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12.03.2019

"US warns Germany it will end intelligence sharing if Huawei is given 5G contract"

https://intelnews.org/2019/03/12/01-2510/

Die US-Regierung hat offenbar gedroht, den Austausch von Geheimdienstinformationen mit Deutschland einzustellen, sollte das chinesische Unternehmen Huawei den Zuschlag für den Aufbau des deutschen 5G-Netzes erhalten. "According to The Wall Street Journal, the warning was included in a letter signed by Ambassador Richard Grenell, America’s top diplomat in Germany. It was allegedly sent to Peter Altmaier, Germany’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy. The paper says that Grenell suggests in his letter that Berlin should consider rival bids by companies belonging to American allies, such as the Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia Corporation, or the South Korean Samsung Corporation, which is the world’s leading telecommunications hardware manufacturer. The Wall Street Journal did not reveal how it acquired Grenell’s letter, nor did it say whether the German government responded to it."

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26.02.2019

"Destabilization fears grow as hundreds of armed ISIS fighters enter Iraq from Syria"

https://intelnews.org/2019/02/26/01-2502/

In den vergangenen Wochen sind offenbar hunderte bewaffnete IS-Kämpfer aus Syrien in den Irak eingedrungen. "To prevent this, the Shiite-led Iraqi army has reportedly deployed more than 20,000 soldiers across the 370-mile border with Syria. But the size of the border, as well as the region’s rugged and inhospitable terrain, are making it very difficult to police it. (...) The Associated Press report quotes three Iraqi intelligence officials and a United States military official, who say that more than 1,000 ISIS fighters entered Iraq from Syria since last September. Iraqi intelligence sources allegedly estimate that between 5,000 and 7,000 armed ISIS fighters are now present in Iraq. Many of them remain in hiding, but others are engaged in systematic efforts to revitalize the group’s presence in Iraq’s Sunni-majority provinces."

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29.01.2019

"Hundreds of MI5 officers prepare for Brexit violence in Northern Ireland"

https://intelnews.org/2019/01/29/01-2485/

Der britische Geheimdienst MI5 fürchtet einem Bericht der Daily Mail zufolge, dass die Gewalt in Nordirland nach einem Brexit erneut aufflammen könnte. "The British Security Service (MI5) has over 700 officers - more than 20 percent of its entire force - stationed in Northern Ireland, due to fears that the Brexit process might reignite the centuries-long sectarian conflict there. (...) Many fear that the reinstated border will remind nationalist communities in the North that the island of Ireland remains partitioned and will thus reignite secessionist sentiments. A few days ago, the London-based newspaper The Daily Mail cited an unnamed 'counterterrorism source' who said that MI5, Britain’s primary counterterrorism agency, had stationed a fifth of its force in Northern Ireland. The agency is allegedly monitoring a number of dissident republican groups - a term used to describe armed groups of Irish nationalists who continue to reject the nationalist community’s majority view to endorse the Good Friday Agreement back in 1998."

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22.01.2019

"CIA has maintained secret communication with North Korea for 10 years"

https://intelnews.org/2019/01/22/01-2482/

Einem Bericht des Wall Street Journal zufolge hält die CIA mindestens seit 2009 mit Erlaubnis des Weißen Hauses einen geheimen Kommunikationskanal mit der Regierung Nordkoreas offen. "The United States and North Korea have never had official diplomatic relations, nor have they ever maintained embassies at each other’s capitals. In rare instances, the North Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York has been utilized to pass messages from the White House to the communist country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No other systematic diplomatic activity between the two sides has ever been reported. But an article published in The Wall Street Journal on Monday claims that an intelligence channel between the CIA and unspecified North Korean intelligence officials has been active — with some periods of dormancy — for at least a decade."

