US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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02.07.2020

"Italian police seize largest amphetamines shipment ever found, bearing ISIS markings"

https://intelnews.org/2020/07/02/01-2822/

In Italien ist eine Lieferung illegaler Amphetamine im Wert von etwa einer Milliarde US-Dollar abgefangen worden. Joseph Fitsanakis zufolge sind die Drogen möglicherweise vom "Islamischen Staat" in Syrien hergestellt worden. "Italian police announced on Wednesday that it had made 'the largest seizure of amphetamines in the world', both in terms of quantity and street value. The latter is estimated at approximately $1 billion. Drug traffickers are rarely known to transport such large volumes of drugs in a single shipment, due to the risk of capture by the authorities. However, the lack of supply in Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic has prompted suppliers to take unusual risks, according to experts. (…) The drug is regularly given to Islamic State volunteers prior to battles and terrorist attacks, in order to help reduce their inhibitions, including susceptibility to fear, and to prevent them from feeling physical pain. Security agencies in the Middle East refer to the substance as 'the jihad drug'. It is particularly prevalent in Syria, which has become the global leader in the production of illicit amphetamines in the past decade. Italian police said the shipment was most likely intended for distribution by 'a consortium of criminal groups', who would then traffic the substance to illicit markets across Europe."

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23.06.2020

"Spy report urges Israel to annex occupied lands now, in case Trump loses election"

https://intelnews.org/2020/06/23/01-2813/

Mitarbeiter des israelischen Ministeriums für Nachrichtendienste haben der Regierung in einem vertraulichen Bericht offenbar geraten, eine Annexion des Westjordanlands nicht zu verzögern, um einem möglichen Amtswechsel im Weißen Haus zuvorzukommen. "In its concluding section, the report appears to dismiss the conventional thinking that the annexation of the settlements will destroy even the remotest possibility of a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. It report argues that 'after a period in which the international system acclimates itself to the annexation', the Palestinians and their supporters in the region will be compelled 'to return to peace talks', and even seek 'solutions and arrangements that aren’t affixed to the 1967 lines and primarily territorial aspects'. In its concluding section, the report suggests that the Israeli government would have more to gain by proceeding with the annexation as soon as possible, rather than waiting, because it is 'impossible to know how the US presidential election in November will unfold'."

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17.06.2020

"Lax security behind greatest data loss in CIA’s history, internal report concludes"

https://intelnews.org/2020/06/17/01-2807/

Eine interne Untersuchung des größten Datenlecks der CIA-Geschichte habe mangelnde Sicherheitsvorkehrungen und ein falsches Sicherheitsgefühl für den Vorfall von 2017 verantwortlich gemacht, berichtet Joseph Fitsanakis. "The Vault 7 data leak occurred in the first half of 2017, when the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks began publishing a series of technical documents belonging to the CIA. Once all documents had been uploaded to the WikiLeaks website, they amounted to 34 terabytes of information, which is equivalent to 2.2 billion pages of text. The information contained in the Vault 7 leak is believed to constitute the biggest leak of classified data in the history of the CIA. The Vault 7 documents reveal the capabilities and operational details of some of the CIA’s cyber espionage arsenal. They detail nearly 100 different software tools that the agency developed and used between 2013 and 2016, in order to compromise targeted computers, computer servers, smartphones, cars, televisions, internet browsers, operating systems, etc."

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05.05.2020

"Spy agencies target biomedical secrets in worldwide race to find COVID-19 vaccine"

https://intelnews.org/2020/05/05/01-2769/

Joseph Fitsanakis zufolge liefern sich Geheimdienste derzeit weltweit ein Rennen um biomedizinische Geheimnisse, die zur Entwicklung eines COVID-19-Impfstoffs beitragen könnten. "Much like frantic efforts to secure personal protective equipment like masks and gloves, ongoing research to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 appears to be taking the form of a competition between nations. The country that first develops a successful vaccine to combat the epidemic is likely to emerge as a major power-player in a post-coronavirus world. The government of the United States, whose race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 is reportedly codenamed Operation WARPSPEED, has warned its biomedical experts that foreign intelligence agencies may be trying to spy on their research. (…) According to the BBC, other Western governments, including those of the United Kingdom and Canada, have warned that foreign spies have become active in the field of biomedical intelligence, with attempts to steal scientific data related to COVID-19. In March, Canada’s Centre for Cyber Security warned that research and development data related to the pandemic may be targeted by 'sophisticated threat actors' operating online."

