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Old 02-07-2017   #41
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Default Taking the terror out of terrorism - by a "Digger"

A timely commentary by a British academic on the dangers in linking every violent act by a mentally ill person to being a terrorist attack. A key phrase:
Quote:
Yet you are twenty times more likely to die by drowning in your bathtub than in a terrorist act, and a thousand times more likely to die in a road accident. So why, given these statistics, is terrorism so effective? The core reason is that its shocking randomness makes us feel that we can’t do much to protect ourselves – in other words, we feel out of control.
(Later) Terrorism is essentially a tool of mass psychological manipulation – less of the terrorists themselves than of us, the population of ordinary people who are to be terrorized.
Link (beware it may be behind a pay wall):http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...do-isils-work/

There is a separate thread on Mental Health & Terrorism, but the quote is an introduction to a three linked articles by David Wells, a former Australian-UK SIGINT worker, in the Australian Lowy Institute's e-briefing and now on his own website.

He tries to answer a "wicked" problem and I have adapted his words: how can government(s) maintain and increase emotional resilience against the fear of future terrorist activity, regardless of whether this activity occurred.

The context is Australian, but his outlook is global.

Part One:https://counterterrorismmatters.word...rorism-part-1/

Part Two considers communication strategies:https://counterterrorismmatters.word...rorism-part-2/

Part Three:https://counterterrorismmatters.word...rorism-part-2/
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Old 08-31-2017   #42
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Default An Era of Near Unstoppable Terrorism?

A sombre analysis by a Canadian analyst via ICCT based in Holland, after recent attacks.

A key passage:
Quote:
Perhaps most importantly, the advent of cars as weapons of destruction may mean we are moving into an era of all-but-unstoppable acts of terrorism. When the commonplace becomes the tool of choice security and law enforcement agencies lose an important advantage: the ability to monitor the acquisition of guns or the manufacture of explosives.

(Later)
We may in the end need to accept a certain background level of successful terrorist attacks, much like we do for other serious crimes like murder and violent assault. This is not an admission of failure nor an act of surrender: it is an acknowledgement that our security agencies, which are very professional and capable and which stop the vast majority of planned attacks, are not perfect and should not be subjected to an unreasonable standard.
Link:https://icct.nl/publication/an-era-o...ble-terrorism/

A BBC overview of recent attacks:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-40000952

I do wonder if the public, let alone politicians can resist the calls for "better security" and accept a level of such attacks.
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Old 09-05-2017   #43
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Default The beating heart of the online terror threat

The BBC has broadcast a half hour documentary in London, a regional programmme oddly; it is not on YouTube, but will appear on BBC World News see:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3ct1kws

The reporter is Raffaello Pantucci, of RUSI and he has written a summary on his website. It ends with, lightly edited, this and IMHO applies beyond the UK:
Quote:
Clearly radical material disseminated online will fan the flames of ideas, and mean that groups like Isil will be able to maintain their notoriety and draw people to themselves. But it is the online manipulation that is turning these long-distance online relationships into terrorist attacks, and individuals like Junaid are able to manipulate people into launching attacks that are difficult to prevent in western capitals.

And while government can spend more money on staff and surveillance, when the style of attack is so individual, basic and diffuse, it becomes very difficult to maintain complete control.
Link:https://raffaellopantucci.com/2017/0...error-by-text/
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Old 09-07-2017   #44
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Default Reality: vehicle attacks have not proved to be the most lethal terrorist tactic.

Brain Jenkins @ RAND is always sensible and this short article reviews the current furore, 'Vehicular Terrorism: Weighting the Benefits and Worth, of Prevention.

A "taster":
Quote:
This latest in a string of such attacks has added urgency to discussions of what can be done to prevent terrorists from using vehicles as weapons. In the lexicon of the security world, these ideas come under the heading of “hostile vehicle mitigation measures,” and they include a broad range of possibilities. Mitigation, not prevention, is the operative word here—cities are filled with pedestrians and vehicles, in some cases, separated by mere inches. Many of the measures would be disruptive and costly and could easily be circumvented, which leads to an uncomfortable question: Do they represent a good investment?
Link:https://www.rand.org/blog/2017/09/ve...and-worth.html
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Old 11-14-2017   #45
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Default Moderator at work

Four other threads in this arena have been merged in after a review; adding nearly 30k views.
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Old 11-21-2017   #46
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Default Global Terrorism Index 2017

From an Australian think tank and their explanation:
Quote:
This is the fifth edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI). The report provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 17 years in covering the period from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2016. The GTI is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) and is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). Data for the GTD is collected and collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START); a Department of Homeland Security Centre of Excellence led by the University of Maryland. The GTD is considered to be the most comprehensive global dataset on terrorist activity and has now codified over 170,000 terrorist incidents
It is a large report, so take what you need.
Link:http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uplo...Index-2017.pdf
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Old 11-26-2017   #47
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Default Preparing commanders to counter marauding terrorist attacks

Spotted by a "lurker" an article in NATO Review by an Irish Defence Forces author and a new abbreviation to learn:
Quote:
Counter Marauding Terrorist Attack (C-MTA)
Link:https://www.nato.int/docu/review//20...s/EN/index.htm
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #48
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Default A lingering, potent threat

Sentinel, CTC @ West Point's journal has several articles, but this one on the Spanish plotters in is a "must read", partly due to its depth and pointer to what is coming.

