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Old 02-05-2016   #21
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Default Belgain CT

A rare, detailed article on counter-terrorism in Belguim before the latest attacks in Paris, a week after the Hebdo attack; the former were linked to a suburb of Brussels, Molenbeek:http://www.buzzfeed.com/joshuahersh/...ns#.pgNVQOLglm

The headline & sub-title:
Quote:
What They Missed: The Anti-Terror Raid That Asked All The Wrong Questions Ten months before the deadly attacks in Paris, a nighttime raid in a quiet corner of Belgium left an apartment destroyed, two suspected attackers dead, one man arrested — and a host of unanswered questions. BuzzFeed News’ Joshua Hersh investigates a shoot-out that showed Europe’s terrorism problem starts at home.
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Old 03-19-2016   #22
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Default The ISIS threat to the UK

Taken from CTC's Sentinel an article by Raffaello Pantucci; the Abstract says:
Quote:
While clearly at the top of the Islamic State’s targeting list, the United Kingdom so far has been spared from any major terrorist atrocities at home with direct links to the Islamic State. A review of the trials of those accused of terrorist plotting in the country between 2013 and 2015 reveals that the violent Islamist threat picture has instead been dominated by lone-actor plots, with some demonstrating connections of some sort to individuals on the battlefield in Syria or Iraq. Going forward, however, the threat is likely to become more acute as the Islamic State pivots toward international terror.
Link:https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/the-i...-terror-trials
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Old 03-22-2016   #23
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For those SWJ readers who think that IS does not drive on an intelligence driven operations concept...their attack cells use a form of OPSEC tradecraft that resembles that of spy cell tradecraft......think again.....reference today's Brussels airport bombing....we saw this as far back as 2003 in Iraq and it has not changed since 2003.

Cells operating by the book if one gets neutralized the other one gets into action to divert attention from the first cell.....and what has come out of the Brussels major arrest....not a single use of any form of communications outside of face to face....defeats every time any form of major communications surveillance operations.

Defeating IS cells has always been about the heavy use of police and security services to defeat them using their own tactics...not through the use of high tech which we seem to think is the be all end all.
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Old 03-23-2016   #24
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Default The wider context

Two charts which illustrate the long history of terrorism and CT in Europe, which alas do not copy:http://qz.com/558597/charted-terror-...-1970s-to-now/
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Old 03-26-2016   #25
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Two more charts on deaths caused by terrorism 1970-2015 and people killed by terrorism 1970-2016 - the later includes those with an Islamist inspiration:http://www.datagraver.com/case/peopl...rope-1970-2015
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Old 03-28-2016   #26
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Default Inside Europe's Terror Attacks

BBC reporter, Peter Taylor and an assistant, have a hour long 'Panorama' documentary on:
Quote:
From highly organised cells like the one that killed 130 people in Paris, to lone attackers within our own communities, Panorama reveals how the so-called Islamic State's terror network has been operating secretly in Europe, and Western intelligence agencies' battle to stop it.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...terror-attacks

It aapeared on TV here 23rd March 2016, it clearly relies on a number of "leaks", notably from the French, supplemented by a number of interviews and especially of an ISIS suspect in French custody.
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Old 03-31-2016   #27
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Default Ex-MI6 man on: Terrorism, Europe and Brexit

Interesting contribution by Nigel Inkster, ex-SIS (MI6) and now with IISS:http://www.iiss.org/en/iiss%20voices...nd-brexit-c6ab

An interesting part:
Quote:
Last week I featured briefly in the BBC's Panorama programme, which depicted in remarkable detail how ISIS had planned and orchestrated the complex, multi-phase Paris and Brussels attacks. As is always the way, many of my comments ended up on the cutting-room floor. But during my interview to camera I tried to explain the difficulties intelligence and security services face in dealing with transnational terrorist plots. Intelligence does not come in a regular flow and when it does come it seldom admits of only one interpretation, nor does it always lead inexorably to the next piece in the puzzle. Items of intelligence that in retrospect seem crucially important do not always seem so when they first come to light. Working in counter-terrorism is to see the world always through a glass darkly. Panorama showed that Europe's intelligence and security services knew they were facing a major problem, knew many of the actors involved and were in a desperate race with the terrorists. They were able to avert some of the plots, but could not pre-empt them all. I know from personal experience what it feels like to lose that race. Successful counter-terrorism operations involve a degree of luck. To talk of 'joining the dots', as if the complexities and uncertainties of such work can be reduced to the predictable simplicity of a child's colouring book, is not helpful.
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Old 04-03-2016   #28
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Default Europe vs. America: Comparing the Terrorism Threat

