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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Plot Thickens in Sony Pictures North Korea Hack Attack Saga

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

The plot appears to be thickening in the Sony-North Korea hack attack saga.

A cascade of events has followed the FBI’s accusation that North Korea is behind the attacks – and threats – aimed at preventing Sony Entertainment Pictures from releasing its comedy film, ‘The Interview.’

North Korea now seems to be experiencing widespread Internet outages. An expert quoted by Associated Press said late Monday the country’s online access was “completely down.”

National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said, “We have no new information to share regarding North Korea today. If in fact North Korea’s Internet has gone down, we’d refer you to that government for comment.”

The White House also had no comment. Referring to U.S. government responses to recent threats from North Korea, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters enigmatically, “Some will be seen, some may not be seen.”

On Friday, a government official quoted by The New York Times said the U.S. would ask China to block North Korea’s Internet access as a means of dealing with the threats emanating from Pyongyang.

“What we are looking for is a blocking action, something that would cripple their efforts to carry out attacks,” the official said. According to the report, virtually all of North Korea’s telecommunications run through Chinese-operated networks.

China has already condemned the movie, calling it an act of “senseless cultural arrogance.”

It is also hard to gauge China’s reaction to any U.S. request to rein in North Korea, given that five hackers working for the Chinese military were indicted by the Justice Department in May. They were charged with stealing sensitive information from U.S. companies.

Nevertheless, North Korean Internet accessibility appears to be down, at least for now.

Meanwhile, a hacker that might be associated with the well-known Anonymous hacker collective claimed on Twitter from an account that was suspended over the weekend, @TheAnonMessage, that i t would release the movie, “The Interview” this Thursday over the Internet anyway – just as a “Christmas present” to web surfers.

“We’re not with either side, we just want to watch the movie too… Banning movies only because North Korea’s dictator disapproves. What’s next, @RedDawnFilm?”

The sneers came in response to the latest nasty message sent to the FBI from the Guardians of Peace (GOP) hacker group, believed to be a front for North Korea.

(Yes I know it’s hard to keep all these threads straight – it may help to think of it as a war between the Crips and the Bloods.)

“Praising” the FBI for its investigation, the GOP hacker group sent a link to a video which repeats !”“You are an idiot,” over and over in animated lettering.

Enter Anonymous.

A message to Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton from that group was posted on the ‘Pastebin’ site (where GOP has been posting) this past Friday. This time Sony is being exhorted to “release The Interview as planned” or Anonymous will “carry out as many hacks” as possible to Lynton and Sony Entertainment.

Neither threat can be verified; they were both posted on the Pastebin website in plain text, and could have been written by anyone. Neither is traceable.

But as the Mashable website points out, members of the LulzSec hackers affiliated with Anonymous were convicted for involvement in a 2011 hack attack on Sony Pictures.

The current saga actually began in June when North Korea demanded the White House intervene with Sony and squelch production of The Interview, a comedy about assassinating North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. It was scheduled for release this Thursday, December 25.

When the U.S. government did not stop producers, and the movie was completed, a massive hack attack was carried out against Sony. Emails containing information from company executives and employees plus other corporate data was released to the public along with a warning not to screen the movie, “The Interview” in any theater.

FBI to Probe Har Nof Synagogue Massacre

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is set to investigate the horrific terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue that took the lives of four rabbis and an Israeli Druze police officer, and wounded six others.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Tuesday night the case fell into the agency’s domain because three of the victims were American citizens.

President Barack Obama condemned the attack following a conversation between Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“We condemn in the strongest terms these attacks,” Obama said. “The murders for today’s outrageous acts represent the kind of extremism that threatens to bring all of the Middle East into the kind of spiral from which it’s very difficult to emerge and we know how this violence can get worse over time.”

Nevertheless, said Obama, “a majority of Israelis and Palestinians overwhelmingly want peace.”

He urged both sides to work together to bring calm to the situation, particularly in view of tensions that have flared recently over access to the Temple Mount.

“Our hearts go out to all Israelis for the atrocity of this event and for all the reminders of history that go with it,” Kerry said in his statement from London. “This simply has no place in human behavior and we need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place.”

US Spy Agencies Hired At Least 1,000 Nazis, New Book Alleges

Monday, October 27th, 2014

U.S. spy agencies hired at least 1,000 ex-Nazis during the Cold War, journalist and author Eric Lichtblau wrote in a new book, “The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men.”

It was excerpted Monday in The New York Times and alleged that the CIA and other American agencies employed large numbers of Nazis as spies and informants and through the 1990s protected from deportation and prosecution some who were living in the United States.

Citing newly disclosed records and interviews, Lichtblau reports that the FBI and CIA knowingly recruited officials who had occupied high positions in Nazi Germany, including some known to be guilty of war crimes. One such spy was involved in the Lithuanian massacre of tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust; another worked closely with Adolf Eichmann. Several spies were rewarded with U.S. citizenship.

