Sonntag, 18. September 2022

Morgado didn't make it - China in Brussels

Why is there such a fuss about the leaking of the planned meeting between José Casimiro Morgado - director of the EU Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN) - and colleagues from the Taiwanese intelligence service? One can only smile at the hectic chatter about this.

On the one hand, it is once again frightening how little expertise there is in the media on Taiwanese intelligence architecture and how this ignorance is concealed with painfully clueless presentations. On the subject of Taiwan intelligence I can recommend the excellent chapter by my friend and colleague Jens Rosenke, which he published in the anthology Intelligence Communities and Cultures in Asia and the Middle East: A Comprehensive Reference.

But besides the ignorance about the Taiwanese security bureaucracy, this naivety about China's insights is also astonishing: How did Beijing find out about this "Top Secret" affair? What happened there? What did evil Beijing do to get this information?


Anyone with a halfway awake mind who strolls through Brussels and pays attention to individual conferences, meetings or even small discussion groups will see them: a certain and definable number of Beijing's friends, of supporters, Panda huggers and EU officials, of unscrupulous academics and think tank employees, always busy singing Beijing's praises or presenting books in which China's "alternative" point of view is finally discussed. They extol the virtues of the Silk Road, they relativise aspects of human rights and make fun of the EU's concerns about China's influence in Serbia or Greece. And the people they are networking with - at the reception, before and after the event, in discreet conversation - are sitting in the audience, for example: half the Chinese embassy in Brussels, which at times acts in an exceedingly aggressive and - there is no other way to put it - cheeky and arrogant manner.

It is no wonder at all that the Chinese government is well informed about many EU events. It learns it directly from corrupt and unscrupulous, sometimes naive insiders or those who have learned a few bits of information on the side. The hoover of the Chinese secret services sucks up everything! In addition, Chinese journalists can be found in Brussels with the most astonishing legends. 

The office of the Xinhua News Agency in Brussels alone would be worth a longer analysis. I currently identify - apart from the usual restaurants and bars - nine places in Brussels that clearly provide a platform for these pro-Chinese circles of people in the long term and allow a more or less discreet exchange of information.

Given the gathering of these forces - in Brussels and beyond - one can only wish the Taiwanese office in Brussels courage and energy!

Mittwoch, 3. August 2022

How EU and Germany abet Iranian military research

US President Biden's visit to the Middle East has brought to mind an issue that has receded somewhat into the background since the war in Ukraine: the looming threat of a highly armed Iran - along with the option that the regime in Tehran has deployable nuclear weapons.

Equally worrying are reports that Russia is being supplied with Iranian military technology, including drones, large numbers of which could be deployed by Russia in Ukraine.

Other states are also showing interest in Iranian drones.

I take this reporting as an opportunity to draw attention to a report that is aimed in particular at German industry as well as institutions involved in proliferation investigations: In this account, the recent death of an Iranian scientist - presumed to have been the victim of an attack - leads to a network of scientists and experts who conduct their research at an academic institution within the EU. The results of their work also benefit the Iranian military and Iran's nuclear programme. Not only Iranians are in this network, but also, for example, Chinese nationals who work for strictly sanctioned institutions in China. This includes a Chinese institution whose connection to the Bundeswehr University in Munich I had already analysed a few years ago.

Other individuals within this network have connections to the Pakistani Strategic Plans Division (SPD) as well as other relevant Pakistani institutions such as the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

Their research allows conclusions to be drawn about ongoing projects of interest to the Pakistani military. They also allow an insight into a scene of Pakistani scientists, PhD students and experts active in Germany, whose roots are clearly in security-sensitive areas. Some of them are connected to the Pakistani embassy in Berlin.

This network resp. the foreign research organisations and institutions behind it, has been able to establish excellent networks within the Western science community and also has corresponding connections to Germany.

The deceased Iranian scientist had apparently worked for an Iranian industrial institution. According to media reports, he was also involved in the development of drones - which fits into his research focus and publications. Some of the products of this Iranian institution are also based on the components of one of the largest and most traditional, globally active German companies. Some of these components can also be used in the context of uranium enrichment. The domain server of this Iranian facility is supplied by a German service provider and has its physical location with a very high probability and according to the research conducted so far also in Germany.

The risk analysis names individual persons in this network, lists the German products mentioned on the basis of an Iranian company catalogue and provides evidence of the German expressions of interest in the work of the deceased Iranian scientist articulated in social networks.

Finally, the enormous risks resulting from this special cooperation for German industry and research are also named. Ultimately, this risk analysis - based on strictly political science approaches - also results in the justified question of steps taken so far by the responsible authorities. These authorities and their respective departments should have noticed such an obvious and brazen circumvention of various international and national regulations long ago.

This commercial risk analysis will be offered soon on my website.

