DailySA: Crackdown: ‘Ghost guns’ banned – Forward Observer

DailySA: Crackdown: ‘Ghost guns’ banned

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 12 April 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Crackdown: ‘Ghost guns’ banned
  • Iran & Pakistan compromise Secret Service
  • U.S. gas production to decline in forecast
  • Baltics want combat brigades to deter Russia

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

CRACKDOWN: ‘GHOST GUNS’ BANNED:  Department of Justice announced that it will submit to the Federal Register the “Frame or Receiver” Final Rule, updating the definition of a firearm. Under the new rules, 3-D printed firearms, partially complete receivers, and other “ghost guns” will be required to have serial numbers. Dealers must engrave un-serialized weapons and keep transaction records to retain their license instead of the prior 20-year requirement. Parts kits to assemble firearms will now require a background check.

IRAN & PAKISTAN COMPROMISE SECRET SERVICE: The FBI arrested two men on Wednesday for what appears to be a foreign intelligence operation to penetrate the U.S. Secret Service. The two, Haider Sher-Ali and Arian Taherzadeh, had Pakistani identity documents, although both appear to be Iranian. A search of their apartments revealed additional identity documents, handguns, M-4 pattern rifles, suppressors, ammunition, cash, and surveillance equipment. At least one of the men confessed to working for Pakistan’s Interservice Intelligence Agency (ISI). The pair impersonated Department of Homeland Security agents for at least 18 months and lived in a posh apartment building in the Navy Yard area of Washington D.C. The two had befriended four U.S. Secret Service agents, one of whom worked on the First Lady’s security detail. They provided the Secret Service agents with rent-free apartments — including a penthouse worth over $40,000 a year — along with iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, flat-screen televisions, a generator, and other policing tools, according to court documents. (Analyst Comment: It is unknown whether Sher-Ali and Taherzadeh were working for the Pakistan ISI or possibly Iran’s IRGC Qods Force. The ability to successfully impersonate U.S. federal law enforcement agents for an extended period of time likely required inside access to federal law enforcement databases. Why Secret Service agents felt accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported gifts was acceptable is still unknown. – M.M.)

U.S. GAS PRODUCTION TO DECLINE IN FORECAST: In the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, U.S. natural gas production is expected to decline 4.6%, with a 4.3% consumption reduction if no new interstate pipelines are constructed between 2024-2050. The expectation is higher gas prices which will constrain the U.S. electric power sector, leading to higher electricity prices. The east coast region is most likely to be affected due to limited growth in production in the Appalachia Basin. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the organization that regulates interstate pipelines. In March 2021, FERC stated it would “commit to considering greenhouse gas emissions and their contributions to climate change when assessing a proposed natural gas pipeline project’s environmental impact.” Green energy policy is expected to restrict near-term investments. – D.F.

BALTICS WANT COMBAT BRIGADES TO DETER RUSSIA: The Baltic states want current multinational battalions expanded to brigades. This could quadruple the number of troops stationed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland from roughly 4,000 to nearly 20,000. Lithuanian Defense Minister Anusauskas said NATO would decide the restructuring plan at a summit in June. (AC: European leaders understand the urgency to restructure their defensive plans following the Russian-Ukrainian war. As Finland and Sweden seek to join NATO, future Russia deterrence efforts are undergoing a massive redesign across the West. The European Union is developing its own “rapid response” force, which may reduce participation in NATO programs. – D.M.)

This week’s High Side briefings:

Tuesday: DHS counter drone use against cartels

Wednesday: Russian red-line: Sweden, Finland to join NATO

Thursday: Economic Early Warning

Friday: Warning Roundtable

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