News you may have missed #577

Waihopai base

Waihopai base

►►Interview with Michael Hayden. The former director of the CIA and the NSA gave a lengthy interview in preparation for his keynote speech at the Raleigh Spy Conference. Among other things, he says that he does “not immediately conclude that senior levels of the Pakistani government knew about” Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts.
►►CIA denies helping police spy on NY Muslims. The Central Intelligence Agency is denying a news report that it helped the New York Police Department conduct covert surveillance on Muslims. The agency said suggestions that it engaged in domestic spying were “simply wrong” and that the report “mischaracterized the nature and scope” of the CIA’s support for the New York police.
►►Spy base reservoir not a pool after all... A journalist at New Zealand’s Marlborough Express newspaper noticed what looked suspiciously like a swimming pool on a satellite photo (pictured) of the super-secret Waihopai listening base near Blenheim. Do spies go swimming on the base, he asked? It turns out they don’t. According to Government Communications Security Bureau Waihopai station chief Chris Farrow, the landmark is in fact a water reservoir, to be used in case of fire.

Advertisements

News you may have missed #537 (bin Laden edition)

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Ex-CIA chief speaks on al-Qaida after Osama. The killing of Osama bin Laden will force al-Qaeda to limit its ambitions and scope of its operations, according to former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden. General Hayden’s comments on numerous issues tend to make the news almost every other week. In his latest interview, with The Associated Press, Hayden expressed the opinion that al-Qaeda’s “future attacks are going to be more numerous but less complex, less well organized, less likely to succeed, and less lethal if they do succeed”. ►►CIA organized fake vaccination drive to get bin Laden family DNA. Speaking of Osama bin Laden, British newspaper The Guardian reported earlier this week that the CIA tried to collect DNA evidence on the late al-Qaeda founder by running a phony vaccination program in Abbottabad, the quiet Pakistani town where bin Laden was believed to be hiding along with his family. But Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who administered the vaccination program, failed to get access to bin Laden’s family DNA, even though he managed to enter the family’s compound, said the paper. It is worth noting that, as soon as Pakistani authorities learned of the fake vaccination program, they arrested Dr Afridi for collaborating with a foreign intelligence agency. ►►CIA moves to protect key analyst in bin Laden raid. Bin Laden may be dead, but it seems that he still haunts the CIA. The Agency had to move one of its senior analysts undercover this week, after he was identified in a photograph that was published by US media, following the Obama administrator’s celebratory announcement of the al-Qaeda leader’s assassination. The photo showed President Obama and other national security officials gathered in the White House situation room on the night of the bin Laden raid. Most media outlets have been referring to the analyst by his middle name, John.

Did compromised laptop prompt Israel to bomb Syrian nuclear reactor?

Al-Kibar reactor

Al-Kibar reactor

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
One of the Middle East’s biggest mysteries in recent years concerns Operation ORCHARD, the September 6, 2007, attack by Israeli fighter jets on a site deep in the Syro-Arabian Desert. Many observers, including former CIA Director, General Michael Hayden, have called for the secrecy surrounding the covert operation to be finally lifted. But it has been more-or-less confirmed that the attack targeted a plutonium production reactor, which was part of Syria’s secret nuclear weapons program. And officials in Tel Aviv have repeatedly hinted that Israel was behind the operation. The burning question, however, is how did Israel learn of the existence of Syria’s nuclear reactor at Al-Kibar, a secret and isolated site deep in the Syro-Arabian Desert? The authoritative account of the operation, which appeared in German newsmagazine Der Spiegel in 2009, suggested that the initial tip came from the US National Security Agency, which “detected a suspiciously high number of telephone calls between Syria and North Korea”. But it also alleged that the Mossad managed to acquire vital clues about the Al-Kibar building site by installing a stealth “Trojan horse” program on the laptop of a Syrian government official, while the latter was visiting Britain. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #499 (CIA edition)

News you may have missed #483

  • Ex-CIA chief criticizes ‘too much cybersecurity secrecy’. In an article published in the new issue of the US Air Force’s Strategic Studies Quarterly, former CIA and NSA Director, General Michael “I-want-to-shut-down-the-Internet” Hayden, argues that the US government classifies too much information on cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
  • Renault arrests security chief over spy hoax. Dominique Gevrey, a ex-military intelligence agent, who is French car maker Renault’s chief of security, has been arrested in Paris, just before boarding a flight to Guinea in West Africa. He is accused of concocting the spying allegations which shook the French car giant –-and the entire motoring world-– last January. Meanwhile, Renault has apologized to the three senior executives who were fired after being accused of selling secrets about the company’s electric car strategy to “foreign interests”.
  • Analysis: Gadhafi’s spies keep watch in Libyan rebel capital. “Pro-Gaddafi spies are blamed for assassinations, grenade attacks, and sending rebels threatening text messages. Rebels believe that Gaddafi’s forces are all around them. They lurk outside the Benghazi courthouse that serves as the Capitol for the liberated east, sometimes armed with cameras. They sit in vans outside hotels that house journalists and aid workers, and silently watch who comes and goes”.

News you may have missed #435 (cyberwarfare edition)

  • Analysis: Cyber attacks test US Pentagon. US military and civilian networks are probed thousands of times a day, and the systems of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters are attacked at least 100 times a day. Meanwhile, more than 100 countries are currently trying to break into US defense networks.
  • US should be able to shut Internet, ex-CIA chief says. Cyberterrorism is such a threat that the US President should have the authority to shut down the Internet in the event of an attack, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden has said.
  • Iran battling alleged ‘spy virus’. Iranian officials have confirmed reports that a malicious computer code, called Stuxnet, was spreading throughout the nation’s nuclear infrastructure. But they have given differing accounts of the damage, said to be capable of taking over computers that operate huge facilities, including nuclear energy reactors. Did someone say ‘Israel‘?

News you may have missed #414

Bookmark and Share