Tag Archives: Edward Snowden

US Police Fatally Shot Almost 1,000 Civilians in 2015 – Report

US law enforcement has mortally wounded nearly 1,000 civilians this year, according to a recent study by local media.

Some 965 US citizens were fatally shot by US policemen, 564 of whom were armed with a gun, The Washington Post study published Saturday revealed.

According to the newspaper, almost 100 people did not have weapon of any kind during a confrontation with police.

The study also suggested that race remains one of the main reasons of police brutality, as 40 percent of fatal police shootings were aimed at unarmed black men.

Overall, people who died from a bullet fired by policemen were either bearing arms, suicidal, mentally troubled, or refused to halt at police’s request and ran, the report said.

Over the past year, the United States has seen numerous protests following high-profile cases of police brutality around the country. The incidents have set off mass protests around the country and triggered a national debate about racial inequality and police violence in African-American communities.


Daesh Leader’s Mobile Phone Holds Proof of Turkey’s Support

An Iraqi volunteer force commander said a mobile phone found on the person of a deceased Daesh militant proves that Turkey’s intelligence agency is providing support for the group.

“The mobile phone was found with one of the killed ISIL leaders in the Northern parts of Salahuddin province two days ago,” Jabbar al-Ma’mouri told Soumeriya news on Monday.

He said the phone contains messages from Turkish intelligence proving that Ankara supports Daesh, also known as ISIL/Islamic State, by providing security at the points used by militants traveling from Turkey to Iraq.

“The mobile phone also contains other important information which cannot be disclosed now, and it has been delivered to the specialized security groups for further scrutiny,” Ma’mouri said.

Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov in November revealed that Turkey has played an “ambiguous” role in the campaign against Daesh while acting as an accomplice to the terrorist group’s activities.

Last month, former US State Department senior advisor David Phillips said Turkey provided material support to Daesh because Ankara shares an ideological connection with the group, along with a mutual enemy in Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Turkey’s role has not been ambiguous – it has overtly supported the ISIL,” said Phillips, who currently serves as director of Columbia University’s Peace-building and Rights Program. “It has provided logistical support, money, weapons, transport and healthcare to wounded warriors.”

Phillips said Turkey has been supporting Daesh to remove Assad from power and because of a “spiritual bond” that exists between Turkey’s governing party and the jihadists.

German govt accused of lying to parliament about NSA spying

A general view shows an entrance gate in the north part of the compound of the German Federal Intelligence Agency

A general view shows an entrance gate in the north part of the compound of the German Federal Intelligence Agency

Angela Merkel’s government has been accused of lying to the country’s parliament after it was alleged that it knew German spies were conducting economic espionage for the NSA. Revelations show that some spooks were even spying on German companies.

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, who is a close ally of Chancellor Merkel denied on Wednesday that he had lied to parliament about the German Intelligence Agency (BND) cooperating with the National Security Agency (NSA). He said that the allegations are untrue and he could disprove the claims through documents, which need to remain secret.

Bild newspaper ran a report Wednesday saying that he had been “lying in black and white” with regards to the case; a picture of the minister with Pinnochio’s long nose was used to convey the message.

“I do follow the rules,” Maiziere said in a statement Wednesday. “That’s my understanding about the treatment of top secret information. It is in my own interest to clear these accusations up. They are not true and the documents would show that.”

On April 14, the Interior Ministry had released a statement saying: “We have no knowledge of alleged economic espionage by the NSA or other US agencies in other countries,” in response to a question from the opposition Linke (Left Party).

However, last week it emerged that the NSA had asked Germany’s intelligence agency, the BND, to obtain sensitive records, such as email and IP addresses as well as telephone numbers to help the American agency spy on certain European companies.

Eurocopter, the French government and the defense firm EADS allegedly were among the company’s targets, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel was said to have been left in the dark about the BND’s activities.

The equivalent would have been if Germany had asked the NSA to spy on NASA or Boeing, requesting that no information about the matter be passed Barack Obama, to ensure no damage would be done to the relationship between the two countries.

Several times a day, the BND reportedly downloaded the NSA selectors into their monitoring system and used them to spy on targets. The results were sent to the German agency’s headquarters in Pullach for evaluation, and then, to some extent, to the NSA, Spiegel Online revealed, adding that the NSA sent about 800,000 ‘selectors’ to the BND in total.

Since at least 2008, BND employees felt they were being asked to perform tasks they did not have the authorization to carry out, as they were not covered by the 2002 Memorandum of Agreement between Germany and the US, aimed at combating global terrorism, the magazine said.

It wasn’t until 2013, in the midst of the Edward Snowden revelations, that an investigation into the spying activities took place. The probe revealed that 2,000 of the selectors actually violated German and Western European interests, with many used to spy on politicians.

However, the revelations were not reported to the Chancellor’s Office, according to Zeit Online. Instead, one of the BND’s department chiefs simply asked the NSA to stop making such requests.

Konstantin von Notz, deputy parliamentary leaders of the Greens, told Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper that he found it “hard to imagine” that the Chancellor’s Office was unaware of the collaboration between the two spy agencies.

“The limit has now been exceeded. The chancellor must explain the situation,” he added.

Left Party leader Gregor Gysi has called the collaboration a “scandal” and demanded an end to “conformism with the US administration,” Deutsche Welle reported

Related articles

1yr in US custody as ‘civilian detainee’: Declassified files shed light on mysterious ISIS leader

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The leader of ISIS jihadist group and self-proclaimed “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, spent nearly a year in US custody in Iraq in 2004 as a “civilian detainee,” declassified military documents have revealed.

The files were obtained by Business Insider through a Freedom of Information Act request, revealing new details about the mysterious jihadist leader. The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL ) chief was identified by his birth name, Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry, in the detainee information records, viewed by the website.

The documents helped determine the time, spent by Baghdadi in US custody, more precisely as there had previously been conflicting reports on the issue.

According to the records, his “capture date” was February 4, 2004, with the detention taking place in Fallujah in central Iraq. Baghdadi was then held in several prison facilities in the country, including Camp Bucca and Camp Adder, with the date of his “release in place” being December 8, the same year.

The papers list him as a “civilian detainee,” meaning that he was not considered a member of any militant group at that time, but was still held for security reasons.

The declassified records identified Baghdadi’s “civilian occupation” as “administrative work (secretary).”

The book called “ISIS: Inside The Army of Terror” by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan claims that Baghdadi was arrested together with Nessayif Numan Nessayif, who was the real target of the US military.

he date of his birth was redacted in the files received by Business Insider, but the website said that the current IS leader was listed as having been 43 years old in 2014. The paper also included details on Baghdadi’s family, revealing that he was married and next of kin was an uncle. However, the names of his family members were also redacted.

The Islamic State has declared a caliphate, with Baghdadi as its ruler, after capturing large parts of Iraqi and Syrian territory last summer. The jihadist group is notorious for its brutality, ethnic cleansings of minorities and executions of Western hostages.

A US-led coalition has been conducting regular airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, with several unconfirmed reports stating that Baghdadi might have been injured in one of the raids.


New NSA leak reveals scope of agency’s war against crypto

The National Security Agency boasts the ability to compromise computer protocols meant to encrypt private internet data, leaked documents have revealed. But the NSA has fallen short of totally winning its war against crypto.

Classified NSA files taken by former contractor Edward Snowden and published for the first time by Der Spiegel on Sunday reveal that, while the United States’ intelligence agency is indeed adept at cracking encryption, its efforts are no match when it comes to some of the more popular protocols used to keep communications private.

The NSA – along with its Five Eyes partners in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK – spends millions of dollars annually to break encryption standards used to keep the web secure, Spiegel reported over the weekend. Yet while previous files published from the Snowden trove have already exposed to a degree the scope of the NSA’s efforts, the latest installment acknowledges for the first time that protocols including TSL/SSL, SSH, PPTP and Ipsec are exploited in order to give spies an intimate look at internet traffic intended to be kept secret.

