Introduction i

Bio Warfare 1

Cyber Warfare and Telecommunications Espionage 44




This report is an assessment of the Cuban threat to the United States national security. The assessment addresses the unconventional threats of biowarfare, cyberwarfare, and electronic espionage. Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, observed in his 1998 Annual Defense Report: "Those who oppose the United States will increasingly rely on unconventional strategies and tactics to offset U.S. superiority". He then mentioned asymmetric threats such as : information operations, cyberterrorism, and biowarfare.

Castro's Cuba is a prime example of a nation developing such unconventional or asymmetric methods of challenging or threatening the United States. In a letter to Secretary Cohen, dated March 31, 1998, then Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, wrote: " I am very concerned about recent reports indicating that Castro's secretive network of sophisticated biological and genetic research labs are being used by the military and Interior Ministry to develop biological weapons".

On the March 31, 1998 edition, the Washington Post addressed the topic of the threat from Cuba, partially stating " Cuba has one of the most sophisticated biotech and pharmaceutical industries in the hemisphere. Because lethal biological materials can be produced by countries with biotech industries, it is difficult to determine when a country moves from simply having the capability to produce deadly viruses, to the intent or plans to do so".

Given Castro's proven instability, ongoing anti-Americanism, and proximity to the U.S., it would be an unacceptable mistake to underestimate his capabilities or his intentions. A report submitted by the U.S. Office of Technological Assessment in late 1995 identified seventeen countries believed to possess biological weapons- Lybia, North Korea, South Korea, Iraq, Taiwan, Syria, Israel, Iran, China, Egypt, Vietnam, Laos, Bulgaria, India, South Africa, Russia, and Cuba. In an appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, January, 1998, Louis J. Freeh, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, stated " State sponsors of terrorism include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, North Korea, and Cuba".

It has long been a concern also in the scientific community that Soviet scientists led the world in development of Radio Frequency weapon technologies. The Soviet Union had a large and diverse RF weapons program and this work continue today within FSU countries. It is well known the close technical and military relationship in this field between the Soviet Union and Cuba. The relationship includes the establishment of the Lourdes' electronic espionage base, operated in Cuba by the Russians, and most recently, the construction of a similar base in Bejucal, operated solely by Cuban personnel.

The findings presented in this study clearly show that Cuba represents a serious threat to the security of the United States in the areas of bio-warfare, electronic espionage, and cyber-terrorism.

Biological warfare

A generation ago, biological weapons were called germ-warfare weapons. Biological weapons are very different from chemical weapons. A chemical weapon is a poison that kills upon contact with the skin. Bioweapons are microorganisms, bacteria or viruses, that invade the body, multiply inside it, and destroy it. Bioweapons can be used as strategic weapons. That is, they are incredibly powerful and dangerous.

They can kill huge numbers of people if they are used properly, and their effects are not limited to one place or a small target. Chemical weapons, on the other hand, can be used only tactically. It is virtually impossible to put enough of a chemical in the air in a high enough concentration to wipe out a large number of people over a large territory. And chemicals are not alive and can not spread through an infectious process.

There are two basic types of biological weapons, those that are contagious and those that are not. Anthrax is not contagious: people don't spread it among themselves; you cannot catch anthrax from someone who is dying of it. Smallpox is contagious. It spreads rapidly, magnifying itself, causing mortality and chaos on a large scale.

The most powerful bioweapons are dry powders formed of tiny particles, biodusts,that are designed to lodge in the human lung. The particles are amber or pink. They have a strong tendency to fly apart from one another, so that if you throw them in the air they disperse like a crowd, leaving a stadium. As they disperse, they become invisible to the human eye, normally within five seconds after the release. You can't see a bioweapon, you can't smell it, you can't taste it, and you don't know it was there until days later, when you start to cough and bleed, and by that time you may be spreading it around.

The particles of a bioweapon are exceedingly small, about one to five microns in diameter. You could imagine the size this way: around fifty to a hundred bio-particles lined up in a row would span the thickness of a human air. The particles are light and fluffy, and don't fall to earth. You can imagine motes of dust dancing in a shaft of sunlight. Dust motes are mostly bits of hair and fuzz. They are much larger than weaponized bio-particles. If a dust mote were as thick as a log, then a weaponized bio-particle would resemble a child's marble.

The tiny size of a weaponized bio-particle allows it to be sucked into the deepest sacs of the lung, where it sticks to the membrane, and enters the bloodstream, and begins to replicate. A bioweapon can kill you with just one particle in the lung. If the weapon is contagious in human-to-human transmission, you will kill a lot of other people too. So much death emergent from one particle!

Given the right weather conditions, a bioweapon will drift in the air for up to a hundred miles. A hundred kilograms of anthrax spores would, in optimal atmospheric conditions, kill up to three million people in any of the densely populated metropolitan areas of the United States.

Sunlight kills a bioweapon. Bacteria and viruses are generally vulnerable to sunlight. That is, a bioweapon biodegrades in sunlight. It has a "half-life", like nuclear radiation. This is known as the decay time of the bioweapon. Anthrax has a long decay time-it has a tough spore. Tularemia has a decay time of only a few minutes in sunlight. Therefore, tularemia should always be released at night. Ultraviolet light kills them quickly. Heavy rain or snow, wind currents, and humidity impede their effectiveness.

While there are any number of organisms that bioterrorists could use as weapons, and we will analyze several of them in this study, smallpox and anthrax are the big two that are capable of causing disease and death sufficient to cripple a city, even a country.

There are some that maintain that discussing the subject will cause needless alarm. There are some that maintain that denouncing the potential capability of Cuba in the development of bioweapons is not prudent. But existing defenses against these weapons are dangerously inadequate, and when, not if, biological terror strikes, as I am convinced it will, public ignorance will only heighten the disaster.

In 1972, the United States signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Biological and Toxins Weapons and on Their Destruction, commonly known as the Biological Weapons Convention. Soviet diplomats helped to write much of the language of the treaty, and the Soviet Union became one of the three depository states for the treaty. The other two were the United States and Great Britain. It was believed that the resources of the intelligence community and the vigilance and concern of the scientific community would serve to sound the alert to any violations of the treaty.

But the belief turned out to be only in the years following the treaty. For there was no way to verify whether or not violations were taking place, and the truth is that much progress was made in the development and engineering of bioweapons in various countries around the world. This was not noticed for a long time. It was an invisible history.

It is therefore critical that the international community continue to pursue the establishment of adequate verification measures that will increase the transparency of research programs in Cuba and elsewhere. Bioweapons: terrorism's next wave

Terrorists and outlaw countries are extending the world's fields of battle from physical space to bioweapons and cyberspace, the latter to be analyzed also in this study. They are known as high-tech weapons. The United States government has proposed $1.5 billion to prepare the nation against attacks via computers or viruses.

A high-level U.S. government commission concluded on July, 1999, that the United States is ill prepared to combat the growing threat of biological weapons proliferation. The Committee was headed by former director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Deutch. The problem is made very complex by the growth of technology that can be used both commercially and in weapons.

Most counter-terrorism experts view biological weapons as posing the greatest threat. A 1998 CIA publication notes that biological weapons have an advantage over chemical or nuclear weapons in that there are no reliable detection devices currently available nor are there any recognizable signals of the human senses. The report also points out that such a terrorist attack might be mistakenly attributed to natural causes.

The U.S intelligence suspects 14 nations of having biological weapons programs-including Cuba-and some countries designated as sponsoring terrorism are suspected of either having a program or being able to start one using civilian bio-technology assets.

A bacteriological weapon is grown in a fermenter tank, and it gives off a yeasty smell, somewhat like beer, or sometimes a meaty smell, like a meat broth. Virus weapons are not grown in fermenter tanks, because a virus does not cause fermentation when it grows. A virus converts a population of living cells into more viruses. What happens is called amplification of the virus. The machine that amplifies a virus is called a bioreactor.

A bioreactor is a rather small tank with a complicated interior. The tank contains a warm liquid bath that is saturated with living cells. Nothing ferments inside the tank, and no gases are left off, so there is no odor. The cells are infected with a virus that is replicating. The cells leak virus particles, and the bioreactor becomes charged with them.

A virus particle is a tiny nugget of protein that surrounds a core of genetic material, which consists of strands of DNA or RNA, ribbon-like molecules. These molecules carry the master software code that directs the activities of life. Viruses use their own software code to take over a cell and direct the cell's own machinery to make more virus particles, until the cell explodes and releases hundreds or thousands of copies of the virus.

The ease of deployment of such weapons is of particular concern. In one scenario constructed for the Pentagon, 20 pounds of anthrax sprayed from a truck driven down New York City's Broadway would result in up to 1.8 million deaths.

Under the White House proposal, 120 of the nation's largest cities would receive training in some of the unique aspects of response to terrorists events involving biological agents. They would also receive equipment sets required to continue the training and access to information and assistance related to biological materials.

A lone terrorist creates a designer microbe deadly enough to annihilate Miami-Dade county. After it's unleashed into the air, the virus will jump, silently, from person to person, infecting thousands of unknowing victims. Air travelers will spread the microbe across the nation-and other nations- and millions will die within weeks. It hasn't happened yet, but it could, public-health experts advise. How do we successfully contain and combat the emerging threat of bioterrorism?

Bioterrorism presents unique challenges. The effects of chemical warfare are often obvious immediately after an attack, allowing public-health officials time to mobilize and clean up the area within hours or days. But a biological attack might not be evident until weeks after the initial infection. And by then, the silent microbes could have spread to thousands, killings most in their wake.

Well-trained physicians might not recognize the signs of infection by a bioweapon in a patient, especially if it is a mixed combination. Physicians should be warned that the effects of a bioweapon on the human body may be very different from natural disease caused by the same organism.

To prepare, federal agencies have scrambled to set up new counter-terrorism strike forces. Behind all this is the very real fear that the world has entered a new stage in terrorism. Even crude weapons can easily cause mass disruption. The attack could range from the poisoning of an individual to sophisticated mass murder.

For example, ricin, is a lethal toxin extracted from the castor bean plant. This toxin was used by Soviet agents, using an umbrella-gun, to murder a Bulgarian in London, in 1978. Product tamperers, too, are increasingly turning to biological agents. There are E. coli, cholera, salmonella, HIV. The greater challenge without any doubt will come from those with broader grievances, from terrorists steeped in political hatred.

Bioweapons are divided, in general, into strategic and operational types. Strategic biological agents are mostly lethal, such as small pox, anthrax, and plague. Operational agents are mostly incapacitating, such as tularemia, glanders, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis (VEE), dengue, yellow fever. Both types, however, cause extensive disruption, huge numbers of casualties.

Release of small pox into the general population would be one of the most serious threats to mankind, said Dr.D.A.Henderson, director of the new Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-Defense Studies. Unfortunately, today that is a very real scenario. Some of the reasons bioterrorists prefer smallpox are its high fatality rates-it kills some 35 percent of its victims- and its long incubation periods-up to 14 days. While the victims do not experience symptoms during these two weeks, they can infect others. The smallpox virus is known as Variola major.

About two weeks after infection, a victim may develop high fever, malaise, headache and backache. A rash then develops, spreading all over the body. There is no treatment and it is easily spread from person to person, Dr. Henderson said. No one in the United States has been vaccinated during the past 25 years. Even those immunized before that time are unlikely to still be protected. Smallpox is very contagious. One case of smallpox can give rise to twenty new cases. Each of those cases can start twenty more.

