SYRIAN WAR REPORT – APRIL 27, 2018: RUSSIA EW SYSTEMS ‘DISABLING’ U.S. EC-130 EW AIRCRAFT

South Front

By April 27, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Liwa al-Quds, the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) and other pro-government factions captured the factories area in southern Damascus and entered the districts of al-Asali and al-Qadam amid intense fighting against ISIS terrorists.

The Syrian Air Force has carried out strikes on ISIS positions in the Yarmouk refugee camp and the district of al-Hajar al-Aswad, according to local sources.

According to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, ISIS killed four soldiers and an officer of the SAA in al-Qadam, Tadamon and the Yarmouk camp.

Horas al-Din, a coalition of 7 al-Qaeda-linked militant groups, and the Free Syrian Army attacked the SAA position in the village of al-Hamameyat in northern Hama late on April 26. The militants temporarily captured the village but then retreated because of intense artillery shelling by the SAA. However, in this encounter the militants destroyed a Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer and an armored vehicle belonging to the SAA.

Russian and Syrian representatives to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and witnesses of the supposed April 7 chemical attack in the town of Douma held a press briefing at The Hague on April 26. According to the witnesses’ words and the presented video of an undamaged gas cylinder, the video provided by the White Helmets was a staged provocation.

OPCW technical experts have interviewed six witnesses out of seventeen arrived in The Hague.

“The others were ready too, but the experts are sticking to their own guidelines. They’ve picked six people, talked to them, and said they were ‘completely satisfied’ with their account and did not have any further questions,” Shulgin said.

The US, the UK, France and some others boycotted the event. France’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Philippe Lalliot described the event as an “obscene masquerade”.

The US military is complaining that Russia allegedly jams US electronic warfare weapons and communications in Syria. According to the head of Special Operations Command, Gen. Raymond Thomas, the Russians are “disabling” even U.S. EC-130 Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft flying near the war-torn country.

When the Russian military first announced that the Syrian Air Defense Forces had shot down most of the missiles launched by the US-led bloc on April 14, some experts immediately suggested that Russia may have employed its EW systems to assist the Syrians in this task. Thomas’ words may be considered as an indirect confirmation of such a possibility.

On April 25, the Russian military provided photos showing the wreckage of the intercepted missiles thus debunking the Pentagon’s claims that all 105 launched missiles hit their targets.

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How Hezbollah Came to Dominate Information Warfare: Israeli Media

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

Long time ago Hezbollah began significantly investing in propaganda, and laid the groundwork for the effective use of information warfare, which is the ability to gain an advantage over an adversary through the management of information, according to an article published by JPost.

JPost mentioned that Hezbollah operations have long been governed by the mantra,

“If you haven’t captured it on film you haven’t fought.” “The group grasped the importance of documenting its successes as early as 1994 when Hezbollah fighters and a cameraman infiltrated an Israeli military occupation compound in Lebanon and raised a flag inside the base, captured the event on film – and scored a major propaganda coup.”

“Hezbollah maintains a unit solely dedicated to psychological warfare that specializes in burnishing Hezbollah’s public image. Newspapers, social media outlets and television programming comprise Hezbollah’s information warfare portfolio. The group uses its information- related capabilities to advertise its many successes, including summer camps for children and a robust public works program.”

Hezbollah propaganda is well-honed, targeted and specific, and it emphasizes specific themes that include resistance ideology, martyrdom and establishing legitimacy through the provision of social services, according to JPost.

“The history of Hezbollah’s information warfare efforts is perhaps best told through the story of the evolution of its active media arm, Al-Manar, a satellite television station that broadcasts from Beirut and can be seen around the world. After the first broadcast of Al-Manar (The Beacon) in 1991, Hezbollah began regularly scheduled broadcasts three years later and serves a critical role as the main dissemination point for Hezbollah news and propaganda. Hezbollah’s extensive media operation also includes radio stations, print publications and a network of over 50 websites that operate in multiple languages.” “Al-Manar began trying to influence Israeli public opinion by broadcasting actual battlefield footage showing Israeli soldiers being killed and maimed.”

Equally as impressive as Hezbollah’s television and video production is its extensive use of new media and information technologies, including a major Internet presence, the Israeli paper added.

The Zionist paper pointed out that Hezbollah is constantly working to refine its technical capabilities, as evidenced by a move toward faster fiber-optic networks that can enhance the group’s data-streaming capacity and provide a stouter defense against Israeli electronic warfare capabilities.

“Hezbollah not only prevented Israeli units from jamming its networks south of the Litani River in the July 2006 war, it reportedly had equipment in place to jam Israeli radar and communications systems.”

“For operational security reasons, Hezbollah migrated to closed telephone circuits that operate independent of Lebanese government networks. During fighting in the Syrian town of Qusair in 2013, Hezbollah again showed its penchant for operations security by devising a complex system that allowed its fighters to talk freely on open radio communications without having to be too concerned about conversations being intercepted.”

Hezbollah has been a fact of life since the early 1980s and, given the group’s remarkable ability to operate in the information environment, will likely remain the most dominant and capable terrorist group in the Middle East for decades to come, JPost’s article concluded.

SourceIsraeli media

 

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Russian Cyber Troops And US Presidential Election

January 11, 2017

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

The months after Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss to Donald Trump in the US presidential election have been dominated by stories concerning “Russian hackers.” If US media reports are to be believed, swarms of Fancy Bears and Cozy Bears have been roaming the Grizzly Steppe in order to throw the election to Donald Trump by…revealing the corruption within the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton camp. Naturally, these stories are the product of the last-ditch effort by the outgoing administration to trigger a new “cold war” with Russia and to shift attention away from Democrats’ failings. However, they have had the side effect of bringing attention to Russia’s cyber-war capabilities and the global cyber battlefield.

This is not the first time Russia’s cyber capabilities came into the spotlight. The concept of the “Russian hacker” entered Western consciousness during the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, and then resurfaced during the conflicts with Georgia and Ukraine, with a number of countries with Russophobic leadership, such as the Baltic States, routinely complaining of being a target of Russian cyber attacks.

Russia does in fact possess cyber war capabilities. The Information Operations Troops officially became operational in 2014 under the command of Deputy Defense Minister Pavel Popov, with several distinctive entities focusing on technology development, communications security, and recruitment of specialists versed in hacking methods and tactics. IO Troops are also receiving support from the Special Research Center of the MOD, research institutes such as the NII Kvant, and specially formed “scientific companies” of military draftees and contract soldiers already possessing applicable skills and talents recruited from Russia’s extensive hacker community who would help unravel and reverse-engineer Western malware being used against Russia.

National cyber-war capabilities are very difficult to assess because of the covert and non-kinetic aspect of their operations.  However, circumstantial evidence suggests Russian cyber-forces possess state-of-the-art capabilities that few, if any, other countries surpass. Obama’s and McCain dismissal of Russia as an inconsequential and backward country is ludicrous when one considers that it possesses the combination of capabilities required for waging cyber warfare effectively: mathematical and programming prowess. The skill of Soviet and Russian mathematicians is evident in the realms of nuclear and spaceflight technologies, where Russia has long been a world leader. Russia is also home to a sophisticated programming culture born out of sheer necessity. Once USSR began to fall behind the West in processor power, that lag forced its programmers to become efficient at writing code that could perform without overtaxing limited processing power. It is that skill that made Russian programmers so highly sought after USSR’s fall.

Russia’s cyber-war prowess is also testified to by the fact that there is not a single cyber operation that can be definitively ascribed to Russian state operators. In other words, if Russian cyber forces are in fact operating around the world, they are doing so in a way that defies detection or at least attribution. It is also evident that the US government has proven to be extremely wary of entering into a cyber-conflict with Russia. While the Obama Administration has laid out a number of alternatives to supposedly “punish” Russia for supposedly “hacking” the US elections, its officials and experts openly acknowledged they did not wish to risk a Russian cyber-retaliation against the sprawling US cyber-empire.

