"The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"
-- Verse from the Minstrel Boy
So comes two articles from Russia related to cybercrimes and arrests for treason. Two arrested for treason and closely affiliated with the cyber hacking of the US election and one director fired. Three in all.
Arrests and Firings in Russian Cyber Intelligence
A senior official in the Russian cyberintelligence department that American officials say oversaw last year’s election hacking has been arrested in Moscow on charges of treason, a Russian newspaper reported Wednesday.
The arrest of Sergei Mikhailov, a senior officer of the Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., the main successor agency to the K.G.B., is a rare instance of turmoil in the country’s usually shadowy cybersecurity apparatus slipping into public view.
Mr. Mikhailov served in the F.S.B.’s Center for Information Security, the agency’s cyberintelligence branch, which has been implicated in the American election hacking. But it is not clear whether the arrest was related to those intrusions....
....In another indication of high-level turmoil over cyberintelligence issues within the security agency, Kommersant reported on Jan. 13 that the director of the Center for Information Security, Andrei Gerasimov, would be fired. His termination was related to the investigation into the agency’s cooperation with Kaspersky on criminal hacking cases.
Kaspersky Lab confirmed today that one of its top cybersecurity investigators was arrested in December in Russia, reportedly amid charges of treason.
News of the arrest of Ruslan Stoyanov, head of Kaspersky Lab's computer incidents investigations unit, as well as Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of the information security department at the FSB, first came via Kommersant, a Russian economic newspaper, and word later spread to US news media outlets.
Stoyanov, who had been with Kaspersky Lab since 2012, led the firm's cybercrime investigation that ultimately led to the 2016 arrests of 50 members of the so-called Lurk cybercrime gang that stole more than $45 million from Russian financial institutions. The case was said to be Russia's largest-ever crackdown on financial cybercrime..... http://www.darkreading.com/threat-intelligence/kaspersky-lab-incident-investigations-head-arrested-in-russia-for-treason--/d/d-id/1327979
There are indications of several financial, food and ammunition shortages within ISIS. Specifically internal fighting for food; trading with the Syrian regime in oil and abducting children in Iraq to act as child soldiers or hostages. All three are indications of the decline of IS.
Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Member of State of Law Coalition Nahla al-Hababi announced on Thursday, that the Islamic State group is forcibly recruiting children, after its defeat in the battle against security forces from army, police, al-Hashd al-Shaabi and tribal fighters.
In a press statement, Hababi said, “The Islamic State group abducted 150 children from Tal Afar, and forcibly recruited them in the so-called ‘Cubs of Caliphate’.” http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/islamic-state-abducts-150-children-tal-afar-forcibly-recruits/
My guess is that a lot of these children are being held as hostages to assure that the early wheat harvest is collected and paid over to IS.
Syrian Regime Now ISIS Largest O&G Customer
WSJ and Fortune report that the Syrian Regime has become the largest oil and gas purchaser from IS replacing Turkey with that honor. http://fortune.com/2017/01/20/oil-gas-isis-syria-assad/
My guess is that Assad' regime's militias have been trading with IS for diesel all along and that the sale of natural gas for electrical processing by the Regime has been a common practice all along. Routes to Turkey were cut by the Kurds in 2016 and that leaves the market for IS to the west. With the loss of export routes around Aleppo to other Syrian rebels, the transportation routes then only lead to the regime which has been a willing buyer all along and the militias affiliated with the Regime have essentially functioned as mafia gangsters using fungible oil as a means of commerce.