Dilitas INternational Security Brief 15th March 2015

The threat to the UK from International Terrorism is SEVERE
The threat to Great Britain from Irish Republican Terrorism is MODERATE

SEVERE means that a terrorist attack is highly likely;
SUBSTANTIAL means that a terrorist attack is a strong possibility;
MODERATE, means that a terrorist attack is possible, but not likely.


Three British teenagers who were stopped from travelling to Syria from Turkey and arrested have been released on bail, Scotland Yard says. Two boys aged 17 from north-west London and a man aged 19 were flown back to the UK on Saturday night, the Met said. They were arrested on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts and have been bailed pending further inquiries.

A man has been arrested for allegedly helping three British schoolgirls cross into Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said. The man is said to work for the intelligence agency of a country which is part of the coalition against Islamic State (IS) militants. It is believed Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, left the UK last month to join IS. It is not known what country the arrested man is from. Mr Cavusoglu said the man was not a national of the country he was working for, nor is he from the US or an EU member state. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware that an arrest has been made by the Turkish National Police and that the Metropolitan Police have informed the families of the three girls.

A former British soldier has told the BBC he plans to go to Syria and fight Islamic State (IS) militants to help make it a “better place” to live. The unnamed man, who wants to train Kurdish fighters, said the “vile” extremists were “terrorising” people.

The head of Nato has said he expects Britain to “show leadership” over the alliance’s defence spending target. At a summit in Wales last year, Nato members committed to spending 2% of national income on defence annually. David Cameron has refused to confirm if a government led by him after May’s election would still meet this target. After meeting the prime minister last Friday in London, Nato’s Jens Stoltenberg said he expected all allies to “fulfil” the spending pledge.

Around 700 jihadists considered dangerous by UK authorities have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State, with around 300 returning to the UK, according to media reports. This is a rise on the 500 and 250 figures previously reported.

A group of British Muslims have issued a public statement accusing the government of “criminalising Islam” and trying to silence “legitimate critique and dissent,” and decrying what it describes as “the ongoing demonisation of Muslims in Britain [and] their values, as well as prominent scholars, speakers, and organisations.” The statement also criticises “the public targeting of Muslims through endless ‘anti-terror’ laws,” and says that the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act “threatens to create a ‘McCarthyite’ witch-hunt against Muslims.” Signatories of the statement include Moazzam Begg, director of outreach for Cage, the organisation that came under fire last week after it sought to explain the radicalization of ISIS killer Mohammed Emwazi. Members of the Islamist organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in several countries including Germany, have also signed the statement.

The Independent carried further coverage of comments made by one of the Queen’s chaplains, Reverend Canon Gavin Ashenden, in which he claimed that the Koran has “over 100 verses inviting people to violence” which Christianity “doesn’t have.” He claimed that the passages in the Koran “tell you to kill your enemies” and to “strike off the heads” of “those who disbelieve.” Rev Ashenden was responding to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s claim earlier last week that young people are turning to jihad because mainstream religions are not “exciting” enough.

Airlines which fly suspected terrorists out of the country in breach of a Home Office order will be hit with fines of up to £50,000 under new laws to come into force within weeks. The penalties would be applied to any carrier which breaches a government ‘no fly’ instruction and allows a jihadist to travel on their planes. Smaller fines of up to £10,000 could be applied where airlines fail to hand over detailed information about its passengers and crew.

The Home Office is planning a “more assertive” stance against extremism, with a series of measures including penalties for benefit claimants who do not learn English and making visa applicants commit themselves to “British values”. According to a copy of a new counter- extremism strategy leaked to the Sunday Telegraph, people with radical views would also be banned from working unsupervised with children under the proposals, which are intended to address not so much terrorism, but the spread of extremist thinking that eventually leads to some people turning to violence.


No content



Reported Monday 9th March 2015 – Islamic State (IS) militants are said to have kidnapped nine foreign oil workers in a raid in Libya, when they reportedly beheaded eight guards. Four Filipinos, an Austrian, a Bangladeshi, a Czech and a Ghanaian were taken with an unidentified ninth foreigner, Austrian officials say. The foreign ministry in Vienna said IS had attacked the al-Ghani oil field. A Libyan army spokesman told the BBC the field 700km (440 miles) south-east of Tripoli had been attacked on Friday. One oil worker died of a heart attack after seeing the beheadings, he added.

Islamic State released a new video last Tuesday, appearing to show a young boy shooting an alleged Israeli spy in the head. The victim, Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam 19, an Israeli-Arab from East Jerusalem, is shown wearing an orange prison suit, kneeling in front of the boy, who appears to be no more than 12 years old, and a man standing by his side.

