Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) lies on Pakistan’s western border and covers an area of 27220 square kilometers and inhabited by a population of 5,001,676 people (according to 2017 census). Its terrain is one of the most difficult in the world. Harsh environment and historical and cultural factors have made its populace one of the most rigid and toughest in the world. Love for independence and bravery are the identity of the area. FATA is traditional and tribal society where literacy rate is low, development is at infancy, and employment opportunities are rare. The society in FATA is governed by customs and traditions. Arms and weapons are considered as part of the dress of males. Revenge dominates all customs and traditions as it lasts for decades taking lives of people generation after generation. Tribal fighting, feuds and animosities are the normal business of the day of the people living in FATA. Despite these facts, FATA was considered as one of the most peaceful area in the country just as Pakistan’s western border was thought to be safe for about 55 years since independence of Pakistan. The authorities never felt a need to deploy armed forces either in FATA or Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan since 1947.
However, the situation changed at the dawn of the 21st century. The incident of 9/11 changed the situation in FATA as it did in other parts of the world. On American pressure, Pakistani government deployed its troops on its border with Afghanistan and also launched military operations against suspected militants settled in FATA. The successive attempts – both military and political – to clear the area from foreign militants did not succeed and various imprudent policies pursued by Pakistani government sowed the seeds of hatred in the area towards the state functionaries and institutions including the armed forces. The reactionary elements took arms against Pakistani state, formed various militia groups and militant organizations under different banners, Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) being the most prominent among them. These militant groups operate either in Afghanistan or Pakistan or in both countries. Reportedly, US started accusation that FATA provides sanctuaries to Afghan Taliban fighting against the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. American government wanted a full fledge military operation either by coalition forces or Pakistani troops in FATA to root out resistance movement in Afghanistan. However, Pakistani government did not cede to this demand. Alternatively, the US government launched, apparently with the help of Pakistani authorities, a campaign of drone strikes run by its premier spy agency Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which has taken lives of over 2500 people and left hundreds others wounded since 2005. On the other hand they have also stated funding to the militant groups particularly TTP to start a war against the state of Pakistan which claimed around 50,000 lives and leaving many more injured in the country.
Another adventurism of CIA is the establishment of Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) in January 2015 with former TTP militant Hafiz Saeed Khan as its leader. Defunct militants from various terrorist organizations such as TTP, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) have not only joined ISKP but also pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi. According to the Story Maps website, during 2017 in Pakistan, ISKP has carried out attack on the shrine of Sehwan Sharif and the Police Training College in Quetta, which resulted death of 150 innocent people. There are several instances which revealed that US spy agency CIA is supporting terrorist outfits in FATA to carryout terror activities inside Pakistan such as, a CIA helicopter evacuated top TTP leadership into Afghanistan before the start of Pakistani military operation, Terrorists from TTP enjoy safe havens inside Afghanistan with the help of CIA and RAW, Satellite mobile phones from a Gulf state were provided to the terrorists of TTP & Swat, CIA helped RAW establish a base in Afghanistan, No CIA drones ever attacked any of the TTP & Swat terrorists as they freely called BBC and western media and Nuristan province in Afghanistan has a base run by CIA, RAW & NDS providing full support to terrorists inside Pakistan. Recently CIA in collaboration with Ministry of Tribal Affairs Afghanistan through NDS is funding and patronizing Pashtoon Tehafuz Movement to create disenchantment and ill feeling among the tribal and Pakistan government.
It was in this background that after putting up with so much for so long, chief of the prime intelligence agency of Pakistan ultimately confronted the CIA Director Leon E. Panetta with some highly classified and irrefutable evidence. Panetta was startled when Director-General ISI placed the facts before him in Islamabad on November 20, 2009. The deliberate leaks after the meeting of the spy chiefs of the two countries spoke of the mind of the ISI. ISI chief had earlier conveyed the facts about the interference of CIA in acts of terrorism in Pakistan to the Government but realizing that either the message was not strongly conveyed to the Americans or it had no desired impact on them, finally put its foot down and expressed serious concerns over the CIA’s crude interference in the country’s internal matters. The proof about instances of covert US support to some hardened militant outfits and terrorist activities they carried out over the past were presented to Panetta. It was indeed a startling revelation for the top US spy and a bold maneuver of ISI. This move had surprised Panetta as the evidence presented was categorically proving that the CIA officials provide assistance to perpetrators of some of the most serious and deadly attacks on offices and key persons in Pakistan’s security services. He was told that in view of the negative impact on Pakistan’s efforts in its war on terror, the CIA must stop such activities. The clarity with which the information was meant to be a loud message to Washington and CIA headquarters at Langley that if they wanted Pakistan’s cooperation in the war on terror; it must give up playing a double game. Pakistan has publicly expressed concerns over the freedom enjoyed by the Indian intelligence agency RAW is operating from Afghanistan. RAW is not only involved in acts of terrorism in FATA but also in Balochistan. India cannot undertake such wide-scale activities in this region without the approval and backing of the CIA. The question is: how did India develop such a huge presence in Kabul?
