An early April 2012 suicide bombing of a theater in Somalia and a violent extremist communication advocating attacks on US theaters highlight terrorists’ continued interest in attacking such venues. Although we have no specific or credible information indicating that terrorists plan to attack theaters in the United States, terrorists may seek to emulate overseas attacks on theaters here in the United States because they have the potential to inflict mass casualties and cause local economic damage.
June 12, 2012 in Open Source Center
This report is focused on helping US communicators and analysts better identify opportunities to undermine AQ messaging. With this in mind, the report analyzes how AQ portrays itself and its objectives to the public through statements and multimedia releases – the messaging used to attract recruits, build public sympathy, and undermine adversaries such as the United States. Research for this analysis included AQ messaging dating back to 2000, with particular attention paid to recent messaging from 2009-2011. In addition to primary sources and open source research, interviews with 25 SMEs were used to surface master narratives, test hypotheses, and validate assertions. These SMEs were asked a combination of expansive, open-ended questions designed to surface new hypotheses as well as targeted questions designed to verify assertions. Combining these interviews with open source research, this report highlights how each master narrative reflects perceived history, themes, and objectives that are central to AQ’s public identity. Each of these master narratives appear with varied frequency across AQ messaging and propaganda, and collectively they represent a unified narrative system used by AQ and affiliate communicators.
This report serves as a resource for addressing this challenge in two ways. First, it surfaces a set of nine master narratives carefully selected based on their potency in the context of France’s Muslim communities, and their relevance to US strategic interests. Second, this report follows a consistent structure for articulating these narratives and explicitly identifies initial implications for US communicators and analysts. The set outlined here is not exhaustive: these nine master narratives represent a first step that communicators and analysts can efficiently apply to the specific messaging need or analytic question at hand. For seasoned experts on French Muslim communities, these narratives will already be familiar — the content contained in this report can be used to help check assumptions, surface tacit knowledge, and aid customer communications. For newcomers to European Islam accounts, these narratives offer deep insights into the stories and perceptions that shape French Muslim identity and worldviews that may otherwise take years to accumulate.
Understanding master narratives can be the difference between analytic anticipation and unwanted surprise, as well as the difference between communications successes and messaging gaffes. Master narratives are the historically grounded stories that reflect a community’s identity and experiences, or explain its hopes, aspirations, and concerns. These narratives help groups understand who they are and where they come from, and how to make sense of unfolding developments around them. As they do in all countries, effective communicators in Somalia invoke master narratives in order to move audiences in a preferred direction. Somali influencers rely on their native familiarity with these master narratives to use them effectively. This task is considerably more challenging for US communicators and analysts because they must place themselves in the mindset of foreign audiences who believe stories that — from an American vantage point — may appear surprising, conspiratorial, or even outlandish.
June 11, 2012 in United Nations
Compilations of draft proposals for modifications to International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). The current version of the proposed changes to the ITRs (CWG-WCIT12 Temporary Document 64) was recently leaked in response to a lack of publicly available information on the proposals. These documents help to provide background and context on the development of the current proposal.
June 8, 2012 in U.S. Army
Field Manual (FM) 3-05.301 describes the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for the implementation of United States (U.S.) Army Psychological Operations (PSYOP) doctrine presented in the higher-level publication, FM 3-05.30, Psychological Operations. FM 3-05.301 provides general guidance for commanders, staffs, and Soldiers who plan and conduct PSYOP across the range of military operations. The TTP in this manual are presented within the framework of the seven-phase PSYOP process, a mainstay for effective PSYOP executed at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.
North Korea’s recent threat to carry out “special actions” against the South is rare and seems intended to signal the regime’s resolve to move forward with some form of provocation. The threat, however, is unlike past warnings the regime has typically issued prior to military provocations, suggesting that the North might follow through with a move other than a conventional military attack. Significantly, some aspects of the warning appear to signal Pyongyang’s commitment to follow up on the “actions” in the near future.
Pyongyang quickly has set the stage for the fourth Party Representatives Conference slated for 11 April. Though state media have not yet announced an agenda for the conference, it is likely that the regime will use the event to memorialize formally Kim Jong Il and appoint Kim Jong Un to a top party post. The tables below provide a baseline of state media coverage of the impending conference and its antecedents.
