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China and Russia’s infiltration of the American Jewish and Israeli lobbies

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 – First: The reasons for the registration of (Communist Lobbyists in the Middle East in the United States of America) in the database documents of the US Department of Justice

 – Second: Did Washington actually seek (with the help of Jewish and Israeli lobbies) to lure the Arab communists into it to prevent Chinese and Russian communist influence in the Middle East?: Iraq as a model

– Third: The establishment of Chinese liberal democratic parties in the United States of America and the Chinese Communist Party allowing them to practice their activities legally and freely inside China until today: the (Chinese Qigongdang Party) as a model

   Despite the strangeness of this previous analysis of the Egyptian researcher, she relied on it through the proof of the relationship of (Jewish lobbies in the United States of America to the opposition communists in Iran and the Middle East), and from here came the Egyptian researcher’s question, about:

  Do China and Russia have a role in supporting the polarization of the oppressed communists from inside Iran and the Middle East in general, planting them in Washington, facilitating and drawing a plan for their relations with the (Zionist lobby and the various Jewish lobbies) within the United States of America itself, and infiltrating all American official circles, to present the communists in the Middle East as persecuted in their homelands in the Middle East?

 Thus, (the Jewish lobby and all the well-known Jewish and Israeli institutions in the United States of America present these communists fleeing from their homelands to the major American institutions as persecuted communists in the Middle East). The most important question for the Egyptian researcher remains, about:

 (Why did the oppressed communists and leftists in Iran and the Middle East choose to flee to the heart of Washington as a superpower that sponsors liberalism around the world and is the most resolute and strictest in the face of the flow of communist ideas). And does it have anything to do with the future Russian and Chinese policies to infiltrate Washington itself and the communist thought to penetrate the Jewish lobbies inside American Trans (the game of spreading Chinese and Russian communist ideology within the major American political institutions).

 Perhaps it is a new global analysis that has not been addressed by any Arab research with analysis and study, but what attracted the Egyptian researcher is her precise area of expertise and her PhD study thesis was on the Chinese political affairs, and the role of the Chinese Communist Party in the political and economic reform issues, and thus the extension of the Egyptian researcher’s interests in studying the history of communists around the world, especially the closest to the region of the Egyptian researcher in the Middle East, Israel, Iran and Turkey as regional powers that seek to support or gain their influence through two unrelated mechanisms, either:

 A) Closeness to Washington and its liberal ideas, and the rejection of Chinese and Russian communist ideas and doctrine

 B) Or by defying Washington and applying pressure towards it by rapprochement with the communists of Russia and China, and thus challenging those liberal ideas and American democratic values ​​that Washington always seeks to promote globally.

  So that some would not accuse me of drawing features of unreasonable or unimaginable relations between (the Communists and the Jewish lobby in Washington through the support of China and Russia together), then the question I had about:

  What is the position of the United States of America and its institutions towards the Jewish lobbies within it regarding the facts of the Chinese and then Russian communist penetration of its institutions with the help and close support of the Jewish and Israeli lobbies most closely related and close to the American administration and the major American institutions themselves?

 – Based on these questions, the Egyptian researcher will analyze the following main elements to understand these new global relations that have not been searched for academically and globally, through:

 – First: The reasons for the registration of (Communist Lobbyists in the Middle East in the United States of America) in the database documents of the US Department of Justice

   Perhaps the “Pilgrimage to Washington” project, which is meant to cover the activities of the Middle East lobbies in the United States, and most of the information in the report is based on documents from a database of the US Department of Justice, which follows the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which is known as “Fara”, which Lobbyists are required to disclose their activities and funds, and all documents are available for browsing on the Internet.

  Through the Egyptian researcher following the previous American report, she was able to find a new relationship that proves the registration of (communists from the Middle East as independent lobbies in the US Department of Justice, and their relations with Jewish and Israeli lobbies inside the American interior itself).

  Looking at the previous US archive of Communist records, we will find that (the documents of the US Department of Justice explicitly refer to the intense political activity of the opposition communist parties in the Middle East inside Washington with the help of Jewish and Israeli lobbies).

   By tracing the relations of the communists in Washington, we will find that, according to the official American data issued by the US Department of Justice, we will find a record of building relations between the Middle Eastern communist parties in Washington and the United States, and building influence networks with politicians in the US Congress and the US State Department itself, with those communist parties communicating  Right-leaning research centers on the American interior, and they have a special influential relationship, according to the American database of the US Department of Justice, with (the Israeli lobby in Washington).

 Hence, the official US reports themselves present a comprehensive and detailed picture of the activities of communist and leftist parties coming from the Middle East, such as the Kurdish party opposing Iranian policies in the world of lobbies.

  The documents indicate that the (Kurdish Communist Party opposed to Iran) contracted with (IF International) to penetrate the corridors of Washington itself through the gate of the Jewish and Israeli lobbies in Washington.

  The files of the US Department of Justice indicate that the opposition communist parties authorized official representatives of their parties in America to establish close relations with the US government with the help of the powerful and most influential Jewish lobby with the help of Israel, and the most significant question mark is the increase in the total payments of these Middle Eastern communist parties inside the US of thousands of dollars per month  Including the expenses of opening representative offices for its parties there.

  For example, we find a document issued by the US Department of Justice on January 2, 2019, in which (the opposition Kurdish Communist Party in Syria and Iran) contracted with the company (IF International), as a well-known international American lobbying company, and among its well-known clients in the Middle East:

  The Syrian Democratic Council, which is the political wing of the (Syrian Democratic Forces), known as the “SDF”, as one of the largest armed Kurdish factions stationed in northern Syria and supported by the United States.

