Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Former CIA Officer Arrested For Retaining Classified Information


JThe U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, aka Zhen Cheng Li, 53, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, was arrested last night on charges of unlawful retention of national defense information.

Dana J. Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement.

Lee was arrested after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.  Lee is a naturalized U.S. citizen, currently residing in Hong Kong, China.  According to court documents, Lee began working for the CIA as a case officer in 1994, maintained a Top Secret clearance and signed numerous non-disclosure agreements during his tenure at CIA.

According to court documents, in August 2012, Lee and his family left Hong Kong to return to the United States to live in northern Virginia. While traveling back to the United States, Lee and his family had hotel stays in Hawaii and Virginia.  During each of the hotel stays, FBI agents conducted court-authorized searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense.  Specifically, agents found two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities.

Lee made his initial appearance this afternoon in the Eastern District of New York.  He is charged with unlawful retention of national defense information and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Hammerstrom of the Eastern District of Virginia and Deputy Chief Elizabeth Cannon of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.

Monday, January 15, 2018

FBI Releases Age-Progressed Photos Of Four Most Wanted Terrorists From Pan Am Flight 73 Hijacking


The U.S. Justice Department released the below statement: 

The FBI Washington Field Office announced today the release of age-progressed photographs of four alleged hijackers charged in the United States with the September 5, 1986 attack of Pan American World Airways Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan: Wadoud Muhammad Hafiz al-Turki, Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, Muhammad Abdullah Khalil Hussain ar-Rahayyal, and Muhammad Ahmed al-Munawar. These images were created by the FBI Laboratory using age-progression technology and original photographs obtained by the FBI in the year 2000.

The attack on Pan Am Flight 73 resulted in the murder of 20 passengers and crew, including two Americans, the attempted murder of 379 passengers and crew, and the wounding of more than 100 individuals on board.

This announcement is in coordination with the U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice Program, which is offering a reward of up to $5 million each for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the alleged hijackers. Each of these individuals is believed to have been a member of the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), previously on the U.S. Department of State’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.  Each suspect is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List.

Anyone with information regarding these terrorists is asked to contact the FBI, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip on https://tips.fbi.gov, which can remain anonymous.

Individuals on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List have been indicted by sitting Federal Grand Juries in various jurisdictions in the United States for the crimes reflected on their wanted posters. The indictments currently listed on the posters allow them to be arrested and brought to justice. Additional information regarding the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists program can be found at: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Health Issue Delays Trial For 'Skinny Joey,' Reputed Philly Mob Boss Who Moved To Boca Raton


The Sun-Sentinel offers a piece on Joseph Merlino's racketeering trail bring postponed.
A reputed Philadelphia mobster’s racketeering trial has been postponed at least a week because of a medical issue, according to court documents.
Accused mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino — whose trial was slated to start on Jan. 16 in Manhattan Federal Court — remains in South Florida recuperating from a heart ailment.
Merlino went to a Boca Raton hospital emergency room on Tuesday, suffering from “chest pains and coronary spasms and shortness of breath,” one of his lawyers said Thursday.
Merlino, 55, has reportedly survived more than 25 attempted hits and beat three murder raps.


Hospital tests had “abnormal” results and “revealed two ‘significant’ blockages,” said Merlino’s attorney Edwin Jacobs.
The alleged gangster’s doctor said Merlino is on medication and needs to be under “close observation for adjustment of medication,” according to a letter submitted to the court. As a result, the note explains, Merlino can't fly or travel for at least two weeks.
The trial has been postponed until Jan. 22. 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

‘Terabyte Of Death’ Cyberattack Against DoD Looms, DISA Director Warns


Lisa Ferdinando at the DoD News offers the below piece:

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 11, 2018 — The vast, global networks of the Defense Department are under constant attack, with the sophistication of the cyber assaults increasing, the director of Defense Information Systems Agency said here today.

Army Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, who is also the commander of the Joint Force Headquarters, Department of Defense Information Networks, described some of the surprises of being in his post, which he has held since 2105.

Lynn spoke at a luncheon of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Washington Chapter.

“We do an excellent job of defending the [Department of Defense Information Networks], but the level of attacks that we’ve seen actually was really truly surprising and it still continues to surprise me just how robust the attacks have become,” he said.

‘Terabyte of Death’ Attack: A Matter of When, Not If

A few years ago, getting a 1-gigabyte or 2-gigabyte attack at the internet access point was a big deal, he said. “Now, we get 600-gig attacks on the internet access points and unique, different ways of attacking that we hadn’t thought of before,” he added.

The Defense Department is fortified against even larger attacks, he said.

“There’s now, we would call it the ‘terabyte of death’ – there is a terabyte of death that is looming outside the door,” he said. “We’re prepared for it, so we know it’s coming.”
He noted, “It’s just a matter of time before it hits us.”

Scale of DoD Networks ‘Massive’

Lynn, who retires next month, said the size of the DoD network is something else that surprised him. He described it as a “massive,” 3.2 million-person network that he has to defend or help support in some way.

