Doing Advance Work

News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Widely publicized Crowdstrike claims about 'Russian hacking' in Ukraine were denied in January by Ukraine Ministry of Defense. Ukraine 'hacking' that didn't happen was basis for claim that Russia 'hacked' DNC emails using same Russian software used against Ukraine. Media not interested in Ukraine's denial or problems in inciting war with Russia-VOA News, 3/23/17. (The American people remain alone against the entire Endless War political class and its media)

"Ukraine’s denial did not get the same attention as CrowdStrike’s report."...In January 2017, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense stated that Crowdstrike's claims of Ukraine combat losses and Russian hacking never happened. (scroll down for VOA article) 

In March 2017, military analyst, International Institute for Strategic Studies, told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used its data to claim Russian hacking against Ukraine and disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report.

Crowdstrike profiteer gets quiet, cancels March 15, 2017 interview:

"CrowdStrike declined to answer VOA’s written questions about the Ukraine report, and Alperovitch canceled a March 15 interview on the topic."

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FBI forced to rely on Crowdstrike for information about alleged Russia access to DNC emails:

1/10/17, "Comey: DNC denied FBI's requests for access to [allegedly] hacked servers," The Hill, Katie Bo Williams
 

"The bureau made "multiple requests at different levels,” according to Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a “highly respected private company” would get access and share what it found with investigators. 

“We’d always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves if that’s possible,” Comey said, noting that he didn’t know why the DNC rebuffed the FBI’s request.... 

The DNC told BuzzFeed in a statement published last week [Jan. 2017] that the FBI never requested access to its servers after they were breached. 

But a senior law enforcement official disputed that characterization the following day.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” the official said. 

This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.” 

CrowdStrike, the private security firm in question, has published extensive forensic analysis backing up its assessment that the threat groups that infiltrated the DNC were associated with Russian intelligence." 

FYI for The Hill: "Threat groups" aren't people despite portrayals by Crowdstrike and yourselves. "Threat groups" are merely a set of software and related network infrastructure: 

"A common misconception of “threat group” is that it refers to a group of people. It doesn’t. Here’s how ESET [link goes to general site] describes SEDNIT, one of the names for the threat group known as APT28, Fancy Bear, etc. This definition is found on p.12 of part two “En Route with Sednit: Observing the Comings and Goings”:
"As security researchers, what we call “the Sednit group” is merely a set of software and the related network infrastructure, which we can hardly correlate with any specific organization."

Unlike Crowdstrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone. In other words — malware deployed is malware enjoyed!... 

It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will."... 

12/30/2016, "FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort," Jeffrey Carr 
..............

Not mentioned by The Hill, above: The average teenager could've accessed DNC emails:

7/27/2016, "Democrats Ignored Cybersecurity Warnings Before Theft," Bloomberg, Michael Riley  

Professionals hired by the DNC in late 2015 advised them their system was completely vulnerable, gave them a list of dozens of items to fix, such as an out of date firewall. But the DNC did nothing, thus allowing malware to remain on its site for nearly a year.

This negligence left the DNC open to lawsuits: "Customers and shareholders could have cause to sue if an organization knowingly disregards such warnings."  

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VOA article about Crowdstrike:

Crowdstrike's "Russia did it" report is disavowed by the two main sources it used as "proof" that a "Russian hacking group" interfered with the Ukraine military and caused deaths in Ukraine. CrowdStrike co-founder Dmiti Alperovitch had trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering. Alperovitch has said that variants of the same software were used in both [alleged] hacks."

3/23/17, "Think Tank: Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data," VOANews.com, Oleksiy Kuzmenko and Pete Cobus, Washington. "This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Ukrainian Service." 


"An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

The CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists. 

But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

A CrowdStrike spokesperson told VOA that it stands by its findings, which, they say, "have been confirmed by others in the cybersecurity community.”

The challenges to CrowdStrike’s credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year’s [alleged] hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dmiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

Alperovitch has said that variants of the same software were used in both [alleged] hacks.

While questions about CrowdStrike’s findings don’t disprove allegations of Russian involvement, they do add to skepticism voiced by some cybersecurity experts and commentators about the quality of their technical evidence.

The Russian government has denied covert involvement in the election, but U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hacks were meant to discredit Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump’s campaign. An FBI and Homeland Security report also blamed Russian intelligence services.

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed at a House Intelligence Committee hearing that his agency has an ongoing investigation into the [alleged] hacks of Democratic campaign computers and into contacts between Russian operatives and Trump campaign associates. The White House says there was no collusion with Russia, and other U.S. officials have said they’ve found no proof.

