SIGINT: Drug cartels using encrypted commo network


Years ago I was hearing some RUMINT that a major European communication company (that also supplies the US Military) was selling high tech radio equipment to Mexican drug cartels.  This was on top of unconfirmed reports that when the Colombians and the DEA finally moved in on the Cali cartel that they found them operating nothing less than a Cray super-computer in their compound.  They had been wondering why their snitches kept getting the chop and the rumor is that the cartel was running their own SIGINT platform.  I wish I knew how much of it was true but a few days ago I did spot a very interesting report from Borderland Beat.

The Mexican Marines reportedly dismantled a number of radio towers and encryption equipment that the Zeta drug cartel was operating to coordinate their activities in Veracruz.  This is some true 5th Generation Warfare going on south of the border, a conflict that at least one commentator has dubbed as the world's first "post-political war."

Keep in mind that I was just a knuckle-dragger in the military but in the video news report I believe we are looking at the radio masts, solar cells, Motorola ICOM type radios, industrial size batteries, and the kit needed to set up micro-wave relay stations.  There is plenty of other gear that I'm unable to identify so maybe those commo guys out there can help the rest of us hard heads out with this one...


Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger, Special Forces Soldier and is the author of the new military thriller PROMIS: Rhodesia.

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