A useful commentary by Daniel Byman:https://www.lawfareblog.com/europe-v...rrorism-threat
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Old 06-09-2016   #29
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Tom Rogan, an unknown writer to me, in National Review, with a rare article on CT in Germany:http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...sh-terror-cell

One "takeaway" cited in part:
Quote:
A sustaining theme of the Daesh plots in Europe has been their ambition of sparking public fury and a backlash against Muslims on the continent. Consider the Dusseldorf plotters’ strategy of deploying Syrian men via migrant routes to massacre families on a German street: Had the terrorists succeeded, they would have fueled already significant tensions in Europe over migration from the Middle East.
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Old 07-15-2016   #30
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Default Looking at France's "homegrown" Muslim terror problem from a COIN lens

Moderator's Note

A debate on the Forum, started a couple of days ago on the current thread on French CT, deserves a thread - for the debate and wider implications, especially as savagery is a feature (hat tip to Adam G for his post) (Ends).

We've all seen the atrocity in Nice, and it is safe to assume that this is a Muslim terror attack.

Already, we have seen some calling for collective punishment (e.g. Newt Gingrich in the US) and others calling for greater intelligence coordination from French authorities.

I wanted to look at France's terror problem in the context of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Although commonly considered one of the few examples of successful counter-insurgency, I would argue that the British and the Catholic Republicans fought each other to a standstill and then a political solution was reached. Essentially, the Protestant loyalists could no longer treat their Catholic minority inequitably and use military and law enforcement powers to do so; nor could they also maintain paramilitaries who often had overlapping membership with local law enforcement. Relatively speaking, this political solution was simple and reasonable.

Note that the Catholic population (~40%) numbered roughly 640,000 during the Troubles, and the IRA only had 10,000 (1.56% of population) volunteers at any given time, of which only a small portion (300 combat, 450 support) were engaged in armed attacks. Against this, the British security forces numbered some 23,000 (RUC and military).

French Muslims number 3.5 to 5 million, but using the lower number and assuming militancy on par with the Troubles (1.56%), we come to a figure of 55,000 militants of which over 4,000 would actively participate or support a terrorist attack. This would then require over 126,000 security personnel, or 49% of the French Army and 26% of the French National Police and Gendarmerie, depending upon the breakdown. Is this possible given France's resources? And what political solution is Paris to come to? Allow for Sharia law? Create Muslim Bantu-stans? Pay off unemployed and criminal Muslim youth?

It would be much easier to simply employ collective punishment in order to ensure that French Muslims fear the state more than their own community...
And before the bleeding hearts come out, keep in mind that we've done it before to defeat the evils of slavery and Fascism.

Collective punishment was used during the American Civil War and also during World War II. We have acknowledged that not all Japanese supported the IRAA and not all Germans supported the NSDAP, and that some were civilians and some were combatants. Nevertheless, the Allies considered Axis civilians legitimate targets for strategic or terror bombing unless they acted to bring down their governments and end the war.

In fact, the Allies dropped leaflets instructing the Germans and Japanese to act against their governments if they wanted a halt in the bombing. While stories of German resistance to the NSDAP are coming to light, the fact is that there was no significant resistance of any sort after the defeat of Poland and the Western Allies: only when Germany was facing a multi-front war and was suffering due to attrition did serious opposition plots begin. While most of the populations of Germany and Japan did not conspire directly to wage aggressive war and commit unspeakable crimes, they were nevertheless complicit. In my opinion, we need to make complicity unsafe.

Thoughts?

Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-16-2016 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 07-15-2016   #31
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Azor,

An interesting post that.

From my perspective 'The Troubles', which was a very violent time, although with "hot spots" in just a few places and at the end confined to South Armagh (on the Irish border). The British campaign can be seen as containment of violence until a political solution was possible. The counter-insurgency campaign was also localised, so local manpower was used (RUC & UDR) and after "hard times" was a very accurate, intelligence led struggle.

If there was "collective punishment" it was a "recruiting sergeant" for the 'hard men', who supposedly protected their own communities. You can argue 'The Troubles' lasted so long as it was used; for many years 'hard men' escaped identification, imprisonment, with some dying.

So collective punishment is not an option.

COIN, if not CT, when you consider the time factor is alas slow and all too often is painful.

I also recall in 2015 at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attack one of the senior French police officers (Gendarmerie GIGN IIRC) was a Muslim who commanded at one of the two sieges, as was the bicycle cop shot outside the Charlie Hebdo premises. How would collective punishment affect them?

Citing you directly:
Quote:
In my opinion, we need to make complicity unsafe.
IMHO the vast majority of Muslims are not complicit here (UK), nor in France or the USA. To some they may "sit on the fence", your option would serve our enemies first and foremost.
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Old 07-15-2016   #32
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Default Bingo!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azor View Post
We've all seen the atrocity in Nice, and it is safe to assume that this is a Muslim terror attack.

Already, we have seen some calling for collective punishment (e.g. Newt Gingrich in the US) and others calling for greater intelligence coordination from French authorities.

I wanted to look at France's terror problem in the context of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Although commonly considered one of the few examples of successful counter-insurgency, I would argue that the British and the Catholic Republicans fought each other to a standstill and then a political solution was reached. Essentially, the Protestant loyalists could no longer treat their Catholic minority inequitably and use military and law enforcement powers to do so; nor could they also maintain paramilitaries who often had overlapping membership with local law enforcement. Relatively speaking, this political solution was simple and reasonable.

Note that the Catholic population (~40%) numbered roughly 640,000 during the Troubles, and the IRA only had 10,000 (1.56% of population) volunteers at any given time, of which only a small portion (300 combat, 450 support) were engaged in armed attacks. Against this, the British security forces numbered some 23,000 (RUC and military).

French Muslims number 3.5 to 5 million, but using the lower number and assuming militancy on par with the Troubles (1.56%), we come to a figure of 55,000 militants of which over 4,000 would actively participate or support a terrorist attack. This would then require over 126,000 security personnel, or 49% of the French Army and 26% of the French National Police and Gendarmerie, depending upon the breakdown. Is this possible given France's resources? And what political solution is Paris to come to? Allow for Sharia law? Create Muslim Bantu-stans? Pay off unemployed and criminal Muslim youth?

It would be much easier to simply employ collective punishment in order to ensure that French Muslims fear the state more than their own community...
And before the bleeding hearts come out, keep in mind that we've done it before to defeat the evils of slavery and Fascism.

Collective punishment was used during the American Civil War and also during World War II. We have acknowledged that not all Japanese supported the IRAA and not all Germans supported the NSDAP, and that some were civilians and some were combatants. Nevertheless, the Allies considered Axis civilians legitimate targets for strategic or terror bombing unless they acted to bring down their governments and end the war.

In fact, the Allies dropped leaflets instructing the Germans and Japanese to act against their governments if they wanted a halt in the bombing. While stories of German resistance to the NSDAP are coming to light, the fact is that there was no significant resistance of any sort after the defeat of Poland and the Western Allies: only when Germany was facing a multi-front war and was suffering due to attrition did serious opposition plots begin. While most of the populations of Germany and Japan did not conspire directly to wage aggressive war and commit unspeakable crimes, they were nevertheless complicit. In my opinion, we need to make complicity unsafe.

Thoughts?
I can't remember where I read the quote but it goes like this. "Culture beats Strategy"! In the end we must attack the "culture of violence" within Islam or nothing will change. But this will never happen with our current leadership. Simply saying most Muslims are "good" and then give a pass as far as responsibility simply will not work.

Last edited by slapout9; 07-15-2016 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Stuff
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Old 07-15-2016   #33
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I use the Troubles as a benchmark, as they were perceived as "a very violent time". They were responsible for fatalities of roughly 75 per million per year. For perspective, this is roughly have of the annual death rate during the Malaya Emergency or African American intraracial homicide (given current events). Therefore, I use the Troubles as a useful benchmark.

Back to the math, although ~1.56% of Catholics in Northern Ireland were IRA members on an ongoing basis (10,000), only ~0.12% were participating in Active Service Units (~300) or directly supporting ASU activities (~450). Arrayed against them were 25,000 soldiers, police and special forces: 7% of the police and land forces available to the UK. Again, a similar level of militancy among French Muslims would be an intolerable burden on French national security.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
If there was "collective punishment" it was a "recruiting sergeant" for the 'hard men', who supposedly protected their own communities.
Certainly the retaliation meted out by Loyalist paramilitaries, which mostly targeted innocent Catholics, only served to fuel IRA recruitment. In addition, the visible presence of British soldiers and the heavily armed RUC contributed to a feeling of living under occupation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I also recall in 2015 at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attack one of the senior French police officers (Gendarmerie GIGN IIRC) was a Muslim who commanded at one of the two sieges, as was the bicycle cop shot outside the Charlie Hebdo premises. How would collective punishment affect them?
Yes, I recall that as well. During the Troubles, a number of Catholic spies helped save lives and target terrorists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
IMHO the vast majority of Muslims are not complicit here (UK), nor in France or the USA. To some they may "sit on the fence", your option would serve our enemies first and foremost.
What I would advocate is a two-fold approach. In any minority group with grievances, one finds egalitarians and supremacists. The "hearts and minds" approach should be directed at the egalitarians, while the supremacists are brutally crushed.

