Posts

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 .

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

 

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.

 

 

 French government officials have commented in the media in recent days about the potential for a terrorist attack in France and have said law enforcement authorities have assumed a heightened security posture. The French Ministry of Interior publicly confirmed reports that security officials are investigating relevant threat information. The Government of France’s new threat rating system, “Vigipirate,” is currently at red, the second-highest of four levels. In times of heightened security concerns, the French government augments police with armed forces, and increases visibility at high-profile locations. The Embassy maintains close communication with French law enforcement officials. At this time, we have no credible information about specific threats against U.S. interests or individuals. The Department of State continues to encourage U.S. citizens overseas to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.

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.