Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
White House Veterans Helped Gulf Monarchy Build Secret Surveillance Unit (reuters.com)
506 points by mzs 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 97 comments



Unfortunately, not a surprise at all. Recall that Clarke was one of the guys who OKed the return of the bin Laden family on 9/11 [edit: 1]. Clarke had deep connections to royals and rich elites like the bin Ladens

See how they targeted Qatari individuals including Al Thani himself. They say the incentive was the fight against Al Qaeda. But I am skeptical. This is about the rivalry between the Qatari and other Khaleeji royals (recall that Qatar was kicked out of GCC recently for aligning with rival ideologies like Muslim Brotherhood).

Also interesting to note is that until very recently, America’s Mid East command was in Qatar; so America was playing both sides of that conflict (as usual). I am, of course, assuming that Good Harbor / DREAD have deep federal ties. Not sure about DarkMatter — that seems Emirati.

———-

Edits:

[1] the commenter below corrected me. It was on 13th of September. But my understanding is that there was still an exception made for the Saudis (see the private aircraft ban extending beyond the time when Saudis were being shuttled around)


> recall that Qatar was kicked out of GCC recently for aligning with rival ideologies like Muslim Brotherhood

This is a very narrow view of what happened. It has more to do with the worry of Qatar's growing influence and independence in the region, as well as their close ties with Iran and Turkey. And the success of Al-Jazeera. I mean, just take a look at the demands made of Qatar:

- Closing Al-Jazeera and its affiliate stations.

- Closing other news outlets that Qatar funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

- Closing the Turkish military base in Qatar, and terminate the Turkish military presence and any joint military cooperation with Turkey inside Qatar.

- Reducing diplomatic relations with Iran. Only trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US and international sanctions will be permitted.[228]

- Expelling any members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and cutting off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran.[229]

- "Qatar must announce it is severing ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly al Qaeda's branch in Syria" according to one Arab official.

- Surrendering all designated terrorists in Qatar, and stopping all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists.

- Ending interference in the four countries' domestic and foreign affairs and having contact with their political oppositions.

- Stopping granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

- Revoking Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries' laws.[228]

- The payment of reparations for years of alleged wrongs.

- Monitoring for 10 years.[226]

- Aligning itself with the other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as on economic matters, in line with an agreement reached with Saudi Arabia in 2014.[228]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar_diplomatic_crisis#Demand...


Spent a good amount of time over there. GCC states shitting on each other is real "pot, meet kettle" hypocrisy and nonsense. And yes, we have two massive bases in Qatar. We can play all of the GCC against each other, but I can say as bigoted as it sounds: all the GCC states are repulsive and US support of _any_ of them is yet another sign of the US government upholding the stability of its values at home by subverting access to those same values for others abroad.

It is like we are all in an ironic race to the bottom for who can be most ironic with "do what I say, not what I do."


It is weird US is bothered by Qatar having good relations with Turkey, which harbour US bases, 50+ US nukes, and NATO's second largest army.

It is almost like US doesn't want its allies to work well with each other. /s


>> It is almost like US doesn't want its allies to work well with each other.

Pretty much on point. See also support for Brexit and anything that divides Europe. It's really just about protecting US's interests. Double standards is part of that. International law is for weaker nations(i.e divided).


I don’t believe brexit is in US interests. And I think any US politician saying they support brexit is pandering to their base. The UK is a major diplomatic and political avenue into the EU. What other EU country has a relationship with the US like the UK?


Brit here: I think it is in the US interests, depending (and trump thinks in very simple ways). If the UK splits hard from the EU, it can (supposedly) be persuaded to accept US standards of food etc. Europe is also weakened by losing a major member so it can be pulled apart over time and 'embraced'.

I can see how the US, this pres especially, might see brexit as an opportunity and benefit.

(edit: clarification)


The Article 1 branch of the U.S. government sees American interests somewhat differently from "divides Europe":

https://www.rte.ie/news/us/2019/1201/1096402-gfa-congress-br...


A civil war in the UK would not benefit the US, neither a hard border with the EU/Ireland (i.e for trade).

>> Asked to name his biggest competitor and foe globally, the US president said there were "a lot of foes" and named Russia and China among them, but the first on his list was the EU.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44837311

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/22/very-dangerous-putin-trump-w...


US support for Brexit seems to generally follow party lines in the US. Almost all Americans I know (I am American) thinks it's a terrible idea promoted by conmen. The few who do support Brexit have some other beliefs I find very questionable.


