Cyber attacks, the bad guys and the good guys

Editor’s Note – As we continue to see cyber warfare as perhaps the greatest and fastest growing threat to our security, as a country, as communities, as individuals, the point is driven home daily. As we get attacked by the bad guys, our own NSA has been delving into attacks of its own it appears – for many years.

You may have noticed a slow down in your connectivity and speed on the internet because reports came out that a major ‘denial of service’ attack occurred on a site designed to prevent spam. The BBC reports on the attack:

The internet around the world has been slowed down in what security experts are describing as the biggest cyber-attack of its kind in history. A row between a spam-fighting group and hosting firm has sparked retaliation attacks affecting the wider internet. It is having an impact on popular services like Netflix – and experts worry it could escalate to affect banking and email systems.

Five national cyber-police-forces are investigating the attacks. Spamhaus, a group based in both London and Geneva, is a non-profit organisation that aims to help email providers filter out spam and other unwanted content. To do this, the group maintains a number of blocklists – a database of servers known to be being used for malicious purposes.

Recently, Spamhaus blocked servers maintained by Cyberbunker, a Dutch web host that states it will host anything with the exception of child pornography or terrorism-related material. (Read the rest of the story here at BBC.)

But its not just the bad guys acting on the internet, Bill Gertz in the Washington Times reports below on our own government’s activities. For more on the subject, click on these links below:

Inside the Ring: NSA on cyberwar

By Bill Gertz – Washington Times

Cyberwarfare is the hot topic in military and intelligence circles at the Pentagon amid unrelenting cyberattacks from ChinaRussiaIran and elsewhere.

But for the super-secret National Security Agency, cyberwarfare is nothing new.

The electronic spying and code-breaking agency provided a rare public look at its views on cyberwarfare by releasing this month redacted copies of its internal newsletter, which show that NSA has been engaged in cyberwarfare for more than a decade.

A 1997 article published in the once-classified newsletter Cryptolog was written by legendary NSA official Bill Black. He stated that the agency received the mission for Computer Network Attack (CNA) — offensive cyberwarfare — on March 3, 1997, from then-Defense Secretary William S. Cohen.

“This delegation of authority has added a new, third dimension to NSA’s ‘one mission’ future,” Mr. Black, at the time a special assistant to the NSA director for information operations, stated in the spring 1997 issue. “That is, in the networked world of Cyberspace, CNA technology is the natural companion of NSA’s exploit and protect functions.”

Other sections of the newsletter were heavily redacted and labeled “Top Secret Umbra,” the code word used to protect electronic intelligence.

Under a section headlined “The Future of Warfare is Warfare in Cyberspace,” Mr. Black, who rose to NSA deputy director before retiring, said information warfare provides “digital coercion” as a military and political option for leaders.

“The primary target of this option is the information infrastructure of an adversary,” he said. “Such information infrastructures are expected to be primarily computer controlled, operated by the commercial-civilian sector (unprotected), and the primary infrastructure upon which military forces almost totally depend.”

Future warfare will involve attacking computer-controlled infrastructure with the aim of degrading, disrupting or destroying networks and rendering computers “intelligence ‘targets’ of the highest priority,” he said.

“There are specific types of weapons associated with Information Warfare,” Mr. Black wrote. “These include viruses, worms, logic bombs, trojan horses, spoofing, masquerading, and ‘back’ or ‘trap’ doors. They are referred to as ‘tools’ or ‘techniques’ even though they may be pieces of software. They are publicly available, very powerful, and, if effectively executed, extremely destructive to any society’s information infrastructure.”

As a result, information warriors will need to be expert in understanding the virtual world and have extensive knowledge of non-military targets. Military cyberwarriors will be the “tooth,” and civilians will be the “tail” in what the military calls the tooth-to-tail — frontline and support — relationship in warfare.

Mr. Black stated that the new information age that has emerged since the end of the Cold War is engulfing every aspect of society, including electronic spying. It has produced the need to consolidate what he termed “cyberology” along with cryptology.

“Cyberology’s central activities, i.e., ‘exploitation,’ ‘protection,’ and ‘attack,’ will be worked together, thus benefiting all of them,” he stated.

Just as many viewed industrialists and capitalists during the industrial age as the problem, “in today’s age, the public has centered in on government as ‘the problem,’” he wrote.

“Specifically, the focus is on the potential abuse of the government’s applications of this new information technology that will result in an invasion of personal privacy,” he said. “For us, this is difficult to understand. We are ‘the government,’ and we have no interest in invading the personal privacy of U.S. citizens.”

Critics have disagreed, including several NSA whistleblowers who accused the agency of violating the law by intercepting Americans’ emails in the early 2000s as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

Mr. Black acknowledged that “public worries are real” and will impact NSA operations if legislation is used to prevent potential NSA “involvement in the public sector.”

That problem persists today as most U.S. infrastructure is held by the private sector, which remains wary of inviting NSA to help counter or disrupt foreign cyberattacks.

The NSA documents were obtained by the website governmentattic.org.

Terrorists’ ‘Black Summer’

U.S. national security officials are warning that jihadists are planning a major cyberattack against vital infrastructure soon.

The alert was sent following a report on a jihadist website Monday by two groups that announced in Arabic an “Open Invitation for All Hackers to Participate in ‘Operation Black Summer’ To Target U.S. Vital Services.”

The attackers plan to use the Twitter hashtag #opBlackSummer to wage electronic warfare against the United States with other jihadists.

“It is also essential to note that this raid will be a global one in which all the enemies of the United States, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, will take part,” the posting stated, noting that Osama bin Laden had advocated such attacks.

The message said one group involved in the attack is the al Qaeda Digital Army and appeared on the al Qaeda-linked website Ansar al-Mujahideen Network.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a statement during the Chinese leader’s visit to Moscow that mentioned the “problem” of other nations’ missile defense — seen as a reference to U.S. and NATO defenses in Europe.

The statement released Friday called for building “a new type of great power relations” and called on “all nations of the world to deepen mutual understanding, coordination and cooperation on the question of missile defenses.”

The statement urged states to “be prudent” in deploying and cooperating on missile defenses, and to “oppose” one nation or a group of nations from taking steps to “unilaterally and unlimitedly strengthening missile defenses, harming strategic stability and international security.”

“We stand for the collective confrontation of the challenges and threats from ballistic missiles, preferring to confront the proliferation of ballistic missiles within the framework of international law and political diplomacy, where the security of one group of nations cannot be sacrificed at the expense of another group of nations,” the statement said.

The statement, while couched in diplomacy-speak, appears to reflect Russian and Chinese opposition to U.S. missile defenses that both governments have said threatens the offensive missiles of Russia and China.

During the visit, Mr. Xi was shown how U.S. and NATO missile defenses will impact Russian strategic missiles, according to Russian press reports.

White House National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon will visit Moscow April 15 for talks on missile defenses.

The Pentagon announced earlier this month that it is canceling a long-range missile defense interceptor that Moscow saw as a threat to Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles and opposed.

Russian officials have said the cancellation of the SM-3 IIB interceptor did not resolve their opposition to joint U.S.-NATO missile defenses in Europe. Moscow is demanding legal restrictions on U.S. defenses, something the Obama administration has opposed.

On Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu discussed missile defenses during a telephone talk.

The Donilon mission to Moscow prompted criticism from Rep. Mike D. Rogers, Alabama Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces.

“In view of the president’s latest concession to Russia on missile defense, it’s fitting that Mr. Donilon now heads to visit with Mr. Putin,” Mr. Rogers said in a statement. “Much like President Obama asked [former] President [Dmitry] Medvedev to ‘transmit’ his promise of ‘flexibility’ after his ‘last election,’ Mr. Donilon now goes to see what that flexibility has earned our president,” Mr. Rogers said.

“I predict nothing, just as I predicted in two letters before the March 15th announcement that Obama would make this unilateral concession to Russia,” he said. “The president could at least have the courtesy to share with Congress the same proposals his national security adviser is sharing with Putin.”

A White House spokesman had no comment on Mr. Donilon’s visit.

 

Gaffney – Obama's "Wrecking Operation of the U.S. Military"

The Univited: Gaffney on Obama Adminstration’s “Wrecking Operation of the U.S. Military”

By Michael Patrick Leahy – Breitbart

On Saturday, Frank Gaffney, the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy, told Breitbart’s Uninvited panel at CPAC that the Obama administration’s policy of unilateral de-nuclearization has “profoundly hurt our nation’s national security.”

Very few people are paying much attention to this,” Gaffney said. Yet “this is the single most essential national security decision in our lifetime that no one knows is being made.”

In an exclusive interview, Gaffney told Breitbart News on Friday, “I was very gratified that your team at Brietbart gave us an opportunity to do talk about this important issue. The point was it wasn’t on the agenda at CPAC.”

Unilaterally reducing our nuclear arsenal is not the only national security weakness of the current administration, according to Gaffney. “The Obama administration is engaged in a wrecking operation to create conditions under which the American military is riven with problems even worse than during the Carter administration hollowing out,” he said.

Gaffney described two simultaneous developments. Just as the world is becoming more dangerous, the Obama administration is in the process of breaking “the only military we have. It’s hard to say [they’ve completely] broken it yet, but it’s a creeping problem. This mortar episode in Nevada is probably a symptom. It’s the kind of thing you will see lots and lots of in the future,” he predicted.

The reason there has been so little opposition to the Obama administration’s gutting of our national security and defense capabilities, Gaffney believes, is that the American people are largely unaware of it. “I simply do not believe the American people, if they were aware of what is happening, would support it,” he said. “It does demand attention. We’re not going to get any corrective action on the Hill without more public debate about this. The most consequential decision of our time is not getting  the kind of attention it deserves.”

Dangerous recent developments are an example of “the world of hurt” we find ourselves in, Gaffney said. “We’ve had in the space of the past couple of weeks a government with some capability to execute the threat, North Korea, threaten a nuclear attack on the United States and even that hasn’t captured much attention.”

On a broader theme, Gaffney tied our national security weakness to the rise of Islamism. “The meta issue of the day is the rising tide of Islamism and its implications for our friends in places like Israel and for us its really worrying and being exacerbated by the Obama administration’s embrace of these guys. This is the contemporary manifestation of Reagan’s statement about every generation facing an existential threat to freedom.”

“It’s not exclusively reducing the stock–meaning the numbers of weapons in our arsenal–that’s a problem. It’s also the Presidents adoption–with essentially no debate–as a matter of state policy of this idea we’re going to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Before he came to office, it was pretty much dismissed as a lunatic idea.” That was the case, said Gaffney, until President Obama “unilaterally declared that’s our policy.”

In addition, Gaffney noted that the Obama administration has not been a good steward of the nuclear arsenal it inherited. “It’s the condition of what’s left [in our nuclear arsenal] and our ability to support what’s left that’s worrying,” he added.

“We’ve essentially been living off Ronald Reagan’s legacy, but there’s been very little done to enhance our nuclear capabilities ever since his administration. One of the very important issues is should we be modernizing our nuclear forces to make them safer, more reliable, and more effective than they are today,” Gaffney stated. “We’re confronting a world that’s very different than the world of Ronald Reagan but essentially are living off the nuclear forces his administration developed. None of these weapons have been tested in over 20 years. Many of them are decades beyond their design life. The platforms to deliver them are aging.”

The infrastructure to support our nuclear arsenal has diminished dramatically, in Gaffney’s view. “The underlying industrial base and technology base isn’t nearly what it used to be. You could count on one hand the number of people who have experience in designing and testing our nuclear weapons. This translates into uncertainty about the reliability of our nuclear weapons.”

According to Gaffney, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, the situation has deteriorated with every successive president. “This did not start with the Obama administration. It was true of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and goes back to George H.W. Bush. But it’s gotten dramatically worse under Obama.”

Along with the decline in presidential attention to these critical national security issues, Gaffney criticized prominent former Defense and State Department officials, as well as one prominent former senator. “You do now have this well-funded aggressive agitation organization, and they’ve enlisted what I call the Four Horsemen–Former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn–all of whom should know better, and they’re touting this comprehensive test ban treaty. Most of these guys are part of the Global Zero initiative, a Ted Turner, George Soros, Warren Buffet-funded operation.”

This world view rests on three premises, according to Gaffney. The first premise is that you can eliminate nuclear weapons, “which you can’t,” he said. The second premise is that the world would be a safer place if you could eliminate nuclear weapons, “which it wouldn’t.” And the third premise is that others will follow the lead of the United States, which under the Obama administration is pursuing the goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. But, Gaffney maintains,  the mere fact that the United States is pursuing this goal “has profound results when nobody else in the world is doing the same and no one is following our lead.”

Mitt Romney, Gaffney noted,  did not raise the issue of national security in the 2012 Presidential campaign. “National security,” Gaffney said “was not something they wanted to talk about. It’s a reflection of the Republican Party that no longer has been thinking about these issues.”

