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Rescued hostages suffering from malnutrition, possibly Stockholm syndrome

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The four hostages who were rescued on Saturday from Gaza are in a worse physical and psychological state than initially believed, according to Hebrew media reports on Sunday.

Noa Argamani, Shlomi Ziv, Almog Meir Jan, and Andrey Kozlov were found to be malnourished during initial medical tests at Sheba Medical Center on Saturday, but the mental influence of their captivity had yet to be established.

The Kan public broadcaster reported Sunday evening that after initial conversations with the four, medical professionals believed they were exhibiting signs of Stockholm syndrome, as the rescued hostages spoke about awful experiences they had been subjected to in captivity while also saying that their captors cared about their wellbeing.

Jan said that as a “cynical” gesture, his captors made him a cake for his birthday.

Staff at the hospital told the media that the four rescued hostages did not sleep on Saturday night, their first night back in Israel after their resuce, and instead stayed up talking to their families and among themselves.

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The doctors also told Kan that the four were constantly seeking each other out, indicating their continued need to lean on each other for support.

Rescued hostage Shlomi Ziv is reunited with his family at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, June 8, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The rescued hostages have begun to talk about their experiences, according to various reports.

Channel 13 reported on Sunday that Ziv said he had learned Arabic from Al-Jazeera broadcasts he watched in captivity and that their captors made them read the Quran and pray every day.

Argamani has also begun to share some of what she went through, telling her family that she narrowly avoided death four times in captivity, according to Channel 12 news.

According to a Monday Ynet report, Argamani learned Arabic while she was in captivity and used it to become a spokesperson for other female hostages she was held with before they were released in November during a weeklong truce. Before they were separated, Argamani would use the Arabic she learned to get things the hostages needed for them.

She said she had been held in four different apartments during her eight months in captivity and that in the last location, the family made her wash their dishes. Ynet reported that she also cooked at times with basic ingredients she was provided with.

Describing the rescue on Saturday, Argamani said she was washing the dishes when she heard a shout from the living room and saw people with their faces covered who told her they were from the IDF.

Rescued hostage Noa Argamani is reunited with her father Yaakov Argamani at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, June 8, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

“At first, I thought they were making fun of me, and I didn’t move, but then he asked me, ‘Can I throw you over my shoulder?’ and I realized what was happening,” Channel 12 quoted her as saying.

She added that on the way to the extraction spot, their truck broke down.

“It was scary. The soldiers were brave. In a matter of one second, I may not have been here today,” she said.

Argamani was taken to see her mother, Liora, who is suffering from terminal cancer, but her father, Yaakov, said that Liora’s advanced illness made communication between the two difficult.

“I believe she understood what was happening. There was a foggy response, but Liora is in a bad way, and she barely looked at Noa,” Yaakov said.

Doctors at Ichilov Hospital, where Liora is a patient, told Ynet that Noa has become actively involved in her mother’s treatment since her return, seeking extensive information from the medical team and asking questions.

Shortly after Noa was taken captive, Liora appealed to Hamas to let her daughter go so that she could see her before she died.

Kozlov also reunited with his family on Sunday after his parents landed from St. Petersburg. In a video of the reunion, he could be seen falling to his knees and bursting into tears as soon as he saw his mother.

Andrey Kozlov (C), freed from Gaza in an Israeli military operation a day earlier, meets with his parents at Sheba Medical Center, June 9, 2024. (Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Argamani, Jan, Kozlov and Ziv were abducted from the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im on the morning of October 7, when 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists killed some 1,200 people and took 251 hostages in a murderous rampage across  southern Israel.

Officers of the police’s elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit, along with Shin Bet agents, on Saturday morning simultaneously raided two multi-story buildings in the heart of Nuseirat, where the four hostages were being held by Hamas-affiliated families and guards of the terror group, according to the military.

Hamas’s government media office claimed at least 274 people were killed amid the operation, an unverified figure that also does not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

The IDF acknowledged that it killed Palestinian civilians amid the fighting, but it placed the blame on Hamas for holding hostages and fighting in a dense civilian environment. “We know about under 100 [Palestinian] casualties. I don’t know how many of them are terrorists,” IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Saturday.

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COVID guidelines caused millions to suffer. Now Fauci admits 'there was no science behind it.'

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When COVID-19 hit in 2020, I jotted down a makeshift "will" for my four kids under 12. It wasn't official, just a set of instructions for my children and other immediate family members in case anything happened to me. Bank accounts, passwords, and access to other valuable information the family might need were included.

