Monday, June 9, 2014

#1992: Marine Links Serco's Red Switch Cat-Bond Trackers to Heli-Quebec HA Prison Escape

Plum City – ( United States Marine Field McConnell has linked Serco’s alleged use of Canada’s Red Switch Network for a cat-bond asset-tracking service to the synchronized loosening of security measures which allowed three Hells Angels (HA)-affiliated prison inmates to escape by helicopter from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City.

McConnell notes that Serco is almost uniquely qualified to pull off this kind of escape because it has the outsourced technology needed to tag prisoners and their guards with real-time GPS devices, simulate complex escape maneuvers and share profits with the cat-bond trackers who have helped cat-bond sponsors to triggered their phony claims.

McConnell claims Serco used cat-bond asset tracking technology to set up Afghanistan's great escape of Monday 25 April 2011 when 480 Taliban prisoners broke out through a 320-metre tunnel from the Sarpoza prison in Kandahar where the guards had been hired and trained by le Service correctional [et oxymoronique] du Canada (SCC).

Prequel 1:

Entrust Public Key Infrastructure - Correctional Services of Canada - Taliban 'Great Escape' - Seven U.S. Troops Killed In Kandahar - Treason

Crazy! 3 Canadian Prisoners Escape In Helicopter! Massive Manhunt Issued Around Quebec!

Canada prisoners escape by helicopter from Quebec jail

The Biggest Company You've Never Heard Of

Catastrophe (Cat) Bond

“Security measures were loosened for Quebec inmates who escaped by helicopter
MONTREAL - Security measures for three men who escaped from prison in a helicopter were loosened just a day before their daring getaway, Quebec's deputy premier said Monday.

Lise Theriault said a judge granted a request by the trio on Friday to have more flexible detention conditions, including the possibility they no longer had handcuffs.

Theriault, who is also public security minister, told a news conference she doesn't know why the judge agreed to the request. 

"On Friday, the prisoners petitioned a judge to have their measures of confinement loosened and the judge agreed," she said.

Yves Denis, Denis Lefebvre and Serge Pomerleau escaped from the Orsainville Detention Centre in suburban Quebec City on Saturday evening when a chopper landed in a courtyard, scooped them up and quickly took off.

Police say the three men were originally arrested on drug-trafficking and gangsterism charges in 2010.

The Quebec provincial police website also says Denis, 35, is facing first-degree murder charges, while Lefebvre, 53 and Pomerleau, 49, are facing charges of murder and conspiracy to murder.

"The No. 1 priority right now is to capture the three fugitives and get them back behind bars," Theriault said in Nicolet, Que.

Theriault defended police as they continued their search for the convicts.

"It's not easy," she said. "Quebec is big. There are a lot of places where people can hide."

Saturday's helicopter escape had similarities to another bold jailbreak in Quebec. A helicopter pilot was forced at gunpoint to fly to a prison in a St-Jerome in March 2013.

Two convicts climbed a rope ladder into the hovering helicopter and fled. The two escapees and the two men accused of hijacking the chopper were picked up by police in Mont-Tremblant, about 85 kilometers away, within a few hours of the escape.” 

“Afghanistan's great escape: how 480 Taliban prisoners broke out of jail
It may not have been Stalag Luft III, but the escape from Sarpoza prison in Kandahar was pretty ingenious
Jon Boone in Kabul

The Guardian, Monday 25 April 2011 19.38 BST Kandahar's prison may not be Stalag Luft III but in terms of ingenuity, oranisation and sheer cunning the successful break-out by at least 480 Taliban prisoners in the early hours of Monday morning rivals anything pulled off by British POWs in the infamous German prison camp. 

According to people involved in the break-out, the Taliban's great escape began with a team of 18 insurgents on the outside spending five months burrowing hundreds of metros underground through the brown soil west of Kandahar city and into Sarpoza prison, taking their tunnel right into the prison's political section where hundreds of Taliban were held.

As the great escape was a break-in rather than a break-out, there was no need to surreptitiously get rid of the earth inside the camp; according to one local media report, the Kandahar plotters simply sold lorry loads of the earth in the city's bazaar from a tunnel stretching a reported 320 metros.

