Weekly Intelligence Notes #43-00
27 October 2000

dtd 27 October 2000

WINs are intelligence items of interest and commentaries produced by Roy Jonkers. WINs are intended to assist AFIO members in their educational mission.
Associate Editors John Macartney and Don Harvey contributed articles to this WIN. Opinions are those of the editor or associate editors listed.






MIDEAST UPDATE -- About 1,100 U.S. troops in Bahrain and 50 in Qatar were put on 'DEFCON DELTA' military alert status, following "multiple... specific threats" of attack by extremist groups.
The USS Cole probe by US and Yemeni investigators appears to be making substantial progress. They have raided at least five "safe houses" that reportedly were used by the bomb makers and accomplices in Aden; recovered false identification papers; and seized a vehicle and a haul of other evidence. FBI lab technicians in Washington are analyzing bomb fragments and other evidence collected from the crippled warship to determine if the design of the bomb and its detonator matches the "signature" of known terrorists, and whether the device contained commercial or military explosives that can be traced.
There is congressional and media pressure for a retaliatory response, particularly in light of the additional threats to US forces in the Middle East, but White House officials are not talking. In an encouraging development they have sharply restricted information about the case, to protect the investigation and to avoid tipping off potential targets of U.S. retaliation. If evidence again points to Bin Laden, another missile attack on mud huts in Afghanistan might make us feel good but might not do much good.
The 1998 U.S. missiles may have disrupted Bin Laden's whereabouts (he is now said to use numerous "doubles" to deceive attackers), but they also boosted his image as a super-terrorist standing up to a superpower. We've turned him into a David versus Goliath. There are kids named Osama from North Africa to Pakistan. A massive display of military force also could backfire against long-term U.S. interests by exacerbating the tension and bloodshed now roiling the Middle East. "It's different from any time in the past because the situation in the Mideast is so incredibly volatile," warned Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at the Washington office of the think tank Rand Corp.
The White House is therefore reported to be moving carefully and deliberately. Intelligence is being carefully evaluated to guard against overreaction, false and counterproductive measures, or tipping their hand. All options remain open. (LA Times 25 Oct 00 // B. Drogan & P. Richter //  (Jonkers)

ISRAEL SPEEDS UP DELIVERY OF GERMAN SUBMARINE -- The last of 3 German built diesel-powered Dolphin submarines was rushed to Israel this week. Although Israel does not comment on the mission, Dolphins are designed for interdiction, surveillance and special-forces operations and are designed to travel at maximum speeds of 20 knots with a cruising range of 4,500 nautical miles. The vessel has 10 torpedo tubes and is capable of launching HARPOON missiles. The recent harsh and bloody repression of Palestinian teenage rock throwers by the Israeli army has set off a general Moslem world reaction that probably figures in Israel's rush for a sea-borne nuclear deterrent to discourage any dreams, however improbable and far-fetched, of an attack on Israel. (<http://www.stratfor.com/SERVICES/giu2000/102600.asp>) (Macartney/Jonkers)

NIPC ADVISORY 00-057 - Middle East E-mail Denial of Service Attacks -- This National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) assessment is intended to advise recipients concerning an increased level of cyber activity against Israeli and Palestinian websites. Due to the credible threat of terrorist acts in the Middle East region, U.S. government and private sector Web sites may become potential targets. The methods observed in the conduct of these attacks thus far are transitory in nature, and do not pose a threat of lasting damage to Web sites.
Known targets have included Web sites operated by the Israeli government and military as well as Web sites operated by pro-Palestinian organizations including Hizballah and Hamas. Numerous Web sites have been found on the Internet that contain messages advocating cyber attack activity against both Israeli and pro-Palestinian Web sites, and in some instances include interfaces for launching automated e-mail flood, ping flood or other Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks. Methods of attack against Israeli Web sites include automated e-mail floods and high volumes of coordinated requests for Web services by pro-Palestinian sympathizers. Media sources have reported that Web pages operated by Israel's Foreign Ministry, the Israel Defense Force, the Prime Minister's Office, and the Treasury have been attacked. Some of the documented e-mail flood attacks have reportedly involved users of U.S. free Web-based e-mail providers Yahoo! and Hotmail.
The NIPC recommends that recipients of this assessment remain vigilant to the possibility that there could be some spill-over activity and that U.S. sites could become targeted. In recent days, the overall threat condition for U.S. military forces in the Middle East has increased due to new, credible threats of terrorist acts in the region. Similarly, NIPC views the current conditions as creating the possibility for related cyber attack activity against U.S. sites.
Information systems security professionals should be prepared to take recommended preventive measures including, but not limited to the following: (1) Be prepared to take appropriate steps to limit ping flooding at border routers. (2) Be prepared to block source e-mail addresses in the event of e-mail flooding. (3) Ensure appropriate patches are installed to operating systems to limit vulnerability to other DoS attack methods. Recipients are asked to report, actual or suspected, criminal activity to their local FBI office or to NIPC, and their military or civilian computer response group and other law enforcement agencies as appropriate. Incidents may be reported online at < www.nipc.gov/incident/cirr.htm >.
Previous NIPC Advisories are available at the NIPCwebpage: < http://www.nipc.gov >.(FBI ANSIR Communication, Sp. Agent G. Harter, < gharter@leo.govFBI > 27 October 000) (Jonkers)


-- The DCI, George Tenet, prefers to remain in the background and seldom gives interviews. Admirably, he is a "straight-talker" who eschews delphic pronouncements (as AFIO members know from the two Symposia at which he spoke to us). The following are extracts and summarizations of a recent interview:

-- Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism have become CIA's top priority targets.
-- Regarding possible actions against Saddam Hussein, "I don't talk about Iraq. Period."
-- While denying that the Intelligence Community (IC) engages in "economic espionage," he said, "We do play defense" if business secrets of US companies are targeted by foreign countries, but "we pass the information to the Department of Commerce and State Department"
-- Responding to the charge of being overly secretive, he said the CIA now has more officers working on declassifying documents than it does on counterterrorism.
-- Regarding political influence on the Intelligence community, "I'm registered in one party but for the purposes of doing my job, no one should ever know because you have to serve everyone."
-- He said his chief struggle is to open the agency to the mushrooming commercial information sources and keep pace with technological changes, such as commercial satellite imagery, now as good or better than that provided to the policymakershave to make sure that the US government is 10, 20 years ahead of what will be commercially available," he said. "I have to make sure that the (eavesdropping) capability can keep pace with the massive technological change that could deny us the ability to do our job." (AFIO members learned about these from the Director of NSA and other distinguished speakers at the recent AFIO Symposium, including specifically for CIA by Gilman Louie, CEO of IN-Q-TEL)
-- He wanders the CIA building alone, eats frequently in the cafeteria, plays basketball on an in-house team and shuns the limousine to which he is entitled.
--"I think the DCI should keep a very low profile. The only reason the media would want me to appear is to figure out how to drive wedges between the intelligence community and policymakers, and I'm not going to let that happen."
-- Although CIA attrition rates are low compared with the private sector - 4% a year vs. 15% - retention is a major concern, especially considering that by the year 2005, up to 40'% of the workforce will have been at the CIA for five years or less. (USA Today 11 Oct '00, p 15) (Harvey)

NEW ENCRYPTION KEY DESIGNATED -- The Commerce Department recently announced the winner of an international, three-year competition searching for a new encryption technique that the government can use in the coming years for sensitive -- but NOT classified -- encryption. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has selected an equation, known as an algorithm, that will, after outside comments and approval by the Secretary of Commerce, be the replacement for an encryption standard known as DES which has been increasingly vulnerable over the years to being cracked.
The new standard is named "Rijndael" (and pronounced "Rhine-doll") by its two originators from Belgium, Vincent Rijmen and Joan Daemen. The Rijndael standard was judged superior to 14 other submissions. A computer powerful enough to unlock a DES-encrypted message in one second -- would take 149 trillion years to do the same using the Rijndael standard. The Rijndael algorithm, which has been publicly available for more than a year, can be plugged into many kinds of software for sending e-mail or managing computer files, and commercial versions are expected to appear in days.
The director of the standards institute has been quoted as saying that, barring advances in so-called quantum computing that would render all notions of current computer power obsolete, the new standard should be effective for 30 years. The press reports of the new standard did not include comments from the NSA. Certainly from an outsider's viewpoint, the new standard is hardly likely to be a light at the end of NSA's tunnel. In fact, it is hard to conceive of the advent of a public and very powerful encryption technique as being beneficial for the intelligence community or the law enforcement world. (Wall Street Journal 4 Oct '00, p. B2 /// New York Times 3 Oct '00, p. C12) (Harvey)

-- A committee created to unearth what U.S. World War II intelligence authorities knew - but never revealed - about Nazi atrocities, is finally poised to pursue the same probe of Japan's wartime deeds. Congress this week is expected to send President Clinton the 2001 U.S. intelligence budget. Among other things, it would expand the Interagency Working Group -- adding at least one additional expert on Japanese war crimes -- and would extend the committee's existence by more than a year, until 2003.
The investigation of Japanese atrocities poses particular challenges since the United States returned intelligence files it had seized when Japan surrendered in the 1950s, copying only a fraction of them. Japanese officials have been reluctant to let anybody look at them since.
Linda Goetz-Holmes, a member of the Interagency Working Group's historian advisory committee, and the author of two books on Japanese war crimes, said some of the worst beatings and mistreatment of Allied POWs were carried out by civilians at big Japanese companies that used slave labor, such as Nippon Steel, Mitsui textiles and Kawasaki, the conglomerate that makes motorcycles, Jet Skis and subway cars for the New York City system. As the film "Bridge on the River Kwai" depicted, Allied POWs also were used to build railroads and bridges, and POW camps were frequently located near what were heavily bombed Japanese industrial targets. With defeat nearing, one Japanese commander used the ruse of an air raid to herd 158 Marine POWs into a tunnel, which was then set on fire.
Japan held 36,000 American POWs, and evidence shows that some were the subjects of biological experimentation. Unit 731, an army unit that supposedly specialized in water purification, in fact conducted vivisections on Chinese nationals, who were brought in by the truckload, wrapped in burlap and stacked like logs. She said several American soldiers complained that doctors drew blood or gave them injections of mysterious liquids that sickened them, in some cases causing long-term damage to internal organs. A group of POWs has attempted to sue Japanese industries for back wages or damages they claim they were due, but they say they have been discouraged by the U.S. State Department."
One change in the new legislation has caused criticism from some investigators. Previously the war crimes committee had the power to override the provisions of the 1947 National Security Act. The new legislation, however, permits the Intelligence Community to withhold information if deemed in the US national interest. The Intelligence Community has long opposed any law that sets a precedent for bypassing the National Security Act, which gives the CIA director broad powers to keep confidential any information he feels would compromise aspects of intelligence operations and damage national security. (Mark Fritz, LA Times, 26 Oct //
< http://www.latimes.com/news/asection/20001026/t000102347.html >)
 (courtesy T. Hart// G. Doherty) (Jonkers)

UAV's OVER KOSOVO - DID THE EARTH MOVE? -- Tim Ripley looks behind the marketing hype and points up the real lessons from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations during the Kosovo conflict. In the wake of the NATO's Operation Allied Force, senior US military leaders and industry figures have been enthusing about the contribution of UAVs to the successful outcome of the NATO air campaign. Rear Admiral Robert Nutwell, the Pentagon's C4ISR chief's declaration that "NATO's Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia demonstrated that a new age in reconnaissance is in fact dawning," were typical of the way UAVs were portrayed.
However, it is worth noting that the further away you are from western capitals and the closer you get to Kosovo, the more skeptical western military men are about UAVs. It is becoming clear that many military officers are increasingly worried that UAVs are opening the door to micro-management of operations by senior politicians or commanders far from the theater of action. UAVs were also found to have their own vulnerabilities and limitations, which make many senior commanders loath to throw all their surveillance and reconnaissance "eggs into the UAV basket". (< http://defence-data.com/features/fpage34.htm > ) (Macartney)


-- Several Israeli Web sites containing the government's perspective on the Mideast conflict crashed after Islamic groups abroad jammed them with fake traffic, Israeli officials said Thursday. The cyberattack was the most intense since Israel's government launched its Internet sites several years ago, and, coupled with Israeli cyber attacks on Palestinian sites, opens a new (and fortunately less bloody) front in the Israel-Arab confrontation. See also Section I above, NIPC alert message. (< http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/ap/docs/561636l.htm> < http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/10/25/News/News.14291.html > (R. Levine) (Jonkers)

PEDOPHILE INTELLIGENCE -- Agency help sought to identify child porn sites. A federally appointed panel request that state and federal law enforcement agencies compile a master list of newsgroups, Web sites and IP addresses found to contain child pornography, or whose owners have been convicted of having or disseminating obscene materials.
That recommendation was one of 12 included in a report turned over to Congress Oct. 20 by the Commission on Online Child Protection, a government/industry group organized under the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The commission concluded that no single technology or means exists to fully protect children from online material considered harmful to them. "The most effective approach still relies on cooperation between government, law enforcement and the private sector," said Michael Horowitz, chief of staff of the Justice Department's criminal division and an ex-officio member of the commission. The commission's proposal for a national list falls into that category.
(< http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2000/1023/web-copa-10-26-00.asp >) (Levine < rlevine@ix.netcom.com >) (Jonkers)

