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May 4, 2016 / 26 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Israeli Company Helps FBI Break Apple Security

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Technology experts reveal that an Israeli company could dramatically circumvent the legal conflict between the FBI and Apple by hacking the iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook.

Cellebrite, a multinational cellular forensic company headquartered in Petah Tikva, has a sole-source contract with the FBI and provides the intelligence service with the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), which can break into locked iPhones and Android devices.

The US government has for weeks been attempting to legally compel Apple to hack into the phone belonging to Farook who murdered fourteen people in San Bernardino, California with his wife in December. Apple has publicly refused and has insisted that breaking into the phone would compromise the security of all its devices.

After having long claimed that only Apple could access the phone’s information, the Justice Department abruptly reversed itself on Monday, March 24 and announced that it may no longer need Apple’s cooperation since “an outside party had demonstrated a way for the FBI to possibly unlock the phone,” the New York Times reported.

While it now appears that Cellebrite is the party behind the game-changing hacking technology, the company did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment.

The about-face drew criticism from NSA-leaker Edward Snowden who said that it demonstrated that the FBI’s earlier testimony was “perjury.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Did FBI Miss Red Flags on Terror in 2012?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

The FBI might have missed some giant-sized red flags on terror in 2012. That was the first time that San Bernardino slaughterer Syed Rizwan Farook teamed up with someone to plan a terrorist attack on a specific target. But nobody ever knew, because the two partners abandoned the plot.

Late Tuesday, Attorney-General Loretta Lynch announced information-sharing pacts with nearly 50 countries around the globe late Tuesday in another effort to poke a finger in the dike and at least slow the flood of terror attacks. In some quarters, however, analysts are wondering if that response by the Obama administration is not a case of “too little, too late.”

About the same time, new information emerged that Farook had teamed up with a male partner in 2012. Although the identity of the second individual was not released, news analysts across America were asking: How did these two slip under the radar?

The pair “got spooked” after a rash of terror-related arrests in their area and so did not carry out the planned attack. Two officials told CNN, however, that they had already settled on a specific target, according to the report.

He and his wife, Fasheen Malik, were photographed upon their arrival at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in July 2014, both appearing as fundamentalist Muslims.

Apparently it is unclear about where Malik lived prior to her immigration to the United States, but there seems to be no disagreement about the fact that she arrived on the strength of a fiancee visa.

A prior report by CNN clearly stated that Malik lived with her family in Saudi Arabia prior her trip to the United States, but now all mention of any connection with that nation has now been completely eliminated from the account. Instead, CNN reports that Malik lived in “the home owned by her father” in Multan, about 220 miles southwest of Lahore, Pakistan, until spring 2014, “around the time she got married and moved to the United States on a fiance visa.”

Except that doesn’t quite work out. Malik and her husband did not arrive in the United States until July 27, 2014. We don’t really find out when in “spring 2014” she left Pakistan nor where she went until arriving in the U.S. in late July.

How odd that all mention of Saudi Arabia somehow has mysteriously disappeared from the text. So have a few other salient facts.

Malik reportedly failed to appear for the personal interview at the U.S. Consulate required in order to obtain that visa, and the necessary documents that should have been filed were allegedly missing as well. Those facts, too, are no longer mentioned in current reporting on this very important issue.

Instead, the network has begun to focus its coverage on government efforts to “tighten the visa waiver program” and “tighten visa entry requirements.”

Neither measure, however, remedy a no-show for a personal interview, missing documents and what might have been a greased palm or an “understanding” staff member — or both — at a U.S. Consulate, albeit unknown to his or her superiors.

And there is more.

Just days before the massacre in San Bernardino, $28,500 was deposited into Farook’s bank account, a loan he received in November, according to numerous law enforcement officials. About half of that money went to Farook’s mother, with whom the couple’s baby was left on their final day alive, when they attacked and killed his co-workers at a holiday office party. The other half was spent on household items.

None appears to have been provided by any outside entity, according to one of the law enforcement officials who spoke to CNN. But one expert said the loan indicated preparation for an attack.

Hana Levi Julian

Donald Trump: Shut Down Entry of Muslims to US For Now

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

U.S. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told a crowd of supporters Monday night that America should “shut down” the entry of Muslims to the country until authorities can get control of the security situation.

“We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on,” he said, triggering applause and shouts of approval in response.

The other GOP candidates quickly distanced themselves from Trump’s remarks, as did Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her competitor, Bernie Sanders.

Trump’s remarks followed last week’s massacre in San Bernardino by a husband-and-wife terrorist team inspired by Da’esh (ISIS).

The wife, Tashfeen Malik, had pledged loyalty to Da’esh prior to the attack which she carried out with her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook.

As the investigation into “hundreds of pieces of evidence” and witness interviews by the FBI following the bloodbath continues, it has become known that the observant Muslim couple became radicalized long before Malik entered the United States as Farook’s fiance.

CNN reported early Tuesday morning that Malik apparently never appeared for the personal interview which is required in order to receive the fiance visa under which she entered the United States from Saudi Arabia. The status of documents which should have been filled out and signed at that interview is not clear; CNN reported that some of those documents were apparently missing, and yet Malik had a visa to enter the country.

The couple had been practicing target shooting just days before the attack as well.

Hana Levi Julian

900 Active ISIS Probes Currently in US

Monday, November 16th, 2015

There are currently 900 “active investigations” pending against “ISIS-inspired operatives and other home-grown violent extremists” across the United States, according to U.S. FBI Director James Comey.

The intelligence director said during the broadcast of a Fox News Sunday special report on the Paris massacre by ISIS last Friday that he has ordered field offices nationwide to intensify surveillance on ISIS suspects.

The investigations into ISIS (Da’esh) suspects are being carried out in all 50 states in the U.S., Comey noted.

The U.S. is also sharing intelligence on ISIS with France in connection with last Friday’s massacre in Paris by the terror group.

For months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been deeply understaffed in dealing with the massive task of tracking potential terror suspects, he added. The agency is largely dependent on local resources to assist in the effort as a result.

 

 

Hana Levi Julian

Iranian ‘Rocket Kitten’ Hackers De-Clawed in CyberSpy Operation

Monday, November 9th, 2015

A powerful Iranian government-backed hacker group, “Rocket Kitten,” has been de-clawed in a special operation carried out by police in Europe.

Sources from the Check Point Sofware company, a U.S.-Israeli security firm, were quoted by Reuters as saying they identified the threat presented by the hacker group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, as far back as early 2014.

“Rocket Kitten” had mounted some 1,600 attacks on powerful defense and political global leaders in the United States, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among other targets, according to the report.

Researchers at Check Point had located the computers used to launch the attacks. National computer security response teams were informed in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, the company said. The response teams in turn informed local police about the locations of the attacking “command and control” servers, controlled from Iran.

Among the high-profile personalities targeted by the Iranian hacker group were Israeli nuclear scientists, NATO officials, members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, wives of generals from unidentified nations and Iranian dissidents.

An advance copy of a report on the operation to be released Monday by Check Point explains how the security response teams were able to enter the hacker group’s database and remote-controlled computers to plant a malicious set of software tools.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Europol and FBI have all declined comment on the report.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia-Linked Gangs Trying to Smuggle Deadly Radiation Material to ISIS

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Russia-linked smugglers have been trying — and may have succeeded — in smuggling deadly radioactive material to Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists, according to the Associated Press.

Investigators in Moldova shared with the AP files concerning four busts over the past five years.

The most recent known case was last February, when a smuggler was looking for a buyer from ISIS to purchase a quantity of cesium, a deadly radioactive material, that AP reported was “enough to contaminate several city blocks.”

One of the gang members told the Moldova undercover agent, whom he thought could sell the radioactive material to the ISIS:

You can make a dirty bomb, which would be perfect for the Islamic State. If you have a connection with them, the business will go smoothly.

The smugglers are criminal gangs, some of which have ties with the Russian intelligence agency.

The Moldovan investigators, who were assisted by the FBI, often smashed the rings after samples of nuclear material had been obtained but before they could catch the ringleaders, who were able to escape with the radioactive material that ISIS wants to wreak more destruction.

The investigators infiltrated into smuggling gangs, using a Mercedes-Benz and high-tech equipment supplied in part by the FBI.

Matthew Bunn, a Harvard University professor who led a secret study for the Clinton administration on the security of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, told AP:

In the age of the Islamic State, it’s especially terrifying to have real smugglers of nuclear bomb material apparently making connections with real buyers.

One bust in 2011 led investigators to a group that was headed by a man whom authorities believe is an officer with what used to be known as the KGB and now is called FSB.

Wiretapped conversations revealed that the gang sought an ISIS buyer “because they will bomb the Americans.”

One of the investigators told AP:

We can expect more of these cases. As long as the smugglers think they can make big money without getting caught, they will keep doing it.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Florida Jew Indicted for Plotting to Bomb 9/11 Memorial

Friday, September 11th, 2015

One very mixed-up Jew from Florida has been indicted for threatening to blow up the 9/11 memorial at Kansas City in two days and for pretending to be a jihadist from Australia.

Joshua Ryne Goldberg, 20, was arraigned Thursday after an FBI investigation.

Reports of his arrest and indictment clearly indicate that he lives in a movie, and a Florida TV station quoted a neighbor as saying that Goldberg rarely was seen outside of his parents’ home.

May God have compassion on his family.

Goldberg posed on the Internet as an ISIS supporter under the moniker “Australi Witness” and encouraged attacks in the United States and other Western countries.

He allegedly distributed pictures of a  bomb that he supposedly is making, a device similar to the one used in the deadly Boston Marathon terrorist attack two years ago.

Goldberg claimed online that he works with other ISIS terrorists in Austrlia and the United States.

The Australian Age reported that he  “is non-Muslim and no real-world links with extremism.”

The indictment charges him with:

Distribution information pertaining to the manufacturing of explosives, destructive devices, or weapons of mass destruction in furtherance of an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence.

That is pretty heavy stuff for a young man who obviously is a bit mixed-up, but he could serve up to 20 years for his Internet pose.

Court records show that Goldberg was arrested in late August and told a source how to make a bomb and fill it with nails and other items dipped in rat poison.

Special agent William Berry of US Customs and Border Protection said:

Goldberg ….admitted that he believed the information would create a genuine bomb.

He added that the suspect claimed after during the investigation that he planned to warn police before the bomb would go off so he could get credit for stopping a terrorist attack. His social media posting show that he craved attention.

Goldberg previously posed on the Internet as a prominent Australian lawyer, The Age reported.

However, his acting out almost caused an attack. In May, Goldberg under the alias “Australi Witness.” tweeted the address of a Mohammed cartoon exhibition in Texas and urged people to attend “with “weapons, bombs or with knifes.”

When the event was held, two Muslims tried to stage an attack, were killed by police and then were praised online by Goldberg as “martyrs.”

Jacksonville, Florida’s News4Jax quoted a neighbor of Goldberg as saying:

It’s crazy. Obviously the guy’s not right in the head.

 

 

d.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/florida-jew-indicted-for-plotting-to-bomb-911-memorial/2015/09/11/

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