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11.01.2019

"Shiite militias ‘acting like mafia gangs’ in Iraq’s former ISIS-held areas"

https://intelnews.org/2019/01/11/01-2476/

Die schiitischen Milizen, die den IS erfolgreich aus sunnitischen Städten im Irak vertrieben haben, treten dort nun zunehmend wie "Mafiabanden" auf, berichtet Joseph Fitsanakis unter Verweis auf einen Beitrag der Washington Post. Damit wachse die Gefahr eines erneuten islamistischen Aufstands der sunnitischen Minderheit. "In 2014, the meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - ISIS, later renamed Islamic State - was largely aided by Sunni Arabs’ belief that they were second-class citizens in a Shiite-dominated Iraq. Popular support for the Islamic State among Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority took the Iraqi government by surprise and almost enabled the militant group to conquer Baghdad in 2015. Today, after the destruction of the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate, Iraq’s Shiite-dominated security and intelligence services have returned to Sunni-majority regions that were once ruled by ISIS. But there signs that about 50 Shiite militias, which were supported by the Iraqi state throughout the war against ISIS, are now becoming highly autonomous armed gangs that are undermining the central government in Baghdad."

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31.12.2018

"Year in review: The biggest spy-related stories of 2018"

https://intelnews.org/2018/12/31/01-2468/

IntelNews hat in drei Artikeln die aufsehenerregendsten Geheimdienstgeschichten des vergangenen Jahres zusammengestellt. "Since 2008, when we launched intelNews, it has been our end-of-year tradition to take a look back and highlight what we believe were the most important intelligence-related stories of the past 12 months. In anticipation of what 2019 may bring in this highly unpredictable field, we present you with our selection of the top spy stories of 2018. They are listed below in reverse order of significance."

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17.12.2018

"French security services investigate Russian role in yellow vests movement"

https://intelnews.org/2018/12/17/01-2458/

Die französischen Sicherheitsbehörden vermuten nach wie vor, dass Russland eine Rolle bei der Entstehung der Gelbwesten-Proteste gespielt haben könnte. "On Friday, The Wall Street Journal said that French security agencies were investigating potential involvement by the Kremlin in the yellow vests campaign. The paper quoted an unnamed French government cybersecurity official as saying that 'there has been some suspect activity [and] we are in the process of looking at its impact'. The official was referring to the online activity of some leading social-media accounts involved with the yellow vests, which appear to also be 'promoting Russian-backed coverage' of French politics. (...) However, there is disagreement among cybersecurity experts about the extent of the Kremlin’s involvement in the yellow vests. (...) The Journal notes that many leading Western cybersecurity bodies, including the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, have 'not seen significant evidence of state-sponsored interference' in the yellow vests movement, whether by Russia or any other government. Facebook also said that its monitors have not uncovered any evidence of an organized campaign by Moscow to coax the yellow vests protests."

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13.12.2018

"Strasbourg attack raises serious security concerns in Europe"

https://intelnews.org/2018/12/13/01-2456/

Der Terroranschlag in Straßburg wirft nach Ansicht von Joseph Fitsanakis erneut die Frage auf, wie sich Europa am besten vor dem "islamistischen Aufstand" schützen sollte. Es sei bemerkenswert, dass sich der Täter offenbar während seiner Haftzeit radikalisiert habe. "This raises important questions about Salafist-Jihadi radicalization networks inside Western European prison systems. The security implications of this realization inevitably widens the security considerations of Europe’s counterterrorism agencies. The latter have so far focused primarily on the danger posed by the return of European Islamic State volunteers from the Middle East. The problem, however, appears to be more complicated. Ultimately, the Strasbourg attack demonstrates that, despite several years of concerted efforts, the ability of European counterterrorism agencies to prevent strikes by Islamist groups on European soil is limited. (...) Should Tuesday’s attack in Strasbourg mark the beginning of a sustained terrorism campaign by the Islamic State, December could prove to be a deadly month in Europe."

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07.12.2018

"ISIS evolving into ‘effective clandestine organization’ US Pentagon warns"

https://intelnews.org/2018/12/07/01-2452/

Sowohl in Irak als auch in Syrien sei der erneute Aufstieg des "Islamischen Staates" als verdeckt operierende Guerilla-Miliz zu beobachten, so das Fazit eines aktuellen Pentagon-Berichts. "(...) experts warn that, despite its loss of territorial control, the Islamic State maintains an active force of as many as 30,000 armed fighters in Iraq and Syria. Additionally, a recent US government report argues that, having been driven out of nearly all of the territory that it once held, the Islamic State is promptly 'returning to its insurgent roots'. The report, authored by analysts at the US Department of Defense, claims that the militant Sunni group is 're-emerging as a guerrilla force'. In the place of what used to be a de-facto state, an 'effective clandestine ISIS organization appears to be taking hold', it states."

