Sunday, January 5, 2020

Iranian Social Media Special Ops (Takavar): A Possible Clue In The FDLP Hacking

Special Ops Social Media

Twitter user "Aldo Raine" (@MAGAtronics) posted a possible clue in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) website hacking that took place on January 4, 2020. (See prior blog on this.)

Someone's instagram account is embedded in one of the screenshots:

Here is a close-up.

At first I thought this was a person.

But then I realized that Takavar (which means "commando") is a role: special forces. They may be Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, army, or police. Information is hard to come by.

When they appear on social media, they are not real people but manufactured accounts.

The name given for the individual above, "Seyed Mohammad Hosseini," is also the name of an anti-regime Iranian activist. From the Wikipedia entry:
"Seyed Mohammad Hosseini was born in Iran and joined the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) service in 1994 as a TV program host. During his years at the IRIB, Hosseini was active as a producer, director, and hosted a number of game shows until 2010 when he left IRIB. In 2011 Hosseini immigrated to the United States as a political refugee and became a vocal advocate against the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the US he has started an opposition group called "Restart" which is currently active against the Islamic Republic."
See below - similar handle to the first one (Takavar.313), different face.

That is a stock image which is duplicated elsewhere on the Internet (Yandex image search). The Tweet "in the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful" is duplicated from the first account.
Some don't even bother with a photo.

Here is one photo dated September 28, 2015, tagged "takavar 313," from Facebook.

If you do some searching across Twitter and Instagram, or even just Google, you find multiple similar accounts.

There is a similarity to the images. Here are a few from the Twitter account of the same handle as the one which is marked on the FDLP hack. 

This one shows a transformed version of the President's pinned Tweet. Instead of a flag, it's a coffin of an American soldier.

This one shows an explosion in the waters of Haifa.

Who Is Running Takavar In Iran?

Given that the CIA overthrew Iran in 1953, there is reason to think this social media operation comes from the "deep state" portion of the CIA, working as a proxy through the hostage Iranian government, rather from the Iranian people themselves.
"On the 60th anniversary of the 1953 military coup in Iran that overthrew the government of radical nationalist Mohammad Mossadegh, the US has declassified documents detailing how the CIA’s secret operation brought the country’s Shah back to power."
 This is a link to the declassified documents.
Washington, D.C., August 19, 2013 – Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup."
"Political partisans on all sides, including the Iranian government, regularly invoke the coup to argue whether Iran or foreign powers are primarily responsible for the country's historical trajectory, whether the United States can be trusted to respect Iran's sovereignty, or whether Washington needs to apologize for its prior interference before better relations can occur."

Psy-Ops At Home?

In 2006 the CIA declassified its "Morale Operations Field Manual - Strategic Services." The manual explains how to use various methods of deceit for "subversive morale operations." Specifically:
The objectives of subversive morale operations are: 
a. WITHIN THE ENEMY’S COUNTRY—To incite and spread dissension, confusion, and disorder; to promote subversive activities against his government by encouraging underground groups, and to depress the morale of his people.  
b. To discredit collaborationists, to encourage and assist in the promotion of resistance and revolt against Axis control by the people of these territories, and to raise their morale and will to resist. 
To conduct activities which will assist in the accomplishment of the objectives in a. and b. above."
Do "other areas best suited to the purpose" ever include the United States?

Odd Behavior 

If the CIA's agenda is not the agenda of the President, this explains activities such as we have seen in recent years during the Trump presidency:
For all of the above reasons, we should not automatically assume that the hack of the FDLP website was committed by Iran as a state actor.

See Part 1 of this blog.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.