 The services provided by (IF International Company) to those communist, left-wing Arab, Middle Eastern, Iranian and Kurdish opposition parties in their homelands in the Middle East are summarized in:

 1) Communication and pressure on Congress, especially with congressional staff working in the State Department and the armed forces.

  2) Communicating on behalf of those communist and leftist parties with right-leaning think tanks in general, or funded and supported by the Israeli lobby.

 3) In addition to (IF International Company’s keenness) to facilitate communication of communist parties and movements from the Middle East with the largest internationally known Israeli lobby in Washington, known as (AIPAC), and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.

 The company of (IF International) is owned by the well-known Jewish American citizen (Eyal Frank), a political consultant who worked for political parties, and has long experience in the field of political pressure, as “Eyal Frank” previously worked in major companies, such as: (Mercury – Qorivs), and he worked as a legislative assistant in Congress between 2000-2002.

   The total payments of the communist and leftist parties from the Middle East to the mentioned American company amounted to thousands of dollars per month, according to its documented documents registered in the (US Department of Justice).

 – Second: Did Washington actually seek (with the help of Jewish and Israeli lobbies) to lure the Arab communists into it to prevent Chinese and Russian communist influence in the Middle East?: Iraq as a model

   The issue of the penetration of communist influence in the Middle East in general and in Iraq in particular is one of the most important issues that have attracted the attention of the United States of America, due to the important strategic location of Iraq in the Middle East, as it is one of the most important centres of oil production in the region and the world, despite the presence of Iraq within the accounts of the American strategy before World War II, however, America’s large entry into Iraq actually began after (the emergence of the communists on the Iraqi political scene) after the 1958 revolution, and this is a piece of information that was overlooked and ignored by most Arab and international research and studies.

  Then the political weight of the (Communist Party in Iraq) began to weaken after the Baathists took power following the movement of November 18, 1963. However, as a result of the intensive arrests and continuous pursuit of members of the Iraqi Communist Party and its organizations, the Iraqi communist and leftist movement subsided, even if it did not end or completely died.

  During the 1967 war between Iraq and Israel and Iraq’s entry into it, the Soviet Union tried to get closer to Iraq, but the American weight was stronger, which caused the collapse of the rule of (Abdul Rahman Aref) in 1968, and the Iraqi political arena was almost completely emptied of the communists.

  What caught the Egyptian researcher’s attention and curiosity was what many American presidents have repeatedly said about their “willingness to fight a third world war if they had to, so that Iraq or the Middle East in general would not be a foothold for communism”.

 Hence, the Egyptian researcher stopped at this previous phrase in research and analysis, regarding:

  Her research on the reasons for the absence of Iraqi, Kurdish, Iranian and Arab communists.

  Then suddenly the Egyptian researcher stopped at the presence of Arab, Iranian and Kurdish communist parties and the Syrian opposition within the American interior itself, which prompted the Egyptian researcher to have a theoretical hypothesis:

 Did America seek to get rid of the influence of the communists and the Arab leftists, especially the Iraqis, the Iranians, the Kurds and the Turks in the Middle East in the face of the Soviet Union and later Russia after its disintegration and China, by inviting them – that is, the communists of the Middle East region – into the United States of America itself and facilitating their unspoken assimilation into the (Liberalism intellectual agenda), and then waiting again to use them against Chinese and Russian influence in the Middle East again?

 Then the Egyptian researcher thought about another theoretical hypothesis that was not put forward at all, which is:

 Did Russia and China, through the Jewish and Israeli lobbies in the American interior itself, seek to re- polarize these communists fleeing their homelands in the Middle East once again and recruit them to serve their interests in the United States of America in the face of Washington itself?

 Which is what the Egyptian researcher could call the theory (playing with toys or returning the game with another game).

  Perhaps the most important thing I relied on in my previous analysis was (the presence of dozens of communist and leftist Arab, Iranian, Kurdish and Turkish parties that are actually opposed inside the American interior), and the emergence of communist names, especially Kurdish, Iranian and Syrian, once again as influential and influential elites in Washington itself.

   And I think that (the game of the Chinese and Russian communist penetration into the American interior is a completely logical game from my point of view), it is not an unlikely game as some will accuse me, after the American political elites and the most prominent American politicians point completely accusing fingers at (the corruption of the ruling Communist Party of China, and talk about the communist and liberal ideological war between Washington and Beijing)

 Perhaps one of the most prominent things that stopped me in this context is the accusation by prominent officials in the American administration itself and in the centers of American rule of the Communist Party of China that it is the cause of the spread of the Corona virus, or the cause of the deterioration of the world and so on. It is a sign, despite its strangeness – but it is understandable to the Egyptian researcher due to her academic research and analytical specialization on that very crucial point – regarding the export of American politicians that the hostility between the United States of America and China is not political, but has become (ideological dispute or ideological war) in the first place.  This raises many questions about:

 (The American, Chinese and Russian play and hack each other through the communist and liberal ideological gate in the face of each other)

 And even the most dangerous proposition went too far, about: Beijing and Moscow unilaterally inviting a number of American politicians to visit their countries and meet their officials in the form of announced unofficial visits. In fact, accusations were extended during the US presidential elections period by supporters of the former President (Trump) to investigate the reasons for inviting (Joe Biden), the current US president to China, and meeting with its officials and praising them, at a time when he assumed the position of responsibility in the administration of former President (Barack Obama).

 Rather, the accusations of the candidate’s supporters (Trump) at the time went even further, accusing (Biden) of working for the Communist Party of China, based on the reasons for his previously unannounced visit to Beijing, and whether he was the favorite communist candidate in Beijing and Moscow?

