French state calls for a mobilization to combat the rise of Jihad

July 3, 2014

In January 2014 the French Secret Service identified more than seven hundred individuals believed to be involved in the “Franco-Syrian conflict.” In recent months, the French government, along with the European Union, has promised to take steps to curb the spread of jihad in European countries. The French state promises to “reinforce the cooperation between state services” in order to implement an intelligence network that would support the Secret Service. This information sharing would include cooperation between local housing authorities, job centers, and even middle and high schools, with the former being able to identify nascent threats. The goal is to “tighten the net” in order to reduce the number of Frenchmen leaving to fight in Syria.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke of the “hundreds and hundreds of Europeans and Frenchmen who are currently fighting in Syria. In France there are over eight hundred individuals who are involved in the conflict: because they are fighting, because they have died (more than thirty), because they have recently returned, because they want to go. We have never been confronted with such a challenge: it’s without a doubt the most pressing threat.”

Valls stated that the anti-terrorism legislation, passed at the end of 2012, would be modified at the beginning of July. Any changes to the law would be aimed at reinforcing preventative measures and the ability to monitor families whose members are potential threats. He stressed the need for legislative changes so that judges can act to further curb terrorism.

After six presumed Frenchmen were successfully stopped from returning to Syria at the beginning of June, Bernard Cazeneuve spoke of the “government’s complete determination to fight with all its strength against terrorism and the teaching of radical violence to young people.”

Pakistani leader of the Catalan Federation of Pakistanis considered a radical Islamic

30 April 2014

The leader of the Pakistani CiU (Convergence and Union Party), Khalid Shabaz, aka Chuhan, is a radical Islamist who was arrested in 2011 by police for fraud and forgery of documents. Chuhan was also photographed on a recent trip to his country wearing traditional Pakistani dress (shalwaar kameez) and a machine gun in his hands, accompanied by a fellow carrying a rifle.

He founded the Catalan Federation of Pakistanis and now heads the Asian Area of another organization, Nous Catalans. Nous Catalans was recently targeted with connections to radical Islam. In fact, the former head of the Moroccan area of this organization and president of the Union of Islamic Centers in Catalonia, Noureddine Ziani, was expelled from Spain a year ago at the request of the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) after being considered “a danger to the security of Spain.”

A Spaniard directed a Jihadist cell

March 14, 2014

 

The Spanish and Moroccan police have dismantled the most active jihadist cell in Spain, responsible for recruiting volunteers for the ” jihad ” terrorist groups and integrated into the orbit of Al Qaeda. Seven people, including the head of the network , have been arrested in this operation , developed in Melilla ( three detainees ), Morocco ( three ) and Malaga (one).
The leader, Mustafa Maya Amaya, is of Spanish Belgian origin and resident in Melilla. Maya Amaya , considered the ” main driving force ” of the network , had previously selected  two French citizens, who he would then prepare for immediate march to Syria.
Nowadays, Maya Amaya was responsible for organizing, coordinating and sending jihadists to Syria, to assure flights, accommodation and the shipment of funds.

 

La Razon: http://www.larazon.es/detalle_normal/noticias/5839939/un-espanol-dirigia-la-celula-yihadista-hispano-marroqui-desmantelada#Ttt1kJcIk7O9J92M

Anti-Muslim speakers still popular in law enforcement training

March 12, 2014

 

(RNS) Law enforcement officers in Virginia will no longer receive credit for a counterterrorism course taught by a former FBI agent and anti-Muslim activist after the academy where the course was taught canceled its accreditation the day it was scheduled to begin.

 

Source: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/03/12/anti-muslim-speakers-still-popular-law-enforcement-training/

EU focuses on monitoring local jihadists

February 12, 2014

 

Side meetings and consultations are no longer enough to contain the phenomenon of foreign fighters in Syria. Thus, the EU counterterrorism department held a first-of-its-kind meeting for European security officers with their counterparts in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey, in addition to states involved in the issue, including countries in the Arab Maghreb.

Due to the meeting’s security nature, the Europeans didn’t announce it or mention any details about the issues discussed. But a source in the EU counterterrorism department confirmed to As-Safir that the meeting did take place, explaining that the meeting of security experts was the first step for establishing a permanent platform for cooperation among countries concerned with the phenomenon of foreign jihadists. The meeting was attended by three Lebanese officers from various security agencies.

