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Under Attack Part Seven: The U.S. Intelligence Network

After the FBI essentially orchestrated the Stratfor hack through their informant Hector Xavier Monsegur (“Sabu”) and hackers breached, pilfered, and wiped the company’s servers clean, alleged AntiSec member Jeremy Hammond not only continued hacking systems for months, he unwittingly spied on other countries on the behalf of the U.S. government. According to the Daily Dot, Hammond breached (or attempted to) databases containing the “login credentials, financial details, and private emails of foreign citizens” in over thirty different countries and every mark he hit was handed to him by Sabu.  During his sentencing Hammond was prevented from publicly naming these foreign targets but shortly after his court appearance Jacob Applebaum posted a link to the un-redacted list and tweeted, “I have now seen the un-redacted list of targets that #Hammond was asked to hack by the FBI. Holy fucking shit.”

Holy effing shiz is right. The un-redacted list and chat logs later released both show that Sabu encouraged Hammond and others to attack the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Internal Affairs Division of the Military Police of Brazil, the Official Website of the Crown Prince of Kuwait, the Tax Department of Turkey, and the Iranian Academic Center for Education and Cultural Research.  Other foreign targets included Syria, Colombia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq and U.S. allies Australia and the U.K.  “What the United States could not accomplish legally, it used Sabu, and by extension, me and my co-defendants, to accomplish illegally,” wrote Hammond in August, 2013.

Hammond was arrested on March 5, 2012, just seven days after WikiLeaks released the Stratfor emails, and charged with computer hacking conspiracy, computer hacking, and conspiracy to commit access device fraud.  All of the charges stemmed from the Stratfor hack that had taken place months prior and Hammond questioned why the FBI had introduced himself and others to “Hyrriiya,” the hacker who had originally found Stratfor’s vulnerability, in the first place.  More importantly, Hammond asked, “Why was the United States using us to infiltrate the private networks of foreign governments?” and “What are they doing with the information we stole?”

Although no one really knows what the U.S. government did with the information they stole, it’s interesting to note that some of the FBI agents who were directly involved with the Sabu operation went on to work at private cybersecurity firms that have incredible ties to both the U.S. and U.K. intelligence community.  Furthermore, it appears that these agents used Sabu, Hammond and others as bait to catch a much bigger fish:  Julian Assange.

* * *

SHAWN HENRY

 

“When anybody breaches a network and steals data and then publicizes it—whether they’re from a foreign country and they’re using the data to help their country’s industry, they sell it as an organized crime group, or they just display it because they think the company they stole it from is acting inappropriately the fact that the data is stolen is a violation of federal law.”

At the time that Shawn Henry made this statement to CIO.com on December 19, 2011, he was the Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch (CCRSB) and he knew that the FBI had orchestrated the Stratfor hack less than two weeks prior. What’s more, shortly thereafter and possibly under the direction of Henry himself, Sabu started handing out foreign targets like candy to hackers like Hammond and encouraging them to unwittingly dump stolen data onto an FBI server.  If the FBI orchestrated the Stratfor hack, allowed their informant, Sabu, to publicize it on December 24, 2011 (and thereafter), gave hackers the links to foreign targets, and then stockpiled the stolen data, why haven’t any FBI agents like Henry been prosecuted?  On the contrary, hackers like Jeremy Hammond found themselves alone and staring down at the barrel of a ten-year prison sentence while FBI agents involved with the Sabu operation found lucrative jobs in the private cybersecurity sector.

A few days after Hammond was arrested, Henry left the FBI to work for Crowdstrike, a newly established cybersecurity company which as you may recall was hired by the DNC in 2016 after those pesky Russians allegedly hacked their system.  Although the FBI never personally examined the DNC servers, the agency’s old friend, Shawn Henry, President and Chief Security Officer of Crowdstrike Services, sure did.  What followed was Crowdstrike’s report that Russian “bears in the midst” hacked the DNC, the appearance of Guccifer 2.0, and the realization that Henry may have been Sabu’s handler four years prior.  Adam Carter at g-2.space has done extensive research into the DNC “hack” and Guccifer 2.0, the online persona who implicated WikiLeaks as working with the Russians.  He wrote,

“While both Guccifer 2.0 and the FBI’s compromise of Sabu are half a decade apart, there is something that connects both these personas besides the specious hacking claims I’ve seen through.