 Here, we must consider this future game between all its parties, regarding:

 (They accuse each other of adopting a Chinese or Russian communist agenda, or a hegemonic US imperialist liberal agenda seeking world domination)

 It is a matter or a proposal that has become new in its context, and from here I can almost imagine according to this proposition: the extent of the American determination to transform the competition between China, Russia and Washington from being (a political war or just a legitimate political competition for leadership of the new world order to an ideological war or an ideological and ideological competition) between communists and liberals around the world)…and this is where the danger lies, or less the danger of the proposition with which Washington started its game with China, regarding:

 Distracting the attention of the whole world and even its peoples and broadening the base of accusations from political affiliation in favor of the Chinese and Russian alliance together or the US to adopting communist ideology, ideas or values ​​in the face of its liberal or American democratic counterpart, and this proposition is what Washington insists on in all global circles.  This raises many questions about:

 The reasons for the presence of former Arab, Iranian, Turkish and Kurdish communists in Washington itself and the penetration of its political institutions, the reasons and the extent of their relations with the Jewish and Israeli lobby, and what is most dangerous to me and what concerns me personally and academically, are:

 The extent of the relationship between China and Russia in penetrating the communist and leftist lobbies in Washington by supporting those same Jewish and Israeli lobbies in the American interior, and thus the response of the American game itself by luring and protecting communist lobbies in the United States of America, and using them at an appropriate time to confront the agenda of China and Russia through the adoption of China and Russia for these communists who  Washington adopts them in its lands under the pretext of protecting them from the persecution of their homelands to which they belong, especially in the Middle East, as we mentioned.

– Third: The establishment of Chinese liberal democratic parties in the United States of America and the Chinese Communist Party allowing them to practice their activities legally and freely inside China until today: the (Qiqongdang Liberal Democratic Party of China) as a model

  Perhaps this information came as a surprise to many – in the Arab world and from non-academics and specialists in Chinese and communist academic studies around the world – who are not aware of the existence of (eight parties operating within Chinese society itself that follow American liberal democratic values, including parties founded by expatriate Chinese who lived in the United States). The United States of America itself, then they returned and settled inside China, and they were allowed to engage in their opposition party activity.

 Perhaps the most prominent Chinese liberal democratic party founded by a group of Chinese expatriates inside the United States of America itself is (the Qigongdang Party in China), which was founded in the city (San Francisco) in the United States of America by Chinese expatriates who were living within the same American society, most of whom are university graduates.  And when most of them returned to the bosom of the motherland in China, they submitted an official request to establish this party, and the surprise to them and to the American observers was that the official Chinese authorities missed their American counterpart that opportunity, by allowing the ruling Chinese communist authorities to practice their activities according to the scope of the similar liberal democratic party practice.  With those American values ​​that they brought back from abroad, i.e. from the United States of America itself, and carried them into Chinese society, this party is practicing its activities completely freely until this moment with the knowledge of the Chinese authorities without any harassment mentioned by the testimony of its members.

 The Egyptian researcher analyzed this very important point that (the Chinese authorities have succeeded in missing the opportunity for Washington to allow the return of these Chinese expatriates, most of whom studied in American universities and were saturated with liberal American culture, by giving them the freedom to establish a liberal democratic political party in China itself).

  Currently, the (Qiqongdang Liberal Democratic Party of China) consists of Chinese personalities from the middle and upper classes, most of whom are expatriates or Chinese immigrants who have returned to the country. After returning to their homeland in China, these expatriates and immigrants were able to attract their Chinese parents and friends to participate and become members of this party.  And expanding its base, despite following the approach and philosophy of American liberal democratic values ​​that are different from the communist approach that the majority of Chinese owe.

  On the other hand, the official Chinese authorities also allowed the licensing of (seven other parties) that follow the same liberal democratic values, in addition to the (Qigongdang Party) as we mentioned, and all of them were allowed to operate officially and legally in China, bringing the total of those liberal democratic parties in Chinese society (eight liberal parties  Chinese democracy), which is as follows:

 1) (Taiwan Democratic Party Self-Government League): It is located

 In (Hong Kong), however, his official headquarters has moved from (Hong Kong) to the Chinese capital, Beijing), and many information about him and his most prominent current activities and the names of his most prominent members are available in the archive of the well-known (China Network) website.

 2) The (Jiusan Association Party): which focuses on the need to implement democracy within Chinese society.

 3) (Chinese Association Party for the Development of Democracy): which raises the slogans of (implementing democratic policy in China, reforming Chinese authority, and then returning power to the Chinese people themselves). This party is currently adopting an agenda dominated by (the blending of American liberal democratic values ​​with Chinese socialist values), by promoting the adoption of the (socialist democracy model).

 4) The (Chinese Democratic Party of Peasants and Workers): which is based on the slogan of (establishment of the power of the Chinese people), and most importantly, its current constitution expressly provides for the acceptance of (the leadership of the Communist Party of China), and welcomes the cooperation of all liberal democratic parties with the ruling Communist Party in China, according to  The mechanism or system of (political consultation), according to what is recorded in the a well-known (China Network Website Archive) in China.

5) (KMT Revolutionary Committee Party): whose members adopt the liberal democratic doctrine, noting that (KMT) itself is an old party that was overthrown by the ruling Communist Party in China, but it is a group of old party members who wanted to work legitimately under the supervision of the same Chinese state, and applied for the founding of the (KMT Revolutionary Committee Party), and the official Chinese authorities immediately approved their request, and its members currently adopt the principles and slogans of (Unification of China), and include members of the upper and middle levels or classes in the Chinese society mainly.

  6) (Chinese Democratic National Building Association Party): The political advocacy of this party is to guarantee the basic political rights of the Chinese citizen, protect the human rights of citizens, protect and develop national industry and trade, and oppose the rule of the (old Kuomintang Party), that was overthrown by the ruling Communist Party in China. There are many data published about him, according to the official Chinese media.

