Archive for the 'Terrorism' Category

Counterterrorism terminology

The Associated Press reports that the National Counterterrorism Center in the United States has published guidance on using terms when talking about terrorism.

The last one is probably the best piece of advice:

Don’t use “salafi,” “Wahhabist,” “sufi,” “ummah” and other words from Islamic theology unless you are able to discuss their varied meanings. Particularly avoid using “ummah” to mean the Muslim world, as it is a theological term.

(Via Muse.)


Algeria and Syria criticise British human rights record

The United Kingdom came in for robust questioning on its human rights record from other UN member states last week at the Human Rights Council, during the historic first session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Over the course of three hours, 38 countries took the floor to ask UK Justice Minister Michael Wills about a wide range of issues, including racial discrimination, corporal punishment against children, abuses committed by UK armed forces abroad, and failure to ratify particular UN conventions and their protocols.

Coming at a time when the UK government is trying to pass yet another piece of counterterrorism legislation, which includes extending pre-charge detention to 42 days, it’s no wonder a significant number of countries asked about UK counterterrorism policies. Neighbors such as The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland expressed concern about 42 day detention, but so did countries like Syria and Algeria. Algeria’s representative pointed out that the Human Rights Committee – the UN body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – had recently “upbraided” Algeria for allowing up to twelve days of pre-charge detention.


Trevor Brooks jailed

So, Trevor Brooks, sorry “Abu Izzadeen”, has been jailed for inciting and funding terrorism, temporarily ending the career of yet another loud-mouthed Celebrity Fanatic.  Funny how these men (and they’re always men, of course) have always called on others to go and kill themselves for The Righteous Cause, yet have always preferred to stay at home (usually at the expense of the state they claim to loathe).

Media ignores terrorism in the name of Christ

The Italian police arrested Mr Sandalo on 10th April 2008; he has subsequently confessed to the attacks, the foundation of the Christian terrorist organization as well as new plots. Mr Sandalo, who was a member of the Lega Nord and subsequently expelled for providing a false name, has been an infamous, bloody killer and terrorist for Prima Linea (Front Line), a Communist terrorist organization similar to the Red Brigades. Mr Sandalo has justified his actions, and future plans to continue a terrorist campaign against Muslims, such as Dr Gonzaga, director of Islamic Relief Italy, as a fight in the name of Jesus against ‘Islamofascism’. The Italian authorities are still investigating the international links of the organization and the official number of members; another four people have been arrested today, among them Maurizio Peruzzi, an expert in chemistry and explosives. I am sure that this will not be the first or last of these anti-Muslim terrorist groups, yet I am not surprised that the first one started in Italy. As I have highlighted in another post, Muslims in Italy suffer, particularly from the extreme right, forms of discrimination as well as violence, and the Lega North is certainly one of the most anti-Muslims parties of Europe.


Head of FBI says Al-Qa’ida can be defeated in less than four years

In a speech to Chatham House, Robert Mueller, head of the FBI, says Britain and the US are less than four years from defeating al-Qa’ida. The FBI have developed a three-tiered threat from al-Qa’ida:

– A top tier based along the Afghanistan-Pakisan border.

– A middle tier with some links to the top; this is apparently the most complicated.

– A third, lower, tier which meets largely on the internet and not training camps.

Mueller’s remarks seem to tie in with the ‘leaderless jihad’ theory promoted by Marc Sageman (who used to work for the CIA), although Sageman is more forceful in saying the first two tiers (the ‘leadership’ and those trained by the top) have been devastated — the third tier, in his view, is dangerous but does not pose a “civilisational” challenge.

Where does this assessment by Mueller leave the ‘long war’ the Bush administration has talked about so much?

Over at Global Dashboard notes that the current head of head of MI5 and his predecessor are quoted by Mueller, prompting the question: why do we only learn of British counterterrorism efforts through American officials?

Plus, if we win in 4 years time, will the state returns the rights it has taken in the fight against terrorism?

Studies in ‘jihadism’

More than six years after 9/11, the study of jihadism is still in its infancy. Why has it taken so long to develop? One reason, of course, is that we started almost from scratch. Another factor is that it takes time for primary sources to emerge. But the most important reason is no doubt that the emotional outrage at al-Qaeda’s violence has prevented us from seeing clearly. Societies touched by terrorism are always the least well placed to understand their enemies. It is only when we see the jihadists not as agents of evil or as religious fanatics, but as humans, that we stand a chance of understanding them.


Internment, then and now

[W]e should urgently try to understand how significant change came about for [the Irish during the Troubles]. Much current reminiscence ignores vital factors, such as the inescapable responsibility of the Irish Republic and, above all, the political weight of the Irish diaspora and the far-sightedness of those who began and maintained contact, long before Blair was elected and claimed the ultimate prize. Throughout the thirty years of conflict, forty million Americans of Irish descent formed an electoral statistic that no US administration could afford to ignore. It is said that on the night before he decided to grant a visa to Gerry Adams, Bill Clinton watched a film about the catastrophic injustice inflicted on one Irish family by the British state. Here, Lord Scarman and Lord Devlin, retired law lords, joined Cardinal Hume, the head of the Catholic Church in England, in educating themselves in the finest detail of three sets of wrongful convictions involving 14 defendants. At one critical moment Cardinal Hume confronted the home secretary, Douglas Hurd, challenging the adequacy of his briefing.

No similar allies for the Muslim community are evident today, capable of pushing and pulling the British government publicly or privately into seeing sense. Spiritually, the Muslim Ummah is seen as being infinite, but the powerful regimes of the Muslim world almost without exception not only themselves perpetrate oppression, but choose to work hand in hand with the US and the UK in their ‘war on terror’. It is for us, as a nation, to take stock of ourselves. We are very far along a destructive path, and if our government continues on that path, we will ultimately have destroyed much of the moral and legal fabric of the society that we claim to be protecting. The choice and the responsibility are entirely ours.



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