Inside the Sinaloa Cartel’s Drug Smuggling Operations

Never lose track of the load. It was drilled into everybody who worked for Carlos “Charlie” Cuevas. His drivers, lookouts, stash house operators, dispatchers — they all knew. When a shipment was on the move, a pair of eyes had to move with it. Cuevas had just sent a crew of seven men to the border crossing at Calexico, Calif. The load they were tracking was cocaine, concealed in a custom-made compartment inside a blue 2003 Honda Accord. The car was still on the Mexican side in a 10-lane crush of vehicles inching toward the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection station. Amputee beggars worked the queue, along with men in broad-brimmed hats peddling trinkets, tamales and churros.

(U//LES) FBI Bloods Street Gang Communicating Through Playstation Network (PSN)

FBI New York case information indicates that Bloods gang members in the Bronx, NY are utilizing PlayStation Network (PSN) to communicate each other while on house arrest. Identified Bloods will post their “PSN tag name”, a self-generated ID used to identify individual users, on social networking web-sites and invite others to connect with them using their PlayStation 3 gaming system. These individuals have been observed sharing “tag names” with each other and discussing intentions to communicate through PSN.

U.S. Officials Lying About Civilian Deaths From Pakistan Drone Strikes

As the Pakistani public grows increasingly outraged at the United States’ drone attacks in the northwest region of the country, a recent study by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism is contradicting U.S. officials’ insistence that “not a single civilian life” has been claimed in the covert war. Led by British investigative journalist Chris Woods and Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, the study found that at least 45 civilians, including six children, have been killed in 10 drone strikes since August 2010 alone, while another 15 attacks between then and June 2011 likely killed many more. According to the study, civilians die in one out of every five Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-operated drone attacks in the tribal region, located on the border with Afghanistan, a statistic that the Bureau says can no longer be denied by the U.S. government.

DHS Gives Up On $230 Million Program for Advanced Cargo Radiation Detectors

The U.S. Homeland Security Department has terminated the program to develop the next generation of radiation detection monitors, a senior agency official announced on Tuesday. “The [Advanced Spectroscopic Portal] will not proceed as originally envisioned. We will not seek certification or large-scale deployment of the ASP,” Warren Stern, director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, told the House Homeland Security technology subcommittee. The agency spent roughly $230 million over five years attempting to develop and field the monitor system. The machines were designed to not only detect radiation but identify the nature of its source. Proponents claimed the devices, each with a price tag of around $822,000, would eliminate time-consuming secondary inspections to determine whether a material was dangerous. Homeland Security officials had expected to spend $1.2 billion to deploy 1,400 of the machines to scan cargo containers for potential nuclear or radiological weapons materials at U.S. points of entry. However, the system was found to be susceptible to false alarms and other significant technical troubles.

(U//FOUO) DHS Utility-Sector Employee Insider Threats Warning

Insiders often possess detailed operational and system-security knowledge, as well as authorized physical and systems access to utilities. Insiders can be employees, contractors, service providers, or anyone with legitimate access to utility systems. They often are self-motivated, know system security measures, and raise no alarms due to their authorized systems access. With knowledge of and access to a utility’s network, malicious actors could seize control of utility systems or corrupt information sent to plant operators, causing damage to plant systems and equipment. Systems and networks used by utilities are potential targets for a variety of malicious cyber actors. Threat actors who target these systems may be intent on damaging equipment and facilities, disrupting services, stealing proprietary information, or other malicious activities. The greater the individual’s knowledge and authorized systems access, the greater risk the individual poses. Furthermore, any individual with access to a plant’s systems could unwittingly or inadvertently introduce malware into a system through portable media or by falling victim to socially engineered e-mails.

White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime July 2011

Transnational organized crime refers to those self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate transnationally for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and/or commercial gains, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of corruption and/or violence, or while protecting their illegal activities through a transnational organizational structure and the exploitation of transnational commerce or communication mechanisms. There is no single structure under which transnational organized criminals operate; they vary from hierarchies to clans, networks, and cells, and may evolve to other structures.

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.”