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Gaffney began his national security career as an aide to the late Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the Democratic senator from the state of Washington known for his strong support of American defense capabilities. According to Gaffney, Scoop Jackson Democrats focused on maintaining our country’s national security “don’t exist anymore as a species.”

Scoop Jackson would not recognize the modern Democratic Party, Gaffney said. “With his passing we’ve got a successor generation that is at best clueless about this stuff and at worst is seriously misguided. I think of this as a lost generation problem. They are clueless about some of the conditions that are developing around the world if you look at what the Muslim Brotherhood is involved in here.”

There are parallels, Gaffney believes, between the United States in 2013 and England in the 1930s. “Americans have mostly not been thinking seriously about national security since the end of the Cold War. That kind of inattentiveness has real costs. I see what Churchill used to call a gathering storm and we’re not paying attention; our leadership is largely averting its gaze and certainly not robustly taking to the American people the case that must be made.”

“As for the Democrats,” Gaffney continued, “people who are now the late baby boomer generation are still somewhat sensitive on these matters, at the very least. Younger and younger generations are further removed from hard experience with the world. The group I saw in evidence at CPAC–young people sporting “Stand With Rand” buttons–those folks are likely to be the cannon fodder for the next horrific conflict.”

“At some point,” Gaffney said, “we’re going to face a serious nuclear threat. The Chinese have invested in the construction of 3,000 miles of tunnels in which they are concealing their nuclear arsenal. That’s something the public has no knowledge of.”

Despite the numerous national security problems that have exacerbated under the Obama administration, Gaffney remains guardedly optimistic. “The solution,” he said “is to get a grip.” The public he said, should be “educated about this by their leaders, by the press, and by their education system.” While Gaffney acknowledge that none of these groups were doing so “at the moment, he cautioned that “the alternative is we wait and get attacked.”

“This is the danger of democratic societies that have come to take for granted their security. They become comfortable with the good life. “At some point,” however, Gaffney concluded, “there is a rude awakening.”

Banks wrote off $3B of student loans in the first two months year

Student loan write-offs hit $3 billion in first two months of year

By Elvina Nawaguna – Reuters/Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Banks wrote off $3 billion of student loan debt in the first two months of 2013, up more than 36 percent from the year-ago period, as many graduates remain jobless, underemployed or cash-strapped in a slow U.S. economic recovery, an Equifax study showed.

The credit reporting agency also said Monday that student lending has grown from last year because more people are going back to school and the cost of higher education has risen.

“Continued weakness in labor markets is limiting work options once people graduate or quit their programs, leading to a steady rise in delinquencies and loan write-offs,” Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said in a statement.

Equifax analyzes data from more than 500 million consumers to track financial trends.

U.S. student loan debt reform has become a more pressing issue since the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported in March 2012 that the total surpassed $1 trillion by the end of 2011 and as interest rates on subsidized Stafford loan rates are set to double in July.

The cost of earning a 4-year undergraduate degree has gone up by 5.2 percent per year in the last decade, according to the CFPB, forcing more students to take out loans. While other forms of debt went down, student loan debt continued to rise through the economic crisis.

Delinquencies have spiked in the last eight years, with about 17 percent of the nearly 40 million student loan borrowers at least 90 days past due on their repayments, a February report from the New York Federal Reserve Bank showed.

The CFPB, a federal consumer agency, is concerned that high student loan debt could affect the rest of the economy because it affects borrowers’ credit and could limit their ability to make important purchases such as a home or car.

The CFPB is taking several steps to help reduce the student debt burden on borrowers, including finding ways to offer more flexible repayment options from private lenders and trying to exert more supervisory authority over non-bank student loan servicing companies.

Groups such as the New America Foundation, a nonprofit public policy institute, have said the current student loan repayment system is too complicated for borrowers, and that an income-based repayment system could simplify the process. Some students, they say, simply don’t know how to enroll in the different repayment options or put repayment off to take care of more urgent bills such as credit cards and rent.

"Red Line" – Kahlili says already there, leaders show unity in Israel Summit?

Editor’s Note – Reza Kahlili tells us the line has already been crossed, so what were Obama and Netanyahu discussing, and is their an actual air gap between the two in the definition of the ‘Red Line’?

What ‘Red Line’? When Netanyahu and Obama spoke together in front of the press yesterday, the ‘Red Line’ was a key aspect. Of course, they tried to say there was no gap between our two countries regarding the nuclear ‘Red Line’ Iran is approaching, but we all know that was “Diplo-speak”.