I have the opposite experience. The Americans that are against brexit seem to be ignorant of the reasons why Brits want it. They just see it as a partisan issue and think of themselves as being on the "smart"side. Having talked to such folks many times, I have the impression they have no clue beyond the surface of the issue.


US media is distinctly anti-brexit, and paints leavers as uneducated xenophobic nationalists. Personally, most americans I know are mildly pro-brexit. Seems to echo our national narrative of the nations birth, and sovergnity. Most americans seem not to have a strong opinion on brexit, although most are familiar with the term.


That's... not how US stance as a country is perceived from outside. We don't see average Joe's opinion, but mainly statements and actions of politicians. And they do generally support Brexit


These were Saudi demands, not US.


This is what the GCC is bothered buy. The US was discombobulated by the whole thing, and tried fruitlesslyto get the two sides to kiss and make up.

(After Obama's neutrality/mediation, Trump has sided with the GCC, but against the opinion of the professionals; the shift seems less about US interests and more about his personal interests and prejudices.)


You are spot on with the true reasons about the blockade of Qatar. I also heard that the blockading countries offered to end the blockade if Qatar transferred the 2022 World Cup hosting rights to them, though I'm not sure if that's even possible.

Regarding the demands on Qatar with respect to terrorist organizations:

1) The list includes organizations that are only designated as terrorist organizations by a minority of countries.

2) Qatar has regularly organized meetings between US government officials and terrorist organizations like the Taliban.


It's worth noting that these are Saudi (ok, Gulf Council. But Saudi..) demands, not US demands.

US and Saudi interests are not completely aligned here, although Turkish behaviour since has pushed them back closer togther (in particular buying Russian missile defence systems).


You are absolutely right. I completely agree. I didn’t expand as I was on my phone. But yes I totally agree with you.


That Bin Laden family thing is false by the way: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/flights-of-fancy/

They left the country shortly after 9/11 for the simple reason that they thought they'd be killed if people realized who they were. Most were just kids in high school and college.


From your link: > Second, we found no evidence of political intervention. We found no evidence that anyone at the White House above the level of [National Security Council official] Richard Clarke participated in a decision on the departure of Saudi nationals … The President and Vice President told us they were not aware of the issue at all until it surfaced much later in the media. None of the officials we interviewed recalled any intervention or direction on this matter from any political appointee.

If "no one above the level of Clarke" participated in the decision, it's entirely possible that Clarke did, which is what the parent said.


Participated in what? After flights were grounded no Saudis were in the air leaving the US until September 14th. We have known this for more than 15 years now. It is extremely disappointing to me that this old disinformation is currently the top thread under this submission.


No the parent said Clarke got them out on 9/11. That is false. They left after other commercial flights were up and running so why would they need help leaving the country?

> "None of the officials we interviewed recalled any intervention or direction on this matter from any political appointee."

Clarke was a political appointee.


But were there not private planes that also shuttled some saudis across the US? And this I believe was before the ban was lifted for private planes.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/10/saving-the-saudis-20...

“””

Commercial flights had slowly begun to resume, but at 10:57 A.M. the F.A.A. had issued another notice to airmen, a reminder that private aviation was still prohibited. Three private planes violated the ban that day, and in each case a pair of jet fighters quickly forced the aircraft down. As far as private planes were concerned, America was still grounded. “I was told it would take White House approval,” says Grossi.

Then one of the pilots arrived. “Here’s your plane,” he told Grossi. “Whenever you’re ready to go.”

“””

It was this, as far as I understand it, that requires Clark’s approval.


From that same article according to Clarke himself it instead required FBI approval which was asked of and granted by the FBI. We do not know who requested it, reps from both State and FBI deny that they did. The shuttle flight happened in the evening of the 13th when by other accounts some other private and commercial flights began. In any case we are pretty far away from "Clarke was one of the guys who OKed the return of the bin Laden family on 9/11" at this point.

>>>

In the days immediately after 9/11—he doesn’t remember exactly when—Clarke was approached in the Situation Room about quickly repatriating the Saudis.

“Somebody brought to us for approval the decision to let an airplane filled with Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family, leave the country,” Clarke says. “My role was to say that it can’t happen until the F.B.I. approves it. And so the F.B.I. was asked—we had a live connection to the F.B.I.—and we asked the F.B.I. to make sure that they were satisfied that everybody getting on that plane was someone that it was O.K. to leave. And they came back and said yes, it was fine with them. So we said, ‘Fine, let it happen.’” Clarke, who has since left the government and now runs a consulting firm in Virginia, adds that he does not recall who initiated the request, but that it was probably either the F.B.I. or the State Department. Both agencies deny playing any role whatsoever in the episode. “It did not come out of this place,” says one source at the State Department. “The likes of Prince Bandar does not need the State Department to get this done.”