On several occasions, the book notes, U.S. intelligence officials refused to cooperate with the Justice Department’s Nazi hunters and urged them to drop investigations for fear of exposing their ties to American spy agencies.

Haaretz Smears American Terrorism Expert with Political Hit Job

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

To be sure, the information provided by Steve Emerson regarding a decision by the U.S. government to stand down on an ongoing attempt to provide the Israeli government with critical information regarding an Israeli soldier whom Hamas claimed it had in its custody during this summer’s conflict was shocking.

But perhaps just as shocking – or it should be – was a politically driven smear by Haaretz of Emerson’s credentials and his alleged political friendships, suggesting that was all that was driving Emerson’s claims.

Although the Haaretz article claimed Emerson was wrong about the facts that he alleged, its portrayal of the U.S. government’s refutation was misleading and its focus ugly – that Emerson, a “right-wing Republican” is a “personal friend” of Sheldon Adelson, who is a “formidable patron of the Republican party and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.”

The Haaretz article stated as fact that Emerson “is a controversial figure in the United States” about whom “members of the Muslim community and the left in the United States” (no names, no numbers, just members) “say he is islamophobic.”

One expects such breathless cospiratorialism from bloggers unrestrained by journalistic standards, but the Israeli newspaper which holds itself out as the paper of the cognoscenti? Also, the issue at hand had nothing to do with whether or not Hamas claimed to kidnap at least some body parts of the Israeli soldier, so why is any alleged “Islamophobia” relevant? It is clear that these nasty slams were simply intended to inform Haaretz’s left wing audience that Emerson is the kind of person they all despise.

Now let’s review what the official source from which Haaretz’s alleged “corrections” came, actually said.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv released a statement on Sunday, Oct. 19, which claimed that Emerson’s account contained information which was “incorrect and misleading.” It stated that “there was significant cooperation between the USG [U.S. government] and the GOI [government of Israel] in developing information in support of the search for Corporal Shaul.” It continued:

 The FBI did immediately pass useful intelligence information to Israeli authorities related to Corporal Shaul’s social media account which answered the initial Israeli request.  The FBI further undertook other investigative efforts pursuant to legal authority as a result of follow on Israeli requests in an attempt to assist our allies in the search for their missing soldier.  U.S. and Israeli law enforcement and intelligence organizations enjoy a robust and continuing exchange of information and intelligence on any number of items of mutual interest on a daily basis.  To characterize this instance as anything other than responsive and collaborative is simply misinformed.

Emerson, who had direct contact with those who were actively involved in the contretemps, responded in writing to the Embassy and he shared that response with the JewishPress.com.

Emerson pointed out that there was nothing in the U.S. Embassy’s statement that denied the thrust of his allegation that the Embassy “withdrew their initial willingness to seek a court order to force Facebook to give up its back up information to determine the location of where Hamas had hacked into the Facebook account” of Oron Shaul.

What’s more, Emerson flatly stated that “the Israelis never got this alleged ‘social media information’ on where the hacking took place” on the IDF soldier’s Facebook page that the Embassy claimed it provided.

Emerson also pointed out that the alleged correction did not deny that someone, somewhere in the U.S. government mandated that the Israelis use the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process to request the required information, “a process that can take weeks and which is never used in life or death situations, especially in relations with close allies.”

The FBI Wants You! To Help it Identify Terrorists

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public to help identifying a particular terrorist as well as other possible wannabe-terrorists.

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the FBI released a video in which an ISIS terrorist is shown speaking Arabic, but then switches into perfect English, spoken with a North American  accent. The terrorist points to Syrians, men he calls “soldiers of Assad.” The faces of the men are blurred out, but the masked terrorist informs the audience that the men are digging their own graves.

The video, which appears after this article, is part of a new effort by the FBI to elicit the public’s help through the use of social media. The FBI has also posted online a form for viewers to fill out if they believe they have information about the identity of the ISIS terrorist in the video.

The video ends showing the men who had been digging with shovels lined up, kneeling at the edge of the pit that was dug. The terrorist is holding a pistol.

“We’re hoping that someone might recognize this individual and provide us with key pieces of information,” said Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “No piece of information is too small.”

The FBI also wants to hear from members of the public if they have information about individuals who have or may be planning to travel overseas to join up with terrorist organizations.

“We need the public’s assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas,” Steinbach said.

Tips form the FBI wants people to use to help identify terrorists.

Tips form the FBI wants people to use to help identify terrorists.

The FBI Tips form is available at www.fbi.gov/ISILtips.

America’s First Home-Grown Al Qaeda Suicide Bomber in Syria

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

For the first time, the United States has become involved in the Syrian civil war in a close-up, personal, intimate way. An American citizen-turned-suicide bomber for Al Qaeda attacked a Syrian government complex on Sunday in the northern Idlib region.

