Thursday, June 24, 2010

DTN News: Oshkosh Defense To Demonstrate New SandCat M-LPV Performance Capabilities At DVD 2010

DTN News: Oshkosh Defense To Demonstrate New SandCat M-LPV Performance Capabilities At DVD 2010
Source: DTN News / Oshkosh Corporation Dt. June 22, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. - June 25, 2010: Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), will be demonstrating several highly mobile and protected vehicles at this year’s Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD), including the new SandCat Mine-Resistant Light Patrol Vehicle (M-LPV). The M-LPV provides protection from in-theater threats, such as mines and improvised explosive devices (IED), and delivers the SandCat platform’s exceptional mobility and maneuverability for missions on varying terrains. DVD 2010 will be taking place at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, England, from June 23 - 24. Oshkosh will be exhibiting at stand OR-31/OR-33 during the event. “The SandCat M-LPV is ideal for militaries and a wide range of security forces that need a protected, agile vehicle for missions facing the dangers of modern battlefield threats such as IEDs and armor-piercing bullets,” said Ron Ziebell, Oshkosh Defense vice president and general manager, International Programs. “We will demonstrate the vehicle’s small turning radius, off-road capabilities and exceptional ride quality to the U.K. Ministry of Defence at DVD. It is these features that will give forces the handling they need for challenging environments, from bustling, narrow city streets to rocky, mountainous landscapes.” To date, Sweden, Bulgaria, Canada and Israel have ordered SandCat variants, which also include utility, transport and Special Operations Vehicle (SOV). Customers are using the vehicles for border patrol, security missions and military operations, including in Afghanistan. Oshkosh also will be demonstrating its MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) and a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) 8x8 Load Handling System (LHS) at DVD 2010. The M-ATV was developed to meet an urgent need in Afghanistan for a vehicle that delivered MRAP-level protection capabilities but with enhanced mobility. The M-ATV is built around a proven chassis and uses the Oshkosh TAK-4® independent suspension system to achieve a 70 percent off-road profile capability. This enhanced mobility, which includes 16 inches (40 centimeters) of independent wheel travel, helps the vehicle traverse cross-country terrain or unimproved road networks in places like Afghanistan. The Oshkosh MTVR delivers the mobility needed for extensive off-road logistics missions. The vehicle, like the M-ATV, uses the Oshkosh TAK-4 independent suspension system to deliver a 70 percent off-road profile capability. Oshkosh has produced more than 10,000 of these highly mobile tactical trucks. Additionally, several MTVRs have exceeded 70,000 operational miles (112,650 kilometers) on the challenging Afghanistan terrain and have maintained readiness rates greater than 92 percent. About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is an industry-leading global designer and manufacturer of tactical military trucks and armored wheeled vehicles, delivering a full product line of conventional and hybrid vehicles, advanced armor options, proprietary suspensions and vehicles with payloads that can exceed 70 tons. Oshkosh Defense provides a global service and supply network including full life-cycle support and remanufacturing, and its vehicles are recognized the world over for superior performance, reliability and protection. For more information, visit About Oshkosh Corporation
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Medtec®, Jerr-Dan®, Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles, Frontline™, SMIT™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, visit

DTN News: Boeing Completes Key Construction Milestone At Southern California Solar Facility

DTN News: Boeing Completes Key Construction Milestone At Southern California Solar Facility
Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) SEAL BEACH, Calif., - June 25, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] yesterday June 24, announced it has installed 23 high-concentration photovoltaic solar power panels at a 100-kilowatt power facility being built by Boeing on the campus of California State University, Northridge. The solar panels feature the new XR700 solar technology supplied by Spectrolab, a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary. The technology brings down the cost of electricity by concentrating more sunlight on fewer cells to produce the same amount of electricity. "This milestone is the result of a strong partnership between Boeing, the university, suppliers and other stakeholders to meet a growing energy need," said Jeff Frericks, director, Boeing Energy Solutions. Each 18-by-8 foot solar panel can produce approximately 3.5 kilowatts of electricity, or enough energy to power an average-sized home. Boeing will install a total of 33 panels to provide power for the university and the local community. The power facility is on track to begin operating in July. "This collaboration with Boeing is crucial because it allows us to provide peak energy -- green energy -- to help the university and the state meet renewable portfolio standards," said Tom Brown, executive director of facilities for California State University, Northridge. As businesses seek to become more energy-efficient, Boeing is applying its knowledge and skills in cybersecurity and large-scale systems integration to provide valuable and affordable energy assurance solutions. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide. Contact: Derrell Carter
Boeing Phantom Works
Office: 314-234-1362
Mobile: 314-365-4402

