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avi 2

Bloomberg , SQR group and European security

SQR groups Avi Navama  was interviewed today to by Bloomberg Business .This was in the  aftermath  of Brussels bombing. SQR’s inherent experience based on its long history in military , civilian and national security sectors gives it the authority to make observation on such critical matters and issues.

The interview (click  link)

avi 2

SQR group is one of the leading global security organisation with specialisation in anti terrorism, national infrastructure protection and close protection.

 

armed police

Met police anti-Terrorism unit

Anti-Terrorism unit

The Met police has responded to the changing threats from terrorism by creating military style unit which are reputed to be over hundred strong. This unit have been involved in wide scale anti-terrorism drills conducted in London on 30th of June 2015.

This unit’s creation has been inspired by the lessons in the latest attacks on major civilian targets around the world.

The units name is counter-terrorism specialist firearms officers (CTSFO).The units has been equipped with new weapons and has been training along the side the military to sharpen its skills and also learn a completely new set of methods .

If one examined the Mumbai attack or the Nairobi attack one can identify the task at hand, both were exemplified by being attacks in major cities that had random seeking of targets of opportunity in populated centres ending with hostage taking to prolong the newsfeed and maximise the impacts.

Countering these type of attacks requires rapid decisive response using deadly force to reduce causalities hence they have provisions to travel by fast boats and have been trained to use helicopters both for travel and rapid rope descent if need be.

To be effective against such attacks officers also need to be operating in and out of uniform in a wide dispersal arrangements as these kind of attacks have shown that it’s no longer high value targets in the traditional sense that need to be protected and reached rapidly but shopping centres, high streets, railways or any random points on the map.

This is because worldwide publicity can be gained regardless of value of the targets in any classic sense but by sheer brutality married to hunger of media and the general public with their access to social media to promoted it instantly.

The facts are that despite all the planning and training or intelligence activities the Lone Wolf attack are extremely difficult to counter.

Poorang

isel flag

Call it by its name! ISIS,ISEL,Dayesh ?

Call it by its name!

The ongoing issue of what to call ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), ISEL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)or Dayesh (Arabic name “in the plural form ‘Dayesh’  means bigots who impose their views on others.”  )

Dayesh is the name used in the region to describe this organisation , it was also adopted by US military, French government and Australians. The British and many international news media however seem to be reluctant to use this and insist on using the various version that include Islamic and state as adjectives!

However we are beginning to see in UK first signs from the governmental level in the way the organisation is referred to.

This change of approach is the first sign of multi-level approach to counter the organisation who are very media aware and effective in manipulating press and social media.

For this approach to work the international media and social media organisations need to play their parts.

More importantly the governments need to be clear where the traditional source of support and finance have been for this organisation and bring to bear pressures and more importantly make hard choices as to who to formulate new alliances with in the region the USA seem to have made some choice on this level by their tentative conversation with the Iranians who were one of the first in the region to confront this organisation and its brothers in arm.

The public campaign that must be waged has to start with naming the source of the ideology that has been the driving force behind this terrorist organisation which are the  Wahhabi and Salafi sects of Islam which are the dominant and state sponsored in Saudi Arabia and some of the small states in the Persian gulf region .

Poorang

UK Security

UK Security dilemma

Russian standpoint in Ukraine and  Baltic, the handover of all operations in Afghanistan to local forces and a  renewed campaign in Iraq to counter ISIS not mention the  deteriorating situation in Libya and Syria have all joined forces to create a challenging scenario for security and policy-makers in UK.

The Russian have made themselves very clear with regards to their redline and have shown the ability to move swiftly and decisively both militarily and politically in defence of their position with regards to Nato’s eastward spread and changing alliances of their former republics.

In Afghanistan UK has to play the waiting game to see if the local forces can  maintain stability and hold their positions and to see if the proxies of its allies in the region  namely Pakistan can reign in its  military’s desire to keep its own clients in the fight.

In Syria the confusing and misguided initial approach in supporting the oppositions before allowing the lessons in Libya to be learnt have created an intense civil war that has acted as feeding ground for a number of terrorist organisation such as ISIS who have created huge problems of their own for the world and in particular in the neighbouring countries.

Libya has transcended in to chaos of various armed militia controlling land, assets and confronting two different governments looking to international recognition.

Sub-Sahara has become a new focal point for violent Islamic radicalism spreading into West African countries such as Nigeria, Mali and others.

