China has been positioning itself as the reserve currency by purchasing gold, they have now passed India as the largest gold holder. The UK wants all citizens to produce their finances on a public register. The President is being pressured by government officials to take down the Obamacare website because of the Belarus connection. The Geneva II talks are going no where and the propaganda against Assad is building for a false flag event to remove Assad. The Government is contemplating if to kill American citizens with drones if they believe they have terrorist associations.
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Current News – 02.10.2014
- China’s gold buying lept 41% to 1,176.4 tonnes in 2013. Gold bullion demand surged 57% and gold jewellery demand surged 43% according to the China Gold Association.
- The demand surge has helped China become the world’s largest gold buyer.
- Falling gold prices attracted store of wealth buyers for jewellery and bullion in China. This did not support prices in 2013, but could be the catalyst for higher prices in 2014. While gold ownership has surged in China in recent years, per capita ownership of gold in China remains well below levels in India.
- Therefore, many analysts believe that the surge in demand is sustainable and will likely continue, underlining the shift in global demand from west to east.
- Two weeks ago we learned what many had already known just by extrapolating simple trends: in 2013 Chinese net imports of gold from Hong Kong alone rose to over 1000 tons of gold, or 1158 to be precise – 100 tons more than China’s official gold holdings of 1054 tons which have not “budged” in the past four years – following another significant net monthly import of 94.8 tons of the precious metal in December (and 126.6 gross). This means total gold imports in 2013 was more than double the 557 tons imported in 2012, and as a result China has now officially surpassed India as the world’s biggest buyer of gold (although the title may swing back to India once gold price controls are relaxed, or if the government were to count all the gold smuggled into the country via illegal channels).
- As the chart below shows, no matter what the price of paper gold does, the Chinese bid remains unwavering.
- Barnes & Noble laid off its Nook hardware engineers, according to a source that tipped Business Insider.
- The engineers were let go last Thursday, according to our source. This follows Barnes & Noble dismissing the VP of Hardware, Bill Saperstein in January.
- Barnes & Noble confirmed that it laid people off when we asked. A spokesperson told us:
- “We’ve been very clear about our focus on rationalizing the NOOK business and positioning it for future success and value creation. As we’ve aligned NOOK’s cost structure with business realities, staffing levels in certain areas of our organization have changed, leading to some job eliminations. We’re not going to comment specifically on those eliminations.”
- Much has been said about the January Non-farm payrolls number, which rose by 113K on expectations of a 180K increase, most of which has been focused on the US atmospheric conditions during the winter. There is a problem with those numbers: they don’t really exist (as for the non-impact of “the weather” on jobs we showed previously that the number of people “not at work due to weather” as calculated by the BLS itself. this winter was lower than 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 – so much for historic winter weather).
- So what really happened in January?
- For the real answer we have to go to the BLS’ non-seasonally adjusted data series. It is here that we find that in January, some 2.870 million real, actual jobs were lost, not gained. Putting this further in perspective, the number of NSA jobs losses in January 2014 was greater than in January of 2013, 2012, 2011 and tied that of 2010. In fact only during the peak of the depression in January 2009 was there a greater NSA drop in the first month of the year when 3.691 million jobs were lost.
- A BILL BEING DEBATED IN BRUSSELS WOULD FORCE UK CITIZENS TO DISCLOSE ‘REAMS’ OF PRIVATE, FINANCIAL INFORMATION ON A PUBLIC REGISTER
- New legislation planned in Brussels is set to heap fresh costs and paperwork on families’ financial planning, as well as leaving their affairs open to unwanted public scrutiny.
- A European law is being drafted whose original aim was to prevent corporate money-laundering. The objective, supported by the UK, was to force companies to disclose on a register the money and other assets held inside trusts or equivalent legal arrangements.
- But officials in Brussels have widened out the proposals as the bill has evolved, to include trusts. The effect could be to force millions of families to compile elaborate accounts of their assets and financial arrangements including insurance policies, property and bequests made in their wills, for entry into a register. And that register, if legislators get their way, could be made available to any member of the public.
- British lawyers and tax experts are baffled by the potential implications. Most are bitterly opposed to the costs and intrusion that could result. The use of trusts or what the EU would define as “legal arrangements” is commonplace in Britain and Ireland, but not elsewhere in Europe. As a result many run-of-the-mill transactions between British individuals, or between individuals and financial institutions, would fall within the net of the law if applied to the UK. Similar transactions in Europe would not be affected, lawyers say.
- President Barack Obama and two senior aides are being urged to suspend all use of the Obamacare computer network until recent U.S. intelligence warnings of potential cyber attacks from Belarus are resolved.
- Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called for the suspension in letters to the president, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. …
- Bachmann told Clapper that a report posted to the U.S. government’s Open Source Center website had been removed and that the report revealed that Belarusian software engineers were suspected of inserting malicious code in the Obamacare network.
- An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.
- The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he’s a U.S. citizen and the Justice Department must build a case against him, a task it hasn’t completed.
- Four U.S. officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And President Barack Obama’s new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House.
- Two of the officials described the man as an al-Qaida facilitator who has been directly responsible for deadly attacks against U.S. citizens overseas and who continues to plan attacks against them that would use improvised explosive devices.
- But one U.S. official said the Defense Department was divided over whether the man is dangerous enough to merit the potential domestic fallout of killing an American without charging him with a crime or trying him, and the potential international fallout of such an operation in a country that has been resistant to U.S. action.
- Another of the U.S. officials said the Pentagon did ultimately decide to recommend lethal action.
- The officials said the suspected terrorist is well-guarded and in a fairly remote location, so any unilateral attempt by U.S. troops to capture him would be risky and even more politically explosive than a U.S. missile strike.
- Under new guidelines Obama addressed in a speech last year to calm anger overseas at the extent of the U.S. drone campaign, lethal force must only be used “to prevent or stop attacks against U.S. persons, and even then, only when capture is not feasible and no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the threat effectively.” The target must also pose “a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons” — the legal definition of catching someone in the act of plotting a lethal attack.
- The Associated Press has agreed to the government’s request to withhold the name of the country where the suspected terrorist is believed to be because officials said publishing it could interrupt ongoing counterterror operations.
- The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the classified drone targeting program publicly.
- House Intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., complained last week that a number of terrorist suspects were all but out of reach under the administration’s new rules that limit drone strikes based on the target’s nationality or location. Two of the U.S. officials said the Justice Department review of the American suspected terrorist started last fall.
- The US is relying upon NSA metadata to identify targets for drone strikes, reports the Intercept. A former NSA operative said the tactic is flawed and the agency targets phones “in the hopes that the person on the other end of the missile is the bad guy.”
- Citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden and testimonies from former Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) members, Glen Greenwald and colleague Jeremy Scahill have revealed the extent which the US military is using NSA intel to establish targets for drone strikes in an article in the Intercept.
- The most common tactic employed by the NSA is known as ‘geolocation’, which entails locking on to the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist. A former drone sensor operator with the US Air Force, Brandon Bryant, told the Intercept that using the metadata led to inaccuracies that killed civilians.
- The NSA uses a program called Geo Cell to follow potential targets and often do not verify whether the carrier of the phone is the intended target of the strike.
- “It’s really like we’re targeting a cell phone. We’re not going after people – we’re going after their phones, in the hopes that the person on the other end of that missile is the bad guy,” Bryant told the Intercept – the nascent news site created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to “to hold the most powerful governmental and corporate factions accountable.”
- Over the past five years the NSA “has played an increasingly central role in drone killing,” but the growing reliance on metadata to find insurgents is also targeting civilians. The analysis of the electronic surveillance leaves a lot of room for error and can kill “the wrong people.”
- Moreover, the lack of operatives on the ground in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan means the JSOC is often not able to confirm the identity of the targets.
- ‘Gilgamesh’ and ‘Shenanigans’
- Instead of accessing cellphone metadata through cell phone towers and internet service providers, the NSA uses a program called Gilgamesh. To be able to track the cellphones of potential targets a special device known as a ‘virtual base-tower transceiver’ has to be installed on the drone. The transceiver emits a signal that forces the target’s mobile to lock into the NSA’s system, allowing the target to be tracked to within 30 feet of their location.
