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The Oncoming Drone and Aerial Terrorism

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Amid ISIS-inspired killings in Paris, London, Manchester, Brussels, and San Bernadino, California, jihadi murderers have become number one reason law enforcement and intelligence organizations are certainly tested these days. While constant vigilance to random terror takes precedent as authorities try to counter future incidents, the world much to our chagrin, more likely than not, will witness new assaults on a number of continents.

While guns and suicide bombers seem to be prerequisites for strikes against structures and people, one should now keep in mind that technology can be included in the repertoire of weapons.  The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs pose a serious security threat as the “up and coming tool” as extremists develop and plan future incidents. It portends to be problematic and something security and law enforcement officials need to include, if they haven’t already, in any “what if” scenario in offsetting Islamic extremism.

The Emerging Threat and Its Uses

The issue here is not the drones our military and intelligence services use to target the enemy (the Predator MB-1-Q comes to mind), but the UAV that can be purchased over the counter through any big box store (Best Buy, Walmart). The types of drones that are of particular concern are small, commercially available quadcopter products purchased in quantities for a few hundred dollars each that can be weaponized and controlled by computer by the technologically savvy terrorist. Aerial terrorism through computer controlled drones could be the new wave of weapons facing American, European, and other security and law enforcement services who now have the daunting task to prevent future strikes. To that point, in January 2015, the New York Times reported that the Virginia-based National Counterterror Center had developed a working group on drones that grew from four members to 65, telling us the concerns security officials have are quite real. The UAV’s impact as a newer weapon for terrorism cannot be ignored. No one can deny the hard fact that danger exists particularly as these mechanisms proliferate and replace humans as the next source of terrorist activity and where a person can commit destruction with the click of a key pad or smart phone, which eliminates the need to sacrifice a lone wolf killer or killers.  A case in point which amplifies this scenario was the 2011 arrest of Rezwan Ferdaus. Ferdaus, a very well-educated physicist who graduated from Boston’s Northeastern University, was caught in a FBI undercover operation and accused of planning to build small explosive-laden drones to attack the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. He had been arrested by law enforcement at his rented storage facility upon taking delivery of C-4 explosives and AK-47 automatic weapons. In general, besides automatic weapons as a source, any attacker could also use a drone to spray weaponized chemical or biological agent in crowded stadiums or metropolitan areas.

As Moscow’s Center for arms Control Energy and Environmental Studies expert, Eugene Miasnikov, pointed out in a 2004 article, “that while billions have been spent on ballistic missile defense, little attention has been given to the more imminent threat posed by unmanned air vehicles in the hands of terrorists or rogue states”. He includes why the UAV is attractive to terrorists by providing insight into the following:

Possibility to attack targets that are difficult to reach by land (cars loaded with explosives or suicide terrorists)

Possibility of carrying out a wide-scale (area) attack, aimed at inflicting a maximum death rate on a population (particularly, through the use of chemical or biological weapons in cities)

Covertness of attack preparation and flexibility in choice of a UAV launch site

Possibility of achieving a long range and acceptable accuracy with relatively inexpensive and increasingly available technology

Poor effectiveness of existing air defenses against targets such as low-flying UAVs

Relative cost effectiveness of UAVs compared with ballistic missiles and manned airplanes

Possibility of achieving a strong psychological effect by scaring people and putting pressure on politicians

The concern is that it’s a matter of time before a terrorist retrofits a drone with weapons. Government and their various intelligence and defense agencies should ask what the chances a UAV or several UAVs can penetrate its defenses as we should not be blind to the fact that there certainly could be another Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former mastermind and principal architect of 9-11, out there who is able to figure and configure and weaponise drones for an effective strike. Mohammed graduated from an American university with a degree in Mechanical Engineering whose plotting against the United States using commercial aircraft had not been anticipated.

The Free Market vs Security

Keeping a watch on UAVs as a threat will be a challenge not only from the prevention and regulatory standpoint but from a commercial point of view as US regulators will be up against the business community who see smaller drones as making their operations more efficient and more profitable; and, as drone technology becomes more popular, innovators will develop other practical applications for commercial integration. With over 327 drones to date licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly over U.S. soil, companies such as Amazon and Google Inc. will take advantage of drone technology for tasks ranging from package delivery to providing high-speed Internet in increasing their bottom lines.

