U.S. Special Forces Training Mexican Assassination Squads to Battle Cartels

A small but growing proxy war is underway in Mexico pitting US-assisted assassin teams composed of elite Mexican special operations soldiers against the leadership of an emerging cadre of independent drug organizations that are far more ruthless than the old-guard Mexican “cartels” that gave birth to them. These Mexican assassin teams now in the field for at least half a year, sources tell Narco News, are supported by a sophisticated US intelligence network composed of CIA and civilian US military operatives as well as covert special-forces soldiers under Pentagon command — which are helping to identify targets for the Mexican hit teams. Evidence of this intelligence support network has surfaced recently even in mainstream media reports, in outlets such as the New York Times and the Mexican publication El Universal — the former reporting that “CIA operatives and American civilian military employees have been posted at a Mexican military base,” and the latter reporting that elite US and Mexican troops engaged in joint training exercises in Colorado earlier this year.

(U//FOUO) USMC Non-Kinetic/Counterinsurgency Operations Command Study

This paper summarizes the responses of six Marine battalion commanders who served in stability and support operations (SASO) and counterinsurgency (COIN) environments of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). These commanders were interviewed on their approach to their duties, how they exercised their authority and balanced the use of kinetic and non-kinetic effects in accomplishing their myriad missions and tasks. The content of this report may serve to guide future commanders.

(U//LES) San Diego Fusion Center Tijuana Drug Cartel Ambush Analysis and Gang Collaboration

The intent of this bulletin is to provide Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) with a general knowledge of ambush tactics used by the Tijuana Cartel against Mexican LEOs in Tijuana, Mexico. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officer Safety Bulletin dated October 3, 2010, outlining Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations’ (DTOs) and San Diego street gangs’ use of Tijuana Cartel tactics in San Diego County, identified a need for a more comprehensive review of cartel tactics used south of the U.S. border.

DHS Cybersecurity Bulletin: Physical Events Provide Phishing/Social Engineering Opportunities

Malicious users seeking to exploit interest related to physical events such as earthquakes and hurricanes will likely use subject lines and attachment titles related to the incidents in phishing e-mails. Network administrators and general users should be aware of these attempts and avoid opening messages with attachments and/or subject lines related to physical events.

(U//FOUO/LES) Baltimore Police 2nd Amendment Support Decal Warning

The company “Legally Concealed” has created and is marketing decals and apparel to the public “specifically to show support and solidarity for the 2nd Amendment”. According to their website, http://www.legallyconcealed.org/ the special symbol, of the (2) silver lines and number “2” on the black background was “designed in the same spirit of the law enforcement “thin blue line””.

(U//FOUO) Maryland Fusion Center Trash Bag Balloon Bombs Warning

According to recent open source reporting, law enforcement officers (LEO’s) have been encountering bombs made of innocuous trash bags that have caused injuries to responding officers or significant damage to property. LEO’s are encouraged not to touch the light (airy), low-flying, closed trash bags; consider evacuating the immediate area; and, to call the appropriate response personnel.

DoD Employee Arrested for Taking $95,000 Bribe From Military Contractor

A high-ranking Department of Defense employee was charged Thursday with taking a bribe at an international conference in Atlanta to steer lucrative federal contracts for work in Afghanistan to a contractor. Desi Deandre Wade, the department’s Chief of Fire and Emergency Services in Afghanistan, was arrested Wednesday at the Fire-Rescue International Conference in downtown Atlanta after he took $95,000 in cash from a contractor, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. “While he was supposed to be working to support our troops, he was lining his pockets,” she said. Wade’s attorney Allison Dawson said at an initial hearing Thursday that her client, a military veteran, intended to plead not guilty.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Ten-Year Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks Warning

This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) highlights potential terrorist threats related to the 10-year anniversary of the 11 September 2001 (9/11) attacks. This JIB provides perspective on the threat to the Homeland and US interests overseas from al-Qa‘ida, al-Qa‘ida affiliates and allies, and al-Qa‘ida-inspired homegrown violent extremists (HVEs). FBI and DHS are providing this information to support their respective activities and to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials, as well as first responders and private sector security officials, in effectively deterring, preventing, or disrupting terrorist attacks against the United States. Unless otherwise noted, this JIB uses the FBI’s definitions of terms, which may differ from the definitions used by DHS.