But some analysts point out that though they sounded in unison on the issues, they were in fact referring to different definitions of what the red line actually meant in terms of the progress Iran has made.

Obama and Netanyahu in their joint presser on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 addressing questions about the “red Line” and much more…

Now we find out that all of that chatter was hitting home since  Ayatollah Khamanei saw it for what it really was, and without saying, both Israel and the USA know that Iran had already crossed it as Assad did in Syria over the use of WMD in that war. At some point, the use of the term will lack any credibility, especially after reading what Reza Kahlili tells us is the truth – Iran is already way past that line and now it appears its go time for Israel.

In fact, Khamanei has renewed his threats:

Iran’s most powerful authority said the Islamic Republic would destroy the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if Israel launched a military attack against it.

“At times the officials of the Zionist regime (Israel) threaten to launch a military invasion but they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said during an address, broadcast live on state television.

In fact, his people tweeted the following on his behalf:

(Read more here.) And then followed up with this one:

_______________________

REVEALED! EVIDENCE IRAN CROSSED NUCLEAR ‘RED LINE’

Source reveals details about enriched uranium, plutonium stockpiles

By Reza Kahlili – at WND

Iranian scientists are working on nuclear warheads – and trying to perfect them – at an underground site unknown to the West, according to a high-ranking intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.

The officer, who has been assigned to the Ministry of Defense, not only provided the coordinates to this vast site but also details of its operation.

Reza Kahlili: Heavy traffic across Iran’s ‘red line’

The site, approximately 14 miles long and 7.5 miles wide, consists of two facilities built deep into a mountain along with a missile facility that is surrounded by barbed wire, 45 security towers and several security posts.

The new secret nuclear site, named Quds (Jerusalem), is almost 15 miles from another site, previously secret but exposed in 2009, the Fordow nuclear facility. The power to this site comes from the same source as Fordow – the Shahid Rajaei power plant – with high power towers surrounding the site.

Plutonium

Construction of the site started about the same time as Fordow, and in the second half of 2010 all industrial tests were completed. The site became 60 percent operational in 2011.

Gen. Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi, who works in the supreme leader’s office to protect the regime’s information and counterintelligence, manages the site. His deputy, Hojatolislam Ramezani, was appointed to the protection of intelligence at the Defense Ministry after several leaks about the country’s nuclear operations.

Quds, built about 375 feet under the mountain and accessible by two large entrances reinforced with concrete, has 12 emergency exit tunnels and spreads around the mountain.

The site has a capacity of 8,000 centrifuges and currently has three operational chambers with 19 cascades of 170 to 174 centrifuges enriching uranium. As of three months ago, the source said, there were 76 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium stock at the site and 48 kilograms of over 40 percent enriched uranium.

Though the regime has long succeeded in enriching uranium to 20 percent, which is 80 percent of the way to weapons grade, enriching to over 20 percent would be a clear sign of an intention of building a nuclear bomb.

Read the electrifying, award-winning story of Iranian insider turned CIA spy, Reza Kahlili’s “A Time to Betray” – $4.95 today only!

One chamber is specifically allocated to laser enrichment research and development, and Iranian scientists have seen great progress, the source said.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 Image, Quds secret nuclear facility

Moreover, the source said, successfully making a neutron reflector indicates the final stages for a nuclear weapons design that would be a two-stage, more sophisticated and much more powerful nuclear bomb.

Regime scientists are also working on a plutonium bomb as a second path to becoming nuclear-armed, the source said, and they have at this site 24 kilograms of plutonium, which is sufficient for several atomic bombs.

The scientists are at the last stage of putting together a bomb warhead, he said, and the scientists in their design for a plutonium bomb are using polonium and beryllium, which would serve as the trigger for the bomb.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 Image, Close up of the two entrances into the Quds nuclear facility

Iranian scientists, aided by North Koreans, are also working on new ways to have more miniaturized and more powerful atomic bombs, he said.

Adjacent to the Quds facility is another facility dubbed “Martyr Mughniyah” after the Lebanese terrorist Imad Mughniyah, the source said. Personnel at this site work on missiles and warheads.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, Imad Mughniyah missile and warhead facility

The regime is building its Shahab 3 ballistic missiles there using compressed composite carbon material, which originated at an American company, he said. The company manufactures advanced composite materials and structural parts. Iran purchased the carbon material through an intermediary in Turkey, the source said. The material makes it possible to have a longer missile range with larger warheads.

The regime is working on 17 Shahab 3 missiles in preparation of arming them with nuclear warheads, the source said. The operational and technical aspect of the delivery system is 80 percent completed, he said:

“The regime, aided by North Korea, is also working on neutron warheads that could be used as super EMP weapons for electromagnetic pulse attacks.”

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, The road connecting both Quds nuclear facility to Imad Mughniyah missile and warhead facility

Overhead images clearly show this site has over 380 missile depots and launching pads, facilities that can house large ballistic missiles, most likely Shahab 3 and possibly North Korean Taepodong II (ICBMs). The source added that this missile site is the center of the regime’s defensive and offensive strategies and supports other missile sites: the Imam Ali near the city of Khoram Abad in the Lorestan province and the one in Tabriz in the province of East Azerbaijan – to be used in any attack on Israeli and U.S. military bases in the Middle East.

This facility provides the missiles for Hezbollah, the source said, and, with the help of North Koreans, is mass producing a new generation of napalm bombs to be shipped to the terrorist group while at the same time working on white phosphorus bombs to be used for terrorist acts.

The images also show a military airfield for the sole use of officers at this facility.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, the vast missile site

The source noted that for this calendar year, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has allocated $22 billion toward the country’s nuclear bomb and missile programs, funded by entities under the control of the supreme leader.

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an expert on nuclear strategy and weapons who served on several strategic congressional commissions and in the CIA, reviewed the imagery and human intelligence (HUMINT) and called for a congressional hearing.

“The newly discovered underground complex looks like the kind of enormous complexes built by the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War and by Russia today,” Pry said. “Heavily hardened and fortified and supplied with huge amounts of electric power, by what appear to be 765-kilovolt electric power lines, the imagery suggests a top-priority military site. Nuclear-weapons programs consume vast amounts of electricity.”

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, missile depots
GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, a close up shot of missile depots.

The location of the site amid an Iranian missile armory, protected by a vast array of defensive and offensive missiles, is consistent with the HUMINT reporting that the site is for the final stages of nuclear weapons development, he said, and that the complex appears to be the most heavily protected site in Iran.

“The HUMNINT reporting claims the complex is for both the final stages of uranium enrichment – indeed, that Iran has crossed the ‘red line’ and is converting uranium hexafluoride gas into weapons-grade metal – and for actual bomb fabrication,” Pry said. “And the source gets sophisticated engineering details of nuclear weapons design right, even though the source is allegedly a non-expert.

“The source claims Iran now has all the materials for building nuclear weapons, such as weapons-grade uranium, plutonium as well as polonium and beryllium,” he said. “One can infer from the descriptions some design characteristics of parts for making implosion plutonium weapons and two-stage atomic weapons. The latter is a design far more sophisticated than the Hiroshima bomb that could have a much higher yield and possibly produce an explosion 50 times greater than Hiroshima,” according to Dr. Pry.

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, missile silos, the size suggests large ballistic missiles such as Shahab 3 or the North Korean Taepodong II (ICBMs)

Fritz Ermarth, who served in the CIA and as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, reviewed the imagery. “There is much work to be done by imagery analysts on the photos Reza (Kahlili) has produced,” he said. “For example, is spoil from the tunneling visible? Does it tell us how extensive the tunneling is? But taken as a package, this imagery strongly suggests that Iran is working on what we used to call an ‘objective force.’ That is the objective of a deployed force of nuclear weapons on mobile missiles, normally based in deep underground sites for survivability against even nuclear attack, capable of rapid deployment. … They do suggest that Iran is working the problem of becoming a nuclear weapons power in a serious way, not just playing around for a few nukes on the shelf.”

GoogleEarth 12-2012 image, mobile missile launchers spread out throughout the mountainous terrain

Ambassador Henry Cooper, the former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief negotiator on nuclear and space treaties with the Soviet Union, said, “Iran’s apparent interest and investments in underground systems are clearly coupled with its programs to develop and potentially employ weapons of mass destruction in the face of armaments that may be deployed against them, whether by Israel (‘the little Satan’) or the United States (‘the Great Satan’). Most notable is the fact that Iran has already demonstrated its ability to launch satellites into low earth orbit. When they also gain confidence in their nuclear weapons, they can then use those launchers to place nuclear weapons in earth orbit and detonate them over wherever they wish, creating an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could level its strategic playing field with all of Western civilization. This is perhaps their ultimate asymmetric weapon. Far-fetched? I wouldn’t bet (against) it.”

