Wednesday, January 10, 2018

"Black Market Sold Drones Used in Russian Base Attack"

Russia’s defense ministry says the attack took place in the early hours of Jan. 6, involving a swarm of 10 bomblet-armed drones aimed at the Hmeimim air base in Latakia and an additional three drones targeted at the Russian naval base in Tartus—all guided by GPS navigation


Russia has all but accused the U.S. military of being behind the improvised drone attack


But days before the unique, jury-rigged drone bomber surfaced in the attack, a seller in a rebel social media arms market based in Syria’s Idlib province posted an advertisement for an identical-looking model of rickety homebrew drone along with similar munitions
Related: "The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco"
Some suspected Russian intelligence officers were found engaging in weird, repetitive behaviors in gas stations in dusky, arid burgs off Interstate 5, California’s main north-south artery. In one remarkably strange case, said one former intelligence official, two suspected Russian spies were surveilled pulling into a gas station. The driver stood next to his car, not purchasing any fuel. The passenger approached a tree, circling it a few times. Then they both got back into the car and drove away. Suspected Russian intelligence operatives would perform the same strange rituals multiple times at the same gas stations.


according to multiple sources, one recurrent and worrying feature of these activities was that they often happened to correspond to places where underground nodes connected the country’s fiber-optic cable network. (In a June article, Politico’s Ali Watkins reported a few instances of these strange behaviors, tracing them back to the summer of 2016, as well as their potential connection to the fiber-optic network.)

Over time, multiple former intelligence officials told me, the FBI concluded that Russia was engaged in a massive, long-running, and continuous data-collection operation: a mission to comprehensively locate all of America’s underground communications nodes, and to map out and catalogue the points in the fiber-optic network where data were being transferred.