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The next wave

We have seen the waves; we have seen the mention and the messages. According to President Trump ISIS has been defeated, the easiest counter is: ‘Really? How?‘ In these theatres of war the setting of defeat is not easily established. In my personal view the stage for defeat when they are all dead. ISIS does not adhere to government policy, it does not accept established articles of war and these people go on until they draw breath no more. It gets to be worse than this. According to one (not the most reliable source) we get: ‘ISIS terrorists flee with $200 million in cash‘, the issue is not merely the money; it is what it enabled to be done. We know that the ISIS fighters scrammed like a load of roaches into every direction they could. Now consider that even after 36 years, I could cripple infrastructures in the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden with less than 10% of these funds, so how much damage could lone wolves do in these nations when that money get cryptoed (a crypto currency tip toe event) and softly spread over these lone wolves? How much damage does Europe have to look forward to? How much funding for attacks on Israel comes next? With optional weapons via Ukraine, explosives via Germany and Sweden, as well as drugs and chemicals? The war with ISIS is far from over, yet now that the US is pulling back, now that gaps are appearing all over the place, how long until that money is spread all over the map inciting attacks in too many places to properly police?

And that is before you realise that most nations are lacking in getting any level of result in fighting these lone wolves. Some are too badly trained and often intentionally to make sure that the intelligence arrogance remains, yet the dozen of operatives that have been working in the dark will be able to strike and with or without that boatload of cash, we need to consider other sources. We start with the Independent who gave us ‘Jim Matthews was prosecuted for fighting with a group backed by the British military‘, a person prosecuted for fighting ISIS in Syria. Now we can argue that what was done had to be done by the law and by the standard of non-combatants acting in a theatre of war (no matter what side they were on), to some degree it makes sense. Yet in that light the quote “Terror “preparation” offences have been used to prosecute foreign fighters as well as terror plotters in the UK” could be considered in another light. Whilst the law focusses on those they recognise and flag as optional targets for prosecution, there are hundreds of people that never made the limelight and as such will go undetected. For this we use the Toronto Sun, where we saw: “When Canadians heard Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi describe how he killed and executed people on a New York Times podcast, they were outraged. Why was this man from the Toronto area not behind bars?” With the addition “Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi was already known to police and they hadn’t charged him. Not because he had recanted what he told the Times podcast Caliphate but because like almost all of the other returning ISIS fighters, police were not able to collect the kind of evidence needed to convict in a court of law“, now we know that Canadians are only hard in the ice rink and beyond that socially a little soft, but to see this and consider that under the laws there is a lager mess all over Europe, how much anger is Europe in? These people are not beyond identity fraud and even as the Dutch have their A-game in place, the same cannot be said for scores of places like Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Hungary and even Sweden has a few flaws in place. All nations where entry into Europe becomes an open playground, that is the ISIS setting we have to fear, a fear that is not going away and will become more and more real soon enough. Even as we see the mention of the events in France a year ago regarding Redouane Lakdim, I believe that the Independent was right (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/isis-europe-terror-attacks-france-shooting-uk-france-terrorist-groups-islamist-danger-a8270941.html) with “the attack in the Carcassonne region by a single gunman, said to be a Moroccan petty criminal from the area, proves very little about the strength of Isis as a continuing threat“, for the most they are right, yet the push to prosecute 800 European ISIS fighters in Europe is a debatable wisdom, the danger that another 100 arrive in Europe unnoticed and they start their ‘consideration’ using $200 million is not without risk, moreover when some of the 800 avoid prosecution, or even are prosecuted to remain under house arrest, or low level security incarceration, only to disappear a few weeks later is a larger risk than most consider. We might think that it is going towards ‘Suicide attack in Afghan capital kills at least 31 people during Persian New Year‘, an event like that in Europe would be very visible, yet that is not the danger that Europe faces. The larger dangers are the explosives that cripple energy in places like Leverkusen, Dusseldorf, Lopik, the Vattenfall energy locations, attacks that cripple European infrastructure for more than a few days. Not the 31 bodies but an infrastructure that impacts quality of life and national economies is the danger the Europeans are not ready for. Their infrastructure is not ready, their manpower is insufficient and ISIS only needs to get it right once, after that any subsequent success will impact Europeans more and more. That was forever the danger Europe faced. Even as I wrote about it on February 17th (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/02/17/two-sides-of-currency/) in my article ‘Two sides of currency‘, where I wrote: “there would be a massive security concern in Europe, the fact that we now see ‘the focus has been on trying to raise standards in the swift sharing of information‘ is evidence that the EU has been sitting on their hands for too long a time“, a failure on immigration data, the issue of well over 500,000 refugees and no verifiable data whether they are real refugees or ISIS refugees relocating to better shores. The fat that this failure is there and has been thee for over 6 years is a much larger concern and most nations are too underfunded and too shallow to do something about it, their data systems inferior, their collected data unshared and all of it with a lack of verification. That is what several EU states face and now as we are confronted that 200 million has gone walkabout with ISIS fighter, do you still think that there is little to worry about?

The fact that only last October we were faced with: “Greece is taking urgent action to tackle Islamist extremists who have infiltrated a large refugee camp on Lesbos and are alleged to be coercing migrants into joining Islamic State“, proves me right. The only matter is if one got found out, how many were not? There is actually no way to tell, but any politician claiming that there is no issue is too much of a security hazard to be taken seriously. There are a whole host of reasons on why nothing has happened yet, but the largest danger is not whether they will strike, but will we be able to stop it when they do? The danger of 6 years of inaction on almost every side is also a danger that complacency might have set in long ago, there is however no way too tell if it was already too late, with the dispersal of ISIS a new age starts and it is one where lone wolves optionally get to make a name for themselves causing all kinds of new clusters of self-proclaimed jihadists and we have no way to determine the dangers, yet what is a real danger is 200 million out in the open. The amount of goods and people that it buys, especially in this day and age is a little too much unsettling.

We can only wait and see the impact, for those not in that battle, we can only remain observant and wait when it happens. Europe is a little too large and 800 people can remain unnoticed for too long a time, especially in this day and age.

 

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Living with choices made

We do that at times, we also endure the bitter fruits that we gained from choices. I made some myself, in two cases I trusted the wrong person and it costed me dearly, an invoice payable over decades. I get that, it was my choice, I was an adult and therefor I accept to live with the choice made. It is partially the reason I go out and expose bullshit artists’ because of the dangers that they represent, as well as their friends who knowingly stand by them. So when I saw ‘UK will not put officials at risk to rescue Isis Britons, says minister‘, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/14/uk-isis-britons-officials-risk-syria-schoolgirl-shamima-begum) gives us “I’m not putting at risk British people’s lives to go looking for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state,” I personally believe that this makes perfect sense. Some might have a bleeding heart when they see: “it was revealed Shamima Begum, one of three pupils from Bethnal Green, east London, who left to join Isis four years ago, told the Times she wanted to return to the UK“, yet there is no way to tell how radicalised she has become. In addition, even as we accept that “Wallace said that as a British citizen, Begum had a right to return home, but anyone who joined Isis should expect to be investigated, interviewed and “at the very least prosecuted” on their return“, we also need to accept that would need to be under scrutiny for some time to come, she is optionally a direct threat to the Britons around her and as such her return also means putting pressure on the budgets of GCHQ and MI5, so there is that to consider. Now, I am not stating that is a reason to keep her out, yet when people state that they are so adult, so well informed and go to places like ISIS Syria, getting married to a Muslim she did not know, have three children with two of them dead is the lifestyle she chose. In addition there is another matter that I had not considered. Even if she is not radicalised, Sir Peter Fahy (former chief constable of Greater Manchester police) gives us: “The biggest challenge if she did come back will be how the police will keep her safe and how she wouldn’t be some sort of lightning rod for both Islamic and far-right extremists“, as an optional catalyst she becomes a new threat on other levels too, as stated, that was something I had not considered and it is important to see that as a matter that could lead its own life. In all the papers and media events we focussed on radicalisation and we forgot that the threat of being a catalyst is actually a larger issue to consider.

And the news is now pouring in from all sides regarding Amira Abase, Shamima Begum and Kadiza Sultana. As all focus on Begum, we know that Kadiza Sultana is dead, the other two were alive in August 2018, and the present status of Amira Abase will be looked at in the near future. My reasons for having the position that I am showing to have is that all need to be held accountable for their actions, not merely governments and large corporations, individuals as well. So when we see “Aqsa Mahmood, a former Scottish university student, has been put under international sanctions for her role as an online recruiter, with other female jihadists including Khadijah Dare and Sally-Anne Jones have called for terror attacks on social media and called on other women to follow them to Syria” (source: the Independent), we need to realise that a governments job is to keep its citizens safe, with the danger of radicalisation and being a catalyst becoming too large a danger, there is everything to be said to leave these people to their fate, so they either become a danger or they die. It seems a simple equation. Yet, we know it is not. The move by more and more Muslim girls (and women) from the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands to step onto the ISIS platform is a given stage for dangers, more than we see at first light. You might think of Robert Ben Lobban Wallace being a softy, think again, he is Sandhurst trained, and a Scots Guard commander with 24 years of intelligence experience. He knows what he is in for and he is more aware of most on the dangers that former ISIS women present. That needs to be taken into consideration before we give rise to: ‘Let Shamima Begum come back, say Bethnal Green residents‘ (the Guardian), ‘British schoolgirl who fled London to join IS pleads to come home to have her baby‘ (News.com.au) and ‘UK schoolgirl Shamima Begum who fled to join Islamic State ‘wants to return home to England’‘ (ABC). you see, the moment she is back and some misguided catalyst event explodes (optionally very literally), we will get all the accusations and all the pointing fingers of a failed police force, yet from my point of view, the people of Bethnal Green will not be allowed to complain. It will be the direct consequence of ‘let her come back‘ and the family members of those victims can ask those people for reparations and grief counselling. So as we see the impact of Shamima Begum (19) mother of three with optionally only one child left alive is seeing the impact of what she thought would be a fairy tale in ISIS. The people who stayed awake have been aware of the danger that ISIS is more than half a decade before she left, she merely listened to the wrong people and it got her family and optionally soon enough her killed. That is the impact of terrorism.

