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Deso Dogg -- Dead Again
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Taliban chief sends delegation to Islamabad to explore ways for peace talks
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah has reportedly approved the visit of a Taliban delegation to Islamabad for preliminary talks on exploring ways to revive peace talks.

Sources privy of the development within the Taliban ranks have told Rooters that supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada
...Former deputy to Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansour, now The Big Man Himself...
had approved Monday’s exploratory meeting in Islamabad on restarting talks to end the war that kills thousands of Afghans each year.

It is yet not clear if the talks had any outcome or not but Monday’s visit by Taliban delegation to Islamabad followed an unofficial meeting organized in The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...just another cheapjack Moslem dictatorship, brought to you by the Moslem Brüderbund....
The Taliban group front man Zabiullah Mujahid had earlier rejected the participation of the group’s representatives in the unofficial talks that took place in Turkey.

"This is an intelligence game that aims at defaming and damaging the real grinding of the peace processor in Afghanistan," he had said in a statement.

A Presidential front man Shah Hussain Murtazawi had also said that the individuals who have participated in the talks with the Taliban members in Turkey are not representing the government of Afghanistan.

An Afghan official Humayoun Jarir who represents the Afghan high peace council in the meeting said informal talks are underway with the Taliban group under an initiative of the government of Turkey to start reconciliation process.

He expressed optimisms regarding the launch of the informal talks and said the Taliban group also supports intra-Afghan talks in a bid to end the ongoing violence in the country.

Posted by: Fred || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


Noor mulling to set deadline for uprising if talks with govt fails
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The chief executive of Jamiat-e-Islami Ata Mohammad Noor says he will set a deadline for the widespread uprising if the ongoing talks between Jamiat-e-Islami and the Afghan government fails over the deadlock regarding the Balkh provincial political leadership.

Speaking during a gathering in Mazar-e-Sharif city, Noor warned the government that he and his supporters launch a widespread uprising and civil movements if the talks end without positive outcomes.

Noor harshly criticized the government officials for their failure in ensuring security, preventing expansion of ISIS activities, and corruption.

Insisting that he is standing to ensure political and social justice and ensure the rights of the people, Noor said a deadline will be set for the uprising in coordination with the Jamiat-e-Islami leader if the talks fail.

Tensions remain high between Jamiat-e-Islami and the government after President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani approved the resignation of Ata Mohammad Noor as the Balkh governor.

Noor says he had submitted his resignation as a guarantee to the government that he will step down if the demands of Jamiat-e-Islami are met by the government.

However, he says the government has approved his resignation as negotiations were underway insisting that none of the conditions and demands of the party have been met.

Posted by: Fred || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:


Pakistani officials says Taliban delegation refuse talks with Afghan govt
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Pak officials have said the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
group is not prepared to hold talks with the government as reports indicate that the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada has sent a delegation to Islamabad to explore ways for reviving peace talks.

Pak officials privy of the development have confirmed to Dawn News that a delegation of the Taliban including Shabaabuddin Dilawar and Malawi Rasool, came from Qatar
...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates. Home of nutbag holy manYusuf al-Qaradawi...
to explore prospects of resuming talks.

However,
the hip bone's connected to the leg bone...
they have said the Taliban remained unmoved. "They are sticking to their past stance. They want to negotiate with the US through the Qatar Office, but refused to negotiate with the Afghan government."

The officials have also added that Islamabad has proposed to the Taliban delegation to hold direct talks with the Afghan government which has been turned down by the group.

This comes as sources privy of the development within the Taliban ranks had earlier told Rooters that supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada
...Former deputy to Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansour, now The Big Man Himself...
had approved Monday’s exploratory meeting in Islamabad on restarting talks to end the war that kills thousands of Afghans each year.

However,
the hip bone's connected to the leg bone...
a Taliban group front man Zabiullah Mujahid had earlier rejected the participation of the group’s representatives in the unofficial talks that took place in The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...just another cheapjack Moslem dictatorship, brought to you by the Moslem Brüderbund....
"This is an intelligence game that aims at defaming and damaging the real grinding of the peace processor in Afghanistan," he had said in a statement.

