[ by Charles Cameron — Cohen and Manafort, drones & CBRN, and when wave fronts meet at Big Sur and elsewhere ]
NY Times email, Wednesday:
A one-two punch, two wave fronts crashing / clashing, wave upon wave — but how to represent such things graphically, to model them, to open our too-literal minds to their complexity?
Here’s an example of two dangerous waves overlapping on the world stage, world scale:
Bunker, Sullivan &c on the drone attack in Baja, Small Wars Journal:
On Tuesday, 10 July 2018, an armed drone targeted the residence of Gerardo Sosa Olachea, the public safety secretary/Secretario de Seguridad Pública Estalal (SSPE) of Baja California, in colonia Los Laureles in Tecate—a border city in the San Diego-Tijuana etropolitan area. A second drone, which may have been utilized for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and C2 purposes, was seen over the incident scene. At least one of the drones was equipped with a video camera link and was armed with two IEDs that did not detonate. For a number of international security professionals tracking cartel and gang violence in Mexico—including the authors of this note—an incident like this has been expected for some time now, given the earlier I&W (Indications & Warnings) event that took place in Guanajunto state in October 2017 when a weaponized drone was seized from Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) operatives.
Now think of ricin delivery by drone..
The threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism is widely attributed to collective actors based on a religious ideology, e.g. globally operating Salafi-jihadist groups like al-Qaeda or ISIL. Only limited attention has been given to the CBRN threat of violent domestic extremists in general or far-right terrorists specifically. Nevertheless, a number of incidents involving far-right activists and CBRN agents in Western countries are known to the public, even though these have had comparatively little impact on public threat perception. This study systematically collected public information about far-right CBRN incidents to identify their main characteristics. The authors were able to identify 31 incidents in Western countries since 1970, which display features contrary to generally assumed forms of CBRN terrorism. Far-right CBRN terrorism appears to be predominantly a lone-actor phenomenon oftentimes involving middle-aged and comparatively well-educated male perpetrators, mostly motivated by non-religious forms of far-right ideology (i.e. neo-Nazism, non-religious white supremacism) and indiscriminately targeting victims. Overall, far-right actors attempting to weaponize CBRN agents have been few and generally technically inept. However, the characteristics of the plots pose potential challenges for effective counter-measures and intervention, should the number of actors or the technical sophistication of plots increase in the future.
Consider the overlap of those two very current waves — and there are others, at all scales, up and down the metaphorical coast of risk —
Then think Aum Shinrikyo, as an example of a non-state religious sect utilising sarin gas in an attack in Tokyo:
The 1995 Aum Shinrikyo attack on the Tokyo subway system was a seminal event in the history of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons. It marked the first major use of a Chemical weapon by a non-state actor that received widespread worldwide attention, and led to efforts to combat the threat of CBRN terrorism around the world.
Out there in Manafort > Cohen > Manafort wave land, there are two waves whose wavefronts met and clashed (“mutually reinforced”) yesterday, with a third wave following up behind the first, and more, wave upon wave, body blow upon body blow.. I don’t have the graphical skills to represent this, but multiple wave fronts intersecting would be a useful model to have depicted — and not unlike waves clashing at Big Sur.. where such things are multiplied and magnificent ..
— not unlike clashing waves at Big Sur..
For the Cohen and Manafort wavefronts and their possible combined implications, readings from this morning’s Washington DC post:
WaPo, After two convictions, pressure mounts on Trump WaPo, Manafort convicted on 8 counts; mistrial declared on 10 others WaPo, Michael Cohen: Trump’s greatest fear comes true WaPo, Michael Cohen says he worked to silence two women ‘in coordination’ with Trump WaPo, Cohen’s claim about Trump may spark calls for impeachment WaPo, Manafort’s verdict and Cohen’s plea gave Trump his worst day so far WaPo, ‘Doesn’t involve me’: Trump tries to distance himself from Cohen, Manafort cases The Post’s View, Twin convictions are a stunning rebuke of Trump
Also, from the New York sister city and publication:
NY Times, Trump, Cohen and Manafort: What’s Next?
Oh, and btw:
The Atlantic, Christopher Steele’s Victory in a D.C. Court The Hill, Senate Intelligence Committee leaders want Cohen to testify
— not unlike clashing waves at Big Sur ..
terrific photo from Teresa Espaniola Gallery
.. up and down the metaphorical coast of risk ..