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Old 02-05-2016   #1
davidbfpo
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Default Brussels attacks (catch all)

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 03-22-2016   #2
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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 03-22-2016   #3
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Default Brussels Attacks: At Least 31 Dead at Zaventem and Maelbeek

Brussels Attacks: At Least 31 Dead at Zaventem and Maelbeek

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Old 03-22-2016   #4
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Default Brussels attacks (catch all)

Brussels Attacks: At Least 31 Dead at Zaventem and Maelbeek

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Old 03-22-2016   #5
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Default Pentagon Chief: U.S. Working to Account for Civilians, Service Members After Brussels

Pentagon Chief: U.S. Working to Account for Civilians, Service Members After Brussels Attacks

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Old 03-22-2016   #6
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Default Brussels attacks (catch all)

Pentagon Chief: U.S. Working to Account for Civilians, Service Members After Brussels Attacks

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Old 03-22-2016   #7
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Default Brussels Attacks Live Coverage: ISIS Claims Responsibility

Brussels Attacks Live Coverage: ISIS Claims Responsibility

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Old 03-22-2016   #8
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Default Brussels attacks (catch all)

Brussels Attacks Live Coverage: ISIS Claims Responsibility

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Old 03-22-2016   #9
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Default Brussels attacks (catch all)

A temporary thread, after the bombings AM today, for maximum visibility. A number of SWJ Blog threads exist, they have been copied to this thread and some posts placed earlier on the main, general CT in Europe thread. Accordingly this post will be first for a few moments only.

Clearly this thread should be read alongside the updates on the French CT thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...=15299&page=11
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Old 03-22-2016   #10
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Default Presence patrolling

In Europe, particularly at airports and key government sites we are used to the sight of regular, armed police activity. In Brussels and before today in France the police have been supplemented by armed soldiers for months. Now the question is being asked - what impact do they have?

Amidst the BBC News coverage is this:
Quote:
Heavily armed men were able to enter the airport at Zaventem, open fire and blow themselves up. An hour or so later another man was able to enter a metro train a stone's throw from the headquarters of the EU and blow himself up.
To date I have read reporting at Zaventem of:
Quote:
An eyewitness reported hearing gunshots and shouts in Arabic just before the explosions.
That does not mean the attackers were 'heavily armed'.

Such an armed presence is commonly described as a deterrent and to reassure. Plus the possibility of identifying a threat and being capable immediately of violently responding.

A BBC piece with a commentary on airport security:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-35873989
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Old 03-22-2016   #11
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Default Background reading

Background reading: Culture, history and religion and the war on terror

http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201....html?spref=fb

Excerpts:

The latest Islamist-terrorist atrocity hit the city of Brussels. The attackers no doubt think they are about to meet their 72 virgins. I have nothing new to say about this, but am posting excerpts from two previous posts (one written after the Paris attacks, the second after the San Bernadino attack) that may shed some light on SOME of the cultural and religious issues in this war. I do want to add that I while I think cultural issues are critical in the long run, they matter far less in the short term than policing, spying, arrests and retaliation. Wars tend to do that: they concentrate matters and short term immediate action is what counts most. Intellectuals who specialize in history and philosophy may matter more in the long term, but once war has begun, it's "action this day". This distinction is not news, but it does sometimes get lost.

And I would add that I do not believe the "Eurabia" BS either. Even Sweden will not become Muslim. Muslims will assimilate into Europe, or will face fascism, expulsion and worse. And I will go out on a limb and even predict that England will neither become Islamic, nor resort to naked fascism (it has a culture strong enough to survive/avoid both). Maybe this is true of most European countries. We will see. But the "Eurabia" paranoia is just slightly less silly than the Islamicate dream of an Islamicized Europe.

The following post is an unedited mishmash at places, but you will get the point...

...Does Islamist Terrorism have anything to do with Islam?
In light of the above, one answer would be: of course not. There IS no one thing called Islam. There are many Islams. And most of them are not terrorist. Case closed.
But, again in the light of the above, one may also say that mainstream Sunni Islam is remarkably uniform in its theology and its ideals. The vast majority of the world's Muslims are Sunnis. Within Sunni Islam, there are four recognized schools of law. In principle, the vast majority of Sunnis honor and respect these schools and their doctors. The vast majority has no idea what is IN those schools or in the writings of their doctors, but they honor them and idealize them. It is very common for educated Muslims to own a book or two of fiqh and hadith. Rarely read, but always honored. A small minority of highly westernized postmodern Muslims believe that those medieval books and their authors are no longer valid for us and Islam (like modern Christianity) is more or less "spiritual" and can (or should) be whatever a believer sincerely thinks it is. Even these postmodern Muslims frequently believe that the Quran is the inerrant, literal word of God, but given that most classical Islamic theology is not lifted straight out of the Quran, they feel they can safely reject aspects of classical theology that are no longer fashionable. That they have usually not read the Quran makes this kind of cherry-picking even easier. But as numerous public opinion polls have repeatedly shown, most Sunni Muslims do not share this postmodern view of their religion. Whatever they may do in practice (and they frequently do exactly what adherents of all other religions are doing in similar econcomic and political circumstances; the much-mentioned "Muslims who just want to have a sandwich and send their kids to good schools"), they do believe that Islam is more than just an identity token. They believe it is "a complete code of life" and if enforced in its true letter and spirit, it holds the possibility of reversing all our communal ills. And what is that letter, if not that spirit? it is the books of Shariah written by medieval Sunni theologians. Books that were composed in the midst of a warlike expanding empire by confident intellectuals of a dominant creed. Books that idealize holy war (not "inner struggle", Karen Armstrong notwithstanding) and a society where Muslims rule and non-Muslims know their (inferior) place in society. Books that idealize pious rulers and the enforcement of shariah law (stonings and amputations included). Books that idealize martyrdom and war against the infidels. Books that prime some of them to fall for preachers who preach purity and a true Islamic state. Only some of them. But that is enough. A convert from France felt strongly enough about this to sacrifice his own life in a suicide mission that aimed to kill random innocent Frenchmen. Well, not innocent in his eyes any longer.

So yes, classical Sunni Islam tends to prime some people for joining Jihadist organizations (whether ISIS or LET or Islamic Jihad or any other of an alphabet soup of Jihadi groups) and committing atrocities with a good conscience. See the ten young men who went to Mumbai on the first "Mumbai-style attack"; what motivated them to go on that suicide mission? Nothing to do with Islam? I think is hard to say that with a straight face..
Unless you happen to be in the postmodern Western liberal elite, in which case you may suffer from what Tanner Greer calls "the limits of liberal education in the 21st century, far better at teaching platitudes than exploring the depths of the human condition; and the inability of secular elites to understand religion and the religious masses who earnestly believe in them..."

...Last but not the least, all nutcases cannot be stopped beforehand. Some surprises will always happen in a large and complex society . There is no risk-free society, with or without Muslims. But this is not World-War Three. Not in the United States. In parts of Europe the proportion of jihadists is likely higher (for various reasons, including racism and multiculturalist liberalism). Meanwhile, in the core of the Muslim world itself, all bets are off. There is no well-articulated theology of liberal Sunnism. Other organizing ideologies (like Marxism and pan-Arab nationalism) have manifestly failed. The authoritarian regimes that exist are (for now) the only game in town. These authoritarian elites, who disproportionately benefit from the modern world, impose their will using a combination of force, persuasion and foreign support. But they lack a deep legitimating ideology. This crisis of ideology is extremely serious, and it may devour some of those countries (though the survival of Jordan is a good example of the fact that even the most arbitrary modern states have more strength than we sometimes imagine). Those Muslim states that are further away from the Arab heartland (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) may do better. They can frequently rely on other identities to maintain the legitimacy of their states and new Islams can arise in them with time. But even they will not be compltely free of Jihadist conflict. No state is completely free of conflict of course, and many conflicts unrelated to Islam or Jihad could easily kill millions and destroy whole countries. But predominantly Islamic countries do have the added burden of the conflict of Classical Islamic ideals with modern civilization (not just Western civilization), and it will take time to resolve this conflict.
Hold on tight.
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Old 03-23-2016   #12
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Bruce Hoffman has a three-part radio interview (very short clips, a total under 4mins):http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-tw...01/whybelgium/
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Old 03-23-2016   #13
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Default Why Belguim? What next?