While UAV’s pose a significant threat, the fast-growing global drone industry has not waited for government policy to be hammered out. Companies are pouring too much investment and effort into opening up this other wave to build up market share for their benefits in the all-new hardware and computing world. Some contrarians argue, even if one (terrorist) were able to acquire lightweight explosives or chemical agents to attach to a drone, the physical size of commercially available drones creates limitations on the attacker’s ability to inflict harm. State legislatures across the country are debating if and how UAV technology should be regulated, taking into account the benefits of their use, privacy concerns and their potential economic impact. So far, 26 states have enacted laws addressing UAV issues and an additional six states have adopted resolutions.

Again a Balance

Regulators and national security planners will continuously worry that these low-cost drones, widely available for purchase, pose a consistent threat to commercial aviation, vital infrastructure, humans, and the economy.

It is also important to consider control tools preventing the surging proliferation of drones admired by hobbyists and aficionados. The threats seem real but to some the drone possesses no more a threat than a human does so from a security standpoint and control measure view, there again needs to be the proverbial balance between national security and the free-market and global market developments. While there will be this divide between drone enthusiasts, big business, and the government regulators, there is mounting evidence that both domestic and international terror networks desire to utilize drones. As UAVs proliferate, our government should anticipate a rise in the number of threats and prepare to respond in kind.

Dean Klovens, Managing Director, Strategic Intelligence Research and Resourcing. Dean has extensive experience in research & writing for business and public policy projects in areas of strategic intelligence to benefit leadership’s decision making. He earned his Master’s in Public Administration and Policy at DePaul University with a BA in Political Science at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Intelligence

Why America’s Torture-Chief Now Runs the CIA

Eric Zuesse

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On May 17th, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10 to 5 to approve Gina Haspel as America’s new chief of the Cenral Intelligence Agency. Back in 2002, she had headed the CIA’s “black site” in Thailand where she ordered and oversaw the torturing of Abu Zubaydah, trying to force him to provide evidence that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, but Zubaydah had no such evidence and wasn’t even able credibly to concoct a story that President George W. Bush could use to ‘justify’ America’s invading Iraq in response to 9/11. Subsequently, Zubaydah has been held incommunicado in Guantanamo in order to prevent him from being able to be heard by the American public regarding what ‘our’ Government did to him (and possibly even in order to bring formal charges against the U.S. Government regarding its treatment of him), and (to the extent that he knows) why the U.S. Government did this. Even to the present day, the U.S. regime still has not brought any legal charges against Zubaydah, because it possesses no evidence that he was connected to the 9/11 attacks and hasn’t succeeded in fabricating such, but especially because it insists upon refusing to provide him a day in court in which the American public (and the world-at-large) might be able to hear the incriminating further evidence against itself, from him.

Haspel’s confirmation as Trump’s CIA Director is also confirmation that everything which candidate Trump had said on the campaign trail against America’s having invaded Iraq was lies from him, and that he is actually fully on board not only about that invasion, but about the continuing lies about it — and the cover-ups (which are, quite evidently, still ongoing).

If the U.S. regime is allowed to get away with this, then any pontifications from it about such things as “America is under attack” from Russia, and that there has been ”Russian election interference” involved in “this attack on the United States,” is preposterous, but is even worse than that: it is based on flagrant lies by, and on behalf of, a U.S. regime that tortures in order to obtain ‘evidence’ for its invasions, and that hides, for decades, the truth about this, from its own public.

A writer for the Brookings Institution and the Washington Post asserts that America’s Democratic Party’s “haste to brand President Trump a tool [of Russia]” is “unwittingly doing the Russians’ work for them: validating the notion that our democracy is a sham.” But perhaps the prominent publication, and think-tank promotion, of such writers as that, in the United States, is, itself, yet further evidence that “our democracy is a sham.” Only one scientific study has ever been published about whether America’s “democracy” is authentic or else a sham, and it found that this ‘democracy’ certainly is a sham, but the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution etc., don’t publish that information — they hide it, and you’ll see and hear about it only at ‘fake news’ sites such as this. (The real fake-news sites, in the English language, include all of the mainstream ‘news’media and almost all of the ‘alternative news’ ones — but not this site, which is one of the few that are in English and not fake ‘news’.)

The making-Director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, was a bipartisan action by this regime, this fake ‘democracy’, by two fascist political Parties; and, yet, the American public see and hear, in this nation’s leading ’news’ media, such drivel — accusations that Russia is doing, what the U.S. has actually been doing, for decades.

However, this isn’t to say that Russia has actually been doing these things, but only that the U.S. has definitely been doing it — and is set to continue doing it in the future.

Measuring American ‘democracy’ by how uniformly the U.S. Government carries out its “Cold War” against Russia — a ‘Cold War’ that never really was about communism at all but only pretended to be — isn’t just fraudulent, but it is downright stupid, and it seems now to be the established norm, in the United States. A dictatorship can fool its public like that; and, if it doesn’t, it won’t continue to rule.

So, in America and its satellites, Gina Haspel is a ‘patriot’ who wins a top post of power, while Julian Assange is not only an ‘enemy of America’ but one whom the U.S. and its satellites have silenced and are slowly killing. On 14 December 2011, the Washiington Post bannered, “Poll: Americans say WikiLeaks harmed public interest; most want Assange arrested”, and reported that “68 percent say the WikiLeaks’ exposure of government documents about the State Department and U.S. diplomacy harms the public interest. Nearly as many — 59 percent — say the U.S. government should arrest Assange and charge him with a crime for releasing the diplomatic cables.” The American people have been fooled to favor the regime in this, just as they were fooled in 2003,during the lead-up to the regime’s invasion of Iraq.

The reason why America’s torture-chief now runs the CIA, is that this is the way a dictatorship has to act in order to stay in power. And they need a gullible public, in order to be able to continue scamming the public, from one invasion to the next. That’s the unvarnished, and empirically proven, nauseating, truth. Gina Haspel and her promoters hide it from the public, but they can’t reverse it; and they are, in fact, dependent upon its continuation.

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Intelligence

The secret dream of all propagandists

Dr. Andrea Galli

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Not even a month after Mark Zuckerberg’s grilling at the US House of Representatives, Facebook is announcing a partnership with NATO’s social media propaganda organization: The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab). The organization claims to be the guarantor in defending the public from fake news. In its arsenal of topics to be defended, there are, of course, the usual favorite arguments of NATO. Above all, there is a strong predilection to influence the public perception about governments opposing NATO’s great design and hegemonic ambitions: such as Russia, Iran, Syria, China, Palestine…

The press release of the organizations says: “Today DFRLab announced that we are partnering with Facebook to expand our #ElectionWatch program to identify, expose, and explain disinformation during elections around the world. The effort is part of a broader initiative to provide independent and credible research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally”.

For the uninitiated, the DFRLab serves the American-led alliance’s chief advocacy group known as the Atlantic Council. Its methods are rather simple: it grants generous stipends and fantastic academic qualifications to various activists that align with NATO’s agenda. Just look at who funds the Atlantic Council: donors include military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon, all of whom directly profit from tensions with Russia, China, Syria… Meanwhile, in addition to NATO itself, there are also payments made by the US State Department, along with payments from the US Defense Department. Other major paymasters include the government of the United Arab Emirates, which is, of course, an absolute monarchy and other absolute monarchies in the region.

Facebook has partnered an organization funded by weapons manufacturers, the US military, and Middle-Eastern monarchies to safeguard the democratic process?  If Facebook truly wanted to “protect democracy and elections worldwide,” it would build a broad coalition of experts from a wide and disparate range of the countries it serves. Instead, it has outsourced the task to NATO’s propaganda wing.

This is a perfect situation for NATO and those who depend on it for their source of revenues and status. Because the NATO is now positioned to be the master of the Facebook servility in the information war on the social network battlefield. By marry a clearly biased actor to police “misinformation and foreign interference” and to “help educate citizens as well as civil society,” Mark Zuckerberg’s team has essentially made their company a tool of the US’s military agenda.

This is the dream of every propagandist: to infiltrate in an communication infrastructure present on every smartphone and home computer and used with addiction by the great majority of the population; to channel disinformations to the addicted public and to control “the truth”. The goal is always the same: to obtain popular support for financing the military apparatus and in the end, obtain popular support for a war. We wonder what this dream of propagandists has to do with the defense of democracy. It would come as no surprise that Facebook will be soon proclaimed a defender of freedom and human rights.

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Intelligence

Pathology of a soft war with Iran in cyberspace

Sajad Abedi

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The soft -war against Iran is a fact that all the scholars acknowledge. In fact, the main and hidden purpose of the soft -war is to disrupt the information system of the countries and to influence the public opinion of the countries. Cybercrime is today in the cyberspace community. With this regard, what is the position of cyber space in this media and cyber campaign?