  7) (Chinese Democratic Front Party League): bearing the name of (Chinese Democratic League), officially recognized by the Chinese authorities, which began its political activity as a joint political organization of parties and political forces calling for democracy, and was welcomed by the ruling Communist authorities in China.

  Hence, we find that the Chinese official authorities had (a future view in their relationship with the United States of America as a global hegemon that seeks to spread its liberal democratic values ​​around the world), by allowing the return of its Chinese citizens from the United States of America and giving them the right to exercise their political convictions in complete freedom within the framework of the state and the law and the prevailing Chinese constitution, while ensuring the freedom to exercise their own liberal democratic political beliefs and ideology under the supervision of the Chinese authorities at home. And it is the most dangerous and most important point that all of us should stop at, which indicates a (Chinese foresight regarding its future relationship with the world and the American values ​​themselves).

  Hence, the ruling Chinese communist authorities raise in the face of the United States of America and the West themselves critics of its political practice under the slogan of (political consultation between the political parties in China, and collective consultative decisions), which means: those decisions taken by the ruling Communist Party after consulting (the Eight Liberal democracy Parties) in the Chinese society, and this is one of the most prominent points of intelligence in the mechanism of exercising governance in China, by allowing the absorption of those opposition political entities and parties as long as they submit an official request to work within Chinese society itself under the supervision of the Chinese state itself.

  This is what Washington fears when other Chinese expatriates submit the similar requests to the American authorities to allow them to establish communist and left ideological parties within the American society, expand their membership base by attracting and recruiting new members, and push those communist and leftist parties with Chinese communist ideology to compete in the future in the American elections by the Chinese or Russian financial fund raising.

  Through the previous analysis, the Egyptian researcher concluded that the current competition between the United States of America, China and Russia is no longer a political or even economic and cultural competition as much as it is a tacit recognition by Washington itself and its politicians that it is (an ideological and doctrine competition between the American liberal values ​​and Chinese communist values).

  By shedding light on what is happening inside the American interior by polarizing the communists themselves to work under the supervision of the American authorities, and the Chinese attracting these liberal democrats with American orientations to work inside communist China officially, it becomes clear to us that it is (an ideological game that has been preparing for many years between the Americans and the Chinese Communists).

  In the same context, the same idea invokes me in the Arab context and in the Middle East itself, is it possible to expand the base of real partisan competition between those with liberal and communist values ​​in our countries, or does the scale tilt only in favor of American liberal democratic values, despite criticism of the American policy itself in our Arab countries?

  And my last and most serious question remains in this new future analysis of the Egyptian researcher, and it is the inevitable question that I have no choice but to ask without searching for an answer to it, which is:

  Can China and Russia intervene to finance and establish Arab communist and leftist parties and in the Middle East in general, and even around the world under supervision of African, Arab, Latin and other governments closely related to China to expand the base of communists and bearers of communist tendencies at the expense of American liberal values?, It is the question of the future that we should all keep towards the future.

Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit

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An Underdeveloped Discipline: Open-Source Intelligence and How It Can Better Assist the U.S. Intelligence Community

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Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) is defined by noted intelligence specialists Mark Lowenthal and Robert M. Clark as being, “information that is publicly available to anyone through legal means, including request, observation, or purchase, that is subsequently acquired, vetted, and analyzed in order to fulfill an intelligence requirement”. The U.S. Naval War College further defines OSINT as coming from, “print or electronic form including radio, television, newspapers, journals, the internet, and videos, graphics, and drawings”. Basically, OSINT is the collection of information from a variety of public sources, including social media profiles and accounts, television broadcasts, and internet searches.

Historically, OSINT has been utilized by the U.S. since the 1940s, when the United States created the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) which had the sole goal (until the 1990s) of, “primarily monitoring and translating foreign-press sources,” and contributing significantly during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was also during this time that the FBIS transformed itself from a purely interpretation agency into one that could adequately utilize the advances made by, “personal computing, large-capacity digital storage, capable search engines, and broadband communication networks”. In 2005, the FBIS was placed under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and renamed the Open Source Center, with control being given to the CIA.

OSINT compliments the other intelligence disciplines very well. Due to OSINT’s ability to be more in touch with public data (as opposed to information that is more gleaned from interrogations, interviews with defectors or captured enemies or from clandestine wiretaps and electronic intrusions), it allows policymakers and intelligence analysts the ability to see the wider picture of the information gleaned. In Lowenthal’s own book, he mentions how policymakers (including the Assistant Secretary of Defense and one of the former Directors of National Intelligence (DNI)) enjoyed looking at OSINT first and using it as a “starting point… [to fill] the outer edges of the jigsaw puzzle”.

Given the 21stcentury and the public’s increased reliance upon technology, there are also times when information can only be gleaned from open source intelligence methods. Because “Terrorist movements rely essentially on the use of open sources… to recruit and provide virtual training and conduct their operations using encryption techniques… OSINT can be valuable [in] providing fast coordination among officials at all levels without clearances”. Intelligence agencies could be able to outright avoid or, at a minimum, be able to prepare a defense or place forces and units on high alert for an imminent attack.

In a King’s College-London research paper discussing OSINT’s potential for the 21stcentury, the author notes, “OSINT sharing among intelligence services, non-government organizations and international organizations could shape timely and comprehensive responses [to international crises or regime changes in rogue states like Darfur or Burma],” as well as providing further information on a country’s new government or personnel in power. This has been exemplified best during the rise of Kim Jong-Un in North Korea and during the 2011 Arab Spring and 2010 earthquake that rocked Haiti. However, this does not mean that OSINT is a superior discipline than other forms such as SIGINT and HUMINT, as they are subject to limitations as well. According to the Federation of American Scientists, “Open source intelligence does have limitations. Often articles in military or scientific journals represent a theoretical or desired capability rather than an actual capability. Censorship may also limit the publication of key data needed to arrive at a full understanding of an adversary’s actions, or the press may be used as part of a conscious deception effort”.