Intelligence reports and other evidence have led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-CDC- officials to conclude that North Korea, and "other potential adversaries" may have harvested smallpox for use in weapons, threatening to revive a plague for which vaccines are no longer produced.

CDC in Atlanta has placed smallpox at the top of their list of potential biological agents of mass destruction. U. S. intelligence officials cite Russian intelligence reports that concluded North Korea and other former Soviet client countries-Cuba- were conducting research into using smallpox in weapons.

CDC has begun to review its policy on the virus. Currently, agency officials said, U.S. inoculation stores would be sufficient to protect a mere 5 million to 7 million people. The idea of producing new stores of the vaccine is under consideration.

The resurgence of concern about smallpox began with a Russian intelligence report ordered by former intelligence chief Yevgeny Primakov, now Russia's Prime Minister. The 1993 report, "A New Challenge After the Cold war: proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction", stated that some countries were doing research into smallpox as a biological weapon.

Every country with a large biological industry, which had a history of relations with the enormous Soviet biological weapon program, has the potential to produce smallpox virus, and other classical biological agents, such as anthrax, plague, and yellow fever. Cuba, with a long history of research on yellow fever and other tropical diseases, certainly has the capacity to produce such agents.

Unlike small pox, anthrax is not spread from person to person, as previously mentioned, but it is just as deadly. Given appropriate weather conditions, 50 kilograms of anthrax released from an aircraft along a 2 kilometer line could create a lethal cloud of anthrax spores that would extend beyond 20 kilometers downwind.

The aerosol cloud would be colorless, odorless, and invisible. They would infect people indoors as those on the street. An analysis by the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress estimated that 150,000 to 3 million deaths could occur following the release of 100 kilograms of aerosolized anthrax over Washington D.C.

Again, a long incubation period is a potential problem. Exposure to an aerosol of anthrax spores could cause symptoms as soon as two days after exposure. However, illness could also develop as late as eight weeks later. Further, early symptoms of anthrax resemble a flu. Hence, persons are therefore often misdiagnosed. Untreated, 90 percent of people die, most within three days. Antibiotics can significantly reduce the risk of death, but only if given within the first few days of symptoms.

Biological warfare experts are convinced that certain countries have developed, through genetic engineering, forms of anthrax that can overcome the vaccine now in existence. Any country with a modern microbiology laboratory-Cuba, for example- could perform the required manipulations to enhance the lethality of anthrax and create several strains of it. Anthrax is a biological weapon of choice because the bacillus forms a sturdy, long-lasting spore.

The No. 1 threat that needs attention is the continued disintegration of Russia as a civil society. The first defector to emerge from the Soviet Union was Vladimir Pasechnik, a microbiologist from Biopreparat, who arrived in Great Britain in 1989. Pasechnik frightened British intelligence, and later C.I.A., when he told them that his work as director of the Institute of Ultrapure Biopreparations, in Leningrad, had involved offensive-biowarfare research into Yersinia pestis.

Yersinia pestis is a pestilential microbe that causes plague, or Black Death, an airborne contagious bacterial organism, that wiped out a third of the population of Europe around 1348. The Soviet Union had developed a genetically engineered strain of plague that was resistant to antibiotics.

Black Death can travel through the air in a cough from person to person, and a strain of multi-drug-resistant. Black Death might be able to amplify itself through a human population in ever-widening chains of infection. Other threats come from China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, and Cuba.

We may not realize until too late that we have become the victims of a biological attack. A small amount of Marburg, Ebola, smallpox, released in an airport, subway, crowded shopping or stadium, could produce hundred of thousands of victims. The time required before symptoms are observed in a biological attack, according to First Responders Chem-Bio Handbook: A Practical Manual for First responders, 1998, is dependent upon the actual agent used.

Casualties can present in minutes, hours, days, and even weeks after an attack. It is easier to make a biological weapon than to create an effective system of biological defense. It is easier to develop a biological weapon than to create a vaccine. At least eighty different types of bacteria, viruses, fungi can be weaponized.

No one can seem to agree on the best approach to bio-defense. In a simulated attack staged in New York city in 1998, nearly all of the members of an emergency unit dispatched to the scene would have died because they were insufficiently protected. In September 1998, Clinton and Yeltsin agreed on a program of accelerated negotiations to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention.

An ad hoc group of countries have met several times since 1998 to develop guidelines for mandatory inspections in countries suspected of developing biological weapons. Other measures discussed include requiring countries to open their biological facilities to regular visits from international inspectors and setting up a unit to investigate suspicious outbreaks of disease.

There is no technical solution to the problem of biological weapons. It needs an ethical, human, and moral solution if it is going to happen at all. Terrorism is the uncontrolled part of the problem. It is not what kind of sophisticated delivery system a country might have. The best delivery system for bioweapons would be a suitcase left in a crowded urban location. A vial of freeze-dried powder takes up less space than a pack of cigarettes.

In 1992, the Institute of Oceanographic Studies of Cuba, and the Academy of Science conducted an intriguing experiment. It consisted in throwing to the ocean, from different points in Cuba's north coast, sealed bottles with a small note inside. The note requested from those who found them to reply to the address indicated. The note claimed it was a study of ocean contamination.

Obviously, the real objective was to find the best delivery place in the coast to reach U.S. in an effective way. The results found that the north central coast of Cuba was the best site. This could be another form of delivery. Bioweapons are terrorism's next wave.

Bioweapons: most important agents

As mentioned above, at least eighty different types of bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, can be weaponized. We will describe next the most important lethal agents.

Marburg and Ebola viruses

Marburg and Ebola viruses both cause severe hemorrhagic fevers. Marburg virus was first recognized in laboratory workers in Marburg, Germany, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1967. These workers had been exposed to tissues and blood from African green monkeys imported from Uganda.

There were 25 primary cases and six secondary cases in the outbreak. Ebola virus first emerged in two major disease outbreaks which occurred almost simultaneously in Zaire and Sudan in 1976. Over 500 cases were reported, with mortality rate of 80%.

Marburg, and both subtypes of Ebola (Ebola-Zaire and Ebola-Sudan) viruses are members of a new family of negative-stranded RNA viruses, the Filoviridae. The filoviruses are similar in morphology, density, and electrophoresis profile. Originally classified as rhabdoviruses, they appear to be more closely related to paramyviruses on the basis of recent genome sequence data.

Filovirus particles are morphologically similar to rhabdovirus particles but longer. By electron microscopy, virions are plemorphic, appearing as long filamentous, sometimes branched forms, or "U" shaped, "b" shaped, or circular forms.

Clinical symptoms are similar with Marburg and Ebola virus infection. Following incubation periods of 4-16 days, onset is sudden, marked by fever, chills, headache, anorexia and myalgia. These signs are followed by nausea, vomiting, sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Pharyngeal and conjunctival infections are usual. Most cases develop severe hemorrhagic manifestations. Bleeding is often from multiple sites. Death occurs between days 7 and 16, usually from shock with or without severe blood loss. The most striking lesions are found in liver, spleen and kidney. Transmission occurs by contaminated blood samples, sexual contact, and more important, respiratory spread of infection.

Experimental work on Marburg and Ebola viruses has been greatly impeded in the past by the high pathogenicity of these agents. New DNA technology will help to understand better the molecular structure of these viruses. Marburg virus has been successfully weaponized, and there is no known vaccine for it.

Ebola virus was more difficult to weaponized. However, by 1991 it was believed several countries had been able to develop an Ebola weapon. Cuba is one of these countries. There is not known vaccine against Ebola either.


Tularemia is caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. It can enter the human body through the skin, mouth, eyes, or nose. As a bioweapon, the bacteria would be delivered as a cloud to the target population, making entry through the airways into the lungs the most common route, although ingestion and entry through skin wounds is also possible.

The disease may appear as ulcer or lesion at the place of entry and then progress to the lymph nodes and through the blood to other organs, including the lungs if the lungs are not already infested. The fatality rate is about 15% if not treated.

Tularemia can remain alive for weeks in water and soil. It is highly infectious in that a very small number of bacteria can cause disease. After 2-10 days, symptoms, such as fever, chills, fatigue, chest discomfort, dry cough, weight loss would appear. Pneumonia may also be present.

Once a person is exposed to tularemia, antibiotics can be given effectively whether or not symptoms have appeared. Streptomycin is the drug of choice. Vaccine is available. Human to human spread of the disease is rare. It could be used to overwhelm medical resources in a large city, leaving hospitals unable to cope with a flood of patients in need of constant treatment.


Anthrax is, as mentioned before, in conjunction with smallpox, the biological weapon most likely to be encountered. It is highly lethal; easy to produce in large quantities; relatively easy to develop as a weapon; easily spread in the air over a large area; easily stored; dangerous for a long time. All of these factors contribute to suspect that Cuba produces and store anthrax.

Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus Anthracis. Anthrax has been recognized as an illness for centuries. Anthrax still occurs in countries where animals are not vaccinated, mainly in Africa and Asia. It does occur infrequently in many other countries, including the United States.

When anthrax is used as a biological weapon, people become infected by breathing anthrax spores that are released into the air. Symptoms of inhalation anthrax can begin as early as 24 hours after breathing the spores. Initial symptoms include: fever, cough, weakness, and usually progress to breathing problems, shock, and death.

It is expected that anthrax spores will be disseminated by air, causing inhalation anthrax. Because atmospheric stability is important to efficient spread, and because sunlight, as previously mentioned, is highly toxic to biological agents, they are most likely to be delivered at night.

Particles from 1 to 5 microns in size are most efficient in causing infection, and can be present in clinically significant quantities more than 20 km. downwind. The inhaled infectious dose in man is quite high, estimated to be larger than 3,000 particles. The addition of detergents, irritants, or immuno-supressives to the aerosol may decrease the infective dose needed by up to 10-fold.

Inhalation anthrax, also known as Woolsorter's disease, is a biphasic illness. The first phase occurs when the spores are carried to the mediastinal lymph nodes by pulmonary macrophages and cause a suppurative infection with edema and hemorrhage.This phase is characterized by nonspecific flu-like symptoms; mild fever, malaise, fatigue, myalgia, nonproductive cough, and at times a sensation of chest oppression or pressure. Rhonchi may be heard with a stethoscope.

This phase can last for several days, or for as little as 24 hours in heavy infections, and can be followed by an asymptomatic period. The disease is treatable in this stage, but blood cultures are probably negative.

The second phase develops suddenly with the development of severe shortness of breath and cyanosis. Hypotension and shock can occur. Stridor may be present due to enlargement of the lymph nodes near the trachea. The second acute phase typically lasts less than 24 hours. Usually ends in death despite therapy, due to the high number of toxin-producing organisms present by this stage in the illness.

The standard therapy for inhalation anthrax is intravenous penicillin G by continuous infusion, 50 mg/kg in the first hour, followed by 200 mg/kg over the following 24 hours. In a biological warfare situation, it is recommended that vancomycin be a part of the regimen, in a dose of 500 mg every 6 hours.

As soon as in vitro susceptibility data are available, therapy should be adjusted to include effective drugs. However, since most probably in a biological warfare situation, communications and support services will degenerate to a point of complete chaos, in vitro data would not be available.

