Posted tagged ‘Intelligence’

Obama Never Once Met With His Defense Intelligence Chief

July 13, 2016

Obama Never Once Met With His Defense Intelligence Chief, Daily Caller, Richard Pollock, July 12, 2016

Unlike Obama, Trump has not only met with Flynn but has also spent hours listening to Flynn’s views.

Flynn described Trump as “very refreshing.” The presidential candidate “really thought deeply about the issues of America and its relationships around the world. And also about America,” he said.

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President Barack Obama twice appointed former Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn to key national security jobs in his administration, including as deputy director of national intelligence and later as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, yet he never once met with Flynn face to face.

The general, who spent 33 years in the intelligence field, told The Daily Caller News Foundation he was never called in for a face-to-face meeting with Obama to offer his assessment of ISIS as it rampaged through the Middle East, or during the political  meltdown of Libya and Egypt, or on Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb, or of the “Russian reset” that ended in shambles.

In four years, Flynn was never invited to brief the president on any kind of intelligence issue. Ever.

“Here is the crux of my relationship with Obama,” Flynn told TheDCNF in a wide ranging interview Tuesday. “Here I am, running one of the largest intelligence agencies in the world. He appoints me twice — one as the assistant director of national intelligence and one as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. I’m also his senior intelligence officer. And I had almost five years in combat.”

He paused, then said, “I never met with him once.”

“He’s a kind of a funny guy when it comes to relationships,” Flynn told TheDCNF. “He’s very aloof and very distant. I wasn’t on his screen at all. I wasn’t on his radar which is really sad. It’s amazing.”

Now in a turn of tables, Flynn is advising presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and is widely reported as being on the short list to run as Trump’s vice president.

Unlike Obama, Trump has not only met with Flynn but has also spent hours listening to Flynn’s views.

Flynn’s characteristic answers are candid and direct. On the possible choice as Trump’s vice presidential running mate: “This is an honor to be considered at this level and this mix of talent. The fact that my name is being bantered around in the small group of people for this very distinguished office is something I would give serious consideration to.”

He added that “I have said I want to continue to serve this country in any capacity.”

Like Trump, Flynn is an unconventional figure who abhors political correctness.

He has just published his first book after he was unceremoniously fired by Obama in 2014 for delivering a pessimistic assessment of ISIS before Congress. The presentation went directly against the president’s prediction that ISIS was irrelevant — a “JV team.”

Flynn could have written the typical Washington “Tell All” insider’s book about the Obama administration. Instead, he teamed up with Iran and Middle East expert Michael Ledeen in writing a serious book about the threat of Islamic terrorism titled, “The Field of Flight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”

Flynn says he is impressed with Trump. “I have met him. We sat down and talked in his offices in New York. The first time was quite a while ago. I’ve been in touch with him and his inner circle since last September,” he told TheDCNF.

“He is very, very serious about the future of this county. He is a great listener. I felt we had a great discussion about the world.”

At the first meeting, “he sort of threw out a couple of questions to me, which I felt were very telling of his insight and his knowledge.”

Then, Flynn said the two of them “walked around the world for about an hour and a half, sort of discussing back and forth.”

Flynn described Trump as “very refreshing.” The presidential candidate “really thought deeply about the issues of America and its relationships around the world. And also about America,” he said.

“My impression — and I have been around many good leaders in my career — and I found him to be a very strong, dynamic leader. And I think that’s why he is so attractive to so many people in this country right now.”

“Trump has a bigger, longer-term vision for this country than just sitting as a President for four years. He really does. And that’s what I was impressed by,” Flynn told TheDCNF.

Flynn is less charitable toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, one of his colleagues in the Obama administration.

“She is somebody that you get the impression that she’s got some other hidden agenda,” he said. “I always felt where there were interactions, there is some other hidden agenda there that doesn’t necessarily have the best interest of the country. Something else is going on.”

