Categories
The News And Times Blog

3:10 PM 1/14/2021 – Capitol Attack – Counterintelligence Aspects: this article is the first indication, in the open sources, of the (not so) hypothetical Foreign Involvement and Sponsorship of the Rioters. It is very difficult to believe that this circumstance escaped the FBI’s attention. The FBI’s eyes were habitually and comfortably wide shut. The explanations might range from the “simple” stupidity and incompetence, “at best” (!!!) to the more sinister deliberate omission. Investigate The Investigators!!!


Listen to this article

3:10 PM 1/14/2021

Capitol Attack – Counterintelligence Aspects: this article is the first indication, in the open sources, and based on my readings so far, of the (not so) hypothetical Foreign Involvement and Sponsorship of the Rioters. It is very difficult to believe that this circumstance escaped the FBI’s attention. The FBI’s eyes were habitually and comfortably wide shut. The explanations might range from the “simple” stupidity and incompetence, “at best” (!!!) to the more sinister deliberate omission. 

Investigate The Investigators!!! 

The notion of the FBI penetration and infiltration by the TOC, namely the Russian Jewish Mob, does not look and feel too far fetched by now. 


Michael Novakhov

______________________________________________


 

Large bitcoin payments to right-wing activists a month before Capitol riot linked to foreign account

1 Share

WASHINGTON — On Dec. 8, someone made a simultaneous transfer of 28.15 bitcoins — worth more than $500,000 at the time — to 22 different virtual wallets, most of them belonging to prominent right-wing organizations and personalities.

Now cryptocurrency researchers believe they have identified who made the transfer, and suspect it was intended to bolster those far-right causes. U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether the donations were linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

While the motivation is difficult to prove, the transfer came just a month before the violent riot in the Capitol, which took place after President Trump invited supporters to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and “take back our country.”

Right-wing figures and websites, including VDARE, the Daily Stormer and Nick Fuentes, received generous donations from a bitcoin account linked to a French cryptocurrency exchange, according to research done by software company Chainalysis, which maintains a repository of information about public cryptocurrency exchanges and whose tools aid in government, law enforcement and private sector investigations. Chainalysis investigated the donations after Yahoo News shared the data points about the transaction.

According to one source familiar with the matter, the suspicious Dec. 8 transaction, along with a number of other pieces of intelligence, has prompted law enforcement and intelligence agencies in recent days to actively investigate the sources of funding for the individuals who participated in the Capitol insurrection, as well as their networks. The government is hoping to prevent future attacks but also to uncover potential foreign involvement in or support of right-wing activities, the source said.

During a press conference on Tuesday on the investigation into the Capitol riot, acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said the “scope and scale of this investigation in these cases are really unprecedented.” At this time, Sherwin added, prosecutors are treating the matter as a “significant counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigation” involving deeper dives into “money, travel records, disposition, movement, communication records.”

One of the ways extremist groups have made money in recent years is online through cryptocurrency and crowdfunding. Bitcoin, which was anonymously released online in 2009 as open-source software, exists only virtually. It does not utilize a central bank or administrator to disburse funds, nor does any government control or distribute it. While bitcoin has fluctuated in value in recent years, and continues to do so, it gained mainstream popularity around 2017, the same year prominent alt-right figure Richard Spencer tweeted, “Bitcoin is the currency of the alt right.”

A 2017 Washington Post investigation explored how far-right groups turned even more aggressively toward bitcoin following the deadly August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. The story cited research by the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center that identified a large bitcoin donation to Andrew Anglin, the editor of the Daily Stormer, a prominent neo-Nazi website that accepts bitcoin donations. At the time, the donation was worth around $60,000.

A “newfound expertise in online messaging and recruitment, coupled with the fact that modern extremist groups are generally young and digitally savvy, means that these organizations and individuals have fundamentally altered the way that extremists raise money,” wrote Alex Newhouse, a data analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, in a 2019 report that explored the links between white supremacists and digital currency.

Some prominent right-wing groups or sites display their bitcoin wallets prominently, the report noted. “The lack of regulation over Bitcoin has driven its adoption by white supremacists,” it said.

While cryptocurrency has been used by extremist groups and criminals to raise funds while shielding their identities, bitcoin is pseudonymous rather than anonymous. Bitcoin wallet addresses are permanent, and the digital ledger of transactions, called the blockchain, is public and can’t be changed. That means if people identify their bitcoin wallet addresses, as many right-wing groups do to raise funds, transactions can be traced, which is what allowed Chainalysis to uncover information about the source of the large December donations.