Iraqi government forces have retaken a large part of north-eastern Tikrit as they battle IS militants to recapture the city, security officials say. Soldiers and Shia militiamen have reportedly raised the Iraqi flag at a hospital in the Qadisiya district, two-thirds of which is under their control.

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces, backed by US air strikes, have launched an offensive against Islamic State (IS) militants in oil-rich Kirkuk province. The Peshmerga reportedly began advancing along a frontline south-west of the provincial capital last Monday.

Islamic State (IS) has accepted a pledge of allegiance from Nigeria’s militant group Boko Haram, according to an audio message. In the tape, which has not been verified, an IS spokesman says the aim of establishing a caliphate has now been expanded to West Africa. Last week, Boko Haram posted a message saying it wanted to join ranks with IS.

Iraqi officials have shown the BBC footage which they say proves Islamic State militants are using chlorine gas in roadside bomb attacks. The videos show bomb disposal teams carrying out controlled explosions, which send plumes of orange smoke into the air. The bombs contain small concentrations of a chemical agent and in open ground are unlikely to be lethal. Experts say they are designed to create fear rather than harm. There have been multiple reports that IS has been deploying chlorine gas since late last year, and Iraqi officials say their footage confirms its use. A member of an Iraqi Bomb Disposal Team said troops have defused dozens of devices containing chlorine as part of the offensive against the militants.


The US embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh has cancelled all consular services for yesterday and today due to “heightened security concerns”. In a statement, the embassy said consular services in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran would not be available. It urged US citizens to take extra precautions when travelling in Saudi Arabia and to keep a low profile. On Friday, the embassy warned that Western oil workers could be the target of militant attacks.

A senior member of the Saudi royal family has warned that a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme could prompt other regional states to develop atomic fuel.


Two bomb blasts have killed at least 10 people near two churches in a Christian neighbourhood of the Pakistani city of Lahore, yesterday, local officials say. At least 50 people were reportedly hurt in the explosions at the Catholic church and Christ Church in the city’s Youhanabad area. Violent protests erupted after the blasts, with large crowds already in the area to attend Sunday mass.

Pakistan is to resume executions for all death penalty offences, months after a moratorium was partially lifted to allow executions of terror convicts. All condemned prisoners who have exhausted the appeals process and whose pleas for clemency are rejected now face execution, officials say.

Indian officials have called on the Pakistani government not to release the man suspected of masterminding the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. They were responding to a High Court ruling in Islamabad, which overturned the detention of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.


The son of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been imprisoned by a court in Tehran. State media said Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani had been convicted of security offences and financial crimes.


Women and children are among dozens of people killed in a dawn raid on a village in central Nigeria. Police say 45 people died in the attack by unidentified gunman on Egba village in in Benue state.

The South African government is concerned its nationals may be working as mercenaries in Nigeria in the war against the Boko Haram militant group. Nigerian government spokesman Mike Omeri said that foreigners were just training troops in the use of new weapons.


Vladimir Putin has admitted for the first time that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the referendum on self-determination.

One of two suspects charged with the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, Zaur Dadayev, confessed under duress, a member of Russia’s Human Rights Council says. Andrei Babushkin, who visited Mr Dadayev on Tuesday, says he saw “numerous wounds” on his body, suggesting he had been tortured. The suspect himself said he was tied up for two days with a bag over his head.


Crimea’s prime minister has told the BBC the peninsula has returned to its historical Russian homeland and will never again be part of Ukraine. Sergei Aksyonov said the annexation of the peninsula by Russia one year ago had been a “democratic act”. In a pre-recorded interview which aired yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had been ready to put nuclear weapons on standby at the time.


North Korea has fired seven ground-to-air missiles into the sea, South Korea’s defence ministry says. It comes on the last day of an annual US-South Korea military exercise. Leader Kim Jong-un was present during the launch on Thursday off the eastern coast, a ministry spokesman from the South said.


The Islamic State (IS) suicide attack allegedly carried out by Australian Jake Bilardi achieved nothing, an Iraqi military spokesman said. IS propaganda claimed on Thursday that the Melbourne teenager died in a suicide attack on Ramadi in Iraq. But General Tahssin Ibrahim told broadcaster ABC that his suicide was worthless.

