In Part 1 of this article, I pointed to the rapid post-election growth of the leftist so-called “anti-fascist” (Antifa) movement. This movement has some clear parallels to the draft protests of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Now, in Part 2 , I’ll further describe how the threat spirals will likely develop.
The Crypto Guys
It is safe to assume that cryptography and novel communications techniques will be used by leftist domestic terror organizations, as they internally develop their tradecraft. It is very likely that anonymous mail forwarders, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and a variety of cryptographic tools are already in use by Antifa. This can only be expected to expand, with the passage of time. I anticipate that the Antifa groups will assume that all publicly-available VPN services and encryption sites are fully co-opted or even the creations of national intelligence organizations. Therefore, some of their cells will be devoted to creating their own crypto tools and communications tunnels. The challenge for the intelligence agencies will be in detecting and countering that infrastructure. This will probably create a whole series of spirals, just unto itself.
Going Full Cyber
The growing threat of cyber warfare cannot be over-stressed. The 2016 release of NSA-contracted cyber intrusion and data extraction tools marked a turning point in 21st Century cyberwarfare. The release of these powerful tools into the wild has huge implications for future wars of any scope or level. Whether it is low-level domestic terror by a lone hacker, attacks by small cells, or even unrestricted warfare between major world powers, these tools will undoubtedly come into play. Clearly, the mass media pundits did not appreciate just how devastating these hacking tools could be, in the wrong hands. (If they had, then the uproar would have been much louder and more sustained.)
Take a few minutes to read this article, for a better understanding of the scope of the cyber threat: ‘Mega Terror Attacks’ Possible Through Cyber, Says Former Israeli Intel Chief
As an aside, I must mention that it was grossly irresponsible of the working group within the NSA to create a situation that allowed the release of the hacking toolset. Much tighter air gapping controls should have been maintained. Furthermore, all of the contractors involved should have held Top Secret SBI clearances. To attempt to semi-compartmentalize some of this work at the Secret level was foolish. There, they had short-term contractors who only held Industrial Secret clearances working in the same building on the same parent project with TS-SBI cleared career contractors. Again, everyone working this project should have been cleared TS-SBI, and they should have all been “read-on”. This social mixing was a mistake. But now the Djinn is out of the bottle, and he certainly can’t be stuffed back in.
X-Class solar flares and nuclear weapon-generated EMP are often mentioned in the popular press. Both could have devastating, long-range effects. These can extend beyond line of site (BLOS) coupling through phone lines and power lines.) But the threat of non-nuclear localized EMP is less often mentioned. It is a growing threat. While the equipment required for this is presently exotic and quite expensive, it is expected to proliferate in the 2020s and 2030s.
Here is something that I mentioned in my 1990 Defense Electronics magazine two-part article on High Technology Terrorism. The potential use of a non-nuclear EMP device in a place like Wall Street, in New York City or the Paradeplatz in Zurich could be absolutely devastating to the global economy. Simultaneous attacks would be even more effective—both computationally and psychologically. Granted, the computing and storage infrastructure used in the banking sector is now much more diffuse and redundant than it was in 1990. But it is still at great risk from a localized EMP event—whether it is nuclear or non-nuclear.
There are two basic approaches to creating non-nuclear EMP: A.) A “One shot use” device, and B.) A reusable device. Both use similar front end ultrabroadband emitters, but the back end designs are quite different. In the one shot use design, a small conventional explosive or other intense chemical reaction is used with a stator winding to create a brief, highly energetic burst of electrical power. This generates the EMP, but also destroys the equipment, a moment later. (Hence, the “one shot use” nomen.)
The alternate “reusable” design is something similar to the recenty publicized CHAMP directed EMP weapon. This uses a large capacitor bank that can gradually be charged, using grid power. After generating an EMP burst, this capacitor bank can be slowly recharged, for a subsequent use. The reusable design requires more bulky and quite heavy equipment in the back end. (The capacitor bank required would be so large and heavy that the transport for the device would have to be a very heavy truck, such as a commercial dump truck.)
One quite likely target for both cyber attacks and physical attacks are Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These have become ubiquitous in the power, water, natural gas, refining, oil pipeline, and telecommunications industries. Because many of these systems were cobbled together over the course of several decades, there are multiple communications layers that have been added. Each of these layers have their own vulnerabilities. And every vulnerability (or “vuln”) has a potential hack.
