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Daily 01 14_2014


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Daily 01 14_2014

  1. 1. 14 January 2014 FLASH POINTS GLOBAL STRATEGIC OVERVIEW SPECIAL: REVIEW OF TERRORISM CASES FINDS NSA SPYING HELPED VERY LITTLE COUNTERTERRORISM NEWS BY NATION & REGION EGYPT ISRAEL NIGERIA PAKISTAN SOMALIA SYRIA TURKEY UNITED KINGDOM GENERAL COUNTERTERRORISM NEWS AL QA’IDA & AFFILIATES LEGAL ASPECTS & LAWFARE EVENTS & EDUCATION This is a Curated News Aggregation service. All material is copyrighted. For reuse, please contact original copyright holder. Contributor Comments and Reader Comments are copyrighted by individuals. Contact the PTSS Daily for reuse permissions. THE PTSS DAILY began as a means of keeping PTSS Marshall Center Alumni abreast of news related to terrorism. THE PTSS DAILY is neither an academic journal nor the effort of a research directorate or a large staff. Early each morning, articles that are cited in THE PTSS DAILY are culled from hundreds of sources with the intent of providing you with the most current news, discussions and commentary on terrorism and related issues such as piracy or narco- terrorism. These articles, curated from news media, academic and international sources or submitted by many of you, give our growing network a snapshot of this pernicious threat. Every effort is made to ensure that credible articles are chosen, but the intent of THE PTSS DAILY is to deliver wide coverage. You – the professional – must be the final discriminator on the merit of a particular article and its value to your profession. To ensure that THE PTSS DAILY is both relevant and valuable to the reader, we welcome and highly encourage comments from you. GEORGE C. MARSHALL EUROPEAN CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES LTG (Ret.) Keith W. Dayton, Director Dr. Robert Brannon, Dean, College of International Security Studies PTSS DAILY EDITORIAL STAFF MAJ Daryl DeSimone, Executive Editor Mrs. Brenadine C. Humphrey, Managing Editor James Wither, Contributing Editor Sam Mullins, Contributing Editor Cristian Guerrero-Castro, Global Strategic Overview Col (Ret.) Professor Nick Pratt, Founding Editor SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe, unsubscribe, submit comments or news items, please e-mail:
  2. 2. Flash Points | back to top | JTIC Flashpoints JRIC 14 January 2014 IRAQ: At least 25 people were killed and 76 others were wounded in four separate vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attacks in predominately Shia Muslim neighbourhoods in the capital Baghdad on late on 13 January. While no claim of responsibility was immediately made, Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has regularly claimed similar-style attacks targeting Shia Muslims in city in the past months. (Reuters) SAUDI ARABIA: Two German diplomats escaped unharmed when unidentified assailants opened fire on their vehicle as it drove in the predominately Shia Muslim city of Awamiya in the eastern region of Al-Qatif on 13 January. The vehicle caught fire during the attack and was damaged. Additional information was not immediately available. (Reuters/Al-Jazeera) UNITED KINGDOM: Two unnamed men – both aged 21 and from the city of Birmingham – were detained for questioning on terrorism-related offences by border authorities at Heathrow International Airport in the capital London on 13 January, after returning to the UK on a flight from Turkey’s Istanbul. West Midlands police stated that the two men had travelled to Syria in May 2013, but did not pose “any imminent threat to the public”. (BBC/The Guardian) SYRIA: At least five suspected Islamic Front militants were killed and 15 other people were wounded in a VBIED attack on an Islamic Front checkpoint between the villages of Ram Hamdan and Zeredna in Idlib governorate on 13 January. While no claim of responsibility was immediately made, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – a front organisation for Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) operating in Syria and Iraq – has been engaging in heavy fighting with the Islamic Front in the governorate since early January. (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights) ISRAEL/GAZA AND THE WEST BANK: No casualties or damage was reported when two rockets, fired by unidentified Palestinian militants from inside the Gaza Strip, landed in an open field in Israel’s Southern District. The attack came as the funeral of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was taking place near the town of Sderot in the district. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) retaliated hours later by conducting air strikes, saying it had targeted “a military compound in central Gaza and a terrorist infrastructure in the southern part of the territory”. One child was wounded in the strikes. (Maan News Agency/Haaretz) SOUTH AFRICA: Two people were killed and two others were wounded during a violent clash between police and a group of local residents – protesting water shortages – in a village near the town of Brits in North West province on 13 January. A police spokesman stated that it was not immediately clear whether police had used live ammunition or rubber bullets to quell the protest. (Reuters) AFGHANISTAN: Six members of the same family were wounded when a mortar, fired by unidentified militants, landed on their residence in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province on 13 January. The intended target of the attack was not immediately clear. (Pajhwok) SOMALIA: Two Kenyan engineers were abducted at gunpoint from their vehicle by unidentified militants at the Tarabuunka junction in the Hodan area of the capital Mogadishu on 13 January. No claim of responsibility was immediately made. (Dalsan Radio) EGYPT: A small improvised explosive device (IED), emplaced by suspected supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi, caused no casualties and minimal damage when it detonated near a court in the Imbaba area of the capital Cairo early on 14 January. The attack took place two hours before voting in a constitutional referendum was set to begin. (AFP/Aswat Masriya)
  3. 3. FURTHER READING: OSINT Summary: Militant groups target ISIL across northern Syria ++1597786&Pubabbrev=JTSM JTIC Brief: International community mobilises in response to CAR inter-communal violence ++1596595&Pubabbrev=JTSM Winning the peace? Libya's struggle with Islamist militias ++1596497&Pubabbrev=JTSM Country Briefing: Pakistan Flashpoints courtesy of JTIC. Global Strategic Overview | back to top | ISIL Militants Seize Syria Town Near Aleppo, Execute 60 AFP 14 January 2014 The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has seized a town in Syria's Aleppo province, and executed 60 people in other areas, a monitor said on Monday. The advance by the group in the country's turbulent north comes after 10 days of fighting pitting secular and Islamist opposition forces against the Al-Qaeda-inspired organization that has killed nearly 700 people. "ISIL on Monday seized control of the town of Al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo city, and took dozens of civilians and fighters prisoner," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Read more at: Syrian Army Regains Control Of Strategic Regions In Al-Raqqa FNA 14 January 2014 The army units carried out extensive operations in the surrounding areas of Al-Raqqa's 17th Division. The Syrian army managed to seize several positions around Division 17 from Al-Savam square to Assad jungles. Tens of terrorists have been killed and many more injured during the clashes in Al-Raqqa. The Syrian army is still advancing towards Al-Aqtan and Moamal Al-Sokr regions in Al-Raqqa. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed terrorists and militants against the Syrian army and civilians across the country. Read more at: Officials: Toll from Baghdad Area Attacks Reaches 30 AFP 14 January 2014 A series of attacks in the Baghdad area, including four car bombs targeting civilians, have killed at least 30 people, security and medical officials said Tuesday.
  4. 4. The violence Monday evening was the latest in a months-long surge in bloodshed that, coupled with a deadly weeks- long standoff in Anbar province, has sparked fears Iraq is slipping back into the brutal sectarian war that killed tens of thousands in 2006 and 2007. Car bombs went off in populated civilian areas, both Sunni and Shiite, across the capital, including the Sunni district of Adhamiyah and the mostly Shiite areas of Shaab and Shuala. Read more at: Central Africa Begins Search For New Leader After Bloodbath AFP 14 January 2014 The Central African Republic began the search for a new president Tuesday, as life showed tentative signs of returning to normal despite a "volatile" situation after weeks of brutal sectarian violence. A special session of parliament convened to elect a new interim leader for the poor landlocked country of 4.6 million people that has been gripped by a terrifying spiral of violence including reports of cannibalism. Read more at: Jihadist Car Bomb Kills 8 Rebels At Syria Checkpoint AFP 14 January 2014 At least eight Syrian rebels were killed overnight when jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant detonated a car bomb in Syria's Idlib province, an NGO said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the car bomb targeted a rebel checkpoint near Ram Hamdan, northeast of Idlib city. "Eight fighters from Islamist and other rebel brigades died after a huge bombing carried out by ISIL fighters," the Observatory said. Read more at: Special: Review Of Terrorism Cases Finds NSA Spying Helped Very Little | back to top | Review Of Terrorism Cases Finds NSA Spying Helped Very Little NPR by by Eyder Peralta 13 January 2014 Surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency helped very little when it came to cases brought against individuals the United States says were linked to al-Qaida. That's according to , which describes itself as a "nonpartisan public policy institute." The study was trying to answer a simple question: Do government programs that scoop up massive amounts of Americans' data stop terrorists as the U.S. government says they do. A review of court records and news coverage about these cases found that "traditional investigative methods initiated the majority of terrorism cases" and government claims on the usefulness of the programs were "overblown." Read more at: nsa-spying-helped-very-little