Peace and conflict resolution in FATA is in wider interest of the people living in the area as well as those in the entire country and the World because of having contiguous border with Afghanistan which has become center of gravity for global terrorism. American CIA, Israeli MOSSAD, Indian RAW and Afghani NDS have made a joint base in Afghanistan from where their covert operation not only being initiated but monitored and controlled as well. So peace and stability is essential for socio-economic development and prosperity of the people and for that purpose meddling in FATA by foreign spy agencies particularly CIA must be seized. Peace and conflict resolution in FATA would not only pave the way for socio-economic development of the area but would also contribute to the prosperity of the entire Pakistan as well as the World. It is mentionable that Pakistan with the help of its Armed Forces has succeeded in bringing peace in FATA but it is a challenging task to prevent foreign agencies especially CIA to seize their interference. It is a responsibility of new incumbent CIA chief most probably Gina Haspel (nominee of President Trump) to ensure peace in Afghanistan by seizing interference in FATA and other parts of Pakistan including Balochistan and Karachi.
Transnational Crimes in the Maritime Realm
Maritime trafficking routes closely follow the commercial shipping lanes. The modalities, technologies and strategies put into place by criminals are often times more sophisticated in caliber than those used in regulated trade. The vast expanses of the sea, the complexity of the maritime transportation system, the immense volume of cargo transferred at each port, and the limited capacity for inspections of cargo creates opportunity for criminals. Seaborne trade in the maritime realm follows a defined set of “sea lines of communication” based on currents and weather. Because of the robustness of shipping and mass amounts of cargo moved, traffickers utilize the same shipping industry routes with great effect. Shipping and sea lanes tend to offer anonymity for criminals, whereas their activities can be hidden behind legitimate industries. Criminal activity, especially illicit trade in narcotics, humans, and weapons, has become so extensive that it is difficult according to various studies to rule out implications of states and corporations in the criminal enterprise.
Individuals from various nationalities, followed by multiple vessels flagged to different states, adds the UN Drug Trade Report 2019, are used in the networks which transit the waters of various states and call at different ports before reaching their final destination. Despite the abundance of laws designed to combat illicit trafficking and an apparent impetus to stop specific types of crime, government’s remains only marginally successful in preventing the global flow of illegal goods due to the overwhelming volume and complexity of the markets for illicit trade. Working in tandem, the maritime forces nevertheless have made successful efforts to disrupt the illicit supply chains as a result of sea-based security operations; cooperation and collaboration between law enforcement organizations.
Nevertheless, legal complexity arises as the high seas “fall outside the jurisdiction of any single state” under the United National Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The ocean space is to be collectively policed by all states governed by principles of Freedom of navigation. Piracy and the illicit trafficking of narcotics, humans, and weapons comprise the main varieties of transnational crime. UNCLOS addresses these matter of concern in the realm of the sea, where various articles provide guidance in order to curb or limit the threats. Article 110 expounds the customary rule that warships may “approach and visit” on the high seas “any ship that is suspected of piracy, human trafficking, unauthorized broadcasting; and is without nationality”; or, “is flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag.” Article 111 addresses the right of “hot pursuit”, allowing warships of one state to follow a vessel through the different maritime zones of the ship if based on “reasonable grounds,” it is suspected of illegal activity.
UNCLOS under Article 108 empowers states to cooperate and offer assistance to suppress drug trafficking by other state-flagged vessels. Traditionally, drug traffickers used overland routes, but since last two decades, they have shifted transportation into the “Indo-Pacific Ocean”. The majority of this trafficking has proliferated in the littoral regions, and often within territorial waters. In the latter years, advancement in technologies, providing for larger ships have allowed traffickers to move further into the sea to capitalize “blue water” areas, outside the 12-nautical mile mark and at times further than the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of any country. It is a documented fact that U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of illegal drugs, also according to various studies the source and transit zones of drug trafficking between South America and the U.S despite high patrols on the border.
Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea
Piracy has been one of the most ancient forms of maritime crime that is treated rigorously under the provisions of UNCLOS. Article 101 defines piracy as “any illegal act of violence or detention, any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or passengers of a private ship or private aircraft on the high seas against another ship or aircraft, outside the jurisdiction of any state.” The latter parts highlights an important aspect that piracy is a type of transnational crime conducted by non-state actors in international waters. Article 105 of UNCLOS grants everystate the authority to seize any vessel, associated property and to arrest any persons engaged in piracy. Domestic courts of the state conducting the seizure have the mandate prosecute the pirates under domestic law and determine what to do with the vessels; however, to date the courts remain inadequate or unsupported in many places.
