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Worldwide Caution

Worldwide Caution | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it

  July 18, 2012

 

The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.

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Unconventional Conflict
A continuing study of terrorism, insurgency, unconventional conflict, and WMD's
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How inevitable is a terrorist attack on Australia?

How inevitable is a terrorist attack on Australia? | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
ERRI's insight:

"A senior member of the Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has warned that a Bali-style terrorist attack on Australian soil is “inevitable.”" (Video)

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OpEdNews Article: Article: ISIS and the Taliban: Writing on the wall for Afghanistan

OpEdNews Article: Article: ISIS and the Taliban: Writing on the wall for Afghanistan | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is Bin Laden's real heir, and Afghanistan's fate is now clear.
ERRI's insight:

From AQI to ISIS:

 

The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham/ Syria (ISIS, ISIL) is the heir to Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), formed as a direct result of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, successor to AQI leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (d. 2006) and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi (d. 2010), has suddenly emerged as a figure who is attempting to shape the future of Iraq, Syria and the wider Middle East along the lines proposed by Osama Bin Laden.

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Terrorists Team Up to Build Next Generation of Bombs

Terrorists Team Up to Build Next Generation of Bombs | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
An alliance has been building inside war-ravaged Syria, with al Qaeda-linked terrorists there now working alongside hardened operatives from the prolific al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen to develop a new generation of bombs that could be smuggled aboard commercial planes, ABC News has learned.
ERRI's insight:

The U.S. government had obtained intelligence that associates of an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria – the Al Nusrah Front – and extreme elements of other radical groups were being joined by operatives from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based group behind the failed underwear bomb plot on Christmas Day 2009 and the plot a year later to take down cargo planes over the United States with explosives packed into printer cartridges.

 

And the groups are jointly working to produce new and “creative” designs for nonmetallic explosives, leading U.S. analysts to believe that the group of radicals, who have worked with Al Nusrah Front, might be looking to target a U.S.- or European-bound plane, sources told ABC News.

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Romania: Putin Is Creating a Black Sea Barrier

Romania: Putin Is Creating a Black Sea Barrier | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Romania's president said Monday that Russia has created a chain of conflicts around the Black Sea to further President Vladimir Putin's goal of rebuilding the former Soviet Union along its former border with the West.
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Russian warship 200 miles from Miami

A Russian warship that is reportedly armed with anti-aircraft missiles is docked in Havana, Cuba.
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Inside The NYPD’s Report on The Kenya Shopping Mall Massacre

ERRI's insight:

You say the word “Nairobi” and the place sounds just about as far away as it is. But if you look at pictures and plans of its Westgate Shopping Mall, where terrorists slaughtered 67 people last September and wounded 200, you feel like you’ve been there before in many cities in America, and many times...

 

It was just so damned easy for the killers in Kenya to do their job. There were only four of them and it appears very likely they escaped alive.

 

That’s the conclusion of a confidential report being presented today to private security personnel in the New York area by the NYPD. The author of the presentation, a veteran on the force who spoke to me on condition that I not use his name, warns that the example of Nairobi “is simple, its effective and easy to copy.” And that’s especially true in the United States where almost anybody can buy a “long gun”—a  rifle or an assault-style rifle—with few or no background checks.

 

Take away the exotic foreign names for the terrorists’ organization, Al Shabab; strip away the politics of radical Islam. As the veteran cop puts it, from a law enforcement point of view, the main considerations are practical: “You don’t need to know the political philosophy of someone shooting at you with an AK-47. You want to know how many bullets he’s got in there. You want to know what he is carrying, and what kind of tactics he’s using.”

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Suicide bombers kill 25 near Iran embassy in Beirut

Suicide bombers kill 25 near Iran embassy in Beirut | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Two suspected suicide bombers – one driving a rigged car and the other on a motorcycle – attack the Iranian embassy in Beirut, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 150, security sources say.
ERRI's insight:

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi confirmed Ansari's death and said the Iranian embassy was the target of the “terrorist attack.”

