USAID Afghanistan Ministry of Finance/Da Afghanistan Bank Assessment July 2009

Our assessment of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) disclosed that the financial management systems and procedures of the MoF and DAB are adequate for purposes of accounting for and managing funds that may be provided directly to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) by USAID. With regard to the Control and Audit Office (CAO), our review disclosed that the CAO has limited capacity to audit donor funds. This limitation, however, could be sufficiently mitigated by providing technical assistance to the CAO and through USAID/Afghanistan’s direct contracting for audit services as well as in-house Financial reviews performed by USAID/Afghanistan staff or RIG-approved audit firms.

German Army Office Counterinsurgency Training Manual

The term “counterinsurgency” (COIN) is an emotive subject in Germany. It is generally accepted within military circles that COIN is an interagency, long-term strategy to stabilise a crises region. In this context fighting against insurgents is just a small part of the holistic approach of COIN. Being aware that COIN can not be achieved successfully by military means alone, it is a fundamental requirement to find a common sense and a common use of terms with all civil actors involved. However, having acknowledged an Insurgency to be a group or movement or as an irregular activity, conducted by insurgents, most civil actors tend to associate the term counterinsurgency with the combat operations against those groups. As a result they do not see themselves as being involved in this fight. For that, espescially in Germany, the term COIN has been the subject of much controversy.

U.S. Joint Irregular Warfare Center Irregular Adversaries and Hybrid Threats 2011 Assessment

To understand irregular warfare’s importance to the United States, it is first necessary to understand who is capable of threatening our national security using irregular means. This assessment discusses three types of groups that conduct their conflict with the United States using such means: insurgent groups, violent extremist organizations, and criminal networks. The descriptions we provide here are not intended to be comprehensive definitions, since such definitions would incorrectly imply a consensus among policymakers, officers, and analysts that simply does not exist.

United Kingdom “Contest” Strategy for Countering Terrorism July 2011

The leadership of Al Qa’ida is now weaker than at any time since 9/11. It has played no role in recent political change in North Africa and the Middle East. Its ideology has been widely discredited and it has failed in all its objectives. Continued international pressure can further reduce its capability. But Al Qa’ida continues to pose a threat to our own security; and groups affiliated to Al Qa’ida – notably in Yemen and Somalia – have emerged over the past two years to be a substantial threat in their own right.

Classified Blueprints to New German Intelligence HQ Stolen

In a turn of events worthy of a spy novel, the German government said Monday that it had begun an investigation into reports that classified blueprints for its new billion-dollar foreign intelligence headquarters had been stolen. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the intelligence agency had established a commission working under “high pressure” to look into whether plans for its new headquarters in Berlin had been taken and, if so, how far-reaching the security breach had been. “The government is keenly interested in clarifying the situation quickly,” Mr. Seibert said, adding that it took the matter “very seriously.”

Controversy Over DoD’s Proposed Rule to Assume Secrecy of Unclassified Information

Last November, the Obama Administration issued an executive order on “Controlled Unclassified Information” that was intended to reverse “unnecessarily restrictive dissemination policies” involving unclassified information and to “emphasize… openness.” Among other things, the order was intended to eliminate the thicket of improvised access controls on unclassified information (such as “for official use only” and so forth) and to authorize restrictions on access only where required by law, regulation or government-wide policy. But last month the Department of Defense issued a proposed new rule that appears to subvert the intent of the Obama policy by imposing new safeguard requirements on “prior designations indicating controlled access and dissemination (e.g., For Official Use Only, Sensitive But Unclassified, Limited Distribution, Proprietary, Originator Controlled, Law Enforcement Sensitive).”

(SSI) TSA Passenger Aircraft Cargo Screening and Security Measures Emergency Amendment

In October 2010, terrorists concealed explosives in cargo bound for the United States. Terrorists continue to pursue such tactics to attack the United States and U.S. interests overseas involving commercial aircraft. The measures described in this Emergency Amendment (EA) are required to detect and deter unauthorized explosives in cargo. When implemented, this EA cancels and supersedes EA 1546-10-07 series. The measures contained in this EA are in addition to the requirements of the foreign air carrier’s TSA-accepted security program and all other EAs currently in effect for its operations.

