everyone has a five-year contract” and how travel for their families may be covered by “our SVR” payment plans.

Sporyshev on the other hand complained about women he tried to recruit as sources. “I have lots of ideas about such girls,” he tells Podobny, but these ideas are not “actionable”. “In order to be close you either need to ****** them or use other levels to influence them to execute my requests.” He ends by advising Podobny: “So when you tell me about girls, in my experience, it’s very rare that something workable will come of it.”

In 2014 Buryakov met with an FBI source posing as a representative of a would-be casino mogul interested in the Russian gambling scene. Buryakov pressed the source for a range of economic information “far outside the scope of his work as a bank employee” and took fake US government documents that supposedly had information about sanctions against Russia.

Buryakov, the only member of the trio likely to fall into US custody, could face a decade in prison on the counts of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent.

In a statement, Bharara said it was clear that despite the 20 years since “the presumptive end of the cold war – Russian spies continue to seek to operate in our midst under the cover of secrecy”. Bharara said the presence of a Russian banker in New York, although mundane, would not disguise espionage from the FBI.

Attorney general Eric Holder said the US would find foreign agents in the US “no matter how deep their cover”.

The Russian foreign ministry and intelligence service could not immediately be reached for comment on the case on Monday. Alexey Zaytsev, spokesman for Russia’s UN Mission, said: “We don’t have any comment now.”

Vnesheconombank did not respond to requests for comment.

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2015 19:33 

Joined: 04 Apr 2014 07:16
Posts: 907
looks like our friend, Preet Bharara, was also involved in this filing. Atleast that's what another report from marketwatch says.

PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015 18:28 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
CIA and Israel Coordinated Hezbollah Commander's Assassination
Arutz Sheva

Imad Mughniyeh slated for assassination due to terror attacks abroad, coordinating attacks on US soldiers in Iraq.
By Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 1/31/2015,
Hizbullah supporter holds a poster of Mughniyeh

The CIA and Israel's spy agency Mossad were behind an elaborate plot to kill Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh in a 2008 car bomb attack in Syria, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Citing former intelligence officials, the newspaper reported that US and Israeli spy agencies worked together to target Mughniyeh on February 12, 2008 as he left a restaurant in the Syrian capital Damascus.

He was killed instantly by a car bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of a parked car, which exploded shrapnel in a tight radius, the Post said.

The bomb, built by the United States and tested in the state of North Carolina, was triggered remotely by Mossad agents in Tel Aviv who were in communication with Central Intelligence Agency operatives on the ground in Damascus.

"The way it was set up, the US could object and call it off, but it could not execute," a former US intelligence official told the newspaper.

A senior Hezbollah commander, Mughniyeh was suspected of masterminding the abduction of Western hostages in Lebanon in the 1980s and of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Argentina that killed 29 people.

He was also linked to the bombing of the US marine barracks at Beirut airport in 1983, in which 241 American servicemen died, and the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985, in which a US navy diver was killed.

The CIA declined to comment to the Post about the report.

According the newspaper, the authority to kill required a presidential finding by George W Bush. Several senior officials, including the attorney general, the director of national intelligence and the national security adviser, would have had to sign off on the order, it added.

'Find, fix and finish'

The former officials that spoke to the newspaper said Mughniyeh was directly involved in arming and training Shiite militias in Iraq that were targeting US forces, and though it occurred in a country where the United States was not at war, his assassination could be seen as an act of self-defense.

"They were carrying out suicide bombings and IED attacks," one former official told the Post, referring to alleged Hezbollah operations in Iraq.

They added that getting approval from the most senior echelons of the US government to carry out the attack against Mughniyeh was a "rigorous and tedious" process, and it had to be proven that he was a true menace.

"What we had to show was he was a continuing threat to Americans," the official told the Post.

"The decision was we had to have absolute confirmation that it was self-defense."

The newspaper said that during the Iraq war, the Bush administration had approved a list of operations aimed at Hezbollah, and according to one official, this included approval to target Mughniyeh.

"There was an open license to find, fix and finish Mughniyeh and anybody affiliated with him," a former US official who served in Baghdad told the Post.

According to the newspaper, American intelligence officials had been discussing possible ways to target the notorious Hezbollah commander for years, and senior US Joint Special Operations Command agents held a secret meeting with the head of Israel's military intelligence service in 2002.

"When we said we would be willing to explore opportunities to target him, they practically fell out of their chairs," a former US official told the Post.

Though it is not clear when the agencies realized Mughniyeh was living in Damascus, a former official told the newspaper that Israel had approached the CIA about a joint operation to kill him in Syria's capital.

The agencies collected "pattern of life" information about him and used facial recognition technology to establish his identity after he walked out of a restaurant the night he was killed.

In dealing with similar ungodlies across the border,India too should learn from this termination.

PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015 18:30 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
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Location: India
Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency: Who Is Robert Cardillo? ... ews=855530

NGA collects, processes, and dispenses satellite imagery for national security purposes.and analyzes intelligence information through the lens of geography and maps.

PostPosted: 03 Feb 2015 15:48 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Oh this is a juicy one indeed! ... plans.html

Honey-trap cyber spies stole Syrian rebel plans

Thousands of sensitive military and political files were stolen when opposition fighters were tricked into downloading spy programs by hackers posing as attractive women
By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent
02 Feb 2015

Hackers posing as beautiful women stole a trove of detailed battle plans from rebel groups fighting the Syrian government, a cyber security group has said.

The cyber honey trap saw opposition fighters tricked into downloading spy programs on to their laptops or smartphones when they believed they were sharing personal photos, or looking for wives.

The sting saw a cache of detailed military documents and sensitive Skype conversations stolen over a two-month period by the unidentified group of hackers.

Information carried off included details of the Syrian opposition’s strategy, tactical battle plans, supply needs, and large amounts of personal information and online chat sessions.

FireEye, a US-based cyber security firm, said it had come across the stolen files while investigating cyber crime gangs. It is unclear who the hackers were working for, but the victims included fighters, media activists and humanitarian aid workers. Those tricked included rebels from the Free Syrian Army, as well as Islamist fighting groups.

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Researchers said the find illustrated the key role cyber warfare was playing in the Syrian conflict and other wars around the world. It also showed that the age-old honey trap ruse remained effective even in an age of high tech espionage.

The firm found hackers had created fake Skype accounts with profile photos of beautiful women to target Syrian opposition groups, as well as setting up a fake opposition website seeded with spy programs.

The hackers contacted their victims and after gentle flirtation asked them to share photos. When the hacker’s photo arrived, it was in fact a spy program allowing the attacker to seize control of the victim’s computer.

The fake website included a matchmaking section that infected the victim’s computer when they clicked on links to women’s profiles.
The fake Skype accounts had profile photos of beautiful women

Richard Turner, vice president at FireEye, said: “For as long as there’ve been secrets, there’s been espionage and as long as there’s been espionage, it’s been intertwined with sex.

“This attack used attractive women to get people to share information in order for them to be compromised. The vast majority of cyber attacks start with fairly innocuous emails to create a level of interest with a target.”

The thousands of documents stolen between late 2013 and early 2014 included a detailed battle plan for an assault on the town of Khirbet Ghazaleh, strategically located in southern Daraa province. The town had been under rebel control but was seized by regime troops in May 2013. Rebels have been unable to recapture it since.

Documents included detailed lists of rebel fighters, including names, dates of birth, blood groups and weapon serial numbers.

Military plans found in the stolen files also included rosters, annotated satellite images, orders of battle, geographic coordinates for attacks, and lists of weapons from a range of fighting groups.

The seized information provided “actionable military intelligence for an immediate battlefield advantage" for the Khirbet Ghazaleh attack, the FireEye report said.

It provided "the type of insight that can thwart a vital supply route, reveal a planned ambush and identify and track key individuals", though it was unclear if the information ever reached Bashar al Assad’s regime.

Nart Villeneuve, senior threat intelligence researcher at the firm, said: “While we cannot positively identify who is behind these attacks, we know that they used social media to infiltrate victims’ machines and steal military information that would provide an advantage to President Assad’s forces on the battlefield.”

Russia and Iran have both given significant backing to Assad’s regime and are both considered leading cyber warfare powers, but the firm said the spread of the technology meant many governments and groups could now call on high tech espionage. Several of the hackers referred to Lebanon during conversations.

A group of pro-Assad hackers called the Syrian Electronic Army has launched cyber attacks on a string of media organisations.
Opposition activists confirmed that the bloodshed on the battlefields of Syria was being shadowed by a cyber war.

Sami Saleh, an opposition activist and hacker using a pseudonym, said opposition groups had few resources to carry out attacks and spent most of their time trying to fend off spying.

He told AFP: “The cyber-war is about half the war, without exaggeration.”

PostPosted: 03 Feb 2015 20:54 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 12 Jul 1999 11:31
Posts: 4008
Location: In the soft spots!!!
Here is a top resource:

PostPosted: 04 Feb 2015 11:48 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Tx Abhi. ... e22754950/

Navy Intel Officer Warns of Future China Conflict

Calls for telling the truth about Beijing
BY: Bill Gertz
February 2, 2015 10:00 am

HONOLULU—China’s ruling Communist Party is “rejuvenating” and preparing for a military conflict in Asia, the outgoing intelligence chief of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet is warning.

“The strategic trend lines indicate the Communist Party of China is not only ‘rejuvenating’ itself for internal stability purposes, but has been and continues to prepare to use military force,” Navy Capt. James E. Fanell said on Saturday during his retirement speech at Pearl Harbor.

Speaking on a pier across the harbor from the battleship USS Missouri, where Japan’s surrender was signed ending World War II, and near the memorial over the submerged wreckage of the USS Arizona, sunk in 1941 during the Japanese attack, Fanell said he believes Beijing prefers not to use its growing military force for achieving regional dominance.

“But let’s not deceive ourselves. The evidence I’ve been chewing on over the past 15 years is overwhelming,” he said. “Beijing has prepared for military action and [Chinese] President Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ has a defined timeline to reach this ‘rejuvenated’ end state.”

On the Obama administration’s policy of shifting forces to the Pacific, called the “rebalance,” Fanell said the program is a good first step to counter the challenge of China.

“But it must be backed up with a real, tangible deterrent force and we must stand up to Beijing’s propaganda and bullying campaign, especially those that come at the expense of our allies and partners,” he said.

The rebalance includes the shift of some troops, naval, and air forces to the region but it has been limited as a result of sharp defense cuts under the Obama administration and continuing U.S. military commitments in the Middle East.

The career intelligence captain called on his fellow intelligence officials to present honest assessments of the danger posed by China’s growing military power, an indirect criticism of what officials have said have been numerous U.S. intelligence failures in assessing China’s military build up over the past three decades.

“The challenge, as I have seen it, is for intelligence professionals to make the case, to tell the truth, and to convince national decision and policy makers to realize that China’s rise, if left unchecked or undeterred, will necessarily disrupt the peace and stability of our friends, partners, and allies,” he said.

“We should not have to wait for an actual shooting war to start before we acknowledge there is a problem and before we start taking serious action,” Fanell said.

The Communist Party of China has plans that “stand in direct contrast to espoused U.S. national security objectives of freedom of navigation and free access to markets for all of Asia,” he added.

In particular, the Chinese navy, Fanell said, is taking steps to achieve strategic objectives that include the restoration of what Beijing says is “sovereign maritime territory,” specifically thousands of square miles of water inside the so-called first island chain—a string of western Pacific islands near China’s coasts stretching from Northeast Asia through the South China Sea.

Fanell is retiring after more than 28 years in the Navy. He told more than 100 guests attending the Pearl Harbor ceremony, including several admirals, that he was inspired to join the sea service in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

“It was the words, the images, and his vision for a strong America, one that would combat the global spread of communism, that motivated me to sign on the dotted line,” Fanell said of Reagan.

“This ‘calling’ is what drew me into the United States Navy and kept me going.”

Fanell has held the storied post of U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet “N2,” the chief of fleet intelligence, since 2011. That post was held by some of the most senior U.S. intelligence officials.

One famous Pacific Fleet N2 was Edwin Layton, who from 1940 to 1945 pioneered the use of secret electronic communications intelligence in war planning.

Other Pacfleet N2s include former Adm. Bobby Ray Inman, a former director of the National Security Agency; and Adm. Mike McConnell, another former NSA director; and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lowell Jacoby, a former admiral.

“There is no finer intelligence officer in the United States Navy than Jim Fanell,” retired Rear Adm. James. D. Kelly said in remarks during the ceremony. Kelly was a former commander of the aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Kitty Hawk and is currently a dean at the Naval War College.

Fanell said writing the retirement speech was “one of the hardest events of my career.”

“For the past 90 days I have truly struggled to come up with the right words to wrap up 28 and a half years of service in the U.S. Navy,” he said.

In often emotional farewell remarks, Fanell noted that an early intelligence innovator, World War II Navy cryptanalyst Joseph Rochefort pushed the envelope of using communications intercepts to target the Japanese fleet.

“Joe Rochefort came out of the disaster of 7 December [1941] with a firm resolve to provide the U.S. Pacific Fleet the best assessed location of the Imperial Japanese navy’s fleet,” he said.

“And Joe did this despite knowing that his ‘masters’ in Washington at OP-20-G/Navy Communications did not want Station Hypo to provide this intelligence directly to the Fleet. Joe knew he was bucking the system and it was something he would pay for dearly later on in 1942, but that is another story for another time.”

Rochefort, who died in 1976, helped break Japanese codes that were the key to locating, attacking, and ultimately defeating the Japanese fleet in the Pacific.

But Rochefort was twice denied medals by senior Navy officials who he had angered. In 1986 Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.

Fanell’s career was cut short after he made two speeches in San Diego in 2013 and last year bluntly describing the threat posed by China.

In February 2014, Fanell said that Chinese military exercises indicated Beijing was preparing for a “short, sharp war” with Japan.

Tensions between China and Japan remain high over Beijing’s efforts to claim the Senkaku Islands, Japanese islets located between the southern end of Japan and Taiwan.

China is claiming the Senkakus as its territory and last year imposed an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea that covers the uninhabited islands.

Both the United States and Japan announced they would not recognize the Chinese defense zone.

In 2013, Fanell, during a similar conference in San Diego, warned that China was escalating what he said was the bullying of regional neighbors.

The blunt comments by the captain triggered criticism from pro-China analysts in the U.S. government and academic community.