Recent tests with anthrax raise fears that U.S. vaccine can be defeated. The concern stems from recent evidence that Russia may have mixed together several strains of anthrax, presumably to enhance the lethality of its germ weapon. There is evidence also that Russian scientists have produced strains of anthrax genetically engineered to produce new toxins.

The vaccine works by disabling a component of anthrax known as protective antigen, which helps the microbe's two toxins penetrate the cells they are attacking. Anthrax is one of the most effective and lethal bioweapons in existence.


Smallpox is caused by a virus. The virus spread when an uninfected person comes in direct contact with a sick person and breath in the virus. After two weeks, the incubation period of the smallpox virus, the infected person develops high fever, muscle aches and pains.

After about three days of fever the person breaks out in a rash all over the body. At first it looks like red spots, and the spots gradually become blisters about the size of a pencil eraser. After about five days of rash, the fluid in the clear blisters turns to pus. The more pus spots that a person has, the more likely the person will die.

There are two main types of smallpox virus: variola major, which kills about 25% of the people infected, and variola minor, which kills about 5% of its victims. In 1965, the world Health Organization began a world-wide effort to eradicate smallpox. Studies by epidemiologists showed that the disease could be stopped from spreading if the people who came in contact with infected persons were all vaccinated.

The disease was completely eradicated from the earth by 1977. Today, the smallpox virus exists only in two freezers, one in Moscow, Russia, and the other in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

There is evidence that certain countries may have harvested smallpox for use in weapons, threatening to revive a plague for which vaccines are no longer produced. Ironically, the danger smallpox would pose to a targeted population stems in part from the success medical science has enjoyed in battling the virus.

Smallpox is unlike anthrax in that it is highly contagious but can be handled with impunity by those who are immunized against it. Yet with smallpox no longer recognized as a threat to human health, inoculations in the United States and most other countries have all but stopped. Military translation: the world's population is extremely vulnerable.

The Pentagon has a program under way to develop a new vaccine, but its testing and development is projected to take until 2003. New intelligence assessment on countries doing research and development on the smallpox virus-Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba- could end up accelerating the Pentagon's program.

Actual vaccine requires periodic boosters and wears out after ten years, though revaccination is required after three years in case of infection. Outside of the lab, variola virus thrives only in the human body.

A virus's effectiveness as a weapon can be measured by its mortality rate, which reflects the number of people to contract the disease after exposure. Smallpox kills between 35 to 55% of unvaccinated persons, but its morbidity rate ranges from 70 to 90 percent. Those who do not die, can be permanently blinded. Others will bear scars as long as they live.

Smallpox, unlike anthrax, requires no concentration process. It is, like anthrax, one of the most effective and lethal bioweapons in existence.

Botulinum Toxin (Bot Tox)

It is the most toxic substance in the world. C. botulinum can be isolated from its natural habitat, the soil. It grows rapidly on common bacterial media. The conditions for achieving optimum toxin production have been well researched in Cuba. Cuba has the capacity to produce several grams in one day.

Box tox is relatively stable, and can be stored in crystalline form. It can be absorbed through the mucous membranes, so aerosol dispersal is a likely way to be used. It can also be added to a municipal water or food supplies. Box tox is tasteless and odorless. Depending on the dosage, symptoms appear between 2 to 14 days. The symptoms include double vision, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, vomiting, and eventually respiratory failure.

The protein is a neurotoxin and once the symptoms appear, the damage is irreversible. The only treatment involves passive antibody shots against the strains. The known disadvantages are that box tox is unstable in the air if exposed to sunlight and dry conditions. Box tox can also be destroyed by brief boiling.


Ricin is a protein toxin extracted from the castor bean plant. Ricin kills by destroying an important component of the protein synthesizing machinery of cells, the ribosome. It works as a slow poison, eventually causing a total body collapse as necessary proteins are not replaced. Ricin can be used to specifically target an enemy. An agent could be specific enough to use this procedure to target a single individual for assassination. There are not effective treatment once the ricin has produced clinical symptoms.

Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering is a vital area on the development of bioweapons, and one area where Cuba has had surprising achievements.

Genetic engineering refers to a set of technologies that artificially move functional genes across species boundaries to produce novel organisms. The techniques involve highly sophisticated manipulations of genetic material and other biological important chemicals. Genes are special chemicals that work as sets of blueprints to determine an organism's traits. Moving genes from one organism to another moves those traits.

Through genetic engineering, genes can be moved across natural boundaries. The resultant organisms can have new combinations of genes-and therefore combinations of traits-that are not found in nature and, indeed, not possible through natural mechanisms. Such a technology is radically different from traditional plant and animal breeding.

Basically, genetic engineering means that the DNA material of any source, living or dead cell, can be isolated, identified, altered, and introduced into the chromosome, (DNA), whithin any living cell. Most of the work involves isolation and identification of genes- the components within DNA which contain all the information for the synthesis of everything in every living cell.

The information in a gene is a code. This information is relayed by a messenger. This intermediate messenger is called messenger RNA (mRNA). There is an enzyme which reads the DNA and makes this special kind of RNA from it. This mRNA then travels to the special machinery inside the cell, called a ribosome, and there the message is translated. The translation of mRNA leads to the synthesis of a protein.

Genetic engineering allows one to actually change the sequence of the DNA to allow a human gene, for example, to be expressed by bacterial enzymes and ribosomes. Thus, if one can get this gene into the chromosome of a bacteria ( even though the gene encodes information for a human protein) or, if one alters certain of the gene regions to make these regions compatible for bacterial enzyme interaction, the result is important.

Then this human gene will be expressed in a bacterium, and a human protein can be made in this way. The bacterium usually used for introduction of foreign genes is a very special laboratory strain of Escherchia coli, or E coli. Genetic engineering is wonderful and powerful. But, there is great potential for misuse.

Genetic engineering can be used to modernize existing biological weapons and to develop genetically altered pathogens, resistant to antibiotics and vaccines. The main purposes when genetic engineering is used to alter the genetic makeup of a disease-producing bacteria are: to find the right mechanism for transporting genes into the DNA of another microorganism; to achieve the transfer without reducing the bacteria's virulence.

Genetic engineering can produce new kind of weapons based on chemical substances produced naturally by the human body. They could damage the nervous system, the heart, and produce death. For example, peptides are strings of amino acids which perform various functions in our bodies. One important group of peptides is called regulatory peptides, and is activated during times of stress, anger, love, fear, or to fight disease. Some regulatory peptides affect the central nervous system, and produce heart attacks.

Peptides are regulators of the activity of other molecules, like proteins. Thus, there are peptides with hormonal activity, others with antibiotic activity. Genetic engineering has found a way to duplicate in the lab the genes for certain regulatory peptides, with known toxic properties.

One of these, when present in large quantities, is capable of damaging the myelin sheaths protecting the thousands of nerve fibers that transmit electric signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Genetic engineering synthesizes the genes that code for the production of myelin toxin, reproduce them artificially in the lab, and insert them into bacterial cells. A toxin weapon is created.

Certain countries, Cuba, for example, use their genetic engineering facilities to improve biological weapons. Their production can then be concealed in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry. Genetic engineering has then, as its main objective, to improve industrial production scale-up techniques; microbial production rates; yields of viable microorganisms; virulence; and resistance of microorganisms to antibiotics.

Genetic engineering is also used to maximize viability of an agent during dissemination and increased survivability of biological aerosols, and to enhance the ability of microorganisms to degrade the target's natural defenses.

Cuba: the threat

The beginning

In 1982, Dr. Ernesto Bravo, from the Medical School, Universidad de La Habana, a biochemist, visited Boston University. Dr. Lynn Margulis, then at Boston University, introduced Dr.Harlyn O. Halvorson to Dr. Bravo. Dr. Bravo's real mission was to develop interactions between Cuban and United States scientists. Soon, in Summer 1983, Dr Margulis and Dr. Halvorson visited Cuba. Shortly thereafter they created an organization called North American/Cuban Scientific Exchange, known by NACSEX.

NACSEX organized visits of scientists to Cuba to exchange ideas and information. About 80 individuals were part of this program which continued in the 1980's and still is going on. These first visits led to a series of training programs. Primarily, new molecular biology technology from the United States was brought to the attention of active young Cuban scientists. Courses were given in La Habana. Advice was provided to a growing program. The Cuban medical and engineering community built a basic infrastructure in a very short period of time.

In 1985, NACSEX conducted the Second International Seminar on Biotechnology and Interferon in Cuba. Dr. Silva Rodriguez, a well known Cuban scientist, spent then 3 months at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, learning new technology related to biotechnology and genetic engineering from Dr. Robert Zimmerman, a prominent United States scientist.

At this time also, during a visit of Castro to the Soviet Union, in February 1981, Castro visited a laboratory where E.coli bacteria had been genetically altered to produce interferon. Castro's interest resulted in obtaining the help of Brezhnev, and immediately a strain of E.coli was sent to Cuba, along with the equipment and working technology.

General Vladimir Lebedinsky, from the Soviet Union, visited Cuba in 1982, at Castro's personal invitation, with a team of military scientists. They assisted then the young Cuban scientists who were engaged in the creation of what can be considered today one of the most sophisticated genetic engineering labs in the world-capable of the kind of advanced bioweapons research done in Russia, Iraq, North Korea.

The development

Cuba's biotechnology sector has come a long way since 1981. It is the world's second-largest producer, by volume, of Alpha interferon. Cuba is also the only country, besides highly developed nations, producing a range of human and recombinant interferons on an industrial scale.

Cuba's research centers have also produced monoclonal antibodies, as well as chemically synthesized gene fragments and breakthroughs in virological research. One center, the most important one, the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, CIGB, handles the research on proteins, hormones, vaccines DNA probes, modification of enzymes, biomass, and cell genetics.

The biotechnology program has focused on the following areas:

  • ? development of genetic engineering
  • ? oigination of vaccines, biological preparations
  • ? development of biotechnology for immunochemical applications
  • ? production of monoclonal antibodies
  • ? research with fetus
  • ? medical microbiology and tropical medicine
  • ? production of in vitro cultures
  • ? manipulation of embryos

Cuba has had long practice in the art of deceiving outsiders, not to mention its own people. There is an official version for the general public and the outside world, one official version for the scientific community, and yet another secret series of activities known only to a small group of elite scientists and military personnel working on these centers.

Despite the country's achievements in research and development, it has made limited progress in selling its products worldwide. At a 1993 trade fair, Foreign Trade Minister Ricardo Cabrisas reported that medical products had accounted for 10% of the value of exports in 1992. But more than half of that figure corresponded to sales of a meningitis vaccine to Brazil.

A considerable proportion of the rest was sales of interferon to China. It is estimated that, since 1991, Castro has spent over $3,500 million dollars in the development of this sector. In 1998, according to Cuba's official figures, the government spent $95 million dollars in modernizing the facilities.

A report submitted by the U.S. Office of Technological Assessment to hearings at the Senate identified seventeen countries believed to possess biological weapons- Libya, North Korea, South Korea, Iraq, Taiwan, Syria, Israel, Iran, China, Egypt, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, Bulgaria, India, South Afrika, and Russia.

Main Centers

Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology The most important institution in Cuba's biotechnology industry is the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, CIGB. It was established in La Habana, in 1986. Located west of La Habana. 31 Ave, between 158 and 190 Streets, Cubanacan.