Signature malware

VOA News first reported in December that sources close to the Ukraine military and the artillery app’s creator questioned CrowdStrike’s finding that a Russian-linked group it named “Fancy Bear” had hacked the app. CrowdStrike said it found a variant of the same “X-Agent” malware used to attack the Democrats.

CrowdStrike said the hack allowed Ukraine’s enemies to locate its artillery units. As proof of its effectiveness, the report referenced publicly reported data in which IISS had sharply reduced its estimates of Ukrainian artillery assets. IISS, based in London, publishes a highly regarded, annual reference called “The Military Balance” that estimates the strength of world armed forces.

“Between July and August 2014, Russian-backed forces launched some of the most-decisive attacks against Ukrainian forces, resulting in significant loss of life, weaponry and territory,” CrowdStrike wrote in its report, explaining that the hack compromised an app used to aim Soviet-era D-30 howitzers.

“Ukrainian artillery forces have lost over 50% of their weapons in the two years of conflict and over 80% of D-30 howitzers, the highest percentage of loss of any other artillery pieces in Ukraine’s arsenal,” the report said, crediting a Russian blogger who had cited figures from IISS.

The report prompted skepticism in Ukraine.

Yaroslav Sherstyuk, maker of the Ukrainian military app in question, called the company’s report “delusional
in a Facebook post. CrowdStrike never contacted him before or after its report was published, he told VOA.

Pavlo Narozhnyy, a technical adviser to Ukraine’s military, told VOA that while it was theoretically possible the howitzer app could have been compromised, any infection would have been spotted. “I personally know hundreds of gunmen in the war zone,” Narozhnyy told VOA in December. “None of them told me of D-30 losses caused by hacking or any other reason.”

VOA first contacted IISS in February to verify the alleged artillery losses. Officials there initially were unaware of the CrowdStrike assertions. After investigating, they determined that CrowdStrike misinterpreted their data and hadn’t reached out beforehand for comment or clarification.

In a statement to VOA, the institute flatly rejected the assertion of artillery combat losses.

The CrowdStrike report uses our data, but the inferences and analysis drawn from that data belong solely to the report's authors,” the IISS said. “The inference they make that reductions in Ukrainian D-30 artillery holdings between 2013 and 2016 were primarily the result of combat losses is not a conclusion that we have ever suggested ourselves, nor one we believe to be accurate.”

One of the IISS researchers who produced the data said that while the think tank had dramatically lowered its estimates of Ukrainian artillery assets and howitzers in 2013, it did so as part of a “reassessment” and reallocation of units to airborne forces.

"No, we have never attributed this reduction to combat losses," the IISS researcher said, explaining that most of the reallocation occurred prior to the two-year period that CrowdStrike cites in its report.

“The vast majority of the reduction actually occurs...before Crimea/Donbass,” he added, referring to the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

‘Evidence flimsy'

In early January, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying artillery losses from the ongoing fighting with separatists are “several times smaller than the number reported by [CrowdStrike] and are not associated with the specified cause” of Russian hacking.

But Ukraine’s denial did not get the same attention as CrowdStrike’s report. Its release was widely covered by news media reports as further evidence of Russian hacking in the U.S. election.

In interviews, [Crowdstrike's] Alperovitch helped foster that impression by connecting the Ukraine and Democratic campaign hacks, which CrowdStrike said involved the same Russian-linked hacking group
—Fancy Bear—and versions of X-Agent malware the group was known to use.

“The fact that they would be tracking and helping the Russian military kill Ukrainian army personnel in eastern Ukraine and also intervening in the U.S. election is quite chilling,” Alperovitch said in a December 22 story by The Washington Post.

The same day, Alperovitch told the PBS NewsHour: “And when you think about, well, who would be interested in targeting Ukraine artillerymen in eastern Ukraine? Who has interest in hacking the Democratic Party? [The] Russia government comes to mind, but specifically, [it's the] Russian military that would have operational [control] over forces in the Ukraine and would target these artillerymen.”

Alperovitch, a Russian expatriate and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council policy research center in Washington, co-founded CrowdStrike in 2011. The firm has employed two former FBI heavyweights: Shawn Henry, who oversaw global cyber investigations at the agency, and Steven Chabinsky, who was the agency's top cyber lawyer and served on a White House cybersecurity commission. Chabinsky left CrowdStrike last year.

CrowdStrike declined to answer VOA’s written questions about the Ukraine report, and Alperovitch canceled a March 15 interview on the topic. In a December statement to VOA’s Ukrainian Service, spokeswoman Ilina Dimitrova defended the company’s conclusions.