“I can say unequivocally that the F.B.I. had no role in facilitating these flights one way or another,” says Special Agent John Iannarelli, the F.B.I.’s spokesman on counterterrorism activities.


Also: why wouldn't you OK the return of the Bin Laden family to Saudi Arabia? Al Qaeda wasn't a family business. UBL was one of like 40 siblings.


That’s a fair point. And no one should punish family members for what someone in their family did. And it is entirely possible that they were questioned on the few days that they did remain in the US.

So why was Clark even needed to “approve” these flights, one might wonder. I was just trying to say that Clark has been connected with rich Gulf monarchs and elites for a long time.


This is what I'd heard about this situation, many times. They had never even met. I actually thought it showed integrity to not lump him in with what appeared to be close family.


Might I ask what is DREAD?

Sounds very much like SPECTRE[1]. I hope DREAD has a cool acronym

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPECTRE

Edit 1:- Got it. Development Research Exploitation and Analysis Department

Edit 2:- Wouid had been sorely disappointed to know it was this - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAD_(risk_assessment_model...


Development Research Exploitation and Analysis Department


Any resources to read about this? All my searches are coming up blank.


I just got the acronym from the linked article, your guess is as good as mine. Seems like recent news about a secret program, I wouldn't expect to find much.


In my personal opinion there is absolutely no way that "five eyes" nations should allow ex-intelligence-agency personnel, particularly from the NSA and related SIGINT entities (CSE, GCHQ, etc) to go work in the private sector for non democratic regimes.

You want to go work for Denmark, or Germany? Sure, get the appropriate permit from the department of state. For the UAE, or Iran, or Myanmar? No. I don't care if the royal family running the UAE are supposedly our friends.

Any person that is a citizen of a five eyes + partner nation, which goes to work for a project like this, should immediately find themselves the target of their country-of-citizenship's intelligence agencies.


Given the way the US oscillates between administrations with oppressive tendencies and administrations which are at best squeamish when they violate international human rights laws, to me this just sounds like a skunkworks project.


> Any person that is a citizen of a five eyes + partner nation, which goes to work for a project like this, should immediately find themselves the target of their country-of-citizenship's intelligence agencies.

Do you not believe this to already be the case?


Not to imply that Myanmar is a place where sigint entites should work, but since 2010 the country has dramatically improved and democratized and even has a (mostly) free press


Right, except for that pesky ethnic cleansing problem


> Drawn to the UAE with the promise of combating terrorism, dozens of American intelligence contractors cycled in and out of a secret hacking unit over the course of a decade. As time went on, the mission became less focused on preventing violent attacks than on targeting the country’s political enemies.

It's time for us to stop pretending that the purpose of mass surveillance programs is to prevent one-off terrorist attacks. They exist to surveil and quash political dissidents.


Correct.

Surveillance has historically had three chief purposes.

- taxation, the expropriation of property or surplus value

- manpower, conscription

- maintaining order and control, eliminating threats, etc.

You can go all the way back to the dawn of agriculture and the rise of the first grain-based proto-states. The fundamentals remain much the same.


It seems like a natural progression. Obviously you want to stop terrorist attacks before they happen, but now you're not targeting terrorists, you're targeting political dissidents who have a plan to become terrorists. The earlier in the planning stages you can catch them the better. Soon enough you're keeping an eye on them before they've made any plans...


...and then get them before they choose to dissent


...or encourage them to dissent.

/when you don't have any dissent, manufacture it


The US has done that with domestic Muslim terrorists. Agents even setup links for obtaining weapons and explosives.


Hey, hey, hey, some of these people just smell a chance for profit and don't have a moral framework that gets in the way. Stop using such a broad brush!


I strongly doubt that the intelligence community have any moral framework at all.


What is more concerning is that their output is abysmal for the damage they cause.


Terrorism is indeed becoming a tired excuse. They're changing their arguments to child protection.


I listened to an episode of Darknet Diaries[1] where they interview one of the contractors that worked on this project.

[1] https://darknetdiaries.com/episode/47/


+1 for Darknet Diaries. Very entertaining and informative podcast!


+1, that was a great episode. The iOS hack story is especially crazy.


Interesting!

Is there an RSS link to use with a podcast app?

I couldn't find one from my phone.





this was a really good episode.


Dodgy Middle East money and Western intelligence people wanting to take it goes further than just cyber security. There are often times when Middle Eastern money competes to flow into and lock up various prestigious private (mostly human) intelligence companies. Ditto with close protection. Essentially trying to keep them on side during various legal and illegal battles.

