Weekly Intelligence Notes #42-01
22 October 2001

WIN 42-01 dtd 22 Oct 2001

AFIO SYMPOSIUM "Statecraft, Tradecraft and Hi-Tech: Intelligence 2001 and Beyond" -- LAST CALL -- NOTE THAT AGENDA IS INTACT -- Congress, White House, CIA, Office of the Secretary of Defense, NSA, and FBI leaders remain on AFIO's speaker list -- in spite of the War on Terrorism now in full swing.
      You and your US citizen guests and colleagues are cordially invited to take advantage of this exceptional educational opportunity -- See the agenda and sign-up form at the AFIO Website www.afio.com, or contact us at afio@afio.com.


SECTION I - CURRENT INTELLIGENCE

RUSSIA CLOSES ITS CUBAN INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION SITE -- President Vladimir Putin announced on 17 October during a meeting with his senior military officials that Russia will close its major eavesdropping center at Lourdes in Cuba. "This is a very big and very difficult decision given the unique role Lourdes plays for Russia as an electronic reconnaissance and eavesdropping center," said Alexander Pikayev, an expert on the Russian military at the Carnegie Moscow Center. "President Putin clearly wants to capitalize on the quick improvement in relations between the United States and Russia since September 11th."
Putin's announcement, which also included his decision to abandon the Soviet-era facility at Cam Ranh in Vietnam by 1 January 2002, was obviously intended to be a significant diplomatic signal to the United States.
       But Putin is not selling out his national intelligence needs completely. Gen. Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the Russian armed forces general staff, said the Russian withdrawal from Cuba would save at least $200 million a year. "For that $200 million," Kvashnin said, "we can buy and launch 20 communications and intelligence reconnaissance satellites, as well as purchase about 100 of the most up-to-date radars."
       President Bush welcomed the announcement, calling it another indication the Cold War was over. "President Putin understands that Russia and America are no longer adversaries; we do not judge our successes by how much it complicates life for the other country. Instead, both nations are taking down relics of the Cold War and building a new, cooperative and transparent relationship for the 21st century."
       Earlier, in the 1940's, there was a US-Soviet Russian alliance against Nazism. A new alliance in the war against terrorism may well be in the interest of both nations. Putin's democratic Russia is neither a communist monster nor a irrational threat (even though a prudent 'intelligence' eye needs to be kept on its weapons), and the Cold War mindset culture may finally be moderating in generations of Cold Warriors. Only a solid US conservative administration with a keen and cool appreciation of US national interests could pull this off. The new reality is a long-term conflict with Islamic (and other) extremist terrorism and a sharp eye on a truly vital US national interest -- access to oil, requiring regional stability. (Jonkers) (Wpost 18 Oct 2001, p. 34 / S. Glasser)

PRESIDENTIAL FINDING ISSUED -- The President reportedly signed an intelligence order in September directing the destruction of Osama bin Laden and his worldwide 'al Qaeda' network. The Finding directs attacks on bin Laden's communications, security apparatus and infrastructure. "The gloves are off," one senior official said. "The president has given the agency the green light to do whatever is necessary. Lethal operations that were unthinkable pre-September 11th are now underway."
     The President also reportedly added more than $1 billion to the budget for the war on terrorism, most of it for the new covert action. The operation will include what officials said is "unprecedented" coordination between the CIA and military "special operations " forces.
     This will address and correct past shortcomings.
     For example, U.S. intelligence last spring allegedly obtained high quality real-time coverage of bin Laden himself, but were unable to act on it. The video showed bin Laden surrounded by a large entourage at one of his known locations in Afghanistan. But neither the CIA nor the U.S. military had the means to shoot a missile or another weapon at him. Since then, the unmanned drones with high-resolution cameras have reportedly been equipped with missiles that can be fired at targets of opportunity. The technology was not operational at the time bin Laden was caught on video.
        The new 'Presidential Finding' differs from past findings against terrorists in a number of significant ways. Firstly, it puts more military muscle behind the clandestine effort to crush al Qaeda. Secondly, it is far better funded. And thirdly, it has the highest possible priority and will involve optimal coordination within the entire national security structure, including the White House, the president's national security adviser, the CIA, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the departments of State, Defense and Justice.
        The overall military and covert plan is intended to be massive and decisive. The President has said he wants the CIA to undertake high-risk operations. The President is willing to accept the personal political risks and is prepared for a long war. He has stated to his advisers that he is willing to risk failure in the pursuit of ultimate victory, even if the results are some embarrassing public setbacks in individual operations.
The Vice President added that the war on bin Laden and terrorists in general is going to be particularly difficult. "They have nothing to defend," he said. "You know, for fifty years we deterred the Soviets by threatening the utter destruction of the Soviet Union. What does bin Laden value? There's no piece of real estate. It's not like a state or a country. The notion of deterrence doesn't really apply here. There's no treaty to be negotiated, there's no arms control agreement that's going to guarantee our safety and security. The only way you can deal with them is to destroy them."
Intelligence is in the frontline of this war, and AFIO members' educational message in support of this mission is clear. (Jonkers) (Wash Post 21 Oct 01 //B. Woodward) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27452-2001Oct20.html) (T. Hart)