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04.05.2020

"Mexican drug cartels distribute COVID-19 'care packages' to build community capital"

https://intelnews.org/2020/05/04/01-2768/

In Mexiko verteilen Drogenkartelle Joseph Fitsanakis zufolge Corona-Hilfspakete an die Bevölkerung, um ihren Rückhalt in den Städten und Gemeinden zu stärken. "One of the most well-organized 'care package' drives is being carried out by the Sinaloa Cartel. The criminal group’s leader, Joaquín Guzmán (known as 'El Chapo'), was arrested in 2016 and is currently incarcerated in a Super Max Federal Prison in the United States state of Colorado. (…) The Sinaloa Cartel has published videos showing community drives carried out by young people wearing facemasks bearing a stenciled rendition of Guzmán’s portrait — reminiscent of the silhouetted portrait of the Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevarra. They are seen handing out cardboard boxes bearing Guzmán’s portrait and information about his company. The boxes reportedly contain hand sanitizer, oil, rice, sugar, salt, toilet paper, and other necessities. Dante Sorianello, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Antonio, Texas, said these campaigns by the drug cartels are designed to build 'community support', which the cartels then use 'as a buffer between them and the entities of law and order'."

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24.04.2020

"DHS warns of rise in attacks by violent extremists amidst COVID-19 pandemic"

https://intelnews.org/2020/04/24/01-2763/

Das Ministerium für Innere Sicherheit der Vereinigten Staaten (DHS) hat die Sicherheitsbehörden des Landes vor Extremisten gewarnt, die auf die staatlichen Einschränkungen in der Coronakrise gewalttätig reagieren könnten. "This is the third warning known to have been issued by the DHS in the past month about the potential of violence by domestic violent extremists, as America continues to battle the pandemic. The latest warning was issued on Thursday, April 23, in the form of a memorandum, which was communicated to law enforcement personnel throughout the US. The memorandum was marked 'unclassified/law enforcement sensitive' and was accessed by Politico, which reported on it on Thursday. It comes as a self-styled 'Liberate' movement is forming in several American states, which aims to pressure government officials to end lockdowns across the country. The memorandum states that 'recent incidents and arrests nationwide illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic is driving violent actors — both non-ideologically and ideologically motivated — to threaten violence'."

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20.04.2020

"US considers pulling CIA from Afghan front lines to help salvage Taliban peace deal"

https://intelnews.org/2020/04/20/01-2760/

Um das Friedensabkommen mit den Taliban zu retten, erwägt das Weiße Haus Joseph Fitsanakis zufolge derzeit, die in Afghanistan stationierten CIA-Offiziere abzuziehen. "The US had previously agreed to withdraw its troops from the country, but had ruled out pulling back CIA personnel - which are believed to number in the several hundreds in Afghanistan. A major reason for rejecting the Taliban demand is that the CIA supports, arms and trains several proxy forces throughout the country. These include the Khost Protection Force (KPF), a 6,500-strong unit of elite Afghan soldiers, which has a strong presence in Taliban strongholds like Ghazni, Paktia and Khost. These forces do not operate under the command of the Afghan government, but are instead directly controlled by the CIA. Reports in August of 2019 claimed that the CIA would retain 'a strong presence on the ground in Afghanistan', even if American troops were to leave the country following a peace deal with the Taliban. But this is now under review, according to US officials who spoke anonymously to The New York Times."