The Abstract:
Quote:
In the space of nine hours in August 2017, a terrorist cell armed with vehicles and knives launched two attacks on the city of Barcelona and the town of Cambrils, in Catalonia, Spain, killing 16 in the worst terrorist atrocity in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombings. New information obtained by the authors from judicial documents and interviews with investigators make clear the attacks could have been much worse. The 10-man cell, which included four sets of brothers all indoctrinated by an Islamic State-supporting cleric in the Catalonian town of Ripoll, initially planned to carry out ambitious vehicle bomb attacks in Barcelona and possibly Paris using TATP, but changed and accelerated their plans after they accidentally blew up their bomb factory. The Islamic State claimed the attackers were “soldiers of the caliphate,” but while newly disclosed information shows the network behind the Paris attacks targeted Barcelona for an attack in 2015, it is still unclear whether the group had any direct role in the August 2017 attacks.
Link:https://ctc.usma.edu/spaniards-going...lona-cambrils/

Looking for a shorter briefing? Try this:http://thesoufancenter.org/tsc-intel...gering-threat/
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Old 1 Week Ago   #49
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Default How to Beat Salafi-Jihadi Terrorism

A short article by Ali Soufan in a forthcoming debate via the Cato Institute. A few lines:
Quote:
To defeat the terrorists, I maintain we must first grasp, in detail, their worldview, their motivations, and their ideology....we must focus on degrading the terrorists’ most valuable asset:their extremist ideology...How can we push vulnerable young people off the treadmill of radicalization before it carries them into the jihadi echo chamber?
Link:https://www.cato-unbound.org/2018/02...hadi-terrorism
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Old 4 Days Ago   #50
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Default Terrorism and the new disorder

A short commentary by John Raine, ex-UK diplomat now @ IISS; which is painful in places:
Quote:
The territorial defeat of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, in Syria and Iraq marks a turning point in the international effort against terrorism. The long war against terrorism enters a new, but probably not its final, phase. The threat is mutating and diversifying. The Caliphate has dispersed but a global network of terrorists remains operational, including in European cities. Apparently isolated Individuals are acting on their own initiative, deriving inspiration and guidance from online. And a new potential threat is emerging from armed Shia groups who are enjoying a strategic momentum in the Middle East that could carry them into direct conflict with Israel, the Gulf states and the West. Terrorism has been and remains a part of their repertoire.
This reshaping of the terrorist threat is happening at a time when the international order is volatile. Collective political and security structures are under stress. The Gulf Cooperation Council, NATO and the European Union are all challenged by internal divisions and external threats. In addition, established powers, especially the United States, are recalibrating their global engagement while new powers (Russia and Turkey) are asserting themselves in counter-terrorism theatres such as the Middle East and Central Asia. Finding the common legal, political and cultural ground necessary for effective international coalitions is getting harder.
In this apparent disorder, how will the new terrorist challenges be met? What are the likely strategies of existing and emerging terrorist groups? What new forms of terrorism might emerge, where and with what targets? What changes will have to be made in national and international responses? And how will the international community deny terrorists influence over cyber domains? What strategies, compromises and coalitions will this require?
Link:https://www.iiss.org/en/events/event...-disorder-c0ee

Link to underlined link, which is a longer explanation:https://www.iiss.org/en/iiss%20voice...-disorder-61cf
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Old 4 Days Ago   #51
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
A short commentary by John Raine, ex-UK diplomat now @ IISS; which is painful in places:Link:https://www.iiss.org/en/events/event...-disorder-c0ee

Link to underlined link, which is a longer explanation:https://www.iiss.org/en/iiss%20voice...-disorder-61cf
David,

This is an important think piece in my view, the title "Terrorism and the New Disorder" is appropriate. As noted in numerous SWJ threads and other forums the international order is increasingly under stress by a number of actors and other factors, resulting increasingly in disorder.

The author correctly points out that the next wave of terrorism is brewing
Quote:
at a time when the international order is volatile, and collective political and security structures are under stress.
Thus finding the necessary
Quote:
common legal, political and cultural ground necessary for effective international coalitions is getting harder
.

A couple of other thoughts from the author I found helpful in shedding light on our collective ongoing challenge.

First, it appears state sponsored terrorism is making a come back, and unlike the Iranian proxies in the late 70s/early 80s, this breed of terrorists is battle hardened and very well trained. I doubt Iran will be the only sponsor, as noted by the Russians reportedly providing support to the Taliban as a sign of things to come in a world where state actors increasingly compete with one another.

Second, regarding the foreign fighter who returned home and others who may seek to fight, the author points out that terrorists are less united by structure than my meme. Add the internet to this equation and you a virus of the mind that will continue to spread globally. The West seeks to destroy terrorist organizations, because it comes the closest to their preferred way of war, but rushing to assign a group label to terrorists can be misleading.
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