Ukrainian Rebel Commander Identified As Russian GRU Military Intelligence Colonel

Key figure in covert Russian subversion campaign in eastern Ukraine
Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin

A key figure in covert Russian efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine is working for Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, according to U.S. officials.

Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, who is currently using the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov, has identified himself in press reports as “defense minister” of the self-proclaimed, pro-Russian “Donetsk People’s Republic. This week he called for Russia to send military aid to rebels in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Opposes New Draft Treaty from China and Russia Banning Space Weapons

Arms control pact sought as Beijing, Moscow secretly build anti-satellite, space arms
Wikimedia Commons

The United States is opposing a new draft treaty submitted to the United Nations last week by China and Russia that seeks legally binding curbs on weapons in space amid concerns that both states are secretly building space arms.

ISIL Moving Seized U.S. Tanks, Humvees to Syria

Al Qaeda offshoot’s forces now better armed for battles against Assad forces and rival rebels
A captured Iraqi T-55 tank in Syria via ISIL social media

Syrian and Iraqi terrorist forces obtained significant numbers of tanks, trucks, and U.S.-origin Humvees in recent military operations in Iraq and those arms are being shipped to al Qaeda rebels in Syria, according to U.S. officials.

New Al Qaeda Group Produces Recruitment Material for Americans, Westerners

English language appeals raise new concerns of future jihadist attacks in U.S.
Alhayat Media Center

Al Qaeda’s ultra-extremist Syrian offshoot known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is stepping up efforts to recruit Americans and other westerners for jihad in Syria and possibly for future domestic terror attacks, according to U.S. officials.

Leahy Holds Up Egypt’s Apache Attack Helicopters

Administration announced waiver of restrictions on delivery of Apaches in April
Sen. Pat Leahy (D., Vt.) / AP

A U.S. senator is blocking the delivery of 10 U.S. Apache attack helicopters urgently sought by the Egyptian government since last spring to battle al Qaeda terrorists in the Sinai peninsula.

Russian Bombers Fly Within 50 Miles of California Coast

U.S. F-22, F-15 jets intercept four Bear H bombers near Alaska, Northern California
Russian TU-95 Bear H / AP

Four Russian strategic bombers conducted practice bombing runs near Alaska on Monday and two of the Tu-95 Bear H aircraft came within 50 miles of the California coast, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) confirmed Wednesday.

U.S. in Talks with Snowden on Possible Plea Deal

Former NSA contractor currently in Russia
Edward Snowden / AP

Federal prosecutors recently held discussions with representatives of renegade National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on a possible deal involving his return to the United States to face charges of stealing more than a million secret NSA documents, according to U.S. officials.

Pentagon Confirms New Chinese Long-Range ICBM Development

Cyber, space warfare efforts continue
The DF-41 / Chinese website

China is developing a new long-range intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple nuclear warheads as part of a large-scale strategic and conventional forces buildup, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday in its annual report to Congress.

White House Relents on Sending Needed Military Aid to Ukraine

Body armor, night vision gear, radios approved after initial rejection
Ukrainian soldiers / AP

After initially denying Ukrainian military requests for key nonlethal aid, the White House on Wednesday approved urgently needed equipment for troops battling pro-Russian insurgents.

The new military assistance includes body armor, night vision goggles, and communications equipment requested by the Ukrainians, but initially rejected by the Obama administration as part of its efforts to avoid upsetting Moscow.

Congress Targets Chinese Telecom Threat

Legislation would block intel officials from working for Chinese-linked businesses
AP

Current House intelligence and defense legislation now before Congress is seeking to block U.S. intelligence officials from working for Chinese-linked companies, and also is aimed at preventing a major Chinese telecommunications firm from conducting cyber attacks against defense and intelligence networks.