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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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    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 davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Own goal - UK CT policy decisions

    In today's Daily Telegraph, under the title 'Repressive law turns terrorists into martyrs', a guest opinion column by Col. Tim Collins (of Gulf War fame for his message before war commenced): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m.../03/do0304.xml

    Pungent as one would expect from him; draws upon his Northern Ireland experience and the UK governments proposal for 42 days detention before charge (passed first legislative stage).

    davidbfpo

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    In today's Daily Telegraph, under the title 'Repressive law turns terrorists into martyrs', a guest opinion column by Col. Tim Collins (of Gulf War fame for his message before war commenced): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m.../03/do0304.xml

    Pungent as one would expect from him; draws upon his Northern Ireland experience and the UK governments proposal for 42 days detention before charge (passed first legislative stage).

    davidbfpo
    Thanks David, I read Collin's op-ed this morning and linked to it from the SWJ daily news roundup. Good read and food for thought. I also remember his message just prior to crossing the LOD during OIF I. Great stuff and spot on in my most humble opion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    In today's Daily Telegraph, under the title 'Repressive law turns terrorists into martyrs', a guest opinion column by Col. Tim Collins (of Gulf War fame for his message before war commenced): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m.../03/do0304.xml

    Pungent as one would expect from him; draws upon his Northern Ireland experience and the UK governments proposal for 42 days detention before charge (passed first legislative stage).

    davidbfpo
    Indeed.

    It would seem that the Government misses few opportunities to ignore the sound advice of experienced professionals in such matters. Is it simple incompetence, bad advice, or a reflection of a particular mentality?

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
    Indeed.

    It would seem that the Government misses few opportunities to ignore the sound advice of experienced professionals in such matters. Is it simple incompetence, bad advice, or a reflection of a particular mentality?
    A mixture of all three factors plus some others. So much of the government's policy on counter-terrorism, plus many other areas of policy, is theatre: make an announcement that appears effective, introduce new laws (often badly worded to the point of being worthless) and then wonder why no-one uses them. The Financial Times is the only UK paper to ask a year on, after one Tony Blair statement what happened to the announced policies.

    The classic was deploying light armour, tanks to London Heathrow airport a few years ago in response to a perceived threat to aviation; loved the footage until someone asked what value were they and then blamed the Army for giving them only one response option.

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi David,

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    So much of the government's policy on counter-terrorism, plus many other areas of policy, is theatre: make an announcement that appears effective, introduce new laws (often badly worded to the point of being worthless) and then wonder why no-one uses them.
    And pretty bad theatre, too! That was certainly my impression upon reading "Promoting Good Campus Relations, Fostering Shared Values and Preventing Violent Extremism in Universities and Higher Education Colleges" - schlock that wouldn't have more than a two night run if it wasn't financed by the Gov't!

    In a lot of ways, I am reminded of the reactions that appeared in North America surrounding the Satanism Scare (Google, Amazon) of the 80's and early 90's. Bad theatre, bad social science, and just plain silliness all around.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
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    Default Interagency Coordination: A Case Study of the 2005 London Bombings

    NIJ, 15 Jul 08: Interagency Coordination: A Case Study of the 2005 London Train Bombings
    This article is based on our research regarding the multiagency response to the London attacks, including barriers and ways to overcome them. As part of that National Institute of Justice-funded study, we interviewed officials from law enforcement, fire and medical services, and public health agencies who were directly involved in the July 2005 London response. We asked about their role during the response, the strategies for coordination that facilitated it, the barriers they encountered and possible strategies for improving coordination among agencies responding to emergencies.
    NIJ, 27 Oct 08: Interagency Coordination: Lessons Learned From the 2005 London Train Bombings (Part Two)
    .....We found that although protocols followed by the multiple agencies that responded to the attacks largely minimized major problems, communication, leadership and legal difficulties did affect the coordination efforts.

    The primary issues reported to us during our interviews related to communication and leadership.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default UK Counter-Terrorism (merged thread)

    The former Met Police national CT chief, Andy Hayman (2005 till December 2007), recently wrote a book on his experiences 'The Terrorist Hunters', that on 2nd July 2009 the day before public sale was hit by a civil injunction and banned (numerous newslinks, just one: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8130520.stm ).

    On 29th June 2009 he was interviewed by the BBC hardtalk programme and in just twenty four minutes talks widely. Civil liberties, public safety and much more discussed: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...k_Andy_Hayman/ A shorter interview on Sky: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/vid...tegory=UK+News

    His book was partly released in parts in The Times, with critical comments on the UK government stuctures: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6552590.ece and supporting a 7/7 inquiry http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6539369.ece

    The book had been released for reviews and is commended in: http://entertainment.timesonline.co....cle6619300.ece

    The legal case is back in court today and the grounds for the ban have yet to be given. The book is likely to be on sale outside the UK, similar to the 'Spycatcher' affair many years ago and became a bestseller.

    davidbfpo

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    Default Hi

    He fell out with the politicians. This will be interesting.

  18. #18
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    Default Puzzling - a silent court case

    MajorMarginal,

    In a very odd way this case has fallen out of view, even Andy hayman's own website: http://andyhayman.com/index.html has little to say about what has happened to the injunction. Previously the website referred to a court hearing last Friday, earlier his week it reported the case had disappeared from the listing. Today's update suggests Scottish politicians (not Labour, but Scottish Nationalists) are upset at his comments.

    As befits a modern society some of his books were sold publically, aside from numerous review copies in circulation.

    Puzzling start to a legal case.

    davidbfpo

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    Default UK CT arrests: an emerging story

    I think this deserves its own thread and so I will move a few post here. Yes, this post will then appear not at the start.
    davidbfpo

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    Default UK CT arrests: an emerging story

    British police say they have arrested 12 men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in Britain. The men were taken from different areas around the country as a result of counter-terrorism intelligence work. The country remains on high alert.

    Police picked up the men in early morning raids in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent in central England, Cardiff in Wales; and, in the capital, London. The men are between the ages of 17 and 24.
    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/...112197989.html
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