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Archive for janeiro \15\UTC 2018

Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria

Posted by iscariotes em 15 de janeiro de 2018

Fonte: Buzzfeed

A guided anti-tank missile ended up in the hands of ISIS terrorists less than two months after the US government purchased it in late 2015 — highlighting weaknesses in the oversight and regulation of America’s covert arms programs, according to information published Thursday by an arms monitoring group called Conflict Armament Research (CAR).

Though the report says the missile was purchased by the US Army using a contractor, BuzzFeed News has learned that the real customer appears to have been the CIA. It was part of the spy agency’s top secret operation to arm rebels in Syria to fight the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The missile ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq, according to the report.

The CIA declined to comment on the Obama-era program to back Syrian rebels, which was canceled by President Trump in July. The Pentagon did not provide information in time for publication.

The missile is one piece of a critical puzzle that is being solved only now, with ISIS on the run: How did the vast terror group arm its war machine? CAR spent three years tracking ISIS weapons as they were recovered by Iraqi, Syrian, and Kurdish forces — and found that what happened to the missile was no aberration. Indeed, the terror group managed to divert “substantial quantities of anti-armour ammunition” from weapons provided to Syrian opposition forces by the US or Saudi Arabia.

As BuzzFeed News has reported, the US equips proxy armies in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with weapons such as AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades made in Russia and Eastern Europe. The investigators from CAR found that the policy has sometimes backfired, allowing America’s enemies to obtain arms meant for its allies. “Evidence collected by CAR indicates that the United States has repeatedly diverted EU-manufactured weapons and ammunition to opposition forces in the Syrian conflict,” the report states. ISIS, it continues, “rapidly gained custody of significant quantities of this materiel.”

The report lists 12 cases where Eastern European weapons originally sent to the US military or US contractors appear to have been diverted, somehow, to ISIS.

The weapon purchased by the US government in 2015, a 9M111B missile, is highly portable and can land a devastating charge with pinpoint accuracy on tanks, trucks, or buildings.

BuzzFeed News has been tracking the CIA’s procurement of 9M111 missiles as part of the deal for three years. In 2014, the CIA issued a contract to obtain 600 such missiles to Kiesler Police Supply, two sources said. Kiesler is a small Indiana company that frequently contracts with the CIA, according to experts in arms dealing. According to the CAR report, the contract for the missile that ended up in the possession of ISIS was handled by Kiesler.

The Indiana firm acquired those missiles from a Bulgarian company called SAGE Consulting, sources familiar with the transaction told BuzzFeed News. Bulgaria is a major source of the weapons that the US and other powers use to arm client armies.

In an email this summer, Kiesler declined to discuss the issue, writing that “we are not contractually authorized to disclose any information.” The company also insisted it was not to blame for where the weapons ended up. “Once Kiesler delivers its products to the customer, it does not have visibility with respect to the Government’s handling, use or disposition of the material,” it said.

On Wednesday, a woman who answered the phone at Kiesler hung up immediately. Then, after she was called again, she said that “we don’t talk to the media.”

SAGE, a well-known broker in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, declined a request for interviews with BuzzFeed News. But two Bulgarian arms dealers say SAGE has indeed been manufacturing the 9M111 missile, at a factory called VMZ, for the US government. “They make them only for the Americans,” one said, adding that the US buys as many as SAGE can manufacture.

Em https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/blowback-isis-got-a-powerful-missile-the-cia-secretly?utm_term=.lfzo1D3jd#.jv0DE9g0N

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George Soros, Mastercard to partner to aid migrants, refugees

Posted by iscariotes em 7 de janeiro de 2018

Fonte: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire investor George Soros will partner with Mastercard Inc on a venture they said could help migrants, refugees and others struggling within their communities worldwide to improve their economic and social status.

The partnership, Humanity Ventures, stems from a pledge Soros made in September to earmark up to $500 million for investments to address challenges facing migrants and refugees.

In a joint statement on Thursday, Mastercard and Soros said that despite billions of dollars of humanitarian and development assistance, millions of people remain marginalized, a situation the private sector can help rectify.

“Migrants are often forced into lives of despair in their host communities because they cannot gain access to financial, healthcare and government services,” Soros said.

“Our potential investment in this social enterprise, coupled with Mastercard’s ability to create products that serve vulnerable communities, can show how private capital can play a constructive role in solving social problems,” he added.

Humanity Ventures intends to focus initially on healthcare and education, with a goal of fostering local economic development and entrepreneurship.

With the creation of Humanity Ventures, Soros could invest up to $50 million to make these solutions more scalable and sustainable, and perhaps encourage smaller projects committed to mitigating the migration crisis.

“Humanity Ventures is intended to be profitable so as to stimulate involvement from other businesspeople,” Soros said. “We also hope to establish standards of practice to ensure that investments are not exploitative of the vulnerable communities we intend to serve.”

Soros opened his first foundation, the Open Society Foundations, in 1979 when his hedge fund had reached about $100 million and his personal wealth had climbed to about $25 million.

The Open Society Foundations began Soros’s philanthropic activity when he gave scholarships to black South Africans under apartheid. In the 1980s, Soros and his foundations ultimately contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

Just last week, Soros’ Open Society Foundations said it will keep working with and financing organizations in Hungary despite the government saying that any civil society group should be “swept out.”

Em https://www.reuters.com/article/us-immigration-soros/george-soros-mastercard-to-partner-to-aid-migrants-refugees-idUSKBN1531H2

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