In this section I’m going to talk about opsec and why Sheikha Latifa’s attempts to escape Dubai failed.
I don’t know what kind of threat model Sheikha Latifa had in place or what sort of operational security measures she had planned before her attempt to escape Dubai.
But it failed.
I’ve been doing some research and found this message that was posted on her Instagram.
“My father is Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Saeed Al Maktoum. He put me through many years of hell and he’s currently threatened my safety. If you’re in the gulf or UAE please do not repost as my father’s men can threaten your safety. Please don’t like this post if you’re living in UAE or gulf or contact me through Instagram. Please contact me through my WhatsApp +358 41 807 1671”. 26 February 2018.
Right off the bat, this is just poor opsec.
Now Wikipedia states that she was traveling with Hervé Jaubert (born 13 March 1956), a former French Navy officer, marine engineer, spy who operated as a secret agent for the DGSE until 1993.
How does this secret agent not know the capabilities of the modern government spy agencies in the post-Snowden era?
And if he does know, then why didn’t he establish the threat model before they commenced on the great escape?
Sheikha Latifa’s escape was no less dangerous than Snowden’s.
NESA is no less capable than the NSA.
Then I see this on Herve’s Wikipedia page:
American ex-wife Helene Jaubert told American news website The Daily Beast that Hervé Jaubert and Radha Stirling had been in contact with princess Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum (II) for 5 years and invented the whole disappearance scheme together. According to Helene, “The whole plan was for Herve to help her escape and once he got her out the daughter was going to get to the dad and say I want $3 million or else I’ll tell all to the media”. According to Helene, “It was a con. It’s a corrupt scheme gone haywire”.
Did our French spy here have some ulterior motives?
Herve published a book in 2019 – “Princess Latifa and the Spy”.
I think a more appropriate title would’ve been “Princess Latifa and the spy with poor opsec.”
So while Sheikha Latifa had some good concerned friends, they clearly lacked the manpower and intelligence to get the job done right.
This entire operation is so high-risk that it cannot be done without a team of professionals.
I’ve looked at Radha Stirling’s profile and while she’s done quite some impressive work, I must say that planning Sheikha Latifa’s escape needed a different line of thought.
When you’re up to do something as dangerous as Edward Snowden, you better start thinking and acting like him.
Have they watched Edward Snowden’s documentary?
Because it’s got a lot of clues on how to think and how to act when you’re up against the world’s most powerful adversaries.
And it’s not ridiculous.
It’s not extreme.
It’s not over-the-top.
The first rule of high risk manoeuvres is that you should never underestimate your enemy.
How did Dubai and India’s authorities pinpoint their location?
On 3 March 2018, Jaubert made contact with an Indian journalist in preparation for the end of their journey. The following day, Sheikha Latifa, Jaubert and Jauhiainen, along with the crew of three Philippine nationals, were intercepted by Indian authorities while approaching Goa.
Was the journalist compromised?
On investigation by The Guardian and Bureau of Investigative Journalism later revealed that on the same day, Signalling System No. 7 protocol was exploited in an attempt to locate Jaubert’s phone.
So is this how they managed to pinpoint Sheikha Latifa’s location?
I found a very interesting article that explained the SS7 protocol.
The investigation has found that private intelligence companies are able to rent access from mobile phone operators and this can then be exploited to allow the tracking of the physical location of users across the world. They are also potentially able to intercept calls and other private data, including bank accounts and emails.
“The Channel Islands cannot allow itself to be used as an offshore global spy centre” – Privacy International
These intrusions, which are very widely exploited, rely on commands designed to help phone operators track their customers’ whereabouts. Such commands, known as “signals”, are sent via a kind of global switchboard for the telecoms industry called SS7.
These are vital to the functioning of telecoms networks, and are a routine part of ensuring accurate billing when roaming overseas. But they can also be used by sophisticated state and corporate security agencies for more questionable purposes.
A Whitehall source described the system as “toxic, horrendous – yet one the world relies on,” adding that “it can be abused to geolocate people”. However, securing the system is complex: “if you get it wrong, you disconnect yourself from the rest of the world.”
Experts warn that vulnerabilities will remain even after the switch to 5G as long as some networks rely on older 2G and 3G technology.
Well there you have it.
What’s the first rule of any sensitive mission?