Released concurrently with a presentation given at the 31st annual Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany by two of the article’s authors, the Spiegel piece explains that the NSA and its allies use a plethora of practices to compromise computer protocols, random number generators, and third-party software advertised as being supposedly secure in an effort to gather intelligence on alleged terrorists.

“Did you know that ubiquitous encryption on the Internet is a major threat to NSA’s ability to prosecute digital-network intelligence (DNI) traffic or defeat adversary malware?” reads an excerpt from one of dozens of classified government documents published by the German paper.

“For the past decade, NSA has lead [sic] an aggressive, multi-pronged effort to break widely used internet encryption technologies,” reads another.

Jacob Appelbaum, a co-author of the Spiegel piece, said during Sunday’s event that the NSA’s efforts could best be understood as being “a kind of neocolonialism” taking place in the digital era, in which the US has invested billions over the last few decades to tackle the tools that allow private communications to occur over the web – but in secret.

“Wherein the colonies, [the] networks they do not have through coercion of the state or through other surveillance practices, they have to be compromised,” said Appelbaum. “And those [become] targets and they become legitimate targets, in theory, and in actuality, because of its usefulness, because of the leverage that it provides against a speculative target someday in the future.”

“That is, these networks become compromised in service of being able to compromise future networks and other people, just because they can. They set out to do that.”

Indeed, past Snowden leaks have revealed that major US-based tech companies – including Skype, Yahoo and Facebook – participate in an NSA program dubbed “PRISM,” in which they allow government intelligence collectors to soak up data transmissions on the fly. One of the just released documents says explicitly that the fact the NSA “obtains cryptographic details of commercial cryptographic information security systems through industry relationships” must be kept top secret.

The latest Spiegel article notes that, with regards to Skype, audio and video data is routinely taken into possession by the NSA when an alleged suspect is on at least one end of the conversation. In instances where companies won’t voluntarily be complicit, however, agencies like the NSA are driven to exploiting those systems – like the PPTP and Ipsec mechanisms used by Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), or TSL/SSL protocol meant to secure web traffic (by whatever means necessary).

That isn’t to say, though, that all is lost. According to the Snowden docs, codebreakers at the NSA may have met their match when it comes to certain software standards, even for the more inexperienced online privacy proponents. The stand-alone anonymity-centric operating system known as TAILS, and one of its major components – Tor – pose major problems when it comes to eavesdropping, the documents reveal, as does the TrueCrypt software that aims to secure files and documents shared among persons or stored in secret on hard drives and OTR – a protocol that offers end-to-end encryption for instant messaging chats.

“For surveillance experts, it becomes very difficult to trace the whereabouts of a person who visits a particular website or to attack a specific person while they are using Tor to surf the Web,” the Spiegel journalists reported. When used in concert with OTR, TAILS, and other options, communications seem close to impossible to crack, the report suggests.

As quoted by Spiegel, the source of the documents, Snowden said more than a year ago that, indeed, encryption used correctly may be the best option available for foiling efforts from the NSA to eavesdrop on digital communications.

“Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on,” Snowden said in June 2013.

Congress to Require Reports on Classified Leaks



Following Edward Snowden’s massive leaks of classified documents, Congress wants the Department of Defense (DoD) to report on its responses to insider leaks and threats.

Included in the pending National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015 is a two-year requirement for the Secretary of Defense to report new policies created in response to significant leaks of classified information, the Federation of American Scientists’ Steven Aftergood reported Monday.

The provision will also require more reports on the Obama administration’s “Insider Threat Program,” which was created to ferret out leakers.

“Compromises of classified information cause indiscriminate and long-lasting damage to United States national security and often have a direct impact on the safety of warfighters,” the Act reads.

The Act makes apparent references to both Wikileaks and Snowden’s disclosures of classified documents.

“In 2010, hundreds of thousands of classified documents were illegally copied and disclosed across the Internet,” the Act reads. “In 2013, nearly 1,700,000 files were downloaded from United States Government information systems, threatening the national security of the United States and placing the lives of United States personnel at extreme risk.”

The Obama administration has aggressively cracked down on leaks, going so far as to target the journalists who work with them.

The director of national intelligence announced a new policy in April forbidding unapproved contact with reporters.