- As well as Gilgamesh, the NSA has developed a program known as ‘Shenanigans’ that acts like a giant cyber vacuum cleaner. A pod on an aircraft downloads massive amounts of information from any wireless networks, smart phones, computers, or other electronic devices that are within range.
- Bryant told the Intercept the “JSOC acknowledges that it would be completely helpless without the NSA conducting mass surveillance on an industrial level.”
- Noting that innocent people have “absolutely” been killed in these strikes, Bryant said that some terrorists have got wise to geo-tracking and have developed a number of tricks to elude the NSA. Taliban groups, he said, had been known to purposely distribute SIM cards among their organization to muddle trackers.
- “They would do things like go to meetings, take all their SIM cards out, put them in a bag, mix them up, and everybody gets a different SIM card when they leave,” said Bryant, adding the targets “might have been terrorists, or they could have been family members who have nothing to do with the target’s activities.”
- The classified data paints a very different picture of the targeted killings to Washington’s stance on the matter. The White House maintains the strikes are conducted with the utmost precision and all possible measures are taken to minimize civilian casualties.
- Last year President Obama claimed “before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.”
- To understand the extent to which the federal government has the ability to spy on us, we must attempt to understand the technologies it has at its disposal. Through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Department has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on one particular project alone. Known as ARGUS, it is a surveillance platform with the capability to maintain continuous 24/7 surveillance, day or night; able to track multiple moving targets miles apart in high definition without refocusing the camera; and with a resolution so astounding that it can detect objects as small as a cellular phone from several miles in the sky. It quite literally provides ubiquitous surveillance over a whole city from one drone.
- “This is the next generation of surveillance,” said Yiannis Antonaides, an engineer for BAE Systems who led the design of the project. “It is important for the public to know that some of these capabilities exist.”
- ARGUS stands for Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance. Its alternative designation is Wide Area Persistent Stare (WAPS). The project integrates many sophisticated technologies into a formidable surveillance system, combining images from 368 independent into a single mosaic image. The result is a video with a combined resolution of reportedly 1.8 gigapixels.
- The massive collection of data is equivalent to having 100 Predator Drones hover over a medium-sized city at once.
- The Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance (ARGUS) program developed airborne sensor systems that provide a persistent, real-time, high-resolution, wide-area, day-night video surveillance capability. The ARGUS Infrared System (ARGUS-IR) uses an advanced infrared (IR) composite focal plane array (FPA) sensor. The nighttime persistent capability provided by ARGUS-IR combined with the daytime capability provided by the ARGUS Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) enables 24-hour day/night surveillance. ARGUS-IR’s wide-area, high-update-rate, high-resolution imaging capability enables detection and tracking of dismounts as well as vehicles.
- The ARGUS system can simultaneously view an area of 15 square miles from an altitude of 17,500 ft. While never losing track of the greater image, ARGUS can allow users to open up dozens of zoomable sub-windows and track individual vehicles and people anywhere in the city-wide field of view. It can spot objects as small as six-inches wide.
- “There’s actually enough resolution to be able to see the people waving their arms or walking around; what kind of clothes they are wearing,” said Antonaides, pointing out a bird flying in the air several miles below the camera.
- The second round of peace talks on South Sudan, scheduled to start later Monday, has been postponed, officials said.
- “The talks are not resuming today,” South Sudan government spokesman Michael Makuei told AFP. A government official from host country Ethiopia confirmed the postponement.
- The United States has stepped up its military operations in Somalia in recent months, after al-Shabab fighters attacked an uptown shopping mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Press TV reports.
- Washington has significantly increased its drone operations in Somalia since October 2013, Press TV reported.
- Experts say, however, that US drone attacks violate the sovereignty of other countries and mostly leads to civilian casualties.
- “The US has no respect for international law. They violate the territorial integrity of countries, and carry out their drone activities. As we have always witnessed, the drone attacks mostly kill and injure civilians,” said Abdi Noor Siad, a security expert.
- The Pentagon has also funded the African Union Mission to Somalia, engaging 22,000 African forces to fight the Somali armed group.