Personnel moves at the recent Party Conference and spring session of the legislature — beyond Kim Jong Un’s assumption of the top slots — underscore the new leadership’s continued commitment to revitalizing the Party as an institution and its confidence in managing the system. Though state media billed the moves merely as filling vacancies, the leadership quietly elevated or replaced almost one-third of the ruling Political Bureau, many through unannounced retirements or dismissals. The personnel changes occurred in military, internal security, and economic organizations and are not clustered in one area. Though personnel were added to the National Defense Commission (NDC), its relationship to the Political Bureau and Central Military Commission (CMC) remains unclear.
OSC has identified more than 350 joint ventures in North Korea in a search of open source information. For the 88 ventures for which we have investment amount data, the aggregate total of reported foreign investment from 2004 to 2011 amounted to $2.32 billion, with roughly half of that going toward ventures in the mining sector. Firms from China account for 75% of the joint venture partners for which partner country is known, followed by firms from South Korea, Japan, and Europe. Of the joint ventures for which we found location information, most show a Pyongyang address. The remaining are concentrated at seven locales in other parts of the country.
International terrorist groups and violent extremists have long shown interest in using fire as a weapon due to the low cost and limited technical expertise required, the potential for causing large-scale damage, and the low risk of apprehension. Recent encouragement of use of this tactic by terrorist groups and violent extremists in propaganda materials and extremist Web forums is directed at Western audiences and supports Homeland attacks.
May 31, 2012 in Bilderberg Participant Lists
The 60th Bilderberg Meeting will be held in Chantilly, Virginia, USA from 31 May – 3 June 2012. The Conference will deal mainly with political, economic and societal issues like Transatlantic Relations, Evolution of the Political Landscape in Europe and the US, Austerity and Growth in Developed Economies, Cyber Security, Energy Challenges, the Future of Democracy, Russia, China and the Middle East. Approximately 145 participants will attend of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America and other countries. About one-third is from government and politics, and two-thirds are from finance, industry, labor, education, and communications. The meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion
May 31, 2012 in North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The term Peace Support Operations is now widely used by many civilian agencies to describe their activities in complex humanitarian emergencies. PSOs are multi-functional operations, conducted impartially, normally in support of an internationally recognised organisation such as the UN or Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), involving military forces and diplomatic and humanitarian agencies. PSO are designed to achieve a long-term political settlement or other specified conditions. They include Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement as well as conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace building and humanitarian relief.
May 31, 2012 in North Atlantic Treaty Organization
AJP-3.4.4 provides a common NATO doctrine to guide commanders, staffs and forces engaged in the conduct of COIN. It also informs civil actors involved in security and stabilisation of the full range of capabilities that the military may contribute to a joint, interagency and multinational response to the resolution of such ‘wicked problems’.
May 30, 2012 in United Kingdom
On 2 December 2010 the Swedish Prosecution Authority (“the Prosecutor”), who is the respondent to this appeal, issued a European Arrest Warrant (“EAW”) signed by Marianne Ny, a prosecutor, requesting the arrest and surrender of Mr Assange, the appellant. Mr Assange was, at the time, in England, as he still is. The offences of which he is accused and in respect of which his surrender is sought are alleged to have been committed in Stockholm against two women in August 2010. They include “sexual molestation” and, in one case, rape. At the extradition hearing before the Senior District Judge, and subsequently on appeal to the Divisional Court, he unsuccessfully challenged the validity of the EAW on a number of grounds. This appeal relates to only one of these. Section 2(2) in Part 1 of the Extradition Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”) requires an EAW to be issued by a “judicial authority”. Mr Assange contends that the Prosecutor does not fall within the meaning of that phrase and that, accordingly, the EAW is invalid. This point of law is of general importance, for in the case of quite a number of Member States EAWs are issued by public prosecutors. Its resolution does not turn on the facts of Mr Assange’s case. I shall, accordingly, say no more about them at this stage, although I shall revert briefly to them towards the end of this judgment.
The Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds were the primary mechanism employed by Det L in using money as a weapons system. CERP funds were most readily available and afforded CA flexibility and responsiveness. CA Marines also used Post-Operations Emergency Relief Fund (POERF), an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) NATO fund available for named operations. With the MEB higher headquarters (Regional Command-South) able to authorize single expenditures of up to 17,500 Euros (approximately U.S. $23,301) and as much as 70,000 Euros (approximately U.S. $93,204) available at a given time, the benefits of POERF included the ability to fill gaps when CERP was not available or could not be used due to statutory restrictions. For example, governed by ISAF SOP 930 and described as having fewer bureaucratic hurdles to overcome than CERP, POERF was used to rapidly fund programs such as providing emergency financial assistance to internally displaced people who were forced to relocate due to MEB military operations.
May 30, 2012 in National Aeronautics and Space Administration
May 30, 2012 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
The National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) and the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU) assesses with medium confidence that gang activity is expanding towards juvenile prostitution primarily for its steady financial rewards and perceived low risk of law enforcement interaction. Historically, prison, street and outlaw motorcycle gangs profit from drug distribution and have recently become involved in non-traditional criminal activity such as mortgage fraud and identity theft. Some gangs appear to be diversifying their income by reducing or eliminating drug trafficking activities in favor of juvenile prostitution.
May 28, 2012 in Department of Defense
While reliance on UAS continues to grow, the ability to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) to support operations, training, and testing has not kept pace. Routine access to exercise and execute Combatant Command (COCOM)-tasked missions, and to support broader military and civil missions such as Homeland Security (HLS), Homeland Defense (HD), and Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) is necessary. Current NAS access for UAS is greatly limited under interim FAA policies that govern UAS operations in the NAS. Currently, DoD UAS operations conducted outside of Restricted, Warning and Prohibited areas are authorized under a temporary Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or under limited conditions outlined in the 2007 DoD-FAA Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). Although DoD has been able to facilitate a small number of flights through the COA process, DoD has not been able to obtain the level of airspace access necessary to accomplish the wide range of DoD UAS missions at current and projected operational tempos.
Joint Advanced Warfighting School Thesis on Problems Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System
May 28, 2012 in National Defense University
In the last 10 years, the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has captured the public’s imagination and fascination with their ability to provide instantaneous video feeds of military and covert CIA operations in far away places like Afghanistan and Iraq. The rapid proliferation of the UAS and the eventual redeployment of current systems deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq will require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide unrestricted unmanned aircraft access within the National Airspace System (NAS). The Department of Defense (DoD) requires routine access to the NAS to execute directed missions, meet training requirements, and perform necessary testing to meet the Joint Force Commander’s (JFC’s) established mission priorities. Over the past several years, the DoD has been able to execute a small portion of UAS flights in the NAS but current rules and regulation do not facilitate seamless integration with manned aircraft. The purpose of this study is to show that although the DoD and the FAA recognize the importance of integrating manned and unmanned aircraft within the NAS, there are many challenges and gaps that must be bridged to facilitate successful integration. The most important challenge to overcome when integrating manned and unmanned aircraft into the same airspace is safety.
May 28, 2012 in U.S. Air Force
May 27, 2012 in Open Source Center
Conflict between government and opposition forces continued during the week, generally following the established pattern of government military attacks and security raids against centers of opposition, on the one hand, and ambushes and bombings by opposition forces on the other. The Syrian conflict also continued to spark clashes in neighboring Lebanon. Further turmoil among the top leadership of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) reflected the opposition’s continued difficulty in unifying ranks. Syria and the United Nations traded accusations on the subject of human-rights violations.
Restricted Army Special Operations Forces Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Operations Manual
May 26, 2012 in U.S. Army
This publication describes ARSOF CBRN missions and tasks for the chemical reconnaissance detachment (CRD), chemical decontamination detachments (CDDs), ARSOF CBRN reconnaissance and survey operations, decontamination and reconnaissance teams (DRTs), and ARSOF sensitive site exploitation (SSE), and discusses reachback capability. This publication provides a basis for understanding the requirements of individual special operations forces (SOF) personnel operating in CBRN environments, as well as the requirements of ARSOF staff planners across the range of military operations. The manual also provides guidance for commanders who determine force structure, equipment, material, and operational requirements necessary to conduct SOF CBRN missions described herein.