“The United States Intelligence Community must remain vigilant and focused on this threat,” the report said.
The report also said the Treasury Department-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States “must block acquisitions, takeovers, or mergers involving Huawei and ZTE given the threat to U.S. national security interests.”
The report said legislation should be used to expand the authority of the Treasury Department committee to include the review of purchasing agreements of U.S. and foreign companies.
“U.S. government systems, particularly sensitive systems, should not include Huawei or ZTE equipment, including component parts,” the report said, noting that government contractors should avoid ZTE or Huawei equipment.
It also warned that the Chinese government can use its access to Huawei and ZTE equipment installed on foreign computer networks to covertly conduct economic espionage or cyber-reconnaissance — placing clandestine software inside foreign computers that can be activated for sabotage in a crisis or conflict.
French prepare for Mali op
The French military is quietly building up forces for an expected intervention in the North African nation of Mali.
According to U.S. officials, French forces are increasing military activity in the region called the Sahel, a band stretching across the continent that includes the Sahara desert.
The military activity includes preparations to reinforce French special forces in the region, deploy drones and plan for the use of French jet fighters to support ground-attack missions.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on television Tuesday that military intervention in the northern part of Mali “is a question of a few weeks, not several months.”
France is concerned about al Qaeda’s movement into the area through the group, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb. French jihadists operate in the northern part of the country where there was an attempted attack on a French embassy. Terrorist websites also have increased anti-France rhetoric in recent weeks.
The French military operation is expected to last a month and will likely be carried out with international support, including U.S. military backing in the form of intelligence and reconnaissance.
On Monday, European Union foreign minister approved urgent planning for a possible military mission. An EU statement said it “is determined to back Mali in reestablishing the rule of law and a democratic and fully sovereign government across its entire territory.”View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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