The CIGB has the most modern and efficient technology for bioscientific research as well as facilities for manufacturing and continuous work flow. It has a total area of 60,000 square meters. The Center has state-of-the-art equipment, second only to the United States in the Americas.

At the center work outstanding scientists and engineers dedicated to genetic research, virology, cloning, with the capacity to develop bioweapons, such as anthrax, smallpox, Ebola, and others.

The main CIGB buildings cover an area of 43,200 square meters and contain specialized labs for both general purposes and dedicated research. The CIGB has a biotherium, barrier zones or white rooms, which allow research with sensitive and lethal agents. The CIGB's modern and efficient technological equipment includes mass spectrometers, infrared and ultraviolet, electron and scanning microscopes, gamma counters, DNA synthesizers. Also, and very important, downstream fermenters, drying and milling machines, centrifuges, which can, therefore guarantee research and development of bioweapons, such as bacteria and virus agents.

In the CIGB work more than 700 highly skilled researchers, scientists, and engineers. Russians scientists cooperated with the CIGB several times, including, according to certain intelligence sources, assisting in the development of altered strains of bacteria. Major General Yury Kalinin, chief of the Main Directorate, and Deputy Minister of Russia, was invited to Cuba in 1990 to discuss the creation of a new biotechnology plant ostensibly devoted to single-cell protein.

To facilitate the development of biological agents without suspicion, the CIGB has efficient, flexible, and dynamic organizations. It is structured into several large sub-directions made up, in turn, by a number of divisions with specifically oriented work lines.

The main ones are: research and development in diseases in humans; development of new vaccines by genetic engineering; recombination of enzymes; analysis, design and modeling of peptides and proteins.

The process of weaponizing anthrax, for example, can be done easily at these facilities. A few grains of freeze- dried bacteria are kept in a stoppered vial. Then, a small amount of a nutrient medium is put into the vial. A mother culture is created. With tiny pippettes, a scientist draw the mixture out of the vial and transfer a small amount into several slightly larger bottles. The bottles are left to incubate in a thermostatic oven for two days. So far, this process is very similar to the one to make a vaccine.

A seed stock in a standard vial will swell to billions of microorganisms after 48 hours, but it will take weeks to of brewing to produce the quantities required for weaponization. Once the culture emerges from the oven, it is siphoned off into large flasks. The flasks are taken into a special room where they are connected to air-bubbling machines, which turn the liquid into a light froth. The bacteria can grow now more efficiently.

Each new generation of bacteria is transferred into larger vessels, until is vacuum pressure into fermenters. These fermenters incubate the substance for two days. The bacteria continue to multiply until scientists decide they have reached maximun concentration. At this point, they process it through a centrifuge to be concentrated as much as thirty times further.

Fermenters, and centrifuges, are equipment very similar to the ones used in the dairy industry, in the sugar industry, and liquor industries. These are industries where Cuba has had experience for years. Therefore, the equipment is now manufactured in Cuba. Even at this stage, there is not a weapon. The pathogen has to be mixed with special additives to stabilize it over a long period. A scientist works with recipes. The raw ingredients are similar, but quantities and combinations of nutrient media, heat, and time vary. If something fails, the scientist has to start all over again.

Smallpox, as mentioned before, requires no concentration. Also, it is a virus, not a bacteria. Tissue cells are obtained from animals or humans. The tissue has to be kept alive outside its natural habitat in cell lines and stored at precise temperatures. Cells can be taken from the kidneys of green monkeys or from the lungs of human embryos.

The nutrient media needed to cultivate tissue cultures are different from those used to grow bacteria. A special complex of amino acids, vitamins, salts, and sera, distilled with de-ionized water, is crucial to the process that promote tissue cells and ultimately viruses to grow. The CIGB, in conjunction with other Cuban biological centers and institutes, like the Finlay Institute, or the Biocen, are quite capable of weaponizing such agents.

Commercially, the CIGB has developed a number of preparations, such as:

  • ? Heberbiovac HB, a hepatitis B recombinant vaccine, the production of which has now been switched to a new purpose-built plant
  • ? Heberkinasa, a recombinant streptokinase. Applied by intravenous or intra-coronary injection, it rapidly dissolves life-threatening blood clots. This product is one of 50 types of enzymes obtained in Cuba
  • ? Hebermin, a healing and antiseptic cream containing human recombinant epidermal growth factor.
  • ? Hebertrans, which contains human transfer factor obtained from human leukocytes. It is used to treat herpectic infections

The CIGB also has a computer network created in 1991 to provide computer communications, database access, information services and data processing to the Cuban scientific research community.


The National Bio-preparations center, Biocen, located in Bejucal, south of Habana province, at Carretera de Beltran km 1 1/2 is engaged in industrial scale production of human vaccines. Also, culture media, nutritive bases and a wide range of genetic engineering products, developed at the CIGB and the Finlay Institute. It was created in 1992, at a cost of $4 million dollars.

Biocen's culture media plant has an annual 40 tons. capacity. It is equipped to carry out homogenization, hydrolisis, dehydration, milling, sifting, filtration, and several other processess required not only for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, but for bacteria and virus weaponization. A new department that manufactures recombinant products went into operation in 1993. The complex also includes a plant producing immunological reagents and two vivaria labs.

Innovative techniques have been developed at Biocen for obtaining culture media, substituting the traditional expensive nutritive bases, like meat, casein. They have developed 14 alternative protein sources. The development is vital for the creation of bioweapons.

Among Biocen's special products are allergenic extracts, dust mites, insects, atmospheric fungi. A prominent Cuban scientist, Dr. Mario Estrada has done extensive research on fish-transgenesis with the assistance of the CIGB. Most of the more lethal toxins are developed from fish and marine research.

Biocen follows the organization and functions of the Soviet Union, now Russia, mos important center, Biopreparat. Biocen can be considered the brains of the weapons program, and secrecy is vital. It supplies the scientific and engineering expertise for the projects commissioned by the military.

Staff members do not know what colleagues in other parts of the organization are doing. Yet, even the most furtive networks are made of human beings. However, gossip, rivalry, desertion, allows information of secret activities to be known.

The Finlay Institute

The Carlos J. Finlay Medical Research Institute is commercially best known for the development of the world's first effective vaccine against both meningitis B and C. It is located in Ave. 27, No. 19805, La Lisa, Habana. The Institute occupies an area of 23,000 square meters, divided into three areas: fermentation, purification, and "clean rooms". Over 950 persons work at the Institute. Of these, 60% are engineers and scientists.

The Institute has done extensive work in the research and development of new vaccines. Among them, vaccines against Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Cholera, and Meningitis. The Plant III area is well prepared for the production of bioweapons.

The main areas of research and production of the Institute are related to bacteria and viruses. The Institute has been as important as the CIGB in the research and production of bioweapons. Commercially, it has worked on research and production of vaccines.

The Institute of Tropical Medicine

The Institute was founded in 1937 by Dr. Flori, a very well known Cuban scientist. The center's research area is in microbiology. The Institute has the necessary state-of the-art equipment for research and development of bioweapons related to tropical bacteria and viruses.

Lately, the Institute has done extensive work on the strains of viruses and cells related to parainfluenza 3, adenovirus 3, measles, and influenza type A. Hep2 two cell line was grown in minimum essential medium, MEM, containing 10% fetal calf serum, 1% glutamine, 100 U/ml penicillin and 100 mg/ml streptomycin sulfate.

Clinical specimens were processed using nasopharyngeal exudates of children who had been admitted to the William Soler Pediatric Hospital, in La Habana. An extensive scientific process was followed to evaluate the ability of the RNA-PCR method.

The Institute has also conducted extensive research on yellow fever. Yellow fever is a viral disease that has caused large epidemics in the world. Infection causes a wide spectrum of disease, from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. The yellow in the name is explained by the jaundice that affects some patients. The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus, which belongs to the flavivirus group.

The virus remains silent in the body during an incubation period of three to six days. There are two disease phases. Those patients who enter into the second phase or toxic phase develop jaundice, bleeding, kidney function deteriorates. Half of the patients in the toxic phase die within 10 days.

A weaponized yellow fever virus produces a strong strain of what is known as urban yellow fever. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Prevention is through vaccination. There are other tropical disease that could be used as bioweapons, such as: malaria, dracunculiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Dengue is caused by the Dengue viruses. The disease is tropical in origin. There is no specific treatment available. Intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy are often used for patients who experience shock during their illness. Dengue is characterized by the rapid development of fever, intense headache, joint and muscle pain, and a rash.

The hemorrhagic form of dengue fever is more severe and associated with loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever. Untreated hemorrhagic dengue results in death in up to 30 percent of cases.

The Institute is probably the best in the world in research and development related to tropical diseases. The Institute is funded in many activities by UNESCO, OMS, and the French government.


The Center for Molecular Immunology is a 15,000 square meter, two floor facility. Over 250 employees work at the Center, of which, 200 are scientists and engineers. The ground floor includes development, pharmacology, and toxicology. The auxiliary technical services, and secret research and development are on the second floor. Hollow fiber, fermenters, and "cleaning in place" units are installed on this floor.

Their main research activities are on antibodies-hybridoma, molecular biology, celular immunology. CIM has laboratories equipped for cell culture, immunochemistry, and radiochemistry. Their work on the immune system is related to the development of stronger strains of virus and bacteria. The Center has all the pertinent equipment to produce bio-weapons.


There was a slippery interrelation between Soviet support to scientific programs to Cuba and Cuba's ability to develop biological weapons. For many years, the Soviet Union organized courses in genetic engineering and molecular biology for Cuban scientists. Scientists from the United States also organized courses, seminars, and other similar activities in Cuba since 1981. Many prominent European scientists have also cooperated in the development of Cuba's biotechnological industry in the last 20 years.

There has been a constant exchange of scientific information, visiting scientists, technology transfer from the Soviet Union and the United States to Cuba. The Soviet Union sold industrial fermentation equipment vessels to Cuba. The models were the ones used to develop and manufacture bacterial biological weapons.

Cuba also acquired equipment from other European countries under the excuse that the equipment was intended to grow single-cell protein for cattle feed. However, even exhaust filtration equipment capable of achieving 99.99 percent air purity was sold to Cuba. This level is used only in weapons labs.

Cuba has also acquired the technology and the capacity to manufacture their own equipment. Some of the equipment required are very similar to equipment related to diary production, sugar cane processing, and liquor manufacturing, areas where Cuba has had great experience.

There is a definitive and important relation with Iran in the field of biotechnology. Luis Herrera, one of the founders of the CIGB and the biotechnology program in Cuba is directing the Iran/Cuba activities. Part of the agreement calls for Cuba providing equipment and technology transfer to Iran.

Some analysts maintain that evidence of biological warfare research is not proof that viable weapons are being produced. However, even the most primitive biological weapons lab can produce enough of an agent to cripple a major city. Certainly, Cuba's facilities are recognized as outstanding.

Viruses and bacteria can be obtained from more than two thousand microbe banks around the world. The international scientific community depends on this network for medical research and for exchange of information vital to the fight against disease. There are very few restrictions on the cross-border trade in pathogens.

In the past twenty years Cuba has been working in the research and development of biotechnological products. Research has proven that viruses and toxins can be genetically altered to heighten their lethality, paving the way for the development of pathogens capable of overcoming existing vaccines.