The source of the funding, according to research conducted by Chainanalysis, appears to be a computer programmer based in France who created an account in 2013 — and who maintained a personal blog, which was not updated between 2014 and Dec. 9, 2020, the day after the “donations.”

Chainalysis researchers discovered a blog post from the bitcoin user that reads like an apparent suicide note, bequeathing his money to “certain causes and people” in light of what he describes as “the decline of Western civilization,” though the researchers were unable to confirm that the user was in fact dead. Chainalysis declined to publish the user’s name, citing privacy concerns due to the inability to conclusively confirm his death and out of concerns over ongoing law enforcement investigations.

An email to the apparent French donor did not immediately receive a reply.

Chainalysis investigators relied on openly available information, or public bitcoin transactions, to investigate and map out the large transaction. The original donor was registered on NameID, an internet service that allows bitcoin users to tie their online pseudonym or email address with their bitcoin profile — information the original donor included. Investigators tracked that email address to the blog, and to several cryptocurrency forum posts going back to 2013.

According to their research, Fuentes, a popular right-wing commentator who was suspended from YouTube last winter for violating its policies on hate speech, received the largest chunk of funding on Dec. 8 — about $250,000 in bitcoin. The Daily Stormer and the anti-immigration website VDARE were among the other recipients.

Yahoo News reached out to the recipients named in this article to confirm whether they had received the funding, what information they had about the donor and what they planned on doing with the funds. None returned a request for comment, although Fuentes tweeted an obscene gesture, naming several journalists, including this reporter, shortly after the inquiry was sent.

While the Daily Stormer website openly requests cryptocurrency donations, it also includes a disclaimer that says it is “opposed to violence” and that “anyone suggesting or promoting violence in the comments section will be immediately banned.”

While there’s no evidence that Fuentes directly participated in the Capitol riot, something he has so far denied, the financial resources of prominent right-wing actors are of growing interest to law enforcement.

“I’d be stunned if both nation-state adversaries and terrorist organizations weren’t figuring out how to funnel money to these guys,” one former FBI official who reviewed the data for Yahoo News said. “Many of them use fundraising sites (often in Bitcoin) that are virtually unmonitored and unmonitorable. If they weren’t doing it, they’d be incompetent.”

Additionally, much like conversations that took place on social media in the weeks leading up to the Capitol riot, the digital currency transactions are happening in plain sight. While cryptocurrency has the reputation of being anonymous and shadowy, that’s actually a common misconception, explained Maddie Kennedy, Chainalysis’s communications director. “With the right tools you can follow the money,” she said. “Cryptocurrency was designed to be transparent.”

While there are methods that cryptocurrency users can deploy to obfuscate their identities — including using “privacy coins” such as Monero, which are difficult to trace, or using a “mixer” that allows various users to combine their bitcoins and mix them together to disguise their origin — there’s no indication the French programmer utilized those tools, Kennedy said.

Though the donations are not a smoking gun or indicative of a crime, and it remains unclear to what extent the Capitol riot was coordinated in advance, the activity is nonetheless revealing, according to Kennedy.

“These extremist groups are probably more well organized and well funded than what was previously believed,” she said. Chainalysis maintains a database of “domestic extremists” who have cryptocurrency accounts, and while the company has traced donations to right-wing groups over the years, the December deposit was “the single biggest month we’ve ever observed” directed toward these causes, the researchers wrote.

“This is evidence to show they’re raising money,” Kennedy said. Additionally, the fact that the donor was outside the United States suggests “this has international scope,” she continued, a fact that “law enforcement should be paying attention to.”

_____

Read more from Yahoo News:

Read the whole story

 

· · · · · ·

Proud Boys fan stockpiled ammo, knives in NY home

1 Share

NEW YORK (AP) — A Proud Boys supporter who threatened to deploy “three cars full of armed patriots” to Washington last week was charged Wednesday with stockpiling military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his New York home, federal authorities said.

Eduard Florea, 40, was charged with possessing ammunition as a convicted felon and denied bail after the FBI searched his Queens home and interviewed him about a series of threats about the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol they said he made on the social network Parler.

Prosecutors said the software engineer vowed to travel to the nation’s capital and slice “a throat” at the Jan. 6 riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Another post attributed to Florea threatened the life of U.S. Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock of Georgia, authorities said.