Another possible parallel to the terror groups of the 1970s will come in the form of transnational cooperation between terror cells. You may recall the way the Baader Meinhof Gang (aka Red Army Faction), the Italian Red Brigades, assorted Japanese terrorists, American hijackers, and the PLO often worked together. They pooled or loaned financial resources, traded weapons and explosives, shared safe havens and training camps, provided forged travel documents, and did on-site cross training. Even though their ideologies were quite different, they united for the sake of convenience. (Albeit their respective definitions of “The Man” they were “Stickin’-it” to were worlds apart.) I anticipate that a variety of leftist terror groups will begin making similar overtures, in the near future.
It Always Comes Down to Politics
It is safe to assume that if and when Antifa morphs and starts to spawn semi-independent or fully independent terror cells, that a dichotomy will develop. The mainstream branch of Antifa will be position itself as a purely political arm of the terror campaign. Publically, what I’ll refer to as “Antifa Main”–the political arm–will disavow the use of terror tactics, and further disavow any association with the Antifa underground terror cells. Privately, however, their goals will be the same.
Do you recall how Sinn Fein served as the political arm of the Irish Republican Army (IRA)? I anticipate that a similar split will be announced within Antifa. Ideologically, they will still be conjoined at the hip. But for the sake of public relations, they will give the appearance of being antagonistic toward one another. I can predict that there will be plenty of grandstanding by Antifa Main, even with well-publicized promises to “help bring terrorists to justice.” Just don’t expect any real action. They will still all be on the same team.
The Antifipation Proclamation
It is also safe to assume that that there will be political pronouncements made in parallel with progressively brazen acts of terror. Various sorts of commniques, diatribes, encouragements to conduct workers strikes, and Calls to Arms will likely be issued. There may even be a call for a general uprising and shooting policemen on sight. For lack of a better term, I’ll tentatively dub this the Antifapation Proclamation. Just wait, it is coming.
The Antifa crowd is dominated by International Socialists. These are the folks that Dr. Michael Savage refers to as “Red Diaper Doper Babies.” So I can foresee that Antifa will harken back to the Spanish Civil War in their pronouncements. (This what they’ve always done, and I expect them to continue.) It will all be with much bravado, shouts for global solidarity, and a hefty dose of “No Pasaran!” They might even try to re-popularize singing The Internationale. After all, it is socialist politics that binds them together.
It is ironic that Antifa’s shade of socialism is only slightly different than what the claim to oppose. Since President DJT and Company actually stand for Less Government, it is odd that the Antifa crowd call themselves “Anti-Fascist”. (Since the Trumpists are diametrically opposed to fascism and all forms of socialism. And, by definition, fascism includes government control of business. Trump stands for free enterprise and getting the government out of the business world.) But with all politics aside, what I’m discussing here is terrorism, and how to avoid its effects. Forget the labels, ignore the rhetoric, and be practical. This is all about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right friends. That, by the way, is not in any major metropolitan center!
It is safe to assume that the majority of Antifa terror attacks will be conducted by independent cells, or even by lone wolves. Leaderless resistance will make the terror arm of Antifa exceedingly hard to penetrate. So the Antifa terror threat could be sustained for many years. In the event that Donald Trump is re-elected or succeeded by another anti-Statist Republican administration, we can expect to see at least another seven and a half years of low-level terror. With its strident rhetoric, the mainstream media has already set the stage for home-grown terrorism. For now, we are just waiting see how their violent words turn into violent action.
Plan accordingly, as you position yourself and your family, to stay out of the terrorists’ line of fire. Keep plenty of cash on hand, in anticipation of high tech terror attacks on either the power grids or on the banking system. (Either of these could cause disruption of electronic payments systems as well as ATMs.) As you build your supply of cash, gradually wean yourself from using your credit cards for regular expenses like fuel and groceries. And, plan on cash being phased out in the next few years. So start stocking up on barter currencies (such as small silver coins and common caliber ammunition.) This also make it impportant for you to gather key bartering references and practice bartering, locally. Your local farmer’s market is a great place to start.