It was the beginning of the pandemic and we had no idea just how serious things would get.

As a single parent, I worried that if I suddenly caught it and died, my children would languish. The virus was rampant, and the risk of dying seemed high and very real. Fear and anxiety took hold.

COVID-19 deaths weren't exactly uncommon. The pandemic killed more than a million Americans, and there have been about 104 million confirmed cases in the United States alone. A lot of decisions were rooted in fear and brought with them life-changing consequences. Statewide lockdowns, shuttered businesses, school closings: All were based initially on the social distancing rule of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We're now getting answers to questions those decisions raised.

In his testimony to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and former chief medical adviser to President Donald Trump, said the 6-foot social distancing rule, which the CDC originally recommended, had not been backed by a clinical trial. This is despite constant claims that COVID-19 protocols were based on science.

These disclosures are damning and maddening for all of us who had structured our lives around these rules for years. As a result, millions of people suffered needlessly.

In testimony, Fauci admits COVID rules weren't based on science

On Monday, Fauci was also asked to clarify his comments during the two-day congressional testimony he gave in January. The transcript of that testimony was recently released.

He specifically responded on Monday to questions about the 6-foot rule: “It had little to do with me since I didn’t make the recommendation and my saying ‘there was no science behind it’ meant there was no clinical trial behind that."

In January, Fauci told staff and members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that "there was no science behind" the 6-foot social distancing rule that state and local governments repeated for months if not years.

What about the next pandemic:The world desperately needs a pandemic agreement. Will we come together to save lives?

“You know, I don’t recall. It sort of just appeared. I don’t recall, like, a discussion of whether it should be 5 or 6 or whatever,” Fauci said in January's testimony.

He also admitted in the January interview that there was little science that backed requiring children to wear masks in public and at schools for almost two years.

“Do you recall reviewing any studies or data supporting masking for children?” a staffer asked Fauci.

“You know, I might have," he answered, "but I don’t recall specifically that I did. I might have.”

These revelations are infuriating. Fauci repeated CDC-based COVID-19 protocols as the mouthpiece of President Trump's administration. Desperate for guidance, states, local governments, businesses, churches and schools instituted them.

Closing schools because of COVID guidelines hurt kids

The real effect of social distancing − which Fauci basically admitted Monday and in January's testimony was just an educated guess on how to deter COVID-19 − devastated America's economy, small businesses and families. It interrupted the fabric of American life. For what?

The CDC's now-infamous three weeks to "flatten the curve" turned into months for students and families living with the consequences. Here are some.

Closing schools was devastating to kids, especially poor or otherwise disadvantaged children. Remote learning wasn't as effective as in-person learning, especially in the first year, as teachers had no time to prepare. Kids fell behind their grade levels. Pandemic closings resulted in two decades of learning loss.

Operation Warp Speed:Trump has to disavow his COVID vaccine to keep voters from RFK Jr. and his anti-vax clout

Anxiety and depression skyrocketed, especially among adolescents and teens. Kids with learning disabilities were completely left behind.

Non-urgent but still important medical diagnoses and exams were halted altogether. (This went for adults, too.) When schools did reconvene, masks were treated as sacrosanct, and kids were forced to eat lunch several feet apart.

Children learning to read and write at the beginning of the pandemic are still behind even now. Never mind that kids rarely showed any adverse effects of COVID-19, let alone died from it.

This is not a matter of hindsight being 20/20, either. People, including myself, were calling for schools to open in the fall months after the pandemic began, predicting it would continue to be harmful.

The entire medical profession, well beyond Fauci's purview, seemed to struggle to understand how to mitigate the virus while continuing to provide medical care to those in need. While most providers pushed everyone to get vaccinated, screenings and routine care were pushed off for fear of COVID-19, even though they themselves were vaccinated.

At one point during the first year of COVID-19, one of my daughters became extremely ill. I phoned our pediatrician. Even though the staff was vaccinated, they would only see newborns. Her pediatrician refused to examine my daughter in person, and we tested negative for COVID-19 three times. She lost weight and refused to eat, sleeping all day.

After about 10 days, she eventually recovered. We still have no idea what illness she had, but her pediatrician's treatment, based on COVID-19 guidelines, made no sense.

Hundreds of providers endangered patients based on ideas that had no basis in research. We're only now learning just how much delaying cancer treatments out of the fear of spreading COVID-19 will cost people.

We cannot forget what we learned during the pandemic

Schools were just one example. The economic data, representing millions of families, is no more comforting.

