Scotland Yard Investigating Anders Behring Breivik’s Alleged Meetings With UK “Mentor”

Police attempting to piece together Anders Behring Breivik’s links to far-right groups in the UK and Europe have written to Scotland Yard asking for more officers to help with the investigation. A specialist unit has been set up in The Hague to trawl through a database of known high-risk, rightwing extremists and assist the Norwegian police as they examine evidence from Breivik’s 1,500-page “manifesto” published online hours before he launched one of the worst mass killings in peacetime Europe. Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, told the Guardian he had written to the Metropolitan police’s new head of counter-terrorism, Cressida Dick, asking for more officers from Scotland Yard after Breivik boasted of his links to far-right groups in the UK. “What we’ve seen is an active extremist scene across European countries, including the UK,” said Wainwright. “There are some signs the extreme right have been more active, especially on the internet. They are more sophisticated and using social media to attract younger people.”

Federal Reserve Provided $16 Trillion in Emergency Loans to U.S. and Foreign Banks

The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”

GAO Federal Reserve $16 Trillion Emergency Bailout Loans Audit Report

On numerous occasions in 2008 and 2009, the Federal Reserve Board invoked emergency authority under the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 to authorize new broad-based programs and financial assistance to individual institutions to stabilize financial markets. Loans outstanding for the emergency programs peaked at more than $1 trillion in late 2008. The Federal Reserve Board directed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) to implement most of these emergency actions. In a few cases, the Federal Reserve Board authorized a Reserve Bank to lend to a limited liability corporation (LLC) to finance the purchase of assets from a single institution. In 2009 and 2010, FRBNY also executed large-scale purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities to support the housing market. The table below provides an overview of all emergency actions covered by this report. The Reserve Banks’ and LLCs’ financial statements, which include the emergency programs’ accounts and activities, and their related financial reporting internal controls, are audited annually by an independent auditing firm. These independent financial statement audits, as well as other audits and reviews conducted by the Federal Reserve Board, its Inspector General, and the Reserve Banks’ internal audit function, did not report any significant accounting or financial reporting internal control issues concerning the emergency programs.

(U//FOUO) DHS U.S. Lodging Industry Protective Measures Guide

Preventing terrorism, enhancing security, and ensuring resilience to disasters are core missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Accomplishing these missions necessitates building and fostering a collaborative environment in which the private sector and Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments can better protect critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR). The U.S. Lodging Industry is designated as CIKR because it is essential to the Nation’s economic vitality and way of life. It is critical to the Department’s vision of ensuring a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards. As such, DHS developed the Protective Measures Guide for the U.S. Lodging Industry in collaboration with the American Hotel & Lodging Association to provide options for hotels to consider when implementing protective measures. The guide provides an overview of threat, vulnerability, and protective measures designed to assist hotel owners and operators in planning and managing security at their facilities. It provides suggestions for successful planning, organizing, coordinating, communicating, operating, and training activities that contribute to a safe environment for guests and employees. In addition, when contemplating appropriate protective measures to implement, owners and operators should consider their own knowledge of the property‘s operations and vulnerabilities, as well as the general surroundings and its place within the community. When implementing appropriate protective measures, owners and operators should make use of additional resources, from local law enforcement and emergency management agencies to the security resources listed in the appendices of this guide.

Hamid Karzai’s Ethical Governance: Pardon Drug Traffickers Caught With Over 260 Pounds of Heroin

After representatives of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the State Department and the Defense Department touted the success of U.S. counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan for more than an hour Wednesday, lawmakers aggressively questioned them about a subject that forced panelists into near silence: corruption in President Hamid Karzai’s government. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, noted that in April 2009, Karzai issued a decree to release drug traffickers who were caught with more than 260 pounds of heroin. “True or false?” Feinstein asked. Thomas Harrigan, chief of operations for the DEA, paused and answered: “I believe they were pardoned.”

Department of Homeland Security Signs Cybersecurity Agreement With India

With terrorists increasingly resorting to hacking and using internet for communications, India and the US Tuesday inked an agreement to promote increased collaboration in cyber security. The memorandum of understanding on cyber security was signed by R. Chandrashekhar, secretary, India Department of Information Technology, and Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The agreement entails closer cooperation and the timely exchange of information on cyber security.

(U//FOUO) New York Office of Homeland Security “Crime-Terror Nexus” Report

As authorities have clamped down on traditional financing pipelines, such as charitable front groups, and as terrorist networks have grown increasingly decentralized, terrorists have turned to criminal activities to finance their operations locally. Throughout the world, Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah operatives have involved themselves in an array of criminal enterprises, including counterfeiting, drug dealing, cigarette smuggling, credit card fraud, auto theft, kidnapping, extortion, and artifact trafficking. Although criminality is outlawed under Islamic law, the Al Qaeda manual advises that “necessity permits the forbidden.” Reflecting this theory, when Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) operatives questioned whether hacking into foreigners’ bank accounts was acceptable in Islam, JI leader Abu Bakr Bashir reportedly responded, “[if] you can take their blood; then why not take their property?” “Terrorist groups are particularly interested in raising funds through crime because as Lieutenant Colonel David LaRivee, Associate Professor of Economics at the United States Air Force Academy, stated, “many of the agencies responsible for enforcement in these areas do not traditionally focus on counterterrorism nor do they have strong ties with counterterrorist agencies. This means that many indictable criminal activities that support terrorism are overlooked because they seem insignificant when evaluated locally, but are in fact very significant when considered from a broader perspective.” In order to disrupt these financing efforts, “local law enforcement officials will be key,” as the FBI assessed in a May 25, 2005 Intelligence Bulletin.

UN Confidential Government of Sudan Security Forces in Darfur Report November 2005

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) is a conventional armed force with a mandate to protect and to maintain internal security. It carries out its mandate mainly through ground forces, including Popular Defence Force (PDF) militia, as well as an air force and navy. The Supreme Commander of the armed forces, Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad el-Bashir, holds both the posts of National President and Commander-In Chief of the Armed Forces and People’s Defence Forces (PDF). For operational purposes he exercises this power through the Minister of Defence (currently major-general Bakri Hassan Saleh). The Minister appoints a Commander of the Armed Forces and Chief of General Staff (currently, general Abbas Arabi) who, together with five Deputy Chiefs of Staff (Operations, Intelligence, Logistics, Administration, Training and Morale), form the Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Command Group. The air force and navy are individual services under the commander-in-chief.

Phone-Hacking Whistleblower Found Dead After Revealing Police Sale of Geolocation Data

Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned. Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home. Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: “At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for the welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after. “The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

Financial Crisis Commissioners Leaked Information to Lobbyists

House Democrats on Wednesday accused two Republicans who served on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission of leaking sensitive material during the course of the group’s yearlong probe. The finger pointing came in a 37-page report from aides to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who culled from thousands of the FCIC’s e-mails, memos and other documents. It found that two Republicans appointed to the 10-member commission — Vice Chairman Bill Thomas and Peter Wallison, a former Treasury official — “leaked confidential information to outside parties on multiple occasions.”

Rep. Peter King’s Suspicious Activity Reporting Protection Act

If you see something, say something – and don’t worry about getting sued. That’s the push Rep. Pete King is making in Congress, hoping to expand liability protection for people who report something fishy that could indicate a terror plot. “Good citizens who report suspicious activity should not have to worry about being sued,” said King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. A 2007 law only covers tips made on passenger transportation – but not by the man on the street, like hero Times Square vendors Lance Orton and Duane Jackson.

Bank of China Sued for Facilitating Terrorism Financing

A judge in the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled Friday that a lawsuit filed by a group of 84 Israeli terror victims against the Bank of China can proceed. The plaintiffs, who include family members of victims of terrorist bombings and rocket attacks carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in 2006 and 2007, are claiming that the Bank of China facilitated the attacks by providing wire transfer services to both terror groups. The group lawsuit, known as the “Almaliakh action” after Emil Almaliakh, an Eilat resident killed in a suicide bombing in 2007, has been filed with the assistance of the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) and New York attorney Robert Tolchin.

USAID Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Provincial Media Landscape and Audience Survey Reports

A large-scale research project was thus planned and conducted from March to August 2010. This research included a deep probe into the media sector and the public’s behaviors and expectations. The methodology used to achieved this included a combination of: literature review; direct observations; key informant interviews with most relevant actors involved in the media sector; 6,648 close-ended interviews in more than 900 towns and villages of 106 districts, covering all 34 provinces of the country; an audience survey on more than 1,500 individuals run daily for a week; about 200 qualitative, openended interviews; and 10 community case studies. Such an effort guarantees that results presented here are fairly representative of the Afghan population at large.

TSA Threatens Congressman For Disclosing 25,000 Security Breaches

The Department of Homeland Security has complained to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) about what it says was an inappropriate disclosure of sensitive security information to the press by the House transportation panel that he chairs. In a letter dated Wednesday, a clearly miffed Department of Homeland Security Deputy Counsel Joseph B. Maher told Chaffetz that “sensitive security information” provided to his subcommittee by the Transportation Security Administration was illegally disclosed to the press. “This document was marked as [Sensitive Security Information],” Maher wrote, “and provided clear notice that unauthorized disclosures of the document violated federal law.”

UNODC World Drug Report 2011

Globally, UNODC estimates that, in 2009, between 149 and 272 million people, or 3.3% to 6.1% of the population aged 15-64, used illicit substances at least once in the previous year. About half that number are estimated to have been current drug users, that is, having used illicit drugs at least once during the past month prior to the date of assessment. While the total number of illicit drug users has increased since the late 1990s, the prevalence rates have remained largely stable, as has the number of problem drug users, which is estimated at between 15 and 39 million.

NSA Refuses to “Confirm or Deny” That it Has a Relationship With Google

A federal judge has issued an opinion in EPIC v. NSA, and accepted the NSA’s claim that it can “neither confirm nor deny” that it had entered into a relationship with Google following the China hacking incident in January 2010. EPIC had sought documents under the FOIA because such an agreement could reveal that the NSA is developing technical standards that would enable greater surveillance of Internet users. The “Glomar response,” to neither confirm nor deny, is a controversial legal doctrine that allows agencies to conceal the existence of records that might otherwise be subject to public disclosure. EPIC plans to appeal this decision. EPIC is also litigating to obtain the National Security Presidential Directive that sets out the NSA’s cyber security authority. And EPIC is seeking from the NSA information about Internet vulnerability assessments, the Director’s classified views on how the NSA’s practices impact Internet privacy, and the NSA’s “Perfect Citizen” program.

(U//FOUO) Massachusetts Commonwealth Fusion Center Hotels/Lodging Industry Warning

As Al-Qa‘ida and other terrorist groups continue to seek innovative ways to conduct attacks and circumvent security procedures, there is concern that the holiday season provides attractive opportunities for terrorists to target the Homeland. This bulletin focuses on lodging facilities that serve large numbers of business and leisure travelers and provide venues for a variety of holiday events.