ABC News also gives us: “Independent of this, Home Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to weigh in on whether Ms Begum should have the right to return to the UK, along with intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 and counterterrorism police, who are anticipated to conduct further investigations into potential dangers Ms Begum could pose to the UK“, the issue is not merely that, the words of Sir Peter Fahy are important too, it is not merely what she does, it is what triggers others to do because of her that counts too and that is where the problem begins. This is not merely come algorithm, it is the dimensional impact that others will trigger at her presence, merely via news, or by seeing her. The part that is not about whether she was ISIS, but the part where others see her as a member of ISIS until she is dead, that is the larger issue and there is no way to set that stage in a dependable way. It is like fishing for sharks in the North Sea. You can go to places where they are most likely to be found, yet throwing out bait and a fishing line does not give rise to catching a shark, you could end up with another fish entirely.

It is in that light that I oppose the view of Amina Mohamed, 52, a housewife, who gave us in the guardian: “She was a baby, she didn’t know what was going on there. People played a game with her and brainwashed her. She was a child“, she made a very clear choice, she decided not to listen to her parents, and it is actually that simple. I do not have much on the parents of Shamima Begum, yet the Evening Standard gave us: ‘after deceiving their parents‘, so in all that, it seems to me that a choice was made and as such, they will have to live with the consequences that they created at the age of 15.

The BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47240100) if the sides in all this as even as there are sides that give rise to the responsibility of the British government, the question that we cannot answer is how radicalised has she become? The fact that we see: “She and two friends – Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana – flew from Gatwick Airport to Turkey after lying to their parents about their plans for the day. Their aim was to join another friend, Sharmeena Begum“, there is a part that is seemingly ignored by a few people. Not only did was she able to get to Turkey (so they had passports and they tend to take a while, and apart from the fact that an unsupervised minor got one), the fact that the BBC gives us: “The trio were picked up by smugglers working for the IS group and taken across the border into the group’s territory in northern Syria” that there was a logistical support system in place that set the stage for minors to get to Syria from Turkey, the costs that is involved (three times £175 plus additional expenses), the fact that Gatwick raised no questions on unaccompanied minors, the smugglers they willingly followed (so waiting at the airport), there is a larger support system in place for this. There was a recruitment drive and there is a financial stage in all this. There are clear reasons that no one on the ISIS side wants her to be able to talk to MI5, so the issue is not that clear and it is a lot more hazardous for those around any of the optional two still alive that make it back to the UK, so from where I stand, I see that Sir Peter Fahy is correct in several ways.

Investigating these elements should be high on the priority list and they might be, yet the coverage I have seen so far does not ask any of those questions, do they?

I do realise that the entire matter is more complex that this, yet the fact that dissemination of information is lacking levels of scrutiny is a larger issue that needs to be addressed. To see this, we need to consider to parts, first a local one. In Australia Jenny McAllister has voted very strongly against more scrutiny of intelligence services & police on several occasions. Now, that is her right and partially it is her duty to vote one way or the other. Then there is the Financial Times two weeks ago who gave us: ‘Foreign Office criticised over scrutiny of UK spy agencies‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/4a1cc4e6-2619-11e9-b329-c7e6ceb5ffdf) and we see: “The two agencies use section seven of the 1994 Intelligence Services Act, often referred to as the “James Bond clause”, to authorise activities overseas that might otherwise lead to criminal and civil liability under UK law“, yet in the same trend we see a lack of questions when it can be established that 15 year old girls are recruited in the UK, there is a logistical support system to get them to Syria and the media seems to remain oblivious to a much larger degree (it is the people need not know approach) to something much more pressing in all that. I must have forgotten the lessons on common law regarding the recruitment of children for criminal purpose, how did that go again?

So when I see: “Such missions could include MI6 agents breaking into properties in foreign countries to obtain documents or GCHQ infiltrating computers and networks in ways that might otherwise fall foul of UK laws“, which is a larger implication when a 19 year old is having her third child and it raises no questions, especially as the marriage might be seen as illegal?

At that point my question towards Dan Dolan, deputy director at Reprieve, who is so about doing the right ‘thing’, will be about: What should we do? How far are we allowed to go to prevent recruitment and radicalisation of minors straight out of primary school? How far are we allowed to go to keep British children safe? I think that plenty of intelligence operators lost the plot in the Huawei events (which the Financial Times endorses with a photograph), yet when it comes to threats like ISIS the intelligence industry hasn’t even seen the outer limits lights at present, I am not entirely sure if they are able to tell the colour of those lights when asked. the larger issue is that the intelligence operators are not merely walking a tightrope, they are walking one that is covered in razor blades and at any time there is not merely the risk that it cuts into the feet, it is also a risk that it cuts the rope they are walking on, giving rise to additional hazards, Shamima Begum is merely one of several risks at present and it is important to realise that a Queensberry Rules approach is not merely making us human and humane, it is getting us killed with 99% certainty, the opposition does not warrant, endorse of accepts any kind of rules. I do hope that the recruitment of 15 year old girls will suffice as evidence at present.

 

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Hezbollah, an ignored danger

It has been around for a while. There has been a clear view on how we perceive things, it is in part fuelled by the media and in part through governments that use the flim flam artist approach of ‘watch here‘ whilst the action has been ‘there‘. We have seen a larger growth of anti-Semitic and even anti-Saudi ‘presentations’ and articles. Even though there has been a clear issue with several sides towards the ‘unnatural ending’ of Jamal Khashoggi, the media was way too eager to merely use Turkish innuendo, whilst to a larger extent no verifiable evidence has been produces, even some of the claims have been contradictive. This does not mean that Saudi Arabia is innocent in this, but the critical questions had remained absent to a much larger degree and that too is being swept under the carpet. Yet there is a lot more in all this and it’s important to look at one of the larger puppets Hezbollah. You see, they are very much connected in all this.

Historical

For me personally there is history, I was never part of UNIFIL, yet I was part of the United Nations Security Council and I knew people who were part of UNIFIL, so when I was exposed to ”One year later, following a comprehensive operation by the institute and due to growing international attention to UNIFIL’s failures – and despite EU pressure to prolong the UNIFIL commander’s term – his term was discontinued“, as well as ““The European continent has turned into the lifeline – the oxygen line – for Hezbollah’s terrorist activities,” said Prosor. “If Germany, and then the European Union, would designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, it would suffocate part of the organization’s ability to function.” For more than a year, the institute researched and produced an investigative documentary on Hezbollah activity in Germany. The film was produced entirely in the German language and with German and international experts“, I was decently shocked. The Jerusalem Post gave us in addition: “the lack of professional background of the commander who was leading the force and his blind eye toward Hezbollah’s violations on the Israel-Lebanon border, deeming them as activities of “shepherds and hunters.”“, the fact that there was this level of complacency was just unheard of. The fact that the other media is seemingly ignoring parts of this is just way too weird. Now, we can consider that the Jerusalem Post is biased, yet when we consider both The documentary was first shown at the 2018 International Conference on Counter-Terrorism and at the presentation to the German Parliament at the end of this month, we should realise that this is a much bigger issue, in addition UN Nikki Haley publicly criticized UNIFIL at the UN, one would think that this is due more visibility then we have so far seen, and when we also see: “while it seems obvious in Israel and America that Hezbollah’s military and political arms are both sponsors of terrorism, in Europe this is not so obvious. There, they make an artificial differentiation between the military arm – a designated terrorist group – and the political arm“, It is almost like the entire IRA issues we saw in Europe in the 80’s and 90’s and whilst Europe remained cautious in regards to the IRA, it is seemingly willing to embrace the political arm of Hezbollah that is every bit as dangerous as its military counterpart.

A facilitating gravy train

There are two additional parts here. The first is less than a day old when we are ‘treated’ to: ‘Hezbollah money laundering has a ‘safe home in Germany”, again from the Jerusalem Post, that even whilst we are given “Lax German illicit terror finance policies permitted Hezbollah to run a vast enterprise to raise funds through a money laundering operation in Europe and South America. French prosecutors put 15 members of the criminal organization on trial last week in Paris. According to three German media outlets – NDR, WDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung – two of the accused men lived in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and an additional two men who were charged lived near the city-state of Bremen in northern Germany“, I could not find any references in other large media (outside of Germany and France). If they have it, it was hidden pretty efficiently. It seems to me (very speculative) is that there is optionally a growing link between the political branch of Hezbollah and the secular press as the Americans call it and that is pretty dangerous. When we consider that Hezbollah is directly engaged in Yemen, the ignoring of such events is a lot more damaging than you could imagine.