Its not my area but I also heard recently the same thing happens quite a lot with the big marketing firms.


This article claims it happens with lawyers too

  Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”)
  Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/30/business/david-boies-pott...


[repeat w/o scrollbar due to double spaces]

"""

Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”)

Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients.

"""


Thanks that's interesting, I didn't know that!


The USA built counterterroism surveillance tools for the UAE monarchy and in 2016 Emirati firm DarkMatter takes over. Yikes.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSRA_Inc.

One of the contractors in question. Now a part of General Dynamics.


>>Utilizing his close relationship to the country’s rulers, forged through decades of experience as a senior U.S. decision-maker, Clarke won numerous security consulting contracts in the UAE.

Let's collects lots of business cards so in a few years we can cash in our favors. There oughta be a law...


If the money is good there will always be people willing to look away


How did nobody realize that DREAD is an incredibly ominous acronym early on in this project?


That was the point... this kind of sinister backcronym is common in military and intelligence.


And law enforcement, at least in US.

Fun fact: the guy who came up with "SWAT" originally intended it to mean Special Weapons Attack Team. His supervisor told him to come up with something that didn't sound quite so aggressive, and thus it became Special Weapons And Tactics.


I'm betting on someone liking Judge Dread.


It's spelled Judge Dredd so I don't think so.


Khasoggi (and a myriad of other political dissidents) was tracked with software obtained by Saudis from Israel (NSO) and butchered in a consulate. A year after it, Veterans are still allowed to co-op with these dudes? No lesson learned after all.


> "He said the plan was approved by the U.S. State Department and the National Security Agency, and that Good Harbor followed U.S. law."

If you're cynical that sentence is frightening.


Can you elaborate why?

api 5 months ago [flagged]

Someone posted this and got downvoted to the point of 'dead'. I smell bots and/or troll farmers, so I'm reposting:

--

I listened to an episode of Darknet Diaries[1] where they interview one of the contractors that worked on this project.

[1] https://darknetdiaries.com/episode/47/


An established user like you ought to know not to comment this way. First, the site guidelines explicitly ask you not to post dross like "I smell bots and/or troll farmers". Such comments are nearly always pure imagination, as indeed was the case here, and they poison the commons. I've asked people a thousand times not to post like that (https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20astroturf&sort=byDat...) but I shouldn't have to ask you.

Second, the guidelines ask you not to post about the voting on comments—which never does any good and makes boring reading. In fact, the comment wasn't downvoted at all. It was killed by software; I'm not sure yet why.

Third, if you see a [dead] comment that shouldn't be dead, you should vouch for it (https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html) or email us so we can fix the problem. Obviously we would unkill a comment like that as soon as we know about it—if that isn't obvious to you, note the site guideline that says "Assume good faith".

Fourth, you shouldn't be copy/pasting in HN threads. It lowers the signal/noise ratio. Since users have vouched for the comment and restored it, your post here just adds noise.


Heh, sorry. Never did that before but that one just pushed an obviousness button for me.

BTW thanks for your tireless mod work. It probably sucks but it keeps this site one of the few that isn't full of troll drool.


> Someone posted this and got downvoted to the point of 'dead'. I smell bots and/or troll farmers

I wonder how pervasive this is on HN, since you need a minimum of 500 karma before you can downvote someone. I have to admit though, over the past year HN has started to feel more like reddit (this is not my first account, I have been here for many years). I don't think it's because of poor moderation, I think it's just a result of HN becoming popular enough that it's attracting a larger audience.


>I think it's just a result of HN becoming popular enough that it's attracting a larger audience.

This could be true, however for me and what I think may be a larger issue is that people are getting tired of using Reddit and other sites altogether and there are few alternatives that offer good discussions. The reason Reddit became popular when it started I feel was for the niche subreddits and information and discussions on Reddit that you wouldn't find elsewhere on the web. Now Reddit censors anything outside of the hive-mind when it comes to common popular subreddits. Sure there are good subreddits with discussions and information still out there but unless you know where to look, the popular subreddits feel more like advertising designed to look like someone submitted something.

I remember when people migrated from Digg 2.0 and Slashdot over to Reddit sometime around 2005.

It appears now people have been increasingly jumping ship from Reddit to other platforms for the niche information while still using Reddit for the meme's and cat videos.