In November, Fanell was removed from his post and assigned to another position after an anonymous complaint to the Pacific Fleet inspector general triggered an investigation.

An investigative report produced by the U.S. Pacific Command concluded that Fanell on several occasions improperly “discussed classified information in the presence of foreign nationals.”

“The anonymous IG complaint alleges that Capt. Fanell repeatedly discussed classified information in the presence of foreign national staff members, or otherwise allowed foreign national staff members to come into contact with classified information not authorized for release to foreign nationals,” the report, dated Dec. 5., states.

Additionally, the report indicates the issues involving the briefings was initially handled by the Navy’s Pacific Fleet but was taken over by the U.S. Pacific Command inspector general. No reason for the takeover was given.

The commander of the U.S. Pacific Command at the time of the investigation, Adm. Samuel Locklear, is among the most assertive in seeking closer relations with the Chinese military as part of the Pentagon’s policy of trying to build trust with the People’s Liberation Army.

Last week, however, the Pentagon suspended military exchanges with China over a lack of agreement for setting up rules for aerial intercepts of U.S. surveillance aircraft in Asia by Chinese jets, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The PACOM investigative report said numerous officials interviewed by investigators “spoke highly of Capt. Fanell’s dedication and commitment to proper safeguarding of classified material.”

“Capt. Fanell explained that he believes there is a tension between ‘operationalizing’ and “internationalizing’” intelligence information, the report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act states, noting that the Navy staff in recent years has included the addition of regional allies.

“Capt. Fanell sees these as diametrically opposed to one another and ripe for challenges.”

Additionally, the report said an online news clipping service moderated by Fanell called “Red Star Rising” was criticized by unidentified critics as “a potential security problem,” “unprofessional,” and “inappropriate.”

However, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said the website “did not pose any security concerns.”
Fanell declined to comment on the investigation.

A Pacific Fleet spokesman said the investigation “had nothing to do” with Fanell’s earlier comments in San Diego.

But other defense officials said they are convinced the investigation of Fanell and his reassignment was an outgrowth of the comments that angered pro-China officials and intelligence analysts within the U.S. government. ... -conflict/

How Canada compares to ‘Five Eyes’ members in intelligence oversight
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Feb. 02 2015,

PostPosted: 06 Feb 2015 13:39 
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High-ranking US intelligence official: Al Qaeda will make gains in Syria and Afghanistan in 2015

The Long War Journal
Thomas Joscelyn, The Long War Journal

Feb. 4, 2015, ... z3QxB8ucbV

PostPosted: 09 Feb 2015 10:32 
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Location: India ... 32216.html
Robert Fisk
Sunday 8 February 2015

The curious tale of the Swedish Soviet spy and the sheltering Druze

‘We’ll never forget your support for the cause of the Soviet people and our common struggle against imperialism’

More than 20 years ago, Walid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Druze leader, admitted to a Swedish diplomat that he hid a Soviet spy – a Swedish intelligence officer – near his Lebanese mountain home at Moukhtara in the early 1990s at the request of a senior Russian intelligence officer. I was sitting that evening on Jumblatt’s lawn, agog.

The conversation was friendly – the Swede, like me, was a dinner guest at Jumblatt’s ancestral home, a palace of ancient stone walls, trickling streams, fine food and an entire Roman mosaic floor. Jumblatt and the Swede both regarded his sheltering of Soviet agent Stig Bergling as a relic from Cold War history. There was much joshing and laughter over the rather odd story of Jumblatt’s protection of a Swede who worked for his country’s national intelligence agency and sold 15,000 military documents to Moscow.

“Yes, he used to have lunch with us here,” Jumblatt said with a wave of his arm across the lawn. “I apologise to Sweden.” The diplomat half-bowed with conscious irony. I snorted at the Swede’s exaggerated “politesse”.

But Bergling has just died in Stockholm at the age of 77, and Walid Jumblatt – self-declared enemy of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime and the victim of an assassination attempt during the 1975-90 civil war – has now disclosed much more about his role in sheltering the venal spy, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for espionage but escaped captivity in Sweden during a conjugal visit to his wife in 1987. A few years later, Jumblatt now says, he received a “friendly visit” from General Vladimir Ismailov, the deputy director of Soviet military intelligence.

Jumblatt’s account, in a series of emails to friends and in an article in his own “socialist” party newspaper Al-Anba’a, describes Ismailov as “impressively tall with red hair [and a] big moustache”; he was accompanied to the Chouf mountain town of Moukhtara “by another official, most probably one of his assistants and a common friend”. Talks between Jumblatt and the Russians began “after five or six shots of vodka, and numerous toasts to Lebanese-Soviet friendship, and to the Progressive Socialist Party [the official title of Jumblatt’s almost Ottoman Druze alliance] and the Soviet Communist Party’s common fight”.

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Not for nothing does the intellectual Jumblatt sometimes revel in the title – which I gave him in an Independent report in 2004 – of “the world’s greatest nihilist”. He clearly enjoyed telling his own story of Bergling’s secret hideaway south of Beirut.

“Then General Ismailov told me: ‘Comrade Walid, you are a great friend of the Soviet Union, and we will never forget your position supporting the cause of the Soviet people and our common struggle against imperialism’ – I presume some of you know this kind of terminology.

“General Ismailov asked me if I could shelter somebody at Moukhtara. How could I refuse? The Soviets provided me with hundreds of scholarships [for the Druze], trained the militia of the Socialist Party by the thousand in their bases and provided us with the equivalent of $500m of weapons and ammunition between 1979 until the 1980s, for free.”

Jumblatt, whose father Kamal (a writer, philosopher, acolyte of Gandhi and also a “socialist” Druze leader) was murdered by armed men – almost certainly Syrian agents – in 1977, obviously enjoyed making his latest revelations with characteristic cynicism. “I said ‘yes’ without hesitating,” Jumblatt said of Ismailov’s request, “and we continued our endless lunch and I wonder how many bottles of vodka were consumed for this event – of course, for the cause of fighting ‘imperialism’ and for the sake of consolidating ‘socialism’.”

Walid Jumblatt in his home at Moukhtara, in which he hid the spy, Stig Berling Two weeks later, Jumblatt continued, “came a man in his late fifties with his wife and we [later] accommodated them on the upper floor of the house of [Lebanese parliamentarian] Nehme Tohme … a great friend of the Jumblatt family. The Tohmes were and still are very hospitable. But who was this fellow and his wife? None less than Stig Bergling and Elisabeth Sandberg. And for the coming four years, he was our guest, and our partner at dinner or lunch.

“For the Soviets to ask me to hide one of their numerous spies was quite odd, and later my suspicions were confirmed that something was wrong in the Soviet Empire, because just after a year, it collapsed.

“Mr Abbe as we used to call him, Stig Bergling, fled Lebanon in 1994 back to Sweden, during my presence in Moscow at the time of Yeltsin, and he was jailed again … As for me, I ended up terribly embarrassed with my Swedish friends, the Social Democrats, with whom I was so closely connected, and thanks to this relationship I had the opportunity to meet several times a great figure and leader of the 20th century, Olof Palme. Stig Bergling did a lot of damage to Sweden and to me.”

Bergling had been parolled on health grounds after suffering from Parkinson’s disease and died on 24 January. His wife died of cancer 18 years ago.

His spying – solely for money, he made clear at his trial – supposedly cost Sweden $45m to reorganise its security operations. The Swedish justice minister resigned.

As for Jumblatt, he now describes the jovial and bespectacled spy as “an offer I could not refuse – the gift of General Vladimir Ismailov”. And since Jumblatt is one of Lebanon’s elder and most intellectual (and mischievous) statesmen, I can attest that he will never resign, at least until his son Taymour takes over the leadership of those most mountainous of men, the Druze.

Sisi’s calls for ‘rice’ to fund the army

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s judges go on sentencing his Muslim Brotherhood enemies to the gallows, but the Egyptian president is emerging as something of an amateur – for a former head of the army – when it comes to preventing leaks of his own phone calls.

This weekend, a Brotherhood radio station in Turkey broadcast what it claimed were conversations between the former field marshal and his aides after his military coup against elected Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi – but before he himself won the presidential poll. In one of the calls, dated to 2013, he reportedly tells his then chief of intelligence to ask for $10bn each from the Saudi, Emirati and Kuwaiti governments, adding that they “have money like rice, like the Americans”. He wants the funds transferred to an account belonging to the Egyptian army rather than the state.

“Rice” is an intriguing metaphor for cash. I’ve heard of dibs, dough, lolly, sugar, salt – and my thesaurus suggests “palm oil” as another. But I suppose rice comes in bags, is cheap to acquire and extremely filling, especially if you’re a poor Egyptian president trying to prop up your central bank.

And who could disagree with Sisi? After all, I imagine that the Islamic State is still receiving plenty of “rice” from the nations of the Gulf – or “half states” as the manager of Sisi’s office apparently calls them on one recording – although we must all repeat that the governments of Sisi’s favourite Arab funders would never support “terrorism”.

I should add that Sisi’s lads say the tapes are faked and “doctored” – they’re certainly hard to hear, because of the noise of all that Cairo traffic in the background.

PostPosted: 16 Feb 2015 11:07 
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CIA engineering climate change as weapon of war.
Spy agencies could be funding geo-engineering research in pursuit of weaponising the weather, scientists claims ... 47544.html
A leading climate scientist said calls purportedly from the CIA left him ‘scared’ about the consequences.
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Sunday 15 February

A senior American climate scientist has spoken of the fear he experienced when US intelligence services apparently asked him about the possibility of weaponising the weather as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week.

Professor Alan Robock stated that three years ago, two men claiming to be from the CIA had called him to ask whether experts would be able to tell if hostile forces had begun manipulating the US’s weather, though he suspected the purpose of the call was to find out if American forces could meddle with other countries’ climates instead.

During a debate on the use of geo-engineering to combat climate change, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California, Prof Robock said: “I got a phone call from two men who said we work as consultants for the CIA and we'd like to know if some other country was controlling our climate, would we know about it?

”I told them, after thinking a little bit, that we probably would because if you put enough material in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight we would be able to detect it and see the equipment that was putting it up there.

“At the same time I thought they were probably also interested in if we could control somebody else's climate, could they detect it?”

Professor Robock, who has investigated the potential risks and benefits of using stratospheric particles to simulate the climate-changing effects of volcanic eruptions, said he felt “scared” when the approach was made.

“I'd learned of lots of other things the CIA had done that haven't followed the rules and I thought that wasn't how I wanted my tax money spent. I think this research has to be in the open and international so there isn't any question of it being used for hostile purposes.“

The long-term effects of such strategies are largely unknown however, and many experts have expressed fears that these techniques would carry a great risk.

Professor Robock’s concerns come as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week by the US National Academy of Sciences. Among the report’s list of sponsors is the “US intelligence community", which includes Nasa, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the US Department of Energy.

The professor alleges that the CIA told a colleague of his that it wanted to fund the report, but claimed that it did not want this fact to be too obvious – he added that the CIA is “a major funder” of the report which “makes me really worried about who is going to be in control”.

He claimed the US government had a proven history of using the weather in a hostile way, citing the action of seeding clouds during the Vietnam War to muddy the Ho Chi Minh foot-trail and attempt to cut it off, as it was used as a supply route but the north Vietnamese.

He claimed the CIA had also seeded clouds over Cuba “to make it rain and ruin the sugar harvest”.

The CIA was not available for comment at the time of publishing

PostPosted: 16 Feb 2015 12:00 
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Location: India
In change of heart, BJP government develops liking for National Counter Terrorism Centre
By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | 14 Feb, 2015

Read more at: ... aign=cppst

PostPosted: 16 Feb 2015 18:51 

Joined: 19 Jan 2005 01:05
Posts: 1661
Location: Pindi
Philip wrote:
CIA engineering climate change as weapon of war.
Spy agencies could be funding geo-engineering research in pursuit of weaponising the weather, scientists claims ... 47544.html
A leading climate scientist said calls purportedly from the CIA left him ‘scared’ about the consequences.
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Sunday 15 February

A senior American climate scientist has spoken of the fear he experienced when US intelligence services apparently asked him about the possibility of weaponising the weather as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week.

Professor Alan Robock stated that three years ago, two men claiming to be from the CIA had called him to ask whether experts would be able to tell if hostile forces had begun manipulating the US’s weather, though he suspected the purpose of the call was to find out if American forces could meddle with other countries’ climates instead.

During a debate on the use of geo-engineering to combat climate change, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California, Prof Robock said: “I got a phone call from two men who said we work as consultants for the CIA and we'd like to know if some other country was controlling our climate, would we know about it?

”I told them, after thinking a little bit, that we probably would because if you put enough material in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight we would be able to detect it and see the equipment that was putting it up there.

“At the same time I thought they were probably also interested in if we could control somebody else's climate, could they detect it?”

Professor Robock, who has investigated the potential risks and benefits of using stratospheric particles to simulate the climate-changing effects of volcanic eruptions, said he felt “scared” when the approach was made.

“I'd learned of lots of other things the CIA had done that haven't followed the rules and I thought that wasn't how I wanted my tax money spent. I think this research has to be in the open and international so there isn't any question of it being used for hostile purposes.“

The long-term effects of such strategies are largely unknown however, and many experts have expressed fears that these techniques would carry a great risk.

Professor Robock’s concerns come as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week by the US National Academy of Sciences. Among the report’s list of sponsors is the “US intelligence community", which includes Nasa, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the US Department of Energy.

The professor alleges that the CIA told a colleague of his that it wanted to fund the report, but claimed that it did not want this fact to be too obvious – he added that the CIA is “a major funder” of the report which “makes me really worried about who is going to be in control”.

He claimed the US government had a proven history of using the weather in a hostile way, citing the action of seeding clouds during the Vietnam War to muddy the Ho Chi Minh foot-trail and attempt to cut it off, as it was used as a supply route but the north Vietnamese.

He claimed the CIA had also seeded clouds over Cuba “to make it rain and ruin the sugar harvest”.

The CIA was not available for comment at the time of publishing

It is not that easy. Why they do not make rain during regular forest fires in California? Why they can not make rain in Arizona? China and Russiaused to have dedicated teams but they were never sucessful.

PostPosted: 18 Feb 2015 22:37 
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Location: India
Google warns of US government 'hacking any facility' in the world
Google says increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise ‘monumental’ legal concerns that should be decided by Congress ... ee-hearing

Google says increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise ‘monumental’ legal concerns that should be decided by Congress
Google logo
In particular, Google sounds the alarm over the FBI’s desire to ‘remotely’ search computers that have concealed their location. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Ed Pilkington in New York
Wednesday 18 February 2015 17.18 GMT
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Google is boldly opposing an attempt by the US Justice Department to expand federal powers to search and seize digital data, warning that the changes would open the door to US “government hacking of any facility” in the world.

In a strongly worded submission to the Washington committee that is considering the proposed changes, Google says that increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise “monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide”.

The search giant warns that under updated proposals, FBI agents would be able to carry out covert raids on servers no matter where they were situated, giving the US government unfettered global access to vast amounts of private information.

In particular, Google sounds the alarm over the FBI’s desire to “remotely” search computers that have concealed their location – either through encryption or by obscuring their IP addresses using anonymity services such as Tor. Those government searches, Google says, “may take place anywhere in the world. This concern is not theoretical. ... [T]he nature of today’s technology is such that warrants issued under the proposed amendment will in many cases end up authorizing the government to conduct searches outside the United States.”

Google raised its objections as part of a public consultation that ended on Tuesday. Its submission, and 37 others made by interested parties, will be considered by the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules, an obscure but powerful Washington body consisting mainly of judges that has responsibility over federal rules including those governing the actions of the FBI.

Federal agents wishing to search a property have to apply to a judge for a warrant to do so. Under existing rules, known as Rule 41, the authorizing judge has to be located in the same district as the property to be searched.

But the Justice Department argues that in the modern computer age, such an arrangement no longer works. It is calling for the scope of warrants to be widened so that FBI agents can search property – in this case computers – outside the judge’s district. The FBI argues that this new power would be essential in investigations where suspects have concealed the location of their computer networks.

A comment to the committee from a coalition of prosecutors, the National Association of Assistant US Attorneys, said that “suspects are increasingly using sophisticated anonymizing technologies and proxy services designed to hide their true IP addresses. This creates significant difficulties for law enforcement to identify the district in which the electronic information is located.”

The Justice Department itself has tried to assuage anxieties about its proposed amendment. In its comment to the committee, DoJ officials say that federal agents would only request the new type of warrants where there was “probable cause to search for or seize evidence, fruits, or instrumentalities of crime”.

But civil liberties and legal groups remain unconvvinced, insisting that the language is so vaguely worded that it would have draconian and global implications. In its submission, the American Civil Liberties Union said that the proposed changes could violate the fourth amendment of the US constitution, which bans unreasonable searches and seizures.

The ACLU’s principal technologist, Christopher Soghoian, said: “The government is seeking a troubling expansion of its power to surreptitiously hack into computers, including using malware. Although this proposal is cloaked in the garb of a minor procedural update, in reality it would be a major and substantive change that would be better addressed by Congress.”

The FBI has been developing its computer surveillance techniques over almost 15 years. It now regularly uses “network investigative techniques”, or NITs, to implant malware software onto target devices that in effect allow agents to control the machine – they can turn on or off cameras and recording equipment, download the entire database of information and gain access to other linked computers.

Google argues such tactics run the risk of the private information of innocent third parties being hoovered up in a massive data sweep.

Recent high-profile hacks such as the breach of Sony Pictures, which the FBI blamed on North Korea, have highlighted global cybersecurity as a growing area of importance for the Obama administration. But the US government now stands accused of trying to acquire the ability to carry out routine extra-territorial hacking raids that it has accused other countries of conducting.

Google contends that by doing so, the US government risks undermining diplomatic arrangements it has built up with other countries over many years that allow cross-border investigations to take place with the approval of all parties.

“The US has long recognized the sovereignty of nations,” the company says in its submission, quoting legal authorities that say that in the absence of a treaty or other national agreement, “the jurisdiction of law enforcement agents does not extend beyond a nation’s borders”.

In October, FBI director James Comey gave remarks – widely derided by privacy watchers and tech-industry officials alike – in which he said “encryption threatens to lead us all to a very, very dark place”.

Comey asked: “Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?”

PostPosted: 20 Feb 2015 09:13 
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Sim card database hack gave US and UK spies access to billions of cellphones

International row likely after revelations of breach that could have given NSA and GCHQ the power to monitor a large portion of world’s cellular communications ... es-hacking

American and British spies hacked into the world’s largest sim card manufacturer in a move that gave them unfettered access to billions of cellphones around the globe and looks set to spark another international row into overreach by espionage agencies.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent GCHQ hacked into Gemalto, a Netherlands sim card manufacturer, stealing encryption keys that allowed them to secretly monitor both voice calls and data, according to documents newly released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The breach, revealed in documents provided to The Intercept, gave the agencies the power to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, which experts said violated international laws.

Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said there was no doubt that the spy agencies had violated Dutch law and were in all probability violating laws in many other territories when they used the hacked keys.

“They have the functional equivalent of our house keys,” he said. “That has serious implications for privacy not just here in the US but internationally.”

The scale of the hack and its international reach will likely reopen wounds in the diplomatic community. The Obama administration faced intense criticism from Germany, Brazil and other nations following the Snowden leaks and has been working hard recently to repair the damage.

Previous documents disclosed by the Guardian showed Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was the target of an NSA spying campaign, a revelation that has soured US-German relations. Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff has already accused the NSA of violating international law.

“It’s a big breach,” Matthew Green, a cryptologist at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, told the Guardian. “The problem is that the attacks could still be ongoing.”

Gemalto, the company targeted by the spy agencies, produces 2bn sim cards per year for clients including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. The Netherlands company operates in 85 countries around the world and provides cards to some 450 wireless network providers globally.

The stolen encryption keys would allow intelligence agencies to monitor mobile communications without the approval or knowledge of telecom companies and foreign governments.

Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Guardian the hack would allow spies to “put an aerial up on the embassy in Berlin and listen in to anyone’s calls in the area”.

Calls made on 3G and 4G mobile networks are encrypted. But with the keys, which a GCHQ slide described as living “in the phone”, spies could access any communication made on a device unless its owner uses an extra layer of encryption.

Soghoian said the latest Snowden revelations meant that it was difficult for anyone to trust the security of a mobile phone. “It is very unlikely that this is an issue that is going to be fixed anytime soon,” he said. “There is no reason for people to trust AT&T, Verizon or anyone at this point. Their systems are hopelessly insecure.”

“The real value of this is that it allows bulk surveillance of telecoms without anyone getting caught,” Soghoian said of hacks like the one at Gemalto, which he said would allow the spy agencies to target “whoever they wanted”.

“In countries where the government will not cooperate, that’s very useful,” he said. “It’s also very useful in countries where the government would help. Germany would allow spy on a suspected terrorist but not on [Angela] Merkel.”

Paul Beverly, a Gemalto executive vice president, told The Intercept that the company was totally oblivious to the penetration of its systems. “I’m disturbed, quite concerned that this has happened,” he said. “The most important thing for me is to understand exactly how this was done, so we can take every measure to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

According to the Snowden documents, Gemalto was targeted by the Mobile Handset Exploitation Team (MHET), a unit formed by the NSA and GCHQ in April 2010 to target vulnerabilities in cell phones.

The Intercept reports that in one GCHQ slide, the British intelligence agency boasted it had planted malware – malignant software – on several of Gemalto’s computers, giving GHCQ access to “their entire network”.

Green, from Johns Hopkins, said the scale of the hack – “apparently a huge percentage” of the sim cards at Gemalto – would mean a massive replacement process.

“Suppliers are going to have to tighten up their practices before anyone can think about fixing this,” he told the Guardian, “and that’s going to be a nightmare.”

The keys were obtained after a clandestine operation targeting the email and Facebook accounts of Gemalto employees and other telecom executives. GCHQ operatives singled out key individuals within Gemalto and then hacked their private accounts.

One Gemalto employee in Thailand was identified as “a good place to start” after he was observed sending encrypted files, a move the agents suggested meant he was sending valuable information.

PostPosted: 20 Feb 2015 09:34 
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Location: India ... rveillance
How the Snowden leak is changing the tech landscape
Parliaments, tech leaders and privacy activists are scrambling to respond to revelations about NSA and GCHQ surveillance

Monday 2 December 2013 18.00 GMT Last modified on Friday 3 October 2014

Revelations about the extent of the surveillance programmes undertaken by the NSA and GCHQ – as well as their efforts to undermine online security and encryption – have provoked fierce reaction around the world, sparking technical innovations, legal challenges, and moves towards political reform.

Leading technology firms including Google, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo have been working to rebuild users' trust after the disclosure that the NSA can access information on their servers. For Google, this has involved announcing efforts to increase the encryption used for data travelling between the company's data centres, which the Washington Post revealed was being accessed by the NSA, as well as joining legal calls for the release of more government information at users' request.

Other technology startups have taken more drastic action. Lavabit, a secure email provider reportedly used by Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, shut down after the government requested a back door into its systems. Another company, Silent Circle, closed its email service shortly afterwards.

Such efforts have prompted new companies and services to step into the breach. One project, named Mailpile, crowdsourced more than $160,000 of funding to build encrypted mail software and keep data storage away from US servers.

Other projects working towards similar ends have felt the increase in interest: one storage service, SpiderOak, based on "zero-knowledge privacy" said download figures immediately spiked.

Even the federal National Institute of Standards and Technology, which sets required security and encryption levels, has announced a full review of its standards in an effort to restore industry trust following concerns the NSA had manipulated the institute's guidance.

The continuing transparency lawsuits from Google and other Silicon Valley companies are not the only legal challenges faced by the NSA and GCHQ. Following the release of a secret court order against Verizon revealing the collection of Americans' phone records, two civil society groups initiated freedom of information lawsuits asking for further details.

Those actions, launched by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Electronic Privacy Information Center, led to the declassification and release of hundreds of pages of secret court rulings governing the collection of US domestic phone records under section 215 of the Patriot Act – including circumstances under which the court had found parts of the NSA programme unconstitutional.

The NSA's UK counterpart GCHQ faces even greater challenges under British and European human rights law. Advocacy group Privacy International has launched actions with the UK's investigatory powers tribunal and with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development against both GCHQ and seven telecoms companies working with it.

Concurrently, a coalition of digital rights, privacy, and freedom of expression groups – Open Rights Group, English PEN and Big Brother Watch – has begun a challenge at the European court of human rights, funded through public donations.

Internal GCHQ documents showed the agency feared exactly that kind of legal scrutiny should the scope of its surveillance programmes became public, as the result of what it characterised as a "damaging public debate".

Bulk surveillance programmes also face political reform efforts as well as legal challenges. The diplomatic fallout of revelations about NSA and GCHQ spying on foreign allies sparked proposals to increase data protection in the European parliament.

Even in Britain, where the political reaction had been comparatively muted, parliament debated the limits of GCHQ surveillance for three hours, with MPs from all three main parties advocating reform of the agency's oversight.

However, the most significant calls for political reform have been in the US. Following the narrow defeat of an amendment that would have cut funding to an NSA programme tracking the phone records of Americans, Barack Obama himself proposed a modest reform package.

Speaking at an August press conference, Obama pledged to re-examine parts of the Patriot Act, launch an NSA transparency website, add a privacy advocate to the foreign intelligence surveillance court (which oversees NSA programmes) and launch an independent review into the NSA – though within days this was scorned, as it emerged that body would report to Obama's director for national intelligence.

The most significant political reform efforts to date, though, come not from Obama, but from the House of Representatives, where two bills reforming the NSA are under consideration. One is backed by the chair of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, a staunch NSA defender who nonetheless expressed concerns the agency had gone too far in the monitoring of allied leaders' phones.

Another, led by long-time NSA critic and Republican house member Justin Amash, with bipartisan backing, has attracted more support from bodies concerned by NSA surveillance, who believe it contains more substantive checks and balances on the agency.

Both bills are believed to have a realistic chance of becoming law. One essentially codifies and reinforces the NSA's efforts to date; the other moves to put some restrictions on its programmes. Which will win out with lawmakers – and the public – remains an open question.

PostPosted: 20 Feb 2015 17:36 

Joined: 22 Jan 2013 21:03
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US and UK accused of hacking Sim card firm to steal codes

US and British intelligence agencies hacked into a major manufacturer of Sim cards in order to steal codes that facilitate eavesdropping on mobiles, a US news website says.

The Intercept says the revelations came from US intelligence contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Dutch company allegedly targeted - Gemalto - says it is taking the allegations "very seriously".

It operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities.

The Intercept says that "the great Sim heist" gave US and British surveillance agencies "the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world's cellular communications, including both voice and data".

It says that among the clients of the Netherlands-based company are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and "some 450 wireless network providers around the world".

Highly embarrassing

The Intercept claims that the hack organised by Britain's GCHQ and the US National Security Agency (NSA) took place in 2010, and was organised by operatives in the "Mobile Handset Exploitation Team". Neither agency has commented on the allegations.

The stolen encryption allowed the agencies to decode data that passes between mobile phones and cell towers. They were able to decrypt calls, texts or emails intercepted out of the air.

A Gemalto spokeswoman said that while the company was not targeted "per se", there was "an attempt to try and cast the widest net possible to reach as many mobile phones as possible".

"We take this publication very seriously and will devote all resources necessary to fully investigate and understand the scope of such highly sophisticated techniques to try to obtain Sim card data," she added.

Correspondents say that the revelations are highly embarrassing for the agencies, because they give the impression that they will do whatever is required to improve their surveillance powers, even if that means stealing data from law-abiding Western firms.

Gemalto makes Sim cards for mobile phones and furnishes service providers with encryption codes to keep the data on each phone private.

The Intercept claims that by first cyber-stalking employees at Gemalto and then penetrating their emails, the spy agencies were able to steal thousands of encryption keys at source.

The BBC's Naomi Grimley in Washington says that this would allow them to eavesdrop easily on phone calls and texts without seeking permission from telecoms companies or foreign governments, and without leaving a trace.

The Intercept cites as its source documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who is currently living in Russia.

Analysis: Joe Miller, BBC technology reporter

If The Intercept's report is to be believed, the most striking discovery is how easily those wanting to engage in mass surveillance can eavesdrop on our mobile communications.

The company allegedly targeted, Gemalto, manufactures an estimated 30% of all Sim cards worldwide and, crucially, creates the security key for each item. All security agencies needed to do was obtain (by hacking, allegedly) the list of security keys from the firm. Then, as security expert Karsten Nohl says, they could snoop on phone calls with a "few hundred dollars worth of radio equipment in strategically important locations".

This contrasts with the security procedure used for example, for chips in passports. Many are are also manufactured by Gemalto. These are delivered to the relevant authorities as a blank chip, and the Passport Office - not the company - creates the security key.

Many of Edward Snowden's allegations have shone a light on complex surveillance tactics by the NSA, but perhaps this latest leak has done more to highlight how a single company is in control of millions of people's private data.

PostPosted: 20 Feb 2015 17:39 

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Deleted - Duplicate post

Last edited by vinod on 20 Feb 2015 17:46, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: 24 Feb 2015 17:15 
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Pressure on Rifkind to resign from security intelligence watchdog role
Former British foreign secretary filmed discussing payment for influence ... -1.2114579

Former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind has been caught in a sting apparently offering their services to a private lobbying firm for payment. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Tue, Feb 24, 2015
Former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind is under pressure to quit as head of Westminster’s security intelligence watchdog following a sting operation that secretly filmed him bragging about his influence.

Mr Rifkind, who is bidding to retain his Commons seat, was immediately suspended by the Conservative Party after it emerged that he and former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw met people claiming to represent a bogus company, called PMR, and offering to pay them to use their influence.

They insist their remarks, broadcast last night by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, have been misrepresented – with Mr Straw saying he was preparing for life after he retires from the Commons in May.

Prime minister David Cameron, however, put distance between himself and Mr Rifkind, saying: “These are very serious matters and we have, rightly, very clear rules in this country which is: MPs being paid to lobby, that is not acceptable, that is not allowed under the rules.”

A disciplinary inquiry will be held quickly, headed by government chief whip Michael Gove. Mr Rifkind will be barred from standing for the Tories in Kensington and Chelsea – one of the safest Commons seats – if it finds against him.

Intelligence committee
Meanwhile, there is growing pressure on him to step aside from the chairmanship of Westminster’s intelligence and security committee because of the controversy, even with parliament having just weeks of life left.

Mr Rifkind’s supporters became exasperated with him, particularly in a disastrous TV interview where he said: “I want to have a standard of living that my professional background would normally entitle me to have.”

Labour has been embarrassed, too, by the behaviour of Mr Straw, particularly by his filmed claim that he had helped to get an EU regulation changed for a company with eastern European links that pays him £60,000 a year. He, too, lost the party whip.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has urged Mr Cameron to accept MPs should be allowed to earn no more than 10 per cent or 15 per cent of their salary from outside interests. Mr Cameron is against the proposal over concerns it will dissuade people from entering politics.

Mr Rifkind is one of the highest earners in Westminster. He earns £67,000 as an MP, £14,876 a year for chairing the intelligence and security committee, but more than a quarter of a million pounds from outside directorships.

Speaking engagements
Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown is the highest earner of all of the current crop of MPs, collecting just under £500,000 from speaking engagements – but fees are paid to his foundation, rather than to him personally.

Three Conservative MPs – Geoffrey Cox, Stephen Phillips and Edward Garnier – earn more than £200,000 as barristers.

The existing rules allow for MPs to have outside interests, if the names of the companies and the money they receive are listed in the Commons professional standards register.

Mr Rifkind has irritated some of his colleagues by voicing publicly the belief that it is “unrealistic” to accept that some of them “go through their parliamentary career being able to simply accept a salary of £60,000”.

Naughty,naughty Malcolm Rifkind
Now your undies are in a bind!

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service Refused to Tell Us How Much It Spent on an Unconstitutional Snooping Campaign
February 23, 2015 ... mpaign-897

PostPosted: 26 Feb 2015 12:57 
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Secret BRICS cooperation at work. ... an-project

South Africa spied on own government to get facts on joint project with Russia
Intelligence agency used agent with links to Russian government to glean information about satellite surveillance programme, leaked cables reveal

Read the leaked document here
A Russian carrier rocket with broadband communications satellites on board takes off.

Seumas Milne and Ewen MacAskill
Wednesday 25 February 2015

South Africa’s intelligence service relied on a spy “with direct access to the Russian government” to find out details of its own government’s involvement in a $100m (£65m) joint satellite surveillance programme with Russia, the leaked spy cables obtained by al-Jazeera and shared with the Guardian reveal.

The satellite system, known as Project Condor, which was launched into orbit by Russia in December last year, provides surveillance coverage of the entire African continent. The project has been shrouded in secrecy, with Russia originally refusing to reveal who its client was.

Africa is new ‘El Dorado of espionage’, leaked intelligence files reveal

Those in the dark appear to have included South Africa’s intelligence agency. But a South African agent with access to Russian military intelligence was able to help, according to a leaked espionage report marked “top secret” and dated 28 August 2012.

The intelligence report records a briefing from an agent codenamed “Agent Africanist”, who is identified as having direct links with the government in Moscow and Russian intelligence officers, including those closely involved in the joint satellite project.

Project Condor would, the agent reported, place “South Africa in a position to conduct its own aerial surveillance in Africa, potentially right up to Israel for strategic military purposes”.

The satellite system, which is reported to be costing Pretoria $100m, has been the focus of criticism in South Africa since some details emerged in local media. The scheme, first proposed eight years ago, has been reported as being the pet project of General Moretti Motau, former head of South African military intelligence, who has now retired and sits on the board of the weapons firm Armscorp.

Most countries have several intelligence agencies, usually one responsible for collecting information and running agents overseas, one for domestic work and one run by defence departments for more specific military information. Much of the time they act as rivals, reluctant to share information.

The country’s parliamentary opposition has challenged its value, at a time of cost-cutting elsewhere in government, and questioned the secrecy around the project. Critics claim there is no clear need for such a scale of surveillance, aside from peacekeeping operations in the rest of Africa and spotting poachers in remote parts of the country.

The report from Agent Africanist identifies South African and Russian military intelligence (GRU) as being the “key role players” in relation to the Condor project, and details changes in Russian foreign intelligence (SVR) deployments in southern Africa.

“Project Condor is regarded as a significant part of the envisaged strategic cooperation” between Russia and South Africa, the secret report states. “Currently, there are 30 Russian technicians working in South Africa in close cooperation with South African authorities on the project.”

The report suggests South Africa is seeking closer strategic ties with Russia on the basis of the integration of the Condor project, with another satellite system being developed by Moscow. “The aim is to eventually integrate the two satellite systems and capabilities providing wider strategic coverage with obvious benefits for both countries,” the intelligence document says.

The prospect is also held out of the two countries working together to challenge the domination of African arms sales by the US and France. A GRU official is quoted as reporting that the South African government is “seriously deliberating” selling shares in the state-owned arms manufacturer Denel.

“This has attracted the interest of the Russian arms industry,” the cable says. If a sale were to go ahead, “Russia will strongly consider entering into a strategic arrangement with Denel”, whose focus would be “geared specifically towards the African market, taking on the likes of France and the US”. In recent years the state enterprise has sold off subsidiaries, but to German and French – rather than Russian – arms manufacturers.

PostPosted: 27 Feb 2015 13:16 
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The southern "Great Game".
Recent reports allege that S.Africa and Africa have taken over from Afghanistan as the latest venue for the "Great Game",the intel war between east and west,now with two new entrants radical Islam and China all jostling for power and pelf. The Chinese a few yers ago,held an African summit in Beijing,wining and dining African leaders to seduce them into handing over their mineral and energy wealth for "30 (billion pieces) of silver"! Showered with gifts and largesse,the Africans went home smiling,like Rajapakse in Sri Lanka,pockets filled with Chinese "cash",a word by the way invented by the Chinese!

S.Africa's strategic location,vast mineral wealth,huge population and a core member of the BRICS coalition,has seen its importance only increase in recent years .In the days of apartheid,it was a v.close friend of Israel. The latest alleged Al J revelations posted cannot be verified for accuracy.they may have been "sexed up",to use a famous phrase describing Britain's BS to justify the invasion of Iraq,but indicate the game being played out by external intel agencies in the country. ... d-revealed
Spy cables: Plot to kill Dlamini-Zuma,
Mossad threatens SA

25 Feb 2015 09:14|Sapa, Staff Reporter

According to leaked secret intelligence documents, Dlamini-Zuma allegedly faced "an eminent threat" to her life in Addis Ababa in 2012.
The leaked documents allege that spies in Addis Ababa were alerted to a plot

There was a plot to assassinate African Union (AU) commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma several days after she took up the post, Al-Jazeera has reported on its website.

According to leaked secret intelligence documents posted on their site this week, Dlamini-Zuma allegedly faced “an eminent threat” to her life in Addis Ababa, which also hosts the AU headquarters, in October 2012.

The documents allege that spies in Addis Ababa were alerted to a plot “by an unnamed state” to kill President Jacob Zuma’s former wife.

The documents also allege that South African and Ethiopian intelligence agencies had been unprepared for the threat, for which they blamed Sudan.

Amid the threat, South Africa’s security chiefs held an emergency meeting, where acting head of South African military intelligence, General T Nyembe, also warned that there had been “another alert, which further pointed out a potential assassination plot” to be carried out at a different venue”.

The attack did not happen.

The documents say that the director of Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service, Hadera Abera, explained that his service has crosschecked the names of the plotters with “all entry points especially those bordering Sudan”.

They found no matches, and the documents do not reveal the names of the plotters. Dlamini-Zuma was elected to the post in July 12 and took office in October.

Cyber attack
Meanwhile, former “Mossad spies” threatened a cyber attack on South Africa demanding an end to the Boycott Israel campaign, according to Al-Jazeera.

According to the leaked documents posted on its website this week a group claiming to be former agents of Israel’s Mossad threatened the country unless its government cracked down on the campaign.

This was according to leaked intelligence documents.

On June 28 2012, then-finance minister Pravin Gordhan reportedly received a hand-delivered note from unknown sources threatening a cyber attack “against South Africa’s banking and financial sectors”.

It gave government 30 days to achieve the “discontinuation of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and the removal and prosecution of some unidentified individuals linked to BDS”.

The State Security Agency (SSA) investigated, finding no evidence that the threatened attack occurred or that the government yielded to the demands, Al-Jazeera reported.

Another cable revealed insight into the activities of Israeli intelligence agents in the country.

The SSA reportedly so distrusted Mossad that it assigned counter-espionage agents to watch one of its operatives at work in South Africa.

An Israeli who was followed was noted to have had numerous sources within the South African government and police.

The report showed that the SSA were worried about the Israeli agents and went to considerable lengths to ascertain what they were doing.

SA not protecting itself
Al-Jazeera also reported that flaws and security lapses within South Africa’s government and intelligence services have left secrets exposed to foreign spies at every level, according to leaked documents.

The documents claimed that a secret security assessment by South African intelligence said foreign espionage was booming, with South Africa doing a “poor job” of protecting itself.

Over 140 foreign spies are estimated to be operating in South Africa, gaining access to government departments, ministries and “even the presidency”, according to the report.

They are suspected of breaking into nuclear power plants, stealing military blueprints and hacking into computers.

The report said civil servants failed to observe basic procedures, leaving classified information unlocked, and new recruits were not adequately vetted.

The secret assessment of security vulnerabilities, written in October 2009 by South African intelligence, concluded information security was at “serious risk” and would remain so in the “long-term”.

Al-Jazeera reported that another spy cable revealed that South Africa had “experienced the theft of Rooivalk Helicopter Blueprints by a known foreign intelligence service”.

The document also said that in the plan to expand South Africa’s nuclear energy capacity France and America had been “working frantically” to influence the bidding process.

South African spies have “not been able to neutralise their activities” because of the “sophistication of their covert operations and lack of counter-espionage capacity” it said. – Sapa, Staff reporter

Sad state of affairs if true. The Chinese attack helo has some resemblences to the S.African attack helo.Nio prizes if it was the PRC that stole them,they've been stealing virtually everything that they can get their hands on worldwide from east and west. US and French nuclear plant manufacturers are well known for their lobbying in India too! We are also notorious for being one of the most lax nations when it comes to external snooping.With our latest "Filegate" scandal exploding in our faces ,where several ministries were targeted,one wishes that the DM/GOI also organizes an immediate clean-up,spring cleaning of the MOD too.Holi is around the corner ,good time for the same.

PostPosted: 05 Mar 2015 18:09 
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New Zealand spying on Pacific allies for 'Five Eyes' and NSA, Snowden files show ... files-show


Secret papers show NZ spy agency GCSB is collecting calls and internet traffic in bulk and sending it to the US National Security Agency

Toby Manhire in Auckland and agencies
Thursday 5 March 2015

New Zealand is spying indiscriminately on its allies in the Pacific region and sharing the information with the US and the other “Five Eyes” alliance states, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The secret papers, published by the New Zealand Herald, show that the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) collects phone calls and internet communications in bulk in the region at its Waihopai Station intercept facility in the South Island.

Since a 2009 upgrade, Waihopai has been capable of “full take” collection of both content and metadata intercepted by satellite, the documents showed. The data is then channelled into the XKeyscore database run by the US National Security Agency, where it also becomes available to agencies in each of the “Five Eyes” countries: the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

A leaked NSA memo credits the GCSB with providing “valuable access not otherwise available to satisfy US intelligence requirement”.

The papers – published by the Herald as part of a joint reporting operation with New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager and the Intercept website co-edited by Glenn Greenwald – echo similar revelations from the earlier Snowden documents showing that Britain and the US had been spying on friendly neighbours in countries in the European Union and Latin America.

The regional surveillance conducted from the base covers Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. New Caledonia and French Polynesia, both French overseas territories, are also among the listed countries. Although Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu are named, much of their data is now transmitted via undersea cable links that are not susceptible to Waihopai’s intercept satellites.

The revelations are particularly likely to test relations between New Zealand and Fiji, the island nation headed by Frank Bainimarama, the army chief-turned-prime minister. Following elections in Fiji in 2014, the countries have moved towards resuming full diplomatic links for the first time since the military coup led by Bainimarama in 2006.

Andrew Little, the leader of the NZ opposition Labour party, said that while he accepted the need for security agencies to protect national interests, he was “stunned at the breadth of the information that’s been collected”.

In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Little said: “It doesn’t seem to be targeted around particular threats, whether there just seems to be a hoovering of all this information and supplying it to the United States. I can’t see that that’s within the security mandate of the GCSB.”

