Back From The Dead

Obama turned him into a newt, but he got better.

Analysis: ‘Slain’ Taliban leader garners attention in Pakistan

For three months, Hakimullah Mehsud was supposedly dead, killed in a U.S. drone attack in the mountains of Pakistan, according to Pakistani officials.

Then word came last week from intelligence sources in Pakistan that he had not after all been killed, that he had been injured but not seriously.

And within days of that news, not one but two messages followed from Mehsud himself, both purportedly recorded in April. They warned of imminent attacks by the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, on unspecified targets in the United States.

U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials remain very skeptical about any TTP involvement in the weekend’s attempted car bombing in New York. One senior official said it would be “an enormous surprise” if they were involved.

The TTP has shown little appetite or capability for operating beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan, though it was linked to a suicide bombing plot that unfolded in Spain and was broken up in 2008.

But Mehsud is back in action, courting publicity again.

Whether he is still the leader of the TTP is an open question.

Last week, while U.S. officials said they still weren’t sure whether he was dead or alive, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said, “I certainly have seen no evidence that [Mehsud] is operational today or is executing or exerting authority over the Pakistan Taliban as he once did. So I don’t know if that reflects him being alive or dead, but he clearly is not running the Pakistani Taliban anymore.”

But in light of the video that surfaced over the weekend, that assessment may have to be revisited.

See also:
Video shows Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud ‘alive’
New videos show Pakistani Taliban chief thought to have been killed in January
Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive, says spy agency
Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive: spy agency
Video shows Pakistan Taliban boss alive
Hakeemullah appears in video, vows painful blow to US
Mehsud claims responsibility for New York bomb plot
Officials doubt Pakistani Taliban behind New York bomb attempt
Hakimullah Mehsud

Hey Obama administration, next time, before you publicly claim credit and pat yourselves on the back for killing one of these lowlife terrorist scumbags, make damn sure they’re really dead.

/now fire up the drones, get out there, and kill Mehsud again!

Thank You Director Obvious!

Intelligence officials say al-Qaeda will try to attack U.S. in next 6 months

The Obama administration’s top intelligence officials on Tuesday described it as “certain” that al-Qaeda or its allies will try to attack the United States in the next six months, and they called for new flexibility in how U.S. officials detain and question terrorist suspects.

The officials, testifying before the Senate intelligence committee, also warned of increased risk of cyber-attacks in the coming months, saying that the recent China-based hacking of Google’s computers was both a “wake-up call” and a forerunner to future strikes aimed at businesses or intended to cause economic disruption.

“Al-Qaeda maintains its intent to attack the homeland — preferably with a large-scale operation that would cause mass casualties, harm the U.S. economy or both,” Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair told the committee in a hearing convened to assess threats against the country.

See also:
Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Intel chief: al-Qaeda likely to attempt attack
Officials Warn al Qaeda ‘Certain’ to Try Attack Soon
Intelligence Officials Warn Attempted Al Qaeda Attack Months Away
Al-Qaeda Likely to Try U.S. Attack Within Six Months (Update2)
Intelligence chiefs: Al Qaeda attack imminent
Al-Qaeda ‘to attempt US attack soon’
Senators Warned of Terrorist Attack on U.S. by July
Concerns grow over Al Qaeda’s group in Yemen
U.S. flying blind as intel chief says terror attack likely within six months

Al Qaeda still wants to launch attacks against the U.S. homeland at the earliest possible opportunity, really? You mean they haven’t given up on their global jihad against Western civilization? I’m shocked I tell you, shocked!

/in other breaking news, water is wet, fire is hot, and [expletive deleted] stinks

Microsoft Cleans Up After Chinese Hack Of Google, Obama Turns The Other Cheek

Microsoft to release patch for IE hole on Thursday

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it will release on Thursday a patch to fix the latest hole in Internet Explorer that was used in the China-based attack on Google and for which an exploit has been released on the Internet since last week.

The company plans to release the patch as close to 10 a.m. PST on Thursday as possible and host a public Webcast at 1 p.m. PST, according to the security advisory.

Microsoft continues to see limited attacks and has only seen evidence of successful attacks against Internet Explorer 6, according to Jerry Bryant, senior security program manager at Microsoft.

“This is a standard cumulative update, accelerated from our regularly scheduled February release, for Internet Explorer with an aggregate severity rating of Critical,” he said in a statement.

“It addresses the vulnerability related to recent attacks against Google and a small subset of corporations, as well as several other vulnerabilities. Once applied, customers are protected against the known attacks that have been widely publicized,” Bryant said. “We recommend that customers install the update as soon as it is available. For customers using automatic updates, this update will automatically be applied once it is released.”

Vulnerable software is IE 6 on Microsoft Windows 2000 and IE 6, 7, and 8 on supported editions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft said.

So, while China continues its relentless, covert cyberwar against U.S. and other Western commercial, government, and military targets, stealing information and secrets and causing economic and national security damage to our computer networks, guess what the Obama administration has decided to do, against the advice of U.S. intelligence officials and experts?

China removed as top priority for spies

The White House National Security Council recently directed U.S. spy agencies to lower the priority placed on intelligence collection for China, amid opposition to the policy change from senior intelligence leaders who feared it would hamper efforts to obtain secrets about Beijing’s military and its cyber-attacks.

The downgrading of intelligence gathering on China was challenged by Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair and CIA Director Leon E. Panetta after it was first proposed in interagency memorandums in October, current and former intelligence officials said.

The decision downgrades China from “Priority 1” status, alongside Iran and North Korea, to “Priority 2,” which covers specific events such as the humanitarian crisis after the Haitian earthquake or tensions between India and Pakistan.

The National Security Council staff, in response, pressed ahead with the change and sought to assure Mr. Blair and other intelligence chiefs that the change would not affect the allocation of resources for spying on China or the urgency of focusing on Chinese spying targets, the officials told The Washington Times.

White House National Security Council officials declined to comment on the intelligence issue. Mike Birmingham, a spokesman for Mr. Blair, declined to comment. A CIA spokesman also declined to comment.

But administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new policy is part of the Obama administration’s larger effort to develop a more cooperative relationship with Beijing.

See also:
Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for January 2010
New IE hole exploited in attacks on U.S. firms
Microsoft Scrambles to Patch Browser
Microsoft patching “Google hack” flaw in IE tomorrow
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-002 Coming Thursday for IE Zero-Day
Microsoft to issue “Google attack” browser patch
Microsoft to issue emergency IE patch Thursday
Microsoft will issue emergency IE patch on Thursday
China removed as top priority for spies
China no longer top priority for intelligence gathering: White House
‘China no longer top priority for intelligence gathering’
China: Still an Intelligence Priority

Relax, don’t worry, the country is in the very best of hands.

/Obama’s NSC, more than a dozen morons stuffed in a four passenger clown car