COMPUTER SECURITY ACT PASSES HOUSE -- The House of Representatives quietly approved legislation designed to bolster computer security at civilian federal agencies. By voice vote, the House passed the Computer Security Enhancement Act, which was introduced in 1999 by House Science Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., in response to growing concerns about hacker attacks on federal agencies. Among other things, H.R. 2413 would require the National Institute of Science and Technology to serve as a computer security consultant for other federal civilian agencies. The bill also requires the Under Secretary of Commerce to establish a "clearinghouse of information" on computer security threats and to make that list available to the public.
(R. Levine) (< http://www.telekomnet.com/news_security/10-26-00_securityact_houseok.asp >//
< http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2000/1023/web-secbill-10-26-00.asp >)

SECURE COMPUTER NETWORK RESEARCH -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded four contracts to Secure Computing Corp., pumping more than $6 million into research and development for secure networks. The first three contracts are for programs within DARPA's Third Generation Security Initiative, which is aimed at developing advanced mechanisms to secure the Defense Department's critical infrastructure systems against cyberattack.(R. Levine)
(< http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2000/1023/web-darpa-10-25-00.asp >)


(1) PERSIAN MIRRORS, by Elaine Sciolino, Free Press, 2000). Written by a veteran New York Times reporter who has been covering Iran for more than 20 years, the author depicts a country in which Islam and democracy are struggling to coexist. States the reviewer: "...as she succeeds in capturing some of the complexities and contradictions of Iran's theocratic society, she also necessarily succeeds in exposing the lie of America's Iran. 'Too often the United States Government has treated Iran simplistically -- either like an imbecile child to be ignored, or an international criminal to be punished'." For the clear-eyed intelligence analyst and thinker, a refreshingly informed perspective to balance the swamp of simplistic stereotypes of US mass media and government propaganda on this country. (reviewed by Laura Ciolkowski, WPost.Book World, 22 Oct 2000, p. 6) (Jonkers)

(2) HIGHLANDERS, by Yo'av Karny, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2000. Israeli journalist Karny has produced an excellent and exhaustive study of the Caucasus region, an area with one of the greatest diversities of languages anywhere on the planet, where nationalist excesses are causing increasing hardships, and where the traditional Russian constraining oversight is being challenged by a US push into the region for reasons of geopolitical power assertion in South Asia and oil transit. With a perspective that is reported by the reviewer to be deeply influenced by his own ethnic background, Karny provides a human view of the rich Caucasian tabloid of ethnic diversity and conflict in an area which will be increasingly important as US power policy increasingly grinds against the more traditional Russian sphere of influence. (based on L. Ciolkowski, WPost.Book World, 22 Oct 2000, p. 6) (Jonkers)

Two articles on policy / intelligence issues - for background context reading:
(1) No Defense: How the NYTimes Convicted Wen Ho Lee by Robert Scheer in The Nation 23 Oct p.11
(2) America's Iraq Policy Collapses... ROLLBACK, by Lawrence F. Kaplan in The New Republic 30 Oct p.28


The AFIO National quarterly luncheon will be held at the Officers Club at Fort Myers, Arlington, VA, on TUESDAY 7 November 2000. Bar opens at 10:30. Bill Gertz, Washington Times columnist will speak about the China Threat at 11:00, and his book will be available for purchase. The Dean and the Director of CIA's Sherman Kent School of Intelligence Analysis will discuss Intelligence Analysis after lunch at 1 pm. The session will close at 2 pm. VOTE early or late, and attend this excellent program! Visit our website < www.afio.com > for registration information, or call Mrs. Gretchen Campbell at AFIO: 703 790 0320, or email us < afio@afio.com >. Cost is $26.50 for members and guests.

BOARD MEETING: There will be NO Board meeting after the November 7 luncheon. The Board will meet separately at the end of November.

MEMBERSHIP - Keep AFIO and it's educational mission alive and well -- Have You Sponsored a New Member yet his Year ???


Proportionately more US servicemen died in the WWII Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions your chance of being killed was 71%. Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.

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