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DHS Red Cell Operations - WAT Wargames Braintrust

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posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 02:35 PM
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Well, I found an interesting little rabbit hole that doesn't scare me quite as much as the previous one. It's called Red Cell, and the first I'd heard about it was a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I've been researching it to find out what it's all about. I considered making it a research project for a while and decided I'd rather leave it open for all to contribute to instead. so without further ado, here goes:

What are DHS Red Cell Operations?



from Brad Meltzer, author of "The Book of Fate"
"..The Red Cell Program is a way for the Department of Homeland Security to brainstorm different ways that terrorists are trying to attack us."


Effectively, the government has brought together people who think outside the box. One person may be a very creative thinker who could invent new ways to commit crimes, another may have extensive chemical knowledge, another may be an engineer, another might be someone well versed in response tactics for various intellegence branches...

Someone comes up with a basic idea, such as "Hey, let's see if we can destroy Miami... what are its weak points?"

Then someone familiar with Miami's infrastructure, geography, etc, gives some areas of interest, and from there a team fills out a series of worksheets in response to various situations.



from Meltzer
"We destroyed major cities in ten minutes..."



Who gets to be in it?

First and foremost, think outside the box. There are standard sets of criteria, which I found in a cached copy of the Asymmetric Warfare Group's Labor Categories, including the ability to obtain, at least Secret level clearance, but inevitably, it is entirely dependent on the creativity, knowledge, and capability of its members. Anyone could suggest slamming a meteor into a country to pulverize it. But figuring out how to cripple emergency response teams with little more than $20 worth of supplies and a small team of ordinary people with only a few minutes of coordinated time would be much more likely and probable of an occurrence.

Meltzer was invited after the FBI busting a guy for money laundering, and they found his book "The Millionaires" on his top shelf. It had been used by the criminal to figure out how to launder money.


Who do they work with?

Well, there's The University of Central Florida...


from A UCF Power Point Presentation
Andy Wright & Brennan McKerman, working with personel from UCF to "understand the Red Cell Program's strategic intent, needs & virtual knowledge team process. To provide access to UCF intellectual capital & industry partnership resources in modeling, simulation & training - human team performance, digital media & experiential learning to the Red Cell Program that has domestic and international impact & value to DHS & America."


Apparently some of the younger brain trust is being groomed there, so it's a good place to start if one wished to train for membership. Additionally, they work heavily with the Army CALL Database at Leavenworth, and with the Coast Guard via discreet message boards.



So what's the next big threat, according to Red Cell?



from Meltzer
"The new idea in law enforcement is to bring all of our agencies together to share information. It sounds wonderful on paper, but...when they're all working together, sure they can work together, but then they can all scheme together.
And if you have a rogue agent in one agency who meets a rogue agent in another, they're pretty much unstoppable. I gave the plot to the former head of the Secret Service and I said "what do you think of this?" And he said to me, "the scariest thing you've done, Brad. This is the next threat. The threat from within..."


I guess since Red Cell works across the board with each of the intelligence agencies, and military branches, with all those creative minds, a rogue Red Cell would then, by deduction, be the single greatest threat to America ever.




posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 03:02 PM
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Red Cell goes a lot farther back than DHS.

I don't know if you are familiar with Richard Marchinko's book "Rogue Warrior", but he was the leader of the first Red Cell teams made up from SEAL ATT 6. He ended up doing federal prison time for some alleged misreporting of expenses for his teams and diversion of funds. He makes an interesting study in exactly what you are getting at with your thread here.



Besides serving as a Naval Attaché to Cambodia and later as Commanding Officer of SEAL Team Two, Marcinko was the founder and first Commanding Officer of two of the military's premier counter-terrorist units: SEAL Team Six and Red Cell. SEAL Team Six engaged in highly classified counter terrorist missions in Africa, Central America, the Middle East, the North Sea, and beyond.

While commanding RED CELL, Marcinko used his teams' expertise as Navy SEALs to test the Navy's anti-terrorist capabilities. The result: RED CELL infiltrated supposedly impenetrable US military bases, weapons storage areas, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and other "secure areas". As Red Cell penetrated bases and took hostages, Marcinko's unit ran roughshod over would be defenders. Nothing was immune to Red Cell's "terrorist attacks", not even the President's jet, Air Force One.

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posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 03:42 PM
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Wow. It makes one wonder why it hasn't happened yet. Obviously the watchmen can't keep everyone under scrutiny, and not everyone with knowledge can be brainwashed, and not everyone capable of doing these things is a patriot at heart. Greed is a pretty common denominator among humanity, right up there with xenophobia... So why hasn't it happened yet? Is it because people just don't care, haven't thought about it, or no one really feels strongly enough about things in the USA to do something that horrible?



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 06:01 PM
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In my personal opinion, 9/11 was the mother of all Red Cell operations. So, I don't know if it is correct to say it hasn't happened yet. Just today, the President was saying we would be hit again if he wasn't able to get the legislation he needed to allow CIA operatives to do their jobs. What does that tell you? It may tell me something entirely different. I might even take it as a threat.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising
Just today, the President was saying we would be hit again if he wasn't able to get the legislation he needed to allow CIA operatives to do their jobs. What does that tell you? It may tell me something entirely different. I might even take it as a threat.


