Research into the Root Causes of Terrorism

Interesting article in Science discussing field research on how people are radicalized to become terrorists.

The potential for research that can overcome existing constraints can be seen in recent advances in understanding violent extremism and, partly, in interdiction and prevention. Most notable is waning interest in simplistic root-cause explanations of why individuals become violent extremists (e.g., poverty, lack of education, marginalization, foreign occupation, and religious fervor), which cannot accommodate the richness and diversity of situations that breed terrorism or support meaningful interventions. A more tractable line of inquiry is how people actually become involved in terror networks (e.g., how they radicalize and are recruited, move to action, or come to abandon cause and comrades).

Reports from the The Soufan Group, International Center for the Study of Radicalisation (King’s College London), and the Combating Terrorism Center (U.S. Military Academy) indicate that approximately three-fourths of those who join the Islamic State or al-Qaeda do so in groups. These groups often involve preexisting social networks and typically cluster in particular towns and neighborhoods.. This suggests that much recruitment does not need direct personal appeals by organization agents or individual exposure to social media (which would entail a more dispersed recruitment pattern). Fieldwork is needed to identify the specific conditions under which these processes play out. Natural growth models of terrorist networks then might be based on an epidemiology of radical ideas in host social networks rather than built in the abstract then fitted to data and would allow for a public health, rather than strictly criminal, approach to violent extremism.

Such considerations have implications for countering terrorist recruitment. The present USG focus is on “counternarratives,” intended as alternative to the “ideologies” held to motivate terrorists. This strategy treats ideas as disembodied from the human conditions in which they are embedded and given life as animators of social groups. In their stead, research and policy might better focus on personalized “counterengagement,” addressing and harnessing the fellowship, passion, and purpose of people within specific social contexts, as ISIS and al-Qaeda often do. This focus stands in sharp contrast to reliance on negative mass messaging and sting operations to dissuade young people in doubt through entrapment and punishment (the most common practice used in U.S. law enforcement) rather than through positive persuasion and channeling into productive life paths. At the very least, we need field research in communities that is capable of capturing evidence to reveal which strategies are working, failing, or backfiring.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/02/research_into_t_1.html

 

Son of Stuxnet: “invisible,” memory-resident malware stalks the world’s banks

Duqu 2.0 is a strain of clever, nearly undetectable malware, derived from Stuxnet, that stays resident in its hosts’ memory without ever writing persistent files to the system’s drives.

Kaspersky Lab is about to publish a new report about the prevalence of file-less malware in 140 known banks and other firms in 40 countries — and since this kind of malware is so hard to detect, Kaspersky estimates that the true infection rate is much higher.

Kaspersky isn’t sure how the malware spreads.

The researchers first discovered the malware late last year, when a bank’s security team found a copy of Meterpreter—an in-memory component of Metasploit—residing inside the physical memory of a Microsoft domain controller. After conducting a forensic analysis, the researchers found that the Meterpreter code was downloaded and injected into memory using PowerShell commands. The infected machine also used Microsoft’s NETSH networking tool to transport data to attacker-controlled servers. To obtain the administrative privileges necessary to do these things, the attackers also relied on Mimikatz. To reduce the evidence left in logs or hard drives, the attackers stashed the PowerShell commands into the Windows registry.

Fortunately, the evidence on the domain controller was intact, presumably because it hadn’t been restarted before Kaspersky Lab researchers began their investigation. An analysis of the dumped memory contents and the Windows registries allowed the researchers to restore the Meterpreter and Mimikatz code. The attackers, the researchers later determined, had used the tools to collect passwords of system administrators and for the remote administration of infected host machines.

A rash of invisible, fileless malware is infecting banks around the globe [Dan Goodin/Ars Technica]

https://boingboing.net/2017/02/08/son-of-stuxnet-invisible.html

 

IoT Attack Against a University Network

Verizon’s Data Brief Digest 2017 describes an attack against an unnamed university by attackers who hacked a variety of IoT devices and had them spam network targets and slow them down:

Analysis of the university firewall identified over 5,000 devices making hundreds of Domain Name Service (DNS) look-ups every 15 minutes, slowing the institution’s entire network and restricting access to the majority of internet services.

In this instance, all of the DNS requests were attempting to look up seafood restaurants — and it wasn’t because thousands of students all had an overwhelming urge to eat fish — but because devices on the network had been instructed to repeatedly carry out this request.

“We identified that this was coming from their IoT network, their vending machines and their light sensors were actually looking for seafood domains; 5,000 discreet systems and they were nearly all in the IoT infrastructure,” says Laurance Dine, managing principal of investigative response at Verizon.

The actual Verizon document doesn’t appear to be available online yet, but there is an advance version that only discusses the incident above, available here.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/02/iot_attack_agai.html

 

Tyler Durden's picture

Concerns about a potential, and so far unsubstantiated, nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, spread in the past week after trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is an indication of a rather recent release. As the Barents Observer adds, “where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.”

The air filter station at Svanhovd – located a few hundred meters from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north – was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January.  Shortly thereafter, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.

Norway was the first to measure the radioactivity, but France was the first to officially inform the public about it.

“Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the official French Institute de Radioprotection et de Süreté Nucléaire (IRSN) wrote in a press release.

Source: Institute de Radioprotection et de Süreté Nucléaire.

No Health Concerns For Now

Mitigating some of the concerns, however, was the head of section for emergency preparedness at the Norwegian Radiation Protection Autority, Astrid Liland, who spoke to the Barents Observer and said the levels measured raise no health concerns. “We do measure small amounts of radioactivity in air from time to time because we have very sensitive measuring equipment. The measurements at Svanhovd in January were very, very low. So were the measurements made in neighbouring countries, like Finland. The levels raise no concern for humans or the environment.  Therefore, we believe this had no news value,” Astrid Liland answers when asked why the public was not informed.

She points to Norway’s nation-wide online network of 33 stations were people can check real-time measurements.

At Svanhovd, measurements in the period January 9-16 show levels of 0,5 micro Becquerel per cubic meter air (µBq/m3). In France, where authorities decided to publish the information, measured radioactivity were much lower, from 0,1 to 0,31 µBq/m3. Levels measured in Finland were also lower than in northern Norway with 0,27 µBq/m3 measured in Rovaniemi and 0,3 µBq/m3 in Kotka. Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) decided to follow the French example and posted a press release about the increased levels of radioactivity.

But No Explanation Where The Radiation Came From

Finnish authorities also underscores that the levels measured are far from concentrations that could have any effect on human health. Neither STUK, nor IRSN speculate in the origin of the released Iodine-131.

Astrid Liland can’t either explain the origin of the radioactivity. “It was rough weather in the period when the measurements were made, so we can’t trace the release back to a particular location. Measurements from several places in Europe might indicate it comes from Eastern Europe,” Liland explains. “Increased levels of radioactive iodine in air were made in northern-Norway, northern-Finland and Poland in week two, and in other European countries the following two weeks, Astrid Liland says.

As the Barents Observers adds, Iodine-131 in the air could come from an incident with a nuclear reactor. The isotope is also widely used in medicine and for that purpose; many countries around the globe produce it.

All operators of nuclear reactors or institutions using Iodine-131 for medical purposes have detectors for external releases of radioactivity. In other words, as the Observer concludes, “Someone out there knows why the radioactivity was spread over larger areas of Europe.”

Nuclear installations in northwastern Europe, were the radioactivity was first discovered, includes nuclear power plants in Finland, Sweden and Russia, in addition to nuclear powered vessels on Russia’s Kola Peninsula and White Sea area. The source could as well come from even further away installations.

Constant Phoenix Deployed

Finally, adding an air of mystery to this alleged “incident” was the spotting of the “Constant Phoenix”, which on Friday arrived in the UK’s Mildenhall airbase after departing from Florida.

As the Aviationist explains, the WC-135 Constant Phoenix has been used in the past to determine whether nuclear tests or detonations have taken place in any given region. The WC-135 is a derivative of the Boeing C-135 transport and support plane. Two of these aircraft are in service today out of the ten examples operated since 1963. The aircraft are flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base while mission crews are staffed by Detachment 1 from the Air Force Technical Applications Center.