“It is indisputable that the [Ukraine artillery] app has been hacked by Fancy Bear malware,” Dimitrova wrote. “We have published the indicators to it, and they have been confirmed by others in the cybersecurity community.”

In its report last June attributing the [alleged] Democratic hacks, CrowdStrike said it was long familiar with the methods used by Fancy Bear and another group with ties to Russian intelligence nicknamed Cozy Bear. Soon after, U.S. cybersecurity firms Fidelis and Mandiant endorsed CrowdStrike’s conclusions.

The FBI and Homeland Security report reached the same conclusion about the two groups.

Still, some cybersecurity experts are skeptical that the election and purported Ukraine hacks are connected. Among them is Jeffrey Carr, a cyberwarfare consultant who has lectured at the U.S. Army War College, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other government agencies.

In a January post on LinkedIn, Carr called CrowdStrike’s evidence in the Ukraine “flimsy.” He told VOA in an interview that CrowdStrike mistakenly assumed that the X-Agent malware employed in the hacks was a reliable fingerprint for Russian actors.

We now know that’s false,” he said, “and that the source code has been obtained by others outside of Russia.""

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Additional source: Crowdstrike's false information harmed Ukraine:
 
1/13/17, "Crowdstrike Needs To Address The Harm It Caused Ukraine," Jeffrey Carr 

"Crowdstrike’s Danger Close intelligence report is an analytic failure of epic proportions, but more importantly, it has harmed the morale of the people of Ukraine as well as cast doubt in the minds of the Ukrainian soldiers who relied upon the app."...
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Comment: What a surprise: Crowdstrike's Dmitri Alperovitch turns out to be a deeply embedded Beltway swamp dweller, a "senior fellow at the Atlantic Council policy research center in Washington." A parasite. Good job by his parents.

Beltway parasite Dmitri at 2012 Reuters 'summit'

 









 image via VOA


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Added: FBI/DHS "report" issued in late Dec. 2016 in which Crowdstrike misidentifies "threat groups":

12/30/2016, "FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort," Jeffrey Carr

"The FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) “Grizzly Steppe” was released yesterday as part of the White House’s response to alleged Russian government interference in the 2016 election process. It adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, the email accounts of Democratic party officials, or for delivering the content of those hacks to Wikileaks. 


It merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists. 

A common misconception of “threat group” is that refers to a group of people. It doesn’t. Here’s how ESET [link now goes to general site] describes SEDNIT, one of the names for the threat group known as APT28, Fancy Bear, etc. This definition is found on p.12 of part two “En Route with Sednit: Observing the Comings and Goings”:

"As security researchers, what we call “the Sednit group” is merely a set of software and the related network infrastructure, which we can hardly correlate with any specific organization." 

Unlike Crowdstrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone. In other words — malware deployed is malware enjoyed!... 

It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will. 

Where’s the Evidence? 

If the White House had unclassified evidence that tied officials in the Russian government to the DNC attack, they would have presented it by now. The fact that they didn’t means either that the evidence doesn’t exist or that it is classified. 

If it’s classified, an independent commission should review it because this entire assignment of blame against the Russian government is looking more and more like a domestic political operation run by the White House that relied heavily on questionable intelligence generated by a for-profit cybersecurity firm with a vested interest in selling “attribution-as-a-service”."

 





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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

While on UK soil in 2016 Obama attempted to 'hack' UK democracy and election outcome of Brexit vote by threatening economic harm to UK if they defied his wishes. His interference was "above and beyond what people do in Western democracies." It was the "biggest intervention...by an American president...directly in the politics of a Western democracy since the end of the Cold War"-Reuters, 4/22/16 (UK voters ultimately defied Obama and passed Brexit. NY Times failed to compare Obama's interference to 9/11 or bombing of Pearl Harbor though Brexit outcome caused resignation of UK PM David Cameron thus toppling a government, perhaps caused partly by voter anger over globalist intrusion by US pres.)

"It is the biggest intervention I can think of by an American president who has turned up in this way and intervened directly in the politics of a Western democracy since the end of the Cold War....It is above and beyond what people do in Western democracies," said a Kings College London professor. "Obama was urging Britain to pool its sovereignty with other nations in a way that the United States would never countenance for itself." 

Fri., 4/22/2016, "Obama exhorts Britain to stay in EU, warns on trade if it leaves," Reuters, Roberta Rampton and Kylie MacLellan, London

"President Barack Obama made a bold intervention into the politics of Washington's closest ally on Friday, exhorting Britons to stay in the EU and warning that if they left they would be at "the back of the queue" for a U.S. trade deal. 