  5. 5. Counterterrorism News by Nation & Region EGYPT | back to top | Four Terrorists With Explosive Belt, Firearms Arrested Egypt State Information Service 11 January 2014 Troops of the Second Field Army in Ismaelia arrested four terrorists who were riding two cars carrying Sharqeya number plates. Read more at: ISRAEL | back to top | Israeli Air Force strikes terrorist targets in Gaza, South on alert DEBKAfile 13 January 2014 A Jihad Islami position in central Gaza was attacked by the Israeli Air Force Monday after two Palestinian rockets were fired at the Shear Hanegev district minutes after the funeral of the late prime minister Ariel Sharon at his farm in the vicinity. Read more at: 'Commando tourism' in Israel AlJazeera By Giuliano Camarda 14 January 2014 Counter-terrorism training centre in West Bank settlement allows tourists to shoot at targets of Arab men. The Caliber 3 Academy in Gush Etzyon, a bloc of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, has become a renowned training centre for both professionals and amateurs alike, where people come from around the world to be trained in counter-terrorism techniques. On any given training day, the trainers at Caliber 3 instruct Israeli citizens and tourists, adults and children, in emergency response tactics and "krav maga", a self-defence system developed for the militaries of Israel and Hungary that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing, muay thai, wing chun, judo, jiu- jitsu, wrestling, and grappling - along with realistic fight training. Read more at: 201418104712893401.html NIGERIA | back to top | Nigeria: Terrorism, armed conflicts, kidnapping still a challenge Afrique en Ligne by Semiu Babalol 13 January 2014 Even though the frequency of attacks on places of worships and other targets by suspected terrorists seems to be declining in Nigeria, the same cannot be said of kidnapping, communal clashes and armed robberies, which undermine the peace and stability of Africa’s largest black nation. In what would have been a repeat of the attacks on military formations in Borno State, North Eastern Nigeria, by the dreaded Boko Haram sect last November, the Nigerian Military on Thursday said it foiled another planned attack by suspected members of the sect. Read more at: challenge.html
  6. 6. PAKISTAN | back to top | Terrorism can only be defeated through talks: JI chief Business Recorder 14 January 2014 Terrorism can only be defeated through dialogues, as it is an only way to eliminate terrorism, adding that the outcome of using power nothing else but to aggravate the situation more. This was stated by Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Chief Syed Munawar Hasan while addressing a condolence reference organised by JI at Jamiat-e-Alfalah Trust in Saddar to commemorate the services of Allama Dr Syed Mehmood Ahmad Barkati (Shaheed). Speaking at the occasion, Munawar Hasan has reiterated that the government should detach itself from the "war on terror" for lasting peace in the country, as that war was not ours, but the United States of America. Munawar Hasan said that use of power was not a solution of any issue, adding that the history evident that British government had resolved issues with Irish Army through discussions. "The great personalities of Nelson Mandela and Yasir Arafat were claimed as terrorists in the past, but the discussions turned them into famous world leaders", JI chief added. Read more at: SOMALIA | back to top | Somalia: Mine, Not Thine - Somalia's Al Shabaab Bans the Internet International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House 13 January 2014 Somali rebel group (and US-designated terrorist organization) Al Shabaab has reportedly banned the use of the Internet through mobile handsets and fiber optic cables throughout Somalia, giving telecommunications companies 15 days to comply with the order. Connectivity in Somalia is low, but growing: fiber optics were introduced to the country last year, and 22.5 percent of the population has a mobile phone subscription. However, only 1.38 percent of the country's population uses the Internet, according to a 2012 statistic from the International Telecommunications Union. Read more at: SYRIA | back to top | Terrorists in Syria turn on each other, hundreds dead By Timothy Whiteman 13 January 2014 "At least 482 people were killed..." Despite all swearing allegiance to the global jihad under the umbrella of the al-Qaeda organization, rival terrorist groups in Syria are now engaged in a civil war within a civil war, as reported by the Russian news portal on Jan. 13, 2014. While Islamic Jihadists from around the world have converged on Syria ostensibly to overthrow the nation's strongman Bashir al-Assad, three of the larger self-styled militias have formed strange alliances in their in-fighting against each other in what best could be described as an Islamist turf war. Read more at: TURKEY | back to top | Turkey cracks down on charity suspected of arming Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria Christian Science Monitor By Ariel Zirulnick 14 January 2014
