Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Birth Of SEAL Team Six

Sarah Pruitt at offers a piece on the birth of SEAL Team Six.

IF much of the history and operations of the U.S. Navy’s special operations forces, or Navy SEALs, remain shrouded in secrecy, that’s especially true for Team Six, the highly classified group that carries out some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult military missions. The Pentagon barely acknowledges the group’s existence, and doesn’t call it by the name Team Six; it’s officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DevGru for short. From World War II to today, we trace the history behind one of the nation’s most elite and most secretive military organizations.

You can read the rest of the piece and watch a video clip via the below link:

You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on the history of the Navy SEALs via the below link:

And you can read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on the WWII UDT frogmen who influenced the modern Navy SEALs via the below link:

1880: Philly Surgeon And Soldier Duel With Pistols Over Fashion Statement

Tommy Rowan at the Philadelphia Inquirer offers an interesting piece on a duel in 1880.

At the count of three, the surgeon and the soldier both fired their 10-inch-long, platinum-lined pistols on April 10, 1880.
There was no doubt both men fired. But whether Dr. James William White aimed his shot at the sky rather than the heart of Robert “Bertie” Adams Jr. was the subject of much debate.
The “slight misunderstanding” that led to the once-infamous “affair of honor” was not over a woman — it was over an outfit.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

On This Day In History Author Joseph Conrad Was Born

As note, on this day in 1857 Joseph Conrad, the author of Heart of Darkness, The Secret Agent and other classic novels, was born.

You can read about Joseph Conrad and his life and work via the below link:

'Fat Leonard' U.S. Navy Bribery & Fraud Case: Former Supervisory Contracting Officer Sentenced To 72 Months In Prison As Part Of Expanding Navy Bribery Scandal