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26.11.2018

"Four times more Sunni Islamist militants today than on 9/11, study finds"

https://intelnews.org/2018/11/26/01-2443/

Einer neuen Studie des Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) zufolge gibt es heute weltweit viermal mehr sunnitische Extremisten als vor den Anschlägen vom 11. September 2001. "(...) a new study by the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) suggests that the West’s efforts to combat Sunni militancy are failing - and may even be making the problem worse. The report by the Washington-based think-tank states that the number of active Sunni Islamist militants today is as much as '270 percent greater than in 2001, when the 9/11 attacks occurred'. Entitled 'The Evolution of the Salafi-Jihadist Threat', the 71-page report is one of the most extensive ever undertaken on this topic, drawing on information from data sets that date back nearly 40 years. It warns that, despite the rapid loss of territory suffered by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, armed Sunni militancy is 'far from defeated'."

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14.11.2018

"ISIS fighters might declare new caliphate in Philippines, experts warn"

https://intelnews.org/2018/11/14/01-2437/

Die Zahl der IS-Anhänger in den Philippinen nimmt Ian Allen zufolge weiter zu. Experten erwarten demnach, dass die Terrororganisation das Momentum nutzen könnte, um ein neues Kalifat auszurufen. "British newspaper The Guardian cited 'a high-ranking intelligence officer' who said that between 40 and 100 foreign fighters have joined the Islamic State in the southern Philippines in the past 12 months. Most of them come from neighboring countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. But there are also fighters from Pakistan, Bangladesh and several Middle Eastern countries, said the intelligence officer. One of them, a Moroccan militant, carried out a suicide bombing in Lamitan City, located on Basilan Island south of Mindanao, in July of this year, killing 11 other people. There are fears among experts that the Islamic State might declare a new caliphate there soon, as local support for militant Islamism is growing."

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08.11.2018

"ISIS using Turkey as strategic base to reorganize, Dutch intelligence report says"

https://intelnews.org/2018/11/08/01-2433/

Niederländischen Geheimdienstinformationen zufolge bereiten sich IS-Kämpfer in der Türkei weitgehend unbehelligt auf einen "Untergrund-Krieg" in Europa vor. "This assessment is featured in a report published on Monday by Holland’s General Intelligence and Security Service, known as AIVD. The document, which is available in the Dutch language on the website of the AIVD, is entitled The Legacy of Syria: Global Jihadism Remains a Threat to Europe. The 22-page report argues that the government of Turkey does not see Sunni Islamist groups, such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) as a pressing national security threat. Instead, Turkish security services are far more concerned with the ethnic Kurdish insurgents of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. Therefore, although Turkish authorities do sometimes take action to combat al-Qaeda and ISIS, 'Turkish interests do not always correspond with European priorities on the field of counter-terrorism', says the report. For that reason, Turkey has been a large transit center of tens of thousands of foreign fighters who poured into Syria to fight for Sunni Islamist groups during the height of the Syrian Civil War. At least 4,000 of those fighters are believed to be Turkish citizens, according to the AIVD report."

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29.10.2018

"Britain knew of Saudi plan to target journalist, warned Saudis against it"

https://intelnews.org/2018/10/29/01-2426/

Der britische Geheimdienst MI6 war einem Bericht des Sunday Express zufolge offenbar über den saudi-arabischen Plan, den Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi zu ermorden, vorab informiert. "British newspaper The Sunday Express says it has evidence from 'high ranking intelligence sources' that MI6 was in possession of communications intercepts containing conversations about Khashoggi. The conversations were between Saudi government officials and officers of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the Kingdom’s primary spy agency. (...) The paper reports that MI6 'became aware' of the arrival of a 15-member Saudi hit squad in Istanbul on October 1, a day before Khashoggi went missing. According to the paper’s source 'it was pretty clear what their aim was', so MI6 contacted the GID directly and warned the Saudi spy agency to 'cancel the mission', said the source. However, the source added, 'this request was ignored'."

