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Thread: The Islamic Insurgents (catch all)

  1. #41
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    I only know what I've seen in the public accounts. Coverage here has been a bit more extensive but not much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    All the articles said the hackers were financed by a Middle Eastern Cell, and the hackers get commissions, so what is the motivation of the hackers to work for commissions instead of taking it all? The Saudi national appears to play a key facilitation role that actually is critical in the over all business scheme?
    The question above is fairly obvious and I wondered about that too, but nothing in the published accounts explains it. Possibly the Saudi group was providing some target information or financial infrastructure that the Filipino group needed, but that's speculation. After all, how much "financing" is really needed to set this sort of thing up?

    Here:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/1...7AP06A20111127

    It says:

    Police in the Philippines said money from the scams was diverted to accounts of a Saudi-based group that was not identified.
    So it's possible that the money was being bounced directly to accounts outside the Philippines by someone who subsequently paid the hack group their cut. They might have thought that would cover their tracks, but again that's speculation. From the same source:

    Hackers broke into the phone systems of some AT&T customers and made calls to expensive international premium-rate services, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

    Such scams are relatively common, often involving bogus premium-service phone lines set up across Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

    Fraudsters make calls to the numbers from hacked business phone systems or mobile phones then collect their cash and move on before the activity is identified. Telecommunications carriers often end up footing the bill for the charges.
    That doesn't suggest that anything uniquely sophisticated was involved.

    I've seen nothing addressing the question of whether the Filipino hackers were ideologically involved or just in it for the money.

    The JI link is discussed:

    Sosa said the Filipinos were being paid by a group originally run by Muhammad Zamir, a Pakistani arrested in Italy in 2007. He said Zamir was a member of Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian militant network with links to al Qaeda.
    That sounds a little suspect, as JI is a SE Asian group and "members" would normally be from Indonesia or Malaysia. Zamir might have been a financier or link to Pakistani organizations, that isn't specified. It's always wise to be cautious about reading too much into these claimed links, and in any event Zamir has been in custody since 2007 and is cited only as a former leader of this shadowy Saudi group.

    In short, both the JI and LeT connections remain alleged and a bit uncertain, very hard to put all of it together in any meaningful way without knowing a lot more.

    It seems that all the news is coming from Philippine sources; the FBI isn't talking. It's not clear whether the FBI was involved because of the alleged terrorist connections or simply because a cyber-scam directed at Americans was traced back to the Philippines.

    It's possible that this was a real saber-toothed terror finance scheme, also possible that it fell more toward the "crime" end of the terror-crime continuum, and the police here are playing up the terror connection to make themselves look more impressive. Maybe a little of both. More questions than answers, in any case.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 11-27-2011 at 07:06 AM.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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  2. #42
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    and for each of you, Bill, David and Steve, I really mean the term "gentlemen" ...

    What is your gut reaction to whacking these guys - IF they "materially supported" Mombai ?
    That would depend on the extent and nature of the material support. Were they actively involved in planning and providing specific support for a known operation, or did they send LeT some gear that ended up being used in Mumbai, or something else altogether?

    I certainly wouldn't suggest whacking anybody on the basis of information currently available to me.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    What think you ?

    Not, BTW, as to "legality".

    What is your gut reaction to whacking these guys - IF they "materially supported" Mombai ?
    On one level it is a tough question, on another it is quite simple. If I lost a friend or family member in that attack and found out that it xyz financed it I wouldn't lose any sleep if xyz was whacked. However, what if xyz provided money in general to the "cause" and not for a specific attack? What if xyz had no knowledge of the attack? The LeT like Hezbollah have a charity arm, and if the financiers raised money (even illegally) to give money to what they thought was the charity/NGO arm I admit that complicates the issue. A lot of things complicate the issue concernning the allegations in this case, for instance if actors in Saudi provide money to hackers in Manila for a service (criminal service) and then that money flows to the ASG in the Southern Philippines or the J,I or one of its off shoots, in Indonesia and is used for a lethal attack (say another hotel bombing) is there a direct or indirect support link? What are the laws in all the concerned countries where the various actors may be in (Saudi, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, etc. not saying all were involved in this particular case, but just pointing out the complexity of dealing with transnational criminal networks located in numerous countries that at any point can converge with a terrorist organization). Do we act independently and address a criminal country in another sovreign nation because it is tied indirectly to a terrorist group in another that threatens us?

    This also addresses the whole issue of surrogates, most nations use them, and so do a lot of non-state actors. We openly supported the Muj fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, did that give the Soviets the right to attack us if they chose to do so? We have Christian groups in the U.S. that provide arms and money to other Christian groups globally that are fighting oppression (Nigeria, Sudan, etc.), so do those oppressing those groups have the right to attack these group? God knows how much we collectively raised for the IRA throughout the U.S. (mostly because we liked Irish beer and music). It isn't the same I know, but it is useful for providing context. Definitely not information available in these articles to even make a subjective value call on this case.

    I'm digressing from your question, but I think this case (or it may turn out to be non-case) illustrates the inadequacy of our legal and defense structure for the era we live in. We're spun up about FID and COIN and how to address very localized problems still, which many times are simply done of our business, yet there are real global threats out there that we have no idea how respond to. We recently stood up a cyber command, but I suspect that was largely to deal with state actors, what about non-state actors like this case? This case is small scale (so it appears), what if it was larger? How would we address it?

    I don't want to drag Mexico into this forum, but that is another example of where we're struggling to find a solution to projected threats to U.S. security from the transnational criminal organizations there. Guaruntee you that the DEA doesn't have the answer, in fact their operations frequently make things worse, I can't think of one country where they worked that they haven't made the problem worse.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 11-27-2011 at 08:09 AM.

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    Default No "whack" on what I or You "know"; ...

    But, that ain't the question !

    Steve (et al; except for Bill's post, which has the nuances I like - I'll have to do that after I sleep. ):

    At some point, someone may have enough intelligence (information + analysis) to "decide" ("more likely than not"; but it could be a greater proof test - if you wish to specify it !) that a "Group X" has engaged "in supplying material support" to "Group Y" in an action that kills people.

    IF that test is met, then a member of "Group X" can be whacked, anytime, anywhere, etc. ...
    That is the "legal premise" - in quotes, because some would argue that is not an acceptable legal premise (please come forth !).

    You can address the posited legal premise; but I am far more interested in your "gut reaction" to my "material support" scenario (albeit hypothetical).

    How far will you go IF ?

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 11-27-2011 at 08:38 AM.

  5. #45
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default Gut reaction...

    Throw enough IF in the picture and you can take it anywhere you want to go.

    Certainly I can imagine situations in which unilaterally whacking a finance/support cell would be IMO appropriate... there would be a lot of "if" in the picture. I'd want to set the bar pretty high for that sort of thing, for obvious reasons.

    For a finance/support group, even more than for an operational group, whacking would be a last resort and something you wouldn't want to do. You'd want tracking and surveillance to the greatest possible extent, to shake out the network, find out where the money is coming from and where it's going. If that's not possible, arrest and interrogation would be way better than whacking: dead guys don't talk.

    You have to wonder if arresting a few Filipino hackers at the bottom of the food chain wouldn't just alert the Saudi side to go underground, change the MO, and go to the next plan.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  6. #46
    Council Member max161's Avatar
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    Default JI and Patek in Pakistan

    Perhaps off topic but since a JI connection was mentioned thought I would through this out.

    I still wonder what Patek was doing in Pakistan when he got rolled up. Did he meet with Bin Laden and what does that bode for terrorism in SE Asia?
    David S. Maxwell
    "Irregular warfare is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge." T.E. Lawrence

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4f4l742Z2E

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW4D6...feature=relmfu

    Interesting investigative reporting on al Qaeda in SE Asia post UBL. Each video is approximately 15 minutes, if you're short on time I recommend watching the 2d one.

    Try to actively listen to and understand the Jihadists, and then assess whether or not our strategy will actually be effective. I suspect this conflict will continue to ebb and flow for years, and we can't lose perspective that it is an idea, a network, etc., that is not restricted to the operational area in the Southern Philippines. We continue to suffer from excessive tunnel vision, which in my opinion is driven by doctrine that uses terms/concepts such as targeted area of interest, named area of interest, high value individual, etc., and as long we keep thinking in terms of refined geographical areas and individuals we'll continue to miss the larger strategic picture and respond accordingly.

  8. #48
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default Two way traffic one day?