The cyber-battlefield thus became yet another area in which Russia successfully deterred US aggression thanks to its own capabilities. In the longer term, once the US intelligence community comes to terms with this fact, this clash may lead to international norms regulating and, in fact, prohibiting cyber warfare against sovereign states. Ironically, it is Russia that has been consistently proposing an international legal framework governing cyber operations, starting with the 2009 proposal for an international information security treaty and the 2011 “International Code of Conduct for Information Security” that was presented to the UN General Assembly. Predictably, both were rejected out of hand by the Obama Administration. However, the US unwillingness to entertain international agreements on cyber warfare was correctly interpreted–and later confirmed by Edward Snowden– as a sign of US desire to use offensive cyber-war capabilities in the future, possibly in support of “color revolutions”, that led to the 2014 establishment of IOT. If the relations between Russia and US do improve during the Trump Administration, addressing the problem of cyber-warfare will likely be part of that agenda.

The US Is Sleepwalking Towards A Nuclear Confrontation Dmitry Orlov

 

 

Information Warfare is not “Optional”

 

Nations without information warfare capabilities in the 21st century are like nations without armies and navies in the 20th century. They are defenseless.

May 29, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) – Imagine a nation without an army, a navy or an air force. What would its prospects be of defending itself against even moderate aggression? What if it had an army, even a formidable one, but was missing an air force and/or navy? Would its chances be any better?

Before the invention of human flight, war was fought in two dimensions by armies and navies upon the surface of the planet. With the introduction of aircraft to warfare, a new dimension was added. Nations that fell behind the curve building and rebuilding their air forces would find themselves consistently at a disadvantage. Those nations that stayed ahead of the curve would cite air power as key to their victories throughout recent history.

Today, undoubtedly, information warfare is no longer a novelty. It has been honed into a weapon of devastating effect able to confuse, divide and destroy nations in a dimension conventional warfare often cannot even reach.

The use of the Internet and information warfare soared to new heights during the Arab Spring. Hardly the spontaneous uprising it was portrayed as across the Western media, for years beforehand the US State Department together with tech-giants Google and Facebook prepared armies of information warriors to disrupt, divide, confuse and take over the information space in the respective nations the US targeted for regime change in 2011.

Like an air force entering undefended airspace, the US State Department’s information warfare capabilities met little resistance and quickly overwhelmed and assumed control over information space in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. Only Syria and Egypt’s immense conventional military and political power prevented tragedies like that which unfolded in Libya from repeating itself elsewhere. However, it cannot be denied that across the region, information warfare was neglected and unnecessary leverage was conceded to the US amid a much larger theater of conflict.

Vulnerabilities in the Information Space 

While the Internet and its use in information warfare is relatively new, information warfare is not. The US and the British before them have spent over the decades, and for the British, centuries, investing in whatever forms of media existed at the time to ensure their voice among it was loudest if not the only voice to be heard.

Today, the US through a myriad of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) reaches deep into a foreign nation’s information space and media creating entire fronts to broadcast their messages from.

With overseas scholarships and training programs they aim at luring young, ambitious journalists into becoming indoctrinated and reliable outlets of US propaganda and ideally, collaborators with US interests when opportunities present themselves.

In many nations, particularly throughout the developing world, governments do not take advances in information technology seriously, failing to recognize the importance of maintaining control over it and countering efforts to co-opt and use it against them. Their views of how to manage the media are very often outdated, leaving them particularly vulnerable across the entirety of their information space.

In these nations, information from the government’s point of view is often disseminated through press releases or government-owned broadcasters that hold little credibility both domestically and internationally.

Building Better Defenses for Information Space 

Defending one’s information space depends on occupying it fully, first and foremost. This means making it difficult if not impossible for foreign nations to set up and operate media operations within a targeted nation’s borders to begin with.

Occupying Your Information Space: Russia’s relatively recent NGO laws forcing foreign-funded organizations to register as foreign agents undermines their legitimacy simply by demanding in reality the transparency these organizations often demand disingenuously as a means of attacking and undermining a targeted government.

By exposing the foreign-funded nature of their operations, effectively exposing the disingenuous intentions and financial motivations they harbor and making it difficult for them to operate while giving space to legitimate, indigenous and most importantly, constructive opposition, squeezes them out of a nation’s information space like a well planned garden crowds out weeds.

Controlling and Projecting From Your Information Space: Russia’s RT, China’s CCTV, Iran’s PressTV and South America TeleSUR are all examples of another means of filling and dominating one’s information space.

Not only do these news organizations adequately cover the news in their respective nations alongside a myriad of similar state-run media operations, they are able to communicate with, appeal to and persuade audiences well beyond their borders. It is a way of countering US and European propaganda both at home and abroad, balancing what has been for decades a lopsided information war.

Because these operations are run as professional, internationally aware and objective news organizations with minimal overt government influence, they are effective at appealing to foreign audiences.

For nations sorely lacking such news organizations, particularly across Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East, nations like Russia and China already exporting defense capabilities of a more conventional kind, could consider exporting defensive capabilities for information space.

Neglecting Information Warfare Invites Attack 

Nations that have habitually neglected information warfare have invited attack. Nations with notoriously unsound defenses for their information space are often flooded with foreign NGOs who occupy and control it to such an extent, governments are forced to capitulate to otherwise easily countered propaganda campaigns.

Investing in information warfare is not “optional” any more so than investing in a properly trained and equipped conventional military. The reality of the 21st century is that wars are no longer fought merely on land, sea, and air. They are fought in information space as well and failure to understand and defend against such threats accordingly is as bad as leaving a nation’s borders undefended, its skies unwatched, and its shores unguarded.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

Unit 8200 … ’Israel’s’ Electronic Surveillance Unit

Saleh Na’ami

Revelations concerning the vast espionage operations carried out by the American National Security Agency [NSA] against US allies, led commentators and writers to shed light on the role played by “Unit 8200”, which is “Israel’s” massive electronic surveillance unit.Unit 8200 ...

“Israeli” military commentator Amir Rapaport stressed that the role played by “Unit 8200” – a branch of the “Israeli” military intelligence [Aman] – has made “Israel” second only to the United States, in the field of eavesdropping.

In an article he wrote for the online edition of “Israeli” Maariv newspaper, Rapaport explained that the tremendous strides made by the entity in the field of producing high-tech equipment has been largely employed in the development and expansion of eavesdropping operations carried out by the unit.

He also referred to a prominent role played by private companies in supplying the unit with inventions to boost its eavesdropping capabilities.

Rapaport pointed out that the sophisticated computers belonging to ‘Unit 8200′ are able to monitor messages of intelligence value by processing millions of communications channels and billions of words.

In the same context, an investigation conducted by military commentator Yoav Limor revealed a shift in how the unit, led by a senior officer with the rank of Brigadier General functions, since the eruption of the Arab revolutions.

“A graduate of Unit 8200 became synonymous with the word genius”, and service in this unit has become “a passport in the eyes of “Israeli” youths” to become millionaires because of their absorption into leading technology companies, or their participation in the start-up of companies.

Social Media Sites

He pointed out in his investigation, which was published on the “Israel” Today website that Unit 8200 has become interested in observing social networking sites frequented by young Arabs – especially Facebook and Twitter – to acquire insight into the possible changes in the Arab world, so that “Israel” won’t be caught by surprise, as was the case with the outbreak of the Arab revolutions.

Limor pointed out that Unit 8200 is also responsible for leading the electronic warfare in the “Israeli” army, in addition to its photography operations. Meanwhile, officers and soldiers working in it are in charge of conducting field operations during wars and military operations.

Limor explained that the unit includes officers and soldiers among its ranks that escort the infantry troops during military operations and wars, charged with gathering tactical intelligence on the battlefield. Limor points out that the unit played a key role in electronic warfare against the Iranian nuclear project, and contributed to the development of the “Stuxnet” virus, which in 2009 targeted and disabled the computerized systems that control the centrifuges responsible for uranium enrichment in Iran’s nuclear facilities.

New documents, recently uncovered by the “Israeli” official Archive on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the 1973 War, showed that the unit is responsible for what has become known as the “special means”, which includes planting listening devices in the offices and vital facilities in Arab countries, especially countries that are in a state of hostility with “Israel”.