The starting point was a compound directly opposite the prison that from the outside looked like any one of hundreds of building companies that have popped up in areas awash with reconstruction dollars.

But the metal and concrete beams made there were not for building US-sponsored projects. Instead they were used to support a part of the tunnel that went directly underneath a section of Afghanistan's most important road: the stretch of Highway One running between the cities of Kandahar and Herat.

According to one of the escapees (whose numbers could dramatically tip the odds in favor of the insurgents on the eve of this year's "fighting season"), the tunnel was of sufficient diameter and high enough for the prisoners to stand upright for most of their walk to freedom.

Sections were lit by electric light and ventilated with fans, he said. 

One official who visited the prison said the tunnel had two exits, and that the second branch led to a wing of the prison housing ordinary criminals. For whatever reason, that equally grand escape did not come off.

"I only found out that we were going to escape at midnight," the 28-year-old insurgent, who did not give his name, said during a phone interview with the Guardian.

The man, who had served three years of five-year sentence for fighting foreign forces in Afghanistan, said that a mere 20 minutes later he and his cellmates were taken to the entrance of the tunnel, a hole in the concrete floor that dropped down five feet to the tunnel passage itself.

"It was very well organised. They only let a certain number of people go through at one time, because they wanted to make sure there was enough air to breath in the tunnel."

When the escapee prisoners got to the construction company compound at the end of the tunnel, they were met by their commanders and taken off in cars to safe locations.

And to compound the humiliation of the Afghan government and its Nato allies, the prison managers appear to have been totally unaware of the escape until long after the prisoners had disappeared into the night.

From about 11pm to 3.30am, cell after cell of prisoners trooped through the passageway to freedom.

The unfortunate guard who came into the wing first thing on Monday morning was confronted with an entirely empty building, save for prison clothes, shoes and turbans that the inmates had for some reason left behind.

Suspicions were immediately roused that the escape plot must have enjoyed support and help from prison guards to suceed, but the Taliban escaper doubted it. "They were just sleeping," he said amidst extended laughter.

"The guards are always drunk. Either they smoke heroin or marijuana, and then they just fall asleep. During the whole process no one checked, there was no patrols, no shooting or anything." 

In a country brimming with every conceivable type of surveillance, security was also assured by the fact that the escape plot was kept secret and was known only to a handful of the prisoners held in the large building divided up into individual, unlocked cells.

"We knew there were informers in our wing, but they did not know anything until it was time to leave," he said.

President Hamid Karzai's official spokesman's description of the mass breakout as a "disaster" seemed entirely accurate.

Not only has it handed insurgents a spectacular propaganda coup, it has also highlighted the continued feebleness of the Afghan government and the enduring strength of the militants, undermining a narrative promoted by Nato in recent months that it has been making progress in the nearly 10-year war.

That government feebleness comes despite the billions of dollars being spent this year to improve the Afghan army and police, not least in Sarpoza. The prison was given an overhaul after the Taliban succeeded in releasing prisoners in June 2008, when insurgents attacked the compound, blowing up a section of wall and freeing 870 inmates, including 390 insurgents.

The display of the Taliban's strength comes after a conventional troop surge and a winter of intensive battering by special forces. 

Despite the killing and capturing of huge numbers of Taliban commanders, the movement flaunted its undimmed organizational powers, not least with a sophisticated media campaign which saw a press release in near flawless English being sent out to international media.

It crowed: "The most astonishing thing throughout the operation, as reported by Mujahideen informants, was that all the enemy forces inside the prison, which includes foreign invaders, did not notice the results of the operation even four hours later and hence has not released any statements."

It added that a "martyrdom-seeking group" on standby near the prison were left with nothing to do "due to the inaction shown by the enemy".

The prison break also comes just weeks after a Taliban suicide bomber succeeded in blowing up Kandahar's police chief, and another came close to killing Afghanistan's defense chief in the heart of his sprawling ministry in Kabul.

The bigger question will be how great an effect the break-out will have on the struggle for Kandahar province and the rest of Afghanistan's turbulent south in the critical months to come, the traditional summer "fighting season".

The aftermath of the 2008 prison break does not augur well. That episode led to an instant deterioration in security in the districts around Kandahar city, with battles erupting within days of the escape between the emboldened insurgents and Nato forces. The tide only seemed to turn against the insurgents in those districts with the coming of the US troop surge last year.

