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Express OPINION by Ben Harris-Quinney A WEEK after depraved terrorist Khalid Masood went on a murderous rampage in Westminster, the Chairman of the right wing Bow Group asks what it will take for Britain to wise up and adequately defend itself against the growing threat of extremism. For the vast majority of people, terrorism is an abstract concept – something that happens to others. I am one of that majority.  I have written about terrorism, debated the issues around it, been to sites of terrorist attacks and met those directly affected, but I've never witnessed an act of terror first-hand. On Wednesday afternoon, I was supposed to be at a reception in the House of Lords but I decided not to go. I received sporadic messages from two o'clock onwards from friends and colleagues on the Parliamentary estate that they had heard gunshots before watching the confusion and tragedy slowly...

Terrorists use the Dark Web to hide

Posted by on in Terrorism
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USA TODAY by Elizabeth Weise SAN FRANCISCO —  Terrorists are increasingly using the hidden parts of the Internet to avoid surveillance, relying on the open web for recruiting but then moving to encryption and the Dark Web for more nefarious interactions, experts said in interviews Monday. This is one reason United Kingdom Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Sunday that government agencies need access to such encrypted services to protect the public, reigniting a more than 20-year debate over the competing needs of security and privacy. “We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp — and there are plenty of others like that — don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other,” she said on the BBC. London terror suspect Khalid Masood sent a WhatsApp message to an unknown person just before Sunday's attack that killed four people and injured dozens. The message’s contents — and its intended recipient — can't be...

Stalking terror from Molenbeek to Birmingham

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Japan Times by Therese Raphael Bloomberg LONDON – In the aftermath of the Belgian terrorist attack a year ago, the world learned of the Brussels district of Molenbeek. After the March 22 attack in the heart of London, we may hear more about Birmingham. The London attacker, identified by U.K. police as a 52-year-old career petty criminal named Khalid Masood, rented the Hyundai he used to mow down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in Birmingham, where he apparently resided. The Birmingham connection isn’t a big surprise. A report released this month called it one of Britain’s terrorist capitals. Between 1998 and 2015, there were 269 people convicted of offenses related to Islamic terrorism or killed in suicide bomb attacks in the United Kingdom. Nearly a fifth came from the West Midlands, which includes Birmingham, and 39 came from Birmingham itself. The city’s Hall Green area is well-known to police and...
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NBC News by CLAUDIO LAVANGA and ALASTAIR JAMIESON ROME, Italy — Anti-terrorism police in Italy raided a dozen homes and arrested three Kosovan men early Thursday after identifying a "jihadi cell" in central Venice. Officers targeted 10 homes in the historic city, plus one in nearby Mestre and another in Treviso. Investigators tracking the suspects overheard them celebrating last week's deadly attack at London's Parliament and discussing a possible attack in Italy, police said in a news release. Three men in their 20s were arrested and juvenile was detained. All four are from Kosovo and hold residence permit to live and work in Italy. Italian interior minister Marco Minniti said in a statement that the four "initially planned a journey to [ISIS] territories … and made comments about possible action in our country." However, he did not confirm a report in La Reppublica newspaper that one of the men was overhead suggesting an attack on the Rialto...
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Daily Caller by Peter Hasson Growing Islamic extremism in Latin America constitutes a “major security threat” to the United States, according to an analysis published this month by the National Center for Policy Analysis. “The threat from Islamic extremists in Latin America remains an overlooked aspect of U.S. national security strategy,” NCPA senior fellow David Grantham argued. Grantham noted that “Saudi Arabia has invested millions to construct mosques and cultural centers in South America and Central America that expand the reach of its rigid version of Islam, known as Wahhabism.” “The international spread of Saudi dogma, which the State Department’s first special representative to Muslim communities worldwide, Farah Pandith, called ‘insidious,’ has laid the foundation for likeminded radicals to thrive in other areas of Latin America,” he explained. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/30/report-growing-islamic-extremism-in-latin-america-poses-major-security-threat-to-us/#ixzz4cqnbmXkc...
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The Weekly Standard by J.P Carroll The Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing of the House Financial Services Committee released a report Tuesday highlighting the methods terrorist groups use to secure money and prescribing ways for the United States to combat them. The report, which was the product of a bipartisan group created by Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling in March last year, suggests that much work remains to combat terror financing despite many advances in preventing terrorists from acquiring the funding necessary to commit attacks in the post-9/11 era. To illustrate the seriousness of the national security challenge stemming from taking on terror finance, the task force specifically details the manner in which major terrorist groups have secured funding for their activities. There is a particular emphasis in the report on the fundraising activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, ISIS in Syria, Hezbollah in Latin America, Al-Shabaab in...

What to do about second-generation terrorists?

