By Berivan OrucogluBerivan Orucoglu is an award-winning Turkish journalist and a member of the Next Generation Leader program of the McCain Institute.
January 14, 2015
Turkish reactions to the massacre in Paris once again reveal a growing gap with the West. While leaders and commentators in western countries immediately condemned the terrorists and presented a broadly unified stance denouncing the shocking attack on Charlie Hebdo as an act of violence against freedom of the press, Turkish leaders came up with a starkly different diagnosis: They interpreted last week’s events as yet another assault on Islam itself.
Freedom of the press, it would seem, is not high on the Turkish agenda at the moment. When the secular leftist newspaper Cumhuriyet decided to run a special issue of Charlie Hebdo today to show its solidarity, police raided the newspaper’s printing plant. Cumhuriyet said the police allowed distribution to proceed after verifying that Charlie Hebdo‘s controversial cover featuring the Prophet Muhammad wasn’t being published. Politicians were quick to follow up. “Those who publish some images in reference to our sublime prophet and thus disregard Muslims’ sacred [feelings] are involved in open provocation and agitation,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said. Not only the ruling party but the judiciary, too, is offended by the Turkish media’s message of solidarity. A court in Diyarbakir has ordered the Turkish telecommunications authority to ban access to web pages showing Charlie Hebdo‘s front cover with the image of the Prophet Mohammed. Continue reading →
By Edward Johnson and Jason ScottSep 24, 2014 4:31 AM GMT+0200
An 18-year-old man shot dead by Australian police after stabbing two officers was a terrorism suspect under investigation for waving an Islamic State flag in a shopping center.
The teenager attacked two counter-terrorism officers yesterday evening outside a Melbourne police station, where he was due to be interviewed about his behavior, Australian Federal Police Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin told reporters today. The man’s passport had recently been canceled on security grounds, Colvin said.
Australia raised its terrorism alert to the highest level in a decade this month, citing the threat posed by supporters of Islamic State extremists. Last week, authorities said police foiled an alleged beheading plot by the group after carrying out the nation’s largest ever anti-terrorism raid.
The incident last night “indicates there are people in our community who are capable of very extreme acts,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said en route to New York, where he is attending a United Nations Security Council meeting on how to tackle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The terrorism spotlight fell on Holloway this week as three people in their 20s were linked to al-Qaeda in Syria.
Propaganda images were released on social media of brothers Akram, 24, and Mohamed Sebah, 28, who grew up in Cornwallis Square, and are believed to have died in battle in the war-torn country in September.
The two were pictured together smiling and brandishing guns in camouflage gear and were hailed “martyrs” and “young British lions” in messages sent out to encourage other recruits to follow in their footsteps.
Olympic bomb squad: Members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department wearing special suits attempt Thursday to remove an unidentified object during a counterterrorism drill in the Harumi district in Chuo Ward, close to where the Olympic Village for the Tokyo 2020 Games is expected to be built. About 50 residents and police officers participated in the drill, the first in a series of exercises the metropolitan police is planning to hold during the lead-up to the Olympics. | KYODO
About 50 people, including private security guards, took part in the drill in the Harumi district of Chuo Ward along Tokyo Bay, where the Olympic village is planned to be built. Much of it consists of landfill.
A neighboring commercial complex just a kilometer away that draws more than 20,000 office workers during weekdays, was also involved in the drill.
Viceroyalty of the Caucasus עברית: מלכות המשנה של הקווקז (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
April 26, 2013: The April 15th terrorist in the United States (Boston) has made the world more aware of Russia’s terrorism problem in the Caucasus. The two Boston terrorists (the Tsarnaev brothers) were Chechens from Dagestan. Russia had alerted the American FBI and CIA about the elder brother in 2011. Russia had no hard evidence but their intelligence had picked up some data on the elder Tsarnaev brother’s interest in Islamic radicalism. In the United States the FBI and CIA are being grilled over why this vague tip did not result in the April 15 attack being prevented. One defense that will probably be heard (more likely from the CIA, which has long monitored the Caucasus) is that there are a lot Islamic radical Chechens these days, but few of them proceed to become Islamic terrorists and fewer still attempt to make attacks outside Russia. That has given Russia a lot of problems in the last two decades.
Despite this formidable terrorist threat, the security forces (local and national police plus specialized counter-terror forces from the police and military) have managed to reduce the terrorism in the Caucasus but not eliminate it.