He pointed to Clinton’s “Russian reset” as one of her biggest failures. The reset was an initiative from Clinton in an effort to restore positive relations with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

“The Russian reset was a complete failure. That was her sort of baby. She lacked the understanding of how Russia deals on the global stage and how Russia deals with people, personalities and also on nation-on nation, and the way they see us,” Flynn said.

“She went into it with a level of arrogance and a lack of understanding.”

Unlike some skeptics in Washington, though, Flynn thought at the time that a Russian “reset” could work. “That Russian reset actually could have turned into something that resulted in some sort of mutual respect. But in fact under her leadership, it completely collapsed.”

He also is blunt about corruption and the Clinton Foundation: “The public corruption between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department may never be discovered. Or it may be discovered well past the election. But it’s a very real issue.”

Flynn challenged the foundation’s acceptance of $100 million in contributions from Persian Gulf Sheiks.

“The fact she takes one dollar from Saudi Arabia as any kind of a donation is a disgrace,” Flynn said. “Any of these countries destroys women’s rights. And then she stands there and claims that she’s for women.”

Hillary Clinton “should give back every red penny that she gets from those guys,” Flynn said. “Then she can talk about women’s rights.”

 

Obama Admin Brushes Off Intel Iran Is Buying Nuke, Missile Materials

July 11, 2016

Obama Admin Brushes Off Intel Iran Is Buying Nuke, Missile Materials. Washington Free Beacon, July 11, 2016 

(Please see also, German intel report charges Iran seeking illegal nuke, missile tech. — DM)

iran_missileA missile is displayed during a military parade in Tehran / AP

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to comments made by many lawmakers who view the German intelligence as proof that Iran is in violation of international accords.

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The Obama administration is brushing aside new German intelligence reports indicating that Iran has accelerated its efforts to procure key nuclear materials, despite promises to end this behavior as part of last summer’s nuclear accord, according to comments by a U.S. official provided to the Free Beacon.

Germany’s internal intelligence agency concluded in a recent report that sources have witnessed “extensive Iranian attempts” to procure illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology,” according to the report. The report appears to show that Iran is not upholding its most critical commitments under the nuclear deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear this week that the intelligence shows “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” particularly one Security Council resolution that bars Iran from pursuing ballistic missile technology.

The intelligence report and subsequent warnings were met with a tepid response from the Obama administration, which declined to comment on the intelligence and told the Free Beacon that it continues to view Iran as complying with the nuclear accord.

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to that of leading GOP lawmakers, who told the Free Beacon that the White House is intentionally ignoring Iran’s bad behavior.

“We believe that Iran is continuing to meet its [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments,” a State Department official authorized only to speak on background told the Free Beacon.

When pressed to explain how this comported with Germany’s warnings, the official said the administration “would refer you to German authorities for any comment about reports attributed to them.”

The administration official would not take a stance on indications that Iran’s procurement activity—which has increased nearly twofold since the nuclear deal—could violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which bans such activity.

“As for UNSCR 2231, we have spoken previously about ‎how Iran’s reported missile launches are clearly inconsistent with the resolution,” the source said when asked if the new intelligence shows that Iran’s behavior constitutes a violation of the resolution.

A CIA official declined to comment on Germany’s findings and whether they comport with U.S. intelligence assessments.

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to comments made by many lawmakers who view the German intelligence as proof that Iran is in violation of international accords.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), the House majority leader, told the Free Beacon that the administration is ignoring mounting evidence of Iran’s illicit actions.

“The Obama Administration can’t ignore the sheer weight of evidence showing Iran isn’t upholding its side of the bargain,” McCarthy said. “From illicit procurement for its nuclear program to testing ballistic missiles, Iran is showing that it had no intention of ever following international agreements, even ones that granted them enormous concessions.”

“The administration’s decision to continue implementing the deal and ignore Iran’s actions isn’t just delusional, it’s dangerous,” he added. “Iran must be stopped, which is why we need the sanctions legislation we are voting on this week.”

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House intelligence committee, also said Iran’s behavior indicates that it is not faithfully abiding by the nuclear deal.