News of the attack was posted on radical Islamic websites by the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra( Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization. It was also tweeted around the English-speaking world on Tuesday via the Twitter social networking site.

“Abu Hurayra al-Amriki” performed a martyrdom operation in Idlim, Jabal al-Arba’een. May Allah accept him,” the post read.

Recently Al Qaeda had promised an attack from an “American,” according to CBS News. The words “al-Amriki” mean, “the American” in Arabic. U.S. officials have identified the terrorist’s legal name although they refuse to release that information to the public. He is believed to be the first American suicide bomber to strike in Syria.

American Al Qaeda suicide bomber Abu Hurayra al-Amriki dressed for his final operation in Syria, May 25, 2014.

American Al Qaeda suicide bomber Abu Hurayra al-Amriki dressed for his final operation in Syria, May 25, 2014.

The FBI told media that several dozen other Americans have also gone to Syria to join in the fighting.

Numerous photos have been posted on Twitter from various sources — most are re-posts from Jabhat al Nusra, actually — showing the aforementioned young bearded man all dressed up in his go-to-bombing suit, complete with explosives vest. There’s a shot of the huge bomb-laden truck he allegedly drove to his destination.

The saddest and most ironic is the one with him holding a half-grown kitten standing in front of a black and white sign written in flowing Arabic script that reads, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His Prophet,” – the rallying cry of all radical Islamist groups. That one is attached to the photos that show the subsequent results of his handiwork.

New York’s Grimm: Indictment Result of ‘Witch Hunt’

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The fact that the government was going to indict 44 year-old U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who represents New York State’s 11th congressional district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, was widely known.

Grimm’s own lawyer acknowledged last week that it was about to happen.

And yesterday, when the 30 count indictment was handed down, Rep. Grimm pleaded not guilty to fraud.

The indictment charges the former Marine, FBI agent and businessman concealed profits from a health food restaurant he ran, and paid employees off the books – some of whom were allegedly in the States illegally –  in order to evade payments of taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

What’s worse, if true, is that Grimm not only engaged in the evasions, but he lied about it under oath in a lawsuit brought by a former employer of his restaurant.

Grimm characterized the indictment as a “political witch hunt” undertaken against him because he “was an outsider who wasn’t supposed to win.” The witch hunt, he said, is an “effort to assassinate my character and to remove me from office.”

But, both Grimm and his attorneys, Elizabeth Kase and retired Judge John Kase, said they are relieved that the two years of innuendo and “absolutely disgraceful, shameful government leaks” are over, and Grimm and his legal team will be able to fight back.

In talking about the “witch hunt” against him, Grimm said that his “opponents figured I’d run away, that I’d abandon my post, and that my constituents would abandon me.” But the now-indicted congressman said that was not going to happen.

Grimm has stepped down from his position on the Financial Services Committee until resolution of the unfolding legal matters, according to CNN.

There is another legal investigation against Grimm which is still ongoing. That one involves potential campaign finance fraud.

This is Grimm’s official written statement:

The last 24 hours have given me a lot to reflect upon.

Same for the voters in my congressional district.

Here’s what they need to know.

They elected a Marine, with the true grit that comes with it.

And our credo is never retreat from a fire fight, which is why I’ve been able to accomplish so much for our district.

Throughout my career, I have sought to live a public life of honor and integrity. I have also made no bones about the fact that I won’t be bullied, abused or intimidated. I would hope those attributes have made me a more effective advocate for my constituents, working day and night for each and every one of them, regardless of who they vote for.

Let me be clear, these charges are false and I devoutly believe I will be exonerated. This is yet another example of how the system can be corrupted into a vengeful, cynical and partisan persecution with little accountability to the rules of law.

Candidly, there are powerful forces who don’t like me. They don’t like the fact that I am a political outsider. I am not part of their club. They certainly don’t like that I speak my mind or the rough social edges I share with many who have served in our military. I get all of that, but that doesn’t mean they can flout the law, leak unattributed lies and seek to poison public opinion.

There are some in the media who now say I should resign. That would mean I am admitting guilt of something I am not guilty of. That would also mean they don’t know a thing about Marines. They forget that I have faced much more dangerous foes in my career long before I was a Congressman.

I have but one focus now; to redouble my efforts on behalf of the people of my district. There is much work to be done to protect the hardworking families I represent. I will run for reelection by asking voters to judge me on what I have done to represent them, including the many accomplishments like delivering Sandy relief and passing major flood insurance reform since being elected to office.

Let my peers empaneled for the specific purpose of examining this political witch hunt decide how this matter should be properly disposed of.

In the meantime, I’m going back to work.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-yorks-grimm-indictment-result-of-witch-hunt/2014/04/29/

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