    A Social Media Decoder, by David Talbot, December 2011, Technology Review, http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/38910/

    New technology deciphers— and empowers—the millions who talk back to their televisions through the Web.
    But now he's also dealing with a growing force: the masses talking back through social media. Of the approximately 300 million public comments made online worldwide every day—about two-thirds of them on Twitter—some 10 million, on average, are related to television (though daily numbers vary quite widely). "¿Que sera two and a half men si[n] Charlie?" one viewer recently tweeted, alluding to the replacement of Charlie Sheen by Ashton Kutcher on the CBS sitcom. "The beginning of Person Of Interest is like Jack&Ben all over again," remarked another. (A couple of weeks later, another added: "I assume CBS will keep going with what's been working for them, and replace Andy Rooney with Ashton Kutcher.") TV executives like Poltrack must now grapple with these spontaneous, messy, irreverent remarks.
    The complete article in pdf is hosted free at the Bluefin Labs' website

    http://static.bluefinlabs.com/websit...ech-review.pdf
    Sapere Aude

  9. #49
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default What is your gut reaction to whacking these guys?

    Edited JMM's question for brevity
    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Here is a "WHAT IF": If this hacker effort and also Mombai (where folks were killed) were "materially supported" ($$$) by a "Saudi Group", can that "Saudi Group" be "declared hostile" and its members "neutralized" (killed, captured or converted - with "killed" always an option) ?

    Theoretically, a member of a "declared hostile" group (engaged in an "armed conflict") can be killed anytime, anyplace - whether armed or unarmed, etc.

    What think you? Not, BTW, as to "legality".

    What is your gut reaction to whacking these guys - IF they "materially supported" Mombai ?
    I'd prefer not to "whack" whoever was involved, well not to start with. My preference is for options that reduce their credibility in their community cum audience, e.g. found driving drunk when in the French Riviera. Some inspired "Nigerian" fleecing of their assets and sewage in villa swimming pools. Not allow them (and family) to travel too far, but don't tell them till they arrive at JFK. Add in a few key messages, like "We know what you did. We haven't started yet".

    "Whacking" may only make them a martyr and not stop others giving $$$ to the violent Jihad.
    davidbfpo

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    Default What Bill said ...

    in this post, is where I find myself in considering that part of violent non-state actors who are involved in financing, recruitment, propaganda, psyops, weapons procurement, etc. - the "soft side" of the "business". So, like the father in Fiddler on the Roof, I consider "on one hand, but then on the other hand, etc."

    Should the Westphalian rules apply to non-Westphalian situations ? Take the AQ or Taliban IED maker. Should direct action to kill be taken against him ? If so, then should the same direct actions be allowed against Westphalian arms makers (the modern Fords and Krupps) ? Certainly Ford and Krupp were more important to their respective war efforts than were my dad and his Wehrmacht counterpart grunt.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Some interesting reads that are relevant, but not directly related to this thread. I'll eventually transfer this to the "terrorist finance thread" after it has run its course.

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...archid=3336627

    Interesting article on the difficultly of prosecuting terrorist financiers (at least those allegedly involved in the 9/11 attacks:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/funde...ry?id=14512391

    After the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11 and six months after the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, questions still remain regarding who funded the attacks that led to thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damages.

    The latest legal pursuit is that of an insurance syndicate of British insurer Lloyd's, which says the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its banks and various charities should be financially responsible for the $215 million it paid in insurance settlements to 9/11 victims' families.
    Here is Lloyd's Civil Action Complaint against numerous terrorist financier in Saudi, but as you'll see with the follow on article, they dropped the complaint (suspect political pressure). Recommend you do a word search for the Philippines in this document, they make several references to terrorist financing support for groups in the Philippines and Indonesia.

    http://www.whowhatwhy.com/files/case.pdf

    THE UNDERWRITING MEMBERS OF
    LLOYD’S SYNDICATE 3500
    Plaintiff,
    v.
    THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA, THE
    SAUDI HIGH COMMISSION FOR RELIEF
    OF BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, SAUDI
    JOINT RELIEF COMMITTEE FOR
    KOSOVO AND CHECHNYA, SAUDI RED
    CRESCENT SOCIETY, NATIONAL
    COMMERCIAL BANK, AL RAJHI
    BANKING AND INVESTMENT
    COMPANY, PRINCE SALMAN BIN
    ABDUL AZIZ AL SAUD, SULEIMAN
    ABDEL AZIZ AL RAJHI, YASSIN AL QADI
    Defendants.
    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news.../20/216580.htm

    Lloyd’s London’s Syndicate 3500 filed a notice on Monday, Sept. 19, to voluntarily dismiss its federal lawsuit against Saudi Arabia over 9/11 claims.

