11-17 JUNE – SHTF Indicators – Forward Observer Shop

11-17 JUNE – SHTF Indicators

11-17 June – SHTF Indicators

(Updated 9:20am on 17 JUN 2016)

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 just a summary of reporting, along with analysis, 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 political-related instability or violence that leads to widespread 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:

16 JUN: In the first case of cyber terrorism, a 20-year old Kosovar hacker plead guilty for providing material to the Islamic State.  After hacking a U.S. company’s website, he provided information on its employees “with the understanding that ISIL would use the [personally identifiable information] to ‘hit them hard.’” (FederalTimes)

15 JUN: The co-founder of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology warned that ‘cyber jihad’ is coming, and warned that it’s a “hyber-evolving threat.” (CNBC)

15 JUN: “The Russian cyber threat is more severe than we had previously assessed,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last year.  According to some U.S. officials, Russia’s cyber capabilities outpace those of the U.S.    Part of what makes the Russian cyber capability so difficult to monitor and track is that they employ criminal hackers in their intelligence agencies in lieu of prison sentences.  That makes cyber criminals dual-use in that they can attack foreign government networks while in their official capacity, or as part of a criminal, non-state network. (DefenseOne)

15 Jun: In late May, a U.S. government computer was targeted by a spear-phishing attack from a group affiliated with the Russian GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate). (Softpedia)



16 JUN: After noticing abnormal activity on their networks, senior DNC officials hired Crowdstrike, a cyber security firm, to shore up the vulnerabilities.  In an interview, Crowdstrike CEO warned that Russian cyber attacks against U.S. political targets will “intensify”. (RCD)

16 JUN: More than a dozen key lawmakers are set to retire by January 2017.  According to Politco’s analysis, the average tenure of the Senate Armed Services Committee has been nearly cut in half since 2009.  (Analyst Comment: Not entirely sure that’s a bad thing.) (Politico)

14 JUN: Hackers associated with SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service, gained illegal access to the Democratic National Committee’s computer system and retrieved opposition research on Republican candidate Donald Trump. (WaPo)



15 JUN: According to U.S. officials, there are hundreds of Russian spies operating in America.  While U.S. intelligence agencies lost focus on Russia over the past couple decades in favor of Islamic terrorism, SVR didn’t lose its focus on America. (NPR)

14 JUN: Chinese espionage is at an all-time high, according to experts citing statistics.  The number of FBI’s economic espionage cases increased by 53% from 2014-2015.  ”FBI investigations and arrests for industrial espionage and violations of export control laws are at an all-time high, predominately linked to the Chinese government,” said a former National Counterintelligence Executive. (MENAFM)



16 JUN: CIA Director John Brennan warned Congress that the Islamic State organization is working to send operatives to Western nations.  “[The Islamic State] has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West.” (AP)


Civil Rights/Privacy

16 JUN: According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the FBI is using some 400 million photos in its facial recognition database.(FoxNews)



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


16 JUN: A cyber attack on NATO countries could trigger war, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. (SC Magazine)

14 JUN: Military leaders in the Baltic nations and Poland are asking Western governments to help build an air defense capability targeting towards stopping Russian aircraft. (Radio Free Europe)

14 JUN: NATO Chief confirms that four battalions from the U.S, Britain, and Germany. (Radio Free Europe)


13 JUN: NATO is building up forces in the Baltics to deter Russian aggression in the region.  Lithuania’s Defense Minister was quoted as saying: “We cannot exclude [an invasion] … They might exercise on the borders and then switch to invasion in hours.” (Yahoo)




16 JUN: A U.S. Navy admiral says that two Russian spy ships are ‘shadowing’ a NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea.  The exercise, BALTOPS, has been held annual for 44 years, and includes non-NATO partners Sweden and Norway.  (FoxNews)

16 JUN: Although the Russians gave advanced warning of military readiness checks to NATO, according to the Russian Defense Minister, NATO is still treating the military readiness checks as establishing a war footing.  “The real aim of [NATO’s] allegations about the Russian military threat is to intentionally create panic and maintain the image of a treacherous enemy, fighting which can provide colossal military budgets,” Konashenkov said. (RT)

14 JUN: Surprise military readiness “snapchecks” begin in Russia; to last until 22 June. (TASS)



17 JUN: This tracker shows which countries support and oppose the Chinese claim. (CSIS)

16 JUN: Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Dennis Blair warned that China risks a confrontation with the U.S. if they start dredging near the Scarborough Shoals.  He also warned that China would likely lose that conflict. (ForeignPolicy)

16 JUN: China is set to resist an international effort lead by the United Nations to resolve the South China Sea dispute.  The UN is set to make a ruling within weeks, however, there is no enforcement mechanism, even if it finds that China has no claim to the “nine dash line” islands in dispute.  (AP)

15 JUN: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is actively shadowing U.S. and Japanese ships in the South China Sea. (NavyTimes)

13 JUN: Chinese cyber attacks against India continue, targeting Indian security and commercial networks.  The attacks originate from Chengdu Province, where the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command is located.  The Western Theatre Command’s area of responsibility is the Indian border region. (Prameya)


Middle East:

17 JUN: Palestnians are accusing Israel of manipulating the availability of water by siphoning off water.  Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that Israel was “waging a water war against the Palestinians”. (Al Jazeera)

17 JUN: The U.S. House approved the continued sale of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. (Intercept)

17 JUN: Israeli military intelligence chief Major General Herzi Halvey says that Syria has resumed weapons production for Hezbollah. (Jane’s)

16 JUN: Israeli military intelligence chief Major General Herzi Halevy says has ‘slim’ hopes for Syrian peace deal. (DefenseNews)

15 JUN: The Israeli Defense Force is staging its largest-ever wargame exercise against Hezbollah. The two-day long event will test out new Israeli weapons in preparation for a future war with the Iranian proxy terrorist group. (Press TV)

15 JUN: Israel is improving cooperation with NATO and mending fences with Turkey.  “Israel has much to contribute to NATO. I believe NATO has much to contribute to Israel. We’ve already begun that process, but I think we can extend and increase our cooperation,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before a close-door meeting that included the Turkish chargé d’affaires.  This comes after years of staunch Turkish rebuttals to Israeli-NATO cooperation.  (Hamodia)

14 JUN: The former chief of the Israeli Defense Force Homefront Command warned that in the next war with Hezbollah, Israel could encounter 1,000 rocket attacks per day.  (Times of Israel)



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

15 JUN: A continuing trend from last year, still only one-third of Army brigades are combat-ready. (National Interest)

16 JUN: BlackLivesMatter members at the University of Missouri interrupted a vigil for the victims Orlando terrorist shooting.  After speaking into the microphone, the Black Lives Matter speaker said, “I wish this many people came out to our racial demonstrations and our Black Lives Matter movements.” (TownHall)

13 JUN: The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act proposes a 25% reduction of general officers in the military. (Daily Caller)

12 JUN: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is threatening to release more controversial emails associated with Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.  (Guardian)



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

03 JUN: Charles Hugh Smith outlines the 2016-2019 U.S. economic collapse. (OfTwoMinds)



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

17 JUN: While ninety percent of Turks polled feel comfortable living in Germany, nearly half of them agreed that following the laws of Islam was more important than following the laws of the land.  Seven percent said that violence is justified for expanding Islam.  (DW)

16 JUN: Since the Orlando terror attack, 441 Syrian refugees have been imported into America. (Breitbart)



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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