“The time for peace and civility is over,” Florea wrote, according to a criminal complaint. “I will be reaching out to patriots in my area so we can come up with a game plan.”

Florea’s defense attorney dismissed the online posts as “blather” and noted that Florea had no guns in his home. She said federal authorities “came to his home in a military tank” to arrest him.

“He is not charged with any action whatsoever in connection with the despicable acts that happened at the Capitol,” federal public defender Mia Eisner-Grynberg said. “Mr. Florea does not condone that behavior.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro said Florea posed a flight risk and is “particularly dangerous in the current political environment.”

He said Florea applied to join the Proud Boys, a far-right group, but was not yet a member because he had not attended the requisite number of meetings. He said Florea traveled to Washington in December and was with the group when it vandalized a church.

“This is not just rhetoric,” Navarro said. “This is rhetoric backed by action.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara ordered Florea held without bail, saying the evidence suggested “a premediated plan to exact violence against people in New York and people in Washington.”

Also on Wednesday, a western New York man who told a Buffalo TV station he tried to light media equipment on fire as a “symbolic gesture” outside the Capitol was arrested by the FBI.

Pete Harding was taken into custody after his home in Cheektowaga was searched by the bureau earlier in the day. His attorney told WIVB-TV that it’s unclear what charges his client faces.

While earlier in the day, an employee of a New York commuter railroad was released on $10,000 bond at his initial court appearance on charges he participated in last week’s mob assault on the U.S. Capitol.

A federal judge in White Plains, New York, ordered Will Pepe to be put on electronic monitoring and to surrender a shotgun and a hunting knife as part of his bail conditions pending the outcome of his federal trespassing case in Washington.

Pepe was suspended without pay from his job with the Metro-North railroad after he was photographed inside the Capitol during the unrest. MTA officials said he had called in sick to attend the protests.

Pepe’s attorney did not comment on the charges. There was no allegation he was armed when he went to the protest.

William Sweeney, the head of the FBI’s New York field office, said Pepe “chose to cross the bright line between the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights and violence and destruction.”

“We are continuing our investigation,” Sweeney said, “and I expect more arrests in this region will follow.”

On Tuesday, the son of a New York City judge was arrested by the FBI on charges he was among the protesters who stormed the Capitol. Aaron Mostofsky, 34, is accused of stealing a police vest and wearing a fur costume during the mayhem.

Read the whole story

 

· · ·

More than 30 lawmakers call for investigation into ‘suspicious’ access to Capitol Complex ahead of breach

1 Share

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — More than 30 Democratic members of Congress are calling for an investigation into what they believe were suspicious tours of the U.S. Capitol, alleging that the visitors to the Capitol Complex on Tuesday appeared to be “associated” with the Wednesday rally ahead of the breach of the Capitol building.

NewsNation affiliate PIX11 reports Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) in a Facebook Live Tuesday night alleged unidentified colleagues had groups walking around the Capitol in “reconnaissance for the next day.”

On Wednesday, Sherrill, along with more than 30 other lawmakers, formally requested an investigation from the Acting House Sergeant at Arms, the Acting Senate Sergeant at Arms, and the Acting Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police into what they called “suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex” on Tuesday, the day before the Complex was breached as Congress certified the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

According to the letter, tweeted by Sherrill Wednesday afternoon, she and other lawmakers noticed tours conducted on Tuesday, Jan. 5, that were “a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020 that limited the number of visitors to the Capitol.” The letter continues to say the tours were “so concerning” they were reported to the Sergeant at Arms that Tuesday.

“The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day,” the letter alleges in part, before stating “Given the events of January 6, the ties between these groups inside the Capitol Complex and the attacks on the Capitol need to be investigated.”

The letter concludes, before laying out a number of questions, “the fact remains that there were unusually large groups of people throughout the Capitol who could only have gained access to the Capitol Complex from a Member of Congress or a member of their staff.”

No Republican lawmakers signed the letter calling for the investigation.

The letter doesn’t provide any evidence of the allegations.

Read the full letter below:

Download the free NewsNation Now app to receive updates on this developing story.

Suggest a Correction

Tweets 

  1. Bitcoin price doubled in 3 weeks, to be exact; from December 14, 2020 to January 8, 2021 – see graph on Google Search page. This is the most remarkable surge, and more than just speculative. https://www.google.com/search?q=bitcoin+price&source=lmns&bih=762&biw=1474&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS733US733&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjnzIiFmJzuAhVEON8KHaWwAX0Q_AUoAHoECAEQAA 

    View image on Twitter
  2. Bitcoin price doubled in a few weeks, from the end of 2020 by 1.8.21, from $20,000 to $40,000, which may indicate its heavy use as the payments for rioters and/or price pumping, along with other factors.

