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Thread: UK Counter-Terrorism (merged thread)

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    Council Member Tc2642's Avatar
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    Default MI5: 30 terror plots being planned in UK

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/...944351,00.html

    MI5 has identified 30 major terrorist plots being planned in Britain and is targeting more than 1,600 individuals actively engaged in promoting attacks here and abroad, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of the agency, warns today.

    The 30 plots are the most serious of many more planned by some 200 British-based "networks" involved in terrorism, she said in a speech seen by the Guardian. In a gloomy assessment of the home-grown terrorist threat, MI5 says most of those involved are British-born, and most are connected with al-Qaida.

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    Default Global Guerrillas in the U.K.

    John Robb at the Global Guerrillas blog - Global Guerrillas in the U.K....

    The spread of the open source war to the West isn't a matter of speculation or conjecture. It's real and tangible as new groups/networks emerge with increasing frequency (see this brief for more on the community dynamics of open source group formation). A measure of those networks we do know about in the UK, was provided on November 9th 2006 by Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, director general of the MI5 (a person rarely given to hype). She provides us (see the original transcript) with the following...
    Much more at the link...

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    Default The International Terrorist Threat to the U.K.

    Speech by the Director of the Security Service, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, at Queen Mary's College, 9 November 2006:

    ... I speak not as a politician, nor as a pundit, but as someone who has been an intelligence professional for 32 years...

    We now know that the first Al-Qaida-related plot against the UK was the one we discovered and disrupted in November 2000 in Birmingham. A British citizen is currently serving a long prison sentence for plotting to detonate a large bomb in the UK. Let there be no doubt about this: the international terrorist threat to this country is not new. It began before Iraq, before Afghanistan, and before 9/11.

    In the years after 9/11, with atrocities taking place in Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul and elsewhere, terrorists plotted to mount a string of attacks in the UK, but were disrupted...

    Last month the Lord Chancellor said that there were a total of 99 defendants awaiting trial in 34 cases. Of course the presumption of innocence applies and the law dictates that nothing must be said or done which might prejudice the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial...

    What I can say is that today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals (and there will be many we don't know) who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas. The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. This view is shared, in some degree, by a far wider constituency. If the opinion polls conducted in the UK since July 2005 are only broadly accurate, over 100,000 of our citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified.

    What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK. Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices; tomorrow's threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology. More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalised or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organised training events here and overseas, by images on television, through chat rooms and websites on the Internet.

    The propaganda machine is sophisticated and Al-Qaida itself says that 50% of its war is conducted through the media. In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage downloaded onto the Internet within 30 minutes. Virtual media teams then edit the result, translate it into English and many other languages, and package it for a worldwide audience. And, chillingly, we see the results here. Young teenagers being groomed to be suicide bombers.

    We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten? No, nearer thirty - that we know of. These plots often have links back to Al-Qaida in Pakistan and through those links Al-Qaida gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale. And it is not just the UK of course. Other countries also face a new terrorist threat: from Spain to France to Canada and Germany...

    But just consider this. A terrorist spectacular would cost potentially thousands of lives and do major damage to the world economy. Imagine if a plot to bring down several passenger aircraft succeeded. Thousands dead, major economic damage, disruption across the globe. And Al-Qaida is an organisation without restraint.

    There has been much speculation about what motivates young men and women to carry out acts of terrorism in the UK. My Service needs to understand the motivations behind terrorism to succeed in countering it, as far as that is possible. Al-Qaida has developed an ideology which claims that Islam is under attack, and needs to be defended.

    This is a powerful narrative that weaves together conflicts from across the globe, presenting the West's response to varied and complex issues, from long-standing disputes such as Israel/Palestine and Kashmir to more recent events as evidence of an across-the-board determination to undermine and humiliate Islam worldwide. Afghanistan, the Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kashmir and Lebanon are regularly cited by those who advocate terrorist violence as illustrating what they allege is Western hostility to Islam.

    The video wills of British suicide bombers make it clear that they are motivated by perceived worldwide and long-standing injustices against Muslims; an extreme and minority interpretation of Islam promoted by some preachers and people of influence; and their interpretation as anti-Muslim of UK foreign policy, in particular the UK's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Killing oneself and others in response is an attractive option for some citizens of this country and others around the world...

    As I said earlier, I have been an intelligence officer for some 32 years. And I want again to describe what intelligence is and is not. I wish life were like 'Spooks', where everything is (a) knowable, and (b) soluble by six people. But those whose plans we wish to detect in advance are determined to conceal from us what they intend to do. And every day they learn. From the mistakes of others. From what they discover of our capabilities from evidence presented in court, and from leaks to the media.

    Moreover, intelligence is usually bitty and needs piecing together, assessing, judging. It takes objectivity, integrity and a sceptical eye to make good use of intelligence: even the best of it never tells the whole story. On the basis of such incomplete information, my Service and the police make decisions on when and how to take action, to protect public safety...

    We are faced by acute and very difficult choices of prioritisation. We cannot focus on everything so we have to decide on a daily basis with the police and others where to focus our energies, whom to follow, whose telephone lines need listening to, which seized media needs to go to the top of the analytic pile. Because of the sheer scale of what we face (80% increase in casework since January), the task is daunting. We won't always make the right choices. And we recognise we shall have scarce sympathy if we are unable to prevent one of our targets committing an atrocity...

    As I speak, my staff, roughly 2,800 of them, (an increase of almost 50% since 9/11, 25% under 30, over 6% from ethnic minorities, with 52 languages, with links to well over 100 services worldwide), are working very hard, at some cost to their private lives and in some cases their safety, to do their utmost to collect the intelligence we need.

    The first challenge is to find those who would cause us harm, among the 60 million or so people who live here and the hundreds of thousands who visit each year. That is no easy task, particularly given the scale and speed of radicalisation and the age of some being radicalised.

    The next stage is to decide what action to take in response to that intelligence. Who are merely talking big, and who have real ambitions? Who have genuine aspirations to commit terrorism, but lack the know-how or materials? Who are the skilled and trained ones, who the amateurs? Where should we and the police focus our finite resources? ...

    On July 8 last year I spoke to all my staff. I said that what we feared would happen had finally happened. I reminded them that we had warned that it was a matter of when, not if, and that they were trained to respond - indeed many had been up all night, from the intelligence staff to the catering staff. I told them that we had received many messages of support from around the world, and that we, along with our colleagues in the police and emergency services, were in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. And we did. And we have done so since.

    My Service is growing very rapidly. By 2008 it will be twice the size it was at 9/11. We know much more than we did then. We have developed new techniques, new sources, new relationships. We understand much better the scale and nature of what we are tackling but much is still obscure and radicalisation continues. Moreover, even with such rapid growth, we shall not be able to investigate nearly enough of the problem, so the prioritisation I mentioned earlier will remain essential but risky. And new intelligence officers need to be trained. That takes time as does the acquisition of experience, the experience that helps one with those difficult choices and tough judgements...

    That brings me on to my final point. None of this can be tackled by my Service alone. Others have to address the causes, counter the radicalisation, assist in the rehabilitation of those affected, and work to protect our way of life...

    Safety for us all means working together to protect those we care about, being alert to the danger without over-reacting, and reporting concerns. We need to be alert to attempts to radicalise and indoctrinate our youth and to seek to counter it. Radicalising elements within communities are trying to exploit grievances for terrorist purposes; it is the youth who are being actively targeted, groomed, radicalised and set on a path that frighteningly quickly could end in their involvement in mass murder of their fellow UK citizens, or their early death in a suicide attack or on a foreign battlefield...

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default In Hunt for Bomb Plotters, Britain Sees a Qaeda Link

    2 July NY Times - In Hunt for Bomb Plotters, Britain Sees a Qaeda Link by Alan Cowell and Raymond Bonner.

    With their investigation moving at breakneck speed, the police expanded their hunt on Sunday for the plotters of attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow that the British government called the work of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda. Officers raided homes in three cities and arrested another suspect, bringing the total to five, including at least one identified as a medical doctor.

    The police said they had recovered a rich trove of evidence from the vehicles and from video surveillance after two car bombs failed to explode in London on Friday and two men rammed a Jeep Cherokee into the entrance of Glasgow Airport on Saturday. The events prompted the British authorities to raise their terrorism threat assessment to its highest level — “critical,” meaning another attack is imminent...
    2 July Washington Post - 5 Suspects Held in British Bomb Attempts by Mary Jordan and Craig Whitlock.

    British police arrested a fifth person Sunday and raided homes in three cities in connection with attempted car bombings that officials say are connected to al-Qaeda.

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who took over from Tony Blair on Wednesday, said in a nationally televised interview that "we are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda."

    On Friday, police in London found two Mercedes sedans packed with propane gas, gasoline and nails and said the drivers had intended to detonate them and kill as many people as possible. On Saturday in Glasgow, two men crashed a Jeep containing propane gas into the main terminal of the Glasgow Airport, setting it on fire. Those two men are in custody...
    2 July London Times - Hunt for Terror Cell by Michael Evans and Adam Fresco.

    The terrorist group behind the latest wave of bombing plots has not yet been neutralised and other attacks could hit cities in the United Kingdom, security sources told The Times yesterday.

    As the head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command confirmed that the two car bombs discovered in London and the blazing Jeep incident at Glasgow airport were linked, a source said: “There is a group of individuals out there who have the capability and the intent to carry out attacks in the UK.

    “In our judgment it is very likely there will be further attacks.”

