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Thread: UK Counter-Terrorism (merged thread)

  1. #81
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Steve Coll adds a different, long term perspective and ends:

    Link:http://www.newyorker.com/talk/commen...#ixzz2LuFQXBpA

    In discussions with analysts one conclusion was that a name change for AQ could make CT strategy difficult, which may explain why of late new names appear for what were suspected to be AQ affiliates.
    Terrorism is about branding. The AQ brand is either dead or on life support right now.

    Pre-9/11 AQ was like the Harvard of terrorism – you had to apply and few were selected. These days AQ is like a community college where anyone can show up so long as they have a pulse and a checkbook.

    We are literally finding feeble-minded suspects in the west trying to launch attacks under the AQ brand. Actual frittata's – I swear some of these guys will burn their lips on an exhaust pipe trying to blow-up a bus.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  2. #82
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default AQ Is Weak and Bungling - But Still Dangerous

    A short article by Andy Liepman, formerly at the US NCTC and now a senior policy analyst at RAND. Amidst is this passage:
    Whether in Pakistan after evacuating Afghanistan or its current foray into Syria from its base in Iraq, al Qaeda remains a force to be reckoned with.

    Al Qaeda's message has steadily lost resonance, but as long as it takes root among even a tiny minority of potential recruits, it is premature to declare victory. With skill and persistence, a balanced appreciation for the threats that exist, and an enemy that continually shoots itself in the foot, the United States and its allies continue to make steady progress. Al Qaeda's operational capabilities are diminished, yet just one suicide bomber taking down an aircraft full of innocents would change that narrative abruptly.
    Link:http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/...-but-dangerous

    Although mentioned elsewhere about Syria it is interesting to contrast Andy's article with Bruce Hoffman's - which would not have such a headline:http://www.middleeast-armscontrol.co...rorism-threat/
    davidbfpo

  3. #83
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    It has never been about any organization, it has always been about the underlying forces of causation that these organizations emerge from and tap into.

    To celebrate the "end of AQ" is like celebrating the melting of snow in December...It it is still winter new snow will replace the old. Same with insurgency or with UW organizations such as AQ who tap into the insurgent conditions of others.

    Not much, beyond the self-help of Arab Spring, has been done to address the conditions AQ taps into. The West is still chasing symptoms and blaming ideology, poor economies, etc.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  4. #84
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Spies tempted to cut corners, says MI5 boss

    A newspaper story based on a forthcoming BBC Radio programme and a rare interview of Jonathan Evans, the Director of the Security Service (MI5):
    One of the things I say always to new members of the Service is that there may be a temptation to cut those corners but in the longer term that will be a real problem to us....We depend on the support of government and ultimately on the support of the British people to do the sort of things that we do. They have a right to be confident that we will be doing this in a way which is legal, which is proportionate and which is done in accordance with high ethical standards.
    In the two-part series, In Defence of Bureaucracy, Mr Evans insists that bureaucracy helps MI5 officers to do their jobs:
    It means that officers can act with confidence that what they are doing is appropriate and proportionate and that there are those checks and balances in the system.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-MI5-boss.html
    davidbfpo

  5. #85
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default UK CT isn't just about 'amateur fanatics'

    Two commentaries from RUSI analysts, one reviewing the UK CT strategy Operation Contest after an official publication last week:http://www.rusi.org/analysis/comment.../#.UWVgKqLvvfI

    The second by Raffaello Pantucci is a longer comment on Operation Pitsford, the plot based in Birmingham:http://raffaellopantucci.com/2013/04...teur-fanatics/

    The BBC reports two more guilty pleas in this case:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22091107

    The BBC radio has just referred to a new trial of one of the defendant's wife being tried over her failure to tell the authorities of the plot:http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/l...se.asp?ID=4570 and a week later was found not guilty by the jury:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22221665

    A local paper reports:
    All 11 are due to be sentenced later this month.
    Posts 64-70 were in a separate thread and were moved here today.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-19-2013 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Add link and update
    davidbfpo

  6. #86
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Operation Pitsford: sentencing complete

    Two BBC reports on:
    The investigation in Birmingham, known as Operation Pitsford, uncovered a cell of would-be suicide bombers who were trying to recruit others to their cause.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22305095

    If one thing is clear from the massive Operation Pitsford trial, it's that the life of a would-be jihadist is far removed from the fantasy of al-Qaeda propaganda....The tale is reminiscent of a scene from the grim black comedy film, Four Lions, and we'll never know what really happened.....Mosquitoes posed a more immediate threat than American drones, and if the insects weren't going to get the Brits, the unbearable heat would.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22310419
    davidbfpo

  7. #87
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default UK CT was lucky this time

    After the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing an PIRA spokesman stated:
    Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once
    Today six aspiring Jihadist terrorists pleaded guilty to plotting an attack @ Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in June 2012, on a protest meeting held by the English Defence League (EDL), commonly labelled an extreme right / nationalist group.

    Luckily:
    ...by the time the group arrived the crowd of around 450 protestors had completely dispersed.
    What is significant IMHO is this is the first Jihadist planned attack on the EDL in the UK. It only failed as they arrived late. The six were all UK citizens, of Bangladeshi and Kashmiri origin, from East Birmingham mainly; their prepared leaflets stated:
    To the EDL (English Drunkards League). O enemies of Allah! We have heard and seen you openly insulting the final Messenger of Allah... you should know that for every action there is a reaction. Today is a day of retaliation (especially) for your blasphemy of Allah and his Messenger Muhammad. We love death more than you love life. The penalty for blasphemy of Allah and his Messenger Muhammad is death.
    The attack was discovered after a routine traffic stop, as one car used came up as being uninsured:
    The gang had purchased car insurance over the phone earlier that day but because the wrong registration number had been provided, the car flashed up as uninsured.
    See:http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/ap...dar?CMP=twt_gu

    The car was seized and the contents were discovered when the recovery operator opened the boot, to conduct an inventory. Their weapons:
    ..two previously stolen sawn-off shotguns and nine cartridges, 11 bladed items, parts of a partially constructed pipe bomb, a firework-based IED containing 359 nails and 93 ball bearings...
    Photos:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22353636

    Only then did the police discover what the plotters intended. Needless to say there are other aspects, but the police and partners were not aware of the attacker's intentions or assembly of weapons.

    Police press release, with video of the routine stop:http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/l...se.asp?ID=4658

    A BBC report, which covers 'did the police miss the plot':http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22344054

    A comment by the EDL's leftist opponents:http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/edl-demo-bomb-plot/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-29-2017 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Link redundant and removed.
    davidbfpo

  8. #88
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Odd selection of a target, no?

    I understand the insulting of the Prophet Muhammad grievance, but it would seem that from the jihadi perspective the EDL would be useful in polarizing/alienating moderate Muslims.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  9. #89
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Bourbon,

    Here is one commentary by two analysts on the radicalization theme, the headline:
    The failed EDL rally plot shows how much extremists need each other; Both the would-be terrorists who plotted the Dewsbury attack and the EDL rely on each other to incite their supporters' hatred.
    Link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...-need#show-all

    IMHO the plotters sought to ignite community conflict, preferably showing only the Jihadists fought the evil EDL, whatever the price paid. A good reminder how evil they were.
    davidbfpo

  10. #90
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default We will remember them: 1982 Hyde Park Bombing man charged

    What a surprise:
    A man has been charged with four counts of murder over the 1982 bombing in Hyde Park which killed 11 people, the Crown Prosecution Service has said. The four members of the Royal Household Cavalry were travelling to Buckingham Palace when they were killed.
    Thin BBC report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22625104

    Slightly more in he prosecution (CPS) press statement:http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_ne...yde_park_bomb/

    There is a recent SWJ article on the Hyde park bombings, there were two bombs that day, the cavalry and a military band playing in the nearby park:http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...n-july-20-1982

    There is a long running 'catch all' thread on Northern Ireland:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=3576

    The Provisional IRA had a saying "We have not gone away", well nor has the police investigation and now we await the trial process.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-22-2013 at 11:11 AM.
    davidbfpo

  11. #91
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Irish Republican reaction

    From the BBC:
    Sinn Fein Assembly Member Gerry Kelly said: "The decision to arrest and charge him in relation to IRA activities in the early 1980s is vindictive, unnecessary and unhelpful. It will cause anger within the republican community. Clearly, if John Downey had been arrested and convicted previously he would have been released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. This development represents bad faith and a departure from what was previously agreed by both governments. John Downey needs to be released and allowed to return home to his family.
    Note:
    Anyone convicted of a terrorist offence in the UK or Republic of Ireland before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement on 15 April 1998 is entitled to apply to the Sentence Review Commission to be considered for release after serving two years in jail.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22625104
    davidbfpo

  12. #92
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    Default Islamic attack on British Soldier, Woolwich Barracks

    A British soldier was brutally murdered yesterday (Wednesday 22nd May 20113). As usual the politicians (in particular the git Boris Johnson) were quick to state that the attack had nothing to do with Islam. Allah-u-Akbar to that brother! With politicians like that who needs enemies. Once again I hear that magic word "radicalised" being thrown around (no doubt to help liberals sleep better at night). And once again I know we (they in actual fact) are going to gloss over the deeper causes of this heinous crime.

    Apparently the two were known to the security service and police.
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 05-23-2013 at 01:19 PM.

  13. #93
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    The stomach wrenching part about something like this is that from the point of view of the powerful, it is better the innocent man die than the powerful be viewed as being other than PC.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  14. #94
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    The stomach wrenching part about something like this is that from the point of view of the powerful, it is better the innocent man die than the powerful be viewed as being other than PC.
    If the British had a "2nd amendment right" this whole situation might have been different. A Soldier with no weapon, killed in broad daylight and then the jihad jerk goes before a TV camera and starts his Jihad Jive routine. I hope the British give him a fair trial and then Hang Him High and slow!


    Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9f7y6mXSPA
    Last edited by slapout9; 05-23-2013 at 07:09 PM. Reason: added video

  15. #95
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Tukhachevskii:

    I have a question, for David too, that relates to what Slap wrote about trying these killers. It has been years since the Ft. Hood killer and the thing that killed the women and children in the night in Afghanistan committed their crimes, crimes of which there is no doubt that they are guilty. Yet, it has been years and their trails are nowhere in sight. Will the British take as long to try and convict the obviously guilty as we do?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  16. #96
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    Default Can foreign policy be blamed?

    I have a comment on this issue that I am reproducing here for your opinion:
    http://www.brownpundits.com/2013/05/...-for-woolwich/

    ... I think Kenan Malik should have devoted more space to shaming the left wing commentators who wish to glorify this atrocity as a political statement..an understandable if unfortunate expression of “Muslim rage”. Sure, Fox News does more than that with their pet news items, but is it too much to expect Greenwald to ease off for a few days? He and his ilk are saying “this is a response to UK foreign policy”. What if someone spent the first five days after Breivik’s massacre explaining how it was a “response to Muslim immigration” and could have been avoided if Muslims stop immigrating to Christian lands? Would that strike some people as an unacceptable attempt to profit from a terrible atrocity?
    A deranged murderer can come up with whatever explanation HE thinks is justification for his action, but it is still worth it to try and make some distinction between an organized political attack (no matter how good or bad or moral or immoral) and what is a deranged act that really does not deserve to be classifed as a component of ANY political project.
    As an example of a crime that IS part of an organized political effort, see 9-11. It was not the act of one or two deranged criminals, but a systematic well thought out effort carried out by an organization with clear political aims. It was a war crime, but at least it was an organized, well thought out war crime with an ideology that explains the crime. THIS deranged murder does not deserve to be included in the same register of war crimes (or heroic acts of anti-imperialist resistance).
    its a fuzzy line, but its there.

    i know that the IRA targeted soldiers and that was clearly a political cause. But I am thinking of this specific crime; it does not appear that these two butchers are part of any organized group working in any systematic way (more information may change that assessment, but current information does not seem to suggest that).
    By suggesting that their act is part of a political struggle against British imperialism, Greenwald and company are elevating them to a level they did not actually achieve in their lives. This assessment may change if new facts come to light, but until then, this is the kind of nutjob crime that does not deserve to be discussed as a serious policy problem. That, in fact, would be the best way to encourage the next nutjob with a real or imaginary grievance to commit some other atrocity.

  17. #97
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default RIP Fusilier Drummer Lee Rigby

    This murder was not unexpected - in the general sense - and the response has been media-driven. Partly as Woolwich is in South East London, so close to the home of most UK broadcast media and the decision by ITN to use a film clip of one suspect murderer giving his reasons.

    There is a deluge of reporting, some of which is speculative, so I have selected a few which I found helpful.

