Beyond Spying on You, What You See is Manipulated

First of all, beyond the NSA there is a consortium of 4 countries that collaborate on intelligence, data-mining of social media, and score their findings. The consortium is called GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) located in Britain and is the flagship of all cyber transactions as well as telecom transactions.

GCHQ is also known as the four eyes, watching everything and everyone globally without exception, areas more robustly than others, all for unique reasons.

GCHQ’s dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping

By for Zero Day

GCHQ has developed a toolkit of software programs used to manipulate online traffic, infiltrate users’ computers and spread select messages across social media sites including Facebook and YouTube.

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The UK spy agency’s dark arts were revealed in documents first published by The Intercept, and each piece of software is described in a wiki document written up by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG). The document, which reads like a software inventory, calls the tools part of the agency’s “weaponised capability.”

Some of the most interesting capabilities of the tools on the list include the ability to seed the web with false information — such as tweaking the results of online polls — inflating pageview counts, censoring video content deemed “extremist” and the use of psychological manipulation on targets — something similar to a research project conducted with Facebook’s approval, which resulted in heavy criticism and outrage levied at the social media site.

A number of interesting tools and their short descriptions are below:

  • ASTRAL PROJECTION: Remote GSM secure covert Internet proxy using TOR hidden service
  • POISON ARROW: Safe malware download capability
  • AIRWOLF: YouTube profile, comment and video collection
  • BIRDSTRIKE: Twitter monitoring and profile collection
  • GLASSBACK: Technique of getting a target’s IP address by pretending to be a spammer and ringing them. Target does not need to answer.
  • MINIATURE HERO: Active skype capability. Provision of realtime call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.
  • PHOTON TORPEDO: A technique to actively grab the IP address of MSN messenger user
  • SPRING-BISHOP: Finding private photos of targets on Facebook
  • BOMB BAY: The capacity to increase website hits, rankings
  • BURLESQUE: The capacity to send spoofed SMS messages
  • GESTATOR: Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (YouTube)
  • SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE: Perfect spoofing of emails from Blackberry targets
  • SUNBLOCK: Ability to deny functionality to send/receive email or view material online
  • SWAMP DONKEY: A tool that will silently locate all predefined types of file and encrypt them on a targets machine
  • UNDERPASS: Change outcome of online polls (previously known as NUBILO).
  • WARPATH: Mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign.
  • HUSK: Secure one-on-one web based dead-drop messaging platform.

The list, dated from 2012, says that most of the tools are “fully operational, tested and reliable,” and adds: “Don’t treat this like a catalogue. If you don’t see it here, it doesn’t mean we can’t build it.”

“We only advertise tools here that are either ready to fire or very close to being ready,” the document notes.

The release of these documents comes in the same week that the UK intelligence agency’s spying activities are being investigated by surveillance watchdog the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). Civil liberty groups set a legal challenge against the GCHQ in order to question the legal standing of schemes such as Tempora — a project revealed in the NSA scandal that showed the agency placed data interceptors on fiber-optic cables that carry Internet traffic to and from the UK.

U.S. No Longer Land of the Free

Of course we all know this already, however you can also read a book titled ‘American Coup’, author is William Arkin. Within the first one hundred pages Arkin lays out the proven facts of why America is already under martial law, a term that has been battered around for several years. Just consider that yet another set of authors, Harvey Silvergate and Alan Dershowtiz wrote a book titled ‘Three Felonies a Day’ explaining how the Feds target the innocent.

The point is we have lawyers that are speaking out and we must listen.

So today there was a four hour long house hearing by the Rules Committee where Jonathan Turley, a Democrat, but more importantly a Constitutional professor, practicing lawyer and speech giver testified. His presentation was remarkable.

It is important for this article to know he wrote a blog piece a few months ago that is a must read for everyone.

10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

Assassination of U.S. citizens

President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism. Last year, he approved the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi and another citizen under this claimed inherent authority. Last month, administration officials affirmed that power, stating that the president can order the assassination of any citizen whom he considers allied with terrorists. (Nations such as Nigeria, Iran and Syria have been routinely criticized for extrajudicial killings of enemies of the state.)

Indefinite detention

Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism. While Sen. Carl Levin insisted the bill followed existing law “whatever the law is,” the Senate specifically rejected an amendment that would exempt citizens and the Administration has opposed efforts to challenge such authority in federal court. The Administration continues to claim the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole discretion. (China recently codified a more limited detention law for its citizens, while countries such as Cambodia have been singled out by the United States for “prolonged detention.”)

Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice. (Egypt and China have been denounced for maintaining separate military justice systems for selected defendants, including civilians.)

Warrantless searches

The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records. The government can use “national security letters” to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens — and order them not to reveal the disclosure to the affected party. (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan operate under laws that allow the government to engage in widespread discretionary surveillance.)

Secret evidence

The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified information that would harm national security — a claim made in a variety of privacy lawsuits and largely accepted by federal judges without question. Even legal opinions, cited as the basis for the government’s actions under the Bush and Obama administrations, have been classified. This allows the government to claim secret legal arguments to support secret proceedings using secret evidence. In addition, some cases never make it to court at all. The federal courts routinely deny constitutional challenges to policies and programs under a narrow definition of standing to bring a case.

War crimes

The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law. When courts in countries such as Spain moved to investigate Bush officials for war crimes, the Obama administration reportedly urged foreign officials not to allow such cases to proceed, despite the fact that the United States has long claimed the same authority with regard to alleged war criminals in other countries. (Various nations have resisted investigations of officials accused of war crimes and torture. Some, such as Serbia and Chile, eventually relented to comply with international law; countries that have denied independent investigations include Iran, Syria and China.)

Secret court

The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group. The administration has asserted the right to ignore congressional limits on such surveillance. (Pakistan places national security surveillance under the unchecked powers of the military or intelligence services.)

Immunity from judicial review

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy. (Similarly, China has maintained sweeping immunity claims both inside and outside the country and routinely blocks lawsuits against private companies.)

Continual monitoring of citizens

The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. It is not defending the power before the Supreme Court — a power described by Justice Anthony Kennedy as “Orwellian.” (Saudi Arabia has installed massive public surveillance systems, while Cuba is notorious for active monitoring of selected citizens.)

Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects. The Obama administration says it is not continuing the abuses of this practice under Bush, but it insists on the unfettered right to order such transfers — including the possible transfer of U.S. citizens.

These new laws have come with an infusion of money into an expanded security system on the state and federal levels, including more public surveillance cameras, tens of thousands of security personnel and a massive expansion of a terrorist-chasing bureaucracy.

Some politicians shrug and say these increased powers are merely a response to the times we live in. Thus, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) could declare in an interview last spring without objection that “free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” Of course, terrorism will never “surrender” and end this particular “war.”

Other politicians rationalize that, while such powers may exist, it really comes down to how they are used. This is a common response by liberals who cannot bring themselves to denounce Obama as they did Bush. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), for instance, has insisted that Congress is not making any decision on indefinite detention: “That is a decision which we leave where it belongs — in the executive branch.”

And in a signing statement with the defense authorization bill, Obama said he does not intend to use the latest power to indefinitely imprison citizens. Yet, he still accepted the power as a sort of regretful autocrat.

An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.

The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

Benjamin Franklin was more direct. In 1787, a Mrs. Powel confronted Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” His response was a bit chilling: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely.

The indefinite-detention provision in the defense authorization bill seemed to many civil libertarians like a betrayal by Obama. While the president had promised to veto the law over that provision, Levin, a sponsor of the bill, disclosed on the Senate floor that it was in fact the White House that approved the removal of any exception for citizens from indefinite detention.

Dishonesty from politicians is nothing new for Americans. The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University.

Washington Post (Sunday) January 15, 2012


So Sue Him or Impeach Him, that is the Question

Alright, several things are in play in Washington DC when it comes to the Federal government operating in full-blown lawlessness. So, words like impeach, treason and high crimes and misdemeanors have flying in corridors. The question is, what is the solution to stop the destruction?

