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03 December 2015

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Peter

It is shocking to me, to hear our top law enforcement officials, like FBI Director James Comey state there is no credible threat of an attack on U.S. soil similar to the ones last week in Paris.

Unless this is a ploy to keep the enemy that are under watch not to take extra measures to hide.

I doubt this tactic. Just more of the same type of alert system as the colored lights only in reverse, saying relax we got this covered.

Ryan

All,

Indeed. This was brought out well to me yesterday. I decided to ride the metro downtown for an appointment. The train car I was in reminded me of Tower of Babel story, only this Tower of Babel was laying on its side on wheels rolling rapidly towards the cliff carrying on in a number of languages spoken by people who were mostly illegal aliens.

This opinion was reinforce earlier today by a CNN show where the governor of Colorado, John Chickenlooper was merrily rattling along about how it is a great idea to allow all these "refugees" to come to America that the feds had everything under control and would be able to handle the screening just fine.

It is good to hear his input because it reinforces this story from the past when Hickenlooper was mayor of Denver why we should either ignore these fools or do the exact opposite:

http://www.vdare.com/letters/an-reader-remembers-a-2005-murder-by-an-illegal-alien-who-worked-in-co-gov-hickenloopers-restaurant

plantman

I wonder what percentage of the American people believe that the USG is capable of "looking the other way" while we are wacked by ISIS just so they can mobilize the public for another great adventure in the Middle East?

"Look out, Syria. Here we come!"

AEL

You can do a pretty good screen job by only admitting families with kids. Even if you do not know anything else about them. If you know more, the odds keep getting better.

And, yes, screening won't be perfect. Any rational assessment of the risks suggest that we should be declaring a war on "cluttered stairs" or "slippery bathtubs" rather than stampeding about Terror.

Johnny Reims

All but a mathematical certainty, imo. Blowback.

"It can't happen here" seems predicated upon a very disordered view of American exceptionalism that, in turn, makes perceptions of reality all but impossible.

Once it happens, probabilities increase that a national surveillance state will arise that makes today look libertarian in contrast, e.g. good bye to whatever is left of the US Constitution.

Tony

I really hope it never happens. But I think if it does, islamophobia will (further) be ignited and ISIS finds it easier to recruit among US Muslims.

oofda

Concur- I hope our people are just doing that.

J Villain

It is sad to read this post here. First who is saying that an attack can't happen here? What security experts are saying is that it is far less likely because we don't have refuges bypassing security to get in. There is a little thing called the Atlantic ocean that protects us from that. If you can't understand or acknowledge the difference you aren't being serious.

The last I read on passports was the person in the Paris attack. They had proven that the passport was fake and likely purposely left to do what you are doing here. If there is newer evidence please provide a link.

"As politicians rush to curb refugee intake, research reveals 55 of 68 people indicted over alleged Isis ties were born in US and none came from Syria"

"The typical alleged Islamic State adherent is intent on fighting abroad rather than plotting attacks at home, research shows."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/20/isis-suspects-us-citizens-syria

The full government plan as noted hasn't been released yet, but it is going to look some thing like this. The refugees being brought into Canada are going to picked from the ones that are pre-screened by UNHCR. They will then be finger printed and rescreened and have a medical check over seas. They will then be brought to military bases and be housed there while more screening occurs and they are set up for more permanent housing.

As a Canadian it doesn't bother me what you say about the border. I think we should all take it a symbol of every thing we are doing right that two countries can exist like that. If it wasn't for the fact that it would screw migratory paths though I would have no problem with the US building a wall along the border. The US is turning it's self into Israel west so it might as well have big walls to cower behind. Of course all those mass killers in the US who like to shoot school children etc are born into Christian families from the US but what ever, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Canada is probably the only country in the world running a trade deficit with the US so I would be fine with slowing down cross border traffic.

As for the poll sure you got that number right after the attack. The government has been in place only a couple of weeks and the PM has been over seas most of that time so they haven't been able to firm up their plans and have a cabinet vote on the plan. That has created a vacuum the conservatives have been filling with their inner Trump screeds once again. But their approach has made most Canadians sick to their stomachs and moved the polls against the conservatives in the last weeks of the campaign.

The US lost 9/11 by 5 touchdowns two field goals and a safety not because of what the deranged hijackers did, but because the US abandoned every thing that made it a decent place in response to the attack. In my life time the US has gone from the most envied place in the world to the most feared and loathed. You might want to think on why that is.

J

Colonel,

IS pre-attack positioning of their personnel into their target areas, is going to be the needles in the haystack. I don't envy IC's gray hairs on this one.

One of the newsies showed a girl born and raised in Alabama, is now part of the IS brigades in Syria. Her parents don't understand what has happened to their once sweet little girl.

Sadly that's going to be the norm for many American parents whose kids have been sucked down the sewer hole called IS. Which creates a deadly situation for our nation's security apparatuses.


Abu Sinan

Sir,

In lieu of e-mailing you I wanted to pass on the anonymous letter I read on Facebook today. It is worth reading. Cheers!!


-- By Anon Author --

The Defeat of ISIL... and the Revival of Humint:

In the wake of the Paris attacks of Nov. 13 and new threats from the ISIL of further attacks in other major cities in Europe and the United States, there is only one option for preventing future massacres. Yes, there is now worldwide agreement for a serious military campaign inside Syria and Iraq to wipe out the command center of what has now become a global “blind terrorist” threat.

However, the new mode of attack by ISIL and allied groups, evidenced in the Paris attacks, the suicide bombings in southern Beirut and the blowing up of the Russian Metro Jet over the Sinai, is no longer primarily confined to the territory of the so-called caliphate along the Iraqi-Syrian border. So long as ISIL and other jihadist groups are going after “soft” targets in major metropolitan areas, and are prepared to die in the course of the attacks, they will succeed in a significant percentage of actions—unless there is a serious revival of the kind of constant, in-depth human intelligence (humint) work, involving law enforcement, intelligence and military services.

-In the aftermath of the Paris attack, this is the great new challenge facing governments around the world.-

This challenge poses serious demands on the relevant security services, while at the same time maintaining civil liberties. The temptation is going to be to trample on individual rights, exploiting the fear generated by blind terrorist attacks against citizens going about their everyday lives, to impose police state rule.

In reality, the resorting to draconian measures is always a losing strategy. It always involves an attempt to find an easy solution to a single threat, while ignoring the much deeper requirements of maintaining public safety and defeating the terrorist threat, without surrendering constitutional protections.
The key is humint.

For many years, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) built up a strong human intelligence team, posted around the world, particularly in the Middle East. When James Clapper took over as the Director of the DIA in 1992, he significantly dismantled DIA’s humint network, eliminating the posts of Defense Intelligence Officer, the regional commanders of the human intelligence gathering apparatus.

A retired Air Force General, Clapper preferred relying on technical intelligence gathering methods, reflecting his Air Force career in signal intelligence (he would later serve as the head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NGI, responsible for analysis of satellite and other surveillance data.

Clapper’s actions reflected not only a longstanding debate within the American intelligence establishment over the relative merits of technical intelligence versus human intelligence. Clapper also earned a reputation as a fierce bureaucratic infighter.

-Career Washington bureaucrats have notoriously been opposed to relying on human intelligence gathering, viewing successful field intelligence officers as "uncontrollable"-

In August 2013, President Obama fired the DIA Director, Gen. Michael Flynn, and his deputy, over DIA’s persistent reporting on the failures of the US counter-terror program, and DIA’s warnings that some of the Obama Administration’s high-profile policies were contributing to the growth of Al Qaeda.

Gen. Flynn had rebuilt DIA’s humint program during his tenure, and had provided the Joint Chiefs of Staff with competitive intelligence evaluations that often contradicted those of the CIA and the DNI (Gen. Clapper was named by President Obama as DNI in 2010).

Once again, the bureaucratic wars downgraded valuable humint resources.
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, however, it will become more and more necessary to develop humint skills to penetrate into the terrorist environment and develop effective early warnings of pending terrorist attacks.

The Paris investigation has already established that the Islamic State planned the attacks in the Raqqa capital, but relied on cells operating in Belgium, Germany and France to prepare and carry out the attacks. In the final days before the attacks of Nov. 13, communications among members of the cell “went dark.” It was subsequently determined that the cell had switched to a sophisticated alternative communications system, utilizing internet video games to pass messages in the final preparations for the attack.

The human intelligence requirements will also demand a more developed degree of cooperation between national intelligence services and major city police departments around the world, to be truly effective. The New York City Police Department is known throughout the world as a first-class intelligence organization, utilizing precinct-level community police officers in the field to pick up on early warning signs of unusual activities, which are then investigated by the department’s intelligence division, and shared with Federal agencies.

Above all else, the bureaucratic obstacles to effective human intelligence gathering will have to be eliminated—and that is no small task.

Source: Orient Advisory Group; MEB.

turcopolier

Abu Sinan

As you probably know I am one of the things Clapper got rid of in his effort to purge DIA of its HUMINT capability. HUMINT is easy to say and hard to do. pl

rjj

Any such incident would provide a good excuse to invade and occupy Canada.

What is the state of that water deal that was in the works.

[/frivolity]

By way of seriously: four or five years ago found some beautiful land at a good price but decided against it only because it was too close to the border.

turcopolier

J Vilain

Your anti-American bigotry is just stupid. Canada has had a free ride while hiding behind the US and has done so for many years. You live in a fool's paradise. You are children riding on the shoulder of a giant. Be happy with your unvetted "Syrians." You and the US will pay s price for your naiveté. BTW, you are banned. pl

SanchoPanza

An atypical, refreshingly lucid piece on our schizophrenic attitude towards the sources of Wahhabism vis a vis our conflict with ISIS is trending at the top of the NYtimes site today:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/opinion/saudi-arabia-an-isis-that-has-made-it.html?action=click&module=TrendingGrid&region=TrendingTop&pgtype=collection&_r=0&referer=http://www.nytimes.com/trending/">http://www.nytimes.com/trending/">http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/opinion/saudi-arabia-an-isis-that-has-made-it.html?action=click&module=TrendingGrid&region=TrendingTop&pgtype=collection&_r=0&referer=http://www.nytimes.com/trending/

turcopolier

AEL

Why do you even say such a thing? You know that such a screen will not take place here or in Canada. You know that. remember your confidence when the bombs go off. pl

crf

I think I get your point Colonel PL, but, compared to today, how much additional risk to Canada or the US would come from inviting 25000 refugees/migrants from Syria?

There definitely is an increased risk that actual jihadists will be among the refugees, and later commit strikes, and there is also the risk that clean individual refugees will later become radicalized after settling in North America. But the magnitude of these risks is unclear. And how to respond to it is unclear. Self-radicalisation has been evident in the Tsarnaev brothers, and Major Hassan's strikes. Even in the Paris attacks, self-radicalisation appears to have been important.

Today, there is a story in the Globe and Mail that reports the Canadian government is considering doing the screening in refugee camps (in Jordan, for instance), which would push back the dates (by a few months) before any refugee would arrive in Canada.

Canada is in a enviable position of being able to pick and choose the refugees it's bringing over, which is totally unlike what is going on in Europe. This could result in a real lessening of the risk (not elimination) of jihadism in those refugees taken in.

There is also no history of radicalism within the muslim communities in Canada. This is unlike, so I gather, certain communities in France and Belgium. By contrast we did have a major problem of radicalisation within the Sikh community in the 80s and 90s leading to terrorist acts. After a committed effort this was dealt with quite successfully in the end, but it took a while. Canadian Sikhs are now well-integrated into society, British Columbia had a Sikh premier, now a Federal MP (Ujjal Dosanjh), and there are a number of Sikhs in the Federal Cabinet today. I think Canadians are well aware of the risks and costs of radicalisation, and determined not to allow any kind of similar problem develop within the muslims of Canada.

john

If past is prologue, then yes indeed more future attacks in the U.S. are not only likely, but certain.

According to one source, (religionofpeace) the U.S. has sustained 75 terror attacks killing 3,106 people so far. There seems to be a pattern here that does not appear to have yet been broken.

reigionofpeace

Valissa

Back in the nineties I realized I didn't live in a safe country anymore.

World Trade Center truck bomb on February 26, 1993 by Muslim terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda.
Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995 by American terrorist Timothy McVeigh
Columbine High School Massacre April 20, 1999 by 2 American teenagers who were inspired by the Oklahoma City bombing and more.

Then there is this slang phrase in the US... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_postal "going postal" means becoming extremely and uncontrollably angry, often to the point of violence, and usually in a workplace environment. The expression derives from a series of incidents from 1986 onward in which United States Postal Service (USPS) workers shot and killed managers, fellow workers, and members of the police or general public in acts of mass murder. Between 1986 and 1997, more than 40 people were gunned down by current or former employees in at least 20 incidents of workplace rage.
-----

Then early in the 3rd millennium came THE BIG ONE...
World Trade Center attacks of September 11,2001 by Muslim terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda, 15 of 19 were Saudi nationals.

Then in more recent times, there was the Boston Marathon attack of April 15, 2013 and the final shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers happened on the east side of the town I live in. NOTE: I am stilled pissed at the FBI for not listening to Russian intelligence's 2(!) warnings about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.


My town, adjacent to Boston, is home to many immigrants from all over and has been for some time. Last year I saw a report that my town has the highest percentage of immigrants in Boston. When I am out walking it is not uncommon to see women in Muslim dress, always with other family members. A few years ago I got up one morning to see lots of people in ICE jackets over on the next block from our house. This was right after a Pakistani in NYC had been found with a car bomb. The guy in our neighborhood was eventually released because he had nothing to do with it (Boston courts declined to deport him despite living illegally in the US for 15 years) and went back to his home, though I don't know if he still lives there.

Some years ago I bought Bruce Schneier's book "Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World."

I think that title says it best. We all have to consider the various potential dangers in our environment and do our own risk analyses and take what steps we can to mitigate these. I have long practiced "situational awareness."

It saddens me when terrorist events occur, but I accept them as an unpleasant fact of life. I could as easily be killed by an Islamic terrorist as an American one, or even just some really angry guy who's feeling destructive and wants to take it out on people.

Of course, realistically speaking I'm much more likely to die from a car crash than a terrorist attack.

Nightsticker

Col Lang,

I think you are right. Some serious "blowback"
is coming. "For they have sown the wind, and
they shall reap the whirlwind" [Hosea 8:7 KJV].
I hope without much confidence that the national
leadership does not play into the hands of the
attackers and amplify the impact of any attack.
No reason for a high body count
AK-47 attack in [some other place, USA]to interfere
with my guns,crypto,AMTRAK travel,access to public
events/places, etc, etc here in Stafford County VA.
I would prefer to read about it on page 2 for no more
than 1 day.

Nightsticker
USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

turcopolier

crf

"... how much additional risk to Canada or the US would come from inviting 25000 refugees/migrants from Syria?" A great deal. there is no way on earth that Canada with its small government and police forces can adequately screen that many people. That is why the US with its much larger resources has only been able to screen a couple thousand. Remember it only takes a handful to pull off such attacks. J Vilain, for whom this is clearly a matter of special pleading, conveniently "forgets" that two of the Paris suicide bombers entered Greece with the refugee stream, and were fingerprinted on Leros and then again in Croatia, whence they traveled swiftly to Paris to take up their task. The fingerprinting was how their bodies were identified. Once again, how many more did IS send and where are thy? pl

bth

Col. I can't help but think the most motivated human intel recruits have got to be stumbling along with their families through refugee camps looking for safe haven, some cash and a visa. It must be a recruiters dream.

confusedponderer

In case there are attacks in the US, if IS doesn't break out of its pattern, it is more likely than not that the culprits will be American citizens.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/20/isis-suspects-us-citizens-syria

confusedponderer

... make that the trigger pullers. Indeed, 'IS sends in fighters to reinforce local adherents', just like in Paris.

Herodotus

The immigration issue is really agency dependent. Agency meaning the qualified receiving US Non-Governmental Agency (NGO).

Refugees coming from war torn states must go through additional layers of Security checks or "Security Advisory Opinions (SAO). These checks cross over the security spectrums of State, CIA, FBI. DHS and other additional LEO agencies. The normal time period from application to acceptance is between 1 to 3 years. Of course the harder the checks the longer the wait..

Is it fool proof? No. As Colonial Lang stated. If ISIS wants to cause us some pain on the home front? They most certainly can.

Why haven't they? IMHO, they know what ever they do it has to be worth while. Otherwise they already know how we will respond.

But I also sadly believe it will happen again here and I also sadly believe we will loose more of our civil liberties...

Ali Soufan who I also have a great deal of respect for weighted on the refugees as well... Of course the Republican controlled Congress can always come up with its own plan rather than tell the administration to come up with one that will take out ISIS.

https://twitter.com/AC360/status/667876310593744896?s=03

walrus

I have to agree with Col. Lang. Nothing any of us can do will stop suicide terrorist attacks short of demolishing IS and seeking out and killing Wahabist/Salafist preachers wherever they may be found.

We have had Two lethal attacks in Australia that demonstrate part of the problem - self radicalisation and local recruitment. This is even without the problem of refugee sleepers getting through the net.

December 2014 - a mentally unstable Islamic preacher declared his loyalty to IS, took hostages in Sydney and Two were killed in the crossfire when the police stormed the building.

October 2015 - A fifteen year old Muslim boy in Sydney with no priors, self radicalised, was noticed, groomed, trained, armed and set up by IS operators to attack a police station. he murdered a police employee before being shot and killed. employee.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Sydney_hostage_crisis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Parramatta_shooting

As for technical surveillance, in my opinion its not very effective. Once terrorists realise that their phones and movements are subject to electronic surveillance, they will fall back to centuries old non electronic communications and security methods that are impenetrable without Humint.

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