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EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY – 05 FEB 16
The National PMESII section is a break down of national- and regional-level events and trends. Appendix: Collection of acronyms and definitions used.
This week, Representative Darrel Issa (R-CA) claimed that the FBI has “no choice” but to recommend criminal charges be brought against Hillary Clinton for her role in disclosing highly classified intelligence on a personal email server she kept in her home. According to current and former counterintelligence officials, it’s a foregone conclusion that the Chinese, Russians, and potentially a number of other foreign intelligence services had gained access to the private server and all its contents. These foreign intelligence services are adept at hacking encrypted information stored on secure networks, much less non-secure servers. There are known to be over 5,000 emails on that private server that contained classified information, including Top Secret – Special Access Program (SAP) information that named an undercover CIA agent. As John Schindler, a former NSA counterintelligence officer, pointed out, an additional tragedy is that the Russians and Chinese know exactly what was on that server, however, U.S. counterintelligence officials may never know. (It was also recently disclosed that Clinton had classified information and conducted official State Department business on her non-secure, personal Blackberry phone during her 2011 China visit. The Chinese are likely to have owned that device before she arrived.)
It’s entirely possible that she’ll be charged with a crime, although we know how criminals charges against the Clintons end. Some are floating the idea of her being charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. But if she doesn’t go to prison, then this is a significant opportunity to compare and contrast how Dwight and Steven Hammond were treated for their “terrorism” charges and how Ammon Bundy and the Malheur Occupiers were treated for their “conspiracy” charges, versus how Hillary Clinton was treated for her espionage charges (if they come to fruition). This is a perfect example of the two sets of rules in America. One set is for the untouchable ruling class and the other is for the subjects of the ruling class.
Superbowl Sunday is 07 FEB 16, and the San Jose Police Department, along with federal and private security, have ramped up to prevent and respond to known and suspected threats to the sporting event. This gives us a very good opportunity to peak at any cutting edge equipment being rolled out, in addition to the tried and true personnel and surveillance tools to which we’ve been accustomed. San Jose Police expect to investigate up to 20 threats each day. Here’s what’s been reported in Open Source:
- A San Jose Police Department “MERGE Team”, a SWAT-equivalent under the SJPD’s Special Operations Division, capable of operating covertly
- Bearcat armored vehicles
- 90 K-9 units
- 80 FBI bomb technicians
- FAA officials to identify non-government drones in the area
- Remote control robots that can test for chemical attacks
- An air sampling unit, part of the DHS BioWatch program, that sniffs for biological attacks
- A federal “joint operations center” in an undisclosed location to coordinate security and emergency response
An FBI agent told KCTV5 news that, “[T]he Achilles’ heel for us is either an active shooter or a lone wolf terrorist event on a soft target.”
(AC: A full report Open Source Intelligence report on Superbowl security will be published later today.)
According to a report released by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch tracking global fund flows, in the second half of 2015 over $208 billion of investments were converted to cash. Compare that to just $7 billion that was invested into stock markets. According to the report, investors around the globe are betting on continued deflationary pressure, rather than inflation. The report shows that money around the globe is rushing towards perceived safer places like money markets. The report stated these indicators are “[a]ll votes of no-confidence in the economy.” Top U.S. banks are putting numbers out on the likelihood of 2016 becoming a global recession year, too. Late last year, a CitiBank analyst reported a 67% chance of recession in 2016, while an analyst from JPMorgan reported a 76% chance of recession within three years.
(AC: It’s difficult to see a global recession not happening within the next couple years; maybe as soon as this year. At a local level, one of the best things you can do now is to be able to describe how that will affect your local community. Be as specific as possible; instead of saying, “Crime will increase,” consider 1) which crimes specifically are likely to increase, 2) what your community looks like with a 10-25% increase in those crimes, and 3) what the law enforcement response is likely to be. Don’t forget that law enforcement budgets may also be squeezed through the recession, resulting in fewer officers available. Draw out a map overlay described in SHTF Intelligence of where crime will most likely increase. The less of a baseline of criminal activity you have pre-recession, the more difficult it will be predicting what an increase in criminal activity looks like. There are several sites that will help you track crime. For instance, I use RAIDS Online.)
With increased immigration comes increased opportunity for violence-prone groups to recruit. For a moment, let’s set aside Muslim immigration and the potential for self-radicalization. (Nearly all of the 2015 Paris attackers were French-born, -raised, and -turned Islamic terrorists.) A week ago, over 4oo officers from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies raided locations across Boston, MA, arresting dozens of MS-13 gang members. MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is an El Salvadorian gang with a significant presence in America. According to some estimates, there are 6,000-10,000 MS-13 gang members currently residing in the U.S., and 30,000-50,000 internationally.
One reason for their sustained presence in the States is that they target poor youths Central American immigrant communities for recruitment. “Equally disturbing are their tactics of targeting middle and high school age students to commit the most violent acts on behalf of the gang, knowing they’ll face less severe penalties because of their age,” Harold Shaw, FBI Special Agent in Charge, added.
(AC: During your Intelligence Preparation of the Community work, a significant social/demographic indicator you should be looking for is the presence of Central American populations or neighborhoods. It’s likely in the best interest for local groups and law enforcement to form good relationships with these communities in order to prevent the establishment, or to deter criminal activity, of MS-13 and similar gangs.)
The federal government just assumed more authority to regulate electrical production; an authority gifted to them by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). On 25 January, the SCOTUS ruled 6-2 in favor of the federal government that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in FERC vs. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) has increased authority to regulate a part of retail electrical production previously assigned to the authority of the States.
During hours of peak electric power demand, some electric companies have been paying consumers to not use electricity, which frees up supply, instead of paying electricity producers to produce more to meet high demand. This is referred to as “demand response.” Previously, the FERC issued a rule that applied to regional electric companies, forcing these regional producers to pay the market-rate cost of electricity during peak hours (which cost much more), instead of a lower rate, to not use electricity. In a D.C. circuit court case filed by EPSA, that rule was struck down. The FERC filed an appeal and elevated the case to the SCOTUS.
In the SCOTUS ruling, the opinion of the court is that the federal government has the authority to force local and regional electricity producers to pay the market-rate. But the problem is that the federal government is exceeding its authority over just the wholesale market and expanding into the retail market, which is regulated by the States. Overall, this is a net loss for the 10th Amendment and another win for the federal government. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia says as much, “[T]he majority is wrong even on its own terms, for the rule at issue here does in fact regulate ‘retail electricity sales,’ which are indisputably ‘matters . . . subject to regulation by the States’ and therefore off-limits to FERC.”
File under: Illusory Security. After spending billions on the Einsten cybersecurity system, DHS is still failing in its mission to provide a cyber-security baseline for the government, much less the nation. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the highly-touted-by-DHS Einstein system fails to find 94% of cyber threats. The GAO tested the Einstein system and found that it didn’t detect most of the most common vulnerabilities often found on government computers.
(AC: Immediately, this means two things: additional updates and development for Einstein that are likely to still not achieve the objective, and continued successful cyber attacks against government information systems. We can expect continued news about information leaks due to cyber attacks.)
AC: Analyst Comment; an opinion, explanation or clarification
EPSA: Electric Power Supply Association
EXSUM: Executive Intelligence Summary
FERC: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
GAO: Government Accountability Office
MERGE Team: Mobile Emergency Response Group and Equipment
OSINT: Open Source Intelligence
SCOUTS: Supreme Court of the United States
SAP: Special Access Program
SWAT: Special Weapons and Tactics