“There’s something happening every second of every minute globally that you can’t take your eye off of,” he said. 

The department needs agile systems for the warfighter to stay ahead of an adversary that is evolving and moving, he pointed out.

There are challenges to finding solutions that scale to the DoD Information Networks, he said. A commercial solution that works for a smaller operation might not translate into something that is effective for the worldwide DoD networks, he explained.

DISA, he pointed out, is a combat support agency responsible for a multitude of networks. He cited as examples the networks between the drones and the drone pilots, or the F-35 “flying mega-computer” that needs a lot of data and intelligence, or the “big pipes” that connect various entities to missile defense.

He explained how commercial mobile platforms have been modified for warfighters to accommodate secret or top secret communications.

“Anywhere they are globally, if they’ve got to make a serious decision right now and it means seconds, that’s there and available to them,” he said, adding that mobile platforms are becoming “more and more capable as we go.” 

Warfighting, which now includes streaming drone video feeds, is happening on mobile devices, he said. “It’s pretty cool to watch,” he remarked.

While acknowledging DISA does do “a lot of cool IT stuff,” Lynn said all of the efforts support a singular focus. “At the end of the day, it’s about lethality,” he said.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My Washington Times Piece On Blue Lives Matter


The Washington Times published my piece on Philadelphia police cars getting getting bulletproof windows.

The good news is that Philadelphia police officers will soon be patrolling the city’s mean streets in 150 new patrol cars that have been equipped with bulletproof windows.

According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the patrol cars will have ballistic shields affixed to the front door panels and “‘transparent armor” in the front windows.

The bulletproof windows were ordered in light of two separate incidents in which two Philadelphia police officers were ambushed and shot while sitting in their patrol cars. Both were seriously wounded, but thankfully both survived.

In 2016 Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett was shot while stopped at an intersection. A surveillance camera captured the moment that the gunman, wearing a long white tunic and shouting “Allah Akbar,” ran up to Officer Harnett’s patrol car and fired into the driver’s side window. Officer Harnett was shot three times in his left arm.

Incredibly, Officer Harnett got out of his car and returned fire, wounding the suspect, who was later captured by other officers.

Sgt. Sylvia Young, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was also sitting in her patrol car when a gunman opened fire on her, hitting her in her left shoulder, arm and torso. The shooter, who also that night fired on a 25-year-old woman, killing her, and wounded a University of Pennsylvania police officer, was later shot and killed by other officers.

According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the bulletproof windows will cost around $1,300 dollars per patrol car. For those who believe “Blue Lives” matter, the cost is well worth it.

... Adding to the concerns of Philly cops is the belief that the newly elected District Attorney does not truly have their back. Larry Krasner, a lifelong civil rights lawyer who has sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times, was elected DA and recently took office. The new DA has represented pro-bono anti-police organizations such as Black Lives Matter, ACT-Up and Occupy Philly over the years. What he has never done is prosecute a criminal.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

The Future Of War: A History


Joshua Sinai offers a review of Lawrence Freedman’s The Future of War: A History at the Washington Times.

The nature of warfare is constantly changing and evolving. New technologies such as unmanned systems, whether militarized aerial drones, remote-controlled robotic tanks or sophisticated cyber weapons that can remotely destroy an adversary’s critical nodes in their infrastructure, directed-energy (e.g., laser) weapons, as well as anti-ballistic defensive systems that can intercept in mid-air an adversary’s offensive missiles, are all changing the tactics of warfare for the countries that possess them.

In a parallel development, if some non-state adversaries, such as terrorist groups, achieve the capability to employ miniaturized tactical nuclear weapons or cyberwarfare weapons, they could inflict catastrophic casualties on their more powerful adversaries.

With today’s state and non-state adversaries seeking to exploit these and other new military technologies, military planners are aware that new concepts of warfare policies, doctrine, operation and organizational structures are required to address the challenges presented by the constantly evolving revolution in military affairs.

It is not only in the current era that military thinkers are forecasting the future of warfare; they have done this throughout history. As Lawrence Freedman writes, the future of warfare has always been a matter of concern along with “the causes of war and their likely conduct and cause.” Mr. Freedman is emeritus professor of war studies at King’s College, London.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

Attorney General Sessions Celebrates Law Enforcement Appreciation Day


Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued the below statement on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, a day set aside to show support for the brave men and women who have dedicated themselves to protecting our communities:

“Serving as a law enforcement officer is an honorable profession that is demanding, dangerous, and all too often unappreciated. Those who have chosen law enforcement as a profession and who work selflessly day and night through the harshest of conditions are a special breed.  We owe them our undying gratitude.  And, while our gratitude should not be limited to a single day of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my deep and sincere appreciation to all serving in tribal, local, state, and federal law enforcement across the country for the daily sacrifices they make to serve and protect our communities.”


Today Attorney General Sessions also visited the Washington, D.C. Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge with Metropolitan Police Department Auxiliary Police Officers to express his gratitude and support for them and their work.