RETIRED AF SERGEANT CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE -- In another sad scenario of stupidity and betrayal, accused spy Brian P. Regan, 39, former Air Force Master Sergeant, was indicted on October 23rd by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, and changed with attempted espionage. The indictment charges that beginning in 1999, Regan, while employed as a contractor at the NRO, began surfing on the classified U.S. intelligence intranet known as Intelink for information about the military preparedness of China, Iran, Iraq and Libya.
        The investigation leading to Regan's arrest began last fall, when U.S. officials learned that Libya had classified documents that it was not supposed to have, according to court documents and law enforcement sources. The documents were mostly classified secret and included unclassified pages of otherwise classified documents. The United States also learned that Libyan officials had received encrypted messages, telling them to contact a free e-mail account assigned to "Steve Jacobs," of Alexandria, an FBI affidavit said. FBI agents determined that the Jacobs account was being accessed from public libraries.
        When he was intercepted by federal agents at Dulles International Airport in late August, he was carrying the coordinates of two foreign countries' missile sites and the addresses of Chinese and Iraqi embassies in Europe. A computer disk seized during a search of Regan's home contained a letter to the Canary Islands, Spain, asking for information about off-shore bank accounts. Apparently Regan had amassed $53,000 in consumer debt at the time of his arrest, and was looking for a way out. He found it. (Jonkers) (Wash. Post, 24 Oct 2001, Pg. 18 //B. Masters) .


SECTION II - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENT

SECDEF RUMSFELD BLASTS LEAKS -- Citing media reports last week concerning the deployment of special operations forces in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday disciplined Defense and Government officials who had provided the information. "We cannot and will not provide information that could jeopardize the success of our efforts to root out and liquidate the terrorist networks that threaten our people. I think that the release by a person in the government who had access to classified information to the effect that the United States ... was about to engage in a special operation in Afghanistan clearly was ... a violation of federal criminal law and it was something that was totally in disregard for the lives of the people involved in that operation." (Note: Secretary Rumsfeld was probably referring to the Espionage Act, specifically 18 U.S.C. 793(d), which prohibits disclosure of information relating to the national defense to a person not entitled to receive it.)
Ed. Note - As always, the unauthorized Government 'leakers' are despicable. AFIO members nationwide can play a role in influencing local and national public media to exercise restraint. (Secrecy News 22 Oct01)
(http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2001/10/dod102201.html )

KNOW YOUR ENEMY -- BIN LADEN's SUMMER BATTLECRY -- During the summer of this year a videotape featuring bin Laden circulated widely in the Muslim world. When the two-hour videotape surfaced last June, it attracted little public attention, partly because much of it was spliced from previous bin Laden interviews and tapes. But the tape quickly proliferated on Islamic Web sites and in mosques and bazaars. Intelligence officials who analyzed the tape during the summer said it featured the fullest exposition yet of bin Laden's views, as well as his terrorist strategy, and thus provides a rough road map for his organization, Al-Qaeda.
     The image on the grainy videotape is mesmerizing: a tall, slim, middle-aged Arab man, with the bushy beard, white robes and draped white headcloth of a devout Muslim, standing before a gathering somewhere in Afghanistan. He is reading an Arabic poem, apparently his own, on papers that riffle in a breeze. His style is that of a fire-and-brimstone preacher. In the verses, read at the wedding in Afghanistan of his oldest son earlier this year, bin Laden salutes the suicide bombing of the American destroyer Cole in Yemen last October, and promises more attacks.
        The verses celebrate what bin Laden describes as the futility of American military might. "In Aden, our brothers rose and destroyed the mighty destroyer, a ship so powerful it spreads fear wherever it sails," bin Laden says, over images of the Cole. "But as it moves toward the small boat bobbing in the water, it is sailing to its own destruction, drawn by the illusion of its own power." Then bin Laden uses the tape to spell out a continuing nightmare for his principal enemy, the United States, and includes a recent addition, Israel. He promises an intensified holy war that includes aid to Palestinians fighting Israel, an important shift in emphasis according to intelligence analysts, as his main focus previously has been on driving American forces from the Arabian peninsula. He tells his followers that there is nothing to fear from the United States and that their Islamic faith and their willingness to die is enough to neutralize America's military might. To those who have studied Mr. bin Laden, this aura of confidence appeared to be one of the tape's strongest features.
     He also outlined plans for an expansion of his terrorist training operations in Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban, the Islamic militant fundamentalist movement that has sheltered him since 1996, have built an ideal, purified Islamic state that provides the perfect base for a worldwide holy war against "infidels." Part of bin Laden's defiance seemed to stem from his increasingly close ties with Afghanistan's Taliban rulers. At one point, bin Laden declares the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, the rightful spiritual leader of the Muslim world, and says Afghanistan has become the equivalent of the purified Islamic state established in Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest cities, by the Prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century. "There is now a Muslim state that enforces God's laws, which destroys falsehoods, and which does not succumb to the American infidels, and it is led by a true believer, Mullah Muhammad Omar, the commander of the faithful." He urges Muslims everywhere to come to Afghanistan to support the Taliban and Al- Qaeda, saying it is their duty to God.
        In a clearly opportunistic exploitation of the broad revulsion against the manner in which Israel's government has treated its subjugated Palestinian population, much of the tape focuses on the current upheaval in Israel and the Palestinian territories, firing followers' passions for further attacks. "Our brothers in Palestine are waiting for you anxiously, and expect you to strike at America and Israel," bin Laden says. "God's earth is wide and their interests are everywhere."
     The tape shows why, although the attack on the United States on 11 September was committed principally by Saudi citizens, along with some Egyptians and Algerians, it is Afghanistan that is being attacked now, and why the US war aims include the overthrow of the Taliban. (Jonkers) (NY Times 9Sep01 //J. Burns)
(http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/09/international/asia/09OSAM.html?
ex=1001046723&ei=1&en=969e6c40263ffb92
) (T. Hart)

KNOW YOUR ENEMY - BIN LADEN AS A MODERATE -- A rival group of Muslim terrorists regards Osama bin Laden as an infidel who has sold out. Bin Laden's declaration of war against the West has failed to impress an ultra-hardcore group, the Takfir wal-Hijra, that has won a reputation for unbridled savagery in Egypt and Sudan. Its fundamentalism is so extreme that members have embarked on killing sprees in mosques against fellow Muslims in the belief that a pure Islamic state can be built only if the corrupt elements of the last one are wiped out.
     They see bin Laden and his followers as pragmatists who are "excessively liberal". Its hostility to bin Laden first erupted in Sudan in the mid-1990s. Bin Laden settled there in 1991 after fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. He spent five years in the country building businesses and his al-Qaeda organization before being expelled in 1996. A year before he left he was attacked at his home in Khartoum by four Takfir members who drove up in a Toyota Hilux pick-up at about 4pm brandishing Kalashnikovs. They were on their way home, having killed 12 Muslims at a local mosque. Eyewitnesses say they opened fire on the house and another occupied by bin Laden's fighters, but his guards were alert and fought back. Four of them died, as did three of the four Takfir members. The fourth was captured by the Sudanese police and hanged.
     The feud may now be resumed because the Takfir are said to be "angered" at bin Laden's leadership of a "compromised jihad". They regard him as a sellout. While he concentrates his attention on freeing Saudi Arabia of American bases, the Takfir think that everything in contemporary Muslim society is corrupt and should be destroyed. A British official commented "They do not regard the Taliban as representative of Islam. They do not take kindly to religion being hijacked for political purposes."
     One might observe that nobody gets a free ride, including bin Laden, or the Taliban. (Jonkers) (Sunday Times, London, 21 Oct 01) (http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/10/21/stiusausa02030.html) (PJK)

FBI ANSIR ADVISORY -- "SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES"

If you receive a "suspicious package" WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
1) Handle with care. Don't shake or bump.

2) Isolate and look for "indicators"
 Common indicators are, but not limited to the following:

a) No return address
b) Restrictive markings, i.e., "Personal"
c) Possibly mailed from a foreign country
d) Excessive postage
e) Misspelled Words
f) Addressed to Title only or incorrect title
g) Wrong title with name
h) Badly typed or written
i) Protruding wires
j) Lopsided or uneven
k) Rigid or bulky
l) Strange odor
m) Oily Stains, discoloration, crystallization on wrapper
n) Excessive Tape or String

3) Don't Open, Smell or Taste

4) Treat as Suspect! Call 911!

If the package is open and/or a threat is identified...
*Bomb* Evacuate the area immediately.  Call 911 (Police) or FBI
*Radiological* Limit Exposure - Don't handle. Evacuate the Area Call 911 or FBI
*Biological/Chemical* Isolate - Don't Handle. Wash your hands with soap and warm water
     Call 911 (Police) or FBI

Further guidelines may be obtained from www.fbi.gov concerning this issue.

For those interested in updated information regarding anthrax, please contact the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov .


SECTION III - CYBER INTELLIGENCE

NEW GOVERNMENT CYBER NET -- The Administration has apparently decided that the Internet isn't secure enough for its needs and has proposed a new network be created to communicate critical government information. The new network, dubbed Govnet, is the brainchild of Richard Clarke, the newly appointed presidential adviser for cyberspace security, and is intended to carry data, voice-over-IP and possibly video. Network-security professionals supported the idea but stressed that security on such a network will be elusive. Actions as simple as a government employee connecting a non-secured computer to the network or loading data from a diskette could compromise the entire system. Levine 11 Oct)
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,5098134,00.html
http://www.techtv.com/news/internet/story/0,24195,3353271,00.html
http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/17274-1.html
http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2001/10/10/cybersecurity-supercomputer.htm
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,5098169,00.html

CYBER SECURITY STUDIES -- New research funds and possibly a new way of thinking are necessary to meet an urgent need to secure computer networks supporting the nation's critical infrastructure, said academic, industry and government panelists at a congressional hearing Oct. 10th. Panelists told members of the House Science Committee that the number of academic researchers examining computer security is dangerously low and that the federal government needs to provide more money and focused support. (Levine) http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2001/1008/web-cip-10-11-01.asp

SECRECY FOE - FAS - DELETES SOME WEB DATA -- Qualms about publishing data that could be used to plot terror attacks have prompted the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), staunch advocates of government openness, to scrub its Web site since September 11th, thereby joining a trend among U.S. government agencies. FAS has yanked about 200 of its estimated half-million Web pages. (Levine Oct 11)
http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/041555.htm
http://www.msnbc.com/news/641578.asp

VIGILANTES HACK INTO SAUDI BANK -- Vigilante hackers apparently penetrated the security of a Saudi bank on October 10th. In an effort to find financial information about terrorists, a member of a group called Yihat claims to have breached the defenses of an Internet-connected server operated by Arab National Bank. (Levine 's Newsbits 11 Oct 01) http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/171035.html
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/22183.html


SECTION IV - BOOKS AND SOURCES

The following books are not directly on the topic of intelligence, but provide contextual information:

1. The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality, (Oxford University 1998); also, Islam and Democracy (Oxford Univ 1999); both by Professor John Esposito, the founder and director of Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, who explains the relationships of mosques, political movements and Arab nationalism.  (L. Adams)

2. Fundamentalism and the State: Remaking Politics, Economics and Militance, by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby (Univ. of Chicago). The books examines how fundamentalism manifests itself as political militancy an terrorism. (ibid., L. Adams)

3. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, by Ahmed Rashid, Yale University, 2000. Rashid is a Pakistani journalist who describes the Taliban's complicated economic, diplomatic sociological and military origins. (Wash Post21 Oct01, BW p.15 //L. Adams)


SECTION V - LETTERS

HOMELAND DEFENSE RESERVE GROUP - John H. writes:

The new Office of Homeland Security should establish a Federal Reserve of former employees and retirees from the FBI, CIA, NSA, DoD and other government agencies with relevant intelligence and security knowledge and experience, to assist the Homeland office in the protection of our facilities, analysis, surveillance and counter surveillance at home and overseas. There are thousands of us ready and willing to serve - with or without compensation.

Editor's Note: The notion of volunteer reserves is appealing and amenable to a number of alternative configurations in support of different tasks and missions. A sound, specific proposal might get a hearing. (RJ)


Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) contain commentaries on intelligence-related events and issues produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for AFIO Members and for WIN Subscribers, for non-profit educational uses only. RADM Don Harvey and Dr. John Macartney also contribute articles to the WINs. Opinions expressed are solely those of the editors and/or authors referenced with each article.
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