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10.04.2020

"Satellite photos show nearly completed nuclear reactor in Saudi Arabia"

https://intelnews.org/2020/04/10/01-2755/

Neue Satellitenfotos deuten darauf hin, dass Saudi-Arabien kurz vor der Fertigstellung eines Atomreaktors steht. "This development is prompting concerns that the country may be inching closer to building nuclear weapons. The oil kingdom is a signatory to the international Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). But in 2011, in a document known as Vision 2030, the Saudi leadership announced that it would seek to 'diversify' its energy resources by building a series of nuclear reactors. (…) The photographs published by Bloomberg show that the construction project, which was initiated in April 2017, has progressed with uncharacteristic speed in the past three months, and is in all likelihood nearing completion. Notably the steer vessel, which will eventually contain the reactor’s nuclear fuel, is almost complete. Currently the oil Kingdom observes the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 'small quantities protocol', which exempts countries in possession of non-existent or negligible quantities of nuclear material from undergoing inspections. But once the KACST facility becomes operational, Saudi Arabia would be obligated to open it up to international inspectors."

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25.03.2020

"Spain ‘shifts to a war economy’ and calls on NATO for help with COVID-19"

https://intelnews.org/2020/03/25/01-2745/

Das von der Corona-Pandemie hart getroffene Spanien hat die "Kriegswirtschaft" ausgerufen und die NATO offiziell um Unterstützung gebeten. "On Tuesday afternoon, NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC) said it had received 'a request for international assistance from the Armed Forces of Spain in their response to the global pandemic'. The EADRCC said in a press statement that the Spanish military had asked its 'international partners […] to provide assistance to the Ministry of Defense of Spain'. Spanish media reported that the request included '450,000 respirators, 500,000 rapid testing kits, 500 ventilators and 1.5 million surgical masks'. Meanwhile the Spanish military helped convert an ice ring in Madrid’s popular Palacio de Hielo mall into a makeshift morgue, in order to accommodate the projected surge in deaths due to COVID-19 in the coming days. The Spanish capital has suffered over 30 percent of all coronavirus-related deaths in the past week."

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24.03.2020

"Analysis: No, the coronavirus was not bioengineered. The rumors are false"

https://intelnews.org/2020/03/24/01-2744/

Nach wie vor hält sich das Gerücht, dass der Coronavirus biotechnologisch hergestellt worden sei. IntelNews hat in diesem Beitrag wissenschaftliche Informationen zusammengetragen, die für eine natürliche Herkunft des Erregers sprechen. "(…) it appears, from genetic and biochemical analysis, that SARS-CoV-2 started in bats, moved to pangolins, and then to humans. It is unclear whether the evolutionary changes that gave rise to the SARS-CoV-2 variant changed once it entered pangolins from bats, or whether it entered humans and continued evolving into the strain we see today. While the evidence indicates that it is highly unlikely that the virus was bioengineered, it is impossible to determine whether it entered humans in its present form, or evolved once it crossed the species barrier."

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20.03.2020

"COVID-19 poses unprecedented operational challenges for America’s spy agencies"

https://intelnews.org/2020/03/20/01-2741/

Die US-Geheimdienste müssen sich bei ihrer Arbeit den neuen Bedingungen der Corona-Pandemie anpassen, berichtet Joseph Fitsanakis. "America’s Intelligence Community is facing unprecedented challenges as it tries to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic. These challenges are affecting every aspect of the intelligence cycle, including collection and dissemination functions. Moreover, spy agencies are hurriedly redirecting their analytical resources to combating COVID-19, thus slowing the pace of work on other areas of national security, according to Time magazine. (…) the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting human intelligence collection, which involves the use of case officers to recruit foreign assets in order to extract information in accordance with national security directives. Countless case officers stationed around the world are currently finding it difficult to operate in cities that are either empty or under lock-down mandates. Their assets are also limited in the work that they can do, while it is expected that many will be infected by the coronavirus. One consolation to American intelligence agencies, said Time, is that their adversaries’ operations are also being hampered by the same pandemic."