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Amid Preparations for New Syria Offensive, Hezbollah Said to Be "Expanding... to the Entire Middle East" - The Tower

Amid Preparations for New Syria Offensive, Hezbollah Said to Be "Expanding... to the Entire Middle East" - The Tower | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Four Hezbollah members were recently killed in Syria “while carrying out their sacred Jihadist duty,” according to claims posted Saturday to a website aligned with the Iran-backed terror group.The declarations come amid reports that Hezbollah is taking...
ERRI's insight:

Hezbollah fighters have in recent months in allowing the regime to steadily erode nearly two years of rebel gains, and more specifically in enabling the regime wrest control of what had been the rebel stronghold of Qusayr. USA Today late last week published analysis outlining how Hezbollah is “expanding networks and deployment of fighters from Lebanon to the entire Middle East as part of its deepening alliance with Iran,” and how that expansion is being done for sectarian reasons and justified in sectarian terms.

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The secret jihadi smuggling route through Turkey

CNN

ERRI's insight:

It's not a crime to travel to southern Turkey, and there are many foreign aid groups here, so surely many people are traveling innocently. But it is extraordinary to watch this volume of international traffic from countries where al Qaeda has a confirmed and consistent presence into a NATO member state. You find yourself asking: why are these men here, and why don't they want to talk about it?

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Official: 4 men arrested in UK were plotting attack similar Westgate Mall assault

Official: 4 men arrested in UK were plotting attack similar Westgate Mall assault | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
ERRI's insight:

LONDON — British law enforcement agencies averted a plot to orchestrate a large-scale terror attack similar to the assault on Kenya’s Westgate mall, an official said Monday.

 

Police were questioning four men in their 20s on suspicion of terrorism after they were detained Sunday in pre-planned, intelligence-led raids.

 

Metropolitan Police did not identify the suspects or say what, if any, charges, they may face. But in a series of statements, the force said the men were all British nationals between the ages of 25 and 29, with roots in Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria and Azerbaijan.

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Al-Qaeda leader urges rival Syria groups to unite

Al-Qaeda leader urges rival Syria groups to unite | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Ayman al-Zawahri says fighters must unite behind the goal of setting up an Islamic state.
ERRI's insight:

Two al-Qaeda-linked groups have emerged in Syria's civil war — Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The first is commanded by a Syrian, the second by an Iraqi, but both are loyal to al-Zawahri.

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Kenya: Hard questions emerge over handling of terror attack - Norwegian Council for Africa

Nairobi (Kenya) - Did the masterminds of the Westgate terror escape within an hour of launching the attack? Could the terrorists who remained behind to continue the senseless killing and repulse security forces also slip away unnoticed?
ERRI's insight:

And what is the fate of the hostages thought to have been held in the siege? What about the destruction of the mall, did the military bomb it? And who looted the shops?

 

These are some of the hard questions that Kenyans are seeking answers to as sources reveal new accounts that have not been formally released by the government, further intensifying the mystery that surrounds the four-day siege.

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Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Some experts believe al-Shabab is at its weakest point in years following an African-led counterinsurgency campaign, but others warn of the group's resiliency in an unstable Somalia.
ERRI's insight:

Al-Shabab, or "The Youth," is an al-Qaeda-linked militant group and U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization fighting for the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state in Somalia. The group, also known as Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen, and its Islamist affiliates once held sway over Mogadishu and major portions of the Somali countryside, but a sustained African Union military campaign in recent years has weakened the group considerably. Still, security analysts warn that the group remains the principal threat in a politically volatile, war-torn state.

 

By CFR, continues...

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.:Middle East Online:::.

.:Middle East Online:::. | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it

Who sent fighter jets to Iraq: Iran or Russia?

ERRI's insight:
  

BAGHDAD - Three Sukhoi ground attack jets shown landing in Iraq in a video released by the defence ministry are likely from Iran, a think tank said Wednesday.

Iraq has purchased more than a dozen Sukhoi jets from Russia in a bid to bolster its forces in their battle against a sweeping militant offensive that has overrun large areas of five provinces.

On Tuesday, the defence ministry said a second group of five Sukhoi aircraft had arrived in the country, implicitly as part of the Russian deal.

The online statement was accompanied by a video showing Su-25s landing in Iraq.