Two Australian brothers have been intercepted at Sydney airport, amid concerns that the extremist terror group is recruiting young people as cannon fodder. The boys, aged 16 and 17, attempted to fly to an unidentified ‘conflict zone’ in the Middle East late last week. But the brothers, from south-west Sydney, had become radicalized jihadists over the Internet and officials said their parents were “as shocked as any of us would be” when they were told their children planned to join the violent terrorist group. Source A Melbourne schoolboy who travelled to the Middle East to fight with Islamic State (IS) has reportedly died in a suicide attack in Iraq. Jake Bilardi, an 18-year-old Muslim convert, left Australia last year and flew via Turkey to Iraq. An image emerged last week purportedly showing him behind the wheel of a white van with the caption “may God accept him”. The Australian government said it had not been able to confirm the reports.

Australian police are stopping hundreds of people every day at airports in an attempt to prevent would-be jihadists leaving the country. A new counter-terror unit conducted nearly 76,000 “real-time” stops – more than 400 per day – at eight airports between August and February. The screenings are not random. Counter-terror police are targeting potentially suspicious travellers.


Spanish police say they have arrested eight suspected members of a jihadist cell in dawn raids across the country. Six men and two women are believed to have been recruiting volunteers to fight for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and encouraging attacks in Spain. The arrests took place in Barcelona and Girona in the north-east, and Avila and Ciudad Real in central Spain. More than 20 suspected Islamic militants have been detained in the country so far this year.


France has opened an inquiry into a video purporting to show the killing by Islamic State (IS) of an Israeli Arab, which shows a French-speaking militant. The militant speaks in the video as a child seems to shoot the victim, whose family deny he was an Israeli spy. French officials say the militant is probably Sabri Essid, a half-brother of Mohammed Merah, the Islamist who shot dead seven people in France in 2012.

As many as 10,000 Europeans could be waging jihad in Iraq and Syria by the end of this year, the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, warned last weekend, a three-fold increase on current numbers. “There are 3,000 Europeans in Iraq and Syria today. When you do a projection for the months to come, there could be 5,000 before summer and 10,000 before the end of the year,” Valls told French television channel iTele. “Do you realize the threat that this represents?” he asked. He said there were around 1,400 people who were either already in these conflict zones, who had come back from there or who were planning to go.


About 2,000 people have attended the funeral march for a German woman who died fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria. Waving flags and banners, they escorted the body of Ivana Hoffmann, 19, through the city of Duisburg to the cemetery where she was buried.


Colombia is to halt bombing raids against left-wing Farc rebels for a month, President Juan Manuel Santos says, in a further sign of progress in the country’s peace process. Mr Santos said the move was in recognition of the fact a unilateral ceasefire declared by Farc was holding.

Reported 12th March 2015 – An explosive device has injured five police officers and two other people in the Colombian capital Bogota in the early hours. The device, which was packed with shrapnel, went off as a police convoy was driving through the southern neighbourhood of Quiroga. It is not yet clear who may be behind the attack.


Reuters are reporting that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, using an undercover operative, have thwarted a plot by a Pakistani man to attack the U.S. Consulate and other buildings in the financial district of Toronto. The suspect, a 33-year-old permanent resident in the country who came to Canada as a student in 2004, claims to have had a personal relationship with the late al- Qaeda guru, Anwar al-Awlaki, and is now an ISIS supporter. The RCMP has not made any official statements about how “imminent” the planned attack was, but the suspect allegedly received some form of military training during a trip to Libya.


US President Barack Obama says there is “no excuse” for criminal acts in Ferguson, Missouri, one night after two police officers at a protest were shot. He said the protesters had “legitimate grievances” but described the shooters as “criminals” who should be arrested. Wednesday’s shootings happened during a demonstration after it was announced the Ferguson Police Chief would resign.

A letter sent by the US Congress to Iran “interferes” in ongoing nuclear talks, the White House has said. The five-paragraph letter, signed by 47 Republican senators, reminds Iran that any deal is just an executive agreement unless it gets congressional approval.

A senior US diplomat has warned of a “dangerous” gulf emerging between US and European defence spending. Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has appealed to European governments to spend more.

The NSA’s mass surveillance programme violates US laws on freedom of speech, alleges a lawsuit begun by the Wikimedia Foundation. The legal action has been filed against the spy agency and the US Department of Justice. The legal action, co-signed by eight other organisations, seeks to end the NSA’s large-scale surveillance efforts.

FBI Director James Comey has said that the radicalisation of Americans by ISIL and other groups, particularly through sophisticated use of social media, is a top concern for the FBI. Speaking at an appropriations subcommittee budget hearing, Comey cited the group’s continuing efforts to recruit Americans to join it in Syria and Iraq, then have them return to the U.S. to commit acts of terrorism. “ISIL’s widespread reach through the Internet and social media is most concerning as the group has proven dangerously competent at employing such tools for its nefarious strategy,” he warned.

Two Pakistani-born brothers have pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges in Miami. Raees Alam Qazi, 22, and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 32, are accused of a plot to detonate a bomb in New York City to avenge the deaths of people killed by drone attacks in Afghanistan. The two are naturalized U.S. citizens who were living at the time of their arrest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sentencing has been set for 5 June.

US officials have ended a search for seven marines and four soldiers believed to have been killed in a helicopter crash in Florida. “The decision to suspend is always difficult,” Layne Carter, search and rescue coordinator, said on Thursday. The helicopter crashed near Pensacola during a training exercise from Eglin Air Base.

A man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol called a television station from jail and said if he hadn’t been arrested he would have gone to Washington and shot President Obama in the head. WXIX-TV in Cincinnati said Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, called the station from the Kentucky jail where he’s being held, confessed to being a supporter of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and said he planned to kill government officials in retaliation for U.S. strikes on the militant organisation.

The US Secret Service is investigating two senior agents after a car crash at the White House. A spokesman for the Secret Service said the collision happened during the evening on 4 March. The Washington Post reported the agents drove the car into a security barricade after a night of drinking and partying. The crash is the latest in a series of embarrassing incidents involving the agency charged with protecting President Barack Obama.


A British man has been arrested in connection with an alleged cyber-attack on the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD). The suspected hacker, 23, was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) in Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands, on suspicion of offences linked to data stolen from a messaging service used by DoD employees worldwide. Contact details for around 800 people, including name, title, email addresses and phone numbers, were obtained in the attack last June, the NCA said.

A Pakistani cyber security firm with close ties to Islamabad has been found stealing information from Indian government and defence establishments, according to a two-year investigation by a U.S.-based IT security firm. The Pakistani company targeted Indian establishments using leased U.S. hosting services, the U.S. security firm, FireEye said, the findings revealing that India remains a vulnerable target for cyber-attacks.

Plans for a new Europe-wide counter-terrorism unit are being presented to European ministers. The Internet Referral Unit would be part of law enforcement agency Europol and would seek to remove jihadist content from the Internet. EU policy makers want to pool member states’ resources to deal with the “sheer volume” of such material. The Paris terror attacks had pushed the item up the EU’s agenda, said a senior official. “The Internet is a major facilitator for radicalisation to terrorism. Addressing this matter poses a number of different challenges,” a briefing document detailing the plans says. It adds: “The sheer volume of Internet content promoting terrorism and extremism requires pooling of resources and a close cooperation with
the industry.”


16 March 1988 Murder of Kurdish villagers at Halabja by Iraqi troops using chemical weapons
16 March 1984 William Buckley, a U.S. national, kidnapped and killed by Hezbollah
17 March 1992 Car bomb at Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires kills 28, injures 220
17 March 1968 Grosvenor Square massed riots directed against the U.S. Embassy during an anti-Vietnam war rally
17 March 1968 Grosvenor Square massed riots directed against the U.S. Embassy during an anti-Vietnam war rally.
17 March 2015 St Patrick’s Day
19 March 2007 Suicide bomber attacks U.S. convoy in Afghanistan killing 2 officials. Taliban claimed responsibility.
19 March 1982 Argentinean actions result in the start of the Falklands War – 1982
20 March 2003 Invasion of Iraq by US/British troops to remove Saddam Hussein
20 March 1995 Sarin Nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway kills 12 and sickens 5,000.
21 March 2015 Nowruz – Afghanistan/Iran New Year
21 March 1985 Founding day of E.R.N.K. (political wing of the Kurdish PKK)
24 March 1986 U.S. retaliation against Libyan aggression during naval exercise in Gulf of Sirte
27 March 2001 Abdelmajid Dahoumane arrested for role in plot to attack Los Angeles International Airport on 31 December 1999
29 March 2010 Some 40 killed and 60 wounded as two female [Chechen] suicide bombers attack two Metro stations in Moscow.
29 March 2015 British Summer Time begins – clock in the UK go forward 1 hour
29 Marh 2015 Christian festival – Palm Sunday
30 March 1979 British MP, Airey Neave, killed by under vehicle bomb as he drove out of the Palace of Westminster. Irish National Liberation Army claimed responsibility.