A Presidential front man Shah Hussain Murtazawi had also said that the individuals who have participated in the talks with the Taliban members in Turkey are not representing the government of Afghanistan.

Posted by: Fred || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistain Proxies


Afghan Province Awards Trump Bravery Medal After Talk on Pakistan
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:


Africa North
RADA mourns militia deaths, thanks them for supporting its defence of Mitiga compound
[Libya Herald] The RADA (Special Deterrence Force) revealed that the various militia forces aligned to the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council and its Government of National Accord (PC/GNA) suffered a total of 11 deaths. The coalition of pro PC forces were also joined by the nascent Presidential Guard, which represents the beginnings of a Libyan National army in western Libya.

RADA, led by Madkhali-Salafist
A strain of Salafism that favors secular government. It originated in Saudi Arabia, where it then fell out of fashion.
Abdelraul Kara, thanked all the other 10 militias and the Presidential Guard for ’’standing with it with men and arms and to protect the capital from their evil saboteur and defeat the criminals.’’

RADA listed the those that took part in Monday’s defence of Mitiga airport and the prison within the compound of the old Wheelus military base as:

1 Eighth Division (Nawasi
2 Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade
3 Bab Tajoura Company
4 Mitiga Airport Security and Protection Battalion
5 155th Infantry Battalion
6 Presidential Guard
7 Victory Company
8 Glory brigade
9 Central Security Bureau Abu Salim
10 Tripoli Investigation Bureau
11 Ain Zara 42nd Battalion

It will be recalled that the inter-militia fighting led to the closure of the capital’s only operating airport and damage to at least 9 aircraft belonging to Afriqiya, Libyan Airlines, Buraq and Libyan Wings.

Praise has also been given to the pilots who braved the ongoing fighting and flew the aircraft to the safety of Misrata airport. All the airlines are now frantically attempting to assess airworthiness of their craft and fly home hundreds of Libyan passengers stranded abroad ‐ mostly in Tunis and Istanbul.

Posted by: Fred || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Europe
Suspected Afghan Taliban member indicted in Germany
[Ynet] German authorities have filed terrorism and murder charges against a suspected member of Afghanistan's Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
whom they accuse of participating in the killing of an Afghan police officer.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday they filed the indictment against the 20-year-old Afghan national, identified only as Omaid N. in line with German privacy rules, at the Munich state court.

He is charged with membership in a terrorist organization, war crimes and violation of war weapons control laws.

Prosecutors say the suspect joined the Taliban in 2013, underwent training, recruited new members and led a weapons transport. He is also accused of beating an Afghan police officer then shooting him with a Kalashnikov.

The suspect, who arrived in Germany in late 2013, was locked away
Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'!
in May 2017.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


US seeks to extradite German al-Qaida member linked to 9/11
[DW] Christian Ganczarski was born in Poland and later converted to Islam. He allegedly had personal ties to former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and helped the organization carry out multiple terrorist attacks.

The United States is seeking to extradite a German convict who allegedly gave al-Qaeda leader the late Osama bin Laden
... who is now beyond all cares and woe...
critical support before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, New York prosecutors said Wednesday.

Department of Justice officials accused Christian Ganczarski
...the German small time thief who converted to Islam at age twenty, took Abu Ibrahim as his nom de Islam, and rose to the status of an Al Qaeda Number 3, stationed in Germany. He was arrested and released in both Germany and Saudi Arabia before France made it stick in 2009, and had some very interesting names in his cellphone. The other day he made it really, really clear he does not want to be extradited to America...
of conspiracy to kill US citizens, providing material support to bully boyz and conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda.

Ganczarski, who was born in Poland and later converted to Islam, allegedly met multiple times with big shots of the terrorist organization between 1999 and 2001 and developed close personal ties with bin Laden.

He "had been aware that a significant event was about to occur" while he was in Germany shortly before the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Ganczarski also provided al-Qaeda "with the knowledge and technology to carry out attacks against the US military and its allies," US Attorney Dana Boente said, and lived in al-Qaeda camps while planning kabooms against US embassies in Africa.

Imprisoned in La Belle France
Ganczarski is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence in La Belle France after a Gay Paree court found him guilty of plotting a 2002 kaboom that killed 21 people, including 14 German tourists, at a synagogue in Tunisia.

