ACD Weekly Update, March 8 – 14

By ACD Staff
Saturday, March 15th, 2014 @ 12:30AM

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Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to announce that he will not annex Crimea to Russia even if Sunday’s referendum outcome will favor such action, Rachel Ehrenfeld says in Crimean Tatars, However, in seizing Crimea, Vladimir Putin may well have bitten off more than he can chew.  This, not because he lacks the power to suppress all opposition to a Russian takeover there, including the Crimean Tatars, but because jihadis may flock there in defense of the local Muslims. Moreover, jihadis everywhere are likely to target Russian interests outside the confines of Crimea as well ...

The Drone Mystique and Turkey by J. Millard Burr

The recent positioning of US unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, at bases created in the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant and Afghanistan is a geopolitical event that demands greater consideration. That it does not receive more attention is perhaps due to the fact that drone bases pop-up in the strangest places: In Saudi Arabia in the heart of the Rub al-Khali (the Empty Quarter) and along the border with Yemen; Socotra Island off Yemen; Masirah Island, Oman…more…

Why Da‘wah Before Jihad? (Da‘wah Qablal-Jihad) by David Bukay

Da‘wah means focusing on Islamic educational values internally, and instilling incitement and hate propagation externally. Muslim groups and organizations give highest priority and utmost importance to education, manifested in all their charters and decrees. It has a dual objective: to raise a better Muslim devoted to his religion, and to transform the educational system of the infidels at all levels into venues for spreading Islam…more…

China’s Jihadists by Rachel Ehrenfeld

On March 2, 2014, a train station in Kunming, in western China’s Yunnan province, witnessed a horrific slashing attack by black-clad Uighurs wielding large knives and machetes.  The attack left 29 dead and 143 wounded.At least 9 Uighurs,members of the East Turkestan [separatists] Islamic Movement (ETIM), which have committed more than 200 terrorist attacks over the past 12 months, were identified as the attackers. The Uighurs are Turkic-speaking Muslim minority from the country’s northwestern region Xinjang…more…

The Real “Red Line” by Sol Sanders

The Russian leader has perpetrated all the familiar moves of his own military acting as “volunteers,” the recruitment of local thugs to intimidate the populace, and bald-faced lies about his activities. Alas! As so often happens in the early years of a successful demagoguery, he has enlisted the nationalist sympathies of much of the Russian people, on a poor diet of other accomplishments by his regime… more…

The Latest From Our Fellows and Colleagues:

Recognizing the risks of Somali remittances by ACD Terror Finance Blog contributor A.D. Kendall

Last week, Bell State Bank in North Dakota announced that it would stop doing business with companies that remit money to Somalia.  The move follows decisions by Minnesota banks in 2011 to stop providing Somali remittance services, and an attempt by Barclays last year to cut off its partnership with Dahabshiil, a money transfer company with primary operations in Somalia.  The banks have been challenged in courts on both sides of the Atlantic, and advocacy groups have heavily criticized the banks’ decisions on humanitarian grounds…more…

News and Commentary:

Russia Suspected of Helping Iran Develop Its Cyber Capabilities, Lawmakers Hear, ITSecuritynews.info

In a hearing on Iran’s support for terrorism worldwide before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, Pete Hoekstra revealed the fact that Russia was suspected of helping Iran develop its cyber capabilities. Hoekstra, the former chairman of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has revealed that Iran’s cyber powers are ranked “closely behind” the ones of major players such as the US, Russia, China and Israel…more…

Russia’s cyber weapons hit Ukraine: How to declare war without declaring war, The Christian Science Monitor

By targeting the Ukrainian government with a cyber weapon, the Russians are able to effectively engage in an aggressive, kinetic act without actually declaring war, or other countries reacting like it is an act of war. This will not last forever…more…

Secret Service Agent Says Many Cyber Breaches Go Unreported, Insurance Journal

Arthur noted that more than 80 percent of U.S. businesses have 20 or fewer employees, and that such businesses typically are technologically unsophisticated, they often set up their point of sale system and forget about it and many of them neglect to update or even buy anti-virus software…more…

Singapore puts Bitcoin dealers under the microscope, Financial Times

Bitcoin exchanges in Singapore will have to identify their customers and report suspicious transactions to regulators after the city-state said all dealers in virtual currencies will be subject to money laundering laws and other rules. The Monetary Authority of Singapore becomes the latest in a small handful of regulators to adopt a hands-off approach to the virtual currency itself while aiming to curb its use in illegal activities…more…

Ukraine crisis threatens upheaval of global commodities trading, The Australian

THE heavy geopolitical overtones to the flash point on the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine has global commodity markets working overtime on the consequences the crisis could serve up to global energy, minerals and agriculture trade flows…more…

Events and Hearings:

Information Technology and Cyber Operations: Modernization and Policy Issues in a Changing National Security Environment before the Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats & Capabilities, March 12, 2014

Iran’s Support for Terrorism Worldwide, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, March 4, 2014.

Since 2001, the American Center for Democracy has exposed and monitored threats to our right to speak freely and our political and economic freedoms. The ACD does more than identify individual, isolated threats; it also analyzes their synergistic effects on the economic security of the nation. The ACD’s projects and publications focus on early warning systems that alert the public and policy makers to prevent and mitigate threats.

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Categories: ACD/EWI Blog, Al Qaeda, Cyber, Iran, Latest News, Middle East Conflicts, Muslim Brotherhood, Russia and East Europe, Syria, Turkey, U.S. Foreign Policy, Ukraine