EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY – 09 June 2017 🔒
[wcm_nonmember]In this EXSUM… (2393 words)
- French government warns of permanent cyber war
- Two arrested for terrorist activities on behalf of Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah
- NOAA: Critical and Elevated fire weather outlook
- NATO-Russia & China SITREPs
- Defense in Brief
- Leftist groups see collusion between police and Alt-Right
- List of mobilizations against March Against Sharia
- Portland Free Speech Rally results in 14 arrests
- Rogers: Worst crash in our lifetime is coming
- And more…
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Bottom Line Up Front: The graphic below is a zoomed out view of our network of Austin Leftist political violence. Each of these dots represents an individual, group, or location associated with political violence. This is about three to four hours worth of work (and I have dozens of hours of work remaining), heavily aided by social network analysis tools. If you’re concerned about political violence in your areas, then I highly encourage you spend some time digging into local groups. In PIR 3, there’s a list of Facebook events where Leftists are organizing to protest this weekend’s March Against Sharia rallies. If one of these events is local to you, then take some time to read over the event page and the discussions taking place there. If there’s enough interest in social network analysis, then I can work up a webinar later this month. On 02 July, there are nationwide protests to support the impeachment of President Trump. That might be a very good opportunity for some practical exercises.
Priority Intelligence Requirements:
PIR1: What are the current indicators of systems disruption or instability that could lead to civil unrest or violence?
PIR2: What are the current indicators of an outbreak of global conflict?
PIR3: What are the current indicators of organized political violence?
PIR4: What are the current indicators of economic, financial, or monetary instability?
PIR1: What are the current indicators of systems disruption that could lead to instability, civil unrest, or violence?
French government warns of permanent cyber war
Last month, NSA chief Adm. Michael Rogers warned that cyber warfare “is not some future concept or cinematic spectacle, it is real and here to stay.” Earlier this week, the head of the French government’s cybersecurity agency said, “With what we see today — attacks that are criminal, from states, often for espionage or fraud but also more and more for sabotage or destruction — we are getting closer, clearly, to a state of war; a state of war that could be more complicated, probably, than those we’ve known until now.” The Frenchman describes the worst case scenario, saying it’s “a sort of permanent war — between states, between states and other organizations, which can be criminal and terrorist organizations — where everyone will attack each other, without really knowing who did what. A sort of generalized chaos that could affect all of cyberspace.” He continued: “Unfortunately, we now know the reality that we are going to live with forever, probably.”
Two arrested for terrorist activities on behalf of Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah
“Recruited as Hizballah operatives, Samer El Debek and Ali Kourani allegedly received military-style training, including in the use of weapons like rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns for use in support of the group’s terrorist mission. At the direction of his Hizballah handlers, El Debek allegedly conducted missions in Panama to locate the U.S. and Israeli Embassies and to assess the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships in the Canal. Kourani allegedly conducted surveillance of potential targets in America, including military and law enforcement facilities in New York City. Thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI and NYPD, the allegedly destructive designs of these two Hizballah operatives have been thwarted, and they will now face justice in a Manhattan federal court.” (SOURCE)
For an assessment of Iranian proxy terror groups, see Survey of Iranian Terror Threat to US
NOAA: Critical and Elevated fire weather outlook
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published its most recent fire weather outlook map, showing much of the Southwest in critical or elevated danger as we approach wildfire season.
PIR2: What are the current indicators of an outbreak of global conflict?
The prospects of global conflict continue to revolve five geopolitical actors: Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and the Middle East. In the event of war with any of these nations, consider domestic systems disruption a distinct possibility.