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Don't let ISIS distract from al Qaeda threat

Don't let ISIS distract from al Qaeda threat | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
By Jane Harman, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Jane Harman is Director, President, and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. A former U.S. representative from California, she was the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee from 2002 to 2006.
ERRI's insight:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a disaster with momentum – we have every reason to fear that they’ll gain more ground, and little reason to hope that the Iraqi government has what it takes to beat them back. But while we watch Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s demotion to “mayor of Baghdad” with horror, let’s remember who (and what) our enemies are.

 

It’s a media cliché by now to say that these insurgents were “too violent for al Qaeda.” That might be true, but it’s not because core al Qaeda flinches at the sight of blood. For the short term, ISIS is looking for territory; al Qaeda hasn’t stopped looking for targets.

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Al Qaeda Magazine Calls For Car Bombings In U.S., Specifically In NYC - CBS New York

Al Qaeda Magazine Calls For Car Bombings In U.S., Specifically In NYC - CBS New York | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
The latest edition of al Qaeda's English language online magazine labels urges its readers to attack the United States with car bombs and includes a photo of Times Square.
ERRI's insight:

The terrorist organization’s magazine, Inspire, specifically mentions New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago as preferred targets, WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reported.

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Ukraine: Russian Troops Fire Warning Shots

Ukraine: Russian Troops Fire Warning Shots | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Footage captures the tense exchange between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers as the first shots in the crisis are fired.
ERRI's insight:

Russian soldiers have fired warning shots into the air as around 300 Ukrainian troops marched on the seized Belbek airbase in Crimea.

 
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The Future Role of U.S. Counterterrorism Operations in Africa | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

The Future Role of U.S. Counterterrorism Operations in Africa | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
ERRI's insight:

Although almost no data supports the notion that poverty leads to terrorism, the sharp perceptions of injustice inherent in the unequal distribution of wealth and poverty can lead individuals to embrace extreme ideologies, either to justify fighting for resources to alleviate poverty or to punish those individuals they hold responsible for making them and others poor.

 

In Mali, the rebellion that was hijacked by AQIM and other Islamists was fueled by the Tuareg population’s sense of economic marginalization and perceptions that the country’s southern capital neglected the north. In Nigeria, Boko Haram and Ansaru condemn secularism’s role in fostering an environment conducive to corruption and inequality that can only be combated through the implementation of Shari`a (Islamic law).

 

Poverty, lack of opportunity, and acute injustice sparked the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and those same sentiments continue to be exploited by Ansar al-Shari`a and proponents of Salafi-jihadi ideology. In Algeria, perceptions that the oil and gas sector job market was unfair and unequal led to protests in Ouargla and Ghardaia, which then led to the radicalization of some individuals seeking to redress the sector’s injustices.

 

In Libya, contestation for control over limited economic activities in the Sahara, particularly over provision of services to international oil companies in the upstream and over smuggling routes, has led to bouts of violence, some sporadic and others sustained.

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Al Qaeda claims deadly attack on Yemen defence complex - DAWN.COM

Al Qaeda claims deadly attack on Yemen defence complex - DAWN.COM | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Al Qaeda said it attacked the defence ministry after the mujahideen proved that it accommodated drone control rooms.
ERRI's insight:

DUBAI: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Friday claimed an attack on a Yemeni defence complex that killed 52 people, in a statement published on the Internet by its media arm.

 

The defence ministry complex was “stormed and attacked on Thursday... after the mujahideen (holy fighters) proved that it accommodates drone control rooms and American experts,” it said on Twitter.

 

“As part of a policy to target drone control rooms, the mujahideen have dealt a heavy blow to one” in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, added the statement by the Al-Malahem foundation.

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'Block-Buster' Truck Bomb One of the Biggest Ever

'Block-Buster' Truck Bomb One of the Biggest Ever | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Afghan national security forces near the border with Pakistan recently intercepted one of the largest truck bombs ever built, a massive "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device," or VBIED, packed with some 61,500 pounds of explosives.
ERRI's insight:

By comparison, the truck bomb that all but leveled the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people, was comprised of almost 5,000 lbs. of ammonium nitrate fertilizer mixed with fuel oil. The same recipe is commonly used in Afghanistan to make a variety of IEDs that have killed hundreds of ISAF troops in small numbers since 2001 -- but typically using dozens of pounds, not thousands.

