C.I.A. Names the ‘Dark Prince’ to Run Iran Operations, Signaling a Tougher Stance — World heading towards ‘permanent cyber war’, France warns — Kabul blast: Deadly explosions at protest victim’s funeral — Jared Kushner’s redemptive mission threatened by tangled Russian web
At the C.I.A., Mr. D’Andrea’s reputation for operational acumen is matched by his abrasive demeanor. “Surly” seems to be the most popular description, say those who have worked alongside him, and some people at the agency have refused to work for him.
A former agency official said that he had once asked Mr. D’Andrea, who has been known to keep a hideaway bed in his office, what he did for fun. Mr. D’Andrea’s reply: “Work.”
Mr. D’Andrea’s personal views on Iran are not publicly known. It is also not his job to make policy but to execute it, and he has demonstrated that he is an aggressive operations officer.
Mr. D’Andrea took over the agency’s Counterterrorism Center in early 2006 and spent the next nine years directing the hunt for militants around the world.
The world is heading towards a “permanent war” in cyberspace, the head of France’s digital security agency has warned.
Guillaume Poupard, director general of the National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI) said intensifying attacks were coming from unspecified states, as well as criminal and extremist groups.
“We must work collectively, not just with two or three Western countries, but on a global scale,” he added, saying attacks could aim at espionage, fraud, sabotage or destruction.
“We are getting closer, clearly, to a state of war – a state of war that could be more complicated, probably, than those we’ve known until now.”
He was speaking as the world continued to reel from the global WannaCry ransomware attack, which crippled the NHS earlier this month.
Suicide bombers have killed at least seven people at the funeral in Kabul of a man who died during a protest on Friday, Afghan officials say.
More than 100 were wounded in the attack, which hit the funeral of one of five people killed when police fired on a march against deteriorating security.
The chief executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, survived the attack.
The latest violence comes as much of Kabul is in lockdown and amid popular anger at the government.
Officials had warned people to stay away from demonstrations, saying they might be attacked by militants. Checkpoints have been set up in central Kabul, and armoured vehicles are patrolling the streets. (…)
The Taliban denied any role and there has been no comment from so-called Islamic State militants, who are usually quick to claim attacks.
More than a third of Afghanistan is now said to be outside government control.
The US has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, while another 5,000 from Nato allies are in the country.
In the middle of December last year, Jared Kushner, the smooth-skinned, impeccably tailored and inscrutable son-in-law of Donald Trump, was riding high. He was basking in the glow of having helped his father-in-law become the most powerful man on earth; was about to take up the role of senior adviser to the President of the United States, which would make him one of the most influential people in the administration; and on the home front he and his wife Ivanka Trump were sitting on a real estate pile worth up to $740m.
Instead, he allowed himself to be lured by the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, to a meeting with a top Russian banker, an alumnus of the country’s top spy academy with close ties to Vladimir Putin. Details of the discussion with Sergey Gorkov remain sketchy, but according to Gorkov himself Kushner was present in his capacity as CEO of Kushner Companies, the family real estate empire from which he had yet to step aside in preparation for his move into the White House.
Gorkov’s description suggests that money matters may have been on the table between the two men. Even more incendiary was the alleged proposal that passed between the two men about setting up a back-channel between the Trump inner circle and the Kremlin, as revealed by the Washington Post.
With that one encounter, barely 30 minutes long, Kushner eviscerated his carefully cultivated image and propelled himself into the center of the inquiry into possible links between Trumpworld and the Russians. He now finds himself as a person of interest, though not a target, of the FBI investigation.
INTEL TODAY DIARY — June 4 2017