The soft -war is a kind of conflict between countries, which is dominated by content, programs and software, mainly from the media. In fact, any confrontation between countries or groups those are rival or hostile to each other, in which media, cyber and software tools are used is regarded as a “soft- war” in the world. In the soft- war space, the subject of rockets, guns, tanks, ships and aircraft is not the subject of satellite, Internet, newspapers, news agencies, books, movies, and cinema. Naturally, the soldiers involved in this soft -war are no longer generals, officers and military, but journalists, cinemas, artists and media actors.

Naturally, satellite TVs and radio programs within the framework of the soft -war debate are the continuation of the domination of the capitalist system and seek to secure their own interests and interests in other countries. The main purpose of these types of networks is to influence the public opinion of their target countries and to disrupt the internal information system of the countries concerned. They use several technological tools to reach their predetermined plans, goals, and scenarios. These goals can be faced with various shapes and shapes.

Soft -War has existed throughout history. Even when technological tools such as radio, television, and satellite were not available, there was a soft- war in the context of the war of thought and psychological warfare. But what’s happening now in the world is that hardware or hard-core wars have multiple implications for the invading countries. Therefore, they are trying to achieve their goals by adopting a soft war strategy alongside their hard wars either independently and only within the framework of soft- war. As time goes by, with the growth of technology and media techniques, the working methods of these networks become more complex. Naturally, the layers of the soft -war become more complex, more complete, and the recognition of these tricks becomes even harder.

In his book Soft Power, Joseph Nye introduces elements as soft power pillars, some of which are music and art. That’s also the basis of the soft warfare. In fact, music, art, university, sports, tourism, ancient artifacts, culture and lifestyle of a nation are soft power.

On this basis, there are weaknesses and weaknesses in the internal dimension. One of the most important problems and weaknesses is the inability to use all of its software capabilities in cyber warfare and public diplomacy. In the soft -war of the other faction, the group, the person, the group, the cult, and so on, does not matter. Soft- war does not know the border. Accordingly, all internal groups in this field must be activated in accordance with the guidelines of the Supreme Leader, we must have in the internal arena and in all cultural fields and “infrastructure elements” the soft- war of maximum absorption and minimal elimination, that is, from all the capacities of the system for Cultural confrontation with hostile countries.

The most basic element of soft power is the people. Social capital, public trust, public participation, public culture, public education, and finally all the things that exist in people, localism, nativeism, subcultures, and traditional cultures come from people. In fact, this is something that should be given the most concentration and attention. Using the capacity of the people to cope with these external pressures will have the greatest success.

But how should these capacities, potentials and capital of people is used? The first is used in the media. The national identity in the world is characterized by the national image, that is, the look, the imagination and the imagination that a nation makes for itself. What image do you have in your mind when you hear German or German people? When do you hear the image of the people of Afghanistan, China, Japan, or Arab countries? This is an image that is powerful in the world and talks. Inside Iran, there was a weakness in drawing this image. To create a good image of Iran, one should use the simplest tools, including practical suggestions that media like Voice and Television Organization are capable of demonstrating to the ordinary people of the community. When a tourist arrives for the first time in the country, he is surprised at the first step in entering the airport. Because he faces scenes he did not expect or in the sense of another image of Iran.

In fact, we are now in a soft- war space. Satellite, radio and television tools, along with cyber-tools, have created a full-blown war against the Islamic Republic of Iran. With the growth of technology and media techniques, the working methods of media networks become more complicated, and more complicated, more complete, and harder to know than the soft warfare. Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a good news country, but the country is not news. That is, all countries of the world receive Iran-related news on most issues and topics from countries other than us about the country. Once it has come to an end, as we resolve many of the problems in the framework of Article 44, policymakers will take steps to improve media and cyber media activities.

The following strategies can be put forward to combat soft war against Iran in cyberspace and media:

First, the establishment of the National Center for the Coordination of Soft- War is indispensable. This center is responsible for coordinating the various internal institutions in the field of countering the enemy’s soft- war and controlling, monitoring and monitoring media imaging from Iran.

Second, the launch of new media networks under the overall supervision of the audio and video, and with the production and management of the private sector is essential. These networks can informally meet the needs of people’s entertainment and information and restore the people’s confidence in the domestic media.

Third, support for the production of healthy content in cyberspace, especially native social networks, should be supported in order to defend the national interests of the country within the framework of the software movement.

Fourth, attention to the basics of soft power in the country is necessary for maximum absorption and minimal elimination. No artist should be defeated on the pretext of political orientation, the destruction of art and music and national honors, and bringing national issues into line with internal political challenges, will undermine Iran’s soft power.

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