Posts Tagged ‘Stratfor’

Posted March 20th, 2012

The former director of the security firm Blackwater aided the Libyan opposition and was subsequently sent to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey at the request of a U.S. Government committee, according to published Stratfor emails and reported by Al-Akhbar English.

Blackwater’s primary public contract is with the U.S. State Department for protective services in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Israel.

Jamie F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the chief executive of the security firm SCG International.

In an email sent to Stratfor on February 11, 2011, Smith praised the company’s intelligence gathering and said his “background is CIA and our company is comprised of former DOD [i.e. Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel. We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection.”

Smith became a major source for Stratfor by September as he and Stratfor vice president Fred Burton built a rapport. Smith provided intelligence (under the codename LY700) to Burton on developments in Libya— where  SCG International was contracted to protect Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) members and train Libyan rebel fighters after the implementation of the no-fly zone in March 2011.

Smith provided information on missing surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and allegedly “took part” in the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the town of Sirte.

Burton was impressed by Smith’s intel and reciprocated praise by writing, “Good skinny. This is what is defined as a credible source. Not some windbag Paki academic belching and passing gas.”

The last emails about Smith came on December 13, days before the Stratfor mail servers were reportedly hacked. In one Burton says:

“**Source and Dr. Walid Phares are getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.

** The true mission is how they can help in regime change.

** Source intends to offer his services to help protect the opposition members, like he had underway in Libya.”

Walid Phares is a Lebanese-American citizen who is currently co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.

In another email from December 13— in which Stratfor is organizing intelligence on the Syrian opposition that Smith had requested— Burton reports that Smith “is meeting w/specific people described as key leaders.”

Burton is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The DSS assists the Department of Defense in following leads and doing forensic analysis of hard drives seized by the U.S. government in ongoing criminal investigations.

Stratfor provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

WikiLeaks has published 925 out of what they say is a cache of 5 million internal Stratfor emails (dated between July 2004 and December 2011) obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous around Christmas.

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Leaked emails from the private U.S. security firm Stratfor cite a Mexican diplomat who says the U.S. government works with Mexican cartels to traffic drugs into the United States and has sided with the Sinaloa cartel in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.

Many people have doubted the quality of Stratfor’s intelligence, but the information from MX1—a Mexican foreign service officer who doubled as a confidential source for Stratfor—seems to corroborate recent claims about U.S. involvement in the drug war in Mexico.

Most notably, the reports from MX1 line up with assertions by a Sinaloa cartel insider that cartel boss Joaquin Guzman is a U.S. informant, the Sinaloa cartel was “given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago,” and Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for information used to take down rival cartels.

An email with the subject “Re: From MX1 — 2” sent Monday, April 19, 2010, to Stratfor vice president of intelligence Fred Burton says:

I think the US sent a signal that could be construed as follows:

“To the [Juárez] and Sinaloa cartels: Thank you for providing our market with drugs over the years. We are now concerned about your perpetration of violence, and would like to see you stop that. In this regard, please know that Sinaloa is bigger and better than [the Juárez cartel]. Also note that [Ciudad Juárez] is very important to us, as is the whole border. In this light, please talk amongst yourselves and lets all get back to business. Again, we recognize that Sinaloa is bigger and better, so either [the Juárez cartel] gets in line or we will mess you up.”

In sum, I have a gut feeling that the US agencies tried to send a signal telling the cartels to negotiate themselves. They unilaterally declared a winner, and this is unprecedented, and deserves analysis.

Bill Conroy of Narco News reports that MX1’s description matches the publicly available information on Fernando de la Mora Salcedo — a Mexican foreign service officer who studied law at the University of New Mexico and served at the Mexican Consulates in El Paso, Texas, and Phoenix.

In a June 13, 2010, email with the subject “Re: Get follow up from mx1? Thx,” MX1 states that U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sent their “signal” by discretely brokering a deal with cartels in Tijuana, just south of San Diego, Calif., which reduced the violence in the area considerably.

It is not so much a message for the Mexican government as it is for the Sinaloa cartel and[the Juárez cartel] themselves. Basically, the message they want to send out is that Sinaloa is winning and that the violence is unacceptable. They want the CARTELS to negotiate with EACH OTHER. The idea is that if they can do this, violence will drop and the governments will allow controlled drug trades.

The email went on to say that “the major routes and methods for bulk shipping into the US” from Ciudad Juárez, right across the border from El Paso, Texas, “have already been negotiated with US authorities” and that large shipments of drugs from the Sinaloa cartel “are OK with the Americans.”

In July a Mexican state government spokesman told Al Jazeera that the CIA and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers” as much as “try to manage the drug trade.” A mid-level Mexican official told Al Jazeera that based on discussions he’s had with U.S. officials working in Ciudad Juárez, the allegations were true.

WikiLeaks has published 2,878 out of what it says is a cache of 5 million internal Stratfor emails (dated between July 2004 and December 2011) obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous around Christmas.

November 24, 2012

  • Allegations that the White House and CIA ordered the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to cease investigating Afghanistan president Ahmed Karzai’s brother for drug trafficking that funded terrorism. The email reads in part: “For political reasons, DEA has been told to backoff [sic] by the White House and CIA. DEA is seeing a direct nexus between terrorism and narcotics in Afghanistan with narcotics sales being used to fund jihadist operations.”
  • References to the Obama war on whistleblowers. One email, dated September 2010, reads in full: “Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources. Note — There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…”
  • A breakdown of the FBI’s major “Going Dark” concerns, as laid out by the Albany field office. The FBI has been publicly hinting at what it says are major impediments to its “legal electronic surveillance” operations. (For an interrogation of the supposed “legality” of the FBI’s surveillance, read this.) In a document prepared for law enforcement, the Albany field office of the FBI listed the Tor network, encryption and anonymous remailers as technologies that impede total information awareness. Take a look at the document here.
  • Possible Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) attacks on Mexican drug cartel leaders. A May 2011 email reads: “Have been told by a very good contact that JSOC is looking at unilateral actions in MX targeting cartel HVT’s.”
  • An assessment that DHS fusion centers amount to “freaking amature [sic] hour.”
  • Problems with the TSA and its reliance on contractors. One email claims a “senior agent at DHS” said: “Another issue is that DHS in general has too many contractors whose first interest is furthering their company’s interests, and many of these folks couldn’t find their bottoms with both hands and a mirror. Unfortunately, the few direct hire staff end up overwhelmed by their contractor majority staffs….Contractor footnote: have observed that the contractors are extremely adept at showing up at meetings in large numbers, eating the donuts and drinking the beverages without contributing anything more than body count.”
  • DHS’ assessment of the Occupy Wall Street movements. One Stratfor email contains a link to a DHS bulletin for law enforcement and the intelligence community on OWS. The last sentence of that bulletin reads: “Due to the location of the protests in major metropolitan areas, heightened and continuous situational awareness for security personnel across all CI sectors is encouraged.”

On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

Re: [alpha] read this one – INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilatattackswas joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation?

Released on 2012-11-17 02:00 GMT

Email-ID 110906
Date 2011-08-22 02:15:53
From bayless.parsley@stratfor.com
To alpha@stratfor.com
List-Name alpha@stratfor.com
also jibes with the fact that Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire starting tonight (so long as isr agrees to stop its attacks), whereas PRC refused (as did PIJ) On 2011 Ago 21, at 18:29, “Kamran Bokhari” <bokhari@stratfor.com

> wrote:

This jives with what we have heard from Hamas and the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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From: “George Friedman” <friedman@att.blackberry.net

> Sender: alpha-bounces@stratfor.com

Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 18:25:19 -0500 (CDT) To: Alpha List<alpha@stratfor.com

> ReplyTo: Alpha List <alpha@stratfor.com

> Subject: Re: [alpha] read this one – INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilat attackswas joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation? So this means that hamas intelligebce failed to monitor prc, a group that was threatening the cease fire that hamas wanted to preserve. Hamas that has baffled mossad over and over simply couldn’t keep track of prc.

Ok.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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From: Fred Burton <burton@stratfor.com

> Sender: alpha-bounces@stratfor.com

Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 18:22:54 -0500 (CDT) To: <alpha@stratfor.com

> ReplyTo: Alpha List <alpha@stratfor.com

> Subject: Re: [alpha] read this one – INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilat attacks was joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation? Great intel Reva. Pls pass along our thanks to ME1 for a job well done.

On 8/21/2011 6:15 PM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

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From: “Reva Bhalla” <bhalla@stratfor.com

> To: “Alpha List” <alpha@stratfor.com

> Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 6:14:38 PM Subject: [alpha] NSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL -Eilat attacks was joint PRC-Sinai Salafist operation?

SOURCE: sub-source via ME1 ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon via ME1 PUBLICATION: Yes SOURCE RELIABILITY: C ITEM CREDIBILITY: B SPECIAL HANDLING: Alpha SOURCE HANDLER: Reva

** below is a back and forth I had with ME1 and his Egyptian diplomat source. note the shift in his assessment

The source exonerates Hamas from any involvement in the attack that targeted Eilat and he puts the entire blame on the PRC and their military wing an-Nasser Salah el Din. He says Hamas is doing all it could to be on Egypt’s good side and they would simply not commit themselves to such a rash and counterproductive raid. The second source (Hamas representative in Lebanon) says Hamas would respond in Lebanon, and not in Sinai or Eilat, against Ali Abbas’s intention to go to NY to seek recognition for the Palestinian state. Inviting another Israeli offensive against Gaza is Hamas’s worst nightmare since they have not been allowed to recover from the disastrous consequences of the Cast Lead Operation. He says the anti-Fateh Islamic forces are mobilizing their forces in Ain al-Hilwa Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon. He also claims the PRC an-Nasser Salah el Din’s militants came to the attack site near Eilat from Rafah after crossing a tunnel.

MY QUESTION – ————— What happened to the claim that the Eilat attack was committed by Salafist-jihadist types that have been active in the Sinai recently? The Egyptian diplomat seems to have shifted his opinion on this. Why?

ME1 response – The Egyptian diplomat revised his version on the basis of new information he received from the military attache. What I gathered from him was that the attacks near Eilat were a joint operation. PRC militants have better fighting experience and know how to set up ambushes to IDF troops. Sinai salafists provided transportation and and access to the Nejev desert to launch the attacks, but the actual attackers came from the Gaza Strip. I would not discount the possibility that the diplomat had received instructions from his government to modify his version. It makes more sense for the Egyptians to disseminate information about the attack being carried out by a group coming from an area outside their jurisdiction (Gaza). The Egyptians would not look good if they were to admit that their control over Sinai is loosening. I think the diplomat was convincing when he said it was a joint operation because Sinai’s salafis do not have the experience to launch carefully planned and well-timed attacks. I think it would make sense to argue that the PRC would have not been able to carry out the attacks without assistance from Sinai’s salafis. There were subsequent clashes inside Sinai between the salafis and government forces, including a suicide attack.

previous insight

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From: “Benjamin Preisler” <ben.preisler@stratfor.com

> To: “Alpha List” <alpha@stratfor.com

> Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:56:58 AM Subject: [alpha] INSIGHT – EGYPT/ISRAEL – Egyptian take on Israel attacks – ME1*

SOURCE: sub-source via ME1 ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Egyptian diplomat in Lebanon PUBLICATION: Yes SOURCE RELIABILITY: C ITEM CREDIBILITY: B-C SPECIAL HANDLING: Alpha SOURCE HANDLER: Reva

Re: the attack on an Israeli bus and other vehicles near Eilat that caused many casualties. He says the information available to the Egyptian authorities indicate that it was carried out by the newly founded al-Qaeda in Sinai. This group, which wants to create an Islamic emirate in Sinai, works closely with Gaza’s slafi-Jihadist group Jaysh al-Islam and Sinai bedouins. The attack comes as a response to the Egyptian army’s military campaign against armed groups there, who are blamed for attacking the gas pipeline to Israel. Eliminating terrorists from Sinai is impossible, but the Egyptian security forces have no option but to pursue them. He says the Egyptian government will send additional troops to Sinai and will expand its “al-Nisr” military operation