Trump Handed Russia Classified Intelligence

President Trump meets Rusian Foreign Minitster Sergei Lavrov: White House

Donald Trump reportedly told Russian officials that Israel had successfully hacked Isis computers in order to gain intelligence about bomb plots against the West.

The Israeli security services had succeeded in penetrating a “small cell” of Isis bomb makers in Syria, The New York Times reported, citing two US officials. Israel is said, to have uncovered evidence of a plot to bring down an aeroplane using a bomb hidden in a laptop, the newspaper said.

America’s fast-growing ranks of secret cyber-warriors have in recent years blown up nuclear centrifuges in Iran and turned to computer code and electronic warfare to sabotage North Korea’s missile launches, with mixed results.

But since they began training their arsenal of cyber-weapons on a more elusive target, internet use by the Islamic State, the results have been a consistent disappointment, American officials say. The effectiveness of the nation’s arsenal of cyber-weapons hit its limits, they have discovered, against an enemy that exploits the internet largely to recruit, spread propaganda and use encrypted communications, all of which can be quickly reconstituted after American “mission teams” freeze their computers or manipulate their data.

It has been more than a year since the Pentagon announced that it was opening a new line of combat against the Islamic State, directing Cyber Command, then six years old, to mount computer-network attacks. The mission was clear: Disrupt the ability of the Islamic State to spread its message, attract new adherents, pay fighters and circulate orders from commanders.

But in the aftermath of the recent attacks in Britain and Iran claimed by the Islamic State, it has become clear that recruitment efforts and communications hubs reappear almost as quickly as they are torn down. This is prompting officials to rethink how cyber-warfare techniques, first designed for fixed targets like nuclear facilities, must be refashioned to fight terrorist groups that are becoming more adept at turning the web into a weapon.

Isis was planning laptop battery Bomb

The Israeli intelligence was said to be so detailed that it enabled US security agencies to understand precisely how Isis was planning to create a bomb that resembled a laptop battery so closely that it would pass undetected through airport X-ray scanners.

They were also able to learn how the weapon could be detonated.

In response, Donald Trump announced a ban on large electronic devices being carried in the cabin of flights to the US from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries. Britain also adopted a similar ban.

The intelligence, gathered by Israeli cyber warfare operations, was reportedly part of the classified information that Mr Trump is accused of giving to Russia’s US ambassador, Sergey Kisylak, and its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting in the Oval Office last month.

The allegation that the US President had gifted classified intelligence to a rival country led to a diplomatic row. Israel is said to be furious that secret information it had passed to the US had then been given to another country.

It seemed to verify reports earlier this year that officials in the Obama administration had warned their Israeli counterparts about sharing intelligence with Mr Trump and his team because of concerns that sensitive information could be shared with Russia and then leaked to Iran.

Mr Trump’s team denied he had done anything wrong in sharing information with Russia.

Speaking shortly after news of Mr Trump's leak was reported, H.R McMaster, the President’s national security adviser, said the Republican and the Russian officials had “reviewed common threats from terrorist organisations to include threats to aviation.”

“At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly”, he said.

Mr McMaster added that the President’s decision to share information was “wholly appropriate”.

Independent:

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