“The latest German intelligence report on Iran’s efforts to secure nuclear and missile technology and material is extremely troubling,” Pompeo said. “While the Obama administration deletes public videos and alters transcripts related to the nuclear deal, at least our allies are speaking out on the threat from Iran’s nuclear program.”

The German intelligence report’s “naming of more than 1,000 associates of Iranian-backed terrorist groups that are living in Germany should serve as a wake-up call to the U.S. and other European countries who are prefer to ignore Tehran’s active support for entities like Hezbollah and Hamas,” Pompeo said.

One source intimately familiar with the administration’s thinking on Iran told the Free Beacon that Iran’s illicit activity has forced U.S. officials to walk back certain claims made about how the deal would reform Tehran.

“The administration isn’t even sure what to say any more. Sometimes they say that the nuclear deal is so weak Iran can’t violate it even if it illegally imports nuclear technology,” said one senior congressional adviser who works closely on the Iran portfolio. “Other times they say the nuclear deal is really strong, and they just ignore what even they admit are violations, like when Iran accumulated more heavy water than allowed a few months ago.”

Germany’s disclosure is the latest in a series of revelations that appear to show Iran stretching the limits of last summer’s nuclear deal.

The issue of ballistic missile technology has emerged as an issue of concern on Capitol Hill in light of the administration’s refusal to describe Iran’s ballistic missile tests as violations of UNSCR 2231.

ABC: Major Clinton Donor Placed on Sensitive Intelligence Board Despite No Experience

June 10, 2016

ABC: Major Clinton Donor Placed on Sensitive Intelligence Board Despite No Experience, ABC News via YouTube, June 10,  2016

Abdelsalem capture laid red herring for double terror attack in Brussels

March 23, 2016

Abdelsalem capture laid red herring for double terror attack in Brussels, DEBKAfile, March 22, 2016

BrusselsTerrorAirportKotere480t

The capture of the ISIS Paris master planner Salah Abdelsalem by Belgian anti-terror police, after four months on the run, was initially hailed as an enormous stroke of luck – that is until Tuesday, March 22. The high-profile Islamic State terrorist, who planned the triple attacks on a Paris stadium, bistro and concert hall, that left 130 people dead last November, had instructed jihadist bombers under his command to carry out deadly explosions at Brussels airport and subway on that day, while he was in custody.

He staged his capture as a trick to misdirect Belgian and French intelligence and anti-terror agencies and lull them into a state of false security.

Abdelsalem, 26, a French citizen of Moroccan origin, was the only survivor of the Paris attack five months ago. The other seven terrorists were killed, including his brother. He was finally run to ground on March 18 at his safe house in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, a notorious hotbed of jihads ideology, and taken in after a shootout with the police. The master terrorist had evaded capture by skipping across European borders, which proves little challenge for ISIS operatives on the move.

Three other suspects were also arrested in the Molenbeek raid.

French President Francois Hollande and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel took turns congratulating each other at a joint press conference which they called immediately after the Abdelselam capture. They were certain that his interrogation would yield valuable information about the arcane workings of the ISIS web across Europe and bring to light future terror plots in good time.

But DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources believe that Abdelsalem let himself be nabbed as part of a larger plot. Before he was captured, he had left instructions with a team of bombers for the attacks on Brussels international airport and the Maelbeek subway station near the European Union’s headquarters, with possibly more to come, on lines similar lines to the multiple assaults in Paris.

brussels_train_22.3.16

He relied on the French and Belgian leaders and their anti-terrorist advisers resting on their laurels, the while letting down their guard and missing the trap, before it snapped back in their faces four days later.

After the attacks, the Belgian prime minister realized that more terror might still be in store.

The Brussels twin terrorist hit was planned in detail. DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources report that the two explosions at Brussels airport were caused by suicide bombers. The discovery later of an unexploded bomb belt indicated a terror team of three (see picture).

What happened to the third bomber?

