CUBA'S ROLE IN THE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES
I. CUBA's ADVERSARY FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE
When the Cold war ended, it was widely believed that a new era of international cooperation had begun. However, simply put, the end of the cold war has not led to a more peaceful world.
The United States is the target of those who challenge the status quo, and one of those is Cuba. Furthermore, the PRC has joined efforts with Cuba in a new axis. The deterioration in China's relations with the United States is also being accompanied by a warmer relationship with Russia.
There are four nations that use intensively their intelligence services to harm the interests of the United States. The nations are: Russia, PRC, Cuba, and North Korea. These nations continue to expend significant resources to conduct intelligence operations against the United States.
These efforts are centered on producing intelligence concerning the United States military capabilities, other national security activities, and military research and development activities.
They have now expanded their collection efforts to place additional emphasis on collecting scientific, technical, economic, and proprietary information. These collection efforts are designed to provide technologies required for the acquisition and maintenance of advanced military systems, as well as to promote the national welfare of these nations.
Each one of these countries has the ability to collect intelligence on targeted U.S. activities using HUMINT, SIGINT, and the analysis of open source material. Also, Cuba, China, and Russia have access to imagery products that can be used to produce IMINT.
The United States is now the target of those who want to challenge the existing state of affairs. Security threats, in this new era of asymmetric warfare, will inevitable emerge more and more frequently.
The 'fall of communism" has not reduced the level or amount of espionage and other potential serious activities conducted against the United States. Recent espionage cases involving Russia, China, Cuba are just the tip of the iceberg.
Software is one weapon of information based attacks. Such software includes computer viruses, Trojan Horses, worms, logic bombs, and eavesdropping sniffers. Advanced electronic hardware can also be useful in information attacks. In terms of maturity of the threat, the numbers tell the story. So far, in July of this year there have been over 300 reported hacked web sites.
High Performance Computers (HPCs) are important for many military applications, including processing information acquired through espionage. HPCs provided to Cuba by the PRC could facilitate many of Cuba's asymmetric military modernization objectives.
The PRC has obtained the HPCs from the United States.The contribution of HPCs to military modernization is also dependent on related technologies such asTelecommunications, Microelectronics, and Computer Networking, areas in which the PRC has been assisting Cuba intensively since 1998.
The principal intelligence collection arms of the Cuban government are the
· Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI)of Ministry of Interior, and the Military Counterintelligence Department of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. The DGI is responsible for foreign intelligence collection.
· The DGI has six divisions divided into two categories of roughly equal size:
The Operational Divisions and the Support Divisions.
The operational divisions include the Political/Economic Intelligence Divisions, the External Counterintelligence Division, and the Military Intelligence Division.
The support divisions include the Technical Support Division, the Information Division ,and the Preparation Division.
The Technical Support Division is responsible for production of false documents, communication systems supporting clandestine operations, and development of clandestine message capabilities. The Information and Preparation Divisions are responsible for intelligence analysis functions.
· The Political Economic Intelligence Division consists of four sections:
Eastern Europe, North America, Western Europe, and Africa-Asia-Latin -America. The External Counterintelligence Division is responsible for penetrating foreign intelligence services and the surveillance of exiles.
· The Military Intelligence Department is focused on collecting information on the U.S. Armed Forces and coordinates SIGINT operations with the Russians at Lourdes, and controls the Bejucal base.
· The Military Counterintelligence Department is responsible for conducting counterintelligence, SIGINT, and electronic warfare activities against the United States.
The full range of Cuba's espionage activities are a very serious matter of concern. Despite the economic failure of the Castro regime, Cuban intelligence, in particular the DGI, remains a viable threat to the United States. The Cuban mission to the United States is the third largest UN delegation. The United States' intelligence agencies should devote their resources to the most serious security threats, principally international terrorism, and adverse political trends.
II. CUBA's ELITE MILITARY GROUP: SPECIAL TROOPS
What are Cuba's elite forces? Who commands them? Who trains them? Where is their training camp? What are the main missions they are prepared for? Since mid 1980s, Cuba established in Los Palacios, Pinar del Rio, in a region known as El Cacho, a special troop military training school.
It is named Baragua school. It is situated in a big valley, near the Pinar del Rio mountains. A very large training camp, with arificial lakes, and the most modern training technology. The School is exactly located where the first missiles were seen during the 1962 missile crisis.
The School was founded by the de la Guardia brothers. It is now under General Jose Luis Mesa, very close to Raul Castro. General Mesa is 50 years old. Speaks fluent English, well mannered. Veteran of Vietnam as a young officer, and the African wars. He is assisted by Colonel Ramirez, a black Cuban. Veteran of Angola, Vietnam, and other war places. Colonel Ramirez is an expert on this kind of special troop training. Presently they have assistant from special personnel from China and Vietnam. The special troop school has about a constant flow of 2500 men in training.
Their age range from 18 to 35 years old. They are a breed apart, a cut above the rest. Unquestionable, one of the world's finest unconventional warfare experts. Certainly, second only to the United States Special Troops in this Hemisphere. They are kept on an uncommon physical and mental caliber. Mature, highly skilled, and superbly trained.
They are always ready to serve anywhere, at any time. Infiltrations, commando operations, biowarfare, cyberwarfare, espionage. Special troops are trained to deliver people, equipment, and weapons with surgical precision. Locate high-value, strategic, movable targets, and deliver firepower more accurately. They are trained to operate in small independent units.
They have advanced personal camouflage with enhanced protection against harsh environments and climatic conditions. Clothing will offer them individual body armor and safeguards against biological and chemical agents. They have helmets fitted with enhanced sensory head-up displays including thermal, image-intensified, and acoustic sensors. External and imbedded optics enable them to see long distances clearly without using handheld optical systems.
They have external skeletal systems that will improve individual skills, enabling special operators to move faster, jump farther, and lift more weight. Such enhanced physical attributes allow them to deliver more deadly force with greater accuracy and penetrating power. They also have miniaturized command, control, and communication functions, as well as embedded artificial intelligence for situational decision making.
In Baragua School, Special troops are trained to perform the following missions:
· Unconventional Warfare, UW: A broad spectrum of military operations conducted in politically sensitive territory or "enemy" held territory. Including interrelated fields of guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, subversion, sabotage.
· Direc Action, DA: Either overt or cover action against an "enemy" force. Seize, damage, and destroy a target. Short duration, small scale offensive actions. Ambushes, direct assault tactics, emplace mines.
· Special Reconnaissance, SR: Infiltration behind "enemy" lines. Collect meteorological, hydrographic, geographic, and demographic data.
· Psychological Operations,PSYOP: Induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to Cuba objectives. Influence emotions, motives, and behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
They also receive additional training and skills in freefall parachuting, underwater operations, target interdiction strategic reconnaissance, and operations and intelligence.
Obviously, this group is strictly an offensive military group. Cuba is an island, and therefore has not borders to defend from neighboring countries. The most serious threats from the Special troops are: biowarfare operations, cyberwarfare operations, infiltrations, commando attacks, kidnapping, espionage.
· Cuba started its biological program in 1982. Dr. Ernesto Bravo visited Boston University. There, with Dr. Lynn Margulis, and Dr. Harlyn Halvorson, they created NACSEX- North American/Cuban Scientific Exchange. By 1985 NACSEX had conducted several seminars and short courses in Cuba. Also, several Cuban scientists, engineers, physicians spent time at Boston University.
· Dr. Silva Rodriguez spent three months at Boston University, under Dr. Robert Zimmerman, learning new technology related to genetic engineering.
· While these events were happening, Castro had visited the Soviet Union in 1982, where he obtained from Brezhnev a laboratory donated to Cuba, where E.coli bacteria could be genetically altered to produce interferon. This visit was followed by a visit to Cuba of General Vladimir Lebedensky, with a team of military scientists in biowarfare.
· By 2000, Cuba is the world's second largest producer, by volume, of Alpha Interferon. Cuba is also the only country, besides highly developed nations, producing a high range of human and recombinant interferons on an industrial scale.
· Therefore, for the past thirty years, Cuba has been working in the research and development of biotechnological agents. Viruses and toxins have been altered genetically to heighten their lethality, paving the way for the development of pathogens capable of overcoming existing vaccines
· The arsenal in Cuba include weapons based on tularemia, anthrax, smallpox, epidemic typhus, dengue fever, Marburg, Ebola. It also includes neurological agents, based on chemical substances produced naturally in the human body.
· Cuba has acquired the technology and capacity to manufacture their own equipment. Some of the equipment required are very similar to equipment related to diary production, sugar cane processing, and liquor manufacturing, areas where Cuba has had experience and technology
· Cuba has developed, in conjunction with the PRC's company Medical Instrumentation Neuke, a toxin that paralyze the nervous system.
· Cuban main Centers dedicated to the research and development of biotechnological agents are: CIGB, or Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology; National Bio-preparations Center, or Biocen; the Institute of Tropical Medicine; The Finlay Institute;the Center for Molecular Immunology, or CIM; the National Academy of Sciences.