Mittwoch, 20. Juli 2022

Wie EU und Deutschland die iranische Militärforschung begünstigen

Der Besuch des US-Präsidenten Biden im Nahen Osten hat ein Thema in Erinnerung gerufen, welches seit dem Krieg in der Ukraine etwas in den Hintergrund gerückt ist: Die drohende Gefahr eines militärisch hochgerüsteten Irans – samt der Option, dass das Regime in Teheran über einsatzfähige Nuklearwaffen verfügt.

Ebenso besorgniserregend sind Berichte, nach denen Russland mit iranischer Militärtechnologie beliefert wird, darunter Drohnen, welche in grosser Stückzahl von Russland in der Ukraine einsetzen werden könnte.

Auch andere Staaten zeigen Interesse an iranischen Drohnen.

Diese Berichterstattung nehme ich zum Anlass, um auf eine politikwissen-schaftliche Risikoanalyse hinzuweisen, die sich insbesondere an die deutsche Industrie sowie die mit Proliferationsermittlungen befassten Institutionen richtet: Der kürzliche Tod eines iranischen Wissenschaftlers – mutmaßlich ist er einem Anschlag zum Opfer gefallen – führt in dieser Darstellung zu einem Netzwerk von Wissenschaftlern und Experten, die ihre Forschungen an einer akademischen Institution innerhalb der EU durchführen. Die Resultate ihrer Arbeit kommen auch dem iranischen Militär sowie dem Nuklearprogramm Irans zugute. In diesem Netzwerk bewegen sich nicht nur Iraner, sondern beispielsweise auch chinesische Staatsangehörige, welche für streng sanktionierte Institutionen in China arbeiten. Dazu gehört auch eine chinesische Einrichtung, deren Verbindung zur Bundeswehr Universität in München ich bereits vor einigen Jahren analysiert hatte.

Andere Personen innerhalb dieses Netzwerkes haben Beziehungen zur pakistanischen Strategic Plans Division (SPD) sowie weiteren relevanten pakistanischen Institutionen wie der National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) sowie der Pakistan At
omic Energy Commission (PAEC).

Ihre Forschungen lassen Rückschlüsse auf die laufenden, das pakistanische Militär interessierenden Projekte zu. Sie erlauben ferner einen Einblick in eine in Deutschland aktive Szene pakistanischer Wissenschaftler, Doktoranden und Experten, deren Wurzeln eindeutig in sicherheitssensiblen Bereichen liegen. Einige von ihnen stehen in Verbindung zur pakistanischen Botschaft in Berlin.

Dieses Netzwerk bzw. die hinter ihm stehenden ausländischen Forschungseinrichtungen und Institutionen konnten sich innerhalb der westlichen science community exzellent vernetzen und haben auch entsprechende Verbindungen nach Deutschland.

Der verstorbene iranische Wissenschaftler hatte offenbar für eine iranische, industrielle Einrichtung gearbeitet. Laut Medienberichten war er auch an der Entwicklung von Drohnen beteiligt – was zu seinen Forschungsschwerpunkten und Publikationen passt. Einige Produkte dieser iranischen Einrichtung basieren auch auf den Komponenten einer der größten und traditionsreichsten, weltweit aktiven deutschen Firmen. Einzelne dieser Komponenten können auch im Rahmen der Urananreicherung eingesetzt werden. Der Domainserver dieser iranischen Einrichtung wird von einem deutschen Dienstleister zur Verfügung gestellt und hat seinen physischen Standort mit sehr hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit und nach den bisherigen Recherchen ebenfalls in Deutschland.

Die Risikoanalyse benennt einzelne Personen dieses Netzwerkes, führt die erwähnten deutschen Produkte anhand eines iranischen Firmenkataloges auf und belegt die in sozialen Netzwerken artikulierten deutschen Interessens-bekundungen an den Arbeiten des verstorbenen iranischen Wissenschaftlers.

Schliesslich werden auch die enormen Risiken benannt, die sich aus dieser speziellen Kooperation für die deutsche Industrie und Forschung ergeben. Letztendlich resultiert aus dieser Risikoanalyse auch die berechtigte Frage nach bisher durchgeführten Schritten der zuständigen Behörden. Diesen und ihren entsprechenden Fachbereichen sollte eine derartig offensichtliche und dreiste Umgehung diverser internationaler und nationaler Vorschriften längst aufgefallen sein.

Diese kostenpflichtige, auf politikwissenschaftlichen Kriterien basierende Risikoanalyse wird in Kürze auf meiner Website angeboten werden.

Dienstag, 19. April 2022

Stucked in France

A favourable wind had driven me to beautiful Bolougne-sur-mer at the Channel. By accident there I discovered one of the many offshoots of the Ukraine war: a Russian vessel detained by the French government back in February 2022

The MV Baltic Leader is owned by the Russian TransMorFlot LLC, which manages more than 30 vessels.

On approaching there was no activity on board to be seen. Maybe the Russians were working inside, busy with launching a mini sub or small submersible ROV (R
emote Operated Vehicles)...

A captain I got talking to told me that the Russians were not allowed to disembark - though I wonder if that is actually the case. 

Wind of change?

Founded in 1952 in Hamburg, the Atlantik-Brücke organisation is considered one of the most influential networks in Germany and has had its office in Berlin for many years. Its stated goal is a traditional US-focused policy. It is a member of the New Traditions Network (NTN). From the NTN's spartan website it can be seen that it has its official headquarter in the US Embassy in Berlin and is administered from there

The Atlantik-Brücke can significantly raise now its profile due to the current crisis with Russia: From 1 June 2022, Julia Friedlander will become the new executive director in Berlin. In 2020, she had voiced clear criticism of the Russian government as co-author of the report „Defending the United States against Russian dark money“. But she had already consistently positioned herself against Russia during her 2015 to 2017 work at the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes and 2017 to 2020 at the White House National Security Council. In 2017, she was at the G20 summit in Hamburg with, among others, Jared Kushner and McMaster, the then US National Security Advisor. 

Some of the German members of Atlantik-Brücke - including well-known journalists - ultimately sued unsuccessfully in 2014 against claims in German media that they were quasi stooges of a NATO-friendly network. In view of increasing hostilities between NATO and Russia, it may be an advantage that Friedlander was an employee of the CIA from 2011 to 2015. Well, Atlantik-Brücke forgot to mention this on its website: "Julia Friedlander served as an advisor at the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House, among other positions." But Julia didn't:

Source: (last access: 19 April 2022)

Anyway, in view of the brazen Russian operations in Berlin, in Germany, in Europe, and also in view of the terrible war in Ukraine, it was probably a necessary step to send clear signals in these personnel decisions as well.

Other personnel from the Berlin office are also interesting. For example, I recognise a link to the German private security industry, among others to an ominous institute, which only had an address in Berlin, but neither email nor telephone. An alleged branch in Brussels, on the other hand, is completely unknown there. But: On this subject perhaps later.

Options and risks for arms industry in Berlin

Since March 2022, the Predator drone manufacturer General Atomics Europe GmbH has a representative office in Berlin. The office manager, Frank Sitta, is to push lobbying work at the German seat of government. His chances should be good, because as a long-standing member of the liberal FDP and its deputy chairman until 2021, he has the best connections in the government. Sitta reports directly to Stefan Klein, Head of strategic business development at the companys headquarter in Dresden. 

The reorientation of German security policy since the Russian attack on Ukraine opens up new options, especially for the defence companies represented in Berlin. Well-known companies include Ariane Group, General Dynamics European Land Systems, German Naval Yards Kiel GmbH, the Swiss RUAG, Saab and Thales. More unknown but highly specialised are CTC Medical, partner of the US company Tactial Medical Solutions, the IT service provider genua GmbH, which among other things develops secret communication technology, or a Gesellschaft für Systementwicklung und Informationsverarbeitung mbH. Among other things, it develops components for Diehl Defence's air defence system and classification tools that allow NATO and EU RESTRICTED. A niche has been found by the Berlin law firm Blomstein Part, whose clients include the defence industry. 

Due to its active lobbying the Berlin-based, the powerful Bundesverband der Deutschen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungsindustrie (Federal Association of the German Security and Defence Industry - BDSV) has been targeted since a while by the left-wing extremist scene. 


After two relatively unsuccessful attacks, the Bremen aerospace company OHB was attacked again on New Year's Eve 2021: The arson attack caused millions in damage. Sabine von der Recke, CEO of OHB, has confirmed that customers include the German military, but not Frontex – as accused by the extremists. 

In view of Germany's increasing involvement in the war in Ukraine as well as planned armament projects and increased financial expenditures for the military, it must be assumed that further attacks will take place, especially from the left-wing extremist spectrum.

Dienstag, 8. März 2022

Die Russen in der Ukraine

Es mag eventuell zweitrangig sein, aber dennoch ist ein Blick auf jene Liste interessant, die angeblich die 120.000 russischen Soldaten beinhaltet, welche teilweise in die Ukraine einmarschiert sind.

Vorausgesetzt, diese Liste entspricht der Wahrheit, erkennt man zum einen die Verteilung der Frauen und Männer, deren Knotenpunkte jeweils rechts und links in der Darstellung zu finden sind.

Auch interessant ist, dass es - soweit ich diese Liste, die durchaus in Teilen chaotisch gestaltet ist,  halbwegs bereinigen konnte - Soldaten gibt, die nicht mit dem Dienstrang, sondern einer Nummer aufgeführt werden. Dafür gibt es vermutlich eine einfache Erklärung.

