As recent events demonstrate, the manifestations of Islamist extremism in Europe are manifold. They range from youngsters who reject both government and academic attempts at multiculturalism to radical imams who influence their congregations against their host countries to fundamentalist converts who believe the West is on a crusade to destroy Islam. Chat rooms on the Internet are used with powerful effect to proselytize, recruit, radicalize, fund raise, train, and plot acts of terrorism. In part to counter violent Islamist extremism, the U.S. National Intelligence Strategy seeks to: (1) develop innovative ways to penetrate and analyze the most difficult targets ; and (2) strengthen analytic expertise, methods, and practices; tap expertise wherever it resides; and explore alternative analytic views. Consequently, the director of national intelligence has given top priority to enhancing outreach to the myriad sources of expertise and open source information that can play a decisive role in countering threats such as terrorism. Over the past year, the CSIS Transnational Threats Project operated and tested a global Trusted Information Network (TIN) devoted to critical threat issues demonstrating that structured interaction with nongovernmental experts on the periphery can provide innovative, alternative analysis and perspectives. Islamist extremism in Europe was explored by the TIN s internationally recognized experts, even as daily events in Europe illustrated that al Qaeda inspired terrorists continue to proliferate among Muslim communities there. TIN members, in a collaborative online setting, contributed fresh information and perceptions about the extremists route to violence and their aspirations. This report reviews the workings of the CSIS network and demonstrates the contribution such a TIN can make as a force multiplier for intelligence in the information age.
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On November 23, 2013, China's Ministry of National Defense spokesman announced that a new air defense intercept zone (ADIZ) will be established by the government to include the Diaoyu, or Senkaku Islands. Sovereignty over these islands is disputed by Japan, China, and Taiwan. The new ADIZ also included a submerged rock that falls inside overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) claimed by China, Japan, and South Korea. Pundits and policy analysts quickly engaged in a broad debate about whether China's expanded ADIZ is designed to create tension in Asia, or is part of a broader plan to impose a new definition of China's territorial space in the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, to deal with cyber penetrations attributed to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State are devising new means to protect intellectual property and secrets from the PLA's computer network operations.
Dr. Larry M. Wortzel's monograph puts these events into perspective. The ADIZ announcement by China, at one level, is an example of the PLA General Political Department engagement in what it calls "legal warfare," part of the PLA's "three warfares." In expanding its ADIZ, China is stretching International Civil Aviation Organization regulations to reinforce its territorial claims over the Senkaku Islands, administered by Japan. China calls these the Diaoyu Islands and, along with Taiwan, claims them for its own. On another level, the Chinese government will use the ADIZ as a way to increase the airspace it can monitor and control off its coast; it already is suing the navy and maritime law enforcement ships to enforce these claims at sea. Additionally, the PLA and the Chinese government have sent a major signal to Taiwan, demonstrating another aspect of the "three warfares." When the Chinese Ministry of National Defense put its expanded ADIZ into effect, the new zone carefully avoided any infringement into Taiwan's ADIZ, signaling that in addition to the improved economic ties with Taiwan, there is room for political improvement across the Taiwan Strait.
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Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. presented the 2013 annual U.S. intelligence community worldwide threat assessment in Congressional testimony on March 12th. In the published report, Clapper provides a thorough review of the status of possible threats from a wide variety of nations and terror groups. The report highlighted cyber and computer threats to the Nation, stating:
We are in a major transformation because our critical infrastructures, economy, personal lives, and even basic understanding of—and interaction with—the world are becoming more intertwined with digital technologies and the Internet. In some cases, the world is applying digital technologies faster than our ability to understand the security implications and mitigate potential risks. State and nonstate actors increasingly exploit the Internet to achieve strategic objectives, while many governments—shaken by the role the Internet has played in political instability and regime change—seek to increase their control over content in cyberspace. The growing use of cyber capabilities to achieve strategic goals is also outpacing the development of a shared understanding of norms of behavior, increasing the chances for miscalculations and misunderstandings that could lead to unintended escalation.
Continue reading “2013 U.S. Intelligence Community Worldwide Threat Assessment – Cyber Threat to Critical Infrastructure, Iran, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, al-Qaida, Jihad, WMD, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan”