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September 13 2014

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Commercial UAS Market Catches Up in Japan


Japan”Up until recently, people might have thought that drones were just for military use and had nothing to do with their daily lives,” but it’s likely that will change in the next decade, said Kenzo Nonami, a renowned drone engineer who is president of Chiba-based Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory Ltd.

Nonami, 65, said Japan is behind China, France and the United States in drone development and thinks the government, private sector and academia should collaborate to catch up.

“Japan may have been focused too much on humanoid robots and overlooked the drones,” while other countries were developing them for military purposes, he said.

Hobbyists can easily purchase drones online these days for under ¥100,000, but it is hard to find any Japanese makers in a market dominated by such companies as China-based DJI Innovations and France-based Parrot.Yet Japan is getting ready to play catch-up, he said.

About 80 Japanese firms set up the Mini Surveyor Consortium in 2012 to help the Japanese drone market grow and promote drones equipped with an autonomous control technology developed by Nonami, who is also a professor at the Graduate School of Engineering at Chiba University.

The consortium is gearing up to produce 100 to 200 drones for sale this fall in Japan.

Nonami emphasized that this is no time for Japanese players to be competing against each other, given Japan’s trailing position in the industry.

“(Promotion of Japanese drones) should not be left to just one company or one university. We must make an all-Japan effort,” he said.

Nonami said his technology allows drones to fly autonomously without the need for GPS data. This is achieved by giving drones a laser scanner so they can generate maps as they fly. These drones can thus fly accurately within tunnels or under bridges, where GPS signals don’t reach. This will give them a valuable capability at a time when the government is promoting the use of drones for infrastructure inspection.

Nonami’s Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory makes several types of copters, which range from 80 to 150 cm in length and weigh 2 to 3 kg.

While Japan is behind, there is plenty of time to catch up. The Association for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems International, the world’s largest nonprofit drone promotion organization, said the U.S. drone industry will create more than 100,000 jobs and create an economic impact worth $80 billion from 2015 to 2025.


Nonami said it will still take years for the drone market to really grow, saying onboard computers must be improved and made faster for the gadgets to master safe autonomous flight.

“It needs to have an artificial intelligence capable of ordering the vehicle to detect trouble and land safely by itself if something happens,” otherwise, it will be dangerous to fly over densely populated cities, said Nonami.

In addition, drones may face legal issues in Japan, too. Article 207 of the civil law states: “Ownership in land shall extend to above and below the surface of the land, subject to the restrictions prescribed by laws and regulations.”

As things stand, it’s illegal to use drones to make deliveries and fly around cities, not only because of Article 207, but also because the traffic law prohibits flying over roads without special permission, lawyer Masahiro Kobayashi said.

Thus, the law will have to be changed to achieve the future envisioned by the drone makers, he said.

If they can clear this legal hurdle, Nonami said, drones may once again change the landscape of the nation’s retail industry, just like Amazon showed in its video.

Using huge trucks to deliver packages under the current distribution system isn’t necessarily efficient, because “We have to use fuel to run vehicles that weigh many times more than the packages,” he said.

But battery-powered drones weighing just 2 to 3 kg can carry payloads of up to 10 kg, he said, adding they may soon be able to handle packages as heavy as 20 or 30 kg.

Nonami said aerial vehicles can also be used for surveillance purposes. For instance, if a homeowner is stranded at his or her place of work by a major earthquake, a smartphone could be used to launch a drone to see if the person’s house, family and neighbors are safe.

However, the same machines could also be used to peer into people’s bedrooms and backyards, or follow them around and attack them, raising issues of privacy and security.

Source: The Japan Times


Ohio college becoming leader in drone technology

Sep. 5, 2014 – 02:05PM |


DAYTON, OHIO — Officials with an Ohio community college say it has taken another step toward positioning itself as a national leader in drone technology research.

Sinclair Community College officials on Aug. 26 announced plans for the renovation of an existing downtown Dayton campus building into a $5 million training and certification center for unmanned aerial systems.

The school said the center will allow students to fly UAV quadcopters indoors, Deborah Norris, Sinclair vice president of workforce development and corporate services, told the Dayton Daily News.

“It will give us more classroom space focused on UAS…,” she said.

Sinclair has had more than 150 students seek a two-year degree in its UAS program, Norris told the paper.