DHS Releases Television PSAs to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting

Recent partnerships with the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign include the Indianapolis 500, the U.S. Open, the Washington State Ferries, The City of Los Angeles, AEG Worldwide, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), Walmart, Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. In addition more than 9,000 federal buildings, the general aviation industry, and state and local fusion centers across the country also participate in the campaign.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Updated Small Arms and Lone Shooters Warning August 2011

This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) updates a DHS-FBI joint analytic product of the same title dated 3 September 2010 and is intended to provide warning and perspective regarding the scope of the potential terrorist threats to the United States, specifically towards US persons. This product is provided to support the activities of DHS and FBI and to help federal, state, and local government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks directed against the United States.

LAPD Research Paper “Fighting Crime in the Information Age: The Promise of Predictive Policing”

Large police departments maintain dozens of databases. It is unusual to see these computer systems linked together to enable effective analysis. It is even more unlikely that other information sources, such as gunshot detection systems or dispatch systems, are linked into police analytical or fusion centers. Finally, police departments do not link their operations and information systems to other parts of the justice system or social services system. Thus, poor information sharing prevents good analysis and investigation. Even more troubling, poor information sharing can undermine efforts to intervene with individuals or neighborhoods to stop the cycle of violence. The best way to see the future and act appropriately is to have a complete picture of the current situation. Police must integrate their information and activities to enable situational awareness.

At Least $360 Million in U.S. Contractor Money Went to Taliban and Afghan Criminals

After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the U.S military estimates $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals, and power brokers with ties to both. The losses underscore the challenges the U.S. and its international partners face in overcoming corruption in Afghanistan. A central part of the Obama administration’s strategy has been to award U.S.-financed contracts to Afghan businesses to help improve quality of life and stoke the country’s economy. But until a special task force assembled by Gen. David Petraeus began its investigation last year, the coalition had little visibility into the connections many Afghan companies and their vast network of subcontractors had with insurgents and criminals — groups military officials call “malign actors.” In a murky process known as “reverse money laundering,” payments from the U.S. pass through companies hired by the military for transportation, construction, power projects, fuel and other services to businesses and individuals with ties to the insurgency or criminal networks, according to interviews and task force documents obtained by the AP.

U.S. House of Representatives Report: Warlords Provide Security for U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan

Security for the U.S. Supply Chain Is Principally Provided by Warlords. The principal private security subcontractors on the HNT contract are warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority. Providing “protection” services for the U.S. supply chain empowers these warlords with money, legitimacy, and a raison d’etre for their private armies. Although many of these warlords nominally operate under private security companies licensed by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, they thrive in a vacuum of government authority and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government.

The Military’s Plans for Social Unrest: CONPLAN 3502, Civil Disturbance Operations and Martial Law

Recent unrest in London has sparked media interest in the U.S. military’s plans for civil unrest, including a report from the Atlantic on a little known document called CONPLAN 3502. With economies declining around the world and social unrest spreading throughout the Middle East and even into Western democracies, many wonder what would happen if this sort of unrest and violence were to spread to the United States. Would the response be measured and calm, respecting popular movements and upholding fundamental human rights, or would the response look something more like what is happening in Syria? To understand just what would happen in the event of widespread unrest in the United States, you must first familiarize yourself with CONPLAN 3502, the classified military plan for civil disturbances. A slide from a U.S. Northern Command presentation previously published by this site indicates that CONPLAN 3502 is one of several Contingency Plans (CONPLANs) for domestic U.S. military operations in the event of a disaster, terrorist attack or national security special event (NSSE). Several of the plans deal with Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) in times of disaster or crisis, including pandemic influenza outbreaks, nuclear and radiological events, as well as chemical weapons attacks. Though, CONPLAN 3502 is unique in that it deals exclusively with support operations conducted with local authorities during times of “civil disturbance”. Because CONPLAN 3502 is classified “Secret”, it has not been released to the public and little is known of its contents. However, through bits of information found in a number of relevant documents, a fairly coherent picture of military civil disturbance planning may be ascertained.

Mortgage Fraud Rises for Third Straight Year

Despite aggressive law enforcement efforts, stricter government regulations and tighter borrowing standards, mortgage fraud “remains elevated,” and may be getting worse, the FBI said Friday. While top officials admitted they didn’t want to sound “alarmist,” they acknowledged the distressed housing market, bleak unemployment picture and weak economy continue to provide fertile ground for fraud in the mortgage industry. “It could get worse,” said Deputy Assistant FBI Director David Cardona, who oversees the FBI’s financial crimes units. “There could be more victims,” he said.