Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (105)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russians continue to gloat over Helsinki, and other “wins”, no matter that more sanctions are being prepared. Ms. Butina is generating a lot of media traffic. A nice commentary on “useful idiots” by Harding.

In the UK, media reporting that police have identified two or more Salisbury suspects using facial recognition software and CCTV footage, all believed to be Russians, while Minister Wallace publicly disputes the report.

More reports on Middle East.

Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings are dropping. This is why. – The Washington Post

Even in Russia, pensions are a third rail.

Identification of Skripal suspects is ‘wild speculation’ – UK security minister — RT UK News

UK Security Minister Ben Wallace has dismissed claims police identified the suspects in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury as “wild speculation.”

Conspiracy Theorists That Work With Russia – Useful Idiots – To Inform is to Influence

Russia and Russians love sensational news, a lot of it is considered conspiracy theories. Come up with a wack-a-doodle storyline, build a framework of questionable “facts” around it, and flesh it out with eyewitnesses and ‘experts’ who will say almost anything for a television show. The people who put these together are called conspiracy theorists, and they’re not just restricted to Russia. Russian “news” programs usually remotely Skype them onto one of their programs when used. They are useful for Russian propaganda because some are American so-called experts appearing on Russian television supporting the latest wack-a-doodle storyline. Alex Jones is considered one of the ultimate conspiracy theorists in the US, he’s worked closely with RT and Sputnik, and supplied much of the ilk that passed as journalism before the US 2016 election. But there are others, all looking for fame and glory. Jake Morphonios – from his YouTube channel: “chief investigator for the Blackstone Intelligence Network. His background is in financial crimes investigation, journalism and Middle Eastern geopolitics. Jake has worked as a strategist and adviser to several political campaigns, including those of presidential candidates Steve Forbes and Ron Paul.” Prior to this, Jake Morphonios ran a service called End Times News Report, but It was under fire by YouTube and others for broadcasting fake news.

Robert Mueller Is Fighting a War – To Inform is to Influence

The author, Mark Galeotti, is an expert in Russian Information Warfare and Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute of International Relations, Prague. He gives flesh to the idea that the information was more valuable and damaging than the hacking. This also brings real value and analysis to what appears to be a frenetic media rushing to push highly emotional and sometimes outlandish claims. My thanks to Foreign Policy for publishing Mark Galeotti’s excellent piece. </end editorial>

FBI director: Russia is the ‘most aggressive actor’ in election interference – CNNPolitics

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that Russia was engaging in real-time “malign influence operations” against the United States and called the country the “most aggressive actor” in the space of election interference. The wide-ranging interview at times placed him in contrast with the President, who spent the week waffling on rhetoric to describe Russia’s threat.

The Building That Mueller Says Housed A Russian Hacking Unit Was Built By A Nationalist Russian Politician

And the defense ministry is currently looking for people to staff it, an investigation by Meduza found.

Maria Butina, Suspected Secret Agent, Used Sex in Covert Plan, Prosecutors Say – The New York Times

Ms. Butina was arrested over the weekend in Washington and was in contact with Russian intelligence, prosecutors said.

Mariia Butina Allegedly Used Guns, Sex and Billionaires | Time

A woman charged with carrying out a conspiracy to work covertly in the United Stated as a Russian agent was ordered to remain jailed.

Guns, Sex, And A ‘Flight Risk’: Behind The Charges Against Maria Butina

A 29-year-old Russian woman is accused of carrying out an extensive and sordid campaign on behalf of a Russian government official to secretly cultivate ties with conservative political groups in t…

Russia Continues To Sow Discord In U.S., FBI Director Says

FBI Director Christopher Wray has said Russia continues to use fake news, propaganda, and covert operations to sow discord in the United States.

U.S. Probing Whether Uranium Imports From Russia, Central Asia Undermine Security

The United States has begun investigating whether uranium imports threaten national security, launching a process that could lead to more tariffs being imposed on imports from Russia and Central Asian countries.

U.S. State Department: Russia “without a doubt responsible” for shooting down MH17 | UNIAN

Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Heather Nauert has said Russia is “without a doubt responsible” for shooting down MH17. The U.S. position on the MH17 catastrophe has not changed.

UAWire – Five countries join in EU sanctions against Russia

Montenegro, Albania, Norway, Ukraine, and Georgia have joined the EU sanctions imposed against Russia due to the annexation of the Crimea which …

From Washington to Brussels: A Discussion on the 2018 NATO Summit | Center for Strategic and International Studies

Please join us on Thursday, July 19 for a timely conversation with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Co-Chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group and members of the U.S. delegation to the July 11-12 NATO Summit, for post-summit analysis as well as a discussion of the vital role that bipartisan Congressional leadership plays in tackling transatlantic security challenges. Our speakers will share details about the specific role the newly constituted Senate NATO Observer Group will play in providing Congressional support for NATO and U.S. strategic interests in Europe. This event was made possible through generous support from The Lillan and Robert D. Stuart Jr. Center in Euro-Atlantic and Northern European Studies.