Despite the region being passed over for an FAA drone testing site last year, Sinclair has moved full speed ahead on the development, teaching and application of the technology.

The growth in the technology was on display Tuesday during the first day of the three-day Ohio UAS Conference in Dayton, which has drawn more than 700 people and 70 exhibitors from across the United States, Israel, Mexico and Australia, according to the Dayton Daily News.

The attendance was a record for the 3-year-old event. It featured an indoor flying competition among three colleges that was organized by the Air Force, the Daily News reported.

The commercial market for unmanned aerial systems will “dwarf” sales to the military within a decade, said Michael Tosanco, president and CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

The revolutionary technology is on an evolutionary path much like computers or automobiles and will change the lives of nearly everyone when drones are integrated into civilian airspace in coming years, according to Tosanco.

“The state of the industry is more and more people want this,” he said.

Drones will increasingly take over jobs that are dirty, dull, difficult and dangerous and do them more effectively and efficiently, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is under a congressional mandate to integrate drones into civilian manned airspace by September 2015. The FAA chose seven locations across the nation last year, rejecting a combined bid from Ohio and Indiana. But officials say the region nevertheless has led the nation in research of the technology.

A study by AUVSI said the industry would create 100,000 jobs and an $82 billion market nationally by 2025.



Cargo hold smoke event involving a Boeing 737, DQ-FJH


by Press • 7 September 2014

From the Official Civil Aviation Safety Authority Australia accident report


On 26 April 2014, a passenger checked in four bags for a Fiji Airways flight from Melbourne, Victoria, to Nadi, Fiji, on a Boeing 737 aircraft, registered DQ-FJH. The passenger was a certified remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operator in Australia. The passenger stated during check-in that there were no batteries in the checked bags, but declared 8 lithium batteries being carried as hand luggage. The bags were screened in accordance with the Aviation Transport Security Regulations.

At about 2230 Eastern Standard Time (EST), the aircraft was at Gate D8 at Melbourne Airport and the passengers’ bags were being loaded. The cabin crew members were on board preparing the aircraft prior to boarding of passengers, and the first officer was in the cockpit conducting pre-flight checks. The captain was on the tarmac, conducting an external inspection of the aircraft. A ground engineer observed smoke emanating from the aft cargo hold, alerted the captain and notified the aerodrome rescue and firefighting (ARFF) service. The captain saw white heavy smoke billowing from the hold and immediately called the first officer to advise him. The first officer observed that the aft cargo fire warning light was illuminated. The captain directed the first officer to activate theaft cargo hold fire suppression system, shut down the auxiliary power unit and order an evacuation of the aircraft. The first officer advised air traffic control and declared ‘Mayday’.

The ARFF arrived and a smouldering hard-plastic case was removed to a safe location and cooled with a fine water spray. The passenger who had checked in the case was located and was asked whether any batteries were in it, to which the passenger responded there were none. The ARFF and Australian Federal Police inspected all four of the bags checked in by the passenger and found 19 batteries intact and additional 6-8 batteries that had been destroyed by fire.

An initial investigation revealed that several lithium-ion polymer batteries and an RPA controller were contained in the case. An electrical short circuit involving the batteries resulted in the initiation of a fire, destroying the contents and damaging the case (Figures 1, 2 and 3). An RPA controller containing other, similar, lithium-ion polymer batteries was found in one of the passenger’s other checked-in bags. The fire-damaged case had been screened through the oversized luggage point at Melbourne Airport.


Fiji Airways investigation

An analysis conducted by Fiji Airways found that the post-incident images indicated a Lithium-ion Polymer battery fire involving high capacity – high discharge batteries. The battery balancers, are used for charging heavy duty batteries.


Safety Action

As a result of this occurrence, Fiji Airways has issued an Airport Operations Standing Order:Lithium Metal & Lithium Ion Cells Batteries advising check-in staff to ask every passenger whether their baggage contains lithium batteries and to check batteries are carried in accordance with regulations. Any passenger carrying undeclared lithium batteries that are discovered prior to departure will be offloaded and refused carriage.


