Posts

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

The attack on New Year’s Eve in Istanbul was yet another example of how having 1000s of armed police in uniform and under cover through out a Metropolitan area will have no effect on the outcome.

The chances of intercepting an attack in its final phase are mostly based on luck rather than methods.

Much remains to be answered but it these are clear so far , one attacker , armed with assault rifle which from the footage was an AK 47 . Standard magazine size taken into account and initial forensic indicating 120 shots fired shows he changed magazines a number of times .

Witness statements indicate he shot from the hip and directly into people who had taken cover by laying on the ground , he maintained his attack for 7 minutes and then changed his outer clothing in the kitchen and walked off during the chaos after the attack.
Cold , calculated , experienced and motivated is the summery of this attacker one that no security service wants on its turf, but not a suicide attacker he had planned to walk out and he did.

He has been identified by finger prints as being Lakhe Mashrapov from the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. he had been in the country since November with is family.
It’s highly unlikely that this was a random attack, the cell he has been associated with have already been linked to the airport bombing few month earlier.

But these are details that suit an investigator , our concern must be focused on the similar attacks and the likely hood of them happening where we are . We must also assess if basic measures we are being offered will suffice to stop an attack . Armed police are mostly for reassuring the public as any attacker is unlikely to want to have a shoot out with police , they are looking for soft targets and maximum impact ,the least protected the target better and that ,means 99.9% of public spaces .
So far in United kingdom we must accept the security services have done their job and hope that they continue to do so. There has had to be a lot of retuning and learning as the traditional enemies of the state in UK played with different rules compering to the new likely suspects.

Taking into account that Turkey’s geo position at this moment in history could not be more difficult added to this is its own entangled involvement in many fronts with the participants of the civil war in Syria.
It has also seen a complete purge of some of its security apparatus due to the recent bloody coup and its aftermath .
There are many hands in play in Turkey , the state of play is confusing and the players maintain their own positions at any cost.

There has been many recent attacks in Turkey with casualties running into hundreds, with many different motives from dissatisfied Kurds to various militant groups and some even accuse the state in being behind some attacks.
The only plausible defence is good intelligence and the ability to act in timely and desired manner but given the complexities in Turkey that may be a pie in the sky and beyond reach of the man in charge .

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.

 

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

armed contractors

Close Protection and war zones

Close Protection and war zones

Many close protection operative are tempted by the cash incentives and the drama and excitement of the war zones. Certainly there has been a shift  in market place with the governments withdrawing forces and visible presence from such areas due to public reactions to casualties and costs.

The legitimisation of the armed private security contractors in recent times has given birth to a completely new industry. It wasn’t long ago that such activities was conducted secretly and was generally regarded as illegitimate, now governments in particular  that of USA have an open policy to use armed private contractors for various tasks.

The private security contractor does not benefit from public support or sympathy, they also lack  in most cases  the benefits the regular soldier relies upon , such as legal framework when on deployment overseas,  governmental level of support in logistic , medical and intelligence and not to mention being part of an a recognise and established national  armed forces.

In short the private security contractor is exposed to more risk and threat and  with very few tools to mitigate them strategically or tactically.

With the influx of service men from many countries into the armed contractor industry who are willing to work for less fees the financial rewards have certainly taken a down turn.

Though the article is entitled close protection and war zones make no mistake when in deployment overseas into war zones you are no longer a bodyguard in its civilian context which by its very title expresses a positive and protective motive and you are easily distinguishable, but for all intent and purpose you are an armed private contractor.

Armed security contractors perform many tasks many of which are outside the remit of a bodyguard and you will be indistinguishable from the  local variety of guns for hire .You will potentially be  escorting individuals associated with questionable motives, histories and despised by many for good reasons and if all of that means nothing as long as you get paid then the moral ground is no longer the field you walk on and as such you are fair game for judgement by people who will view you with hostility and will target you with the same vigour as they will the individuals you are assigned to and remember you will have very little to fall back on in the way of support.

So if you are ex-military and just miss the action and nothing else matters then go forth, but if you are a civilian close protection operative stay put and work within a civilian arena.

