Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spook Book: a heroic story

NYDailyNews: "Author Brad Meltzer was recruited in government agency, 'horrified' at how easy it is to attack U.S."

I was a real-life secret agent. I didn't have the hand-grenade cuff links or the poison-dart pen, but in 2004 I was recruited by the Department of Homeland Security for its Red Cell program. As they described it - and as The Washington Post later reported - Red Cell was the government's way of trying to anticipate how terrorists would next attack the United States. To do that, the government brought together what they called "out-of-the-box thinkers." As a novelist who writes thrillers with scenes that take place in the underground tunnel below the White House, I was somehow identified as one of those thinkers. (...) >>>

Jan. 11, 2011

US securing against hacktivists -

The Land of the Free: "Wikileaks retaliation perpetrated by “hacktivists”", by Jim Kouri, CPP

Domestic and foreign terrorist organizations, foreign intelligence actors, and criminal enterprises are increasingly using encryption technology to secure their communications and to exercise command and control over operations and people without fear of surveillance. This week, a new threat emerged in the world of cybersecurity: “hacktivists” (...) “We are witnessing a cyber war, the likes of which have not yet been seen,” said Randall Nichols, professor and director of the cybersecurity programs at Utica College. “But the reality is that this is the battlefield of the present and the future.”

The WikiLeaks’ posting of stolen classified information has highlighted the tension between the intelligence community’s strategy of “share to win” and the necessity to enforce “need to know.” Commanders in the field understand the advantage that comes from sharing intelligence and information and they do not want to give up that capability, according to Jim Garamone, an American Forces Press Service staffer.

Since the Wikileaks incidents, the Pentagon has put in place methods to minimize such thefts of classified materials. “It is now much more difficult for a determined actor to get access to and move information outside of authorized channels,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a written statement following publication of news articles on the documents Sunday. (...)

The cyber threat confronting the United States is rapidly increasing as the number of actors with the tools and abilities to use computers against the United States or its interests is rising. The country´s vulnerability is escalating as the US economy and critical infrastructures become increasingly reliant on interdependent computer networks and the World Wide Web. Large scale computer attacks on US critical infrastructure and economy would have potentially devastating results. Cyber threats fall into two distinct categories: threats affecting national security (...) >>>

Dec. 15, 2010

Cablegate, wikileaks and a tin foil hat -

News has broken that Julian Assange was refused bail in court and is remanded in UK custody until Dec. 14, when he has his next court appearance. Early this morning he walked into a London police precinct.

In the US meanwhile investigators are trying to figure out how PFC Manning got his hands on both secret State Dept. and DoD documents. Jonathon M. Seidl on The Blaze blog may be on to something -


We’ve covered a lot of ground today regarding Wikileaks. I’ve brought you more from X and introduced you to Y, and in the end we asked some important questions, mainly, how is it possible for PFC Bradley Manning to have downloaded and leaked State Department cables? According to two sources who have written to me (X and Y), it isn’t.  (...)

Could both pieces of information explain how the “impossible” was possible? Maybe. The access to another joint database might explain how Manning, an Army analyst, got access to State Department cables. And the “different rules” in Baghdad might explain the lapse in security that allowed Manning to smuggle out that data. I’ve presented the information to X and Y and am eagerly awaiting their thoughts. (...) >>>

Dec. 7, 2010

Cablegate and conspiracy theory - Alex Jones in a tin foil hat, ranting about the Swedish rape allegations and the CIA connection -

PJM: "WikiLeaks and U.S. Computer Security: The ‘Second Spy’ Theory", by Charlie Martin

Either U.S. intelligence is massively incompetent, or PFC Manning had help — an insider with high-level access. (...) What should really disturb us is the implications — not for our diplomacy, but for the competence and effectiveness of our own counter-espionage. There are really two possibilities: we’ve either, in the name of “sharing,” completely forgotten all the lessons that have been learned, at great cost, over the “War Century”; or there is someone else, with much broader access that Pfc. Manning, who was really behind this leak. And either conclusion should scare us silly. >>>

Dec. 6, 2010

Wikileaks, Humint and Hillary's spooks -

TWT: "Hillary Clinton's State Department Spooks"