Piracy became a security issue of international concern since the last decade and half, primarily in the Horn of Africa, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea largely due to weak patrolling and sea blindness by the littoral states of the region. However, to an extent order at sea has been maintained with the presence Combined Task Force-151(CTF-151), focused on counter-piracy, and Combined Task Force-150 (CTF-150) to combat illicit activities at sea. Supported by several U.N. Security Council Resolutions, these task forces have “engaged with regional partners to build capacity and improve capabilities to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.”
Piracy in the Asia-Pacific remains a matter of concern, however most of the incidents are underreported and those reported are of such small scale that they cloud the assessment of major piracy events. In the region, although piracy has been contained in the eastern region of Africa whereas it has proliferated in the western Africa around the Gulf of Guinea. This subject-matter experts conclude is a result of an increased trafficking in narcotics from Latin America, along with the various other illicit elements involving illegal fishing and human trafficking. The increased in piracy is a reminder for states that piracy remains a persistent and widespread challenge to maritime security. The recent activities in Somalia and Yemen foreshadow a resurgence of piracy in the region, encouraged by trafficking of light weapons and small arms, along with non-state actor’s unprecedented access to ship monitoring, tracking devices, and use of unmanned systems and long range communications.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) identifies only certain types of transnational crime that affect maritime security, but there are many varieties and combinations of criminal activity that affect security and safety from the high seas to internal waters. Domestic laws however need be brought in line with international law, and cooperative partnerships between the states, law enforcement, and militaries to combat illicit activity needs to transcend the morass of politics that are often a hurdle in the way of more comprehensive legal regimes. It is recommended that information and intelligence sharing, along with TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures) need to be employed by the maritime forces to ensure freedom of the seas. UNCLOS provides a strong framework and multilateral efforts to deter criminal activity at sea for a more secure, safer operating environment for all. However, it is the difficulty in effective prosecution and applying of an equitable punishment to the culprits, involved in piracy, human trafficking and illicit drugs that must serve as a reminder to all states that much awaits for an all-inclusive solution.
Fighting Corporate Espionage by a Counterintelligence Agent
Corporate executives must bear the responsibility of today’s evolving corporate world entering into a global community where not only are the exposures to such a wide market area lucrative to an already thriving business, but also to a grave danger of the companies’ trade and technology secrets, systems, financial accounts and much more. No longer is “Security” to the facility and personnel all that is required. Many foreign countries and interests take short cuts to becoming competitive through the theft of trade secrets, products and overt and covert espionage of all sorts. Some of these entities are now facing a growing challenge from United States corporations with safeguarding of commercial information, proprietary information, and economic factors.
Many of the tactics utilized in private sector counterintelligence have much in common with the secrets and information the government does its best to safeguard from theft of foreign governments or non-traditional actor threats. The FBI estimates U.S. Corporations lose over $100 billion annually. There are open and legal methods of collection open that are harmful and a good counterintelligence program should target this as well as illegal activities such as electronic eavesdropping, hacking, etc. Passive counterintelligence tries to curtail what a collector may do through countermeasures, and awareness training. Active counterintelligence will prove beneficial to identify and detect a threat, and will conduct operations including eliminating threats or ongoing targeting. A mitigation policy should be of avail. After an attack it may raise shareholder concern which needs to be quelled quickly. Quick realization of a threat and implementing action promptly and efficiently can stop immeasurable damage.
The leaders in the private sector need to be proactive and realize that it is no longer only local threats they face. The threats can be global and may not only be an economic threat but also a threat to national security. In the U.S. private sector ties to the Defense, Intelligence and other government entities can be vast with a great deal of interplay and interconnectedness. Also, corporations do not employ many of the safeguards put in place by the defense and other government departments. Compartmentation, clearance, and many operations taken for granted in the government aren’t serving the corporate structures well-being at all or as well as it should be. The Economic Espionage Act of 1996, Title 18, Sections 1831 and 1832 of the U.S. Code covers economic espionage and also if they are considered trade theft prosecutions.
Where once economic espionage meant directly infiltrating a company or recruiting an employee within the corporation our biggest challenge today is cyber espionage. In reality secrets and information are stolen often and not even known they were taken. And a much less chance of apprehension. Cybercrimes operate in a stealth mode in many ways, but in a contrast way can be identified and detected and countered with effective counterintelligence methods. The U.S. economy has changed over the past 20 years. “Intellectual capital rather than physical assets now represent the bulk of a U.S. corporation’s value.”
