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May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

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.

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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/haaretz-smears-american-terrorism-expert-with-political-hit-job/2014/10/21/

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