It turns out that, while compromised by the FBI, Sabu’s handler at the time the hacking claims were made is one of the two people I’ve concluded are most likely to be behind Guccifer 2.0.

In other words, both of the high-profile, questionable hacking claims that I’ve spotted during the past 6-7 years have had some connection to Shawn Henry.”

For those of you at home who have done your research you’re well aware that the Russian narrative regarding the DNC “hack” and WikiLeaks is false.  This essentially means that Shawn Henry was not only involved with creating a fake Russian narrative which has undermined WikiLeaks’ credibility, he was directly involved with the Sabu operation that put hackers like Hammond in prison essentially for breaking the law for federal agents.

 

AUSTIN BERGLAS, MILAN PATEL, and K2 INTELLIGENCE

Austin Berglas, Milan Patel

Austin Berglas, former Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the FBI’s Cyber branch in New York, and Milan Patel, former CTO of the FBI’s Cyber Division were also involved in the Sabu operation and eventually left the agency to work in the private sector.  In fact, it was Milan Patel who wrote the criminal complaint against Hammond before leaving the FBI in June, 2015, to join the privately-held cybersecurity services firm, K2 Intelligence.  Berglas had already joined the firm two months prior.

Established in 2009 by Jules and Jeremy Kroll, K2 Intelligence’s board of directors include the Krolls as well as Tom Glocer, the former CEO of Thomson Reuters.  Admiral Michael Muller, the former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Bush and Obama, sits on the advisory board.

In August, 2017, two of K2’s divisions merged with Bitvoyant (previously known as Qwerty Labs) to form a new cybersecurity firm called BlueVoyant (previously known as BlueTeamGlobal) where both Austin Berglas and Milan Patel currently work.  As Kazworld.com put it, “The firm employs retired law enforcement and intelligence officers and freelance journalists to conduct covert operations for blue chip companies at arm’s length.”  As a side note to anyone who’s read my uranium series including “Frank Giustra’s Uranium Deal,” I highly recommend you read the Kazworld.com article as it points out K2 Intelligence’s ties to Mukhtar Ablyazov, one of the men involved in selling Giustra his uranium back in 2005 and who is connected to the Boston bombers’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni.  But I digress.

 

BLUEVOYANT

BlueVoyant is headed up by former Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley, Jim Rosenthal, along with Admiral Michael Mullen and Tom Glocer both of whom I mentioned earlier.  The remainder of BlueVoyant’s who’s who list reads like something out of spy novel. There’s Dennis Ennis, the NSA’s former Head of Threat Intelligence, Gad Goldstein, a former Major General Equivalent of Shin Bet, and Ron Feler, former Deputy Commander of IDF’s Cyber Intelligence Unit, 8200.  Let’s not forget Peter Mandelson, the UK’s former First Minister and Dave Johnston, a former GCHQ Division Head.  And then there’s the former Director of the British intelligence agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, who currently chairs BlueVoyant’s European Advisory Board.

 

Robert Hannigan

According to WikiLeaks, Robert Hannigan was in charge of dealing with Julian Assange’s case for the UK Foreign Office (FCO) before his big promotion to the GCHQ.  As one Twitter account put it, “Shit rises to the top” and I’d be hard-pressed to disagree.  Hannigan joined the FCO on March 29, 2010, and it was shortly after Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 that Hannigan and the FCO thought it might be a good idea to storm it and seize him.

The FCO is also the same office that refuses to confirm or deny that they have a U.S. extradition order for Assange and recently stated that, “The Government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK.  The UK did not grant that request nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.”  And definitely yes, this would be like Russia dictating to the U.S. who can or cannot be a U.S. diplomat because apparently the U.K. has become that much of a political absurdfest.

Hannigan’s name might also sound familiar to you because The Guardian reported that he “passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan” leading the CIA to use the intelligence to launch an investigation into then presidential candidate Donald Trump.  And no, this isn’t terribly surprising since it has long been suspected that the GCHQ helped facilitate spying on Trump and his team as a means to circumvent U.S. surveillance laws—but yes, it’s the Guardian so take it with a grain of salt.  Interestingly, Hannigan abruptly resigned as GCHQ director three days after Trump’s inauguration.

