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Thread: Brussels attacks (catch all)

  1. #21
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    Scott Atran has a modest proposal

    Excerpt:
    ...What does that even mean? It is one of those brilliant things that you can always say, and you will never be wrong because it is not happening, so the onus of failure is on the human race for not making it happen.

    This actually applies to his famous suicide-bomber theories as well. They are just enough removed from the actual conflicts and counter-measures being taken or capable of being taken to make them pretty much useless. There is information in his research, but there are no actionable recommendations. Those have to come from someone else who can read that information and maintain just enough detachment to be able to say: "yes, this part seems true, and even though it is padded around with BS, I think I can come up with something actually useful here.

    I am not that detached wise warrior saint. But there must be one out there. I hope
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-24-2016 at 07:20 AM. Reason: quote marks used.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    I had a interesting conversation with a number of Israeli's last night and
    it might cause some heartburn with SWJ commenters......

    When talk got around to Brussels....they shrugged their shoulders and stated....why do people forget the 60s thru 80s when bombs and terror attacks were far higher than today....it is a war and yes people get killed but it is a simple fact of life....

    Actually they are right ........and they tend to constantly remind themselves of this fact and from their POV...they are right if we take the time to think it through.

    All loss of life is bad but say when 500,000 Syrians are killed by a genocidal dictator does the world get so wrapped up as with say Paris and or Brussels....not really....

    When there is a capable Syrian force able to deal with IS on the ground and fighting them daily what do we do .....? Are they "moderate enough" is our response.

    WHEN we know and can prove a deep relationship between the Russian FSB, Iranian IRGC and Assad to IS WHAT is our response...silence.....

    So are we in the West actually just as responsible for the IS attacks as is IS....??
    You know why people have forgotten what I recall tracking pretty closely? Why the terrorist attacks were kept in perspective then and not now? I suspect a large reason is the advent of 24/7 news, each network competing with the other to tell a dramatic story and keep the audience fixated.

  3. #23
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    Default Community policing worked, the rest didn't

    Within a long and partly accurate report on today's shooting in Brussels is this passage:
    It comes as Belgian police admitted a catastrophic police blunder allowed Paris bombings logistics chief Salah Abdeslam to remain at large for more than three months.A dedicated beat officer gave information about the whereabouts of Abdeslam to superiors on December 7 and urged them to pass it on to the country’s anti-terrorist police. But the confidential report was inexplicably not passed onto the federal bureau.
    Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz43vpoROfW

    Also an official statement of apology:http://www.politico.eu/article/local...tell-brussels/

    In the more infamous commune (neighbourhood) of Molenbeek, via a FP article and citing a US SME Matthew Levitt:
    ....the police in Molenbeek had 185 unfilled positions. “When I asked them if they do community policing — which works really well for counterterrorism — they said, well, maybe part time, but not full time,” Levitt recalled. With so many vacancies, they’re having a hard time just doing basic police functions.
    Within a longer article:http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/24/...ved-brussels/?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-25-2016 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Add 2nd & 3rd link.
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  4. #24
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    Default A Belgain explains why Belguim?

    Superb New York Review of Books article 'Why Belguim?' with a Q&A which covers many topics:
    Why has Belgium become such a focus of European jihad? And why has it been so difficult for Belgian authorities to contain the problem? Joost Hiltermann spoke to Didier Leroy, a leading terrorism researcher at the Royal Military Academy of Belgium and an adjunct at the Free University of Brussels.
    Link:http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/03...s-why-belgium/
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  5. #25
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    Default The links in charts

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  6. #26
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    Extremely interesting development that is being largely overlooked by western MSM referencing jihadi activity in Belgium.......Kyle W. Orton ‏@KyleWOrton
    Interesting. Was a recent finding for me that the plot to assassinate Ahmed Shah Massoud began in Belgium.

    Ahmed Shah Massoud was legendary Tajik commander killed by al-Qaeda day before Sept 11. #Brussels man now arrested.

    Murderers of #Massoud both had Belgian passports issued by #Molenbeek cityhall where @salafists still run dtp housing& cpas
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2016 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Moved from the Syria thread

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Extremely interesting development that is being largely overlooked by western MSM referencing jihadi activity in Belgium.......Kyle W. Orton ‏@KyleWOrton
    Interesting. Was a recent finding for me that the plot to assassinate Ahmed Shah Massoud began in Belgium.

    Ahmed Shah Massoud was legendary Tajik commander killed by al-Qaeda day before Sept 11. #Brussels man now arrested.

    Murderers of #Massoud both had Belgian passports issued by #Molenbeek cityhall where @salafists still run dtp housing& cpas
    Brussels terror suspect was jailed over Ahmad Shah Massoud assassination http://www.khaama.com/brussels-terro...ssination-0454

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    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-28-2016 at 06:07 PM.

  9. #29
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    Default The Choices Ahead for Policymakers

    Raffaello Pantucci's column, which was in the FT earlier this week, is now on the RUSI website; which opens with:
    With cells apparently able to launch large-scale atrocities on an increasingly regular basis, what does Europe now need to do address an acute terrorist threat?

    (Ends with) This is the biggest problem with which security planners will have to contend. It is often said that the best response to a terrorist threat is to keep calm and carry on. This is sage advice but in the face of a network that appears able to strike with impunity, and a political environment growing more toxic by the day, it will be ever harder for security forces and politicians to ensure that Europe maintains its values in the face of the terrorist threat from within.
    Link:https://rusi.org/commentary/brussels...k-policymakers
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  10. #30
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    Default Molenbeek has a voice and feels for the dead

    I was wondering amidst all the footage when we would see Belgian Muslims feature and this short documentary (6 mins) has some, notably at the end:http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/apr/01/brussels-divided-molenbeek-after-the-terrorist-attacks-video?

    At least the reporter spoke with some young Muslims, whose voice is rarely heard.
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  11. #31
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    Default Wrong, not extremists but Muslims run over their own

    A classic headline in The Daily Mail today:
    Horrific moment Muslim woman is mown down by grinning far-right activist who then stops to take a PICTURE during anti-Islam rally in the troubled Brussels district of Molenbeek
    Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...Molenbeek.html

    The facts are that it was two local Muslim men in the car, who have been named on Twitter and when I last checked it was unclear if they had been arrested afterwards.
    See a local report:http://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/deta...tov?id=9258473
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  12. #32
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    Default What to do with Molenbeek?

    Prompted by a "lurker" here is the local police chief explaining his "beat" and his goal is:
    The goal also is to try to go back to normal life, so people aren’t hiding in their houses. We have to not scare people.
    Link:https://www.lawfareblog.com/cop-molenbeek-beat

    Awhile ago now SWJ had two articles, 'Time to Bring Counterinsurgency to Molenbeek' by Gary Anderson and a response by a Dutch journalist's riposte 'Time to Bring Strategy to Molenbeek: No Need for Counterinsurgency'

    Links:Time to Bring Counterinsurgency to Molenbeek and http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...nterinsurgency
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  13. #33
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    Default Terror in Europe documentary

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/fi...ror-in-europe/

    FRONTLINE and ProPublica go inside Europe’s fight against terrorism — the missed warnings and the lingering vulnerabilities.
    And the associated article:

    https://www.propublica.org/article/h...n-to-terrorism

    How Europe Left Itself Open to Terrorism

    The ISIS attacks on France and Belgium exposed weaknesses in Europe’s approach to borders and information sharing that counterterror officials had warned about for years. The vulnerabilities remain largely unaddressed.
    In interviews, some on camera with Frontline, counterterror veterans in Europe and the United States outlined systemic problems they said they had warned political leaders about for years. (ProPublica granted some anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly or because of security concerns.) The list includes:

    •Weak and uncoordinated enforcement of Europe’s international borders, a situation aggravated by the chaotic influx of refugees from Syria.

    •Differences in laws and security cultures that hamper intelligence-sharing and law enforcement cooperation among nations.

    •Fragmented and incomplete databases, and the lack of a universal database of terror suspects effectively used and supplied by all European nations.

    •Short prison sentences for terrorism and violent crime that have freed ex-convicts to play prominent roles in the jihad.

    •Limited resources and support for security forces in some nations, such as Belgium and Greece — a weakness that terrorists have studied and exploited.

  14. #34
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    Bill,

    A good catch, even if the PBS programme cannot be viewed in the UK. The article from ProPublica makes many good points, although at times places too much weight on possible IT solutions, notably PNR.

    Sometimes it is the human factor that really helps, especially from those who a terrorist considers an ally or simply silent on what they are doing:
    A Syrian refugee suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Germany on behalf of Islamic State was captured by police early Monday in the eastern city of Leipzig after another Syrian lured him to an apartment, tied him up with the help of other refugees and turned him over to police.
    Link:http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/...nap-story.html

    Alas it is only after an attack, especially one with significant loss of life, that politicians respond and alter priorities - not always to the satisfaction of the "agencies" and law enforcement.

    I was puzzled at the refernce to PNR data helping in the Headley case (a US citizen assisting LeT in the Mumbai attack); ProPublica have reported on the failure to respond to help from family and friends before the attack - which can be found in various Forum threads.

    Some helpful context:
    Of the world’s jihadi foreign fighter population, there have been approximately 250 people mobilized out of 3.3m Muslims in America (a mere .000075 percent), compared with 1700 out of 4.7m Muslims in France (.00036 percent).....For example, two neighbourhoods in Brussels have produced nearly two-and-a-half times as many foreign fighters than all of America, despite the fact that America has more than five times as many Muslims.
    From:https://www.brookings.edu/research/c...ext-president/
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  15. #35
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    Default Whoops sadly

    A WSJ report on a Belgian post-event review after the Paris and Brussels attacks, after clearly some extensive access if not a copy:http://www.wsj.com/articles/secret-r...ves-1483630994

    A catalogue of missed opportunities best shown in the concluding passage:
    ... three weeks before the Paris attacks, a Belgian terror-threat analysis body detected that Salah had changed his social-media profile picture to an ISIS flag. It alerted federal police. Nothing was done with that information; the police said the case had been closed.
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  16. #36
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    Default Moderator adds

    There is - understandably - some overlap with the larger thread on the Paris attacks. See:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...=15299&page=12
    davidbfpo

  17. #37
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    Default Brussels Attacks One Year On: More Still Needs to Be Done

    A Belgian SME has written this commentary:https://rusi.org/commentary/brussels...-needs-be-done

    I noted these lines:
    According to recent figures, there were still at least 160 Belgian fighters in the region, including women and children.It is unclear how many of them will eventually return home, since a portion could fight to the death (110 Belgian fighters have died so far), while other true believers may decide to relocate to other jihadi theatres. Although it is known that around 20 of these fighters are currently negotiating with the authorities the conditions of their return, the actual number of returnees could likely be higher, adding to the 120 foreign fighters that have already returned to Belgium since 2012.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-17-2017 at 06:41 PM. Reason: 15,961v
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