Information Warfare: July 14, 2003


US government officials, Iranian-American expatriates and communications satellite operators confirm that all US-based satellite broadcasts to Iran were being jammed out of Cuba. Loral Skynet operates the Telstar-12 satellite used by the broadcasters, which was being effected by jamming probably emanating from "the vicinity of Havana, Cuba." Cuba's main electronic eavesdropping base, at Bejucal, is about 32 kilometers outside of the Cuban capital. 

How the Cubans are doing the jamming is another question. The jamming is simply a matter of aiming a strong signal at the satellite's uplink transponder and overwhelming the broadcasters' signals. An investigator told MSNBC that "you need a dish, some power, not too much. You put up a test pattern ... and do a sweep and find the transponder on the satellite you want to jam. It could even be smaller than the standard 6-meter dish. It could be a small dish with a lot of power."

Could the Cubans be getting help to do this? Since 1999, China has been operating a sophisticated electronic espionage network out of Cuba aimed at the United States by taking advantage of the Castro regime's "electronic war against Yankee imperialism".

The Chinese electronic espionage bases were hidden under the semantic camouflage of 'civilian electronics and radio communications collaboration' between the two countries. Chinese personnel operate two eavesdropping and tracking bases; the first is located northeast of Santiago de Cuba (at the eastern most part of the country, primarily dedicated to the tracking of US military satellites) and there is a base with ten satellite communications antennas in Bejucal (for intercepting telephone communications).

Cuba is one of Iran's major allies and since the evaporation of aid from Moscow, has been increasingly dependent on Iranian oil. Stay tuned. - Adam Geibel


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