Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations

Trump CIA

 

The United States Central Intelligence Agency and the White House are considering several proposals to hire private companies to carry out covert operations abroad, according to a report. BuzzFeed News said on Thursday that the proposals were communicated to the White House in the summer. The news site, which described the proposed plans as “highly unusual”, quoted “three sources who have been briefed on or have direct knowledge of the proposals”. The sources told BuzzFeed that, if approved, the plans would include the establishment of large intelligence networks in so-called “denied areas” —namely foreign environments deemed hostile. The networks would recruit and handle local agents, carry out psychological operations, capture terrorism suspects and rendition them to the US or third countries. “Islamic extremism” is mentioned as the primary target of the proposals. Continue reading

Jim Rickards: We’re Heading for War with North Korea

Click on the picture for the Bloomberg video interview.

 

Speaking with Bloomberg’s Betty Liu on gold, the geopolitical threat of North Korea and what to expect from the Federal Reserve financial expert Jim Rickards provided what his outlook shows for the months ahead.

The Bloomberg host began by asking Rickards why, with no current inflationary problems seen by most investors, he believed that gold was due for a major boom. The Strategic Intelligence editor started, “The reason in the first half [of the year] about 7.8% against enormous headwinds. The Fed has raised rates in December, March and again in June. [Now] we’re seeing disinflation, a slowing economy, a declining labor force. Everything looks like a recession and yet gold went up almost 8% in that environment. As we go forward, the Fed will always be the last to know.Continue reading

North Korea issues SHOCK war warning: ‘If a single bullet is fired, we WILL nuke the US’

Now would be a great time for the U.S. intelligence community (IC) to assess whether or not the two North Korean ‘weather satellites’ hanging over the American mainland aren’t nukes or EMP devices ready to drop on command.

North Korea is somewhat akin to a loudmouth who always makes threats, but is always downplayed and laughed at because people only see the weakling on the surface, yet one day might deliver a crippling blow with a hidden weapon. President Trump has so far shown that he is one to take every threat seriously.

See also: North Korea’s new satellite flew over Super Bowl site

 

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un

KIM JONG-UN: North Korea is talking up open war with the US in the Korean Peninsula [Getty]

 

NORTH Korea has pledged to launch a nuclear strike on the US if a “single bullet is fired” as US forces flood the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong-un’s rogue state issued the stunning warning as Washington and South Korea carry out war games in the region.

Pyongyang blames the rest of the world for rising nuclear tensions as the DPRK continues its quest for nuclear missiles capable of striking the US mainland. Continue reading

Iran said to have developed Shi’ite proxy force in Iraq for deployment elsewhere

The Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces has some 80,000 fighters. /AFP

 

Iran has in place thousands of loyal Shi’ite militiamen in Iraq that could be used as a permanent force in the region, deploying to hot spots in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, analysts say.

There are some 80,000 fighters under Iran’s direction in the Hizbullah Brigades, Badr Organization and other groups that fall under the Iraq-approved umbrella group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. Continue reading

The Real Russian Mole Inside NSA

https://nyoobserver.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/gettyimages-507340074.jpg?w=526&h=350

A helicopter view of the National Security Agency January 28, 2016 in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The media has finally noticed that the National Security Agency has a problem with Kremlin penetration

Moles—that is, long-term penetration agents—are every intelligence service’s worst nightmare. Though rarer in reality than in spy movies and novels, moles exist and can do enormous damage to a country’s secrets and espionage capabilities. They’re what keep counterintelligence experts awake at night.

The recent appearance on the Internet of top secret hacking tools from the National Security Agency has shined yet another unwanted spotlight on that hard-luck agency, which has been reeling for three years from Edward Snowden’s defection to Moscow after stealing more than a million classified documents from NSA. As I explained, this latest debacle was not a “hack”—rather, it’s a clear sign that the agency has a mole.

Of course, I’ve been saying that for years. It’s not exactly a secret that NSA has one or more Russian moles in its ranks—not counting Snowden. Now the mainstream media has taken notice and we have the “another Snowden” meme upon us. Continue reading

China still trying to hack U.S. firms despite Xi’s vow to refrain, analysts say

Chinese government hackers have attempted in the past few weeks to penetrate the networks of U.S. companies to steal their secrets despite a pledge by China’s president that they would not do so, according to private researchers.

Chinese hackers have targeted at least seven U.S. companies since President Xi Jinping vowed last month in Washington that his country would not conduct cyber-economic espionage — the theft of trade secrets and intellectual property for the benefit of the nation’s industries, according to CrowdStrike, a firm that helps companies track and prevent intrusions.

