Category Archives: Security

American Airlines Mechanic Deliberately Sabotages Plane || Sep 07 2019

American Airlines mechanic in Miami charged with sabotaging plane. It aborted takeoff || Miami Herald

Story by Jay Weaver:

“An American Airlines mechanic appeared in federal court Friday on a sabotage charge accusing him of disabling a navigation system on a flight with 150 people aboard before it was scheduled to take off from Miami International Airport earlier this summer.

The reason, according to a criminal complaint filed in Miami federal court: Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran employee, was upset over stalled union contract negotiations.

None of the passengers and crew on the flight to Nassau were injured because his tampering with the so-called air data module caused an error alert as the pilots powered up the plane’s engines on the runway July 17, according to the complaint affidavit.

As a result, flight No. 2834 was aborted and taken out of service for routine maintenance at American’s hangar at MIA, which is when the tampering with the ADM system was discovered during an inspection. An AA mechanic found a loosely connected tube in front of the nose gear underneath the cockpit that had been deliberately obstructed with some sort of hard foam material.

Alani, 60, of Tracy, California, near San Francisco, is charged with “willfully damaging, destroying or disabling an aircraft” and made his first appearance in Miami federal court on Friday. Alani, who was arrested Thursday morning by federal air marshals and FBI agents at MIA where he worked as an AA mechanic, will be held at a federal lock-up at least until his detention hearing next Wednesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Medetis said her office will seek to detain Alani, who was appointed a federal public defender by Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan after he found the mechanic was unable to pay for his own defense.

At Friday’s first appearance, Alani spoke halting English and the judge asked for an Arabic interpreter to translate. Alana, who is from Iraq but has lived in the United States for decades, told the judge that he was making $7,000 to $8,000 a month from his job as a mechanic for American Airlines. He said he owned a property in Sarasota and leased a couple of cars, a 2018 Honda and 2016 Camaro.

O’Sullivan asked Alani if he was still employed. He didn’t respond immediately.

Medetis, the prosecutor, then interjected: “It is our understanding that he is going to be suspended without pay.”

After the hearing, Assistant Federal Public Defender Anthony Natale declined to comment about the sabotage allegations in the criminal complaint.

“Obviously, we just got the paperwork,” said Natale, a veteran federal public defender who was involved in the high-profile terrorism trial of Jose Padilla in Miami more than a decade ago. “That’s all I can say.”

For now, Alanis is being held on a criminal complaint but is expected to be indicted soon on a sabotage-related charge by a federal grand jury. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 20.

According to the complaint affidavit, Alani glued the foam inside the tube leading from outside the American Airlines plane to its air data module, a system that reports aircraft speed, pitch and other critical flight data. As a result, if the plane had taken off that day from MIA, the pilots would have had to operate the aircraft manually because the ADM system would not have received any computer data.

After his arrest Thursday, the affidavit says that Alani told federal air marshals assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force that “his intention was not to cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers.”

He said that his motive in tampering with the navigational system was because he was “upset” over stalled contract negotiations between the mechanics’ union and American Airlines that has raged for months — that “the dispute had affected him financially.”

He further said he only tampered with the plane’s air data module “in order to cause a delay or have the flight canceled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work,” according to the affidavit.

Relations have become so strained between the 12,000-employee mechanics’ union and American Airlines that the organization vowed a “bloody” battle over the course of the summer that has led to bitter legal fights in Texas, where the company is headquartered.

.. ..

In a message to employees, David Seymour, American’s senior vice president of operations, said the airline works with authorities and other experts to improve safety procedures. He said American maintains full trust and confidence in its employees.

“Fortunately, with appropriate safety protocols and processes, this individual’s actions were discovered and mitigated before our aircraft flew,” Seymour said. “We have been cooperating with authorities in this matter and will continue to do so.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

….read more at:

What screening measures? Accused Somali war criminal found working security at Dulles Airport || Washington Times

 

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Americans have a right to question our government’s ability to screen and vet immigrants and refugees coming into the country. For real gaps exist, which can pose severe security risks to our country.

