Thursday, April 28, 2011

Skyjacking: A CIA Analysis and History

N.B.- I know that I have promised several of my readers that I was going to cut down on Scribd uploads. I intend to do so. However, I had already scanned this document and Google Documents refuses to accept it. Thus I have no choice.

As for the record itself, it is a July 1982 CIA study on “terrorist skyjacking”. The use of “Skyjacking” to describe airline hijackings makes this report worthwhile by itself because SKYJACKING is a boss word and deserves to be resurrected from its linguistic purgatory.

More seriously, this 24-page CIA report is a statistical study with historical commentary on the rise and prevalence of terrorist skyjackings and presumably garden-variety skyjackings since the first “terrorist skyjacking” took place in 1968 when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized an El-Al jet liner.(1) The CIA's statistics reveal a great deal of common wisdom challenging information:

As documented by the CIA, 9% of all terrorist attacks were skyjackings. The 684 skyjackings between 1968 and 1982 resulted in at least 500 deaths and 400 injuries. Of the 684 skyjackings, the CIA ruled 108 of them “terrorist skyjackings” and that these terrorist skyjackings. Among these 108, forty turned violent with the end result being 212 dead and 186 wounded.

So, contrary to popular wisdom, the pre-911 skyjackings were not necessarily safe nor simply affairs to draw media attention to one's cause or to procure the release of one's comrades.

While terrorist skyjackings were done by many groups for both attention and to secure the release of their members, the bulk of the hijackings were done by Palestinians.

Between 1968- July 1982:

Cuba was the most common diversion point. Cuba also granted safe haven to terrorist skyjackers the most often.

Lebanon was the most frequent point of origin for hijacked aircraft as well as the skyjackers' most frequently boarding point

While only 7% of skyjackings occurred in the North America, American aircraft were the most often skyjacked.

So again, the post-911 narrative that Americans had little experience with foreign terrorism is explicitly challenged and even debunked.

Sprinkled throughout the paper are some nifty graphics, one of which reveals a steep and briefly sustain drop-off in terrorist skyjackings in response to new security measures such as metal detectors.

On a final note, some caution is required when reading this report. The CIA itself admits to using “incomplete data” and I know that the CIA is incorrect in describing two incidents listed in this report.

First, only five Croatians were released during the 1972 hijacking in Sweden and secondly, only four Croatians and the American wife of the ringleader hijacked TWA-355 in September 1976.

(1)Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998) 67

Monday, April 18, 2011

Al-Qaeda's Code Book

For some reason, INSCOM sent me the portion of the Encyclopedia of Jihad dealing with codes, ciphers, and encryption.  I am not one to let documents go to waste, so I have posted it for reader enjoyment.

al-Qaeda's Cypher Manual                                                            

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NSA and the Recorded Future

This is the NSA's ARC registration entry for “Recorded Future.” The National Security Agency released this a while ago but public interest in the company waned, so I never got around to posting it. Until now. 

NSA's ARC Entry For Recorded Future                                                            

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Elizabeth Edwards Has No FBI File

Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards' wife, does not have her own FBI file. However, I suspect she's present in her husband's undoubtedly substantial file. We'll find out after his death.

Elizabeth Edwards No FBI Record Letter                                                            

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Remnants of Edvard Kardelj's FBI File

Edvard Kardelj was a former vice-president of Yugoslavia, a senior Partisan commander, and one of the leading post-second-world-war Communist intellectuals. Despite this, on December 16, 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation destroyed all but fifteen pages of their records pertaining to him. According to the Bureau, the only records that survived are fifteen pages pertaining to the 9/29/1977- 10/5/1977 visit by Kardelj to the United States.

The records are worthless for scholarship due to the extensive redactions made to them on the b(1), that is the information according to the FOIA statute, is “specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy”. Judging from the markings on the surviving documents, the information that is being redacted is classified “Secret” meaning its release would cause “serious damage” to American national security. In the FBI's opinion, I cannot be not allowed to see the FBI's information on Kardelj because it would compromise American national security, yet, somehow the same information can confined to the wastebasket without the least harm to American national security.

Edvard Kardelj's File File                                                            

Document of the Week #12 CIA History of the Rwandan Genocide

The CIA's Office of Office of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Analysis's 9/18/1999 Intelligence Report titled “Rwanda Struggling to Overcome Genocidal Past” is a well-written, and generally all-round stellar short-history of the Rwandan Genocide. Highlights of this document include

The author's clear, unequivocal rejection of the belief that the genocide "was a release of centuries-old ethnic hatreds.
The author's unhesitating assignment of responsibility to the guilty party.
The blunt, factual, and evidence-supported description of the genocide and the reasons behind the genocide.

In short, the author shows, the Rwandan Genocide was not the product of uncontrolled blood lust and ethnic hatreds, but was the cruel, cold, and well-thought plot of Hutu extremists fearing their lose of power and privilege. 

Rwanda Struggling to Overcome Genocidal Past