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

A former supervisory contracting officer was sentenced to 72 months in prison today for accepting bribe payments in exchange for steering U.S. Navy contracts to the president and chief executive officer of a defense contractor.   
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Director Andrew L. Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Director Dermot F. O’Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) made the announcement. 
Paul Simpkins, 62, of Haymarket, Virginia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California for his role in steering contracts to Leonard Francis, the president and CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).  Judge Sammartino also ordered Simpkins to pay $450,000 in restitution, to forfeit $150,000 and pay a $50,000 fine.  Simpkins pleaded guilty on June 23 to conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery.
“Paul Simpkins abused his position as a Navy contracting officer to obtain cash, air travel, hotel rooms and prostitutes,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Along with others convicted in this ongoing investigation, Simpkins tarnished the reputation earned by the U.S. Navy officers and enlisted and civilian personnel who honorably serve this nation every day.”
“With premeditation beyond that of many of the other defendants in this case, Simpkins methodically plotted to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribe money and launder it through a secret foreign bank account in someone else’s name,” said U.S. Attorney Duffy.  “We tip our hat to the investigators who discovered this crime and brought the perpetrator to justice.  With the lengthy prison sentence imposed today, we take another step on this long journey toward deterring future misconduct and restoring the public’s trust in our most storied institutions.”
“Simpkins is yet another example of an individual forsaking his responsibility to American warfighters and taxpayers in favor of personal gain,” said Director Traver.  “As the GDMA investigation moves forward, NCIS will continue to fulfill our responsibility of holding people like Simpkins accountable for their actions.”
“Today’s sentencing of Paul Simpkins is yet another example of the continued dedication by DCIS and our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those individuals who would abuse their positions of trust within the Department of Defense,” said Director O’Reilly.  “Corrupt contracting practices damage the public trust and ultimately undermine the efforts of the Department of Defense to support our men and women in uniform.”
According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Simpkins held a number of managerial-level contracting positions throughout the federal government, including positions as a supervisory contract specialist at the U.S. Navy Regional Contracting Center in Singapore from April 2005 through June 2007; a contracting officer assistant director with the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys in Washington from June 2007 to December 2007; and as a supervisory manager in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs beginning in December 2007.  Simpkins admitted that from approximately May 2006 to September 2012, he participated in a bribery scheme with Francis in which he accepted travel and entertainment expenses, the services of prostitutes and at least $300,000 in exchange for helping to steer lucrative U.S. Navy contract to Francis and GDMA.  Simpkins provided Francis with internal, proprietary U.S. Navy information and intervened on GDMA’s behalf in contract disputes, he admitted. 
To conceal the true nature of wire transfers, Simpkins used an email account belonging to his mistress to advise Francis of the routing and account information for a bank account belonging to his wife.  In another email, Simpkins asked Francis to provide “some clean, disease free” women and in another email Simpkins advised Francis that he “will arrive in Singapore on 11 September.  Whats [sic] the plan to meet up and maybe do some honey’s? [sic]” 
Simpkins used his influence within the U.S. Navy to benefit GDMA, including by helping GDMA to secure valuable ship husbanding contracts to service U.S. Navy vessels in Thailand and the Philippines, he admitted.  In addition, Simpkins interceded on GDMA’s behalf in contract disputes with the U.S. Navy.  In one incident in 2006, for example, Simpkins’s subordinate recommended that GDMA’s husbanding contract in Thailand not be extended due to “many exceedingly high cost” items and concluded that the contract should be re-opened to competitive bidding, which would have allowed other firms to bid on the contract.  Simpkins overruled the subordinate and extended GDMA’s contract, he admitted.  In another example, Simpkins instructed U.S. Navy officials in Hong Kong to discontinue the use of meters that monitored the volume of liquid waste that GDMA removed from U.S. Navy ships under its husbanding contracts.  In June 2006, Simpkins instructed a U.S. Navy official not to review invoices that GDMA submitted in connection to a recent port call in Hong Kong after Francis complained that U.S. Navy personnel were asking questions, Simpkins admitted. 
To date, a total of 16 individuals have been charged in connection with the GDMA corruption and fraud investigation.  Francis has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.  As part of his plea agreement, Francis admitted to over-billing the U.S. Navy for over $35 million on ship husbanding contracts by, among other means, reporting that GMDA had removed more liquid waste from ships than it actually did.  Four other GDMA executives have also been charged, Alex Wisidagama, Ed Aruffo, Neil Peterson and Linda Raja.  Wisidagama has pleaded guilty and was sentenced on March 18 to 63 months in prison and $34.8 million in restitution to the Navy.  Aruffo has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing; Peterson’s and Raja’s cases are pending. 
The remaining 11 of the 16 individuals charged are current or former U.S. Navy officials, including Admiral Robert Gilbeau, Lt. Commander Gentry Debord, Commander Bobby Pitts, Captain Daniel Dusek, Commander Michael Misiewicz, Lt. Commander Todd Malaki, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, former NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau II, Petty Officer First Class Daniel Layug and Paul Simpkins, a former DoD civilian employee who oversaw contracting in Singapore.
Gilbeau, Debord, Dusek, Misiewicz, Malaki, Beliveau, Sanchez and Layug have also pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme.  On Jan. 21, Layug was sentenced to 27 months in prison and a $15,000 fine; on Jan. 29, Malaki was sentenced to 40 months in prison and to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Navy and a $15,000 fine; on March 25, Dusek was sentenced to 46 months in prison and to pay $30,000 in restitution to the Navy and a $70,000 fine; on April 29, Misiewicz was sentenced to 78 months in prison and to pay a fine of $100,000 and to pay $95,000 in restitution to the Navy; and on Oct. 14, 2015, Beliveau was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison and ordered to pay $20 million in restitution to the Navy.  Gilbeau and Sanchez await sentencing.  Pitts was charged in May 2016 and his case remains pending.
NCIS, DCIS and DCAA investigated the case.  Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher and Patrick Hovakimian of the Southern District of California are prosecuting the case.  
The Fraud Section plays a pivotal role in the Department of Justice’s fight against white collar crime around the country.  Those with information relating to fraud, corruption or waste in government contracting should contact the NCIS anonymous tip line at or the DOD Hotline at, or call (800) 424-9098. 

Joint Statement On Dismantling Of International Cyber Criminal Infrastructure Known As Avalanche

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

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Pittsburgh Division Robert Johnson issued the following statement today:
“November 30 began the start of a multi-national operation to dismantle a complex, criminal network of worldwide computer servers known as Avalanche. This network hosted more than two dozen of the world’s most pernicious types of malware and several money laundering campaigns. 
“The operation is being conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the FBI – Pittsburgh Division, and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the United States Department of Justice, in close cooperation with the Public Prosecutor’s Office Verden and the Luneburg Police of Germany, Europol and Eurojust, located in The Hague, Netherlands, and investigators and prosecutors from more than 40 countries. 
“The operation involves an unprecedented and ongoing effort to seize, block and sinkhole more than 800,000 malicious domains associated with the Avalanche network. 
“The operation involves arrests and searches in five countries.  More than 50 Avalanche servers worldwide were taken offline. 
“The Avalanche network, which has been operating since at least 2010, is estimated to involve hundreds of thousands of infected computers worldwide.  The monetary losses associated with malware attacks conducted over the Avalanche network are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, although exact calculations are difficult due to the high number of malware families present on the network.
“Additional information on the dismantling of Avalanche and several Western Pennsylvania victims of Avalanche-based malware attacks will be provided early next week.” 