· There are also some other 160 Centers, smaller, disseminated throughout the country. Approximately 10,000 researchers-scientists, engineers, physicians, are working nationally in the field of biotechnology research and development.
IV. CUBA'S CHEMICAL WARFARE CAPABILITIES
Chemical warfare is the use of poison gases and other toxic chemicals to kill or incapacitate an enemy. Modern nerve gases and chemical warfare agents are a by-product of insecticide research. They are composed of organic chemicals known as organophosphorus compounds that inhibit the production of cholinesterase.
Cuba initiated its first steps in chemical warfare during the Wars in Africa. Cuba learned its manufacturing, maintenance, and use from the Vietnamese, and the PRC. Later on, by the former Soviet Union. Small and efficient plants can turn out chemical weapons by the ton. These plants are scattered in Cuba, but mainly in La Habana, Central Cuba, near Sancti Spititus, and in Santiago de Cuba.
Chemical weapons usually cause burns, asphyxiation, and neurological damage. Cuba has developed, in conjunction with the PRC, a very effective neurological damaging gas. They have also developed, with the assistant of the former Soviet Union, a nerve gas called Novichok. This gas is five times as deadly as conventional nerve gases. It is purported that 40,000 tons of Novichok is enough to kill all human life on earth.
Of course, the use of chemical weapons is limited by the excessive bulk of the chemical agents. Weather, winds and the practical limitations of dispersal would generally limit chemical weapons to use against concentrated targets. Chemical weapons can be very effective against troop concentrations, military facilities, and highly populated areas.
Intelligent sources strongly suspect that Cuba has worked on, and developed the following:
· Tabun (GA)-cholisterase inhibitor
· Sarin (GB)-cholinesterase inhibitor
· Soman (GD)- cholinesterase inhibitor
· Yellow Rain-Unknown compound that causes bleeding and rapid death, may include mycotoxins produced by the genus Fusarium fungi-Tropical Medicine Institute.
· Novichok-A choline sterase inhitor. Affect human genes.
· Mustard- (H, HID, HS)-causes skin and membrane inflammation. Blindness
· Phosgene Oxime (CX)-destroys skin and membrane tissue
A blood agent is absorbed into the body through the lungs where it is then picked up by the blood.
· Arsine Trihydride (SA)-causes gasping and choking, asphyxiation
· Hydrogen Cyanide (PB)-Penetrates current issue U.S. military gas masks. Causes convulsions, gasping, choking. Cuba and Irak worked together on this chemical agent
· Buzz (13Z)- Hallucinogenic LSD derivative
· Blue X- Incapacitates humans for 8-12 hours.
V. CUBA's CORE FOR BIOLOGICAL WARFARE: CIGB
The core of the biowarfare efforts of the Cuban government is the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), located at 31 Avenue, between 158 and 190 streets, Cubanacan, La Habana. This institution is at the vanguard in the Hemisphere, second only to selected centers in the United States. Over 1,100 engineers, scientists, technicians work at the Center.
It occupies a total area of over 62,000 square meters, with buildings occupying approximately 44,000 square meters, including laboratories, offices and service areas. There is a huge greenhouse of 1,700 square meters and 2.7 hectares of fertile soil. They also house a theater for conferences and congresses, and rooms for seminars, libraries, gymnasium, etc.
The main production plant of bioagents covers 7,500 square meters, although the CIGB shares production with the Biopreparations Center, or BIOCEN, located in Bejucal, at Carretera Beltran km 1 ½, nearby the electronic espionage and interference base.
The CIGB is structured into several big sub directions: research, quality control, production, engineering and services, teaching. The main oriented work lines are: pharmaceutical, vaccine, immunology, clinical, preclinical, automation, chemistry/physics, mammal cell genetics, plant molecular biology, cloning.
The CIGB has a CIGBnet which is the network for the Center. It provides computer communications, database access, information services and data processing. It is operated by the Network Services Group of the Automation Division of the CIGB. It provides computer networking access to some 600 members.(out of the 1,100). LANs located in the Center are linked together using both dialup UUCP technology and RENACYT, the national academic X.25 network, operated by ICIMAF/CIDET.
Protocols running on the LAN side are IPX/SPX, giving access to both Netware based and UNIX base services. PWGlue is an off line email management system of the Center, based on the Pegasus Mail. Glue code to get those two shareware packages working together was developed at the Center. Data batching and compression engines were also added. Data compression engines are compatible with UNIX standard compress utility or GNU's gzip.email for certain personnel in the Center follow as this: last email@example.com
The CIGB has a biotherium, barrier zones, white rooms, for research with sensitive and lethal bio agents. The CIGB' modern and efficient technological equipment includes mass spectrometers, infrared and ultraviolet electron and scanning microscopes, gamma counters, DNA synthesizers.
