Attacks on a nation’s financial infrastructures have serious repercussions, liable to result in heavy financial damage as they disrupt routine financial activity of commercial enterprises and households alike. However, the focus of the cyber offensive during Operation Protective Edge was the civilian internet. Iranian elements participated in what the C4I officer described as an attack unprecedented in its proportions and the quality of its targets. The attack targeted IDF websites such as the Home Front Command and the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, as well as civilian internet infrastructures. The attackers had some success when they managed to spread a false message via the IDF’s official Twitter account saying that the Dimona nuclear reactor had been hit by rocket fire and that there was a risk of a radioactive leak. Some of the attacks against Israel were attributed to the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group of Assad-supporting hackers that in recent years has developed significant attack capabilities and described by Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and the NSA, as a veritable Iranian proxy. Continue reading
By Umberto Bacchi June 5, 2014 07:30 BST
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 3
February 7, 2014 09:43 AM By: Murad Batal al- Shishani
As Syria’s bloody conflict enters its fourth year in March, it continues to provide a battlefield that attracts jihadists from all over the world. North Caucasians, including Chechens, are no exception. Previously, many reports alleged that Chechens were present in jihadi battlefields in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places; however, these claims were never proved. Syria is the first place where Chechen jihadists are indisputably taking part in fighting outside the North Caucasus.
Chechens and other Caucasians in Syria operate in four major groups, each of which is commanded by one of four prominent Chechen leaders: Omar al-Shishani, Saifullah al-Shishani, Amir Muslim and Salahudeen al-Shishani (the mujahideen announced the death of the latter via Twitter on February 6). These commanders are not related but all use al-Shishani (Arabic – “the Chechen”) as a surname.
Divisions and Unifications
Omar al-Shishani, born Tarkhan Batirashvili, comes from the remote Pankisi Gorge in northeast Georgia, populated by ethnic Chechens who emigrated from their homeland in the 19th century. Before making his way to jihad, Omar served in the Georgian military in the disputed republic of Abkhazia between 2006 and 2007. He later signed a contract in 2008 to join the Georgian army as a rifleman, but this came to an end when he was dismissed due to tuberculosis. In September 2010, he was arrested for the illegal purchase and storage of arms. Continue reading
Published time: February 15, 2014 04:14
Image from brown-moses.blogspot.ru
Frustrated by the deadlock of the second round of Geneva 2 talks, Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile Russia has accused the US of once again hijacking peace talks and pushing for regime change.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Russian-made antitank guided missiles and Chinese man-portable air-defense systems are up for grabs, already waiting in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey.
An Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the Saudi efforts have told WSJ that these supplies are likely to tip the battlefield scales, as the rebels will become capable of taking on the government’s air power and destroying heavy armored vehicles.
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org
A Turkish newspaper has retracted a report stating that Turkish military jets entered Syrian territory and destroyed an outpost belonging to an al-Qaeda-linked rebel group, after its members attacked a Turkish military garrison along the Syrian-Turkish border. In a published correction, the paper said instead that the Turkish army opened fire from inside Turkey. Today’s Zaman, the English-language edition of Turkish daily Zaman, reported on January 29 that Turkish F-16s had entered Syrian territory and had bombed a stationary convoy of vehicles belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS, an al-Qaeda-linked group that made its appearance in Syria in April of last year.
The origins of ISIS are in Iraq, where it was founded in 2003 as a Sunni armed paramilitary force, in response to the invasion by the United States. In 2004, the group pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and changed its name to Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Many observers argue that, in recent months, ISIS has turned into “one of the most powerful forces on the ground” in Syria, with 7,000 well-armed fighters, many of whom are battle-hardened foreign Islamists.
Akram Sebah (left) and brother Mohamed – picture of the two which was sent out on social media, declaring them Martyrs
Rory Brigstock-Barron Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:00 AM
The terrorism spotlight fell on Holloway this week as three people in their 20s were linked to al-Qaeda in Syria.
Propaganda images were released on social media of brothers Akram, 24, and Mohamed Sebah, 28, who grew up in Cornwallis Square, and are believed to have died in battle in the war-torn country in September.
The two were pictured together smiling and brandishing guns in camouflage gear and were hailed “martyrs” and “young British lions” in messages sent out to encourage other recruits to follow in their footsteps.
Published: July 23, 2012
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian officials warned Monday that they would deploy chemical weapons against any foreign intervention, a threat that appeared intended to ward off an attack by Western nations while also offering what officials in Washington called the most “direct confirmation” ever that Syria possesses a stockpile of unconventional armaments.
Bulent Kilic/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Syrian opposition fighters looked for snipers on Monday, after attacking a municipal building in Selehattin, near Aleppo.
Jihad Makdissi, the Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman, reading a statement on the country’s chemical stockpiles at a news conference in Damascus on Monday.
The warning came out of Damascus, veiled behind an assurance that the Syrian leadership would never use such weapons against its own citizens, describing chemical and biological arms as outside the bounds of the kind of guerrilla warfare being fought internally.
“Any stock of W.M.D. or unconventional weapons that the Syrian Army possesses will never, never be used against the Syrian people or civilians during this crisis, under any circumstances,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, said at a news conference shown live on Syrian state television, using the initials for weapons of mass destruction. “These weapons are made to be used strictly and only in the event of external aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 1, 2012, 6:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
HIzballah security chief Wafiq Safa married to Nasrallah’s sister
The Lebanese Shiite Hizballah, after a 25-year record of kidnap and murder against Israelis, Americans and other Westerners, was dismayed to find the shoe on the other foot this week when Syrian rebels, including members of the Syrian Free Army, announced they were holding two separate groups of its members.
The first group of eleven was captured May 22 in a bus heading home through Aleppo from a pilgrimage to Iran. The second episode sent shock waves rolling as far as Tehran and the Al Qods Brigades command. debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that still unidentified commandos, guided apparently by precise intelligence, this week commandeered a Hizballah vehicle driving through Syria and captured five top-ranking Hizballah officers. A sixth escaped. Upon reaching Beirut, he reported the officers were being held hostage by the SFA.
Despite the veil of secrecy clamped down on the episode, debkafile exclusively names the kidnapped officers as Ali Safa, a senior officer of Hizballah’s intelligence service and nephew of Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. (His father Wafiq Safa, head of the organization’s internal security agency, is married to Nasrallah’s sister.)
The abducted party also included Hussein Hamid, Dep. Commander of Hizballah forces in South Lebanon; Ali Zerayb, member of the Hizballah Jihad Council – the equivalent of its general command; Hassan Arzouni, chief of intelligence in the Bint Jbeil district bordering on Israel; and Aras Shoeib, head of training in the Beqaa Valley of E. Lebanon.
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 10
The ongoing political and security crisis in Syria has provided unexpected opportunities for Syria’s Kurdish community to initiate diplomatic discussions with Russia, China and Iran in its pursuit of regional autonomy, a near impossibility under the Assad regime before the outbreak of political violence as part of last year’s “Arab Spring.”
The Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK – Kurdistan Workers Party) and its Syrian affiliate, the Partiya Yekitiya Demokrat (PYD – Democratic Union Party), Russia, Iran and China are opposed to outside intervention by the Western states or Turkey and prefer to find alternatives This has resulted in the reshaping of relations in the region.
In the past, Russia has utilized the PKK as a lever against Turkey to deter possible Turkish support for Chechen insurgents.  After 2008, Russia emerged as Turkey’s largest trading partner and relations improved, but now Turkey and Russia have differences over Syria.  For Russia, Syria is a long-term ally in the Middle-East and the naval supply station in the Syrian port of Tartus is of strategic value (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, April 19). This has caused friction in Russia’s relations with Turkey, which has abandoned its ties to Syria and now supports the removal of the Assad-government while opposing any role for the PKK and the PYD in a post-Assad Syria.