The Saudi military adventurism in Yemen along with a few paid for allies has add to this heady mixture of interwoven issues.

The growing refugee crises in the Mediterranean is just a small by product of the above though a tragic one.

The UK position is further complicated by alliances and existing commitments. The fact that must be kept in sharp focus is that UK mainland security is very much dependant on dealing with the underlying causes of these issues.

The questions that need to be asked are these.

Is short term military adventurism driven by political PR opportunity worth the consequences?

Do we have the right allies in the Middle East or is it time to apply some realpolitik in making new friends?

How much of the responsibility the West have to bear for the rise of Islamic extremism?

To befriend the Russian bear or provoke it?

These are just some of the UK Security dilemma facing UK.

Poorang

isis militant in the street

ISIS update

The capture of Ramadi which by all accounts took place mostly because of a non-tactical withdrawal! Which seems to be a favourite tactics of Iraqi field commanders.

In response the Shia Militias who have been mobilised to respond they have been   instrumental in halting and turning the tide of ISIS successes since last year. The Iranian defence minister also has flown to Baghdad , Iranians have been engaged against the ISIS from the beginning with men and equipment and its guaranteed that they will put additional resources into the upcoming battle to recapture Ramadi.

ISIS seems to be experiencing difficulties firstly with its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi rumoured to have been injured in an air strike and replaced by Abu Alaa al-Afri a senior official, though a recent tape recording released at least means he is a live.

Secondly the loss of control of Tikrit and %30 of the territories largely thanks to the effort of Shia militias with assistance from Iran in secret coordination with USA through Iraqi channels.

  • Does the west really want the complete defeat of ISIS?
  • Where would all the militants go?

Perpetual low level war in Syria and Iraq seems to be a solution to the second and answers the first question also.

  • ISIS claim responsibility for the TEXAS shooting.

This of course is in line with their focused PR activity which they have proven themselves to be very good at, and they are not the first group to claim responsibility for a very loosely connected event to increase their share of the market in terror.

The core strength of a group such as ISIS is ideological approach it uses to motivate its forces .Let’s face it eternal life and place in heaven not to mention 70 virgin and the rest must seem very attractive if you have already accepted the extreme religious narrative  and the simple answers it provides to very complex questions in life.

To weaken and challenge this ideology you must start at the same stating line as them simply put in places of warship, religiously funded and attended academic establishments ,public education system and in the media especially the digital sphere.

Guns and soldiers in the order of battle against such groups are the last line of defence. As by the time they are used we may have already lost so much ground that we would effectively be fighting on the last foot.

Many rumours are around about collusion of western intelligence services and their allies regarding funding and arming of such groups. The simplest and safest assumption given the nature of such service is that most of them are true as they work and operate in an interlinked maze of deceit and intrigue.

There are already good evidence that a Nato member Turkey has been a key supplier and transit route for supply of weapons and cash. Look deeper and many allies of West in the Middle East can also be implicated in this mess.

So far the only effects of ISIS in the other places beside in the Middle East has been additional security measure and a presented reason for all the intrusive surveillance that the public has become subjected to.

The possibilities of a genuine attack by ISIS   in Europe and further a filed is still high but so far beside threats and occasional beheadings and murder to underscore the projection of fear not much is evident .

By:poorang

members of buko haram in training

Terrorist attack is highly likely in UK

MI5 states that the security level in UK is sever.

The impact of foreign policy decisions have seem to enflamed the dangers on the home front further. The complexities of the Middle East conflict have seemed to overtaken the processing powers of the policy makers .The seemingly unexplainable position in arming and training various armed factions with sophisticated weaponry in the shifting sands of loyalties and zigzagging policy positions have clearly increased the risks in UK.

The UK’s position is further undermined by the fact that some of its allies and partners in the region have for some time financed and assisted the hard line Sunni Islam sect that have fuelled ISIS in its atrocities.

Furthermore the same sponsors have been allowed for over two decade to finance their own particular Islamic sects (Wahhabi & Salafi) in UK by Building mosques and appointing Imams to propagate their version of Islam. This has set the scene for birth of Islamic radicalism in UK.

This has led to UK born jihadists and terrorist who not only travel to fight for ISIS but also are the main reason for the UK security level being set to SEVER.

The only way forward is a complete realignment of policies of western powers in the region allied with reappraisal of the origins of security threats and risks in UK.

paris

French face a security dilemma

The French government have maintained a high security level for some time and given concern regarding some French nationals of Muslim faith travelling to fight or having strong sympathies with Jihadi sentiments especially since the rise of ISIS one must assume that a lot of energy has been directed at monitoring sections of the Muslim community.

An update by French intelligence  authorities advises that France has stopped five terror attacks and brokenup 13 networks linked to extremists in Syria despite this the  number of young people travelling to Syria has increased sharply.

This weekend  we have had to witness at least 13 people being injured, some seriously, after the driver of a car targeted passers-by in various parts of city of Dijon.

According to witnesses he was shouting to the effect that he was acting in support for the “children of Palestine” during his attacks that lasted over 30 min. There has been report of the driver having had mental problems .

The day before another man, stabbed three policemen in town of Joue-les-Tours after shouting Islamic slogans the 20-year-old attacker was shot dead at the scene.

Radical Islamic is thought to be behind the attacks but it seems that there were no clear links between the attackers.There has been other attacks similar to this using vehicles in England, Scotland recently in Israel and now in France.

What makes such acts so difficult to counter is that they are random, acted out by individuals with no direct links to organisations and they have previously not displayed any serious signs of being radicalised.   

The main difficulty for the authorities is a to admit publicly that there are no effective security measures against un associated  random acts of terror, especially if the perpetrators have no direct links with any recognised organisations.

Surveillance and intelligence are the key weapons to counter act any terrorist act but the nature of these acts make an impossible demand of even the most in-depth and intrusive surveillance and intelligence gathering methods.

 

 

 

Murdered Aid Worker

Implications of a murder

The murder of Alan Henning

The 47-year-old taxi-driver from Manchester who was taken hostage last December while on a humanitarian aid convoys to Syria has become the latest victim of ISIS.  His tragic and brutal end has been filmed and used as a gruesome piece of PR.

There are a number of reasons why these murders are made so public but firstly  they  points to an organisation with an eye on influencing domestic and foreign policies of its adversaries and its continued attempt to replace  Al Qaeda as the leading jihadi organisation.

His public murder will no doubt intensify the call for more direct action against the group but many heads of states in the western camp have already promised their countries that they will not commit to ground troop deployment.

Airpower is costly and mostly ineffective against irregular armies such as ISIS so ultimately the question of a large well equipped manned intervention has to be addressed.

Ground troop deployment causes a serious challenge for the coalition members some of whom were pressurised by USA e.g Saudi Arabia, UAE etc   to participate with token and as yet unproven involvement with bombing raids.

On the ground the Kurds are bearing the brunt of the fighting and Iranians have been involved secretly for some time with supplies and reorganisations and front line specialised troops. The Iraqis have mustered their forces with support of Shia militias and have presented a stronger front.

ISIS seem to have an active policy to confront the west directly as soon as possible no doubt sensing that various deals being struck behind the scenes might affect their long term strength, for example a possible arrangement with the Syrian regime by the west.

The British prime minster has spoken of generational fight and Americans have spoken of degrading and then destroying the group as a long term strategy but time might not be on the side of the west if as predicted a revenge terrorist attack is carried out by ISIS or their sympathisers  in Europe or USA.

In such a situation the pressure for the west to put ground troops into action may be too much to bear.

 

preacher and police

Preacher’s arrest

Anjem Choudary arrests along with number of other people in UK renews the question as to why it has taken so long for one of the most vocal so called hate preachers to be arrested .
Choudary ‘s legal background has allowed him to navigate a fine line .
It seems that his recent outbursts since the public rise of ISIS has finally provided material for the police to press ahead with arrests .

It remains to be seen if he can be prosecuted successfully and if released weather he will thread a more careful lines in his commentaries .

He has been charged with membership of a banned organization the 47 yr old has repeatedly changed the names of his organizations as they have been banned by the Home Office .

Due to the incendiary nature of his comments he has been courted by the media and had found a platform for his comments.

The two people convicted of the murder of Bands man Lee Rigby in south London were  among his followers.

targeting isis

Targeting ISIS

Cruise missiles and jets on bombing raid are again a familiar sight over Iraq and now Syria.

President Obama is enjoying support at home and overseas over his decision to expand the intensity and the lists of targets as part of the campaign against ISIS.

With UK citizens being executed on the internet the British Prime minster Camron has been forced to recall parliament to seek approval for UK military participation in the crises.

This will lead to increase the risk of retaliatory attacks on British home land.

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