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26.10.2018

"Islamic State’s online footprint declines drastically, experts say"

https://intelnews.org/2018/10/26/01-2425/

Seit dem Kollaps des Kalifats des "Islamischen Staates" in Irak und Syrien ist Experten zufolge auch der internetbasierte Propagandaapparat der Terrormiliz spürbar zusammengebrochen. "The online arm of the Islamic State, which was once one of the organization’s most noticeable trademarks, has declined markedly in 2018, according to expert observers in the United States and elsewhere. This is especially applicable to the militant group’s online propaganda and recruitment campaign, which appears to have effectively ceased, say experts. According to The Washington Times newspaper, most information warfare experts at the United States Department of Defense believe that very little is left of the Islamic State’s once sizeable Web and social-media presence."

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26.09.2018

"CIA to return to traditional espionage against state actors, says new director"

https://intelnews.org/2018/09/26/01-2405/

Die neue CIA-Direktorin Gina Haspel hat bei ihrem ersten öffentlichen Auftritt angekündigt, dass sich der Geheimdienst künftig wieder verstärkt seiner "traditionellen" Aufgabe der Spionage gegen andere Staaten zuwenden wird. "She told the audience that she intends to steer the Agency back to traditional intelligence collection against 'current and potential […] nation-state adversaries' and away from counterterrorism operations against non-state actors. The latter took center stage after the events of September 11, 2001. Filling current 'intelligence gaps' on countries like Russia and China will be 'a strategic priority' for the CIA, said Haspel, adding that the Agency will seek to 'sharpen its focus on nation-state adversaries'."

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18.09.2018

"US intelligence reevaluates safety of Russian defectors in light of Skripal poisoning"

https://intelnews.org/2018/09/18/01-2399/

Die CIA sorgt sich im Licht der Skripal-Affäre um die Sicherheit der eigenen russischen Überläufer, berichtet Joseph Fitsanakis. "Like MI6, the US Central Intelligence Agency also has a protection program for foreign nationals whose life may be at risk because they spied for the US. The CIA’s protection division, called the National Resettlement Operations Center, helps resettle and sometimes hide and protect dozens of foreign agents, or assets, as they are known in CIA lingo. But following the Skripal case, some CIA resettlement officials have expressed concern that protection levels for some foreign assets may need to be significantly raised. The New York Times, which published the story last week, said that it spoke to 'current and former American intelligence officials', which it did not name. In light of those concerns, US counterintelligence officials have been carrying out what The Times described as 'a wide-reaching review' of every Russian asset who has been resettled in the US. The purpose of the review is to assess the ease with which these former assets can be traced through their digital footprint on social media and other publicly available information."

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08.08.2018

"US-backed alliance in Yemen war bribes, recruits al-Qaeda warlords, report finds"

https://intelnews.org/2018/08/08/01-2371/

Die von den USA unterstützte und von Saudi-Arabien angeführte Militärallianz greife bei ihrem Krieg in Jemen offenbar auch auf die Hilfe der "Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Peninsula" (AQAP) zurück, schreibt Joseph Fitsanakis. "For several years now, the US-led coalition in Yemen has argued that its forces have severely limited AQAP’s strength and ability to fight, and that the group’s territorial control has been shattered. But a new investigative Text published on Monday by the Associated Press argues that the reason why AQAP’s activities appear to have decreased in Yemen, is that its commanders are being bribed by US-backed Sunni militias and that its fighters are being recruited to fight against the Houthis."

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01.06.2018

"Bizarre fake murder plot points to Ukrainian state’s recklessness, unreliability"

https://intelnews.org/2018/06/01/01-2331/

Die Affäre um die vorgetäuschte Ermordung des Journalisten Arkady Babchenko in der Ukraine sollte westlichen Regierungen nach Ansicht von Joseph Fitsanakis als Warnung gelten. "Welcome to Ukraine, a strange, corrupt and ultra-paranoid state that is on the front lines of what some describe as a new Cold War between the West and Russia. Like the Cold War of the last century, the present confrontation is fought largely through information. (...) The amateurishness and recklessness of some Eastern European countries that the West sees as allies in its confrontation with Russia, such as Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and others, would be humorous if it were not so dangerous. The manifest idiocy of the Babchenko fake plot also poses serious questions about the West’s policy vis-à-vis  Russia. It is one thing for the West to be critical of the Kremlin and its policies - both domestic and foreign. It is quite another for it to place its trust on governments and intelligence services as those of Ukraine, which are clearly unreliable, unprofessional, and appear to lack basic understanding of the role of information in international affairs."

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20.04.2018

"Britain launched first-ever military-style cyber campaign against ISIS, says spy chief"

https://intelnews.org/2018/04/20/01-2310/

Jeremy Fleming, Direktor des britischen Geheimdienstes GCHQ, hat in einer Rede in Manchester erklärt, dass Großbritannien zum ersten Mal eine offensive Cyberkampagne im militärischen Stil durchgeführt habe. Ziel der Operationen sei der "Islamische Staat" gewesen. "Fleming told his Manchester audience that the cyber operation that targeted ISIS was a 'major offensive campaign' that seriously hampered the group’s ability to launch and coordinate both physical and online attacks against its enemies. The campaign also prevented ISIS from using its 'normal channels' online to spread its message, effectively suppressing the group’s propaganda efforts, said Fleming. (...) he added that the methods used to combat the Sunni Muslim group’s online operations were so aggressive that they 'even destroyed equipment and networks' used by ISIS members. (...) During his Manchester speech, Fleming claimed that the British cyber war against ISIS was conducted in compliance with existing international legal frameworks. He added, however, that the 'international doctrine governing the use [of cyber weapons] is still evolving'."

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27.03.2018

"Analysis: Will the mass expulsion of diplomats affect Russia’s spy capabilities?"

https://intelnews.org/2018/03/27/01-2296/

Joseph Fitsanakis schreibt, dass die Bedeutung der Ausweisung von über hundert russischen Diplomaten durch mehrere Länder nicht nur von großer politischer Bedeutung sei, sondern auch für die Geheimdienstarbeit Russlands Folgen haben dürfte. Die zu erwartende Reaktion Moskaus werde die in den westlichen Botschaften in Russland aktiven Geheimdienste allerdings noch härter treffen. "(...) the Russian response to Monday’s diplomatic expulsions will virtually decimate entire stations of several European intelligence agencies on Russian soil, and will even cut into the foreign diplomatic community in several Russian cities. On balance, these tit-for-tat expulsions will hurt the West more than Russia, because it is more difficult for the West to run espionage operations inside Russia than it is for Russia to spy in the West. (...) diplomatic cover is far more useful for Western intelligence services working inside Russia, than for Russian intelligence services working in the West."

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22.03.2018

"Trump has made record use of US Special Forces since becoming president"

https://intelnews.org/2018/03/22/01-2291/

Ian Allen schreibt, dass US-Präsident Trump neuen Statistiken zufolge mehr internationale Einsätze von US-Spezialeinheiten als jeder andere Präsident angeordnet habe. "According to the statistics provided by the US Special Operations Command, it appears more than 10 percent (8,000 troops) of the US Special Operations Command’s 70,000 troops are deployed each day. These deployments take place daily in more than 80 countries. This rate of deployment represents a significant increase from the eight years of the administration of US President Barack Obama, which ended in 2016. That year, US Special Forces troops were deployed in 138 countries, according to media reports. The Trump administration’s use of Special Forces troops also represents a jump of approximately 150 percent from the last Republican administration, that of George W. Bush, which ended in early 2008. (...) These numbers echo the record growth of the US Special Forces community since September 11, 2001, when Washington declared its global war on terrorism. Observers estimate the post-9/11 numerical growth of US Special Forces at 75 percent."

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15.03.2018

"Analysis: Decoding Britain’s response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal"

https://intelnews.org/2018/03/15/01-2288/

Joseph Fitsanakis weist in seiner Analyse der britischen Reaktion auf die Vergiftung eines russischen Ex-Spions darauf hin, dass die Regierung mit der Ausweisung von 23 russischen Diplomaten das gesamte offizielle Personal Russlands in Großbritannien um fast 40% reduzieren werde. "Perhaps the most interesting part of Mrs. May’s speech came at the end, when she mentioned that her government would 'deploy a range of tools from across the full breadth of our national security apparatus in order to counter the threats of hostile state activity'. Most of these measures, she added, 'cannot be shared publicly, for reasons of national security'. This statement means that Britain’s response to Skripal’s poisoning will be multi-level, and will include diplomatic, political, economic, and intelligence components. It is the latter that Mrs. May did not disclose during her speech on Wednesday, and which could potentially be the most harmful to Russian interests. One theory is that the British prime minister may have hinted at the revival of a host of intelligence operations against Russia, which the British government abandoned at the end of the Cold War. But if that is the case, it will be years before these long-abandoned programs will begin to bear fruit."