Safety message

This incident highlights the hazards associated with transporting lithium-ion batteries. Batteries operate via a controlled chemical reaction that generates current and transmits power through the battery terminals. This process generates heat. Rapid increase in temperature and pressure in the battery cells may result in fire. Information regarding carriage of batteries and battery-powered equipment is provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, Part 8,

It is important for safety that all batteries be individually protected so as to prevent short circuits. This can be achieved by placement of the batteries in the original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating the terminals, wires or fittings, e.g. by taping over exposed terminals with an electrical insulating tape or placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch. When batteries are contained in personal electronic devices, measures must be taken to prevent unintentional activation.

Information regarding carriage of batteries and battery-powered equipment may be requested from CASA by e-mail to: or from the CASA website:


Officials worry about ‘cyber Fort Hood’

By JOSEPH MARKS | 9/9/14 10:31 AM EDT


The most dangerous cybersecurity threat facing U.S. military and intelligence agencies might not be another Edward Snowden aiming to steal secrets, but rather a rogue IT administrator bent on destruction of critical infrastructure, a senior Intelligence official told POLITICO.

The official, who requested anonymity, described such an attack as a potential “Fort Hood in cyberspace,” recalling the 2009 shooting rampage by Islamic extremist Maj. Nidal Hassan at the Texas Army base. Given the right access and skills, a federal IT administrator or other computer worker who had turned against America would be able to shut down government computers, disable military navigation systems, or even destroy critical infrastructure like power plants or oil refineries causing extensive loss of life.

“The one thing I’d say is becoming increasingly a concern for me is the possibility of the insider threat: Someone who is ideologically motivated and, depending on the ideology that’s driving them, you might call them a self-radicalized insider,” the official said in a recent interview.

“We’re becoming increasingly dependent on IT,” the official continued. “You’ve got [system administrators] everywhere. You’ve got empowered users who could do something catastrophic to their organization and depending on how and why they did it — and, of course, they’re doing it for maximum effect and even maximum publicity — it’s likely to be labeled cyber terrorism. But it’s not coming from a discrete group that you can track and preempt.”

Law enforcement and intelligence officials have long been concerned about so-called home-grown, or lone-wolf Islamic extremists, who become radicalized on the Internet and who — because they are not in contact with known foreign terrorists or recruiters — generally cannot be identified as a threat before they act. Carlos Bledsoe, a Muslim convert who shot and killed a U.S. soldier outside an Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Ark., in 2009 is an example often cited by counter-terror analysts, though officials say the U.S. could face a similar threat from self-radicalized adherents to domestic militias or hate groups.

Private sector insider threat watchers echoed the intelligence official’s concerns but noted that the universe of people who could launch an insider cyberattack is much smaller than those that could launch a conventional insider attack, such as the Fort Hood or Little Rock shootings.

While thousands of people may work in a computer system every day, there are only a handful of system administrators and other highly skilled computer technicians who have both the access and technical knowhow to cause major damage.

“For a user to do something spectacular to a computer requires computing skills,” said Martin Libicki, a senior management scientist at the Rand Corporation, who focuses on cybersecurity. “Any fool can grab an AK-47, but not any fool can hack a computer with any degree of effectiveness.”

Nonetheless, intelligence officials are concerned, in part because digital monitoring systems designed to spot the next Snowden are ill-equipped to uncover this different, arguably more dangerous form of insider threat, the official said.


The latest employee and contractor monitoring systems in the defense and intelligence worlds are divided into two categories known as “continuous monitoring” and “continuous evaluation.”


Continuous monitoring, which is already operational in a large number of classified computer systems, audits what employees are doing on the network and watches for anomalous behavior. The system might alert, for example, if a China analyst is accessing Intelligence documents focused on Iran or if someone on the day shift is accessing documents at night.

Continuous evaluation, which will only cover about 5 percent of cleared intelligence personnel by the end of 2016, is designed as a supplement to employee re-clearance investigations that take place every five or 10 years. Continuous evaluation systems scan government and public documents looking for arrests, bankruptcies, divorces or other indicators of personal or financial distress.

The idea is the program will alert agencies when an employee is hiding things he or she should be disclosing to superiors, acting strangely or suffering from excessive stress. Intelligence officials have assured members of Congress the systems are only meant to alert agencies when an employee should be investigated further — they’re not designed to act as judge and jury on their own.

The problem is that a “self-radicalized insider” who’s become an adherent to a jihadi terrorist ideology may leave no digital trail for those systems to pick up. If they do leave signs, they would likely be postings to online chat rooms or visits to extremist Web sites on a personal computer. Those aren’t accessible by either monitoring system — and it would cause an uproar from privacy advocates if they were.