    The lawsuit, first filed on Sept. 8, had asserted that Saudi Arabia as well as several Saudi charity and financial organizations were instrumental in helping al Qaida carry out the 9/11 terror attacks.

    Attorney Stephen Cozen of law firm Cozen O’Connor, who represents Lloyd’s, told Insurance Journal that he cannot comment on why Lloyd’s decided to drop the case 13 days after filing the complaint. He said, however, the suit could be refiled and also that there could be other similar lawsuits filed by other insurers in the future.

  12. #52
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max161 View Post
    I still wonder what Patek was doing in Pakistan when he got rolled up. Did he meet with Bin Laden and what does that bode for terrorism in SE Asia?
    There's been a lot of speculation about that... he was arrested in Abbotabad 3 months before UBL was killed, so of course people will wonder whether they met or intended to meet, and whether Patek's arrest was directly or indirectly linked to the move on UBL.

    My personal feeling is that whether Patek did or didn't meet UBL would not make much difference. It's well known that JI has maintained fairly continuous links to the jihadi trunk line in Pakistan; certainly there's regular exchange of information and ideas, and presumably some degree of financing. I'm not sure a meet with UBL would be a real game-changer in that equation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4f4l742Z2E

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW4D6...feature=relmfu

    Interesting investigative reporting on al Qaeda in SE Asia post UBL. Each video is approximately 15 minutes, if you're short on time I recommend watching the 2d one.

    Try to actively listen to and understand the Jihadists, and then assess whether or not our strategy will actually be effective. I suspect this conflict will continue to ebb and flow for years, and we can't lose perspective that it is an idea, a network, etc., that is not restricted to the operational area in the Southern Philippines. We continue to suffer from excessive tunnel vision, which in my opinion is driven by doctrine that uses terms/concepts such as targeted area of interest, named area of interest, high value individual, etc., and as long we keep thinking in terms of refined geographical areas and individuals we'll continue to miss the larger strategic picture and respond accordingly.
    Well, you persuaded me to break my rule against watching video reportage. It wasn't really bad, though I confess to getting seriously cranky when somebody shows footage of Mindanao with a voice-over saying things like "this is where Operation Bojinka was conceived...". That's a crock, of course, Bojinka was conceived in a Manila apartment, by a foreign cell with only limited and peripheral connections to the Philippine network, and it was certainly not an ASG cell or an ASG plot... but that's just me ranting.

    Overall, I don't think the focus on the inner circle does much justice to the larger strategic picture. For me the single most significant element in the SE Asian terrorism strategic picture is the failure of the jihadi movement to gain acceptance of its narrative beyond the inner circle. There is a committed core, as displayed in these videos, and it's certainly a threat, but the effort to develop a broadly based global jihadi movement in Indonesia and to effectively harness separatist insurgency in the Philippines has not been terribly successful. Of course a small but highly committed movement remains a real terror threat, and a JI attack, probably on a soft target, remains a real possibility, but JI remains firmly in the "terrorism" bracket with little or no success in transitioning to "insurgency". The MILF can be called insurgency but it remains firmly grounded in local issues; there are connections with international movements but the global jihad narrative has gained little broad traction.

    In the west (Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Jolo, surrounding islands), the problem is less the ASG than the mass of armed fragments owing nominal and transitory allegiance to ASG, MILF, various MNLF factions, and any number of other political groups. That's a volatile situation ripe for exploitation. ASG may have been largely degraded, but what Bob Jones would call the underlying causes of insurgency remain firmly in place. Whether the next incarnation takes on a more Islamist, nationalist/separatist, criminal, or other identity remains to be seen, but I don't doubt that a new incarnation will come along.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 11-28-2011 at 03:11 AM.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking...ry_662225.html

    'I have witnessed that there has been a radicalisation movement in this nation with religious and ideological motives,' Yudhoyono said in a speech at a national development conference in Jakarta. 'If we continue to let this happen, it will threaten the character of our nation and our people.'

    Yudhoyono has allied himself with conservative Muslims in the government and has rarely spoken out against extremist violence, which often goes unpunished.

    But on Thursday he said Islamic extremists, who make up a small but very vocal section of Indonesia's 200 million Muslims, were encouraging young Indonesians to 'love violence' and reject the law of the diverse country
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/...469669#Scene_1

    Radicalism Losing Ground in Indonesia but Not in Universities: Survey

    Support for radicals and radicalism is falling among Indonesians, a survey of 4,840 people has found. The survey by Lazuardi Birru, a Jakarta-based peace group, used a one-to-100 point scoring scale based on answers to a questionnaire, with one being most moderate and 100 being most radical. It measures respondents’ support for radicals as well as their own radical tendencies.
    Zuhairi Misrawi, chairman of the Moderate Muslim Society, said support for radicalism may be declining, but the fact is that the number of incidents has been rising, partly because punishments for those who are caught are so weak.

    “These non-deterrent punishments have boosted the confidence of the radicals,” Zuhairi told The Straits Times. “It indeed encourages future acts.”
    As for the Bojinka Plot, I know it was "compromised" in Manila, but suspect that like the 9/11 plot it was conceived over time in a lot of places to include Malaysia, Saudi, Pakistan, and maybe even during meetings in Mindanao. The good news is it was disrupted.

    My biggest concern in the Philippines isn't the ASG, but rather the Balik Islam movement and the potential pool of recruits throughout the Philippines to include Manila that could truly conduct strategic attacks.

    You're right that JI and its off shoots have not evolved into an insurgency, but there are still reasons for concern. Det 88 has done a great job at suppressing the threat, but the ideology is alive and well among the true believers (even if they are a minority).

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    As for the Bojinka Plot, I know it was "compromised" in Manila, but suspect that like the 9/11 plot it was conceived over time in a lot of places to include Malaysia, Saudi, Pakistan, and maybe even during meetings in Mindanao. The good news is it was disrupted.
    I have no doubt that Ramzi Youssef's Manila group was in direct and constant contact with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and that there was input from both directions in the plot. His involvement with extremist groups in the Philippines has been widely overstated. Most evidence suggests that while he was in regular contact with Khalid Sheik Mohammed, he avoided most contact with local groups in both Manila and Mindanao for security reasons. This of course was wise: ASG was host to known police assets and the Muslim underground in Manila is riddled with informers. I don't think anyone in ASG would have been privy to the details of the plot.

    A great deal has been made of the fact that Youssef claimed the JAL bombing for the ASG, but I suspect that this was done mainly to put KSM's project on the map and divert attention from him... he obviously wouldn't want to announce his presence in Manila.

    Despite his security concerns, I've some reason to believe that the group was not "compromised" in the manner that was widely reported, but that's another story!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    My biggest concern in the Philippines isn't the ASG, but rather the Balik Islam movement and the potential pool of recruits throughout the Philippines to include Manila that could truly conduct strategic attacks.
    That concern was very much with us after the Superferry bombing, but the RSM never got back on its feet after the arrest of Ahmed Santos and subsequent attempts to harness the potential of the Balik Islam group have not produced much result. The potential is certainly there, but the extent to which it's a major concern remains open to doubt. We'll see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    You're right that JI and its off shoots have not evolved into an insurgency, but there are still reasons for concern. Det 88 has done a great job at suppressing the threat, but the ideology is alive and well among the true believers (even if they are a minority).
    The suppression is only half the story. The decline in sectarian violence in Sulawesi and Maluku has had an impact as well. Those incidents got a lot of attention and were spun as violence against Muslims within Indonesia (not endorsing that spin, but it was there), which was enabler for groups like Laskar Jihad, which recruited Muslims to support their local brethren. That in turn served as a jihadi recruitment pool. The decline in that violence has diminished public attachment to radical causes and affected recruitment, fundraising, and willingness to give shelter and passive support (i.e. not informing). JI's habit of attacking soft targets that include many Indonesian Muslim casualties hasn't helped either.

    Suppression has played a part, but the environment overall is not that conducive to replacement of the people removed from the movement or to the spread of radicalism outside the inner circle.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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