Belgium, Brussels, counter-terrorism, cricketdiane, EU, Intel, international security, ISIS, murder, national security, nuclear materials, nuclear plants, nuclear power, security, terrorism, terrorists
Reading this article from The Telegraph UK, I discovered a number of things I didn’t know about terrorism, about law enforcement and how it all fits with national security and intelligence resources. Take a look – the article is great and has a wonderful map explaining where the terrorists from the recent Brussels bombings were arrested and operating in relation to the bombings.
Brussels attacks: Nuclear alert after security officer ‘found dead with his pass missing’
12:30PM GMT 26 Mar 2016
- A security guard who worked at a Belgian nuclear facility was murdered two days after the Brussels bombings, but prosecutors have denied that the killing was related to terrorism. [ . . . ]The murder is being handled as a criminal, not a terrorism case.[Telegraph, UK]This is the first thing I noticed is that local law enforcement, local prosecutors, local law enforcement supervisors, local politicians maybe too – get to decide which category an event fits. In this case, the first response places an event involving murder of a security team member from a nuclear plant into the category of criminal activities rather than terrorism. I didn’t know that could happen to divert information from national security and counter-terrorism intelligence resources.That would mean intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies both nationally / regionally and internationally would not typically receive all events that could likely be terrorist perpetrated, terrorism related or terrorism based.
Prospero, who worked for the G4S security company, was found dead in his bathroom by his three children when they returned from school, Belga reported. He was shot four times.[ . . . ] The guard, Didier Prospero, was shot dead at his home in Froidchapelle. [ . . . ] He was the chief security officer at a nuclear research facility in Fleurus, near Charleroi.
This begs the question, given this man’s authority and access to areas of a nuclear plant, why wouldn’t it have automatically been considered critical information to forward into intelligence and security forces, counter-terrorism agencies and their databases? What could possibly be the advantage to downplaying the possibility that his murder and it’s value to access the nuclear plant’s secure facilities by use of his card, is part of a terrorist based plan or planned event? This downplaying of an event’s relationship to possible terrorism is something I would’ve never guessed, especially two days after a major bombing event conducted by terrorists in the same country.
According to reports, officials have cancelled the guard’s pass amid fears that terrorists were planning a dirty bomb strike on a nuclear power facility. [ . . . ] The prosecutor’s office in the city of Charleroi, south of Brussels, also denied a report in the newspaper Derniere Heure that his work pass was stolen, according to the Belga news agency.
This indicates that work passes / id cards / security passes to a nuclear facility have no RFID chip that can be tracked – and why not? There are more security features on every piece of merchandise in a store in any city, European or American, than there are on security passes for people going in and out of what are supposed to be the most secured facilities in the world – nuclear plants. If it had a tracking feature, the officials at the plant and in counter-terrorism units could know exactly where the pass is located right now, and who has it, possibly who killed the security man from the plant and would’ve certainly known sooner why, two days after massive bombings in Brussels – the chief security officer of a nuclear plant was late or a no-show for work.
In the process of searching the home of another ISIS suspect, who was arrested and charged with terrorist activity and murder over alleged links to the Nov. 13, 2015, Paris terror attacks, police found more than 10 hours of secretly recorded video showing the unnamed scientist coming and going from his home. [ . . . ] Investigators said the camera used to record the official was left at a static location under a bush, and was picked up by the two unidentified assailants. [ . . . ] A U.S. official did confirm to CBS News, however, that the Bakaroui brothers were involved in carrying out the covert surveillance of a Belgian nuclear official, and possibly a nuclear facility, as well. (from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brussels-attacks-ibrahim-khalid-bakraoui-plot-belgium-nuclear-abdeslam/ )
However, it was only two weeks after the filming was discovered that soldiers were deployed to guard nuclear facilities — at the beginning of this month. After the filming was discovered in February, the interior minister, Jan Jambon, rejected the proposal, saying: “Nothing indicates a specific threat to nuclear power plants… This is why we are not planning any military support.”
The government soon changed its mind and on March 4 approved the deployment of 140 soldiers to guard five nuclear facilities.
This article along with another from CBS News indicates that the entire civilian nuclear industry would have known that there was a likely potential for serious terrorist enacted planning that involved their plants as of the discovery of surveillance video in the hands of known terrorists / jihadists with sworn allegiance to ISIS after the Paris attacks. Until reading this article, I didn’t know that the nuclear power plant owners and those around them at nearby petrochemical plants could be so casual about the security and potential risks of terrorism on their facilities.
In another disturbing incident, a turbine at the same Doel 4 reactor was sabotaged in 2014. Someone deliberately turned security cameras the other way and then emptied 65,000 litres of oil used to lubricate the turbine. “Then they put the lid back on to make everyone think all was well,” according to Eloi Glorieux, a nuclear expert at Greenpeace Belgium. (Telegraph, UK)
Whether it is Las Vegas casinos or any discount retailer or restaurant, there is no way for a customer or unauthorized person to get to security cameras and turn them. Why would it be possible with security cameras at a nuclear facility where their importance is so much greater? It also proves malevolent access to what is supposed to be and in fact, MUST be, a highly secured facility whose damage, disaster, destruction or terrorist caused event will impact millions and possibly even billions of lives over a long period of time and create horrors for generations.
The nuclear plant in question is within range of a string of petrochemical plants and one of the most densely populated regions in Europe, with 1.5 million people in a 30km range. (Telegraph, UK)
Nuclear facilities and their nearby industries, such as these petrochemical plants have an impact range far in excess of a 30km circle. What I learned from this article, is how little importance is thought of these impact potentials by the highest level of decision makers and their local counterparts as well. (note – it is indicated by their responses, by failures to assign the appropriate level of importance and criticality to both events and situations concerning these facilities, as well as their immediate willingness to downplay the seriousness of known events that have occurred and failing to include them in terrorism event databases and resources.)
Others are far more disconcerting. In 2012, two employees at the nuclear plant in Doel quit to join jihadists in Syria, and eventually transferred their allegiances to the Islamic State. Both men fought in a brigade that included dozens of Belgians, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, considered the on-the-ground leader of the Paris attacks.
One of these men is believed to have died fighting in Syria, but the other was convicted of terror-related offenses in Belgium in 2014, and released from prison last year, according to Pieter Van Oestaeyen, a researcher who tracks Belgium’s jihadist networks. It is not known whether they communicated information about their former workplace to their Islamic State comrades.
At the same plant where these jihadists once worked, an individual who has yet to be identified walked into the reactor No. 4 in 2014, turned a valve and drained 65,000 liters of oil used to lubricate the turbines. The ensuing friction nearly overheated the machinery, forcing it to be shut down. The damage was so severe that the reactor was out of commission for five months.
This goes back to number 5, but is even more descriptive of the event’s criticality. It both answers and asks an even more important set of questions. Most importantly, how could there be sensors on car engines for the amount of oil available to the engine at any given time, but on nuclear plant turbines, there was no such indicator available to tell the operating team before or during its operation until its parts were overheated and severe damage was great enough that it simply didn’t go anymore? And, after this obvious and intentional sabotage of a nuclear plant in Europe has occurred, why would there be any question as to whether the nuclear facilities were in threat of terrorist actions when subsequent events happened including the murder of a security team member and his id card being taken? What could possibly be important enough to override all common sense and pretend that the threat is not real, valid or likely?
The new identity card has been hacked into in twelve minutes, according to a report.Using simply a laptop PC and Nokia mobile phone, IT expert Adam Laurie was able to copy all the data on a card, create a clone and change the information on the clone, said a report in the Daily Mail.
This is about a new id card for the UK from an article in 2010. The fact that the work pass / security ID card from the man murdered in this Telegraph article was taken, and can likely be hacked, cloned or otherwise used illegitimately to gain access to nuclear facilities including the one where he worked, means “cancelling it” wouldn’t really help much. This card in the hands of terrorist could give access to a number of resources that no one would ever want them to have. Could they show it somewhere to buy things that should not be available to them? Could they use it to hack another person’s identity as the owner of a similar ID card to gain access to that facility or others? Could it be used to travel elsewhere to another country’s facilities and gain access by seeming to be someone they are not? Could it be access to companies that sell only to security personnel? The list is endless in the hands of whoever has it now and their networks of people intent on bringing about the end of times.
This discussion of these eight things I learned from this Telegraph articles and others about the same subject is not intended to say, let’s all get crazy about this. It is intended to help understand, convey and help fix this very dangerous situation. Some things could be very simple – like
- increasing sensors on oil / lubricant systems to know how much is or is not available to the machinery,
- changing the location of security cameras where they are not accessible to turn away from their established view as it was determined to be needed by security teams,
- considering the critical importance of greater common sense security measures involving nuclear plants and other dangerous chemical / industrial facilities,
- adding tracking / RFID or something that works to work passes, security ID cards and personnel / security personnel cards at all nuclear facilities & chemical / petrochemical / industrial facilities that may represent terrorist targets,
- taking with seriousness and acting upon with a higher level of seriousness, any and all events that are both criminal and likely terroristic in nature, especially those of sabotage, murder, missing persons who work at nuclear facilities.
- making it common practice for these events, regardless of what local officials and law enforcement / prosecutors want to call them – to be sent immediately to the counter-terrorism agencies and databases (within the same day or hour of the event.)
- AND, if that cannot be done for some reason, to develop the app / software / real time interactive platform that can do it and establish its reasonable expectation of ALL nuclear operators, local law enforcement, facilities managers in industry and petrochemical plants, etc. USING IT, this time and every time. Then security professionals involved in counter-terrorism and regional / national / international security can understand how all the pieces fit together and indicate networks of individuals involved in and actively engaged in perpetrating events to do harm.
The putting together of all of these facts, along with this explanation from The Atlantic (and many experts) of what this particular caliphate of ISIS jihadists believe, indicates that there are few things they will not do to kill, to maim, to destroy, to decimate, to sadistically torture, to cause generational destruction, to disrupt modern life, to cause massive deaths and to perpetrate absolute destruction of humanity.
What ISIS Really Wants
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.
P.S. Do security teams involved in counter-terrorism even know if there are missing professionals who would have extraordinary knowledge of secured facilities like nuclear power plants and similar dangerous industrial facilities? Would it be no more than a missing persons report by some local law enforcement office without sending the information to any significant authority or database involved in counter-terrorism? Can local authorities be that dismissive, or territorial about a case, and can simply call it criminal rather than terroristic to assert their proprietary rights to any and all investigation contents such that we would all be at risk? Really?