Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets

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Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:27 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 17_pf.html



Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets
Firm Says Administration's Handling of Video Ruined Its Spying Efforts

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 9, 2007; A01



A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Rita Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.

The precise source of the leak remains unknown. Government officials declined to be interviewed about the circumstances on the record, but they did not challenge Katz's version of events. They also said the incident had no effect on U.S. intelligence-gathering efforts and did not diminish the government's ability to anticipate attacks.

While acknowledging that SITE had achieved success, the officials said U.S. agencies have their own sophisticated means of watching al-Qaeda on the Web. "We have individuals in the right places dealing with all these issues, across all 16 intelligence agencies," said Ross Feinstein, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

But privately, some intelligence officials called the incident regrettable, and one official said SITE had been "tremendously helpful" in ferreting out al-Qaeda secrets over time.

The al-Qaeda video aired on Sept. 7 attracted international attention as the first new video message from the group's leader in three years. In it, a dark-bearded bin Laden urges Americans to convert to Islam and predicts failure for the Bush administration in Iraq and Afghanistan. The video was aired on hundreds of Western news Web sites nearly a full day before its release by a distribution company linked to al-Qaeda.

Computer logs and records reviewed by The Washington Post support SITE's claim that it snatched the video from al-Qaeda days beforehand. Katz requested that the precise date and details of the acquisition not be made public, saying such disclosures could reveal sensitive details about the company's methods.

SITE -- an acronym for the Search for International Terrorist Entities -- was established in 2002 with the stated goal of tracking and exposing terrorist groups, according to the company's Web site. Katz, an Iraqi-born Israeli citizen whose father was executed by Saddam Hussein in the 1960s, has made the investigation of terrorist groups a passionate quest.

"We were able to establish sources that provided us with unique and important information into al-Qaeda's hidden world," Katz said. Her company's income is drawn from subscriber fees and contracts.

Katz said she decided to offer an advance copy of the bin Laden video to the White House without charge so officials there could prepare for its eventual release.

She spoke first with White House counsel Fred F. Fielding, whom she had previously met, and then with Joel Bagnal, deputy assistant to the president for homeland security. Both expressed interest in obtaining a copy, and Bagnal suggested that she send a copy to Michael Leiter, who holds the No. 2 job at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Administration and intelligence officials would not comment on whether they had obtained the video separately. Katz said Fielding and Bagnal made it clear to her that the White House did not possess a copy at the time she offered hers.

Around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, Katz sent both Leiter and Fielding an e-mail with a link to a private SITE Web page containing the video and an English transcript. "Please understand the necessity for secrecy," Katz wrote in her e-mail. "We ask you not to distribute . . . [as] it could harm our investigations."

Fielding replied with an e-mail expressing gratitude to Katz. "It is you who deserves the thanks," he wrote, according to a copy of the message. There was no record of a response from Leiter or the national intelligence director's office.

Exactly what happened next is unclear. But within minutes of Katz's e-mail to the White House, government-registered computers began downloading the video from SITE's server, according to a log of file transfers. The records show dozens of downloads over the next three hours from computers with addresses registered to defense and intelligence agencies.

By midafternoon, several television news networks reported obtaining copies of the transcript. A copy posted around 3 p.m. on Fox News's Web site referred to SITE and included page markers identical to those used by the group. "This confirms that the U.S. government was responsible for the leak of this document," Katz wrote in an e-mail to Leiter at 5 p.m.

Al-Qaeda supporters, now alerted to the intrusion into their secret network, put up new obstacles that prevented SITE from gaining the kind of access it had obtained in the past, according to Katz.

A small number of private intelligence companies compete with SITE in scouring terrorists' networks for information and messages, and some have questioned the company's motives and methods, including the claim that its access to al-Qaeda's network was unique. One competitor, Ben Venzke, founder of IntelCenter, said he questions SITE's decision -- as described by Katz -- to offer the video to White House policymakers rather than quietly share it with intelligence analysts.

"It is not just about getting the video first," Venzke said. "It is about having the proper methods and procedures in place to make sure that the appropriate intelligence gets to where it needs to go in the intelligence community and elsewhere in order to support ongoing counterterrorism operations."
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Postby AlicetheKurious » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:08 am

It's quite remarkable how much "intelligence" about "al-Qaeda" originates with Israeli-linked sources.

N'est-ce pas?

Like the "intelligence" about Iran's nuclear bomb, the "intelligence" about Iraq's WMDs, the "intelligence" about "Syria's nuclear cache"...

Oh, yeah, and the "intelligence" about Iraq's and... Hizbullah's involvement in the September 11 attacks.