The NZ prime minister, John Key, refused to comment on the specific revelations, saying via a spokesperson: “The Snowden documents were taken some time ago and many are old, out of date, and we can’t discount that some of what is being put forward may even be fabricated.”

Key later told reporters: “Some of the information is incorrect, some of it is out of date, and some of the assumptions are just plain wrong.

“We do have the GCSB and it is a foreign intelligence service, it does gather foreign intelligence that’s in the best interests of New Zealand and the protection of New Zealanders.”
He said successive governments had used the GCSB to gather foreign intelligence.
“Where we gather intelligence, particularly if a friend is involved, it isn’t to harm that country,” he said.
“It’s often to support or assist them.”

On Wednesday, before the publication of the documents, Key said it was a “bizarre time to be coming out making the case that New Zealand either gathers and shares information or gets information from other intelligence agencies”, adding: “Well, of course we do, and we do that to keep New Zealanders safe. We’re in the situation where we’ve got Isil reaching out to cause harm to New Zealanders, I think New Zealanders would expect me to share information.”

A GCSB spokesperson refused to comment on “speculation”, telling the Herald: “Everything we do is explicitly authorised and subject to independent oversight.”

The Samoan prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said he was not worried about the information in the documents.
“I don’t have any strong feelings about the allegations of spying,” he said.

Hager told the Guardian the first stories contained “by no means the most dramatic revelations” from the New Zealand-related Snowden documents.

“We spent months digging into the Snowden archive, writing lots of stories from them … We’re going to be spacing out stories over the next while based on some really interesting information,” he said.

The first New-Zealand-specific documents from the Snowden files were revealed by Greenwald in September 2014, when the journalist visited New Zealand at the invitation of Kim Dotcom, the internet tycoon sought for extradition by the US over alleged copyright-related offences. Greenwald then said the documents proved New Zealand had embarked on a mass surveillance programme called Speargun, which centred on a tap into the undersea Southern Cross cable, New Zealand’s primary internet link with the rest of the world.

Key responded by declassifying documents that he said showed the government had considered a programme for “mass protection”, but rejected the proposal. Greenwald’s allegations were “simply wrong” and “based on incomplete information”.

“There is not, and never has been, mass surveillance of New Zealanders undertaken by the GCSB,” he said.

Key branded Greenwald “Dotcom’s little henchman” and “a loser”. Greenwald in turn called Key’s attacks “adolescent” and “reckless”.

Key later acknowledged, however, that Snowden’s claim that internet data from New Zealand was easily accessible via XKeyScore “may well be right”, saying: “I don’t run the NSA any more than I run any other foreign intelligence agency or any other country”.

PostPosted: 08 Mar 2015 05:34 
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A flooded intelligence headquarters is Germany’s ‘Watergate’ ... watergate/


Exterior view of the new headquarters of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in Berlin on March 5. (Paul Zinken/EPA)

Germany's federal intelligence service (BND) is supposed to ensure the country's safety — but it seems as if it can't even protect its own future headquarters. On Tuesday, parts of a newly constructed building in Berlin were flooded after taps were removed from their original position.

So far, it is not known who removed the crucial taps and let water flood floors and ventilations shafts of the supposedly high-security headquarters. Suspecting thieves to have caused the security lapse, police have launched an investigation into the country's very own "Watergate" scandal, as the incident has become known in German media. As of Thursday, it was unclear why thieves would break into one of Germany's most secure buildings to steal taps. Police officials did also not exclude the possibility of an attack with a political motive or revenge taken by disgruntled employees.

Whereas the U.S. Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon to step down in 1974, the German incident will likely remain a financial disaster instead of a political one. According to German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, it will cost millions of dollars to repair the damage.

Given that the new BND headquarters is closely monitored day and night, some have raised questions over the intelligence service's professionalism and its ability to protect the country's citizens.

If alleged amateur thieves can steal taps, what could professional foreign agents do in the building? German authorities have long feared the placement of bugs in the building and even stepped up security at the construction site — without success, it seems.

Many Germans, however, will hardly be surprised by the incident. The country — particularly well known for its technical prowess — has recently witnessed a series of embarrassing construction failures. Only weeks before the opening ceremony of Berlin's new airport BER was supposed to take place in 2011, experts realized that the project would probably take several years instead of weeks to be finished. The airport is now scheduled to open in 2017.

Surveillance cameras monitor the area at the new headquarters of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in Berlin, Germany, 05 March 2015. The German spy agency's new headquarters in Berlin have been partly flooded after somebody tampered with its water pipes. Officials are baffled at how taps could have been stolen, setting water cascading through the building on 03 March. Security has been stringent at the sprawling white complex going up for the BND intelligence service near Berlin's main railway station for fear that rival spies will plant bugs in it during construction. EPA/PAUL ZINKEN
A surveillance camera at the new headquarters of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in Berlin. (Paul Zinken/EPA)

BND's new headquarters has made headlines for similar reasons. In 2014, experts determined that many of the building's passive infrared detectors were not properly working, among other technical flaws. The same year, sensitive diagrams of the building were stolen — a goldmine for anyone seeking to undermine the federal intelligence of one of the United States' closest allies.

The building complex is now supposed to house the intelligence service's roughly 4,000 employees by 2017 instead of 2016. Some media reports have indicated that Tuesday's flooding may cause further delays. According to Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, several employees have resigned out of frustration. Currently, the service is based in Pullach, a village of 9,000 close to Munich.

Bad news for the BND may in fact be good news for other Germans. Many of the country's citizens are skeptical of the the work of their intelligence services. Much of this can be traced to Germany's history: In the communist east, the Stasi intelligence service monitored most of the country's citizens, intimidated opponents and paid others to inform on their neighbors and friends.

Germans were outraged when they discovered that the NSA had spied on German telecommunications data two years ago. Despite frequent denials by the BND, many suspect the German intelligence to have been involved in the data collection. In a 2014 survey, nearly 40 percent of Germans said they considered increasing digitalization and the role of intelligence services to be a threat.

Contrary to other large European countries such as Spain, France or the United Kingdom, terrorists so far have not succeeded in pursuing an attack on German soil. After Tuesday's Watergate incident, however, many doubt that this is due to the work of the BND.

It must be Putin! It has to be the Russians,the KGB/FSB whatever.
Great own goal by the "Bundesliga",ja?

PostPosted: 11 Mar 2015 12:32 
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by Edwin Mora9 Mar 2015Washington, DC 38

The Central Intelligence Agency will undergo a sweeping makeover aimed at broadening the agency’s reach and expanding its cyber operations, according to CIA Director John Brennan.

“A central aim, he said, is to eliminate ‘seams’ in coverage that lead to confusion over which part of the agency is responsible for tracking a specific issue or threat,” reports The Washington Post.

After the far-reaching changes are implemented, Brennan added, the CIA should find itself in a position to cover “the entire universe, regionally and functionally, and so something that’s going on in the world falls into one of those buckets.”

There will be 10 new units created within the CIA dubbed “mission centers,” Brennan revealed.

The mission centers are “intended to concentrate the agency’s focus on specific challenges or geographic areas, such as weapons proliferation or Africa,” he explained, according to Reuters.

Each of the 10 missions will be led by an assistant director who will be responsible for overt operations, spying, analysis, liaison with foreign partners and logistics within the mission’s jurisdiction.

Brennan said that a new “Directorate of Digital Innovation” will be formed. The directorate will keep tabs and capitalize on cyber technology advances that can be used to gather intelligence.

“The Directorate of Digital Innovation will rank alongside the agency’s operations and analysis branches, and it will be responsible for missions ranging from ­cyber-espionage to the security of the CIA’s internal e-mail,” reports The Washington Post.

“Historically, electronic eavesdroppers at the National Security Agency [NSA] have been at the cutting edge of digital innovation within the U.S. government,” notes Reuters. “But the CIA felt that it had to reorganize to keep up with the technological ‘pace of change,’ as one official put it.”

Since it was created in 1947, the CIA has been divided into four major directorates.

The Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Support will both retain their names after the reorganization.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Intelligence will be renamed “Directorate of Analysis” and the National Clandestine Service will go back to being called by its original name, the “Directorate of Operations,” Brennan said.

Brennan disclosed the plans to restructure the CIA to the agency workforce on Friday. Thousands of CIA employees may be impacted by the changes.

According to CIA veterans and experts, the changes are among the most ambitious since the agency was founded nearly 70 years ago.

The CIA director briefed a small group of reporters on the far-reaching changes on Wednesday, on the condition they did not publish any details until he told the CIA workforce.

Brennan told reporters that the reorganization is “part of the natural evolution of an intelligence agency” that has not experienced significant restructuring in decades.

“The 10 new ‘mission centers’ will bring together CIA officers with expertise from across the agency’s range of disciplines to concentrate on specific intelligence target areas or subject matter,” Brennan added, reports Reuters.

“Competition between spy agencies and between units within agencies has led to ‘stove piping’ of information that should have been widely shared and to critical information falling through bureaucratic cracks,” said Brennan and other U.S. intelligence officials, according to the article.

“Our ability to carry out our responsibilities for human intelligence and national security responsibilities has become more challenging” in today’s digital world, Brennan said regarding the agency’s new Directorate of Digital Innovation. “And so what we need to do as an agency is make sure we’re able to understand all of the aspects of that digital environment.”

Expanding the CIA’s cyber operations may help the intelligence agency counter technological advances and avid use of social media by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee welcomed the changes.

“This reorganization was driven not by any institutional failure, but by the realization that the world has changed over the course of the last 70 years. In many ways, the Director’s proposal is long overdue,” Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said in a statement.

Members of the Obama administration also endorsed Brennan’s restructuring plans.

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Pentagon fears temporary loss of intelligence satellites
Ledyard King, USATODAY 9:11 p.m. EDT March 17, 2015

WASHINGTON — A congressional directive to phase out the use of Russian-made rocket engines could leave the U.S. unable to launch military communications or intelligence satellites for several years, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

Lawmakers passed a defense authorization bill last year that will end the use of RD-180 engines to deliver military payloads once existing supplies run out around 2018.

The engine is reliable and relatively cheap, but Congress decided it didn't want to depend on Russia for help with national security missions with tensions between the two countries rising.

Air Force officials told members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces that alternatives may not be in place when United Launch Alliance exhausts its supply of the RD-180 engines. ULA, a joint venture between aerospace firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is the only venture certified to perform the launches for the Pentagon.

Atlas V rocket on pad for Thursday night launch
Bezos announces rocket-engine partnership

"It's extremely important that we work to transition off of relying on Russian engines for national security launch purposes," said Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, who chairs the subcommittee.

Rogers said the fiscal 2015 authorization bill was designed to provide "a reasonable transition."

"My understanding is that the Department of Defense may not be interpreting it the same way," he said.

ULA uses the RD-180 for its Atlas 5 rocket, a workhorse vehicle that has delivered military satellites for nearly a decade without any failures. ULA also uses a Delta Heavy rocket, which employs a different engine for the largest payloads.

ULA is partnering with other companies, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, to develop an alternative engine. But analysts say it might be 2023 before the engine and its rocket would be fully certified to launch.

ULA's president and CEO, Tory Bruno, is asking for a relaxation of the congressional ban on the Russian engines until then.

"If the RD-180 is prematurely cut off before a new engine and vehicle is certified, there will be no other launch provider who can perform the full range of launch capabilities currently required under the law," he said.

As part of a strategy aiming for lower costs and added capacity, Congress provided funding to allow a second company to compete for the Air Force contract.

SpaceX, a relatively new company that delivers cargo to the International Space Station for NASA, wants a piece of the multi-billion-dollar military satellite work. Officials with the company and the Air Force say certification of the Falcon 9 rocket, which includes an American-made engine, could be finalized by June.

But the Falcon 9 can't launch heavy payloads or some of the satellites now carried by the Atlas 5. So SpaceX also is seeking certification of its Falcon Heavy rocket that could.

Air Force officials said the Falcon Heavy might not be ready to deliver payloads until 2019 or later because certification for the larger rocket hasn't formally begun.

It won't be quick and it won't be easy, said Ret. Air Force Maj. Gen. Howard J. "Mitch" Mitchell, who chaired an Air Force panel looking at alternatives to the RD-180.

"A Falcon Heavy is going to have to meet some very stringent requirements," he told the panel.

In a pinch, Air Force officials could use ULA's Delta Heavy for the big satellites if the Atlas 5 couldn't fly. But Bruno said the cost per launch could exceed $1 billion, a price Rogers said the government would almost certainly not pay.

PostPosted: 19 Mar 2015 19:11 
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Location: India ... -says.html
A third of Russian diplomats in Sweden are spies, Swedish intelligence says

The spies are highly educated, determined and socially competent, Wilhelm Unge, Saepo’s chief counter-espionage analyst says

GMT 18 Mar 2015
One third of Russian diplomats stationed at the embassy in Stockholm are spies, Sweden’s intelligence agency Saepo said on Wednesday.

“Of the Russian embassy’s diplomatic staff, about one-third of them are not actually diplomats, they are in fact intelligence officers,” Wilhelm Unge, Saepo’s chief counter-espionage analyst, told reporters as the agency presented its annual security report.

“This is a very constant number, this is the way things look year after year,” he said.

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service SVR, military intelligence GRU and the Federal Security Service FSB were all present in Sweden, Mr Unge said.

He said the modern-day spies were “highly educated, often a little younger than they used to be in the Soviet era, driven, determined, and socially competent. And they network.”

Saepo said the Russian presence in Sweden was aimed at acquiring cutting-edge technology and “preparations for military operations against Sweden”.

Mr Unge’s comments come amid concerns in Sweden over Russia’s military resurgence.

Last October, a week-long search for a suspected Russian submarine in the waters off Stockholm was called off despite members of the public reporting numerous sightings of suspicious vessels.

The search in Stockholm’s archipelago, involving battleships, minesweepers and helicopters, stirred up Swedes’ memories of Cold War cat-and-mouse games with suspected Soviet submarines along Sweden’s long, rugged coastline.

Together with a series of alleged airspace violations by Russian jets over the last year, it helped bolster public support for Nato membership in the non-aligned country.

Mr Unge declined to comment on how many spies were believed to be working at the US embassy in Stockholm, when asked to compare the two missions. :rotfl:

PS:Sweden finally said that the "sub" contact may have been a Dutch sub involved in NATO exercuises and not a Russian sub. This was put out after the Swedes upped the defence budget in the aftermath of the sub scare!

PostPosted: 19 Mar 2015 19:18 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
A candid picture of our intel operations/outfits. Could we have some debate on this pl? ... 55440.html
Reinvigorating our Intelligence outfits
Lt-Gen Kamal Davar (retd)
India does not display either a security culture or intelligence consciousness. There are formidable challenges in the domains of land, sea, sky, cyber, nuclear and space that have to be met.

Reinvigorating our Intelligence outfits

There was streamlining of our intelligence architecture after the Kargil war. Manpower shortage in Intelligence outfits needs attention
Whenever a nation or any institution of the state gets surprised or is struck by a cataclysmic event like a security calamity or a major breach in its functioning, the most convenient fallout is to apportion blame to an intelligence failure! The real reasons may lie elsewhere -- be it a systemic shortcoming, leadership failure, non-adoption of the Standard Operating Procedures or non-adherence to simple prophylactic measures.
Intelligence, even in democracies, is hardly ever scrutinised or revisited for the cloak of traditional secrecy masks all its strengths and shortcomings. Practitioners of this vocation also, by and large, zealously endeavour to wrap their craft, and by extension their failures, by employing the terms “cannot be disclosed in national interest” or sophisticatedly as “privileged information”.

First line of defence

India is situated astride one of the most violent expanses in the world and myriad threats to its well-being are continually escalating, both in the external and internal dimensions. Thus it is imperative for the nation’s decision-makers to accord the necessary priority to the sharpening of the intelligence organs of the state for intelligence remains the first line of defence. Regrettably, India does not display either a security culture or intelligence consciousness.
India has been surprised on numerous occasions, notably in 1962, preceding the India-Chinese conflict, then again by Pakistan’s perfidy in Kargil in 1999, by the attack on India’s Parliament in 2001, which nearly led to an Indo-Pak war, the tragic and avoidable assassinations of Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi in 1984 and Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.
All these point to the moot question whether India has given adequate importance to this specialised discipline for effective decision-making and actions duly warranted by credible information.
After the Kargil war and the Pakistan ISI-engineered terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008, there have been some much-desired accretions to and streamlining of our intelligence architecture.
Thanks to the Kargil Review Committee and subsequently the Group of Ministers Committee on Intelligence, the raising of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2002 to coordinate inter-services intelligence, formerly National Technical Facilities Organisation (NTRO), now re-christened as National Technical Resources Organisation (NTRO) and the National Information Board were raised.

Manpower shortage

After the Mumbai 2008 terror attack, the National Investigation Agency and NATGRID were raised and are performing well. However, the National Counter-Terrorism Centre is still to be established. In addition, our intelligence in Naxal/ Maoist-infested areas remains a cause of concern.
The shortage of suitable manpower in intelligence outfits needs to be speedily resolved and knee-jerk reactions by milking other intelligence/ police organisations is hardly the permanent answer.
Intelligence being a specialised domain, the government may consider the introduction of a specialised intelligence cadre (both as Grade 1 and 2 services) to staff the civil intelligence agencies, some could find their way to the armed forces intelligence set-ups.

Direct recruitment from technical universities and colleges for manning highly specialised cyber security outfits and the NTRO/ technical outfits of the DIA will be eminently desirable.

Qualified manpower

It must be appreciated that, like combat capabilities, the requisite levels of intelligence preparedness take long to accomplish. More than technical intelligence (TECHINT), an area where non-state actors, terrorists and money launderers are now getting hyper skilled and highly innovative, the prowess in vital human intelligence capability invariably falls short.
Intelligence agencies, especially in TECHINT, require adequate personnel trained in foreign and indigenous languages. It is perhaps an unknown fact to the public that now over 80 per cent of the intelligence is gathered through “open sources”, meaning the printed and the electronic media, journals, internet, tourists and the like.

Inter-disciplinary experts will also be required to sift and analyse this huge information overload. The prevention and investigation of financial crimes — the backbone of many terror-driven operations — requires specialised and qualified manpower.
Importantly, India has to decide that, on the lines of the US, do we need to have a national coordinator of intelligence or let the present system continue where the Chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee(JIC), reports to the National Security Adviser (NSA)?
India’s first NSA, the formidable Brajesh Mishra, in addition to his duties, which also included being the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, was also coordinating all intelligence agencies and was informally referred to as the “Intelligence Czar”!
It would perhaps be appropriate for an appointment of, say a Coordinator National Intelligence (CNI), who could devote his full time to the oversight and coordination of all intelligence agencies, analyse their inputs with the JIC under him and then put up his integrated assessments to the government through the NSA.


It must be appreciated that intelligence agencies are not the salvation army and need to develop both overt and covert capabilities to carry out their tasks effectively. Thus the nation must accord them the necessary legal sanction, resources and wherewithal.
Importantly, their effectiveness and working can be scrutinised by the government in an institutionalised manner, say every 10 years and corrective measures adopted. The introduction of, and the degree of parliamentary oversight on, intelligence agencies need a detailed and informed debate.
A nation, which desires to occupy a seat on the global high table, has to have effective, high-performing “eyes and ears” with a long reach, albeit silent, self-sustaining and strong. Indian intelligence confronts formidable challenges in the domains of land, sea, sky, cyber, nuclear and now space. It will be in the nation’s interest to give it the necessary muscle.
(The writer raised India’s Defence Intelligence Agency after the Kargil war)

PostPosted: 23 Mar 2015 17:43 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India ... a-m23.html
Australian spies assist Japan’s plans for intelligence agency
By Peter Symonds
23 March 2015

In a front-page article on Saturday, the Australian revealed that the country’s overseas spy agency, ASIS, has been assisting in the training of Japanese agents and the reestablishment of a centralised foreign intelligence apparatus in Japan akin to the CIA or Britain’s MI6.

The re-establishment of a foreign intelligence agency is bound up with the revival of Japanese militarism, which is being encouraged by Washington as part of its “pivot to Asia” and military build-up against China. ASIS’s involvement demonstrates just how closely Canberra is intertwined with US war plans, which rely heavily on its allies in Asia, especially Japan and Australia.

The Japanese government signalled last month that it intended to accelerate the creation of an overseas intelligence body. Seizing on the killing of two Japanese citizens by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared that it was vital “to strengthen the government’s intelligence functions” to inform “the state’s strategic decision-making.”

Japan’s notorious military intelligence agencies and internal secret police were dismantled following World War II under the US occupation. Intelligence operations continued, in collaboration with the CIA, through several agencies. Over the past two decades, however, the push for a centralised body has continued to mount. In 2006, a parliamentary committee report called for a new agency operating from Japanese embassies to collect foreign intelligence and another to perform centralised intelligence analysis.

The Australian explained: “Since 2008, members of Japan’s national security community have been travelling to Australia to be trained by ASIS so that Japan can slowly build up its espionage capability.” According to the newspaper, at least 20 Japanese agents have been trained, including several at ASIS’s highly secretive training centre on Swan Island in Victoria where exercises also involve elite Special Air Service (SAS) trainers.

The ASIS training has been critical to the Japanese intelligence apparatus which lacked foreign agents schooled in all dirty tricks and subterfuge of so-called spy craft. A WikiLeaks cable recorded a 2008 conversation in which Hideshi Mitani, the director of Japan’s Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, told Randall Fort, head of the US State Department’s bureau of intelligence, that a “human intelligence collection capability” was a priority.

“The decision has been made to go very slowly with this process as the Japanese realise that they lack knowledge, experience, and assets/officers. A training process for new personnel will be started very soon,” the US cable read. Undoubtedly, Japanese spies have received training from the CIA and other allied agencies.

The re-establishment of a foreign spy agency is deeply unpopular in Japan. During the 1930s and 1940s, military intelligence services were intimately involved Japan’s wars and in suppressing opposition to the colonial occupation of Korea, China and other countries. The secret police in Japan ruthlessly cracked down on domestic opposition, especially from the working class, to the militarist regime in Tokyo.

The US think tank Stratfor noted that “persistent anti-militarist sentiments” remained a major obstacle to the establishment of a new spy agency. “The Japanese constitution famously contains an article, Article 9, that forbids the use of war to solve international conflicts. Though there is no intelligence equivalent to Article 9 forbidding a clandestine intelligence service, in the eyes of the public, intelligence and militarism are deeply intertwined. Memories of World War II still run deep,” it commented.

The Abe government is remilitarising across the board. Since coming to office, Abe has increased military spending, established a National Security Council to centralise foreign policy and strategic affairs, “reinterpreted” Article 9 to allow Japan to participate in US wars, and is campaigning for an end to all constitutional restrictions on the military. While the training of Japanese spies has been taking place for years, moves to re-establish a centralised overseas intelligence service will also speed up.

Currently, Japanese intelligence activities are dispersed between various agencies: the Cabinet Intelligence Research Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Defence Intelligence Headquarters, the National Police Agency and the Public Security Intelligence Agency.

Abe’s ambition to forge a powerful spy agency is bound up with his determination to have the means to aggressively prosecute Japanese imperialism’s economic and strategic interests—whether or not they coincide with those of the US. A Japanese intelligence apparatus would reduce Tokyo’s current dependence on the CIA and other Western spy agencies that developed during the Cold War.

According to the Australian, “the proposal to train the [Japanese] spies was put by ASIS boss Nick Warner and approved by the previous Labor government.” As Australian governments, Labor and Coalition, have integrated more and more closely into the US “pivot to Asia,” the US has also encouraged closer military and strategic ties between its two closest allies.

During a visit to Tokyo last year, Coalition Prime Minister Tony Abbott held discussions on elevating “the bilateral security and defence relationship to a new level.” Abbott and Abe resolved to reach “a framework agreement” on cooperation on military science, technology and equipment. The deal was to pave the way for the possible multi-billion dollar purchase of Japanese Soryu submarines to replace the aging Australian submarine fleet.

Abbott foreshadowed even closer military cooperation. “We want to see more interoperability between our militaries, we want to see more exercises between our militaries, we want to see over time more significant intelligence co-operation,” he said.

The Australian’s foreign editor Greg Sheridan sought to play down the significance of the newspaper’s revelation about ASIS’s training of Japanese spies. “It is good news that Japan is building a foreign intelligence agency and that the previous Labor government offered Australia’s assistance in training its personnel ... There is nothing sinister about this.”

The opposite is the case. It is one element in the far broader preparations of the US, Japan and Australia as well as other allies and strategic partners for a war with China that would have devastating consequences for the working class in Asia and internationally.

The author also recommends:

Japan pushes forward with plans for overseas intelligence agency
[12 March 2015]

PostPosted: 26 Mar 2015 16:55 
BR Mainsite Crew

Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31
Posts: 12875
Over 50 spies and 290 foreign intelligence agents revealed in Russia last year — Putin

Moscow has always had and will have an adequate response to anti-Russian actions, the president said

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that over 50 spies and 290 foreign intelligence agents were revealed in Russia last year.

Moscow has always had and will have an adequate response to anti-Russian actions, the president said.

"All means are used for the so-called restriction of Russia, from political isolation attemps and economic pressure to major information war and instruments of special services," Putin said at a meeting of the FSB board.

"These tricks do not work with Russia, have never worked and will not work in the future," Putin said.

PostPosted: 30 Mar 2015 18:15 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India ... luence-861

India and Sri Lanka to fight ISI influence

Mar 29, 2015 - Rajnish Sharma | New Delhi
Top intelligence sources said that some Pakistani embassy staff were using their diplomatic cover in promoting ISI’s anti-India activities

Following a change in regime in Sri Lanka, India intelligence agencies will engage with their Sri Lankan counterparts to crack down on what they describe as the “growing influence of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)” in the region, particularly with the active support of the staff of Pakistan’s embassy in Colombo.

Top intelligence sources said there was concrete information that some Pakistani embassy staff were using their diplomatic cover in promoting ISI’s anti-India activities. “During the regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, there was a sense that his government was trying to form a better alliance with both China and Pakistan due to which we were slight apprehensive about discussing these issues. But now that Maithripala Sirisena has assumed charge as the new President, we feel there will be greater coordination between Indian and Sri Lankan security agencies,” a senior intelligence official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sri Lanka visit this month is also being viewed as a huge step forward in improving ties between the two countries at every level. National security adviser Ajit Doval had also visited Sri Lanka earlier to ensure that key security agencies of the two countries work with a better understanding in future.

Indian intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring activities of the ISI in Colombo, particularly after a Sri Lankan-born ISI spy was arrested in April last year in Chennai. During interrogation, the accused, Zahir Hussain, had disclosed that he had entered India at the behest of two Pakistani embassy officials in Colombo in an attempt to increase the circulation of fake currency in India.

A detailed intelligence dossier prepared by Central agencies in the wake of this incident had also warned that the future threat to India’s internal security could well come from the sea route in Sri Lanka as the ISI, assisted by Pak embassy staff, was trying to increase its anti-India operations there.

Senior intelligence and security officials also feel that a change of regime in Sri Lanka is helpful to India strategic security interests in the region and there would be greater cooperation between the two countries.

“We need to be extremely careful about the sea route since it is extremely porous and can be used for subversive activities. Though surveillance along the sea route has been beefed up considerably, our officers will soon get in touch with their Sri Lankan counterparts and brief them in detail as to how some of the staff at the Pak embassy in Colombo are helping in promoting anti-India activities,” the official added.

PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015 11:33 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network
Emails disclosed by a hacker show a close family friend was funneling intelligence about the crisis in Libya directly to the Secretary of State’s private account starting before the Benghazi attack.
by Jeff Gerth, ProPublica, and Sam Biddle, Gawker, March 27, 2015, ... py-network

Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network
Emails disclosed by a hacker show a close family friend was funneling intelligence about the crisis in Libya directly to the Secretary of State’s private account starting before the Benghazi attack.

by Jeff Gerth, ProPublica, and Sam Biddle, Gawker, March 27, 2015, 3:45 p.m.

Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2013. Lawmakers questioned Clinton about the security failures during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left four dead and 10 people injured. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
This story was co-published with Gawker.
Update, March 27, 6:48 p.m.: This story has been updated to include responses from the FBI and the State Department.

Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.

The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya’s civil war raged in 2011.

Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal’s account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled and kept secret from State Department officials and which only recently was discovered by congressional investigators.

