Showing posts tagged as "terrorism"

Showing posts tagged terrorism

16 Apr
Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya | Cedric Barnes (@CedricHOA)
The round-up and mass detention of Somalis in Nairobi, which began in earnest on 31 March, deliberately conflated immigration issues with counter-terrorism and has widened dangerous communal divides. Al-Shabaab and its extremist allies in Kenya will be very satisfied. What the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall last September failed to do – sow division among Kenyans – might well be achieved by these detentions and deportations. This month’s events brought out the worst in Kenya, from the prejudice shown, especially in social media, by ordinary citizens, to petty point scoring by the political class, to police extortion of bribes from lawfully resident Somalis, to the extrajudicial execution of the controversial Muslim preacher known as Makaburi (“graveyard”).
The terrorist threat is real enough. In March, security forces seized a pick-up truck packed with explosives, reportedly part of a planned multi-pronged attack in Mombasa. (Authorities believed the truck was one of several devices.) Soon thereafter, armed gunmen killed six worshipers at a Christian Church in the Likoni area of Mombasa. There was also a spate of grenade attacks targeting Christians, and claiming another six lives, in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh, where people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds live side by side.
The Westgate mall attack killed indiscriminately and brought a unified response: private Kenyan citizens, including of Somali origin, were applauded for their individual heroism and community support, and the nation, led by President Kenyatta, stood as one. By contrast, the recent attacks were targeted and the government’s security operations in response quickly exposed divides between majority and minority communities, even between MPs within the ruling Jubilee coalition. The operations also drew a belated but firm response from the opposition Orange Democratic Coalition.
FULL ARTICLE (Crisis Group’s Blog: The African Peace-building Agenda)
Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Losing Hearts and Minds in Kenya | Cedric Barnes (@CedricHOA)

The round-up and mass detention of Somalis in Nairobi, which began in earnest on 31 March, deliberately conflated immigration issues with counter-terrorism and has widened dangerous communal divides. Al-Shabaab and its extremist allies in Kenya will be very satisfied. What the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall last September failed to do – sow division among Kenyans – might well be achieved by these detentions and deportations. This month’s events brought out the worst in Kenya, from the prejudice shown, especially in social media, by ordinary citizens, to petty point scoring by the political class, to police extortion of bribes from lawfully resident Somalis, to the extrajudicial execution of the controversial Muslim preacher known as Makaburi (“graveyard”).

The terrorist threat is real enough. In March, security forces seized a pick-up truck packed with explosives, reportedly part of a planned multi-pronged attack in Mombasa. (Authorities believed the truck was one of several devices.) Soon thereafter, armed gunmen killed six worshipers at a Christian Church in the Likoni area of Mombasa. There was also a spate of grenade attacks targeting Christians, and claiming another six lives, in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh, where people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds live side by side.

The Westgate mall attack killed indiscriminately and brought a unified response: private Kenyan citizens, including of Somali origin, were applauded for their individual heroism and community support, and the nation, led by President Kenyatta, stood as one. By contrast, the recent attacks were targeted and the government’s security operations in response quickly exposed divides between majority and minority communities, even between MPs within the ruling Jubilee coalition. The operations also drew a belated but firm response from the opposition Orange Democratic Coalition.

FULL ARTICLE (Crisis Group’s Blog: The African Peace-building Agenda)

Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

18 Feb
Suicide bomber likely behind tourist attack: Egypt police | Samer al-Atrush
Egyptian police said Monday a suicide bomber was likely behind an attack on a tour bus that killed three South Koreans and signalled a possible change in tactics by militants who have mainly targeted security forces.
The bombing on Sunday, near the Taba border crossing with Israel, was the first targeting tourists since the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July sparked a militant campaign that has killed scores of police and soldiers.
A shift to ‘soft targets’ such as tourists would further damage Egypt’s foundering tourism industry as army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to announce a presidential bid which would focus on law-and-order and economic recovery.
After reviewing CCTV footage of the attack, police said they believe a suicide bomber boarded the tourist bus and detonated explosives near the door.
FULL ARTICLE (AFP)
Photo: ChrisYunker/flickr

Suicide bomber likely behind tourist attack: Egypt police | Samer al-Atrush

Egyptian police said Monday a suicide bomber was likely behind an attack on a tour bus that killed three South Koreans and signalled a possible change in tactics by militants who have mainly targeted security forces.