- “Now the US together with France and the UK are trying to restore their colonial policy in Africa. In Somalia, they have trained and equipped African forces to fight for them. This has been experimented before in other countries and it has proved counterproductive,” said Abdi Noor Siad, a security expert.
- The increase in military strikes in Somalia follows an attack in September last year, when 70 people were killed after Somalia’s al-Shabab fighters stormed the Westgate mall, a shopping center popular with rich Kenyans and foreigners in Nairobi.
- The United States uses killer drones in several countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, to target “militants.”
- It was in 2012 when the White House eventually admitted to the crime for the first time on its black ops in the Horn of Africa.
- The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama, who has defended the use of the controversial drones as “self-defense.”
- An eventual escalation of tension in Bosnia might result in intervention of EU forces, a high official warned Sunday.
- Valentin Inzko, High Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, told Austrian media that the situation in the country will be analyzed next Tuesday.
- “Austria will increase its troops there, but if it comes to escalation we would have to consider the intervention of EU forces. Currently, we do not have such intention,” Inzko said for the Austrian Kurier newspaper.
- “For many years people did not protest because for them the peace after the war, with more than 100 000 killed was very important,” he explained.
- “It all began in the town of Tuzla, where workers have not been paid for over a year. The have been protesting every Wednesday, but no one paid attention to them,” Inzko said adding that the current situation is Bosnia is the worst since1995.
- Sunday is the fifth day of anti-government protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Locals are protesting against high unemployment, rampant corruption and the lack of economic and political progress.
- The Rota naval base, in southern Spain, early this next week will welcome the first of the four NATO anti-missile destroyers to be stationed there over the next two years, said U.S. Navy Capt. Greg Pekari.
- “This is an historic and emotional moment for the naval base, for the United States, for Spain and also for NATO,” Pekari, the top U.S. military officer on the base, said in an interview with Efe.
- The deployment of the anti-missile vessels will double the number of U.S. personnel on the base, which is one of the favorite destinations for the American military, given the attractive climate, the landscape and the culture of the region of Andalusia, where the town of Rota is located.
- The Donald Cook, the first of four destroyers that will be based at Rota, will arrive next Tuesday. In June, the second – the Ross – will arrive and in 2015 the other two, the Porter and the Carney, will join them.
- With the vessels will come a total of some 1,200 U.S. sailors, along with 1,500 of their family members, which will double the U.S. population on the Rota naval base to about 6,000.
- When the four vessels are at Rota, it will be the European naval base with the most U.S. military personnel, giving it a key strategic role in air and sea operations – as well as logistical support – for NATO activities in the Mediterranean and North Africa.
- The presence of the four destroyers “is only going to strengthen the region’s security,” said Pekari, adding that they constitute evidence of the U.S. “dedication” to its European allies.
- The presence of the ships – each of which is 154 meters (505 feet) long, equipped with the Aegis radar system and designed for a variety of missions, such as destroying enemy aircraft, missiles, submarines and other vessels – will allow U.S. and Spanish troops to “work together” in Rota.
- The U.S. has already contracted with Spanish shipyards in Navantia, on the Bay of Cadiz, to provide millions of dollars worth of maintenance and repair for the four ships.
- When the Obama Administration is criticizing Iran about Syria, it’s usually to do with putative weapons shipments to the Assad government, and usually is followed with griping about Iraq constantly searching Iranian planes and not finding those weapons.
- The latest allegation takes the cake though, as the Treasury Department is accusing Iran of “assisting al-Qaeda” in sending jihadist fighters to Syria to attack the Assad government.
- The allegation seems to center around a single “facilitator” who purportedly lives along the Iran-Afghan border and has provided passports to al-Qaeda recruits, with the assumption that they’re being used to flock to Syria, and with the added assumption that Iran is letting them do so.
- That the Assad government is literally Iran’s closest ally on the planet and that al-Qaeda is openly hostile to Iran’s Shi’ite government are both unchanged, and of course that means Iran backing al-Qaeda against Syria is literally the last thing they’d do. The Treasury Department didn’t reconcile that fact with anything, but rather just stated the allegation, like so many others, as a matter of course.
- At a closed door meeting, Western governments led by the United States took Syria to task for failing to surrender its chemical weapons under ambitious deadlines agreed with Russia after a poison gas attack in August.
