Trump says US needs Saudis in fight against terror, Iran

US president vows ‘we’ll get down to the bottom’ of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, but says he doesn’t want to nix arms deals.

US President Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he did not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia over the disappearance and alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, arguing the US relies on the kingdom in the fight against terrorism.

Asked during an interview on Fox Business what punitive steps he had in mind if he learned Saudi Arabia was responsible, Trump said: “Well, I hope we’re going to be on the better side of the equation.

Why the Iranian Threat Goes Far Beyond Nuclear Weapons

Prior to the Islamic Revolution that swept Iran in 1979, the status of Shiite Muslims in the Arab world (about 20 percent of all Muslims) was that of inferiors. In many countries like Libya, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they would be executed without trial. In other countries, Shiites were forbidden to build mosques because, in the eyes of Sunni Muslim majority, they were heretics.

The rise of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini was a watershed. He promised that the Shiites in the Arab world would no longer be oppressed. Indeed, since the revolution in Iran, the status of the Shiites in the Arab world has not only strengthened, in some places they have become the oppressors. Today, the Iranians and their proxies have full control over four Arab states: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And they threaten to seize even more countries.

In fact, Iranian efforts and attempts to undermine the stability of the Arab states have not ceased in recent years. Iran sees itself as a regional power and has adopted a strategy aimed at extending that power across the entirety of the Middle East. And it is succeeding. Two benefits of this extended power is the ability by Iran to protect the Shiite minority in Arab countries and to strike Israel indirectly.

A Politically Incorrect Feminist

Phyllis Chesler's captivating new memoir, A Politically Incorrect Feminist: Creating a Movement with Bitches, Lunatics, Dykes, Prodigies, Warriors, and Wonder Women, is not a definitive history (it's not meant to be) but is, rather, an utterly indispensable personal account of her experiences as part of a circle of “pioneers” of the modern women's movement – some of them “dangerously intelligent,” most of them “radical thinkers,” all of them “champion hairsplitters” who “disagreed with each other with searing passion.” Among the members of this group, as she freely acknowledges, were “scoundrels, sadists, bullies, con artists, liars, loners, and incompetents, not to mention the high-functioning psychopaths, schizophrenics, manic depressives, and suicide artists.” Writes Chesler: “I loved them all.”

How Khashoggi's disappearance is upending the 50 million Gulf lobby

Saudi Arabia’s alleged murder of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi is causing it to hemorrhage Washington lobbyists.

Both BGR and the Glover Park Group have dropped their lucrative client, the Wall Street Journal and Politico reported this week. And public relations giant Qorvis, which has a $280,000 per month contract with the kingdom, tells Ad Age that it is concerned about the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi's disappearance and is “watching them closely.”

The reports come after the Harbour Group announced it was jumping ship last week.

Big Tech Snuffing Free Speech – Google's Poisonous 'Dragonfly'


Google is reportedly planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, code-named “Dragonfly,” which will aid and abet a totalitarian “Big Brother is watching you” horror state. (Image source: [Photo of woman] iStock)

  • If the big social media companies choose what to publish and what not to publish, they should be subject to the same licensing and requirements as media organizations.
  • Google has decided it will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work because Google employees were upset that the technology might be used for lethal military purposes. Yet Google is planning to launch a censored search engine in China that will empower a totalitarian “Big Brother is watching you” horror state.
  • Freedom Watch filed a $1 billion class-action lawsuit against Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, claiming that they suppress conservative speech online.
  • A Media Research Center report found that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube stifle conservative speech and that in some instances staffers have admitted that doing so was intentional.
  • Chinese officials prevented a journalist, Liu Hu, from taking a flight because he had a low “social credit” score. According to China's Global Times, as of the end of April 2018, authorities had blocked individuals from taking 11.14 million flights and 4.25 million high-speed rail trips.

The internet, especially social media, has become one of the primary places for people to exchange viewpoints and ideas. Social media is where a considerable part of the current national conversation takes place.

UNRWA Agenda: To Train Martyrs

UNRWA has become a convenient surrogate for terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, which was chosen in successive elections to lead the workers union and the UNRWA teachers union, as the key mentors who influence generations of Palestinian refugee descendants about engaging in 'right of return' through jihad, to Arab villages that existed before 1948.

The Hamas takeover of the UNRWA institutions and UNRWA staff should set off alarms regarding the possibility of funding given by donor countries (primarily the UK, Germany and Canada) finding its way to financing the salaries of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists. Hamas' Islamic Bloc continues its activities in schools run by UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, and these activities are carried out with the support and cooperation of the schools' administration and teachers.
 
An immediate and independent investigation is required into the infiltration of Palestinian terrorist groups into UNRWA, the use of its facilities for the purpose of terrorist attacks and rocket storage as well as the transfer of UNRWA equipment to be used by Gaza terrorist organizations and last but not least, the indoctrination of the future generations to war and strife.

Aid to UNRWA must be conditioned upon changing a curriculum that teaches hatred towards Israel, removal of terrorists from UNRWA's administration, UNRWA's commitment to dismantle the refugee camps that are under Palestinian control.

Chairman Mccaul Releases October Terror Threat Snapshot Counterterrorism

Chairman Mccaul Releases October Terror Threat Snapshot Counterterrorism
Washington, D.C. – House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) today released October’s Terror Threat Snapshot, a monthly assessment of the Committee’s continuing effort to highlight the growing threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.

Key Points:

October 08, 2018: Federal prosecutors announced that they will be seeking the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, who conducted the October 31, 2017 vehicle attack on a bike path in New York City that left eight dead.

October 08, 2018: Dutch police arrested seven individuals for plotting a “large scale event” in the Netherlands. They seized firearms, including AK-47s, small arms, grenades, completed bombs, and bomb-making materials. Three members of the group had previously been convicted of attempting to travel to join ISIS. The group was targeting two locations with the intent of maximizing the number of casualties.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated two individuals as financiers of ISIS. Emraan Ali, a Syrian-based, dual U.S. and Trinidadian national, has been funneling money from Trinidad and Tobago to Syria to support the terrorist organization. Eddie Aleong, also a Trinidadian national, assisted in, sponsored, and provided financial support to ISIS.

The U.S. Department of State has designated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The Al Qaeda-affiliated group also was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. JNIM is the self-described official Al Qaeda branch in Mali, and the designations will help isolate the group and cut off funding for their operations.

British officials have revealed that members of ISIS-Khorasan are in contact with U.K.-based terrorist cells. U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson stated that the Afghanistan-based arm of ISIS posed a threat to not just the U.K., but also continental Europe.



The National Cyber Strategy and Legal Reform

The White House recently released its National Cyber Strategy, and lawyers and privacy advocates alike should pay careful attention to its “priority actions” related to surveillance and criminal law reform. Within its section on combating cybercrime, the document provides that the administration will work with Congress to modernize both electronic surveillance laws and computer crime statutes in order to “enhance law enforcement’s capabilities to lawfully gather necessary evidence of criminal activity, disrupt criminal infrastructure through civil injunctions, and impose appropriate consequences upon malicious cyber actors.” However, reform in each area of law presents its own unique issues and challenges.

The National Cyber Strategy and Legal ReformModernizing Electronic Surveillance Laws: The Cyber Strategy only mentions “privacy” and “civil liberties” a handful of times. Accordingly, instead of framing the administration’s priority to modernize electronic surveillance laws in terms of safeguarding privacy rights, the document addresses this legal reform in the context of promoting law enforcement and security interests. However, past debates surrounding surveillance authorities within the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—the 215 Program and 702 Program—and developments within domestic and foreign laws, foreshadow the difficulty the administration will face in attempting to enhance the government’s surveillance power for its cybersecurity purposes.

Originally, Section 215 of the Patriot Act authorized the FBI (through a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order) to acquire “tangible things” in connection with a terrorism or counterintelligence investigation. Over time, however, this provision became the basis for the government’s ability to collect telephony metadata records in bulk, and when the scope of the 215 Program was leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013, it became the subject of judicial challenges and raucous congressional debates. In the end, with the support from privacy advocates both inside and outside of Congress, President Obama signed into law the USA Freedom Act of 2015, which essentially ended the U.S. government’s ability to utilize Section 215 to collect telephony metadata in bulk. When the Section 702 Program was subject to reauthorization earlier this year, its scope and use faced similar scrutiny. Section 702 of FISA authorizes warrantless surveillance of non-U.S. persons “reasonably believed to be located outside the United States,” with the compelled assistance of electronic communication service providers. During the debate on the continuation of the 702 program, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) referred to the reauthorization bill as a “flawed” measure that would allow “the warrantless surveillance of innocent Americans.” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) warned that the bill “expands the federal government’s ability to spy on Americans.” Although Section 702 was eventually reauthorized, the congressional debate led to “significant changes to 702, though the reforms are substantially more modest than those sought by privacy advocates.” Notwithstanding their modest gains, the congressional debate concerning Section 702’s reauthorization illustrates the continued influence these privacy advocates have in shaping surveillance law—influence that will undoubtedly endure in the event the administration seeks to enhance these laws in favor of cybersecurity in line with the new strategy document.

The administration should also recognize the privacy-centric developments in both domestic and foreign laws. For example, in 2018, with the passage of laws in Alabama and North Dakota, all fifty states have now enacted data-breach notification laws, ….

Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter

Vice President Mike PenceVice President Mike Pence on Twitter:

“We will continue to work tirelessly to prevent foreign nations and malign actors from hacking into our election infrastructure with the potential of changing votes or election outcomes….

#DHSCyberSummit

 

 

 


US, Israel Set Up Team To Combat Cybersecurity Threat

US, Israel Set Up Team To Combat Cybersecurity ThreatIsrael and the US are set to collaborate in cybersecurity, a senior White House official said at a conference in Tel Aviv Monday.

“I announce today the commencement of an Israeli US bilateral cyber working group,” Thomas Bossert, assistant to the US President Donald Trump for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism said at the Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv Monday.

The group will strive to defend critical infrastructure against attackers and to track down perpetrators. It will be led by Rob Joyce, the US White House cybersecurity coordinator, and Israel’s Eviatar Matania, director general of the National Cyber Directorate. It will include US and Israeli representatives from various ministries and defense organizations including foreign affairs and justice, and the secret service.

The team will convene this week, Bossert said. “The meetings this week will focus on a range of cyber issues — critical infrastructure, advanced R&D, international cooperation, and workforce,” Bossert said, adding that these will be the first steps in strengthening bilateral ties in cyber issues.

The agencies will be… “focused on finding and stopping cyber adversaries before they enter networks, before they reach critical infrastructure and identifying ways to hold bad actors accountable,” Bossert said. “We believe the agility Israel has in developing solutions will resolve in innovative cyber defenses that we can test here and take back to America.”

Bossert said that increased cyber defense and deterrence are critical today, in a world in which the cyber threat from nations is growing, and an international consensus needs to be built regarding what is “responsible state behavior.” International norms must be set out and implemented, he said. And those who do not comply with these norms should be punished.

“It is time to consider different approaches,” he said, and the US is seeking to set up bilateral agreements with other partners globally who hold the same values. “There should be consequences for destruction,” he said.

The cyber sphere “is one of the biggest strategic challenges since 9/11,” he said, “because while physical borders are important, cyberspace knows no boundaries.”

“Nations have the ability to steal sensitive information and data and destroy systems and the trend is heading in the wrong direction,” Bossert said. Destructive attacks are being executed by belligerent nations – North Korea attacked Sony and Iran attacked Saudi Arabia in cyber attacks – and “neither of theses countries have near the sophistication and resources of China and Russia.”

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