INTEL TODAY DIARY — JUNE 20 2017

Finsbury Park attack: Theresa May condemns ‘sickening’ terror attack — Israel to sign intelligence-sharing pact with Europol agency — Azerbaijan: Spy Scandal Leaves Trail Of Dead Suspects — Former GCHQ Boss: We Can’t Stop Nation State Hacking And Espionage

Finsbury Park attack: Theresa May condemns ‘sickening’ terror attack — BBC

Prime Minister Theresa May says the terror attack near a north London mosque is “every bit as sickening” as other recent ones to hit the UK.

A man drove a van into worshippers close to the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park as they were gathered to help an elderly man who had collapsed.

He later died, but it is not clear if this was a result of the attack. Nine other people were taken to hospital.

A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the incident was “quite clearly an attack on Muslims”, and the community would now see more police, including armed officers, in the area, “particularly around religious establishments”.

It is the fourth terror attack in the UK in three months, after incidents in Westminster, Manchester and on London Bridge.

Police said all the victims of the attack were Muslim and many were believed to have just left evening prayers after breaking the Ramadan fast.

Israel to sign intelligence-sharing pact with Europol agency — i24

Israel is at the beginning stages of signing a joint-agreement between the Israeli police and Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, Walla Hebrew media outlet reported on Sunday.

The agreement would allow for intelligence sharing between Israeli security forces and the EU but stipulates that Europol would not use information that was collected beyond the Green Line, in accordance with the EU’s policy not to recognize any territory taken by Israel in 1967. This could be problematic, particularly in regards to information coming from Jerusalem, as East Jerusalem falls outside 67 borders but the western part of the city does not.

European sources told Walla that the wording of the agreement has not yet been finalized because the European Union is waiting for Israelis to approve a final draft that was sent to Jerusalem some six months ago.

Europol coordinates information sharing and law enforcement between 28 European countries in order to combat terror and crime.It opens some 40,000 investigations per year, including terror, drug smuggling, cyber-attacks and organized crime. Europol also has a joint-agreement with 15 other countries including the United States, Canada and Switzerland.

The move is an attempt by Europol to step up its efforts in combating a global rise in terror.

Azerbaijan: Spy Scandal Leaves Trail Of Dead Suspects — EurasiaReview

Within days of being swept up in a wave of arrests on espionage charges last month, at least four Azerbaijani soldiers and a retired military officer died in custody. The circumstances of their deaths are shrouded in secrecy.Azerbaijan’s government and military have refused to comment on the deaths, news of which emerged shortly after authorities in May announced the spy scandal.

Journalists who initially reported on the deaths have been warned by the Prosecutor-General’s Office to stop. And most relatives of the dead soldiers are reluctant to speak to journalists, with some expressing fear about their own safety if they do.

The silence, Baku’s poor human rights record, and the way Azerbaijan’s military hastily buried the soldiers without letting relatives see their bodies, have fed rumors that the suspects were tortured to death while being interrogated.

The spy scandal came to light on May 7 when a joint statement was issued by the State Security Service, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the Interior Ministry, and the Defense Ministry.

Former GCHQ Boss: We Can’t Stop Nation State Hacking And Espionage — Silicon

State-sponsored cyber attacks have become more prominent than ever, with espionage and the influence of internal affairs leading the way

State-sponsored hack attacks are only going to continue and are not something that can be stopped, according to GCHQ’s former deputy director for intelligence and cyber operations.

Speaking at a NetEvents media showcase in London earlier this month, Brian Lord, OBE, outlined how countries will continue to develop their cyber espionage activities, especially with industrial targets in mind.

The issue has become an extremely prominent one in cyber security circles in recent times as Government-sponsored attacks appear to be on the rise.

For example, GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently warned the UK is being bombarded by dozens of serious cyber-attacks each month and just the week US authorities blamed the North Korean government for carrying out multiple attacks on business and infrastructure since 2009.

Lord started by warning that pretty much all states at the moment are looking at how they can weaponise the digital world and turn it to their advantage, whether to inflict damage or as part of espionage campaigns; this isn’t anything new when you look back at human history.

However, despite the prevalence of attacks, he asserted that the situation isn’t quite as bad as we all might think.

“Being able to develop coherent, coordinated attacks against critical national infrastructure in a way which delivers a very specific sustainable effect is extremely difficult to do,” he said.

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INTEL TODAY DIARY — JUNE 20 2017

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