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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.

 

 

 

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

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)

ISIS flag

  David Haines  the British aid worker has become the latest person to be executed by ISIS. This  has been promised to be followed by the execution of another hostage who has been named as Mr Henning.

Hains had served in the Royal Air Force for 12 years and leaves two children behind. He had worked as a Aid worker in some of most troubled areas in the world including Libya,Sudan.

The proclaimed aim of this act is to stop USA bombing of ISIS positions which have slowed the groups advance in Iraq.

ISIS regularly treats it brutality as a PR opportunity in it campaign of terror .

 

Current threat level

The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK is assessed as SEVERE.

Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321.

The threat-levels

There are five levels of threat:

  • Critical – an attack is expected imminently.
  • Severe – an attack is highly likely.
  • Substantial – an attack is a strong possibility.
  • Moderate – an attack is possible but not likely.
  • Low – an attack is unlikely.

Source and form of the threat

The threat of international terrorism comes from a diverse range of sources, including Al Qaida and associated networks, and those who share Al Qaida’s ideology but do not have direct contact with them. A threat could manifest itself from a lone individual or group.

sources :MI5 ,Home office.

We are at the beginning a campaign that will pitch the security services against a large citizen minority that sympathise with the Jihadi and militant Islamic movement overseas and who peculiarly are able to enjoy the freedoms offered by their places of birth to assist movements who are at odds with those very freedoms.

There  are many questions raised as to the cause of growing radicalisations. No doubt the over reactions and ill-judged persecution of the Muslim community in reactions to terrorist attack in New York, Spain and London had a part in this matter. One must also factor in the reluctance of the first two waves of immigrants from places such Pakistan to integrate to the main society. The politicisation of Islamic sentiments and nurturing of its radical elements by the very agencies who are now tasked to oppose during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan have added fuel to a volatile geopolitical environment since the Iraqi invasion .

The relaxed and almost naive attitude that allowed certain sects within Islam to come to dominate the tone and delivery of Islamic teaching in mosques across the country must be seen as the main contributor to this issue. These elements benefitted from substantial financial backing and logistical support from countries such as Saudi Arabia and smaller Gulf states.

The Metropolitan Police have asked the public for information to help them identify persons travelling overseas to join organisations such ISIS. During this appeal they have revealed that all security agencies have witnessed the doubling of number of people travelling overseas either to join or take cash to groups such as ISIS and others involved with armed conflicts in middle east .

This public appeal is based on the fact that many people encountered by the security forces have no previous history and therefore are invisible to the systems in place but may be known to private citizens.

It has yet to be seen whether the Islamic community will respond positively to this appeal but one thing is clear the appeal itself underscores a key weakness in the battle against this dire problem that of lack insight, positive interaction with the community and trust.

With upcoming Nato summit in Cardiff Wales on 4th Sep and the stiffening of attitude against ISIS the UK’s international threat level has officially been increased to substantial that indicates a  strong possibility of an attack.

The concerns have been underscored by the recent showing of a Jihadi recruitment video featuring Nasser Muthana, and his younger brother Aseel both from Cardiff. The young brothers travelled secretly to Join ISIS.

In Cardiff what has been referred to as a ring of steel has been set up featuring Hostile Vehicle Mitigation a counter measure against vehicle borne threats , a steel fence measuring 2.5 kilometres surrounding Cardiff Castle which is site of the Nato Summit and a 1000 meter fence around Cardiff bay .

With up to 28 heads of states, foreign ministers and defence chiefs expected it can be seen why the event is a potential target for any group seeking maximum impact from terror operation.

The summit will be the place where recent developments to ISIS is discussed and responses developed this will also be the occasion where USA will directly put pressure on its allies to participate in short and long term strategies against global Jihadi movement led increasingly by ISIS.

 

The unconfirmed reports that ISIS or IS (Islamic state) as they like to be called now days has issued its own passport  begs another question, who in the international community will recognise them and will accept this documents?

The tempo and nature of response to ISIS is rapidly changing, the Americans weary of being the only responders to the crises have successfully urged various security partners to become involved.

First among them has been  the UK who initially responded with caution and even stated their reluctance to commit militarily but have now seen their prime minster making  very strong statements which will be the prelude to combat units being deployed, these initially will be special forces personnel who will be tasked with reconnaissance, intelligence and most immediately with target acquisition for the combat aircrafts, a task made important by the nature of ISIS tactics.

Even though ISIS has captured a large amount of heavy weaponry during its initial advances and has in its ranks trained soldiers and officers from Syrian  and Iraqi armies who can operate the systems it has not put the heavier weaponry into regular use and It remains largely a light mobile force that has exploited the vast undefended spaces it has move into. Sunni Muslim sympathies in the area has also assisted their advances.

More modern weaponry is being delivered to Kurdish fighters who are already beginning to feel the benefit of air support by USA. This has resulted in ISIS issuing direct threats to UK and USA and the UK prime minster advising of new measures against their supporters in UK and beyond.

The newly appointed Iraqi prime minister has been given a breathing space to make amends for the previous administration’s mistakes and a chance to mobilise the army to start making a concentrated effort to capture lost territory.

