Large-Scale Cash Smuggling Drives Billions of Dollars Out of Syria

Money has been streaming out of Syria as fears for the unstable economy lead Syrians to seek a safer place for their assets, according to members of the country’s business community. Cash is being smuggled over the border to Lebanon “every day, every hour,” said one Syrian businessman, while another claimed Syrian money is being stashed in the grey economy that has long existed between the two countries. In what many see as an example of the cross-border transfer, Syrian state news reported last month that officials had intercepted over $100,000 worth of Syrian pounds being smuggled across the Lebanese border under the seat of a car.

Gerald A. Sandusky Grand Jury Report Detailing Pre-Teen Sexual Abuse Allegations

Sandusky was employed by Penn State for 23 years as the defensive coordinator of its Division I collegiate football program. Sandusky played football for four years at Penn State and coached a total of 32 years. While coaching, Sandusky started “The Second Mile” in State College, Pennsylvania, in 1977. It began as a group foster home dedicated to helping troubled boys. It grew into a charity dedicated to helping children with absent or dysfunctional families. It is now a statewide, three region charity and Sandusky has been its primary fundraiser. The Second Mile raises millions of dollars through fundraising appeals and special events. The mission of the program is to “help children who need additional support and would benefit from positive human interaction.” Through The Second Mile, Sandusky had access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations.

Blue Coat Systems Web Filtering/Surveillance Technology Sales Guide

A “Sales Playbook” for distributors of Blue Coat equipment includes pricelists and a guide to selling web filtering technology including some of the very same models discovered by Telecomix to be in use by the Syrian government for spying on their population. These models include the SG-400 and SG-810, among others, which have a price range of $3,999 up to $34,999 depending on the specific model.

Olympus Scandal Fuels Rumors of Yakuza Involvement in Japanese Business

Aki Tsurumaki says he never felt his life was in danger during the 15 years he has been helping companies escape entanglements with Japan’s “yakuza” crime syndicates. But the 42-year-old lawyer jokes that he does not take any chances, adding with a smile, “I never stand near the edge of the train platform.” The dark and sometimes dangerous triad of ties among gangsters, businesses and politicians has a long tradition in Japan, which helps explain why a scandal engulfing Japan’s Olympus Corp has stirred up media and market talk of possible yakuza links, despite company denials and a lack of evidence. Ousted Olympus CEO Michael Woodford has told Reuters he will not return to Japan to meet investigators due to “security issues,” although he declines to spell out his fears. And Facta, a Japanese magazine that broke the Olympus story, says a Cayman Islands firm linked to some Olympus deals had indirect ties to “anti-social forces” — a common euphemism for organised crime.

Leading Banks and Wall Street Firms Repeatedly Break SEC Anti-Fraud Agreements

When Citigroup agreed last month to pay $285 million to settle civil charges that it had defrauded customers during the housing bubble, the Securities and Exchange Commission wrested a typical pledge from the company: Citigroup would never violate one of the main antifraud provisions of the nation’s securities laws. To an outsider, the vow may seem unusual. Citigroup, after all, was merely promising not to do something that the law already forbids. But that is the way the commission usually does business. It also was not the first time the firm was making that promise. Citigroup’s main brokerage subsidiary, its predecessors or its parent company agreed not to violate the very same antifraud statute in July 2010. And in May 2006. Also as far as back as March 2005 and April 2000.

IAEA Iran Making Nuclear Weapons Report November 2011

Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these. Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information.

Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) Sovereign Citizen Movement

So-called sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who reject the notion of U.S. citizenship. They claim to follow only God’s laws and the amendments found in the original Bill of Rights. Sovereign citizens believe they are exempt from all other responsibilities associated with being a U.S. citizen, such as paying taxes, possessing a driver’s license, registering vehicles, or holding a Social Security card. In addition, they do not generally recognize Federal or State government authority or laws. Sovereign citizen groups are known for presenting fraudulent IDs, license plates, tax-exemption cards, passports, and birth certificates, among others. Other activity includes firearms violations, redemption schemes, and documents that falsely claim diplomatic and law enforcement privileges.

MAGLOCLEN Asian Organized Crime Assessment

With the fundamental issues of organized crime deeply integrated in present-day law enforcement, investigators are better equipped for emerging and unfamiliar types of organized crime, more specifically, Asian organized crime. The investigation into Asian criminal groups is similar to that of other organized groups. Basic investigative techniques of organized crime are applicable to Asian crime groups; however, the degree of cultural variance among people of Asian decent and Americans makes the investigation of Asian criminal groups, by American law enforcement, a challenging task.

Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) Bath Salts Designer Drug Report

Marketed with harmless-sounding names such as Ivory Wave, Tranquility, and Blue Silk (among others), bath salts have become the newest trendy street drug. Comparable to methamphetamine, cocaine, and PCP, snorting bath salts can induce violent and aggressive behavior, which make users very dangerous to themselves and law enforcement. Authorities are caught in a rush to combat this dangerous trend, as bath salts are legal in most states. Bath salts are essentially drugs that are being labeled “bath salts.” Although they are marketed “not for human consumption,” they are being purchased with the intent to be snorted, injected, or smoked by abusers, sometimes causing extreme reactions such as hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, agitation, and increased heart rate. Users have also experienced hypothermia, seizures, and delusions. None of the chemicals found in these salts are contained in legitimate bath salts sold by a reputable company.