With the growth of cybercrimes including corporate espionage some tips for safeguarding and thwarting foreign hostile intrusions include
Conduct real-time monitoring of networks and retaining access records
Software tools for content mgt., data loss prevention, network forensics
Utilize multi-factor authentication measures such as biometrics, PINS, passwords
Mobility policy in which measures are developed to oversee which connections can and cannot be made to corporate systems
Limits on social networking
Establish contingency plans
When deciding to emplace a counterintelligence program to safeguard a corporation the first stepis to conduct a risk assessment by assessing vulnerabilities and estimating the consequences of losing critical assets. This should be headed up by a board member or senior executive.
Then move to step two in which groundwork is laid for establishing a corporate counterintelligence program. Hire a manager dedicated to counterintelligence. Hook up the company’s security, intelligence assurance, general counsel and HR departments. Develop liaison with government law and intelligence. Ensure centralized management of the counterintelligence program. And have legal counsel provide guidance on the counterintelligence program actions.
Identify the Capabilities needed
Threat awareness and training
Analysis, Reporting and Response
Suspicious activity reporting
Implement the Counterintelligence Program
A basic counterintelligence program description will look something like this: PM (Program Manager) interplay such as:
PM develops and implements CI program
PM oversees a centralized CI Program office
PM maintains insight into all corporate elements
PM is responsible for liaison with US Government
Security officers responsible for tactical CI
PM provides CI guidance through training programs
Also be aware that not only high tech companies are targeted since the targeted information they seek may be deemed important by who is doing the shopping.
Where does allegiance lie?
Dongfan “Greg” Chung who is a native of China and a naturalized U.S. Citizen had “secret” security clearance while working with Rockwell and Boeing Corporations on the Space Shuttle project. He had retired in 2002 but returned a year later as a contractor until fall 2006. The government proved Chung committed espionage by taking and concealing Boeing secrets regarding the Delta IV rocket and also the Space Shuttle. He did this for the People’s Republic of China. He was convicted on charges of acting as an agent of the PRC as well as economic espionage.
The investigation of a different engineer working within the U.S is what led to Chung’s investigation and resulting conviction. He was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.
The Chinese had sent letters requesting information as far back as 1979. In correspondence with the PRC Chung expressed his wishes to help the PRC modernize. He also sent 24 manuals related to the important B-1 Bomberfrom Rockwell Corporation which was very damaging.
Travel trips to the People’s Republic of China occurred on multiple occasions to lecture but he also met with government officials. In letters from his handlers they use his wife Rebecca and Chi Mak to transmit information. In the fall of 2006 FBI and NASA agents searched his home and discovered more than 250,000 documents from Boeing, Rockwell and others which were secret.
The Shuttle Drawing System or “SDS” that Rockwell and Boeing engineers created held information regarding performing processes regarding the Space Shuttle. The engineers need a password and authorization to be able to access this system and files. This is a clear case that defensive counterintelligence measures could have prevented printing, concealment and removal of documents from the workplace. One great example of offensive counterespionage was the search of Chung’s trash which led to much revealing evidence.Also his extensive travel to the PRC was an indicator that his scope of activities while in the PRC were above speaking engagements, seminars, teaching, personal. The authorities did conduct offensive counterintelligence to the best of their abilities once it learned via the other agent implicated in similar dealings with the PRC.
Microplastic pollution is everywhere, but not necessarily a risk to human health
Tiny plastic particles known as microplastics are “everywhere – including in our drinking-water”, but they are not necessarily a risk...
The Russiagate hoax is now fully exposed
The last leg of the Russiagate hoax to become exposed was on August 16th, when Gareth Porter bannered at The...
Brazilian stakeholders of UNIDO-GEF project trained on biogas
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), and the International Center...
Transnational Crimes in the Maritime Realm
Maritime trafficking routes closely follow the commercial shipping lanes. The modalities, technologies and strategies put into place by criminals are...
The workplace equality challenge
This year’s G7 French presidency has chosen the theme for the Biarritz Summit well. ‘Combating inequality’ is indeed one of...
Modi-fying Kashmir and Historical Facts
The Modi government on 5th august 2019 revoked two key constitutional provisions — Article 370 and Article 35A — which...
Fighting Corporate Espionage by a Counterintelligence Agent
Corporate executives must bear the responsibility of today’s evolving corporate world entering into a global community where not only are...
Defense2 days ago
India’s veiled nuclear threat
International Law3 days ago
Why legal principles on war and environment matter
Intelligence3 days ago
Where does allegiance lie?
South Asia3 days ago
China- Pakistan: Centaur of Friendship
Energy2 days ago
Rummaging through trash to find clean energy
Americas3 days ago
Remembering JFK – The Short Lived President: His Life and Achievements
South Asia2 days ago
India’s Constitutional Revocation and Prevalent Security Environment of Kashmir
Newsdesk2 days ago
World Bank Supports Maldives in its Journey Towards Resilience and Prosperity