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Old 03-28-2012   #41
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Default Online Attribution of the French Killer

A very interesting aspect covered by KoW Blog, which opens with:
Quote:
Mohammed Merah, the culprit of the killing of 7 people in France last week, was found using a mix of traditional and online forensics. This case highlights that online attribution/identification is possible with a sound Internet governance model, but it also raises a few questions.
Link:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2012/03/onl...french-killer/
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Old 03-28-2012   #42
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Not really having time for posting links but according to French press:
Merah had psychiatric past. He was detained for 15 days in a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt.
But more important, there could be a third man (the seccond one being his brother). Al Jazira received videos of the murders that were posted out of Toulouse by someone who is not Merah.

I tend to believe that a cell with less than 3 to 4 people is almost not detectable before it becomes active. Even more when it is a one person who becomes active in a 3 to 4 person dormant cell.
That said, I have no clue or expertise to say if Merah was part of such a cell.
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Old 03-28-2012   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Maybe sometimes guys just won't go down. The Filippinos and the Moros were famous for that 100 and more years ago.
Were drugs involved?

I can tell you that you hit him with one 7.62x51mm NATO and it puts him on his ass... but in the close confines of a small house or apartment I concede a short, light weapon may be needed (9mm) then its all in the ammo, yes?

What use is ammo that you hit him with but does not stop him firing back at you? Too damn sporting for my liking! I wouldn't send my troopies into a situation like that.
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Old 03-28-2012   #44
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JMA: To my knowledge there were no drugs involved, just very highly motivated guys who were moving very fast often times swinging razor sharp edged weapons. I read that the Army troops started out with .38 cal double action pistols and many went back to using .45 cal single action pistols because they were a bit more effective in putting people down quickly. Google Juramentados but there is at least one bad error about pig remains in the Wiki article. There should be a lot of other good refs on the net.

Try this site also, very interesting.

http://www.morolandhistory.com/

The war in the Philippines and Moroland in the early 1900s is fascinating. I don't know if you can easily get books about that in SA but if you can I think you would find it interesting. Once upon a time, we knew how to fight small wars.
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Old 03-31-2012   #45
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Default Issues often pushed out of sight

An interesting commentary on the wider issues in France, which are often seen in other places, that opens with:
Quote:
In 'sensitive urban zones' where a third of residents live below the poverty line and unemployment among young people is over 40%, it is difficult to see how people like Mohammed Merah can become part of France’s social fabric.
Which ends with:
Quote:
Just as the riots which took place last summer in the UK were a symptom of youth unemployment and disengagement from society, so Mohammed Merah’s actions were an indication that people like him need to be provided with opportunities for employment and be made to feel a part of their country of birth as opposed to a discriminated-against minority. France needs a real debate about why these attacks were carried out as opposed to focusing on cosmetic solutions which deviate from the problem entirely.
Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/elena-g...ulouse-attacks

At the same time it is possible to see other French Muslims have taken steps to leave 'sensitive urban zones', like the murdered paratroopers and Merah did seek to join the French Army.
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Old 03-31-2012   #46
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Default Islamic militants raided

A BBC News report on a series of police raids yesterday and it is quite clear there is a measure of political direction alongside a bureaucratic re-appraisal of militancy:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17558564

Incredibly the police "struck gold", slightly edited:
Quote:
..the Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride) group's... suspected leader, Mohammed Achamlane. Police sources told AFP that three Kalashnikovs, a Glock pistol and a grenade were seized at his home.
Not to overlook the context:
Quote:
The BBC's Christian Fraser: "Everything that is happening at the moment also has to be seen through the prism of the election"
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Old 04-09-2012   #47
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Default Afghan Blowback in France

Afghan Blowback in France

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.
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Old 04-09-2012   #48
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Default Lessons of Toulouse?

There is a SWJ Blog article 'Afghan Blowback in France' and the present IT difficulties prevent making comments there.

Link:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/afg...back-in-france

There is the unanswered question was this:
Quote:
A Plot Inspired and Driven by Al-Qaeda?
And under:
Quote:
New Challenges for French Counter-Terrorism
Which I have summarised as first:
Quote:
The modus operandi is strikingly different from past Salafist-Jihadist attacks in France. ... Merah’s M.O. is consistent with Abu Musab al Suri’s recommendation to engage in small-scale independent acts of anti-Western terror.
Secondly:
Quote:
Mohammed Mehra is a loner... it indicates that the painstaking work of monitoring and preventing new attacks will need to be adapted.
Finally:
Quote:
Merah behaved like a ‘serial killer.’...The confluence of terroristic and criminal motivations and tactics present new challenges for both the French government and French society. Among those challenges: how does the government detect those individuals before they spur into action?
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Old 04-09-2012   #49
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Default Beltway to Toulouse?

Perhaps American LE members can comment, it struck me upon reflection that the 'Beltway Sniper' has similarities to the Toulouse crime series: an unusual M.O. in a crime series - of murders - with initially no known motive and the consequent creation of public fear.

A reminder of the 2002 'Beltway Sniper Series':http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Allen_Muhammad
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Old 04-10-2012   #50
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Default In France, a new type of Lone Wolf Threat

Raffaello Pantucci who has written before the 'Lone Wolf' has written a commentary for CNN and is here:http://raffaellopantucci.com/2012/04...e-wolf-threat/

He concludes and with my emphasis in bold:
Quote:
Merah is clearly a more dangerous proposition; not only since he was more successful, but also because to some degree he seems to have been able to operate using effective operational security. Clearly, French intelligence will have some explaining to do about how someone it was attentive to was able to accumulate such an arsenal, and also about how he was able to stay on the loose. Whether this is the product of a more trained or a more dedicated mind is unclear, but what it does show is that intelligence services need to be more attentive to people who they may have considered peripheral figures on terrorist networks. Previously, they would have been able to focus on the core, and leave the more fragmentary elements of the network on a looser leash. But with the growing instance of individuals like Merah and Geele, and their increasing lethality, it will have to be reconsidered which individuals are of concern.

The question becomes how such individuals can be effectively focused on and how intelligence services can distinguish them from the large community of individuals that exist on the periphery of known terrorist networks but who never move into action. While much has been made of the French tendency toward human rather than electronic intelligence as a potential reason why Merah was able to seemingly accumulate his armory and was able to stay below the radar for so long, it is unclear that greater electronic information would have necessarily uncovered him.

Within the United States, where electronic intelligence is the foundation of counter-terrorism work, individuals have managed to proceed quite far staying beneath the eyes of electronic watchers. Whatever the case, the key lesson is that it is increasingly becoming the norm that individuals less central to terrorist networks are going to move to the heart of terrorist operations. Figuring out how to distinguish them from the noise surrounding them is going to be a challenge for the next few years.
The identification of a less central individual amidst the noise has featured in the UK's CT campaigning, notably the apparent linkages between some of the 7/7 bombers and others who featured higher on the "radar" which were not pursued by the police or the Security Service.

What role will informants play? Will the use of entrapment be allowed for such individuals? Can their own community play a part?

In times past disruption was seen as an option, just a casual visit to discuss issues or a "warning off". Could such action actually accelerate such an individual. It is alleged that one Atocha bomber was radicalised by by the attention he was given when visiting Morocco.
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Old 10-12-2012   #51
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Default France 'uncovers biggest bomb plot in years'

Quote:
Prosecutors in France have said an alleged Islamist terror cell was planning the biggest bomb attack on France since the mid-1990s.Police arrested 12 people in raids at the weekend, during which one suspect was killed as he fired on officers. Five of the detainees have since been released but seven remain in custody, on suspicion of terrorist activity.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19907272


Quote:
One of the two suspected of recruiting jihadists had made trips to Egypt and Tunisia, a former French colony, spending three months away from France with the man who was killed in the weekend raids, Molins said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...89A1BB20121011

Quote:
In the garage, investigators found rifles, ammunition, a bottle of candle wax, 3 kilograms of potassium nitrate, a bag of charcoal, 1-1/2 kilograms of sulfur, electric cables, batteries, five car headlight bulbs, and a pressure cooker, Molins said.
http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/crime/franc...-market/nSZgF/
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Old 01-13-2013   #52
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Default France's other, offshore insurgency

Corsica has been racked with nationalist and criminal violence, on a scale rarely reported beyond France; arson attacks and murders - although not of those essential 4m tourists:http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_15860/cont...tguid=vdYYWwW0

An indicator of the problem:
Quote:
Of the 85 gangland killings and attempted assassinations in Corsica in the past eight years, only one case - a plot against a former nationalist turned president of Corsica's biggest soccer team - has ended in conviction.
A Corsician says:
Quote:
Bianchi, the former mayor, was once jailed for his links to the group and has since publicly renounced violence. But he, like many Corsicans, couldn't bring himself to condemn the bombings in a place they consider their homeland.

"Even if I don't approve, I understand. I understand because in the current climate of Corsica, where there is enormous land speculation, there is a revolt," he said. "We don't want their country ... to become a place just for rich retirees in the next 10 or 15 years. We don't want it to become another Cote d'Azur."
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Old 02-24-2013   #53
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Default Update on French CT

According Marc Trvidic, Frances most prominent investigative judge dealing with terrorism:
Quote:
since a Frenchman of Algerian ancestry, Mohamed Merah, 23, killed seven people last March in Toulouse, the French police and intelligence agencies have been opening more investigations but have not been given more investigators, and have also become less willing to monitor terrorism suspects for longer periods of time before intervening and detaining them....many suspects have been arrested, but at least 20 potential cases have been thrown out for lack of evidence.
The NYT article's headline is 'French Intervention in Mali Raises Threat of Domestic Terrorism, Judge Says' and covers that too:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/wo...pagewanted=all

I particularly like his reflective comment:
Quote:
For all these problems its always the same. We talk only to the people who agree with us.
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