US Treasury’s Evidence Iran and Russia Cooperating in Syria

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned nine targets last week related to an illicit oil network between Iran and Russia.

“We are acting against a complex scheme Iran and Russia have used to bolster the [Bashar] Assad regime and generate funds for Iranian malign activity,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Central Bank of Iran officials continue to exploit the international financial system, and in this case even used a company whose name suggests a trade in humanitarian goods as a tool to facilitate financial transfers supporting this oil scheme.

This the Reason N Korea Cancelled the Meeting?

The excuses both sides explain scheduling conflicts. C’mon, lil Kim is not exactly that busy to take a meeting with America, right? As North and South Korea have begin to dismantle 20 guard posts along the DMZ. South Korea has 60 such positions while North Korea has an estimated 160. Allegedly, all firearms have been already removed from the guard posts. Personnel is still there but it is said they are unarmed.

Back to that cancelled meeting….

U.S. Treasury Employee Arrested Charged with Leaking to Media

The official 18 page indictment is here.

US Treasury employee arrested, accused of leaking media secret information about suspicious financial transactions related to Paul Manafort, Russians

  • A U.S. Treasury employee has been arrested and charged with leaking to a BuzzFeed News reporter multiple secret reports about suspicious financial transactions.
  • The documents relate to former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, Trump campaign official Richard Gates, accused Russian agent Maria Butina, the Russian Embassy and suspected Russian money launderer Prevezon Alexander.

Items SecState Pompeo Manages in Dealing with N Korea

All is not so copacetic with North Korea. The United States has many channels of intelligence regarding North Korea and dealing with Kim Jung Un with many of the moving parts requires diplomatic artistry.
Below are but two examples and the prediction of a second summit between the United States and North Korea being noted, the logistics is a chess game.
Pompeo Meets North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un | One-News
FireEye has released a report stating the tools and techniques used by the group, “We believe APT38’s financial motivation, unique toolset, and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) observed during their carefully executed operations are distinct enough to be tracked separately from other North Korean cyber activity. There are many overlapping characteristics with other operations, known as “Lazarus” and the actor we call TEMP.Hermit; however, we believe separating this group will provide defenders with a more focused understanding of the adversary and allow them to prioritize resources and enable defense.
In their official blog, the company further explained the distinction of the group from any other hackers out there. Foremost, the malware tools used overlap or are similar indicating the similar developer behind the scenes.
The general pattern used by APT38 was observed to be this way –
  • First, the information is gathered by targeting third-party vendors to understand the mechanics of their transactions.

Hezbollah Financier Arrested in Tri-Border Area

(New York, NY) – Prominent Hezbollah financier Assad Ahmad Barakat, designated as a global terrorist by the U.S., was arrested Saturday in the border region between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.

photo and more details here.

Barakat is wanted by Paraguayan authorities for identity theft and by Argentine authorities for money laundering on behalf of Hezbollah. He operated Hezbollah’s financial network in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America, and owned several businesses that conducted money laundering activities to generate funds for the terrorist group. Barakat, who has close ties with Hezbollah’s leadership, was the group’s chief of military operations and fundraising in the TBA in the 1990s.