    The alert status was raised to “critical” at the weekend and will stay there until MI5 and the police are sure that there are no further attacks being planned by the cell. Those responsible for parking two bomb-primed cars in the West End are still on the run...

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    Default Hands That Heal, Hands That Bomb

    MSNBC is reporting two (2) doctors have been arrested:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19522388/

    -not your average underprivliged, oppressed, poor angry young man lashing out in frustration and hopelessness. That just happens in France where they torched a couple thousand vehicles. I wondered about the use of Mercedes Benz cars.....

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    MSNBC is reporting two (2) doctors have been arrested:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19522388/

    -not your average underprivliged, oppressed, poor angry young man lashing out in frustration and hopelessness. That just happens in France where they torched a couple thousand vehicles. I wondered about the use of Mercedes Benz cars.....

    It struck me that the UK terrorist organization (and AQ for that matter) is similar to white supremacists in the United States--a few well educated sociopaths organize and run the thing, but most of the foot soldiers are buffoons, incompetents, and losers.

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    Council Member Abu Buckwheat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    It struck me that the UK terrorist organization (and AQ for that matter) is similar to white supremacists in the United States--a few well educated sociopaths organize and run the thing, but most of the foot soldiers are buffoons, incompetents, and losers.
    Excellent analysis! This was a most amateurish attempt. The bombs were very similar to the 7/21/05 amateur bombers... not like the 7/7/05 SPBIEDs who hit the subways ... the bombs are similar too. We call these guys Class 5 terrorists ... amateurs.
    Putting Foot to Al Qaeda Ass Since 1993

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    Christiane Amanpour had a CNN special last night about the Islamic rift in England and the general feel of the piece was the extremists are by far in the minority. What got my attention though was mention of a poll taken of English Muslims in which 14% of those surveyed regarded the subway bombers of 2 years ago as martyrs. No particulars of the survery were given however and it said that 49% of the people surveyed regarded the war in Iraq as a significant factor in the subway attacks. That's noteworthy in light of so many Shias and Sunnis killing each other in mosques and market places.

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    Council Member Tc2642's Avatar
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    Default Duo who attacked Glasgow airport 'were resigned to death', say officers

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2033389.ece

    Constable Stewart Ferguson, 40, was off duty at the airport on Saturday and was talking to Sergeant Torquil Campbell when they ran around to the front of the terminal to find a burning Jeep wedged into building.
    One of the occupants, believed to be the passenger, unoficially identified as Dr Bilal Abdulla, started attacking Mr Campbell, and trying, he said, to keep him away from the flaming vehicle.
    As he fought with the man, his colleague grabbed a fire extinguisher and hosed down a second man, said to be Kafeel Ahmed, coming out of the flames.
    Once the flames were out he aimed the extinguisher into the man’s eyes to disorientate him.
    Speaking about the incident for the first time, Mr Ferguson said: “I remember his injuries and to me they were the most horrific injuries I had seen on a living person.
    “In my opinion he was resigned to death.”
    Mr Campbell, 49, said: “They were just waiting for death. The fact that they were still alive perplexed them a little bit and they didn’t know what to do.”
    Also, an interesting story on:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/...119590,00.html

    A man described as the "godfather of cyber-terrorism for al-Qaida" and two of his associates were today given prison sentences totalling 24 years.

    The three were sentenced at Woolwich crown court after pleading guilty to inciting people to commit murder through their extremist websites. They had all changed their pleas earlier this week, two months into the trial.

    The case is the first successful prosecution based entirely on the distribution of extremist material on the internet.

    Moroccan-born computer expert Younis Tsouli, the ringleader, who ran a site that regularly featured beheadings, was imprisoned for 10 years.
    and,

    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/cri...cle2737954.ece
    A failed asylum seeker who hoarded manuals on how to carry out bombings using cars filled with gas bottles was facing jail today.

    In a chilling echo of the Glasgow and London attacks, nightclubs and airports were amongst the 'suitable targets' identified in the 'vast library' of terror material found on the computer of Omar Altimimi.

    The 37-year-old, who had links to Arab terrorists, had collected detailed information on how to set up terror cells in the UK, ways to make explosives and how car bombs can be detonated at the entrances to buildings via remote control.

    Described by security sources as a "clean skin", Altimimi was not known as a terror suspect when he came to England to "blend-in" by applying for jobs with the police and as a teacher.

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    Default Amateur hour

    Best thing I've read on the episode:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07...iocy_outbreak/

    Don't know if any of you have read his book, I doubt it was published in the U.S., but it's a heck of a polemic, well worth a weekend read:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lions-Donkey...3936286&sr=8-1

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Iraq cell may be tied to British plots

    LA Times Staff Writer Sebastian Rotella reports

    LONDON — If the past is any guide, the investigation of the attempted car bombings in Britain will lead overseas to an Islamic network affiliated with Al Qaeda.

    The question, investigators and experts say, is whether the trail of the would-be bombers will confirm fears that the threat from the war-torn Iraq region is escalating.

    But the background of the apparent chief suspect, Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdullah, suggests a more direct connection: networks in the Iraq region that are linked to Al Qaeda and that select and dispatch operatives on a mission to Britain, experts say. Abdullah's medical credentials, British passport and suspected ties to Sunni fundamentalists in Iraq could make him an ideal leader for a plan to hit London with a taste of Baghdad-style carnage, experts say.

    "This is exactly what a number of us in the intelligence world had been predicting," said David Omand, who served as Britain's security and intelligence coordinator until April 2005. "The concern was that Al Qaeda in Iraq would turn their minds to attacks outside Iraq. It's not really a strategic surprise. It looks like there's that connection to Iraq."

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    Default - Additional Complications

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288623,00.html

    "Britain Not Sharing Terror Probe Intel, Interpol Chief Says
    Monday, July 09, 2007

    LONDON — The head of Interpol said Monday that Britain has not shared any information gleaned from the investigation of three failed car bomb attacks, which he said is symptomatic of London's reluctance to join in global efforts to combat terrorism."

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288623,00.html

    "Britain Not Sharing Terror Probe Intel, Interpol Chief Says
    Monday, July 09, 2007

    LONDON — The head of Interpol said Monday that Britain has not shared any information gleaned from the investigation of three failed car bomb attacks, which he said is symptomatic of London's reluctance to join in global efforts to combat terrorism."
    Interesting, the MET's SO13 and SO15 branches are openly sharing with our LEs and EOD Techs.

    We've attended their courses over the last 3 years, but I doubt that would be a reason to share with us.

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    -they might be too preoccupied at present to do much sharing, but then I don't believe everything on the net.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=56503

    "Muslims declare sovereignty over U.S., UK
    Hear Islamic leaders in London: 'Queen Elizabeth, go to hell!'

    Posted: July 9, 2007
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    By Art Moore
    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

    Across town from the site of the recent attempted car-bomb attacks, several thousand Muslims gathered in front of the London Central Mosque to applaud fiery preachers prophesying the overthrow of the British government – a future vision that encompasses an Islamic takeover of the White House and the rule of the Quran over America.

    "One day my dear Muslims," shouted Anjem Choudary, "Islam will govern Britain!"

    Choudary was a co-founder of Al Muhajiroun, the now-banned group tied to suspects in the July 7, 2005, London transport bombings and a cheerleader of the 9/11 attacks.

    "Democracy, hypocrisy," Choudary chanted as the crowd echoed him. "Tony Blair, terrorist! Tony Blair, murderer! Queen Elizabeth, go to hell!"

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Britain's new anti-terrorism tool

    The whole thing's got me wondering just a tad more these days.

    From the LA Times

    LONDON — Britain's new security chief warned Sunday that the domestic battle against Islamic militancy could take up to 15 years, and said Britons must start sharing information about neighbors they suspect of involvement in terrorism.

    Adm. Alan West, the former navy chief whom Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently named security minister, said a new approach was critical.

    "Britishness does not normally involve snitching or talking about someone," he told the Sunday Telegraph. "I'm afraid, in this situation, anyone who's got any information should say something because the people we are talking about are trying to destroy our entire way of life."

    He said preventing the radicalization of young British Muslims was his top priority.

    "I believe it will take 10 to 15 years," he said. "But I think it can be done as long as we as a nation apply ourselves to it and it's done across the board."

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    Chatham House, Oct 07: Islam, Politics and Security in the UK
    ....Through examining the anti-war movement in Britain, this paper
    explores the complexity and potential of Muslim activism and identifies several areas where further work needs to be done and actions taken. We can use this example to understand better how improved dialogue and interaction through activism may strengthen cross-cultural ties. Muslim identity is diffuse, complex, and fractious. There are multiple national origins, Islamic sects, languages, practices and beliefs. Muslim identity in Britain has been conceived as a singular and static primary identifier, being what social scientists term essentialized as an unchangeable and fixed category. This results in a stereotype of what a Muslim is and should be, and hinders others in society who struggle to understand this complexity (but who have little difficulty distinguishing vastly different segments within Christianity).

    As many Muslims in Britain have found, ‘the intersection of religion and identity is complex’, where they have had to contend with what it is to be British while simultaneously being influenced by their ancestors’ homeland, their local community, and their faith, with many constructing multiple identities such as being British/Pakistani/Muslim.5 For many Muslim anti-war activists their politicization afforded an opportunity (and even a necessity) to create identities and to challenge the hierarchies established by their elders. Thus ‘the making of a British Islam is an ongoing, unfinished process of experimentation, diversity and debate’. It is this conflict over how to be British and Muslim that is exacerbating the alienation felt by some Muslim youth and creating a space for ‘fundamentalism’.....

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