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12.01.2018

"Egyptian branch of ISIS declares war on Hamas as tensions rise in Sinai"

https://intelnews.org/2018/01/12/01-2249/

Der "Islamische Staat" auf der Halbinsel Sinai in Ägypten hat der palästinensischen Hamas in Gaza offenbar den Krieg erklärt. Experten betrachten die Gruppe, die sich Wilayat Sinai nennt, Joseph Fitsanakis zufolge als mittlerweile stärksten internationalen Ableger der Terrormiliz. "Israeli sources claim that, in the past, Wilayat Sinai has had limited cooperation with Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, a coastal section of the Palestinian territories that borders with Egypt’s Sinai Province. (...) But the two groups have major ideological differences that contribute to their increasingly tense relationship. (...) In the past month, ISIS accused Hamas of having failed to prevent America’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Additionally, ISIS is opposed to the support that Hamas receives from Iran, a Shiite nation that ISIS regards as heretical. (...) According to experts, the decision by Wilayat Sinai to declare war on Hamas means that the group has now virtually surrounded itself with adversaries. The move may also increase informal collaboration between Hamas and the Israeli government, say observers."

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03.01.2018

"Year in review: The biggest spy-related stories of 2017, part III"

https://intelnews.org/2018/01/03/01-2244/

Joseph Fitsanakis und Ian Allen haben in drei Beiträgen die aufsehenerregendsten Geschichten über internationale Geheimdienstentwicklungen des vergangenen Jahres zusammengetragen. "Since 2008, when we launched intelNews, it has been our end-of-year tradition to take a look back and highlight what we see as the most important intelligence-related stories of the past 12 months. In anticipation of what 2018 may bring in this highly volatile field, we give you our selection of the top spy stories of 2017. They are listed below in reverse order of significance. This is the last part in a three-part series."

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08.11.2017

"Despite retreat, ISIS still earns $50 million a year from oil, says expert"

https://intelnews.org/2017/11/08/01-2211/

Der Politikwissenschaftler Patrick Johnston von der RAND Corporation hat Joseph Fitsanakis zufolge darauf aufmerksam gemacht, dass die jährlichen Öleinnahmen des "Islamischen Staates", die aufgrund der jüngsten Gebietsverluste des Kalifats zwar deutlich zurückgegangen seien, immer noch etwa 50 Millionen US-Dollar betragen. "Johnston said that Islamic State coffers will most likely receive nearly $50 million this year from oil profits alone, an amount that remains formidable for any militant group. Much of that will come from extortion, said the RAND Corporation scientist, as groups of Islamic State fighters force commercial enterprises - including oil installations - in eastern Syria to pay them for 'protection'. Additionally, the group continues to tax energy consumption in the areas that it controls, while also taxing fuel trucks that transit through areas under its control. As the militant group’s expenses shrink due to its loss of territory, and as its financial obligations decrease, its oil-derived revenue will be more than sufficient to sustain its operations, according to Johnston."

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01.11.2017

"Despite tragic deaths, New York attack reveals a weakened ISIS"

https://intelnews.org/2017/11/01/01-2207/

Joseph Fitsanakis hält den Anschlag in New York, für den offenbar ein usbekischer Anhänger des "Islamischen Staates" verantwortlich war, trotz der acht Todesopfer für ein Zeichen der Schwäche der Terrororganisation. "(...) if the Islamic State’s deadliest response to its retreat in the Middle East is a clumsy truck driver armed with a pellet gun, then Americans have little to fear from the terrorist group. (...) To begin with, an attack on cyclists with a rented utility vehicle is hardly ground-breaking at this point. (...) Additionally, the perpetrator of the attack, Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov, is hardly an inspiring figure for Islamic State supporters. (...) Once again, the question is: if the Islamic State does not utilize its deadliest and most capable operatives now, when its very existence in its Middle Eastern stronghold is being directly challenged, then when will it do so?"

