Radical Islamists ARE Attacking our Financial System

by Kevin D. Freeman on September 29, 2012

The basic premise of Secret Weapon is that the new form of warfare is economic in nature. It became obvious in the late 1990s that direct military confrontation with America was, let’s say….undesirable, to say the least. So, in that context, two Senior Colonels for the People’s Liberation Army in China penned a seminal work with the (English translated) title Unrestricted Warfare. It argued that “a single man-made stock market crash” is a “new concept weapon” that could be effectively used against American interests. This book even outlined a complete strategy for defeating a superior enemy which consisted of: 1) Amass a great deal of capital, 2) Launch a sneak attack against the enemy’s financial markets, 3) Bury computer viruses and begin hacking vital systems, and finally 4) creating chaos and domestic street riots to destabilize the target nation and cause a political crisis.

We have strong reason to believe that among the most ardent admirers of the Chinese Unrestricted Warfare strategy was none other than Osama bin Laden. In fact, the 1999 book even mentioned the likelihood of an attack by bin Laden against the World Trade Center towers. Yes, in February 1999, two and one-half years BEFORE 9/11/01, the Chinese Senior Colonels were speculating about what would become the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil. Bin Laden was mentioned in the Chinese book 21 times, more than any other person. Second to bin Laden was George Soros, mentioned 19 times and labeled a “financial terrorist” on which to model future attacks.

Now, it is a fact that the Middle East and China both have amassed a great deal of capital since the book was published. China has built foreign reserves measured in the trillions of dollars through massive exports and extraordinary growth. Similarly, the Middle East has built up Sovereign Wealth Funds with trillions of dollars by selling oil at ever-higher prices. When the Chinese book was written, oil was near $20 per barrel. In early 2007, the price had risen to $50 per barrel and then jumped to near $150 by mid-2008, trading near $100 today. This price increase has transferred trillions of dollars from Western nations to the Middle East. [We explained how this upward price volatility was itself a potential act of financial terrorism. But, that’s another story for another time.]

In our report for the Pentagon (and later in the New York Times listed best-seller, Secret Weapon),  we shared the suspicious facts regarding the stock market crash of 2008 and how it directly related to the Chinese doctrine of Unrestricted Warfare as well as specific and ongoing threats from bin Laden himself and other radical Islamists. Despite a tremendous amount of supporting data and painstaking documentation, many refused to look at the study. In their view, it was not possible for a bunch of “ignorant cave dwellers” like bin Laden and his supporters to pull off such a sophisticated plan. They labeled our research a “conspiracy theory” and dismissed it without a fair hearing. In this blog, we have continued to add to the weight of data that is now almost overwhelming. Current events continue to support all we have been saying.

Now, we have one more piece of evidence that shoots down the false objection that radical Islamists lacked the sophistication to attack American financial markets or execute the Chinese Unrestricted Warfare plan. It was just announced that a terror group has successfully attacked our major banks using cyber means. Clearly, a successful attack required a good deal of sophistication. And, this was undeniably directed against our financial system. Most frighteningly, the attack demonstrated the skills needed to move to Stage Three of the Unrestricted Warfare plan.

Consider this from Paul Rothman in Security Info Watch (9/28/12):

Coordinated Denial of Service attacks on U.S. banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC and others are truly a terrorist strike against the United States

Bank cyber attacks since Sept. 19 have included Wells Fargo, Bank of America, PNC, U.S. Bank and JP Morgan Chase.

Yesterday, CNN called it the biggest cyber-attack in history. And chances are, your bank’s website has been affected. In fact, since Sept. 19, coordinated Denial of Service (DoS) attacks have shut down the websites of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, while Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and PNC Bank were crippled just this week.

Rest easy, your financial information is safe. These DoS attacks are designed to cripple the websites themselves — criminal hackers use their multitude of computers and malware to flood the targeted site with massive amounts of traffic until it is overwhelmed and thus shut down. The resulting downtime is damaging in countless ways.

The Islamist group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, a military wing of Hamas, publicly claimed responsibility for the attacks in what it called “Operation Ababil.” . . .

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said in a C-SPAN interview this week that he believed the attacks were launched by Iran: “I believe it was a response to the increasingly strong economic sanctions that the United States and our European allies have put on Iranian financial institutions,” he said.

No matter who is behind the attacks, if a terror group can so easily crash a major banking website, what’s next? Government systems like air traffic control? Or, critical infrastructure targets such as power grids? The prospects are mind-numbing, and frankly, scary.

Are we ready for them?

Those claiming credit attempted to blame the attacks on the YouTube video so prominently discussed in regard to the September 11, 2012 attack. That’s not really possible, however, as we have strong evidence that the attacks pre-date the video. And, the attacks are far more sophisticated than anyone had been expecting. Consider these excerpts from Chris Strohm and Eric Engleman’s 9/28/12 Bloomberg’s report:

Cyber Attacks on U.S. Banks Expose Computer Vulnerability

Cyber attacks on the biggest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) & Co., have breached some of the nation’s most advanced computer defenses and exposed the vulnerability of its infrastructure, said cybersecurity specialists tracking the assaults . . .

Such a sustained network attack ranks among the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the National Security Agency, according to the U.S. official, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly. The extent of the damage may not be known for weeks or months, said the official, who has access to classified information.

“The nature of this attack is sophisticated enough or large enough that even the largest of the financial institutions would find it difficult to defend against,” Rodney Joffe, senior vice president at Sterling, Virginia-based security firm Neustar Inc. (NSR), said in a phone interview. . .

A group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Quassam Cyber Fighters claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement posted to the website pastebin.com, saying it was in response to a video uploaded to Google Inc.’s YouTube, depicting the Prophet Muhammad in ways that offended some Muslims.

The initial planning for the assault pre-dated the video controversy, making it less likely that it inspired the attacks, according to Alperovitch and Joffe, both of whom have been tracking the incidents. A significant amount of planning and preparation went into the attacks, they said.

“The ground work was done to infect systems and produce an infrastructure capable of launching an attack when it was needed,” Joffe said. . .

That hackers telegraphed their intentions and targets shows the difficulty industries and governments face in keeping up with fast-moving network threats, said Atif Mushtaq, senior staff scientist with FireEye Inc., a Milipitas, California-based security firm.

“They had already declared they would hit these banks at these times, and still we are seeing that these banks are not able to handle these DDoS attacks,” Mushtaq said. “It’s clear that the current infrastructure under the control of these banks is not good enough.” . . .

If the financial industry, which spends more on Internet security than any other industry and has its largest and most extensive defenses, can’t handle this, it’s not clear whether any critical-infrastructure industry can, the analysts said.

The LA Times labeled the effort Electronic Terrorism (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bank-attacks-20120927,0,6846887,full.story). We call it FINANCIAL TERRORISM or ECONOMIC WARFARE. As of this date, all doubters of the reality we have been sharing must officially concede.

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