- As U.S. troops depart Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban is poised for a banner year, financially speaking. The Pakistani Taliban is laying the groundwork for a resurgence too, accumulating money from an extortion spree against businessmen (see here, here, here, here, and here) throughout 2013.
- The 28-page section of the 2002 report from Joint Congressional Inquiry into Sept. 11, 2001, implicating Saudi financing of the 9/11 hijackers could either be declassified or leaked in 2014. Enough of a consensus is gathering that the section was redacted for diplomatic purposes, and should be disclosed so the American people know the truth (or at least more of the truth than is already known about Saudi Arabia’s role in financing global terrorism).
- “A major data destruction attack will happen,” and ransomware will be involved. Websense explains, “Historically, most attackers have used a network breach to steal information for profit. In 2014, organizations will need to be concerned about nation-states and cyber-criminals using a breach to destroy data. Ransomware will play a part in this trend and move down market to small and medium sized organizations.”
- Narendra Modi could become elected prime minister of India next year. Mr. Modi has spoken out against corruption, black money, hawala, and terrorism to a greater degree than the current ruling Congress party. His victory would represent a significant threat to the established criminal and terrorist underworld in India and Kashmir that are being backed by Pakistan.
- New legislation including, at the federal level, renewed sanctions against Iran, and at the state level, sharia law bans (“American laws for American courts” initiatives), and anti-fraud legislation at the state level dealing with no-fault car insurance fraud and counterfeit airbags, may be enacted in 2014.
Some other thoughts come to us from the Council on Foreign Relations, which has published an interesting forecast of 2014 based on surveys of public officials and experts, including the possibility of major terrorist attacks in the U.S., in Kashmir, and by al-Shabaab against Somalia’s neighbors.
Incidentally, prosecutors in the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are pushing for a fall 2014 trial, although defense lawyers have argued that will be too soon.