The WC-135, known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” by its crews, can carry up to 33 personnel. However, crew compliments are kept to a minimum during mission flights in order to lessen levels of radioactive exposure.

Effluent gasses are gathered by two scoops on the sides of the fuselage, which in turn trap fallout particles on filters. The mission crews have the ability to analyze the fallout residue in real-time, helping to confirm the presence of nuclear fallout and possibly determine the characteristics of the warhead involved: that’s why the aircraft is important to confirm the type of explosion of today’s test.

As Darin R. Pfaff, a former WC-135 aircrew member explained to us in a comment to a previous article on this aircraft: “airframes have two large supplemental charcoal filter packs, as well as HEPA/ULPA filters (we called them “lungs”) for their cabin air. When the instruments indicate contact with radioactive debris, the crew will also reduce cabin airflow to just maintain pressurization, and all personnel on board will go to 100% oxygen through their masks. They will stay on 100% O2 until activity readings drop back down into the safe levels. Everybody wears a dosimeter, and those records are monitored to prevent unsafe exposure.”

 

Along with monitoring nuke testing, the WC-135 is used to track radioactive activity as happened after the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986 and Fukushima incident back in 2011.

So far there has been no official statement by any entity providing further details on the spike in Iodine levels, nor an explanation from the US military why the “Constant Phoenix” was deployed to Europe.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/concerns-grow-about-nuclear-incident-europe-after-spike-radioactive-iodine-levels

 

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne)) via SHTFPlan.com,

In past articles the fact of a long struggle was mentioned and how it ties in with the current first year of the President’s administration.  The struggle is not merely to overcome the executive actions and orders of Obama.  The true battle is to remove the Marxists from bureaucratic fiefs established by Obama for carryover into the current administration and to deflect and negate their attacks and the attacks of others.

The circuit court in San Francisco and the Department of Justice have been waging a seesaw-type of battle over the executive order signed by the President.  The order’s intent is to stem the illegal aliens and foreigners entering the U.S. from Middle Eastern nations either openly hostile to or providing the highest probability (intentionally or indirectly) for terrorists to enter the country.  This makes perfect sense, and because it does, one can easily see that only those hell-bent on weakening the U.S. and fostering infiltration would be against the order: those Marxists of the Left labeled as “Democrats” and calling themselves “Progressives.”

They are not alone: they are aided by the Left-Right, which is even worse.  The Left-Right are those masquerading as Republican Conservatives, when they are Marxist-Leftists and proponents of Global Governance and the New World Order.  They are the Paul Ryans, the Mitch McConnells, and the Newt Gingriches.  They are the pseudo-Republican politico’s in office presently and in the past who have those CFR slots and are working toward their fantasy: The Utopia of Oligarchs.

Even if they do not overtly act on behalf of the Marxists, they have been guilty…numerous times…of enabling the Marxists through the complacency of inactivity.

They do not simply wish to derail the actions of President Trump: it is a much larger concept than that.  They see themselves as “partners” with the Left in the same game: to establish an elitist politico-oligarchic ruling class, broken down into divisions throughout the globe for ethno-cultural manipulation, yet with the same end-state.  That goal is the enslavement and complete control of all of mankind with the elitists ensconced as the ruling moneyed class.  They see themselves as the educated, sensible minority with tender sensibilities and true humanistic views…who must…must…take a stand in the globalist crusade against the barbaric Neanderthals of the proletariat and populist serfs.

This new President has taken more action and more rapidly than even President Reagan did when he took office, and that is saying something.  Even those globalists playing the part of conservatives are knuckling under in lock step, shivering internally: A President is in the White House that can turn these bedbugs out of the mattress and burn them.  This new President quietly and without fanfare made it a point to be there for the SEAL who was killed in Yemen as his casket was brought back home.

That should speak volumes on the caliber of the man who is in the White House.

Everything that he does is attacked by the media and disparaged by the leftists.  Even the removal of Dodd-Frank (let’s remember…that was Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank…two troglodytes…who came up with that one) is sneered at.  The executive order to halt the illegals from potential hotbeds of Middle Eastern terrorism is challenged by states packed with liberals and also by the business and industry oligarchs who would rather the U.S. be vulnerable if they can continue to hire “tax-free” day-laborers for less than minimum wage with impunity.