The arsenal of Cuba could include weapons based on tularemia, anthrax, epidemic typhus, smallpox, dengue fever, Marburg, Ebola. It could also extend to neurological agents, based on chemical substances produced naturally in the human body. It is easier to make a biological weapon than to create an effective system of biological defense.

The United States plan to stockpile and develop vaccines against known agents is the most comprehensive of its kind in the world. Vaccines work by inducing the creation of antibodies that fight specific diseases. It is not medically advisable to combine too many different courses of vaccination. There are currently no known vaccines for brucellosis, glanders, and melioidosis, or for many viral diseases, such as Ebola and Marburg.

Vaccines provide excellent protection against specific diseases, but the characteristics that makes them so effective is also the source of their limitations. Smallpox antibodies offer no protection against plague. Combined vaccines are possible, but most of these go straight to the metabolism of specific organisms. An all purpose antidote simply does not exist.

Countries with the capacity and technology to produce sophisticated vaccines can certainly produce bioweapons. Cuba's biotechnology efforts have been very successful in the creation of vaccines.

In 1957, European scientists identified the first cytokine, named interferon, which form a bridge between specific and nonspecific immune systems. They are produced in response to viruses and bacteria, or to a general stimulus in the blood. Interferon took years to isolate, but in 1979 an American produced interferon alpha artificially, called antiviral penicillin, a sophisticated biotechnological achievement. Cuba is a large producer of interferon.

Cuba's biotechnological capacity places it in group four of the World Health Organization's five national categories. To reach group five, which contains the seven top industrial economies, Cuba must produce at least 20% of the 260 basic materials. It regularly produces 17% of these and certainly has the scientific ability to produce the others with biotech methods.

Priority access to research and development funding, 160 distinct research units and over 10,000 researchers give the Cuban scientific establishment an edge over their counterparts even, in some Western countries.

Research is ongoing in medicine, genetic engineering, biotechnology, industrial applications, and bioweapons. Development of hardware and software for the research effort has been also a priority.

The range of products, and research and development areas, include:monoclonal antibodies, vaccines against hepatitis B and bacterial meningitis, a neural growth factor, a range of interferons, enzymes, streptokinase, culture media with 14 alternative protein sources, several reagents, transgenetic fish, interferon beta, proteolytic peptides, lipopolysaccharide peptides, LBP-derived synthetic peptides, human Papillomavirus 16, MT-4 cells, and many others.

Certainly, a country with such capacity can produce bioweapons. There is really no technical solution to the problem of bioweapons in Cuba. It would need an ethical, human, and moral solution, which is obviously impossible while the government is in the hands of a sociopath. Ordinary intelligence and surveillance techniques cannot prove the existence of a biological warfare program.

Even the highest resolution satellite imagery can't distinguish between a large pharmaceutical plant or center and a weapons complex. The only conclusive evidence comes from first hand information. A site inspection of Cuba's facilities, by an objective international team must be requested.

Cyber Warfare and Telecommunications Espionage

Communications networks are systems designed to transmit information. Computers and communications are the technology of technologies. The field is experiencing a revolution several times each decade. Important recent milestones include:

*The Internet: a network of many kinds of networks. The Internet's main importance is its capability for internetworking, allowing any user to find, touch, and connect to a large variety of networks and sources of information, users, and computational resources that each makes available.

*The computer: microprocessors are changing the shape of everything related to computing, communications and control. Home and work computers permit direct data communication from the general public.

*The television: television has become a way of life. Wristwatch television, wall-size television, high definition television, and fully interactive cable television are all available

*The personal communication explosion: cellular phones, facsimiles, two-way pagers, palm pilots.

The most important recent dates in the field are:

1964 The electronic telephone switching system (No.1 ESS) is placed into service

1965 The first commercial communication satellite is placed into service

1968 Cable television systems are developed

1971 The first single chip microprocessor is developed

1972 The cellular phone is demonstrated to FCC

1976 Personal computers are developed

1980 The FT3 fiber optic communication is developed

1980 The compact disc(CD) is developed

1981 The IBM PC is introduced

1985 FAX machines become popular

1989 Pocket cellular phone is introduced

1990- Era of digital signal processing.

Access devices

In homes, the three main access devices deployed at this time are the telephone, the television (TV), and the personal computer (PC). Ninety six percent of U.S. households have a telephone, about 98 percent have a TV, and 55 percent have a PC. At work, the access devices are telephones and PCs. On the road, it is again the telephone, cellular, and the portable PC.

Communications occurs over public and private networks. The access devices will coexist, albeit with an increasingly powerful and flexible set of capabilities. The PC-TV combination will be basically a PC with augmented capabilities for television reception. The television is not becoming a PC, although the PC will be used as a television and telephone.

The PC's will become increasingly important as an access device. Approximately 120 million PC's were deployed in the U.S. workplace at the end of 1998, with close to 85% of them connected to a network. About 50 million were deployed in the home. Millions of portable PC's are used by mobile workers.

About 98% of all U.S. households have a television, of which about 80% of those have cable service. Terrestrial broadcast television uses wide bandwidth that potentially will help to enable other services. Broadening of access is more evident in cable television.

As digital video transmission is deployed, cable service providers will increase the capacity of their networks. This will lead to additional services, including interactive services. The existing cable system will be more hybrid fiber coaxial cable, or HFC, systems.

With 96% of all U.S. households having telephone service, telephone is the most used device as far as communicating- information is concerned. The telephone is also the most used device to access the networks. Cellular and personal communication service (PCS) telephones now provide increasing communications mobility to a broadening slice of society.

Cellular and PCS telephones are now commodity items for the general consumer. They are also becoming smarter, linking into computer networks for data access or for basic telephony over broad regions of the world. The system and the medium of the access devices available, of specific interest for this study are the telephone and the computer, the system used and the transmission medium. Telecommunications espionage, and computer interference and disruption, depends on the telecommunication systems in place, and the form of transmitting the information through the access devices.

Telecommunication systems are designed to transmit voice, data, or visual information over some distance. Historically, telephone systems were designed only to reproduce voice signals that originated from a distant location. Today, modern telephone systems are very sophisticated. They use large digital computers at the central office (CO) to switch calls and to monitor the performance of the system.

The telephone industry is evolving from an analog network to a digital network. The trend is to provide a digital CO and a digital network out to the remote terminal, RT. The "last mile" from the RT to the subscriber is usually analog. A new approach called the integrated service digital network, ISDN, converts the "last mile" analog subscriber line, ASL to a digital subscriber line, DSL. Hence, the digital data can be delivered directly to the subscriber premises.

There are two categories of ISDN: narrow-band or basic rate ISDN, denoted N-ISDN; broadband or primary rate ISDN, denoted B-ISDN. Twisted pair copper lines provide B-ISDN for the last mile to the subscriber since it is not financially feasible to replace all copper lines already installed (about a $100 billion dollars investment for U.S. copper line facilities) with fiber optics. Of course, fiber is installed in all new installations.

Fiber or coaxial lines are required for data rates on the order of 10 Mbits or larger. The standard implementation of N-ISDN uses two -wire twisted pair telephone line. This allows existing copper pairs to be used for N-ISDN simply by connecting the ends of the pairs to the terminating equipment.

The wide-band channels used to connect the toll offices consist of three predominant types: fiber optic cable, microwave radio relay systems, and buried coaxial cable systems. Historically, open-wire pairs, which consist of individual bare wires supported by glass insulators on the cross arms of telephone poles ,provided wide-band service via FDM/SSB signaling.

Occasionally, some open wire lines can still be seen along railroad tracks. Fiber optic cable with TDM/OOK signaling is now rapidly overtaking twisted pair cable, coaxial cable, and microwave relay because of its tremendous capacity and low cost.

Fiber optic cable has an information carrying capacity that is orders of magnitude greater than of copper. Although fiber has been deployed extensively in the backbone sections of telephone networks nationwide, wireline access networks comprising a mix of fiber and copper elements are now being deployed in residential areas, as mentioned above.

For such access networks a very important technical approach is now used-hybrid fiber coaxial cable, HFC. This approach, fiber optic links, connect the community head end to small neighborhoods. Traditional cable technology is then used to fan out inside each neighborhood to reach individual homes.

Another approach is called fiber to the curb, FTTC. It carries fiber to the curb in the distribution network. Then, either twisted pair copper or coaxial cables are connected from the curb to the home. FTTC systems are typical all digital. Beyond FTTC systems are systems that carry fiber all the way to the home.

However, fiber cable provides service only from one fixed point to another. Conversely, communication satellites provide wide-band connections to any point on the globe. Service to isolated locations can be provided almost instantaneously by the use of portable ground stations.

Satellite communication relay a great portion of transoceanic telephone traffic. Satellite communications can provide the relaying of data, telephone, and television signals. Most communication satellites are placed in geostationary orbit, GEO. This is a circular orbit in Earth's equatorial plane.

The orbit is located 22,300 miles above the equator so that the orbital period is the same as that of the Earth. This enables the Earth station antennas to be simplified since they are pointed in a fixed direction and do not have to track a moving object. For communication to the polar regions of the Earth, satellites in polar orbits are used, which require Earth stations with tracking antennas.

Each satellite has a number of transponders aboard to amplify the signal from the uplink and to down-convert the signal for transmission on the downlink. Newer satellites operate at a very high frequency, usually in the 14 GHz range on the uplink, and 12 GHZ on the downlink. Satellite relays provide a channel for data and telephone signaling similar to conventional terrestrial microwave radio links.

Satellite systems are now used for communication directly to personal communication systems, PCS, devices, such as hand-held portable telephones and mobile data terminals. In this case, low-Earth-orbit, LEO, satellites, which are not geosynchronous, are used. These systems provide voice, data, and facsimile service.

Since the invention of radio systems, the goal of telephone engineers has been to provide personal telephone service to individuals by using radio systems to link phone lines with persons in their cars or in the streets. With the development of integrated circuit technology this goal was achieved through the cellular phone. Each user communicates via radio from a cellular telephone set to the cell-site base station.

This base station is connected via telephone lines to the mobile telephone switching office, MTSO. The MTSO connects the user to the called party. If the called party is land base, the connection is via the central office, CO, to the terrestrial telephone network. If the called party is mobile, the connection is made to the cell site that covers in which the cell party is located, using an available radio channel in the cell associated with the called party.

On November, 1998, the Iridium constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites made it possible to send and receive phone calls from some of the most remote locations on Earth using radio waves, a satellite, and a satellite phone. These telephones can transmit calls via the Iridium constellation and most land-based tele-communications systems.

Business networking includes interconnection of local area networks, LANs, across wide areas, as well as remote access (connection of remote sites, small offices, mobile workers, and telecommuters to corporate networks). Business networking needs network interface cards (NICs) for computers, wiring, packet switches, routers, and software.

Most networked PCs in corporations today are connected to LANs that are in turn interconnected across the public telephone system. Presently, some 90% of PCs are connected to LANs . Most of the PCs sites with a LAN are connected to the telephone system. Small office, home office, and mobile workers connect to their main workplace server through remote access.

Most of such workers do not have enough data traffic demand to justify a dedicated circuit for connection and therefore will choose to connect via one of three options: analog modems, ISDN, or frame relay.