In the second quarter of 2020, 1.2 million jobs were destroyed. In June 2021, 6.2 million people did not work at all or worked fewer hours because their employers closed or lost business. Family-owned businesses were lost, savings wiped, all for rules that had no real scientific basis.

Elderly loved ones, the most susceptible to COVID-19, died alone in hospital beds, with no one holding their hands and whispering last prayers. If funerals were held at all, expressions of affection was banned.

On Monday, Fauci did concede that some COVID-19 preventative measures may have gone too far and led to harmful outcomes. He said it is "very, very clear" that public health officials in the future should consider "the potential collateral negative effects" of controversial ideas like requiring masks and ask "how we can do better next time."

Still, even this seems too little too late.

While COVID-19 measures were set in place immediately, as hundreds, if not thousands, were at risk of dying from the disease, it became clear within months that the disease disproportionately targeted elderly people and hardly affected kids at all.

An adaptable administration led by Fauci, the CDC and the National Institutes of Health would have observed such shifts and lifted strict lockdowns of schools and businesses. A healthy society quarantines the sick, not the young. A robust economy never shuts down its economy and hopes it will thrive.

Because we live in Texas, which remained largely open save for a couple of months, my kids and I watched as friends and family struggled through the pandemic with shuttered businesses and schools. The contrast between living in a state where responsible freedom was encouraged compared with places where local governments kept businesses and schools closed was obvious and remains cemented in my mind.

COVID-19 was four years ago now, but as time marches on, we must never forget its valuable lessons so we don't repeat those mistakes again.

Nicole Russell is an opinion columnist with USA TODAY. She lives in Texas with her four kids.

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Intelligence Analysis Fundamentals  Course

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Course

Intelligence Analysis Fundamentals 

Accredited
Online
Self-paced
Workshops

Now that information has been collected and processed, it’s time to use it to answer the intelligence customer’s requirements and the critical thinking stage: Intelligence Analysis.

This course focuses on the basics of intelligence analysis and serves as an introduction for the more in-depth courses on analysis.

From Data to Answers:

  • Understanding the Customer: The course will emphasize the importance of understanding the intelligence customer’s needs and requirements. Analysts must tailor their analysis to address specific questions and provide insights relevant to the customer’s decision-making process.
  • The Analytical Toolkit: You’ll explore various analytical techniques employed by intelligence professionals. Structured Analytic Techniques (SATs) like critical thinking frameworks and hypothesis testing offer a systematic approach to analyzing information and drawing well-supported conclusions.

Thinking Like an Analyst:

  • Critical Thinking and Reasoning: This section will hone your critical thinking and reasoning skills, essential for effective intelligence analysis. You’ll learn to assess the credibility of sources, identify biases, and weigh evidence to arrive at sound judgments.
  • Pattern Recognition and Anomaly Detection: The course will explore techniques for identifying patterns and uncovering anomalies within the analyzed data. Recognizing emerging trends and spotting deviations from the norm can be crucial for anticipating threats or opportunities.
  • Uncertainty Management: The real world is rarely black and white. You’ll learn how to manage uncertainty by assessing the confidence level of intelligence and clearly communicating the limitations of the analysis to the customer.

Crafting Compelling Analyses:

  • Writing Clear and Concise Reports: This section will equip you with the skills to write clear, concise, and well-organized intelligence reports. Presenting complex information in a readily digestible format is vital for effective communication with decision-makers.
  • Visualization Techniques: You’ll learn how to utilize charts, graphs, and other visual aids to enhance the clarity and impact of your intelligence analyses. Presenting data visually can help customers grasp complex relationships and trends more effectively.

The Evolving Landscape:

  • Cognitive Bias and Deception: The course might touch upon the challenges of cognitive bias and deception in intelligence analysis. You’ll learn how to mitigate these biases and identify potential attempts by adversaries to mislead or manipulate intelligence collection and analysis.
  • The Future of Analysis: Exploring emerging trends like the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in assisting with complex data analysis and the integration of new data sources like social media could also be covered.

Expected Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Articulate the role of intelligence analysis in meeting customer requirements.
  • Apply various Structured Analytic Techniques (SATs) to analyze intelligence data.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and reasoning skills for intelligence analysis.
  • Identify patterns, anomalies, and manage uncertainty within intelligence information.
  • Write clear, concise, and visually engaging intelligence reports.
  • Recognize the challenges of cognitive bias and deception in intelligence analysis.

The Intelligence Analysis Fundamentals course equips you with the analytical skills and knowledge necessary to transform intelligence data into valuable insights that inform decision-making across various intelligence disciplines.