Oh, I can definitely see how it'd be taken as a threat, but I'm reserving final judgment until after the 2008 elections. To tell the truth, I think the country is going in a new direction, rather embarrassedly realizing that we can't stay a hornet's nest of aggression and solo aggro the world. I honestly believe the system will correct itself if for no other reason than because our national schizophrenia isn't going to let one ideology stay the dominant power for very long at a time.

However, I digress. This isn't a political thread but rather one about Red Cell. It's kinda difficult finding history on them though, even though I'm sure they've been around since the 1950's, as they would have first been instituted, or the precursor to them, during the Cold War.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 10:03 PM
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Quite an astute and informed bit of observation and comment.

I, too, fervently hope this great nation of ours is attempting to change course in belated realization of the import and impact of our actions and potential place in this world.

The big question that remains for me is; will this change be allowed to continue as the will of the people manifest, or will it be artificially influenced by further Red Cell type operations, if indeed that is what 9/11 turns out to have been?



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 10:26 PM
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a rogue Red Cell would then, by deduction, be the single greatest threat to America ever.

Given resources, sure. But without funding, equipment, or even the ability to use anything other than a cell phone to contact each other, probably not.

Thats what made al qaida dangerous. Their plot wasn't ingenious (creative though, sure), they had the financial backing to be able to obtain the equipment and infrastructure to carry out their schemes. Red Cells don't.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Given resources, sure. But without funding, equipment, or even the ability to use anything other than a cell phone to contact each other, probably not.

Thats what made al qaida dangerous. Their plot wasn't ingenious (creative though, sure), they had the financial backing to be able to obtain the equipment and infrastructure to carry out their schemes. Red Cells don't.


What, $20 for a pack of box-cutters and some discounted flying lessons?

I hate to say it, mate, but all 9/11 needed to have happen was the resources that anyone with a minimum wage salary could have bought. I don't really think it needed a lot of financial backing.

Additionally, the point of Red Cell doesn't appear to be that of a well-funded, crack-team of elite specialists using the most high-tech equipment. The people putting these plans together are thinking more along the lines of "what can just about anyone do, with the proper level of coordination and research beforehand, to cause the single greatest amount of damage?"

Terrorists aren't typically going to have a lot of funding, or the most high-tech gadgets. What they lack in funding they make up for in resourcefulness and the willingness to die for their delusions.



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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Okay, well, exploring a bit more along this line, let's investigate Asymmetric Warfare.



from The U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group

Mission Statement - AWG Conducts Operations in Support of Joint and Army Force Commanders to Mitigate and Defeat Specified Asymmetric Threats.

Key Tasks:

- Serve as the global conventional U.S. Army expert in asymmetric warfare
- Deploy, integrate, coordinate and execute battle command of AWG trained and ready forces
- Assist in identification, development, and integration of countermeasure technologies
- Establish linkages with all internal, combatant command, and national intelligence agencies
- Analyze asymmetric threats
- Observe, collect, develop, validate, and disseminate emerging TTPs

Support JTF commanders and units in countering AW threats




So, what is Asymmetric Warfare?

Asymmetric Warfare are, effectively, non-conventional offensive and defensive tactics. Conventional would be the standard idea that one thinks of in terms an army: soldiers with guns, marching along, going into battle formations, tanks, planes, etc... Non-conventional would be more along the lines of IEDs and suicide bombing, which attack in a seemingly random, unpredictable fashion, in an area that is poorly prepared for such. In other words, fighting dirty.

According to this article, the idea of the AWG is to mitigate the damage and thwart the attempts of those seeking to use AW against us.

Officially, the decision to form the AWG happened in 2003, and the initial 50-something soldiers that comprised its ranks met for the first time at McGill Training Center on Fort Meade, March 8th, 2006. The idea is to have an extremely adaptive, creative force of almost 400. At least one third of their forces have already been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and their tagline reads like something out of a movie trailer:



from Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody

"When the odds are the longest, when the enemy is toughest, when we simply must win — I know the AWG will get the job done."



The commander of the Army's AWG, 24-year veteran Colonel Robert Shaw, has commanded two Special Forces A-Teams. The list of credentials for the entire chain of command is rather impressive, and it is doubtless that the AWG is going to be a deciding factor for decades to come in terms of how wars will be fought. Yet they are remarkably (and understandably) tight-lipped.



from Army Lieutenant General James Lovelace

"This is an organization that ... in the planning for the long war will make its mark in multiple ways, but it will not be heralded because we will not put ourselves into the limelight. But, at the same time, it is going to have a great operational impact on the force."


Fort Meade does look to be the the permanent staging and training ground for the AWG, as The Wexford Group International, in Vienna, VA has agreed to a $237.8mil contract to complete support work for the base by July 4th, 2011. The Wexford Group, no stranger to military contracts, will also be handling the New Navy's SeaPort Enhanced contract. Interestingly, they do not appear to be a member of the Coalition for Government Procurement, whom handle most defense contracts.

Anyway, that's the Army's portion of Red Cell.



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