Also, and very important, downstream fermenters, drying and milling machines, centrifuges, which can guarantee research and development of bioweapons, such as bacteria and virus agents.
The process of weaponizing anthrax, for example, can be done at these facilities. A few grains of the freeze-dried bacteria are kept in a stoppered vial. Then, a small amount of a nutrient medium is put into the vial. A mother culture is created. With tiny pippetes, the mixture is drawn out of the vial and a small amount is transferred into several slightly larger bottles. The bottles are left to incubate in a thermostatic oven for two days. This process, up to this point, is very similar to the one to make a vaccine.
A seed stock in a standard vial will swell to billions of microorganisms after 48 hours, but it will take weeks of brewing to produce the quantities required for weaponization. Once the culture emerges from the oven, it is siphoned off into large flasks. The flasks are taken into a special room, where they are connected to air-bubbling machines, which turn the liquid into a light froth. The bacteria then grow more efficiently.
Each new generation of bacteria is transferred into larger vessels, until is vacuum pressure into fermenters. The substance is incubated for two days in the fermenters, until it reaches maximum concentration. At this stage, the process is passed through a centrifuge to be concentrated as much as thirty times further. However, we do not have a weapon yet. The pathogen has to be mixed with special additives to stabilize it over a long period. Then, the weapon is ready.
Smallpox virus can also be produced at the Center. Tissue cells are obtained from animals or humans. The tissue is kept alive outside its natural habitat in cell lines and stored at very precise temperature. Cells are obtained from the kidneys of green monkeys or from the lungs of human embryos. A special combination of amino acids, vitamins, salts, and sera, distilled with de-ionized water, is crucial for the process.
Many of the equipment needed for the production of bioagents are similar to the equipment used in the dairy industry, liquor industry, and sugar mills. Therefore Cuba has the technology and the facilities to produce its own specialized equipment.
China has developed a large biotechnological area in its Northeastern part of the country. It is close to one of China's nuclear research centers. China has concentrated its efforts in the development of viral diseases and toxins.
Since 1997 China has been working very closely with Cuba in the research and development of bioweapons. China has provided Cuba, among other equipment, with two High Performance Computers, needed in the specialized production of certain bioagents, as well as to study weather patterns for a better delivery or attack with bioagents. Chinese military scientists have now joined Cubans at the CIGB conducting joint ventures in the biowarfare area.
· On 1991 Cuba formed a group, under the Military Intelligence Directorate of the Armed Forces. The group was charged to obtain information to develop computer viruses. The project was under the military authority of Major Guillermo Bello, and his wife Colonel Sara Maria Jordan. The civilian authorities were the engineers Sergio Suarez, Amado Garcia, and Jose Luis Presmanes
· Cuba's main centers are: the Lourdes base, under Russian authorities; the Bejucal base, under Cuban authorities; the Paseo complex, between 11th and 13th streets; the Jaruco complex; the Wajay complex.
· There are several research and development Centers at universities and Institutes, as well as centers in Santiago de Cuba and Guines.
· Cuba has done extensive studies on electromagnetic radiation weapons. These are weapons capable of destroying microelectronic equipment from a two miles distance radius.
· There are several areas under cyberterrorism, all of which Cuba has the capacity and the technology to produce. We have: electronic eavesdropping or espionage; computer network intrusion, in the form of viruses; computer networks intrusion to change, alter, or read files; destruction of computer and electronic equipment through electromagnetic radiation
· Cuba has obtained from PRC several HPC-high performance computers-which can be used for military research and development in the areas of biowarfare and cyberwarfare.
· Since 1998, Cuba has being working very closely with the PRC in these areas, as well as in the biowarfare area.
VII. WHAT CAN BE DONE FROM THE BEJUCAL BASE BESIDES ELECTRONIC ESPIONAGE?
From the Bejucal base in Cuba, besides the listening to telecommunication channels in the United States, they can also produce attacks on the security of the United States' computer systems or networks. The general categories of attack are:
Interruption: An asset of the system is destroyed or becomes unavailable or unusable. This is referred to as an attack on availability. Examples include destruction of a piece of hardware, such as a hard disk, the cutting of a communication line, or the disabling of the file management system.
Interception: They get access to an asset.This is referred to as an attack on confidentiality. Example is the unauthorized copying of files or programs
Modification: The attacker tampers with an asset. This is referred to as an attack on integrity. Examples include changing values in a data file, altering a program so that it performs differently, and modifying the content of messages being transmitted in a network
Fabrication: The attacker inserts counterfeit objects into the system. This is referred to as an attack on authenticity. Examples include the insertion of spurious messages in a network or the addition of records to a file.