- Speaker after speaker stood up to berate Damascus at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), until it came to Russia’s turn and Moscow took a much more lenient view – the international split over Syria writ large.
- A senior Western diplomat said the Syrian government is “teasing us” by dragging its heels while doing enough to avoid being declared in non-compliance with its obligation to destroy its chemical weapons program.
Private western central bankers are pushing their agenda forward. They need to show Assad is a war criminal to remove him from power. The Geneva II talks most likely will not produce any type of out come. The private western central bankers will push this as far they can until the next false flag event.
- Saudi Arabia has called for an “emergency” meeting over what is happening in Syria, citing “growing evidence pointing to war crimes,” and the lack of implementation of previous agreements regarding the conflict, a letter sent to the UN General Assembly dated February 7 showed, Al Arabiya news channel reports.
- “UN officials have been repeatedly expressing their frustration and disappointment at the lack of progress in addressing the grave humanitarian situation and growing body of evidence pointing to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” it said.
- It also went on to say that there was a “lack of full implementation of the Security Council presidential statement date October 2, 2013,” which is “unacceptable.”
- In a 2013 statement, the Security Council repeated its calls for the immediate humanitarian assistance to Syrians, especially those who live across the conflict lines.
- On Saturday, Syria’s Red Crescent said it delivered food and medical aid to the rebel-held areas of Homs that have been under siege by government troops for more than 600 days.
- Saudi Arabia’s letter highlighted the Syrian rivals’ inability to reach to an agreement.
- “Although the parties agreed to reconvene in Geneva on February 10 of 2014 for the second round of talks, the inability to reach an agreement in the first round to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people is an urgent issue of serious concern for the international community.”
- On Friday however, in a sign of progress, resident of the besieged city of Homs were evacuated, executing the first stage of a deal mediated by the United Nations that stipulates a three-day ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to enter the city.
- On Sunday, a total of 611 people were evacuated from Homs, according to the city governor.
- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that “more than 500 civilians” were evacuated Sunday, in compliance with the UN deal.
- Television footage showed women, children and elderly men getting off the buses that brought them out of the besieged areas.
- Meanwhile, the Syrian delegation arrived in Switzerland on Sunday to begin a second round of peace talks with the opposition.
- Home Office in talks with to block violent videos ‘at a network level’
- 21,000 illegal terror videos and sites have been removed since 2010
- But material hosted in the Middle East and US is difficult to remove
- Instead computers in the UK would be prevented from accessing it
- Extremist videos which help to radicalise impressionable young men are to be blocked from the internet in the UK.
- The Home Office is in talks with web companies to refuse access to violent films hosted overseas ‘at a network level’, MailOnline can reveal.
- The plans for what will effectively be ‘cyber border controls’ have been drawn up by James Brokenshire, promoted to immigration minister at the weekend.
- Banned: Ministers want to be able to block anyone in the UK from accessing videos which help to radicalise impressionable young men
- Ministers have been spurred into action by the growing threat from jihadists in Syria.
- Around 2,000 Europeans are thought to be fighting in Syria, including at least 200 known to the British security services.
- It is feared that fighters returning to the UK will seek to radicalise young men in particular to launch terror attacks at home and abroad.
- Anti-terror police and the Crown Prosecution Service can currently demand that vile videos posted on UK websites be removed.
- Since February 2010, the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) has taken down more than 21,000 pieces of illegal terrorist online content.
- If the CTIRU and prosecutors deem material to be illegal it can be blocked from parts of the public sector, including schools and hospitals but this does not extend to domestic users and filters can be turned off.
- Home Office minister James Brokenshire wants to further restrict access to material which is hosted overseas
- It has also been difficult to act against sites hosted abroad, both in the Middle East and in the US where sites plead the Fifth Amendment which protects freedom of speech.
- The Extremism Taskforce is examining how to further restrict access to illegal content hosted overseas, which would be much more effective in ensuring people in the UK were unable to access it.
- If videos, photographs and texts is found to be illegal under the Terrorism Act, but hosted overseas, the security agencies will act to restrict access to it.