There are additional sides in this, yet most of this is given in opinion pieces, which is a factor that we must take into consideration. The first comes from the Khashoggi family (aka The Washington Post), who (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/to-rescue-yemen-the-us-must-end-all-military-support-of-the-saudi-coalition/2018/11/12/aca29358-e6ad-11e8-b8dc-66cca409c180_story.html) gives us ‘To rescue Yemen, the U.S. must end all military support of the Saudi coalition‘, now, it is a viewpoint that a person should be allowed to have. I do not think it is a realistic one, apart from the fact that ‘Houthi’ is mentioned twice and Hezbollah does not get any mention and they are both firing missiles into civilian areas of Saudi Arabia (and that is all besides the absence of Iranian activity fuelling it all). Yet the passing of a ‘blogger aficionada‘ (aka Journalist) takes front seat to a setting where that person should not really be an issue to the degree he is shown. The stage gives us “in which more than 16,000 civilians have been killed or injured“, yet the mention of 50,000+ deaths from disease, famine and other means where Houthi’s are allegedly using Hezbollah tactics does not get any mention either.

It is that filtered view that is giving light to a behind the curtains support setting to Palestine and Hezbollah. Now, to be fair, a person should be allowed to be pro-Palestinian, if people are Pro-Israel, the other should not be denied, yet Pro-Hezbollah, to be in support of a terrorist organisation is a much bigger issue and that hidden part is becoming a lot more visible, especially when the news is shown to be so unbalanced, even when it is ‘fronted’ as an opinion piece. so when we see the links (as an image), whilst it is almost all openly ‘anti-Saudi’, yet the fact that the atrocities that Houthi and Hezbollah have been largely the cause of, that absence is making the news not democratic, but a shadowy version of niche events presented as factual truth, whilst the given view on the larger scale shows this absence to be close to utterly unethical, especially for a paper like the Washington Post, whether they are now staff-1 or not.

1982 kilometres from Beirut

So how should we react to: “Even U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres submitted evidence to the Security Council that Iran was supplying ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in defiance of U.N. resolution 2231“, which links to a 2014 article, yet the truth is that this has been ongoing and even as Western Europe is puckering up towards Iran to a much larger degree, leaving the political response against Hezbollah unanswered and more important Mohammed Ali al-Houthi is not seen as the guilty party he should be seen as. It is often stated that any aspiring tyrant will consider peace on the eve of defeat and that is what we see now. Even as we are treated to ‘Arab coalition to allow Al Houthi medical evacuations from Yemen: UK‘, we also see ‘Wounded Al Houthi rebels to be evacuated‘, yet what about the 80,000 children on the brink of death due to famine? Even as some might applaud the Saudi Coalition victory, seen though: “Recent high-ranking defections among erstwhile allies of Al Houthis signal further such splits as the Iran-aligned militia suffers setbacks at the hands of the Saudi-led coalition, experts said. This week, Abdul Salam Jaber, who had served as the information minister for Al Houthis, defected from the militia and fled the Al Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a for Riyadh. He said the rebels were “breathing their last”“, the biggest responsibility should be to the Yemeni civilian population in such distress through famine and disease alone. Even Deutsche Welle reported ‘Yemen Houthis seek truce with Saudi coalition‘, yet nothing on those starving to death and even as the Deutsche Welle gives us “The three-and-a-half-year-war has pitted forces loyal to President President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led bombing, against Houthi rebels associated with Tehran. Saudi-led coalition has recently intensified the bombing in the key strategic area of Hodeida. A blockade of the port city could trigger unprecedented famine“. Even as the blockade might be tactical, the fact that food has been withheld from the civilian population to a much larger degree through the Houthi whether or not employing Hezbollah tactics is also absent here.

For me the problem is a lot larger, as we clearly see the impact of Hezbollah and the absence in the media, the media is becoming less and less reliable, especially as the stories remain one sided. There is a larger part in all this. Personally I am not convinced that this is the complete picture, and I need to make it clear that this is speculative. It is my personal belief that when we consider The National (at http://www.thenational.ae) and some of its unconfirmed articles, some might have seen: ““This was no rogue operation but, rather, a function of Hezbollah’s “financial apparatus,” which “maintained direct ties” to both Hezbollah commercial and terrorist elements,” he wrote in a report published by the Washington Institute of the US Treasury designation of Nourheddine, which preceded the arrests. “Within days of this designation, Noureddine was arrested in France along with several other accused Hezbollah operatives“, as well as ‘Operation Cedar—of which the Treasury designation was just one part‘. I am amazed that the Netherlands were not more visibly mentioned in all this. It seems weird, almost unfathomable that this was all achieved without the use of Rotterdam as a point of transit. Even as transitional cargo is not really looked as, as the Netherlands was not the end destination, it is the biggest world hub in getting containers and bulk cargo from anywhere in Europe towards Asia and the US (and vice versa). This implies that Hezbollah political players are seemingly active there too. The article does mention the Netherlands, yet in a much more ‘timid’ capacity. We see: “Cash was dropped off at hairdressers in Antwerp in Belgium, a large hotel in Paris, a restaurant in Montreuil or a café in Enschede in the Netherlands. Transcripts showed that Mr Noureddine would hand out orders for the collection of as much as 500,000 euros at a time. Six figure sums were often delivered in small note denominations” and that makes sense for the German part (Enschede – Germany) is a distance you can walk (4.5 km) with a highway to Gronau, so that is a place to easily get into Germany (and the opposite direction), hundreds of containers a day take that route. when we consider the news a month ago, when the Dutch were confronted with: ‘Dutch politician praises pro-Palestinian kite show featuring Nazi symbols‘, my assumptions and speculations might be shown as correct, yet is that the actual part in that? So when the Dutch were treated to: “Rens Reijnierse, a lawmaker from the southern city of Vlissingen” and his Pro-Palestinian view “Kites at Pool Beach. Beautiful autumn day in Vlissingen. No wind so the kites won’t fly but the project for Palestine still succeeded,” he wrote” as it was tweeted gives light to not merely a Pro-Palestinian view (which should be allowed) to an optional facilitating Pro-Hezbollah view (a speculative view by me), which is another matter entirely, if that would prove to be true, and even as I mention one person, I am convinced that the anti-Semitic vandalism as shown 6 months ago in Amsterdam was recorded to have risen by 40%. From my speculative mind, there is no way that this does not include a wave of Pro Hezbollah people giving light to a much larger danger on a global scale.

The size does not matter here, the fact that the media is allegedly shuffling this part to the bottom of the news pile is an issue and the few parts I have shown here, should also give rise that the media to a much larger extent is seemingly doing this. Merely Google ‘Hezbollah‘ for the last 24 hours and I see an absence of The Guardian, The Independent, the Times, and several other large newspapers in Europe. Do you really think I was making that up? It is not merely what we see; it is what we do not get to see that shows us that there is a much larger problem. Optionally there is a hidden danger, which is nothing to speculate or allege to. Those who are not in the news are often quickly forgotten and that is the true danger that Hezbollah is representing on a global stage. You merely have to view the thousands of images that show the nightmare that Hezbollah has been part of to see the danger that they pose, the fact that Iran is willing and has been shown to fund this is the icing on the cakes of Iran and Hezbollah, the fact that the media skates around it makes the cake more delicious for both these players as they are not given the limelight of their actions.

 

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Annual medical bill $864,685

Yes, that is the price for keeping the doctor away. An Apple a day keeps the doctor away, yet at $2,369 per iPhone it will be a hefty bill, let me tell you that. And the news gets to be worse after that. Apple has been in the news and not in a good way. We all remember the big news earlier this year, when Apple announced that they had become the first trillion dollar company. It was just as the new Apple models had come to town and the impact has been seen. First we get the Financial Times 2 days ago with: ‘Apple falls into bear market territory‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/c9dd38f0-e839-11e8-8a85-04b8afea6ea3). I thought it was merely metaphorically, yet it is not. You see, bear territory is when a company got into the state of: “The drop takes the stock’s decline from its intraday high of $233.47 on October 3 to 20.3 per cent, meeting the definition of a bear market“, the first corporation to surpass 1 trillion and lose 20% value soon thereafter. Apple did this t themselves in a few ways. It takes me to my dark Apple moment. Now do not get me wrong, I do not hate Apple, I still have the very first iPad and I will get the iPad Pro if my budget would ever allow for it, hopefully before my iPad passes away.