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23.10.2017

"West should prepare for chemical attacks by the Islamic State"

https://intelnews.org/2017/10/23/01-2201/

Joseph Fitsanakis hält es für denkbar, dass Mitglieder des "Islamischen Staates" ihre Erfahrungen mit chemischen Kampfstoffen in Syrien und Irak nutzen könnten, um im Westen entsprechende Terroranschläge durchzuführen. Die Sicherheitsbehörden bereiten sich demnach bereits auf entsprechende Notfallszenarien vor. "How likely is such a scenario? Terrorist groups tend to be conservative in their use of lethal technologies. They typically opt for time-tested methods using explosives or firearms, because these have a higher of success in comparison to more sophisticated, hi-tech weapons. The latter are also more expensive to build and require scientific and technical capabilities that are not typically available to terrorist organizations. Militants are usually strapped for cash, and are not science-savvy, so exceptions to this general trend are rare. But the Islamic State is different. Ever since it made its eventful appearance in 2013, the group has experimented with a variety of chemicals, including nerve agents. (...) The Islamic State’s rapid loss of territory in the past year has delivered serious blows to the group’s military infrastructure. Its chemical weapons program, which was targeted early on by the US, Iran and other belligerents, is now almost certainly defunct. But many of its engineers and technical experts are still at large, as are those who were trained by them during the group’s heyday in Iraq and Syria."

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30.08.2017

"US troops in Syria battle anti-Assad rebels once funded by the CIA"

https://intelnews.org/2017/08/30/01-2166/

Zwischen in Syrien aktiven US-Truppen und Rebellen, die lange von der CIA unterstützt worden sind, ist es Berichten zufolge zu einem Gefecht gekommen. "Early on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Combined Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told reporters that US troops in Syria had come under fire by Turkish-commanded former Free Syrian Army units. The spokesman told reporters in Kuwait City that the rebels shot at US troops in the outskirts of Manbij, a northern Syrian city of about 70,000, located a few miles from the Turkish border. The American soldiers reportedly returned fire before seeking shelter from the assault. According to the US Pentagon, the Turkish government was promptly contacted by Inherent Resolve commanders, who described the incident as 'not acceptable'. Washington alleges that its troops have come under fire 'multiple times' in the past month."

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04.08.2017

"CIA’s withdrawal from Syria could cause pro-US rebels to join Islamists, experts warn"

https://intelnews.org/2017/08/04/01-2149/

Die künftig ausfallende Unterstützung der CIA für Rebellengruppen in Syrien könnte bisher "proamerikanische" Kämpfer nach Ansicht einiger Experten dazu bringen, sich radikalislamischen Gruppen anzuschließen. "Writing in The Christian Science Monitor, Taylor Luck, said earlier this week that the Free Syrian Army reported 50 defections of its fighters in July. Some of these fighters, says Luck, are joining the Pentagon’s program in support of forces fighting the Islamic State, and are currently heading to the eastern and northern battlefronts. But many others are being tempted to join al-Qaeda affiliated groups, who are still fighting President Assad’s forces. Many do so for financial reasons, after seeing their CIA income suddenly disappear. Others, says Luck, are feeling very emotional and bitter against what they see as a betrayal by Washington."

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30.03.2017

"Analysis: Unease in Europe as Turkey intensifies espionage abroad"

https://intelnews.org/2017/03/30/01-2087/

Joseph Fitsanakis erläutert die Hintergründe der Kontroverse um die mutmaßlichen Spionageaktivitäten des türkischen Geheimdienstes MIT in Deutschland. Der BND habe die vom MIT erbetene Kooperation bei der Überwachung hunderter Einzelpersonen aus guten Gründen nicht nur abgelehnt, sondern auch öffentlich gemacht. "It is clear that the BND is not willing to allow a war of spies between rival Turkish factions in Germany. The last time something similar took place on German soil it led to the 1972 Munich Massacre. In the summer of 1972, Palestinian militants stormed the Olympic Village during the Olympic Games in the capital of Bavaria and killed nearly a dozen Israeli athletes. Germany has learned from that experience and is determined not to let another ethnic- or religious-based civil war between foreign entities erupt on its soil again. But this will not be easy. Some experts estimate that there are now more MİT intelligence operatives in Germany than the total number of Stasi spies in West Germany during the Cold War. Such estimates are unsettling and may point to an international intelligence-collection operation of near-unprecedented in scale by the Turkish state."

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