ISIS has initially benefited from the convictions of its followers and the vigour this generated in combat but is beginning to experience stiffer resistance from the Kurds who are now defending their own territories. The brutality that ISIS has inflicted on other minorities and the members of the majority Shia will undoubtedly stiffen resistance to them in future fights on the ground. There are growing signs of Tribes men turning their guns on the ISIS, their involvement proved critical in fights against Jihadi insurgency in the past.

The Spector of ISIS and the Nusra Front(Al Qaeda proxy in Syria) fighting each other in Syria as they settle the power struggle to lead the global Jihadi movement and secret collaboration between the USA and IRAN certainly makes this an interesting area for security analysts the world over.

It remains to be seen if behind the door pressures applied to the alleged sponsors of the ISIS will bear any effects or will further cool the relationship between the west and the countries accused of funding and nurturing them such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.

It is certainly a matter of time that a major terror incident with the stamp of approval of ISIS in the west takes place, this will be the response to the west’s military actions against them and the next step in replacing Al Qaeda as standard bearer in Jihadi movement. The beheading of American journalist James Foley today (August 19th 2014) must be seen as a prelude of things to come.

 

 

BBC Reports

Emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament.

Prime Minister David Cameron has secured the backing of all three main parties for the highly unusual move.

He said urgent action was needed to protect the public from “criminals and terrorists” after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers.

But civil liberties campaigners have warned it will invade people’s privacy.

Mr Cameron defended the move in a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, saying it was about maintaining existing capabilities – not introducing new snooping laws.

‘Vital measures’

“We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of paedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa.

“I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it.”

He added: “I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities – that is not for this Parliament.

“This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe.”

Mr Cameron there would also be new moves to “increase transparency and oversight”, including:

  • The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to scrutinise the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties
  • Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used
  • The appointment of a senior former diplomat to lead discussions with the US government and internet firms to establish a new international agreement for sharing data between legal jurisdictions
  • A restriction on the number of public bodies, including Royal Mail, able to ask for communications data under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)
  • Termination clause ensuring these powers expire at the end of 2016
  • A wider review of the powers needed by government during the next parliament

Mr Cameron stressed that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls – just when and who the companies’ customers called, texted and emailed.

But the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill would also “clarify” the law on bugging of suspects’ phones by the police and security services, when the home secretary issues a warrant, after concerns service providers were turning down requests.

“Some companies are already saying they can no longer work with us unless UK law is clarified immediately,” said Mr Cameron.

“Sometimes in the dangerous world in which we live we need our security services to listen to someone’s phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot.”

International terrorism remains a serious and on going threat. The UK Threat Level for international terrorism is currently at SUBSTANTIAL, meaning an attack is a strong possibility. (See more information about the UK Threat Level system).

Islamist extremists continue to pose a significant terrorist threat to the UK and to UK interests and nationals abroad. Al Qaida in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, led by Ayman al­-Zawahiri, provides the ideological lead for the global Islamist extremist movement. A number of significant terrorist attack plots against the UK originated from Al Qaida in the FATA and they continue to provide training and motivation for extremists to carry out terrorist attacks in the UK.

The emergence of affiliate groups that pledge allegiance to the Al Qaida senior leadership in the FATA, has led to the diversification and growth of the threat from Islamist extremist terrorists around the world. The ‘Arab spring’ has been a key catalyst in increasing the number of Islamist extremist terror groups, some of which have shown the aspiration to attack the UK or UK interests and nationals abroad. The most significant groups are;

•Yemen: Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

•Syria: Al Nusrah Front (ANF)

•North Africa (Sahel): Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)

•West Africa: Boko Haram and Ansaru

•East Africa (Somalia): Al Shabaab

•Iraq: Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant or Al Qaida in Iraq (AQI)

All of these groups seek to kidnap Western nationals to obtain funding through the payment of ransoms to support their terrorist campaigns.

The majority of terrorist attack plots in the UK have been planned by UK residents. A recent example of a plot to cause mass-casualties with multiple improvised explosive devices was disrupted under Operation EXAMINE, which was planned by Birmingham based extremists. Eleven of these individuals were convicted in March 2013 for a variety of terrorist offences. There are several thousand individuals in the UK who support violent extremism or are engaged in Islamist extremist activity.

UK based Islamist extremists have supported terrorism by:

•Radicalising individuals to believe in the legitimacy of joining a terrorist network or carrying out a terrorist attack;

•Fundraising for terrorist networks often through criminal activity such as diverting money donated to legitimate charities;

•Acquiring false documents for use by terrorists;

•Attending outward bound training in the UK as preparation for travelling overseas to join terrorist groups; and

•Facilitating the travel of radicalised British individuals overseas so that they can join a terrorist group and potentially receive training and direction to plan an attack back in the UK.

Many UK residents have sought to travel to places such as Syria to take part in insurgencies. The majority of such individuals do not pose a threat when they return to the UK. However there is always a risk that such individuals may have become radicalised by extremists or even directly tasked by a terrorist group to carry out an attack in the UK.