Take for example, Yusuf Abdi Ali, an accused war criminal from Somalia, now living in the U.S. and working as a security guard at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. A simple Google search on Mr. Ali would have turned up the atrocities he is accused of committing during Somalia’s bloody civil war.

So what did Mr. Ali allegedly do? According to a human rights group which filed a lawsuit against him, Mr. Ali is accused of personally overseeing torture, as well as being a torturer.

“He arrested people, stole their stuff, burned villages, executed masses of people,” Kathy Roberts, an attorney for the Center for Justice and Accountability, which is leading the suit against him, told CNN. “At one point he had a school come out to view an execution.”

A CNN investigation found that Mr. Ali has been “living a normal suburban life just outside of the nation’s capital, in Alexandria, Virginia. He shares an apartment with his wife and works as a security guard at one of the busiest airports in the country.”

…read more at: Washington Times

 

 

American Airlines Mechanic Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani Charged with Sabotaging Plane || The GatewayPundit

American Airlines mechanic Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani was arrested Thursday after sabotaging the navigation system of a flight to Nassau with 150 passengers on board. Alani admitted on Thursday that he tampered with the controls of the flight.

The Miami Herald reported:

An American Airlines mechanic was arrested Thursday on a sabotage charge accusing him of disabling a navigation system on a flight with 150 people aboard before it was scheduled to take off from Miami International Airport earlier this summer.
The reason, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in Miami federal court: Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran employee, was upset over stalled union contract negotiations.
None of the passengers and crew on the flight to Nassau were injured because the tampering with the so-called air data module caused an error alert as the pilots powered up the plane’s engines on the runway July 17, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in Miami federal court.”

 

…read more at: TGP

African Migrants Fight Police in Mexico on Way to U.S. || Aug 28 2019

They’re Not Sending Their Best: African Migrants on way to US FIGHT MEXICAN POLICE in Wild Border Brawl in Tapachula (VIDEO) || TGP

 

“Military police officers clash with migrants from Africa, Haiti and other countries during a protest in front of an immigration center in Tapachula, Mexico, demanding free transit through the country to reach the United States, Tuesday, August 27. (AFP)”

….read more here at: the Gateway Pundit

Black Hat Conf Las Vegas Aug 2019 Reveals iPhone Text Hack | Aug 24 2019

Google researcher details iOS exploit that can take over an iPhone with a text message || BGR

 

As a general rule, if you avoid clicking on suspicious links that might pop on your phone — whether they’re sent via text message or appear as an in-browser pop-up ad — the odds of your device becoming infected with malware is slim to none.

That notwithstanding, security researchers from Google’s Project Zero team recently divulged a sophisticated exploit that would allow a malicious actor to take control of a targeted device with no interaction required from the device owner at all. As Google researcher Natalie Silvanovich detailed during a presentation at the Black Hat security conference this week, there are a handful of iOS 12 exploits — which have since been patched by Apple with iOS 12.4 — that can let a third-party gain full control of a device simply by sending over a text message.”

….read more at: BGR

 

 

Hackers Can Break Into Your iPhone Just By Sending a Text || Wired

 

“WHEN YOU THINK about how hackers could break into your smartphone, you probably imagine it would start with clicking a malicious link in a text, downloading a fraudulent app, or some other way you accidentally let them in. It turns out that’s not necessarily so—not even on the iPhone, where simply receiving an iMessage could be enough to get yourself hacked.At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Google Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich is presenting multiple so-called “interaction-less” bugs in Apple’s iOS iMessage client that could be exploited to gain control of a user’s device. And while Apple has already patched six of them, a few have yet to be patched.

“These can be turned into the sort of bugs that will execute code and be able to eventually be used for weaponized things like accessing your data,” Silvanovich says. “So the worst-case scenario is that these bugs are used to harm users.”

Silvanovich, who worked on the research with fellow Project Zero member Samuel Groß, got interested in interaction-less bugs because of a recent, dramatic WhatsApp vulnerability that allowed nation-state spies to compromise a phone just by calling it—even if the recipient didn’t answer the call.

But when she looked for similar issues in SMS, MMS, and visual voicemail, she came up empty. Silvanovich had assumed that iMessage would be a more scrutinized and locked-down target, but when she started reverse engineering and looking for flaws, she quickly found multiple exploitable bugs.

This may be because iMessage is such a complex platform that offers an array of communication options and features. It encompasses Animojis, rendering files like photos and videos, and integration with other apps—everything from Apple Pay and iTunes to Fandango and Airbnb. All of these extensions and interconnections increase the likelihood of mistakes and weaknesses.

One of the most interesting interaction-less bugs Silvanovich found was a fundamental logic issue that could have allowed a hacker to easily extract data from a user’s messages. An attacker could send a specially crafted text message to a target, and the iMessage server would send specific user data back, like the content of their SMS messages or images.

The victim wouldn’t even have to open their iMessage app for the attack to work. iOS has protections in place that would usually block an attack like this, but because it takes advantage of the system’s underlying logic, iOS’ defenses interpret it as legitimate and intended.

Other bugs Silvanovich found could lead to malicious code being placed on a victim’s device, again from just an incoming text.

Interaction-less iOS bugs are highly coveted by exploit vendors and nation-state hackers, because they make it so easy to compromise a target’s device without requiring any buy-in from the victim. The six vulnerabilities Silvanovich found—with more yet to be announced—would potentially be worth millions or even tens of millions of dollars on the exploit market.

“Bugs like this haven’t been made public for a long time,” Silvanovich says. “There’s a lot of additional attack surface in programs like iMessage. The individual bugs are reasonably easy to patch, but you can never find all the bugs in software, and every library you use will become an attack surface. So that design problem is relatively difficult to fix.”

Silvanovich emphasizes that the security of iMessage is strong overall, and that Apple is far from the only developer that sometimes make mistakes in grappling with this conceptual issue. Apple did not return a request from WIRED for comment.”

….read more at: Wired

 

So Much for the ‘myth’ Illegals commit less crime than citizens | Aug 23 2019

DOJ: 64% Of Federal Arrests In 2018 Were Of NON-U.S. Citizens | TGP

 

“In fiscal 2018, 64% of all the arrests made by the federal government were of non-U.S. citizens, according to a report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.

For comparison, In 1998, 63% of all federal arrests were of U.S. citizens.

“The country of citizenship of persons arrested by federal law enforcement changed notably over time. From 1998 to 2018, Mexican citizens’ share of federal arrests rose from 28% to 40%. Citizens of Central American countries’ share of federal arrests rose from 1% to 20% during the same period, while U.S. citizens’ share of federal arrests fell from 63% to 36%. Federal arrests of Central Americans rose more than 30-fold over two decades, from 1,171 in 1998 to 39,858 in 2018. The number of federal arrests of Mexican citizens (78,062) exceeded the number of federal arrests of U.S. citizens (70,542) in 2018,” said the Department.

Immigrant crime has also soared.”

…Read more at: The Gateway Pundit

 

Marianne Williamson Says What Nobody Else Will || Jul 30 2019

Marianne Makes Fundamentally Different Case For Change, Gets Cut Off During Debate

||  CNN

Gilroy Garlic Festival Was ‘Gun Free Zone’ – Jul 30 2019

Gilroy Garlic Festival Prohibited ‘Weapons of Any Kind’

|| Breitbart

 

“As gun-control advocates seize the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting  to justify even more gun control it should be noted that the festival prohibited “weapons of any kind.”

In other words, the festival had 100 percent gun control as far as it related to law-abiding citizens.

The festival was held in Christmas Hill Park where the possession of “pocketknives and weapons of any kind” are clearly prohibited. Moreover, a perusal of the city of Gilroy’s “Park Rules and Regulations” unambiguously states that “guns, slingshots, or fireworks” are prohibited.”

…Read more at: Breitbart