Obama's plea to British voters ahead of a June referendum on membership of the European Union was welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron and other supporters of the EU, but denounced by those campaigning to leave as meddling in British affairs. 

Britain's influence on the world stage was "magnified" by its membership of the 28-member bloc, Obama said at a press conference alongside Cameron, who has bet his political future by calling the referendum to put to rest an issue that has divided his own Conservative Party for generations. 

Rebutting criticism that he was interfering, Obama invoked the cherished "special relationship" between Washington and London. "If one of our best friends is in an organization that enhances their influence and enhances their power and enhances their economy, then I want them to stay in it," Obama said. "Or at least I want to be able to tell them: 'I think this makes you guys bigger players.'" 

On trade, he took aim at one of the main "Out" arguments -- that Britain could easily negotiate deals and get better terms on its own. The United States would regard a deal with the EU as a higher priority than a separate agreement with a much smaller market such as a stand-alone Britain, Obama said."...

[Ed. note: Obama had no idea how the US "would regard" an EU trade agreement. There wasn't the slightest chance of one passing in the few months he had left in office.

(continuing): ""It's fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement but that's not going to happen anytime soon because our focus is negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done," Obama said.

"And the UK is going to be in the back of the queue, not because we don't have a special relationship but because given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements is hugely efficient."

4/21/16, Reuters
Cameron said Britain should listen to its friends, and he could not think of any close ally who wanted a Brexit. Obama set out his case in a newspaper article that invoked the interlinked history of the United States and Britain and the tens of thousands of Americans lying in European war graves.

"As your friend, I tell you that the EU makes Britain even greater," the headline read."...

[Ed. note: UK voters didn't buy that Obama was their "friend" nor his claim that massive free trade deals were "hugely efficient" for them. Since he'd soon be out of office, his boast that
"the UK is going to be in the back of the queue" was particularly embarrassing.]

(continuing): ""Together, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have turned centuries of war in Europe into decades of peace, and worked as one to make this world a safer, better place," Obama wrote.

"DOWNRIGHT HYPOCRITICAL"

But those campaigning for an "Out" vote in the June 23 referendum were dismissive.

London's New York-born Mayor Boris Johnson, a leader of the "Out" campaign from within the Conservative Party widely seen as angling for Cameron's job, said Obama's advice was "incoherent, inconsistent and downright hypocritical".

Obama was urging Britain to pool its sovereignty with other nations in a way that the United States would never countenance for itself
, Johnson wrote in a newspaper column....
 

Other "Out" campaigners said Obama's views did not matter because this is his last year in office.

"Obama doesn't have the authority to deny us a (trade) deal, as he will be long gone before any such proposals are on the table," said Richard Tice, co-founder of Leave.EU, one of several "Out" campaigns. 

Experts struggled to find a precedent for Obama's direct appeal to British voters. 

"It is the biggest intervention I can think of by an American president who has turned up in this way and intervened directly in the politics of a Western democracy since the end of the Cold War," said Anand Menon, professor of European politics and foreign affairs at Kings College London. 

It is above and beyond what people do in Western democracies. And if you think as I do that it is a fear thing, then it works."

Opinion polls suggest that "In" is ahead, but the race is tight and the number of undecided voters is very high. 

Many U.S. banks and companies fear a Brexit would cause market turmoil, diminish the clout of Washington's strongest European ally, hurt London's global financial hub status, cripple the EU and weaken Western security.

The "Out" campaign says such fears are exaggerated, and Britain would profit from greater control over its regulation, the ability to make bilateral trade deals and the right to restrict immigration from EU neighbors.

Many in the "Out" camp say they are passionate supporters of the special relationship with the United States and think Britain would open itself up to America and to the world if it cut loose from what they regard as the dysfunctional EU.


Before talks at Cameron's Downing Street office, Obama and his wife Michelle congratulated Queen Elizabeth, who celebrated her 90th birthday on Thursday. [L5N17P4BN]

 Prince Philip, Elizabeth's 94-year-old husband, took the wheel of a Range Rover to drive the Obamas to lunch on the territory of Windsor Castle, a royal residence that traces its history back over almost 1,000 years to William the Conqueror."
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Added:

6/24/16, "David Cameron resigns after UK votes to leave European Union," UK Guardian, Heather Stewart, Rowena Mason, Rajeev Syal




 
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Monday, March 20, 2017

After years of effort by Bush and Obama to protect their good friends in the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from inconvenience, US families of victims of Sept. 11, 2001 attacks file lawsuit against Saudi Arabia for their complicity in the mass murder-WPIX NY, 3/20/17

3/20/17, "Families of 9/11 victims file lawsuit against Saudi Arabia," WPIX NY, via AOL

"In a stunning lawsuit seeking to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for 9/11, the families of 800 victims have filed a lawsuit accusing the Saudis of complicity in the worst terror attacks on American soil.

The legal action, filed in federal court in Manhattan, details a scenario of involvement by Saudi officials who are said to have aided some of the hijackers before the attacks.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and three of them had previously worked for the kingdom.

The document details how officials from Saudi embassies supported hijackers Salem al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar 18 months before 9/11.

The officials allegedly helped them find apartments, learn English and obtain credit cards and cash. 

The documents state that the officials helped them learn how to blend into the American landscape.

The suit also produces evidence that officials in the Saudi embassy in Germany supported lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. It claims that a Saudi official was in the same hotel in Virginia with several hijackers the night before the attacks.

Many of the revelations in the lawsuit are culled from findings of an FBI investigation into the terrorist attacks. The suit filed by aviation law firm Kreindler & Kreindler claims some of the hijackers had special markers in their passports, identifying them as al-Qaida sympathizers.

The lawsuit asserts that the Saudi royals, who for years had been trying to curry favor with fundamentalists to avoid losing power, were aware that funds from Saudi charities were being funneled to al-Qaida.

Aviation attorney Jim Kreindler told PIX11 News: "The charities were alter egos of the Saudi government."

The lawsuit spells out how money was transferred from charities in Saudi Arabia to the terror group.

Charities the lawsuit claims fronted for al-Qaida include the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, an organization that was designated by the U.S. as a sponsor of terrorism.

Kreindler maintains that there was a direct link between all the charities and Osama bin Laden and that they operated with the full knowledge of Saudi officials.

The legal document claims that the Saudis used a variety of means to conceal the money trail to al-Qaida.

"The Saudis were so duplicitous," Kreindler said. "They claim to be allies fighting with U.S. against Iran, while at the same time working with the terrorists. There's no question they had a hand in the 9/11 attacks."

Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had resisted efforts to hold Saudi Arabia accountable. 

The kingdom is a key ally against Iran, and its oil interests are important to the United States.

Last September, Congress overrode an Obama veto to pass JASTA — Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act — that would allow Americans to take legal action against countries that support terrorism.

Kreindler wouldn't put a dollar figure on the amount of damages being sought by the 800 families of those who died and 1,500 first responders and others who suffered because of the attacks.

"This lawsuit is a demonstration of the unwavering commitment of the 9/11 families to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its critical role in the 9/11 attacks," Kreindler said."

==============
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Added: Ten years of warnings missed by the CIA and FBI as terrorists traversed the US, LA Times, Oct. 14, 2001: "A double failure: a failure on behalf of the CIA" and in particular the FBI, missed terrorist warnings 1991-2001 including untranslated prison phone conversations, untranslated terror manuals, unchecked Calif. DMV records, and unchecked credit card purchases:

10/14/2001,  "Haunted by Years of Missed Warnings," LA Times, by Stephen Braun, Bob Drogin, Mark Fineman, Lisa Getter, Greg Krikorian and Robert J. Lopez

"As suspected terrorists traversed the U.S. over a decade [1991-2001], signs pointing to their plans went unheeded until after the attacks were carried out." "In the last decade, suspected terrorists have repeatedly slipped in and out of the United States. They have plotted against America while in federal custody. And key evidence that pointed to operatives or their plans was ignored until well after the attacks....
.........
(subhead): "Force the Closure of Their Companies"

"The U.S. government was pretty sure Ahmad Mohammad Ajaj was a terrorist from the moment he stepped foot on U.S. soil.

The 26-year-old Palestinian's suitcases were stuffed with fake passports, fake IDs and a cheat sheet on how to lie to U.S. immigration inspectors. And then there were the two handwritten notebooks filled with bomb recipes, the six bomb-making manuals, the four how-to videotapes concerning weaponry and the advanced guide to surveillance training.

But all federal prosecutors charged him with after Ajaj flew into New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport from Pakistan on Sept. 1, 1992, was passport fraud--a crude, photo paste job on a stolen Swedish passport....Ajaj was sentenced to six months in prison....

Over the next five months Ajaj would speak frequently over a prison phone with Ramzi Ahmed Youse who had flown with him to New York. Yousef left the country Feb. 26, 1993, 12 hours after his bomb killed six, injured more than a thousand and caused $550 million worth of damage in the first World Trade Center attack.

Although prison phone calls are taped, no one monitored Ajaj's 20 calls to Yousef and other conspirators--or tried to translate them from Arabic--until long after the blast. And no one traced his plane ticket until after the blast to determine that he and Yousef had sat together on the first leg of their journey to New York.

The result: No one figured out Ajaj's plot or identified his co-conspirators until after the attack. Indeed, Ajaj was released from prison three days after the explosion and only later was rearrested and sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for his role.

"I think what we've gotten really good at is going back and re-creating the trail after an incident," said Henry DePippo, who eventually prosecuted Ajaj for conspiracy in the bombing....

For starters, it would have helped to know just what Ajaj actually had in his Arabic-language "terrorist kit." But his manuals had not been "disseminated to the intelligence community for full translation and exploitation of the information," nine years after they were seized, L. Paul Bremer III, head of the National Commission on Terrorism, told a Senate committee in June."
............
(parag. 8): "Federal authorities also knew that Ramzi Yousef, who masterminded the 1993 truck bombing of the World Trade Center, later planned to blow up 12 United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines jumbo jets over the Pacific Ocean. After the plot was uncovered in 1995, a co-conspirator, Abdul Hakim Murad, told police in the Philippines that he had hoped to hijack a passenger plane and crash it into CIA headquarters outside Washington. Murad had attended four U.S. flight schools.

Yet no surveillance was in place to scrutinize aspiring pilots or to raise a warning flag when the men who would eventually hijack four jetliners Sept. 11 trained at flight schools around the country.

Agents have been slow to recognize suspects. After the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, Abdul Rahman Yasin was held and questioned by the FBI--and then allowed to leave the country. President Bush last week named Yasin one of the country's 22 "most wanted" terrorists in connection with his alleged role in that attack. Another would-be bomber in that case used prison telephones 20 times to contact fellow plotters....

And in February [2001], the U.S. Embassy in London granted a student visa to an unemployed 33-year-old French Moroccan man, Habib Zacarias Moussaoui, even though he was on a special French immigration watch list of suspected Islamic extremists. Moussaoui was detained Aug. 17 on immigration charges after he allegedly told a Minnesota flight school that he wanted to learn to steer jumbo jets, but not learn to land them. Moussaoui remains in FBI custody in New York as a material witness while investigators try to determine whether he was involved with the skyjackers or any other terrorist plot....
.......
Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed, a London-based Muslim cleric who had dubbed himself the "mouth, eyes and ears of Osama bin Laden..." released what he called Bin Laden's four specific objectives for a holy war against the U.S.

"Bring down their airliners," read the instruction.

"Prevent the safe passage of their ships. 

Occupy their embassies. 

Force the closure of their companies and banks."

It is fair to say he has achieved at least some of his goals. It also is fair to say U.S. authorities had the plotters in their grasp--or in their sights--in almost every case. Those missed opportunities thus form the backdrop to the country's current war on terror."...

From last part of article:

"But a routine check of addresses and records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles would have shown that Almihdhar and Alhazmi had been living at a series of addresses in and around San Diego.

And a check with credit card companies would have shown that Alhazmi used a Visa card in his name on the Internet to purchase a ticket on Flight 77 for Sept. 11. He bought the ticket Aug. 27 and gave an address in Fort Lee, N.J., according to law enforcement records.

If the FBI had provided the airlines with the two men's names, then the airlines could have alerted authorities to their travel plans and prevented them from boarding....

Senior intelligence and law enforcement officials insist they acted appropriately given the scant information they had....


Not everyone agrees. Loch Johnson, a University of Georgia professor of political science and an expert on terrorism, said the case appears to be "a double failure: a failure on behalf of the CIA not emphasizing the importance of tracking these two, and a failure on behalf of the FBI in light of other bombings."" 

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18,000+ rally for Trump in Louisville, Kentucky, 3/20/17. Trump pitches Obamacare replacement. Trump supporter comments on pathetic display in Washington DC by new NSA Chief Rogers: 'Horrific. Embarrassing'
















Above, 3/20/17, Louisville, Kentucky, "Trump's crowd at rally time,

3/20/17, "The largest crowd to see Trump in person since his inauguration – estimated at north of 18,000 – cheered approvingly, even after booing McConnell loudly when he took the stage as a warm-up act. McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate since 1985, pledged his support for 'our great new president who's going to give us the chance to fix this healthcare mess left behind by Barack Obama.'"...Daily Mail, David Martosko 

























Above, 3/20/17, Louisville, Kentucky, "Throngs of Donald Trump supporters stood in line-some for more than 12 hours– as the queue to see the president stretched more than a half-mile," AP 

























Four images above via Daily Mail














Above, 3/20/17, "LOUISVILLE -- First shouts of "fake news" tonight come from people in the upper deck who are tossing wadded up paper at a CNN cameraman," ......  

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Added: 3/20/17, SWAMP not drained, business as usual. Among comments by Trump supporters on Monday's pathetic display in Washington, DC.--most certainly including Trump's new NSA Chief Mike Rogers who sounded "weak and uncertain....If you can't or won't deliver, step down." On Comey and Rogers: "They were both a disgrace. Rogers? Horrific. Embarrassing." (Commenters, below, to 3/20/17, "President Trump Rally Louisville Kentucky – 7:00pm Live Stream…)

"farmhand1927 says:
President Trump spoke to an invigorated, energized, over-flowing crowd tonite in Kentucky with thousands standing outside. These rallies are Trump being Trump and whether he repeats info or not, we love him. He needs us to remind him why he’s going thru this turmoil and we need to hear from him personally. The connection will not be broken.

Tonite would have been too early for President Trump to comment on the FBI/NSA hearing but it’s not too early for James Comey to understand in no uncertain terms that the American people have lost faith and trust in him and if we had our way, he’d be going to sleep tonite as an unemployed man.

Millions upon millions of Americans believe unequivocally that he let Hillary Clinton walk free when he should have recommended her for indictment. Our President kept him on and then today when asked to assure us that his organization will go after the felon(s) that unmasked Gen. Flynn, he refused.

As for Mike Rodgers, he didn’t deliver today either as far as sounding tough, resolved and unrelenting on going after leakers and seditionists. The President has invested enormous confidence in this man but today he sounded weak and uncertain.

Today was a very disappointing day for Americans that believe we are entitled to have justice applied equally to all. When the director of the FBI couldn’t find anything amiss with Hillary and doesn’t think he should reassure us that leakers will be tracked down and prosecuted, we don’t have confidence that people that are supposed to protect us are doing their jobs. You guys signed on to MAGA. If you can’t or won’t deliver, step down.

Liked by 9 people
Reply 
flova says:
The FBI has blood all over it. It had the Boston bombers in its offices interviewing them, it had Ft Hood shooter on radar, it had the Pulse nightclub terrorist in interviews–they let them all go! 

Then Lynch gets on a plane with Clinton to collude to keep Hilllary out of jail and Comey does nothing!!!

The FBI has the terrorists’ and the criminal swamp creatures’ backs, not the American peoples. What the flyin’ fig is going on??

Liked by 6 people
Deb says:
Don’t forget the airport shooter in Florida. They interviewed him as well.

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defendurrightsblog says:























They were both a disgrace. Rogers? Horrific. Embarrassing. Comey has been a wash since forever.""...







Thursday, March 16, 2017

Geert Wilders shaped the debate in Dutch election dominated by culture, identity and integration. (BBC) Leading party remained in power but lost a quarter of seats. Wilders party gained 5 seats, now at 20 despite Wilders being forced to suspend his campaign in Feb. Moroccan-Dutch secret service officer on Wilders advance team leaked Wilders movements to criminal groups. Erdogan threats were 'electoral dream' for incumbent who became 'Wilders-lite.' Labour wiped out-BBC and Reuters 3/16/17, Reuters 2/22/17

Geert Wilders party is now #2 in the Netherlands. Labour crashes to 9 seats in worst result ever. EU parasites live for another day. European voters think parasites are normal.

3/16/17, "Dutch PM cheers EU leaders by seeing off far-right's Wilders," Reuters, by Anthony Deutsch, Toby Sterling, Amsterdam  

"While Rutte overtook Wilders in the closing stages of the campaign, years of austerity pushed down his share of the vote. His junior partner in the outgoing coalition, Labour, suffered its worst ever result, winning just nine seats, down from 38 last time....

Gift from Turkey: With 99 percent of votes counted, Rutte's VVD Party had won 33 of parliament's 150 seats, down from 41 at the last vote in 2012. Wilders was second with 20, and the CDA and centrist Democrats 66 tied for third with 19 each, data provided by the ANP news agency showed....A number of parties including the VVD and the third-placed Christian Democrats (CDA), have already adopted most of Wilders' anti-immigration platform, if not his fiery anti-Islam rhetoric....