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11.03.2020

"Militaries around the world scramble to contain impact of COVID-19"

https://intelnews.org/2020/03/11/01-2735/

Die Coronavirus-Epidemie mache weltweit auch den Militärstreitkräften zu schaffen, berichtet Joseph Fitsanakis. "Military forces around the world are scrambling to contain the impact of COVID-19 on military readiness, as the virus continues to infect troops and commanders at an alarming rate. On Tuesday, the Polish government announced that General Jaroslaw Mika, who serves as general commander of Branches of the Armed Forces, had tested positive for the coronavirus. General Mika is believed to have contracted the virus during a military conference that took place in the German city of Wiesbaden, where North Atlantic Treaty Organization commanders gathered to plan an American-led military exercise. Also on Tuesday, the United States Department of Defense said that the commander of the US Army in Europe, Lieutenant General Christopher Cavoli, participated at the Wiesbaden conference, along with several other US Army staff members. They are currently being tested for exposure to COVID-19."

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21.02.2020

"US unable to trace $716 million worth of weapons given to Syrian rebels"

https://intelnews.org/2020/02/21/01-2724/

Das US-Militär kann einer internen Pentagon-Prüfung zufolge nicht erklären, was mit Waffen im Wert von über 700 Millionen US-Dollar geschehen ist, die an die Rebellen in Syrien geliefert wurden. "(…) an audit by the Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General, which was released to the public on Tuesday, shows that most of the CTEF weaponry’s whereabouts cannot be verified. The reason, according to the audit, is that officials with the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, failed to maintain detailed lists of all military equipment given to Washington’s allies in Syria between 2017 and 2018. Officials did not have a centralized depository facility for dispensing the equipment, and no documentation was kept during the operation, according to the audit. Consequently, thousands of weapons, weapons parts and other military hardware were exposed to 'loss and theft', says the Pentagon report. There is no speculation in the report about where the missing weapons may have ended up, nor is there any indication that they may have fallen into the hands of the Syrian government, the Islamic State or Iranian-backed Shiite paramilitaries that are active in the region. However, the report notes that the Syrian battlefield is awash with American-manufactured weaponry."

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17.02.2020

"Swiss neutrality 'shattered' as leading cryptologic firm revealed to be CIA front"

https://intelnews.org/2020/02/17/01-2721/

Die Enthüllung, dass CIA und BND mit Hilfe des Schweizer Unternehmens Crypto AG jahrelang andere Staaten ausspioniert haben, habe in der Schweiz Schockwellen ausgelöst, schreibt Joseph Fitsanakis. "Switzerland is reeling from the shock caused by revelations last week that Crypto AG, the world’s leading manufacturer or cryptologic equipment during the Cold War, whose clients included over 120 governments around the world, was a front company owned by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. (…) Some news outlets have opined that the traditional Swiss concept of political neutrality has been 'shattered'. Meanwhile, a Swiss federal judge has opened an investigation into the revelations, as the Swiss parliament is preparing to launch an official inquiry. Switzerland’s Prime Minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said on Sunday that the government would discuss the issue 'when we have the facts'."

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03.02.2020

"ISIS is tenacious, well-funded and quickly reasserting itself, new UN report warns"

https://intelnews.org/2020/02/03/01-2716/

Ein neuer Bericht des UN-Sicherheitsrates warnt vor dem erneuten Erstarken eines gut finanzierten "Islamischen Staates" im Nahen Osten. "The Islamic State remains committed to its goals and continues to utilize ample funding sources, according to a new report by the United Nations. The report warns that the militant Sunni group, which was previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is quickly reasserting itself in the Middle East. (…) The report recognizes that the Islamic State has suffered significant defeats in the field of battle, which have shattered its once formidable military and logistical power. Despite these setbacks, however, the militant group remains 'tenacious and well-funded', with much of its financial income stemming from sound investing practices in business opportunities throughout the Middle East, says the report. Meanwhile, its armed units in Syria continue to sell protection and carry out extortion, now even during daylight hours, it adds. The group’s steady funding even allows it to continue to provide monthly pensions to close family members of its dead fighters."