Bruce Hoffman in a radio interview, which whilst under 4 mins, is split into three portions:http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-tw...01/whybelgium/

Raffaello Pantucci (RUSI) via the FT and a pessimistic viewpoint, whcih ends with:
Quote:
The Brussels attacks will also play badly against the backdrop of Europe’s migration crisis. It will not be entirely surprising if elements close to the recent attacks found ways of slipping into the country alongside refugees from the Middle East. An already tense situation in Europe will grow more fraught, and this will have inevitable political ramifications too. This is the biggest problem with which security planners will have to contend. It is often said that the best response to a terrorist threat is to keep calm and carry on. This is sage advice but in the face of a network that appears able to strike with impunity, and a political environment growing more toxic by the day, it will be ever harder for security forces and politicians to ensure that Europe maintains its values in the face of the terrorist threat from within.
Link:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6459d5a-f...#axzz43gC1qcBT
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Old 03-23-2016   #14
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It is interesting that the world has totally forgotten that there were far more terror/bomb/aircraft hijacking attacks in the period 1968 though the mid 1980's.....why is that..??

AtlanticCouncil
✔ ‎@AtlanticCouncil ISIS Strikes #Brussels: Is This The ‘New Normal’?

http://buff.ly/25kWrWP


Michael Weiss
✔ ‎@michaeldweiss U.S. Officials Bash ‘####ty’ Belgian Security Forces - The Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ty-forces.html

Before calling the Belgian police and intel "incompetent" note that they have 10x suspects and 1/10th resources than others

WHAT is really interesting is the total believe that all terror attacks can be stopped..they cannot that is the true truth........

Many seem to forget that the Belgium security services have been incessant in their chasing down the Paris attack group and rolling up an impressive number of safe houses, IS members, explosives and weapons........in some ways they are following the JSOC model of hitting one site, consequent intel analysis and evidence gathering and then on to the next target....

WHAT does need to happen and it is not due to national mindsets...the total exchange of any information gathered by any security service that effects any security service when it comes to jihadi terror AND for that matter yes terror from the neo right as well.
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Old 03-23-2016   #15
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I had a interesting conversation with a number of Israeli's last night and
it might cause some heartburn with SWJ commenters......

When talk got around to Brussels....they shrugged their shoulders and stated....why do people forget the 60s thru 80s when bombs and terror attacks were far higher than today....it is a war and yes people get killed but it is a simple fact of life....

Actually they are right ........and they tend to constantly remind themselves of this fact and from their POV...they are right if we take the time to think it through.

All loss of life is bad but say when 500,000 Syrians are killed by a genocidal dictator does the world get so wrapped up as with say Paris and or Brussels....not really....

When there is a capable Syrian force able to deal with IS on the ground and fighting them daily what do we do .....? Are they "moderate enough" is our response.

WHEN we know and can prove a deep relationship between the Russian FSB, Iranian IRGC and Assad to IS WHAT is our response...silence.....

So are we in the West actually just as responsible for the IS attacks as is IS....??
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Old 03-23-2016   #16
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Default Brussels Shows Europe’s Shockingly Dysfunctional Approach to Security

Brussels Shows Europe’s Shockingly Dysfunctional Approach to Security

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Old 03-23-2016   #17
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Default Brussels attacks (catch all)

Brussels Shows Europe’s Shockingly Dysfunctional Approach to Security

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Old 03-23-2016   #18
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Default IS Seen ‘Deeply Rooted’ in Europe in Wake of Brussels Attack

IS Seen ‘Deeply Rooted’ in Europe in Wake of Brussels Attack

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Old 03-23-2016   #19
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Default Brussels attacks (catch all)

IS Seen ‘Deeply Rooted’ in Europe in Wake of Brussels Attack

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Old 03-23-2016   #20
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Default What happened in Molenbeek, a Brussels suburb?

I expect the title rather gives it away:
Quote:
Brussels Attacks: It isn’t about Molenbeek, it is about a Broken Belgian Government
It is a good, short explanation what has happened in a European capital city, long before the recent wave of migrants arrived:http://www.juancole.com/2016/03/brus...overnment.html

Vox offers a Q&A with ICSR's Peter Neumann. A taster:
Quote:
According to Neumann, Belgium isn't just one of many European countries with a homegrown extremist problem; it's the country with the biggest such problem on the entire continent.
Link:http://www.vox.com/2016/3/23/1129017...lgium-jihadism

From John Schindler:http://observer.com/2016/03/europe-is-again-at-war/
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