Used to tag research entries

Indonesia’s Muslim Cyber Warriors Take on IS

A trending concept in the fight against global Jihad is counter-extremism messaging. IS sends about 200,000 tweets and other messages into the US on a daily basis. They have a sophisticated online presence and show no sign of diminishing their ideological attacks. Through the lens of their messengers, violent Jihad answers many questions for the disenfranchised.

But others are taking to the net with a different message. Though seriously out funded by IS, a band of Muslim Cyber Warriors in Indonesia is fighting for the hearts and minds of their countrymen, online. Their strategy will be replicated by others. The goal, help flood the Internet with messages of moderate Islam and hope, rather than violence and apocalyptic visions.

This article, and many others I’ve read, point to the overlap of cyber space and global conflict.

Read the article, here:

Nuclear Agency worker busted for attempted hack

From the article ‘Former Nuclear Agency Worker Sentenced to Prison for Attempted Hack’ by Eduard Kovacs published at ‘’ on April 14, 2016

“A former employee of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for trying to hack into DoE computers in an attempt to steal nuclear secrets.”

Kovacs goes on to tell the story of a 62 year old troubled energy sector employee named Charles Harvey Eccleston, who was finally taken down by undercover FBI agents. Eccleston attempted on multiple occasions to sell email lists of NRC employees so that government agencies could use them to introduce malware into networks. In this case the malware was to be introduced via an emailed convention announcement.

Read the entire article, here:

Can being smarter about Islam help Muslims reject terrorist appeals? Maybe.

The editors at Brookings Institute (C. Christine Fair, Jacob S. Goldstein and Ali Hamza) say:

“There is a popular misconception that the serious study of Islam is a step on the road toward radicalization and terrorism. But a heartening finding indicates that knowledge is good, and that those who know more about Islam are more resistant to extremist appeals.”

Read more here:

or from the original posting at Lawfare, here:

Conflation of cyber threat with nuclear security

During the NIS 2016 nuclear security summit, which took place in DC between March 30 and April 1 (, hundreds of CEOs and industry leaders from more than fifty countries and four international organizations, discussed preventing nuclear terrorism.

Here are the main topics:

  • Securing the Use, Storage and Transport of Strategic Nuclear and Radiological Materials
  • Managing the Cyber Threat
  • The Role of the Nuclear Industry Globally

During my research for Trade Azerbaijan and the High-Rise Crew Trilogy, I see a trend. People who should know increasingly conflate managing cyber threats, counterterror and nuclear security. A few experts are alarmed but those who should know say weapons grade materials is not leaking to rogue states or terrorists. As far back as 1997 the experts agreed on that, as reported in the Christian Science Monitor article, Russia’s ‘Loose Nukes’ – a Myth That Distorts US Policy.

Some facts are known. It’s well documented, for example, that terrorist organizations have attempted to obtain or create WMD materials in the past. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks reporters dug deeply into the activities of Osama Bin Laden. Toby Harden, in Washington, reported in The Telegraph on December 2001, that Bin Laden had met with ‘rogue scientists’ in Kabul earlier that summer to gain information on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

Numerous investigative units say that ISIS is fast approaching rogue material. See: ‘AP INVESTIGATION: Nuclear black market seeks IS extremists by By DESMOND BUTLER and VADIM GHIRDA from 2015‘ as one example. This is not a one-sided quest. Not only do terrorists seek unscrupulous dealers, the black market seeks them.

If weapons can’t be found on the black market, some believe that IS will attempt to take them. This article, posted March 30, 2016, speculates that IS may be closer to obtaining nuclear weapons than we think.

The larger question, the elephant in the room, is whether nuclear materials can ultimately be contained and whether the nations in charge of their security are stable and competent. The goal of some very smart and dedicated individuals is to figure that out. See for a current global assessment.

Be sure to follow the Trade Series, beginning with Trade Bangkok then heading into nuclear territory with Trade Azerbaijan. The third novel in the High-Rise Trilogy will also be of interest but that will not be available until late in 2017 or spring of 2018.

Inside the ISIS loot market


If you wonder, as I do, who buys loot taken in war, this article may be a good place to start.

“Inside the ISIS loot market — here’s how much fighters can sell their ‘war spoils’ for” by 

Read the article here: