Archive for October, 2018

With boundaries blurring between criminals and terrorists, international cooperation’s vital, UN highlights

(UN NEWS) — Terror groups are getting increasingly-involved in “lucrative” criminal activities such as trading in natural resources and human trafficking, Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), told the Security Council briefing on the issue.

Similarly, criminal groups join hands with terrorists, and are providing services such as counterfeiting, arms dealing, and helping to smuggle terrorists from one country to another, she said.

“We know that terrorist groups recruit individuals with criminal background or criminal skills, and petty crimes are committed to finance terrorist activities, including travel of foreign terrorist fighters,” explained Ms. Coninsx, noting that conflicts and instability further entrench such deal-making.

The head of CTED said her office and other parts of the UN counter-terror effort, such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), were working together to address the scourge.

She also highlighted the Executive Directorate’s work with UN Member States, identifying good practices, including joint investigative units and effective prosecution mechanisms, to handle organized crime and terrorism.

Looking ahead, Ms. Coninsx urged the international community to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its support structures, especially to identify new terrorist trends, map linkages between terrorists and criminal groups, and share information more effectively.
Links between organized crime and terrorism ‘not new’

At the briefing, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra Velásquez, the Chair of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), said that the links between terrorism and international crime syndicates is not new and has been high on the agenda of the Security Council as well as the General Assembly, for a long time.[READ MORE]

“We Try to Learn Every Terrorist Attack”: Inside the Top-Secret Israeli Anti-Terrorism Operation That’s Changing the Game

(VANITY FAIR) — Governments around the world are quietly turning to YAMAM, Israel’s special police force, for help with their most intractable security problems. And now, elite commandos publicly reveal the tactics that have made it one of the most fearsome counterterrorism units in the world.

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Report: White House counterterrorism strategy dismantles terrorist networks, stops recruitment

(LAS VEGAS NOW) — The threat of terrorism and how to fight it is the topic of a 25-page report released by the White House this month.

The report states how counterterrorism isn’t just about killing or capturing terrorists; it’s also about dismantling terrorist networks and stopping recruitment for their groups, which is tough, considering they have a major tool in the internet that allows them to connect with people.

“We will continue to work with friends and allies to deny radical Islamic terrorists any funding, territory or support, or any means of infiltrating our borders,” President Donald Trump said.

According to the National Strategy for Counterterrorism, today’s terrorist landscape made up of radical Islamic terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaida, along with domestic terrorism, is more fluid and complex than ever. The more technology advances, the more cyber threats increase.

“In cyber warfare or cyber terrorism, it can affect the entire United States,” said Shannon Wilkinson, Axiom Cyber Solutions. “It’s kind of like the new arms race if you think about it. Cybersecurity or cyber is like the new tenant of warfare.”

Axiom Cyber Solutions is a Las Vegas-based company that works with businesses and public agencies to help protect them from cyber threats, and at times to respond to them once they’ve already been hit.

“Cyber is really like the new frontier,” Wilkinson said. “They’re all nation-state actors from China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Russia, of course, and Ukraine, all trying to break into not only businesses.”

Terrorists are also using the internet to recruit. Wilkinson does public outreach at locations like schools. Her advice on cyber safety continues to evolve, just like the threats do.

“Just being kind of aware if your children are online; what are they doing? Who are they talking to? If they get sucked into one of these schemes where somebody is trying to recruit them overseas,” Wilkinson said.

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‘TREATED LIKE ANIMALS’ ISIS sex slave reveals harrowing details of abuse suffered at hands of jihadi thugs as women screamed and vomited in terror

(THE SUN) — A YOUNG woman who has just won the Noble Peace prize has revealed horrifying details of being forced into sexual slavery by ISIS.

Nadia Murad, 25, spoke of how she and other Yazidi women screamed and vomited in sheer fear when jihadis kidnapped them.

At age 19, ISIS soldiers attacked the Yazidi community in her village, killing 600 people including six of her brothers and stepbrothers.

She was taken into slavery and beaten, burned with cigarettes and raped when she tried to escape.

Writing in her autobiography featured in The Guardian, Nadia recalled one night at a slave market following her capture.

She said: “We could hear the commotion downstairs where militants were registering and organizing, and when the first man entered the room, all the girls started screaming.”

Nadia’s book, “The Last Girl,” tells of her captivity, the loss of her family and her eventual escape.

It featured, recalls in harrowing detail this examination process before she was sold like cattle.

She said: “The militants touched us anywhere they wanted, running their hands over our breasts and our legs, as if we were animals.”

But her ordeal worsened when she met a high-ranking militant named Salwan – whom she described as “looking like a monster”.

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Self-Described ‘Islamic Bonnie and Clyde’ Guilty of Plot to Attack ‘Non-Believers’

(BREITBART) — By Simon Kent

A couple who described themselves as an “Islamic Bonnie and Clyde” have been found guilty in an Australian court of planning a New Year’s Eve terrorist stabbing attack on non-Muslims.

Sameh Bayda and Alo-Bridget Namoa, both 21, were charged last year with the offences, which prosecutors allege had been plotted in late 2015 to early 2016.

They had already been in custody accused of collecting documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts and denied conspiring to do an act in preparation for a terrorist act.

But after more than three days of deliberations, a NSW Supreme Court jury on Friday found them guilty of the plot. Police evidence showed it involved detonating an improvised device, an incendiary device or using a bladed weapon.

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Is Saudi Arabia the Middle East’s Next Failed State?

(Consortium News) — By Daniel Lazare

Reports are growing that Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s hyperactive crown prince, is losing his grip. His economic reform program has stalled since his father, King Salman, nixed plans to privatize 5 percent of Saudi Aramco. The Saudi war in Yemen, which the prince launched in March 2015, is more of a quagmire than ever while the kingdom’s sword rattling with Iran is making the region increasingly jumpy.

Heavy gunfire in Riyadh last April sparked rumors that MBS, as he’s known, had been killed in a palace coup. In May, an exiled Saudi prince urged top members of the royal family to oust him and put an end to his “irrational, erratic, and stupid” rule. Recently, Bruce Riedel, an ex-CIA analyst who heads up the Brookings Institution’s Intelligence Project, reported that the prince is so afraid for his life that he’s taken to spending nights on his yacht in the Red Sea port of Jeddah.

What does it all mean? The person to ask is Ibn Khaldun, the famous Tunisian historian, geographer, and social theorist. You might have trouble getting him on the phone, though, since he died in 1406. But he’s still the single best guide to the deepening Saudi crisis.

If you do somehow channel him, the message might be grim. In a nutshell, it’s that if MBS goes, he’ll likely take the Al-Saud with him, and that the people waiting in the wings will not be the “moderates” beloved of Washington, but ISIS and al-Qaida. A modern state bristling with shopping malls, superhighways, and high-tech weaponry thus will succumb to a ragtag militia riding Toyota pickups and waving AK-47s.

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ISIS’s Second Resurgence

(Institute for the Study of War) — The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is reconstituting a capable insurgent force in Iraq and Syria despite efforts to prevent its recovery by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. The U.S. Department of Defense stated in August 2018 that ISIS retains nearly 30,000 fighters across Iraq and Syria and is “more capable” than Al-Qaeda in Iraq – ISIS’s predecessor – at its peak in 2006 – 2007. ISIS is waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding command-and-control over its remnant forces. On its current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is issuing a map update depicting ISIS’s current operating areas based on an analysis of its activity from January 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

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