While the directive refers to intelligence matters, it made no distinction between classified or unclassified information. The memo forbids unauthorized “contact with the media about intelligence-related information, including intelligence sources, methods, activities, and judgments (hereafter, ‘covered matters’).”

The Justice Department previously subpoenaed the phone records and emails of journalists suspected of consorting with leakers.

The measures have led to loud protests from journalism organizations. In a report last year by the Committee to Protect Journalists, numerous national security reporters said the leak prosecutions and other measures have had a noticeable chilling effect on their work, and several compared the Obama administration to Nixon’s.


Anonymous calls for march of millions over police brutality

Protesters walk through Times Square during a march for Eric Garner in New York December 5, 2014. Protesters in New York and other cities staged a third night of rallies on Friday, denouncing use of deadly force by police against minorities.

Protesters walk through Times Square during a march for Eric Garner in New York December 5, 2014. Protesters in New York and other cities staged a third night of rallies on Friday, denouncing use of deadly force by police against minorities.

The hacktivist collective Anonymous has called for a nationwide ‘march of millions’ next Saturday to demand justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and other African Americans who have died as a result of police violence.

The ‘Day of Anger’ event, carried under the burgeoning #Blacklivesmatter social movement, is set to take place on December 13. Although tentatively scheduled to kick off in New York City, the hacktivists call for protests all across the nation.


“We must not only show our power, but show that there is still hope for humanity, we must show the world these deaths are not in vain,” the group said in a Facebook post.

Police officers scuffle with protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California December 6, 2014

Police officers scuffle with protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California December 6, 2014

Protests have broken out across the country after a grand jury decision that acquitted a white New York City police officer of any wrongdoing in the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black Staten Island resident, on July 17.

Police officers scuffle with protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California December 6, 2014

Police officers scuffle with protesters during a protest against police violence in the U.S., in Berkeley, California December 6, 2014

The incident, ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, was videotaped by a passer-by and put online. In it, the officer can be seen placing Garner in an illegal chokehold while a group of other officers force Garner to the ground. Garner, who reportedly suffered from asthma, died after repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe” – a phrase that has become a rallying cry for the protesters.


The Garner decision came shortly after a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer in the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot multiple times following a confrontation with police in Ferguson, Missouri despite being unarmed.

On Saturday, protests against police brutality turned violent in Berkley, California. Police deployed tear gas and smoke canisters to disperse the protesters after being pelted with bricks, rocks and pipes.


Obama Administration Releases Illegal Aliens with Terror Ties, Blames It on a ‘Judge’

Homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson on Capitol Hill.

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Putin: ‘US wants to subdue Russia, but no one did or ever will’

President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

The US has no plans to humiliate Russia, but instead wants to subdue it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that no one had ever succeeded in doing so – and never will.

Speaking at a forum of the All-Russia Peoples’ Front in Moscow on Tuesday, the Russian leader said that history was not about to change, and that no one would manage to suppress the country.

“Throughout history no one has ever managed to do so toward Russia – and no one ever will,” Putin said.

Responding to a question about whether America was trying to humiliate Russia, Putin disagreed, saying that the US wanted “to solve their problems at our expense.”

He said that people in Russia really like the Americans, but it’s the US politics that are not accepted so well. “I think America and its people are more liked than disliked by people here [in Russia]. It’s the politics of the ruling class [in the US] that is likely negatively viewed by the majority of our citizens,” he said.

The Russian leader said the US had managed to subordinate its allies to its influence – with such countries “trying to protect foreign national interests on obscure conditions and perspectives.”

One of the means of changing the balance of power in the world to eventually subdue Russia was NATO’s gradual approach to its borders, which made Russia “nervous”, Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told BBC.

Russia needs a “100% guarantee that no-one would think about Ukraine joining NATO,” Peskov added.

Heads of states and international organizations pose for the “family photo” during the G20 Summit in Brisbane on November 15, 2014.

The Russian president has last met with his American counterpart last week, while attending the G20 summit in Australia. Despite the focus on the world economy, the crisis in Ukraine was one of the hottest topics at the G20. Talking about the summit’s results at a press conference, US President Barack Obama did not announce any significant changes in his country’s approach to Russia.

