The Functions Of Russia’s Newly Announced National Guard

This could be seen a Vladimir solidifying his hold on Russia, or that he’s in trouble and is facing threats of removal. This is also surely going to be used against political opposition. Either way, Putin’s private army is born.

 

On April 5, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to establish a National Guard for the country, that will be “formed on the basis of”the state’s Interior Ministry Troops. Putin also announced that Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service and Federal Migration Service would be incorporated into the Interior Ministry. 

The same day, Putin signed an executive order appointing Viktor Zolotov director of the Federal Service of National Guard Troops and commander of the National Guard Troops, and relieved him of his position as Interior Ministry Troops commander.[3]

The following are excerpts from an article detailing the functions of the new National Guard, as published on the website of the Russian media outlet Rbc.ru:[4] Continue reading

As Iran-backed forces advance in Yemen, Obama’s terror strategy questioned

As the Iran-backed Shi’ite Houthi militia consolidated its control of Yemen’s capital over the weekend and continued its advance southward, the U.S. counter terrorism strategy for the nation is being seen for what it is — a failure.

Praised just six months ago by President Barack Obama as a model for the new U.S. war on terror, the plan has failed in Yemen amid reports the last of the U.S. special forces in the country have been withdrawn. Continue reading

Two men arrested in Sydney in counter-terrorism operation

A man has been charged after he allegedly was found with documents designed to facilitate a terrorist attack against potential government targets in Sydney, police say.

Sulayman Khalid, 20, from Regents Park in Sydney’s west, faced Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday after he was charged by counter-terrorism police overnight.

A second man was also charged by counter-terrorism police overnight with breaching a control order.  Continue reading

New law may authorise Chinese military to fight terrorists abroad

What people don’t realize is that this new law can likely be widely interpreted to justify an attack on any country. It will all naturally depend on how ‘terrorism’ is defined within. Nations in the vicinity of China, espcially Taiwan, should be giving special attention to developments like this.

 

China was weighing up a proposal to let its troops head overseas on counterterrorism missions, analysts said, citing military officials attending a security forum in Beijing last week.

The draft of the country’s first counterterrorism law includes clauses that would authorise the army and the paramilitary police to carry out counterterrorism missions abroad if the deployment had the consent of the countries involved, Chinese delegates told the Xiangshan Forum last week, according to analysts at the regional security meeting.

Continue reading

The U.S. Must Deny Russian Influence in Egypt

In the violent aftermath of the Egyptian military’s removal of Mohamed Morsi from power, the United States has tried to send a message with limited suspensions of aid. As the security situation on the Sinai Peninsula continues to deteriorate, re-engaging Egypt in counterterrorism efforts is warranted. The administration’s oscillating decisions to maintain, halt, and then reinstate this type of security assistance have been confusing at best and harmful at worst. Egypt’s need for satellite services (including launch capabilities) to address the growing problem of insurgents in the Sinai is a key national security concern to Egypt, Israel, and the U.S.

On the geopolitical stage, the fact that Russia has stepped in to solve Egypt’s technology services gap should further motivate the U.S. to action.The Egyptian sentiment that the U.S. has turned its back on them in their hour of need has left an opening for other players to provide financial and technical military assistance. Attempting to preserve the appearance of propriety and support a democratically elected leader, exert regional influence, and keep radical Islamists out of office, Washington has fallen short and created a vacuum whereby a pro-Syrian Russia has moved in to further its strategic regional interests. Continue reading

Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

For more on SCADAs, please see the following previous posts:

Exclusive: Cyberattack leaves natural gas pipelines vulnerable to sabotage

UPDATE 3: U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

Security backdoor found in China-made US military chip

 

The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.

In January 2010, numerous homeowners in San Antonio, Texas, stood baffled in front of their closed garage doors. They wanted to drive to work or head off to do their grocery shopping, but their garage door openers had gone dead, leaving them stranded. No matter how many times they pressed the buttons, the doors didn’t budge. The problem primarily affected residents in the western part of the city, around Military Drive and the interstate highway known as Loop 410. Continue reading

Homeland Security Taps Generals to Run Domestic Drone Program: The Rise of Predators at Home

DHS decided – with virtually no reviews or evaluations – to purchase unarmed versions of the Predator drones used abroad for “signature strikes” (targeted drone killing). The department, whose mission includes “border security,” has also relied on military bases along the land border and coastal waters to host its own drone fleet.Since DHS began acquiring Predators, along with Predator variants called Guardians, from General Atomics nine years ago, this domestic drone program has proved an abysmal failure – whether measured by its effectiveness in immigration enforcement, drug control, or counterterrorism.  A series of reports by the General Accountability Office, Congressional Review Service, and the DHS Inspector General’s Office have documented the paltry achievements, the alarming strategic confusion, and near-systemic logistical and technical shortcomings of the DHS drone program.

These government reports pointed to the complete absence of any cost-benefit evaluations and efficiency assessments of the DHS drone program.

Yet these official reviews failed to shed any light on the department’s controversial decision to deploy only the hugely expensive military-grade Predator drones and to enter into sole-source contracts with General Atomics to provide, maintain, and even operate the federal government’s domestic drone fleet. Continue reading

Al Qaeda Terrorist Threat Is Growing

The threat posed by al Qaeda terrorism around the world continues to increase despite President Barack Obama’s recent claim that the central group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is on the path to defeat, according to U.S. and foreign counterterrorism officials and private experts.

While terrorist threats still exist, “the core of al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan is on the path to defeat,” the president said.

However, a U.S. counterterrorism official said the threat posed by al Qaeda is growing. “From Africa to Pakistan, it is spreading systematically,” the official said. Continue reading

Broad Powers Seen for Obama in Cyberstrikes

WASHINGTON — A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review.

That decision is among several reached in recent months as the administration moves, in the next few weeks, to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack. New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code — even if there is no declared war. Continue reading