    Once more Raffaello Pantucci, of RUSI, is worth a read:http://www.rusi.org/analysis/comment.../#.UZ90AFIayc1

    He ends with:
    From a security perspective, the dilemma is two-fold. On the one hand, how to identify lone actor terrorists who may feature in a larger intelligence picture, but do little to distinguish themselves from the crowd. And on the other, how to manage societal tensions when extremists on both sides prove eager to incite violent reactions in others.
    Steve Hewitt, an academic, being a Canadian based here, offers a calm response and this point is one too many ignore:
    The terrorists can’t defeat British society; only British society can do that by exaggerating the power of the terrorists. That happens when we overreact to their atrocities.
    Link:http://www.cityam.com/article/woolwi...-crude-threats

    Simon Jenkins, a London-based commentator, looks at the all powerful role of the media, with a pithy few passages:
    When Cameron yesterday said we should defy terror by going about our normal business, he was right. Why did he not do so?

    It is this echo chamber of horror, set up by the media, public figures and government, that does much of terrorism's job for it. It converts mere crimes into significant acts. It turns criminals into heroes in the eyes of their admirers. It takes violence and graces it with the terms of a political debate. The danger is that this debate is one the terrorist might sometimes win.
    Link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ria?CMP=twt_gu

    Kings of War asks whether ITN was right, with fifty-four responses (as yet unread):http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2013/05/dea...out-terrorism/

    Alan Judd, a more conservative writer uses a "broader brush" and ends with:
    We should be watchful, very watchful, but not afraid. To fear them would be to grant them a kind of victory.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...the-radar.html

    What was the "tipping point" for the two suspects to move from being extremists to using violence? In the last hour one friend has alleged:
    Woolwich terrorist...en route to al-Shabaab.... allegedly imprisoned and tortured by Kenyan authorities. This flipped him.
    Actual BBC Newsnight interview on link, after the interview the speaker was arrested on the premises by the police:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22664457

    As they say a "developing story".

    One suspect features in a short film clip "preaching":http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=gyT6Wqc_HZc

    In the clip a white male, with a ginger beard holding a camcorder features; is Richard Dart, a convert, who was recently jailed for terrorism matters:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-offences.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-25-2013 at 01:59 PM.
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  18. #98
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    I updated my post with some background about what bothers me here..

    http://www.brownpundits.com/2013/05/...-for-woolwich/

  19. #99
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default How long from crime to court?

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Tukhachevskii:

    I have a question, for David too, that relates to what Slap wrote about trying these killers. It has been years since the Ft. Hood killer and the thing that killed the women and children in the night in Afghanistan committed their crimes, crimes of which there is no doubt that they are guilty. Yet, it has been years and their trails are nowhere in sight. Will the British take as long to try and convict the obviously guilty as we do?
    Carl,

    No would be a simple answer. Nearly all contemporary terrorism-related trials occur in England, so I've not looked at cases in Northern Ireland (which has different laws) or Scotland.

    Criminal trials here do not recognise 'the obviously guilty'.

    Once a suspect is charged they must appear before a Crown Court within sixty days, for plea and direction. Very few terrorism suspects get bail, being in custody is supposed to accelerate the state's trial preparation; secondly few plead guilty until trial. There is a procedure now to signal a guilty plea before trial and get a lesser sentence.

    Here are four examples: Moinul Abedin, B'ham's first AQ plotter, arrested 17th November 2000, trial February 2002; 21st July 2005 London bombers, not guilty trial ended with convictions 9th July 2007; B'ham's Operation Gamble, arrests 31st January 2007, two pleaded not guilty and trial February 2008 (one acquitted, one convicted) and Ahmed Faraz, B'ham bookshop owner, first arrested January 2007, not charged, arrested in 2010 charged and trial October 2011.

    There was one terror plot in London which IIRC had three trials, after the juries at two trials were unconvinced and that took time to conclude. See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_tr..._aircraft_plot

    One London trial took a year in court and the jury were out for a month.

    I cannot recall a terrorism related case not reaching trial within two years.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Britain forms extremism task force

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/26/world/...html?hpt=hp_t1

    The group, led by Cameron, will "have a general focus on extremist groups, but accept that in practice the greatest threat is from Islamist extremists," a statement from Downing Street said.

    The Muslim Council of Britain said the task force needs to look at "extremism from all quarters" while forming an effective strategy.
    It gets to a point where you can't ignore the reality in your facing, it is shame it took over 10 years.

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