This week, The Intercept published a leaked NSA report on Russian hacking and manipulation attempts during the 2016 election cycle. That report, leaked by an NSA contractor who has since been arrested, allege that the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) conducted cyber espionage operations against a US company to gain information on election software. Russian Vladimir Putin denied the accusations, saying that perhaps any election-oriented hacking was perpetrated by “patriotic-minded” Russian hackers. None of this news has sat well with Congress, especially war hawks like Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who push to escalate the cold conflict with Russia in Europe. On that note, the growing rift with President Trump is troubling Europeans. This week European Union president Juncker accused to the US of being “no longer interested in guaranteeing Europe’s security.”
Overall, this may actually make war more likely. Leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel are reacting bitterly to Trump’s comments last month during a NATO conference. Merkel said, “The times when we could completely rely on others [the US] are, to an extent, over.” And this is a sobering reality for Europe, a continent who for so long relied on America for protection. Most European nations refused to adequately fund military and defense projects, opting instead to use that money for its disastrous social welfare programs. (Europe represents ten percent of the world’s population but 58 percent of entire global social welfare spending.) NATO nations are on the receiving end of Russian destabilization campaigns because Russia feels threatened by NATO expansion, which results in Europe feeling increasingly threatened by Russia. Montenegro, a tiny nation who just recently joined NATO was the target of a Russian campaign to launch a coup against the Montenegrin government before it could formally ascend to NATO. And take Sweden for another example. Generally neutral, Sweden is not a NATO member, yet the nation has come under at least one significant cyber attack from Russia and is continuously being probed by Russian intelligence. Just this week, Putin threatened Sweden, saying, “If Sweden joins NATO this will affect our relations in a negative way because we will consider that the infrastructure of the military bloc now approaches us from the Swedish side. We will interpret that as an additional threat for Russia and we will think about how to eliminate this threat.” Last year, the Russian Foreign Minister took a similar tone, saying that Russia would take military action if Sweden joined NATO.
Lastly, Putin is set to appear in a Showtime documentary on 12 June. Interviewed by filmmaker Oliver Stone, Putin says, “NATO is a mere instrument of U.S. foreign policy. It has no allies, it has only vassals. Once a country becomes a NATO member, it is hard to resist the pressures of the United States.” Putin is later asked if the US would win a war against Russia. Putin responds, “As of today a missile shield would not protect the territory of the United States. Nobody would survive.”
The Pentagon released to Congress this week its annual unclassified report on Chinese military developments (DOWNLOAD). One of the more notable points of the report reads, “China’s military modernization is targeting capabilities with the potential to degrade core U.S. military-technological advantages.” The primary way China degrades the US military’s technological superiority is by the theft of military technology through advanced and persistent espionage campaigns. “China is actively pursuing an intensive campaign to obtain foreign technology through imports, foreign direct investment, industrial and cyberespionage, and establishment of foreign R&D centers. Several cases emerged in 2016 of China using its intelligence services, and employing other illicit approaches that violate U.S. laws and export controls, to obtain national security and export-restricted technologies.” As has been reported in previous intelligence reporting from FO, China is also heavily investing in weaponizing space and deploying satellites hardened against US counterspace technology.
Defense in Brief:
As part of the Joint Multinational Training Group, members of the US Army National Guard are further developing a combat training center in Ukraine. Focusing on improving combat capabilities, communications, and medical care, National Guard units hope to begin training Ukrainian soldiers at the brigade level, as opposed to the current battalion level.
PIR3: What are the current indicators of organized political violence?