Posted by on in Terrorism
by Michael Barone - AEI The terrorist (I’m not using names here) who rammed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and ran it through the fence around the Houses of Parliament turns out to be a son of immigrants and was born in England: a second-generation terrorist. He’s not the only one: second-generation terrorists include, according to an interesting analysis by Stephen Dinan in the Washington Times, the June 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub murderer, the son of immigrants from Pakistan, one of the December 2015 San Bernardino shooters, the son of immigrants from Pakistan; one of the attackers in a May 2015 Garland, Texas, Muhammad cartoon drawing contest, the son of immigrants from Pakistan; the November 2009 Fort Hood assailant (classified as a perpetrator of “workplace violence” by the Obama administration), the son of Palestinian immigrants; the two terrorist bombers at the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the sons...
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Business Standard Richard Maher | The Conversation  Last week’s terrorist attack in London, which left four people dead, wounded dozens more and led to the temporary lockdown of Parliament, was a grim reminder of the daily threat Europe faces from extremist violence. It also showed the challenges for intelligence and security services in confronting individuals who, like the 52-year-old attacker, British-born Khalid Masood, are intent on causing mayhem and destruction armed with low-tech weapons, such as sports utility vehicles and kitchen knives. British authorities are still trying to understand how the attacker, who was not considered a serious terrorist threat by British security services, had become radicalised, whether he acted alone and if he received instructions from handlers in Britain or abroad. This juncture raises broader questions about the nature and scope of Europe’s terrorist threat, and how best to respond to it. Low-cost techniques Last week’s attack shared a...

The rise of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh

Posted by on in Terrorism
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NewsBytes By Gogona Saikia Dhaka airport attack: Islamic State claims responsibility IS has claimed responsibility for a blast near a police check-post at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport intersection in Dhaka on March 24. This is the second attack it has claimed in a week, and the 28th since September 2015; seven days ago, two security personnel were injured in an attack at a nearby camp. Bangladesh has witnessed a gradual rise in Islamic terror. Islamic terror Rise of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh A series of extremist attacks started in Bangladesh since around 2013, when thousands of activists launched protests demanding capital punishment for Islamist leaders convicted of war crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence. What started as revenge killing of protesters expanded to include religious minorities, foreigners, and liberal writers. The first murder was of Ahmed Rajib Haider, a secular-minded blogger involved in the protests. One of the...
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Mashable By Stan Schroeder The recently introduced rule that prohibits some electronics devices from passenger cabins on flights originating from certain countries was prompted, among other reasons, by a plot to hide explosives in a fake iPad. According to a Guardian report, which cites a security source, there was more than one reason why the laptop ban — as it's often called — was introduced in the U.S. and the UK last week. But a plot that aimed to bring down a plane with a fake iPad stuffed with explosives sparked fears that Islamist extremists have found a new way to bring explosives on board. The report, which offers no other details about the iPad plot, sheds light on the measure that allows laptops and tablets in checked luggage, but not in carry-on luggage, which is the opposite of what some airlines normally demand. A terrorist could cause much more...

The Westminster attack and the Western dilemma

Posted by on in Terrorism
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RiyadhVision By : Mashari Althaydi The ISIS terrorist who drove at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed the policeman at the gate of the British parliament, to be then shot by British policemen, showcased the depth of the Islamist terrorist danger that is threatening Europe and the West. Some will ask about the same danger that the Muslims and Arabs are facing. One day after the London attack, the Egyptian ISIS killed 10 officers and members of the Egyptian army in Sinai, and the army in turn killed 15 ISIS members. So why do we always say that ISIS only threatens the West? The problem is that the threat against the West is complex and varied. The proportion of Muslim citizens is increasing. Therefore, the tackling of the intellectual dilemma posed by Islamist terrorist groups that are generating these killers can no longer be handled by Muslims alone....
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Swarajya by Jaideep A Prabhu Counter-terrorism cannot be neatly bifurcated into policies and enforcement. The state and citizens cannot have divergent approaches in fighting terror. To avoid such a scenario, a strong, unified nation is needed-something India lacks, something Singapore created. With the world's attention on counter-terrorism firmly held in the Middle East and Central Asia by ISIS, al Qa'ida, and the Taliban, Singapore appears an unlikely and distant theatre in the global struggle against terrorism. Yet globalisation has come to terrorism too, and the tiny Southeast Asian city-state sits amidst a sea of threats from several regional and international groups. To combat this emergent danger, Singapore has evolved its own unique procedures that are philosophically interesting and may hold lessons for the rest of the international community. At a conference on counter-terrorism hosted by the India Foundation in Delhi last week, Singaporean Minister of Home Affairs Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam explained...

Social media firms must do more to stop terror

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Telegraph by Ben Riley-Smith, Assistant Political Editor Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter Nicola Harley Amber Rudd has named social ­media companies as she demands more action to tackle online terror and help in fighting radicalisation The Home Secretary picks out the little-known websites Telegram, ­Wordpress and Justpaste.it as she ­widens the Government’s criticism of internet firms. In an exclusive Telegraph ­article she reveals Google, Twitter and Facebook bosses have been summoned to a meeting to discuss ­action over extremism. She also hints that new proposals to make internet giants take down hate videos quicker will be included in a counter-terrorism strategy due within weeks. It comes after a terror attack saw Adrian Ajao kill four people and ­injure dozens more by mowing down tourists on Westminster Bridge and storming Parliament. “Each attack confirms again the role that the internet is playing in serving as a conduit, inciting and inspiring ­violence, and spreading...
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Fox News London investigators were sifting through more than 2,500 seized items and talking to more than 3,500 people Friday as they try to piece together why a British-born man became radicalized and launched a deadly rampage outside Parliament earlier this week. Detectives have searched 21 properties in London, the central English city of Birmingham and Wales as they look into the life of killer Khalid Masood, London's top counterterror officer Mark Rowley said, as police released a new photo of the attacker. Ten people remain in police custody of raids across the country. Massod was born Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent on Christmas Day in 1964 and moved through several addresses in England, Rowley added. The killer was known to have lived recently in Birmingham. “Our investigation focuses on understand his motivation, his operation and his associates,” Rowley said. “Whilst there is still no evidence of further threats, you’ll understand our...

ISIS' Blueprint for Murder

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Podcast By Clarion Project ISIS makes no secret of the ways it wants its followers to carry out terror attacks. Indeed, its terror blueprint is available in its online magazine, in social media and in messaging apps. This Clarion podcast looks at the implications:      ...
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Business Standard Westminster attack raises spectre of new 'rings of steel' to boost security in urban centres Jon Coaffee | The Conversation The car and knife assault on Westminster is the latest in a long line of attacks targeting Western cities. It raises new questions about how to respond proportionately to demands to increase security in urban centres. Since the early 1990s, London has led the way in advancing counter-terrorist security in the form of “rings of steel”. In the financial zones of the City and Docklands there are strategically positioned entry checkpoints, bollards and hi-tech surveillance combined with vigilant and visible policing at times of high threat. In the last decade, additional measures have been deployed throughout London, centered upon the so-called Government Security Zone encompassing Whitehall and the Palace of Westminster. Lines of crash-rated bollards, concealed barriers in the forms of balustrades and imposing steel barriers outside the...

Killing the Lone Wolf Myth

Posted by on in Terrorism
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As the horrible tragedy unfolded in London, England – an attack right at its heart -  the English authorities were at least able to come up with a fairly quick diagnosis of an attack by Radical Islam against the West. These attacks have been frequent and widespread. There is no reason to doubt that there will be many more as ISIS loses ground in Iraq and Syria. In 2016 it is reliably estimated that there were 1457 people killed and another 3500+ injured in close to 40 attacks across the world, not to mention Iraq, Syria and in their territories. That amount could grow by in 2017 by 650% or more like it did between 2015 and 2016. Yet, like good Lobsters boiling slowly in their pots as the temperature of the water surrounding them rises, US news still considers itself in the Obama era, where every attack had to...
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The Guardian by Alan Travis Ministers have been poised for several weeks to announce a long-awaited “refresh” of Britain’s counter-terror strategy, but as Theresa May made clear on Thursday there is no political appetite for any immediate ”knee-jerk-style” security crackdown in the aftermath of the attack. That refresh, when it does come, is expected to include a major expansion of the Prevent anti-radicalisation programme and a renewed effort to tackle its “toxic” reputation within Britain’s Muslim communities. But May’s measured reaction and refusal to rush into any fresh changes is about as far as it is possible to get from Tony Blair’s response in the immediate aftermath of the July 7 London bombings in 2005. Then he hurried out a 12-point plan to show that “the rules of the game are changing”. Some of the measures, such as 90-day pre-charge detention and banning non-violent Islamist groups, quickly turned from being...
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Fox News By Matthew Dean FBI Director James Comey repeated his concerns Thursday over a "terrorist diaspora" that he believes will occur once ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria is "crushed" by coalition forces. Comey said during a speech at a national security summit at the University of Texas at Austin that he expects these individuals to flow outward largely to Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and North Africa. Labeling the impending phenomenon the "ghost of Christmas future," Comey used his remarks to urge government leaders and intelligence officials in Western Europe to "break down the barriers" in the EU and share intelligence and critical information in an effort to crack down on the terrorism threat. He did not make any references to Wednesday's attack in London. Comey compared Europe's need to unite on security issues to changes in the U.S. following the 9/11 attacks. He described Western Europe as FBI's...
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The assailant mowed down pedestrians and stabbed a police officer before attempting to storm the Parliament building. Huffington Post   By Alana Horowitz Satlin , Eline Gordts , Willa Frej • An armed man attempted to storm the Parliament building in London on Wednesday after ramming into pedestrians on a nearby bridge.• Four people were killed: the attacker, a police officer, a 43-year-old mother, and a man in his 50s.• Police arrested eight people following overnight raids and are investigating the incident as an act of terrorism. LONDON ― British police arrested eight people in overnight raids as they searched for more information on Thursday about the previous day’s attack on one of the city’s busiest areas. An armed assailant drove into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, then stabbed a police officer while trying to storm the city’s Parliament building, killing three people and injuring around 40 more. Twenty-nine...