Who this program is for:

The courses of the Intelligence Cycle Fundamentals program, are designed as an introductory window into the world of Intelligence, thus no previous training or education on Intelligence is required.

The courses of this program are for anybody who wants to engage with intelligence in their career right now, or in the future. These could be researchers, journalists, analysts, policymakers, security professionals and much more.

Content Warning: 

This course deals with the common types of work in the intelligence industry and therefore features broad discussions of issues such as conflict, terrorism, and natural disasters. We also provide links to historic documents that deal with these topics throughout the course. We include this context because they are common topics in intelligence and are the subject of most historic and declassified documents. For specific concerns about the nature of any content please contact <a href="mailto:school@greydynamics.com">school@greydynamics.com</a>.

Instructors

Ahmed Hassan

CEO & Founder

I’m Ahmed Hassan the CEO of Grey Dynamics and you will see me in most of our courses. I have over 12 years of experience in the intelligence and security sector across government and private sector. I hold an MA in Intelligence and International Security Studies with a specialisation in counterintelligence, strategic forecasting and information security. Over the last 6 years, I have trained and mentored analysts. My objective with the Grey Dynamics Intelligence School is to demystify intelligence and prepare capable intelligence professionals. 

Marcel Plichta

I’m Marcel Plichta, the Lead Instructor & Grey Dynamics Intelligence School Manager. I am a former analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense and PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews. I have taught and briefed on a variety of international relations and intelligence topics, including foreign policy analysis, African security, and emerging technologies. Currently, I hold a fellowship at the Centre for Global Law and Governance and wrote for Foreign Policy, the Irregular Warfare Initiative, and, the Counterterrorism Sentinel at West Point.

Contact

Have further questions? Feel free to email us at school@greydynamics.com.

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Gantz submits proposal for state investigation into October 7 invasion and Gaza war

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National Unity leader and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz submitted Sunday morning to the cabinet secretariat a proposal for a government resolution to establish a state commission of inquiry into the events surrounding the October 7 Hamas invasion and massacre and the subsequent, ongoing war in Gaza.

The commission, if be approved, would examine political, military, and intelligence decision making before, during and after the October 7 atrocities.

Critically, against the backdrop of the intense scrutiny by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the commission would also examine whether Israel has met its obligations under international law in prosecuting the war, which could head off the ICC’s weighing of arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Given the severe political tensions between Gantz and Netanyahu, and Gantz’s threat to quit the government by June 8 if the prime minister does not detail who should govern Gaza after the current war ends, it appeared unlikely that the proposal will be adopted by the Netanyahu-dominated cabinet.

State commissions of inquiry can be established by a government resolution or by the Knesset’s State Control Committee, and are independent panels whose members are selected by the Supreme Court president from among serving or retired Supreme Court or district court judges.

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“All the events that preceded the war will be investigated within the framework of the state commission of inquiry, [plus] decision making in the political and military echelons, and actions during the time of war itself,” National Unity said in announcing Gantz’s request for the commission.

Palestinian terrorists take control of an Israeli tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, October 7, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The commission would examine the policy and decision-making processes of security and intelligence agencies as well as government ministries regarding protecting the border region with Gaza before the war, and how they responded to the events on October 7 and during the ensuing war.

Also under investigation will be “compliance with the obligations imposed by international law on the State of Israel in the conduct of the war,” the proposed government resolution says.

The commission would have to “establish findings and conclusions” and submit a report on its findings to the government.

“The establishment of a state commission of inquiry will send an important and unifying message to the Israeli public that the entire government and security establishment and those who head them are committed to an in-depth, objective and professional examination [of the October 7 events and their aftermath], which seeks to begin the process of national healing, restoring public trust and strengthening national resilience,” the draft proposal states.

Gantz first announced his intention to propose the commission last Thursday. Hours earlier, the IDF stated, in response to a freedom of information request, that over a period of several months last year, the prime minister had received four separate communiques from Military Intelligence warning him about how the country’s enemies were viewing the social upheaval in Israel at the time.

Netanyahu rejected the claim, countering that not only was “there no warning in any of the documents about Hamas’s intentions to attack Israel from Gaza, but they instead give a completely opposite assessment.”

Netanyahu has insisted on waiting for a state commission of inquiry to make determinations regarding the culpability of the government — which he insists cannot take place while the war in Gaza is ongoing.

Sam Sokol contributed to this report.

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All the reasons why Israel couldn't have been behind crash and death of Iran's president

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2024 purges in Russian military - Google Search

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