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08.01.2020

"Assessing the implications of Iran’s missile attack on Iraqi military bases"

https://intelnews.org/2020/01/08/01-2702/

Joseph Fitsanakis bezeichnet den iranischen Raketenangriff auf zwei Militärstützpunkte im Irak als weitgehend "symbolische" Aktion. Der Angriff könne allerdings auch als möglicher Auftakt eines regionalen Konflikts betrachtet werden, der immer unausweichlicher erscheine. "The fact remains that, if Iran’s leaders truly wanted to cross the point of no return, they could have attacked American diplomatic facilities in over a dozen countries in the region, including Iraq, Israel, Jordan, and many others. (…) However, none of this should be seen as evidence that Iranian leaders have decided against the option of escalating their conflict with America. As Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution noted on Monday, the Iranians are known to make strategic use of patience, which means that the White House should 'not expect immediate retaliation' of any magnitude. (…) The most likely scenario is that Iran and the US will continue to confront each other with violent tit-for-tat actions in Iraq, while making sure not to cross the line that would lead to an all-out regional war. However, the brazen assassination of Soleimani, a media celebrity and the most popular public figure in Iran, has changed the rules of the game. It is now difficult to see how the hostile forces that have been unleashed in Iraq, Iran and the United States can be restrained."

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02.01.2020

"Year in review: The biggest spy-related stories of 2019"

https://intelnews.org/2020/01/02/01-2698/

Joseph Fitsanakis und Ian Allen haben in einer dreiteiligen Artikelserie die interessantesten Geheimdienstberichte 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 2020 may bring in this highly volatile field, we present you with our selection of the top spy stories of 2019."

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17.12.2019

"Denmark arrests 22 in counter-terrorism raids, allegedly with help from Israel"

https://intelnews.org/2019/12/17/01-2689/

In Dänemark sind in der vergangenen Woche 22 Terrorverdächtige verhaftet worden. Ian Allan berichtet, dass der israelische Geheimdienst Mossad die dänischen Behörden unterstützt haben soll. "Danish police said they were involved in the final stages of a plot to carry out attacks 'in Denmark or abroad', but have provided no specific information, except to say that the attacks were “thwarted” while they were well underway. (…) Among them are four men between 21 and 25 years of age, and a 38-year-old woman. All were remanded in a court in Copenhagen on Thursday and Friday of last week. A sixth individual, aged 28, was remanded to custody separately from the other five. (…) Danish police said on Monday that 16 of those arrested last week have been released, but remain suspects in the investigation. The remaining six suspects all pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism on Saturday. They will remain in prison on pre-trial custody while the authorities continue to investigate the alleged terrorist plot."

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15.10.2019

"Trump thought Erdoğan was 'bluffing' about invading Syria, sources claim"

https://intelnews.org/2019/10/15/01-2648/

Einem auf anonymen Insider-Informationen basierenden Bericht zufolge soll US-Präsident Trump vor seiner Entscheidung für einen Truppenabzug aus Nordsyrien davon überzeugt gewesen sein, dass die Türkei einen Einmarsch in Syrien nicht wagen würde. "The Axios report claims that, until last week, the White House thought that 'Erdoğan would never actually go through with his long-threatened Syria invasion', because doing so would be detrimental to Turkish interests in the region. Based on that conviction, President Trump finally decided to call Erdoğan’s bluff by pulling American Special Forces troops out of northern Syria, in the belief that Tukey’s response would amount to nothing further than a few airstrikes and small-scale cross-border incursions. That belief was behind the White House’s surprise decision to suddenly pull its troops from northern Syria, according to Axios’ sources."