U.S. Officials Want to Build New, Safer Internet Infrastructure Using “.secure” Domains

The United States may seriously want to consider creating a new Internet infrastructure to reduce the threat of cyberattacks, said Michael Hayden, President George W. Bush’s CIA director. Several current federal officials, including U.S. Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander, also have floated the concept of a “.secure” network for critical services such as banking that would be walled off from the public Web. Unlike .com, .xxx and other new domains now proliferating the Internet, .secure would require visitors to use certified credentials for entry and would do away with users’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. Network operators in the financial sector, for example, would be authorized to scan account holders’ traffic content for signs of trouble. The current Internet setup would remain intact for people who prefer to stay anonymous on the Web.

TSA Agent Stole $50,000 Worth of Electronics From Passengers to Sell on Craigslist

Police have arrested a TSA employee suspected of a string of thefts over the past several months. Thirty-year-old Nelson Santiago was arrested Thursday after stealing electronics from passengers’ checked luggage and then selling them online. “He had this down to a science. He’d take an item, then he would photograph it with his cell phone, post it on Craigslist, and most often it, was sold by the time his shift had ended,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Dani Moschella. According to the BSO, Santiago was allegedly caught by a Continental Airlines employee slipping an iPad out of a suitcase and into his pants.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Forces Afghanistan DCGS-A Problems Mean “Lives Lost” Memo

Intelligence analysts in theater do not have the tools required to fully analyze the tremendous amounts of information currently available in theater. The impact of this shortfall is felt in almost every activity that intelligence supports. Analysts cannot provide their commanders a full understanding of the operational environment. Without the full understanding of the enemy and human terrain, our operations are not as successful as they could be. This shortfall translates into operational opportunities missed and lives lost.

U.S. Army $2.7 Billion Computer System “Doesn’t Work”

The Army’s $2.7 billion computing system designed to share real-time intelligence with troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has hurt, rather than helped, efforts to fight insurgents because it doesn’t work properly, several analysts who have used the system say. The analysts’ comments mirror concerns raised by the top military intelligence officer in Afghanistan and members of Congress over the past two years in an unsuccessful bid to get the Army to consider alternatives to its portion of the military’s Distributed Common Ground System, according to documents obtained by POLITICO. The Army system, known by the acronym DCGS-A, is a cloud-based computing network designed to collect information from multiple sources for real-time analysis that quickly puts usable intelligence in the hands of battlefield commanders. For example, a commander searching for an insurgent leader would benefit from being able to collect reports of that leader’s location and plot them on a map to make tracking easier.

(U//FOUO) DHS LulzSec Bulletin: Hacktivist Groups Target U.S. and Foreign Networks

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), through coordination with its partners and monitoring of multiple sources, is tracking reports that members of the hacktivist collectives ‘LulzSec’ and ‘Anonymous’ have combined their efforts and continue to perpetrate cyber attacks targeting U.S. and foreign networks. LulzSec Members have posted statements on the internet claiming the attacks, referred to as ‘Operation AntiSecurity’ (AntiSec), are ‘designed to demonstrate the weakness of general internet security’ and have allowed them to collect massive amounts of data. LulzSec is purported to be a group of former Anonymous members who typically use widely available and crude tools to hijack or deface web pages as a political statement. They also routinely post information regarding planned and ongoing activities on publicly available Internet Relay Chat (IRC) sessions and social networking sites like Twitter. Recent attacks by LulzSec and Anonymous have proven simple Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) are often successful, even against entities who have invested a significant amount of time and capital into designing and securing their information networks.

