ACD Weekly Briefing, February 28-March 7, 2014

By ACD Staff
Sunday, March 9th, 2014 @ 12:19AM

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Quantum Cryptography: Has the White House Heard of It? by Rachel Ehrenfeld

At long last there’s good news on the cybersecurity front. As cyberattacks have continued to mount exponentially over the past five years, the government has been glacially slow at even organizing itself to combat it, or to initiate or adopt proper policies to encourage the private sector. Instead, we are told again and again that cyber intruders capabilities to develop new methods of attack makes defensive actions virtually impossible…more…

Islamic Da’wah for Dummies Part One: The Importance of Da’wah by David Bukay, ACD contributor

From its very beginning, Islam was spread politically and occupied territories by two arms: Jihad, the violent arms of occupation, violence and war-mongering, and Da’wah, the diplomatic and propaganda arm with the aim of Islamization. We are all well acquainted with Jihad, with its varied manifestations of violence, how it originated from Qur’anic commandments, and we have put our most attention, energies and resources on preventing it…more…

Obama-Putin Kool-Aid by Rachel Ehrenfeld

Media coverage regarding America’s response to Putin’s takeover of Crimea demonstrates the success of the Obama administration’s propaganda maxim blaming successive American administrations for atrocities at home and abroad. Some of our pundits apparently have drunk what might be called the Obama Kool-Aid, i.e., apologies for the United States’ mostly fabricated evil past, as have been offered since the beginning of the first Obama administration…more…

The Saudi Dilemma by Norman Bailey

These are perilous times for the desert kingdom, which sees itself as the very center of Sunni Islam, which for Sunnis is the only true Islam. It is facing a highly complex and dangerous confluence of circumstances that would have seemed most unlikely even a short time ago…more…

The Cool War Cometh by Sol Sanders

No, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ushered in the return to The Cold War with his assault on the integrity of Ukraine. But he has confirmed that the United States and his Russian regime-very likely as long as he lasts-is engaged in a bitter new geopolitical contest. The Obama Administration-and its predecessor Bush II-had refused to acknowledge the onset of this conflict. Washington now finds itself wrong-footed in Ukraine, a crowning blow to an already growing perception of U.S. foreign policy failure and general retreat across a worldwide screen…more…

Putin’s Show of Power in Ukraine by Rachel Ehrenfeld

“Ukraine Must Reject Roots of Violence. If Ukrainians seek a brighter future, they must recognize, isolate and reject the inclinations to use violence that are now (emphasis added) deeply rooted in the country’s political culture…” said a recent publication by the Wilson Center. But violence in Ukraine is nothing new. Ukrainian history is riddled with massacre, pogroms and war. Peacefulness has never been a Ukrainian trait. Violence was and is…more…

 The latest from our fellows and colleagues:

The Muslim Brotherhood makes a play for Crimea by Ganesh Sahethevan, ACD & Terror Finance Blog contributor

The tweets below by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, read in the context of this 2007 post (http://tinyurl.com/o8bb8yt) suggest that Turkey, and the Muslim Brotherhood, are likely to intervene in the Russia-Ukraine conflict in order to better incorporate Crimea into their sphere of influence…more…

Guantanamo detainees endorse crowdfunding, by A.D. Kendall, ACD’s Terror Finance Blog contributor

In their business proposal, the self-described “Board of Directors of Yemen Milk & Honey Farms Ltd” specifically mentions Kickstarter, RocketHub, and other crowdfunding platforms as options for financing their project. They also note that crowdfunding can be equity-based, lending-based, reward-based, or donation-based. After reviewing their alternatives, the board concludes that they would like their financing be “equity based or reward based, as the board has observed [that the] interest-based economy is facing serious problems world wide, specifically in Europe and America.”…more…

News and commentary:

China cyber-gangs use ‘vast underground network’, BBC

Chinese cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile users via a vast underground network of tools and services, according to a new report…more…

Iran, Russia working together to launch cyber attacks, former lawmaker claims, FOX News

Iran has emerged as a leading cyber threat and has already hacked into the U.S. defense establishment and financial institutions, likely with the help of the Russians, according to a former chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence…more…

Another bitcoin bank bites the dust, Flexcoin blames losses on hackers, Euronews.com

Flexcoin said flaws in its software code enabled hackers to make off with bitcoins worth around 440,000 euros.

“As Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss, we are closing our doors immediately,” it said in a statement.

A message posted on its website explained that the attack had exploited a flaw in its code on transfers between users and involved inundating the system with simultaneous requests to move coins between accounts… more…

What the Ukraine Crisis Means for the Energy Industry, Mother Jones

Four ways that energy politics are shaping the standoff with Russia:

1. The United States is rushing to push more gas onto the market to undercut Putin’s power.

2. Russia isn’t as powerful as you might think

3. Now is the time to clean up Ukraine’s corruption.

4. The United States and European Union are making energy reform central to their aid packages…more…

Ukraine And Venezuela Events Show That Oil And Gas Provide Global Power by Ernest Istook

Energy wealth provides strength, such as developing natural resources like oil and gas. But suppressing it, like holding back the Keystone XL Pipeline, creates national weakness…more…

More firms buying insurance for data breaches, Deirdre Fernandes, Boston Globe

The threat of cyber hacking, underscored by the credit card breach at Target, is now so great that US businesses are rushing to buy insurance coverage against the expense of being hacked, or losing sensitive customer information.

One in three companies now has insurance to specifically protect against such losses. Last year, cyber insurance polices sold to retailers, hospitals, banks, and other businesses jumped 20 percent, according to Marsh LLC, a New York insurance brokerage firm that tracks the market…more…

Events and hearings:

Syria Spillover: The Growing Threat of Terrorism And Sectarianism in the Middle East before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, March 6, 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.


Categories: ACD/EWI Blog, ACD/EWI Exclusive, Latest News, Terrorist Financing, U.S. Foreign Policy

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