There is also a limit to the effectiveness of OSINT within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), not because it is technically limited, but limited by the desire of the IC to see OSINT as a full-fledged discipline. Robert Ashley and Neil Wiley, the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and a former Principal Executive within the ODNI respectively, covered this in a July article for DefenseOne, stating “…the production of OSINT is not regarded as a unique intelligence discipline but as research incident to all-source analysis or as a media production service… OSINT, on the other hand, remains a distributed activity that functions more like a collection of cottage industries. While OSINT has pockets of excellence, intelligence community OSINT production is largely initiative based, minimally integrated, and has little in the way of common guidance, standards, and tradecraft… The intelligence community must make OSINT a true intelligence discipline on par with the traditional functional disciplines, replete with leadership and authority that enables the OSINT enterprise to govern itself and establish a brand that instills faith and trust in open source information”. This apprehensiveness by the IC to OSINT capabilities has been well documented by other journalists.

Some contributors, including one writing for The Hill, has commented that “the use of artificial intelligence and rapid data analytics can mitigate these risks by tipping expert analysts on changes in key information, enabling the rapid identification of apparent “outliers” and pattern anomalies. Such human-machine teaming exploits the strengths of both and offers a path to understanding and even protocols for how trusted open-source intelligence can be created by employing traditional tradecraft of verifying and validating sourcing prior to making the intelligence insights available for broad consumption”. Many knowledgeable and experienced persons within the Intelligence Community, either coming from the uniformed intelligence services or civilian foreign intelligence agencies, recognize the need for better OSINT capabilities as a whole and have also suggested ways in which potential security risks or flaws can be avoided in making this discipline an even more effective piece of the intelligence gathering framework.

OSINT is incredibly beneficial for gathering information that cannot always be gathered through more commonly thought of espionage methods (e.g., HUMINT, SIGINT). The discipline allows for information on previously unknown players or new and developing events to become known and allows policymakers to be briefed more competently on a topic as well as providing analysts and operators a preliminary understanding of the region, the culture, the politics, and current nature of a developing or changing state. However, the greatest hurdle in making use of OSINT is in changing the culture and the way in which the discipline is currently seen by the U.S. Intelligence Community. This remains the biggest struggle in effectively coordinating and utilizing the intelligence discipline within various national security organizations.

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Online Radicalization in India

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Radicalization, is a gradual process of developing extremist beliefs, emotions, and behaviours at individual, group or mass public levels. Besides varied groups, it enjoys patronization, covertly and even overtly from some states. To elicit change in behavior, beliefs, ideology, and willingness, from the target-group, even employment of violent means is justified. Despite recording a declination in terror casualties, the 2019 edition of the Global Terrorism Index claims an increase in the number of terrorism-affected countries. With internet assuming a pivotal role in simplifying and revolutionizing the communication network and process, the change in peoples’ lives is evident. Notably, out of EU’s 84 %, daily internet using population, 81%, access it from home (Eurostat, 2012, RAND Paper pg xi). It signifies important changes in society and extremists elements, being its integral part, internet’ role, as a tool of radicalization, cannot be gainsaid. Following disruption of physical and geographical barriers, the radicalized groups are using the advancement in digital technology:  to propagate their ideologies; solicit funding; collecting informations; planning/coordinating terror attacks; establishing inter/intra-group communication-networks; recruitment, training and media propaganda to attain global attention.  

               Indian Context

In recent times, India has witnessed an exponential growth in radicalization-linked Incidents, which apparently belies the official figures of approximate 80-100 cases. The radicalization threat to India is not only from homegrown groups but from cross-border groups of Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as global groups like IS. Significantly, Indian radicalized groups are exploiting domestic grievances and their success to an extent, can mainly be attributed to support from Pakistani state, Jihadist groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Gulf-employment boom for Indian Muslims has also facilitated radicalization, including online, of Indian Muslims. A close look at the modus operandi of these attacks reveals the involvement of local or ‘homegrown’ terrorists. AQIS formed (2016) ‘Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind’ in Kashmir with a media wing ‘al-Hurr’.

IS announced its foray into Kashmir in 2016 as part of its Khorasan branch. In December 2017 IS in its Telegram channel used hashtag ‘Wilayat Kashmir’ wherein Kashmiri militants stated their allegiance with IS. IS’ online English Magazine ‘Dabiq’ (Jan. 2016) claimed training of fighters in Bangladesh and Pakistan for attacks from western and Eastern borders into India.Though there are isolated cases of ISIS influence in India, the trend is on the rise. Presently, ISIS and its offshoots through online process are engaged in spreading bases in 12 Indian states. Apart from southern states like Telangana, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu — where the Iran and Syria-based terrorist outfit penetrated years ago — investigating agencies have found their links in states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir as well. The Sunni jihadists’ group is now “most active” in these states across the country.

               Undermining Indian Threat

Significantly, undermining the radicalization issue, a section of intelligentsia citing lesser number of Indian Muslims joining al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, Syria and Middle East, argue that Indian Muslim community does not support radicalism-linked violence unlike regional/Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Maldives. They underscore the negligible number of Indian Muslims, outside J&K, who supports separatist movements. Additionally, al- Qaeda and IS who follows the ‘Salafi-Wahabi’ ideological movement, vehemently oppose ‘Hanafi school’ of Sunni Islam, followed by Indian Muslims. Moreover, Indian Muslims follows a moderate version even being followers of the Sunni Ahle-Hadeeth (the broader ideology from which Salafi-Wahhabi movement emanates). This doctrinal difference led to the failure of Wahhabi groups online propaganda.  