I don't know why the Americans even bother having their own intelligence-gathering apparatus, when they have Israel.
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Postby 8bitagent » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:26 am

It's so pathetic...this huge post 9/11 money making industry.

and yet, don't these white house lackeys, CIA office monkeys, and "Islamic terror tracking" companies REALIZE who is BEHIND the Islamic terrorists?

I love this:

While acknowledging that SITE had achieved success, the officials said U.S. agencies have their own sophisticated means of watching al-Qaeda on the Web. "We have individuals in the right places dealing with all these issues, across all 16 intelligence agencies," said Ross Feinstein, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Yeah I bet they do.

In the form of assets, moles, informants, and operatives all over "al Qaeda".

I can name names in post BCCI rogue intelligence networks, I can name Arab states, rogue intelligence, funders, and people and corporations directly linked to the planning and orchestration of not just 9/11 and "Islamic terror" groups, but many terror events. And this is just
from reading very meticulous sites like Cooperative Research.

Dont these "paid intel professionals" know about Omar Saeed, Emad Salem, Pakistani ISI, Haroon Aswat, Abu Hamza, Mohammed Zammar,
and any number of FBI/CIA/MI6/Mossad/FSB/Saudi intel/etc agents
whove been involved in terror activities?

And how come noone talks about WHERE these tapes are really coming from?

We know the "Osama" confession tape was filed in late september 2001 by Saudi intelligence, and shows evidence that Osama was shocked by the lack of air defenses and the towers falling.

We know theres some very odd anomalies in the new Osama tape(where he claims to be a liberal intellectual)

Hell, Im sure the real truth of the Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg case is too disturbing for people to handle.

Bottom line, the same forces controlling "al Qaeda" and "Islamic terror" ALSO control the Western powers of America and UK, as well as Israel and their Arab proxy bed fellows.
"Do you know who I am? I am the arm, and I sound like this..."-man from another place, twin peaks fire walk with me
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Postby Doodad » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:37 am

I think they must be coming from Hezbullah. They already figured out Israel is killing all the March 14 members. You know, to help their buddy Assad out. har har har.
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Yet Another Outsourcing Debacle.

Postby crikkett » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:42 am

Around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, Katz sent both Leiter and Fielding an e-mail with a link to a private SITE Web page containing the video and an English transcript. "Please understand the necessity for secrecy," Katz wrote in her e-mail. "We ask you not to distribute . . . [as] it could harm our investigations."
...
Exactly what happened next is unclear. But within minutes of Katz's e-mail to the White House, government-registered computers began downloading the video from SITE's server, according to a log of file transfers. The records show dozens of downloads over the next three hours from computers with addresses registered to defense and intelligence agencies.


Katz' first error was to host the video and make it available over the Internet, even if it were on a "private web site".

Her second error was (stupid! stupid! stupid!) sending notice over email to official WH addresses. Seriously what kind of spy is this?

Internet traffic is not and never will be secure. White House email accounts are supposed to be archived and made available to the public in the future.

And then she turns her logs over to the Washington Post...
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Even if it is genuine it's laughable

Postby slow_dazzle » Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:14 pm

Kill OBL and it'll all get better. The big bad bogeyman (I think you say "boogeyman" your side of the pond) gets killed and everyone lives happily ever after. A lifetime of conditioning via the simplistic good guys vs bad guys meme implanted by a squillion Disney movies is starting to bear fruit.

I can't wait until the good guys get the bogeyman OBL. It's not as if there are another 10,000 waiting to take his place.
On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

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Postby Doodad » Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:30 pm

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Postby stickdog99 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:30 pm

This sort of story always boggles my mind. The way the layers of disinfo twist so tightly on each other, the whole thing is on the verge of collapsing to form a black hole from which no truth can escape.
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Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:17 pm

Interesting posts from DulceDecorum


http://www.progressiveindependent.com/d ... g_id=76767

The video tracks straight back to her door
Posted by DulceDecorum, Tue Oct-09-07 10:18 AM

as usual.
Maybe she is trying to pretend that she isn't the author.
Nudge nudge, wink wink.

Sitting under wall maps of Europe, the Middle East and the United States - including one pinpointing locations of suspected terror cells or possible supporters - Ms. Katz and her team of computer technicians and researchers spend their days searching the Internet for any new messages from militant groups and new addresses for terror sites. Her institute, based in a city she does not disclose, (Washington DC) also has a small crew in Israel, which allows the organization to monitor sites around the clock.
http://cryptome.org/site-eyeball.htm

http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/3463

http://www.memestreams.net/users/rattle/blogid8771612


Wednesday, September 12, 2007; Page A01
Early yesterday morning, a South Carolina Web designer who works at home managed to scoop al-Qaeda by publicly unveiling its new video, a feat she has accomplished numerous times since 2002. Within hours, cable news stations were broadcasting images of Osama bin Laden commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and crediting the 50-year-old woman, who uses the pseudonym Laura Mansfield.

