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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘information’

6-Member Hezbollah Terror Cell Discovered Operating in Northern Israel

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) uncovered a Hezbollah terrorist cell operating in northern Israel, the intelligence agency revealed Thursday. Six suspects were arrested last month on suspicion of smuggling explosives that had been discovered south of Metulla on July 30, in a joint operation of the ISA, Israel Police and IDF.

All members of the cell, residents of the border town of Ghajar, were taken into custody for planning to carry out major terror attacks in Israel, according to a statement by the intelligence agency.

In recent years, security services have dealt with several cases in which links were discovered between routes for smuggling drugs from Lebanon into Israel, and routes for the infiltration of war materiel.

For example, in 2012, 20 kilograms of C4 explosive material were discovered, leading to a wave of arrests of Israeli Arabs from the Nazareth area and of several residents of Ghajar for involvement in the affair. Drugs trafficking in southern Lebanon is controlled and managed by Hezbollah, which maintains a constant effort to also smuggle war materiel along the drug smuggling routes, with the involvement of Israeli drugs traffickers.

In this case, the attempt was foiled and all those involved were arrested. From the investigation of the detainees as well as from information gathered about the operation, it was learned that several activists from Ghajar, led by Diab Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz, were in contact with Hezbollah operatives.

At the behest of Hezbollah operatives, the detainees carried out smuggling into Israel over the Lebanese border fence as well as additional intelligence-gathering activity deeper inside Israel.

The Northern District State Attorney’s Office filed detailed indictments on Thursday (October 6, 2016), against all those involved in the case. Diab Kahamuz was arrested on September 4, 2016. During his investigation, it was learned he was in contact this year with his father, Sa’ad Kahamuz, a drug trafficker from Ghajar known for helping Hezbollah, and who fled to Lebanon in October 2006.

The central nature of the elder Kahamuz in the affair stems from his being an intermediary between Hezbollah operatives and his family in Ghajar, headed by his son Diab. Sa’ad Kahamuz liaised between Diab and Hezbollah operatives; communication was by means of – inter alia – encrypted emails. In May 2016, Diab received two explosive charges from Hezbollah, which he hid in an orchard south of Metula. As noted above, these charges were discovered on 30 July 2016. Diab was asked by Hezbollah to carry out an attack at a site – to be chosen by him – in Haifa. Diab also considered the possibility of carrying out an attack at a factory in Nesher, and recruited his brothers Yusuf and Jamil, planning to use the latter in carrying out the attack.

Diab agreed to carry out the attack; however, Hezbollah provided him with an alternative site – the bus stop at the entrance to the village of Tur’an, which is frequented by many soldiers, especially on Sundays. Diab collected intelligence about the site and conveyed the information to Hezbollah.

In August 2016 Diab was to have carried out an additional smuggling operation at the behest of his Hezbollah handlers. During his investigation, it was learned that additional parties were involved in his activities, namely his brothers Yusuf Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz and Jamil Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz.

The following residents of Ghajar were also arrested last month on suspicion of involvement in Diab’s activities with Hezbollah:

* Adal Ahmed Hassan Ayunat was arrested on September 4. During his investigation it was learned that he had been aware of Diab Kahamuz’s contacts with Hezbollah and that he had accepted an offer from him to assist him in his contacts and vis-à-vis drug smuggling. It was also learned that in 2007, he had smuggled night vision equipment to Hezbollah operatives.

* Mohssan Muhammad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 4. He assisted Diab Kahamuz – inter alia – in purchasing a computer for contacting Hezbollah and in passing messages to Hezbollah via encrypted email. He also helped him to twice look for the bag with the explosives that had been hidden in the orchard near Metula in July 2016. He was also involved in drug smuggling along with Diab Kahamuz and others.

* Mandouh Karim Munif Ibrahim was arrested on September 12. During his investigation it was learned that he had assisted Diab Kahamuz – on several occasions – in passing messages to Hezbollah via encrypted email. He was also involved in drug smuggling along with Diab Kahamuz and others.

* Yusuf Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 18. During his investigation it was learned that he was fully cognizant of his brother Diab’s contacts with Hezbollah and had assisted him in carrying out activities at the behest of the organization. For example, he went with him to gather information about the Tur’an bus stop, had gone out of Ghajar with him in order to send and receive encrypted messages to/from Hezbollah, and had assisted him in receiving the explosives from Hezbollah. After Diab’s arrest, Yusuf burned the two computers that Diab had used for contacts with Hezbollah.

* Jamil Sa’ad Jamil Kahamuz was arrested on September 20. It was learned that he had acted as Diab’s main assistant regarding his Hezbollah activities and had been fully cognizant of them. It was also learned that he had assisted Diab on several occasions in passing information to Hezbollah, including photographs and video clips taken at Tur’an junction. On several occasions he also drove Diab to the smuggling points, including in May 2016 to collect the explosives. He also helped his brother Yusuf to destroy the computers to prevent them from being seized by the security forces.

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Information Center Uses Ha’aretz Anti-Haredi Cartoon

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The News website Palestinian Information Center, which covers, among its regular beats, “Zionist Terrorism,” recently uploaded a cartoon it borrowed from fellow traveler Ha’aretz showing traditionally anti-Semitic depictions of Haredi politicians celebrating their control of budgets squeezed from secular Israelis.

The Hamas-oriented PIC added its own judgmental note, but didn’t need to alter the original visual message. It fit its world view perfectly.

H/T Ishay Friedman.

David Israel

FOI Request for Obama to Share Advance Game of Thrones Copies

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

One day after news came out last week that President Obama asked for and would receive early screeners of the Game of Thrones season 6 episodes, journalist Vanessa Golembewski applied through the Freedom of Information Act that the president must “share his advance screeners” with the American people.

At the Game of Thrones premiere event in Hollywood on Sunday, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss confirmed rumors that Barack Obama wanted – and was going to get – episodes of their ultra-secret show ahead of their debut on HBO. “Only Obama Gets Game Of Thrones Screeners, So I Filed An FOIA Request For Them” is the title of Golembewski’s story, filed with Refinery29.com, asking, Why did Obama get these highly coveted assets?

“He’s the leader of the free world,” she quoted Weiss, who added, “When the commander-in-chief says, ‘I want to see advanced episodes,’ what are you gonna do?”

FOI GOT

“This was my first time filing a FOIA request and I wasn’t really prepared to explain myself on a government form. I went for the most direct approach. Under ‘Description,’ I wrote: ‘I would like President Obama to share his advance screeners for Game of Thrones with the public.’ Plus, the FOIA site mentioned that the simpler the request, the faster it would be to process.”

“Perhaps, in one of his final cool-president moves,” Golembewski wrote about Obama, “he will thoroughly recap the first couple episodes of GoT in a vlog or something.”

David Israel

ISIS Threatens ‘Countdown to Terror’ in Rome

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization said Wednesday it has begun its “countdown” to terror in Rome.

The radical Islamist group organization posted photographs to ISIS-linked accounts on the Twitter social networking site, saying “waiting for the zero hour.”

The photos are taken in the streets of Rome with a paper bearing the message with the hashtag “ #Islamic State in Rome “ held up to the camera. Some are handwritten in Arabic, some are in Italian, saying, “We are in your streets,” the RT news site reported Wednesday. A number of messages on Twitter were posted in English as well.

One of the photos appears to have been taken at the Colosseum in Rome; others seem to have been taken in Milan. Some Italian Twitter users are claiming the tweets are fake and the photos are as well.

The Italian government, meanwhile, is taking no chances and has increased security around Rome, particularly at strategic sites and landmarks that could be targeted by the group. Security officials established a counter-terrorism task force months ago with Albania, following the “Charlie Hebdo” and Hyper Cacher massacres in Paris this past January.

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Hacker Posts on Marc Zuckerberg’s Facebook Wall

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

A Palestinian hacker posted a message on Facebook founder Marc Zuckerberg’s wall to show there is a bug in the social network’s security settings.

Khalil Shreateh of Hebron posted information about the bug on Zuckerberg’s wall late last week, following unsuccessful attempts to report the bug to Facebook security. The bug allowed Shreateh to post on the walls of other members despite security settings.

“Sorry for breaking your privacy … I had no other choice … after all the reports I sent to Facebook team,” Shreateh wrote on Zuckerberg’s wall.

Facebook security had denied that the flaw was a bug.

Shreateh, who is unemployed, had hoped to win a $500 reward paid out to hackers who discover bugs on Facebook. Instead, his Facebook account was frozen, since he violated Facebook’s terms of service by posting illegally on Zuckerberg’s page. His account has since been reinstated.

Zuckerberg has 18 million friends on his Facebook page.

JTA

The State of the Internet Revolution in International Affairs: Less Progress Than You’d Think

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

In January 2000 I wrote an article entitled “Bringing Middle East (and International Affairs) Studies into the Twenty-First Century.” Rereading that piece exactly a dozen years later to the day is an eye-opener. Some of the things I predicted then have become so commonplace that it is hard to believe such ideas were so daring to present back then. Others haven’t happened much at all.

Here I’m talking about how international affairs writing has been changed. I began by pointing out that our project to produce a high-level online journal on the region, the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, then four years old, was an innovation that some had mocked and predicted would fail. But now that journal is entering its 17th year, having published around almost 500 full-length articles each reaching an audience of around 30,000 people! By way of comparison, most printed academic journals in the field have a circulation of around 1000.

At that time, I also had to explain our new turn to PDF/Adobe and how that was more convenient in several ways. That, too, is now taken for granted and new more advanced systems have been developed. I continued:

It is also necessary for funding agencies to rethink how their monies can be most effectively used. Amounts that have been paid for individual books–or even papers–and conferences could have 100 times more impact if applied to some of the new [computer-based] approaches discussed below.