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North Korea developing electromagnetic pulse weaponry - Times LIVE

North Korea developing electromagnetic pulse weaponry - Times LIVE | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Latest news from South Africa, World, Politics, Entertainment and Lifestyle. The home of The Times and Sunday Times newspaper.
ERRI's insight:

South Korea's spy agency says that North Korea was using Russian technology to develop electromagnetic pulse weapons aimed at paralysing military electronic equipment south of the border.

 

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a report to parliament that the North had purchased Russian electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry to develop its own versions.

 

The spy agency also said the North's leader Kim Jong-Un sees cyberattacks as an all-purpose weapon along with nuclear weapons and missiles, according to lawmakers briefed by the NIS.

The North is trying to hack into smartphones and lure South Koreans into becoming informants, it said.

It has collected information on where South Korea stores chemical substances and oil reserves as well as details about subways, tunnels and train networks in major cities, it said.

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Why is the West worried about Somali terrorist group Al Shabab?

Why is the West worried about Somali terrorist group Al Shabab? | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
Al Shabab, which was behind the attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall, has long fomented violence and promoted radical Islam in Somalia.
ERRI's insight:
1. Where did Al Shabab come from?

The Islamist militia is only a few years old, taking root in the ashes of the old Islamic Courts Union government that was overthrown by a US-backed Ethiopian invasion in mid-2006. When Ethiopian troops left, Al Shabab, which translates as "The Youth," took control of perhaps a third of the country, with anywhere from a few thousand to 14,000 fighters.

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Report warns of threat of loose missiles in Syria

The Syrian government's shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and launchers could imperil civil aviation if they fall into the hands of terror groups, according to an independent report examining the global proliferation of portable missiles.
ERRI's insight:

The report released Friday by the Federation of American Scientists, a prominent Washington group that focuses on issues of science and security, warns that some opposition factions inside Syria are already wielding small numbers of anti-aircraft systems in combat against Syrian government forces. Citing video and photo evidence from opposition forces, media and official accounts, the FAS study says some portable launchers and missiles have been seized by opposition forces during battles with Syrian troops, while others have been smuggled in to rebel fighters from neighboring countries.

 

ERRI analysts say that "a number of manpaks" (shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles) may have also gone missing from Libyan warehouses when Qaddaffi was overthrown. Those weapons likely also have fallen into the hands of militants and been distributed throughout various parts of Africa. These missiles can pose a grave threat to civil aviation, ERRI analysts say. 

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Africa desert helps breed radicals, from Al Shabab to Boko Haram to Mr. Marlboro

Africa desert helps breed radicals, from Al Shabab to Boko Haram to Mr. Marlboro | Unconventional Conflict | Scoop.it
'Sahelistan' is what the French foreign minister calls the sub-Saharan zone of Sahel. Al Qaeda-linked groups from places like Mail and Nigeria have been driven into hiding there and hit Western targets.
ERRI's insight:

Africa's Sahel belt is a 600-mile-wide semiarid zone stretching from Senegal in the west to Somalia in the east. The vast, seemingly ungovernable terrain has become a sanctuary for Islamist militants.

 

Rich Clabaugh/Staff

 

After the Arab Spring, and then at the end of Muammar Qaddafi's dictatorship, many hoped for an end to terror in the Sahel.

 

Instead, weapons spilling out of Libya and ongoing military efforts to drive Al Qaeda-linked groups from places like Mali and Nigeria have hardened Islamist fighters here. This in turn has increased the risk of violence across the region. 

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Reuters TV | Researchers predict violent response to global warming

Sept. 26 - Researchers in California say climate change could spur an increase in global violence by as much as 50 percent over the next 40 years if current temperature trends continue.
ERRI's insight:

(VIDEO) The UC Berkeley study links climatic shifts to historical outbreaks of violence, such as wars and riots, and says the trend is on an upward trajectory. Ben Gruber reports.

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