Many pundits are pushing back on any aggressive solution to stop the fraud, collusion and law-breaking of top stakeholders in the Barack Obama regime, none more so than Barack Obama himself, where is has without a doubt abused the power of the office of the Presidency using in fact his pen and phone.

Speaker of the House, John Boehner has announced his intention to sue Barack Obama and on July 16, the early stages of the process begins. While Barack Obama pokes fun at the intent to sue him, Boehner is serious and frankly after 5 1/2 years of proven abuse in all corners of the Obama regime, it is time to take a bold move.

Speaker Boehner has engaged some heavy-hitters that are Constitutional lawyers, none more so than that of Jonathan Turley, Professor of Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School who is a supporter of Barack Obama’s policies but fully is opposed to his extra-legal/Constitutional methods to achieve those ends.

Experts Support House’s Action to Defend the Constitution

July 15, 2014|Speaker Boehner’s Press Office

Tomorrow, the House Committee on Rules will conduct a hearing on the House’s lawsuit against President Obama’s executive overreach, specifically, his unilateral rewrites of the health care law’s employer mandate. As Speaker Boehner said, “this isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats; it’s about the Legislative Branch versus the Executive Branch, and above all protecting the Constitution.”

Among those scheduled to testify at the hearing are Jonathan Turley, Professor of Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School, and Elizabeth Price Foley, Professor of Law at Florida International University College of Law. Excerpts of their prepared statements to the committee, along with links to their full testimony, are below.


[S]ome of President Obama’s statements come strikingly close to assertions by King James I that he could apply “natural reason” to the alteration, and even the suspension, of federal laws. … There may be good reasons for such changes. However, this is not a question of what to do but how should such changes be made and, more importantly, who should make them? Some of the changes unilaterally ordered by the President were previously sought from Congress. After Congress did not approve such changes, President Obama announced that he would go it alone. He proceeded to order the changes that he felt Congress should have made. He simply resolved the division with Congress by ordering changes on his terms as a majority of one. There is no license in the Madisonian system to “go it alone.” …

Rather than continue this unresolved and worsening controversy over the separation of powers, the House is seeking authority to bring the matter to the courts. That is precisely where such lingering questions should be resolved. …

Some of the changes ordered by President Obama did, in my view, cross the constitutional line in violation of the Separation of Powers. …

The Obama Administration has advanced constitutional arguments on presidential power that can only be described as both extreme and largely devoid of limiting principles that characterize our constitutional system. …

What we are witnessing today is a crisis of faith in our system despite its unparalleled and proven success. People have grown impatient with the constraints of the constitutional system, constraints which can seem quaint or antiquated when compared to pressing problems of health care or immigration or the environment. It is tempting to embrace rule by a single person who offers to govern alone to get things done. However, this is the very Siren’s call that our Founders warned us to resist. We remain a nation of laws and we have a court system designed to resolve such controversies. That is precisely where this authorization would take us and it is where these questions should be answered.


[W]hat Congress wants is what the Constitution entitles it to:  faithful execution of the law by the executive branch, so that the American people can make accurate assessments about the law.  If the constitutional duty of faithful execution is fulfilled, the law goes into effect as written—both good parts and bad parts—and the American people are fully informed about whether it works, and what may need fixing. …

There is a good reason why the founders granted “all” lawmaking power to Congress, and not the unitary Executive: As history teaches us, it is not wise to entrust the power of lawmaking—and its inherent potential to negatively impact individual liberty—to a single person.

When a law—even a complex and poorly drafted one—is faithfully executed, it enables fully informed consent, and a robust debate in the legislative branch. …

By unilaterally waiving, suspending or delaying the most unworkable, problematic portions of the ACA, the President makes this robust, pluralistic political debate and compromise impossible. Yet it is precisely by having a complex law go into effect as written that the political process—democracy itself—can function, and compromises regarding how to fix its problems can be achieved.

The House of Representatives is working very hard to regain legally and Constitutionally the power granted to them. They are seeking advise, remedies and perhaps even legislation to reassert that which has been dismissed by Cabinet secretaries and the White House. Here is a hearing where Turley speaks truth to power.