Crimethinc: Leftist groups see collusion between police and Alt-Right
According to the Crimethinc article the AntiFa groups and their allies are experiencing frustration due to the police/LEOs maintaing a buffer zone between their side and their opponents. The AntiFa and allies are holding post conflict review meetings in order to brainstorm new tactics techniques and procedures to overcome or overwhelm the police/LEOs. A portion of AntiFa is unhappy with not scoring a win against the police and people on the right. In desperation they might strikeout by escalating their weaponry or evolving their weaponry by making it more modular so that it can be taken down and reassembled after having crossed through police checkpoints. A few possible scenarios are having collapsible PVC pipe weapons that are assembled or having weapons where sticks are bound together in order to make a sword like weapon. There’s a possibility that firearms pyrotechnics or something similar may be introduced in order to bridge the gap. The last possibility is invading any unsecured buildings that are adjacent to their opponents and dropping anything available out of the windows. (SOURCE: https://crimethinc.com/2017/06/06/confronting-the-nationalists-and-their-police-a-full-report-from-portland-on-june-4)
List of mobilizations against March Against Sharia
Tomorrow — Saturday, 10 June — Leftist groups will mobilize protesters against the March Against Sharia rallies happening in at least 28 cities across America. There will surely be additional protests other than the ones listed below, however, here’s a list of Leftist-organized protests expected to occur. I’m compiling all the threat intelligence I can find into the Maps section (https://members.forwardobserver.com/maps).
Seattle, WA: Social Media Event
Roseville, CA: Social Media Event
San Bernardino, CA: Call to Action
Chicago, IL: Social Media Event
St. Paul, MN: Social Media Event
Lansing, MI: Social Media Event
Raleigh, NC: Social Media Event
Houston, TX: Social Media Event
Aurora, CO: Social Media Event
Denver, CO: Social Media Event
Syracuse, NY: Call to Action
Portland Free Speech Rally results in 14 arrests
Portland police arrested 14 Leftist agitators at last weekend’s Free Speech Rally. Police officers began making arrests after Leftists began throwing “glass bottles, bricks and balloons of ‘foul-smelling liquid'” at police officers and rally goers. Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct, however, one of those detained is being charged with carrying a concealed weapon in a federal park where the demonstration occurred. (SOURCE)
PIR4: What are the current indicators of economic, financial, or monetary instability that lead to worsening economic conditions or civil unrest?
Rogers: Worst crash in our lifetime is coming
Hedge fund co-founder and investor Jim Rogers warned that the ‘worst crash in our lifetime is coming’ later this year or next. “We’ve had financial problems in America — let’s use America — every four to seven years, since the beginning of the republic. Well, it’s been over eight since the last one. This is the longest or second longest in recorded history, so it’s coming. And the next time it comes — you know, in 2008, we had a problem because of debt. Henry, the debt now — that debt is nothing compared to what’s happening now. In 2008, the Chinese had a lot of money saved for a rainy day. It started raining. They started spending the money. Now, even the Chinese have debt and the debt is much higher. The federal reserves, the central bank in America, the balance sheet is up over five times, since 2008. It’s going to be the worst in your lifetime, my lifetime too.”
Rogers continues: “You’re going to see governments fail. You’re going to see countries fail, this time around. Iceland failed last time. Other countries fail. You’re going to see more of that. You’re going to see parties disappear. You’re going to see institutions that have been around for a long time — Lehman Brothers had been around over 150 years. Gone. Not even a memory for most people. You’re going to see a lot more of that next around, whether it’s museums or hospitals or universities or financial firms.” (SOURCE)
Analyst Comment: I do remain greatly concerned about this bubble. Last week, Marc Faber pointed out that debt to GDP ratios around the world are 30-40 percent higher than in 2008 — a statistic which he says proves we’re in a bubble. No one can time the market — no one can time any of these events — so my concern is equally weighted by skepticism. To be fair, Rogers has been calling for a recession each year since at least 2012. Rogers, like Jim Rickards, is going to be correct eventually and I do believe things are going to get quite bad. Rogers in the 1970s co-founded a hedge fund called the Quantum Fund with George Soros, the socialist backer of much trouble around the world. I’ll remind you that back in 2012, Soros was warning of proverbial ‘blood in the streets’, too.
“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career. We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.” (SOURCE)
Given that debt is up around the globe — and not just public debt, but personal debt, too — I can see another 2008 happening eventually. For Rogers, this has come every year since 2012, and I believe that he thinks he’s right. His prediction keeps getting pushed back year after year, but eventually he’s going to be right.