CATEGORIES OF ATTACKS
A useful categorization of these attacks is in terms of passive attacks and active attacks. Passive attacks are in the nature of monitoring of transmissions. The goal of the attacker is to obtain information that is being transmitted.
Two types of passive attacks are(1) release of message content;(2) traffic analysis. A release of message content is easily understood. A telephone conversation, an electronic mail message, and a transferred file may contain sensitive or confidential information. The second passive attack, traffic analysis, is more subtle. Suppose that we had a way of masking the contents of a message or other information traffic so that Cuba, even if they capture the information, could not extract the real information because of the use of encryption. The attacker could after a period of time extract the information and messages, defeating the encryption process.
The second major category of attack is active attacks. These attacks involve some modification of the data stream or the creation of a false stream. It can be subdivided into four categories: masquerade, replay, modification of message, denial of service.
A masquerade takes place when the attacker, under certain entity, pretends to be a different entity, and therefore enabling an authorized entity to obtain extra privileges. Replay involves the passive capture of a data unit and its subsequent retransmission to produce an unauthorized effect.
Modification of service simply means that some portion of a legitimate message is altered, or that messages are delayed or reordered, to produce an unauthorized effect. The denial of service prevents or inhibits the normal use or management of communications facilities. This is a very important and serious possible attack. It could disrupt an entire network, either by disabling the network or by overloading it with messages so as to degrade performance.
The attacker could target airports, financial centers, power companies, dams control centers, etc. It is quite difficult to prevent active attacks. The goal is to detect them and to recover from any disruption or delays caused by them.
There are three classes of intruders:
Masquerader: the intruder is not authorized to use the computer and penetrates a system's access controls to get inside. This can be done from the Bejucal base
Misfeasor: A legitimate user who access data, programs, or resources for which is not authorized. This can be done by an insider, not from the Bejucal base
Clandestine: the intruder seizes supervisory control of the system. Can be done from inside or from the Bejucal base
The objective of the intruder is to gain access to a system or to increase the range of privileges accessible on a system. The intruder must acquired information that should have been protected. In most cases, this information is in the form of a password. The password file can be protected by one way encryption or by limiting the access control to the file.
What are the most common techniques used so far to truy to break into a system?
· Try words on the system's online dictionary
· Collect information about the users. Full names, spouses' names,
· children's names, pictures in their offices, books in their offices, etc
· (Here the operating personnel in Bejucal needs inside information)
· Users' phone numbers, social security numbers, room numbers, license
· plate numbers, etc (inside information is also needed)
· Use a Trojan horse
· Tap the line between a remote user and the host system
Network security has assumed increasing importance. Individuals, corporations, government agencies, must heighten their awareness to protect data and messages, and to protect systems from network-based attacks. The disciplines of cryptography and network security have matured, leading to the development of practical, readily available applications to enforce network security.
This report is an assessment of the Cuban threat to the United States national security. The assessment addresses the unconventional or asymmetric threats of infiltrations, commando attacks, espionage, biowarfare, and cyberterrorism.
The FBI has identified the following countries as State sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, Libya, North Korea.The U.S. Office of Technological Assessment has identified seventeen countries believed to possess biological weapons. Cuba is one of them.
There is a definite and important relationship between Cuba and Iran in the field of biotechnology. Luis Herrera, one of the founders of the CIGB and the biowarfare industry in Cuba is directing the Iran/Cuba activities. Cuba sells to Iran equipment and technology to assist Iran in the development of its biowarfare industry. Dr. Miyar Barruecos, a physician, very close to Castro, has very strong ties to the Iran government. He was the main official involved in the initial development of this relationship.
Cuba and Iraq also maintain a close relationship in this field. Dr. Rodrigo Alvarez Cambra, an orthopedic surgeon, very close to Castro, has been the main official involved in the Cuba/Iraq relations. He has operated on some members of the Hussein's family. Iraq and Cuba interchange scientists, and technology in the biowarfare field.
Cuba's intelligence activities against the United States have grown in diversity and complexity in the past few years. The Director of the CIA stated before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1998, that Cuba was among six countries that poses a threat to the United States in electronic espionage.
Cuba, due to its proximity to the United States, its electronic espionage facilities, and the constant flow of people between the United States and Cuba, has served as a Center for Logistics for all terrorist groups and nations.
Cuba, obviously, represents a serious threat to the security of the United States.
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