Poorang

views are that of my own

 

 

 

 

 

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.

poorang

Libya’s new strong man

Libya’s new strong man
General Khalifa Haftar will become a familiar name in the headlines regarding Libya.
His colourfully history as coup maker and one time military chief with Gaddafi who he later helped depose and his increasingly forceful involvements with Libyan politics since then defines him as a maverick who knows how to survive.
There are some facets of the general that will guarantee him support from some corners and fanatical opposition from others. He belong to the dwindling rank of Arab secularist with a track record of opposing militant religious groups. Paradoxically he is Arab nationalist who was released as a prisoner of war from Chad due to a CIA inspired agreement he subsequently moved to America and became a citizen. They are allegation of being trained by the CIA and being close associate of that organisation.
It is understood that many officer and men from the old Libyan forces disillusioned with the rise of Islamic militancy and Jihadi control of many militia have joined the General’s rank of supporters. American response to the murder of their ambassador John Christopher Stevens in 2012 in the hand of Islamic militia in Bengasi after an attack on their consulate has taken many forms including support for General Khalifa Haftar and enlisting the help of their regional ally Egypt .The recent attack on the airport in the Libyan capital by unknown military aircrafts is laid at his door and his friends in Egyptian military .
Though Sudan is also a suspect due to its support of some of the militant Islamic militia.
There are brewing issues between western allies with Europeans favouring working with the recognised central government though it is a government largely in name only and the Americans who would favour an Egyptian style solution even though some critical factors are missing for that to take shape.
The inescapable fact is that Libya is a dysfunctional state not far from Europe. It has become a hot bed of militant Jihad with vast stores of modern arms and natural resources that will further fuel militants activity within the region and further a field. Libya is by far the greatest security threat to Europe in the African region .
MI 5 Logo

Threat level and advise

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.

Italian concerns

Italian Navy Concerns

With over 60,000 refugees crossing into Italian territorial water from North Africa with many from Somalia where Al-Qaida affiliated groups have a great deal of control over large parts of the territory, the Italian navy’s concerns are explained by Luigi B Mantelli the commander in chief of the navy “there is a great risk that genuine refugees are infiltrated by hard line terrorists “.

The Italian navy has increased its role and involvement in intercepting the refugee boats and using shared intelligence and screening systems is attempting to identify terrorists and human traffickers .

Over 160 traffickers have been arrested so far but there are no figure for arrested terrorists.

Unusually the largely civilian immigration issue is now finding itself on military agenda and fight against terrorism.

Home office figure on arrests for terrorisim

Terrorism arrests in UK

 The latest figure released by home office in relation to arrest under  the 2000 terrorism act

 June 2014

Statistical News Release

Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation – arrests, outcomes, stops and searches: Great Britain, quarterly update to 31 December 2013

This statistical release brings together information on terrorism arrests and outcomes, court proceedings, prison populations, stops and searches and port examinations.

Terrorism arrests and outcomes:

There were 222 terrorism arrests in the 12 months to 31 December 2013, down from 258 in the previous 12 months. In total, there have been 2,586 terrorism arrests since 11 September 2001.

• 114 (51%) of terrorism arrests in the 12 months to 31 December 2013 resulted in a charge. Of these, 55 (48%) were considered terrorism-related.

• 22 of the 23 persons arrested and prosecuted for terrorism-related offences in the 12 months to 31 December 2013 were convicted. A further 30 were awaiting trial. Since 11 September 2001, 391 persons have been convicted of a terrorism-related offence.

• Data provided by the Crown Prosecution Service show that 37 of the 44 defendants proceeded against during the year ending 31 December 2013 for terrorism-related offences were convicted.

• There were 147 prisoners (convicted or remanded) classified as terrorists or extremists as at 31 December 2013. This total comprised 100 terrorism-related prisoners and 47 domestic extremists.

Stops and searches and port examinations:

In the 12 months to 31 December 2013, no stops and searches were made under s47A of the Terrorism Act 2000.

• 491 stops and searches were carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service under s43 of the Act, a 20 per cent decrease on the previous 12 months.

• A total of 46,184 persons were stopped at ports in Great Britain under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 in the year ending 31 December 2013, a fall of 23% on the previous year. In total, 549 persons were detained after a Schedule 7 examination in the year ending 31 December 2013.