We would prefer a Russia that is fully integrated with the global economy,” the US president told a news conference, adding that his country was “also very firm on the need to uphold core international principles.”

Before leaving Brisbane, Putin said that a solution to the crisis in Eastern Ukraine was possible. “Today the situation [in Ukraine] in my view has good chances for resolution, no matter how strange it may sound,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.

The Russian leader also said he was satisfied with both the results and atmosphere of the meetings.

Australian authorities created an exceptionally friendly atmosphere for discussing solutions to economic challenges at the G20 summit in Brisbane, the Russian president said, dispelling rumors there were any confrontations.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) shaking hands with members of his motorcycle escort at the airport in Brisbane as he leaves the G20 Summit.

“Our Australian partners created an exceptionally friendly working atmosphere, very heartfelt, I should say, that was conducive to finding solutions to the challenges faced by the global economy,” Putin said at a forum of the All-Russian People’s Front, adding that it was a pleasant surprise for him to see the warm reception of the Russian delegation from Australian citizens on the streets of Brisbane.

Answering a question about Abbott’s idea to “shirtfront” Putin over the downing of the MH17 jetliner, the Russian president said no such confrontation took place at the Brisbane summit.

We had very constructive discussions of not only the themes that had brought us together, but some very grave issues involving the Malaysian Boeing. We discussed that in every detail. I can assure you that everything was decent and rather friendly,” said the Russian leader.

Though many media outlets speculated that Putin had left the summit early, skipping a Sunday working breakfast because of an icy welcome at the G20, the Russian leader reiterated on Tuesday that practically all work had been finished by that time. “I addressed all sessions,” Putin said, adding: “Our stance was heard.”


NSA Doc Reveals ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi is U.S., British and Israeli Intelligence Asset

According a document recently released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, now the Islamic State, is an intelligence asset.The NSA document reveals the United States, Israel, and Britain are responsible for the creation of ISIS.Earlier this month Nabil Na’eem, the founder of the Islamic Democratic Jihad Party and former top al-Qaeda commander, told the Beirut-based pan-Arab TV station al-Maydeen all current al-Qaeda affiliates, including ISIS, work for the CIA.ISIS is a well-armed and trained terrorist group now in control of large areas of Iraq and Syria.The NSA document states the group was established by U.S., British and Israeli intelligence as part of a strategy dubbed “the hornet’s nest” to draw Islamic militants from around the world to Syria.Prior Evidence of al-Baghdadi Link to Intelligence and MilitaryAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi “took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech,” the documents explain, according to Gulf Daily News, a Bahrainian source.In June a Jordanian official told Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily ISIS members were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan. In 2012 it was reported the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi.

Al-Baghdadi was reportedly a “civilian internee” at Camp Bucca, a U.S. military detention facility near Umm Qasr, Iraq. James Skylar Gerrond, a former U.S. Air Force security forces officer and a compound commander at Camp Bucca in 2006 and 2007, said earlier this month the camp “created a pressure cooker for extremism.”

“Circumstantial evidence suggests that al-Baghdadi may have been mind-controlled while held prisoner by the US military in Iraq,” writes Dr. Kevin Barrett.

Creating a Fake Terror Threat

The hornet’s nest strategy was designed to create the perception that Israel is threatened by an enemy near its borders.

According to the personal diary of former Israeli prime minister Moshe Sharett, however, Israel never took seriously an Arab or Muslim threat to its national security.

“Sharett’s diary reveals in explicit language that the Israeli political and military leadership never believed in any Arab danger to Israel,” writes Ralph Schoenman. “They sought to maneuver and force the Arab states into military confrontations which the Zionist leadership were certain of winning so Israel could carry out the destabilization of Arab regimes and the planned occupation of additional territory.”

In 1982 Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist with links to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, wrote The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.

The white paper proposed “that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units” and the “dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run.”

The destruction of the Arab and Muslim states, Yinon suggested, would be accomplished from within by exploiting their internal religious and ethnic tensions.