Senator John McCain (R- AZ) wants to go to war with Russia and he wants to reshape eastern Europe.  McCain and Lindsey Graham were instrumental in the Obama-ordered and sanctioned coup d’état that brought down Ukraine’s government and president and installed a U.S. puppet picked by Victoria Nuland.  McCain hasn’t stopped: he’s just been “on hold” to see where he can take footing when the dust settles from the initial Trump shakeup.

In previous articles, it was mentioned how critical this first 6 months to one year-period in office is for the President, namely because of the midterm elections.  If the public does not see results, they could very well change the complexion and composition of Congress in 2018 and the Republicans could lose control of either one of or both houses of Congress.  The President realizes this, and he is moving swiftly.

The public will also see that he is doing good things, and that it is the Democrats who are attempting to obstruct his efforts.  This will carry the Republicans through in the midterm elections, and thus all legislative efforts by the President will be able to be enacted.  It’s a tough fight and at times it’s uphill, but he started out well, and right…and the Democrats won’t be able to hold him off.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/retired-green-beret-warns-deep-states-utopia-oligarchs-enslavement-and-complete-cont

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/shadow-governments-destruction-democracy

 

Tyler Durden's picture

The ‘Deep State’ has one simple rule – “do it my way… or else!”

Source: Ben Garrison

And on the heels of Dennis Kucinich’s warnings, The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, who opposes Trump for a variety of reasons, warns that siding with the evidently powerful Deep State in the hopes of undermining Trump is dangerous. As TheAntiMedia’s Carey Wedler notes, Greenwald asserted in an interview with Democracy Now, published on Thursday, that this boils down to a fight between the Deep State and the Trump administration.

https://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2017/2/16/greenwald_empowering_the_deep_state_to

Though Greenwald has argued the leaks were “wholly justified” in spite of the fact they violated criminal law, he also questioned the motives behind them.

“It’s very possible — I’d say likely — that the motive here was vindictive rather than noble,” he wrote. “Whatever else is true, this is a case where the intelligence community, through strategic (and illegal) leaks, destroyed one of its primary adversaries in the Trump White House.”

According to an in-depth report by journalist Mike Lofgren:

“The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street.”

As Greenwald explained during his interview:

“It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads.”

Greenwald believes this division is a result of the Deep State’s disapproval of Trump’s foreign policy and the fact that the intelligence community overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Trump because of her hawkish views. Greenwald noted that Mike Morell, acting CIA chief under Obama, and Michael Hayden, who ran both the CIA and NSA under George W. Bush, openly spoke out against Trump during the presidential campaign.

Greenwald asserts the the CIA preferred Clinton because, like the clandestine agency, she supported regime change in Syria. In contrast, Trump dismissed America’s practice of nation-building and declined to tow the line on ousting foreign leaders, instead advocating working with Russia to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups.

“So, Trump’s agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted,” Greenwald argued. “Clinton’s was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they’ve been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him.”

 

“[In] the closing months of the Obama administration, they put together a deal with Russia to create peace in Syria. A few days later, a military strike in Syria killed a hundred Syrian soldiers and that ended the agreement. What happened is inside the intelligence and the Pentagon there was a deliberate effort to sabotage an agreement the White House made.”

Greenwald, who opposes Trump for a variety of reasons, warns that siding with the evidently powerful Deep State in the hopes of undermining Trump is dangerous. “Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving,” he said, likely alluding to a recent court ruling that nullified Trump’s travel ban.

He continued:

“But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity.”

He argues that mentality is “a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it,” highlighting that members of both prevailing political parties are praising the Deep State’s audacity in leaking details of Flynn’s conversations.

As he wrote in his article, “…it’s hard to put into words how strange it is to watch the very same people — from both parties, across the ideological spectrum — who called for the heads of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake, and so many other Obama-era leakers today heap praise on those who leaked the highly sensitive, classified SIGINT information that brought down Gen. Flynn.”

He also points out the left’s hypocrisy in condemning Flynn for lying when James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, perpetuated lies without ever being held accountable.

Clinton Body Bag

Posted: August 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

And the numbers will continue to grow.