I think this story belongs in the “ill informed and wild speculation folder”

— Ben Wallace MP (@BWallaceMP) July 19, 2018

Skripal attack: Novichok poisoning suspect ‘identified’ by Wiltshire officers | Daily Star

POLICE believe they have identified several suspects in the Skripal poisoning case.

Novichok poisoning: police identify Skripal suspects – report | UK news | The Guardian

Russian suspects spotted on CCTV, as inquest opens into death of Dawn Sturgess

UK police identify suspects behind Skripal poisoning: report – POLITICO

Police ‘sure’ that suspects identified through CCTV are Russian.

British Police Reportedly Identify Russian Suspects In Nerve Agent Attack On Skripals : NPR

Citing a source close to the investigation, the Press Association reports that police used closed-circuit television to identify multiple Russians who participated in the attack.

Britain police ID suspects in novichok poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, reports say – CBS News

&quot;They are sure they are Russian,&quot; source tells British news agency PA of suspects

Police reportedly ID ‘several Russians’ behind nerve agent attack in England

Authorities made the announcement four months after Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were hospitalized in Salisbury from the Novichok nerve agent, according to Sky News.

Police identify those behind poison attack on former Russian spy: report – NY Daily News

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia survived the attack in Salisbury, England, this March.

Report: British Police Identify Russian Suspects In Novichok Attack

British investigators believe they have identified the suspects responsible for the Novichok nerve-agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the Press Association…

Russians suspected of UK nerve agent attack ‘identified’ after analysis of CCTV – AOL News

British police are believed to have identified the suspected perpetrators of the Novichok attack on Russian former spy Sergei Skripal.

British Police Identify Two Russian Suspects in Novichok Poisonings Using Facial Recognition Tech

British police have reportedly identified two suspects in the nerve agent poisonings that left one person dead and three others injured. The suspects were identified after UK police combed through “months” of surveillance footage at British airports, as well as security camera footage from around Salisbury.

Britain May Have Spotted Russian Suspects in Poisonings

It looks like Britain may have identified at least two suspects in the Novichok poisonings—and they’re Russians. Authorities have not publicly made any announcement, but CNN and the British… World News Summaries. | Newser

‘Several Russians’ behind Salisbury poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal | News | The Times

Several Russian suspects have been identified in the Salisbury spy assassination attempt after the nerve agent used was found in a perfume bottle, it is claimed.Officers have identified multiple suspects and have CCTV footage they believe will reveal the would-be killers sent to murder Sergei Skripa

Britain identifies Novichok attackers – report – Reuters TV

British police believe they’ve identified the perpetrators of the Novichok attack on former agent Sergei Skripal in Salsibury, England, a media report says. They’ve cross-checked security footage and UK entry records to pinpoint several Russian suspects.

Novichok victim ‘sprayed it on her wrist from perfume bottle’ | News | The Times

Dawn Sturgess died after spraying novichok on her wrists from a discarded perfume bottle she came across on a day out, her partner has said.Ms Sturgess, 44, and her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, took the glass bottle back to his flat in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on June 29. They collapsed there several

Salisbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess’ sister tells of heartbreaking moment her life support was turned off

Dawn, 44, died a week after being exposed to the deadly nerve agent in Salisbury, Wilts

Amesbury poisoning: Experts begin testing for Novichok – BBC News

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is investigating the Amesbury poisoning.

Suspects who poisoned Sergei Skripal reportedly identified – Business Insider

British police officers are looking for more than one suspect in the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were struck…

Vladimir Putin reopens town where Novichok was developed

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to open the closed town where Russian scientists say they developed Novichok, the nerve agent at the centre of a poisoning row with London.

Iran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times | TheHill

A top Iranian official on Wednesday claimed Iran rejected eight requests to meet with President Trump last year.

Why Israel Got the Biggest Win from Helsinki – Bloomberg

Russia and the U.S. are on board to limit Iran’s military presence in Syria. For Israel, that’s a start.

Israel Passes Controversial Law Reserving National Self-Determination For Jews : NPR

The “nation-state” law, which has been condemned by Arab lawmakers, also asserts Jerusalem as the capital and Hebrew as the official language.

Syria Is Still a Mess | The National Interest

Should America step up its involvement?

Trump has tough sell recruiting Iranian-Americans in campaign against Tehran – POLITICO

Divisions in the community and opposition to the administration’s travel ban face Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he addresses leaders this weekend.

Erdogan, Flush With Victory, Seizes New Powers in Turkey – The New York Times

In a flurry of decrees since his inauguration last week, the Turkish president has made clear that he will wield unchecked authority in all walks of life.