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated June 24, 2010

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated June 24, 2010 Source: U.S. DoD issued June 24, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 25, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued June 24, 2010 are undermentioned; CONTRACTS ARMY ~Daimler Trucks North America, LLC, Portland, Ore., was awarded on June 23 a $74,562,100 firm-fixed-price contract. This delivery order is to add additional vehicle variants of 70 M915A5 to the contract. Work is to be performed in Portland, Ore., with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-00-D-S022). ~Merrick Construction Co., Cottonport, La., was awarded on June 23 a $22,500,003 firm-fixed-price contract. This procurement is for “West bank and Vicinity- 37, New Orleans, Hurricane Protection Project, Fronting Protection, Ames/Mt. Kennedy Pumping Stations, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.” Work is to be performed in Jefferson Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 2, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with 11 bids received. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Hurricane Protection Office, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0093). ~DRS Environmental Systems, Inc., Florence, Ky., was awarded on June 23 a $14,446,206 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for a joint services transportable decontamination system used to apply high-pressure, hot soapy water to vehicles, other equipment, and potentially personnel in the case of chemical or biological incidents. Work is to be performed in Florence, Ky., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 24, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command, Contracting Center Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (M67004-06-D-0007). ~Central Power Systems & Services, Inc., Liberty, Mo., was awarded on June 23 an $8,566,114 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for 12,952 Detroit Diesel reliabilt fuel injector nozzles, product number R5234775; and 12,952 Detroit Diesel cylinder kits, product number 23524344. Quantities include base and option years. Work is to be performed in Liberty, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 13, 2014. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas, is the contracting activity (W911RQ-10-D-0006). McNeil Technologies, Springfield, Va., was awarded on June 23 a $6,399,950 firm-fixed-price contract for atmospheric, advisory and analysis services in Iraq. Work is to be performed in Iraq, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 14, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-D-0022). AIR FORCE ~Rockwell Collins, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was awarded a $49,000,000 contract which will develop, demonstrate, and transition the tactical targeting network technology and related interoperable technologies such a Quint network technology to support information exchange between the Tactical Edge platforms and users within the Department of Defense. At this time, $3,398,117 has been obligated. AFRL/RIKE, Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-10-D-0042). NAVY ~EMCOR Government Services, Inc., Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $22,803,225 firm-fixed-price, estimated indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for regional base operating support services at Naval District Washington. The work to be performed provides for regional base operating support services including, but not limited: to facility investment; pest control; grounds maintenance; fire protection; janitorial; refuse collection; and snow removal. The maximum dollar value is $179,267,589, including the base period, four option years, and three award option years. Work will be performed at various government facilities in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., within a 100-mile radius of the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., including, but not limited to: the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C.; National Maritime Intelligence Center, Suitland, Md.; Defense Intelligence Analysis Center, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.; Fort Washington Facility, Fort Washington, Md.; Anacostia Annex, Washington, D.C.; Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.; Arlington Service Center, Arlington, Va.; National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.; Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.; Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock, Md.; Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Stump Neck, Md.; Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Md.; Naval Research Laboratory, Annapolis, Md.; Naval Research Laboratory, Quantico, Va.; and Defense Intelligence Agency, Tyson’s Corner, Va. Work is expected to be completed by September 2011. Contract funds do not expire at the end of this fiscal year. This contract was competitively solicited via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with eight proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N40080-10-D-0464). ~Force Protection Industries, Inc., Ladson, S.C., is being awarded a $19,644,010 firm-fixed-price modification under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5031) delivery order #0012, for a three month extension of 216 field service representatives (FSR) to complete independent suspension system kit installation on the Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle fleet at the MRAP sustainment facility in Kuwait and the associated life support required for the FSRs. Work will be performed in Kuwait, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $19,644,010 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity. ~Lockheed Martin, Information Systems and Global Services, King of Prussia, Pa., is being awarded a $16,575,612 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the maintenance, upgrade and development of Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System software. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($14,475,612; 87.4 percent) and the government of the United Kingdom ($2,100,000; 12.6 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in King of Prussia, Pa., and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $107,410 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0064). ~Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Aerospace Systems, Battle Management and Engagement Systems Division, Melbourne, Fla., is being awarded a $9,500,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N61331-05-C-0049) for continued post-delivery technical support (PDTS) and provisioned item order support for the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) units. This modification is to increase the contract ceiling and period of performance for the contractor to provide PDTS of ALMDS low-rate initial production units. The PDTS support will consist of the following: modify and/or repair delivered hardware; modify or build new ALMDS system components to resolve producibility, obsolescence, and end-of-life issues; update the technical data package with respect to the changes implemented; provide maintenance of delivered hardware as well as provide software maintenance required; and provide the software upgrades and modifications required to optimize the performance of ALMDS. The modification will also provide required engineering services consisting of systems engineering; configuration and data management; quality assurance; manufacturing; test and evaluation; generating of presentations, white papers, trade studies; and development, tracking and updating of metrics. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Fla., and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity. ~ATAC*, Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $8,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to develop and provide upgrades to the Naval Air Simulation Model System at Naval and Marine Corps installations, as well as other Department of Defense facilities in the continental U.S. and Hawaii. The work to be performed provides for airfield, airspace and range analyses of existing and/or proposed operations at activities and to develop and compile information on mission changes for the Navy’s Air Installations Compatible Use Zones and National Environmental Policy Act requirements. No task orders are being issued at this time. Work may also be performed within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic area of responsibility. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of June 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was procured as a sole-source acquisition under statutory authority 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1). The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-10-D-2007). ~Allan C. Bamforth, Jr, Engineer Surveyor, Ltd.*, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a maximum $7,500,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering (A&E) contract for A&E services in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic area of responsibility (AOR). Task order #0001, at $665,076, will provide A&E services for the construction of a child development center at Courthouse Bay, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Work for this task order is expected to be completed April 2012. All work on this contract will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within the Mid-Atlantic AOR including, but not limited to: North Carolina (70 percent); Virginia (20 percent); Pennsylvania (2 percent); New Jersey (2 percent); Rhode Island (2 percent); Connecticut (2 percent); and Maine (2 percent). Work is expected to be completed by June 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation Web site, with 35 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-10-D-5304). ~York River Electric, Inc.*, Yorktown, Va., is being awarded $6,074,711 for firm-fixed-price task order #0007 under a previously awarded multiple-award construction contract (N40085-05-D-5035) for industrial access improvements, Main Gate 15 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The work to be performed provides for industrial access improvements consisting of security and crash gates; hardened fencing and guard house; and associated site improvements. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Va., and is expected to be completed by July 2012. Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four proposals were received for the task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity. *Small business