- Mr Brokenshire, who became immigration minister on Saturday following the resignation of Mark Harper, said the new controls could also be used to block access to sick child pornography.
- He told MailOnline: ‘Terrorist propaganda online has a direct impact on the radicalisation of individuals and we work closely with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas.
- ‘Through proposals from the Extremism Taskforce announced by the Prime Minister in November, we will look to further restrict access to material which is hosted overseas – but illegal under UK law – and help identify other harmful content to be included in family-friendly filters.’
- Search engines like Google and Yahoo came under fire last year for not doing more to shut down hate-filled sites in the wake of the Woolwich attack on Drummer Lee Rigby.
- Thousands of videos which help to radicalise impressionable young men are easily available on YouTube.
- Today a search for beheadings on YouTube, which is owned by Google, brought up 129,000 results.
- In October, Facebook bowed to pressure from David Cameron and child internet protection campaigners by taking down a graphic video of a woman being beheaded in Mexico.
- Threat: The government fears Britain could become vulnerable to a terror attack from fighters returning from fighting in Syria
- The Prime Minister had accused Facebook of irresponsibility after it lifted a ban on users posting videos of beheadings – and demanded the social networking site explain its decision to parents.
- Critics accused the firm of ‘taking leave of its senses’. Facebook had said that while the images must not be posted for ‘sadistic pleasure’ they should be available for those who wish to condemn them.
- The Home Office also wants to make it easier for people to report extremist content online. Officials are working with industry to ‘help them identify harmful extremist content to include in family-friendly filters’.
- Research by Prolexic Technologies has revealed that many malicious attacks appear to be intent on lowering the target’s stock price or currency values, or even temporarily preventing trades from taking place
- Prolexic Technologies has shared an analysis of nearly a dozen global DDoS attacks that indicates cyber attackers are using DDoS attacks in an attempt to influence market values and interfere with exchange platforms. The Prolexic Security and Engineering Team (PLXsert) details the findings in a white paper, DDoS Attacks Against Global Markets, which was published and can be downloaded at www.prolexic.com/ddos-markets. “Typically, DDoS attacks are launched to fuel public discourse, or for revenge, extortion and blackmail – but that is changing,” said Stuart Scholly, president of Prolexic. “During the past few years in particular, DDoS attack campaigns have posed a significant threat to the financial services industry, as well as other publicly traded businesses and trading platforms. As part of our DDoS attack forensics, we have uncovered a disturbing trend: Many of these malicious attacks appear to be intent on lowering the target’s stock price or currency values, or even temporarily preventing trades from taking place.” The public image of a global business or financial service is closely associated with its cyber presence. Taking a publicly traded firm or exchange platform offline – and spreading rumors that raise questions about its ability to conduct business online – can create false or misleading appearances. This is a hallmark of market manipulation. Overall, PLXsert found a direct relationship between DDoS cyber-attacks and a temporary change in the valuation of a company. “A few specific cyber-terrorist groups are responsible for most of these attacks. So far they have not been successful in bringing down an entire major marketplace,” explained Scholly. “But DDoS attacks keep getting bigger, stronger, longer and more sophisticated, so we cannot be complacent. What’s more, the risk goes beyond the actual outage – social media chatter and media coverage can amplify the perceived effect, disruption and damage caused by a cyber-attack campaign.” The white paper reviews nearly a dozen DDoS attacks and the resulting market movements and provides insight into the malicious actor groups responsible for most of the attacks.
- ‘I hope I’m wrong in this assessment, but you’re talking about an area of the world where suicide bombers go off all the time’
- Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) warned he believes there is a “high degree of probability” there will be some kind of terrorist attack during the Olympics outside of Sochi’s “ring of steel” on Fox News Sunday:
- MICHAEL MCCAUL: […] I think what really does the greatest damage or threat in my judgment is the proximity of the locations of where the games are being held. They’re being held right dead center in the middle of what has been a historic battleground between Russia and the Chechen rebels that have now spun off into an Islamic or radical militant group. And so you have the leader of the Chechen rebels Umarov calling for attacks on Olympics, calling for attacks on civilians including women and children and then Zawahiri the Al Qaeda leader, the lieutenant of Bin Laden, you know, reinforcing that threat. And so that’s a whole new ball game that makes I think makes these Olympics very, very different. I think there is a high degree probability that something is going to — something will detonate. Something will go off. But I do think it’s probably most likely to happen outside of the ring of steel and the Olympic village.
