18-24 JUNE – SHTF Indicators Tracker – Forward Observer Shop

18-24 JUNE – SHTF Indicators Tracker

18-24 June – SHTF Indicators

(Updated 11:30pm on 23 JUN 2016 – 84 Indicators)

An indicator is an observable or potentially observable clue about capabilities, intent, or a future event.  Our mission is to identify indicators in order to provide early warning of future events, identify the likelihood of future events, or identify capabilities or intent that could cause an emergency or SHTF scenario.

This is the long-form intelligence reporting of our EXSUMs.  If you’d like a summary and analysis of the intelligence reporting, see our previous Executive Intelligence Summaries.


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Priority Intelligence Requirements:

PIR1: What are the current indicators of systems disruption that could lead to a SHTF event?

PIR2: What are the current indicators of an outbreak of global conflict? (Russia, China, Middle East)

PIR3: What are the current indicators of military, government, political, or social-related instability or violence that leads to domestic conflict?

PIR4: What are the current indicators of economic, financial, or monetary instability that leads to civil unrest?

PIR5: What are the current indicators of Islamic terrorism or the expansion of the Caliphate?

PIR1: What are the current indicators of systems disruption that could lead to a SHTF event?

Critical Infrastructure

22 JUN: Federal Reserve chair says that cyber crime is a “very significant threat.” (WSJ)

21 JUN: The Secret Service is looking for a quick turnaround on a new solicitation for cyber triage tools that can be rapidly deployed on any system to remediate the effects of a malware attack. (FederalTimes)

21 JUN: A fictitious scenario was laid out for nearly 1,000 military, government and private sector personnel here at this year’s Cyber Guard exercise, the nation’s largest test of its network defenses. Conducted over nine days in June, the event offered a disturbing look at the type of catastrophe that could unfold during what the government’s top officials call “cyber 9/11.” (MilitaryTimes)

21 JUN: The number of Chinese cyber attacks against U.S. interests has dropped significantly, according to cyber security firm FireEye.  Still, between mid-2015 and mid-2106, 13 suspected Chinese cyber groups had penetrated U.S. networks. (FireEye Report)

20 JUN: In an interview with PBS’ Nova, Edward Snowden says, “If an adversary didn’t target our power plants but they did target the core routers, the backbones that tie our internet connections together, entire parts of the United States could be cut off. That would have a tremendous impact on us as a society and it would have a policy backlash.” (NeonNettle)

20 JUN: The deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command said in an interview that the types of cyber attacks they worry the most about are “adversaries taking full control of our networks, losing control of our networks, having a hacker appear to be a trusted user.”  (WSJ)



21 JUN:  Former Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker wants the Republican National Convention delegates to be allowed to “vote the way they see fit,” and not be forced to cast a vote for Donald Trump.  (The Hill)

21 JUN: Donald Trump has railed against some Republicans planning a last-ditch effort to thwart him from becoming the party’s presidential nominee, threatening at one point to stop fundraising if the party does not rally around him. (National)

20 JUN: Trump parts ways with campaign manager Lewandowski. (Reuters)

20 JUN: The Texit:  Members of the Texas Nationalist Movement are watching the British referendum, hoping that a successful Brexit vote will result in increased secessionist sentiment in Texas. (Guardian)

19 JUN: A growing movement of anti-Donald Trump delegates to the Republican National Convention in July announced their plan to raise funds to mount an anti-Trump campaign during the convention. (RawStory)

19 JUN: House Speaker Paul Ryan could pave the way to dumping Trump at the GOP convention. (Guardian)

19 JUN:  According to “court watchers,” Justice Clarence Thomas is mulling retiring from the Supreme Court after the general election. (Washington Examiner)



22 JUN: The U.S. Army has identified a “critical gap” in its ability to face swarms of drones that could attack small units of soldiers on the battlefield by confusing radar systems, overwhelming larger aircraft or simply exploding when they reach an assigned target. (WaPo)

22 JUN: The Marines are looking for a few good planes, and their search has taken them to an Arizona boneyard where the Corps’ old F/A Hornets have been gathering dust and rust for years. (FoxNews)

21 JUN: The Tennessee Military Department says it plans to conduct one of the largest statewide disaster preparedness exercises in its history.  The department says the exercise planned for this upcoming week will involve more than 50 Army and Air National Guard units training alongside fire departments, law enforcement agencies, paramedics, and other emergency organizations. Participants will practice responding to disaster scenarios. (Military.com)

20 JUN:  Outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff stated that the Air Force needs 40,000 to 60,000 additional airmen, however, it’s unlikely that they’ll get that many.  (AFTimes)

20 JUN: The current nominee for the Air Force Chief of Staff stated that the Air Force needs 4,000 additional maintenance airmen.  (AFTimes)



23 JUN:

American intelligence agencies are to conduct a major investigation into how the Kremlin is infiltrating political parties in Europe, it can be revealed.  James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, has been instructed by the US Congress to conduct a major review into Russian clandestine funding of European parties over the last decade. (Telegraph)

22 JUN: Congress is pushing the White House to revive a Cold War-era committee to crack down on Russian spies, underscoring just how uneasy Washington is about its adversaries in Moscow. (Buzzfeed)



22 JUN: Hezbollah’s terrorism finance operations are thriving across Latin America months after the DEA linked the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group to drug cartels in the region, U.S. lawmakers were told this week. (WashingtonTimes)


Civil Rights/Privacy



PIR2: What are the current indicators of an outbreak of global conflict?