As unaccustomed as I am to write this, commentators need to give Hillary Clinton a break. The secretary of state is under fire for ordering American diplomats to engage in detailed information collection against foreigners with whom they come into contact during the course of their duties. Among the documents released by WikiLeaks is the 8,300-word National Humint Collection Directive and similar orders that direct State Department employees to ferret out things like telephone numbers and directories ("in compact disc or electronic format if available"); e-mail addresses, Internet nicknames, personal websites, credit card and frequent-flier account numbers; health, biographic and even biometric information such a fingerprints, iris and facial-recognition factors; and signatures. In short, the government wanted to know anything that would be relevant to relations with the leaders of foreign countries, which, in practice, could be anything at all. (...) >>>

Dec. 3, 2010

This just in, months after the event - master spook behind Russian spy ring outing -

Reuters: "Top Russian spy defects after betraying ring in U.S."

The head of Russia's deep cover U.S. spying operations has betrayed the network and defected, a Russian paper said on Thursday, potentially giving the West one of its biggest intelligence coups since the end of the Cold War.

The newspaper, Kommersant, identified the man as Colonel Shcherbakov and said he was responsible for unmasking a Russian spy ring in the United States in June whose arrests humiliated Moscow and clouded a "reset" in ties with Washington.

The betrayal would make Shcherbakov one of the most senior turncoats since the fall of the Soviet Union and could have consequences for Russia's proud Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and its chief, former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. (...) >>>

Nov. 11, 2010

Tale of a unstable defector? - Curiouser and curiouser ... Christian Science Monitor has more -

NYT: "A Defector Goes Home, but to What End?"

When Shahram Amiri, the Iranian scientist, took his C.I.A. handlers by surprise last week by un-defecting back to Tehran, he was gambling with his life. Would he end up like Vitaly Yurchenko, the one-time K.G.B. officer who defected to Washington exactly a quarter-century ago, revealed some of the deepest secrets of a collapsing empire, and then bolted from his C.I.A. handlers at a French restaurant in Georgetown and ended up back in Moscow? The French restaurant is long gone; in one of those oddities of spy-vs.-spy history, it was just seven blocks south of the office block where Mr. Amiri took refuge Monday night in the Iranian interests section of the Pakistani Embassy. But, remarkably, Mr. Yurchenko is still around. And as his interrogation by Iranian intelligence began on Friday, Mr. Amiri could only hope for the same fate. (...) >>>

Jul 18, 2010

Why spy? And a view from the other side -

Stratfor: "Russian Spies and Strategic Intelligence"

(...) It is said that the world is global and interdependent. This makes it vital for a given nation to know three things about all of the nations with which it interacts. First, it needs to know what other nations are capable of doing. Whether militarily, economically or politically, knowing what other nations are capable of narrows down those nations’ possible actions, eliminating fantasies and rhetoric from the spectrum of possible moves.

Second, the nation needs to know what other nations intend to do. This is important in the short run, especially when intentions and capabilities match up. And third, the nation needs to know what will happen in other nations that those nations’ governments didn’t anticipate. The more powerful a nation is, the more important it is to understand what it is doing. (...)

If we were to guess — and we are guessing — this was a team of talent scouts. They were not going to meetings at the think tanks because they were interested in listening to the papers; rather, they were searching for recruits. These were people between the ages of 22 and 30, doing internships or entry level jobs, with family and academic backgrounds that would make employment in classified areas of the U.S. government easy — and who in 20 to 30 years would provide intelligence and control to Moscow. (...) >>>

Jul 13, 2010

Shock! the cold war isn't over! -

Update: The Cold War isn't over, says Konstantin Preobrazhenskiy, a former KGB agent who became one of the KGB’s harshest critics. He is the author of seven books about the KGB and Japan. His new book is KGB/FSB’s New Trojan Horse: Americans of Russian Descent. The '10' spooks caught may be related to money laundering ops. Also: brace for retaliation ... this is the mob and Putin used to say a proverb of the Russian criminal world: “The one who offends us will not survive a day.”