Unit 8200 closely works with the “Sayeret Matkal” unit, the most elite special unit in the “Israeli” army, which is under the direct command of the head of the Military Intelligence Division.

In addition to its specialization in assassination operations carried out across the Arab world, “Sayeret Matkal” plays a central role in intelligence gathering through planting listening devices and photography, based on prior coordination with Unit 8200.

Advanced leading technology companies in “Israel” compete to absorb the officers and soldiers who end their service in Unit 8200 due to their significant abilities in the technical field.

According to a report recently aired on “Israel’s” Channel Ten, service in Unit 8200 has become “a passport in the eyes of “Israeli” youths” to become millionaires because of their absorption into leading technology companies, or their participation in the start-up of companies.

Source: Al Jazeera, Translated and Edited by website team

06-04-2016 | 12:10

Hezbollah Calls for Forming Investigative Committee against Internet Hacking

Local Editor

Loyalty to Resistance Bloc stressed that the government should immediately form a high investigative committee to probe the scandalous internet hacking action and its effect on the financial, security and political levels, and refer all the perpetrators in this regard to the judiciary.

Hezbollah parliamentary bloc on Thursday convened under the chairmanship of MP Mohammad Raad.

The bloc underscored the necessity to resort to national consensus and seek thereby a parliamentary electoral law prone to ensure a fair popular representation.

In a different context, the bloc considered that the Saudi label of Hezbollah as a terrorist group comes from an unbalanced, failing regime that abides by the foreign policy.

Hezbollah bloc also condmened the terrorist attacks in Coute Du Voire Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Turkey as well as the Saudi aerial aggression on Yemen’s Hajja.

Source: NNA

17-03-2016 – 21:20 Last updated 17-03-2016 – 21:20


LEBANON – Telecoms Minister Links Illegal Internet to Israeli Spy Networks

 

Telecommunications Minister Boutros Harb vowed Wednesday to hunt down illegal internet providers, saying they were linked to ‘Israel’ and thus posed a danger to Lebanon’s national security.

Antennas“We will not allow the violation of the country’s sovereignty and national security,” Harb said in a televised news conference, according to the Daily Star. “This is an attack on the Lebanese people’s privacy, and we will not allow these dangerous crimes to pass by without punishment.”

His comments come one day after two Lebanese nationals were indicted for installing unauthorized internet networks east of Beirut.

Harb said that while investigations are still ongoing, there was no doubt that the same people who are behind these illegal internet networks were also behind the al-Barouk network, which was discovered to have satellite connections to ‘Israel’ in 2009.

Source: Websites

16-03-2016 – 13:13 Last updated 16-03-2016 – 13:13

 

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Israel Announces $26 Million Cyberattack on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement and Muslims in the West

American Everyman

(I guess they are getting serious about the internet of things)

from AlterNet

…However flawed his framing might have been, Estrin’s reporting makes one thing clear: The Israeli crackdown is poised to escalate its campaign to unprecedented levels. An unknown number of Israeli tech companies are threatening to unleash a wave of cyber-attacks, including “sly algorithms to restrict these online activists’ circle of influence” as well as “forensic intelligence gathering, such as detecting digital or semantic signatures buried in activists’ coding so they are able to track and restrict their online activity.”

Those acts of sabotage will take place alongside a flood of “content that puts a positive face on Israel.”

The non-profit Firewall Israel, sponsored by a government-linked think tank known as the Reut Institute, is “building an online platform to help pro-Israel activists around the world communicate about anti-Israel activism in their communities,” the article states.

[read more here]

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Arabsat Action against Al-Manar Widely Condemned

Local Editor

After Arabsat company blocked the broadcasting of Al-Manar via its satellites, scores of condemnations were issued in solidarity with the Lebanese channel and the free media.

The Syria information ministry firmly condemned Arabsat action and greeted Al-Manar staff, considering that victory is achieved by the free and honest.

Ansarullah Yemeni movement expressed its solidarity with Al-Manar, noting that Arabsat measures are in the context of targeting all the channels which face the imperialist project.

The Islamic Radios and Televisions Union denounced the unjust attempts to silence Al-Manar voice and spotless image.

Al-Mayadeen TV channel also expressed solidarity with Al-Manar, calling on establishing an alternative Arab media strategy.

The Palestinian Radios and Televisions Union pointed out that Arabsat action against Al-Manar is included in the scheme of aborting the Intifada.

Several other Arab and Islamic TV channels denounced Arabsat measures against Al-Manar, considering that they serve the Zionist scheme in the region.

Source: Al-Manar Website

05-12-2015 – 08:52 Last updated 05-12-2015 – 08:52


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Are NATO Forces “Blind” In Syria?

nato-eagle-background

By Brandon Turbeville

As Western media circulates reports accompanied with exactly zero evidence to back up claims that Russian cruise missiles crashed in Iran or that Russia has engaged in a hospital bombing spree, there is a notable silence about the capabilities of the Russian military, particularly when it relates to the question of how effective it is in preventing NATO and the United States from achieving its goals in Syria.

Recent reports in the alternative media, however, are suggesting that, at least in the coastal areas of Syria and in a number of locations controlled by the Assad government and backed by Russian forces, the NATO forces are essentially blind.

Noted and respected researcher Thierry Meyssan of the Voltaire Network recently stated on Webster Tarpley’s World Crisis Radio program that the Russians have deployed a new “secret weapon” in Syria that is capable of jamming American and NATO satellites and radar transmissions, essentially creating a space where the interlopers are incapable of using radar, sonar, or directional systems. The system, according to Meyssan, is also capable of preventing opposing forces from even being able to monitor and observe what is happening inside the area in which the jamming devices are operating.

Meyssan, who is currently living in Damascus and is functioning as an advisor to the Assad government, stated,

In fact, nobody knows what is really happening now in Syria. Because now there is something totally new, totally different from the past. The Russians [military] has deployed a special system to scramble, to jam all the communications in Syria. So, right now, all the military communications – the radar, the satellites, everything is jammed, is scrambled. And the result is that NATO [doesn’t] know what is happening inside Syria since three weeks [ago].

[…]This means that Russia has a new weapon able to stop all the communications system of NATO and this means that Russia is now the main military power in the world. You understand what I’m saying? Because right now NATO is totally blind. Because if NATO tries to do something inside Syria they can’t do it.

For those who question the claims of Meyssan, it should be noted that Russia has already deployed a sophisticated system of radar, sonar, and directional jamming that has caused some consternation amongst the NATO and American militaries.

In April, 2015, a public version of this alleged “secret” weapon was unveiled and reported on by Sputnik. The Russian media organization stated,

The Richag-AV system, mounted on the Mi-8MTPR1 (a variant of the Mi-8MTB5-1 helicopter) is said to have no global equivalent. Its electronic countermeasures system is designed to jam radar, sonar and other detection systems in the aims of defending aircraft, helicopters, drones, ground and naval forces against air-to-air and surface-to-air defense systems within a radius of several hundred kilometers. It can be mounted on units from any branch of the armed forces, including helicopters and airplanes, as well as ground and ship-based forces. The Mi8-MTPR1-based Richag-AV platform, using multi-beam antenna arrays with DRFM technology, is designed to actively jam and thus ‘blind’ radar systems in order to defend against radio-electronic guided weapons systems. In a combat situation, the system would operate as part of an aviation shock attack group aimed at breaking through virtually any defense system, blinding everything up to and including the US MIM-104 ‘Patriot’ anti-aircraft missile system.

The new Russian system seems to be functioning via a similar concept but at a much higher capacity.

It should also be noted that, in late September of this year, NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Phillip Breedlove warned that Russia was creating an A2/AD bubble over the Syrian coast and the eastern Mediterranean. Breedlove also mentioned that similar bubbles were already created by Russia over the Baltic Sea near Kaliningrad and the Black Sea near Crimea. A2/AD is an abbreviation for Anti-Access and Area Denial.