  7. 7. Turkey was an early supporter of Syria's rebellion, keeping its border open for refugees and aid, but has became wary of jihadi groups operating on its turf. Turkey's anti-terror police have raided the offices of a local humanitarian organization providing assistance in Syria, accusing an individual working for the organization of having ties to Al Qaeda. Turkey was an early supporter of the Syrian opposition, keeping its border open for refugees and aid, allowing the formation of camps along the border, and even allowing the Free Syrian Army to use the border region as an organizing base. But Turkey has also been accused of allowing foreign fighters allied with the opposition, including those from Al Qaeda-linked groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, to set up shop within its borders and is under international pressure to crack down. Read more at: down-on-charity-suspected-of-arming-Al-Qaeda-affiliates-in-Syria UNITED KINGDOM | back to top | 2 UK men arrested in terrorism investigation AP 13 January 2014 British police say two men have been arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of participating in terrorist activities in Syria. Police say the men — both 21 and from Birmingham, central England — are believed to have traveled to Syria in May of last year. Police say neither poses any imminent threat to the public. Read more at: investigation/2014/01/13/477c3da8-7c7c-11e3-97d3-b9925ce2c57b_story.html General CounterTerrorism News | back to top | Drones In Latin America – Analysis Eurasia Review By W. Alejandro Sanchez 14 January 2014 Over the past several years, drone usage has become increasingly widespread, not solely among global military powers but also among rising mid-level military powerhouses and even among less-economically developed nations. The combination of increasingly inexpensive drones and the intention by countries that manufacture them to sell this technology to friendly governments are two critical factors that are fomenting drone usage across the globe. In recent years, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs has issued a number of reports about drone usage in Latin America. This analysis aims to highlight the main aspects of this intriguing piece of military technology. Read more at: Al Qa’ida & Affiliates | back to top | Al-Qaida affiliate in Lebanon vows to strike at Iran, Hezbollah over leader's death AP 14 January 2014 day month year An al-Qaida-linked group that has carried out attacks across the Middle East has vowed to target Iran and Hezbollah following the death of its leader in Lebanon. Majid al-Majid was arrested by the Lebanese army last month and authorities said he later died at a military hospital in Beirut from chronic illness. Read more at: hezbollah-over-leader/
  8. 8. The Struggle Against A Newly Resurgent Al-Qaida NPR 12 January 2014 Sunni leaders in Iraq are trying to retake control of two important cities in Anbar province. That's raising fears in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida operatives still reside near the border with Pakistan. The Washington Post's David Ignatius talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the rise of al-Qaida-affiliated groups and America's relations with Afghanistan. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. We're going to begin this morning with a look at a resurgent al-Qaida. Sunni leaders in Iraq are trying to retake control of two important cities in Anbar Province. Fallujah and Ramadi have been under siege by insurgents linked to al-Qaida. That is raising fears in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida operatives still reside near the border with Pakistan and the U.S. is preparing to pull all combat troops by the end of this year. To tie these strands together, we called David Ignatius. He's an author and columnist for the Washington Post. And I started by asking him what it means that territory hard won by the U.S. in Iraq is now under threat again. Read more at: Legal Aspects & Lawfare | back to top | NA committee approves draft of anti-terrorism law Dawn By Syed Irfan Raza 14 January 2014 The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control approved on Monday a draft of the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance (ATO) 2013, with some members expressing reservations and writing dissenting notes. The committee, however, did not approve the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) 2013 which was termed by some members ‘a black law’ and similar to the Indian law called Protection of Terrorism Act (POTA) 2002. Under the PPO, no-one can oppose any act of the government and all kinds of demonstrations have been banned, according to critics. Read more at: Man convicted in terror case seeks evidence from warrantless spying Washington Post By Ellen Nakashima 14 January 2014 An Oregon man convicted last year of attempted terrorism filed a motion Monday that paves the way for the first constitutional challenge by a criminal defendant to a warrantless surveillance program operated by the National Security Agency. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 22, was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction after he was caught in an FBI sting operation trying to detonate what turned out to be a fake bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 2010. His attorneys have argued that he was entrapped — abluster-filled college student who was conned — while the government has said he was a genuine jihadist who could have made contact with real terrorists. Read more at: warrantless-spying/2014/01/13/af7da5de-7cba-11e3-95c6-0a7aa80874bc_story.html Terrorism defendant's lawyer objects to judicial form that could lead to harsher incarceration by Brendan Kirby 13 January 2014 An attorney for a terrorism defendant sentenced in federal court objected Monday to a form filled by the judge that could result in harsher prison conditions.
  9. 9. U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose last month sentenced Randy “Rasheed” Wilson to the maximum 15-year sentence for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. On a sentencing form, the judge noted that the defense did not object to a presentence report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office that placed him at a higher criminal history level. The designation was highly technical and did not impact the punishment. Wilson, in fact, had no prior criminal record but was placed in the higher category because of the nature of the charge. Read more at: Glittery banner leads to terrorism hoax charges against Oklahoma City protesters New York daily News By Nina Golgowski 13 January 2014 Moriah Stephenson, 27, and Stefan Warner, 26, of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, reportedly face up to 10 years behind bars after the December 13 protest that coated a portion of Devon Energy Building's floor with black glitter. Glitter and glue have perhaps never been more menacing. A glitter-covered banner brandished during an environmental protest in Oklahoma City last month has led to terrorism charges against two of its creators, according to reports. Moriah Stephenson, 27, and Stefan Warner, 26, of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, reportedly face up to 10 years behind bars after the December 13 protest that coated a portion of Devon Energy Building's floor with black glitter. The duo was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, and terrorism hoax after the sparkling black dust struck fear as a "biochemical assault," according to a police report obtained by the Huffington Post. Read more at: terrorism-hoax-charges-protesters-article-1.1578622 Events & Education | back to top | Counter Terror Expo to present 100 conference sessions organised around six themes Source Security 14 January 2014 In January 2013, terrorists launched an attack in Algeria on the Tigantourine gas facility. April sees the detonation of two bombs near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The savage killing of Drummer Lee Rigby takes place in Woolwich in May. In September, terrorists enter the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi and cause multiple deaths and injuries in a sustained gun and grenade attack. The last days of 2013 witnessed two suicide bombings targeting crowded places in the Russian city of Volgograd. As these events unfolded, one thing became clear. The terrorist and Protestors with the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance hung this Hunger Games-themed banner in Devon Energy's Oklahoma City building last month, which led to terrorism charges against two members. (Source:
  10. 10. security threat is international, interconnected and constantly evolving. As noted by the defence intelligence supplier IHS Janes, there was a marked increase in ‘damaging attacks’ worldwide over the six months to September 2013 vs the same period in 2012. Counter Terror Expo, 29-30 April 2014 at Olympia, London, the largest international counter terrorism and security event of its kind, has achieved its pre-eminent position as a direct result of the commitment of its organisers, Clarion Events, to ensuring its immediate relevance to these evolving threats. Read more at: The appearance of this information does not constitute endorsement by the United States United States Department of Defense or any other U.S. Government agency or activity of the publishing organization or other organizations referenced or published by them, or the information, products or services they provide. The United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information provided by these entities.