Catching up on the blogging. Here's a roundup of recent interesting articles on terrorism/int'l affairs.
- CIA sought Muslim drug dealers as moles
- Four Algerians charged with financing terrorism -Madrid. The four were charged with unsuccessfully trying to trade hashish for explosives in Grenada, forging documents and credit cards, and using drug trafficking to finance terrorism. According taped conversations the suspects tried to obtain the enigmatic/radioactive "red mercury" (some say it exists, some say it doesn't) for some kind of dirty bomb.
- Iraqi writer: British MP George Galloway should be tried like Saddam
- A first: European woman id'd as suicide bomber in Iraq
- Unmasking Belgium's terror suspects. 13 face charges they provided logistical support to the Madrid and Casablanca bombers.
- How a Town Became a Terror Hub
- China's 'Observer' Status in SAARC shocks India Shocks? "India has long believed South Asia to be its sphere of influence and considered SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) as a South Asian organization ... The region was seen as bound by common culture and common aspirations. China has no role to play in the region." [But, in Oct, India gained observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Oganization (SCO)]
- Russia to help 'immunize' Muslims against radicalism? Author argues Federal Security Service plan is a dud -a flawed approach to the problem in the North Caucuses. "Patrushev said that this task was now urgent because of 'the generational change among the Muslim clergy,' one in which 'anti-Russian radicals trained abroad were attempting to come to power'...
- Paying for Terror
How jihadist groups are using organized-crime tactics--and profits--to finance attacks on targets around the globe As one analyst commented in an email to me: "There is a saying in military studies – 'amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics' when it comes to international terrorism those forces/groups, which include terrorists groups themselves, tied to the global criminal networks make up an increasing portion of the logistical operations for terrorism.
To put it in perspective the classic Al-Qaeda operation involved 3 cells, a scouting cell, a logistical cell, and then the attack cell, often the leader of the operation was part of all three cells. With ties to organized crime, which then gives them ties to local criminal networks, they can reduce their footprint to a single attack cell and these crime networks can provide the terrorists with safe houses, weapons, protection, and perhaps most worrisome of all local intelligence on the police. "
Excerpt from article: "A Stanford University study conducted after the 9/11 attacks looked at why some conflicts last so much longer than others. One key factor: crime. Out of 128 conflicts, the 17 in which insurgents relied heavily on 'contraband finances' lasted on average 48 years--over five times as long as the rest. 'If the criminal underworld can keep terrorist coffers flush,' says Charles, the former State Department official, 'we will continue to face an enemy that would otherwise run out of oxygen.'
- Iran: Internet crackdown sign of ideological hardening?
- Muslim Brotherhood on march in Egypt
- Teheran 'secretly trains' Chechens to fight in Russia
- Giant mosque for 40,000 may be built at London Olympics
- Europe: Real Fear of Radical Imams
- Fundamentalism in French Workplace -very interesting.
- Russia: immigrant dilemma ..."the majority of Russians, who are usually tolerant of foreigners, treat immigrant labor with dislike and suspicion. Why is that? Orthodox Russians have nothing against their Muslim compatriots -- Tartars, Bashkirs and other nations who have lived in compact groups in Russia for ages. But migrants from the Islamic North and immigrants from the South Caucasus and Central Asia are forming large religious communities in what used to be purely Orthodox regions. "
- IRAN: AYATOLLAHS INVITE CASTRO TO BECOME A MUSLIM " 'We spoke with Castro for several hours, and I think I almost managed to convince him to become a Muslim,' Hakimi added. 'Castro certain that Cuba is suffering from a lack of spirituality, and seems very interested in Islam, above all in the writing of Iran's revolutionary leader, Ayatallah Khomeini,' Hakimi continued."
- AL-QAEDA 'TALK SHOW' BROADCAST ON THE INTERNET "The seven-minute long programme, entitled "The Argument Continues", was compiled by the Global Islamic Information Network, responsible for the al-Qaeda 'news bulletins', ..."
- Paris riot: Gangs in Search of an Ideology -interesting analysis by Michael Radu. Having lived in Paris for 4 years, I'm still amazed at narrow-minded, reflexive Amero-centric press on this (squeezing other people's experiences into our limited US-based models, the process of which actually has a lot more to do with racism, discrimination and bigotry than what went on in Paris). Paris is hardly famous for its racism, folks. Wake up and smell the Beaujolais. It's one of the most cosmopolitan areas on the planet. You live there, then your friends are Vietnamese, Kenyan, Lebanese, German etc. and no one thinks twice about it. There's a lot more to this story than has been told.