Center for Copyright Information ISP Copyright Alert System Memorandum of Understanding

While the government maintains a critical role in enforcing copyright law, it should be readily apparent that, in an age of viral, digital online distribution, prosecution of individual acts of infringement may serve a purpose, but standing alone this may not be the only or best solution to addressing Online Infringement. If Online Infringement is to be effectively combated, law enforcement must work with all interested parties, including copyright holders, their licensees, artists (and the guilds, unions and other organizations that represent them), recording companies, movie studios, software developers, electronic publishers, Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), public interest groups, other intermediaries and consumers on reasonable methods to prevent, detect and deter Online Infringement. Such efforts must respect the legitimate interests of Internet users and subscribers in protecting their privacy and freedom of speech, in accessing legitimate content, and in being able to challenge the accuracy of allegations of Online Infringement. This work should include an educational component because evidence suggests that most informed consumers will choose lawful services and not engage in Online Infringement. This work also should include the development of solutions that are reasonably necessary to effectuate the rights that are granted by copyright without unduly hampering the legitimate distribution of copyrighted works online or impairing the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and ISPs.

ATF “Fast and Furious” Top Gun Trafficking Suspects Were FBI, DEA Informants

The embattled head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told congressional investigators that some Mexican drug cartel figures targeted by his agency in a gun-trafficking investigation were paid informants for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration. Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF’s acting director, has been under pressure to resign after the agency allowed guns to be purchased in the United States in hopes they would be traced to cartel leaders. Under the gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF lost track of the guns, and many were found at the scenes of crimes in Mexico, as well as two that were recovered near Nogales, Ariz., where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed. In two days of meetings with congressional investigators over the weekend, Melson said the FBI and DEA kept the ATF “in the dark” about their relationships with the cartel informants. If ATF agents had known of the relationships, the agency might have ended the investigation much earlier, he said.

Rupert Murdoch’s UK Tabloid Hacked Phones of Murder Victims, Dead Soldiers, Hugh Grant and More

A phone hacking scandal sweeping Britain made a sordid turn late Wednesday with reports that personal information of the families of soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan were found in the files of a private detective working for a tabloid newspaper. The personal details of the troops’ families were discovered in the records kept by investigator Glenn Mulcaire, according to the Daily Telegraph, which did not disclose its source. London police have contacted relatives to tell them their names and contact details appear in notebooks belonging to Mulcaire, the Guardian reported.

(U//FOUO) LulzSec Release: Arizona Police Say Hezbollah is in Mexico

Literally meaning “Party of God”, Hezbollah began as a militia in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The Shi’a Islamist organization has since grown into a worldwide political and paramilitary network with seats in the Lebanese government, numerous social services programs, long-standing ties with the Syrian and Iranian governments, and an annual income estimated to be anywhere between $200-$400 million. Hezbollah’s main goal is to cast out any form of Israeli rule and/or occupation. Due to the U.S.’ political and financial support of Israel, Hezbollah regards our nation as a viable target. While there is no immediate or confirmed threat to the Tucson area, recent events and the current middleeastern political arena merit a renewed awareness of the group’s capabilities and presence throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Leaked Deposition Videos Show BP Blames Eleven Victims for Deepwater Horizon Explosion

Over three days of sharp questioning, a haggard-looking Tony Hayward shows flashes of anger and remorse as he defends his handling of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in a recent videotaped deposition obtained exclusively by The Daily. (Scroll below to view additional video clips.) Attorneys representing several states and corporations that are suing BP over last year’s massive spill suggest that the former CEO was reckless when it came to safety, insensitive in his conduct following the tragedy and perjurious in his testimony before Congress. When asked about the 11 men who died when the Horizon burst into flames on April 20, 2010, he notes his remorse, but admits he can’t remember all of their names. In the end, he is able to correctly name only one victim, Karl Kleppinger.

DHS National Cybersecurity Center Warns of Crude, But Effective LulzSec/Anonymous/AntiSec Attacks

A bulletin released in late June by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) warning of the recent activities by LulzSec and Anonymous has surfaced online. The unclassified bulletin titled “Hacktivist Groups Target U.S. and Foreign Networks” was recently posted to an unknown online network security website before being subsequently removed. The site it was posted to has also disappeared and now visitors to the domain are greeted with a blank screen. While the full document is not recoverable at this point in time, a cached version of the document’s summary contains a number of surprising admissions regarding the effectiveness of basic techniques utilized by LulzSec/Anonymous.