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August 28, 2015 / 13 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

FBI: ‘Stop Tying Our Hands in Fight Against ISIS’

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is getting fed up with trying to fight a war against terror with its hands tied behind its back.

FBI Chief James Comey told a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday that denying the agency access to encryption codes makes it easier for terrorist groups to carry out attacks – and makes it harder for law enforcement to prevent them.

“The tools we are asked to use are increasingly ineffective,” Comey said. “ISIL (another acronym for ISIS, or Da’esh) says, ‘Go kill, go kill.’ We are stopping these things so far… but it is incredibly difficult. I cannot see me stopping these indefinitely,” he said.

ISIS and other terrorist organizations are particularly adept at using social media and other electronic methods of communication in order to broadcast their intentions to their followers.

They communication further instructions via secure mobile devices that cannot be tapped by law enforcement without the use of encryption codes and other assistance from the companies who manufacture the devices.

But the companies have resisted requests to provide that assistance, claiming that allowing that access would weaken the systems and make it easier for computer hackers and other criminals to penetrate the networks.

Exposé: Former MIT Muslim Professor Raised Money for Al Qaeda [video]

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

A MIT professor who formerly was the on-campus Muslim preacher raised money for Al Qaeda and recruited for jihad, according to an exposé from the Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT).

Laher’s career goes back to the 1990s, when he helped recruit for jihad in Chechen and led fund-raising for Al Qaeda while he was a MIT chaplain. Today, he preaches at the Islamic Society of Boston, an extremist mosque founded by MIT students near their campus. It is the same mosque where Boston Marathon bombers Chechen refugees Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev worshipped.

APT research director Ilya Feoktistov and president Charles Jacobs wrote in their mini-documentary:

“Suheil Laher …became president of a Muslim charity based in Boston called Care International, which was founded by Osama Bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam and was…essence, a fundraising vehicle for mujahideen….

“Laher, then, was quite an important figure in Al Qaeda’s leadership here. His perch at MIT meant that he had easy access to the best American Muslim minds – and their world-class technical skills….

“He pioneered the Jihadist use of the new Internet medium to fundraise and recruit for Al Qaeda causes online. Laher’s personal website prominently featured Abdullah Azzam’s notorious call to Jihad, a tract called “Join the Caravan:

‘Beloved brother! Draw your sword, climb onto the back of your horse, and wipe the blemish off your ummah. If you do not take the responsibility, who then will?’

“Laher’s website contained a large collection of his writings and of sermons he gave in the Boston area. These sermons are replete with calls for Jihad, such as this passage:

When the Muslim lands are being attacked, and the Muslims are being raped and killed, the only solution prescribed by Allah is jihad. Jihad is for all times. […] Jihad does not stop. Those of us who have not yet managed to go and physically help our brothers and sisters should support […] our mujahidin brethren with prayer, with money, with clothes, by taking care of their families, and at some point in person. Otherwise, we must face the wrath of Allah.

One of Laher’s followers on MIT was a biology student named Aafia Siddiqui, who later became known as “Lady Al Qaeda.” She now is serving an 86-year prison sentence for attempting to kill FBI agents who arrested her when she was carrying two pounds of cyanide and plans for mass casualty attacks on New York using chemical and biological weapons.

Laher left his post as Muslim chaplain at MIT last year but continues to preach at Boston mosques.

Feoktistov and Jacobs wrote, “There is no evidence to indicate that Laher influenced the Tsarnaevs directly. Nevertheless, the legacy of radicalism at the Tsarnaevs’ mosque is very much tied to MIT and the Jihadist ideology that Laher preached as its Muslim chaplain.”

Is an Arab Murdered by Arab-Hating Jews a ‘Terror Victim?’

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

The problematic issues of the definition of “terror” and the standing of Arabs as equals in Israeli society came to a boil hours before Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims Tuesday because an Arab victim of Jewish murderers has been honored as a terror victim.

Three Jews disgusted and embarrassed virtually the entire People of Israel last year by burning to death 16-year-old Mohammed abu Khdeir, a Jerusalem Arab, in an act of revenge following the kidnap-murders of three yeshiva youth – Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach..

Legally, abu Khdeir is a victim of terror as defined by the Defense Ministry, which said that he was killed in a “hostile “action, and by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi.)

The Almagor terror victims association is furious at abu Khdeir’s inclusion as a terror victim, insisting the revenge act was nothing less and nothing more than murder.

If the execution by fire of the eastern Jerusalem teenager was terror, there is no question he should be added to the list of terror victims, just as names of all victims of a terrorist attack on a bus or public square are added to the plaque, regardless of religion or ethnicity.

Like it not, Arabs and Jews have equal status, as stated in the Declaration of Independence. They have no obligation to fight in the IDF, but some do.

However, many more have turned against the country, and even some Arab Knesset Members routinely call for the end of Israel as a Jewish state and for the immigration of several million Arabs from foreign countries, where UNRWA keeps them penned as “refugees.”

It no longer is rare for an Arab with Israeli citizenship to act alone or in cooperation with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to attack Jews simply because they are Jews.

There is no universal definition of the term.

The dictionary meaning of “terror” the “use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”

Here is the FBI defines “international terrorism”:

[They are] acts that appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.

It has been trendy among the liberal media to call Israeli vandalism against Arabs as “price tag terrorism,” while almost every foreign and even some Israeli news outlets always refer to Hamas murders as “militants” and not “terrorists.”

Counter-terror expert Dr. Bruce Hoffman has succinctly stated the political overtones of the use of the word terror. In short, it all depends on whose ox is terrorizing and whose ox is being terrorized.

He has written:

Terrorism is a pejorative term. It is a word with intrinsically negative connotations that is generally applied to one’s enemies and opponents, or to those with whom one disagrees and would otherwise prefer to ignore…

Hence the decision to call someone or label some organization ‘terrorist’ becomes almost unavoidably subjective, depending largely on whether one sympathizes with or opposes the person/group/cause concerned.

If one identifies with the victim of the violence, for example, then the act is terrorism. If, however, one identifies with the perpetrator, the violent act is regarded in a more sympathetic, if not positive (or, at the worst, an ambivalent) light; and it is not terrorism.

Arab terrorists, or call them what you will, almost always have been members of an organization until recent years, when the phrase “lone terrorist” cropped up.

Jewish “terrorists” almost always have been lone rangers. Occasionally, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) exposes a cell, but there never has been any large-scale Jewish terror organization.

Saudis Hold Body of U.S. Elbit Subcontractor After Mysterious Death in Tabuk

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Saudi Arabia has yet to release the body of a U.S. defense subcontractor who was working for Israel’s Elbit Systems when he died under mysterious circumstances after being sent to the country to help complete a weapons deal.

Christopher Cramer was working for Kollsman Inc., a firm that subcontracted for the Israeli defense electronics company, when he was found dead last month on the ground outside his third-floor hotel room in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

“We received a message from Kollsman Inc., Elbit Systems’ subcontractor in America, saying its employee Chris Cramer passed away during a work trip,” said a spokesperson for Elbit Systems.

“The circumstances of his death are being investigated by the American State Department. We have no further details at this stage and we are waiting for the State Department to update our American subcontractor. Cramer worked for the company for 12 years. We cannot provide details on the project he was working on, but this is a Kollsman product, an American product with no Israeli technologies involved in its production.”

Cramer, 50, provided technical assistance for a demonstration and sale of a TOW anti-armor missile system as an employee of Kollsman Inc., Fox News reported over the weekend. Authorities in Saudi Arabia claim that Cramer committed suicide by jumping to his death from the third floor of a hotel – but the facts just don’t add up. His family does not believe he committed suicide; they say he was murdered because he appeared to be a threat to the lucrative arms deal that was in process.

Noah Mandell, the family attorney and a longtime friend of Cramer’s, told Fox News the problem was with the customer. “The missile system was already sold to the Saudi company and they were complaining that it wasn’t working,” Mandell said.

“He was basically sent to see if he could prove that they were firing it incorrectly.” Mandell added that he believes the company that purchased the equipment wanted the missiles to malfunction. “The point of sabotaging equipment is you get a customer who has to buy a new set, and you’ve still got the old equipment,” Mandell said.

A spokesperson for Kollsman Inc. said Cramer had even posted a video of one of the missile firings, showing that everything was operating and fully functional. Mandell received messages from Cramer on the night that he died, saying his life was in danger and asking his friend to contact the State Department.

“I’m at the Marakim Tabuk Hotel in Saudi,” he texted his roommate back in New Hampshire when he could not reach Mandell. “I think something bad is going to happen to me tonight. Please contact State Dept. ASAP. Bad things were said.”

Mandell missed three calls within eight minutes on his voice mail that night. Cramer may not have trusted his own employers as well; the company rushed to inform his family that his death was a suicide. Now Kollsman says it will wait for the outcome of the Saudi probe.

“The question is… Why was Chris calling his dog sitter and his lawyer in America instead of his own company? They sent him into hell and had no plan to get him back,” Mandell charged. More to the point, the delivery of Cramer’s body to the United States has been delayed and has still not arrived on U.S. soil. His family is waiting to be able to send it for an autopsy.

Under American law, it is up to the FBI to investigate the circumstances when an U.S. citizen dies overseas – but the FBI gets involved only “if they are invited to do so by the local authorities,” according to the State Department. “They don’t have the jurisdiction to go into a country and start an investigation. They have to be invited in,” an FBI official told The Daily Beast. “Our standard practice is to neither confirm nor deny FBI investigations.”

CIA, Mossad Collaborated on Killing Hezbollah No. 2 Leader in Damascus

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

For years, Hezbollah terrorists have believed the Israel was behind the murder of its Number 2 leader, Imad Mughniyeh — but a front page article Friday in The Washington Post has revealed the United States was equally involved in his demise on a Damascus street. The CIA collaborated with Israel’s international Mossad intelligence agency to assassinate the next-in-line to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Former U.S. officials told The Washington Post the assassination carried out in the Syrian capital on February 12, 2008, was a complex joint operation. CIA spotters were tracking Hezbollah’s international operations chief that night. But as he approached the parked SUV, it was agents from the Mossad in Tel Aviv who detonated the American-made car bomb that exploded.

According to an intelligence source quoted by The Washington Post, “The way it was set up, the U.S. could object and call it off, but it could not execute.” The source added that the bomb was tested repeatedly, “maybe 25 times” to ensure there would be no collateral damage, that the blast would be contained.

Five former U.S. intelligence officials confirmed American involvement in the assassination, according to the paper.

It is interesting that this highly classified information is being leaked now, seven years later, on the eve of Israel’s national elections and during one of the lowest point ever in U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations.

Mughniyeh was on the FBI’s “Most Wanted List” with a reward of $5 million for his capture. On behalf of Hezbollah and Iran he had plotted attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, a U.S. Marine barracks, CIA Lebanon station chief William F. Buckley, USAF Colonel William Higgins, a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia where 19 U.S. service personnel died. In absentia he was indicted in U.S. federal court in the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 shortly after it departed from Athens, and the murder of U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, one of the passengers on the plane.

With Hezbollah he also was arming and training fighters in Iraq that were carrying out suicide bombings and using IEDs (improvised explosive devices) to attack U.S. troops.

But CIA officials still had to prove the killing would be in “self-defense” of the American people – that Mughniyeh was a “continuing threat to Americans” – in order to obtain permission to carry out the assassination. Signatures for the operation required from President George W. Bush, the attorney general, the director of national intelligence, the national security adviser and the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, the source said.

The Bush administration understood, however, what kind of threat it was dealing with: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a reporter in 2008 that Hezbollah was a threat to national security. “To be honest, they make Al Qaeda look like a minor league team,” he was quoted as saying.

Credible Bomb Threats Ground Two US Airliners in Atlanta, GA

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to escort two passenger jets into Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – one of the largest airports in the world — at 3 pm local time Saturday.

The move came in response to what was deemed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to be “credible” bomb threats on the Twitter social media site.

Airport spokesman Reese McCranie told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “We believe the threats to be credible,” but declined to explain why.

“While authorities have not yet released information on the Twitter account responsible for the specific threatening tweets, someone calling himself ‘King Zortic’ first posted messages to Delta on Twitter around noon that said, ‘I have a bomb on one of your planes, but I forgot which one when I left the airport. Can you help me find it?,’ and ‘It was from Portland to Atlanta, I forgot the flight number, though. It was something like DL156 or DL1556 I forgot the order.’

“Another tweet read, ‘It was smuggled through one of the back entrances because the airport didn’t have much security around one of the entrances so the bomb is at the back of the plane. Everyone will know when it’s detonated.’

“Messages later were sent to Southwest Airlines from the same Twitter account read (sic), ‘A bomb was placed on SWA2492. It will be detonated at a random time of my choosing,’ and ‘If anything happens to me I’ll make sure that more flights are targeted. I strongly suggest you don’t try anything stupid,’” the newspaper reported.

In Atlanta, the two targeted flights taxied to a remote area once they had landed. Southwest Airlines Flight 2492 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Atlanta and Delta Flight 1156 from Portland, Oregon to Atlanta were then both swept by bomb squad units and K-9 teams after passengers deplaned.

Passengers from the two flights were questioned and their luggage was searched by bomb-sniffing dogs.

The two fighter jets that were scrambled from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in South Carolina returned to base after the planes landed.

Following extensive searches and screening, airport officials wrote in a tweet: “All clear for both aircraft & normal airport operations have resumed. Thank you for your patience. Safety & security are our top priorities.”

Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta FBI Field Office told media the FBI will “absolutely be doing everything we can to identify who made the initial threats and track them down.”

Bomb threats that turned out to be false alarms were also made in recent days against Delta flights headed for Tel Aviv and for Raleigh, North Carolina.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/plot-thickens-in-sony-pictures-north-korea-hack-attack-saga/2014/12/23/

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