Rutte got a last-minute boost from a diplomatic row with Turkey, which allowed him to take a tough line on a majority Muslim country during an election campaign in which immigration and integration have been key issues....

Turkey has been locked in a deepening row with the Netherlands after the Dutch barred Turkish ministers from speaking to rallies of overseas Turks.

Turkey's foreign minister said the views of Wilders - who wants to close all mosques and ban the Koran - were shared by rival parties and were pushing Europe towards "wars of religion".

Erdogan on Thursday said that while Rutte may have won the election, he had lost his country's friendship."

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Added: 

3/16/17, "Dutch election: Voters return a new reality," BBC, ,

The result means everything can stay the same, but the reality is far more fragmented and the mainstream parties would be foolish to ignore it....

The diplomatic stand-off with Turkey presented centre-right leader Mark Rutte with an electoral dream and provided a platform to project his prime ministerial calm across the country.

His victory was decisive and yet he lost a quarter of his seats in parliament. The leader of the EU's sixth largest economy defeated Geert Wilders' Freedom party with "Wilders-lite" policies to woo back those flirting with the idea of voting for the populists....

Labour, traditionally the biggest party on the left, had been the junior party in Mr Rutte's budget-cutting coalition and became the biggest loser on the night....[losing 29 seats].

Geert Wilders [and his Freedom Party] didn't perform as well as the polls predicted. But he came second [with 20 seats] and is claiming a win....More than a million voters chose Mr Wilders' anti-Islam, anti-EU party....

In a campaign dominated by concepts of culture, identity and integration, Geert Wilders succeeded in shaping the debate

The result suggests a seed has been planned on both sides of the political spectrum. The next challenge for Mr Rutte is to form a coalition."

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Added: Geert Wilders, leading in polls since Nov. 2016, was forced to suspend his campaign in Feb. 2017 when a Moroccan-Dutch member assigned to his secret service detail was found to be leaking Wilders' movements to criminal groups: 

2/22/17, "Possible mole in security detail of Dutch frontrunner Wilders," Reuters 

"A Dutch secret service agent [of Moroccan background] who was part of the team responsible for protecting Geert Wilders, the frontrunner in next month's election, has been suspended on suspicion of leaking details to a criminal organization, the secret service said on Wednesday.

Wilders, who campaigns on an anti-Islam platform that includes closing mosques and banning immigration from Muslim countries that has led to the protection, condemned the alleged breach, saying he cannot function without adequate security.

Dutch newspapers De Telegraaf and NRC Handelsblad and the country's national broadcaster NOS identified the suspect as an experienced officer in his mid-30s, using his first name and last initial.

Secret Service chief Erik Akerboom said he could not confirm the man's identity but confirmed media reports he has a "Moroccan background." 


Akerboom told Business News Radio that "as far as we know" Wilders' safety had not been jeopardized.

Wilders has frequently railed against rogue elements within the Netherlands' Moroccan community and pledged to crack down on "Moroccan scum" who he said were making the streets unsafe as he launched his campaign on Saturday for the March 15 vote.

The agent who was suspended was one of a team tasked with prescreening locations where Wilders is scheduled to make public appearances. He was not a member of Wilders' physical protection team, Akerboom said....

Prime Minister Mark Rutte met Wilders, his chief opponent in the vote, to discuss the suspension.

The ANP News agency reported that Rutte declined comment after emerging from the meeting with Wilders and Justice Minister Stef Blok.

"I can say nothing about these kinds of conversations," Rutte said, repeating his standard response to questions on security measures.

Other Dutch politicians reacted with concern, including Wilders' most vocal critic, Alexander Pechtold of the centrist D66 Party.

"These are very alarming initial reports, and they must be terrible for Wilders to hear," he said in a tweet. "We must not be naive. More clarification quickly, please.""

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Added from Legal Insurrection: 

3/16/17, "Dutch Election: Geert Wilders’ Party Places Second," Legal Insurrection, posted by  

"After leading the polls since November 2016, Wilders numbers started to drop when he was forced to abruptly suspend his campaign following a major security breach late February. A Moroccan-Dutch police officer working on his security detail was arrested for allegedly passing on Wilders' movements to criminal gangs. Europe’s leading critic of Islam, Wilders has survived attempts on his life by Islamists and has been living under around-the-clock police protection for nearly 13 years....

Nothing can take away from the fact that Geert Wilders created an entire political movement to fight the rise of Islamism in Europe, despite a sustained campaign of smear and intimidation from the European ruling class and the establishment media. He has been dragged to courts by liberals and received death threats from the Islamists — for daring to speak the truth about political Islam."
 




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