In a surprise step, Egyptian forces Thursday morning, March 26, seized control of the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Straits to pre-empt Tehran’s grab for this important energy shipping gateway between the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal, debkafile reports. It rounded off the just-launched Saudi-led air strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, signaling a 10-nation Sunni Arab revolt against Iran’s approaching takeover of Yemen and other Mid East positions with Washington’s support, and coinciding with the first US air strikes over Tikrit in aid of Iran.More>
Yet another Obama administration thrust in its campaign to stigmatize Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel came Tuesday, March 24, a a pejorative leak to The Wall Street Journal, which reported: “Israeli intelligence was eavesdropping on closed-door nuclear negotiations between Iran and the US, then passing the classified information along to the US Congress."More>
PM Binyamin Netanyahu invited Zionist Union leader Yitzhak Herzog to join him in a new unity government, but Herzog turned him down. He has meanwhile started penciling in cabinet posts, keeping Moshe Ya'alon in Defense and assigning the Treasury to Moshe Kahlon.More>
The nuclear talks have collapsed with orders from Tehran for the Iranian delegation Friday March 20, to quit and return home for consulations.More>
Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party owed its March 17 election lead of 30 seats as much to its rivals’ myopia as to his stunning last-ditch campaign. Rivals and pollsters alike missed the writing on the wall. They ran a negative campaign, which rarely works, such as the “anyone but Bibi” slogan.More>
DarkNet is the hidden bottom floor of the legal, public worldwide web. Extensively used by sophisticated criminal organizations and spooks, it conducts a lively trade in stolen official data, false identities, fake credit cards, firearms and ammo, human traffic and biological and chemical weapons. Also found there are hard porno, materials for pedophiles and snuff videos.More...
The crash of a drone in the White House grounds Sunday night, Jan. 25, pointed to the absence of an electromagnetic perimeter fence. Its jammers would emit “white noise” to block off the communications links and command and control capacities of the smartphones and unmanned aerial vehicles serving a would-be assailant planning an attack by a tiny, armed drone.More...
French intelligence failures over the Charlie Hebdo terror attack will not be gilded over. Contrary to a French police statement, Hayat Boumeddiene, wife of the terrorist Amedy Coulibaly who murdered four Jews in cold blood at the kosher supermarket. Friday, Jan. 9, was never in the store at all but had been able to skip from France to Syria a week earlier.
Acting on direct orders from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian special forces raided all nine PA-ruled West Bank towns in the past 48 hours and detained 500 Hamas suspects, debkafile reports. Abbas ordered the operation because he had discovered that Hamas had been hatching a plot for some weeks to stage an armed uprising against the Palestinian Authority, starting in one of the Palestinian towns – possibly even the PA capital of Ramallah – and assassinate him in the process.
debkafile reveals exclusively that Gen. Qassem Soleiman, commander of the Revolutionary Guards elite Al Qods Brigades, paid a groundbreaking visit last Thursday, March 5, to Jordan as guest of Gen. Faisal Al-Shoulbaki, director of General Intelligence and a trusted adviser to King Abdullah II. The visit, encouraged by Obama administration policy, showed one of America’s oldest Sunni Arab allies recognizing the trending Mid East reality to jump the lines over to Tehran. Iran’s grab for influence is reaching from four capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Sanaa, Beirut to a fifth, Amman.
US and Israeli intelligence agencies sharply disagree on the time Iran needs for breakout to a bomb. The Americans cite one year between a decision by Tehran to cross from nuclear threshold to nuclear bomb – enough time for preventive action; the Israelis say much less and, anyway, US and Israeli can’t be sure to catch the Iranians at it in time to stop its advance to a nuclear weapon. Saudi Arabia, fellow Gulf States and Egypt are no more convinced than Israel that the one-year timeline is realistic.
This report inaugurates debkafile’s new column which, under the heading The Cyber Dimension, will appear regularly and keep our readers abreast of novel events in this fast-developing field. The least appreciated potential cyber threat comes from toy drones in terrorist hands. No counter-measures have been developed against such UAV intrusions as those seen over the White House and Elysée.