Turkey and the West Part Ways on ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Turkey and the West Part Ways on ‘Charlie Hebdo’

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

MoI: 15 Taliban militants killed during counter-terrorism operations

By Khaama Press – Sun Nov 16 2014, 1:06 pm

Former Taliban commander killed  At least 15 Taliban militants were killed  and 16 others were injured during clearing operations by Afghan national security forces.

 The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said at least 3 Taliban militants were also arreted during the operations conducted by Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan National Army and Afghan Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces.

A statement released by MoI said the operations were conducted in Kandahar, Kunar, Laghman, Zabul, Uruzgan, Ghazni and Paktia provinces. Continue reading

Australian Terrorism Suspect Shot Dead After Stabbing Police

By Edward Johnson and Jason Scott Sep 24, 2014 4:31 AM GMT+0200

Photographer: Luis Ascui/Getty Images

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.

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Terrorism spotlight falls on Islington as brothers become Al-Qaeda poster boys

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Akram Sebah (left) and brother Mohamed – picture of the two which was sent out on social media, declaring them Martyrs

Rory Brigstock-Barron Thursday, January 30, 2014  7:00 AM

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.

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Tokyo – Metro police stage counterterrorism drill for Olympics

Sep 12, 2013

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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

Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department held a counterterrorism drill Thursday as part of measures to protect the Olympic village to be built for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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.

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Sharing Some History With Boston

Viceroyalty of the Caucasus עברית: מלכות המשנה...

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.

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Bin Laden was in Muslim Brotherhood, says al-Qaeda chief

27 September 2012, 16:47 (GMT+05:00)

Al-Qaeda’s late leader Osama bin Laden was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood before taking up arms against Soviets in Afghanistan, his successor Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a video message released Thursday, dpa reported.

“Sheikh Osama bin Laden was in the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the Arabian Peninsula. When the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began (in 1979), he immediately went to Pakistan to meet the mujahideen and assist them,” al-Zawahiri added in the hour-long video reposted on Jihadology, a US-based website on extremist groups. Continue reading

Will Mali become the Next Terrorist Sanctuary?

In the aftermath of the Mali coup, northern secessionists have declared an independent Islamic state. With verifiable links to Al-Qa’ida, there is a real risk that ‘Azawad’, as it is known, will become the next wellspring of instability and terrorism in Africa.

By Valentina Soria, Research Analyst

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The proclamation on 26 May of an ‘Islamic state of Azawad’,[1]  in the northern region of Mali,  came only two months after a military coup that forced former president Amadou Toumani Toure to flee the capital Bamako, plunging the country into a political crisis. The power vacuum left was swiftly exploited by rebel forces to seize a territory the size of France, turning such a crisis into a security and humanitarian emergency. The 26 May announcement indicated that the secular National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Islamist Ansar Dine (also spelt as Ansar Eddine) had apparently been able to reconcile divergent, if not clashing, ideological positions on government. An independent Azawad was first unilaterally declared by the MNLA in April but not backed by their Islamist allies, keen instead on pursuing the more ambitious aim of imposing Sharia law across the whole country. Yet, early attempts to do so immediately after the seizure of key towns in the north were met with firm opposition by the moderate Muslim local population, with MNLA also mostly hostile to the idea.[2]

Thus, last week’s joint declaration seemed to represent a ‘reasonable’ compromise between the Tuaregs‘ quest for independence from the south and the Islamists‘ desire to create an Islamic state. There was no doubting the opportunistic nature of the deal, with each side trying to secure their grip on power in a shared settlement that, although not ideal, must have been viewed by both at least as an acceptable outcome. Yet, its long-term sustainability is already in question, after ‘fundamental differences’ were blamed by the MNLA for the collapse of the deal only a few days later.

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Forum Working Group on Counter-Terrorism Meet

English: Logotype of Committee of Experts on t...

English: Logotype of Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) Русский: Логотип Комитета экспертов Совета Европы по оценке мер борьбы с отмыванием денег и финансированием терроризма (МАНИВЭЛ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BY PACIFC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT

The eighth meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum Working Group on Counter-Terrorism was held in Suva, Fiji on 5 June 2012.

The Working Group meets annually and allows Members and regional law enforcement secretariats to discuss national, regional and international developments in counter-terrorism, including transnational organised crime, human trafficking and people smuggling, money-laundering and nuclear security issues.

The Working Group meeting provided Member countries the further opportunity to identify national constraints in ensuring compliance with international counter-terrorism standards, and to consider available solutions, resources and models to support their respective efforts.

In opening the 2012 meeting of the Working Group, Deputy Secretary General Andie Fong Toy of the Forum Secretariat observed that “the Working Group, with the support of the Forum Secretariat, has been at the forefront of coordinating regional counter-terrorism initiatives. Support through policy and legislative development as well as capacity building activities continues to be undertaken both regionally and bilaterally.”

Concerns raised by Member countries on a broad range of experience and perspectives on counter-terrorism also reflected the views of various police services, immigration departments, offices of attorney-general and justice ministries.

The Working Group continued to support the recommendation of Exercise Ready Pasifika II for Pacific island countries to hold their own national-level counter-terrorism exercises and acknowledged the continuation of counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance from Australia and New Zealand and other donors. Continue reading