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image of lorry in Berlin attack

Berlin attack

Multiple failures by security and the legal system in Germany and Italy lay behind the Berlin attack might be the first conclusion after the event .

The general belief is that widest and the most encompassing circle of defence is the intelligence service of a country when dealing with terrorist attacks of any nature. As such it is the most important and the first line of defence and failure and oversights at this point will inevitability mean the attack will go ahead unless luck intervenes.

The issues raised after the attack in terms of on the ground changes will have only marginal effects. Measures such as traffic management systems, barriers, permanent re-routing away from attractions and other large scale people hubs can only be considered as last line of defence systems, armed police and military standby units are much the same.

If we examine the movement of the Tunisian Anis Amri and his repeated interactions with the security services in Germany and Italy we can see how bureaucracy and security can make very poor bedfellows.

Of course, there are many other factors such as resources, prioritisation of threats, political climate at the time. One must also consider the huge influx of refugees and the inevitable strains it caused in the systems governing Germany.

Much was made of the movement of the man involved after the event i.e his travels across Europe and his final demise in Italy where he had previously served a three-year sentence and told to leave the country.

Some interesting information has also emerged on the events leading to the attack,  such as the hijacking and killing of the driver of the Polish truck.

But these are of little significance comparing to the attacker being on Germany’s top list of individuals to watch, he was under surveillance for up to six month, his arrests, the failure of his asylum application, failed deportation, his multiple false IDs /nationalities and releases back into society after legal deadlocks.

If one aspect of being part of a wide European umbrella is enhanced security one must see this man’s presence, his constant criminality and his clear slow path into self-radicalisation without any decisive intervention from the authorities as a failure.

Pondering the tactical changes on the ground only deals with some issues but the larger issues will loom large regardless, among them are:

Finding a balance between security and human rights and the impact of any measure on society and quality of life as whole.

The wider European collaboration and coordination for security services.

But the Gorilla in the room is wider foreign policy decisions that has led directly to civil wars, regime changes, mass movements of people, armed radical movements  supported by governments in opposition to their normal treaty statues with each other is to name but  a few.

First circle of security may just be the right political decisions.

 

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.

surveillance by SQR

Technical Surveillance SQR group

Surveillance  workshop  by SQR group

The Technical Surveillance attack workshop conducted by a top field professional. This  work shop is being at SQR’s centre of excellence . It will advance the candidates  knowledge of current technical surveillance environment. They will be introduced to some of the most advance equipment and their capability. Technical aspects covered are Audio, Video, Long range covert surveillance, image intensification.

SQR’s Technical surveillance workshop is set to be a great successes with attendance from active CP, Police, Military personnel . Join us for the next session .

SQR group conducts an Enhanced close protection course .The close protection course has many additional modules over the required by SIA for its licences.

Understanding Surveillance in all its forms is a key aspect of close protection work in the modern era.

The workshop is one day long and is certificated By SQR group.

Surveillance  SQR group

https://www.facebook.com/sqrgroup

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surveillance by SQR

Technical surveillance
by SQR group

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the jogger

Prime Minister’s close protection under fire

Prime Minister Cameron’s encounter with a jogger has sparked a concern about his close protection squad.

The incident took place when the prime minster left a meeting and was on rout to his vehicle.

The concern has been raised by the fact that the man ran across the road onto the pavement past and in between three close protection officers from the police without even being noticed and then physically ran into the prime minster.

It appears that the incident was innocent but had it no been so, the nature of the news about the outcome would be very different.

Given the high state of the threat level in UK and that the prime minster is a highly valued target for terrorist as the head of government in UK and in theory at least he enjoys the highest level of protection this incident highlighted serious short comings in his security.

The incident will no doubt lead to a review of training and protocols of his team at the very basic level as this  security breach highlights the fact  that very basics rules of close protection were over looked by his team.

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.

( for further reading go to or blog)

poorang

“ISIS” an ongoing danger

The air campaign is fast expanding beyond Iraq to various targets in Syria .The target list into Syria compromises of a wish list by number of western governments who due to internal security considerations give different priority to different militant groups.

The introduction of yet another militant group e.g the so called Khorasan network in the mix is yet another example of the multiple fragmented groups that operate under various umbrella groups.

The participation of the certain Arab countries in the bombing is a PR exercise to appease the USA & deflect the growing security relationship between America and their main regional rival Iran.

This will however cause internal issues at home for countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have been given material and moral support to the militant jihadi movements such ISIS.

Turkey has stayed away from the limelight in recent developments as it continues to underscore its policies of stablishing itself as the Sunni Muslim world leader and to deflect the Jihadi attention by supporting their activities in Iraq and Syria.

The question of so called boots on the ground is hotly debated across media outlets on both side of the Atlantic this however is an academic questions as boots have been on the ground for some time in the shape of Special Forces and advisors.

The offshoot of the bombing of the operational capital of ISIS in Syria the City of Raqqa and other militant targets amounts to military assistance to the Syrian regime in its fight in the civil war, though this is not a declared policy it must be part of the calculations within the military HQs responsible for the operation, this may even have been part of the political barraging chips in negotiations with Syria and Iran.

Events will unfold both on our screens and behind closed doors but given the regional complexities all involved will find their security objectives achievable only by reassessing long held strategic alliances.

Ultimately the real judgment as to the success and failure of the campaign against ISIS is whether it will succeed to expand and indeed survive and be prevented in carrying out an attack against the west as it clearly intends to .

 

 

 

 

 

poorang

Confronting fear

Execution
The recent execution of another innocent man by ISIS is more than just a display of brutality for its own sake and the pronounced demand from USA to cease its air campaign.

This act is as old as the warfare itself it is one of the oldest weapons to use against your enemy its the weapon of fear . Its aim is to underscore its strength with sheer brutality and to ignite within the recipient of the message one of the key emotional triggers that all humans share” Fear”.

Among its audience are all sections of our society our political leaders, our selves and maliciously the very fabric of our multicultural societies in the west.

Its aim is not to deter an attack but the opposite It is designed to enrage and engage us violently.

It at once makes us aware of our differences and makes us frighten of each other.

There are no easy way out of this scenario it demands of USA and its western allies to challenge their long held friendships with Saudi Arabia, Qatar among others. Can the west turn a blind eye as it did during its war with the Taliban and allow its Arab allies to fund and support its enemies on the ground in order to maintain social cohesion in their own country.
The recent meetings with Arab leaders by John Kerry will do very little to inhibit their support in real terms .

The Nato member Turkey is by no means innocent in this matter and its sees its involvement in Syria and Iraq as a part of strategic positioning to become a regional power broker. (it has been a major supporter of militias and armed opposition of all shades in particular the fundamentalist groups )

Iran’s role as regional power and the first to send in supplies and specialist and ground attack air crafts to fight ISIS and collaborate with USA albeit secretly must give a hint as to where future meaningful engagement should lie .

The politicians in the west need to learn to look fear in the face and make difficult decision . That there are no alternatives to boots on the ground and that a revision of its alliances in the region is inevitable as in the case of Assad, if ISIS is to be defeated then Assad needs to be treated as an ally in this campaign for it is in Syria that this war will be lost or won not in Iraq.