FrontPage: "Spies Like Putin"

(...) Americans are still in euphoria about the supposed end of the Cold War. But as I asked earlier, who signed a capitulation? And where were the Nuremberg-style trials of communists for their crimes against humanity? Make no mistake about it: The Russians know the war is still going on. And they do not share American values. Russia is mostly an Asian country. And the very fact that Americans do not understand, and do not want to understand, this is a result of the great Russian influence here. (...) >>>

Jul 8, 2010

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is

Spy swap or exile? - In a recent interview with Robert Buchar on Front Page entitled "KGB Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" we read that spies, sleepers, moles and handlers are deeply infiltrated. The '10' just caught in the US (one at large on Cyprus) are just the tip of the iceberg, Panthergate may be the blueprint of their release. On the other hand, there's also the swap! Even if against an innocent who doesn't even want to be sent into exile -

Breitbart: "Russian spy claims swap in works for spies in US", by Khristina Narizhnaya, Associated Press Writer

Russia and the United States are working out a spy swap involving Russians recently arrested in the United States and an imprisoned nuclear researcher, his brother said Wednesday. Dmitry Sutyagin said his brother Igor was told by Russian officials that he would be released and sent to Britain in exchange for an unknown number of spies.

The officials met Igor Sutyagin on Monday at a prison in Arkhangelsk, in northwestern Russia, and U.S. officials were at the meeting, his brother said. Sutyagin, a Russian, said he was made to sign a confession, although he maintains his innocence and does not want to leave Russia, his brother said. After the meeting, Sutyagin was transferred to Moscow's Lefortovo prison, his brother said. (...) >>>

Jul 7, 2010

The inside story -

TWT: "ROBBINS: My spy story - Washington Times writer meets Putin's agent", by Jim Robbins

I was targeted by the infamous Russian spy ring. Maybe that's too dramatic. How about - accused Russian spy Mikhail Semenko handed me his business card. Not exactly the basis for a novel. On June 9, I spoke on a panel on Iran at an event hosted by the D.C. World Affairs Council. At the reception afterward, I spoke to a number of people, including Mr. Semenko. He said he was interested in seeing if there were any opportunities working with the American Foreign Policy Council, the organization I was representing at the event. He said he was from the Russian Far East and spoke Chinese in addition to English and his native tongue. He had recently started writing a blog on China's economy. Because AFPC has a special interest in Russia and China policy, I said I would pass his card along to the higher-ups in the organization and if there were any positions, they would be in touch. From Mr. Semenko's point of view, it was mission accomplished - he had an in. (...) >>>

Jul 1, 2010

Russia up to its old tricks - NewsMax has this: "Oleg Gordievsky, a former deputy head of the KGB in London who defected in 1985, said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev would know the number of illegal operatives in each target country ... as many as 50 deep-cover couples could be spying inside the US -

Telegraph: "Russian 'secret agent' scandal: 11th suspect arrested in Cyprus"

(...) The FBI arrested 10 other people on Sunday evening on suspicion of working for the Russian foreign secret service under false identities to penetrate US government policy-making circles. (...) The FBI accuses SVR of running a network of "illegals", described in court documents as Russians who received training in languages, codes and ciphers, invisible writing and counter-surveillance before living in the United States under false identities. They were alleged to have met US government officials given codenames such as "Farmer", "Parrot" and "Cat" as well as engaging such tried and tested espionage methods as dead drops and brush passes.

The nature of the group’s work was said to have been outlined in a secret message to two of those arrested: "You were sent to USA for long-term service trip. "Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc – all those serve one goal: fulfil your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in policy-making circles in US ..."
The other 10 defendants, each charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, were arrested in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia. It is alleged that they were tasked with gleaning intelligence on nuclear weapons, foreign policy and Congressional politics. (...) >>>

Jun 29, 2010

Who would've thunk it -

Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by th...Image via Wikipedia
American Thinker: "A real 'outing' of a CIA Operative by Obama administration", by Clarice Feldman

In contrast to the bombast and demands for punishment which accompanied the news that White House officials "outed" CIA desk jockey Valerie Plame, there's been almost total silence respecting this Administration's outing of a real undercover CIA operative, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother, an outing sure to put him and his family and associates in mortal danger. (...) >>>