A similar event occurred Friday, when another group beat al-Qaeda by nearly a full day with the release of the first video images of bin Laden to appear publicly since 2004. That group, the SITE Institute, provided the tape to government agencies and news organizations at a time when many well-known jihadist Web sites had been shut down in a powerful cyberattack by unknown hackers.

It was the latest round of electronic warfare between al-Qaeda and a small community of individuals and companies that troll the Internet for messages from terrorists -- as a livelihood, a personal obsession or both. Often, the groups compete to be the first to find and post a new video or message. Frequently, they accomplish their goal several steps ahead of government agencies who turn to them for the material.
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cheney/
Since Friday, at least three high-profile video messages have been snatched from al-Qaeda-affiliated Web sites by groups using a combination of computer tricks, personal connections and ingenuity to find and download password-protected content. For some, it is a mission rife with contradictions: They maintain that they are seeking to serve their country while ensuring wide distribution of the words and images of terrorists intent on the destruction of the United States. They said their aim is to undermine support for the cause by disseminating what they consider to be outrageous statements.

"It's not about bragging rights, it's about the mission," said Ben Venzke, IntelCenter's founder. Venzke, who claims several intelligence and military clients in the United States and abroad, said there is value in giving Americans advance word of al-Qaeda's plans.

Though government intelligence agencies may independently obtain the same material through their own sources, Venzke said each release of a new video triggers requests from his government subscribers. "We're one of the primary sources for a lot of this stuff," he said.

The bin Laden video that surfaced Friday was promoted on several Islamic Web sites in messages posted by al-Sahab, a group that produces some of al-Qaeda's propaganda videos. U.S. officials now believe the video was intended for release on Saturday. But SITE, which operates a Web site and subscription service offering access to an archive of terrorist-group images and materials, obtained the video nearly 24 hours ahead of the scheduled release.

The group's founder, Rita Katz, declined to comment on the methods used to obtain the footage.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02465.html


2007-10-09 07:06am
Al Qaeda's Internet communications system has gone dark after a U.S. intelligence slip-up, the New York Sun reported Tuesday.
The paper said the network has gone dark to American intelligence following the leak of Osama bin Laden's Sept. 11 speech, which inadvertently alerted the terrorist organization that the U.S. had penetrated their communications system.
Details about bin Laden's speech were reported by ABC News on Sept. 7, four days before it was delivered. The disclosure tipped off al Qaeda's security personnel that American intelligence had managed to intercept bin Laden's videotaped speech before it was aired.
The Internet network is known to U.S. intelligence as Obelisk. It "serves not only as the distribution system for the videos produced by Al Qaeda's production company, As-Sahab, but also as the equivalent of a corporate intranet, dealing with such mundane matters as expense reporting and clerical memos to mid- and lower-level Qaeda operatives throughout the world," the Sun reported.
http://www.newsroomamerica.com/usa/story.php?id=395020

... and they STILL cannot find Osama nor put al Qeaeda out of business ...

October 9, 2007
The head of the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors Jihadi Web sites and provides information to subscribers, Rita Katz, said she personally provided the video on September 7 to the deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter.
Ms. Katz yesterday said, "We shared a copy of the transcript and the video with the U.S. government, to Michael Leiter, with the request specifically that it was important to keep the subject secret. Then the video was leaked out. An investigation into who downloaded the video from our server indicated that several computers with IP addresses were registered to government agencies."
Yesterday a spokesman for the National Counterterrorism Center, Carl Kropf, denied the accusation that it was responsible for the leak. "That's just absolutely wrong. The allegation and the accusation that we did that is unfounded," he said. The spokesman for the director of national intelligence, Ross Feinstein, yesterday also denied the leak allegation. "The intelligence community and the ODNI senior leadership did not leak this video to the media," he said.
Ms. Katz said, "The government leak damaged our investigation into Al Qaeda's network. Techniques and sources that took years to develop became ineffective. As a result of the leak Al Qaeda changed their methods." Ms. Katz said she also lost potential revenue.
http://www.nysun.com/article/64163


Tuesday, October 9, 2007; Page A01
A small number of private intelligence companies compete with SITE in scouring terrorists' networks for information and messages, and some have questioned the company's motives and methods, including the claim that its access to al-Qaeda's network was unique. One competitor, Ben Venzke, founder of IntelCenter, said he questions SITE's decision -- as described by Katz -- to offer the video to White House policymakers rather than quietly share it with intelligence analysts.
dyn/content/article/2007/10/08/AR2007100801817.html
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Postby 8bitagent » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:34 am

I with there was 9/11 truthers who knew Arabic and could post 9/11 truth threads and videos on so called "jihadist" forums and sites...if they even exist.

Osama is literally the real life Goldstein. Theres a REASON the elite dont want to kill or capture him
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Postby Joe Hillshoist » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:58 am

8bitagent wrote:I with there was 9/11 truthers who knew Arabic and could post 9/11 truth threads and videos on so called "jihadist" forums and sites...if they even exist.

Osama is literally the real life Goldstein. Theres a REASON the elite dont want to kill or capture him


Yup.

Even if the official story of 911 was completely true this would still (probably) be the case.
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Postby 8bitagent » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:13 am

Joe Hillshoist wrote:
8bitagent wrote:I with there was 9/11 truthers who knew Arabic and could post 9/11 truth threads and videos on so called "jihadist" forums and sites...if they even exist.

Osama is literally the real life Goldstein. Theres a REASON the elite dont want to kill or capture him


Yup.

Even if the official story of 911 was completely true this would still (probably) be the case.


In my view, even if the official story is true, 9/11 is still a setup...since you literally can trace the funding and influence of both "al Qaeda" and Islamic terror to the same forces that influence and puppeteer the US government and related actions as well as the overall Western globalist millitary-corporate show.

I differentiate from a lot of fellow 9/11 truthers in that I fully acknowlege al Qaeda as real as well as being a central crucial willing participant in 9/11...its just that, I also believe al Qaeda are gullible useful and easily incitable foils for the globalist agenda.
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Postby Joe Hillshoist » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:31 am

8bitagent wrote:
Joe Hillshoist wrote:
8bitagent wrote:I with there was 9/11 truthers who knew Arabic and could post 9/11 truth threads and videos on so called "jihadist" forums and sites...if they even exist.

Osama is literally the real life Goldstein. Theres a REASON the elite dont want to kill or capture him


Yup.

Even if the official story of 911 was completely true this would still (probably) be the case.


In my view, even if the official story is true, 9/11 is still a setup...since you literally can trace the funding and influence of both "al Qaeda" and Islamic terror to the same forces that influence and puppeteer the US government and related actions as well as the overall Western globalist millitary-corporate show.

I differentiate from a lot of fellow 9/11 truthers in that I fully acknowlege al Qaeda as real as well as being a central crucial willing participant in 9/11...its just that, I also believe al Qaeda are gullible useful and easily incitable foils for the globalist agenda.


I agree with that.

I am glad to see that the similarity between Goldstein and OBL brought up.

Imo it doesn't happen enough.
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Postby Telexx » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:34 am

If a 3 different people think of a dog, they imagine 3 different dogs.

Governments know this. If 3 different people think of "al-Qaeda" you get 3 different "al-Qaedas". It's therefore easy to distort this mental image to provoke a literal sensation of fear amongst the hoi polloi.

I'm scared! I don't mind if you systematically dismantle my society's freedom 'cuz I got nothin to fear cept for brown skinned TERRORISTS.

"al-Qaeda", as it's bandied around in the media, probably bares little resemblance to the network of terrorists it is supposed to refer too: in terms of size, network organisation, power...

I think most people on this board would agree about that.

That's not to say that Islamic terrorists don't exists, either completely independent of "al-Quaeda", in networks connected at least ideologically to that which "al-Quaeda" supposedly stands for, or in those networks connected financially - through training or materials of $$$ - to the actual "al-Quaeda".

All of this just goes to prove that the governing structures in the developed world, and their "intelligence" agencies, are lying fuckers. It transcends mere nations.

Thanks,

Telexx
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Postby Doodad » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:39 am

Telexx wrote:If a 3 different people think of a dog, they imagine 3 different dogs.

Governments know this. If 3 different people think of "al-Qaeda" you get 3 different "al-Qaedas". It's therefore easy to distort this mental image to provoke a literal sensation of fear amongst the hoi polloi.

I'm scared! I don't mind if you systematically dismantle my society's freedom 'cuz I got nothin to fear cept for brown skinned TERRORISTS.

"al-Qaeda", as it's bandied around in the media, probably bares little resemblance to the network of terrorists it is supposed to refer too: in terms of size, network organisation, power...

I think most people on this board would agree about that.

That's not to say that Islamic terrorists don't exists, either completely independent of "al-Quaeda", in networks connected at least ideologically to that which "al-Quaeda" supposedly stands for, or in those networks connected financially - through training or materials of $$$ - to the actual "al-Quaeda".

All of this just goes to prove that the governing structures in the developed world, and their "intelligence" agencies, are lying fuckers. It transcends mere nations.

Thanks,

Telexx


For all intents and purposes, if it walks like an AQ and talks like an AQ, it is an AQ. But semantics is awfully fun isn't it?
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