Dilitas International Security Brief for March 30th 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.


Two men have been charged with terrorism offences. Ibrahim Anderson, 38, and Shah Jahan Khan, 62, from Luton, are accused of inviting support for a banned organisation. They were arrested after an investigation by Met Police counter-terror officers. Anderson has also been accused of possessing information of a kind likely to be useful for terrorism. Both have been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 21 April. The offences are alleged to have taken place in August and December 2014.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been fined £180,000 after thousands of confidential documents from a high-profile bribery investigation were mistakenly sent to the wrong person. The papers, from an investigation into a BAE Systems deal, contained evidence relating to 64 people.

Libya’s collapse since the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi has turned it into a potential security threat to the UK, the Foreign Affairs Committee says.. The group of MPs warn that fighting in Libya has allowed Islamic State (IS) extremists to become influential there.

Not enough is being done to prevent people leaving the UK to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a group of MPs has warned. Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said Britain must win their “hearts and minds”.

The UK will no longer tolerate the behaviour of Islamist extremists who “reject our values”, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, said on 23 March. Mrs May said everyone in Britain had “responsibilities as well as rights”, and must respect laws and institutions. She added there was “increasing evidence that a small but significant number of people living in Britain – almost all of whom are British citizens – reject our values”. She said the government wanted to defeat extremism in “all its forms”, but said it was “obvious from the evidence that the most serious and widespread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism.”

One extremist network has emerged as the dominant force in big terror attacks and plots in Britain over the past 20 years, a new study shows. The study by Raffaello Pantucci, a terrorism expert, shows that the al-Muhajiroun organisation which targets young Muslims, has been so successful in radicalising jihadists that its influence can be seen in about half of the atrocities committed or planned by Britons at home and abroad. Pantucci suggests that the group’s growth could have been stopped if it had been prevented at the start from sending Britons abroad. Al-Muhajiroun was founded by Omar Bakri Mohammed, and subsequently its leading figure was Anjem Choudary. It was disbanded in 2004 but has resurfaced under ten pseudonyms which have all been outlawed by the Home Office between 2006 and June 2014.

The Scottish launch of anti-Islam group Pegida collapsed in farce, a weekend ago, after its followers failed to show up for their own first demonstration. A few dozen right-wing protestors gathered in an Edinburgh sports bar, but failed to stage a protest outside the Scottish Parliament – the 200 or so anti-fascist protestors who gathered outside Holyrood Palace for a counter-demo waited in vain. Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, was formed in Germany last year and attracted around 25,000 people to a recent march in Dresden.

Britain is to “beef up” the defense of the Falkland Islands the government has confirmed, amid reports of an increased risk of invasion by Argentina. Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the defense secretary, Michael Fallon, said, “We have been reviewing our defense arrangements of the Falklands where there is obviously a continuing threat even 30 years after the Falklands war. I’m going to be announcing in parliament how we are going to beef up the defense of Falkland Islands – obviously I can’t go into details before I tell parliament.” Later, on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Fallon was asked whether the threat to the Falklands had increased following reports that Argentina was planning to lease 12 long-range bombers from Russia.


Six IRA fugitives connected to atrocities of the Northern Ireland Troubles were among those given “get-out-of-jail cards” under a controversial scheme that MPs have described as possibly unlawful. The six are suspects in the 1983 Harrods bomb1i that killed six people outside the London department store and the Enniskillen massacre four years later in which 11 people died. The six were among almost 100 IRA activists who were given “letters of assurance” from Tony Blair’s government as part of moves to secure Sinn Féin’s support for policing and justice reforms under devolution.



ISIL threaten to create a “Fourth Reich” through violence and propaganda equal to the Nazis, a Nobel Prize-winner has said, as he warned of a “contemporary holocaust”. He said that like the Nazis, Islamic State fanatics believe in their own racial superiority, and have “wiped out” civilian populations of whole regions and towns. He warned that ISIL must be regarded as “the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich”, and urged the West to “urgently expand” their efforts to defeat the group and preserve the “ideological and material freedoms” of the world.

A new study of the Islamic State’s finances has revealed that previous estimates suggesting the terror group earns $2billion every year could be far too low. ISIS’ finance chief Sheikh Abu Saad al- Ansari – who operates from ISIS’ Iraqi stronghold Mosul – is understood to have recently approved the terror group’s first annual budget – revealing an estimated spend of $2 billion this year, plus an expected surplus of $250 million. The budget suggests ISIS’ annual income could be as much a quarter of a billion dollars more than experts previously suggested – with the bulk of the terror group’s revenue coming from oil sales, organ harvesting, ransom and extortion payments, and the looting and sale of ancient antiquities. If the revised figure is accurate, it means ISIS’ annual income now exceeds that of al-Qaeda – making the terror group lead by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the wealthiest jihadi organisation in history.


Islamist rebels have captured the north-western Syrian city of Idlib from government forces, monitors say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the Ahrar al-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and Nusra Front groups had taken the city on Saturday.


Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian militant groups during last summer’s conflict in Gaza amounted to war crimes, Amnesty International says.
Militants displayed a “flagrant disregard” for the lives of civilians during the 50-day war, a report found.


Representatives of six world powers are intensifying talks with Iran on its nuclear programme, ahead of a 31 March deadline for a deal. The US secretary of state and German and French foreign ministers have all cancelled their travel plans in a final push for an agreement. Representatives from China, Russia and the UK are also at the negotiations.


A US general says Iranian-backed Shia militia in Iraq are no longer leading the operation to recapture Tikrit from Islamic State (IS) militants.


Israel has strongly denied a report that it spied on US-led talks on Iran’s nuclear programme in order to build a case against a deal. A senior Israeli official said that the claims, reported in the Wall Street Journal, were “utterly false”. The Journal said the White House had been particularly angered that Israel allegedly sought to share confidential details with US lawmakers and others.


The heads of Arab League countries meeting in Egypt have agreed to create a joint Arab military force. The League has been meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh amid a crisis in Yemen and the threat of jihadists who have made major gains in Iraq, Syria and Libya. However, establishing the make-up and remit of the force could take months, analysts say.

Yemen President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has accused Iran of destabilising the country, calling Houthi rebels the “stooges of Iran”.


Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes in Yemen against Shia Houthi rebels, the Saudi ambassador in the US has said. Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia acted to “defend the legitimate government” of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Supporters of President Hadi say that they recaptured Aden airport on Thursday after heavy fighting with forces allied to Houthi fighters.


Turkish media have released the name, as well as video footage, of an alleged agent for Canadian intelligence, who says he helped three British schoolgirls travel to territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The three girls, aged between 15 and 16 years old, crossed into ISIS-controlled territory on February 17, after traveling by plane from London to Istanbul. [The] Turkish media eventually disclosed the identity of the alleged agent, who has been detained by authorities in Turkey as Mohammed al-Rashed. Also known as “Mohammed Mehmet Rashid” or “Dr. Mehmet Rashid”, the man is a Syrian national who claims to be working for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


Two Bangladeshi workers kidnapped nearly three weeks ago by gunmen in Libya have been freed and are in good health, officials say. The Bangladeshi foreign ministry said the two men were now safe in hospital in the city of Sirte. They were seized on 6 March from the al-Ghani oil field along with seven other foreigners.


Indonesian police have said jihadis returning from Syria were probably responsible for a chlorine bomb planted in a Jakarta shopping centre last month, and warned that the Syrian conflict is providing “fresh oxygen” to local extremist networks.


North Korea is prepared to launch nuclear missiles at any time, a North Korean diplomat told Sky News in an exclusive interview published two weeks ago. Hyun Hak-bong, North Korea’s ambassador to Britain said North Korean officials are closely watching U.S. military exercises in the Pacific amid concerns of a looming invasion. “We are prepared,” Hyun said. “That is why I say if a sparkle of a fire is made on the Korean Peninsula; it will lead to a nuclear war. We don’t say empty words. We mean what we mean. It is not the United States that has a monopoly on nuclear weapons strikes.” The Sky News reporter further probed the ambassador, asking, “So can I just be clear? You are telling me that North Korea has the ability now to fire a nuclear missile?” Hyun replied, “Anytime, anytime. Yes.” North Korea has long threatened the United States with nuclear weapons and the Pentagon has said it takes such threats seriously.


China has announced a new initiative to help bring to justice corrupt officials who have fled overseas. The plan, called Sky Net, starts next month as part of efforts spearheaded by President Xi Jinping to crack down on rampant corruption.


Tunisia’s prime minister has sacked six police chiefs following last week’s attack on the famous Bardo Museum. Habib Essid had noted several security deficiencies during a visit to the museum, his office said.

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Tunis for an anti-terrorism march, this last weekend. Chanting “Tunisia is free! Terrorism out!”, they marched to the Bardo Museum, the scene of an attack in which 21 tourists and a Tunisian died. Hours earlier, Tunisian authorities said that they had killed one of the prime suspects in the attack.


The US embassy in Uganda has warned that Westerners – including Americans – may be targeted for terrorist attacks in the capital Kampala.

A court in Chad has sentenced seven ex-policemen to life in prison for torture committed during the rule of ousted President Hissene Habre. Another three ex-policemen were sentenced to 20 years hard labour, in the first trial of Habre’s accomplices.

Nigeria’s government has denied that militant Islamist group Boko Haram abducted 500 children from the north-eastern town of Damasak. A former resident said last Tuesday that the militants had taken away about 500 boys when they fled the town earlier this month.


Russia has gone on the offensive in the Baltic, warning Denmark that if it joins Nato’s missile defence shield, its navy will be a legitimate target for a Russian nuclear attack. “I don’t think that Danes fully understand the consequence if Denmark joins the American-led missile defence shield. If they do, then Danish warships will be targets for Russian nuclear missiles,” the Russian ambassador to Denmark told the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.


Reported Tuesday 24th March 2015 – An Airbus A320 airliner crashed in the French Alps between Barcelonnette and Digne, French aviation officials and police have said.
The jet belongs to the German airline Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa. The plane, flight 4U 9525, had been en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf with 144 passengers and six crew.

One of the two pilots of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps was locked out of the cockpit, according to reports. Early findings from the cockpit voice recorder suggest the pilot made desperate efforts to get back in, sources close to the investigation say.

Five days after Germanwings flight 4U 9525 crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 on board, investigators say they have isolated DNA of 78 victims. However, they denied German media reports body parts of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been identified. The cockpit voice recorder suggested he crashed the plane deliberately.

The threat of a jihadist attack in France has reached a level “without precedent” and new attacks are inevitable, top counter-terrorism officials say, according to AFP. “The threat is permanent,” said one high-level official in the defence ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Not one day goes by without an alert, the discovery of a network trying to send people to Syria or Iraq, or an intervention (by the security services). The number of targets has exploded. There are two or three thousand,maybe four thousand, people identified or suspected of evil intentions.” “Nor are they all amateurs”, the source added, “many are highly educated. They are pros, not drop-outs,” he said.


In Canada, a jury has found two men guilty of a plot to derail a train. They were arrested in April 2013 and police at the time said the plot was backed by al-Qaeda. The case against the two men, one a Tunisian postdoctoral student and the other, a permanent Canadian resident of Palestinian descent, relied heavily on intercepted conversations between them and an undercover FBI agent. The agent posed as a wealthy businessman with radical views who could help pull off the train attack and other violent plots, including plans to target political leaders. The two men will be sentenced at a later date.


Islamic State has posted online what it says are the names, U.S. addresses and photos of 100 American military service members, and called upon its “brothers residing in America” to kill them. The Pentagon said after the information was posted on the Internet that it was investigating the matter. “I can’t confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it,” a U.S. defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a week ago. “We always encourage our personnel to exercise appropriate OPSEC (operations security) and force protection procedures,” the official added. In the posting, a group referring to itself as the “Islamic State Hacking Division” wrote in English that it had hacked several military servers, databases and emails and made public the information on 100 members of the U.S. military so that “lone wolf” attackers can kill them. The New York Times reported that it did not look like the information had been hacked from U.S. government servers and quoted an unnamed Defense Department official as saying most of the information could be found in public records, residential address search sites and social media.