JUN 23: Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford told the U.N. Meeting on Peacekeeping that the current security environment is the most complex and volatile since World War II. “And we also see nonstate actors involved in conflict that are able to leverage information, cyber capabilities and sophisticated weapons.” (Defense.gov)


22 JUN: Nato troops should be stationed permanently in eastern Europe to guard against potential aggressive moves by Russia, two former US policymakers have said in a report that could raise tensions with Moscow. (Guardian)

21 JUN: It is NATO’s biggest military build-up in the region since the end of the Cold War. And although the troops will effectively sit near Russia’s border, NATO’s secretary general says the alliance is not trying to start a new Cold War. (Al Jazeera)

21 JUN: The European Union’s top diplomats have agreed to extend sanctions against Russia by six months to keep pressure on Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. (Guardian)

21 JUN: Weeks before a key summit in Warsaw, Poland is pushing its allies to use some of NATO’s planned new multinational forces to secure the gap, a move experts say is aimed at rebalancing what Warsaw sees as a ‘second class’ status within the alliance. (Reuters)

21 JUN: The Turkish military will install and test capabilities of locally-developed air-defense systems around a southern province that has become the target of rocket attacks from neighboring Syria.  (DefenseNews)

21 JUN: Days ahead of Thursday’s British referendum on whether to break free from the European Union, many here fear the decision could lead to the destruction of one of the most ambitious political projects since the Holy Roman Empire. (WaPo)

20 JUN: The European Union appears set to renew sanctions against Russia for another six months, welcome news for the US and its allies that view the sanctions as a crucial message towards the government of Russian president Vladimir Putin. (DefenseNews)

20 JUN: NATO commanders are still wary of Russia ability to quickly transport troops and equipment into Eastern Europe, and the potential to be caught by surprise.  (BBC)

20 JUN: Nearly three dozen former defense and intelligence officials signed an open letter addressed to POTUS and Congress, lobbying them to allow Montenegro to join NATO.  (Analyst Comment: Montenegro’s acceptance into NATO would not come as a surprise, but would certainly worsen NATO-Russia relations.) (WOTR)

20 JUN: After confirmation of sending four NATO battalions to Poland and the Baltics, Polish Defense Minister said that the additional troops would be enough to slow down a Russian invasion, but not stop one. (DefenseNewsTV)

20 JUN: Israel and the U.S. announced a new agreement to share cyber threat information.  This comes on the heels of expanded NATO-Israeli cooperation.  (JPost)

19 JUN: Norway announced plans Friday for its biggest military upgrade effort since the end of the Cold War, to bolster its defenses against an “increasingly unpredictable” Russia.  Norwegian Prime Minister said that its military force “is not adapted to the geopolitical situation.” (France24)

18 JUN: NATO member nation Bulgaria announced that its navy would not be taking part in Black Sea exercises, as the prime minister wanted neither to see frigates sailing past tourist resort, nor to a war with Russia.  This comes on the heels of Russia warning NATO not to build up forces in the Black Sea. (Reuters)



22 JUN: Russia must boost its combat readiness in response to NATO’s “aggressive actions” near Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

21 JUN: The European Union’s top diplomats have agreed to extend sanctions against Russia by six months to keep pressure on Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. (Guardian)

21 JUN:  Prosecutors in France have previously said it appeared a hardcore of around 150 hooligans who attacked England supporters in Marseilles were ‘trained to fight’.  Government officials fear violence doled out by Russian hooligans at Euro 2016 was sanctioned by Vladimir Putin’s regime as part of a ‘hybrid warfare’ campaign. (Mirror)

20 JUN: A German intelligence report alleges that the so-called ‘Cyber Caliphate’, the online hacker wing of the Islamic State, is in fact a Russian front, ingeniously conceived to permit Moscow to hack Western targets without retaliation. (SpiegelOnline)

20 JUN: Economically, Russia stands a high likelihood of continually degrading economic conditions through 2018.  This turbulence and global competition for strategic resources puts Russia on a course to prepare for a conflict in the mid-to-long term, if a war with NATO doesn’t break out sooner.  (CSIS)

19 JUN: Russia is actively attempting to erode Western support for Russian sanctions. (Rand)

18 JUN: The Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet is set later this year to receive its first nuclear SSBN (ballistic missile) submarine, followed by another next year. The entire Russian SSBN fleet will contain 15 submarines. (TASS)

18 JUN: In a speech on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin alleged that the West supported the Ukrainian coup in order to justify the existence of NATO.  “They need an external enemy, an external opponent – or why else would this organization be needed?” Putin asked. (TASS)

18 JUN: Russian officials again this week leveled charges against NATO of propagandizing the threat Russia poses to the Baltic region.  An official went on to say that stationing NATO troops in the Baltics would create hundreds of jobs, and that the build up has economic dividends.  (TASS)

18 JUN: Russia to monitor NATO maneuvers in Black Sea.  “We have not seen any concrete implementation of NATO decisions to build up its military presence in the Black Sea… [P]roposals have been made to create a permanent naval group, which will involve NATO countries that are not directly located in the Black Sea region, as well as partner countries,” a Russian diplomat said. (TASS)


22 JUN: Today, the maritime dispute between the U.S. and China has become the most contentious issue in their complex relationship, and conditions seem ripe for a military clash between the two countries. (Newsweek)

21 JUN: The months-long patrol was shadowed almost the entire time by People’s Liberation Army-Navy vessels, and certainly raised the ire of Beijing. In May, the Chinese government cancelled a port visit in Hong Kong, saying it was “inconvenient” for the flattop to pull in. (NavyTimes)

21 JUN: An Arbitral Tribunal is expected to rule this month on a South China Sea territorial dispute between China and the Philippines, and the U.S. should be prepared to respond to any Chinese reaction, a think tank panel said today. (USNI)

21 JUN: With just weeks to go until the start of the world’s largest maritime exercise, the Navy is still open to having China participate, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said Monday. (Military.com)

20 JUN: The Navy just concluded the multi-day deployment of two carrier strike groups to the Philippine Sea, a rare move that comes at a sensitive time ahead of an international tribunal’s ruling on territorial claims by China and other nations in the nearby South China Sea. (WaPo)

20 JUN: Last week, the U.S. Navy sent additional detachment of electronic warfare aircraft to the Philippines to aid the South China Sea mission.  The Scarborough Shoal is a flashpoint area, and currently a disputed territory. (JapanTimes)

20 JUN: Pointing out that the U.S. has not followed through on its commitments after China blocked Filipino access to the Scarborough Shoals area of the South China Sea, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says that China may attempt to test those commitments further.  The report goes on to say that China “may be running out of easy victories,” and that a coalition of Asian nations may put China’s bluff to the test after the UN’s ruling on the South China Sea expected next month.  (CSIS)


North Korea

22 JUN: North Korea leader Kim Jong Un said after supervising the test launch of a “medium long-range strategic ballistic missile” that the country came to possess “the sure capability to attack” U.S. interests in the Pacific. (Reuters)

21 JUN: Japan’s military was on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, a government source said on Tuesday, with media reporting its navy and anti-missile Patriot batteries have been told to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan. (Reuters)


Middle East

21 JUN: 21 JUN: The authorities in Iran have thwarted a plot by Sunni militants to bomb targets in the capital Tehran and other cities, the intelligence ministry says. (BBC)

21 JUN: A month after residents of northern Israel expressed concern that watchtowers they noticed appearing on the Lebanese side of the border were placed there by Hezbollah, additional such structures were erected. (Al Gemeiner)

21 JUN: The Turkish military will install and test capabilities of locally-developed air-defense systems around a southern province that has become the target of rocket attacks from neighboring Syria.  (DefenseNews)

20 JUN: The new Israeli Defense Minister recently said that Israel does not have the luxury of elective wars, and that it must only engage in wars in which there is absolutely no choice.  As a former member of the Soviet Union in Moldova, he also said that Israel should have a special relationship with Russia.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also reflected that desire. (DefenseNewsTV)

20 JUN: The IDF detained 16 and killed two Palestinians in Monday’s military raids. (Wafa) (Analyst Comment: Any time you get raids and death of Palestinians, there’s the potential for reprisal attacks against Israel and Israeli interests abroad.)

19 JUN: The Pentagon voiced “strong concerns” over Moscow’s bombing of US-backed forces in southern Syria.  Moscow denies that it targeted U.S.-backed forces. (Military)

18 JUN: Several reports emerged on Friday that Syrian regime forces and Hezbollah militias were fighting each other over accusations that the other party had retreated in battle.   (Middle East Monitor)

18 JUN: In early June, terrorists in Jordan killed three intelligence officers at a General Intelligence Directorate building near Amman.  Jordanian media outlets were barred by the government to report on the incident.  (NYT)


PIR3: What are the current indicators of military, government, political, or social-related instability or violence that leads to domestic conflict?

22 JUN: The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation was among the organizations breached by suspected Russian hackers in a dragnet of the U.S. political apparatus ahead of the November election, according to three people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

22 JUN: There are now more non-military government employees who carry guns than there are U.S. Marines, according to a new report. (FreeBeacon)

22 JUN:  The president of the Cleveland Ohio police union warns that cops and convention goers are “sitting ducks” at the 2016 Republican National Convention. The City of Cleveland is ill-equipped to handle the thousands of professional leftist, Black Lives Matter, and other protesters and there is just under a month to go before the convention. (Breitbart)

21 JUN: In their response to the Orlando terror shooting, the Black Lives Matter organization blamed white supremacy and conservatism for the violence.  (BLM)

20 JUN: A former police officer and Trump supporter called for patriots to stand ready against rioters and Black Lives Matter protestors in Cleveland.  Liberal website Raw Story, attuned to the propaganda value of the story, ran with the title:  “Trump-loving ex-cop recruits ‘lone wolf patriots’ to open fire on black protesters at GOP convention”.  (Analyst Comment: As of Monday afternoon, the original YouTube video had a little over 3,000 views; most of which were undoubtedly from Raw Story.)  (RawStory)

20 JUN: A man was arrested in Las Vegas, NV rally after removing a pistol from an officer’s hip and said he intended to kill Donald Trump.  (Time)

19 JUN:  ESPN announced it will give the University of Missouri (MU) football team a special humanitarian award in July for the team’s strike, which led to the the school’s president being fired and a massive drop in enrollment. (DailyCaller)



PIR4: What are the current indicators of economic, financial, or monetary instability that leads to civil unrest?

23 JUN: Many Americans are woefully ill-prepared for an unplanned expense, so much so that a whopping 66 million U.S. adults have zero dollars saved for an emergency, according to a new study. (CNBC)

23 JUN: The Federal Reserve warned that prices in the commercial real-estate market may have run up too far too fast. (Bloomberg)

22 JUN: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen warned Tuesday that the US economy faces “considerable uncertainty” from slower domestic activity and from a possible British vote to break with the European Union. (Yahoo)

21 JUN: The U.S. Federal Reserve’s dwindling confidence in its own outlook and resulting confusion among investors are creating a policy problem that may require chief Janet Yellen to lay out her own views more forcefully. (Reuters)

21 JUN: Billionaire investor George Soros said on Monday he saw Russia emerging as a global power as the European Union collapses, in much the same way as the EU flourished when the Soviet Union started falling. (Reuters)

21 JUN: Goldman Sachs slashed its 2016 estimate of U.S. demand for equities by nearly half on Monday, citing a weaker appetite for stocks among retail investors as the market struggles to break free from its range-bound trading amid global uncertainty. (Marketwatch)

18 JUN: The largest issuer of retail credit cards is warning of an uptick in delinquent credit card payments.  (Marketplace)

18 JUN: Monthly economic expectations, weekly comfort index, buying-climate gauge, measure of personal finances, and weekly index views on the economy all declined, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released last Thursday. (Bloomberg)


PIR5: What are the current indicators of Islamic terrorism or the expansion of the Caliphate?

North America

22 JUN: An alleged sexual assault on a five-year-old special needs girl has put a small Idaho city at the center of the debate over the Obama administration’s move to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees. (FoxNews)

21 JUN: Three House Democrats are calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to meet the administration’s stated goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. before October. (The Hill)

20 JUN: ISIS has collected information on 77 U.S. and NATO air force facilities around the world and is calling on supporters to attack them, according to South Korea’s intelligence agency. (CNN)

19 JUN: So far in 2016, America accepted some 40,000 refugees.  Four of the top seven countries from which refugees have immigrated are Muslim: Somalia (3rd; 5,780), Iraq (4th; 5,385), Syria (6th; 2,805), Iran (7th; 2,049).  (Pew)

18 JUN: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Texas to block refugee resettlement in the state. (AP)



21 JUN: A new study released by the University of Leipzig reveals a dramatic rise in Islamophobia among Germans since last year. More than 40 percent of the public thinks the government should forbid Muslims from immigrating to Germany — double the number of whom believed so in 2009. (ForeignPolicy)

21 JUN: Brussels was hit with a major security scare on Tuesday after a man wearing a fake suicide belt rang the police. (Telegraph)

19 JUN: England’s Prince Charles called for Muslims living in Britain to abide by British values. (Express)

18 JUN: Belgian security forces arrested 12 terror suspects during a sweep in anticipation of an “imminent” attack.  (NewsAsia)




21 JUN: The Nigerian government warned parents smartphone game application called Huroof, which teaches the Arabic alphabet, but includes jihadist terminologies and tutorials on weapons.  (Africa News)


Mike Shelby is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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