There are about 900,000 remote offices in the United States. Among those, 96% have some form of remote access. The network connection is achieved using a dial-up modem, or via a router. There are some 180 million total telephone access lines. There are 95 million networked workplace PCs, as well as home-office and mobile PCs.

The complexity of the system, and the medium, raises concerns about security, which not only include telecommunications espionage and computer disruption, the issues of this study. There are considerations of mechanisms that also provide protection for the privacy of personal information, intellectual property, integrity of information and systems, and other vulnerable elements.


The increasing use of general access devices makes security matters increasingly important. Although the need for security is currently appreciated more in businesses than in homes, even in businesses there is limited awareness.

There is a need for the protection of individual, business, and government privacy, and the integrity of material transmitted. Deployment issues relate to securing of infrastructure links and end-to-end applications and therefore affect all levels of the architecture and all players, including users themselves. Dependence on networking activities will broaden concerns about security.

Security of the network is an obvious concern in crises where there is an active adversary seeking to obstruct the response. This is clearly the case in warfare and in confronting terrorism. The response team must keep its plans secret from hostile parties, and it must protect its communications against denial of service. However, security needs are not limited to active, hostile situations.

Robert Kehlet, of the Defense Nuclear Agency, observed that when you operate at a federal level, though, you get access to databases and information that are very sensitive in nature. You don't want to pass that out to the world in general and make it totally and completely public accessible.

Security is essential to national-scale applications such as manufacturing and electronic commerce. It is also important in situations where sensitive information must be communicated. Many traditional ideas of network security must be reconsidered for these applications in light of the greater scale and diversity of the infrastructure and the increased role of non-experts.

On a short- term basis, new security models are needed to handle the new degree of mobility of users and possibly organizations. The usability or user acceptability of security mechanisms will assume new importance, especially those that inconvenience legitimate use too severely.

In many, perhaps all, of the national-scale applications, users can be expected to move from a security policy domain or sphere to another and have a need to continue to function. That is, for example, carrying a portable computer from the wireless network environment of one's employer into that of a customer, supplier, or competitor.

Mobile users who want to connect back to their home domain from a foreign one have several alternatives. It is likely that the local domain will require some form of authentication and authorization of users. The remote domain might either accept that authentication and authorization from the user.

In addition, such remote access may raise problems of exposure of activities, such as lack of privacy, greater potential for spoofing, or denial of service, because all communication must now be transported through environments that may not be trusted.

Unfortunately, the problems of security are very difficult to address with computational and communications facilities. Policy and steps, especially when it involves merging several different security domains, is extremely complex. It must be based on the tasks to be achieved, the probability of subversion, and the capabilities of the mechanisms available.

Satellite stations and monitoring centers are capable of telephone surveillance. A system can monitor and analyze telephone communications, which is, in fact, the largest and most important form of secret intelligence. However, it is impossible for analysts to listen to all but a small fraction of the billions of telephone calls, and other signals which might contain significant information.

But, a network of monitoring stations is able to tap all calls from an specific area, and sift out messages which sound interesting. Computers automatically analyze every message or data signal, and can also identify calls to a target telephone number.

Surveillance systems are highly computerized. They rely on near total interception of international commercial and satellite communications in order to locate the telephone or other messages of target individuals.

Experts have assessed that, computers with network connectivity, can be entered by an electronic intruder from anywhere in the world. Gaining access to these computers through a network connection is relatively simple, costs very little, and typically involves little risks of detection. This new phase of terrorism is referred to as cyber-terrorism, and with biological warfare, represents the greatest threat of next century.


U.S. vulnerability to infowar is the major security challenge of the next century. Much more important, but not as complex as telephone espionage. Other names for cyberterrorism are: information war, technological warfare, hacking, and computer security.

Every year U.S. companies lose millions of dollars to industrial espionage and sabotage. The attacks come from outside hostile countries or organizations, business competitors, or individuals. People are not aware of how easy it is to breach security at major corporations. Even computer experts hired by companies to make sure their systems are safe find very difficult to fight intruders.

Even military computer systems are vulnerable to intruders. The computer and Internet development are considered by many to be comparable to the development of the atomic bomb in respect to the way it may change our society and warfare. In the Gulf War, computers and telecommunications were used to knock out the Iraqi communications and electrical systems.

However, as the U.S. relies more and more in computers, we become more vulnerable to attacks. Imagine what would happen if Wall Street caught a virus that would cause their network to crash. The prospect is: if we are able to do it, others are also able to do it to us.

Cyberterrorists can attack anywhere where the physical and the virtual worlds combine. The Internet and the computer technology have made possible universal interface. Cyberterrorists can use the Internet and the computer networks to destroy, altercate, and infiltrate valuable information or systems necessary for security.

A terrorist country, such as Cuba, must make its act big enough and well known enough to achieve its goal. The person actually performing the attack can do it from his own home or lab in Cuba. He will not be harmed in the attack, he will probably not be traced, and if he messes up he learns from his mistakes and become even more dangerous when he strikes again.

Assume a possible scenario. Wall Street reports a massive loss of data as computers and backup tapes go up in smoke. ConEd and PG&E power companies' computers crash, plunging the East and West coasts into darkness. At major airports, the FAA's ATC computers crash, causing havoc across the Midwest. 911 emergency systems in major cities go down from a logic bomb. Internet traffic slows to a tickle as ISPs and telecom companies struggle with coordinated large-scale denial-of-service attacks. That's the kind of nightmare we can face.

Some of these attacks have already occurred, in small scale, in various nations. Attackers, as mentioned before, can wage cyberwarfare from computers anywhere in the world.

The core problem: United States' dependence on computers makes it more vulnerable than most countries to cyberattacks. Our national infrastructure depends not only on our interconnected information systems and networks, but also the public switched network, the air-traffic control systems, the power grids and many associated control systems, which themselves depend heavily on computers and communications.

Our defense against isolated attacks and unanticipated events are inadequate. Risks include not just penetrations and insider misuse, but also insidious Trojan horse attacks that can lie dormant until triggered. Our defenses large- scale coordinated attacks are even more inadequate.

According to CIA director George Tenet in congressional testimony, June 1998, "we must rely more and more on computer networks for the flow of essential information. Trillions of dollars in financial and commerce are moving over a medium with minimal protection. The opportunity to disrupt military effectiveness and public safety, with the elements of surprise and anonymity provide plenty of incentives".

The cyberterrorist's traditional weapons of choice include computer viruses such as, logic bombs that wake up on a certain date, worms, and Trojan horse; cracking (accessing computer systems illegally); sniffing (monitoring network traffic for passwords, credit cards, etc); social engineering (fooling people into revealing passwords and other information); and dumpster diving (sorting through the email trash). In a brief summary, there are:

*Viruses: computer viruses come in all shapes and flavors, from "harmless" prank messages to electronic forms of Ebola that chew up your data and spit it out as garbage. Some viruses infect your PC's boot sector and rewrite the sector, crippling your system. Others infect the files that launch or run most of your software, rendering your programs unusable. Others erase your computer's CMOS setup tables, making it impossible for your computer to work.

*Worms: worms are breeder programs, reproducing themselves endlessly to fill up memory and hard disks. Worms are often designed to send themselves throughout a network, making their spread active and deliberate.

*Logic bombs: logic bombs are embedded pieces of destructive code that detonate on preset dates or when a specified set of instructions is executed, unleashing destructive actions within a computer or through out a network

*Bots: bots are pieces of code designed to rove the internet and perform specific actions

*SYN: SYN attacks involve sending a torrent of connection requests to targeted sites. *SYN flood: creates a major traffic jam at the site, cutting it off.

But a new tactic, coordinated large-scale attacks, emerged on March 2, 1998. The tactic consists of intrusion attempts involving multiple attackers working together from different IP addresses, many in different locations, and countries. The intent is to make the attacks more difficult to detect, and to increase the "firepower".

Another advanced cyberterrorist tool is monitoring computers, fax machines, printers and other devices by picking up their electromagnetic radiation. They allow cyber spies (at least one of the spies from Cuba arrested recently by the FBI in Miami was a computer engineer, expert on computational technology in Cuba) to intercept passwords and sensitive information.

Such monitors can be as far as 1 mile-or further if they have fast-Fourier-transform chips and other classified systems design by the National Security Agency, or its foreign counterparts, such as Cuba's intelligence services. There is no way to know if a system is monitored.

Information warfare attacks on computers could be classified as attacks through legitimate gateways of the computers such as the modem and the keyboard (software attacks), and attacks through other than legitimate gateways (backdoor attacks). At the current technological level, backdoor attacks can be carried out mainly by utilizing radio frequency (RF) technology and are classified as RF attacks.

Any wire or electronic component is, in fact, an unintended antenna, both transmitting and receiving. Every such unintended antenna is particularly responsive to its specific resonance frequency, and to some extent, to several related frequencies. If the objective is to eavesdrop on the device, then the electromagnetic emanations coming from functioning components of the device are received by highly sensitive receiving equipment and processed in order to duplicate information handled by the device.

If the objective is to affect the device's functioning, then appropriate RF signals are transmitted to the targeted device. Producing and transmitting a signal, which would just disrupt the normal functioning of a target device, is a simple technological task, and Cuba is quite capable of producing such attacks.

It is not science fiction: weapons can zap your computer into oblivion from a distance. Radio frequency (RF) weapons are real They consist of a power supply, transmitter, antenna. One type, referred to as HPM, generates Gigawatts of short, intense energy pulses focused into a narrow beam capable of silently burning out electronic equipment. There have been high ranked military experts testifying in Congress in relation to this matter since mid-1998.

RF weapons are also packaged as RF munitions, which use explosives to produce radio-frequency energy. In the hands of skilled Cuban scientists, these munitions come as hand grenades or mortar grounds. Potential targets of RF weapons include computer and other electronic devices used in national telecommunications systems, the national transportation system, mass media, oil and gas control and refining, civil emergency services, among several important infrastructure.

Ninety percent of our military communications now passes over public networks. If an electromagnetic pulse takes out telephone systems, we are in trouble because our military and non-military nets are virtually inseparable. The former Soviet Union developed RF weapons because of the potential to be effective against our sophisticated electronics, said retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Robert Schweitzer in congressional testimony in June, 1998.

Russia provided this technology to several countries. China is also well ahead in this field. Since February 1999, China and Cuba have increased their military and intelligence joint activities. The presence of Chinese personnel in Cuba is now very obvious.

A new class of cyberweapon, the Transient Electromagnetic Devices (TEDs) are easier to construct and use. TEDs generate a spike-like pulse that is only one or two hundred picoseconds in length at very high power. TEDs are smaller, cheaper, required less power and are easier to build. As we will analyze later on the report, Cuban engineers have the proper technology and experience to build TEDs.

They can be built using spark-gap switches and can be assembled from automobile ignition, fuel pump and other relative available parts at a cost of $ 300 dollars. TEDs can burn out a broad range of devices, with effect on electronics systems that are similar to a lightning strike. The compact devices could fit in a briefcase, or be placed in a small van. With a six- foot backyard antenna and more advanced spark-gap units, terrorists could point them at flying aircrafts.

"The enemies of peace realize they cannot defeat us with traditional military means", President Bill Clinton, January, 1999.

