Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What the Byzantines Can Teach Us about Our National Security
American Thinker ^ | March 06, 2010 | Ishmael Jones

Posted on 03/05/2010 11:17:03 PM PST by neverdem

The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire
by Edward N. Luttwak
Belknap Harvard, 498 pp.
Civilization in the city of Rome was extinguished by the year 476, but scholars today recognize that the Roman Empire continued to thrive in its eastern capital of Constantinople, in what we call the Byzantine Empire. As Edward Luttwak notes, the Byzantines did not use the word "Byzantine." They called themselves Romans, and their enemies called them Romans as well. The Byzantine Empire carried on Roman traditions of civilization, commerce, law, and education for nearly a thousand years until they met a heroic end in the Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

In his fascinating book, the product of 25 years of research, Edward Luttwak describes the Grand Strategy that allowed the Byzantine civilization to survive so long against many of history's fiercest enemies. A partial list of Byzantine enemies includes successive waves of Huns, Avars, and Mongols from the steppe; Slavs and Viking Russians from the north; Persians and Arab and Turkic Muslims from the east and south; and "light-haired peoples": Franks, Goths, and Lombards from the west. 

Although Byzantium was an extension of the Roman Empire, their grand strategies were significantly different. The Byzantines realized that they could not annihilate enemies as the Romans had done, because to destroy an enemy exhausted Byzantine forces and opened the way for the next wave of invaders. As we have learned with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the destruction of a single enemy does not mean the end of all enemies. "The genius of Byzantine grand strategy was to turn the very multiplicity of enemies to advantage, by employing diplomacy, deception, payoffs, and religious conversion to induce them to fight one another instead of fighting the empire," Luttwak writes.  

Like the Byzantines, Americans do not wish to fight war by attrition. The supply of young jihadis, for example, is potentially unlimited. They are too numerous and easily replaced. On our side, we have no expendable soldiers. We have much in common with the Byzantines -- they were among the earliest to question war as a valid human undertaking, as we do today.

We need knowledge and strategy to defeat our enemies, and an essential element is good intelligence work. Of particular interest is Luttwak's analysis of Byzantine intelligence and its methods, which can be used to improve our own intelligence work and thus protect our own great civilization.

Luttwak describes the way Byzantine spies were escorted to the frontiers by scouting parties. The spies then made their way to foreign capitals, often as merchants, in what we would call "commercial cover" today. The spies lived and worked within enemy territory.  By using messengers, they were able to communicate information back to Constantinople and to remain in place in foreign countries, continuing to collect information.

Having spies living and working within enemy territory is essential. We don't do this now -- more than 90% of our CIA officers live and work entirely within the United States, and most of the remainder are within U.S. embassies. There is a general understanding among intelligence officers and within the Senate and House intelligence committees that we need to move more of our officers to foreign assignments, outside of embassies. Indeed, more than $3 billion was spent after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to get more CIA officers overseas in commercial covers, but the endeavor has so far proven impossible. No such additional, effective officers have been assigned overseas.

To survive like the Byzantines, we need to get our spies into foreign countries. The entire focus of Byzantine espionage was outward, placing spies at the sources of information in foreign lands.

The Byzantines had no fixed network of diplomatic missions, largely because the long distances between capitals made fixed posts impractical. The job of a diplomat in Byzantium was perilous because travel to a foreign warlord's capital meant a long journey through dangerous territory. A round trip to China took three years. Byzantine spies were adventurers, sent to bring back the needed information, not to sit behind desks. The Byzantines were fortunate not to have embassy installations. With our system today, those officers we do send to foreign countries usually serve within fortified embassy compounds, which inhibits their access to intelligence. Byzantine intelligence deployed almost all of its people in foreign countries and outside embassies; American intelligence deploys almost none of its people in this way.

The Byzantines had good spies, but no intelligence bureaucracy at all. Officials involved in the management of espionage performed these functions along with other duties. They never had a bureaucratic hierarchy of intelligence and never thought to create one. In America, we've had an intelligence bureaucracy only since the CIA's creation in 1947. We need spies, but we don't need an intelligence bureaucracy.

(The Byzantines had bureaucrats, of course, just not in intelligence. The taxes levied on the population to support government were heavy. Luttwak points out that an advantage the Muslims had in their conquest of North Africa and the Levant was that they had no bureaucrats to support back in their austere capitals of Mecca and Medina. Thus their tax demands were lower than the Byzantines'. Surrendering to the Muslims often meant, at least initially, a lower tax burden.)

The Byzantines' intelligence work was excellent. They didn't shy away from subverting even the most devout Muslims. If the domination of Islam is inevitable, reasoned some of their recruited sources, then what does it matter if I provide intelligence to the Byzantines? The Byzantines had a can-do attitude and knew what a little gold could do to subvert even the most outwardly ideological opponents. We need that can-do attitude in the CIA. Often, the biggest obstacle to our CIA officers' approaches to potential sources is that CIA Headquarters blocks the approach, saying it can't be done. Yet throughout my career, I was always pleasantly surprised at how quickly a few bucks converted ideologues to our cause.

The Byzantines were skilled in the use of subversion. A Byzantine technique while raiding enemy territory was to refrain from burning or plundering the estates of certain prominent men, and of them alone, to arouse suspicion and discord.

The Byzantines were expert at dividing their enemies and encouraging simmering ethnic divisions. The steppe tribes, such as the Huns, began in central Asia as small tribes and grew through ethnogenesis, a process of conquering and then absorbing other cultures, so that their military force at its height was composed of many ethnic groups. Subversion can cause a reversal of this process by splitting these enemies back into their parts, awakening ethnic tensions with the help of bribery, alliances, and persuasion.

The Byzantines used Christianity to convert and create allies. We create allies through conversion to our democracy and the ideals of our Constitution. The Byzantines used icons and the splendor of Constantinople; we have the vitality of our economy, the splendor of our cities, and the promise of opportunity. The Byzantines' manipulation of the craving of foreign chieftains for titles and flattering and giving gifts to foreign targets are something we understand -- these things are in our intelligence manuals, too -- but we just need to get out and do them. 

The Byzantines may have hated their enemies, but they sought to understand them and to learn their languages. Indeed, the early history of many cultures, such as the Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Moravians, Hungarians, and Serbs, is known to us only through Byzantine texts. The Byzantine manual Strategikon of Maurikios shows this intense interest in understanding other cultures. Its descriptions are often appropriate today; the Western light-haired peoples are "bold and undaunted in battle. Daring and impetuous as they are, they consider any timidity and even a short retreat as a disgrace." These are qualities, as Luttwak points out, that give strength, but also tactical limitations. The Strategikon describes the Persians as a people who obey their rulers out of fear. Its comments on the hardiness of Russian warriors sound like a description of 20th-century Russian soldiers. Luttwak observes that powerful nations often disdain the study of their perceived inferiors, leading to events such as Napoleon's underestimation of the Tsar's army of serfs and drunken officers in 1812.

We need to develop this intense interest in the cultures and languages of our adversaries. Most of the CIA people involved in the pursuit of bin Laden prior to 9/11 had no knowledge of Arabic or Arab culture and no interest in learning. CIA employees are smart and talented, but advancement is achieved largely through relationships formed with colleagues within U.S. government buildings. English is the only language necessary. Anyone who had gone out to foreign lands to hunt bin Laden would have returned years later, unknown to anyone at Headquarters and unpromotable.

A later Byzantine manual, the Strategikon of Kekaumenos, likely written at a time of catastrophic decline in the empire, offers advice that I find chillingly familiar: that a general should avoid blame for being either too timid or too audacious and conduct minor operations that only appear to be risky in order to build the his reputation without actually taking much risk. This manual's advice suggests the empire's fate is less important than the individual's personal success. The tone of this manual must certainly reflect a gloomy period of decline and decay in the empire's history. It reminds me of the kind of advice senior CIA officers give their trusted protégés today: Look busy, but take no risk. Look at any CIA operation in the press, from the Joe Wilson visit to Niger to the Abu Omar rendition, and ask yourself: Was this operation simply designed to look busy, without taking any real risk?

Edward Luttwak shows the understanding of a practical military tactician and strategist in his exploration of cavalry tactics, the adaptation of the Huns' mounted archery, the compound reflex bow (which was held together by animal bone glues and powered by dried tendons), the impact of intensive military training, and the importance of speed, deception, and maneuver.

The use of "Byzantine" as an adjective, referring to dysfunctional bureaucratic scheming, will surely change as people realize that the Byzantines in fact were highly effective. I will no longer use the word to describe our broken intelligence bureaucracy because the Byzantines gathered intelligence brilliantly.

Americans have a superb military. Colleagues of mine from my early days in the Marine Corps, men who are today generals and colonels, read Luttwak's books. American strategic weakness is not to be found in its military, but in its intelligence bureaucracy, and it is in this component of grand strategy that I find Luttwak's scholarship essential.

 Ishmael Jones, a former Marine officer and a former deep cover CIA officer, is the author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: byzantium; cia; godsgravesglyphs; grandstrategy; lessons; nationalsecurity; nss; strategy

1 posted on 03/05/2010 11:17:04 PM PST by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 03/05/2010 11:18:51 PM PST by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

bump


3 posted on 03/06/2010 12:04:47 AM PST by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Interesting.

I don't think I've even heard the word 'Byzantine' since high school ... and though I had some good teachers, this part of history was never made interesting to me.

4 posted on 03/06/2010 12:59:11 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

bump


5 posted on 03/06/2010 1:00:37 AM PST by randomhero97 ("First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow!" - Ash)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: knarf

Read the Secret History of Procopius. It gives good detail on the early history of the Byzantine Empire. His descriptions of Emperor Justinian I and his lovely wife remind me a of the Clintons.


6 posted on 03/06/2010 1:32:00 AM PST by InABunkerUnderSF (California -- Ya es como Mexico)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Excellent article.

Destined for ignore at the appropriate levels.


7 posted on 03/06/2010 1:43:30 AM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

bump


8 posted on 03/06/2010 2:04:12 AM PST by Gigantor (Freedom carries with it responsibility. Too many want freedom FROM responsibility...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fiddlstix; Squantos

bump for further investigation


9 posted on 03/06/2010 3:00:17 AM PST by Movemout ( if you were to launch a heat seeking suppository over DC which asshole would it strike?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gigantor
Another great lesson that we can take from our own history is how the US dealt with the problems posed by the Comanche Indians - a group beside whom modern-day terrorists start to look like rank amateurs.

