The Hamas-Russia connection: Only Russia could have provided the cyber-weapons that made the Oct. 7 massacre possible. - JOSEPH FRAGER: "The Russian connection to Oct. 7 took the form of the cyber-warfare technology given to the Iranians and Hamas. Hamas’s “blinding plan” to take down Israel’s high tech “iron wall,” neutralizing long-range cameras, sophisticated sensors, multiple alarm systems and remote-control weapons was almost certainly aided by Russia’s cyber expertise. Having spoken to cyber experts, I believe only Russia could have made it happen."
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The Hamas-Russia connection - JNS.org -By JOSEPH FRAGER
The Oct. 7 Hamas massacre will never be forgotten. It has been forever seared on to the heart and soul of every Jew. It is a source of anguish and a guide for generations to come.
There has been little comment, however, on the fact that, just like the Yom Kippur War in 1973 had heavy Russian involvement, so did the slaughter on Oct. 7.
On July 20, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin flew to Iran to strengthen ties between the two countries. On Aug. 16 of this year, Putin held a Zoom conference with Iranian officials to “reaffirm support for further developing bilateral ties in trade, transport, logistics and energy,” as reported by Russian news agency TASS.
One doesn’t have to read between the lines to see that Russia is fully allied with Iran on all fronts. Iran supplies Russia with drones, missiles and oil. Russia shares technology with Iran and gives it military assistance.
The Oct. 7 attack was planned for at least two years. It is not a coincidence that Hamas attacked 50 years after the Yom Kippur War almost to the day. Arab terrorists like to wreak havoc on anniversaries. This has always been their calling card. They chose another Jewish holiday to do their depraved deed.
There will be many conspiracy theories about how Israel was caught flat-footed. Israel will do a very thorough analysis. There are many questions that need to be answered. For example, how did Hamas obtain maps of IDF bases? Where was the IDF for so many hours after the assault began? What were the intelligence failures that led to the infiltration?
I believe Hamas coordinated the Times Square rally held on Oct. 8 knowing full well that they were going to attack on Oct. 7. This is consistent with the fact that reporters from Reuters and AP accompanied the Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. Hamas coordinated the attack with the disinformation campaign and rallies in the United States and around the world that followed.
The New York Post’s report on American-born tech entrepreneur Neville Roy Singham, who has shelled out over $20 million to the People’s Forum, which organized the Oct. 8th rally, is a strong indication that Hamas was behind it.
Singham is a Marxist who lives in China. He is connected to at least four propaganda news sites that support the Chinese Communist Party. According to The New York Times and quoted in The New York Post, the People’s Forum is calling for “more marches, walkouts, sit-ins and other forms of direct action directed at the political offices, businesses and workplaces that fund, invest and collaborate” with Israel.
The Russian connection to Oct. 7 took the form of the cyber-warfare technology given to the Iranians and Hamas. Hamas’s “blinding plan” to take down Israel’s high tech “iron wall,” neutralizing long-range cameras, sophisticated sensors, multiple alarm systems and remote-control weapons was almost certainly aided by Russia’s cyber expertise. Having spoken to cyber experts, I believe only Russia could have made it happen.
Clearly, we have entered a new age in which cyber is the new tank on the battlefield and the new fighter jet in the sky. Unless America and Israel are one step ahead of the new Axis of Evil in the cyber-warfare sphere, no one is safe.
A recording of a live video feed from a Russian military drone, apparently intercepted by Ukrainian forces and posted online, hints at an increasingly important front in Russia’s 22-month wider war on Ukraine—an electronic front.
Look past the infantry battles, air raids, and naval maneuvering that dominate the news from the 600-mile front in Ukraine: You’ll see that there’s also a battle raging in the electromagnetic spectrum. And it might be one of the decisive battles as the wider war grinds toward its third year.
This electronic warfare isn’t just evident in Ukraine. It’s central to Israel’s strategy in its assault on the Hamas terror group in Palestine, too. And if the Chinese Communist Party ever makes good on its threat to invade Taiwan, a move that could draw the United States and China into a major war, it’s a safe bet the fighting will expand across the electromagnetic spectrum.
Whoever controls radio transmissions also controls how troops, aircraft, and missiles navigate and communicate. Block the transmissions, and you can paralyze battalions, squadrons and fleets—and, yes, drones. “Electronic warfare is the key to winning the drone war,” Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, wrote in The Economist.
Consider what happens in that Russian drone video, which was posted on social media by a famous Ukrainian drone operator who goes by the call-sign “Magyar.” The small quadcopter—the kind of unmanned aerial vehicle both Russia and Ukraine have fitted with explosives and sent on lethal one-way missions—appears to be on course for a potential strike on Ukrainian positions.
Abruptly, the drone wobbles in mid-air—then tumbles toward the ground. An apparent victim of Ukrainian radio-jamming.
This kind of jamming has been a part of warfare for nearly a century now. The principle is simple: Find the radio frequencies the enemy is using, and broadcast overwhelming noise on the same frequencies in order to render them unusable.
In the years following World War II, jamming mostly targeted radio communications. But as more and more weapons began to rely on long-distance command signals or even GPS satellites, jamming could also prevent accurate navigation. What good is a GPS-guided cruise missile if it can’t communicate with the GPS satellites orbiting Earth thousands of miles overhead?
Today, many militaries practice some form of electronic warfare. The Russian armed forces practice it harder than most. “Moscow is stepping up its efforts to renew and modernize the EW inventory,” analyst Roger McDermott wrote in a 2017 study for the Estonian defense ministry, using the military shorthand for “electronic warfare.”
Which is why observers expected this kind of warfare to play a growing role as Russia escalated its war on Ukraine, starting with the invasion of Crimea in 2014 and widening with the assaults beginning in February 2022. “EW forms an organic part of Russia’s kinetic and non-kinetic operations,” McDermott wrote.
The electromagnetic frequencies were weirdly calm in the wider war’s early months, however. It seems the Russians’ chaotic, poorly planned and ultimately failed assault on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, in February and March 2022 left radio-jamming crews no time to set up and operate their equipment.
“Where the Russians were outstanding in February 2022 was in terms of the sheer numbers of jammers,” Trent Telenko, a former quality auditor with the U.S. Defense Contract Management Agency who specializes in electronic warfare, told The Daily Beast. But “you have to do a top-down plan to use all of the kit simultaneously,” Telenkso said, meaning the Kremlin has to coordinate its electronic troops with its regular troops. “Russia didn’t do a competent job of that.”
That began to change as the war slowed down in late 2022. Nowhere was this more evident than in southern Ukraine, as Russian troops dug in on the southern “left” bank of the wide Dnipro River. Their goal: to defend against a widely-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Russian electronic warfare crews also dug in across the south—and got to work jamming Ukrainian signals. However, when the Ukrainian counteroffensive finally kicked off in June, Kyiv’s forces launched their own electromagnetic counterattacks along the Dnipro River’s left bank. It was a prerequisite to a forced crossing of the river by Ukrainian marines that began in mid-October.
First, Ukrainian forces triangulated the locations of some of the Russians’ jamming systems and struck them with precision bombs and drones that, ironically, tend to rely on GPS for guidance.
Exactly how the Ukrainians could maneuver around the jamming in order to strike the jammers is a closely held secret. It’s possible the latest Ukrainian drones “frequency hop,” a process in which they rapidly switch up their radio channels in order to stay ahead of enemy jamming. Some of Ukraine’s American-made munitions also have back-up guidance systems that don’t depend on GPS.
Strikes on Russian jammers were just the start of Ukraine’s electronic counterattack. In parallel with the strikes, the Ukrainians deployed jammers of their own—and focused the electronic noise at a swath of the front line just south of the Dnipro River in Kherson.
“We are seeing Ukraine pull away from Russia in the drone [and] electronic warfare race,” Telenko noted. The result, in Kherson, was a dead zone for Russian communications and satellite navigation. When that drone recorded itself tumbling to the ground, it was because it had flown into just such a dead zone.
This was the protective cover Ukrainian marines needed to get across the Dnipro starting on Oct. 19 and establish a bridgehead in a settlement called Krynky. From there, they advanced south, lending fresh momentum to a wider counteroffensive that was slowing elsewhere in Ukraine.
Ukrainians and their allies shouldn’t celebrate quite yet. “Russia should not be underestimated,” Zaluzhnyi warned. To give his forces a shot at victory, they need drones with their own built-in jammers, plus more “counter-EW measures” for pinpointing Russia’s own jammers.
No one pretends the electronic battle will be an easy one. “There will be constant seesawing between Russia and Ukraine as new jamming and jam-resistant weapons systems are deployed,” Telenko said.
But it’s a battle the Ukrainians must win in order to win the war.
A week after Azerbaijan seized Nagorno-Karabakh, residents in Armenia exclaves worry whether their hometowns will face a similar fate. Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh, in the nineties and in 2020.
This year, after Azerbaijan’s lightning offensive, Baku took total control of the region that lies within its borders. Up until a few months ago, it was dominated by ethnic Armenians. Now, most residents have fled to Armenia. After the second Karabakh War, which ended with an agreement facilitated by Russia, Armenia agreed to allow a land connection between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan.
While Azerbaijan and Russia claim that the road was meant to be outside of Armenia’s control, overseen by the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, Armenia rejects this interpretation. In Yerevan’s view, the agreement was made at the time when Azerbaijan was blocking Armenia’s only land connection to Nagorno-Karabakh and was meant as part of mutual concessions. But as Azerbaijan began a nine-month blockade of the area in December 2022, effectively cutting ethnic Armenians off the outside world, and eventually recapturing the area, Armenia does not feel obliged to meet its part of the agreement.
That is despite Azerbaijan’s claim that it can only benefit from the deal. “Armenia will be able to benefit from the developing trade in the region and all trade projects that are likely to be realised in the future,” Kanan Heydarov, a political analyst from Azerbaijan said.
“It will be able to make great economic gains. As it is known, Armenia has not been able to benefit from many big trade projects developed in the region so far.” In recent years, Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, began to refer to Armenia as “Western Azerbaijan”. He also started calling for the creation of the “Zangezur Corridor”, a highway linking Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan along the former Soviet rail track. “The Zangezur Corridor is a historical necessity,” Aliyev said last January adding that it will be created whether Armenia wants it or not.
Earlier, in 2021, the President threatened to establish it by force. Following Azerbaijan’s victory over Nagorno-Karabakh, which led to an almost full exodus of its Armenian population, locals—and some experts—fear that Azerbaijan might bring its plan to life by force.
A two-state solution is necessary for the future of Israelis and Palestinians, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said as she delivered a consignment of humanitarian aid for Gazans.
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