As the Washington Post reported,

While Russia’s stated goal in moving into Syria is to fight the Islamic State, NATO’s top commander believes Russia’s new presence includes the first pieces of an intricate layer of defensive systems deployed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. “As we see the very capable air defense [systems] beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean,” said Breedlove to an audience at the German Marshall FundMonday. A2/AD stands for anti-access/area denial. During the early stages of warfare, A2/AD could have been a moat around a castle, or spikes dug into the ground—anything to keep the enemy off a certain swathe of territory. In the 21st century, however, A2/AD is a combination of systems such as surface-to-air missile batteries and anti-ship missiles deployed to prevent forces from entering or traversing a certain area—from land, air or sea. According to Breedlove, the introduction of an A2/AD bubble in Syria would be Russia’s third denial zone around Europe. The first and oldest he said, was in the Baltics where the Russian naval base in Kaliningrad has robust anti-air capabilities. The second zone—originating from Russian-occupied Crimea—covers the Black Sea. “Russia has developed a very strong A2/AD capability in the Black Sea,” said Breedlove. “Essentially their [anti-ship] cruise missiles range the entire Black Sea, and their air defense missiles range about 40 to 50 percent of the Black Sea.

Hints of the effectiveness of the Russian technology was demonstrated in a tense standoff between a Russian fighter jet and an American Destroyer in the Black Sea in 2014 when the Russian jet turned toward the Destroyer (who was stationed in the Black Sea in violation of the Montreaux Convention) and completely jammed the radar and directional systems on board the ship. While the silencing of the US systems was impressive enough, the fact that the jet did so for a total of 12 times was a clear message.

Considering the nature of the conflict taking place in Syria, we can only hope that the Russians continue to blackout access to visuals, communications, and the ability to launch a coordinated assault against the Assad forces by NATO powers and any other force attempting to destroy Syria and its people. However, we must also hope that the US ruling elite soon begins to keep its hubris in check before we find ourselves engaged in a worldwide conflagration.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST atUCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

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We take down hundreds of ISIS sites, fight w/o guns – ‘Anonymous’ hacker

 
Media propaganda has proven key to ISIS’ success. International efforts to stem the jihadists online have had little effect. So independent fighters are attempting to turn the tide themselves. RT spoke exclusively to one hacker from a company waging a campaign against the Islamists.
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ISRAEL’S CONTINUING GENOCIDE AND PARTNERS IN CRIME CAPTURED IN ONE PICTURE

NSA illegally surveys big companies all over the world to steal trade secrets

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_05_21/NSA-illegally-surveilles-big-companies-all-over-the-world-to-steal-trade-secrets-9388/

NSA illegally surveilles big companies all over the world to steal trade secrets

 

The US National Security Agency has never said what it was seeking when it illegally invaded the computers of Petrobras, Brazil’s huge national oil company, but Brazilians assumed: the company’s troves of data on Brazil’s offshore oil reserves, or perhaps its plans for allocating licenses for exploration to foreign companies, the New York Times reports.

It has become known that the agency also got its hands on the computer systems of China Telecom, one of the largest providers of mobile phone and Internet services in Chinese cities. But documents released by Edward Snowden leave little doubt that the main goal was to learn about Chinese military units, whose members cannot resist texting on commercial networks.

The agency’s interest in Huawei, the giant Chinese maker of Internet switching equipment, and Pacnet, the Hong Kong-based operator of undersea fiber optic cables, is more obvious: once inside those companies’ proprietary technology, the NSA would have access to millions of daily conversations and emails that never touch American shores.

In each of these cases, American officials insist, when speaking off the record, that the United States was never acting on behalf of specific American companies. But the government does not deny it routinely spies to advance American economic advantage, which is part of its broad definition of how it protects American national security. To cut a long story short: the NSA cannot spy on Airbus and give the results to Boeing, but it is free to spy on European or Asian trade negotiators and use the results to help American trade officials- and, obviously, the American industries and workers they are trying to bolster.

In the Chinese view, the United States has designed its own system of rules about what constitutes “legal” spying and what is illegal.

In fact, state-run oil companies are a fascination to the NSA just as American high-tech firms are a Chinese obsession. State oil companies in Saudi Arabia, Africa, Iran and Mexico have often been intelligence targets for the United States. American officials say that digging inside corporations for insights into economic policy is different from actually stealing corporate secrets.

“What we do not do, as we have said many times,” James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said after some of the initial NSA revelations last year, “is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of – or give intelligence we collect to – US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”

American officials sometimes dig into corporations because they are suspected to be witting or unwitting suppliers of technology to the North Koreans or the Iranians, for instance. Siemens, the German telecommunications firm, was the chief supplier of the factory controllers that ran the centrifuges in Iran’s main nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz. The Stuxnet computer worm, designed by the United States and Israel, was designed to attack Siemens equipment – and it has never been clear whether the company knew that its machines were under American and Israeli attack. But in that case, American officials could argue that national security, not corporate competitiveness, was the priority.Well,  in that case any illegal spying activity may be justified. 
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_05_21/NSA-illegally-surveilles-big-companies-all-over-the-world-to-steal-trade-secrets-9388/

How the US Propaganda System Works

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/09/how-the-us-propaganda-system-works/

Americans are told that other governments practice censorship and propaganda, but not their own. Yet, the reality is quite different with many reasonable viewpoints marginalized and deceptive spin put on much that comes from officialdom, writes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

Many Americans assume the U.S. government speaks “the truth” to its citizens and defends their constitutional right to “free speech” (be it in the form of words or dollars). On the other hand, it is always the alleged enemies of the U.S. who indulge in propaganda and censoring of “the truth.”

In practice it is not quite that way. Washington, and many local American governments as well, can be quite censoring. Take for instance the attempt to censor the boycott of Israeli academic institutions – institutions engaged in government research that facilitates illegal settlement expansion and the use of Palestinian water resources.broadcast-networks

In this case, the fact that a call for boycott is an age-old, non-violent practice also falling within the category of free speech, is mostly disregarded. Instead we get a knee-jerk impulse on the part of just about every American politician to shut down debate, even to the point where various state legislatures threatened their own state colleges and universities with a cutoff of funds if they tolerate the boycott effort on their campuses.

It is not only American academics who suffer censorship at the hands of a government that claims to defend freedom of speech. Academics of countries deemed unfriendly to the U.S. have been subjected to the same treatment. Take, for instance, Iranian academics. U.S. trade sanctions on Iran, put in effect in 1980, included strict curbs on academic exchanges.

Later, a few in Congress managed to ease these with a “free trade in ideas” amendment, but the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sabotaged the effort. That office violated the spirit of the congressional amendment by asserting that while there could now be exchanges of information with academics in sanctioned states, say, in the form of manuscripts submitted to U.S. journals for publication, they could not be “enhanced” by such practices as editing for style purposes. Violation of this regulation could result in fines and imprisonment for journal editors.

On the other hand, as far as we know, no OFAC official was ever fined, fired or imprisoned for violating the intent of Congress.

Several organizations, including the American Association of Publishers, took the U.S. government to court over the issue in 2003. In 2004, the matter was settled out of court, granting the right of publishers to use standard editing procedures for manuscript submissions from Iran.

However, the OFAC has failed to officially promulgate this change in regulations, and as a result many journal editors are ignorant of the revised regulation. Many still “play it safe” and simply return submissions from Iran marked “denied due to sanctions.”

More generally, there are now reports that the Internet provider Yahoo, which is used by a 63 percent of Iranians communicating through the worldwide web, has decided that it will not allow Iranians to create new e-mail accounts.

Cutting off access to Yahoo will require many in Iran to use the e-mail service provided by the Iranian government – which, of course, censors communications. Yahoo thus becomes complicit in the process of censoring millions of people.

Media Manipulation

Perhaps the grossest ongoing censorship of all is the culturally conditioned, narrow range of opinion fed to the vast majority of Americans by their own media. The differences in story lines and opinions in the “news” given by well-watched television channels such as ABC. CBS, NBC and CNN, or those of the nation’s major newspapers and news magazines, is minuscule.

One venue that stands out is Fox TV, and its “news” and opinion offerings verge on the mendacious. The narrow range of views offered creates a uniform background noise hiding most of what is at variance with the standard message. In other words, media practices constitute de facto censorship.

So well does this process work that it is probably the case that many news editors and broadcasters and most of the public taking in their reporting do not understand that their reductionism has rendered the constitutional right of free press ineffectual.