DTN News: Criminal Intent And Militant Funding

DTN News: Criminal Intent And Militant Funding Source: By Scott Stewart STRATFOR
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - June 24, 2010: STRATFOR is currently putting the finishing touches on a detailed assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the al Qaeda-inspired jihadist franchise in that country. As we got deeper into that project, one of the things we noticed was the group’s increasing reliance on criminal activity to fund its operations. In recent months, in addition to kidnappings for ransom and extortion of businessmen — which have been endemic in Iraq for many years — the ISI appears to have become increasingly involved in armed robbery directed against banks, currency exchanges, gold markets and jewelry shops. This increase in criminal activity highlights how the ISI has fallen on hard times since its heyday in 2006-2007, when it was flush with cash from overseas donors and when its wealth led the apex leadership of al Qaeda in Pakistan to ask its Iraqi franchise for financial assistance. But when considered in a larger context, the ISI’s shift to criminal activity is certainly not surprising and, in fact, follows the pattern of many other ideologically motivated terrorist or insurgent groups that have been forced to resort to crime to support themselves. The Cost of Doing Business Whether we are talking about a small urban terrorist cell or a large-scale rural insurgency, it takes money to maintain a militant organization. It costs money to conduct even a rudimentary terrorist attack, and while there are a lot of variables in calculating the costs of a single attack, in order to simplify things, we’ll make a ballpark estimate of not more than $100 for an attack that involves a single operative detonating an improvised explosive device or using a firearm. (It certainly is possible to construct a lethal device for less, and many grassroots plots have cost far more, but we think $100 is a fair general estimate.) While that amount may seem quite modest by Western standards, it is important to remember that in the places where militant groups tend to thrive, like Somalia and Pakistan, the population is very poor. The typical Somali earns approximately $600 a year, and the typical Pakistani living in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas makes around $660. For many individuals living in such areas, the vehicle used in an attack deploying a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) is a luxury that they can never aspire to own for personal use, much less afford to buy only to destroy it in an attack. Indeed, even the $100 it may cost to conduct a basic terrorist attack is far more than they can afford. To be sure, the expense of an individual terrorist attack can be marginal for a group like the ISI or the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). However, for such a group, the expenses required to operate are far more than just the amount required to conduct attacks — whether small roadside bombs or large VBIEDs. Such groups also need to establish and maintain the infrastructure required to operate a militant organization over a long period of time, not just during attacks but also between attacks. Setting up and operating such an infrastructure is far more costly than just paying for individual attacks. In addition to the purchasing the materials required to conduct specific terrorist attacks, a militant organization also needs to pay wages to its fighters and provide food and lodging. Many also give stipends to the widows and families their fighters leave behind. In addition to the cost of personnel, the organization also needs to purchase safe-houses, modes of transportation (e.g., pickup trucks or motorcycles), communications equipment, weapons, munitions and facilities and equipment for training. If the militant organization hopes to use advanced weapons, like man-portable air defense systems, the costs can go even higher. There are other costs involved in maintaining a large, professional militant group, such as travel,fraudulent identification documents (or legitimate documents obtained through fraud), payment for intelligence assets to monitor the activities of government forces, and even the direct bribery of security, border and other government officials. In some places, militant groups such as Hezbollah also pay for social services such as health care and education for the local population as a means of establishing and maintaining local support for the cause. When added together, these various expenses amount to a substantial financial commitment, and operations are even more expensive in an environment where the local population is hostile to the militant organization and the government is persistently trying to cut off the group’s funding. In such an environment, the local people are less willing to provide support to the militants in the way of food, shelter and cash, and the militants are also forced to spend more money on operational security. Information about the government must also be purchased or coerced, and more “hush money” must be paid to keep people from telling the government about militant operations. In an environment where the local population is friendly, they will shelter militants and volunteer information about government forces and will not inform on militants to the government. Sponsorship One way to offset the steep cost of operating a large militant organization is by having a state sponsor. Indeed, funding rebel or insurgent groups to cause problems for a rival is an age-old tool of statecraft, and one that was exercised frequently during the Cold War. During that period, the United States worked to counter communist governments around the globe, and the Soviet Union and its partners operated a broad global array of proxy militant groups. In terms of geopolitical struggles, funding proxy groups is far less expensive than engaging in direct warfare in terms of both money and battlefield losses. Using proxies also provides