Israeli Intelligence Suppressing Dissent in the United States

Snatch & Grab Police operated during G-20 meeting in Philadelphia

Kurt Nimmo

On the Alex Jones Show yesterday, investigative journalist Wayne Madsen discussed the involvement of a shadowy Israeli company in an effort by Pennsylvania’s Homeland Security to spy on activists exercising their First Amendment.

On Wednesday, Infowars.com reported that Pennsylvania paid a Philadelphia-based nonprofit $125,000 to compile a list of activists as part of the state Homeland Security’s federally mandated mission to protect public infrastructure. Madsen, citing a story published on late Wednesday by the Philadelphia Citypaper, revealed that the “non-profit” operates not only out of Philadelphia, but Israel as well.

Research conducted by Citypaper journalist Isaiah Thompson shows that the company, the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), in fact does not operate under non-profit status, as reported yesterday by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Although the group claims nonprofit status on its website and is listed as a nonprofit corporation by the Pennsylvania Department of State, a search on websites Guidestar.org and IRS.gov yielded no indication that the organization enjoys tax-exempt status. An email seeking clarification of the group’s nonprofit status was not returned,” writes Thompson.

ITRR’s website describes the company as “the preeminent Israeli/American security firm providing training, intelligence and education to clients across the globe.” ITRR categorizes itself as a “Targeted Action Monitoring Center” that does not function as a “clipping service, but a powerful fusion center of battle-tested operatives, analysts, and researchers who have real-life experience fighting both terrorists and criminal entities […] distinguished among other agencies by its access to a vast network of on-the-ground key-sources in virtually every region of the world.”

For a company boasting specialized counter-terror services, there is virtually no information available on it in the mainstream media. Citypaper’s research turned up a scattering of lackluster ITRR reports published in trade publications, primarily dealing with international terrorism. One report, authored by an intern, details the use of Twitter by “religious, anarchists, anti-government, and anti-globalization” activists who are described as extremists.

In addition, ITRR participated in a 2008 Philadelphia “Emergency Preparedness and Prevention and Hazmat Spills Conference” sponsored by the EPA.

According to the ITRR website, courses offered by the company “are approved by the Israeli Department of Defense (note: this page has since been removed from the website) and ITRR shares a relationship with the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, an organization promoting trade opportunities, joint ventures, and strategic alliances between international businesses and Israeli companies. Interestingly, ITRR also shares a partnership with Philadelphia University.

ITRR’s two principles are Aaron Richman, a former Israeli police captain, and Michael Perelman, a former York police commander. The Associated Press yesterday cited an interview conducted in 2007 with Perelman where he admitted ITRR information came from news and internet sites, as well as “on the ground” sources who check on travel routes used by company clients including Harvard University and the United Nations.

The ITRR, however, does more than scour the internet and news services and repackage information for its clients. Pennsylvania Homeland Security director James F. Powers Jr. told the Philadelphia Inquirer in July that ITRR operatives posed in chat rooms as people opposed to last year’s G-20 summit in Pittsburgh and compromised the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, an anarchist organization. “We got the information to the Pittsburgh Police, and they were able to cut them off at the pass,” Powers told Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin.

On Thursday, the scandal widened when Pittsburgh officials refused to comment on the role ITRR played in tracking and disabling activist groups that planned to protest the 2009 G20 summit in their city. Police Chief Nate Harper and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s spokeswoman, Joanna Doven, said they could not talk about information provided by ITRR, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The evolving scandal reveals how far the state of Pennsylvania and apparently the city of Pittsburgh will go in order to deny citizens their First Amendment right to protest and petition the government and demonize disfavored political groups.

ITRR’s connection to Israel also raises the specter that the company is a front for an Israeli intelligence operation and the Israelis gained more than they gave in the relationship with Pennsylvania’s Homeland Security and apparently the city of Pittsburgh.

The use of an Israeli company is especially egregious considering the track record of Israel in violating the civil and human rights of the Palestinians and its far reaching global intelligence operations, including the assassination of activists in foreign countries.

From dancing Israelis on September 11, 2001, to Israeli spies posing as art students and Israeli intelligence operatives shadowing and presumably handling Mohammad Atta and other supposed hijackers in Florida, there is evidence of Israel spying on Americans and running intelligence operations on U.S. soil.

The Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal, otherwise (and more accurately) known as the AIPAC espionage scandal, remains largely unpunished to this day. Lawrence Franklin, a policy analyst under Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz — both key pro-Israel neocons in the Bush administration — passed on a classified presidential directive and other sensitive documents pertaining to U.S. deliberations on foreign policy regarding Iran to AIPAC and subsequently to the Israeli government.

False flag events staged by Israel against the United States are legendary. In fact, the Israeli Mossad admits it uses false flag in most of its operations to cover its tracks.

On June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israel directly attacked a United States Navy technical research ship, the USS Liberty, and killed 34 crew members and wounded 170. The attack was swept under the rug and never appropriately investigated.

Less deadly instances of Israeli treachery continue unabated. On September 7, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee accused Israeli agents of posing as FBI agents in an effort to harass and intimidate Muslims. The ADC called on the Department of Justice, Department of State, and other federal agencies to investigate.

“Israel’s undercover operations here, including missions to steal U.S. secrets, are hardly a secret at the FBI, CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies. From time to time, in fact, the FBI has called Israeli officials on the carpet to complain about a particularly brazen effort to collect classified or other sensitive information, in particular U.S. technical and industrial secrets,” Jeff Stein wrote for the Washington Post on September 2. Stein quotes a CIA official as stating that Israeli intelligence operatives are “all over the place” in the United States.


Kurt Nimmo edits Infowars.com. He is the author of Another Day in the Empire: Life In Neoconservative America.

U.S. Feds: Airport Scanners DO Store Naked Body Images

TSA requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for “testing, training, and evaluation purposes.”

CNET

For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they’re viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that “scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.”

Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.

This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for “testing, training, and evaluation purposes.” The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports.

Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that critics have likened it to a virtual strip search. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing fuzzier images, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail. The U.S. government likes the idea because body scanners can detect concealed weapons better than traditional magnetometers.

This privacy debate, which has been simmering since the days of the Bush administration, came to a boil two weeks ago when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that scanners would soon appear at virtually every major airport. The updated list includes airports in New York City, Dallas, Washington, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to grant an immediate injunction pulling the plug on TSA’s body scanning program. In a separate lawsuit, EPIC obtained a letter (PDF) from the Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, and released it on Tuesday afternoon.

These “devices are designed and deployed in a way that allows the images to be routinely stored and recorded, which is exactly what the Marshals Service is doing,” EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg told CNET. “We think it’s significant.”

William Bordley, an associate general counsel with the Marshals Service, acknowledged in the letter that “approximately 35,314 images…have been stored on the Brijot Gen2 machine” used in the Orlando, Fla. federal courthouse. In addition, Bordley wrote, a Millivision machine was tested in the Washington, D.C. federal courthouse but it was sent back to the manufacturer, which now apparently possesses the image database.

The Gen 2 machine, manufactured by Brijot of Lake Mary, Fla., uses a millimeter wave radiometer and accompanying video camera to store up to 40,000 images and records. Brijot boasts that it can even be operated remotely: “The Gen 2 detection engine capability eliminates the need for constant user observation and local operation for effective monitoring. Using our APIs, instantly connect to your units from a remote location via the Brijot Client interface.”

This trickle of disclosures about the true capabilities of body scanners–and how they’re being used in practice–is probably what alarms privacy advocates more than anything else.

A 70-page document (PDF) showing the TSA’s procurement specifications, classified as “sensitive security information,” says that in some modes the scanner must “allow exporting of image data in real time” and provide a mechanism for “high-speed transfer of image data” over the network. (It also says that image filters will “protect the identity, modesty, and privacy of the passenger.”)

“TSA is not being straightforward with the public about the capabilities of these devices,” Rotenberg said. “This is the Department of Homeland Security subjecting every U.S. traveler to an intrusive search that can be recorded without any suspicion–I think it’s outrageous.” EPIC’s lawsuit says that the TSA should have announced formal regulations, and argues that the body scanners violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable” searches.

TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz told CNET on Wednesday that the agency’s scanners are delivered to airports with the image recording functions turned off. “We’re not recording them,” she said. “I’m reiterating that to the public. We are not ever activating those capabilities at the airport.”

The TSA maintains that body scanning is perfectly constitutional: “The program is designed to respect individual sensibilities regarding privacy, modesty and personal autonomy to the maximum extent possible, while still performing its crucial function of protecting all members of the public from potentially catastrophic events.”