Really meaningful contrary opinion and reporting (particularly of the progressive persuasion) is so infrequent and marginalized that it stands little chance of competing with the orthodox point of view.

An exception is to be found on the TV channel Comedy Central. There Americans can find the popular “Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” This show presents the only ongoing, nationally televised critique of the foibles of U.S. government leaders and their policies. But, of course, it all must be done in the form of comical political satire.

As successful as media conditioning is, some elements of the U.S. government feel they must go the extra mile to guarantee that the public receives an acceptable view of events. Take the revelations given in a recent report by Amnesty International on the trial of the so-called Cuban Five (five Cuban residents of Florida arrested for espionage on the part of the Cuban government).

Amnesty’s official report on the trial of the five defendants alleges that “the United States [government] paid journalists hostile to Cuba to cover the trial and provide prejudicial articles in the local media asserting the guilt of the accused.”

Under such circumstances the “free press” was transformed into a vehicle for government propaganda and this, in turn, helped to generally devalue the right of free speech. We do not know how often the government acts in this corruptive way.

Et Tu, Obama?

In a report issued late in 2013 by the Committee to Protect Journalists, President Barack Obama, a liberal within the U.S. political spectrum, has been accused of pressuring journalists to toe the line. He has done this by “attacking sources, conducting surveillance, creating a climate of fear, and prosecuting double the amount of cases for alleged leaks of classified information as all previous administrations combined.”

As a consequence the global index on media freedom issued annually by the conservative Freedom House alleges that in 2014 the U.S. suffered a sharp erosion of press freedom and the right of the citizen to know what his or her country is doing. The report cites “attempts by the government to inhibit reporting on national security issues” as a major reason for this situation.

At the same time, President Obama makes speeches critiquing foreign governments, such as that in Egypt, for limiting freedom of the press and speech. There is no doubt that the governments he targets are guilty of gross violations of these rights and many more besides.

But what is equally true is that the vast majority of Americans can listen to the President castigate these governments with no sense of cognitive dissonance. They do not know that they too are victims of propaganda and manipulation.

How could they? They are culturally conditioned to believe that their country is the foundation of freedom and truth. And, beyond their local area, they haven’t the knowledge, or often the interest, to fact-check what their leaders and media agents tell them. That is why it is accurate to describe the U.S. information environment as closed.

Actually, there is nothing particularly unique about the self-censoring environment under which Americans live. All states and cultures, to one extent or another, practice this sort of manipulation of the information environment whereby reality is distorted.

Thus we can ask, is the United States the great defender of its own constitutional freedoms? It is when it suits the purposes of policy makers. When it doesn’t, hypocrisy prevails.

The system is successful because all but a few people are culturally conditioned not to notice or care. Such a manipulative process as this at once helps keep societies cohesive and at the same time creates the conditions wherein hate is easily bred and vast numbers are made willing to charge enemy machine guns.

Those who see through their conditioning and manipulation are, if you will, cultural mistakes. They are also the human race’s best, albeit slim, hope for a saner, more tolerant world.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania

New York Times makes it up as they go along, an obnoxious rag which should be reclassified as a comic

New York Times should Apologize for Publishing Palestinians ‘Have Avowed as Their Goal the Killing of All Jews’

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/new-york-times-should-apologize-for-publishing-palestinians-have-avowed-as-their-goal-the-killing-of-all-jews/#.Uzu05emPI5t

I have sent an ‘open letter’ to Margaret Sullivan, the Public Editor of The New York Times, requesting that her newspaper issue an apology in print to its readers, especially its Palestinian readers for publishing the following sentence which was contained in a letter to The Sunday Book Review:  “The ‘conflict’ exists because, by word and deed, Palestinian Arabs have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews.” (‘Letters: Genesis,’ March 19, 2014)

This slanderous statement is racist, patently false and thus should have no place in The New York Times.

As the journalist James North pointed out, the test for the Sunday Book Review editors “is to ask themselves whether they would have allowed [other] letter writers to tell similar sweeping lies about any other group of people anywhere. Would the editors, to take just one example, permit a letter from India to state that ‘Pakistanis have avowed as their goal the killing of all Indians?’”

Erroneous and salacious statements which falsely characterize Palestinians as wanting to kill all Jews are ever more becoming part of the pro-Israel message.  Sheldon Adelson said it at on a stage at Yeshiva University last October.  The right-wing Israeli political leader Naftali Bennett, said it from a stage in Tel Aviv during the Institute for National Security Studies annual conference this January.

By publishing the libelous statement and then refusing to apologize, The New York Times, which has an important role in defining the parameters of what is acceptable in the Palestinian/Israeli debate, at least among liberal Zionists, helps ensure that we will be reading and hearing this racist statement in the future.  That serves neither Palestinians nor those who aspire to peace.

If you would like to write the editors at The New York Times about this matter, please address your thoughts to the Sunday Book Review Editor and send email or letter to be forwarded via the New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan.  (For instructions for contacting Margaret Sullivan, click here.)

I have been told by an editor at the newspaper that the editorial staff at the Sunday Book Review is currently discussing how to respond to this call for an apology.

Franklin Lamb: Introducing the Syria Resistance (PFLI) and it’s Leader

ED NOTE: Thanks to our friend Dr. Franklin Lamb for introducing the Syrian resistance and its Leader Ali Kayali fighting in all fronts, shoulder to shoulder with the Syrian Arab Army,  the takfirs sponsored by the zionists world order and its tools Saudia, Qatar, Turkey and the So-called March 14 movement. The resistance will continue until full liberation of Syrian Land, including south Syria (Palestine) and every inch of Syrian Land occupied by Turkey.
I added some pictures and the videos
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North of Latakia, Syria Posted on 
https://i0.wp.com/www.iskenderun.org/Fotogaleri/Sahil/iskenderun_sahil013.jpg
Every school kid here in Syria learns at an early age about the various colonial land grabs that have lopped off key parts of their ancient country, and they receive instruction about their national duty to recover this sacred territory. The concept applies equally to still-occupied Palestine, or at least it did before the 2011 uprising got started, albeit since then a degree of resentment has arisen over participation by some Palestinians with rebel groups seeking to topple the Syrian government.
https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/COy9D.jpg
Be that as it may, one such land grab historically remembered, and which is currently galvanizing resistance on behalf of Syria, is that of Iskenderun, north of Latakia, in a disputed Syria-Turkish border area. As Turkish, Saudi, and Qatari-sponsored jihadists continue to enter the country, well worth remembering is it that Iskenderun is rich in natural resources and that for thousands of years it was part of Syria. But that status changed more than half a century ago when France cut it off from Syria and grafted it onto Turkey—and now some pro-government militias are fighting to get it back.
iskmap
The name derives from Alexander the Great, who around 333 BC encamped in the area and ordered a city be built, although the exact site of the historic city is subject to dispute. At any rate, the strategic importance of Iskenderun comes from its geographical relation to Syrian Gates, the easiest approach to the open ground of Hatay Province and Aleppo, and the dispute over it has been heating up recently, partly as a result of the current crisis.
It all started on July 5, 1938, when Turkish forces under Colonel Sukril Kanath launched an aggression, with French approval, and ethnically cleansed the local Armenian Christian and Allawi populations. The Turkish invasion was enabled by the French, partners with Britain in Sykes-Picot, who had remained as illegal occupiers of Syria, a holdover from the League of Nations mandate. The French were complicit in a rigged referendum, essentially ceding to Turkey this Syrian territory, which by then was referred to as the Republic of Hatay. It was a land grab. Pure and simple. And it was part of a secret deal to secure Turkey’s help with the fast approaching war with Germany. Paris and Ankara struck a deal: Turkey, while not joining the allies against Germany, declared neutrality and essentially sat out World War II.