- CHRIS WALLACE: I have to pick up on this. You’re saying as the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, you think there is a high probability that there will be some explosion outside the ring of steel?
- MCCAUL: Well, I hope I’m wrong in this assessment, but you’re talking about an area of the world where suicide bombers go off all the time. And the fact is right now, Chris, the eyes of the world are upon these Olympics. The Chechen extremists know this. They want to make a global statement. They want to make a jihad statement. Now what better time to do it than right now? And that is I think the biggest threat that is to these Olympics. And remember, they don’t have to hit in the ring of steel at the Olympic village, as long as they hit somewhere in Russia. To them, that’s a victory.
- Documents from an Ohio National Guard (ONG) training drill conducted last January reveal the details of a mock disaster where Second Amendment supporters with “anti-government” opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists
- The Ohio National Guard’s Civil Support Team practices in a May 2013 drill at Put-in-Bay
- The ONG 52nd Civil Support Team training scenario involved a plot from local school district employees to use biological weapons in order to advance their beliefs about “protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights.”
- Portsmouth Chief of Police Bill Raisin told NBC 3 WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia that the drill accurately represented “the reality of the world we live in,” adding that such training “helps us all be prepared.”
- Internal ONG documents provided to Media Trackers after repeated delays provide further context to what WSAZ-TV reported last winter.
- In the disaster-preparedness scenario, two Portsmouth Junior High School employees poisoned school lunches with mustard gas, acting on orders from white-nationalist leader William Pierce.
- The ONG team discovered biological weapons being produced in the school, requiring activation of containment and decontamination procedures.
- Participants in the disaster drill located documents expressing the school employees’ “anti-government” sentiments, as well as a note identifying Pierce as the fictional right-wing terrorists’ leader.
- ONG’s 52nd Civil Support Unit participated in a similar drill involving left-wing terrorists with Athens County first responders last year; public officials apologized for that training the next day in response to complaints from local environmentalist groups.
- No apology to Ohioans who supported limited government and the Second Amendment appears to be forthcoming.
- Scioto County Emergency Management Agency director Kim Carver refused to comment, telling Media Trackers she was “not going to get into an Ohio Army National Guard issue that you have with them.”
- Ohio National Guard Communications Director James Sims II suggested Media Trackers was “inferring” from the ONG document’s contents as opposed to “what’s actually in the report.”
- After excerpts of the report were read to him, Sims said it was “not relevant” to understand why conservatives may feel unduly targeted by ONG’s training scenario.
- “Okay, I’m gonna stop ya there. I’m going to quit this conversation,” Sims concluded. “You have a good day.”
- Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus told Media Trackers that “it is a scary day indeed when law enforcement are being trained that Second Amendment advocates are the enemy,”
- “The revelation of this information is appalling to me, and to all citizens of Ohio who are true conservatives and patriots, who don’t have guns for any other reason than that the Second Amendment gives them that right,” Portage County TEA Party Executive Director Tom Zawistowski said in a separate Media Trackers interview.
- Media Trackers reached out to Portsmouth-area state legislators Representative Terry Johnson and Senator Joe Uecker for comment about the drill, which took place within their respective districts. Neither replied to phone calls or emails in time for publication.
- ONG’s January 2013 training exercise is one of many instances where government officials have identified those with limited-government or pro-Second Amendment opinions as potential terror threats.
- In 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement agencies that a predicted rise in“right-wing extremism” would be fueled by “proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans” and “the election of the first African American president.”
- Throughout modern history, groups and individuals associated with left-wing causes have proven far more likely to commit acts of domestic terror.
- In 2012, members of the anarcho-socialist Occupy Cleveland movement were arrested and prosecuted for attempting to destroy the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge with explosives, to commemorate International Workers’ Day.
- Last year, leftist groups Earth First and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for the sabotage and property destruction of businesses in Washington and Van Wert counties.