DoD to Lead Domestic Cybersecurity Operations

The US military will play a leading role in defending homeland America from cyber attacks, and this will include providing cybersecurity to key infrastructure on US soil. Robert J Butler, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, briefed senators in Washington on the plans yesterday. Butler stated that the Defense department would of course safeguard its own .mil domain, but would also closely collaborate with the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to guard and patrol the rest of America’s cyber territory. Philip Reitinger, DHS bigwig, seemed to imply that the military would lead on cybersecurity even in the domestic sphere.

(U//FOUO) Maryland Fusion Center Implications of Death of Osama bin Laden

The Intelligence Community (IC) assesses the death of al-Qa’ida (AQ) leader Usama Bin Laden could result in retaliatory attacks in the Homeland and against U.S. and Western interests overseas. Attacks might originate with AQ Core elements in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, with one of their affiliates overseas, and/or with individuals in the Homeland sympathetic to the cause but lacking a formal group association. We have no indications of advanced AQ Core plotting efforts in the Homeland, but the case of now-detained AQ operative Najibullah Zazi—who, along with two associates, planned to attack New York City subway in 2009 using homemade explosives— demonstrates that unidentified operatives could advance plotting in the Homeland.

Pentagon Wants New Fleet of Nuclear Bombers That Can Fly Without Pilots

The Pentagon would like to see the new fleet of nuclear-capable bombers in place no later than the middle of the next decade. The sought-after fleet would number between 80 to 100 aircraft that could be flown remotely or by a human pilot. Currently, the youngest long-range bombers in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are more than 10 years old. Defense Department acquisition head Ashton Carter has spoken individually with officials from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing, department spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said. The three defense contractors are anticipated to compete to win the $55 billion bomber order.

(U//FOUO) DHS Hotels Threat Assessment

This assessment is intended to support the activities of DHS and to assist federal, state, and local government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials, and the private sector in deterring, preventing, preempting, or responding to terrorist attacks against soft targets such as hotels in the United States. It is intended to support the national “See Something, Say Something” campaign.

ISAF Afghan National Police Logistics Training Handbook

The mission of CJTF Phoenix is to train and mentor the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to conduct independent, self-sustained Counter Insurgency (COIN) and Security Operations in order to defeat terrorism and provide a secure, stable environment within the borders of Afghanistan. The ANSF is primarily composed of the Afghan National Army (ANA), Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP), Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan Border Patrol (ABP) and Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP).

West Virginia Massey Energy Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster Investigation

At approximately 3:02 p.m. on Easter Monday, April 5, 2010, a powerful explosion tore through the Upper Big Branch mine, owned by Massey Energy and operated by its subsidiary, Performance Coal Company, at the convergence of Boone and Raleigh counties in southern West Virginia. Twenty-nine miners died and one was seriously injured as the enormously powerful blast rocketed through two and one-half miles of underground workings nearly 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the rugged mountains along the Coal River. The disaster has had grave consequences for a mining company, for a community and, most importantly, for the family members who lost men dear to them.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Consults CIA-Connected PR Firm Following Rape Arrest

The legal team defending former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn against sexual assault charges has informally sought public relations advice from a Washington consulting firm run by former CIA officers and U.S. diplomats, Reuters has learned. TD International is the same company Strauss-Kahn, then a private citizen, hired in 2007 to advise him on how to navigate international and Washington politics in his bid to become managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Documents filed in 2008 with the Foreign Agents Registration section of the U.S. Justice Department show that Strauss-Kahn, who is French, retained TD International as his “U.S.-based communications resource.”

US Embassy in Yemen Closes Consulate, Envoys Rescued by Helicopters

The U.S. embassy in Yemen shut its consular section to the public for at least two days due to insecurity, as forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah fought a gunbattle with opponents on Monday. “Due to the fluid security situation in the city, the Consular Section is closed to the public for Tuesday and Wednesday, May 24 and May 25, 2011, and will be providing emergency American citizen services only,” the embassy said in a statement.

Pakistani ISI Asks CIA to Stop Drone Strikes

ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha is reported to have asked the US to stop its drone strikes in Pakistan in a meeting between CIA deputy director Michael Morrell and senior ISI officials held in Islamabad on Saturday. Pasha, who faced tremendous criticism after the May 2 Abbottabad raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is reported to have taken a firm stance with the US on the drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. “We will be forced to respond if you do not come up with a strategy that stops the drone strikes,” Pasha is reported to have told Morrell.

Spanish Revolution Photos May 2011

These photos depict a series of protests occuring in Spain over the last week. Many of the photos are from May 21, 2011. These protests are being discussed via social media using the tag #spanishrevolution.
a. roig. – http://www.flickr.com/photos/aroig/
protozoo…

New Details on Anwar al-Awlaki’s 2002 Luncheon at the Pentagon

With the recent death of Usama bin Laden, the life of another Al Qaeda-linked radical Muslim cleric is taking on greater significance, and documents obtained exclusively by Fox News and its Specials Unit shed new light on his stint as a guest speaker at the Pentagon just months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the first American on the CIA’s kill or capture list, is still considered a grave threat to U.S. national security. He now is hiding out in Yemen, where earlier this month a U.S. missile attack tried to kill him and his followers. The scene was much different on February 5, 2002, when the radical imam was invited to and attended the Pentagon event.

DoD Email Discussing Anwar al-Awlaki’s 2002 Presentation at the Pentagon

Anwar Awlaki is the Imam at Dar Al-Hijrah in Falls Church, Va, which is one of the largest Islamic Centers in the United States. He is currently working on his PhD in Human Resource Development at George Washington University, received a Master of Education Leadership from San Diego state University and his BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. He completed Islamic Studies in Yemen. He has been doing extensive public speaking on the above topics, especially since the events on September 11. Mr. Nihad Awad, President of the Counsel of American-Islamic Relations has also expressed interest in attending. Mr. Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League, will be in D.C. on February 4th and 5th, although I don’t think that our luncheon will have the clout to get his attendance!

U.S. Banks Increasingly Involved in Money Laundering for Mexican Drug Cartels

If I told you that while the United States is engaged in a costly war against illegal drugs and the vicious cartels that traffic them, U.S. banks are willfully flouting U.S. and Mexican laws and helping these cartels launder their money , would you believe me? For decades the U.S. has served as a safe haven for the ill-gotten finances of corrupt foreign leaders and their ilk. Former foreign government ministers, military leaders, and corrupt heads of state have mansions, businesses, and bank accounts here. The banks who facilitate much of these activities are required by law to conduct “due diligence” in determining the source of funds for these “politically exposed persons,” but compliance is spotty.

(U//FOUO) State Department Visa Cancellation Stamps Bulletin February 2003

Consular Affairs has developed a highly penetrative security ink to be used exclusively for cancelling nonimmigrant visas. This unique formulation, designated security ink #297, is specially designed to penetrate TESLIN, the synthetic material used as the basis of visa foils issued since late 1993 until the recent introduction of the Lincoln Visa. The ink finally selected was chosen after extensive laboratory testing undertaken by both the U.S. Secret Service and INS/FDL. Up to now, there existed no genuinely effective means for cancelling a visa permanently short of destructive methods that risked damaging the underlying passport page. To remedy this, CA commissioned the manufacture of two types of visa cancellation stamps in conjunction with the new security ink, and they are being distributed to visa issuing posts worldwide.

Russia Expels Israel’s Military Attaché for Espionage

Israel’s military attaché in Moscow was arrested and expelled earlier this week, it was revealed on Wednesday, with sources saying that the top Israel Defense Forces officer was questioned over espionage suspicions. Colonel Vadim Leiderman was arrested during a May 12 meeting in a restaurant, in what appeared to be a violation of his diplomatic immunity. He was then questioned for a few hours, released, and subsequently deported. Leiderman, who was born in the Soviet Union, has a doctorate in engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. He was a member of the Israel Air Force (IAF) technical corps, and spent some years working for the IAF in America.

(U//FOUO) DHS Identifying Clandestine Biological, Chemical, Explosives, and Methamphetamine Laboratories

The purpose of this assessment is to assist members of the law enforcement and public safety communities in differentiating among four types of clandestine laboratories: biological, chemical, explosives, and methamphetamine. It provides descriptions, distinguishing features, and hazards of each type of laboratory and includes four reference guides for distribution to public safety personnel. This assessment expands on a related product—Distinguishing a Biological Agent Production Laboratory from a Methamphetamine Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 22 January 2008—by including indicators and warning signs associated with clandestine chemical and explosives laboratories.

Former NSA Mathematician Says He Believes the Agency Stores Copies of All Emails Transmitted in America

Binney, for his part, believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later. In the past few years, the N.S.A. has built enormous electronic-storage facilities in Texas and Utah. Binney says that an N.S.A. e-mail database can be searched with “dictionary selection,” in the manner of Google. After 9/11, he says, “General Hayden reassured everyone that the N.S.A. didn’t put out dragnets, and that was true. It had no need—it was getting every fish in the sea.”

White House Report Says International Cyberattacks Could Lead to Military Action

The US has given the broadest hint yet that a cyber-attack on one Nato country will be regarded as an attack on all. It is a potentially dangerous development, as cyber-attacks are increasingly common, with the Pentagon reporting millions of probes a day and actions by more than 100 foreign intelligence agencies. In 2007, Estonia was almost crippled by a cyber-attack thought to originate in Russia. At the time, Estonia, a member of Nato, said it did not know if the alliance covered cyber-attacks, and the US, Britain and others danced round the issue. The development is contained in a report by the Obama administration, International Strategy for Cyberspace, in which the US for the first time sets out a strategy for dealing with the expansion of the internet and what it describes as “arbitrary and malicious disruption”. It notes the growing threats by individual hackers, companies and hostile states, and offers broad proposals on how to tackle these.

White House International Strategy for Cyberspace

Digital infrastructure is increasingly the backbone of prosperous economies, vigorous research communities, strong militaries, transparent governments, and free societies. As never before, information technology is fostering transnational dialogue and facilitating the global flow of goods and services. These social and trade links have become indispensable to our daily lives. Critical life-sustaining infrastructures that deliver electricity and water, control air traffic, and support our financial system all depend on networked information systems. Governments are now able to streamline the provision of essential services through eGovernment initiatives. Social and political movements rely on the Internet to enable new and more expansive forms of organization and action. The reach of networked technology is pervasive and global. For all nations, the underlying digital infrastructure is or will soon become a national asset.

(U//LES) DHS Chemical Storage Facility Terrorist Indicators Report

To consider terrorist threat indicators in relationship to chemical storage facilities, it is useful to understand the basic structure of the industry and what general types of facilities might be attractive targets for terrorist attack. Chemical storage facilities are attractive terrorist targets because they can contain toxic and hazardous materials, can create extensive casualties and property damage, and can be a source of materials for use in other attacks. Figure 1 shows some of the potential terrorist targeting objectives.

(U//LES) DHS Petroleum Pipeline Vulnerabilities and Terrorist Indicators Reports

The United States (U.S.) has two types of pipelines that transport petroleum: those that carry crude oil and those that carry refined petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and home heating oil. Pipelines transport more than two-thirds of all crude oil and refined products in the U.S. Other transportation modes are water, which includes ocean tankers and barges and accounts for 28% of petroleum transportation; tanker trucks, which account for 3% of petroleum transportation; and railroads, which account for 2% of petroleum transportation. The U.S. has more than 200,000 miles of petroleum pipelines.

(U//LES) DHS Highway Tunnel Terrorist Indicators Report

Highway tunnels are enclosed passageways for road vehicles to travel through or under an obstruction, such as a city, mountain, river, or harbor. Tunnels may have one or more “tubes,” and some are also equipped with rail lines for trains. Highway tunnels are generally classified with regard to their method of construction: bored, cut and cover, or submerged. Tunnels through hard rock formations are usually bored (i.e., drilled) and finished to facilitate vehicular traffic. Very large boring machines are often used to cut the tunnel tubes through the hard rock formation.