frankandali

Commander Ali Kayali, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Iskenderun
Syria, rather than being expansionist, as it is sometimes accused of by Turkey and the Zionist regime, has actually been losing territory, not gaining it. “We lost northern Palestine in 1918, Lebanon in 1920, and the Iskenderun area through French duplicity,” said a retired diplomat here. “Surely Lebanon must also be returned to Syria. It was never a real country and it never will be as far as I am concerned. It is part of Syria!”Indeed, as Robert Fisk points out, after the First World War, most Lebanese wished their land to remain part of Syria (see the results of the King-Crane Commission) rather than live in a separate “nation” under French domination. As we parted, the gentleman shook my hand and declared: “Of course Iskendurun is part of Syria. No honest person can deny this!”
Enter one remarkable Syrian nationalist, Ali Kayali, aka “Abu Zaki”. So how did a polite gentleman from this region of Turkish-occupied Syria end up leading one of the most effective resistance militias in the northern theater in the current Syrian crisis? Basically he did it the same way as untold numbers of Palestinians supporting young Syrian men during the early 1980’s.
Ali went to Beirut to resist the 1982 Zionist aggression. There he was baptized by fire, so to speak, carrying the banner of his new group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Iskenderun (PFLI) under the tutelage of Dr. George Habash and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Ali fought in a number of south Lebanon fronts, and also inside West Beirut, but then after the PLO withdrawal (on 8/20/82), he returned to Syria, to Tartous, joining the rebellion against PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Near Bedwari camp he fought, as part of the Fatah Intifada uprising, this following the PLO split along -pro-Arafat and pro-Hafez Assad cleavages.

Later, Ali undertook study on his own in Tartous (Tripoli, Syria), and at one point escaped from prison in Turkey where he had been jailed for demonstrating against the fascist regime in Ankara. Returning to Syria, he joined Syrian Army battles against the Bilal Shaaban-led Al Tawhid Islamic (Muslim Brotherhood ), following which he and the PFLI moved to the area of Halba in Akkar, Lebanon, and organized a resistance training camp. Eventually, however, he returned to Syria to continue the fight to liberate the Syrian territory of Iskenderun, and while supported by Syrian citizens, the Kayali-led group was not formally part of the Syrian security/resistance apparatus.

pflipositions
Commander Ali discussing PFLI positions
Speaking with non-government analysts in Latkia, this observer was repeatedly told that the PFLI has the reputation of understanding the geography and politics of the Syrian coast area where its fighters are currently active, including Aleppo, Banias, between Tartous and the countryside around Latakia, as well as the Idlib, Homs and Damascus areas.

As PFLI fighters and officials put it, “Syria will not kneel to the Zionist-Arab project to destroy the unity and independence of the Syrian Arab Republic.” According to one PFLI spokesperson, the group “supports and stands in the same trench, hand in hand with the state, confronting two foreign projects—the first being to destroy the achievements of the Syrian people and Syria’s social fabric and multi-cultural heritage, and the second being to infiltrate foreign intruders.”

One place the PFLI is currently fighting is the strategic rebel bastion of Yabrud, in the Qalamoun Mountains, north of Damascus, near the Lebanese border. On 3/3/14, during a meeting with this observer and some of his associates, Ali Kyali received a phone call relaying information that Sahel village, about four miles from Yabrud, had come under control of Syrian and pro-Syrian forces, including the PFLI. Remarkably open with battlefield details, Ali explained that pro-Syria forces do not want to occupy Yabrud, but rather the strategy is to control the villages surrounding it in order to trap al Nursa and other rebel militia inside. Asked about the trapped local population and reminded of the fate of the inner city populations of Aleppo, Homs and a dozen other locations, Ali shrugged and turned up his palms.

Today (3/7/14) the PFLI is fighting to try to cut off the road linking Yabrud to Arsal in eastern Lebanon, whose majority population supports the Syrian revolt. PFIL fighters were involved last week with the fall of Al-Sahl, a town a little over a mile south of Yabrud, and now are fighting in and around Yaboud, preparing for the anticipated final assault. According to Ali’s personal bodyguards, they are facing Al-Qaida’s Syria affiliate, al-Nusra Front. Some of PFLI’s 3000 troops are also fighting this week in Douma, Jobar, Aleppo, the countryside around Lattakia, and Deralcia near Nubek on the main Damascus-Homs highway. They also played a key role earlier in Baniyas, in the battle between Tartous and Latakia. One YouTube clip being given to visitors to the PFLI HQ in Latakia shows the group’s participation, including women, in a recent important battle against the ISIS:

The PFLI organization receives a variety of random and sporadic support from the local community, according to Mr. Kayali and his staff, but they, like most militia, need money and weapons and regular supplies of food. Also needed are places for the fighters to sleep, as well as more uniforms to accommodate a sharp influx of applicants seeking to join their ranks. Additionally there is the matter of funding death benefit payments for the families of PFLI men and women killed during resistance.

PFLI fighters are not paid salaries, which sets them apart financially from many Gulf-backed and Western-trained militia, who can garner monthly salaries from $500-$1,000. By contrast, pro-government popular committees, numbering approximately 5,000, and National Defense units, whose fighters number around 25,000, receive approximately 20,000 Syrian Pounds, or $126 a month. Footing much of this bill are Syrian businessmen such as Rami Mahlouf, cousin of President Bashar Assad. Regular Syrian army recruits get only 3000 Syrian pounds, or about $20 monthly, but they also receive food and lodging and health and travel benefits. Syrian army reservists are said to receive approximately $10.50 per month.

jofa

“Joan of Arc” with part of her resistance family
For Ali Kayali, the PFLI is also a family matter. His wife and daughter and two sons are deeply connected with its resistance goals. His sons are fighters, as are his wife and daughter when called upon, though in-between time they do other resistance projects. Nicked-named “Joan of Arc,” his 22-year-old daughter attends medical school, but reportedly is also a ferocious fighter and adept battlefield tactician, with dramatic results in a number of battles against rebels over the past nearly two years. She is a strong, no-nonsense feminist and told me she loves to shock takfiris, who sometimes appear amazed to see her and her female unit chasing them up the side of some mountain.
It is said that an army (or a militia, for that matter) travels on its stomach. This observer was treated to an impromptu roadside lunch with half a dozen PFLI fighters last week. Their favorite cook, Mahmoud, a small guy who always seems to wear the same blue shirt, invited us. Within minutes, Mahmoud gathered some twigs and small chunks of wood, lit a small fire, covered it with a metal grate, grabbed a bag of flour, mixed in water, kneaded it a bit, and shaped and roasted some small, irregular round loaves. On these he sprinkled, from another plastic bag, some handfuls of spices. His fast and hot food was delicious, constituting Mhamra manouche (roasted pita bread with spicy red pepper sauce), Zaatar  manouche (oregano, thyme, & sesame seeds), and Jibneh (cheese) manouche.
Captagon Jihad?
Sitting in the lobby of a run-down, less-than-one-star, dockside hotel opposite the Mediterranean, a lodging establishment occasionally used as quarters by various militia, this observer and his companion spoke leisurely one early morning with one of Ali Kyali’s sons and a companion. When not fighting jihadists (in “Have AK-47, Will Travel”-mode), they are among his father’s bodyguards. I have for a while been interested in claims by Western governments that they are supplying “humanitarian non-lethal aid” to rebel groups, including night goggles, telecommunication equipment, and GPS devices. This observer views all such equipment as misnamed and indeed lethal inasmuch as they facilitate one side killing the other via night snipers or through expedition of troop movements. I was a bit surprised to learn what PFLI fighters thought of this kind of equipment being given to their adversaries and labeled ‘humanitarian aid.’
“Not having night goggles, except for some we take off the enemy, is not much of a problem for us because we can sense where al Nusra fighters are, and they tend not to fight at night,” Ali’s son told me.
I asked why the reluctance to fight at night, thinking maybe it had something to do with a religious edict of some sort, but once more I was mistaken.
“No it’s not that, it’s because they are too paranoid and exhausted, from taking captagon and even stronger drugs, to fight at night.”
According the guys I was sitting with, some with more than two years fighting experience with the PFLI, many, if not most, of the Gulf-sponsored jihadists are given bags of pills to enhance their battlefield courage. And it works to a degree. At dawn each day, jihadists take drugs, including large doses of captagon and other widely available drugs. There also are some particularly potent drugs, known locally as “baltcon,” “afoun,” and ”zolm,” as well as opium, heroin, cocaine, and hashish. The main drug routes into the Syrian battle zones, I was advised, run from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon, with lesser amounts coming via Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. Lebanon’s Bekaa valley apparently produces large amounts of captagon pills for shipment to the Gulf, and now to Syria. Jihadists high on drugs apparently feel invincible, and hostile, and do not fear death. Many are indeed ferocious and fearless fighters during the day, as many media sources have reported. But by nightfall, when the drug wears off, the fighters become exhausted and sometimes are found asleep on the very scene of battle they were fighting from.

“Many of the ‘Gulfies’ are in fact heavily addicted to strong heroin-like drugs. They crave them, and sometimes they even fight with their fellow militiamen to get their ‘fixes.’ We are told by some we capture that sometimes, when one of their comrades is killed, the fallen fighter’s ‘friends’ will descend on his body, not particularly to pray over it, but to rummage his pockets for his drugs.”

In point of fact, in 2011 alone, Lebanese authorities confiscated three amphetamine production labs, in addition to two Captagon-producing labs, which they claim were responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of the pills to the Gulf. The seizure of trucks with captagon in their chassis in Lebanon, and at Beirut airport, shows a growing demand for these products in the Syrian militia market. The UN recently reported that the Middle and Near East are experiencing the majority of drug busts globally.
Al Nusra Front and ISIS—being some of the more extreme “imported jihadists,” as some here call them—claim to be better fighters than Hezbollah, whose units set the fighting skill bar fairly high these days. Some of them claim they have not really started their battle to defeat Hezbollah on its own territory, but will do so when they are ready. But as one PFLI fighter explained, and some of his buddies nodded agreement, only when high on drugs do Qatari/Saudi jihadists exhibit bravery and bravado. Only then do they pose a serious threat, because they ignore normal defensive fighting tactics.
“We know many of these guys quite well. Lots of them were never even religious. There are many who are drug addicts, who get high and lose their fear of dying, so they are dangerous to confront, and they often use strange tactics.”
According to another PFLI source, the “imported Jihadists” die in high numbers because they ignore the battlefield realities. Their average number of dead in any given firefight over the past two years is estimated to be approximately five times the number of Hezbollah casualties, three times the number of PFLI fighters, and twice the number of casualties than the regular Syrian army.
As the Syrian crisis enters its fourth year, with more jihadists arriving and more militia being formed across the political and religious spectrum, the US intelligence community and congressional sources are now predicting the war will continue for another decade or more. It’s anyone’s guess what the post-Syrian crisis period will bring to this region given the rise of ethno-nationalism along with demands for the return of Sykes-Picot land grabs. There are also growing signs of a cataclysmic intifada in Palestine. When you add to all that US intelligence predictions of the overthrow of two, and possibly three, Gulf monarchies, another Hezbollah-Zionist war, plus the deterioration of the social and religious fabric across the region, the future looks bleak indeed.
Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-lb.com).

Telecoms Ministry: “Israeli” Spying Stations along Lebanese Border

Local Editor 

Sources from the Telecommunications Ministry confirmed Wednesday the statement made by Speaker Nabih Berri that “Israel” had recently installed spying stations along its border with Lebanon.

The sources said that back in August, the caretaker prime minister’s office had tasked a committee comprising representatives of the ministry, the Army and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to survey the border with “Israel” for any spying stations.

lebanese borders

According to the source, upon touring the area, the committee discovered that “Israel” had established spying stations along its borders with Lebanon before and after the 2006 War.

Moreover, the committee determined that some spying stations were reconstructed by “Israel” after being destroyed by Hizbullah during the war.
The biggest spying station was reportedly located in Al-Abbad area and Jal al-Alam, both located along the U.N.-demarcated Blue Line.

“Israel” also erected devices that were directed toward major mobile phone stations in Lebanon to wiretap phone conversations, the sources said.

Hassan Fadlallah, head of the parliamentary committee for media and communications, will chair a session Monday to discuss information available so far on the issue and would be presented with a detailed explanation on how spying devices function.

wednesday meeting

“Israel installed and is still installing spying stations along the border with Lebanon, starting from Naqoura passing by Khiam and all the way to Shebaa,” Berri told visitors during his weekly meeting with MPs, according to a statement from his office carried by the National News Agency.

Berri said the stations had modern equipment with the ability to monitor the entirety of Lebanon and were all linked to Tel Aviv via devices in Mount Hermon and the occupied Shebaa Farms on the Lebanese-Palestinian border.
According to the National News Agency, Berri presented the MPs with a copy of documents and photos proving the presence of the stations and said the Telecommunications Ministry had the related files.

Berri also said that he had asked the head of the Information and Telecommunications parliamentary committee to hold a session in the presence of relevant ministers and take action on the issue, “mainly [for the] filing an official complaint from Lebanon to the United Nations Security Council.”

Source: Agencies

07-11-2013 | 11:1

Bellemare’s Indictment: British Intelligence Composed the Communications File!

Part 2/4
Nader Ezzeddine
In the first part of the report, we presented for the nature of Bellemare’s correlation between Hizbollah and the Martyr Imad Mughniyeh on one side and the names of the indicted. In addition, in the first part, we went through the suspicions raised by the judge of the SITL pre-trial procedures Daniel Fransen about the credibility of what Bellemare said regarding the Communications File on which he based his indictment. Now, in part two, we are going to answer the questions we raised earlier: Who composed the Communications File? What were the offenses Bellemare had committed when he divided the communications networks into color codes? Who was the unknown person that coordinated between A’yash on one side and Sabra – O’naysi on the other side? In addition, does “the spatial correlation” taken by Bellemare as a basis for directing his accusations have any existence in the communications field?

BRITISH INTELLIGENCE & LEBANESE COMPOSED THE COMMUNICATIONS FILE

Fransen’s suspicions about the responsibility of the “employee” in Bellemare’s bureau for composing this file never came from vainness, and Fransen is quite sure that the “employee” does not have the proficiency to compose such a file and that the file exceeds his expertise and authority. Upon asking Bahsoun about the possible party that could have composed such a file, he says”, The British Intelligence was the composer of the file in cooperation with Lebanese parties”. Regarding what was said about Captain Wissam Eid of the Information Intelligence affiliated with Internal Security Forces assuming this file before he was assassinated himself, Bahsoun says,” Before Captain Wissam Eid was assassinated he was analyzing data in cooperation with an English company delegated by the Investigation Committee. He was assassinated as early as Bellemare’s mission started, and he was rather killed after he had seen Bellemare!! I think his assassination would be later linked to Al-Hariri’s assassination in order to accuse the resistance of assassinating a captain in the Internal Security Forces.”

OFFENSES BELLEMARE MADE IN CLASSIFYING & COLOR CODING THE NETWORKS

Bellemare classified the participants in the crime when preparing, setting up the scene, coordinating, and executing based on the way of exchanged communications among them… He gathered all the participants who used those cell phones and color-coded them each of whom with one attribute. Such classification is usually used in significant crimes for clarification purposes for the public.

With this principle, Bahsoun sees that “the STL Prosecutor-General has classified and color coded the groups based on speculations and hypotheses. In addition, he attributed certain numbers to certain groups on supposition, such as saying that Mustafa Badr Eddin did not have except one cell phone in the green group while the other seven cell phones were landlines at the time that is presumed to be the leader of the group. This is sheer surprising matter! While the man Bellemare considers coordinator that is Salim A’yash, he was carrying four secret numbers (green, red, yellow, and blue) in addition to another four landlines! While both O’naysi and Sabra were carrying one secret number of the same color, purple in their case. That is, A’yash who was a coordinator was not carrying a cell phone of the same color code carried by those who played the informational distraction! Thus, according to Bellemare, he coordinates with someone who in his turn instructs O’naysi and Sabra, yet he is unidentified! This means that Bellemare knows that A’yash does coordinate with O’naysi and Sabra but never talks to them, through a man in-between but never known to Bellemare! This is the utmost inconceivable ever! And here we are before a big question mark.”

