28 November 2010

Beaver Nation and (Unrelated) Cyber Attack

Quite a few developments over the Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately not a ton of time to delve into them as I have a long, snowy drive back to Western Washington ahead of me.

Tip of the hat to the FBI for their work in
Portland. Some are calling it entrapment but the kid was motivated. Remember Minneapolis? Another reminder that the Somali diaspora is probably the most at-risk segment of our population for radicalization. The fire this morning at the Salman al-Farisi Islamic Center was an interesting development; I’m pretty stoked to learn who is responsible for this vengeful act. And finally, the kid’s (or was now that he’s behind bars) a Beaver, so his sanity should have been checked prior to enrollment. Just sayin.

WikiLeaks. Lots of articles and analysis of the information being released this round; Starbuck’s is definitely worth a
read most for his insightful analysis linking the State Department to the movie Mean Girls (which is likely giving the State Dept. too much credit). All I can add is that I fully support any attack on the WikiLeaks site. I can’t believe it took us this long to respond (assuming it was us that is).

04 November 2010

Ibrahim Hassan al Asiri

Ibrahim Hassan al Asiri, assessed to be the lead explosives expert for AQAP.

In the wake of the recent interdiction of two potential "printer-bombs" on flights bound for the US, I wanted to briefly call attention to a post I wrote back in February about Ibrahim Hassan al Asiri - who I assessed at the time to be the top explosives expert for AQAP. Recent comments from high-level government and intelligence officials seem to confirm my original assessment that he is in fact serving in this role and likely has been since as early summer 2009 (when his brother Abdullah blew himself up in a failed attempt to kill Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef). For an excellent updated biography of Ibrahim al Asiri, check out this story from the BBC.

The question I have to ask is why we haven't used our extensive HUMINT network (courtesy of the Saudis - who by the way tipped us on this latest planned attack) and SIGINT network to kill/capture this guy over the course of the last year? Although the interdiction of the explosives was a success story, if we had done our job more effectively in the first place, we could have potentially removed the key individual from the network who possessed enough knowledge to construct these devices in the first place.

01 November 2010

PM Maliki Is My Hero

Not sure how I missed this since it was in my inbox courtesy of Google Alerts, but Maliki having a well trained direct action force at his fingertips is probably not a bad thing. I’ve seen the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) operate on multiple deployments and they truly have developed into an impressive CT force. The fact that Maliki wants them at his personal finger tips is umm… well, a little disturbing. Or maybe I’m just being paranoid. Read more here, http://bit.ly/dle4SX .