In an annual report to Congress Tuesday, U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper stated that Iran could not produce weapons-grade uranium without being detected. President Obama, in an interview last week with Israel’s channel 2 TV, said Iran is still “over a year or so” away from building a nuclear weapon.

However, the International Atomic Energy Agency in its Feb, 21 report stated that the Islamic regime has yet to provide access to several suspected sites, including its Parchin military facility, which is suspected of carrying out tests on nuclear bomb components.

Mauro – White House Partners with Muslim Brotherhood Front

By Ryan Mauro – Front Page

Ryan Mauro

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial, recently toured the White House and met with multiple officials.

According to the group, Paul Monteiro, Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement, “cited ISNA as his primary means of outreach to the American Muslim community.”

The Obama administration’s close relationship with ISNA is about more than photo ops and press releases. It is about policy formulation. The input of ISNA is so treasured that the officials coached the organization on how to engage the White House.

On March 8, ISNA President Mohamed Magid joined 10 other religious leaders in a 90-minute conversation with President Obama about immigration reform.

Also present was senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, who spoke at ISNA’s 2009 convention. Three days later, Magid took part in a meeting with President Obama where he got “recommendations” in preparation for his Middle East trip, including some from groups with a history of defending Hezbollah.

“Over the past two years, I-along with my White House colleagues-have benefited from the advice of many of your [Magid’s] organizations through our Office of Public Engagement,” said Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough on March 6, 2011 during a speech at the mosque that Magid leads.

ISNA’s White House tour included spending time with George Selim, the White House Director for Community Partnerships, who is an annual speaker at ISNA’s conventions. Selim previously admitted that “hundreds” of meetings have taken place between government officials and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, another group with Brotherhood origins that was designated an unindicted co-conspirator.

The U.S. government stated that ISNA is a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity when it designated it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. A federal judge upheld the designation in 2009 because of “ample” evidence linking ISNA to Hamas.

1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo lists ISNA and several of its components among “our organizations and the organizations of our friends,” and a 1988 document says it is part of the Brotherhood “apparatus.”

The FBI had sources inside the U.S. Brotherhood network reporting that ISNA was a front as early as 1987.

The source traveled on behalf of ISNA and allied groups and he told the FBI that he is “convinced that this organization has a secret agenda which includes the spread of the Islamic Revolution to all non-Islamic governments in the world which does include the United States.”

The source provided a secret ISNA document in 1988 that “clearly states that ISNA has a political goal to exert influence on political decision making and legislation in North America that is contrary to their certification in their not-for-profit tax returns,” says a declassified FBI memo.

ISNA’s White House tour was part of its Founders Committee meeting. Even if it were true that newer moderate leaders have made ISNA evolve, this event wasn’t about them. It was about those who established it as a Muslim Brotherhood front and it still was warmly received by the White House.

A 2009 Hudson Institute study concluded that “All but one of the individuals on the ISNA founding documents remain active either in ISNA or one of its affiliated organizations,” undermining the position that the ISNA of today is different than the original ISNA.

A good example is Sayyid Syeed. He is an ISNA founder and served as its secretary-general from 1994 to 2006. He was recorded in 2006 stating “our job is to change the constitution of America,” as seen in the Grand Deception documentary.

Now, he is ISNA’s point man for interfaith engagement, efforts it often showcases as proof of its moderation. He even spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of 100 evangelical leaders.

As the declassified FBI memos from the 1980s warned, ISNA is using its position as a representative of the Muslim-American community to influence policies and that includes those related to national security.

ISNA President Magid was chosen to serve on the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group. Even though he accused elements of the U.S. government of being “intent on dismantling Muslim organizations and bringing them down” in 2004, the Obama administration saw him as a suitable adviser to the Department of Homeland Security.

The outcry over the content of counter-terrorism training materials offered ISNA another opportunity. On February 8, 2012, ISNA and its allies met with the director of the FBI to discuss the review of the training. Afterwards, the FBI said it would consider forming an advisory panel with the meeting participants to help cleanse the training.

Instead of working with anti-Islamist Muslim groups like the American Islamic Leadership Coalition or the LibForAll Foundation, the Obama administration is embracing the larger Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups.

The way to engage in the Muslim-American community is by discrediting the Islamist theme, not by giving a platform to those broadcasting it.

This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.