One may fault Speaker Boehner for many reasons, however a threshold has been crossed such that he is seeking a remedy. It may be a fool’s errand yet, it does send a shot across the bow of the White House, which is long over-due.



What Leadership and Defense Looks Like

What Netanyahu needs to say is posted below.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just made the following speech in front of the Knesset that we wish would have actually been given:

To Ismail Haniya, and the leaders and operatives of Hamas: We, the people of Israel, owe you a huge debt of gratitude. You have succeeded where we have failed.

You stole three of our most precious children, and slaughtered them in cold blood. But before we could discover the horrible truth, we had 18 days of pain and anxiety while we search for them, during which our nation united as never before, in prayer, in hopes, in mutual support.

And now, as you continue to launch deadly missiles indiscriminately , intended to maim and murder as many civilians as possible, while you take cowardly refuge behind your own civilians – you continue to inspire us to hold strongly on to our newly discovered unity. Whatever disputes we Jews may have with each other, we now know that we have one common goal: we will defeat you.

But we are offering you now one last chance. Within 24 hours , all rocket fire and I mean all rocket fire – will cease. Completely. Forever. I give you formal notice that our tanks are massed at the Gaza border, with artillery and air support at the ready. We have already dropped leaflets over the northern parts of the Gaza strip warning civilians of our impending arrival, and that they should evacuate southward, forthwith. If you fail to meet our ultimatum, we are coming in, and, with God’s help this time we will not leave. Every centimeter of land that we conquer will be annexed to Israel, so that there will never be another attack launched at our civilians from there.

Even so, we will continue to keep the door open to allow you to surrender gracefully. The moment you announce that you are laying down arms, we will halt our advance, and there we will draw our new borders. If you continue to attack our citizens,we will continue to roll southwards, driving you out of territory that you will never again contaminate with your evil presence.

It pains me deeply that your civilians will be made homeless. But we did not choose this war; you did. And if our choice is between allowing our citizens to be targeted mercilessly by your genocidal savagery, versus turning your civilians into refugees, I regret that we must choose the latter. If only you loved your people as much as you hate ours, this war would never have happened.

To the rest of the world: Israel has tired of your ceaseless chidings that we should “show restraint”. When you have your entire population under constant missile fire from an implacable enemy whose stated goal is the murder every man, woman and children your land, then you may come and talk to us about” restraint”. Until then, we respectfully suggest that you keep your double standards to yourselves. This time, Hamas has gone too far, and we will do whatever we have to in order to protect our population.

Hamas, once again, I thank you for bringing our people together with such clarity of mind and unity of purpose. The people of Israel do not fear the long road ahead.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Given the Prime Ministers presentation, what will the coming days look like? Below is what Israel could face and for sure is prepared to face. This is the exact reason that leaders from other countries are working to broker a cease fire/peace agreement in haste. The cease fire agreement presented by Egypt was accepted by Israel, but within an hour it was completely dismissed by Hamas. So, in coming days matters in Gaza will be more aggressive.


Israeli ground operation in Gaza increasingly likely, risking unintended escalation involving Syria and Hizbullah

Key Points

  • Hamas is seeking to draw Israel into a ground invasion of Gaza, as the group’s military wing seeks to re-establish itself as the key decision-maker, and to return the movement to its origins as a resistance organisation.
  • The Hamas-Israel conflict is unlikely to end in the coming week or two, and a ground invasion in which Israeli troops will be vulnerable to ambush and anti-tank rockets is increasingly probable.
  • Frequent rocket fire is likely to target key Israeli assets such as ports and airports, which will probably force their shut down. Risks of actual physical damage will be strongly mitigated by the Iron Dome missile defence system, but will increase political pressure for a ground invasion. There will be a high risk of a three-front war if Hizbullah attempts to relieve pressure on Hamas by attacking Israeli positions along the Golan Heights and Shebaa farms, or firing rockets from south Lebanon.


Hamas appears to be seeking to draw Israel into a ground invasion of Gaza, in which Hamas calculates it can inflict heavy casualties on Israel. However, this risks an unintended escalation that draws Syria and Hizbullah into the fray.

Hamas’s military wing, the Ezz Eddine al-Qassam Brigades, on 8 July sent a seaborne unit to attack an Israeli position in Askhalon, southern Israel; and fired rockets against Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and against Jerusalem, which were intercepted by Iron Dome anti-missile defence system.

IHS had assessed that Hamas does not desire an escalation at a time when it is besieged by Egypt and has just reconciled with President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Movement. However, it appears that the military wing of Hamas is seeking an escalation with Israel in an attempt to force Israel and Egypt to end the siege of Gaza and restore Hamas’s credibility as a resistance movement, as they perceive that the political processes of peace with Israel and reconciliation with Fatah have failed. An IHS source claims that Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal has lost control over the militant arm, and that he was not aware of the military wing’s intent to launch rockets against central Israel or of the 12 June kidnapping and subsequent killing of three teenage Israeli settlers.

For its part, Israel on 8 July authorised the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) to call up to 40,000 reservists, and conducted hundreds of air raids on Gaza. It would take Israel two to three days to recruit the reservists. The exact number of reservists it calls in will be the key indicator of Israel’s intent to launch a ground invasion.

Hamas emulating Hizbullah

During the 1996 Israel-Hizbullah conflict, Hizbullah succeeded in imposing new rules on Israel, forcing the latter to accept that the militant group would retaliate against attacks on Lebanese civilians by attacking Israeli civilians. Hizbullah’s objective was to sideline civilians and change the nature of the conflict with Israel into a war of attrition waged by its guerrilla arm against the IDF in southern Lebanon. For Hizbullah, the 1996 conflict succeeded in forcing Israel to limit its retaliation options against Hizbullah, and, despite a ceasefire being agreed, fighting continued and many Israeli soldiers were killed or wounded until Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000.

Despite the loss of life, each conflict with Israel ended with Hizbullah expanding its arsenal, improving the sophistication of its forces, and expanding the set of targets that it could attack in Israel, as well as the number, range and firing rate of its rockets.

Hamas is seeking to draw Israel into a ground invasion into Gaza, as it calculates that it can impose a high number of military casualties on Israel using ambushes against dismounted infantry and Kornet missiles against armour. Moreover, Hamas probably assesses that a ground invasion would be an opportunity to capture Israeli soldiers, which can then be used to negotiate prisoner exchanges and the easing of the blockade by Israel and Egypt.

Hamas calculates that by expanding the range of its rockets, it can impose significant economic damage on Israel by forcing its civilians into shelters, ports to shut down for fear of ships being hit by wayward rockets, and airports to close, while at the same time disrupting the mid-year tourism season. This, in Hamas’s view, compensates for Israel’s disproportionate ability to inflict damage on infrastructure and private properties and its ability to impose a very high number of casualties, both military and civilians. Hamas is extremely unlikely to have taken the escalatory steps of launching a raid on Ashkalon and firing rockets at central Israel without Iranian assurances that Iran would rearm the group and help it rebuild its capabilities after this ongoing round of conflict ends, as it did following the 2008 and 2012 conflicts.

Israel’s perspective

The Israeli military sees the need to regularly reduce the capability of Israel’s Arab rivals through frequent, limited military confrontations at a time of its choosing in which the IDF overwhelms its foes with its firepower. However, Hizbullah and Hamas have succeeded in building up their capability after each conflict with Israel. This led Israel to attempt to destroy Hizbullah entirely in the 2006 conflict, an objective it failed to achieve partly due to its heavy reliance on airpower.

Israel fears that a success in the P5+1-Iran nuclear negotiations, at least by the end of 2014 if not in the coming weeks, would allow Iran to significantly boost the funding of Hamas and Hizbullah, and to recreate a similar movement in Syria. As such, there is a high probability that Israel would calculate that it needs to weaken Hizbullah and Syria ahead of the conclusion of the negotiations. An Israeli war with Syria and Hizbullah would inflict heavy damage against Israel due to Syria and Hizbullah’s ability to fire a high number of rockets. However, Israel would probably calculate that by severely damaging the Syrian and Lebanese armies, it would force Hizbullah into a longer war against the Sunnis, which Israel would use to its advantage. Moreover, Israeli officials have regularly said that a war with Hizbullah is a question of when, not if.