               Radicalisation Strategies/methods: Indian vs global players

India is already confronting the online jihadist radicalization of global jihadist organisations, including al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), formed in September 2014 and Islamic State (IS). However, several indigenous and regional groups such as Indian Mujahideen (IM), JeM, LeT, the Taliban and other online vernacular publications, including Pakistan’s Urdu newspaper ‘Al-Qalam’, also play their role in online radicalisation.

Indian jihadist groups use a variety of social media apps, best suited for their goals. Separatists and extremists in Kashmir, for coordination and communication, simply create WhatsApp groups and communicate the date, time and place for carrying out mass protests or stone pelting. Pakistan-based terror groups instead of online learning of Islam consider it mandatory that a Muslim radical follows a revered religious cleric. They select people manually to verify their background instead of online correspondence. Only after their induction, they communicate online with him. However, the IS, in the backdrop of recent defeats, unlike Kashmiri separatist groups and Pak-based jihadist mercenaries, runs its global movement entirely online through magazines and pamphlets. The al-Qaeda’s you tube channels ‘Ansar AQIS’ and ‘Al Firdaws’, once having over 25,000 subscriptions, are now banned. Its online magazines are Nawai Afghan and Statements are in Urdu, English, Arabic, Bangla and Tamil. Its blocked Twitter accounts, ‘Ansarul Islam’ and ‘Abna_ul_Islam_media’, had a following of over 1,300 while its Telegram accounts are believed to have over 500 members.

               Adoption of online platforms and technology

Initially, Kashmir based ‘Jaish-E-Mohammad’ (JeM) distributed audio cassettes of Masood Azhar’s speeches across India but it joined Internet platform during the year 2003–04 and started circulating downloadable materials through anonymous links and emails. Subsequently, it started its weekly e-newspaper, Al-Qalam, followed by a chat group on Yahoo. Importantly, following enhanced international pressure on Pak government after 26/11, to act against terrorist groups, JeM gradually shifted from mainstream online platform to social media sites, blogs and forums.   

 Indian Mujahideen’s splinter group ‘Ansar-ul-Tawhid’ the first officially affiliated terror group to the ISIS tried to maintain its presence on ‘Skype’, ‘WeChat’ and ‘JustPaste’. IS and its affiliates emerged as the most tech-savvy jihadist group. They took several measures to generate new accounts after repeated suspension of their accounts by governments.  An account called as ‘Baqiya Shoutout’ was one such measure. It stressed upon efforts to re-establish their network of followers through ‘reverse shout-out’ instead of opening a new account easily.

Pakistan-backed terrorist groups in India are increasingly becoming  technology savvy. For instance, LeT before carrying out terrorist attacks in 2008 in Mumbai, used Google Earth to understand the targeted locations.

IS members have been following strict security measures like keeping off their Global Positioning System (GPS) locations and use virtual private network (VPN),  to maintain anonymity. Earlier they were downloading Hola VPN or a similar programme from a mobile device or Web browser to select an Internet Protocol (IP) address for a country outside the US, and bypass email or phone verification.

Rise of radicalization in southern India

Southern states of India have witnessed a rise in  radicalization activities during the past 1-2 years. A substantial number of Diaspora in the Gulf countries belongs to Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Several Indian Muslims in Gulf countries have fallen prey to radicalization due to the ultra-conservative forms of Islam or their remittances have been misused to spread radical thoughts. One Shafi Armar@ Yusuf-al-Hindi from Karnataka emerged as the main online IS recruiter for India.  It is evident in the number of raids and arrests made in the region particularly after the Easter bomb attacks (April, 21, 2019) in Sri Lanka. The perpetrators were suspected to have been indoctrinated, radicalised and trained in the Tamil Nadu. Further probe revealed that the mastermind of the attacks, Zahran Hashim had travelled to India and maintained virtual links with radicalised youth in South India. Importantly, IS, while claiming responsibility for the attacks, issued statements not only in English and Arabic but also in South Indian languages viz. Malayalam and Tamil. It proved the existence of individuals fluent in South Indian languages in IS linked groups in the region. Similarly, AQIS’ affiliate in South India ‘Base Movement’ issued several threatening letters to media publications for insulting Islam.

IS is trying to recruit people from rural India by circulating the online material in vernacular languages. It is distributing material in numerous languages, including Malayalam and Tamil, which Al Qaeda were previously ignoring in favour of Urdu. IS-linked Keralite followers in their propaganda, cited radical pro-Hindutva, organisations such as the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) and other right-wing Hindu organisations to motivate youth for joining the IS.  Similarly, Anti-Muslim incidents such as the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 are still being used to fuel their propaganda. IS sympathisers also support the need to oppose Hindu Deities to gather support.

               Radicalization: Similarities/Distinctions in North and South

Despite few similarities, the radicalisation process in J&K is somewhat different from the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Gujarat. Both the regions have witnessed a planned radicalization process through Internet/social media for propagating extremist ideologies and subverting the vulnerable youth. Both the areas faced the hard-line Salafi/Wahhabi ideology, propagated by the extremist Islamic clerics and madrasas indulged in manipulating the religion of Islam. Hence, in this context it can be aptly claimed that terror activities in India have cooperation of elements from both the regions, despite their distinct means and objectives. Elements from both regions to an extent sympathise to the cause of bringing India under the Sharia Law. Hence, the possibility of cooperation in such elements cannot be ruled out particularly in facilitation of logistics, ammunitions and other requisite equipment.

It is pertinent to note that while radicalisation in Jammu and Kashmir is directly linked to the proxy-war, sponsored by the Pakistan state, the growth of radicalisation in West and South India owes its roots to the spread of IS ideology, promotion of Sharia rule and establishment of Caliphate. Precisely for this reason, while radicalised local Kashmiris unite to join Pakistan-backed terror groups to fight for ‘Azadi’ or other fabricated local issues, the locals in south rather remain isolated cases.

               Impact of Radicalisation

The impact of global jihad on radicalization is quite visible in West and South India. Majority of the radicalised people, arrested in West and South India, were in fact proceeding to to join IS in Syria and Iraq. It included the group of 22 people from a Kerala’s family, who travelled (June 2016) to Afghanistan via Iran. There obvious motivation was to migrate from Dar-ul-Harb (house of war) to Dar-ul-Islam (house of peace/Islam/Deen).

While comparing the ground impact of radicalization in terms of number of cases of local militants in J&K as well as IS sympathisers in West and South India, it becomes clear that radicalisation was spread more in J&K, owing to Pak-sponsored logistical and financial support. Significantly, despite hosting the third largest Muslim population, the number of Indian sympathisers to terror outfits, particularly in West and South India is very small as compared to the western countries. Main reasons attributed to this, include – religious and cultural pluralism; traditionally practice of moderate Islamic belief-systems; progressive educational and economic standards; and equal socio-economic and political safeguards for the Indian Muslims in the Indian Constitution.

               Challenges Ahead

Apart from varied challenges, including Pak-sponsored anti-India activities, regional, local and political challenges, media wings of global jihadi outfits continue to pose further challenges to Indian security agencies. While IS through its media wing, ‘Al Isabah’ has been circulating (through social media sites) Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s speeches and videos after translating them into Urdu, Hindi, and Tamil for Indian youth (Rajkumar 2015), AQIS too have been using its media wing for the very purpose through its offshoots in India.  Some of the challenges, inter alia include –

Islam/Cleric Factor Clerics continue to play a crucial role in influencing the minds of Muslim youth by exploiting the religion of Islam. A majority of 127 arrested IS sympathizers from across India recently revealed that they were following speeches of controversial Indian preacher Zakir Naik of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Zakir has taken refuge in Malaysia because of warrants against him by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for alleged money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches. A Perpetrator of Dhaka bomb blasts in July 2016 that killed several people confessed that he was influenced by Naik’s messages. Earlier, IRF had organised ‘peace conferences’ in Mumbai between 2007 and 2011 in which Zakir attempted to convert people and incite terrorist acts. Thus, clerics and preachers who sbverts the Muslim minds towards extremism, remain a challenge for India.

Propaganda Machinery – The online uploading of young militant photographs, flaunting Kalashnikov rifles became the popular means of declaration of youth intent against government forces. Their narrative of “us versus them” narrative is clearly communicated, creating groundswell of support for terrorism.In its second edition (March 2020) of its propaganda magazine ‘Sawt al-Hind’ (Voice of Hind/India) IS, citing an old propaganda message from a deceased (2018) Kashmiri IS terrorist, Abu Hamza al-Kashmiri @ Abdul Rehman, called upon Taliban apostates and fighters to defect to IS.  In the first edition (Feb. 2020) the magazine, eulogized Huzaifa al-Bakistani (killed in 2019), asking Indian Muslims to rally to IS in the name of Islam in the aftermath of the 2020 Delhi riots. Meanwhile, a Muslim couple arrested by Delhi Police for inciting anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment) Bill protests, were found very active on social media. They would call Indian Muslims to unite against the Indian government against the CAA legislation. During 2017 Kashmir unrest, National Investigation Agency (NIA) identified 79 WhatsApp groups (with administrators based in Pakistan), having 6,386 phone numbers, to crowd source boys for stone pelting. Of these, around 1,000 numbers were found active in Pakistan and Gulf nations and the remaining 5,386 numbers were found active in Kashmir Valley.

Deep fakes/Fake news – Another challenge for India is spread of misinformation and disinformation through deep fakes by Pakistan. Usage of deepfakes, in manipulating the speeches of local political leaders to spread hate among the youth and society was done to large extent.

India’s Counter Measures

To prevent youth straying towards extremism, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has established a Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Radicalisation Division (CT-CR) to help states, security agencies and communities.

Various states, including Kerala, Maharashtra and Telangana have set up their own de-radicalisation programmes.  While in Maharashtra family and community plays an important role, in Kerala clerics cleanse the poisoned  minds of youth with a new narrative. A holistic programme for community outreach including healthcare, clergies and financial stability is being employed by the Indian armed forces. An operation in Kerala named Kerala state police’ ‘Operation Pigeon’ succeeded in thwarting radicalization of 350 youths to the propaganda of organizations such as Islamic State, Indian Mujahideen (IM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) via social media monitoring. In Telangana, outreach programs have been developed by local officers like Rema Rajeshwari to fight the menace of fake news in around 400 villages of the state.

In Kashmir the government resorts to internet curfews to control the e-jihad. While state-owned BNSL network, used by the administration and security forces, remains operational 3G and 4G networks and social media apps remain suspended during internet curfews.

Prognosis

India certainly needs a strong national counter- Radicalisation policy which would factor in a range of factors than jobs, poverty or education because radicalization in fact has affected even well educated, rich and prosperous families. Instead of focusing on IS returnees from abroad, the policy must take care of those who never travelled abroad but still remain a potential threat due to their vulnerability to radicalization.

Of course, India would be better served if deep fakes/fake news and online propaganda is effectively countered digitally as well as through social awakening measures and on ground action by the government agencies. It is imperative that the major stakeholders i.e. government, educational institutions, civil society organisations, media and intellectuals play a pro-active role in pushing their narrative amongst youth and society. The focus should apparently be on prevention rather than controlling the radicalisation narrative of the vested interests.