"HN is turning into Reddit" was a cliché 10 years ago. Even the responses were clichés 10 years ago. I think we can say what Voltaire said when told that coffee is a slow poison: "It must be very slow." [1]

https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=66057

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=223184

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=225134

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=247582

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=278785

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=289254

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=576431

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=582513

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=633099

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=926703

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1495742

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1523969

It would be fun to find the first appearance of this on HN. Here's one from when HN was still called Startup News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13852. So HN was turning into Reddit before it was HN. (The name Hacker News came in Aug 2007: https://news.ycombinator.com/hackernews.html)

[1] Actually it was Fontenelle, not Voltaire, but I guess all 18th century French jokes eventually go to Voltaire.


Preface: I'm really not trying to be belligerent.

I know it's a common trope to complain about HN becoming like reddit, but that doesn't mean it will never happen. Of course, I don't even know how I would identify that beyond how it feels, which isn't any stronger of an argument than everybody before me has made.

I guess the real question is, assuming it happens, how would we even know?

I see your point though - I'm not bringing up anything new and in that sense it's not interesting.


While "turning into Reddit" is a tired cliché here, I have seen a slowly-increasing trend of unjustified and irrational downvoting here. It's nowhere near reddit-bad, but it is significantly worse than when I joined eight years ago. I have seen an increase in longer-term users commenting on undeserved downvotes of other people's posts, which tells me I'm not the only one seeing this.

Unfortunately, I think the cat has left the bag. Removing the censorship feature from downvotes would counteract most of the damage it does to discourse, I think.


This perception has been around since the early years too. I've even pulled out the Voltaire joke about it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12670004.

In fact, the guideline against downvote complaints predates the guideline against "turning into Reddit" complaints by a couple of years: https://web.archive.org/web/20080706144102/http://ycombinato...


There is no way to know how pervasive it is and we are not allowed to talk about it. Enjoy the site.


It's the top post right now (11:39 MST)


Thanks for the link to Darknet Diaries! It was new to me


> The secret unit Clarke helped create had an ominous acronym: DREAD, short for Development Research Exploitation and Analysis Department.

“Are we the baddies?”


classic mitchell and webb sketch https://youtu.be/hn1VxaMEjRU


Reminds me of the Mitchell & Webb Look sketch where it goes like this:

    > Second Nazi: Have you noticed that our caps actually have little pictures of skulls on them?
    > Hans: I don't... er-
    > Second Nazi: Hans... are we the baddies? 
People going around helping monarchies (and/or democracies) to implement mass surveillance on journalists and human rights activists, with projects' named things like DREAD, should start asking themselves that question...


What is more concerning is that in popular culture right now many people are loudly calling for government control of news, to stamp out so called fake news. That can only lead to what amounts to a government Ministry of Truth, and support for surveillance of all journalists and activists.

So while those working on such projects need to ask themselves some serious questions, the rest of us should be loudly speaking out against the rising support of censorship and authoritarianism in general.


Honestly what we need is the re-instatement of the Fairness Doctrine:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine

Between that and maybe some kind of regulation of websites or other internet media that purport to be "news" but are something else (ie - make it a requirement that such sites conspicuously show a "for entertainment purposes only" or "satire" or similar banner). Perhaps with penalties for those who don't comply.

Of course, there's a fine line to the above; simple bloggers or even HN could potentially overstep it. There's also the issue of false accusations...

I doubt, though, that any of these things will likely occur.


Renders as white page for me. Can not read.


This archived copy will render without JavaScript: http://archive.is/btST8


It's working for me in Chrome with uBlock on.

the tldr is that Americans (former officials, former NSA hackers) built an offensive hacking unit for the UAE that is now targeting other governments and activists in the region. Women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia and journalists and such.


It sounds like the Americans eventually did all the work except the cinematic final return key press to start execution of a program for many of the operations as they could not train enough UAE employees to do the work.


Same here. For some reason cannot read with Javascript and reader mode doesn't appear as an option for this page. What's the reason?


Try enabling JavaScript.


How about another fun one? :

Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program to arm and finance the jihadists, in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, prior to and during the military intervention by the USSR in support of its client, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by the regime of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention.[1] Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken;[2] funding officially began with $695,000 in 1979,[3][4] was increased dramatically to $20–$30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987.[1][5][6] Funding continued after 1989 as the mujahideen battled the forces of Mohammad Najibullah's PDPA during the civil war in Afghanistan (1989–1992).[7]


Huh? Unlike the article I submitted, this has nothing to do with cyber, computers, hackers, tech… so I fail to see why you commented about it here o_O

Instead here's "another fun one" where OSINT computer DBs were searched* to reveal how one country made an offer to a prisoner to assassinate someone in another country.

* https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2019/12/06/ide...


This is well known, no big mystery revealed. I mean Rambo 3 basically revolves around this in its own cartoonish ways


[flagged]


Please don't take HN threads further into nationalistic flamewar. Last thing we need here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: