Arab Spring = Breeding ground for British terrorists.

#2
So our security farces will step up stop and searches of 70 year old middle class grannies flying back from visiting their families in Sydney?
 
#4
He's got a point with Yemen.

AQ in the Islamic Maghreb has been tring to source weapons from the fall out in Libya, but this has been documented elsewhere on this site.

As to threats to the UK, surely Somalia would be a more problematic region.

Said it would be “extraordinary and self-defeating” if the Government’s proposed new email and phone snooping powers did not go ahead
Ah forgot about that.
 
#6
Not directly, maybe indirectly.

The Sahel region has been getting worse for the last 8 years, ever since AFRICOM started the Pan Sahel Initiative and The Trans Sahara Counter Terrorist Initiative.

Main threat to UK will likely be from substantive exile/diaspora communities here that come from Arab Spring countries and have a grudge. Not so sure the Libyan exiles that were/are here will fall into this bracket

There will be a collective risk from increased access to training slightly closer to Europe (less easy say than to monitor travel to/from Pakistan)

Attacks in the UK mainland will always need a springboard/local support network

Main threat from Arab Spring will be increased flow of Narcotics through the region. Drugs love ungoverned spaces!

Cocaine


Heroin

 
#8
Attacks in the UK mainland will always need a springboard/local support network

Main threat from Arab Spring will be increased flow of Narcotics through the region. Drugs love ungoverned spaces!
Thanks to the stpudiity of the Blair government, the paranoia that "ungoverned spaced" breads nastiness is entrenched in policy circles.

Well, if some policy markers are reading (no chance):

You haven't yet managed to stop universities being a breeding ground for radicalisation. That's ungoverned space on our door-step.

You haven't yet managed to stop prisons being a breeding ground for radicalisation. That's ungoverned space we are supposed to control.

Your farcical attempts to neuter the internet as "ungoverned spaced" are pitiful and unworkable, only exposing the tehcnological ineptitude of senior decision makers and that you don't take advice or wilfully don't listen to anyone who has a clue what is going on.

"Ungoverned space"? There'll be 647,500 km sq of it when we all pull out of Afghanistan.

Is it that there are nearer places to play? Or are we all just worried about the security of the Med so Blair and the rest of you can holiday at your mates exclusive venues safely?


Get a bloody grip of the borders fiirst, you *********.

(That's directed against the seniors, not UKBA. Just incase people think I'm having a go at the workers).
 
#9
Drugs certainly do love ungoverned spaces. Well that's why we have so many of them! Money is the key to all this, just follow the money. As for Blair, his admission in the Express yesterday proves his Government was either filled with numnuts or was in the pockets of some very nasty vested interests. Well it wasn't full of fools, witness the bulging pockets, which leaves the other alternative. Even the lowliest operative in the borders knows that our borders controls are there subject to the Treaty of Rome art 36 defence of the borders suceeded by Art 30 of the treaty of Amsterdam.In effect what he said was that we had joined Schengen by the back door. Horrible weasely little man.If the media now accept 3.5 million migrants you can bet your life its really about 7 million And Milliband wants to wipe the slate clean? God he's going to need a lot of elbowgrease and Camerons got his work cut out.
 
#10
Thanks to the stpudiity of the Blair government, the paranoia that "ungoverned spaced" breads nastiness is entrenched in policy circles.
Algeria is a fascinating example of how this paranoia can overcome the reality. AQIM was the rebranding of 2 essentially different but interlinked groupings: The northern more millitantly active bunch up in the hills conducting an almost timeless insurgency and the southern grouping mainly focused on smuggling and revenue generation, with the occasional KFR and attack thrown in.

By lumping them together and treating it as a predominantly terrorist problem, the opportunity to target the money generating flow of drugs and logistically starve the whole structure is missed.

An interesting view on the finances of terrorism: Loretta Napoleoni: The intricate economics of terrorism | Video on TED.com
 
#11
The "Arab Spring" or the rise of democracy inclined Islamists that we've seen in Tunisia and Egypt is probably bad news for Takfiri, though if they fail the reverse is true. Structural economic problems across the Arab world present a grave challenge to any new regime so I'd not get our hopes up, lots of turmoil is likely.

In Egypt we have a genuine rise in enthusiasm for representative government but we still have a military Junta in control though the MB appears to be partnering with it. The old Mubarak regime "near enemy" actually produced core AQ via brutal repression of lunatic fringe MB factions so this may be rather more difficult ground for the Takfiri. But rent seeking by the military, debt and corruption make the country rather like a large version of Greece. The big difference is the population at least breeds, boy do they breed.

The biggest developments lately are the Tuareg takeover in Mali and what's looking like a rerun of al Anbar in Syria. The former is a direct consequence of Libya where supposedly reformed Takfiri had an important role and we appear to be facilitating our AQ affiliated chums in the latter.

Like Iraq Syria may become a great magnate for Takfiri producing short term security gains but offering an opportunity to grow and diversify the movement. Since Hama the fall of the Syrian Baath has been a popular goal for Islamists in general. Of course if this led to a more containable regime than the relatively meek Syrian Baath that might be no bad thing but Syria is highly unpredictable. All that's likely to happen in Syria is a bloodbath spilling over its borders. Actually like al Anbar Takfiri failure to exploit a very favorable revolutionary situation thanks to their thick headed tendency to resort to heavy handed butchery is not unlikely. Naturally after such an event crusading beards who survive (and most do) will eventually return home, bringing new domestic threats.

But what's probably a more dangerous trend is regional Saudi adventurism attempting to tamp down all this nasty democracy business and oppose Qom's rise, this has always gone hand in hand with the worst sort of Islamist radicalism. It may yet produce a more effective enemy than the idiots we have spent a decade running after.
 
#12
Algeria is a fascinating example of how this paranoia can overcome the reality. AQIM was the rebranding of 2 essentially different but interlinked groupings: The northern more millitantly active bunch up in the hills conducting an almost timeless insurgency and the southern grouping mainly focused on smuggling and revenue generation, with the occasional KFR and attack thrown in.

By lumping them together and treating it as a predominantly terrorist problem, the opportunity to target the money generating flow of drugs and logistically starve the whole structure is missed.

An interesting view on the finances of terrorism: Loretta Napoleoni: The intricate economics of terrorism | Video on TED.com
Smallbrownprivates, I am grateful for the link. She has written an apparently rather good book that I must get around to one day. Whatever my bosses think, there are only 24 hours in a day and diary is crowded too.

This is a rather good blog, they've written well (IMHO and uneducated opinion too) on Norther African issues.

al-Wasat –

This is well worth a read too:

Times Higher Education - The Dark Sahara: America's War on Terror in Africa

Whatever one thinks of Keenan, he is an expert on the Touraeg and saharan African cultures. Maybe we could listen to such people.

(Piffle, Boumer-you are such a silly Owl! That will never catch on.)

The "Arab Spring" or the rise of democracy inclined Islamists that we've seen in Tunisia and Egypt is probably bad news for Takfiri, though if they fail the reverse is true. Structural economic problems across the Arab world present a grave challenge to any new regime so I'd not get our hopes up, lots of turmoil is likely.

In Egypt we have a genuine rise in enthusiasm for representative government but we still have a military Junta in control though the MB appears to be partnering with it. The old Mubarak regime "near enemy" actually produced core AQ via brutal repression of lunatic fringe MB factions so this may be rather more difficult ground for the Takfiri. But rent seeking by the military, debt and corruption make the country rather like a large version of Greece. The big difference is the population at least breeds, boy do they breed.

The biggest developments lately are the Tuareg takeover in Mali and what's looking like a rerun of al Anbar in Syria. The former is a direct consequence of Libya where supposedly reformed Takfiri had an important role and we appear to be facilitating our AQ affiliated chums in the latter.

Like Iraq Syria may become a great magnate for Takfiri producing short term security gains but offering an opportunity to grow and diversify the movement. Since Hama the fall of the Syrian Baath has been a popular goal for Islamists in general. Of course if this led to a more containable regime than the relatively meek Syrian Baath that might be no bad thing but Syria is highly unpredictable. All that's likely to happen in Syria is a bloodbath spilling over its borders. Actually like al Anbar Takfiri failure to exploit a very favorable revolutionary situation thanks to their thick headed tendency to resort to heavy handed butchery is not unlikely. Naturally after such an event crusading beards who survive (and most do) will eventually return home, bringing new domestic threats.

But what's probably a more dangerous trend is regional Saudi adventurism attempting to tamp down all this nasty democracy business and oppose Qom's rise, this has always gone hand in hand with the worst sort of Islamist radicalism. It may yet produce a more effective enemy than the idiots we have spent a decade running after.
Careful, Alib. Chucking around terms like "takfir" you'll have policymakers running for their experts to explain simple (well, relatively simple) concepts we should have understood years ago. But we don't.

But you're right:
Actually like al Anbar Takfiri failure to exploit a very favorable revolutionary situation thanks to their thick headed tendency to resort to heavy handed butchery is not unlikely.
But in the Algerian experience it was largely fatwas written in London that spurred on the violence! At least we exported something.

I haven't read this yet, but looks interesting:

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Al-Qaeda Master Narratives Report | Public Intelligence
Master narratives often emerge naturally over time as a community discovers and defends its shared identity. Governments, influencers, and non-state actors can also create master narratives in their efforts to persuade target audiences to support political platforms, reject opposing viewpoints, or take up arms for a cause. Like political, social, and religious leaders, violent extremist organization communicators promulgate their own master narratives in an attempt to discredit adversaries while attracting new recruit
I am a great believer in listening to what someone says and taking it seriously. Please note I omit saying that I believe it. But you can take it seriously.

Likewise what someone chooses to tell us, says a lot about themselves.

(Bit like the dangers of talking on a discussion board or facebook).

Any Alib, al-wast blog is discussing "Mali-The New Afghanistan.

But what we really need to know is........has Rory Stewart ever been to Mali?
 
#14
By lumping them together and treating it as a predominantly terrorist problem, the opportunity to target the money generating flow of drugs and logistically starve the whole structure is missed.

Having worked in that area, I couldn't agree more, but unfortunatley certain organisations have a very blinkered approach to Terrorism and we certainly don't have a joined up approach on the subject no matter what the politicos say
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#16
Evans is undoubtedly trying to throw a scare into people to justify snooping on our every email, phone call and internet post, in the face of big opposition from human rights / privacy activists and concerned citizens / media.

As to the question of Arab Spring and Al Q? There's them on here knows more than me about that so I shall confine myself to a resigned sigh and ask, again, when we will learn that the freedom fighter we arm today is likely the terrorist nutter we face tomorrow.
 
#17
Any Alib, al-wast blog is discussing "Mali-The New Afghanistan.

But what we really need to know is........has Rory Stewart ever been to Mali?
Don't think so.

I however have, whilst working in and around the sahel/sub saharan africa for the last decade or so.

Mali was one of my favourite countries, the sweep back and forth of empires across the ages meant that no single tribe had been dominant and everyone had been someone else's slave at some time or another. (Tuaregs/Tamchek always a bit on a limb)

IMHO the decline in security and increasing violence in the region closely mirrors the steadily growing involvement of AFRICOM in the area.
I've heard some crap analogies, but one US officer making a american football game analogy from Somalia (wide receivers) to Mauritania (safety or running back???) as a justification for so much activity took the biscuit.
 
#18
As to the question of Arab Spring and Al Q? There's them on here knows more than me about that so I shall confine myself to a resigned sigh and ask, again, when we will learn that the freedom fighter we arm today is likely the terrorist nutter we face tomorrow.
It's nonsense. The reaction of Ayman Al-Zawahiri et al to the awakening was muted. They have no interest in the awakening.

It prevents the roll-back to the Khaliphate they imagine.

Arguably the new regieme in Egypt will anger him; al-Zawahiri is egyptian anyway, and the sort of compromises that will be necessary to be maid are anthema to him and his ilk. The essence of him is that he doesn't compromise, hence why he has taken the path to obscurity he has.

Arguably the threat to us is from the brand "Al-Qae'ida" that is there for the dreamers anywhere (and particularly in prisons, universities and little corners of coffee hourses, "study groups" and the like. In joining this dream, that is the threat. That wasn't thought up by him anyway, that was Abu Musab al-Suri (who was resident in London for a while as well!).

(Apparently al-Suri was released by Asad, after the US rendered him there having arrested him in Pakistan. If you want a cracking read, get a copy of "The Architect of Global Jihad", a biography of him by Brin Lyia

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/023170030X/?tag=armrumser-21

He had the idea of a "nizam la tanzim" (system not and organisation) has survived, arguably Al Qae'ida core has not.

This decentralised threat is the one that will be the risk.

Global jihadism, in contrast, is populist and malleable. The only requirement is to identify with the basic world view presented through various lenses by various components of the movement: the Muslim world, or one’s
portion of it, is in decline as a result of an anti-Islamic conspiracy, and only jihad (understood solely in militant terms) can redeem it. Recognizing the value of inclusivity, Al-Qaeda has subordinated itself to the broader violent movement. Al-Qaeda now endorses lone-wolf jihadism conducted by those who may lack Salafi credentials
Towards Global Jihadism: Al-Qaeda's Strategic, Ideological and Structural Adaptations since 9/11 | Braniff | Perspectives on Terrorism

This is the threat that is being thrown around as the justification for the communications surveillance neccessary on EVERYONE.

In this however, I think the Government has effectively lost it. Pointing hysterically into a crowd saying "they're everywhere" (effectively what this argues) is not the considered response I hoped to hear from our "leaders".

(Though such a system, where it ever to get off the ground, would be greatly useful whilst you are pushing though a raft of policies likely to create opposition and possibly violent protest, the like of which was seen a year ago; and the government arguably failed in their response to the relatively uncomplex technology being deployed against it to organise the offending).

Anyway, I am mixing issues here and in danger of sounding like I am giving a lecture (I apologise, no rudeness is meant).

If AQ (or its local off-spring) wish to be post-awakening player, they are going to have to bring the global Jihad home.

The "logic" of AQ goes roughly like this:

The Muslim world is under attack, both in terms of ideas and physically.

Local governments, are un-Islamic and tryrannical. Preventing true Islam from giving everyone the peace that would follow proper Islamic government. However;

These governments are propped up by the far enemy, chiefly the USA. They arm, equip and subsidise the un-Islamic regiemes-and send un-Islamic propaganda to weaken the people. A hedonisic, un-Islamic lifestyle to undermine the way that things should be.

Resistance to this is defensive jihad, resistance to aggression. It is an individual obligation on people to support it physically, with financial or other support or to at least praise it and speak against this assault.

If you don't you are not a true muslim, and can be excommunicated (takfir).

On the ground, it is a lot more dirty anyway than the pure philosophers of Al Qae'ida anyway.

The "world view" of AQ has to be given a local context for them to be anything other than a movement passed over by history, an Arab version of Baader-Meinhoff.

I'm not saying AQ will never not be a threat. They are, they will. A djinn (spirit or so) has been released which I do not think will ever be put to rest. And it is the spirit that can be like a vapour, everywhere and nowhere.

You cannot bottle a thought, you can only compete with it and defeat it.

That, however, would be like trying to tell an Irishman that they don't have 700 years of oppression at the hands of the British in certain areas though, to give it a local equivalent.

The world view of some is that there has been 700 years of oppression, think we can talk them out of that? That we have a "competing narrative"?
 

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