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20 janvier 2015 2 20 /01 /janvier /2015 17:35
Islamic State jihadists moving in vehicles captured from the Iraqi army

Islamic State jihadists moving in vehicles captured from the Iraqi army


Jan 19, 2015, Times of India (PTI)


NEW DELHI: Britain has warned India about possible attack by ISIS and said all efforts must be taken to check activities of the Middle East terrorist group.

British officials have conveyed this to their Indian counterparts at the India-UK counterterrorism joint working group meeting held in London on January 15-16.

Officials said that during the meeting, India had asked Britain to impress upon Pakistan not to differentiate between "good" and "bad" terrorists in the wake of recent attack on a school in Peshawar and said that it must take a firm stand on why Pakistan had become a nursery of terrorists.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 18:35
Australia’s Controversial New Counterterror Measures


August 08, 2014 By Jarni Blakkarly - thediplomat.com


Concerns are expressed at the expanded authority, especially the mandatory collection of telecom metadata.


The Australian government has announced new counterterrorism measures that will make it easier to detain suspects without a warrant for extended periods and includes mandatory telecommunications metadata collection.

The widespread changes announced earlier this week have raised concerns for human rights, as well as the fears from the Muslim community who feel they are being directly targeted.

Among the changes is a broadening of the definition of a “terrorist organization” to include organizations that promote or encourage terrorism, extended questioning and detention powers without a warrant, and a A$630 million ($585 million) increase in funding for national security agencies over the next four years.

On Thursday, the Lebanese Muslim Association said the new powers seemed to “target the Muslim community” and “give authorities unprecedented and intrusive powers.”

“I urge the government to abandon these divisive measures and restore public confidence in our ostensible rights as citizens in a democratic nation,” the association’s President Samier Dandan said.

While acknowledging the need for safety and security, he added, “Divisive rhetoric and fear-mongering often used by political representatives and the media is only feeding the frenzy of an us-versus-them mentality.”

The Australian National Imams Council have said that “the proposed changes to the anti-terrorism laws will severely impinge on the rights and freedoms of all Australians and especially those of Muslim faith.”

The new counterterrorism measures have come in the context of growing government and public concern about Australians returning from fighting in Iraq and Syria to carry out terrorist attacks in Australia. It is believed around 150 Australians are involved in the fighting in the region.

The new changes also include greater intelligence sharing internationally and increased power to cancel passports of Australian nationals.

However, it is the mandatory collection of the meta-data of all citizens that has raised concerns outside of the Muslim community. Under the changes telecommunications companies would be required to store the data, which the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) would be able to access.

Data on users accessing “suspicious” websites could be accessed by ASIO without a warrant, whereas other access to the data would require a “generic warrant.”

After some confusion about what data would be collected, including a bumbling interview with the Attorney General who failed to explain what constituted “meta-data,” the government has clarified that only the IP addresses of users would be kept. Specific activity on websites such as Facebook will not be collected, although ASIO declined to say if conversations from sites such as WhatsApp and Skype could be accessed.

ASIO have sought to play down the intrusive level of the data storage, however many remain skeptical of meta-data intelligence gathering in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations last year.

The government has said that the widespread nature of potential home-grown terrorist threats justifies the new data collection. However, last month The Saturday Paper reported that members of a parliamentary committee on intelligence and security said that the new ASIO powers were requested almost a year ago and that the current threat of fighters returning from abroad was being used as excuse.

When announcing the measures Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the threat hadn’t increased but that it was “as high as it has ever been.” He added that while Australia’s terrorism alert level has remained on “medium” since September 11, there was now “heightened concern.”

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:40
Russia Puts Some 20,000 Internal Troops on Training Alert

MOSCOW REGION, September 17 (RIA Novosti)


More than 20,000 of the Russian Interior Ministry’s internal troops have been put on alert in preparation for upcoming Russian-Belarusian drills, a senior ministry official said Tuesday.

The troops will conduct a series of territorial defense exercises in several Russian regions in preparation for the Zapad-2013 (West-2013) drills, said Deputy Interior Minister Nikolai Rogozhkin, who is also chief of the internal troops.

The missions will include counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations as well as the reinforcement of sensitive installations in emergency situations, the official added.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, supreme commander-in-chief of the nation’s armed forces, ordered a new series of snap checks of the military as well as civil services, to be conducted at the Interior Ministry’s internal troops, as well as in a number of civilian structures: the Transportation Ministry, the Energy Ministry and the Novgorod Region administration.

The Zapad-2013 two-stage strategic military drills, involving rapid-reaction units from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), will take place in Belarus and Russia from Friday to September 26.

Vyacheslav Usik, a spokesman for the Russian General Staff, said earlier that Belarus would send 10,400 servicemen to the drills, which will also involve some 60 aircraft and helicopters and up to 250 combat vehicles. Moscow and Minsk held similar large-scale military exercises in September 2009.

July this year saw unprecedented drills in the Russian Far East testing the Far East and Central Military Districts’ combat readiness. The drills involved more than 160,000 servicemen, 130 aircraft, 5,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 70 Pacific Fleet warships, five Russian armies, the Third Air Force, Air Defense Command and strategic aviation. The Defense Ministry has said that such snap inspections will be conducted regularly.

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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 18:20
MQ-9_Reaper_taxis Afghanistan photo Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson US Air Force

MQ-9_Reaper_taxis Afghanistan photo Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson US Air Force

May. 28, 2013 - By JOHN T. BENNETT – Defense News


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama last week delivered a muscular defense of his use of armed drone aircraft to eliminate al-Qaida leaders, and moved to ensure his controversial targeted-killing program is here to stay.


While Obama indicated he would order future strikes only when other options are unavailable, he also codified the drone program, which his administration once refused to acknowledge, into America’s counterterrorism canon.


“We act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, and when there are no other governments capable of effectively addressing the threat,” Obama said at Washington’s National Defense University. “And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured, the highest standard we can set.”


Bowing — partially — to critics who charge his drone program is too secretive, Obama shed new light on when his administration would deploy a remotely piloted aircraft to kill an al-Qaida member.


“America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists; our preference is always to detain, interrogate and prosecute them,” the president said. “America cannot take strikes wherever we choose; our actions are bound by consultations with partners, and respect for state sovereignty.”


The new counterterrorism policy will guarantee the drone strike program will be waiting for his successor in January 2017.


Christopher Preble, a senior analyst at the nonpartisan Cato Institute, said armed drone aircraft “absolutely” are here to stay.


“The current technology in this area is fairly immature still,” Preble said. “There is a lot of upside, it seems to me, for technological improvements to UAVs.”


Obama’s first major counterterrorism speech of his second term specified three reasons the 44th president will keep ordering drone strikes on al-Qaida targets:

Obama Formally Adds Armed Drones to Counterterrorism Arsenal

Obama's Preferred Tool


The numbers offer strong justification. Data compiled by the New America Foundation shows drone strikes spiked in Pakistan between 2009 and 2010, jumping from 54 to 122. The 2009 figure jumped from 36 in 2008, the last year of the administration of President George W. Bush. Obama ordered 73 strikes in 2011 and 48 in 2012.


In Yemen, New America found 13 US-orchestrated strikes in 2011, then about 45 in 2012. There have been around a half-dozen this year.


The sharp decline in 2013 is because “there are fewer targets to hit,” Preble said, adding that’s a result of the 2010-2012 strikes.


Obama’s words show that drones will remain his preferred tool when others won’t work.


“Where foreign governments cannot or will not effectively stop terrorism in their territory, the primary alternative to targeted, lethal action is the use of conventional military options,” Obama said last week.


Obama also, perhaps for the first time, clearly stated his preference for the capabilities of drones over other systems.


“Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage,” he said.


Little Political Pressure


Several Republican senators who often criticize Obama’s foreign policy addressed reporters after Obama’s speech and critical they were — about his comments on the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison and his Middle East policy.


But drones were an afterthought. And when they did come up, the GOP senators mostly echoed the Democratic commander in chief.


“There were parts of this speech I could have given,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.


Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., mentioned drones, but only to urge Obama to rethink any intention to make the program more transparent.


Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., focused mostly on Guantanamo Bay and Syria and said he supports reported plans to shift the program from the CIA to the military.


Statements from Democratic lawmakers also showed Capitol Hill is focused on another fight over Guantanamo, not ending the drone program.


Drones Are Effective


“Our actions are effective,” Obama said. “Don’t take my word for it. In the intelligence gathered at [Osama] bin Laden’s compound, we found that he wrote, ‘We could lose the reserves to the enemy’s air strikes.’ ”


The New America Foundation concludes nearly 1,930 al-Qaida operatives have been killed in Pakistan by US drone strikes under Obama. In Yemen, the number could approach 750, New America estimates.


The president hinted those targeted killings are superior to massive Iraq- or Afghanistan-style ground operations.


“Invasions of [foreign] territories lead us to be viewed as occupying armies; unleash a torrent of unintended consequences; are difficult to contain; and ultimately empower those who thrive on violent conflict,” he said.

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