He injured three guards at a prison in northern La Belle France last week with a pair of scissors and a razor blade after hearing he could be extradited to the US.

If convicted in the US, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

#1  Keeping Gitmo open can be a powerful golum to the ISIS/AQ bunch.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/19/2018 10:21 Comments || Top||

#2  So can droning.
Posted by: SKIDMARK || 01/19/2018 12:11 Comments || Top||

#3  "He injured three guards at a prison in northern La Belle France last week with a pair of scissors and a razor blade after hearing he could be extradited to the US."

Oh, that should be helpful
Posted by: European Conservative || 01/19/2018 14:08 Comments || Top||


Bulgarian trial begins over deadly 2012 terror bombing of Israelis
[IsraelTimes] 2 men with alleged links to Hezbollah tried in absentia for blowing up a tourist bus taking Israelis to a Black Sea resort

Two men allegedly linked to Leb’s Hezbollah terror group went on trial in absentia in Bulgaria on Wednesday over a deadly kaboom on Israeli tourists in July 2012.

The kaboom outside Burgas airport’s terminal building tore through a tourist bus bound for the popular beach resorts of the nearby Black Sea.

Five Israelis, the vehicle’s Bulgarian driver and the man alleged to have planted the device, Franco-Lebanese national Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, were killed.

It remains unclear whether Husseini intended to die in the blast or if the device went off by accident.

Bulgarian prosecutors filed charges in mid-2016 against his two alleged accomplices, whose whereabouts remain unknown despite an Interpol warrant.

The two men were identified as Lebanese-Australian Meliad Farah and Lebanese-Canadian Hassan El Hajj Hassan, who prosecutors said had links to the Lebanese Shiite terror movement Hezbollah.

"They will be tried in absentia for a terrorist attack and manslaughter of several people as well as for a range of other crimes such as document fraud and preparations for an act of terrorism," prosecutor Krasimir Trenchev told journalists.

The attack, which was the deadliest hit against Israelis abroad since 2004, also left around 35 people injured.

It played a role in a subsequent European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
decision to blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization.

On Wednesday the court heard testimony from several witnesses who were present at the airport at the time of the blast.

Survivors and relatives are also expected to testify at a later date, although this could take place via video link from Israel.

The next hearings were set for February 6 and 7. It was unclear how long the trial, the start of which has been delayed several times, will last.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah


International-UN-NGOs
UNRWA to receive an additional $1 million?
The Middle East Forum (MEF), an organization promoting American interests through activist, intellectual, and philanthropic efforts, has offered UNRWA $1 million - in exchange for the fulfillment of several conditions.

In a statement, MEF President Professor Daniel Pipes said, "Despite UNRWA's long record of misbehavior: incitement against Israel, supporting violent attacks on Jews, and corruption, we are prepared to help UNRWA, conditional on it making some reforms."

"We are delighted to contribute in solidarity if UNRWA takes steps to end the Palestine refugee problem.

"The Forum's contribution requires UNRWA to end the automatic registering in perpetuity of (1) the descendants of refugees, (2) those who hold a nationality, and (3) those who live in their purported homeland, the West Bank and Gaza.

"Making these technical changes puts it in line with all other refugee agencies and reduces the number of Palestine refugees from 5.3 million to around 20,000. Our one-million-dollar donation will go a long way to meet the humanitarian considerations of this small and diminishing number."
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/19/2018 12:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
Barzani and Shabandar discuss the future of relations between Kurdistan and Baghdad
Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Massoud Barzani and Iraqi political figure Izzat Shabandar in Arbil on Wednesday discussed the latest developments on the Iraqi political scene the future of relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad.

A statement by the Kurdistan Democratic Party that Barzani received Iraqi politician Izzat Shabandar, noting that the latter stressed during the meeting on the critical role and important location of Barzani in the past and present and the future of the political process in Iraq.

He added that Shabandar stressed the desire of the Iraqi political forces to expand relations with the Kurdistan Region as well as the location and impact of the Kurdistan Region on the upcoming elections in Iraq.

He said that the meeting discussed the current political situation in Iraq and the region and the future of relations between the region and Baghdad and the latest political developments within the political process in Iraq, and exchanged views on the future of the political process in Iraq.

Posted by: 3dc || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq


A significant drop in the number of victims of terrorism in Iraq in 2017
A report published by the Jane's Center for Research on Terrorism and Rebellion said that last year Iraq and Syria witnessed a significant drop in the number of victims of terrorism.

Despite the ongoing violence in the two countries, the death toll from attacks by terrorist organizations has been reduced in the form of an encouraging organization, the report said.

In Iraq, 3,778 people were killed in the terrorist attacks of 2017 against 8437 in 2016, a decrease of 60%.

In Syria, the number of victims of terrorism declined by 44% during the same period, with 3,641 people killed in terrorism and insurgency in 2017 compared to 6,477 in 2016.

The report pointed out that despite the decrease in the number of deaths in Syria and Iraq, the pace of terrorism and insurgency in these countries is still high and unparalleled in the world.
Posted by: 3dc || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Running out of qualified suicide bombers?
Posted by: SKIDMARK || 01/19/2018 12:09 Comments || Top||


Ministry of Oil: Sign a contract with BP to develop the Kirkuk field
[alIraqNews]BAGHDAD / Oil Minister Jabbar al-Allaibi signed on Thursday with BP representatives a contract to develop Kirkuk oil field. "We signed with BP representatives a contract to develop Kirkuk oil field," the minister told a news conference. That "the agreement was in 2014, but the entry of a preacher to some areas of Kirkuk, the last work." The Minister of Oil during the signing "and will work in other fields to restore glories in all fields in the North Oil Company and we have future plans," he said.
Sounds like the central government is quickly replacing whomever the Kurds had running the fields.
Posted by: 3dc || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq


IS claims responsibility for twin suicide bombing in Baghdad
[Ynet] The Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
group has grabbed credit for back-to-back suicide kabooms in central Baghdad that killed at least 38 people.

In an online statement issued on Wednesday, IS says the bombers targeted a gathering of Shiites in the Iraqi capital's Tayaran Square on Monday morning. The attack struck as laborers and street vendors filled the square during the morning rush hour. More than 100 people were maimed.

In statement on Thursday, IS also grabbed credit for Saturday's attack when, according to Iraqi officials, a jacket wallah hit a police checkpoint in northern Baghdad, killing 10 people and wounding 10.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Great! I say take the next 100+ captured IS members and subject them to the same fate. Rinse and repeat until they get the idea.
Posted by: gorb || 01/19/2018 1:38 Comments || Top||

#2  I sometimes believe that ISIS is the Frankenstein created by the Pakistani ISI back in the Afghan wars. Seems to me that you can trace ISIS back to AQ and then to Bin Laden during the Afghan wars with the Soviets and back to ISI supporting him.

I have this belief that ISI is the puppet master on a lot of ISIS activity and a conduit for funding.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/19/2018 10:19 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
US won't pay $45M pledged for Palestinian food aid for now
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says decision doesn't mean funds won't be provided in the future, but reiterated Trump administration's cost-cutting policies that 'fundamentally, we just don’t believe that we have to be the chief donor to every organization around the world.'
Money is fungible, just use money currently earmarked for terrorism to buy food.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/19/2018 03:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why, that sounds just like the amount they used to make terror tunnels.

Hmmm.

Are you sick of winning yet?

MY MAN.
Posted by: newc || 01/19/2018 3:21 Comments || Top||

#2  There's always Yemeni "blood honey".
Posted by: DooDahMan || 01/19/2018 3:54 Comments || Top||

#3  That is a good idea. "Palestinians could move to yemen.

Then they would not be stateless!
Posted by: newc || 01/19/2018 4:04 Comments || Top||

#4  I second that idea newc... although I'm sure it would put the Saudi's turbans in a bunch.
Posted by: DarthVader || 01/19/2018 9:25 Comments || Top||

#5  The Saudis can have some too!
Posted by: newc || 01/19/2018 15:51 Comments || Top||


Wow! Israel building 40-mile wall around Gaza….underground!
[AP via Right Scoop] The other week we wrote about how Israel had found a solution to the Muslim terror tunnels coming from the Gaza, and now we know what it is:

AP ‐ Israeli military officials on Thursday touted the secretive project as a major deterrent against what Israel has seen as a strategic threat since the last war against Hamas exposed the extent of the tunnels. Israel has made uncovering the tunnels from Gaza a priority and in recent months has demolished at least three through a combination of intelligence, infantry operations and hi-tech sensors.

Israel began construction of a 40-mile long underground wall last summer, aiming to prevent Palestinian militants from burrowing toward Israeli communities along the border.

"The technology really is groundbreaking," Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a briefing with journalists on the border with the Gaza Strip. "The message to Hamas is: ’We now have this system which can detect and destroy terror tunnels that violate Israeli sovereignty.’"

Conricus said that the anti-tunnel barrier under construction "provides a significant challenge for anyone tunneling below," without elaborating

The barrier ‐ hundreds of feet below ground, studded with sensors and topped by a 26-foot metal fence ‐ has an estimated price tag of $700 million and is on track for its slated completion in mid-2019, a senior Israeli military official said Thursday. Thus far, crews working 24 hours a day, six days a week have completed 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of the 64-kilometer (40-mile) border barrier.

Wary of tipping off enemies, Israeli military officials were reticent to discuss particulars concerning the barrier’s tunnel detection capabilities, or precisely how far into the earth the wall goes.

"It’s deep enough," a senior Israeli military official said. Cranes hoisted 25-meter-long rebar cages into the air, and the official said "several get welded together" to form the concrete wall’s reinforced spine.

I used Google Maps to measure the border of the Gaza strip in terms of straight lines, and the entire border is roughly 30-40 miles long. So in effect Israel is building a wall around Gaza. You just can’t see it and we have no idea how deep it goes. But I’m quite certain it will go deeper than the terror tunnels would go.

In fact I think Israel might have their 40-mile underground wall built before we even get started on ours that is above ground and no doubt easier to construct. Trump will be so jealous!

Here’s a video of Israel destroying a recent terror tunnel:
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/19/2018 00:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6487 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And all tunnels will be filled with "heavy material" expeditiously and capped.

So, that is that, then.

What better Neighbors they shall be.
Posted by: newc || 01/19/2018 1:31 Comments || Top||

#2  More
Posted by: newc || 01/19/2018 3:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Design it to inject natural gas into any tunnels that intercept the fence.
Posted by: gorb || 01/19/2018 4:19 Comments || Top||

#4  It is better than that Gorb. It will seal entirely a tunnel in short order.
Posted by: newc || 01/19/2018 4:22 Comments || Top||

#5  As in The Cask of Amontillado style? I'm good with that as long as there is a Gopher Gasser involved somehow.
Posted by: gorb || 01/19/2018 4:29 Comments || Top||

#6  filled with "heavy material".. perhaps some mildly radioactive heavy metals mixed in? that would be a nice surprise for the little digging bastards.
Posted by: Injun Bucket8891 || 01/19/2018 5:01 Comments || Top||

#7  The technology really is groundbreaking

Very rare but it should be a "literally"!
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 01/19/2018 6:11 Comments || Top||

#8  *snicker*
Posted by: Frank G || 01/19/2018 7:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Meanwhile, back in the U.S....
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/19/2018 8:52 Comments || Top||

#10  Meanwhile, back in the U.S....

Trump should talk to these folks, if only to keep the collective blood pressure of the WH press corps well above normal.
Posted by: Raj || 01/19/2018 9:53 Comments || Top||

#11  Personally I'd like to see it do one of two things (1) Report the location of tunnels so that Israel counter-miners can intercept a tunnel and then send troops down the length to clear out any and all tunnel making folks (2) Send colored smoke down the tunnel so that houses that contain the entrance to the tunnel can easily be located and dealt with.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/19/2018 10:05 Comments || Top||

#12  "... hundreds of feet below ground.."

????
Posted by: lord garth || 01/19/2018 11:00 Comments || Top||

#13  Can't Democrats tunnel deeper? Israel should check that out.

Filling it with itching powder and camel fleas would be hilarious.
Posted by: Woodrow || 01/19/2018 15:10 Comments || Top||

#14  "... hundreds of feet below ground.."

????


The contractor is a guy named Noah.
Posted by: gorb || 01/19/2018 21:35 Comments || Top||


Israel to reopen embassy in Jordan, which touts apology over shooting
[IsraelTimes] Kingdom says Jerusalem agreed to all its demands to end diplomatic standoff sparked by July incident at embassy compound.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Someone is touting a mobile, PC spyware platform called Dark Caracal to governments
[TheRegisterUK] Hundreds of gigabytes already slurped, say EFF and Lookout

An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and security biz Lookout has uncovered Dark Caracal, a surveillance-toolkit-for-hire that has been used to suck huge amounts of data from Android mobiles and Windows desktop PCs around the world.

Dark Caracal [PDF] appears to be controlled from the Lebanon General Directorate of General Security in Beirut – an intelligence agency – and has slurped hundreds of gigabytes of information from devices. It shares its backend infrastructure with another state-sponsored surveillance campaign, Operation Manul, which the EFF claims was operated by the Kazakhstan government last year.

Crucially, it appears someone is renting out the Dark Caracal spyware platform to nation-state snoops.

"This is definitely one group using the same infrastructure," Eva Galperin, the EFF's director of cybersecurity, told The Register on Wednesday. "We think there's a third party selling this to governments."

Dark Caracal has, we're told, been used to siphon off information from thousands of targets in over 21 countries – from private documents, call records, audio recordings, and text messages to contact information, and photos from military, government, and business targets, as well as activists and journalists.

After the EFF published its dossier on the Operation Manul cyber-snooping program in 2016, Lookout went looking through its database of collected malware samples to hunt down the spyware responsible. Lookout found the code nasty, a custom-made piece of Android evilware dubbed Pallas, which appears to be a component of the Dark Caracal toolkit.

In other words, Pallas is used to hijack targets' smartphones, and is distributed and controlled via the Dark Caracal platform rented out to governments.

The primary way to pick up Pallas on your gadget is by installing infected applications – such as WhatsApp and Signal ripoffs – from non-official software souks. Pallas doesn't exploit zero-days to take over a device, but instead relies on users being tricked into installing booby-trapped apps, and granting the malicious software a large variety of permissions. Once in place, it can thus surreptitiously record audio from the phone's microphone, reveal the gizmo's location to snoops, and leak all the data the handset contains to its masters.

In addition, the Dark Caracal platform offers another surveillance tool: a previously unseen sample of FinFisher, the spyware package sold to governments to surveil citizens. It's not known if this was legitimately purchased, or a demo version that was adapted.

On the desktop side, Dark Caracal provides a Delphi-coded Bandook trojan, previously identified in Operation Manul, that commandeers Windows systems. Essentially, marks are tricked into installing and running infected programs signed with a legitimate security certificate. Once up and running, the software nasty downloads more malware from command-and-control servers. The code pest can also be stashed in Microsoft Word documents, and executed using macros – so beware, Office admins.

The EFF and Lookout are trying to find out who exactly is running and using the Dark Caracal network. An update is expected in the summer, once attribution can be made with some certainty.
The Times of Israel adds some less technical details here.
Posted by: 3dc || 01/19/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ya know... that cave in the hills is beginning to look pretty good......
Posted by: Shinenter Omeater6352 || 01/19/2018 8:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Yep, I get the funny feeling that with all of this malware and hacking applications, pretty soon a wise nation state will start conducting business with typewriters, carbon paper manifold, and paper instead of email. The good old days of the courier chained to a briefcase are returning.

Because you cannot trust anyone in the tech industry, China has embedded spyware in every electronic gizmo made over there, and the Russians have put spyware into their virus protection software, who knows what kind of surveillance software is running on Facebook and the other social media.

I do know that Google and Facebook gave over billions of bits of information on all of its users to the Zerobama administration to use in their political campaigning for the empty suit's second POTUS run.

Can't trust anyone that votes or donates to a liberal cause that works in the tech industry, they are all more interested in the control of our lives and bringing Big Brother to fruition than anything.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/19/2018 10:15 Comments || Top||



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Thu 2018-01-18
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