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, 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:

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.

CIA Director Seeks Stronger Counterintelligence Against Spies And Leakers

Veteran national security reporter Bill Gertz offers a piece at the on CIA Director Mike Pompeo (seen in the above photo) and his reform of CIA counterintelligence.

British spy novelist John le Carre elegantly called it the oldest question of all: Who can spy on the spies? He was talking about counterintelligence—the often arcane business of finding foreign spies who try to penetrate intelligence services.

Counterintelligence at CIA today is a far cry from its Cold War world of Soviet moles or penetration agents and neutralizing them or turning them into double agents.

Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo is working to change all that. Pompeo has elevated the status of CIA's counterintelligence center, a dedicated unit within the agency's Langley, Va., headquarters that is devoted to identifying and countering foreign intelligence agents and their activities.

CIA counterintelligence efforts, however, remain limited by a lack of both qualified personnel and strategic vision needed to deal with a growing spy threat that today includes both cyber operations and influence activities, in addition to traditional spying by nations such as China and Russia. The foreign spying threat is increasing in both scale and sophistication, according to intelligence experts.

As part of the reform, Pompeo is stepping up internal security at CIA in a bid to better identify leakers—employees who may be politically motivated to conduct more non-traditional digital-age crimes—such as exposing secrets in a bid to undermine American intelligence, or overall U.S. national security.

"The director has made counterintelligence a priority at CIA because if we don’t achieve perfection in this realm, all our other efforts at the agency are at risk," said Dean Boyd, CIA director of public affairs. "The last thing CIA can tolerate is to have a secret we’ve stolen re-stolen."

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