benefits in terms of deniability for both domestic and international purposes. For the militant group, the addition of a state sponsor can provide an array of modern weaponry and a great deal of useful training. For example, the FIM-92 Stinger missiles that the United States gave to Afghan militants fighting Soviet forces greatly enhanced the militants’ ability to counter the Soviets’ use of air power. The training provided by the Soviet KGB and its allies, the Cuban DGI and the East German Stasi, revolutionized the use of improvised explosive devices in terrorist attacks. Members of the groups these intelligence services trained at camps in Libya, Lebanon and Yemen, such as the German Red Brigades, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), the Japanese Red Army and various Palestinian militant groups (among others), all became quite adept at using explosives in terrorist attacks. The prevalence of Marxist terrorist groups during the Cold War led some observers to believe that the phenomenon of modern terrorism would die with the fall of the Soviet Union. Indeed, many militant groups, from urban Marxist organizations like the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) in Peru to rural based insurgents like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), fell on hard financial times after the fall of the Soviet Union. While some of these groups withered away with their dwindling financial support (like the MRTA), others were more resourceful and found alternative ways to support their movement and continue their operations. The FARC, for example, was able to use its rural power in Colombia to offer protection to narcotics traffickers. In an ironic twist, elements of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a right-wing death squad set up to defend rich landowners against the FARC, have also gone on to play an important role in the Colombian Norte del Valle cartel and in various “bacrim” smuggling groups. Groups such as the PIRA and its splinters were able to fund themselves through robbery, extortion and “tiger kidnapping”. In some places, the Marxist revolutionaries sought to keep the ideology of their cause separate from the criminal activities required to fund it following the loss of Soviet support. In the Philippines, for example, the New People’s Army formed what it termed “dirty job intelligence groups,” which were tasked with conducting kidnappings for ransom and robbing banks and armored cars. The groups also participated in a widespread campaign to shake down businesses for extortion payments, which it referred to as “revolutionary taxes.” In Central America, the Salvadoran Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) established a finance and logistics operation based out of Managua, Nicaragua, that conducted a string of kidnappings of wealthy industrialists in places like Mexico and Brazil. By targeting wealthy capitalists, the group sought to cast a Robin Hood-like light on this criminal activity. To further distance itself from the activity, the group used American and Canadian citizens to do much of its pre-operational surveillance and employed hired muscle from disbanded South American Marxist organizations to conduct the kidnappings and guard the hostages. The FMLN’s financial problems helped lead to the peace accords signed in 1992, and the FMLN has since become one of the main political parties in El Salvador. Its candidate, Mauricio Funes, was elected president of El Salvador in 2009. Beyond the COMINTERN The fall of the Soviet Union clearly did not end terrorism. Although Marxist militants funded themselves in Colombia, the Philippines and elsewhere through crime, Marxism was not the only flavor of terrorism on the planet. There are all sorts of motivations for terrorism as a militant tactic, from white supremacy to animal rights. But one of the most significant forces that arose in the 1980s as the Soviet Union was falling was militant Islamism. In addition to the ideals of the Iranian Revolution, which led to the creation of Hezbollah and other Iranian-sponsored groups, the Islamist fervor that was used to drum up support for the militants fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan eventually gave birth to al Qaeda and its jihadist spawn. Although Hezbollah has always been funded by the governments of Iran and Syria, it has also become quite an entrepreneurial organization. Hezbollah has established a fundraising networkthat stretches across the globe and encompasses both legitimate businesses and criminal enterprises. In terms of its criminal operations, Hezbollah has a well-known presence in the tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, where the U.S. government estimates it has earned tens of millions of dollars from selling electronic goods, counterfeit luxury items and pirated software, movies and music. It also has an even more profitable network in West Africa that deals in “blood diamonds” from places like Sierra Leone and the Republic of the Congo. Cells in Asia procure and ship much of the counterfeit material sold elsewhere; nodes in North America deal in smuggled cigarettes, baby formula and counterfeit designer goods, among other things. In the United States, Hezbollah also has been involved in smuggling pseudoephedrine and selling counterfeit Viagra, and it has played a significant role in the production and worldwide propagation of counterfeit currencies. The business empire of the Shiite organization also extends into the narcotics trade, and Hezbollah earns large percentages of the estimated $1 billion in drug money flowing each year out of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. On the jihadist side of militant Islamism, jihadist groups have been conducting criminal activity to fund their movement since the 1990s. The jihadist cell that conducted the March 2004 Madrid Train Bombings was self-funded by selling illegal drugs, and jihadists have been involved in a number of criminal schemes ranging from welfare fraud to interstate transportation of stolen