We conclude that the operation leader (Badr Eddin) could not communicate but with the coordinator (A’yash) who in turn communicated with those who were in charge of informational distraction (O’naysi and Sabra) through a middle man unknown to Bellemare! The questions rising at this point are as such: How could an operational leader be completely absent from all except from the coordinator? What will happen if a mishap took place with the latter? What could the leader do in this situation? How could the operational leader carry one secret cell phone while the coordinator would carry four of them?! More importantly, how could Bellemare know of the coordinator’s communication with informational distracters he made through an intermediary though he did not know who the intermediary was?!!

Bahsoun wonders in turn, “Why neither Bellemare in the indictment nor Fransen in the judicial decision pointed to their possessing voice recordings of those who had committed the assassination?! Is it possible for Bellemare to designate the communications made by the second, but he cannot secure the recordings?! This is again impossible! I think the recordings are available in his custody but he has hidden them because they do not belong to the men he indicts but to different people.”

THERE IS NO SUCH “SPATIAL CORRELATION” IN THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS

If those recordings do not belong to the indicted, whose are they then?! Bahsoun answers, “There is designation of cell phone numbers to the indicted in a conspicuous manner. This confirms how the persons were doomed before the cell phone numbers were designated, and there is quite a difference between the situation when someone talks on the phone, and an investigation team tries to uncover his identity and then they discover that it was “Badr Eddin” for instance, and the situation when the name of “Badr Eddin” is doomed and later the search goes for his cell phone number and then designate it for him! This was the mechanism Bellemare used and he called “spatial correlation”; he considered it a well-known mechanism at the time that it never has any actual existence in the field of communications.”

Bahsoun informs of this non-existing mechanism except with Bellemare by saying, “According to this mechanism, the Prosecutor-General sees that if two cell phones were available simultaneously at the same place, and their carrier made a call, and even if it were discovered that the two numbers never contacted each other at all, then it would be more likely that the carrier of the two cell phones must have been the same person!!!

This is how Bellemare arrived at the name Sami Eisa and then said it was an invented name and that the true name was Mustafa Badr Eddin! This is what Bellemare called “spatial correlation” and he claimed that it was a well-known mechanism while in reality it absolutely has no existence.”

In addition, Bahsoun points to the term “the same place” used by Bellemare ranges in the field of cell phones between 250 meters and 30 kilometers. Again, Bellemare did not specify “the simultaneous timing” for the tower allocating the two calls. If the difference were 5 seconds, then they would not be too far from each other, yet if the difference were 10 minutes, for instance, then they should have been too far, because in a city like Beirut, one could travel 7 kilometers in 10 minutes.” For further clarification: Let us assume that an Israeli agent wants to frame (X) in a criminal act, and another agent like Tareq Al-Raba’ah or any other agent inside the communications company, the agent can easily ask Al-Raba’ah to inform him once (X) makes a call of the location of the latter. So once (X) makes a call, Al-Raba’ah will call the agent and inform him that (X) has made a call from the area of Ashrafiyeh”, for instance; in his turn, the agent can go to “Ashrafiyeh” and makes a call from a different cell phone, thus repeating the operation several times; this way, according to Bellemare, the agent’s cell phone becomes the possession of(X) which means they are both (X)and the agent one person. Next, the agent can contact the group assigned to commit the crime, thus Bellemare concludes that (X) is the one who contacted the criminal group!

Bahsoun comments, “This is absolutely not evidence! And I can affirm that there are 700 similar cases in any area in Beirut and the suburbs, and Bellemare absolutely knows this is not evidence and Fransen suspected it, and he wishes that no one will raise this accusation in court for future similar fabrications for other people who could be more important than those four indicted.”

In Part Three of the report:
How Bellemare Claimed knowledge of the Names of the Perpetrators in 2008, Yet He Blotted out their Identities Today!
F.S. Contacts the Criminals: Hariri is on his Way to You
Why did Bellemare Blot out the Cell phone Numbers?
See also:
Bellemare’s Indictment: Skeptical Fransen Agrees with Reservations! 1/4

Source: Al-Manar Website

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israeli Control Over Telecom Network Technically Confirmed

Local Editor
President of the Parliamentary Telecommunications Committee MP Hasan Fadlallah held a joint press conference with deputy president of the Organizing Telecom Committee Dr. Imad Hoballah, and the committee members Diana Abu Ghanem and Mohammad Ayoub.

MP Hasan Fadlallah considered that the STL indictment has taken Lebanon towards the edge as it relied on doubts, assumptions, and conclusions without referring to any real evidence.

He assured that the Israeli espionage and control over the Lebanese telecom network was confirmed and documented by major and international telecommunication committees. He indicated that an indictment with such content needs telecom experts rather than judges to work on, and said that the indictment cannot be relied on, as all the data that it enrolled was penetrated.

MP Fadlallah further asked: “Why is their insistence to rely on discredited evidence?”

Dr. Imad hoballah, and engineers Diana Abu Ghanem and Mohammad Ayoub explained technically how the STL data and the reliance on phone calls were inaccurate and insufficient.

Engineer Diana Abu Ghanem explained how the phone and electronic networks were violated, indicating the possibility that the sequence of a phone number could be changed and taken control of, in addition to other forms of manipulation.
“This leads to taking complete control over the telecom network, in addition to learning about personal information, detecting individuals’ movements and phone calls, manipulating the calls made and messages delivered.”

For his part, Dr. Hoballah explained that Israel was capable of planting a phone line in any other suspicious line.
“The whole content of a phone could be copied to a completely different phone, and a phone call could be conducted, without the real line owner knowing about it,” Dr. Hoballah explained.

In parallel, engineer Mohammad Ayoub clarified that an entire audio recording could be fabricated by exchanging the actual voice with another one using the voice print.

Source: Website Team

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Hariri-Court: ‘Data, data, data, …bla, bla, bla…!’

Via FLC

“… The probe into the cellphone networks was first revealed in October 2005 in the initial report of a U.N. commission investigating the assassination. The cellphone evidence does beg a question, however. The indictment acknowledges that the conspirators were aware that the locations of mobile phones can be traced — that’s why, it argues, they sought to disguise their tracks by activating the “red network” in a stronghold of Sunni Islamists in north Lebanon where few Shi’ites are found. But if they were that diabolically clever, it’s puzzling that the conspirators would use their carefully camouflaged “red network” phones while also carrying not only other operational color-coded phones, but even their personal cellphones which can still be traced even when not being used. Hizballah’s highly secretive and technologically profficient personnel would have known that the only way to avoid a trace is to remove the battery and sim card from the phone. Yet, according to the indictment, it was the proximity of the four men’s personal phones to the color-coded secret phones that helped identify them.
Another surprise is the apparent lack of supporting evidence in the indictment. Although the tribunal’s pre-trial judge assessed that the accumulated evidence was sufficient to indict the four accused, it was widely assumed that after six years of investigations the tribunal would have amassed evidence beyond just the telecoms records.
The reliance on the cellphone data for the prosecution case suggests that Nasrallah will soon make another of his periodic televized addresses to sow doubt on the tribunal’s credibility. Hizballah accuses Israel of killing Hariri, arguing that only the Jewish state stood to benefit from the assassination. A year ago, Nasrallah broadcast what he said was footage from Israeli reconnaissance drones intercepted by Hizballah technicians showing the routes taken by Hariri’s motorcades in and around Beirut. He said that this demonstrated Israel had been monitoring Hariri’s movements.
Nasrallah’s effort to demolish the tribunal’s case in the public mind will have been assisted by the arrest in June last year of a senior employee of Alfa, one of two state-run mobile phone operators, on charges of collaborating with Israel. Charbel Qazzi, a senior technician, admitted under interrogation that he had been spying for Israel for 14 years. His position within Alfa reportedly granted the Israelis the ability to track and monitor individuals and tamper with telecoms data.
Meanwhile, the four accused Hizballah men are rumored to be living openly and without fear of arrest in areas under the Shi’ite party’s control. It is highly unlikely that Hizballah would hand over any of them to a tribunal it says was established as a means of attacking the organization. …Judging from the comments and relaxed attitude of the accused Hizballah member interviewed by TIME, it’s a safe bet that the dock will be empty when the trials finally begin.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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