Cuba: the threat

Cuba is not a challenge or a threat to the United States with conventional weapons on a conventional battlefield. It never was, not even at its military peak of the 1970's. However, Cuba is a real threat to the United States with non-traditional weapons.


Cuba has surprising talent and experience in the areas of electronics, computers, computer software and data processing. The country benefited from its association with the former Soviet Union, and some European countries, which turned out many skilled electrical and computer engineers, as well as technicians.

Cuba's electronic industry has its origins in the mid-1960s when the Ministry for Iron and Steel Machinery (SIME) began assembly of radios from imported parts. In 1974 SIME started producing black-and-white television sets. Then came a plant to produce batteries (1975), telephone switchboards (1981), and color television sets (1985). In 1985 SIME also started production of semiconductors.

In 1976 a separate electronics institute was created, the National Institute of Automated Systems and Computer Skills (INSAC). In 1994 INSAC was incorporated into the newly created Ministry of Steel, Heavy Machinery and Electronics. The Ministry of Communications is also responsible for small-scale production of certain electronics-related products.

The entity Cuba Electronica was created in January 1986 as part of the Foreign Trade Ministry. It is responsible for importing electronic equipment and exporting computers, peripherals, semiconductors and software.

An Irish expert says that the Cuban information-technology industry matches that of the Republic of Ireland, which has been particularly successful in persuading a range of information technology companies to establish their European base in Cuba.

One of the most advanced areas of the electronics industry in Cuba is production of medical equipment. The Central Institute for Digital Research(ICID) in collaboration with the Biotechnology Centers, has developed high technology medical equipment including the Cardiocid-M, an electrocardiographic system for diagnosing cardiovascular system diseases; Neorocid, an electromyographic and electro-neurographic system for diagnosing peripheric nervous system diseases, and various applications for high- technology genetic engineering research.

The main developments of Cuba's electronic industry occurred between 1975 and 1989. Among others:

? Computer equipment plant, established in 1978, with a 4,300 square meters production area

? Printed circuit board plant, established 1982, with a 4,900 square meters production area

? Electronic modules production plant, with 4,000 square meters production area

? Mechanical production plant, with 7,500 square meters production area

? Monitors and television set plant, established in 1975, with an annual capacity of 100,000 units

? Alphanumeric keyboards plant, established in 1988, equipped to produce keyboards compatible with IBM, DEC and other microcomputer systems. Production capacity of 250,000 units per year

? Printed circuit boards plant, which can produce 35,000 square meters per year of circuit boards. It uses Betamax material and carries out the printing by serigraphy.

? Electronic Research and Development Center, established in 1985.

? Electronic Components Complex, (CCE), produces active and passive components, established in 1985.

? Medical equipment complex, established in 1989. Produces instruments and equipment for the Biotechnology Centers.

Computing in Cuba dates back to the mid- 1950s when two first generation U.S. computers were installed. During the 1960s came computers from France, followed by Soviet and East- European systems. During the 1970s Cuba embarked on a program to develop its own second minicomputers based on Digital's PDP-11.

Most of Cuba's early computer specialists were trained in East Germany and the Soviet Union. In mid 1980s two main centers of computational research were established one at the CUJAE and the other at Universidad Central de Las Villas.

Cuba has also developed computer networks. Presently, there are four networks with international connectivity: CENIAI, Tinored, CIGBnet, Infomed. CENIAI began networking in 1986, and has had a UUCP link to the Internet since 1992. They currently offer email, database access, and programming and consulting services. CIGBnet is the network of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. It began in 1991 and provides email, database access, a biological sequence server.

Since 1991,there has been a surplus of electrical and computer engineers in Cuba due to the closing of many industries. Many of these engineers changed their lines of work to the areas of telecommunications espionage and computer interference and disruption, in special centers created by the government.

A large group of them received specialized training in Russia, Vietnam, North Korea and China As a result, a significant engineering and technical staff is now dedicated to research, development and application on these areas.

The beginning

Prior to the August 1991 coup attempt, the KGB was developing computer viruses with the intent of using them to disrupt computer systems in times of war or crisis. In early 1991, a highly restricted project was undertaken by a group within the Military Intelligence Directorate of Cuba's Ministry of the Armed Forces.

The group was instructed to obtain information to develop a computer virus to infect U.S. civilian computers. The group spent about $5,000 dollars to buy open-source data on computer networks, computer viruses, SATCOM, and related communications technology. These efforts have continued to be made, now in a much larger scale, and could potentially cause irreparable harm to U.S. defense system.

The project is under the direction of Major Guillermo Bello, and his wife, Colonel Sara Maria Jordan, both of the Ministry of the Interior. Several well- known Cuban engineers were sent to work in this group. The engineering effort is led by engineers Sergio Suarez, Amado Garcia, and Jose Luis Presmanes. Several computational centers have been created at either universities or research centers through Cuba, where highly secret research and development activities are conducted. The development of malicious software requires little in the way of resources- a few computers and an individual or group with the appropriate expertise-making a malicious software R&D program easy to support as well as to hide.

According to reports, Dutch teenagers gained access, apparently through an Internet connection to computer systems at 34 DOD sites, including the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, the David Taylor Research Center, the Army Information Systems Command, and the Navy Ocean Systems Center during operations Desert Shield Storm.

They were snooping in sensitive rather than classified military information. The intrusions normally involved broad-base keywords searches including such words as "rockets", "missiles", and "weapons".

They exploited a trap door to permit future access and modified and copied military information to unauthorized accounts on U.S. university systems. Although no "customer" was identified, the data collected could have been sent electronically anywhere in the world. At that time, some Cuban engineers were receiving specialized training in Holland, Sweden, and Austria.

Cuba: Low Energy Radio Frequency

It is quite possible, and probable, that Cuba is doing research and development on low level radio frequency weapons, or LERF. This technology utilizes relatively low energy, which is spread over a wide frequency spectrum. It can, however, be no less effective in disrupting normal functioning of computers as the high energy RF, or HERF due to the high probability that its wide spectrum contains frequencies matching resonance frequencies of critical components.

Generally, the LERF approach does not require time compression, nor does it utilize high tech components. LERF impact on computers and computer networks could be devastating. One of the dangerous aspects of a LERF attack on a computer is that an unprotected computer would go into a "random output mode".

Different kinds of LERF weapons have already been used over the years, primarily in Eastern Europe. This is one of the reasons it is highly probable that Cuba is active in the development of such weapons. For instance, during the Czechoslovakian invasion of 1968, the Soviet military received advanced notice that Czechoslovakian anti-communist activities had been wary of relying on the telephone communications.

These telephone communications were controlled by the government. They prepared to use radio transceivers to communicate between their groups for coordination of their resistance efforts.

During the invasion Soviet military utilized RF jamming aircraft from the Soviet air force base in Stryi, Western Ukraine. The aircraft jammed all the radio spectrum, with the exception of a few narrow pre-determined "windows" of RF spectrum utilized by the invading Soviet army.

Another example of a LERF attack was the KGB's manipulation of the United States Embassy security system in Moscow in the mid-80s. The security system alarm was repeatedly falsely triggered by the KGB's induced RF interference several times during the night. This was an intent to annoy and fatigue the marines and to cause the turning of the "malfunctioning" system off.

A small group of agents from Cuba, well trained, can put components from Radio Shack, for example, inside a van or a pick up truck, with an antenna. And that is really what an RF weapon looks like, a radar or antenna showing, and drive it around a building, be the White House, the Pentagon, or the FAA facility and pulse.

They can fire, and re-fire, as long as the generator has power. The radiation goes through concrete walls. Barriers are not resistant to them. They will either burn out or upset all the computers or the electronic gear of the targeted building. They are absolutely safe to human beings.

Another aspect of offensive RF technology is its traditional application in information intercept or eavesdropping. Traditionally, the Soviet Union and Russia have placed high priority on the development and use of this technology. Changes of last decade in Russia impacted the KGB, which has been split into independent parts.

The 8th and 16th Directorates, roughly representing Russian equivalent of the NSA, became an independent agency, the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information (FAPSI). FAPSI is directly subordinate to the President of Russia.

In a wave of privatization, FAPSI was partially privatized as well. Some of the leading FAPSI experts left the agency and founded private security companies. These companies are fully capable of carrying out any offensive operations and serve as consultants to previous ally countries.

There is also a close cooperation between FAPSI and its private spin-off companies. The private companies can provide the FAPSI with some of the products of their intercept, while FAPSI can also share some of its products, along with personnel and equipment, including its powerful and sophisticated facilities, such as the Lourdes in Cuba, for a very productive long-range intercept.

This situation can easily put American private business in a highly unfavorable competitive position since the end of the Cold War somewhat shifted goals, objectives, and some targets of the FAPSI toward a heavier emphasis on intercept of technological, commercial and financial information.

It can take a few days to build a LERF weapon. It takes a few weeks or a few months to establish a successful collection of information through RF intercept. But several countries, including Cuba, have the capacity to do so.

Cuba: Lourdes base

At Lourdes, a suburb of La Habana, south of Centro Habana, and close to Jose Marti's airport, there is a Russian sophisticated electronic espionage base. It encompasses a 28 square mile area and employs some 1,500 Russian engineers, technicians and staff. A satellite view of Lourdes, 1996, is included.

There are two fields of satellite dishes. One group listens in to general U.S. communications. The second group is used for targeted telephones and devices. The areas are designated "Space Associated Electronics Area North" and "Space Associated Electronics Area South". There is also an HO/Administration Area, and a Vehicle/Equipment Maintenance Area.

The Russians have spent over $3 billion dollars on Lourdes. In 1996 they started to upgrade the facilities, in some $250 million dollars. Presently, they have state- of- the art equipment. The computers at the base are programmed to listen for specific phone numbers-when they detect these lines are in use the computers automatically record the conversations on transmissions.

The upgrading now include voice recognition facilities, that is, computers recognize certain targeted voice spectrum, and when so, they automatically record the conversations. Also facsimiles are detected, as well as computer data.

At present, Lourdes is an even more important asset for Russia in its efforts to spy on the United States than it was during the Cold war. Lourdes receives and collects intercepts by spy satellites, ships and planes in the Atlantic region, making it a full fledge regional command and control center.

The use of the intelligence garnered by Lourdes is not limited to penetrating secret U.S. military operations. Its targets also include the interception of sensitive diplomatic, commercial and economic traffic, and private U.S. telecommunications.

The strategic significance of the Lourdes facility also has grown dramatically since the order from Russian Federation President, Boris Yeltsin, of February 7, 1996 demanding that the Russian intelligence community step up the theft of American and other Western economic and trade secrets.

The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency told the Senate Intelligence Committee in August 1996, "Lourdes is being used to collect personal information about U.S. citizens in the private and government sectors". The signal intelligence complexes operated by Russia at Lourdes also offers the means by which to engage in cyberwarfare against the United States.

Cuba: Bejucal base

In 1995, Russia started the construction of an espionage base to be operated by the Cubans. The base is located at Bejucal, south of La Habana. The agreement, and the supervision of the entire project, was directed by General Guillermo Rodriguez del Pozo. Equipment for the base was shipped secretively from Russia through the port of Riga, in Latvia. This country does not have an embassy in Cuba. However, Cuba maintains a large embassy, over 50 persons, in Latvia.

The base is now fully operational, similar but smaller than Lourdes, and with all state-of-the-art equipment. The unit is referred to by some as The Electronic Warfare Battalion, EWB. The request for the base came because Cuba does not have access to Lourdes. They only get copies of the Russian intelligence summaries on issues that could affect the nation's security.

Cuba Bejucal's Base is very powerful, and it has the capabilities, besides running signals intelligence operations, that is, eavesdropping, of conducting cyberwarfare.The Interior Ministry's General Directorate for Intelligence is in charge of the Base.

It also runs a smaller center, located at Paseo, between 11th and 13th streets, in Vedado, La Habana. The center is mainly radio listening and transmitting, and for limited telephone espionage.

The Electronic Warfare Battalion has the necessary equipment to interfere Radio and TV Marti, and the equipment to interfere TV Marti if it transmits in UHF. The equipment is not used as yet. However, the base has offensive jamming capabilities, capable of disrupting communications deep inside the United states. This is indeed a unique facility because of its size and location and capability.

Interference of radio and TV Marti is now disseminated through the Island, in what is called project Titan. In charge now of Chinese personnel, which since March 1999 has also taken partially over the operations of the Bejucal base, or EWB.

Early in 1999, the Pentagon's military computer systems were subject to ongoing, sophisticated and organized cyber attacks. Officials stated that this latest series of strikes at defense networks was a coordinated effort coming from abroad. Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre, who oversees all Pentagon security matters confirmed the attacks have been occurring since 1998.

Secretary Hamre called them a "major concern". Officials believe some of the most sophisticated attacks are coming from a country routing through Russian computer addresses to disguise their origin.

The probes and attacks are also against U.S. military research and technology systems-including the nuclear weapons laboratories run by the Department of Energy. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., chairman of the House Armed Services research and Development Subcommittee stated "What we have been seeing in recent months is more of what could be a coordinated attack....that could be involved in a very planned effort to acquire technology and information about our systems in a way that we have not seen before".

These attacks coincide with the fact that the Bejucal base is fully operational, and also with the new presence of China military and intelligence personnel in Cuba.

Rep. Curtis Weldon also stated "it is not a matter of if America has an electronic Pearl Harbor, it is a matter of when". For two days in January, 1999, cyber attacks were made into military computers at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio-the center for the most sensitive Air Force intelligence, the kind of information critical to American troops abroad.

Joseph Santos, aka "Mario", one of the persons arrested by the FBI in an alleged spy ring, on September 1998, is an electrical and computer engineer, with great expertise in computer networks, and member until 1996 of a research computational center in a University in Cuba.

According to the indictment, Santos' assignment was to infiltrate the new U.S. Southern Command headquarters in West Dade. He had, as his fundamental assignment, the penetration of the headquarters of said command. Maps of several cities, including San Antonio, were found in his apartment.

It is a fact that both, Lourdes and the EBW bases, are a threat to the U.S. security, capable of intercepting not only U.S. military secrets but also commercial and trade intelligence.

Cuba: the new China presence

In February, 1999, a top level Chinese military delegation, led by Chi Haotian, Defense Minister, visited Cuba. They met several times with Raul Castro, Cuba's Defense Minister. It was the first time a Chinese minister of defense visited Cuba.

China's President Jiang Zemin visited Cuba in 1993. Castro went to China in 1995. Other important visits have occurred recently. Raul Castro, accompanied by several generals, visited China. Also, general Dong Liang Ju, head of China's Military Commission, visited Cuba.

An important role here is played again by General Guillermo Rodriguez del Pozo, whose son is married to Raul Castro's daughter. All these facts lead to an important conclusion: a very close military relation between Cuba and China.

It is obvious that China sees a presence in Cuba of an important strategic value, and is making Cuba a military and intelligence gathering Center. What Cuba really wants from China? Most probably, economic assistance. But the real important question is what China wants from Cuba?

China has become very active in Cuba's military telecommunications, cyberwarfare and biowarfare activities. China is investing to modernize the satellite- tracking center at Jaruco. China is heavily involved also in the telecommunications-monitoring base at Paseo, between 11thst and 13thst, Vedado.

The government of China has created the 863 and Super-863 Programs, with the sole mission of importing technologies for military use. The 863 program was given a budget split between military and civilian projects, focusing on science and technology.

The following are key areas of military concern: biological warfare; communications and intelligence systems. The People's Liberation Army, PLA, has placed priority on the development of battlefield communications; reconnaissance; intelligence signals operations.

In order to achieve these priorities, the government of China has focused on the use of intelligence services to acquire U.S. military and industrial technology. That is the main reason why China is using and improving Cuban capabilities in this area and moving to develop its own on the island.

After years of hostile relations between China and the Soviet Union, Russia has again become China's main source of advanced weapons, including electronic warfare and electronic eavesdropping, (sigint), equipment.

China has acquired high performance computers, HPC, from the United States. HPCs are important for many military applications and essential for some. It is known that China is modernizing Cuba's computer systems with HPCs.

These computers are in the speed range of 1500-40,000 millions of theoretical operations per second (MTOPS). HPCs are useful in the design, development, manufacturing, performance, and testing of biological weapons, command, control, and communications, information warfare, collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence an in the encryption of communications.

Another potential application of HPCs in Cuba is cryptology-the design and breaking of encoded communications. This application, such as in the Bejucal base, demands fast processing, and the ability to handle large amounts of data. As a point of reference, the U.S. National Security Agency uses some of the highest performance computers available.

However, it is true also that significant cryptology capabilities can be achieved through the use of widely available computer equipment, such as networked workstations or parallel processors.

Under the revised HPC policy, Cuba falls in Tier 4 with Iraq, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan , and Syria. Tier 4 means a virtual embargo on all computer exports. This is another factor of the importance of the new China/Cuba relations. In light of China's aggressive espionage campaign against U.S. technology, Cuba fits perfectly with Chinese electronic warfare priorities and electronic collection needs.


The United States' dependence on computers makes it more vulnerable than most countries to cyberattack. The president's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection has identified eight critical areas in need of protection: information and communications, electrical power systems, gas and oil industries, banking and finance, transportation, water supply systems, emergency services and government services.

Many traditional and non-traditional adversaries of the United States-according to Louis J. Freeh, Director, FBI, today are technological sophisticated and have modified their intelligence methodologies to use advanced technologies to commit espionage. In telecommunications, even some smaller (Cuba?) intelligence adversaries now use equipment the FBI is unable to monitor.

The international terrorist threat can be divided- according again to Louis J. Freeh- in three general categories. Each poses a serious and distinct threat, and each has a presence in the United States. The first and most important category, and the concern of this study, is state-sponsored terrorism. It violates every convention of international law. State sponsors of terrorism include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, and North Korea. Put simply, these nations view terrorism as a tool of foreign policy.

Public and private sector organizations that rely on information technologies are diverse. The result is a revolutionary and systematic improvement in industrial, services, and commercial processes. However, as commercial information technologies create advantages, their increasingly indispensable nature transforms them into high-value targets.

With very few exceptions, attacks against the nation's cyber assets can be aggregated into one of four categories: crime, terrorism, foreign intelligence, or war. Regardless of the category, any country can acquire the capability to conduct limited attacks against information systems.

Software is one weapon of information-based attacks. Such software includes computer viruses, Trojan horses, worms, logic bombs and eavesdropping sniffers. Advanced electronic hardware can also be useful in information attacks. Examples of such hardware are high-energy radio frequency(RF)weapons, electromagnetic pulse weapons, RF jamming equipment, or RF interception equipment.

Such weapons can be used to destroy property and data; intercept communications or modify traffic; reduce productivity; degrade the integrity of data, communications, or navigation systems; and deny crucial services to users of information and telecommunications systems.

The Cuban government is well aware of this vulnerability. Hence, major terrorists and intelligence services are quickly becoming aware of exploiting the power of information tools and weapons. The Cuban government is well aware of this vulnerability.

The increasing value of trade secrets in the global and domestic marketplaces, and the corresponding spread of technology, have combined to significantly increase both the opportunities and methods for conducting electronic espionage.

The security of trade secrets is essential to maintaining the health and competitiveness of critical segments of the U.S. economy. The U.S. counterintelligence community has specifically identified the suspicious collection and acquisition activities of foreign entities from at least 23 countries, including Cuba.

Cuba has acquired the capacity to conduct cyberterrorism also through simple technology transfer. There are multiple international conferences on the subject. Anyone can attend these conferences.

There is a BEAMS conference that has gone on for 20 years, a EUROEM conference that has gone on for over 20 years also. RF weapons can be made today for a cost of $800 dollars. Therefore, there is no need for a lot of power, or a lot of money to affect the infrastructure. This technology application is quite under the capabilities of Cuba's electronic development.

Electronic monitoring of communications signals will continue to be the largest and most important form of secret intelligence. Cuba's two main facilities-Lourdes and EWB- are quite capable of monitoring telecommunications in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Computers automatically analyze every call or data signal, and can also identify calls to a target telephone number in U.S. no matter from which country they originate. Both, Lourdes and EWB, are highly computerized. They rely on near total interception of international commercial and satellite communications in order to locate the telephone or other messages of target individuals.

Cuba's intelligence activities against the United States have grown in diversity and complexity in the past few years. Press reports of recent espionage cases involving Russia, South Korea, China, and Cuba are just the tip of a large and dangerous intelligence iceberg.

The director of the CIA stated before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1998, that there are six countries presently conducting electronic espionage that poses a threat to the United States, they are: France, Israel, China, Russia, Iran, and Cuba.

Cuba represents a serious threat to the security of the United States in the cyberwarfare phase of terrorism.


Joint Economic Committee Hearing, U.S. Congress, February 25, 1998

Joint Economic Committee Hearing, U. S. Congress, May 20, 1998

Preston, Richard; Annals of Warfare, The Bioweaponeers, The New Yorker, March 9, 1998

Davis, Christopher,; Nuclear Blindness: An Overview of the Biological Weapons Programs of the Former Soviet Union and Iraq, John Hopkins University, July, 1999

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, January 28, 1998

Joint Economic Committee Hearing, U. S. Congress, June 17, 1997

Joint Economic Committee, U. S. Congress, February 25, 1998

Webster, Robert; Granoff, Allan; Encyclopedia of Virology Plus, Academic press Ltd, 1999

Moscow's Bioweapon Threat, Mindszenty Report, Vol. XXXX, April 1998

Critical Foundations, The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure protectionMarch, 1999

Technology Report on Cyberterrorism, Joint Security Commission, 1998

Alibek, Ken; Biohazard, Random House, New York, 1999

Couch, Leon; Digital and Analog Communication Systems, Prentice Hall, 1997

Roden, Martin; Analog and Digital Communication Systems, Prentice Hall, 1996

The Unpredictable Certainty, National Research Council, National Academy Press 1998

Computing and Communications in the Extreme, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1996

Davis,D.W.;Barber,D.L., Communication Networks for Computers, John Wiley and Sons, 1997

Computing the Future, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1993

Information Technology for Manufacturing, National Research Council, National Academy Press 1996

Preston, Richard, The Cobra Event, Ballantine Books, New York, 1999

Recent articles, interviews published in leading U.S. newspapers, such as New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal

Hundreds of personal conversations and electronic communication of the author with Cuban engineers and scientists who have defected in the past 10 years

Personal conversations and electronic communication with American scientists who worked and/or visited biotechnological facilities in Cuba

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