I wouldn't suggest aggressive and visible policing of Muslim areas, but I would suggest the Nice terrorist's friends and family, as well as those of any accomplices, are seized in raids by special forces and subject to indefinite detention if the authorities cannot determine if they were involved or pose a threat. No armored cars driving through the neighborhood, no stop and searches, no harassment, just a household gone in the middle of the night. And during the day, well, social workers will be hard at work in the community attempting to make the situation better.
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Old 07-16-2016   #34
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Default General Sherman!

We have to find another General Sherman. Sherman wrote that European style war would not work( aka Clausewitze) He decided to wage war against the entire Southern/British slave culture Infrastructure........we will have to do something similar against Radical Islam
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Old 07-16-2016   #35
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Do you people fully appreciate who - or rather, what - you're dealing with?

Quote:
A French government committee has heard testimony, suppressed by the French government at the time and not published online until this week, that the killers in the Bataclan tortured their victims on the second floor of the club.

The chief police witness in Parliament said that an investigating officer, tears streaming down his face, rushed out of the Bataclan and vomited in front of him just after seeing the disfigured bodies.

According to this testimony, Wahhabist killers apparently gouged out eyes, castrated victims, and shoved their testicles in their mouths. They may also have disemboweled some poor souls. Women were stabbed in the genitals – and the torture was, victims told police, filmed for Daesh or Islamic State propaganda. For that reason, medics did not release the bodies of torture victims to the families, investigators said.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/07...d-victims.html


In just the recent past, ISIS has put 25 Iraqi 'spies in muriatic acid (May 19th), in Mosul burned 19 women to death in cages in front of hundreds of #people after they refused to have sex with them (June 10th), skinned alive an Afghan (June 12th), tossed a few gay guys off a roof (June 29th), and boiled alive seven of it's own deserters (July 5th).
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Old 07-16-2016   #36
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Default CT after mass killing @ Nice: a debate

A debate on the Forum, started a couple of days ago on the current thread on French CT, deserves a thread - for the debate and wider implications, especially as savagery is a feature (hat tip to Adam G for his post).

This post will drop from No.1 when the posts are transferred.

The main thread on French CT is:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=15299
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Old 07-16-2016   #37
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Default A former MI6 CT senior officer says

Richard Barrett, ex-SIS, has a short article today that fits here; the actual title being 'The best defence against terrorism is to show that it does not work as a way of changing government policy or public perception'. A key passage:
Quote:
There are two strands to making terrorism less attractive. The first is to encourage public resilience to terrorism; the second is to ensure a proportionate response.
Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...-it-does--not/
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Old 07-16-2016   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
We have to find another General Sherman. Sherman wrote that European style war would not work( aka Clausewitze) He decided to wage war against the entire Southern/British slave culture Infrastructure........we will have to do something similar against Radical Islam
What Sherman had going for him was that when it was time to go Delenda Est on the Confederates, he didn't pull his punches but as soon as resistance stopped, he was compassionate (eg; had 50,000 rations found in captured reb warehouses immediately distributed to starving civilians).

For 21st century comparison, see also
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Old 07-16-2016   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
A debate on the Forum, started a couple of days ago on the current thread on French CT, deserves a thread - for the debate and wider implications, especially as savagery is a feature (hat tip to Adam G for his post).

This post will drop from No.1 when the posts are transferred.
Awesome. Suggest migrating Slappy's Sherman reference and my response as well.
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Old 07-20-2016   #40
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Azor,

How does 'collective punishment' of Muslims post-Nice work when the NYT reports? My emphasis added:
Quote:
When a Tunisian man drove a truck down a crowded street in Nice last week in an attack claimed by the Islamic State, more than one-third of the people he killed were Muslim, the head of a regional Islamic association said on Tuesday.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/wo...lims.html?_r=0

There is a far wider application as it is a fact that more Muslims have been killed across the globe by Jihadists, than non-Muslims.
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