“Unless you buy into the idea that you’re going to have the government monitoring everybody’s social media interactions, if you have someone who self radicalizes they’re otherwise still not manifesting [danger] signs,” the official said.

The best way to protect against a cyber insider threat, the official said, is to design computer systems so that a single user couldn’t wreak too much havoc, for instance, by requiring two-person approval for some major actions.

“You’ve got to rely on the resilience of your cybersecurity enterprise to stop one person from being in a position of causing that much harm,” the official said.

Part of that resiliency involves spotting a cyber-insider threat before damage can be done. For example, continuous monitoring systems could spot anomalies as the insider investigates which systems might be vulnerable, makes a dry run of the attack or walks to the brink but steps back.

“Generally, this isn’t something where there’s an automatic trigger and someone goes from zero to 100,” said Mark Fallon, director of the Law enforcement consultancy ClubFed and a former deputy assistant director and special agent in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. “Generally, you’ll see an advance, some type of probing behaviors, some type of limit testing. There’s always some type of surveillance or casing before an attack.”

Just as likely, Fallon said, someone who’s adopted an extremist philosophy will exhibit behavior changes that might be noticed and reported by coworkers — especially if the coworkers have been trained to be observant for insider threats.

When that happens, Fallon said, there’s a chance to pull the insider back from the brink, limit his responsibilities or put him on leave.

“Experience tells me that if you’ve got a detection system, whether it’s through automated means or better awareness of behaviors that indicate someone might be on the path to more extreme types of actions,” he said, “at some point you need to introduce trained personnel to talk to that individual about it, to interdict or dissuade that person.”

Even a combination of training, awareness and monitoring, however, will not be capable of tracking every cyber insider threat, he said.


“There’s no failsafe system,” Fallon said. “To me, the key is identifying the signs early so it doesn’t get to be an active shooter scenario.”


Read more:


Army activates its first cyber protection brigade

Sep. 9, 2014 – 06:00AM |

By Michelle Tan


The Army on Sept. 5 activated a new Cyber Protection Brigade — the first of its kind in the Army — at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Col. Donald Bray took command of the brigade from Lt. Col. Philippe Persaud, who had been serving as the brigade’s interim commander while it was being stood up.

Persaud will stay on as the brigade’s deputy commander.

The brigade’s activation represents a deeper Army investment in its cyberspace capabilities, said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, commanding general of Army Cyber Command, in a statement.

The Cyber Protection Brigade is made up of Cyber Protection Teams, manned by a mix of soldiers and civilians. The brigade will have 20 of these teams, each with about 39 personnel. The teams will conduct defensive cyberspace operations in support of joint and Army missions, according to information from Army Cyber Command.

All Cyber Protection Teams are trained to a common joint standard, according to the command.

The brigade is “aggressively” manning, training and equipping its teams to support the Army and U.S. Cyber Command, Army Cyber Command said. This push is part of an Army-wide effort to fill the ranks of a selective new military occupational specialty, “cyber network defender,” or 25D. There are more than 700 25D positions across the Army, and the MOS is open to experienced soldiers in the grades of staff sergeant to sergeant major.

The Office of the Chief of Signal accepts application packets from soldiers with backgrounds in information assurance and information technology — regardless of their MOS — mostly at the staff sergeant level. There are limited opportunities for sergeants first class and master sergeants.

Upon successful completion of training, members of the cyber protection teams will receive a cyber additional skill identifier of E4.



Study: Private drone use worries public

Sep 10, 2014, 3:31pm EDT


Tristan Navera

Staff Reporter-

Dayton Business Journal


The American public is more curious about unmanned aircraft than ever — but they remain wary, a new study has found.

Warren, N.J.-based Chubb Group, a property and casualty insurance group of companies, commissioned a study of 1,000 adults that found nearly three-fourths of respondents are worried the craft will be a danger to their property or crash into their house. Another 55 percent are worried drones could cause injuries. About 50 percent said they were worried drones could hack into wireless networks.

And, of course, the privacy concerns were prevalent in the study, with 78 percent responding they think drones could “turn America into a surveillance state.” Another 60 percent fear drones could capture photos of family members or be used by peeping toms, and 34 percent are concerned drones could be used to steal their possessions.