Friday, December 2, 2016

FBI's New Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitive: Marlon Jones

The FBI released the below information:

A Jamaican man charged with murdering four people during a bloody gun battle in a Los Angeles suburb has been named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and a reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to his capture.

Marlon Jones is wanted in connection with the early-morning shootout that occurred on October 15, 2016 in a home being used as a restaurant. In addition to the murders, 10 individuals were wounded.

“It appears Jones was part of an East Coast Jamaican criminal group involved in the illegal distribution of marijuana, and his crew was in Los Angeles trying to settle a dispute with a rival Jamaican crew,” said Special Agent Scott Garriola, a member of the FBI’s Los Angeles Fugitives Task Force.

Because the crime happened so recently, Garriola said, “it is still very early in the investigation. We are not sure if the crews were business associates or if their dispute was over territory.”

There are also unanswered questions about Jones himself, who is believed to have been born in Jamaica and has a long criminal record in which he has used multiple names and dates of birth. “The biggest challenge right now besides finding him,” Garriola explained, “is trying to figure out who he really is.”

He added, “We’re calling him Marlon Jones based on his criminal history in New York, but at this point it’s anyone’s guess what his actual birth name is. We don’t believe he is a U.S. citizen.”

Here is the information investigators currently have about Jones:

He has an extensive and violent criminal record, including arrests for manslaughter, use of a deadly weapon during a burglary, and felony possession of marijuana.

He uses multiple aliases and dates of birth. He has been charged with crimes in New Jersey under the name of Rasheen Brantley and has served time in New York state under than name of Floyd Evans. Other aliases include Anthony Howard, Anthony Winter, and variations on those names. Dates of birth include birth years ranging from 1970 to 1981.

Jones is approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs between 160 and 170 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair.

Because Jones operated predominantly on the East Coast, Garriola believes he has fled Los Angeles. Besides strong ties to New York and New Jersey, the fugitive also has connections in Connecticut, Tennessee, the Virgin Islands, and Jamaica.

 “Based on the nature of this crime, he will be armed and extremely dangerous,” said Garriola, who has been involved in multiple Top Ten Fugitive investigations and believes the significant reward could make a difference in this case.

“Even for his associates involved in the narcotics business,” Garriola said,” $100,000 is still a lot of money.” Garriola also stressed that anyone providing information can remain anonymous. “Everything is confidential,” he said.

If you have information regarding Marlon Jones, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip on our website.

Jones is the 510th individual to be named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Since its creation in 1950, 478 of the fugitives named to the list have been apprehended or located—158 of them as a result of citizen cooperation.

Ralph Peters: What Our Nation Would Get With General Mattis As Defense Secretary

Retired U.S. Army Lt Colonel and author Ralph Peters offers his take on retired Marine General James Mattis (seen in the above DoD photo), who may become the next Secretary of Defense.

I’m lucky enough to know General James Mattis slightly. Just well enough to trust him unreservedly with our military and our nation’s security.
The president-elect could not choose a better man to be our next Secretary of Defense. Not just because Mattis is a battle-hardened Marine with a remarkable combat record. And not just because he has a mind of remarkable clarity and is, without question, the best-read general of his generation.
I trust Jim Mattis because he’s a man of character, that most un-Washingtonian quality. His public image is of one rough-and-tough Marine, but the man I’ve encountered is, above all, one of integrity. His code of honor is so out of fashion that one has to reach back to a Victorian vocabulary:  He has a noble spirit.
And he’s a genuine patriot, not a shouter with his eye on the next chance. He will do what’s right, not what’s expedient.  And he will never go along with anything he believes might harm our country.
In addition to plenty of dirty-boots experience in the Middle East and a deep knowledge of history—that most underrated study—Jim Mattis has another great qualification to be SecDef: He wasn’t looking for a job. He was happy in retirement, studying, helping his fellow Marines, and contributing thoughtfully to our national security behind the scenes.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: