apr 052017
 

A new Homeland Security rule will ban electronics on flights from airports in Muslim-majority countries. Is this protectionism or prudence? Well, it’s complicated. Travelers from eight different Muslim-majority nations will no longer be allowed to carry laptops, tablets, or certain other electronic devices with them in the cabin on flights inbound to the U.S., according to new rules that take effect on Tuesday. The U.K. was quick to announce that it would follow suit with a Muslim laptop ban of [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

The question of whether political operative Roger Stone helped Russian hackers break into the email of Democratic politicians, to some people, invites another: Who says the hackers were Russian? The FBI does, and so do several U.S. intelligence agencies, as they’ve declared repeatedly over the past five months. But among private-sector computer security companies, not everybody thinks the case is proven. “I have no problem blaming Russia for what they do, which is a lot,” said Jeffrey Carr of the [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

Russia, we are told, breached the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), swiped emails and other documents, and released them to the public, to alter the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. How substantial is the evidence backing these assertions? Hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate unusual network activity, the security firm Crowdstrike discovered two separate intrusions on DNC servers. Crowdstrike named the two intruders Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, in an allusion to what it felt [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

THERE ARE SOME good reasons to believe Russians had something to do with the breaches into email accounts belonging to members of the Democratic party, which proved varyingly embarrassing or disruptive for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But “good” doesn’t necessarily mean good enough to indict Russia’s head of state for sabotaging our democracy. There’s a lot of evidence from the attack on the table, mostly detailing how the hack was perpetrated, and possibly the language of the perpetrators. It certainly [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

On the May 13, 2016, Lebanese people were surprised when the Hezbollah’s leading man Hassan Nasrallah was seen mourning the death of his most senior militia commander Mustafa Badreddine. No sooner did the news of Badreddine demise in Syria broke out, the Lebanese media adopted the story perpetuated by Hezbollah on the circumstances surrounding his death. Still, a few days later, questions began to rise about the credibility of Hezbollah’s version of events. After investigations into the story, evidence proved [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

Killing of Mustafa Amine Badreddine last year shows the ‘depth of the internal crisis within Hezbollah,’ Gadi Eisenkot says. Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said reports that Mustafa Amine Badreddine was killed by Hezbollah officers are in accordance to “intelligence we have.” The incident “indicates the depth of the internal crisis within Hezbollah,” and “the extent of the cruelty, complexity and tension between Hezbollah and its patron Iran.” He added that despite Hezbollah’s fighting in Syria providing it with cumulative operational [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

Israel’s military chief said Tuesday that a top Hezbollah commander who died last year was assassinated by members of his own group, the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite militia. Mustafa Badreddine died near the Syrian capital, Damascus, in May 2016, and Hezbollah said that Syrian rebel shelling caused his death. But recent Arab media reports have alleged that Hezbollah wanted rid of Badreddine because of a difference in opinion on how to wage the military campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

The General Directorate of General Security announced Wednesday that it has arrested two Lebanese men, two Nepalese women and a Palestinian man on charges of “spying for Israeli embassies abroad.” “During interrogation, the detainees confessed to the charges, admitting that they had called phone numbers belonging to the Israeli enemy’s embassies in Turkey, Jordan, Britain and Nepal with the aim of spying and passing on information,” a General Security statement said. The investigations revealed that the two aforementioned Nepalese women [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

Hezbollah has confirmed its military commander, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed in Syria this week in what it described as a “major explosion” at Damascus airport. Media reports in Lebanon and Israel quickly suggested the blast had been caused by an Israeli airstrike, a suggestion to which Hezbollah gave weight, announcing it was investigating whether a “missile or artillery strike” had been responsible. Badreddine was the most senior member of the organisation to have been killed since the death of his [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

Elias Saab. Sami Issa. Safi Badr. Zul Fikar. All were aliases of Hezbollah’s secretive military commander, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, described in court records as an “untraceable ghost”. Few details are known about Badreddine, who was killed this week in a mysterious explosion at a Hezbollah base near Damascus airport. This despite him being one of the most prominent figures in the party and the brother-in-law of the notorious Imad Mughniyeh, who he succeeded as military commander after the latter was [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

BEIRUT, Lebanon — When the youngest son of the former Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, was arrested in Lebanon last week in connection with the unsolved disappearance of Moussa al-Sadr, an exalted Lebanese Shiite cleric who vanished while visiting Libya in 1978, speculation sprouted about new information concerning one of the biggest whodunits in the treacherous politics of the Middle East. On Monday, the mystery deepened with news that the son, Hannibal Qaddafi, may have been forcibly — and illegally [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

The relatives of one of the victims of the twin suicide attacks in Beirut mourned during a funeral procession in the city’s Burj al-Barajneh neighborhood. Credit Wael Hamzeh/European Pressphoto Agency BEIRUT, Lebanon — Ali Awad, 14, was chopping vegetables when the first bomb struck. Adel Tormous, who would die tackling the second bomber, was sitting at a nearby coffee stand. Khodr Alaa Deen, a registered nurse, was on his way to work his night shift at the teaching hospital of [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

A Sunni Islamist group claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in Beirut The group, ISIS, says it’s the “first small payment” in a bigger push against Hezbollah Thursday’s car bomb detonated in a Beirut suburb known as a Hezbollah stronghold Lebanon has seen a surge in violence as tensions are exacerbated by Syria’s civil war A Sunni Islamist militant group claimed responsibility Saturday for a car bomb attack in Lebanon’s capital two days earlier which killed four people and injured [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

The CIA found itself in some rough waters in the Middle East last week. On Thursday, an influential member of Iran’s parliament announced that the Islamic republic had arrested 12 “CIA agents” who had allegedly been targeting Iran’s military and its nuclear program. The lawmaker didn’t give the nationality of the agents, but the presumption is that they were Iranians recruited to spy for the CIA. The agency hasn’t yet commented, but from what I’ve heard it was a serious [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

In a significant failure for the United States in the Mideast, more than a dozen spies working for the CIA in Iran and Lebanon have been caught and the U.S. government fears they will be or have been executed, according to four current and former U.S. officials with connections to the intelligence community. The spies were paid informants recruited by the CIA for two distinct espionage rings targeting Iran and the Beirut-based Hezbollah organization, considered by the U.S. to be [lees verder]

apr 052017
 

A strengthening Lebanese government is helping the militant group Hezbollah bust alleged spy cells, sometimes using tools and tradecraft acquired from Western nations. Reporting from Beirut — The chief of Lebanon’s domestic security forces had a warning for the Hezbollah commander: “You’ve been infiltrated.” With that, Achraf Rifi, head of the U.S.-backed Internal Security Forces, handed over evidence showing that two trusted, mid-ranking Hezbollah commanders were working as informants for Israeli military intelligence, said a high-ranking Lebanese security official with [lees verder]

feb 072017
 

IN THE WAKE of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the FBI assumes an importance and influence it has not wielded since J. Edgar Hoover’s death in 1972. That is what makes today’s batch of stories from The Intercept, The FBI’s Secret Rules, based on a trove of long-sought confidential FBI documents, so critical: It shines a bright light on the vast powers of this law enforcement agency, particularly when it comes to its ability to monitor dissent and carry out a [lees verder]

feb 072017
 

President Trump has inherited a vast domestic intelligence agency with extraordinary secret powers. A cache of documents offers a rare window into the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11. USING LOOPHOLES IT has kept secret for years, the FBI can in certain circumstances bypass its own rules in order to send undercover agents or informants into political and religious organizations, as well as schools, clubs, and businesses. Beneath the FBI’s redaction marks are exceptions to rules on “undisclosed participation.” If the [lees verder]

feb 072017
 

Rules governing the use of national security letters allow the FBI to obtain information about journalists’ calls without going to a judge or informing the targeted news organization. President Trump has inherited a vast domestic intelligence agency with extraordinary secret powers. A cache of documents offers a rare window into the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11. This story was originally published on June 30, 2016. We are republishing it along with new reporting on other FBI documents. SECRET FBI RULES [lees verder]

feb 072017
 

The bureau still claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate. President Trump has inherited a vast domestic intelligence agency with extraordinary secret powers. A cache of documents offers a rare window into the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11. ONE OF THE Obama administration’s high-profile criminal justice reform efforts was a new policy that purported to ban racial profiling in federal law enforcement. But internal policy guidelines The Intercept has [lees verder]