Utah will resume the use of firing squads to carry out the death penalty when lethal injections drugs are not available. Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the measure into law last Monday.

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, who went missing from his US Army base in Afghanistan in 2009, has been charged with desertion and misbehaviour. A hearing will determine whether he will have court-martial proceedings. He could then be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

A U.S. soldier and his cousin have been arrested and charged with conspiring to ISIL, the Department of Justice has said. The National Guard soldier Hasan Edmonds, 22, and his cousin, Jonas Edwards, allegedly discussed using army uniforms and military access to attack an Illinois military facility. The soldier also planned to travel to the Middle East to fight with ISIL, say prosecutors. Both men have been charged with trying to provide support to a terror group.


A European police chief says the sophisticated online communications are the biggest problem for security agencies tackling terrorism. Hidden areas of the internet and encrypted communications make it harder to monitor terror suspects, warns Europol’s Rob Wainwright.

An in-house review of the FBI has found the agency failing to go far enough in its expansion of physical and cyber surveillance programs, urging the bureau to recruit deeper networks of informants and bring its technological abilities up to pace with other intelligence agencies. While billed as a damning critique of the FBI, the in-house assessment known as the 9/11 Review Commission primarily attacks the bureau for not moving fast enough to become a domestic intelligence agency, precisely the direction in which the FBI has pivoted since the 2001 terror attacks.

The number of reported phishing sites in China doubled last year, with U.S. IP addresses blamed for “booming” numbers of attacks on systems inside the Great Firewall, according to new state-backed research. The report was released on 20 March by the Internet Society of China […] and picked up by state-run media. It claimed the volume of phishing sites increased 2.1 times from 2013 to 2014, to stand at 93,136 by the end of the year. It was also claimed that the authorities found 36,969 websites in the country had been interfered with and 40,186 webpages had backdoors inserted. Xinhua also reported that 4761 U.S. IP addresses effectively controlled 5580 Chinese sites via backdoors, allowing remote access to computers in the Middle Kingdom. Beijing periodically releases stats like these to support its long-held narrative that it is a victim, not a perpetrator of cyber-attacks.


One of UK’s worst robbers has been spared jail after he tried to hold up a bookmaker’s shop with a tin of pilchards. Rory Seager, 18, owed a friend £1,800 and spent the day ploughing his last pennies into roulette machines hoping to win the money until he was down to his last pound. The 6ft 4in teenager then hit upon plan to rob the bookies – where he was a regular customer. He bought a 99p tin of John West pilchards from his local corner shop and burst into William Hill in Longwood Gardens, Ilford, Essex, on 20 December last year. Seager demanded cash and claimed the tin of fish in tomato sauce he had in a black bag was a lethal explosive device, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard. ‘I’ve got a bomb,’ he told an astonished cashier Adeyemi Awomudu who simply walked off into a secure room at the back of the shop. Seager hurled his fishy snack across the shop in frustration and left. Seager was given a two-year suspended sentence, two year’s supervision by the probation service and was ordered to undergo mental health treatment.

Authorities in Minnesota say three would-be burglars picked the wrong time to pocket their cell phone that had inadvertently dialled 911. Blue Earth Sheriff’s Capt. Rich Murry says a dispatcher took the call early morning 19 March and heard two voices on the other end. Murry says what she could hear of the conversation suggested the men were involved in a theft or burglary. Murry says officers were able to use the 34-minute call to figure out where the men were. They stopped the
men and arrested them together with a third suspect. Murry said that one of the last things heard by the dispatcher on the unintentional 911 call was, “I think I see the police,” followed by sounds of running. KTOE-AM reported Murry as saying that the officers later found a local supply business premises had been ransacked, with cash and other items stolen.


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 in London – ended on May 5th in a resolution by 22 Special Air Service Regiment.