That solution was the standing up of the Texas Rangers, a group that embodied the strategy of "total offense".

10 posted on 03/06/2010 3:08:32 AM PST by The Duke
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
a general should avoid blame for being either too timid or too audacious and conduct minor operations that only appear to be risky in order to build the his reputation without actually taking much risk.

This is the attitude and orientation that created the disaster of Manzikert, which in turn led first to the closing of Jerusalem by the Seljuk Turks and then the First Crusade.

11 posted on 03/06/2010 3:24:33 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: InABunkerUnderSF
His descriptions of Emperor Justinian I and his lovely wife remind me a of the Clintons.

Too be fair the Clintons never had the entire political opposition exterminated.

12 posted on 03/06/2010 3:36:14 AM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of.-- Idylls of the King)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

How good could the Byzantine “national security” have been? They got trashed by Arab desert nomads bewitched by Muhammad.

Constantinople became Istanbul.


13 posted on 03/06/2010 6:36:22 AM PST by James C. Bennett
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
I am about half way through this. The prose is a bit heavy, but it is a fascinating book.

How clever the Byzantines were and how adroitly they managed their enemies almost to the very end.

14 posted on 03/06/2010 6:38:34 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Movemout

BFLR....TNX !


15 posted on 03/06/2010 7:50:55 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett

I think Luttwak is advocating imitating St. Justinian, Basil II Bulgaroctonis, and the Comnena dynasty, not the Paleologoi—there’s nearly a 1000 years from the retirement of the last Western Augustus to a villa near Naples in 476 to the fall of the Empire in 1453.

The failure of the Empire was occasioned by increased reliance on outside support in its latter days (neglecting the fleet in favor of Genoan mercenaries, for instance) and the treachery of erstwhile allies—the Crusades harmed the Empire far more than they harmed the Muslims, and in the end the walls of Constantinople fell to Hungarian-made cannons.

And Luttwak is advocating imitating the Imperial intelligence services and use of subversion to pit allies against each other, not falling behind times on tactics. The Muslims relied on a precursor to the modern fire-and-movement doctrine to a much greater degree than the Imperial forces did (the elite cataphracts could out-match the Muslims, but they were too few in number, and the bulk of the Imperial legions were not mobile enough and relied too much on close-combat).


16 posted on 03/06/2010 10:36:52 AM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: The_Reader_David
If you want to read about political stupidity, Bammy style Politics, and a general lust for self destruction, read Byzantine History after Basil II.
17 posted on 03/06/2010 10:54:22 AM PST by Little Bill (Carol Che-Porter is a MOONBAT.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Fiddlstix

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Fiddlstix.

I think I've read another Luttwak book, uh, answer hazy, ask again later. ;') Just adding, not pinging.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · LiveScience · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


18 posted on 03/06/2010 1:27:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Freedom is Priceless.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Civilization in the city of Rome was extinguished by the year 476

Civilization in Rome was not extinguished in 476. Political unity of the western part of the Roman Empire collapsed. Political power became decentralized. But civilization continued, carried by the Christian Church.

19 posted on 03/06/2010 1:41:57 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett
How good could the Byzantine “national security” have been? They got trashed by Arab desert nomads bewitched by Muhammad.

By 1453 Byzantium was a small country in the Balkan peninsula engaging in a grand courtly delusion that if was still a great world empire, a bit like Italy under Mussolini in the 1930s.

20 posted on 03/06/2010 1:49:36 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: stripes1776

The Byzantines did pretty well until the battle of Manzikert where they held the Seljulks at a draw, but then retreated in civil war. It was political infighting that killed the Eastern Roman Empire.


21 posted on 03/06/2010 2:54:44 PM PST by rmlew (Democracy tends to ignore..., threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: rmlew
The Byzantines did pretty well until the battle of Manzikert where they held the Seljulks at a draw, but then retreated in civil war. It was political infighting that killed the Eastern Roman Empire.

The battle of Manzikert was in 1071. By that time the Byzantine Empire has lost all of western Europe, all of northern Africa, and most of the Middle East. It occupied only the Balkan peninsula and Asia minor. It had lost about 80% of its former territory. I would not call losing 80% of your empire doing pretty well.

22 posted on 03/06/2010 5:10:18 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: stripes1776
The battle of Manzikert was in 1071. By that time the Byzantine Empire has lost all of western Europe, all of northern Africa, and most of the Middle East. It occupied only the Balkan peninsula and Asia minor. It had lost about 80% of its former territory. I would not call losing 80% of your empire doing pretty well.
The Eastern Roman Empire never held Western Europe, that was the imperium of the Western Roman Empire It did occupy parts of Italy.
23 posted on 03/06/2010 6:04:03 PM PST by rmlew (Democracy tends to ignore..., threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: rmlew
The Eastern Roman Empire never held Western Europe, that was the imperium of the Western Roman Empire It did occupy parts of Italy.

The capital was moved from Rome to Constantinople in the 4th century. Constantinople was the imperial capital of the entire Roman Empire.

24 posted on 03/06/2010 6:11:14 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: stripes1776
The capital was moved from Rome to Constantinople in the 4th century. Constantinople was the imperial capital of the entire Roman Empire.
Absolutely not. The empire was administratively split by Diocletian in the 3rd Century CE. Theodosius was the last empire of a unified Roman Empire and it irrevocable split in 395 CE.

25 posted on 03/06/2010 6:53:12 PM PST by rmlew (Democracy tends to ignore..., threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: rmlew
Absolutely not. The empire was administratively split by Diocletian in the 3rd Century CE. Theodosius was the last empire of a unified Roman Empire and it irrevocable split in 395 CE.

Theodosius was not the last emperor of a united Roman empire. You are omitting Constantine and Constantius II and Julian the Apostate.

Constantine defeated all of his rivals and united all of the Roman Empire under his single rule. He then moved the capital from Rome to Constantinople, naming it after himself. Constantinople was the imperial capital of the entire Roman Empire under the sole imperium of Constantine. After Constatine's death the imperium passed to Constantinius II, and after Constantinius II to Julian the Apostate. After Julian came Valentinian. It was Valentinian who set up his brother Valens as coruler.

The weakness of Constantinople became evident fairly soon after the death of Constantine, sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

26 posted on 03/06/2010 7:25:58 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: stripes1776

Theodosius died in 395 CE. The YOu are confusing him with Diocletian.


27 posted on 03/06/2010 11:21:09 PM PST by rmlew (Democracy tends to ignore..., threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: rmlew
Theodosius died in 395 CE. The YOu are confusing him with Diocletian.

That would be 395 A.D. The empire was divided before Diocletian during the reign of Velentinian who proceeded Theodosius.

The point is that Constantine, Constantius II, and Julian the Apostate ruled as sole emperors from Constantinople, the imperial capital.

28 posted on 03/06/2010 11:45:26 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Movemout; Travis McGee
Going to have to go get this mans books..........looks like a good read.

As to such as Luttwak describes the way Byzantine spies were escorted to the frontiers by scouting parties.

The blue badges are getting a little more aggressive per se in that arena.

Thanks Movemout for the ping !

29 posted on 03/07/2010 12:35:52 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Movemout; Travis McGee
Going to have to go get this mans books..........looks like a good read.

As to such as Luttwak describes the way Byzantine spies were escorted to the frontiers by scouting parties.

The blue badges are getting a little more aggressive per se in that arena.

Thanks Movemout for the ping !

30 posted on 03/07/2010 12:35:54 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Movemout; Travis McGee
Going to have to go get this mans books..........looks like a good read.

As to such as Luttwak describes the way Byzantine spies were escorted to the frontiers by scouting parties.

The blue badges are getting a little more aggressive per se in that arena.

Thanks Movemout for the ping !

31 posted on 03/07/2010 12:37:23 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Movemout
Going to have to go get this mans books..........looks like a good read.

As to such as Luttwak describes the way Byzantine spies were escorted to the frontiers by scouting parties.

The blue badges are getting a little more aggressive per se in that arena.

Thanks Movemout for the ping !

32 posted on 03/07/2010 12:38:34 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: All
Note: This is a very small sampler of what I have looked at recently ON THE INTERNET:


FOX NEWS.com: "U.S. AWARDING BILLIONS TO FIRMS VIOLATION IRAN SANCTIONS" (March 7, 2010) (Read More...)

THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: ILNA (Iran), March 7, 2010"): "IRAN LAUNCHES A NEW CRUISE MISSILE PRODUCTION LINE" (Note: Photo included.) (Posted March 7, 2010) (Read More...)


WEEKLY STANDARD.com: "WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO KNOW The 'most transparent administration in history' stonewalls" by Stephen F. Hayes (SNIPPET: "So, too, are thousands of pages of documents on the Guantanamo detainees the Obama administration has transferred or released over the past 14 months. When Obama came to office there were approximately 242 detainees remaining at Guantanamo. With a few exceptions, these individuals were still at Gitmo for a very good reason: They were among the most dangerous of the jihadists captured by the United States since September 11, 2001. There are now 188 detainees at Guantanamo. Who are the 54 detainees no longer there?" SNIPPET: "Consider the case of Abdullahi Sudi Arale, who was sent to Guantanamo Bay on June 6, 2007.") (March 15, 2010) (Read More...)
OSAC.gov - Consular Affairs Bulletins - Report - Afghanistan: "Warden Message: AFGHANISTAN ATTACK THREAT AGAINST KABUL GUESTHOUSE" (March 4, 2010) (Read More...)


AFP via Google Hosted News: London - NEW IRAN ROCKET LAUNCH SITE SHOWS N. KOREA LINKS: JANE'S" (March 5, 2010) (Read More...)

Link (Read More...)


SOUTH ASIA ANALYSIS.org - Paper No. 3702: "FRESH FEARS OF MARITIME TERRORISM - International Terrorism Monitor - Paper No. 626" by B. Raman (SNIPPET: "6. It is in this context that one has to see reports from Singapore that an unidentified terrorist group is planning attacks against oil tankers in the Malacca Strait. The Singapore Shipping Association has been quoted as saying on March 2, 2010, that it had received an advisory from the Singapore Navy Information Fusion Centre about "an indication that a terrorist group is planning attacks on oil tankers in the Malacca Strait." It added: "This does not preclude possible attacks on other large vessels with dangerous cargo." The Navy Centre's advisory reportedly said: "The terrorists' intent is probably to achieve widespread publicity and showcase that it remains a viable group." It reminded shipping operators that the militants could use smaller vessels such as dinghies and speedboats to attack oil tankers. It recommended that ships should "strengthen their onboard security measures and adopt community reporting to increase awareness and strengthen the safety of all seafarers," according to the Association.") (March 5, 2010) (Read More...)

HERITGATE.org - Research - National Security - Issues - Defense - Web Memo #2822: "ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE WEAPONS: CONGRESS MUST UNDERSTAND THE RISK" by Baker Spring (March 3, 2010) (Read More...)
Blog.HERITAGE.org - The Foundry: "DON'T LET WHITE HOUSE IGNORE ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE THREAT" [EMP] (Posted March 4, 2010, 2:06 pm) (Read More...)


OSAC.gov - Consular Affairs Bulletins - Report - Mexico: "Warden Message: MEXICO'S NUEVO LAREDO GUN BATTLES CONTINUE, CAUTION URGED" (March 2, 2010) (Read More...)

Link (Read More...)


JIHAD WATCH.org (AP): "FORMER GITMO DETAINEE SAID HE JUST WANTED TO GO HOME -- INSTEAD, NOW HE'S A JIHAD LEADER IN AFGHANISTAN" (SNIPPET: "Abdul Qayyum") (March 3, 2010) (Read More...)


COUNTERTERRORISM BLOG.org: "'THREAT FROM JAMAAT-UL MUJAHIDEEN BANGLADESH': ICG REPORT" by Animesh Roul (March 1, 2010) (Read More...)



THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, March 3, 2010"): "'AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT': FRENCH SHIPS TO RUSSIA IN EXCHANGE FOR RUSSIAN SUPPORT FOR SANCTIONS ON IRAN" (SNIPPET: "...advanced Mistral warships...") (Posted March 3, 2010) (Read More...)

THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: Al-Siyassa, Kuwait, March 3, 2010"): "AHWAZI ORGANIZATION: IRAN EQUIPPED MISSILES WITH CHEMICAL WARHEADS" (SNIPPET: "The Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa stated, citing a Sunni Ahwazi organization opposed to the Iranian regime, that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has equipped Russian SS-4 missiles with chemical warheads - mustard gas, sarin, and cyanide - and that they are aimed at the Gulf countries and other Arab countries." SNIPPET: "According to the report, the IRGC has stepped up research of biological weapons research...") (Posted March 3, 2010) (Read More...)
TERRORISM-INFO.org.il - INTELLIGENCE AND TERRORISM INFORMATION CENTER: "Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a Religious Authority and Iranian President Ahmadinejad's Spiritual Mentor, Implies in a Theological-Political Book that Iran Must Acquire a Nuclear Weapon ("a Special Kind of Weapon"): a Rare Expression of Internal Discourse about Nuclear-Related Issues among the Iranian Elite" (March 2, 2010) (Read More...)
WASHINGTON INSTITUTE.org - Policy Watch #1637: "DINNER IN DAMASCUS: WHAT DID IRAN ASK OF HIZBALLAH?" by David Schenker and Matthew Levitt (SNIPPET: "On February 26, Syrian president Bashar al-Asad hosted Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah for a dinner in Damascus.") (March 2, 2010) (Read More...)


TREAS.gov - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY - TG-571: Washington - "TREASURY DESIGNATES MOST WANTED COLOMBIAN DRUG LORDS ALLIED WITH THE FARC AS SPECIALLY DESIGNATED NARCOTICS TRAFFICKERS Treasury Takes Action Against More Than 70 Individuals and Entities" (March 2, 2010) (Read More...)


INVESTORS.com: "VENEZUELA'S CHAVEZ: FRIEND OF TERRORISTS" (SNIPPET: "What came to light Monday isn't the first time Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has been caught aiding terrorists, but it may well be the most egregious. Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco named a Venezuelan government official as a key link between 12 FARC and ETA terrorists who were indicted in a 2003 plot to kill Colombia's president.") (March 2, 2010) (Read More...)
FreeRepublic.com - Discussion Forum (AP via YAHOO): "CHAVEZ TURNS TO CUBANS FOR HELP WITH ENERGY CRISIS" (February 3, 2010) (Read More...)

stepping back in time...WEEKLY STANDARD.com: "COMANDANTE CHAVEZ'S FRIENDS" by Thor Halvorssen (SNIPPET: "Last December a high-level Venezuelan military defector gave sworn testimony that terrorist links exist between al Qaeda and the Chavez government. The defector, President Chavez's personal pilot, alleges that one operation involved the transfer of close to $1 million in cash to Osama bin Laden." SNIPPET: "Also, the congressional signatories turn a blind eye to mountains of hard evidence -- most supplied by U.S. allies in the Colombian government -- confirming Chavez's support for the FARC and ELN terrorist networks.") (March 10, 2003) (Read More...)


BBC NEWS: "ALAN JOHNSON BANS SOMALI 'TERRORIST' GROUP AL-SHABAAB" (SNIPPET: "The home secretary is to designate the Somalia-based group Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organisation and ban its operation in the UK. The Home Office says the group is committed to violence, deploys terror tactics and has been implicated in attacks on Somali citizens." SNIPPET: "In a statement released in February, the group said that the "jihad of Horn of Africa must be combined with the international jihad led by the al-Qaeda network". Recently, Mr Johnson has also banned Islam4UK, the group run by al-Muhajiroun founder Anjem Choudary, and which had threatened to march through Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire.") (Page last updated March 1, 2010, 12:57 GMT) (Read More...)

CNS NEWS.com: "MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS ACTIVE NATIONWIDE, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS SAY" by Penny Starr (March 2, 2010) (Read More...)


CNS NEWS.com: "NAPOLITANO SAYS PEOPLE FROM COUNTRIES TIED TO TERRORISM COULD 'POTENTIALLY' ENTER USA, BUT DHS REPORTS SAY THOUSANDS ALREADY HAVE" by Penny Starr (March 1, 2010) (Read More...)


CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: "IAEA SAYS IT CAN'T CONFIRM IRAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM IS PEACEFUL" by Scott Peterson (March 1, 2010) (Read More...)

LONG WAR JOURNAL.org - Threat Matrix - blog: "IRANIAN AIR FORCE TO TEST NEW LASER-GUIDED BOMB" by Austin Knuppe (March 2, 2010, 9:34 am) (Read More...)

THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: Fars, Iran, March 1, 2010"): "IRAN TO TEST-FIRE OPTIMIZED SMART BOMBS" (Posted March 1, 2010) (Read More...)


INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT.org - IPT News: "CAIR TARGETS WASHINGTON STATE PRISONS" (February 25, 2010) (Read More...)



THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Sources: Mehr, Press TV (Iran), www.palestine-info.info, February 27, 2010; Al-Thawra (Syria), February 28, 2010"): "KHAMENEI CALLS TO FORM AN ISLAMIC NEW MIDDLE EAST; MASH'AL: ISRAEL WILL PASS FROM THE WORLD" (Posted February 28, 2010) (Read More...)
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: "AHMADINEJAD MANEUVERING HIZBULLAH AND ISRAEL INTO WAR?" by Hana Levi Julian (SNIPPET: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reportedly angling to start another war between Israel and the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist group in order to deflect attention away from his own lack of popularity at home. Ahmadinejad has faced constant friction from grassroots opposition movements since last June, when lopsided election results re-electing the president raised red flags among suspicious voters, who suspected the government had rigged the polls.") (Last Update February 28, 2010, 12:10 pm) (Read More...)
WASHINGTON POST.com: Jerusalem - "IRAN, SYRIA MOCK U.S. POLICY; AHMADINEJAD SPEAKS OF ISRAEL'S 'ANNIHILATION'" by Howard Schneider (SNIPPET: "The presidents of Iran and Syria on Thursday ridiculed U.S. policy in the region and pledged to create a Middle East "without Zionists," combining a slap at recent U.S. overtures and a threat to Israel with an endorsement of one of the region's defining alliances.") (February 26, 2010) (Read More...)


REUTERS.com - Beijing: "CHINA PLA OFFICER URGES CHALLENGING U.S. DOMINANCE" (SNIPPET: "Senior Colonel, Liu Mingfu") (February 28, 2010, 11:11 pm EST) (Read More...)

Link (Read More...)


Blog.AL.com - "MISSIONARY RECOUNTS STORY OF CAPTIVITY BY MUSLIM EXTREMISTS IN PHILIPPINES" by Greg Garrison - The Birmingham News (SNIPPET: "The Philippines has long been a popular stopover and outpost for notorious terrorists, including Ramzi Yousef, convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Terry Nichols, co-conspirator in the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing; Osama Bin Laden's brother-in-law, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa; and 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who also had a role in the first World Trade Center attack. Abu Sayyaf leader Khadafi Abubakar Janjalani, one of Burnham's captors, bragged of talking with Bin Laden by satellite phone, according to an Associated Press report.") (February 27, 2010) (Read More...)
Link (Read More...)


JIHADICA.com: "UMAYMA AL-ZAWAHIRI ON WOMEN'S ROLE IN JIHAD" by Nelly Lahoud (February 26, 2010) (Read More...)


DEMINT.Senate.gov - Press Release: Washington, D.C. - "DEMOCRAT SENATE ENDORSES FEDERAL LAND GRAB" (February 25, 2010) (Read More...)

Link (pdf) (Read More...)


WASHINGTON EXAMINER.com: "VA. MAN ACCUSED OF HELPING SMUGGLE SOMALIS INTO U.S." by Freeman Klopott (SNIPPET: "Authorities are searching for 270 Somalis..." SNIPPET: "...Anthony Joseph Tracy told authorities that he came in contact with the Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab..." SNIPPET: "In an e-mail, Tracy reportedly wrote, "i helped alot of somalis and most are good but there are some who are bad and i leave them to ALLAH," the affidavit said.") (February 23, 2010) (Read More...)
INTERNET HAGANAH.com: "JIHADIS REFLECT ON THE AUSTIN, TX ATTACK" (SNIPPET: "They seem to have confused the IRS and the CIA - nevertheless, you may be sure they learned the important lesson, namely that even a small aircraft loaded with fuel can destroy a reasonably large building.") (February 22, 2010) ) (Read More...)

WASHINGTON POST.com (AP): Rotterdam, Netherlands - "NETHERLANDS TERROR SUSPECT FIGHTS U.S. EXTRADITION" (SNIPPET: "Mohamud Said Omar, 44, is suspected of providing money to the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab that was used to buy guns. Around 20 youths of Somali descent are believed to have traveled to Somalia from Minnesota since 2007 to help the group, which the U.S. says has ties to al-Qaida.") (February 22, 2010, 12:23 pm) (Read More...)
SHIMRON LETTERS - blog: Minneapolis: "MOHAMUD SAID OMAR IS THE MINNESOTA SOMALIA ARRESTED IN THE NETHERLANDS" (November 13, 2009) (Read More...)


YNET NEWS.com: "IRAN SAYS WILL BUILD 2 NUCLEAR FACILITIES IN MOUNTAINS" by Dudi Cohen (Published February 22, 2010, 10:43/Israel News) (Read More...)

ISNA.ir - English - News Code: 8812-01743: Tehran - "Iran to declare good news on cetrifuges to be used in new sites: AEOI" (SNIPPET: "Iranian ministers during a meeting held in late December decided that the AEOI should within two months start construction of five enrichment sites whose places have been found across the country. The ministers also agreed that the organization offers suitable locations for the other five sites." SNIPPET: "He also said Iran is to use new centrifuges in the two new sites.") (February 22, 2010)
THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: IRNA (Iran), February 20, 2010"): "IRAN: WE CAN PREPARE OUR 20% NUCLEAR FUEL FOR USE IN TEHRAN REACTOR" (SNIPPET: "He added that the process of preparing nuclear fuel for shaping into rods or discs already began one year ago at the conversion facility in Esfahan.") (February 21, 2010) (Read More...)

FreeRepublic.com - Discussion Forum (THE STAR.com): "SCIENTIST VANISHES WITHOUT TRACE" [Chalk River Nuclear Facility, Canada] (Posted February 21, 2010) (Read More...)



INTERNET HAGANAH.com: "THREE WEBSITES OF HAMAS KNOW BY ISRAEL TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH HAMAS OPERATIVES IN THE UK" (February 23, 2010) (Read More...)

Israel.INTERNET HAGANAH.com: "BRITAIN AS A HUB OF HAMAS ACTIVISM" (SNIPPET: "File under 'dirty little secrets' the fact that Britain has for years allowed Hamas to use its territory as a base of operations.") (February 21, 2010) (Read More...)

TERRORISM-INFO.org.il - INTELLIGENCE AND TERRORISM INFORMATION CENTER: "HAMAS CONTINUES INITIATING ANTI-ISRAELI ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE: Muhammad Kazem Sawalha is a Hamas activist living in Britain who in the past was involved in operational activities in Judea and Samaria. He is personally involved in preparations to dispatch another aid convoy to the Gaza Strip by sea to confront Israel." (January 29, 2010) (Read More...)


OSAC.gov - Consular Affairs Bulletins - Report: "Warden Message: MEXICO VIOLENCE AVOID REYNOSA, NUEVO LAREDO, TAMAULIPAS" (February 24, 2010) (Read More...)

TRAVEL.STATE.GOV - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Bureau of Consular Affairs - TRAVEL ALERT: "MEXICO - SECURITY" (Read More...)

Link (Read More...)

DHS.gov - News Release: "Secretary Napolitano and Mexican Secretary of Public Safety Genaro Garcia Luna Sign Declaration of Principles on Cooperative Efforts to Secure the U.S.-Mexico Border and Combat Transnational Threats" (February 18, 2010) (Read More...)



HOEKSTRA.House.gov: Washington - "HOEKSTRA PRESSES CALL FOR 'IRAN RED TEAM' AFTER NEW IAEA REPORT ON IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM" (February 19, 2010) (Read More...)

HOEKSTRA.House.gov: Washington - "HOEKSTRA CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT RED TEAM ON IRAN NUCLEAR ISSUE" (October 6, 2009) (Read More...)


YNET NEWS.com (REUTERS): "IAEA: IRAN MAY BE WORKING ON NUCLEAR WARHEAD" (Published February 18, 2010, 20:40/Israel News) (Read More...)

IAEA.org: "IAEA AND IRAN" (Read More...)


EXAMINER.com: "RADICAL 'MUSLIM SISTERHOOD' UNCOVERED IN EGYPT" by Jim Kouri (SNIPPET: "A special women's unit within the banned radical group Muslim Brotherhood is operating in Egypt and possibly other Arab nations, according to a counterterrorism report obtained by the Terrorism Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.") (February 19, 2010) (Read More...)

JIHAD WATCH.org (TIME.com, March 1, 2010 Issue): "'There's no longer a serious risk that southern Somalia could become a jihadi operational deployment facility. It already is."" (Posted February 19, 2010) (Read More...)
JIHAD WATCH.org (AP): "'We will attack them once we unite the Somali Holy fighters, then we will unite them with our brothers in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya to help them in their war against the infidels'" (February 13, 2010) (Read More...)

INTERNET HAGANAH.com: "*THE* WARNING" (SNIPPET: "This raises the question - who is the Faloja forum user called "afghani" and how is it that *he* knew about the capture of al-Eidan? One thing I can tell you is that identity has been active for a considerable length of time.") (February 23, 2010) (Read More...)
DEFENSE.gov (AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE): Washington - "CAPTURE OF NO. 2 TALIBAN LEADER CALLED 'SIGNIFICANT WIN'" by John J. Kruzel (SNIPPET: "...Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar...") (February 18, 2010) (Read More...)


Travel.State.Gov - UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE - Bureau of Consular Affairs - TRAVEL WARNING: "SAUDI ARABIA" (February 18, 2010) (Read More...)

FOX NEWS.com: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - "Exclusive: FORMER GITMO PRISONER, RAHABILITATED IN SAUDI ARABIA, MAY SOON BE RELEASED" by Judith Miller (SNIPPET: "To American officers at Guantanamo Bay, Ahmed Zaid Salem Zuhair was inmate No. 669 -- a hardcore, veteran Muslim terrorist suspected of having killed an American in Bosnia. But here in Saudi Arabia, he is a "beneficiary," a former religious deviant who, having learned the true meaning of Islam, has been rehabilitated. Repatriated from Guantanamo in mid-2009, Zuhair, 45...") (February 18, 2010) (Read More...)

Blogs.CBN.com - STAKELBECK ON TERROR: U.S. DESIGNATED GLOBAL TERRORIST Sits Down With Stakelbeck on Terror" [SAAD AL-FAQIH] (February 18, 2010, 4:58 pm) (SNIPPET: "As we got up to leave, I asked him how he saw the conflict between the West and the Muslim world playing out over the next few years. "No matter what Muslim leaders do, there will be more friction with the West--regardless of al-Qaeda," he told me. "There will be more confrontation between the West and Muslims, with attacks even bigger than in 2001." I exited al-Faqih's home a bit unnerved by that last comment. And thinking not so much about what he told me that afternoon as what he didn't.") (February 18, 2010) (Read More...)
Link (Read More...)


FOX NEWS.com: "CYBERATTACKS REPORTEDLY TRACED TO COMPUTERS IN CHINESE SCHOOLS" (Updated February 18, 2010) (Read More...)


WORLD TRIBUNE.com (Special from Geostrategy-Direct.com): Washington - "SYRIA CULTIVATING STRATEGIC TIES WITH VENEZUELA" (SNIPPET: "Western intelligence sources said Venezuela has become a key way-station for Iranian weapons deliveries to Hizbullah and Syria.") (February 17, 2010) (Read More...)

THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: Fars, Iran, February 16, 2010"): "AHMADINEJAD WARNS OF IRAN'S CRUSHING RESPONSE TO NEW SANCTIONS" (Posted February 16, 2010) (Read More...)

THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: Fars, Iran, February 16, 2010"): "IRAN TESTS NEW GENERATION OF CENTRIFUGES" (Posted February 16, 2010) (Read More...)


MEMRI.org - Special Dispatch 2810: "CHILD PREACHER DELIVERS A SPEECH ON CHILDREN'S LOVE OF MARYRDOM ON EGYPTIAN TV: 'My Mother Has Presented Me as a Gift to Allah This Year'" (SNIPPET: "In the program, Abd Al-Fattah Marwan -- himself a child -- recounts that the boy smiled in his sleep when he dreamt that he would be martyred the next day.") (February 16, 2010) (Note: Videos included.) (Read More...)

FOX NEWS.com: "AL QAEDA LOOKING TO RECRUIT ENGLISH SPEAKERS, WOMEN" (SNIPPET: "Al Qaeda in Yemen is actively recruiting English-speaking individuals, intelligence officials told Fox News on Monday, saying that investigators are looking for people who are more like Americans, having been born in the United States or Canada." SNIPPET: "Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is considered the top "talent spotter." He is tied to three of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, the Fort Hood shooting and Flight 253, which carried Abdulmutallab.") (Updated February 15, 2010) (Read More...)
WASHINGTON TIMES.com: "U.S. HUNTS FOR ENGLISH-SPEAKING BOMBERS" by Eli Lake (SNIPPET: "U.S. officials told The Washington Times that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, facing charges as a would-be suicide bomber, revealed during recent cooperation with the FBI that he met with other English speakers at a terrorist training camp in Yemen.") (February 15, 2010) (Read More...)
Link (Read More...)

Link (Read More...)


!@#$% (February 14, 2010)




WHITEHOUSE.gov: "Briefing Room" (Read More...)

WHITEHOUSE.gov: "Issues" (Read More...)

WHITEHOUSE.gov: "Presidential Actions" (Note: Includes Executive Orders, Proclamations, & Memos) (Read More...)



33 posted on 03/07/2010 9:00:29 AM PST by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cindy

Correcting top link: “...violating Iran sanctions.”


34 posted on 03/07/2010 9:09:59 AM PST by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Cindy

35 posted on 03/07/2010 9:57:05 AM PST by Seadog Bytes (OPM - The Liberal 'solution' to every societal problem. (Other People's Money))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson