The Office of the DNI’s Greatest Hits (Foreign Policy)

James Clapper

“The DNI post was the centerpiece of landmark legislation enacted in 2004, informed by the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Presidential, legislative, and bureaucratic politics all contributed to a compromise law that sought to improve information sharing and strengthen central leadership of our sprawling intelligence enterprise without infringing upon existing military and departmental chains of command. Ten years of experience offers an opportunity to take stock and ask whether the government is smarter and the country is safer as a result of these changes.”

See the full debate here.

The Bureaucracy of Terror New Secret Documents Reveal al Qaeda’s Real Challenges (Foreign Affairs)

Osama

“A new trove of documents that were among those seized in the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were presented recently during the trial of Abid Naseer at the Brooklyn federal district court.

The documents—which consist of correspondence between Osama bin Laden and senior al Qaeda leaders—reveal the state of the global terror operation in the months leading up to bin Laden’s death. They paint a picture of an organization crippled by the U.S. drone campaign, blindsided by the Arab Spring, and struggling to maintain control over its affiliates—and yet still chillingly resolute in its mission to strike inside the United States.

The documents offer some insight into the effectiveness of U.S. counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda. They also, believe it or not, provide a few laughs.”

Read the full article by Jennifer R. Williams

ISIL DEFACEMENTS EXPLOITING WORDPRESS VULNERABILITIES (FBI)

Centcom Hack

“Continuous Web site defacements are being perpetrated by individuals sympathetic to the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL) a.k.a. Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS). The defacements have affected Web site operations and the communication platforms of news organizations, commercial entities, religious institutions, federal/state/local governments, foreign governments, and a variety of other domestic and international Web sites. Although the defacements demonstrate low-level hacking sophistication, they are disruptive and often costly in terms of lost business revenue and expenditures on technical services to repair infected computer systems.”

Read the full text of alert I-040715a-PSA here.

To Catch a Spy (Foreign Policy)

John Brennan CIA

“In the age of iris scans and facial recognition software, biometrics experts like to point out: The eyes don’t lie. And that has made tradecraft all the more difficult for U.S. spies.”

Read the full article here.

“US Army Eyes Ukraine Conflict for Intel on Russian Military Technology” (DoD Buzz)

Still image taken from handout aerial footage shot by drone shows outline o airplane in the snow at the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport damaged by shelling during fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, in Donetsk

“The U.S. Army is working to glean intelligence on Russian military technology from the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, American generals said.

The Moscow-backed rebels are waging a hybrid war that includes the use of soft power such as disinformation and cyberattacks to hard power such as truck-mounted Grad rocket launchers, according to Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe.”

See the full article here.

Hamil al-Bushra – An ISIS Propagandist

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Hamil Al-Bushra is a known ’emissary’ of the Islamic State, has conducted cyber-diplomacy to expand the clout of this terrorist organization. He has urged Al-Qaeda affiliates, such as Al-Shabaab, to pledge Ba’yah to the ISIS.

He has been known to disseminate press releases, via Twitter (), the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/trhml19e), Just Paste It (https://justpaste.it/hamil-bushra-blog), and Nasher (http://nasher.me/hamil-bushra-blog/).

Thus, Al-Bushra is a key propagandist in the cyber campaign of ISIS, with a mission to forge alliances with other jihadist groups into the caliphate and to inspire lone wolf attacks.