Belgian authorities are trying to disguise the fact that, while one explosion was caused by a suicide bomber in the departure hall, a second terrorist was able to reached the tarmac and detonate his bomb belt near the airliners.

They may have beaten security by using an airport staff employee to smuggle the three bomb belts into the targeted areas and conceal them, allowing the terrorists to come out clean from security checks. The third bomb belt may have been abandoned – either because the third terrorist failed to turn up, or he changed his mind at the last minute and and ran, after dropping it.

By Tuesday afternoon the death toll from the two attacks had climbed to 34 – 20 dead at the Metro station and 14 at Brussels airport, with scores of people injured, including reportedly two Israel passengers.

The scenes in the Belgian airport capital were chaotic. Terrified passengers fled in every direction in the absence of anyone in charge to provide information or guidance. Police tried to tell them to drop their hand luggage before escaping, but no one heeded them. Hundreds waited on the tarmac hopelessly for instructions until they were eventually bussed to a village outside the capital. They were stranded there, after all incoming and outgoing flights were cancelled and all public transport suspended.

Brussels, in a state of shock and confusion, found itself unwillingly dubbed the front line of Europe’s war on terror.

Six East African Countries Bid for Israel’s Help in War on Islamist Terror

March 20, 2016

Six East African Countries Bid for Israel’s Help in War on Islamist Terror, DEBKAfile, March 20, 2016

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Co-opting Israel to East Africa’s struggle against encroaching Islamist terror topped the agenda of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in the third week of February, DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources disclose.

Their two countries are already bound by close military and intelligence ties. Kenyatta proposed expanding this partnership into a broad new alliance, comprising Israel and six East African states, for launching a combined campaign to rid their countries of the jihadist Islamic State, Al Qaeda and their affiliates, such as Somalia’s Al Shabaab.

Kenyatta said he had been entrusted on his mission to Jerusalem by Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. All six governments trusted in Israeli assistance acting as the lever for upgrading their Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which normally deals with drought and development enterprises, into a multilateral sword against Islamist terror

As an associate member of IGAD, Israel would undertake to reorganize is members’ armed forces, intelligence capabilities and anti-terror bodies, and outfit them with the weapons systems and advanced electronic equipment needed to root out the scourge of terrorism.

Kenyatta emphasized that the six IGAD member states were turning to Israel after taking fright from Nigeria’s plight. Its failure to grapple with the ferocious Islamist Boko Haram had sent oil-rich Nigeria’s economy into freefall and devalued its currency, the Naira, by half.

DEBKA Weekly’s military and counterterrorism sources add that after many years of close military and intelligence cooperation, the Kenyan army is receiving training from Israeli military instructors on tactics for battling  Al Shabab inside Somalia and a supply of Israeli weapons tailored for anti-terror warfare. Israeli and Kenyan officers put their heads together on the planning of Kenyan army operations in Somalia.

Saturday, March 19, Kenyan troops Kenyan army killed 21 Shabaab terrorists after two Kenyan troops were killed in a Shabaab IED ambush in southern Somalia. The Kenyan army is part ofthe African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

In the past year, Israeli counterterrorism and intelligence agencies set up a special command center in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa to lead operations against the Al Qaeda cells embedded in eastern and southern Kenya. When they met in Jerusalem, Kenyatta thanked Netanyahu for Israel’s assistance in breaking up most of those cells.

Ethiopia is another East African country with close military and defense links with Israel that go back many years.

Kenyatta explained that Israel was the six governments’ preferred partner for fighting terror, after the United States proved indifferent to East African concerns and limits its contribution to the war on terror to widely-spaced air strikes.

Although a US drone attack on March 7 eliminated 150 Islamist terrorists in Somalia, the Kenyan president said that US troops rarely emerge from their navy’s expeditionary base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti to confront Al Shabaab.

Chinese efforts to step into the anti-terror void left by the Obama administration were likewise rejected by the East Africans. They are wary of accepting Beijing’s military and economic largesse because it comes with a hefty price tag of Chinese expansionist economic and military footholds in their countries.