According to what a high-level diplomatic official told As-Safir, the meeting, although it was the first one, explored ways for security coordination, which the Europeans are seeking to contain the threat. Since the security agencies of Syria’s neighbors have experience with this phenomenon, the Europeans hope to benefit from their experience in identifying and monitoring potential jihadists before they travel, in addition to the possibility of launching a kind of “early warning system” to identify young Western suspects before Western agencies issue memos about their disappearance. The Europeans are now testing that alarm system in security cooperation with Turkey, especially since the chaos on Turkey’s border made that country the main gateway for fighters.

The West is increasingly afraid of jihadists returning. At first, the West showed signs of anxiety and restlessness. Then Europeans announced that the issue was a major threat to the security of European countries. Estimates vary about the number of European jihadists, with the latest number exceeding 2,000 fighters.

The security experts meeting in Brussels came in the context of those growing fears. The meeting was chaired by EU Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, who started preparing for this meeting a few months ago. A source close to him said the meeting is just the beginning, explaining, “We will try to invest all areas of cooperation with these countries. And we will continue to work on high-level meetings.”

European efforts to meet the challenge of returning jihadists became public in June 2013, when de Kerchove presented his first proposals report to European interior ministers. Last month, the European Commission issued recommendations for European countries on how to deal with the phenomenon. Among the key recommendations was to strengthen cooperation with the countries of the “other party,” i.e., states through which the jihadists pass.

Observers of European counterterrorism efforts assert that there have been many undeclared communications. In this context, a Lebanese security official met with European security officials in Brussels last October. They discussed how to coordinate about the phenomenon of Western jihadists. Other than that, there are lower-level meetings that come in the framework of the usual coordination between security agencies.

That issue will soon be part of the big meetings and their official speeches. A meeting on the foreign fighters phenomenon will fill the seats of an international conference in The Hague at the end of this month. The meeting will have large international participation. As the world pays more and more attention to this issue, Syria is approaching formal accession to the states that export terrorism.

This month saw a significant shift in US discourse on this issue. It came with unprecedented warnings launched by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He said there’s evidence of training camps in Syria to “train people to to go back to their countries and conduct terrorist acts [there].” According to Clapper, the party behind that is the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.

Before that, there were warnings about only the possibility of jihadists returning, but not about specific plans to send fighters back to their countries as terrorists.

This shift was followed by similar warnings. After Clapper’s testimony, US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said that the threat posed by returning jihadists has made the Syrian war an issue affecting US internal security.

There are no accurate numbers on foreign jihadists in Syria, but US intelligence estimated there were at least 7,500 foreign fighters of 50 nationalities.

 

Al-Monitor: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2014/02/europe-foreign-jihadists-syria-local-threat.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=c0581bafdc-January_9_20141_8_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-c0581bafdc-93074789#

Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo launches appeal against conviction

January 30, 2014

 

One of the two men found guilty of murdering off-duty British soldier Lee Rigby, has lodged an application to appeal against his conviction, the Judicial Office confirmed today. Adebolajo, 29, from Romford, east London, said during the trial that he was a “soldier of Allah” and that the killing was an act of war. He and his co-defendant Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich, south-east London, are currently awaiting sentencing.

The men were cleared of the attempted murder of a police officer, and had previously admitted possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Mr Justice Sweeney said he will sentence the pair after a key Court of Appeal ruling on the use of whole-life jail terms. A date for the appeal judgment has not been announced following a recent hearing before a panel of five leading judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rigby-killer-michael-adebolajo-launches-appeal-against-conviction-9095667.html

Al Qaeda launches a new magazine that contains several references to Spain.

22 July 2013

 

Security forces have detected the launch of a new  Jihadist magazine that since weeks circulates in radical Internet forums. Its name is AZAN, and it is published by a group known as ‘Mujahideen in Khorasan’ akin to Al Qaeda.  Its first issue has several references to Spain and contains also an article of the Spanish-born radical activist Mustafa Setmarian, as reported by the counterterrorism forces. These same sources have stated that Spain is referenced in several articles as ‘Al-Andalus’. One of them is about the reconquest of the Spanish territory which is particularly symbolic to jihadist ideology because it evokes one of the periods of greatest splendor of Islam. In any case, the experts in the analysis of these documents consider that at the moment thery are only theoretical references and doctrine. Another aspect that has attracted the attention of the security forces is the signature of one of the writers, Abu Musad Al Suri, aka Mustafa Setmarian. He is one of the leaders of Al Qaeda and one of the main theorists of the jihadist movement. He is one of the greatest promoters of the individual terrorist figure, better known as ‘lone wolves’, which represents a major security concerns among Western countries. The researchers placed him as ‘Number Four’ in the leadership of Al Qaeda; he is married with a Spanish woman and he has Spanish passport. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2005 and handed over to U.S. authorities, who had a reward prize of $ 5 million for his capture. After supposedly being held for several years in secret prisons, is believed to have been delivered into Syria.

Brescia, Islamic Terrorists arrested

June 12, 2013

 

The leader and founder of the Italian branch of “Sharia4” an ultra-radical Islamic movement created ​​recently and banned in several European countries, was arrested in an operation coordinated between the counterterrorism unit and the Digos of Brescia. The young man, Anas El Abboubi, according to authorities, was looking for targets to hit in Italy. The prosecution assumed that the Moroccan man was training with the aim of international terrorism.
In addition to the arrest of a Moroccan, a 21-year resident with family in the province of Brescia has also been arrested. The men of anti-terrorism police Ucigos and Digos are running a series of raids in the Brescia and in Pordenone against 4 other Moroccans.

All persons involved in the operation, according to officials, were affiliated with the Italian branch of Sharia4, a movement that arose in Belgium in 2010 inspired by the pro-jihadist preacher Omar Bakri and has gradually assumed the structure of an international network using dedicated sites and Youtube channels. Two other people are being investigated.

U.S. Delegates Visit Moscow for Insight on Boston Attack

Members of a Congressional delegation visiting Moscow to investigate the background of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects said Sunday that the attack might have been prevented by greater cooperation between the United States and Russia on intelligence issues and counterterrorism efforts.

But the lawmakers said they could not point to any specific misstep by the American or Russia intelligence services, and they did not offer any new insights into what motivated the suspects, two brothers with family ties in Russia’s North Caucasus, to commit the attack.

“Yes, it could have been averted,” said Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who led the delegation and is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and emerging threats. “Not just by one mistake by the United States or one mistake made over here in Russia, but instead by making sure that both countries were working together on a much higher level.”

Adding an odd celebrity touch, the lawmakers were joined by the action-film star Steven Seagal, who has a following in Russia. Mr. Seagal had helped arrange meetings and even offered to take the lawmakers to Chechnya to meet Ramzan Kadyrov, the region’s leader, who has been accused of human rights abuses.

The Chechnya visit was called off for logistical reasons, but Mr. Rohrbacher thanked Mr. Seagal and said he was instrumental in securing some meetings, including a session with Dmitri Rogozin, a deputy prime minister. “I don’t know that he would have been available to us if not for Steven’s role,” Mr. Rohrbacher said.

 

Radically Wrong: Misstated Threats – Terrorism isn’t an American-Muslim Problem

Despite evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, “preventive” policies are being pursued, resulting in discrimination, suspicionless surveillance of entire communities, and selective law enforcement against belief communities and political activists. The following is the second installment in the ACLU blog series “Radically Wrong,” which highlights counterterrorism policies that are not only ineffective, but also undermine our constitutional rights.

None. Zero. That’s the number of fatalities or injuries from terrorist acts by American Muslims over the last two years, according to a recent report from the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. Here are some other numbers from the report worth noting: In the United States in 2012, there were nine “terrorist plots” by American Muslims—only one of which led to violence. Of those nine plots, only 14 suspects were indicted. Separately, six suspects were indicted for support of terrorism.

Terrorism is not a “Muslim” phenomenon. Indeed, last year, the author of the report called terrorism by American Muslims “a minuscule threat to public safety.” Yet far too many policymakers assume the opposite is true, and too many policies are predicated on the false and bigoted assumption that Muslims are more likely to engage in terrorism than other Americans. The numbers above show how false the premise is. So why are we willing to undermine civil liberties, target an entire religious community, and devote countless resources to this “minuscule threat?”