1 April 2015 All Fools Day (UK and US)
2 April 1998 In the Irish Republic, a 990lb VBIED is discovered at Dublin ferry port bound for England. The device was made safe. Real IRA blamed.
2 April 1986 Attempted sabotage of TWA flight 840. Four people killed, nine injured.
2 April, 1982 Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, precipitating war with Britain
April campaign across the USA
3 April 2015 Christian festival – Good Friday
4 April 1986: La Belle discothèque bombed in Germany killing three. Libya implicated in the attack.
April 4 1979 Execution by hanging of former Pakistan President Bhutto
4 April 2015 Pesach (Passover)
5 April 2015 Christian festival – Easter Day
April 5, 1988 Hezbollah hijack a Kuwaiti B747 aircraft, an incident that lasted 16 days.
6 April 2015 UK Public Holiday – Easter Monday
April 6, 2001 Algerian Ahmed Ressam is convicted of the New Years Day plot to bomb Los Angeles airport.
April 6, 1994 Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi killed when their aircraft was believed shot down by a missile. Start of Rwanda civil war.
April 7, 1998 Rocket attack on the Athens branch of the U.S. Citibank
April 10, 1998 Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Agreement signed
April 10, 1992 Massive Provisional IRA truck bomb functions outside the City of London’s Baltic Exchange killing 3 people and causing immense damage.
April 11, 1968 Founding day of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command
April 12, 1997 Police in Sarajevo thwart an attempt to kill the Pope.
April 12, 2000 HM Queen presents the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) with the George Cross, the highest civilian award for bravery.
April 14, 2005 In the UK, Kamel Bourgass is jailed for 17 years for plotting to spread Ricin. He was already serving life for the murder of a police officer during a police raid on his Manchester apartment in 2003.
April 15, 2013 Three killed, 264 wounded when bombs explode at Boston Marathon; Djokhar Tsarnaev arrested, Tamerian Tsarnaev killed in manhunt
April 15, 1986 U.S. fighter planes from USAF Lakenheath attack targets in Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. Libya threats to retaliate against US and UK.
April 16, 1988 Assassination in Tunis of PLO Leader Abu Jihad by Israeli Agents
April 17, 1984 Murder of woman police officer, Yvonne Fletcher, outside Libyan Peoples Bureau in St. James Square, London.
April 17, 1961 An invasion force of Cuban exiles lands at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs to try to overthrow Fidel Castro.
April 18, 1983 Hezbollah mounts a massive VBIED attack on the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon killing 63 people and wounding more than 100.
April 18, 2010 Abu Ayyub al-Masri and ‘Umar al-Baghdadi, the leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq, are killed in Coalition raid in Baghdad
April 19, 1993 End of the siege at the Branch Davidian Cult in Waco, Texas.
April 19, 1995 Massive VBIED attack on the Federal building in Oklahoma kills 167 people. McVeigh later executed for this crime June 2001.
April 20, 2014 Easter Day – Christian
April 20, 1870 Birth Date of Hitler (occasional rallies by extreme Right Wing groups)
April 20, 1998 Germany’s Red Army Faction announces its disbandment
April 21, 1926 Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth ll. Gun salutes in Hyde Park
April 21, 1997 End of 126-day siege at Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Peru.
April 22, 2002 Al-Qaeda attack on a Tunisia synagogue in Djerba kills 19 people
April 24, 1915 Anniversary of Armenian genocide in Turkey.
April 24, 1916 Start of the Easter Rising in Dublin.
April 24, 1968 Founding of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command.
April 24, 1993 A massive Provisional IRA truck bomb at Bishopsgate, City of London, kills one person and injures 35 others.
April 24, 1996: Large Provisional IRA Semtex bomb under Hammersmith Bridge fails to function properly.
April 25, 2011 Easter Monday
April 25, 1997: To date, the last Provisional IRA attack on mainland UK prior to their current ceasefire. A bomb attack on an electricity pylon next to M6 in Walsall.
April 25, 1980 Failed U.S. military hostage rescue mission to free 53 U.S. hostages held in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
April 26, 1986 Chernobyl Disaster
April 27, 1984 End of Libyan Embassy siege in London
April 28, 2011 Bomb kills 15 in Marrakech cafe frequented by Westerners in first major attack in country since May 2003; government blames AQIM but group denies responsibility
April 29, 1992 Rioting in Los Angeles following verdict in Rodney King case
April 30, 1975 The war in Vietnam ends as Saigon surrenders to the Vietcong.
April 30, 1973 President Nixon takes responsibility for the Watergate scandal but denies any personal involvement
April 30, 1980 Iranian Embassy siege commences and is ended 5th May by 22 SAS.