In return for military intelligence assistance for combating terror, the six East African governments are offering Israeli firms preferential treatment for developing their markets. Netanyahu is expected by our sources to visit IGAD member capitals in the coming weeks to cement ties and finalize arrangements.

An Israeli Arab flies paraglider into Syria to join ISIS without being intercepted

October 25, 2015

An Israeli Arab flies paraglider into Syria to join ISIS without being intercepted, DEBKAfile, October 25, 2015

GlyderParchute

In a major security breach, an Israeli Arab, 23, was able to fly by paraglider across into Syria from the southwestern village of Mevo Hama Saturday, Oct. 24, southwestern Golan without being intercepted – although an IDF spotter had reported the event. The pilot came from the Israeli Arab town of Jaljuliya east of Kfar Saba near the West Bank. His defection, apparently to the Islamic State, was clearly organized in advance. His landing in Syria was secured by a party from the jihadist group who came to pick him up.

The massive air-and-ground search operation the Israeli military scrambled came too late.

“We believe he planned this move to the other side, and joined a group there,” Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz told reporters during a conference call Sunday morning, after a gag order on the story was lifted. Another IDF statement said that Israeli forces are still trying to ascertain the person’s intentions

DEBKAfile’s military sources count this event as a particularly grave security lapse for the following reasons:

1. The Shin Bet was clearly taken unawares of a conspiracy for the Israeli Arab’s flight.

2.  No one discovered that a paraglider was being assembled in secret at Mevo Hama or had it brought there unnoticed. And who helped him launch it?

3. How did he set up communication with ISIS-Syria without being detected by Israeli security?

4. How did the preparations on the Syrian side to receive the pilot escape the attention of IDF military intelligence?

5. Why was no one on the spot authorized to shoot the paraglider shot down before it flew across the border? By the time the report went through channels, the bird had flown.

ISIS claims it has taken an “Israeli pilot” captive.

Our military sources add that the paraglider operation was set up by a hostile element to test Israel’s defenses in three areas:

  • The efficiency of IDF spotter posts across the Golan. The glider was indeed sighted and reported.
  • Israeli Air force operations in Golan – which were indeed found with holes that can be used for penetration.
  • Israel’s air defense on the Golan. This episode exposed the absence of a commander with authority to act with dispatch to foil an unforeseen event.

In other words, Israel’s defenses were wide open to attack Saturday.

Israel’s “Knock on the Keyboard” campaign spies on and subverts terrorist social networks

October 21, 2015

Israel’s “Knock on the Keyboard” campaign spies on and subverts terrorist social networks DEBKAfile, October 21, 2015

Keyboard_Brigades

With this fuel constantly on tap to keep the flames high, diplomatic efforts underway to calm the conflict, such as visits by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon or US Secretary of State John Kerry, are no more effective than a small glass of water. The best hope of curbing the violence rests with the new modes of operation which Israeli intelligence has switched into high gear.

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The newest type of Israeli intelligence officer does not require expertise in hand-to-hand combat, shooting or the ability to survive in enemy territory, but rather a keyboard, screen, internet connection and a complete command of Arabic, including idioms, jargon and expressions. The officer goes online under a false name and uses social networks to connect with those about to stab, run down or shoot Israelis. Along with the undercover agents in the field, there is a new generation of Israeli “digital HUMINT” officers who are updated on the latest trends among the Arab youth and spread out in the same digital space as the users in the back alleys of Palestinian refugee camps. Posing as terrorists, they use their fluent Arabic on Facebook or Twitter to request instructions, assistance, information and direction to “carry out attacks.”  

Israeli policymakers and security chiefs have different views on the existence of a central figure or group at the head of the current wave of terror that began with the murder of Na’ama and Itam Henkin on October 1. and for which no end is in sight. But they all agree on the means used to disseminate and scale up the knife attacks, stone throwing, gunfire and hit-and-run attacks, which have killed 11 Israelis and wounded dozens until now.

Those means consist largely of Facebook and Twitter and instant messaging services such as Skype and Whatsapp, which communicate instructions to the terror operatives.

They also serve as mass media for publicizing and glorifying acts of terror, relaying training methods, spreading propaganda, marking targets and post mortems on operations performed.

The social media and instant messaging provide the masters of terror with endless services, such as the transfer of private data, video and images and even chitchat between “friends.” Encrypted information carried thereby can’t be decoded.

The causes of Palestinian terror have not changed fundamentally over the years from one outbreak to the next. The “soldiers of terror” have the same motivations today as yesterday. The only difference is the mode of communication between the rank-and-file terrorists and their handlers.

Land-line and cellular communication, which until a few years ago served security organizations as their primary tools for forestalling terror, are now old hat. Almost extinct too are the costly technological engineering and SIGINT (signal intelligence) equipment and information systems, once used for disrupting and thwarting terror.

The contemporary emphasis on OSINT (open source intelligence), which monitors the mass media, such as television and radio stations, internet sites and newspapers, has given birth to a new branch of intelligence, which harvests critical operational and tactical data from the social networks.   ,

The present-day Israeli intelligence officer is not trained in hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship or methods of surviving in enemy territory. He is armed with a keyboard, screen, internet connection and a complete command of Arabic, including idioms, jargon and expressions. This officer goes online using a false name and accesses the right social networks to connect with those about to stab, run down or shoot Israelis.

HUMINT (human intelligence), classic field intelligence, is taking on a new form. Besides the field commanders and the undercover agents, there is a new generation of Israeli “digital HUMINT” officers, who are updated on the latest trends among young Arabs by invading their digital space. Posing as terrorists, they use their fluent Arabic on Facebook or Twitter to request instructions, assistance, information and direction to “carry out attacks”,

It is an established fact that social networks are a key operational medium in the service fo terrorists for transferring orders and instructions. Israeli intelligence is well prepared to move in on this chink in the terrorists’ defenses, better than their Western counterparts.

Hundreds of male and female soldiers with fluent Arabic, using false names to mingle among Arab web surfers, were first used to good purpose at the outset of the Arab Spring. The project picked up steam as the trend of terror in the Arab and Muslim world grew.

For terrorists, the social networks have both advantages and disadvantages. A young man in Beit Hanina or Issawiyeh, who uploads to Facebook a video praising a Palestinian driver who ran down Jewish pedestrians, or offering guidance on where to thrust a knife to kill a Jew, also gives away his IP address, his e-mail address, and the visitors who post comments and likes.

The vast amount of data garnered from social networks is a gold mine for analysts to draw conclusions, delineate the web of ties among terrorists and home in on orders and instructions passed out to fuel the current wave of terror.

With this fuel constantly on tap to keep the flames high, diplomatic efforts underway to calm the conflict, such as visits by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon or US Secretary of State John Kerry, are no more effective than a small glass of water. The best hope of curbing the violence rests with the new modes of operation which Israeli intelligence has switched into high gear.

Even in the midst of serial terror, these cyber warriors are busily sifting through an ocean of information from open sources and making headway towards identifying the chains of command orchestrating the wave of violence, as well as individuals, pairs or groups responsible for carrying out the attacks.

Equally important, they are using the social networks to sow panic and confusion among the terrorists, thus rendering them almost useless as means of furthering terror.

Even as you are reading this article, the Israeli security and law enforcement agencies have been able to pinpoint and make personal calls to the parents or acquaintances of identified rioters and potential terrorists, to warn them in Arabic that they are in for serious consequences – a variety on the “knock on roof” warnings the IDF gave to Gaza households during the last Gaza campaign against terror.

Cartoons of the day

October 4, 2015

H/t Freedom is just another word

theo5
doctor
see-it

Israel merges IDF elite units to form the new Commando Brigade tailored to combat ISIS

July 7, 2015

Israel merges IDF elite units to form the new Commando Brigade tailored to combat ISIS, DEBKAfile, July 7, 2015

Israeli_Special_ForcesIsrael Special Operations Forces

The new Commando Brigade is designed for quiet, bold, covert and effective action against terrorist groups posing a threat from the Sinai Desert to Egyptian sovereignty and Israel’s southern border. Such action would be coordinated closely between Israeli and Egyptian military and intelligence arms.

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While US president Barack Obama coined his approach to the struggle against the Islamic State with the words: “Ideologies are not defeated by guns. They’re defeated with better ideas.” – Israel and its military leaders are taking no chances against a declared enemy.

Last Friday, July 3, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s Sinai branch fired three Grad missiles across the border into the Israeli Eshkol district, while it was in mid-offensive against the Egyptian army in North Sinai. Large parts of southern Israel next door had already been declared closed military areas in consequence of that offensive.

ISIS and its affiliates, while currently preoccupied with snatching up territory from countries neighboring Israel, make no secret of their intention, confirmed by military intelligence, to reach Israel’s northern, eastern and southern borders before long.

Monday, July 6, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott unveiled Israel’s answer to the coming challenge. It is a unique, multi-purpose commando ground force, especially tailored to fight ISIS and provide the “boots on the ground” which the US-led coalition has kept back from the Islamists’ constantly expanding warfront.

It will be trained and armed for extraordinary missions outside routine military tasks.

The revelation was something of a wake-up call for the general Israeli population. The new force’s short term tasks are to guard southern and northern Israel against hostile rocket fire and attempts by Islamist groups riding captured armored carriers to storm the border. This happened once before on Aug. 6, 2012, when Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis Islamists (who later joined ISIS) broke through the Egyptian-Israeli Kerem Shalom border crossing from Sinai. Their APCs had driven almost up to a military base before they were wiped out by Israeli warplanes.

The new Commando Brigade is designed for quiet, bold, covert and effective action against terrorist groups posing a threat from the Sinai Desert to Egyptian sovereignty and Israel’s southern border. Such action would be coordinated closely between Israeli and Egyptian military and intelligence arms.

Similar operations would also be staged if necessary from Israel’s northern border – against Hizballah or any threat from Syria.

The new outfit brings together the different skills and the high, focused fire power rendered by the four elite units’ assorted weaponry. In this sense, these units, all highly adept in different aspects of covert and stealth operations deep behind enemy lines, complement one another. This amalgam that may be loosely likened to a unique combination of US Delta, Seals, Rangers, and airborne commandoes all rolled in one.

The elite units merged into the new commando brigade are:

1. Meglan, which specializes in destroying enemy systems with the accent on armored units. Its members are equipped with intelligence technology for gathering data and its transmission in real time.

2.  Duvdevan‘s tasks are to liquidate targeted terrorists and round up suspects. Its members operate under cover by blending into a hostile population in disguise. They are trained for single combat in the heart of enemy terrain.

3. Egoz commandos employ guerilla tactics borrowed from the books of terrorist organizations.

4. Rimon commandos also blend into a hostile population disguised as locals for the purpose of spotting and foiling terrorist operations in difficult and complex areas.

The commander of the new combined brigade is Col. David Zinni who defers to the 98th (Esh) Division.

Gen. Eisenkott has brought the four elite units together from the Paratroops, Golani and Givati brigades, among which they were formerly distributed. His action capped the reassessment of the IDF’s war doctrine which he found essential for dealing with the new volatile and constantly moving enemy.

The four elite units in combination offer a synergetic combination. They will train together in air, sea and tactics for missions to meet unorthodox intelligence demands. They will also be set apart from the conventional military by their special weapons, secret high-tech equipment, and separate guidelines and logistics.

The swiftness of ISIS’s climb to highest ranks of Israel’s foes caused Gen. Eisenkott to override the most recent innovation of his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz: the Depth Command. The Commando Brigade has made the Depth Command redundant.

The Texas ISIS attack was not averted owing to US “human intelligence” deficit

May 5, 2015

The Texas ISIS attack was not averted owing to US “human intelligence” deficit, DEBKAfile, May 5, 2015

Elton_Simpson_30.4.15Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, Texas

(“Racial” profiling? Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before? Oh. Wait. That would offend Islamists. — DM)

 

That Simpson and Soofi were permitted to get so far is best explained by a certain weakness in the human intelligence capabilities of US and Western intelligence, the shortage of undercover agents able to mingle in communities and populations with the potential for producing radical elements capable of committing terrorist murder and suicide in the name of their faith. These agents must be able to pass unnoticed in mosques, bazaars and cafes, and have an ear for local dialects, street talk and inflections, so as to catch onto dangers through innuendo.

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The two American gunmen who Sunday, May 3, tried – and failed – to shoot up an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, northeast of Dallas, sounded a wakeup call for US intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies – even before the Islamic State warned that this first attack on US soil would not be its last. The two homegrown terrorists, Elton Simpson, a Christian who converted to Islam, and Nadir Soofi, son of a Pakistani father and American mother, carried submachine guns and explosives and wore body armor – attesting to the existence of an organization behind the attack.

That organization is believed to be made up of small sleeper cells of two to three terrorists each, ready to spring into action on orders from distant controllers.

Both were young men in their mid-twenties. The half-Pakistani Muslim Soofi scraped a living from cleaning carpets, while Simpson was out of work. They failed to perpetrate mass murder because they made every possible mistake. And so after inflicting a scratch on one of the unarmed guards, both were shot dead by local police officers securing the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” at the Curtis Culwell Center, which offered a $10,000 prize for the best artwork or cartoon depicting the Prophet.

For the past two years, Simpson and Soofi have been running posts and images on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram extolling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and all its works, threatening American Christians with revenge and declaring that terrorist attacks were coming.

Shortly before the Dallas event opened, an explicit threat to mete out punishment to those insulting the Prophet Mohammad in Texas, like in Denmark and Paris, appeared on a Twitter account (since de-activated) belonging to AbuHussainAlBritani, known to security services as an ISIS platform.

Simpson had been known as an FBI target since 2010. Then, he made no secret of his plans to travel to Somalia, take advanced studies in Islam and die as a martyr. He was arrested , convicted only of making a false statement to the forces of the law and released on probation. After that, a double agent persuaded him to talk for hundreds of hours on tape, candidly admitting that he intended one day in the future to take part in a deadly terrorist operation.

Yet Simpson was not detained, or even placed under extra surveillance.

Data flowing from Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is critical in the war on terror: social networks like Twitter and Facebook serve terrorists around the world widely for passing information, arranging rendezvous, filling in the gaps of operational directives and, above all, disseminating their messages.
The US National Security Agency, as well as European and other agencies, maintain blanket surveillance of the social networks, transferring their content in almost real time to giant computers at agency headquarters for filtering and analysis. It is hard to understand how the radical online messages and outspoken tweets by Soofi and Simpson, which left no room to doubt their intentions, escaped interface by those computers with their past records and views.

The pair was therefore free to drive from Arizona to Texas in late April, in a car registered in one of their names, and armed with machine guns.

They pulled up at the Curtis Culwelll center, where the Mohammed cartoon exhibit opened in the presence of Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which has sponsored anti-Islamic advertising campaigns across the country, and Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician and anti-Islamic campaigner who is on an al Qaeda hit list. When they reached their destination, they were not stopped until they actually started shooting – and only then thanks to the fast reflexes of a police guard on the spot.

That Simpson and Soofi were permitted to get so far is best explained by a certain weakness in the human intelligence capabilities of US and Western intelligence, the shortage of undercover agents able to mingle in communities and populations with the potential for producing radical elements capable of committing terrorist murder and suicide in the name of their faith. These agents must be able to pass unnoticed in mosques, bazaars and cafes, and have an ear for local dialects, street talk and inflections, so as to catch onto dangers through innuendo.

Digital intelligence, however extensive, is no substitute for human intelligence. It takes an undercover human agent on the ground to pick up on terrorist threats in time to thwart attacks.