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14.10.2019

"Mossad chief comments on policy of assassinations in rare interview"

https://intelnews.org/2019/10/14/01-2647/

Der Chef des israelischen Geheimdienstes Mossad hat sich in einem Interview ungewöhnlich freimütig über Attentate gegen identifizierte Feinde Israels geäußert. "[Yossi Cohen, the chief of the Mossad,] was asked to respond to recent allegations made by the Iranian government that Israel worked with 'Arab countries' to assassinate General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Quds Force, an elite paramilitary unit in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Suleimani claimed that several individuals were arrested last month in connection with the alleged plot. He also said that Israel tried to kill him and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah group, in 2006. The head of the Mossad told Mishpacha that Suleimani had not 'necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets'. However, 'he knows very well that his assassination is not impossible' because 'the infrastructure he built presents a serious challenge for Israel', said Cohen."

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08.10.2019

"Concerns about mass breakouts of jailed ISIS fighters if Turkey invades northern Syria"

https://intelnews.org/2019/10/08/01-2644/

Viele Beobachter fürchten Joseph Fitsanakis zufolge, dass tausende gefangene IS-Kämpfer nach einer türkischen Invasion Nordsyriens fliehen und den Kampf wieder aufnehmen könnten. "A statement issued by the White House on Monday said that Turkey would assume control of over 10,000 captured ISIS fighters who are currently being held in Kurdish-administered prison camps in northern Syria. But experts said that the wider Kurdish-controlled region of northern Syria, which Turkey intends to capture, is home to dozens of prisons with over 60,000 captured ISIS supporters in them. What will be the fate of these prisoners under Turkish control? Security observers have repeatedly accused Turkey in the past of turning a blind eye to ISIS, whose members fought a prolonged and bloody war against Iraqi and Syrian Kurds from 2016 to 2018. There are no guarantees that the Turks will not utilize a resurgent ISIS to suppress Kurdish nationalism in the region."

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12.09.2019

"Tens of thousands of ISIS members are re-radicalizing inside Kurdish prison camps"

https://intelnews.org/2019/09/12/01-2628/

Ein Bericht der Washington Post hat auf die bedenklichen Zustände in kurdischen Gefangenenlagern in Syrien aufmerksam gemacht, in denen zehntausende Anhänger des "Islamischen Staates", darunter viele Frauen und Kinder, festgehalten werden. Joseph Fitsanakis berichtet, dass die Lager in der Praxis nicht von kurdischen Kämpfern, sondern von radikalen weiblichen Insassen geleitet werden. "They continue to follow the strict rules of the Islamic State and impose brutal punishment on those women and children who do not follow these rules. Women who speak to people from outside the prison camp, including journalists and lawyers, are later beaten and tortured; some have even been executed as a form of punishment, said The Post. Many of the Kurdish guards have also been attacked by the women and have been stabbed with makeshift weapons or had their arms and legs broken by them. Islamic State paraphernalia, including black flags and pro-ISIS banners, are regularly confiscated from inmates. The latter have even managed to smuggle video messages to the outside world. In one such video message, a group of veiled al-Hawl inmates are seen holding the banner of the Islamic State and urging the group’s male members to 'light the fire of jihad and free us [women] from these prisons'. The women in the video call themselves as “women of the mujahedeen” and issue a warning against 'the enemies of Allah': 'you think you have imprisoned us in your rotten camp. But we are a ticking bomb. Just you wait and see', they say."

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30.08.2019

"US offensive cyber campaign disabled Iran’s strike capabilities, say sources"

https://intelnews.org/2019/08/30/01-2619/

Die Iranischen Revolutionsgarden haben sich einem Bericht der New York Times zufolge immer noch nicht von den Cyberangriffen der USA vom 20. Juni erholt. "The attack allegedly degraded the IRGC’s ability to strike at oil tankers and other ships in the Persian Gulf. (...) The June 20 cyber attacks were not meant to be permanent but their effects have endured much longer than was expected, according to the paper. It cited claims by anonymous senior American officials that the IRGC is 'still trying to repair critical communications systems and has not recovered the data lost in the attack'. It is also worth noting that, according to US sources, Iran did not escalate its own cyber attacks against Western targets in retaliation to the American cyber campaign against the IRGC. However, according to The Times, some American officials have expressed doubts about the wisdom and long-term impact of the cyber operation. They claim that the cyber attack gave the Iranians the opportunity to collect valuable information about US cyber capabilities. It also allowed them to detect and fix their vulnerabilities so that they are now better able to defend against future cyber attacks. Lastly, the attacks neutralized IRGC communications networks, which the US had penetrated and was collecting vital intelligence from, they argue."

