Category: Defense and National Security

Pentagon Has Opened Over 50 Criminal Probes on US Aid to Ukraine

The Pentagon’s inspector general said its criminal investigators have opened more than 50 cases related to aid provided to Ukraine, including some involving contractors, but have yet to firm up any allegations. The investigations, which are at different stages, are looking at issues including “procurement fraud, product substitution, theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion,” the inspector general, Robert Storch, said…

Italian parliament OKs frigate, Leopard tank deals

ROME — Italy’s parliament has approved the planned acquisition of two new FREMM frigates with updated electronics and 132 combat-version Leopard tanks as well as 140 other tank versions. The new buys, approved Feb. 21 by the parliament’s defense commission, are part of a uptick in Italian military spending partly spurred by the Ukraine conflict. Italy has previously ordered 10…

US Indicts Japanese Crime Boss Takeshi Ebisawa and assiciate Somphop Singhasiri for Alleged Trafficking of Nuclear Materials to Iran

In a significant legal move, authorities in the United States have brought charges against the head of a prominent Japanese criminal organization, accusing him of orchestrating a scheme to traffic nuclear materials from Myanmar, with the intended destination being Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Takeshi Ebisawa, aged 60, stands accused alongside his associate, Somphop Singhasiri, aged 61, of engaging in a…

Fincantieri teams with EDGE to sell to non-NATO countries

ROME — Italy’s Fincantieri and UAE group EDGE have agreed to create a Abu Dhabi-based joint venture to build and sell naval vessels to non-NATO countries, the firms said Tuesday. The JV, which will be 51% owned by EDGE but run by Fincantieri managers, will aim to take advantage of the UAE’s relations with other states and the export credit…

DOD Told Pharma Exec the Virus “Posed a National Security Threat” on Feb. 4, 2020

A leaked recording obtained by investigator and writer Sasha Latypova features an executive at the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca stating the following: It wasn’t a surprise to me when I got a call on February 4th from the Defense Department here in the US saying that the newly discovered Sars-2 virus posed a national security threat. This is an astonishing, major-newspaper…

Former CIA engineer who sent ‘Vault 7’ CIA spying secrets to Wikileaks sentenced to 40 years

A former CIA software engineer was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday after his convictions for what the government described as the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history and for possession of child sexual abuse images and videos. The bulk of the sentence imposed on Joshua Schulte, 35, in Manhattan federal court came for an embarrassing…

Army officials retaliated against whistleblowing staff: report

Two Army Cyber Command officials worked to get an employee fired following his reporting of misconduct and subsequent participation in investigations, the Pentagon’s inspector general found in a report published Wednesday. The IG recommends that the employee be reinstated to his job with backpay, while the Defense Department officials involved “receive appropriate action.” For one of them, that means just…

Foreign Affairs: Spying From Space

  In 2023, the Department of Defense announced an ambitious plan to launch 1,000 satellites over the next decade. Over the same period, the National Reconnaissance Office, which runs the country’s spy satellites, plans to quadruple the size of its fleet of a couple dozen satellites.   The U.S. government can expand its fleet this quickly because satellites have become…

US lawmakers want pressure on Hungary to back Sweden’s Nato membership

WASHINGTON: Senior US lawmakers said they wanted Hungary to immediately approve Sweden’s accession to Nato, suggesting on Thursday, a week after Turkey’s approval, that Budapest risks permanent damage to its relationship with Washington if it does not act. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ben Cardin said he had “deep concerns” over the direction of Hungary’s current government. The Democratic lawmaker noted…

American journalist Gonzalo Lira dies from neglect in Ukrainian prison

Gonzalo Lira, a prominent commentator on the Russia-Ukraine war imprisoned in Ukraine for speech critical of the country’s government, has died after weeks of medical neglect by Ukrainian authorities. Chilean-American war commentator Gonzalo Lira died shortly before noon on January, 11, 2024 at a hospital in Kharkiv, where he had been imprisoned for eight months since he was accused of…

US sanctions financial network tied to Iranian oil sales

WASHINGTON: The US on Wednesday said it imposed a new round of sanctions on a group of 20 people and firms allegedly involved in a financial facilitation network for the benefit of the Iranian military. The Treasury Department sanctions impact firms and people spanning Hong Kong to the United Arab Emirates. Included in the sanctions package are employees, brokers and…

Hacktivists breach U.S. nuclear research lab, steal employee data

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) confirms they suffered a cyberattack after ‘SiegedSec’ hacktivists leaked stolen human resources data online. INL is a nuclear research center run by the U.S. Department of Energy that employs 5,700 specialists in atomic energy, integrated energy, and national security. The INL complex extends over an 890-square-mile (2,310 km2) area, encompassing 50 experimental nuclear reactors, including…

China decries Canada’s ‘hypocrisy’: Espionage “endangering China’s national security”?

Beijing has defended its prosecution of two Canadians for espionage, after The Globe and Mail reported that Michael Spavor blames intelligence work done by Michael Kovrig for their nearly three-year-long detention. Mr. Spavor is seeking a multimillion-dollar settlement from Ottawa, two sources told The Globe, alleging he was arrested in China in late 2018 because he unwittingly provided intelligence on…

Cyprus lit up with oligarch transactions after Russia invaded Ukraine -leaks

With Russian tanks and troops descending on Ukraine in early 2022, Cyprus became a hotbed of financial activity. The island country has long been known as an offshore transit point for the fortunes of Russian billionaires, and as sanctions loomed over many of them last year, Cyprus financial services firms fielded a series of urgent demands to transfer funds and…

Dangerous encounter between a Chinese jet fighter and a Canadian helicopter over the South China Sea

Halifax, Canada — A dangerous encounter between a Chinese jet fighter and a Canadian helicopter over the South China Sea has called attention to Canada’s heightened interest in the Western Pacific, including participation in patrols through the disputed Taiwan Strait. In the October 29 incident, first reported by CNN, a helicopter was flying off the deck of the frigate HMCS Ottawa…

Taiwan detects 43 Chinese warplanes around island

More than 40 Chinese warplanes were detected around Taiwan in a day, the self-ruled island’s defence ministry said on Wednesday. Beijing claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary, and has ratcheted up military and diplomatic pressures on the island this year. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said in a daily statement that…