The infusion of experienced, but relatively fresh, Taliban fighters could be a boost to the insurgent campaign. However, this time round there is a much larger presence of US soldiers in the south compared with three years ago when an overstretched Canadian force struggled to keep control in the Taliban's home province.

Generally the inmates in the prison are not the senior Taliban members; the most important insurgents are generally sent to Bagram north in Kabul for detention. Tooryalai Wesa, the governor of Kandahar, conceded that security forces had "failed in their duty". 

He said that strenuous efforts were underway to recapture prisoners, a task he said would be made easier by the fact that all of their biometric data is on record, including fingerprints and iris scans. 

"Some of the escaped prisoners have been recaptured by the security forces during search operations, and huge operations have launched inside and on outskirts of Kandahar city for the rest of them," he said.  

He also appealed to Kandahar residents to phone in tip-offs about the escaped prisoners to a hotline set up by authorities.

But for the Taliban escapee enjoying freedom for the first time in three years, an experience he compared to the Islamic festival of Eid, there was a belief that the government would not recover from its display of ineptitude.

"We had the full support of the people of Kandahar, who provided us with clothes and safe places to go," he said.

"We have proved that whatever we want to do in Kandahar or anywhere else in the country, we can do it."”

Serco to pay back £69m over fraudulent tagging contracts 
Thursday 19 December 2013

More than two-thirds of Government contracts held by the controversial outsourcing giants Serco and G4S are open to fraud and error, ministers have admitted.

An official investigation into £5.9bn of outsourcing contracts held by the firms found evidence on Thursday of "inconsistent management" in 22 out of the 28 deals across eight Government departments and agencies. In the majority of the contracts, the review found that there were "key deficiencies" in invoice and payment processes that could lead to overcharging.

The review was ordered in the wake of the scandal involving Serco and G4S's tagging contracts.

Serco on Thursday agreed to repay the Government £68.5m. The scandal concerned the Ministry of Justice being charged for tagging people who were found to be dead, back in prison or overseas. Both Serco and G4S are currently being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.

It was those disclosures earlier this year that sparked the review of all contracts held by both companies. It found that in 17 of the contracts, the civil servants in charge of them did not have the "knowledge and capacity required to ensure the contract is being delivered effectively".

It also ordered further investigation into several "Work Programme" contracts where "the possibility of errors or irregularities and their impact was potentially more significant".

Bill Crothers, chief procurement officer for the Government, who led the review, said it was clear the Civil Service needed more skills to ensure value for money in such contacts. "We need the very best commercial skills to be able to make the most of these opportunities, and we know that these skills are not yet strong enough across Government," he said.

In a separate report, the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, said that problems with two further contracts held by G4S, for facilities management in the courts, has been uncovered. These related to invoicing, delivery and performance reporting and have been referred to the SFO.

Serco also agreed to repay £2m to the MoJ following the discovery that members of Serco staff had been recording prisoners as having been delivered to court when they had not.

As a result, Mr Grayling said, both G4S and Serco have decided to withdraw from the MoJ competition for rehabilitation services. 

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said this was a welcome development: "Given the abject failure of the ministry to look after taxpayers' money when managing contracts, this must surely be the death-knell for the Government's dangerous gamble with justice privatization."

“New military hotline [operated by Serco] directly links top brass to U.S.

Canada is installing a hotline that will allow military brass and politicians to talk with their American counterparts during a time of war or in any other crisis. BY THE OTTAWA CITIZEN JANUARY 14, 2006

Canada is installing a hotline that will allow military brass and politicians to talk with their American counterparts during a time of war or in any other crisis.

About $20 million is being spent on what is called the Defence Red Switch Network. The communications system is already running in some locations, including the defence minister's office and other undisclosed sites for the military's senior leadership. The system will provide a link for the Canadian government to various U.S. military headquarters as well as the North American Aerospace Defence Command, the joint U.S.-Canada alliance that monitors air and space approaches to the continent.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was criticism that senior Canadian officials, including then-prime minister Jean Chretien, were out of the communications loop during the initial stages of the terrorist strike.

