With begin with CNBC and the latest shrieking from Europe:
Nato must prepare for Russian Blitzkrieg, warns UK general
Nato forces must prepare for an overwhelming Blitzkrieg-style assault by Russia on an eastern European member state designed to catch the alliance off guard and snatch territory, the deputy supreme commander of the military alliance has warned.
Openly raising the prospect of a conventional armed conflict with Russia on European soil, the remarks by Sir Adrian Bradshaw, second-in-command of Nato’s military forces in Europe, are some of the most strident to date from Nato. They come amid a worsening in relations with the Kremlin just days into a second fragile ceasefire aimed at curbing continued bloodshed in Ukraine’s restive east between Kiev’s forces and Russian-backed separatists.
Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank in London on Friday, Sir Adrian warned that as well as adapting to deal with subversion and other “hybrid” military tactics being used by Russia in Ukraine, allied forces needed to be prepared for the prospect of an overt invasion.
The Christian Science Monitor sounds the latest alarm:
Big US, Canadian shopping malls: Next terrorist target?
A new video threat from the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Al Shabab calls for terrorist attacks on major shopping malls in the US, Canada, and Britain. Malls are adding extra security.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says he’s “confident” that big shopping malls will enhance security measures in the wake of new threats of attack by Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-linked extremist group based in Somalia.
Still, Secretary Johnson said on CNN Sunday, “Anytime a terrorist organization calls for an attack on a specific place, we’ve got to take that seriously.” Johnson spoke on five Sunday morning TV news programs.
On Saturday, Al Shabab released an online video calling for attacks on western shopping centers, including the Mall of America in Minnesota, the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, and Oxford Street in London.
From the Washington Post, first responder/worst responder?:
DHS tackles endless morale problems with seemingly endless studies
Afflicted with the lowest morale of any large federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security did what comes naturally to many in government.
It decided to study the problem. And then study it some more.
The first study cost about $1 million. When it was finished, it was put in a drawer. The next one cost less but duplicated the first. It also ended up in a drawer.
So last year, still stumped about why the employees charged with safeguarding Americans are so unhappy, the department commissioned two more studies.
And from the Guardian, cashing in:
Al-Shabaab mall threat ‘all the more reason’ to avoid shutdown, says homeland security chief
- Somali terror group releases video threatening US, Canada and UK malls
- DHS funding will end Friday if immigration impasse is not solved
The US homeland security secretary on Sunday seized on a new threat of attacks against western shopping centres by Islamist terrorists to pressure Congress to avert a partial shutdown of his department and agree to a funding deal.
Jeh Johnson said a propaganda video released by al-Shabaab on Saturday calling for strikes on the Mall of America in Minnesota, Oxford Street and two Westfield malls in London, and Canada’s West Edmonton Mall, showed “all the more reason why I need a budget”.
“It’s absurd that we’re even having this conversation about Congress’s inability to fund homeland security in these challenging times,” Johnson told CNN. On ABC, he said “it’s imperative that we get it resolved”, adding that senators and members of the House were each blaming those in the other chamber for the impasse.
The Independent covers a precedent set:
How Britain’s treatment of ‘The Hooded Men’ during the Troubles became the benchmark for US ‘torture’ in the Middle East
When Amal Clooney flies into Belfast shortly to meet a group of former Irish prisoners known as ‘The Hooded Men’ it will be the latest chapter of an extraordinary story concerning a quest for justice that has lasted almost half a century.
The international law and human rights specialist has joined the legal team representing all but one of the surviving men who say they were tortured under the British Government’s internment programme. More than 340 men were rounded up on 9-10 August 1971 but a group of just 12 were chosen for “deep interrogation” and subjected to hooding, prolonged stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and drink – the torture methods developed by the British Army during the Troubles and collectively known as the “five techniques”. Two more men suffered the same treatment later that year.
The Hooded Men won their case against the UK in 1976 when the European Commission of Human Rights ruled the techniques were torture, but the findings were overturned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on appeal two years later. It ruled that while the five techniques amounted to “a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment” they did not cause suffering of the intensity and cruelty to constitute torture.
From BuzzFeed News, solidarity in the North:
Muslims In Norway Form Human Shield Around Synagogue In Sign Of Solidarity
More than 1,000 people attended the peaceful demonstration in Oslo, with many holding hands and surrounding the synagogue in a protective ring.
Hundreds of Muslims formed a human protective shield around an Oslo synagogue Saturday in a sign of solidarity with the Jewish community there, Reuters reported.
The peaceful demonstration followed the killings of two people at a Copenhagen synagogue the previous week by a Danish-born son of Palestinian parents.
Pictures of the event circulated through social media tagged with the hashtag #ringofpeace.
From teleSUR, old school spookery:
Spying Scandal Threatens to Hurt Ties Between Chile and Peru
- Peruvian media reported Thursday that three Peruvian navy officers were under investigation for allegedly spying on behalf of Chile.
The Chilean Foreign Minister stated Sunday that he is in consultation with the Chilean ambassador in Peru in order to help prepare the official response to Peru’s diplomatic letter concerning the alleged spying by Chile.
Bilateral relations between Peru and Chile were shaken last week as news broke that three Peruvian navy officers were under investigation for having allegedly spied for Chile between 2005 and 2012. Peru’s Minister of Defense confirmed that the officials were arrested and are being investigated by a military court.
“Ambassador Ibarra, our ambassador in Lima, is currently enjoying a legal vacation in Chile, we are going to keep him in Chile for consultations precisely so he can help prepare the (diplomatic) response to the Peruvian diplomatic letter,” said Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz.
Clouding the issue, via Nextgov:
DOD Wants Physical Separation for Classified Data in the Cloud … For Now
The Defense Department’s evolving cloud strategy and recently updated security requirements govern how commercial cloud service providers can — and in some cases, have already begun to — host some the Pentagon’s most sensitive data.
But the Pentagon isn’t ready yet for classified information to be stored off-premise in the cloud.
In the immortal words of Olivia Newton-John, DOD wants to get physical with classified data that ends up in the cloud, meaning it wants “physical separation” between systems with classified workloads and that of other systems.
From the New York Times, wink, wink:
Chip Maker to Investigate Claims of Hacking by N.S.A. and British Spy Agencies
Gemalto, a French-Dutch digital security company, said on Friday that it was investigating a possible hacking by United States and British intelligence agencies that may have given them access to worldwide mobile phone communications.
The investigation follows news reports on Thursday that the National Security Agency in the United States and the Government Communications Headquarters in Britain had hacked Gemalto’s networks to steal SIM card encryption codes.
The claims — reported on a website called The Intercept — were based on documents from 2010 provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.
The Register covers an ongoing hacking embarrassment in Foggy Bottom:
Hellooo, NSA? The US State Department can’t kick hackers out of its networks – report
- Email servers still compromised after THREE months
An attack against US State Department servers is still ongoing three months after the agency spotted miscreants inside its email system, it’s reported.
In November the State Department was forced to suspend its unclassified email systems after it was successfully infiltrated by hackers unknown. At the time the agency said its classified emails were unaffected by the hack.
Now Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal report multiple sources saying that the attack is still ongoing: the bad guys and girls still have remote access to internal computers.
Every time sysadmins find and delete a malware infection, installed by the hackers, another variant pops up.
The latest from Nextgov:
EXCLUSIVE: State Department Trashed 30,000 Log-in Key Fobs After Hack
The State Department over the past few months replaced some 30,000 network log-in fobs and digital tokens that employees had been using to access its systems remotely, after the agency’s unclassified network was hacked, according to a department official.
During the switchover, some State personnel said they were not able to access work outside the office for months.
“All of us had to turn them in and go through a very extended procedure of changing every aspect of our internal passwording,” said one foreign service officer. “Every one of us had to create new passwords and new PIN numbers to go along with our fobs. They changed the type of format that you use to create a PIN to make it more secure and they changed the requirements for your basic State Department password to make it more secure.”
After the jump, Android malware fakes a shutout to grab your data, hacking your car wash, Italy scores a win over the Googles, France pleads for anti-terror help from Silicon Valley giants, the big guns pull back in Ukraine’s civil war, Isis suicide bombers claim dozens in Libya as Isis woes in Libya fuel an Italian immigrant panic, hints of Isis schisms, Qatar finds itself on the outs over terror, Turkey leverages border fears to gain intel, on to Boko Haram and an abductee reunion, Boko Haram launches another bloody raid, and France calls for support for an all-African anti-Boko Haram force, Australia proclaims a new anti-terror strategy, China irked by an Indian visit to disputed territory, Myanmar rebels claim a government body count, China’s threat to Western eyes in the sky, on to Japan and a call to unleash the military abroad, Shinzo Abe wants Japanese civilian hands to relinquish defense department control, a decision nears on a Japanese insular deployment, another Japanese insular move sparks a South Korean protest, Japan plans an Iraqi diplomatic expansion, and another base relocation protest. . . Continue reading