property. In addition, many wealthy Muslims in Saudi Arabia the Persian Gulf states and elsewhere saw the jihadist groups as a way to export their conservative Wahhabi/Salafi strain of Islam, and many considered their gifts to jihadist groups to be their way of satisfying the Muslim religious obligation to give to charity. The governments of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Pakistan sawjihadism as a foreign policy tool, and in some cases the jihadists were also seen as a tool to be used against domestic rivals. Pakistan was one of the most active countries playing the jihadist card, and it used it to influence its regional neighbors by supporting the growth of the Taliban in Afghanistan as well as Kashmiri militant groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for use against its archrival, India. After 2003, however, when the al Qaeda franchise in Saudi Arabia declared war on the Saudi government (and the oil industry that funds it), sentiment in that country began to change and the donations sent by wealthy Saudis to al Qaeda or al Qaeda-related charities began to decline markedly. By 2006, the al Qaeda core leadership — and the larger jihadist movement — was experiencing significant financial difficulties. Today, with Pakistan also experiencing a backlash from supporting jihadists who have turned against the state, and with the Sunni sheikhs in Iraq turning against the ISI there, funding and sanctuary are becoming increasingly difficult for jihadists to find. In recent years, the United States and the international community have taken a number of steps to monitor the international transfer of money, track charitable donations and scrutinize charities. These measures have begun to have an effect — not just in the case of the jihadist groups but for all major militant organizations. These systems are not foolproof, and there are still gaps that can be exploited, but overall, the legislation, procedures and tools now in place make financing from abroad much more difficult than it was prior to September 2001. The Need to Survive And this brings us where we are today regarding terrorism and funding. While countries like Venezuela and Nicaragua play around with supporting the export of Marxism through Latin America, the funding for Marxist movements in the Western Hemisphere is far below what it was before the fall of the Soviet Union. Indeed, transnational drug cartels and their allied street gangs pose a far greater threat to the stability of countries in the region today. Groups that cannot find state sponsorship, such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in Nigeria, will be left to fund themselves through ransoms for kidnapped oil workers, selling stolen oil and from protection money. (It is worth noting, however, that MEND also has some powerful patrons inside Nigeria’s political structure.) And groups that still receive state funding, like Iranian proxies Hezbollah and Hamas as well as Shiite militant groups in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region, will continue to get that support. (There are frequent rumors that Iran is supporting jihadist groups in places like Iraq and Afghanistan as a way to cause pain to the United States.) Overall, state sponsorship of jihadist groups has been declining since supporting countries realized they were being attacked by militant groups of their own creation. Some countries, like Syria and Pakistan, still keep their fingers in the jihadist pie, but as time progresses more countries are coming to see the jihadists as threats rather than useful tools. For the past few years, we have seen groups like al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb resort to narcotics smuggling and the kidnapping of foreigners to fund their operations and that trend will likely increase. For one thing, the jump from militant attacks to criminal activity is relatively easy to make. Criminal activity (whether it’s robbing a bank or extorting business owners for “taxes”) requires the same physical force — or at least the threat of physical force — that militant groups perfect over years of carrying out insurgent or terrorist attacks. While such criminal activity does allow a militant group to survive, it comes with a number of risks. First is the risk that members of the organization could become overly enamored with the criminal activity and the money it brings and abandon the cause — and the austere life of an ideological fighter — to pursue a more lucrative criminal career. (In many cases, they will attempt to retain some ideological facade for recruitment or legitimacy purposes. On the other hand, some jihadist groups believe that criminal activities allow them to emulate the actions of the Prophet Mohammed, who raided the caravans of his enemies to fund his movement and allowed his men to take booty.) Criminal activity can also cause ideological splits between the more pragmatic members of a militant organization and those who believe that criminal behavior tarnishes the image of their cause. And criminal activity can turn the local population against the militants — especially the population being targeted for crimes — while providing law enforcement with opportunities to arrest militant operatives on charges that are in many cases easier to prove than conspiring to conduct terrorist attacks. Lastly, reliance on criminal activity for funding a militant group requires a serious commitment of resources — men and guns — that cannot be allocated to other activities when they are being used to commit crimes. As efforts to combat terrorism continue, militant leaders will increasingly be forced to choose between abandoning their cause or possibly tarnishing its public image. When faced with such a choice, many militant leaders — like those of the ISI — will follow the examples of groups like the FARC and the PIRA and choose to pursue criminal means to continue their struggle.
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DTN News: Boeing Receives Contract To Upgrade US Air Force KC-10 Cockpits

DTN News: Boeing Receives Contract To Upgrade US Air Force KC-10 Cockpits
Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, - June 24, 2010: Boeing [NYSE: BA] yesterday June 23, announced that it has received a $216 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to upgrade the service's 59-jet KC-10 tanker fleet with a new communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) system. The KC-10 upgrade will enable the fleet to comply with the forecasted 2015 CNS/ATM Federal Aviation Administration/International Civil Aviation Organization standards, which allow shared access within both civil and military airspace, enabling tanker refueling operations worldwide. "As air traffic continues to increase, modern CNS/ATM systems become essential for communicating precise flight data and obtaining the most direct routing," said Mike Harris, Boeing vice president of Weapon Systems Modernization. "This upgrade is critical to the Air Force for pilots' safety, mission effectiveness and lower operational costs." The five-year contract draws on design and development work performed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The contract will be managed at the Boeing Long Beach, Calif., facility. The first airplane will be modified and flight-tested in 2012 at the company's San Antonio facility. Boeing will complete and deliver the final KC-10 modification in 2015. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide. Contact: Jennifer HoganMaintenance, Modifications and Upgrades
Mobile: 405-818-7859

DTN News: UN Chief Says Israeli Plan For East Jerusalem Is Illegal

DTN News: UN Chief Says Israeli Plan For East Jerusalem Is Illegal Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) UNITED NATIONS - June 24, 2010: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday voiced concern that an Israeli plan to raze 22 Arab homes to make way for an archaeological park in annexed east Jerusalem is "unhelpful" and against international law.
Ban "is deeply concerned about the decision by the Jerusalem Municipality to advance planning for house demolitions and further settlement activity in the area of Silwan in East Jerusalem," the secretary general's spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement. "The planned moves are contrary to international law, and to the wishes of Palestinian residents," the statement said. Ban "reminds the Israeli Government of its responsibility to ensure provocative steps are not taken which would heighten tensions in the city. The current moves are unhelpful, coming at a time when the goal must be to build trust to support political negotiations," the statement added. The park, which is planned for a crumbling Arab neighborhood just outside the walls of the Old City, was approved by Jerusalem city council on Monday in a move that drew criticism both at home and abroad. The plan was put before the city's planning and building committee on Monday, which approved Gan Hamelech, the Hebrew name for an area outside the Old City known as Al-Bustan to its mostly Arab residents. Under the plan, 22 homes would be razed, while another 66 would be legalized. The 88 homes all had been slated for demolition because they were built without Israeli permits. The issue is all the more sensitive as most of the international community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem since June 1967.

DTN News: 'No Excuses Acceptable In S-300 Case' Iran To Russia

DTN News: 'No Excuses Acceptable In S-300 Case' Iran To Russia
* Iran says Russia should live up to its commitments to deliver S-300 defense missiles to Tehran.
Source: DTN News / Press TV
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - June 24, 2010: Amid Russia's ambiguity over delivery of S-300 defense system to Iran, an Iranian lawmaker insists that the dispatch of the missiles is Russia's definite obligation.
"The delivery of S-300 missile defense system to Iran is part of Moscow's definite obligation and no excuse to dodge the responsibility is acceptable," Head of Iran-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Committee, Mehdi Sanai, told Mehr news agency on Tuesday.
The Iranian lawmaker elaborated on the agreement between the two countries, signed in 2005, arguing that Russia's delay in the delivery of the S-300 air-defense missiles to Tehran is resulted from outside pressure.
"Moscow's failure to deliver the air-defense missile system to Tehran would not only hinder cooperation between the two states, but also damage the country's status in finding new partners in the region," Sanai maintained.
His remarks came on the same day when Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the Russian officials would be responsible for the "damages" caused by their failure to deliver the air-defense system Iran.
Vahidi's remarks came in reaction to the comments of Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Denisov, who announced last week that Russia had decided to freeze the delivery of the missiles to Iran, as it was against the new round of UN sanctions on Tehran approved on June 9.
"Moscow believes that the sanctions resolution clearly forbids the sale of the S-300 system to Iran," Denisov said.
According the deal between the two countries, Russia is obliged to provide Iran with at least five of the systems, but the Kremlin has since oscillated between delivering the systems to Tehran and US and Israel's demands for the deal to be scrapped altogether.