I bought an Mac Book Pro in 2005, I loved it and it set me back $5099, it was all I had and it after 11 months I had one line in my screen, then 3 then I went to the Apple store and I realised that my warranty had past. Two weeks later the screen was no longer usable, $5099 and nothing to show for it. When it ran it ran great, so for 11 months I never regretted buying it, and then the onslaught came. I was not happy, the $5099 was all I had, so there was nothing left for the Apple care and after 6 months I had forgotten to get it, it is my own fault, yet the longevity of Apple (lack thereof) will never be forgotten. The opposite is also true, my G5 and first iPad as well as an iPod Classic are still doing their stuff. So overall there is more good than bad. The previous parts I mentioned matter, as you are about to find out. Forbes, who also on last Thursday gives us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2018/11/15/apple-new-iphone-xs-max-xr-upgrade-price-cost-camera-sales-face-id/#78e1e0302932): ‘Apple’s new iPhones have a Serious Problem‘. Here we see: “AMS revised its Q4 2018 revenue estimates down from highs of $610M to new lows of $480 citing “recent demand changes from a major consumer customer.” AMS is the latest in a string of iPhone suppliers to announce revenue cutbacks“. The setting here is not merely the suppliers; we see ““Many suppliers have lowered numbers because of their unnamed ‘largest customer,’ which is Apple,” Elazar Capital analyst Chaim Siegel told Reuters“. This shows that the shareholders could optionally panic before the end of the year and it will be an additional downturn for Apple, who is currently worth a mere $US886 billion, in addition the second wave might lower it to somewhere between $794-$811 billion, making Q4 2018 one of the worst moments in Apple history, lowering its value by almost 30%. So if 20% is bear territory, will passing the 30% make it the Groundhog tree stump area? #JustAsking

Yet all is not lost, there is still last moment Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Saint Nicholas (Belgium and Netherlands), and Christmas. It will mean a massive level of facilitation (by Apple mind you), but there is space for a partial turnaround and it was their own doing, this economy is not ready for upper class latest techno prices. Consider the $2365, whilst their opponent is offering a decently close solution for $1499 (Google) and $1599 (Huawei) all top end phones and the next model is 33% cheaper, in an economy where most people are turning around pennies (just look at Debenhams). It was a really bad market moment; one could argue that Apple believed their marketing whilst it was nowhere near realistic. In addition we see (at https://www.macrumors.com/2018/11/16/new-ipad-pro-bend-test/) ‘New iPad Pro Models May Be Prone to Bending‘, the image is very expressive on the curve, which might be moving towards boomerang shape over time (just guessing here). The quote “both forum complaints and a new bend test video suggest the two devices have the potential to bend without a huge amount of force“, gives us that the news is already out there, which gets us the Achilles heel of any corporation that is ruled by marketing deadlines. It is the proper testing of last minute changes. You see, if that was not done it implies that proper testing was never done and that is a lot worse at present for Apple. As the new iPad Pro could set you back $2689 that issue is a lot more important than you think. MacRumors also gives us: “Despite the video and the forum complaint, this does not appear to be a widespread issue. There are a couple of other complaints from MacRumors readers who were seeing slight curves in their devices and received replacements or sent the tablet back, but there aren’t complaints that match the complaints we saw back in 2014 with the original iPhone 6 Plus bendgate“, which should be noted too, just be certain (as it counts for me too) to keep an eye on it, and even as a prospective Apple marketeer gives us: ‘Apple released their folding display before Samsung 😉‘, we need to be certain that any gospel truth involving Apple, just in case it is still partially owned by Microsoft.

For Apple things are escalating in a few ways. First there is ‘Apple admits iPhone X ‘ghost touch’ screen issue, offers free repair‘, which we got form the Sydney Morning Herald last week (at https://www.smh.com.au/technology/apple-admits-iphone-x-ghost-touch-screen-issue-offers-free-repair-20181112-p50ffl.html), yet Apple did respond with: “Apple has announced that it has found issues affecting some of its iPhone X and 13-inch MacBook Pro products, and said the company would fix them free of charge“, which is good, but it is water under the bridge, the damage is optionally already done. The question rotates around the core of properly testing issues before the audience gets them.The issue gets worse when we see: “For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, it said an issue may result in data loss and failure of the storage drive“, no matter how repairs go, the entire matter of data loss is a nightmare for many people, the idea that a days work is lost for whatever reason is a massive push to look elsewhere for a solution and that will hurt Apple down the track as well. The battery issue has put a dent in faith in Apple with many people and the keyboard issue in the Macbook and Macbook Pro models only make matters worse, so as the list is added to the media and as the media gives more and more light to it all, Apple might be in extremely rough seas this coming January. A setting that proper testing might have avoided to a greater extent. If this was not enough, CNBC adds fuel to the fire two days ago with ‘I tested the new iPad Pro and it still can’t replace my laptop like Apple says it can‘. The article (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/15/apple-ipad-pro-review.html) also gives us: “I’ve been testing the iPad for the past several days, and while it’s a very nice tablet, it’s still not capable of replacing my regular laptop. In fact, most people should probably just buy a Mac, or Apple’s cheaper $329 regular iPad“. I saw it in the store myself and the new Apple Smart Keyboard is a game changer, which is not available for the normal iPad. He might have a point to some degree, especially when we have to shell out a difference of $1200 at least. The only core issue is that the graphic part of the Pro is close to 300% faster than the not pro, so that is still a consideration to take in a graphic tablet life, but beyond that his view is harsh and optionally not wrong. I found the review of Todd Haselton extremely genuine, especially when he gives us: “The iPad Pro is great, but it isn’t for most people. Let me explain why“, he gives it the proper support, so it is a good part, yet it is also bad for Apple in another way, let’s go there together.

You see, the competition is never far behind and the device already available and several sources give it to us. In this case I selected ‘Huawei’s Matebook X Pro Is The MacBook Rival People Have Been Asking For‘ (at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/11/huawei-matebook-x-pro-review/). Whilst we can look at Like Apple, Huawei starts with a solid aluminium body and then adds surprisingly powerful speakers to the sides, a big one-piece trackpad down below, and clever power button/fingerprint reader combo in the top left – and all of it is top notch. Then there’s Matebook X Pro’s backlit keyboard. While it is a bit on the shallow side, the keyboard’s relatively high actuation weight and deeper key travel feels vastly superior to the garbage you get on modern MacBooks” from more than one direction, it is the setting that gives is weight (as well as the keys I reckon). We also get two more interesting parts. The first is “the X Pro’s chin is equally thin too, resulting in a screen-to-body ratio of 91 per cent. That’s better than devices like the new XPS 13 (80.7 per cent) and the Galaxy S9 (83.6 per cent) by a fair margin“, as well as “Regardless of how shamelessly you think Huawei has copied Apple’s formula, it has absolutely improved on that template in a number of very important ways“. The second part is the most damning one. Apple had a good thing going and was willing to let marketing rule the ways, whilst improvements have been lacking (many users have made similar statements). When we see that the original has been improved upon and we see an equal in a field where they optionally did not belong, that is when the goose of Apple remains to be cooked (optionally for Christmas). With the final part “As of today we finally have Australian pricing and a release date for the Matebook X Pro, which is November 22, 2018. They start at $1,899 for the i5/8GB/256GB model and at $$2,599 for the i7/16GB/512GB model” we see the nightmare of Apple become a reality, not only is there an alternative available, as CNBC reflects on, we see that this alternative is out and it is with Huawei, which should upset Americans to no end. In addition that model comes with Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition, so you get the good stuff. Even as it is not a gaming PC, the optional Nvidia GeForce MX150 would enable you to truly enjoy places like Facebook in several ways and that is definitely an additional plus point all over the board. The battery was stated as good, not much beyond that, yet in light of the bank hey are bringing, we see that Huawei is optionally pushing into Apple territory and even as that is a really large field, the fact that Huawei moved into laptop space is something no one had really prepared for and that might be an issue over the next two months depending on how the Huawei Matebook X Pro is embraced by the audience, the fact that they are clearly on the radar should be regarded as an optional threat for Apple, they quite literally have a lot to lose at present.

There is also an IOS issue (and it goes way beyond IOS. hackers were able to exploit the JIT compiler flaw with a malicious access point, which Apple is expected to have patched in an upcoming iOS 12 update. This is always going to happen, we get that as an issue by itself it is not a biggie (or at least it is optionally not a biggie). When we see “An iOS 12 Security Flaw Allows Access to Deleted Photos on iPhone“, so OK, it is an issue and it will be fixed, in the worst case if you take photos of your wife/girlfriend you will just have to refrain from deleting them until the patch is out. It becomes a little more of an issue as the Mirror reported (at https://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/iphone-x-explodes-during-ios-13593046). The article ‘iPhone X EXPLODES during iOS 12.1 update – and Apple’s response is laughable‘. The article itself gives us: “@Apple iPhone X just got hot and exploded in the process of upgrading to 12.1 IOS. What’s going on here???“, yes it was done over twitter and the response: “That’s definitely not expected behaviour. DM us, so we can look into this with you” was indeed funny, yet not incorrect. Twitter is limited in the response usage, so it was an acceptable answer in all this. The article was not that great, but there is optionally another issue and whether this is a mere IOS 12.1 flaw, or a larger issue is unknown, leave it to the Mirror to not properly look into this and let emotions rise via responses on a mere Twitter setting and few words. The responses were exactly the ones we should expect to see and not worthy of repeating other than ‘And this deserved an article devoted to it?‘ This is acceptable and fair enough, yet the issue behind it is larger. You see if this is the update that is supposed to deal with the JIT compiler flaw; the update could optionally merely be making matters worse. The grand total is negative for Apple as a multitude of issues on devices and drop of value, as well as intensely lowered sales at present shows that Apple is in a not so good place. We cannot tell for certain because the end of year is 6 weeks away and a lot could optionally be repaired by then, yet the fact that there is a list of issues spanning the range of Apple models is not the greatest place to be in at present and proper testing could have prevented a lot of the issues involved before they happened, which leaves us to the setting: ‘Has Apple become too complacent in all this?

It is important because it only means that whatever comes out in the next 6 months could be as messy as anything they have released in the last year and it has not been a great year for Apple technologically speaking, and now that they have both Google and Huawei nipping at their heels on several fields could be a decent sign that there are more issues on the horizon making their shareholders even more nervous than in the previous 4 years altogether, so that too is likely to impact the total value of Apple over the coming quarter, they will survive, no doubt about that, yet it might be a while until they get to that 1 trillion mark again.

 

 

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Terrorism is OK

How is that for a title? Is it nice, cool, rad or merely scary? One would think that people wake up at some point, especially when we see the condoning of terrorism because of the ‘signs’. It is in that light that we need to see the New Yorker and what it brought to the people (at https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-ceasefire-in-gaza-a-turning-point-for-hamas-and-netanyahu). Here we see the writing of Bernard Avishai, a man who teaches political economy at Dartmouth, Dartmouth being a private university in Hanover, New Hampshire. It does not matter where he is teaching, from my personal point of view; the man has been in a stage of historic denial. You see, over the ages Hamas has only ever agreed to a cease fire when the ammunition was lot and they would only keep it until the stocks were back up. In this stage we need to consider what the impact is. You see, the issue is not that missiles were fired on Israel; it is the fact that 400 were fired. The storage for this would have been pretty enormous. This also implies that for the most, the rocket fire is done with the ‘blessing’ from the Palestinians to a much larger extent than we ever considered before. The even more hilarious view is given by the Washington Post with: “Why did Israel carry out this military operation at a time when many were heralding novel progress in diplomatic steps toward alleviating tensions between Israel and Hamas?” My response would be: ‘Didn’t you guys lose a temporary reporter recently? How much of a stink did you kick up over that one? So when 400+ missiles get fired at civilian targets in Israel, we see clear cause and even the consideration that the response was disproportionate (too light), in this that for every 10 missiles one building van get flattened, Israel can still lower the maximum altitude towards zero for at last 35 buildings at present‘.

From my point of view is that we need to hunt the money. These were not some 400 garage band projects, they were ‘commercial’ products (and not cheap) and there should be a trace on where they are from. 400 missiles, even over 10 months is just too much of an amount. There will be a trace and that stuff needed storage, even if it is after the fact, we need to look at the options at what could be backtracked. There is also debate over ‘Israel risks igniting a war that no one can win‘. I agree that there is a partial truth in all this, yet the risk is already ignited as the premise of premeditation that it takes to launch a 400+ missile attack, yet the Washington Post is not really that interested in giving us that light, merely keeping the darkness alive in hindering the light to shine on the truth of attacks against Israel. We can argue that Boaz Atzili has a point or two and he does have them, yet the lack of illumination on the actions of Hamas is also leaving me with a question mark in all this. In addition, the news (very generic) giving us Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi downplaying the rockets is also an issue, let’s be clear that it is a valid political play, but the stage with 400+ missiles is a changed stage and the denial over that is a little too weird for me. You see as a national security expert he knows better, the storage, the preparation to get this done was decently impressive. The timeline before this will be equally important. No matter how many rat tunnels are drowned. There is a direct need to look into the trace these missiles back as this will happen again and again and the next time it could optionally hit the wrong place (what Hamas calls the bullseye) and at that point the fence comes of and we do get a full scale war. We could consider that the pressure is removed as Gaza becomes part of Israel, yet another option would be preferred by pretty much every party (including Israel). It is there where we see the agreeing light to the statements by Dr. Mordechai Kedar. He gave us (more than once): “What would the UK have done to anyone who launched 400 rockets at its civilians? How about just one rocket? What would France do to anyone who dared launch one single rocket at its territory? What would any US president do to Mexico if it dared launch one mortar shell at America?” The bulk of the world has had enough of the mind games that Hamas and Hezbollah plays (as well as Iran and to some degree Turkey too) and the people are getting angry, they want it resolved it in any way that takes Hamas and Hezbollah out of the equation permanently. If anything that feeling is mostly fuelled by the images from Yemen, a situation that Hezbollah was a much larger part of than the news is letting on and the people are realising that too, hence the increased anger and frustration from the civilians in nations all over the globe.

Then we get one accusation that is a much larger issue. When we see: “Qatari money is being transferred at Iran’s behest. Iran’s rulers, under severe economic sanctions at present, do not want peace and tranquillity between Israel and Gaza. On the contrary, they want the smoke rising from a war between Israel and Gaza to divert media attention from Iran and the “deal” which granted the Ayatollahs 150 billion dollars in cash with which to destroy the Middle East. Qatar, a long-time supporter of the terror espoused by organizations whose ideology originated in the Muslim Brotherhood, backs Hamas publicly. It has, for the most part, built the infrastructure, including the military one, for a Hamas state in Gaza.” It is an issue as the evidence is required. It will not only end any nuclear deal, there would be enough public outrage that any politicians who was connected into diminishing this part in the equation, that person will be an outcast, the people will demand that person to be removed from office for life and the media is actually aiding some of these connected politicians. Certain people in the EU will see another light if we can ever clearly show evidence of their ‘assistance’ in feigned opposition to Hezbollah and Hamas, as it comes with a large consequence. One that needs to be put in legislation, yet the calls for an adjustment that a political voice is set to zero if any terrorist assistance could be clearly proven. To get there it is more and more important to trace the missile attacks not merely before the attack, but collect the evidence after the attack so that a much better case could be made against those supporting Hamas and Hezbollah through military hardware. I make it sound easy, but it is not, the water is deeply dark and there will be no clarity, not for a long time. Yet identifying the players in all this is becoming increasingly important., and there is a call to expose those who seemingly hide behind a humanitarian political cloak, and let’s face it the people have a right to know, do they not?

Yet the issue remains clouded and it will do so for some time. So as we see innuendo, gossip and covered information take the central road in all this, we need to consider the impact that inactions have. Even as we see US actions with: “The U.S. Department of State announced on Tuesday rewards of up to $5 million each for information or identification leading to the capture of the following terrorist figures: Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri, and Hezbollah leaders Khalil Yusif Mahmoud Harb and Haytham ‘Ali Tabataba’i” we need to wonder if it has any impact at all. A Dark web ‘source’ made mention that one of them (Hezbollah) is supposed to be at a place called ‘مسجد الإمام الهادي يحيى بن الحسين’ either within the next 72 hours, of was there in the last 36 hours (the text was ambiguous and the translation by Google did not make any sense at all). Parts of the other text translated to a mosque supposedly in Sadat, which is in Egypt and that made even less sense to me. So relying on Google translate does not seem the best idea in any of this (as well as the fact that I cannot decipher the native Arabian alphabet), yet the exercise was important. Knowing the elements you cannot fathom in the first place is a first step in finding the limitations of a thought process. Data is the foundation of creating the timelines we need down the track and the lack of effort that are seemingly in place is impressive.

Even when we accept: “Qatar played a bad role in supporting the Houthis, especially after having already fought them as a former member state of the Arab Coalition, is self-destructive behavior, “ Al Adini said while explaining that Qatari leadership fully understands that Iran’s agenda in Yemen threatens both Arab and Gulf security“, we are seemingly missing a larger element in all this. You see, Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi forces, Qatar and Iran are all elements in all this. They are all elements in a progressing destabilisation and money is the central key here. The issue has been going on for a year when we were first treated to “Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have imposed a near-total embargo on Qatar since June 2017 over allegations of Doha supporting radical groups and seeking closer ties with Tehran“, I always have doubts, but the given links are becoming overwhelming. It is not merely ‘where there is smoke, there is fire‘, it has evolved into: ‘There is so much smoke in this room, I can no longer see the walls‘, ignoring this and ignoring the games that Iran is playing in all this is becoming a very dangerous stance to maintain.

I did do some (highly speculative and debatable) research in this and there is more and more alleged links towards bitcoin exchange on the dark web. This leaves me with the worry that there are even more Qatari links active as there would be an easy method for Saudi’s to use their banks as they do not reveal anything to anyone ever, so whoever is using this path is requiring an almost total level of isolation. I am not stating that Saudi Arabia is innocent, but the implied facts give more and more rise that other players are using the dark web to launder money and make payments as well as supportive accounts. This is a stage that cannot be proven as any link will never go towards any source that has any value, yet I searched as 400+ missiles represent value and deployment of such resources will cost a fair bit too. So I looked into whatever dark web search I could. Now, there is no way to get anything remotely reliable and my method was as plain as it was useless. I merely looked at the haystack hoping I would see anything metallic (optionally the needle we all seek). That is as good as it gets and even as I got more and more details on optional events, finding the wheat from the chaff is unlikely to happen. I reckon me winning the lottery has better odds. Yet the idea that this path has been taken makes more and more sense so even as we cannot find the relative data, finding the relative data becomes increasingly important because there is every chance that places like Iran would use it to fund events for Hezbollah optionally all over Europe and finding the money is a top priority. Just on the side of all this, the fact that I (as a mere exercise) would have been able to get a Glock 17 & silencer for $1149 (and an additional $49 for two extra clips with a box of 50 rounds delivered to a drop place in the UK, and you still think the entire Novichok issue in Salisbury was as clear cut as everyone thinks? If I was able to find this, then the GRU would have known about it, that entire situation never did make any sense.

There were links that offered something more exotic, but I was unable to get there (reason unknown), so in all this there is a reason to check the links and there was even more reason to pursue or is that peruse the information? I believe that the dark web is the Chinese wall that both Iran and Qatar are allegedly using (extremely speculated by me at this point) to keep insulated from any accusations and therefor that data will become increasingly important. There was more, a Dutch Freelance (detective or Journalist) found an extremist with: “an .onion link in their bio. I thought, Wow, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a jihadist group using an onion link. So I opened it, and I was blown away. I sent the link around to a few different friends with similar interests, and they were also blown away. We wanted to think it was a scam, but there were just too many factors ruling against it being a scam“, I personally believe that the issue is larger and even as some can be stumbled upon, there is a growing trend to use .onion links like burner phones. To be merely there for a short time (a speculated 96 hours) and then abandoned. Yet in those 96 hours, traffic of goods and finances could have been completed. It would be the operations equivalent of an entire lone wolf operation with no chance to find it in time. That too gives rise to the need to start tracking with a long term need after the fact. Even as prevention should remain the initial need, the data could down the track be enough for conviction and that too is important. Yet, for the most I cannot prove any of this. There is a lot of implied and even more speculation linked in all this (as I stated earlier) yet the connections are too realistic and probable to ignore. If people like Ben Strick are correct and there is an actual setting of: ‘jihadi crowdsourcing‘ then the impact of escalations in Europe will only escalate with all the issues that follow, which is an additional reason to stat mapping all this. So unless we want to start living with the slogan: ‘Terrorism is OK‘ we need to start to think about creating solutions that can deal with inverted data funnels with an optional stage that an inverted funnel leads to 3-4 other inverted funnels. This is not an easy path and there is no real direct answer, because it is not merely which inverted funnel it goes into, it could be that the third tier is a funnel where the path is not where it leads to but where it went when the data bounced, that too is a destination and that path that skill will become increasingly important. To illustrate this is a lot harder, but I will try though market research. Consider an interview; it is a mere one on one event. Now we assume that the interviewee was the jihadi crowdsourcer’s data point. So we begin with a few simple narrow, closed-ended questions. From there on we move to broader, open-ended questions. This gives an optional pattern and we move from both specific and general questions. When we have asked enough questions (collected enough data), we enter a stage with Diamond questions, which is a combination of Funnel and Inverted Funnel questions.

Consider the image, we see inverted funnels (yes, go with it), so as we go from A, will B be the exclusion, or did it enter the funnel? If it entered, C is out of the question, so if F, yet E remains a player. This is near impossible and it is not in one transaction, it is over hundreds of connected transactions that certain players will be excluded, even more events are needed to find a group, yet there will be a pattern over time and that is what is needed. Yet if C is not an inverted funnel, but a funnel, or it as an inverted funnel and the traffic went through C, we now see that F remains an option and B, D and E were excluded. It will be a data collection over a much larger time frame that will prove this and time is what is needed. Most Jihadists will not care to live, yet the people behind it will always prefer to outlive events and it is the only way to get to them. You see, when we look at history, we all know Ghandi, many, especially Hindu will know that he was murdered by Nathuram Vinayak Godse. Yet the movie (by Sir Richard Attenborough) implies someone behind the screen and those are the people we need to find. It starts by proving that there was a person behind the screen. In case of Hezbollah that is actually decently simple as the amount of Yemeni missiles required is impossible Hezbollah to afford (or produce) in any way shape or form and it is easy to state that it was Iran, but we need the individuals to connect to it all and that takes time. ‘Follow the money’ is the most realistic path to take in this case. It is more realistic as Mossad has been unable to find actual missile traffic for the longest of times, and even if they did, it would be for one shipment. That too is still important as it links goods and money, so that path must not ever be abandoned, yet conviction without the money path proof is pretty much impossible and the time is now as we see more and more events leading to Europe and to a larger stage, so this path is becoming essential. If we translate the events to marketing (or market research) the same paths can be used. Whether we go via vendor, via drop point or via the path of the funds and buyer, we have the elements of awareness of what to get where, interest to get what is needed, choice of goods and purchase to go through and unless every stage was another person (not enough people) there is still a path. The unaware cannot purchase, the unaware cannot choose, the interested part is aware, a choice was made, it does not matter whether online or offline, it is not virtual, so there was traffic in some form. Even if the first two stages are negated a specific person has made the choice of goods to purchase, so now we have inverted or not a much smaller funnel to work with. In the end at the bottom we have the point of purchase (or point of sale) and there is a connection there. Something was bought/sold and funds are linked to that, so that part is optionally set in cement, the rest is not, yet the deployment path is still ‘riddled’ with actual people as well making the picture more complete. Now we need to find their optional connections to the dark web, if it is web and not dark it becomes increasingly easy, yet this is not a path where we bank on too much good news and there is in the end the question if convictions will be possible. Even if the path is an inverted funnel (showing what some call a Customer Experience Funnel view), we can see that the jihadists unite in certain views and if they were the advocates in this, it stands to reason that they try to engage to increase their footprint (and attempted funding). Finding that point will give optional identification of channels with an optional overlap to people linked to the buyer and/or shipper. It is a slow path, yet as time progresses an essential one. It achieves two parts, the first the optionally linked people, yet it also shows that those not linked to anything can optionally be excluded freeing up resources to refocus in this path, because this path drains resources and whatever resources there are available will be stretched. It is precisely the view we need to have as more data means more efficiency. One could argue that it could make it an optional track to find links to servers that have remained invisible for the longest of times, because if two people are found, there is the optional chance that they have gone to a .onion link that we have never noticed before and that would be a first true victory, yet in a short term span, if temporary is the name of the game, it becomes a near impossible task, should we therefore not do it? Are we ready to admit defeat by stating: ‘Terrorism is OK‘, or will we get the notion to get clever about it and limit the dangers we are exposed to. For this we can actually quote Tom Cruise (the Firm): ‘If you want the criminals, go after their lawyers‘, in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah, we need to go after their accountants and contributors, and optionally their military goods distributor as well.

If you truly want to decrease pressures in the Middle East, this will be the only path that really works. If you are delusional enough to consider peace talks, consider how many there have been since 1982 and how often it worked (as well as the cost involved). It is a discouraging picture that makes depression look like a healthy positive look on life.

Oh, and should you consider Europe to be completely innocent in all this, consider that Bloomberg gave us: ‘U.S. Warns Europe against Iran Payments after Austria Bows Out‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-15/u-s-warns-europe-against-iran-payments-after-austria-bows-out). The quote: “Austrian officials rebuffed entreaties from France, Germany and the U.K. to host the so-called special purpose vehicle, a system that the European Union sought to handle payments to Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions” has absolutely no bearing on terrorism or fuelling terrorism. Yet it does show a desperate need to keep a level of facilitation to keep some Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in play, a situation that has not been realistic for several months now. The issue optionally becomes a much larger vessel. Even as we see: “EU nations have identified Austria as the best candidate to host a special purpose vehicle that could handle payments to Iran, according to three people familiar with the negotiations. Austria itself is not so keen. Belgium, Luxembourg and France have also been identified as potential venues but Belgium and Luxembourg have declined while France is looking to Austria“, we see a nation not interested and an EU ready to take a desperate step, in all this, when we see the earlier quote ‘France, Germany and the UK‘. Why isn’t France, Germany or the UK doing this? It is that setting that shows a political game of facilitation on too large a field. From my limited knowledge, I feel that the EU is all about non-accountability yet the impact will be felt in Europe. Unless direct evidence can be produced by all EU signatory nations that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action could prove to be an actual solution. And in this I mean that politicians have to put their name under it and live with the consequences of being cast out of politics (for life) when it backfires, at that point we will end up seeing that no one would have been willing to put their name under any of this and you still think that Iran is merely sitting on the sidelines?

We need to figure this out before the Middle East destabilises close to completely and we are running out of time, if we have to choose, I personally see no other option but to openly side with Saudi Arabia in all of this, they might not be perfect, but with Iran as an alternative, we are basically ending up not having any options for any stable future at all. That part of the equation was given to us by the SMH merely a few hours ago (at https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/us-eyes-ways-to-remove-erdogan-foe-to-appease-turkey-nbc-20181116-p50gew.html). when we see that the US allegedly accused through: “The Trump administration is exploring possible ways to remove US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, NBC News reported on Thursday“, Turkey an open ally of Iran, as they are openly strengthening trade relations, giving even more pressure to the European union in all this, when the US ends up handing over the ‘enemies’ of President Erdogan to Turkey, so that they can be lost forever, at what point was Iran even a choice?

How much longer must we wait until we make hard and essential choices in setting a path that actually stops terrorist actions, because 400+ missiles can be considered as actual evidence that there is clearly a lack of actions on that front by way too many political players and governments as a whole.

 

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Condoning terrorism

When do we do that? When do we find ourselves in a place where some acts of terror will be allowed and when do we say it is not? You might think that we do not condone it at all. When you think that, you would be wrong. That part is shown in the last few weeks when we look at the news and the bringers of news. In this the first part of the chain is weirdly enough coming from Denmark. It is the one place where the worst acts of torture will be the slicing of the subject with a knife, gut him and cut him, then roast until there is nothing left. Yet the subject was a dead pig and the result if “Æbleflæsk” (or Apple Pork). Yes those Danes do get around with a knife. So when I got treated to ‘Three held in Denmark over interview praising terrorist attack in Iran‘ yesterday, I was a little surprised. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/07/denmark-arrests-interview-praising-terrorist-attack-iran-asmla) gives us “Denmark has arrested three individuals on suspicion of having praised a terrorist attack in Iran two months ago that killed at least 24 people, including children“, which would be fine, yet when we are also treated to “Despite the fact that they are suspected of having committed crimes, they [the detainees] continue to be protected by extensive security measures because of the threat posed to them“. So it is not merely the fact that they spoke out. It is the underlying “stemmed from an alleged Iranian plot to kill an ASMLA activist. The person was not named“, is that not nice? For those not completely in the loop, the ASMLA (Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz) is about the aggressive consideration for a separate Arab state in Khuzestan Province from Iran. Let’s call it a partial independence of sorts. Iran has labelled Al-Ahvaziya a terrorist movement, which with more intelligence sources and data I cannot really comment on. Yet, does that not beat the clock by hours? In all this, Iranian murder Inc. or not, the EU reiterates commitment to the Iranian nuclear deal. Yes, because facilitating to nations that facilitates for terrorism is what Europe in their desperate economic situation really needs. This is all a month after “France had declared that Tehran was behind attempts by a number of Iranians – including a diplomat – to bomb a meeting of the Paris-based opposition group National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – also known as Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK)“, I made some mention of this as well in an earlier blog, yet Europe will still want to continue the nuclear deal. Apparently enough is not enough. I get the Danish position. I get it that they cannot condone the situation. The mere ‘suspected of violating the Danish law … on condoning terrorism‘ should be addressed, even as one party is condoning certain acts, the other is acting certain acts and they are still in the clear, which gives the much larger stage where the EU is condoning terrorism. In addition, the Iranian proxy war where they are arming people to fire missiles into Saudi Arabia to hit Saudi civilian targets is for the most not looked at either. So as we see the absence of: “Saudi air defenses on Thursday intercepted a missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group into the kingdom’s southwestern Jizan region“, they are all eagerly reporting the other direction traffic with “Saudi-Led Coalition Bombs Air Base in Yemen Capital“. They do mention other elements, yet the part “Iran supplied the Houthi militias with missiles that targeted Saudi Arabia” is left out in many western news providers, giving the people an unbalanced view on what is actually happening in Yemen. In addition we see Miguel Miranda (RealClear Defense) giving us: “Since 2016 not a month has gone by without the Houthis in Yemen sending either large diameter rockets or ballistic missiles into the Kingdom, with successful intercepts by Saudi air defences up for debate.  Even with a defence budget considered the third largest in the world, Saudi Arabia’s collection of Patriot’s won’t be able to thwart multiple launches at its major cities and energy infrastructure. Worse, Riyadh’s orders for either the S-400 Triumf or the THAAD have yet to arrive.” It has been proven on several occasions that Yemen never had certain missiles and that production of some missiles would have been impossible, with the current status of its neighbours, the remaining party Iran as a Houthi supplier remains and the media seems to be clearly relying on not mentioning that part. The quality sources that both American and Israeli defence gives us, with added documentation from The Brookings Institution, all having high level data at their disposal, but for the European media it is of no matter, it is merely an inconvenient truth, is it not?

The question becomes twofold. In the first, why is Europe not a lot more outspoken on the Iranian actions in all this?

The second question is why certain parties remain pushing for a nuclear deal, whilst there are clear indications that Iran will break the agreements, optionally before the ink of the autograph has dried. There are indications that operations have been thwarted. Actions by Iranian players (too many question to precisely point a finger), yet the actions allegedly stopped included France and Denmark, as well as in Belgium, Austria, Germany and Sweden. So there is an increasing stage of events in place, but the nuclear deal is still being debated. Is it not time to actually do something about Iran? The Swedish part, which is seen with: “Officers from Sweden’s security police agency Säpo have arrested a suspected Iranian spy for planning an assassination on Danish soil”, would have remained invisible if I was not able to read Swedish. Now we do get that Säpo is not very outspoken on the best of days, yet the media remained largely silent, implying more and more that the media is actively downplaying Iranian events to a much larger degree, is that not a little weird?

So even as the local Sweden reports: “Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen also promised “further actions against Iran”“, we have yet to see a much larger action against Iran in answer to the attacks within the national borders of their European ally, I mean, is the EU actually active in protecting its member states or is that all dependant on some nuclear deal? Denmark might be regarded as limited by merely a good cuisine and Bang and Olufsen, yet I am willing to bet that Denmark as well as the other nations has a lot more to offer. So the absence of actual actions against Iran is making less and less sense. If we compare all the western visibility on the actions of Iran versus all the articles that involve Jamal Khashoggi in the last month alone, it seems that the European media is willing to let Iran get away with murder, how weird is that?

When we are condoning acts of terrorism, we need to start looking at why this is happening and the media is becoming part of something rather distasteful. Not the true journalistic parts that keep newspapers afloat as much as they can, but those having a seemingly other agenda and calling themselves a member of non ‘fake news’ groups, those numbers are increasing and it is strange on how the media is not looking at itself in all this.

Now, let’s be fair, they are not their brother’s keepers, so it is debatable where they should stand in all this. Yet, when we are looking beyond a few curves, we get to see more, in this case a technology part. A side where we are notified of: “In testing, some third-party Windows 10 apps like Adobe Photoshop and Notepad++ no longer work as intended when users go to setting to choose either program as the default for .txt files. Windows 10 will instead absurdly ignore a consumer’s app default settings for both programs and open the file in NotePad on its own“, as well as “Microsoft does not document this bug on any list of known issues and also hasn’t yet issued a public response to related reports. The issue is instead believed to be linked to Cumulative Update KB4462919, initially released on October 9. Oddly enough, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update doesn’t appear to be impacted at the moment. It might be wise to temporarily pause updates or roll back and uninstall the problematic cumulative update if you’re in fear of this issue, or if you are already seeing that your file association settings aren’t holding

You might ask yourself how this relates.

That is a really good question, you see, from my point of view I believe that the filtering is not merely ‘terrorism’, it is economic. The media seems to have an intensified need to not go against the grain of economic needs (Iranian nuclear deal, Microsoft and Apple, you merely have search a little deeper to see the lack of reports in several parts. There is ‘Protesters are detained outside an Apple store in Beijing as they accuse the firm’s Chinese factory of ‘hiring student workers illegally’‘, which is only shown to people via the Daily Mail and the news is 11 hours old, it seems that no one else thought it was newsworthy, The Microsoft story is one that impacts millions of users and they only link I saw was from Digital Trends (at https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/new-windows-10-bug-messing-up-file-associations/), it did have a reference to Reddit who reported 88 upvotes and 47 comments two days ago, yet I see it nowhere else.

This is where I personally see the problem, when the economic footprint is above a certain level, we see that there is a chance that certain players will condone terrorism and blanket consumer impacted issues with large blankets of silence. When we accept a world that has these slipped values, I would be very critical of anyone willing to voice some half-baked story on how wrong it is to be a salesperson in the weapons industry. I reckon that that person is at least willing to take action; we merely hide behind the inactions of others and flag whatever we consider wrong emotionally, it is perhaps the largest failing in all of us. If you wonder whether you should agree or disagree there; this would be a valid consideration mind you. Merely ask yourself, how many actions by Iran you were unaware of and why were you not aware? You could have a very valid reason to not know. Now consider how many Microsoft driven devices you have and were you aware of the delete bug and the latest issue that popped up two days ago? If the answer is no and you have a PC, ask yourself why you were not aware of it, you see it impacts your daily life pretty directly does it not?

Just as the media kept largely silent on the actions of Sony in October 2012, we have been left in the dark too often, and it has everything to do with shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers. This is where you see the impact, it is the economic footprint liked to all this and it impacts us one way or another.

Yet when we start condoning acts that are not merely illegal, how far have we fallen from grace?

 

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The price of identity

We all have needs, we all have identities. It is important to us, as it is for many others. No one debates or disagrees with it. Yet what to do when identity hinders us? When we see the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-nsa-deputy-is-mattiss-leading-choice-to-head-the-spy-service-if-it-splits-from-cyber-command/2018/10/05/1be8d7a8-c73d-11e8-b2b5-79270f9cce17_story.html) giving us ‘Former NSA deputy is Mattis’s leading choice to head the spy service if it splits from Cyber Command‘, we need to consider the impact of identity, corporate identity, governmental identity, military identity, projected and presented identity. They are not the same and can vary to a much larger degree. When someone is part of what used to be referred to ‘No Such Agency‘. We will get the impact of identity; we all know that and many faced it too. Look at any friend or co-worker you have ever known and ask him/her about the impact of a merger and they will tell you, there are changes. Some are subtly, some are not noticed, yet others are, usually in infrastructure and the way things were done. Now the change tends to be for the good in the long run but that is not a given.

So what gives?

It is my personal observation and a highly speculative one at that. Yet I believe that the Washington Post giving us: “The current head of both organizations, Gen. Paul Nakasone, has urged Mattis to keep the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command under one leader on the grounds that the nine-year-old military organization is not ready to stand on its own, these people said. In recent weeks, Mattis was close to a decision to separate the leadership arrangement, but Nakasone’s counsel has caused him to reconsider, according to two U.S. officials. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations“, is not entirely accurate. I believe that ‘military organization is not ready to stand on its own‘ is not the setting that matter. I believe that Stratfor who gives us ‘A New, More Aggressive U.S. Cybersecurity Policy Complements Traditional Methods‘ is very much at the heart of that. I believe that the general is not ready or perhaps unwilling to set the offensive and aggressive part in motion. Now, this is no bad reflection on the general, let that be a first. He is well decorated, he has seen the field in many ways and he has done a fair share of field events. He has earned his rank. I merely wonder that a man who has seemingly played a defence and protection game is the man for the offense. I think that this is a football moment, and as a non-football expert (and a 49ers fan) I would compare the General to DeMarcus Lawrence from the Dallas Cowboys against what the US seems to demand is a Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans), or even a Tom Brady (New England Patriots), roles that are not really moveable. Even as a Quarterback might become a really good Derick Henry that Quarterback will never become a DeMarcus Lawrence. The defence and offense game is that far apart. This is where Chris Inglis comes in. He is an analyst (at heart), he is used to counter offensive strategies and introduce strategies of his own (effective one’s mind you). I believe that this is the game that is in the open at present and these two will need to find a way to make it work. Not merely because it is good for the needed strategy, but because the segregation of the two elements might hurt U.S. Cyber Command in a few ways, not merely funding, but the elements that U.S. Cyber Command currently have access to will partially fall away and getting two infrastructures like the NSA is unyielding, unaffordable and in the end will introduce flaws and dangers on both sides of the isle making the setting (as I personally see it) a non-option right of the bat. Stratfor gives us a few other items.

One of them is “A best-case scenario for a U.S. cyberattack would be disabling computer systems and networks being used against U.S. interests to prevent an attack from happening or to disrupt an attack that is in progress“. The problem there is that some of the opponents are getting to be really good at what they do and a few of them are not state driven, not by any state changing the dynamics of the solution. Even as I discussed the hop+1 strategy almost three years ago, settings like that require an expert layer one knowledge and the players cannot both have these experts changing the needs of the infrastructure overnight.

The second consideration is: “Perhaps the main challenge to U.S. engagement in tit-for-tat cyberattacks is that the United States is by far the biggest target for such attacks“. That might be true but that goes beyond mere true enemies, it includes a truckload of students wanting to finger the man (or is that giving them the bird)? Do they really want to waste resources to those people whilst the US has actual enemies in the world?

The larger issue is seen with: “Discussing the strategy, national security adviser John Bolton hinted that the administration had already taken steps to bolster offensive efforts in recent weeks, warning that the United States is no longer just playing defense when it comes to cybersecurity. But despite the Trump administration’s more hawkish tone regarding cybersecurity, it will continue mainly to rely on traditional measures such as the legal process, regulations and cooperation with the private sector when it comes to cybersecurity” It is here when we get the consideration of the resources required. The defence, offense and legal sides of it all becomes a real mess if the two split up giving the chance that targets and issues walk away on technicalities. How does that help?

The strategy s even more profound when we consider “Clandestine, discreet attacks are certainly already key elements of U.S. cyber tactics. There have likely been more examples of U.S.-launched attacks that have not come to light, perhaps because they were never recognized as cyberattacks. While the less known about U.S. cyber capabilities, the more effective they will be when deployed, this by definition limits the deterrence value of U.S. cyber capabilities“, at this point is the setting of ‘discreet’ that comes into play. With the two separated they will get into each other’s fare waters and more important give accidental light to the discreet part of the operation, there will be no avoiding it, only the most delusional person would think that it does not get out when more than one player is involved, because that will always introduce a third item being the intermediary, the cold war taught many players that part of the equation. And that is even before we get to the statement: “recent cases like the September indictment of North Korean cyber operatives, which displayed heavy FBI reliance on private security firms such as Mandiant and Alphabet to collect technical evidence and carry out investigations“, now we see the folly as Mandiant and Alphabet are mentioned, the entire matter grows further as soon as Constellis becomes part of the equation. That is beside the point of realising (highly speculative on my side) that neither three Mandiant, Alphabet and Constellis have the required safe servers in place to prevent names, places and facts from going out into the open. I might not be able to get in, but there are dozens who will get in and that voids the security of the matter to a much larger degree. For arguments sake I will leave Booz Allan Hamilton out of that equation, they have been snowed on long enough.

And even as we see the instance of legal preference, the US must realise that any attack from state or non-state parties in China or Russia has close to 0% of being successful (outside of the exposure part), the entire matter in case of the OPCW in the Netherlands is one. An attack was thwarted, yet was it THE attack? The guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/visual-guide-how-dutch-intelligence-thwarted-a-russian-hacking-operation) reads nice, and we see all these facts and from my point of view, things do not add up. You see, I would have used the car that we see mentioned “In the boot of their car was uncovered an arsenal of specialist electronic Wi-Fi hacking equipment” as a fire and forget consumable, use it as an access point, segregating the hacker from the accessing unit. When you have (as they stated) “cash: €20,000 and $20,000” getting a second car far enough to access yet not be directly linked is seemingly easy enough. Then there is the setting of the photo at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. I am not debating the issue of the photo, it seems genuine enough. In this operation they did not fly to Germany and took the train, or take a car and cross at Oldenzaal, Emerich, or even via Belgium and enter via Antwerp, or Eindhoven. It almost read like they wanted to get noticed. They know that Amsterdam Airport is high tech and nothing escapes their camera eyes. To me (a paranoid me) it comes across as ‘Where did they not want us to look‘. A mere sleight of hand deception, and again the entire GRU mention. A phone outside of that building and they had the taxi receipt? No one merely driving them to the airport in Russia or even them taking a bus from any hotel in Moscow. No a taxi receipt of all things, is anyone buying that? So in this it is not the Dutch, it is the Russian side that makes no sense at all.

How did I get there?

This is the initial setting of offense and defence. The proper application of strategy in all this matters, because we seem to undervalue and underestimate the need of either in all this. Because we get to push a button anywhere and anytime we seem to underestimate on what is recorded, what is collected and what can we verify. That entire mistake is how any offensive strategy can optionally become folly from the moment the instigation of ‘press any key‘ to start gets us. Proper offensive is not about doing what needs to be done, it is about being able to prove who did what. Perhaps Sony remembers that part as they were given that it was North Korea did something, whilst their computers were not even close to PC gaming ready, the mere processor, which was about 25% (at best) of a 1994 Silicon Graphics Indigo system is not the system that gives you what you need to hack the night away. The tools are equally as important as the access and ability to negate identity. When you see that part, the entire hop+1 intrusion path makes a lot more sense.

This now gets us to the end of the Washington Post, where we were treated to: ““As the build of the cyber mission force wraps up, we’re quickly shifting gears from force generation to sustainable readiness,” Nakasone said in a statement in May. “We must ensure we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available” to carry out successful cyber-offensives. Some former senior intelligence and defense officials oppose separating the “dual-hat” leadership arrangement, including former NSA Director Keith Alexander, former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. This week, former CIA Director David Petraeus, a retired Army general, said during a Washington Post cyber summit that he’d keep the dual-hat arrangement “for the time being.”” It is not merely the ‘we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available‘, you see, when we get to capabilities we see the need of offensive players and even as Cyber command might be aces in their field, the offensive game differs to some degree and even as we see that they are way above the student levels, we get back to the Football equivalent you see the application of defence and offense. It is not DeMarcus Lawrence versus Derrick Henry, the question becomes can DeMarcus Lawrence be a Derrick Henry that is good enough, that is the battle within. The mere realisation that if you fail this when the offensive is broken into a train wreck that makes the limelight in every paper, that is the game that is the dilemma that Gen. Paul Nakasone faces as I personally see it.

And when we see Stratfor with the one little gem we did not consider, the mere proposed fact that North Korea has a mere 9,000 IP Addresses, do you really think that they could have done this all, or are we in a setting where someone had the ability to act on BGP hijacking and was able to mask it to the level it needed to be masked at, because that was the offensive play that needed to be considered and there was no way that the evidence had been uncovered to that degree with a backdoor could be removed with a simple reset of routers.

#FourtyNinersRule

 

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