Und schliesslich ist es auch bemerkenswert, dass die drei Ältesten unter den Zigtausenden Jahrgang 1954 sind. Alle drei Personen bekleiden offenbar aber nur einen niedrigen Dienstgrad, so wie dieser hier:

Man kann hoffen, dass es weitere interessante Daten geben wird, die bessere Rückschlüsse auf das russische Militär zulassen!

Donnerstag, 17. Februar 2022

Eine Momentaufnahme der Ukraine...

 ...zeigt alles Mögliche, nichts davon ist wirklich beruhigend:

Im August 1975 hatte die CIA eine lesenswerte Studie zum Nationalismus in der Ukraine erstellt und unter anderem festgestellt: 

Many factors contribute to the vitality of Ukrainian national feeling and tend to stiffen Ukrainian resistance to Russification.

Unter anderem wurde dort aufgeführt:

Weiterhin hieß es dort:

Einiges davon klingt aktuell wie eh und je.

Könnte man in so einer Momentaufnahme sehen, was verborgen sein soll, also das, was beispielsweise als secret operations bezeichnet wird, wäre das noch mehr Grund zur Unruhe und Sorge. Zwei Jahre nach der zitierten CIA Studie, also 1977, schrieb der grandiose und 2002 leider verstorbene Harry Rositzke in seinem Meisterwerk "CIA's Secret Operations":

Neither in the Baltic states nor in the Ukraine did American support have any measurable military effect in helping these undergrounds to survive. It served them in only two respects: by giving them a line to their fellow countrymen in the outside world, and by keeping up their morale - a human, if not a political, plus.

Interessant ist auf jeden Fall die Frage, welche Rolle ausländische rechtsextremistische Organisationen und Söldner spielen, welche seit längerer Zeit in der Ukraine aktiv sind und in Teilen mal mehr, mal weniger im Untergrund tätig sind. Es ist kein Geheimnis, dass sich auch aus europäischen Staaten ein entsprechender Personenkreis in der Ukraine aufhält oder entsprechend "qualifiziert" wieder in die jeweiligen Heimatstaaten begeben hat. Zu diesen foreign racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVE), die sich dank russischer Hilfe zumindest virtuell austoben können, wird auch die vom Verfassungsschutz beobachtete Kleinstpartei Der Dritte Weg gezählt. Offizielle Quelle:

Das muss nicht unbedingt bedeuten, dass Mitglieder dieser Partei sich aktiv in der Ukraine betätigen, aber der Umstand, dass in dem US Bericht auch verschiedene europäische und eben auch eine deutsche Organisation genannt werden, ist beschämend genug. Der US Bericht nennt auch die Rusich Reconnaissance and Sabotage Group, die in einigen Berichten als Bestandteil der bekannteren Wagner Gruppe bezeichnet wird. Insofern besteht die Frage: Wie verhalten und positionieren sich in einem militärischen Konflikt die ausländischen rechtsextremistischen Söldner in der Ukraine?

Montag, 31. Januar 2022

Covid-19: Potential for anti-vaccination violence increases

My last paper for Jane’s Intelligence Review ist about Covid-19: Potential for anti-vaccination violence increases.

Keypoints are:

  • Demonstrations of anti-vaxxers are heterogeneous, although increasing numbers of right-wing extremists are involved.
  • The involvement of extremists increases the likelihood of demonstrations turning violent or activists conducting violent acts towards politicians or medical staff and facilities, for example.
  • Most of the propaganda related to the anti-vaxxer scene is on open online platforms meaning it may have a potentially substantial audience.
The text published by Jane’s Intelligence Review is a reduced version of the extensive analysis I conducted, in particular on the documents and pamphlets circulated in selected Telegram channels. Much, not all, of it is extremism and hate, coming from both the right and the left of the political spectrum.

I have been looking at similarities between right-wing and left-wing extremist arguments and agitation against the state's anti-covid measures and I think I have found some interesting overlaps. I was also struck by the qualitative difference between - more or less - open forums and the often overrated and mystified dark web.

In addition, there are also numerous evangelical and pseudo-religious argumentations, quotes and recommendations for action, which pose a particular challenge for law enforcement.

In the text, I also address the gap in the market for criminals due to vaccination refusal. Price offers, contact possibilities and procedures for entering the fake vaccination certificates into state databases are the main focus here.

Remarkable and worrying - according to my observation - are the influences of some states on the discussion. I was able to ascertain that a German-language Telegram channel with over 3,700 members intensively agitates the anti-vax scene - mainly with nearly 2,000 photos and nearly 1,900 videos (as of 31 January 2022) about supposed anti-Russia plans of the USA and the EU, reporting about the “masterminds in Paris and Kiev” and “Russian peacekeepers in Kazakhstan”.