Daily SA: Federal agents infiltrate political movements – Forward Observer

Daily SA: Federal agents infiltrate political movements

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 22 October 2021. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Federal agents infiltrate political movements
  • Los Angeles’ Port overruns continue
  • Pentagon’s hypersonic failure in Alaska
  • U.S. Attorneys report cyber crime under terrorism doctrine

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

JUSTICE: During a House Judiciary hearing with Attorney General Garland, lawmakers questioned rumored federal involvement in facilitating the 6 Jan. Capitol Hill Protest. Rep. Massie (R-KY) played a video showing an individual encouraging protestors to breach fencing and directing passersby toward the Capitol “where your problems are.” The Attorney General declined to answer how many federal law enforcement officials were undercover as protestors, citing ongoing investigations. (Analyst Comment: Other lawmakers questioned continued weaponization of the Justice Department (DOJ) and federal law enforcement, noting issues beyond the 6 Jan. investigations. The Attorney General’s assertions that the DOJ remains independent are increasingly suspect as they cave to political pressure to initiate investigations and leak information. – D.M.)


Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. Credit: AP

LOS ANGELES: The Port of Los Angeles continues to struggle with the volume of cargo vessels arriving daily. More than 100 container ships are anchored around the port, many continuing to wait weeks for unloading with international crews restricted to their vessels. Over the summer, 30-40 vessels anchored at a time was considered overwhelming and having direct impacts on consumer product availability. Despite expanding port hours, midstream logistics and lack of warehousing prevent meaningful progress in reducing supply chain bottlenecks. (AC: The holiday shipping season is effectively over, meaning the hundreds of remaining vessels inbound with cargo have little chance of getting a product to consumers before Christmas celebrations begin. Separately, food retailers are reporting the rapid inflation and non-food product impact to shipping risks upending traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meal preparations. – D.M.)

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FAILURE: The U.S. announced a mixed result in recent hypersonic weapons tests. A successful launch and component test of the coast of Virginia was reported alongside a failure in Alaska. The Pentagon said the booster rocket failed to ignite properly, resulting in the hypersonic failure. Critics question why the Pentagon would announce such a high-profile test failure following reports of Chinese hypersonic tests aimed at the U.S. The traditionally held belief in U.S. weapons superiority is coming under suspicion as military advancements fail to keep pace with near-peer threats. Officials conducting the test remain confident the U.S. will field hypersonic weapons before 2025. (AC: This incident marks another unforced error by the Pentagon. Rocketry and component development remains a focus of the Defense Department and NASA, but their theoretical worldview and long development time may be undermined by malign actor threats. North Korea reportedly is developing hypersonic glide vehicles, likely with technology adapted from the Chinese. – D.M.)

CYBER: The Justice Department has reoriented all 93 U.S. Attorney offices toward cyberattacks and cybercrime. New reporting requirements call for every cyber incident to be reported to the Justice Department to understand the national landscape in cyber attacks. Deputy Attorney General Monaco said, “It is the kind of reporting that we have required from the field for years after 9/11 when it comes to terrorist activity.” Expanded reporting requirements for the private sector and government contractors are designed to build partnerships between information technology departments and their law enforcement counterparts. The U.S. Attorneys are exploring counter-threat finance methods to apply from the Global War on Terror. (AC: Expanded reporting requirements are one thing, the government’s ability to digest and communicate their remediation efforts remain questionable at best. A key vulnerability in cybersecurity remains the slow reaction time and lack of technical understanding by law enforcement at the regional level. High-end assets or mitigation tools are often only accessible to utility-scale victims of cyber attacks, which increases the number of potential targets as criminals and state-actors attack low-profile businesses or industrial processes. – D.M.)

HAZARDS WARNING

HURRICANE SEASON: Nothing significant to report

In today’s Early Warning, Dustin talks about the National Guard and supply chain issues. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

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