Switch off yo’ damn phones!
This is a nightmare – breaking down the poor opsec of these individuals.
It’s almost sad because even a 15 year old today would know that cellphones are easily tracked by networks.
Yet it completely missed these people’s minds.
I understand that Sheikha Latifa’s friends were trying to get her freedom by legal means.
But when the beginning of their mission was already an illegal move, I wish they’d contacted a cybersecurity nerd to assess their plans and fix all the loopholes.
You don’t need a trained spy to get you out of the country. You need a paranoid nerd, someone like Edward Snowden.
Especially considering that the entire mission was supposed to be without violence or a fight.
If you were expecting a fight, well, then I’ve got some good plans for that too. One armed French spy and 3 Filipinos isn’t a good army.
I think Sheikha Latifa’s friends were betting on the power of the law to win her freedom.
But there is no law for the caged women.
There is no law for people who are fighting for the truth and justice.
I don’t believe in the law.
I don’t think the law could help me in a life-and-death situation.
And I don’t think Edward Snowden had much faith in the law either. That would explain his highly strategic escape from the US.
I wish I could’ve been involved in planning Sheikha Latifa’s escape.
I would’ve done it for free.
I’m an anticapitalist.
I don’t accept money from anyone.
Where is Sheikha Latifa’s Instagram account?
The Instagram handle latifa_1 is gone.
This is a direct indication of the UAE’s alliance with Mark Zuckerberg.
The fact of the matter is, there is no protection for the common man in the modern world.
The law belongs to the powerful, held by the powerful, and is used by the powerful to circumvent the systems designed by the powerful themselves.
Do you think Mark Zuckerberg lost a second of his sleep worrying about the fate of Sheikha Latifa?
Do you think Prime Minister Narendra Modi was restless after hearing the fate of Sheikha Latifa?
In fact, if I know the man, like any typical Indian businessman, he probably cut a deal with The Emir before he even set his forces into motion.
Every powerful man that was involved in the recapture of Sheikha Latifa is living like a king.
And they will continue to do so.
So Radha Stirling and her friends can go on campaigning to the state controlled medias all they want – nothing’s going to change.
Most of the news media are only publishing the story for views. After a while, they’ll forget all about it. Just like they did back in 2018.
You don’t need the media. You need a well formulated plan of action.
I watched the story on BBC – those morons were only in it for the sensation. The modern news media is all sensational. They care more about getting hits than about the actual story.
And it breaks my heart to say this, but it’s true.
I’m a man of facts.
False hope and poorly planned missions isn’t my forte.
I’m afraid that the recent release of Sheikha Latifa’s videos to the mainstream media will only hurt her current situation.
Why? Because no powerful politician has come forward to speak out against The Emir.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is undoubtedly one of the most powerful men in the modern era, and no world leader has the balls to oppose the man.
It’s quite sad that the common men have the guts to come forward and openly speak out against one man’s terrible crimes against humanity, yet the rest of the world leaders are hiding in their offices, too scared to say a damn word.
I came across this comment on Radha Stirling’s Detained In Dubai YouTube channel and it was disappointing to read:
Rahda I heard isn’t helping and had fallen out with latifas Best Friend Tina,funny how this call was made on the escape boat… and bingo they find them very quickly… 🤔
Detained in Dubai
5 months ago
Sadly, Tiina is allied with a fraudster who has tried to change history. The details are available at www.princesslatifa.org and www.detainedindubai.org
What’s going on here?
This isn’t a goddamn children’s competition for best friend award.
Who’s the fraudster?
And why is Tiina Jauhiainen allied with the said fraudster?
And a part of me feels that these moves by Sheikha Latifa’s friends are causing more damage to her mission than aiding it.
I could be wrong. But actions that are guided by feelings and emotions are more often less thought-out than actions that are planned with a level-headed mind.
Feelings have no place for a critical mission like this.
And I’m already getting emotional, so it’s time to wrap this up.
I have a couple of other thoughts but this wouldn’t be the right forum to share them.
So I’m going to keep them inside my head.
I want to help Sheikha Latifa.
I think I could be of great use in strategic planning and execution.
But that’s just me. Who knows? Maybe the rest of the world thinks I’m a stupid fucking idiot and this article may be proof of that.
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