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Is Deterrence in Cyberspace Possible?

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Soon after the Internet was founded, half of the world’s population (16 million) in 1996 had been connected to Internet data traffic. Gradually, the Internet began to grow and with more users, it contributed to the 4 trillion global economies in 2016 (Nye, 2016). Today, high-speed Internet, cutting-edge technologies and gadgets, and increasing cross-border Internet data traffic are considered an element of globalization. Deterrence seems traditional and obsolete strategy, but the developed countries rely on cyberspace domains to remain in the global digitization. No matter how advanced they are, there still exist vulnerabilities. There are modern problems in the modern world. Such reliance on the Internet also threatens to blow up the dynamics of international insecurity. To understand and explore the topic it is a must for one to understand what cyberspace and deterrence are? According to Oxford dictionary;

 “Cyberspace is the internet considered as an imaginary space without a physical location in which communication over computer networks takes place (OXFORD University Press)”

For readers to understand the term ‘deterrence’; Collins dictionary has best explained it as;

“Deterrence is the prevention of something, especially war or crime, by having something such as weapons or punishment to use as a threat e.g. Nuclear Weapons (Deterrence Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary).

The purpose of referring to the definition is to make it easy to discern and distinguish between deterrence in International Relations (IR) and International Cyber Security (ICS). Deterrence in cyberspace is different and difficult than that of during the Cold War. The topic of deterrence was important during Cold Wat for both politicians and academia. The context in both dimensions (IR and ICS) is similar and aims to prevent from happening something. Cyberspace deterrence refers to preventing crime and I completely agree with the fact that deterrence is possible in Cyberspace. Fischer (2019) quotes the study of (Quinlan, 2004) that there is no state that can be undeterrable.

To begin with, cyber threats are looming in different sectors inclusive of espionage, disruption of the democratic process and sabotaging the political arena, and war. Whereas international law is still unclear about these sectors as to which category they fall in. I would validate my affirmation (that deterrence is possible in Cyberspace) with the given network attacks listed by Pentagon (Fung, 2013). Millions of cyber-attacks are reported on a daily basis. The Pentagon reported 10 million cyberspace intrusions, most of which are disruptive, costly, and annoying. The level of severity rises to such a critical level that it is considered a threat to national security, so professional strategic assistance is needed to deal with it[1]. The past events show a perpetual threat that has the ability to interrupt societies, economies, and government functioning.

The cyberspace attacks were administered and portrayal of deterrence had been publicized as follows (Fung, 2013);

  1. The internet service was in a continuous disruption for several weeks after a dispute with Russia in 2007.
  2. Georgian defense communications were interrupted in 2008 after the Russian invasion of Georgia.   
  3. More than 1000 centrifuges in Iran were destroyed via the STUXNET virus in 2010. The attacks were attributed to Israel and the United States of America.
  4. In response to STUXNET virus attacks, Iran also launched a retaliatory attack on U.S financial institutions in 2012 and 2013.
  5. Similarly in 2012, some 30,000 computers had been destroyed with a virus called SHAMOON in Saudi Aramco Corporation. Iran was held responsible for these attacks.
  6. North Korea was accused of penetrating South Korean data and machines in 2014, thus interrupting their networks in 2014.
  7. A hybrid war was reported between Russia and Ukraine in 2015 that left Ukraine without electricity for almost six hours.
  8. Most critical scandal, which is still in the limelight call WikiLeaks released distressing and humiliating emails by Russian Intelligence at the time of the U.S presidential campaigns in 2016.

While such incidents may be considered a failure of deterrence, this does not mean that deterrence is impossible. Every system has some flaws that are exposed at some point. At this point, in some cases a relatively low level of deterrence was used to threaten national security, however, the attacks were quite minor in fulfilling the theme affecting national security. Nye (2016:51) in his study talks about the audience whose attribution could facilitate deterrence. (I). intelligence agencies should make sure highest safeguarding against escalation by third parties, and governments can also be certain and count on intelligence agencies’ sources. (II). the deterring party should not be taken easy, as I stated (above) about the lingering loopholes and flaws in the systems, hence, governments shall not perceive the intelligence forsaken.  (III). lastly, it is a political matter whether international and domestic audiences need to be persuaded or not, and what chunk of information should be disclosed.

The mechanisms which are used and helpful against cyberspace adversary actions are as follows (Fischer, 2019);

  1. Deterrence by denial means, the actions by the adversary are denied that they failed to succeed in their goals and objectives. It is more like retaliating a cyberattack.
  2. Threat of punishment offers severe outcomes in form of penalties and inflicting high costs on the attacker that would outweigh the anticipated benefits if the attack takes place.
  3. Deterrence by Entanglement has the features and works on a principle of shared, interconnected, and dependent vulnerabilities. The purpose of entanglement is to embolden and reassure the behavior as a responsible state with mutual interests.
  4. Normative taboos function with strong values and norms, wherein the reputation of an aggressor is at stake besides having a soft image in the eyes of the international community (this phenomenon includes rational factors because hard power is used against the weaker state). The deterrence of the international system works even without having any credible resilience.

Apparently, the mechanisms of deterrence are also effective in cyber realms. These realms are self-explaining the comprehensive understanding and the possibility of deterrence in cyberspace. The four mechanisms (denial, punishment, entanglement, and normative taboos) are also feasible to apply deterrence in the cyber world. Factually, of many security strategies, cyber deterrence by using four domains could be a versatile possibility. Conclusively, as far as the world is advancing in technological innovations, cyberspace intrusions would not stop alike the topic of deterrence in the digital world.


[1] An updated list of cyberspace intrusions from 2003 till 2021 is available at (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2021).

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