In the three weeks since Xi left Washington — including the day after he left, on Sept. 26 — hackers linked to the Chinese government have attempted to gain access to tech and pharmaceutical companies’ networks, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike co-founder and chief technology officer, who released a report on the issue Monday. Continue reading

Bill Clinton knew Iran was behind Khobar attack, cable shows

Report says US had evidence Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah carried out 1996 bombing, which killed 19 US servicemen

Former US president Bill Clinton’s administration had enough evidence of Iran’s sponsorship of a deadly terror attack in Saudi Arabia to prompt a communique to the Iranian president, but kept the information under wraps to avoid demands for a more forceful response, the Washington Times reported on Tuesday.

Memos from the period before Clinton left office reveal that intelligence had indicated Iranian involvement in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 US servicemen. Continue reading

Clapper: US Must Prepare for ‘A Large, Armageddon-Scale’ Cyber Attack

Maybe one day after all these decades the government will stop saying “we must prepare” and start saying “we are preparing” or, better yet, “we are prepared.

Every year it’s the same parroted line in a differing word order. Everyone wants to warn, and consequently tricking themselves into thinking they made an actual effort, but no one wants to take action. Action is key, not the lights and cameras.

But maybe one day, after all these decades, it’ll change — maybe.

 

 

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the U.S. must be prepared for a “large, Armageddon-scale” cyber attack during remarks Thursday at an annual conference of U.S. intelligence community members, but he said that was not likely. Continue reading

Intel Assessment: Weak Response to Breaches Will Lead to More Cyber Attacks

“Response” is exactly what’s allowing this to happen. It’s the culture of reactionary ‘patch and pray” that continues to be the industry norm instead of proactive defense that is the issue. Reactionary means only reacting, therefore you have to wait for something to happen.

 

Obama administration’s diplomatic, legal response is encouraging more cyber attacks

The United States will continue to suffer increasingly damaging cyber attacks against both government and private sector networks as long as there is no significant response, according to a recent U.S. intelligence community assessment.

Disclosure of the intelligence assessment, an analytical consensus of 16 U.S. spy agencies, comes as the Obama administration is debating how to respond to a major cyber attack against the Office of Personnel Management. Sensitive records on 22.1 million federal workers, including millions cleared for access to secrets, were stolen by hackers linked to China’s government. Continue reading

Iran, Russia Partnering to Launch Cyber Attacks

Former Intel Committee Head: Iran now a ‘world class’ cyber threat

Iran has emerged as a leading cyber threat and has already hacked into the U.S. defense establishment and financial institutions, likely with the help of the Russians, according to a former chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Iran has boosted its cyber capabilities in a “surprisingly” short amount of time and possesses the ability to launch successful cyber attacks on American financial markets and its infrastructure, former Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R., Mich.) told a panel of lawmakers on Tuesday.

The Iranian regime’s emergence as a “world class” cyber threat likely has to do with its close ties to Russia, according to Hoekstra, who warned during a hearing on Iran’s global terror activities that the two countries will only boost coordination on the cyber front in the coming months. Continue reading

U.S. intel: Iran developing anti-ship missiles with China’s help

The U.S. intelligence community has determined that the Iran Navy has
enhanced its missile arsenal over the last few years. In a report, the
community said Iran’s missiles, particularly its anti-ship weapons, were
increasing in range and accuracy.

The report, submitted by the Defense Department to Congress, was said to reflect a change in the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community. Until 2012, most of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies had dismissed Iran’s missile arsenal as inaccurate and ineffective against enemy military targets.

Signed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on June 29, the report said the Iran Navy was developing its anti-ship cruise missile capability. The capability was meant to allow the firing of missiles that could identify and loiter over targets before a strike.

“It is also developing and claims to have deployed short-range ballistic
missiles with seekers that enable the missile to identify and maneuver
toward ships during flight,” the report said. “This technology also may be
capable of striking land-based targets.”

China was said to have played a major role in enhancing Iran’s anti-ship
missile arsenal. The report cited similarities in Iranian and Chinese
anti-ship programs.

“Iran may be technically capable of flight testing an intercontinental
ballistic missile by 2015,” the report said.

Full article: U.S. intel: Iran developing anti-ship missiles with China’s help (World Tribune)

Obama to U.S. intelligence: Oust Syria’s Assad in 2012

Western diplomatic sources said the administration of President Barack Obama has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to ensure the ouster of Assad in 2012.

The sources said Obama, urged by allies that range from France to Saudi Arabia, was persuaded that without U.S. intervention, Al Qaida would emerge as the leading force in Syria.

“The game is on the ground,” the diplomat said. “The political opposition in exile has no control or even influence in Syria, while FSA is seen as active, even if that is not really the case.”

The sources suggested that Washington was already involved in major operations against the Assad regime. The operations were said to have included a failed FSA attempt to poison the regime leadership, particularly Assad’s powerful brother-in-law, Assaf Chawkat.

Full article: Obama to U.S. intelligence: Oust Syria’s Assad in 2012 (World Tribune)