Strange as it might seem, this still hasn’t completely happened. The money spent on a single conference or on a print journal could probably fund a journal or other online project for one or two years.

Following that I suggested a program for the future.

Equality for internet publications with printed media. Internet publications that meet the existing criteria should have equality in being indexed and being used for academic rank and tenure decisions. There is no intrinsic reason why a publication should not be treated differently simply because it is not produced originally on paper.

What might be called digitalphobia, however, has only gradually waned. In theory, this goal has been achieved but it is hard to get that point implemented.

Internet book publishing. Today it can take up to one year just to work through the reviewing process and gain acceptance for a book, as well as another year to be published. The resulting books usually sell for $30 to $50, putting them out of range for almost everyone except libraries (whose resources must be reaching their limit). It isn’t as if anyone is becoming rich in this process, on the contrary, academic presses are often losing money. We must work out acceptable ways to publish via the internet, both on a for-sale and free basis, so that authors will receive the proper credit and academic benefits. We should also be very aware of the possibility of creating `living books,’ monographs, and papers, which can be updated as events, new sources, and the author’s own interpretations develop. Such materials can also benefit from criticism so as easily to correct errors or alternative interpretations.

Twelve years later we are still only at the beginning of this transition. Publishers have benefited from the Kindle and other such products enough to save themselves. As for ebooks, the terms offered to authors are quite unattractive. And publishers do nothing much to publicize ebooks. Of course, they don’t do much to publicize print books either. It’s strange to have written books on Egypt, Syria, and Arab reformers—to cite only three examples—at a time when these issues are front-page news every day and see the publishers do absolutely zero to promote them.

The use of teleconferencing and computer telephones for research, meetings, and discussions. We now have access to low-cost, easy-to-use teleconferencing and voice-conferencing systems that allow us to erase geography in our daily work. These will come into increasing use in the coming years, especially as high-speed internet connections (such as ISDN, DSL, and cable modems) become more widespread.

It is amazing the extent to which this has not happened. Oh yes, there are such things but they have been strongly resisted and are still rare. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on plane tickets and hotels instead. The argument is face-to-face meetings are so much better. Certainly, that is true on one level but the ratio of “in-person” events to those using digital communications is still absurdly high.

New styles of research and academic projects….An international team can be assembled to study a topic in which all exchange materials or smaller groups of partners work on a paper together. When impossible to meet face-to-face, they can meet now by teleconferencing after the papers are completed for a discussion on a higher level than would otherwise occur. The monies saved could be used to pay the researchers. The resulting book or individual papers can be published traditionally or on the internet.

While I know you can think of examples of such things they are still amazingly rare.

Big online archives and research tools where people know how to find them. We need a system of documentary collections and other materials that can be readily used by researchers.

This has happened to the extent that many college students only use online sources, more’s the pity. Often, though, these troves are mishandled (in terms of judging the quality of sources) and underutilized when it comes to primary source material. Ironically, it is just as easy to go to the original source yet people use the tool of Internet to restrict themselves lazily to secondary sources, for example, the opinions of journalists or bloggers rather than what people actually said or did.

Specialized seminar groups on every topic. Those interested in any subject, no matter how specialized, can organize mediated, membership discussion groups involving experts from anywhere in the world.

This has happened to some extent, both in terms of institutional and individual lists. Yet one wonders whether this is as systematic as it could be.

The use of internet broadcast lectures and conferences. Using current technology like Realplayer and Windows Media Player, sites can make available on demand either radio (sound only) or television (sound and picture) coverage of lectures and meetings so they would be permanently available to people everywhere in the world. The cost of such technologies is quite affordable. The greatest advantage of this technology, however, is that a lecture or conference attended by one hundred people on one day can now easily be seen by thousands of people–at their convenience–over a long period of time. Of course, as with other media, people must get used to using them.

Such things have developed dramatically.

Embedded footnotes. Increasingly, in publishing papers and books on internet, we can use notes linked to the sources being quoted, allowing instant access to sources. This creates an infinite chain of information that provides far more breadth and depth than anything written on paper. Obviously, any quotation out of context will be clearly seen, while translations can be checked as well.

This, of course, has happened so thoroughly it is hard to remember what earlier life was like.

Barry Rubin

Italy Foiled Weapons Smuggling to Egypt Based on Israeli Information

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

The smuggling of weapons through Italy, intended probably to Egypt and from there to Gaza, was thwarted in the southern city of Naples, based on information provided by Israeli authorities, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Saturday. According to the report, Naples police arrested an Egyptian citizen on suspicion of attempting to smuggle five containers, one of which contained a rocket launcher.

“The operation that thwarted the smuggling attempt was done based on information received from Israel, and at this time the containers are being checked by police which were called to the scene,” said a police report.

The containers were seized in Naples at 5 in the morning, Saturday, by undercover police agents.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/italy-foiled-weapons-smuggling-to-egypt-based-on-israeli-information/2012/12/09/

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