The Citizen obtained documents on the red switch network under the access to information law, but Defence Department officials censored almost all details. They claimed releasing the material would be "injurious" to the defense of Canada, its international relations, as well as the detection of subversive or hostile activities.

The newspaper, however, found the details of the supposedly secret network, including its cost to taxpayers, on the department's own public webpage. Details of a similar system that would allow U.S. President George W. Bush to communicate with his top level commanders was also on a Pentagon webpage.

Canadian military officials were not available to explain why information about the network is considered secret when such details have already been put out in the public domain by both the U.S. and Canada. 

The red switch network is considered secure, meaning that it has technology to prevent its transmissions from being monitored or intercepted [Except for the Heartbleed bug]. Presumably the Canadian system can link up with the president's network. 

Martin Shadwick, a strategic studies professor with York University, said such a system makes sense in that Canada and the U.S. share a common goal in protecting North America. He noted that similar communications systems existed during the Cold War.

But analyst Steve Staples said the hotline is another example of the growing integration of the U.S. and Canadian militaries and the increased involvement of the Canadian Forces in American-led operations. "This system just allows the Canadian military and government leaders to get their orders from Washington more quickly," said Mr. Staples, an analyst with the Ottawa-based Polaris Institute.

The Citizen requested information on the red switch network almost four weeks ago, but military officials have not been available to comment.

But according to the Defence webpage, the network "allows access to the U.S. system (Forces wide) and will enhance north/south and internal connectivity -- particularly during times of crisis."

According to a Pentagon site, the network provides the president, secretary of defence, joint chiefs of staff, combatant commanders and selected agencies with secure voice communications up to the top secret level. The system is for use during war and other emergencies. Other U.S. defence and federal government agencies can access the network if they have approval from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, according to the site. The website also includes a [Serco!] phone number that U.S. government officials can call to request entry to the network. 

Mr. Staples said the level of secrecy in Canada surrounding the network is disturbing. "I think the Defence Department is worried that Canadians are going to realize the extent our military is being integrated into the U.S. system," he added.

Critics have warned about a new wave of secrecy at the Defence Department. Officials there are censoring information in official documents released to the public even though the same material is already available on government Internet sites. Some critics say this blanket of secrecy raises questions about government accountability and openness. Last week, the Citizen reported the Defence Department is withholding information about the Pentagon's missile shield that is already on the U.S. government's websites, while at the same time claiming the security of Canada could be harmed if the names of senior American officers treated to a taxpayer-financed reception more than a year ago are released.

In addition, the newspaper obtained two missile shield briefing notes sent to Defence Minister Bill Graham. The department had originally told both the newspaper and an investigator with the Office of the Information Commissioner that those records, one of which discusses U.S. efforts to develop space weapons, never existed.

© © CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.”
“Wattisham: Serco wins new Joint Helicopter Command contract at air station
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
3:29 PM

Serco has secured a new three-year contract with the Ministry of Defence to provide a range of manpower services to the Joint Helicopter Command at Wattisham Air Station. The contract, valued at £400,000 per year, will see Serco continue to operate at the base, near Needham Market, where it has supported Army aviation since 1995. Serco provides a range of services at the station, from quality assurance and health and safety management to motor transport vehicle servicing and administration. The company’s nine-strong team is fully integrated into 7 Air Assault Battalion REME and works in partnership with the Army to maintain the UK’s Apache helicopter force. Serco director Stephen Lagadu said: “We are delighted that we have been awarded a new contract at Wattisham Air Station.

“We had a strong bid, a first class bid team and a fantastic team of committed and dedicated people who understand the job and have worked hard to deliver a high quality, efficient and innovative service.

“We look forward to continuing to work with 7 Air Assault Battalion REME at Wattisham Flying Station and being an integral part of Army aviation.”

“Catastrophe bonds (also known as cat bonds) are risk-linked securities that transfer a specified set of risks from a sponsor to investors. They were created and first used in the mid-1990s in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and the Northridge earthquake.”

Yours sincerely,

Field McConnell, United States Naval Academy, 1971; Forensic Economist; 30 year airline and 22 year military pilot; 23,000 hours of safety; Tel: 715 307 8222

David Hawkins Tel: 604 542-0891 Forensic Economist; former leader of oil-well blowA-out teams; now sponsors Grand Juries in CSI Crime and Safety Investigation


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