    Google Search https://www.google.com/search?q=bitcoin+price&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS733US733&oq=bitcoin+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0i131i433l4j69i65l2j69i60.9047j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 

    View image on Twitter
  3.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Last week’s events did not come out of the blue, write @alexstamos & @noUpside:

    “Anybody paying attention to the general media and social media environment could have assessed that large, pro-Trump protests in DC were very likely to take place on Jan. 6.”http://ow.ly/lLYO50D8HC7 

  4.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, a Texas megachurch pastor and former spiritual adviser to two U.S. presidents, has been sentenced to six years in prison for bilking investors out of millions of dollars. http://apne.ws/FKdLI5c 

  5. Retired Pennsylvania firefighter in Lehigh County Jail on charges he threw fire extinguisher at police in Capitol riot
    The Morning Call·1 hour ago

    robert sanford chester pa – Google Search https://www.google.com/search?q=robert+sanford+chester+pa&source=lmns&bih=762&biw=1474&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS733US733&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwju0rDDlJzuAhUNk1kKHTmXA0MQ_AUoAHoECAEQAA 

    View image on Twitter
  6. Proud Boys fan stockpiled ammo, knives in NY home – Shared Links – Audio Posts – 2:02 PM 1/14/2021 https://thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2021/01/proud-boys-fan-stockpiled-ammo-knives.html 

    View image on Twitter
  7. Columbus variant suggests that the same mutation may be occurring independently in multiple parts of the world during the past few months.

    OR: THAT IT EVOLVED IN THE SAME LAB! – M.N.

    Researchers Discover New Variant of -19 Virus in Columbus, Ohio https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/mediaroom/pressreleaselisting/new-sars-cov2-variant 

  8. Researchers Discover New Variant of COVID-19 Virus in Columbus, Ohio https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/mediaroom/pressreleaselisting/new-sars-cov2-variant 

    “The big question is whether these mutations will render vaccines and current therapeutic approaches less effective,” said Peter Mohler, a co-author of the study and chief scientific ..

  9. Was Achilles gay? Twitter users debate after resurfaced 2011 book! – HITC https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2021/01/14/was-achilles-gay/ 

    View image on Twitter
  10.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Bill introduced to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal for “bravery and quick thinking” when he lured a group of rioters away from the entrance to Senate chambers https://cnn.it/3nDRyW0 

    View image on Twitter
  11. FBI Reform: mikenov on Twitter: ‘Audio Review – Questions Over Possible ‘Insider’ Help for Capitol Attack – 7:15 AM January 14, 2021’ on http://soundcloud.com/mike-nova-3/au https://ino.to/Sf2ol15 

  12. Military Trucks Block Roads To U.S. Capitol In Stepped Up Security Measu… https://youtu.be/7MQWgBla8_s  via @YouTube

  13. Covid-19 pandemic: WHO team arrives in China for virus investigation https://youtu.be/XxFtQR4zITA  via @YouTube

  14. Capitol Attack – COUNTERINTELLIGENCE aspects: INSIDER and FOREIGN CONNECTIONS | Questions Over Possible ‘Insider’ Help for Capitol Attack | A growing body of evidence shows Facebook played a much larger role than Sandberg suggested. https://thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2021/01/capitol-attack-counterintelligence.html 

    View image on Twitter
  15.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    The visit comes as China faces an outbreak of cases, with 138 new infections and the first confirmed death from coronavirus in months https://on.ft.com/2LnhrMR 

  16.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Stunned. Just stunned.

    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
  17.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Video exclusive: ‘Death is the remedy’ – what Capitol rioter told me minutes after attack on policeman

    Click through to watch our video in full: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/14/video-exclusive-death-remedy-capitol-rioter-told-minutes-attack/?utm_content=telegraph&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1610619648 

    View image on Twitter
  18.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    The first clearance of orbiting debris is likely to be a European affair https://econ.st/39prmJM 

  19.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    THE MEMO: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever http://hill.cm/KC2F0oh 

    View image on Twitter
  20.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Giuliani gave Trump everything, most notably, the last remaining shred of his public professional credibility and his dignity. https://slate.trib.al/0hBEAGV