JIEDDO Afghanistan Victim Operated Improvised Explosive Device (VOIED) Recognition Guide

This Recognition Guide focuses on images of VOIED switches, components, and materials. Common IED indicators (observables) are listed and when found, indicate a high probability of IED activity. Refer to this material if something looks: suspicious, out of place, or out of character. This guide is organized by switches (Pressure Plate, Low Metallic Signature, and No Metal Content), main charges, containers, power supplies, initiators, and finally a section on IED factories.

Thousands of People Around the U.S. Move Money on Bank Transfer Day

Thousands of people nationwide pledged to leave their big banks in exchange for credit unions. It was all part of a grass roots movement called “Bank Transfer Day.” The movement encouraged people to make the move on Saturday in protest of high fees at banks. “Local credit unions have a proven track record of investing in their local communities by giving loans with low interest rates too small to medium sized businesses. These loans enable businesses to expand their companies and hire additional employees,” said Bank Transfer Day organizer Kristen Christian.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Navy Strategic Studies Group: Convergence of Sea Power and Cyber Power

This plan outlines the Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) Strategic Studies Group (SSG) XXVIFs approach to addressing the challenges of operating at the convergence of Sea Power and Cyber Power as presented in the CNO’s Theme. In addition to providing a framework for the approach, this plan presents SSG XXVIFs initial overarching concept and Concept Team (CT) areas of focus.

DHS Partners With Hotel Television Providers to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting

The Department of Homeland Security is recruiting hotel guests to join the fight against terrorism. Starting today, the welcome screens on 1.2 million hotel television sets in Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and other hotels in the USA will show a short public service announcement from DHS. The 15-second spot encourages viewers to be vigilant and call law enforcement if they witness something suspicious during their travels. During the PSA, which starts with a woman exiting a yellow taxi in front of a train station, a narrator says, “Maybe you see something suspicious. Can you be sure? If you see something, say something to authorities.”

Many Top U.S. Corporations Pay Little or No Taxes

Warren E. Buffett, take note. It is not just a few wealthy individuals paying unusually low taxes to the federal government. Corporate America is not far behind. A comprehensive study released on Thursday found that 280 of the biggest publicly traded American companies faced federal income tax bills equal to 18.5 percent of their profits during the last three years — little more than half the official corporate rate of 35 percent and lower than their competitors in many industrialized countries. Mr. Buffett, the billionaire investor, has said that the tax code is unfair, allowing him to pay just 17 percent in federal taxes last year, about half the percentage his secretary paid. The corporate study, prepared by the left-leaning advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice, examined the regulatory filings of the companies to compute each year’s current federal taxes. Some of the companies disputed the findings, saying that the study understated their tax payments by omitting deferred taxes that they may pay in future years.

(U//FOUO) DHS Warning: Terrorists Making Explosives With Commercial Products

Recent plots and attacks in the Homeland and overseas demonstrate a continuing terrorist focus on acquiring commercially available materials and components that can be used in constructing improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Heightened public and state and local official awareness, as well as tightened legal controls, have made it more difficult to purchase certain products that contain explosive precursors in bulk quantities or concentrated forms. Operatives are now more likely to use surreptitious, though legal, methods—such as multiple purchases in smaller quantities—to acquire sufficient amounts to create explosives.

Occupy London Photos October 2011

Stuart Bannocks – http://www.flickr.com/photos/42665617@N07/
Loz Pycock – http://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/
Hedonoikos – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bauzz/
Workers Solidarity Movement – http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsm_ireland/
Garry Knight – http://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/
Christopher A. Tittle – http://www.flickr.com/photos/onigiris_and_onsens/
Beth PH – http://www.flickr.com/photos/beth-torr/

California Congressional Representatives Letter to President Obama on Medical Marijuana Crackdown

We write to express our concern with the recent activity by the Department of Justice against legitimate medical cannabis dispensaries in California that are operating legally under state law. As you know, in October of 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder issued formal guidelines for federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The guidelines were spelled out in a memo to United States Attorneys from then Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, saying in part that the Attorneys should not focus federal resources in their state “on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

Former Israeli Soldier Sentenced to More Than 4 Years in Prison For Leaking Potential Evidence of War Crimes

The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday sentenced Anat Kamm, the former IDF OC Central Command secretary convicted of serious espionage crimes, including passing of classified documents to journalist Uri Blau, to four-and- a-half years in prison. Kamm was also sentenced to 18 months probation. Kamm, now aged 24, and who worked as a journalist after her army service for the Walla news portal, was convicted in February in a plea bargain under which she pleaded guilty to gathering and storing more than 2,000 classified military documents during her mandatory army service.