News you may have missed #417

  • US Senators question Chinese telecom hardware bid. Senior Republican senators have called for an investigation on whether US national security will be compromised by the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei seeking to sell equipment to Sprint Nextel, which provides services to the US military and law enforcement agencies.
  • Pakistan environmental chaos causes security concerns. The catastrophic floods in Pakistan, which have displaced millions of persons over the last several weeks, when combined with the other socioeconomic and political stresses on Pakistan, have the potential to further weaken an already weak Pakistani state, according to a new US Congressional Research Service report.
  • Russian base in Armenia to stay through 2044. Russia has secured a long-term foothold in the energy-rich and unstable Caucasus region by signing a deal with Armenia that allows a Russian military base to operate until 2044 in exchange for a promise of new weaponry and fresh security guarantees.

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Russia accuses Georgia of aiding al-Qaeda in North Caucasus

Dagestan

Dagestan

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
It may not make headlines in Western media, but Russia’s low-intensity war in Chechnya and Dagestan continues, with scores of separatists and government agents dying on an almost daily basis. Last week, Vyacheslav Shanshin the Dagestan regional director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, announced the killing by FSB agents of Makhmoud Mokhammed Shaaban. Egyptian-born Shaaban is said to have co-founded the al-Qaeda network in the Russian North Caucasus, along with Saudi-born Ibn al-Khattab, whom the FSB managed to poison in 2002, with the help of a double agent. Shanshin also said that, like al-Khattab, Shaaban was partially funded and equipped by the Georgian secret services. Read more of this post

Russia accuses Georgian intelligence of aiding Islamists

A.V. Bortnikov

A.V. Bortnikov

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, has accused Georgian intelligence and security services of aiding anti-Moscow militants in Russia’s southern republics. Speaking before Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee on Tuesday, Alexander V. Bortnikov said that the FSB’s counterintelligence department had seized a number of “audio reports” from Islamist militants active in the Russian Caucasus, which allegedly show that a number of “al-Qaeda emissaries” mediate between militants in Russia and “Georgian special services”. The latter, said Bortnikov, train militants from Chechnya, Dagestan and North Caucasus, and supply them with funds, weapons and explosives. But the Washington-based Radio Free Europe has quoted David Bakradze, the speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, as denying Bortnikov’s “groundless” allegations. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0133

  • Book examines Central Asian espionage in WWI. On Secret Service East of Constantinople, by Peter Hopkirk (John Murray Publishers), examines the role of German intelligence services in Kaiser Wilhelm’s attempt to gain influence in the Ottoman Empire, the Caucasus, Persia, Afghanistan and India. A very interesting, under-researched aspect of World War I.
  • CIA intercepted communication between Zazi and al-Qaeda. A local TV station in Denver, Colorado, quotes “intelligence officials familiar with the investigation” of Najibullah Zazi, as saying that the CIA alerted US federal agencies after intercepting a conversation between Zazi and a senior al-Qaida operative. No word yet about this from the FBI, which is supposed to handle domestic terrorism cases.
  • US defense secretary hints at more secret nuke sites in Iran. Speaking alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last night at a CNN/George Washington University forum, Robert Gates dropped what seemed to be a big hint that the United States knows much more about the Iranian nuclear program than the Iranians might think.

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