In the increasingly likely event of a ground invasion by the IDF against Gaza, there will be a high risk of Hizbullah choosing to relieve pressure on Hamas by conducting attacks on Israel’s northern border, either in the Golan Heights or in Lebanon itself. IHS assesses that Hizbullah was probably responsible for an improvised explosive device (IED) attack south of the Golan’s Majdal Shams in March 2014, to which Israel responded by shelling Syrian army positions. Although Hizbullah most likely does not wish to fight on two fronts as it is engaged in a war on the side of the Syrian army, and increasingly so in Iraq, it will probably calculate that Israel does not wish to fight a two-front war either. This risks drawing both sides into an escalation that neither side wants but that is based on the two sides misreading one another’s strategic intentions, and raises the risk of a four-way conflict involving the Syrian military’s missile forces, Hizbullah, Hamas, and Israel.


Hamas’s escalation makes it unlikely that Israel would be able to avoid a ground invasion of Gaza, despite its evident reluctance, although it will attempt to limit this to attacks on Gaza’s fringes, and will seek to avoid being drawn in deeply into Gazan territory. However, Hamas is likely to fire its longer-range rockets, such as the Buraq-70 and the Fajr-5, from deep within Gaza in order to force Israel’s hand. This would bring Israeli targets such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem, including ports and airports there, into range.

Hamas is likely to be able to fire up to around 10 missiles per day towards central Israel, and the port cities of Askhelon and Haifa. The risk of damage is strongly mitigated by the Iron Dome. However, Iron Dome in southern Israel risks being overwhelmed by the intensity of the rocket fire: on 8 July, Hamas and other groups fired up to 80 missiles in a matter of minutes. However, this risk will be very low around Haifa and Tel Aviv, against which Hamas is almost certainly unable to sustain this kind of firing rate.

Moreover, in the event of a ground invasion against Gaza leads to a high number of Israeli military casualties, there will be a severe risk of lightly armed Israeli settlers attacking nearby Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and of attacks by lightly armed Israeli citizens against Israeli Arabs in Haifa, Nazareth, and East Jerusalem. This will raise civil unrest risks throughout Israel, as well as the risk of Palestinian protesters in the West Bank attempting to breach the Barrier Wall that separates the West Bank from Israel proper.

Last, although Israel and Hizbullah will both seek to avoid a two-front war, there is a risk that Hizbullah action against Israel aimed at relieving pressure on Hamas would lead to a broader conflagration, as a result of Hizbullah miscalculating and of Israel seeking to weaken Hizbullah ahead of a final Iran-P5+1 agreement.

Related articles:

Blow the Whistle on Qatar

C’mon people it is Qatar, a terrorist financing state and our U.S. Treasury and State Department has confirmed this status.

Several months ago, many members in the Gulf States have declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, but Qatar is a devout host and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, the acme of global Islamic factions.

Then there is Hamas which holds the same stellar standing in Qatar as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban.

Israel is the only Middle East ally and it is time for the West to come together and challenge the Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas such that this collective opposition would stop the constant conflict between Gaza and Israel.

The United States is complicit in funding Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and some of the facts are presented below.

Only this week did Politco publish a piece that Barack Obama enjoys almost complete favoritism from the Muslim world, while his ratings among Americans is in the 30% range.

Hamas has been at war with Israel for countless years, lobbing rockets from their arsenal of 10,000 into Israel without provocation. The recent kidnapping and deaths of three teens has nothing to do with the latest barrage of aggression, it was only a catalyst laying the false blame on the death of the Palestinian teenager at the hands of Israeli police. One has nothing to do with the other, it is Hamas as directed by Iran and the al Thani dynasty of Qatar.

  • Qatar is a rogue regime without dispute.
  • Israel was forced to release prisoners at the demands of the United States, Israel complied in order to get a seat at the table for the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Since the release, Israel has re-arrested at least 600 in part due to their return to Jihad, but it cannot be overlooked that many of those released sought and found a safe-haven in Doha.
  • The terror financing in Qatar is well known as CENTCOM Part 2 is located in Qatar.
  • Qatar has been the host of the Taliban leadership for years as well as Hamas.
  • The release of the Taliban 5 from Gitmo are living large in a Qatari resort.
  • A sample of the al Thani global interests and corruption, the United States and Britain
  • Most disturbing of all is the Qatari investment into Western real estate, universities and into top government officials.
  • Just a few months ago, Barack Obama gave his foreign policy speech at West Point, where curiously a few days later the Taliban 5 were released. While at West Point, a son of the Al Thani regime, happened to graduate West Point that very same weekend, the first Qatari ever to be at West Point.
  • Then there is al Jazeera fully financed by al Thani who supports Hamas. A Democrat Congressman from California even says every Hamas rocket into Israel is a war-crime.
  • Now enter the Clinton clan and their Clinton Foundation, receiving millions upon millions from Qatar while at the same time Qatar funds Hamas.
  • Barack Obama has hosted al Thani at the White House to establish all kinds of interesting agreements.
  • Qatar has been funding the wrong, repeat wrong anti-Assad Syrian factions and Barack Obama has relied on the agenda and funds to handle Syria so Barack Obama does not have to adhere to his ‘red-line threat’.
  • Qatar funding terror factions in video form.
  • Qatar funds mosques globally that enforces Sharia Law.
  • An insight into the fake Qatari Constitution relating to religious freedom.

Finally and in summary…

Treasury official says Qatar sponsors terrorism

March 14, 2014

In the bluntest comments yet by U.S. officials about Qatar’s role in financing international terrorism, Treasury undersecretary David Cohen cited Qatar while speaking about state sponsors of terrorism during remarks to the Center for a New American Security on March 4.

Cohen referred to Qatar immediately after stating that “Iran is not the only state that provides financial support for terrorist organizations.”  Cohen pointed to Qatar’s funding of Hamas and terrorists in Syria as problematic areas.

Previously, Treasury officials have stopped just short of suggesting official state sponsorship by the Qatari monarchy, focusing rather on private fundraisers and donor networks based in Qatar.

Excerpts from Cohen’s speech follow.  Kuwait doesn’t come off too in his remarks either:

…But, distressingly, Iran is not the only state that provides financial support for terrorist organizations.

Most notably, Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas, a group that continues to undermine regional stability.  Press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also supporting extremist groups operating in Syria.  To say the least, this threatens to aggravate an already volatile situation in a particularly dangerous and unwelcome manner.

With new leadership in Doha, we remain hopeful that Qatar – a country that in other respects has been a constructive partner in countering terrorism – will continue to work closely with us to oppose and combat those who adhere to the warped and murderous ideology of Hamas and al-Qa’ida…

[A] number of fundraisers operating in more permissive jurisdictions – particularly in Kuwait and Qatar – are soliciting donations to fund extremist insurgents, not to meet legitimate humanitarian needs.  The recipients of these funds are often terrorist groups, including al-Qa’ida’s Syrian affiliate, al-Nusrah Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the group formerly known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI)…

Constraining this flow of funds is particularly challenging in an era when social media allows anyone with an Internet connection to set himself up as an international terrorist financier.  We see this activity most prominently in Kuwait and Qatar, where fundraisers aggressively solicit donations online from supporters in other countries, notably Saudi Arabia, which have banned unauthorized fundraising campaigns for Syria.

Private fundraising networks in Qatar, for instance, increasingly rely upon social media to solicit donations for terrorists and to communicate with both donors and recipient radicals on the battlefield.  This method has become so lucrative, and Qatar has become such a permissive terrorist financing environment, that several major Qatar-based fundraisers act as local representatives for larger terrorist fundraising networks that are based in Kuwait…