Weekly Intelligence Notes #01-02
WIN # 01-02 dtd 7 January 2002
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and ISIS associates. Don Harvey contributes articles to the WINs.
HELLO TO ALL our readers in 2002! We will keep improving and innovating! RJ
WASHINGTON DC AREA MEMBERS --
National Winter Luncheon
TWO GREAT SPEAKERS - DAVID HUNT, former senior CIA Operations officer, will speak on Allied Economic Espionage in the US; and the current DCI National Intelligence Officer for South Asia, Dr. PAUL PILLAR, will address counter-terrorism before and after September 11th. CURRENT AND PERTINENT -- invite a guest!
NOTE THE CHANGED LOCATION -- we will meet at the Tysons Corner HOLIDAY INN, Rte 123, McLean, Virginia.
Call us if you need more information 703 790 0320.
O N T E N T S
of this WIN
AFGHANISTAN -- We honor and salute Sgt 1stClass Nathan Ross Chapman, Special Operations Forces, one of our best, who was killed last Friday, the first American death from hostile fire. There is some confusion over who killed him. Regional tribal elders were said to have planned to convene to decide whether to hand over to the Americans a 14-year-old boy who was accused of firing the shots that killed Chapman and seriously wounded a CIA employee in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. But the boy vanished before they could meet, the elders said. A regional military commander said that Chapman's death might well have been the result of a firefight between rival militias.
Working in territory once held by the Taliban and where tribal rivalries are rife, the U.S. military often must rely on local informants, some of whom might have their own agendas. For example, the press reported that a U.S. strike Dec. 29 on a compound in eastern Afghanistan raid killed 52 people, nearly half of them children according to the Red Cross who did the count of bodies and body parts. One boy survived. Americans were said to have been misled by an informant with a grudge against the two extended families who used to live there. Afghan officials say similar misinformation led to a U.S. attack on a convoy heading to Kabul on Dec. 20 for the inauguration of interim leader Hamid Karzai. They say the convoy included former Taliban officials who had switched their allegiance to Karzai.
The Defense Department has stated that the convoy hit Dec. 20 included members of the Taliban and that the Dec. 29 strike targeted a pro-Taliban military compound. Neither intelligence operations nor the war on fundamentalist terrorism are simple in the tribal regions of Afghanistan. The details of war are frequently a moral muddle. (Jonkers) (USA Today, 01/07/2002// S. Komarov)
INVISIBLE WAR ON TERROR ACCELERATES -- For all the focus on Afghanistan, the U.S.-led war on terrorism has quietly picked up pace worldwide. Often with U.S. assistance, the multipartite campaign has made significant inroads in "busting cells and breaking down operations." Between 800 and 1,000 terrorism suspects have been arrested or detained in more than 50 countries, not including the more than 640 held in the United States. Many of the foreign arrests have not been made public. More than 140 countries have also frozen funds in 270 accounts with assets of $65 million. Most of the arrests and frozen assets are linked to Al Qaeda, but other extremist groups have also been affected.
This hidden war primarily uses covert intelligence operations, often involving local militias or militaries. Each operation has been tailored to local circumstances. In this war countries fall into one of three tiers. The first is made up of countries, most notably in Europe, that have the will and means to act on their own against terrorism. The U.S. role on the first tier has usually been limited to sharing intelligence.
The second tier includes countries that have the will, but need active support from U.S. law enforcement, intelligence, counter-terrorism or military advisors.
The third tier consists of countries whose desire or ability to deal with terrorism remains in question. The five nations under the most intense scrutiny in the invisible war, because of their political environments or past links to Al Qaeda, are Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, the Philippines and Indonesia. Of these five nations the biggest unknown is Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, which is undergoing a troubled political period. (Jonkers) (LA Times, 7 Jan2002 // R. Wright)
US INTELLIGENCE NETWORKS HIT BY ISRAELI CRIMINAL ESPIONAGE??? -- The FBI is allegedly probing a large foreign criminal espionage enterprise. The U.S. Justice Department is said to be holding nearly 100 Israeli citizens with direct ties to criminal, military and intelligence services. The spy ring reportedly includes employees of two Israeli-owned companies that are said to perform almost all the official wiretaps for U.S. local, state and federal law enforcement (incredibly!). These U.S. law enforcement wiretaps, authorized by the 'Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act' (CALEA), allegedly have been breached by organized crime units working inside Israel and the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad. They reportedly use reverse wiretaps against U.S. intelligence and law enforcement operations.
One company reported to be under investigation is Comverse Infosys, a subsidiary of an Israeli-run private telecommunications firm. Comverse allegedly provides almost all the wiretapping equipment and software for U.S. law enforcement. Custom computers and software, made by Comverse, are tied into the U.S. phone network in order to intercept, record and store wiretapped calls, and to transmit them to investigators. The penetration of Comverse reportedly allowed criminals to wiretap law enforcement communications in reverse and foil authorized wiretaps with advance warning. One major drug bust operation planned by the Los Angeles police was foiled by what now appear to be reverse wiretaps placed on law enforcement phones by the criminal spy ring.
Israel is said to have denied any involvement with the penetration of the U.S. wiretap system. The CIA and FBI are allegedly investigating the government ties with the former Israeli military and intelligence officials now said to be held by the Justice Department.
This is the second time that these allegations have surfaced. The first report mentioned that Israeli-connected spies had penetrated top-level phone systems, including the Clinton White House, some two years ago. That report died in the media.
Since there is no official confirmation of this latest report, and the issue is both professionally and politically embarrassing, we can only stand by and wait - and may never hear. Since it does not involve Chinese, Russians or Arabs, there is no media or special interest appetite for finding out what is happening. If it is correct that the Government uses foreign-made (e.g. Comverse etc) uncontrolled components in a wiretap system such as this, then professionally, one must hang one's head in shame. Chip buggery is not an novel art form, and giving such a contract to a foreign firm is incredible. And espionage by a state considered friendly, like Israel, may be politically embarrassing, but is a fact of life. (Jonkers) (LEANALYST 19 Dec01 //Charles R. (Smith) ( http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/12/18/224826.shtml)
NEW BRITISH - RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE EXCHANGES -- Prime Minister Tony Blair ended two days of talks with President Vladimir V. Putin on 23 December 2001 by promising new British-Russian intelligence exchanges. He praised Russia for its cooperation with the anti-terror coalition and drew a parallel between the bombings of buildings in Moscow that killed nearly 300 people two years ago and the terror attacks on the United States, saying that both were examples of the kind of terrorism the world was now united in fighting.
This weekend's meeting was the fifth this year between the Russian president and Mr. Blair. Last month Mr. Blair began the push to give Russia increased access to Western organizations, sending a letter to Lord Robertson, the NATO secretary general, and all leaders of the 19-nation alliance suggesting a special auxiliary council on nonmilitary matters of mutual interest that would include Russia. Mr. Blair said he also endorsed Russia's interest in becoming a member of the World Trade Organization and wanted it to happen "as swiftly as possible." Economic reforms in Russia appear to be working. The Russians are planning a forum in London in April as a showcase for their emerging economy and, in particular, their energy business. Intelligence adapts to new requirements. (Jonkers) (NYT 23 Dec 01 //W. Hoge; Wash. Post 23 Dec 01 p. A1)
RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE IN AFGHANISTAN -- U.S. intelligence agencies are said to be monitoring Russian humanitarian shipments to Afghanistan and are obviously keeping track of Moscow's efforts to establish a presence and monitor and influence the policies of the new government of Hamid Karzai. Russian GRU military intelligence personnel and SVR intelligence officers have been detected among the personnel on the Russian IL-76 aircraft that have been arriving in steady flights to Kabul, carrying humanitarian aid for the Afghans. The humanitarian effort is being directed by Moscow's Emergency Situation Ministry, which has delivered over 400 tons of humanitarian aid since Nov. 29.
The use of humanitarian operations for intelligence gathering is standard practice for Russia, according to "US officials" who blabbered to the journalist. Russia only? The US, of course, would never do such a thing - never, never, ever!!(Jonkers) (WTimes, Gertz,) http://www..geostrategy-direct.com/geostrategy-direct/ <http://www.geostrategy-direct.com/geostrategy-direct/>
GLOBAL HAWK AND ITS PREDECESSORS -- The latest in the US unmanned surveillance drones, the UAV named Global Hawk, began its first flights over Afghanistan in mid-November. The 44-foot-long Global Hawk is particularly useful for its ability to remain on station during winter weather at over 12 miles in altitude for over 24 hours per patrol. According to press accounts based on statements of its Air Force developers, its radar takes one-foot ground images 100 miles away -- through all weather. Its heat-seeking cameras also can pick up images of an individual about 35 miles away in most weather. Flown over Afghanistan by operators at a ground station at an undisclosed Gulf State, the images are sent to an intelligence center for the beginning of the fusion process. Reportedly, Air Force hopes to accelerate the Global Hawk buy from two per year to six annually for a total of 51. The UAV is still considered inferior to the manned U-2 but may eventually subsume the high-altitude role following some sensor upgrades.
The Global Hawk is expected to enjoy eventual success comparable to that of the smaller UAV, the RQ-1A Predator, which has been fitted out variously with electro-optical, infrared and synthetic radar to fly at about three-miles altitude.
The Predator has become an intelligence/ surveillance/ reconnaissance workhorse since its advent in the early 1990s despite some reliability limitations. Successfully equipped with the laser-guided anti-tank Hellfire missile by the Air Force in early 2001, the armed Predator was reportedly introduced into Afghanistan by CIA, firing a claimed dozens of times "very successfully." The Air Force plans to acquire 12 UAV Predator systems, with each system consisting of four UAVs, a ground control station, and related spares and satellite communications equipment.
Designed about 50 years ago and largely unmentioned by the media in current reporting of the Afghanistan struggle, the backbone of the aerial reconnaissance effort over Afghanistan is the venerable U-2. According to the Congressional Research Service in 2000, the Air Force has a fleet of 30 U-2 for reconnaissance and surveillance, and the fleet is relatively young, having been delivered in the late 1980s. Current planning is to keep them in service until at least 2020. While U-2 were lost in the 1960s and 1970s, none have been shot down in the post-Cold War era. Statistics for surveillance and targeting for the Afghanistan campaign are not yet available for any of the reconnaissance platforms. (Harvey) (Defense Wk 10 Dec '01, p.3; Inside the Air Force 9 Nov '01, p.1; Time 26 Nov '0l by M. Thompson; InsideDefense.com 30 Oct '01; Bloomberg.com 21 Nov '01; Aviation Week and Space Technology 22 Oct '01, p.28)
NON-LETHAL WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT -- The Pentagon is reported to be working on new weapons that disable enemy soldiers rather than killing them. These weapons are intended to give commanders new options. They are also applicable to police - or intelligence - operations. The Defense budget allocates more than $30 million a year researching and developing these nonlethal weapons. Near the top of the list is the "millimeter wave projector," which has been undergoing tests on volunteers in New Mexico. The device transmits a narrow beam of electromagnetic energy -- similar to microwaves -- that rapidly heats up the surface layer of the skin and prompts targets to flee. The system, which could be mounted on trucks, is designed to repel adversaries at long range.
Research is also conducted on a new laser for military aircraft with enough power to melt the controls of a (Scud) missile from the air, if the missile would be parked next to a school or hospital where bombs would not do. Other devices under review include "sonic blasters," which emit disabling loud sounds, stinging pepper balls, new versions of stun grenades, and Tasers such as those used by police that disable targets with a jolt of electricity. One system going into production is the "Laser Dazzler," which emits low-power green laser flashes 20 times per second. To the human eye it is 10,000 times brighter than normal light, and it can temporarily blind and disable a person in an instant. In January, after three years of research, the manufacturer, l-E Technologies in Connecticut, will put the Laser Dazzler into commercial production for sale to police and the military.
There are two problems with
these weapons. One is that there is a fine line between being
ineffective and being lethal. Another is that international treaties
forbid war technologies that could permanently blind, which limits
the use of laser devices. DoD spokesmen note that the programs are
in compliance with international law (Jonkers) (Tech 21 Dec 01 //P.
FEDERAL JUDGE ALLOWS KEYSTROKE CAPTURE -- A federal judge in New Jersey rejected a defense motion last week to suppress computer evidence gained in an FBI case against an accused Mafia loan shark, possibly clearing a path for the government to use secretly installed keystroke logging tools to defeat encryption. FBI agents acting with a warrant in May 1999 installed a keystroke logging device on the computer of Nicodemo S. Scarfo Jr., hoping to record a password for a file encrypted with PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) software. (Levine 7 Jan 02) http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/internet/01/07/fbi.surveillance.idg/index.html
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SPECTRUM POLICY CONTROL --The radio frequency bands used by the Defense Department are so crucial that a telecommunications industry executive has been appointed to focus on protecting the Pentagon's turf. SecDef Rumsfeld has named Steven Price, former president and chief executive officer of LiveWire, as a Command, Control and Communications Spectrum policy. (Jonkers) (Levine 7 Jan 02) (http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/17728-1.html)
ENCODING VITAL DATA ON DRIVERS LICENSES -- The government is taking its first steps with the states to develop driver's licenses that can electronically store information -- such as fingerprints -- for the 184 million Americans who carry the cards. Privacy experts fear the effort may lead to de facto national identification cards that would allow authorities to track citizens electronically, circumventing the intense debate over federal ID cards. (Levine Newsbits 7 Jan 02) http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2002/01/07/drivers-licenses..htm
CREATING INTERNET BORDERS -- It is the modern-day equivalent of a border sentry. When visitors try to enter UKBetting.com, a computer program checks their identification to determine where they're dialing from. Most people are waved on through. Those from the United States, China, Italy and other countries where gambling laws are muddy, however, are flashed a sign in red letters that says "ACCESS DENIED" and are locked out of the Web site. (Levine) http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/173389.html http://www.msnbc.com/news/681900.asp
CYBER-SQUATTING IN DECLINE -- the speculative registration of Internet domain names which turned into a cottage industry at the height of the dotcom boom, appears to be dying as demand wanes for names. According to British Internet research firm Netcraft the number of active Web sites shrank by 182,142 in November to reach 36.28 million in December 2001 -- only the second monthly decline in the past six years. http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/reuters_wire/1722225l.htm
FACE-RECOGNITION SYSTEM PROBLEMS -- A network of surveillance cameras tied to face- recognition technology run by the police in Tampa, FL, is flawed and has not led to any arrests, according to an ACLU study released Thursday. Tampa was the first city in the United States to install the permanent camera surveillance system along public streets. Thirty-six cameras were deployed June 29 in Ybor City, the city's nightlife district. (Levine 4 Jan 02) http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2002/01/04/police-cameras.htm http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/23559.html
PERU DOCUMENTS DECLASSIFIED -- On December 27, the State Department released some 38 declassified documents that had been requested by the Congress of Peru concerning U.S. Government relations with disgraced Peruvian intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos. The documents were made publicly available on January 7 . Check: http://usembassy.state.gov/lima/wwwhclass.html
GPS VULNERABILITY -- A long-delayed Department of Transportation study found that the Global Positioning System satellite network is vulnerable to jamming and other forms of disruption, and should therefore not be used as the sole basis for aircraft navigation. The report, entitled "Vulnerability Assessment of the Transportation Infrastructure Relying on the Global Positioning System," is available here: http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/asat/gpstrans.pdf
NUCLEAR HISTORY NEWS --The family of physics pioneer Niels Bohr announced last week that it will release all of the documents in its possession concerning the celebrated but mysterious meeting between Bohr and German physicist Werner Heisenberg in September 1941. See the Bohr Archive announcement at: http://www.nbi.dk/NBA/webpage.html
PETER EARNEST APPOINTED MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- Congratulations to AFIO's Peter Earnest. He has just been appointed as the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum, a major tourist attraction scheduled to open this summer in downtown Washington DC. (Jonkers)
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE ON HANSSEN DAMAGE ASSESSMENT -- the Damage Assessment Team needs to establish details of Hanssen's access to classified information, but would also be interested in information on the full range of his official and unofficial activities, including his computer skills, relationships with others, and potential motivation. Anyone who remembers contact with Hanssen, and has not already reported that information to the FBI, call toll free at 1-866-819-5319. The team will arrange interviews to handle all classified information. (Poteat)
HOMELAND DEFENSE NETWORK -- The Homeland Defense Network is a non-partisan, non-profit, grass-roots effort to create a positive informed response to the threat of terrorism by facilitating education and training of ordinary citizens at the local level. It is an effort to respond to the injunction to "Be alert!" by educating people in HOW to be alert, how to discern changes in the environment, and what to do when they detect anomalies.
We need experienced former intelligence officers to establish a solid program for training people to notice "warnings and indicators" and respond appropriately. Please contact Richard Thieme at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414.351.2321.
JOHN MACARTNEY BURIAL -- Our former colleague and AFIO member John Macartney will be buried at Fort Myer, Arlington, Virginia, on Friday, 11 January 2002, with full military honors. The funeral service will be held at Fort Myer's Old Post Chapel at 1 p.m. Security is tight at Fort Myer, and individuals without DoD car stickers or military ID will need to come early. It may take a half hour to get through the gate. Lorna Aldrich, John's widow, has written to say that she was asked to gather at 12:30 in the chapel for the 1 p.m. service. A reception at the Officers Club will follow the service and burial. (Jonkers)
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