The contents of that account are now being sought by a congressional inquiry into the Benghazi attacks. Clinton has handed over more than 30,000 pages of her emails to the State Department, after unilaterally deciding which ones involved government business; the State Department has so far handed almost 900 pages of those over to the committee. A Clinton spokesman told Gawker and ProPublica (which are collaborating on this story) that she has turned over all the emails Blumenthal sent to Clinton.

The dispatches from Blumenthal to Clinton’s private email address were posted online after Blumenthal’s account was hacked in 2013 by Romanian hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, who went by the name Guccifer. Lazar also broke into accounts belonging to George W. Bush’s sister, Colin Powell, and others. He’s now serving a seven-year sentence in his home country and was charged in a U.S. indictment last year.

The contents of the memos, which have recently become the subject of speculation in the right-wing media, raise new questions about how Clinton used her private email account and whether she tapped into an undisclosed back channel for information on Libya’s crisis and other foreign policy matters.

Blumenthal, a New Yorker staff writer in the 1990s, became a top aide to President Bill Clinton and worked closely with Hillary Clinton during the fallout from the Whitewater investigation into the Clinton family. She tried to hire him when she joined President Obama’s cabinet in 2009, but White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly nixed the idea on the grounds Blumenthal was a divisive figure whose attacks on Obama during the Democratic primary had poisoned his relationship with the new administration.

It’s unclear who tasked Blumenthal, known for his fierce loyalty to the Clintons, with preparing detailed intelligence briefs. It’s also not known who was paying him, or where the operation got its money. The memos were marked “confidential” and relied in many cases on “sensitive” sources in the Libyan opposition and Western intelligence and security services. Other reports focused on Egypt, Germany, and Turkey.

Indeed, though they were sent under Blumenthal’s name, the reports appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA’s clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005. Since then, he has established a consulting firm called Tyler Drumheller, LLC. He has also been affiliated with a firm called DMC Worldwide, which he co-founded with Washington, D.C., attorney Danny Murray and former general counsel to the U.S. Capitol Police John Caulfield. DMC Worldwide’s now-defunct website describes it at as offering “innovative security and intelligence solutions to global risks in a changing world.”

In one exchange in March 2013, Blumenthal emailed Drumheller, “Thanks. Can you send Libya report.” Drumheller replied, “Here it is, pls do not share it with Cody. I don’t want moin speculating on sources. It is on the Maghreb and Libya.” Cody is Cody Shearer, a longtime Clinton family operative—his brother was an ambassador under Bill Clinton and his now-deceased sister was married to Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott—who was in close contact with Blumenthal. While it’s not entirely clear from the documents, “Moin” may refer to the nickname of Mohamed Mansour El Kikhia, a member of the Kikhia family, a prominent Libyan clan with ties to the Libyan National Transition Council. (An email address in Blumenthal’s address book, which was also leaked, was associated with his Facebook page.)

There’s no indication in Blumenthal’s emails whether Clinton read or replied to them before she left State on February 1, 2013, but he was clearly part of a select group with knowledge of the private address, which was unknown to the public until

Gawker published it this year. They do suggest that she interacted with Blumenthal using the account after she stepped down. “H: got your message a few days ago,” reads the subject line of one email from Blumenthal to Clinton on February 8, 2013; “H: fyi, will continue to send relevant intel,” reads another.

The memos cover a wide array of subjects in extreme detail, from German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s conversations with her finance minister about French president Francois Hollande–marked “THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCE”—to the composition of the newly elected South Korean president’s transition team. At least 10 of the memos deal in whole or in part with internal Libyan politics and the government’s fight against militants, including the status of the Libyan oil industry and the prospects for Western companies to participate.

One memo was sent on August 23, 2012, less than three weeks before Islamic militants stormed the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. It cites “an extremely sensitive source” who highlighted a string of bombings and kidnappings of foreign diplomats and aid workers in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata, suggesting they were the work of people loyal to late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi.

While the memo doesn’t rise to the level of a warning about the safety of U.S. diplomats, it portrays a deteriorating security climate. Clinton noted a few days after the Benghazi attack, which left four dead and 10 people injured, that U.S. intelligence officials didn’t have advance knowledge of the threat.

On September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, Blumenthal sent a memo that cited a “sensitive source” saying that the interim Libyan president, Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf, was told by a senior security officer that the assault was inspired by an anti-Muslim video made in the U.S., as well as by allegations from Magariaf’s political opponents that he had CIA ties.

Blumenthal followed up the next day with an email titled “Re: More Magariaf private reax.” It said Libyan security officials believed an Islamist radical group called the Ansa al Sharia brigade had prepared the attack a month in advance and “took advantage of the cover” provided by the demonstrations against the video.

An October 25, 2012 memo says that Magariaf and the Libyan army chief of staff agree that the “situation in the country is becoming increasingly dangerous and unmanageable” and “far worse” than Western leaders realize.

Blumenthal’s email warnings, of course, followed a year of Libyan hawkishness on the part of Clinton. In February of 2011, she told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that "it is time for Gaddafi to go.” The next month, after having described Russian reluctance over military intervention as “despicable,” Clinton met with rebel leaders in Paris and drummed up support for a no-fly zone while in Cairo. On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council voted to back Libyan rebels against Gaddafi.

It’s this buildup, which Clinton still proudly recalled in her 2014 memoir, that Blumenthal appears to join in on 2011. In addition to the intel memos, his emails also disclose that he and his associates worked to help the Libyan opposition, and even plotted to insert operatives on the ground using a private contractor.

A May 14, 2011 email exchange between Blumenthal and Shearer shows that they were negotiating with Drumheller to contract with someone referred to as “Grange” and “the general” to place send four operatives on a week-long mission to Tunis, Tunisia, and “to the border and back.” Tunisia borders Libya and Algeria.

“Sid, you are doing great work on this,” Drumheller wrote to Blumenthal. “It is going to be around $60,000, coverting r/t business class airfare to Tunis, travel in country to the border and back, and other expenses for 7–10 days for 4 guys.”

After Blumenthal forwarded that note to Shearer, he wrote back questioning the cost of the operation. “Sid, do you think the general has to send four guys. He told us three guys yesterday, a translator and two other guys. I understand the difficulty of the mission and realize that K will be repaid but I am going to need an itemized budget for these guys.”

“The general” and “Grange” appear to refer to David L. Grange, a major general in the Army who ran a secret Pentagon special operations unit before retiring in 1999. Grange subsequently founded Osprey Global Solutions, a consulting firm and government contractor that offers logistics, intelligence, security training, armament sales, and other services. The Osprey Foundation, which is a nonprofit arm of Osprey Global Solutions, is listed as one of the State Department’s “global partners” in a 2014 report from the Office of Global Partnerships.’

Among the documents in the cache released by Lazar is an August 24, 2011, memorandum of understanding between Osprey Global Solutions and the Libyan National Transition Council—the entity that took control in the wake of Qadaffi’s execution—agreeing that Osprey will contract with the NTC to “assist in the resumption of access to its assets and operations in country” and train Libyan forces in intelligence, weaponry, and “rule-of-land warfare.” The document refers to meetings held in Amman, Jordan between representatives of Osprey and a Mohammad Kikhia, who represented the National Transition Council.

Five months later, according to a document in the leak, Grange wrote on Osprey Global letterhead to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, introducing Osprey as a contractor eager to provide humanitarian and other assistance in Libya. “We are keen to support the people of Libya under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Finance and the Libyan Stock Exchange,” Grange wrote. Shapiro is a longtime Clinton loyalist; he served on her Senate staff as foreign policy advisor.

Another document in the cache, titled “Letter_for_Moin,” is an appeal from Drumheller to then-Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan offering the services of Tyler Drumheller LLC, “to develop a program that will provide discreet confidential information allowing the appropriate entities in Libya to address any regional and international challenges.”

The “K” who was, according to Shearer’s email, to be “repaid” for his role in the Tunisia operation appears to be someone named Khalifa al Sherif, who sent Blumenthal several emails containing up-to-the-minute information on the civil war in Libya, and appears to have been cited as a source in several of the reports.

Contacted by ProPublica and Gawker, Drumheller’s attorney and business partner Danny Murray confirmed that Drumheller “worked” with Blumenthal and was aware of the hacked emails, but declined to comment further.

Shearer said only that "the FBI is involved and told me not to talk. There is a massive investigation of the hack and all the resulting information.” The FBI declined to comment.

Blumenthal, Grange, and Kikhia all did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them. Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton had no comment on Blumenthal’s activities with Drumheller.

Whatever Blumenthal, Shearer, Drumheller, and Grange were up to in 2011, 2012, and 2013 on Clinton’s behalf, it appears that she could have used the help: According to State Department personnel directories, in 2011 and 2012—the height of the Libya crisis—State didn’t have a Libyan desk officer, and the entire Near Eastern Magreb Bureau, which which covers Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya, had just two staffers. Today, State has three Libyan desk officers and 11 people in the Near Eastern Magreb Bureau. A State Department official wouldn't say how many officers were on the desk in 2011, but said there was always "at least one" officer and "sometimes many more, working on Libya."

Reached for comment, a State Department public affairs official who would only speak on background declined to address questions about Blumenthal’s relationship to Clinton, whether she was aware of the intelligence network, and who if anyone was paying Blumenthal. Asked about the Tunisia-Libya mission, the official replied, “There was a trip with the secretary in October of 2011, but there was also a congressional delegation in April, 2011. There were media reports about both of these at the time." Neither trip involved travelling via Tunis.

PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015 14:35 

Joined: 06 Feb 2007 06:29
Posts: 474
Location: The Netherlands
The so called Equation Group (an NSA outfit) has released a malware that writes itself in the firmware of a hard drive. This means that even if the hard drive is expertly erased and the partitions destroyed, repartitioned and formatted, the malware is still present. The only way to get rid of it is if you replace the hard drive.

More on the Equation Group: ... -espionage ... nswers.pdf ... p-hackers/

PostPosted: 07 Apr 2015 11:37 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Bolstering Act East Policy: India to train Vietnamese intelligence forces
By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau | 6 Apr, 2015,

NEW DELHI: Adding teeth to its Act East Policy, India could train intelligence officials from Vietnam besides providing more training slots to the Navy and Air Force personnel from the Southeast Asian country. India may also provide military and defence technology, besides providing support for effectively countering cybercrimes as requested by Vietnam, according to officials privy to National Security Adviser Ajit Doval's discussions with the country's top leadership on Friday last week. Dova met Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, in Hanoi as part of his trip to Bangkok and Hanoi to firm up strategic partnerships.

The request for training of Vietnamese intelligence officials and increasing training slots for its Naval and Air Force personnel came from PM Dung, officials said. The NSA is understood to have expressed India's willingness to assist Vietnam's military and security apparatus. In an indirect reference to China, Doval stated that India was against any unilateral action to change status quo in the seas of the region and called for freedom of navigation, officials said.

The NSA reviewed the situation in the South China Sea region where China is building artificial islands. India has oil blocks in the region offered by Vietnam and the region is key to its Asia-Pacific outreach. Vietnam has been welcoming Indian naval ships in its region. Countries in the region are seeking bigger Indian presence amid China's growing assertiveness and territorial claims.

India is also worried China's phenomenal rise and its growing presence in the Indian Ocean Region. India has been asking for freedom of navigation in seas and recently the NSA expressed worries over Chinese military bases in the region.

India has robust defence ties with Vietnam. Bilateral military cooperation includes sale of military equipment, sharing of intelligence, joint naval exercises and training in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare. When Dung visited India last October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in a press statement, "Our defence cooperation with Vietnam is among our most important ones. India remains committed to the modernisation of Vietnam's defence and security forces. This will include expansion of our training programme, which is already very substantial, joint-exercises and cooperation in defence equipment." The PM had added that India would quickly operationalise the $100 million Line of Credit that will enable Vietnam to acquire naval vessels from India.

Read more at: ... aign=cppst

PostPosted: 07 Apr 2015 12:34 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 08 May 2007 17:04
Posts: 8578
Location: Land of Kimchi
^^ Is Shri.Doval even getting few minutes of rest a day?Seems to always be at multiple places in a single time all over the world.

Seems like the Forrest Gump movie where Tom Hanks turns up at all famous events in history!

PostPosted: 08 Apr 2015 20:11 

Joined: 06 Feb 2007 06:29
Posts: 474
Location: The Netherlands
The Great SIM Heist

How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.

The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands that makes the chips used in mobile phones and next-generation credit cards. Among its clients are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. The company operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities. One of its three global headquarters is in Austin, Texas and it has a large factory in Pennsylvania.

Read further here: ... sim-heist/

Gemalto Doesn’t Know What It Doesn’t Know

Gemalto, the French-Dutch digital security giant, confirmed that it believes American and British spies were behind a “particularly sophisticated intrusion” of its internal computer networks, as reported by The Intercept last week.

This morning, the company tried to downplay the significance of NSA and GCHQ efforts against its mobile phone encryption keys — and, in the process, made erroneous statements about cellphone technology and sweeping claims about its own security that experts describe as highly questionable.

Read further: ... esnt-know/

PostPosted: 09 Apr 2015 12:17 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Another theory in the Litvinenko "murder". The infamous case of polonium poisoning of a second-rate Russian defector allegedly by Russian agents,according to British/Western agencies and hotly denied by the Russians has taken another twist and is getting "curiouser and curioser".
The defector,living in London who had close ties with anti-Putin Russian oligarchs and Western intel agencies,is now being accused of doing himself in by accident! The Russians have earlier claimed that the whole affair was a plot by anti-Putin oligarchs to besmirch the reputation of their pres.,Putin,who wouldn't waste his time over an second/third-rate old defector whose value was zero.

The use of polonium is intriguing,can be obtained only from N-savvy nations and the only other case of alleged P-poisoning is that of the late Palestinian supremo Yasser Arafat.
Ck the link for more details and video-clips. ... laims.html

Alexander Litvinenko 'killed himself' claims Russian murder suspect
Dmitry Kovtun suggests Alexander Litvinenko carried toxic polonium, but provides no evidence

Businessman Dmitry Kovtun, a suspect in the murder of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko, appears at a press conference in Moscow Photo: AFP/Getty

By Tom Parfitt, Moscow
08 Apr 2015

One of the two Russian suspects accused of poisoning Alexander Litvinenko in London has said the former KGB officer might have killed himself by accident after handling radioactive polonium.

Dmitry Kovtun told a press conference in Moscow that Mr Litvinenko’s death was most likely “suicide by carelessness”.