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29.08.2019

"In unprecedented move, US plans to block undersea cable linking US with China"

https://intelnews.org/2019/08/29/01-2618/

Eine Regulierungsbehörde der US-Regierung hat von der Konstruktion eines 8.000 Meilen langen Unterseekabels zwischen den USA und China aus Sicherheitsgründen abgeraten. Joseph Fitsanakis hält den Vorgang für "beispiellos". "According to The Wall Street Journal, the panel fears that the $300 million undersea cable project may facilitate Chinese espionage. The Justice Department-led panel is known as Team Telecom and consists of officials from several American government agencies, said the paper, citing 'individuals involved in the discussion' about PLCN. Never before has the US blocked the construction of an undersea cable, reported The Journal. (...) If the PLCN project is blocked, therefore, it will be the first such case in the history of the Internet in America. The paper said that supporters of the PLCN argue that it would give American government regulators more control over the security of Internet traffic before it even reaches US territory. Additionally, PLCN investors claim that the completion of the project will provide American companies with broader access to consumers in Asia. Google, Facebook, Dr. Peng Telecom and the US government declined to comment on the news report."

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20.08.2019

"Palestinian intelligence report warns of possible uprising in occupied territories"

https://intelnews.org/2019/08/20/01-2612/

Der palästinensische Nachrichtendienst hat die Autonomiebehörde in einem internen Schreiben vor einem drohenden Aufstand in den besetzten Gebieten gewarnt. Hintergrund seien die wirtschaftliche Stagnation und die Perspektivlosigkeit vieler junger Palästinenser, berichtet Joseph Fitsanakis. "The report draws on data collected from interviews conducted with young Palestinians in the West Bank, surveillance of militant groups, interrogations with young militant detainees, as well as opinion trends on social media. Much of the data represents the views of Palestinians who are between the ages of 20 and 30. It suggests that they are angry about the lack of opportunity in their homeland and see no future for themselves and their families. They are therefore susceptible to calls for violent action against Israel and against the leadership of the PNA, the report warns."

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09.08.2019

"Despite imminent US-Taliban deal, CIA plans to keep proxy units in Afghanistan"

https://intelnews.org/2019/08/09/01-2605/

Berichten zufolge könnte ein Friedensabkommen der USA mit den Taliban unmittelbar bevorstehen. Die CIA hat allerdings bereits deutlich gemacht, dass sie sich keineswegs aus Afghanistan zurückziehen will. "Several news outlets reported this week that Washington has resolved its differences with the Taliban about withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan, after receiving assurances by the Taliban that they will not cooperate with other militant Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda. An announcement of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban may thus be imminent. But in an article for Foreign Policy, Stefanie Glinski points out that the CIA is not planning to leave the Central Asian country any time soon. The American intelligence agency is known to support, arm and train several proxy forces throughout Afghanistan. Langley plans to keep those proxy forces operating in the country for the foreseeable future, regardless of whether US troops pull out, says Glinski."

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29.07.2019

"Many countries, not just Russia, are trying to influence US elections, experts warn"

https://intelnews.org/2019/07/29/01-2597/

Cyber-Experten haben der Washington Post mitgeteilt, dass nicht nur Russland, sondern auch andere Länder versuchen, Wahlen in den USA zu beeinflussen. Auch die USA selbst betreiben demnach entsprechende Programme. "Foreign spy services that are utilizing information operations in order to influence US elections reportedly include - aside from Russia - Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and China. The majority of foreign information operations take place on social-media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. But there are also campaigns to influence more traditional American media, for instance by tricking newspapers into publishing letters to the editor that are in fact authored by foreign intelligence operatives. (...) Many countries - including Israel and the United States - now maintain advanced information operations targeting national elections on several continents. There are also many governments - such as Qatar, the Philippines and Turkey - that use these techniques on their own voters and could potentially use them in the near future to target foreign populations, including Americans. The 2020 presidential election in the US is expected to be the most hotly contested in many decades, so it is certain that numerous foreign spy agencies will try to influence it in numerous ways, says The Post."

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24.07.2019

"Hundreds of ISIS fighters returning to Iraq to wage low-level insurgency"

https://intelnews.org/2019/07/24/01-2594/

Einem Bericht der Washington Post zufolge sind bis zu tausend IS-Kämpfer in den Irak zurückgekehrt, um einen neuen Guerilla-Krieg zu führen. Es drohe eine erneute Destabilisierung der betroffenen Regionen. "The Washington Post report comes a month after a group of researchers with the Institute for the Study of War warned that the Islamic State is capable of making a sudden comeback in the Middle East that could be 'faster and even more devastating' than 2014, when the group quickly conquered territory the size of Britain. In a 76-page paper entitled ISIS’s Second Comeback: Assessing the Next ISIS Insurgency, the researchers said that the militant group had managed to subvert Iraqi and Syrian government efforts to reintroduce stability and safety in areas previously under ISIS domination. Not only were government forces finding it 'increasingly difficult to establish durable and legitimate security and political structures' in those areas, but they should be worried about the possibility of ISIS actually reconquering territory in both Iraq and Syria, the report warned."

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23.07.2019

"Analysis: Did the US Central Intelligence Agency lose 17 spies in Iran?"

https://intelnews.org/2019/07/23/01-2593/

Iran hat die Zerschlagung eines Spionagerings der CIA und die Verhaftung von 17 angeblichen Spionen gemeldet. Trotz des sofortigen Dementis der US-Regierung hält Joseph Fitsanakis es für wahrscheinlich, dass die Geschichte nicht völlig erfunden sei. "To begin with, there is no question that the CIA recruits heavily in Iran, given that the Islamic Republic is one of America’s - indeed the world’s - primary intelligence targets. (...) But losing 17 assets in one big sweep sounds fantastical. If it is true, it would signify one of the biggest intelligence-collection disasters in the CIA’s 72-year history. (...) What is more likely to have happened is that the Iranians detected a small number of CIA spies - possibly no more than two or three - and then slowly extended their counterintelligence investigation to incorporate those three individuals’ close associates, relatives, or even spouses. (...) What is more worrying for the CIA is that the Iranians appear to have visually identified a number of CIA case officers, whose job is to recruit and handle foreign assets. (...) If the Iranians are right, it means that these individuals will need to be recalled back to Washington as soon as possible and that their overseas careers are now at an end, since foreign counterintelligence services know that they are in fact intelligence officers. Additionally, the safety of their assets and foreign contacts will need to be reassessed on a case-by-case base, and many human-intelligence operations - some of them many years in the making - will need to be terminated. Thus, if the Iranians are telling the truth, many offices at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, will be in recovery mode for many months to come."

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02.07.2019

"Mossad chief sees historic shift of alliances as Arab states side with Israel against Iran"

https://intelnews.org/2019/07/02/01-2579/

Der Direktor des israelischen Geheimdienstes Mossad hat in einem seiner seltenen öffentlichen Auftritte auf eine möglicherweise "historische" Verschiebung des regionalen Machtgefüges hingewiesen. "In his 40-minute speech Cohen said that the Mossad had identified the present time as 'a rare opportunity — perhaps the first in the history of the Middle East — to reach a regional understanding that would lead to an inclusive regional peace agreement' between Israel and most of the Arab states. He justified his reasoning by claiming that many Arab states are siding with Israel to pursue 'common interests [such as] the fight against rivals like Iran and jihadist terrorism'. This historic shift in alliances is happening as Israel is enjoying 'close relations with the White House' and keeping open 'channels of communication with the Kremlin', said the spy chief. These factors 'combine to create what might be a one-time window of opportunity' for Israel to form a strategic alliance with the majority of its Arab neighbors, said Cohen."

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