Apr 10, 2010

The Enemy Within -

Elsevier: "Prominent Dutch Support Controversial Turkish Federation"

A federation of young Turkish entrepreneurs (Hogiaf) has a number of prominent Dutch sitting on the Board of Recommendation, among them Doekle Terpstra. According to TV program NOVA Hogiaf is one of the Turkish organizations that portend to support assimilation while in fact working towards segregation; their inspiration is said to be the controversial Islamic spiritual leader (prediker) Fethullah Gülen. Erik Jan Zürcher, lecturer Turkish languages at Leiden University confirmed that some organizations in Turkey and abroad secretly spread Gülen's ideas. They specifically target younger people. Because it is assumed the support assimilation these organization are often heavily subsidized. (...) Other members on the board are the former Government Minister Yvonne van Rooy (CDA), former chairman of the federation of labour unions Lodewijk de Waal and former mayor of Utrecht Annie Brouwer (PvdA). Chairman is Mohamed Sini, director of (...) >>>

Updated: 10th July 2008

Politeia: "CIA in Dutch Espionage Gaffe"

Dutch newspaper "De Telegraaf" reported last week that the CIA has carried out covert operations in the country, resulting in a diplomatic tiff in which the CIA station chief has been sent packing. The conflict was kept carefully under-wraps. "Well informed sources" in The Hague say the discredited CIA station chief left the Netherlands in 2005. (...)

In August 2005 former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed that the Government at the time knew Pakistini nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan was stealing secret nuclear technology from the Physical Dynamics Research Laboratory (FDO) in Amsterdam where Khan worked from 1972 to 1976.

FDO was a URENCO subcontractor, the uranium enrichment facility which had been established by the U.K., West Germany and the Netherlands to produce enriched uranium for European reactors. (...) >>>

June 16, 2008

NRO: " Questions for the Pentagon", by Claudia Rosett - Hat Tip 1389 Blog

In the sorry tradition of shooting the messenger, the Pentagon is cashiering its top expert on Islamist doctrine, Stephen Coughlin. Some members of Congress are now contemplating hearings to ask why. Along with drawing attention to Coughlin’s research, now circulating on the Internet, the growing controversy has thrown a spotlight on Coughlin’s alleged nemesis at the Pentagon, a top aide named Hesham Islam (...) >>>

4th Febr, 2008

Politeia: "Reforming Islam: Beware of the Fifth Column", by Sam Holliday

The review ('The Limits of Liberal Islam' in Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2008 ) of "The Politics of God" by Lilla (NYT Magazine, 19 Aug 07) highlights several important issues. The analysis is right on target and the solution suggested should be our goal; but the Muslim "renovators" mentioned are part of a fifth column. (...)

Everyone should encourage and support Muslims within Islamic countries attempting to change their countries or Muslims in the West assisting in the fight against the Third Jihad. However, the "moderates" mentioned are neither. They are intellectuals living in the West that are attempting to get us to "understand Islam". They attack those that point out the true nature of Islam, or describe how Muslims treat those that do not submit to "the way of the Prophet".

Also these intellectuals attempt to undermine any actions against the aggressive actions of the Third Jihad. The "moderates" sited are Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss-born cleric, and El Fadl, a UCLA law professor. It is wise to consider both members of a fifth column in the West (...) >>>

17th Jan. 2008

Muslims Against Sharia: "Pro-Islamist Pentagon officials pressuring one of the U.S. military's most important specialists on jihad", by Bill Gertz

Pro-Muslim officials at the Pentagon are putting political pressure on one of the U.S. military's most important specialists on Islamist extremism, according to defense officials.Stephen Coughlin, a specialist on Islamic law on the Joint Staff, met recently with Hasham Islam, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England's close aide. The officials said Mr. Islam, a Muslim who is leading efforts for the Defense Department's outreach to Muslim groups, sought to convince Mr. Coughlin to take a softer line on Islam and Islamic law elements that promote extremism.There is also evidence that a whispering campaign is under way to try and discredit Mr. Coughlin as a "Christian extremist with a pen" and force him out of the building, according to the officials. >>>

28th Dec. 2007
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: