Latest Trove Of Leaked Snowden Documents Leave Little Doubt That Snowden And His Russian ‘Employers’ Are Aiming At The Exposure Of Sources And Methods That Will Primarily Assist al Qaeda, The Islamic State, And Those That Wish Us Harm
Like a bad hangover that lingers and just won’t go away, the German magazine Der Spiegel has just published what it claims are the latest documents that Edward Snowden purloined from the National Security Agency. Whether they are authentic — or, contain potential counterfeit material deliberately inserted by Russian intelligence to further damage the U.S. — is to a degree irrelevant. The exposure of our sensitive intelligence collection methods, sources, techniques, and means — leaves little doubt that Moscow is aiding the disclosure of this very damaging material; and in the process — aiding and abetting al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and those that wish us harm.
“A former head of MI5, warned last week that the revelations by CIA fugitive Edward Snowden had left Britain at risk of “vigilantism;” because, “it was less able to protect itself from Islamist fanaticism.” “Breaking his silence on the devastating impact of the security breach,” James Slack wrote in the Jan.14, 2014, DailyMailOnline, former MI5 Chief Jonathan Evans said: ‘The result of this can only be that the overall risk of a successful terrorist attack in this country has risen.’
In what Mr. Slack describes as “a chilling interview,” Mr. Evans also “warned that events in Iraq and Syria had given jihadis ‘a jolt of energy; and, the government must complete the ‘unfinished business of giving the security services extra surveillance powers — or risk “vigilantism,” on the streets — as citizens look to protect themselves.” Lord Evans added, “inadequate security will breed vulnerability and fear; and that in turn, will tend to diminish people’s ability to exercise the very civil liberties and human rights that we wish to sustain.’
Then, there is Tom Whitehead, who wrote in the December 21, 2014 London newspaper – The Telegraph – that “NSA’s ‘sister’ agency in London, the GCHQ, has lost some of the most dangerous criminal lords; and, had to abort surveillance on others….after the Edward Snowden revealed their tactics,” and methods of collecting intelligence. The spy agency has suffered “significant damage,” in its ability to monitor and capture serious organized criminals,” Mr. Whithead added
“One major drug smuggling gang has been able to continue flooding the U.K. with class A narcotics — unimpeded for the past year,” after changing their operations and method of communicating. “Communication companies are also hampering the efforts of GCHQ,” Mr. Whitehead notes, “by refusing to hand over evidence on the likes of drug smugglers, or fraudsters; because they do not “pose a direct threat to life.”
Snowden Leaks Cost Lives: Extremists Changed Tactics After Fugitive’s Leaks About Intelligence Surveillance Operations
But, perhaps the most troublesome, is the fact that al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and others, changed and enhanced their use of encrypted software, and changed their communication practices which have made it harder for U.S. intelligence, and our allies to monitor and ferret out terrorist operations in the planning stage. Ian Drury, writing in the November 25, 2014 edition of the London newspaper, TheDailyMailOnline, wrote “lives are being lost to terrorists,” because of the Edward Snowden leaks — which recklessly exposed sensitive intelligence sources and methods. Mr. Drury writes that “Lord West, a former Admiral who served as U.K. Security Minister until 2010, warned that extremists changed their tactics, after the U.S. fugitive leaked details (techniques, tactics, and procedures) of intelligence agency operations — with fatal results.” Lord West said, “terrorist groups, and in particular the Islamic State, — have changed their methods of communications; and, shifted to other ways of talking to each other.” Baroness Stowell, the Leader of the House of Lords said: “The leaking by Snowden; and, the reporting of his leaks have had a serious effect on intelligence gathering — that is unquestionable.”
Kimberly Dozier, a journalist who has been reporting on intelligence and counterterrorism issues for nearly two decades; and, who was critically wounded in Iraq in 2006, wrote on June 26, 2014, in thebigstory.com blog, quoted two senior U.S. Intelligence Community members then as saying, “members of virtually every terrorist group, including core al-Qaida, are attempting to change how they communicate, based on,” the Edward Snowden leaks. She added, “shortly after Edward Snowden leaked documents about the secret NSA surveillance programs, chat rooms and websites used by like-minded extremists and would-be recruits advised users how to avoid NSA detection, from telling them not to use their real phone numbers to recommending specific online software programs to keep spies from tracking their computers’ physical locations.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman (at the time) Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said there are “changes we can already see being made by the folks who wish to do us harm, and our allies harm.” “After the leak, jihadists posted Arabic news articles about it … and recommended fellow jihadists to be very cautious, not to give their real phone number and other such information when registering for a website,” said Adam Raisman of the SITE Intelligence Group, a private analysis firm. They also gave out specific advice, recommending jihadists use privacy-protecting email systems like TOR, also called The Onion Router, to hide their computer’s IP address, and to use encrypted links to access jihadi forums, Raisman said. While TOR originally was designed to help dissidents communicate in countries where the Internet is censored, it is facing legal difficulties because criminals allegedly have used it as well.”
I could go on. But, it is clear that that this latest dump of reportedly stolen NSA documents is harmful to the U.S. and the West — and, almost certainly have Vladimir Putin’s ‘fingerprints’ all over them. And, Snowden, is Putin’s accomplice in this latest, and blatant attempt to further embarrass, undermine, and weaken U.S. intelligence. V/R, RCP.