Sunday, March 15, 2009

Who says crime doesn't pay? It does in Austria!

Central Prison in Austria....

Boss, I swear those guys weren't there when I did my advance...

Check this site out. All you have to do is click on a picture of your favorite celebrity and voila! You can find out which hotels they have been spotted at in the past. Not as bad as GawkerStalker. Just goes to show you should spend a significant part of your advance online. If I have enough online data and other open source intelligence, anyone can figure out your principal's probable location. A poster at TacticalForums was kind of enough to provide the link to the hotel site.

Some days at work, I wish I had this on my forehead

If their pirates didn't scare you, wait until you read this!

My favorite magazine in the whole-wide world, Security Management, has just posted a new article on some scary testimony given to Congress. As al-Qaeda becomes more decentralized, splinter groups, inspired by the success of squad-level attacks such as Mumbai, are seeking new members to bring into their organizations to increase their operational reach and membership size. According to the article,
"Experts and Somali community leaders yesterday told Congress that a suicide attack carried out by a Somali-American youth in Somalia could mean that a terror group based there is recruiting in the United States, raising the specter of homegrown terrorism.

Last October, Minneapolis resident Shirwa Ahmed carried out a suicide bomb attack in Somalia. He is believed to be the first American suicide bomber ever.

“We are concerned that if Somali-American youth can be motivated to engage in such activities overseas, Ahmed’s fellow travelers could return to the U.S. and engage in terrorist activities here,” Andrew Liepman, deputy director of intelligence for the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), told the Senate Homeland Security Committee yesterday.

In recent years a number of Somali-American youths and American converts to Islam have traveled to Somalia to fight with the al Shabaab militia. The Islamist insurgent group has used terror and guerilla tactics to fight the the country's weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopian forces, according to intelligence officials.

Even scarier is finding out there are 150,000 to 200,000 Somalis that currently reside in the United States.

Professor Ken Menkhaus of Davidson College told lawmakers that Somalia’s 9 million people, “almost all of whom are Muslims, have endured 19 years of complete state collapse, periods of civil war, chronic insecurity, lawlessness and warlordism, massive displacement, the destruction of major cities, disruption of already fragile livelihoods, and recurring humanitarian crises, including the 1991-92 famine in which 250,000 people died.”

So why are these radical groups looking at Somalis? Because since their migration, they've failed to do what most immigrants try to do - assimilate. According to the article, ".....intelligence officials worry that Somali immigrants are more prone to radicalization and recruitment."

The question you have to ask is "Is this happening now or we talking about a vulnerability?"
Osman Ahmed, a Somali community leader in Minneapolis, alleged many of the young man that fled to Somalia were indoctrinated at the city's Abu-Bakar As-Saddique mosque.

Here's where I tell you to put down your gun and step back a minute and read the rest of the article.

Liepman said he wanted “to emphasize that we do not believe we are witnessing any form of community-wide radicalization among Somali-Americans.”

How do we solve this problem before it grows bigger? What's the government doing about it? We learned after 9/11 that "actionable intelligence" was useless if you never acted on it.

Philip Mudd, associate executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Branch, said the agency has crafted extensive outreach programs to Muslim communities and have also initiated a pilot program in Minneapolis to help FBI field offices and the Somali community deal with young men leaving to fight in their homeland.

The DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has also organized roundtable discussions to engage Muslim community leaders, Liepman said.

And you thought you had a sh*[email protected]$ job!!

I just read a report, titled "The Safety of the Volunteer", on the safety and security of Peace Corps volunteers . It was written by the Peace Corps Office of Safety and Security and provides some interesting statistics for 2007. One should keep in mind the Peace Corps does have a global mission which is to say these crimes were reported in various locales to include many Western countries. Of course, the report was leaked by the world's most notorious leaker - WikiLeaks. Check out these stats:

Global Composite of All Physical Assaults (2007)

Type Of Incident Number of Incidents Percentage of All Physical Assaults
Aggravated Assault 36 47%
Major Physical Assault 15 20%
Other Physical Assault 25 33%
Total 76 100%

Rape/Attempted Rape Profile

Gender: Female
Age: 20s
Ethnicity/Race: Caucasian (71%)
Time in service: 7-12 Months (43%)
Relationship of Assailant: Friend/Acquaint. (33%)
Motive: Sexual Activity (95%)
Medical Attention: Yes (86%)
Location of Incident: Volunteer Residence (43%)
Occur at Vol. Site: Yes (76%)
Weapon Use: No (67%)
PCV Accompanied: No (76%)
Time of Occurrence: Early Morning (midnight-5:59 a.m.) (48%)
Number of Assailants: One (81%)
Day of Week: Weekday (57%) Weekend (43%)
Alcohol: Volunteer - Yes (52%), No (38%)/Assailant - Yes (52%), Unknown (43%)
Intention to Prosecute: Yes (43%) No (33%)

These statistics just prove that crime can follow you anywhere and to never ever let your guard down!

Red Alert!! Don't buy Sentex locks!!

Bruce Schneier, much hyped security-guru, writes in his blog to be wary of Sentex locks:

It has a master key:

Here's a fun little tip: You can open most Sentex key pad-access doors by typing in the following code:


The first *** are to enter into the admin mode, 000000 (six zeroes) is the factory-default password, 99# opens the door, and * exits the admin mode (make sure you press this or the access box will be left in admin mode!)

Wow! This is why it is extremely important to properly vet ALL security appliances before installation. I used my "Google-fu" on a different device and got this little gem. You should check the vendor's web site to see if they have product manuals online. If they do, guess who also has the manual in their files. You get a 1, 000 points if you said "The Bad Guys".

I'm baaaack!

That's right.....It's been - what - a year since I was last seen on this blog. A lot has happened since then - Mumbai, US Presidential elections, numerous major security vulnerabilities, Sri Lankan cricket incident, and more. I won't try to turn back the hand of time. Sure, we'll discuss what happened since I last wrote anything but I'd like to begin with the current news. Oh where, oh where shall I begin?

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