“As drones continue to be developed and deployed, we expect that an increasing number of our customers will face some of the risks of this emerging technology,” said Christie Alderman, vice president of Chubb Personal Insurance. “Fortunately, if a drone were to damage or cause other loss to your property, there may be coverage under the dwelling or contents portion of your homeowners insurance policy.”

The concerns, according to the study, are focused entirely on private and business use of the craft — 67 percent don’t think private citizens should be able to operate the drones even if they hold a permit, and 64 percent don’t want businesses to use drones.

About 21 percent of respondents, though, said they’d be interested in buying a drone.

Still, the respondents showed more comfort with the craft if they were used by authority figures, with 86 percent comfortable when military is operating the craft, 80 percent support their use for delivery of emergency aid and other humanitarian purposes, and 66 percent comfortable with the use of drones by law enforcement.

The drone industry has massive potential for growth and the Dayton region has been positioning itself to play a key role in its development.



USIS contracts for federal background security checks won’t be renewed

By Christian Davenport September 9 

The Office of Personnel Management will not renew any of its contracts with USIS, the major Falls Church, Va., contractor that provides the bulk of background checks for federal security clearances and was the victim of a recent cyberattack, officials confirmed Tuesday evening.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said the OPM informed the senator’s office Tuesday afternoon that it would not renew the contracts when they expire Sept. 30.

“The news is a welcome sign that the federal government is finally beginning to hold contractors accountable for taking millions in federal money and then failing to get the job done for the taxpayer,” Tester, who has sponsored legislation to overhaul the security-clearance process, said in a statement. “As OPM shifts this workload to federal employees and other contractors, the agency must ensure high-quality and timely investigations. Our national security is too important not to.”

USIS said in a statement that it is “deeply disappointed with OPM’s decision, particularly given the excellent work our 3,000 employees have delivered on these contracts. While we disagree with the decision and are reviewing it, we intend to fulfill our obligations to ensure an orderly transition. The company continues to provide high quality service to its many other valued government customers.”

OPM officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Associated Press first reported that the OPM would not renew the contracts.

The OPM and the Department of Homeland Security issued stop-work orders last month after the cyberattack, which potentially exposed the records of thousands of government employees.

Since then, the two agencies that suspended the work have been trying to shift the background investigations to other contractors or do them in-house, the OPM has said.

But USIS’s caseload was significant, averaging about 21,000 background checks a month. USIS, which conducted background clearances for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, has come under criticism for allegedly churning through investigations and cutting corners.

The company also faces a whistleblower lawsuit that was joined by the Justice Department and accuses the company of submitting 665,000 background checks that were incomplete.

In recent years, the OPM has scaled back its reliance on USIS, which was paid $417 million in fiscal 2010 and $320 million last year, according to the agency. During that time, more work went to two other contractors: KeyPoint Government Solutions and CACI. KeyPoint’s payments jumped from $85 million to $138 million; CACI’s rose from $17 million to $46 million.

USIS has had a long history of performing background checks for the government. The company was created when it was spun off by the OPM in an unprecedented privatization plan during the Clinton administration in the mid-1990s.

It has been performing the checks ever since.

The company also has come under fire from members of Congress who questioned why the Department of Homeland Security recently awarded it a contract, worth up to $190 million, to provide field support services related to the agency’s immigration system.

That contract is being protested by one of USIS’s competitors.



Is There Any Part of Government That Hasn’t Been Hacked Yet?



By Frank Konkel

September 10, 2014 3 Comments


Cybersecurity has been touted by the Obama administration as one of its top technology priorities over the past several years, but heightened visibility alone has done little to deter adversaries that include state-sponsored hackers, hackers for hire, cyber syndicates and terrorists.

Consider the testimony today from some of the nation’s top cybersecurity experts before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, told lawmakers DHS’ National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center – or NCCIC – has already responded to more than 600,000 cyber incidents this fiscal year.

In response to many of those incidents, NCCIC issued more than 10,000 actionable alerts to recipients to help protect their systems and in 78 instances deployed on-site teams to provide technical assistance.

High-profile cyber breaches – such as those affecting Target, Home Depot and even celebrities’ private photos – trickle out on a near daily basis. But it’s clear the vulnerabilities aren’t relegated to the commercial sector.

When committee members asked Robert Anderson, the executive assistant director for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services branch, how much of government hasn’t been hacked yet, he offered a stark reply.

Despite demurring that he probably couldn’t answer the question exactly “off the top of his head,” Anderson said any part of government that hasn’t been hacked yet probably has been hacked – and hasn’t realized it yet.

“The bottom line is, we’re losing a lot of data, money and innovation” to adversaries in cyberspace, he said.

Feds Cite ‘Unprecedented’ Collaboration with Industry

The only way to stay ahead of the evolving threats is to collaborate and share information with the private sector, officials testified.

“We’re engaging in an unprecedented level of collaboration” with industry, international law organizations and other bodies, Anderson said, and those partnerships will continue to expand.

For example, the FBI released 40 near real-time alerts on “current and emerging threat trends and technical indicators,” to the private sector – with 21 of those alerts sent to the financial industry.

The agency is now engaging in a more back-and-forth dialogue as opposed to the FBI listening and rarely sharing – which used to be the case.

Anderson also vowed harsher deterrents for malicious actors, referencing the recent indictments of Chinese citizens who were caught hacking the networks of American companies.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said he was pleased with FBI’s get-tough approach.

“I’m happy to see the FBI being aggressive on deterrence,” said Coburn, the committee’s ranking Republican. “For so long, we thought building a higher wall was [the way to protect], but people are going to climb over any war we have. We need prosecutorial deterrence. I’m thankful of that attitude from FBI both domestically and internationally.”

Yet, given that adversaries are gearing up with the same evolving, emerging technologies that government and private sector leaders are using – cloud computing, for example – a reactionary approach alone is no longer a viable approach to handling cybersecurity, experts testified.

“Information sharing is only one element of what is needed,” Spaulding, the DHS official said. “We also need to update laws guiding federal agency network security; give law enforcement the tools needed to fight crime in the digital age; create a national data breach reporting requirement; and promote the adoption of cybersecurity best practices within critical infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Spaulding’s boss – DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson – has an idea of his own to add to the list: passing comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.

“All the bipartisan progress and hard work invested in cybersecurity legislation in this Congress should not go to waste,” Johnson wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Hill.




The Scary Amount of Oil Money ISIS Makes Every Day


Kelsey Harkness / @kelseyjharkness / September 11, 2014 / 0 comments


President Obama, laying out his strategy last night to defeat the Islamist jihadists known as ISIS, stressed that “it will take time to eradicate a cancer” such as the terrorist group represents in the Middle East.

One hurdle in the way of Obama’s intention to work with allies to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS (also known as ISIL and the Islamic State) is the brutal organization’s control of oil fields in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS uses that oil wealth to help finance its terror operations.

According to the Iraq Energy Institute, an independent, nonprofit policy organization focused on Iraq’s energy sector, the army of radical Islamists controls production of 30,000 barrels of oil a day in Iraq and 50,000 barrels in Syria.

By selling the oil on the black market at a discounted price of $40 per barrel (compared to about $93 per barrel in the free market), ISIS takes in $3.2 million a day.

Eric Bolling, a co-host of “The Five” on Fox News, cited these numbers on Tuesday’s show to explain “why we can’t wait” to counter ISIS.

The Daily Signal independently confirmed Bolling’s statistics with the Iraq Energy Institute.

James Phillips, veteran expert in Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that the revenue gives ISIS a “solid economic base that sustains its continued expansion.”


The oil revenue, which amounts to nearly $100 million each month, allows ISIS to fund its military and terrorist attacks — and to attract more recruits from around the world, including America.

To be successful in counterterrorism efforts, Phillips said, the U.S. and its allies must “push the Islamic State out of the oil fields it has captured and disrupt its ability to smuggle the oil to foreign markets.”

Here’s how Phillips said the ISIS oil operation works:

ISIS sells oil to consumers in territory it controls, roughly the size of Maryland, inside Syria and Iraq. The terrorist group also sells oil to a network of smugglers that developed in the 1990s during Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s rule; that network smuggled oil out of Iraq into Turkey to avoid sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

ISIS also reportedly sells oil, through middlemen, to the Assad regime in Syria that is trying to quell rebellion there. When it comes to making a fast buck, the Middle East has no shortage of “strange bedfellows” willing to do business with each other.

In his speech last night, Obama promised to “redouble” efforts to cut off the Islamic State’s funding.

If the U.S. and its allies are to succeed on that front, Phillips said, they should focus “intently on cutting the oil revenues that make up a large portion of that funding.”



Rasmussen Reports

What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls

Bottom of Form

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The focus has largely been on which party will control the U.S. Senate after Election Day. But 36 states are also electing governors this November, and quite a few of those races are unusually competitive.

Right now, the latest projections on the Rasmussen Reports 2014 Gubernatorial Scorecard show that 10 are Toss-Ups. Another six are leaners but still well within striking range for the other side. We have a handful of races left to check on.

This past week, we looked at six representative governor’s races across the country and out into the Pacific and found some interesting results:

— Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper remains locked in a near tie with Republican challenger Bob Beauprez in Colorado.

— GOP Governor Rick Scott and Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist are still running neck-and-neck in Florida.

— Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud now leads incumbent Republican Paul LePage by four points in Maine’s hard-nosed gubernatorial race, with Independent Eliot Cutler a distant third.

— Troubled Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald has now fallen 20 points behind Republican Governor John Kasich in Ohio.

— Democrat John Kitzhaber has a 10-point lead over Republican challenger Dennis Richardson in his bid for a fourth term as governor of Oregon.

The race to be the next governor of the Aloha State is nearly dead even.

We reported on just two Senate races this past week. One is no surprise: Longtime Republican Senator Susan Collins holds a near two-to-one lead over Democrat Shenna Bellows in her bid for reelection in Maine. This one’s definitely Safe Republican.

But Kay Hagan’s “war on women” strategy may be beginning to pay off in North Carolina. The embattled incumbent Democrat has now moved ahead of Republican challenger Thom Tillis in a race that’s critical to GOP hopes for winning the Senate.

Tillis, like many Republican hopefuls, is counting on the continuing unpopularity of Obamacare to make a difference on Election Day. The health care law definitely isn’t winning any new friends: 56% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of it again this month. 

However, Republicans hoping to knock off incumbents who voted for the law may be as surprised as we were to find out that nearly one-out-of-three (31%) voters still don’t know how their congressional representative voted on Obamacare.

Slightly more are not even aware which political party controls the House of Representatives and which has a majority in the Senate – less than two months before an election that may put one party in charge of both. It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of representative democracy.

Check our latest video election update.

Republicans continue to lead Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot. After trailing for much of this year, Republicans have now led five out of the past six weeks, although the two parties have been separated by two points or less.

Democrats are more likely than Republicans and unaffiliated voters to vote early if they can.

President Obama’s daily job approval ratings continue to hover in the negative high teens.

One likely reason is that voters continue to believe cutting taxes and government spending will help the economy, but many still expect the Obama administration to do just the opposite.

We asked again just before the anniversary date this past week: Do Americans still remember September 11, 2001?

Worry that another 9/11 could happen in the next 10 years is at its highest level since 2010, and Americans still fear a domestic terror attack more than one from outside the country.

Speaking of domestic terror, most Americans think Ray Rice should be banned from the NFL.

Just before the video of Rice knocking out his fiancée with a punch became public, half of American Football Fans approved of the National Football League’s new crackdown against players guilty of domestic violence. Rice has since been fired by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from playing.

A sizable number of both women and men say they have been victims of domestic violence and question whether legal authorities are taking the problem seriously enough.

Just 24% of Americans think professional athletes are good role models for young children.

Still, an overwhelming number of Americans consider sports important in childhood development, although most parents think winning is more important than just participating on a team. Americans also believe free play is better than organized sports activities.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) think children today do not get enough exercise.

It was a bad week for consumer and investor confidence.

In other surveys last week:

— Twenty-six percent (26%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

— Americans still think a government job pays better and requires less work than one with a private company.

— Major League Baseball fans remain fairly divided as to which team will win this year’s World Series, but they are more confident which players will take home the MVP awards.

— Voters say sanctions against Russia haven’t done much to ease tensions in Ukraine, but they favor stepping up that pressure if fighting in Ukraine resumes.

Bullying remains a serious issue for Americans, but now more are saying it’s a problem for the schools, not parents, to handle.

— School’s back in session, but what do Americans think of what kids are being taught and how much it costs?




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