 

Team8

Besides its ties with K2 Intelligence, BlueVoyant is currently partnered with Team8, an Israeli “cybersecurity think tank and company creation platform” run by former members of Israel’s Defense Force intelligence unit, 8200.  According to Team8’s website, the founders have also “joined forces with investors such as Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, ATT, Accenture, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.”  Schmidt stated,

“We are fortunate to be partnering with Team8, who is at the forefront of new cutting-edge cyber-security innovation.  Team8 is a great example of how Israel has some of the best talent in the world to confront these challenges.”

Scared yet?  You should be.

 

SABINA MENSCHEL

Last but not least is Sabina Menschel who, as far as I know, was never directly involved in the Sabu operation but she did begin her career as a special advisor in the Directorate of Intelligence at the FBI in Washington D.C. before leaving to work for the Krolls (like everyone else in this story) as a research analyst. She eventually made her way up to the global head of training for K2’s Business Intelligence and Investigations practice before leaving in 2015 to become the president and chief operating officer of Nardello & Co., an investigative firm whose logo is “We Find Out.”  She’s also the wife of Bill Priestap, the FBI’s Director of Counterintelligence, Peter Strzok’s immediate supervisor, and the confidant of James Comey.  Besides her obvious ties to the FBI and K2 Intelligence, Menschel is also the niece of Robert Menschel who I’ve written about before (here and here),

“Not familiar with the Menschels? Robert was the Senior Director of Goldman Sachs, the same investment firm that you might remember as an all-time favorite of Hillary Clinton’s.  It should come as no surprise then that according to the WashingtonPost, Robert and Joyce supported “all six of the Clintons’ federal races” with donations ranging from $100,000-500,000.  As a side note that’s not so side, they’ve also donated to the Freedom of the Press Foundation but who’s keeping count, right?”

The interesting thing about the Menschels is that through the Robert and Joyce Foundation as well as Robert’s Vital Project Fund, they have funded Laura Poitras’ documentaries for over fourteen years, including her film about Julian Assange, Risk.  Poitras also has ties to K2 Intelligence through Jeff Skoll, the former president of Pierre Omidyar’s Ebay and the founder of Participant Media which helped produced Citizenfour.  In 1999, Skoll started the Skoll Foundation and its website shows that Gabriel Erem, the co-founder of E2 Global, is a foundation contributor.  According to E2 Global’s website, Erem’s firm is “the world’s preeminent media and communication platform dedicated to high philanthropy”—whatever that CIA gibberish means—and has partnered with both K2 Intelligence and APCO, the same firm that pushed Bill Browder’s Russian narrative and is currently implicated in the Clinton-uranium scandal.  I mean, I could be here for days, folks.  Seriously.

As to Hammond’s question of what happened to the data that hackers, including himself, unsuspectingly sent to the FBI under Sabu’s guidance, my guess is that not only has the U.S. Intelligence community capitalized on the data, they passed it along both directly and through former employees such as Henry, Berglas, and Patel to private cybersecurity and intelligence firms like K2 Intelligence and BlueVoyant who operate with the same domestic and foreign agendas in mind as the Deep State.

 

THE SET UP

Robert Hannigan (GCHQ), Ian Standen, Mike Rogers (NSA), Sir John Scarlett (M16; business partner of James Arbuthnot, the husband of Magistrate Arbuthnot who recently upheld Assange arrest warrant)

Taking into account recent events that have transpired with the FBI, it comes as no surprise that former FBI agents like Milan Patel continue to rally behind James Comey and publicly undermine WikiLeaks. When asked about Comey’s performance concerning the Hillary Clinton email investigation during a 2016 interview with Forbes.com, Patel stated,

“Comey is well known for his steady hand and judgment.  I completely trust his decision and how he arrived at it.  He’s as honest as they come.  You’ll be hard to find anyone who does not have sincere respect for his public service and leadership.”

Besides the fact that in the same interview Patel also acknowledged that the U.S. hacks other countries “all the time,” he warned journalists that they should think twice about taking WikiLeaks’ documents at face value.  There’s always a chance they’ve been altered, he noted, and that “it could just be two words that could be enough to change the narrative.”  Obviously Patel’s motive here was to discredit WikiLeaks’ DNC publication before the 2016 U.S. election but I believe it goes deeper than that.  One month after Patel implied that WikiLeaks was not legit and that words may have been omitted in their documents, an explosive article was published that regurgitated Patel’s narrative.  That article centered around a four-year-old FBI operation to set Julian Assange up and two things that Patel was more than familiar with:  Sabu and the Syrian Files.

Under Attack Part Eight:  The Syria Files

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