Mr Kovtun appeared at the conference to confirm he was willing to give evidence to a UK inquiry into the alleged murder of Mr Litvinenko, a Kremlin critic and associate of Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch, who died in 2006 after ingesting a fatal dose of polonium-210.

“My main theory is that it was an accident,” said Mr Kovtun. “I am more than sure that he had something to do with polonium, without knowing that himself. Maybe it was a leak, and polonium accumulated in his body gradually.”

However, the 49-old businessman admitted he had no proof to confirm that assertion, and it was possible that “somebody” gave Mr Litvinenko the toxic isotope.

On his deathbed, Mr Litvinenko accused Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, of ordering his assassination. The Kremlin denies that.
Alexander Litvinenko died in 2006 after he was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 (PA)

Moscow has refused UK requests to hand over Andrei Lugovoi, another former KGB officer, who is the chief suspect, and Mr Kovtun, citing a constitutional ban on extraditing Russian citizens.

Both suspects until recently refused to take part in the inquiry into Mr Litvinenko's death at the Royal Courts of Justice, but Mr Kovtun announced last month that he had changed his mind and was prepared to give evidence by video link.

Sir Robert Owen, the chairman of the inquiry, agreed to grant Mr Kovtun "core participation status" if he meets a number of conditions, including that he provides a full witness statement and discloses any relevant material.

The status would allow Mr Kovtun, thought to be a former intelligence officer, access to some of the case materials and give lawyers acting for him the right to question witnesses.

Litvinenko murder suspect sent T-shirt with 'Polonium 210 – To Be Continued'
Last ever photo of poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko released to show 'Kremlin' killed him

Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun met Mr Litvinenko at the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair on November 1, 2006, and allegedly slipped radioactive polonium into his tea.

Both suspects left a polonium trail at places they visited before and after the meeting, but Mr Kovtun claimed on Monday that Mr Litvinenko had contaminated him and Mr Lugovoi at an earlier meeting, on October 16, rather than the other way round.

Robin Tam QC, the counsel to the UK inquiry, has said that the two suspects in fact made a first attempt to kill Mr Litvinenko on that date.
Mr Kovtun is expected to testify on July 27.

Mr Lugovoi, who is now an ultranationalist MP in Russia, has refused to cooperate with the inquiry, claiming that it is “whitewashing” the involvement of British intelligence operatives in Mr Litvinenko’s death.

PostPosted: 09 Apr 2015 18:07 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Who really knows? As Churchill famously said,"Russia is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma..." So too is the FSB,former KGB,former Cheka whatever.. ... -its-reach
A Russian Intelligence Agency Expands Its Reach
April 8, 2015 |
Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at a session of the board of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in Moscow, April 7. (MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)


Over the past few weeks, a series of reshufflings and new appointments in the Russian government have indicated that the Federal Security Service (FSB) is broadening its influence. The moves come after the FSB faced a series of struggles, including an agency-wide purge, a possible strengthening of one of its rivals (the Interior Ministry) and an escalation of its feud with anti-FSB forces such as Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long been the arbiter in the power struggle between the FSB and its competitors. However, as Russia's economic crisis increases competition among Kremlin elites, the question of whether Putin is making these concessions to the FSB against his will must be raised.


Three FSB officials have been appointed to notable positions over the past few weeks. First, FSB counterintelligence chief Oleg Syromolotov was appointed deputy foreign minister on March 19 and charged with managing counterterrorism operations. His selection is important for several reasons. FSB figures rarely hold such high positions within the Foreign Ministry. Traditionally, the FSB has focused on domestic intelligence gathering while the Foreign Intelligence Service has wielded influence over foreign policy offices. Also, until Syromolotov's appointment, deputy foreign ministers did not have counterterrorism portfolios. However, Syromolotov has experience in this field, having been a top security official when Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Oleg Syromolotov

When State Duma deputy and FSB Col. Igor Barinov was appointed head of the newly created Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, he became the second FSB official to take a leadership position in a new department. While this new agency's role is unclear, we know it falls under the oversight of the Presidential Administration. There, pro-FSB loyalists such as First Deputy Chief of Staff Vyacheslav Volodin and former Dagestani President Magomedsalam Magomedov oversee the Kremlin's policies on ethnic minorities.

Both appointments could be an FSB attempt to shore up its influence over ethnic and nationality issues, both of which deal with counterterrorism at times. They could also be connected to the struggle unfolding between the FSB and Kadyrov, who has long resisted the FSB's reach into Chechnya. So far his efforts have been successful: The intelligence agency has no influence in the 40,000-strong Chechen battalions. Moreover, most of the Chechens living throughout Russia, particularly in Moscow, are loyal to Kadyrov. Barinov's appointment could be an FSB attempt to improve its ability to oversee nationality and ethnic issues, and Syromolotov's appointment could help the agency monitor the Chechen leader's financial and political ties abroad.

The third appointment expands the FSB's reach within Russia's energy sphere. Andrei Patrushev, the son of former FSB chief and Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev, was named to the Board of Directors of Gazprom Neft, which is the oil branch of energy giant Gazprom. For more than a decade, Putin has attempted to keep Rosneft and Gazprom as separate entities to maintain the balance of power between groups competing for influence in the Kremlin. The FSB, which oversees Rosneft via company chief and FSB member Igor Sechin, has sought to expand its influence into Gazprom, which traditionally has been overseen by the more liberal faction under Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev. In the past, the FSB had penetrated Gazprom's circles by placing its members in minor or peripheral positions. By appointing Patrushev to Gazprom's board, the FSB advanced in the power circles within the Kremlin and Russia's energy sector.

Igor Barinov

The appointments raise the question of whether Putin initiated this reshuffle on his own or if the FSB pressured him to. A reasonable explanation has not been put forth as to why Putin fell out of the public eye for 10 days in March, but his disappearance came after months of rumors that he was attempting to sideline the FSB in favor of its rivals, such as the Interior Ministry and a Chechen intelligence unit. Such moves could have upset the balance between Russia's competing security power bases. His hiatus from public appearances also occurred when the struggle between the FSB and Kadyrov was particularly tense, a competition that may be connected to the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Russian authorities charged five Chechens with assassinating Nemtsov, a thinly veiled accusation that Kadyrov was involved.

Simultaneously, the crisis in Ukraine may have strengthened the position of hard-line Russian security elites who believe the country should be more self-sufficient and less cooperative with the West. Either way, the FSB is moving to boost its power, though it is unclear if it is doing so in support or in spite of Putin.

PostPosted: 13 Apr 2015 18:05 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
Churchill vs Michael Collins
Intriguing account of the intel war between the British and Irish sides,WC vs MC and the grudging respect that WC gave MC ,the man responsible for assassinating dozens of British agents.

Read the whole article.

How Michael Collins helped save Winston Churchill’s career ... tml?page=2
Dermot McEvoy @irishcentral March 02,2015
One night in late November with the negotiations stalemated Churchill invited Collins, Arthur Griffith, Lloyd George and Lord Birkinhead back to his townhouse for drinks. Griffith went upstairs with the prime minister while Collins, Churchill and Birkinhead remained on the ground floor.

And they started to drink. Cognac. Collins, always with a sweet tooth, wanted his spiked with curaçao. And they drank more. Soon the conversation turned ugly. The question of the loyalty oath to the king piqued Collins’s inner-Fenian. He suddenly turned on Churchill in such a threatening manner that Churchill, years later, wrote that “He was in his most difficult mood, full of reproaches and defiances, and it was very easy for everyone to lose his temper.”

“You put a £5,000 bounty on my head,” Collins bellowed at Churchill. Birkinhead was sure blows were about to be struck. But Churchill quietly took Collins by the hand and brought him to the other end of the room. There, on the wall, was a wanted poster from the Boer War for one Winston Spencer Churchill—for £25!

“At least I put a good amount on your head!” said Churchill.

Collins laughed and the tension was broken. From that day onward Churchill was part of the solution in Ireland, not the problem. Churchill, now secretary of state for the colonies, worked hand-in-hand with Collins and Griffith to birth the new Irish Free State. After the deaths of Griffith and Collins he continued to help the new state. It was a sign of growth and maturity on Churchill’s part that he could go from warmonger to peacemaker.

Upon Collins’s death Churchill wrote: “He was an Irish patriot, true and fearless... When in future times the Irish Free State is not only prosperous and happy, but an active and annealing force... regard will be paid by widening circles to his life and to his death...Successor to a sinister inheritance, reared among fierce conditions and moving through ferocious times, he supplied those qualities of action and personality without which the foundations of Irish nationhood would not have been re-established.” For the rest of his life, Churchill always referred to Collins as “General Collins”—high praise indeed.

PostPosted: 19 Apr 2015 18:39 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India
ISIS Secret Service: Slain top strategist’s blueprints reveal covert Syria takeover op
Published time: April 19, 2015

​ISIS Secret Service: Slain top strategist’s blueprints reveal covert Syria takeover op
Published time: April 19, 2015 02:57

While ISIS appears to be run by religious fanaticism, it instead has been functioning more like a secret intelligence service, calculating every operation and drafting plans of a covert Syrian takeover for years, files seen by Der Spiegel have revealed.

The German magazine is citing secret papers of the strategic head of ISIS, who was killed in a firefight in 2014, but who left behind information regarding a trove of blueprints for ISIS intelligence services’ structure and plans of a takeover of large parts of Syrian territory.

Page-by-page the documents reveal a sophisticated plan, not so much for jihad, but for building a caliphate run by cold calculations.

The organizational charts and chains of command drawn by the top strategist reveal a clearly-defined Secret Service structure with surveillance and security departments, prison and interrogation divisions, weapons and technology experts, as well as sharia judges and instructors.

The records, Spiegel reports, contain details of ISIS espionage operations and other intelligence activities to covertly gain power in territories of their interest and make sure no dissent would be possible after an actual armed takeover.

The documents explain how men would initially be recruited by ISIS in target towns and villages via local cells disguised as Islamic missionary centers. The recruits then would report back to ISIS leadership with information on the powerful locals as well as what their sources of income were, people’s political orientation and any other information which could be used to blackmail them later.

“We will appoint the smartest ones as Sharia sheiks... We will train them for a while and then dispatch them,” the ISIS mastermind Haji Bakr, whose real name was Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, had noted in one of the papers. “Brothers” would be selected in each town to marry the daughters of the most influential families, in order to "ensure penetration of these families without their knowledge.”

The Islamic State leadership gathered any information useful for dividing and subjugating the local population. As far as Syria was concerned, they used whoever they could and changed allegiances whenever they felt like it, with their informants including former intelligence spies as well as opponents of the regime.

Another phase of the plan included the elimination of any powerful people and potential leaders who could organize the local population against the infiltrators. But in towns where the resistance grown too strong, the publication writes, ISIS temporarily withdrew allowing local Syrian rebels confront the government forces.

The reason why ISIS are so successful as a terrorist organization is partly because many of their founding members, including the top strategist, were part of Saddam Hussein’s professional security apparatus. By shattering the well-trained army of Saddam, the US apparently created an group of very intelligent enemies.

ISIS leader says US prisons in Iraq led to creation of terrorist organization

Bakr was a “highly intelligent, firm and an excellent logistician,” as an Iraqi journalist described the former officer. But when the US suddenly dissolved the Iraqi army after the 2003 invasion he became “bitter and unemployed.”

Being a “nationalist” rather than an Islamist, Bakr together with other former Iraqi intelligence officers gave the organization a “religious face” in 2010, the publication claims. The group appointed an educated cleric Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as their leader and future caliph.

The terrorist organization apparently realized most of their plans, and by late 2012 things in Syria were a mess with Pesident Assad’s pushed back while hundreds of local councils and rebel brigades took control of the territory. This anarchic mix was exploited by this tightly-organized group of ex-officers to create the terrorist caliphate that straddles much of Syria and Iraq today.

* PS:The ISIS style ops should be carefully studied by Indian intel agencies s there seem to be some parallels with the IM movement here.

PostPosted: 19 Apr 2015 18:55 
BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 13018
Location: India ... 771562.ece

Pakistan Intelligence Has a Sinister Plot to Incite J and K Unrest, Central Intelligence Agencies on Code Red
By Yatish Yadav
Published: 19th April 2015

NEW DELHI:A group of 12 Pakistani terrorists are actively involved in the recruitment of local people to strike at will, with annual Amarnath Yatra starting July 2, being their prime target, according to a confidential dossier on the LeT activities in Kupwara prepared by the Central intelligence agencies last week.

The alert was triggered by a telephone intercept that put the Central intelligence agencies on Code Red.

The dossier suggested that since the March 20 fidayeen attacks in Kathua and later in Samba, 24 ISI-trained heavily armed terrorists belonging to the LeT, Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) had sneaked into Jammu and Kashmir.

The recent unrest seen in the Valley after separatist Masarat Alam’s release and re-arrest and pro-Pakistan sloganeering during the public rally of hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani exposed the separatists’ and Pakistan’s desperate Kashmir plans.

The ISI’s sinister plot to foment trouble in the Valley and the militants’ penetration have shocked the state police.

One of its personnel, Nasir Pandit, had even deserted his unit to join the HM. Nasir, official sources said, is suspected to be involved in the killing of three policemen on April 6 at Amshipora in Shopian.

While tracking the footprints of suspected terrorists in sensitive areas, officials in the security establishment had recently came across incidents related to recruitment of local youths by dreaded JeM commander Gazali and LeT Commander Huzaifa, both said to be Pakistani nationals trained by the ISI for anti-India operations.

Huzaifa, sources said, is also planning terror strikes with LeT terrorists Abu Umar, Naveed and Talha, to disrupt peace in the Valley.

“These terrorists are targeting remote villages like Ponzu, approximately 55-60 km from Srinagar, to recruit gullible youths. There are inputs regarding another Pakistani terrorist commander Musa scouting for new recruits in remote villages of Pulwama district,” sources in security establishment said.

The intelligence dossier, based on a series of inputs received since March, suggests that if the terrorists operating in the Valley are not neutralised by security forces, they are likely to carry out strikes during the Amarnath Yatra. More than 3.7 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine of Lord Shiva during last year’s Yatra and the government was expecting over four lakh visitors this year via Baltal and Pahalgam route.

Citing recent infiltration of 33 HM terrorists into the Valley, the intelligence input warned that the level of violence against the security forces was likely to increase during the summer.

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