The bombing on Sunday, near the Taba border crossing with Israel, was the first targeting tourists since the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July sparked a militant campaign that has killed scores of police and soldiers.

A shift to ‘soft targets’ such as tourists would further damage Egypt’s foundering tourism industry as army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to announce a presidential bid which would focus on law-and-order and economic recovery.

After reviewing CCTV footage of the attack, police said they believe a suicide bomber boarded the tourist bus and detonated explosives near the door.

FULL ARTICLE (AFP)

Photo: ChrisYunker/flickr

6 Feb
'Toothpaste Bomb' Fears Over Russia Flights | Katie Stallard
Terrorists could be trying to place explosives disguised as toothpaste on Russia-bound flights, the US Government has warned.
An intelligence official said information suggested terrorists were “specifically targeting flights to Russia” as the Winter Olympics get under way.
It is understood the toothpaste tubes could hold ingredients that could be used to make a bomb during a flight.
The official did not say whether any specific intelligence led to the warning.
Vladimir Putin has insisted Russia is ready to host the Winter Olympics as Sochi enters a state of virtual siege ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.
Islamist militants have vowed to stop the games by any means. 
Chechen warlord Doku Umarov has urged his followers to use “maximum force” to attack what he called “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors”.
The skiing and snowboarding events are being held in the Caucasus Mountains, Russia’s most volatile region.
FULL ARTICLE (Sky News)
Photo: rapidtravelchai/flickr

'Toothpaste Bomb' Fears Over Russia Flights | Katie Stallard

Terrorists could be trying to place explosives disguised as toothpaste on Russia-bound flights, the US Government has warned.

An intelligence official said information suggested terrorists were “specifically targeting flights to Russia” as the Winter Olympics get under way.

It is understood the toothpaste tubes could hold ingredients that could be used to make a bomb during a flight.

The official did not say whether any specific intelligence led to the warning.

Vladimir Putin has insisted Russia is ready to host the Winter Olympics as Sochi enters a state of virtual siege ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.

Islamist militants have vowed to stop the games by any means. 

Chechen warlord Doku Umarov has urged his followers to use “maximum force” to attack what he called “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors”.

The skiing and snowboarding events are being held in the Caucasus Mountains, Russia’s most volatile region.

FULL ARTICLE (Sky News)

Photo: rapidtravelchai/flickr

8 Oct
LINK

How big is the terrorism threat in Africa?

EJ Hogendoorn, our Deputy Africa Director, will be answering readers’ questions on the threat of terrorism in Africa over on CNN’s GPS blog. Leave your questions in the GPS comment section, and the editors may pick your question to be answered by EJ later this week.

25 Sep
Kenya’s Brutal Coming of Age | Cedric Barnes
The terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall, in the center of this increasingly prosperous — for some at least — capital, is a cruelly ironic indicator of the arrival of Kenya as a serious regional power, a hub for international business and diplomacy, and a target for international Islamic armed radicals.
Even more so than the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies here and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the deadly mall attack — a four-day siege that began on Saturday and resulted in at least 60 deaths — is a reminder of Kenya’s coming of age. It heralds a difficult period for a country waging a war that is at once beyond its borders and very close to home.
FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)
Photo: United States Marine Corps/Wikimedia Commons

Kenya’s Brutal Coming of Age | Cedric Barnes

The terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall, in the center of this increasingly prosperous — for some at least — capital, is a cruelly ironic indicator of the arrival of Kenya as a serious regional power, a hub for international business and diplomacy, and a target for international Islamic armed radicals.

Even more so than the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies here and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the deadly mall attack — a four-day siege that began on Saturday and resulted in at least 60 deaths — is a reminder of Kenya’s coming of age. It heralds a difficult period for a country waging a war that is at once beyond its borders and very close to home.

FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)

Photo: United States Marine Corps/Wikimedia Commons

24 Sep
Global jihad: smoke signals from Mumbai to Nairobi | Leela Jacinto
As thick black plumes of smoke rose from Nairobi’s besieged Westgate mall on Monday, the scene was disconcertingly reminiscent of the flames billowing out of the Taj hotel cupola during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
From the target choice of landmark locations that attract internationals and local elites, to the multipronged nature of the attack involving gunfights, grenades, hostages and sieges, to the reassuring statements by authorities that the situation is under control when it’s obviously not – there are many similarities between Mumbai 2008 and Nairobi 2013.
FULL ARTICLE (France 24)
Photo: asands/Flickr

Global jihad: smoke signals from Mumbai to Nairobi | Leela Jacinto

As thick black plumes of smoke rose from Nairobi’s besieged Westgate mall on Monday, the scene was disconcertingly reminiscent of the flames billowing out of the Taj hotel cupola during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

From the target choice of landmark locations that attract internationals and local elites, to the multipronged nature of the attack involving gunfights, grenades, hostages and sieges, to the reassuring statements by authorities that the situation is under control when it’s obviously not – there are many similarities between Mumbai 2008 and Nairobi 2013.

FULL ARTICLE (France 24)

Photo: asands/Flickr

12 Feb
Indonesian anti-terror squad killings prompt revenge attacks | Radio Australia
Indonesia’s anti-terror squad Detachment 88 is being warned that it’s encouraging revenge attacks by shooting terrorist suspects.
The crack squad was trained and funded by Australia and other allies.
Since 2002, police from the squad and other officers have shot dead 90 terrorist suspects.
Now the International Crisis Group’s terrorism expert Dr Sidney Jones says the Squad’s methods are prompting counter attacks.
FULL TRANSCRIPT (Radio Australia)
Photo: Ben Hammersley/Flickr

Indonesian anti-terror squad killings prompt revenge attacks | Radio Australia

Indonesia’s anti-terror squad Detachment 88 is being warned that it’s encouraging revenge attacks by shooting terrorist suspects.

The crack squad was trained and funded by Australia and other allies.

Since 2002, police from the squad and other officers have shot dead 90 terrorist suspects.

Now the International Crisis Group’s terrorism expert Dr Sidney Jones says the Squad’s methods are prompting counter attacks.

FULL TRANSCRIPT (Radio Australia)

Photo: Ben Hammersley/Flickr

31 Jan
Terrorism: myths and facts
Lecture delivered at Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, Indonesia
By Sidney Jones, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Senior Adviser
Terrorism is a very difficult and emotional subject, but it is one that deserves serious study. The word suggests an extraordinary crime with massive casualties of innocent people, with the iconic image now being the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. The word “terrorist” is also loaded — it conjures up images of ruthless killers, like Anders Breivik, the Norwegian gunman who killed 77 young political activists in 2011.
But it’s much more complicated than that. Not all terrorism involves large numbers of deaths: in 2011 in Indonesia, for example, we had eight separate terrorist incidents and a total death toll of five, including two bombers who killed only themselves. Not all crimes are instantly recognizable as terrorism. Suicide bombings have become the classic terrorist crime, but what about the robbery of an ATM or the shooting of a policeman? They might be terrorism, but they can also be acts of rebellion or ordinary crimes, depending on the circumstances and who was involved. Drawing those lines is not always easy. The problem gets even more complicated when we try and understand the causes of terrorism. Why in one village is one young man tempted to join an extremist network while his neighbor, of the exact same age, education, religious training and economic background, is not?
FULL TEXT (Crisis Group)
Photo: Dmitry Valberg/Flickr

Terrorism: myths and facts

Lecture delivered at Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, Indonesia

By Sidney Jones, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Senior Adviser

Terrorism is a very difficult and emotional subject, but it is one that deserves serious study. The word suggests an extraordinary crime with massive casualties of innocent people, with the iconic image now being the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. The word “terrorist” is also loaded — it conjures up images of ruthless killers, like Anders Breivik, the Norwegian gunman who killed 77 young political activists in 2011.

But it’s much more complicated than that. Not all terrorism involves large numbers of deaths: in 2011 in Indonesia, for example, we had eight separate terrorist incidents and a total death toll of five, including two bombers who killed only themselves. Not all crimes are instantly recognizable as terrorism. Suicide bombings have become the classic terrorist crime, but what about the robbery of an ATM or the shooting of a policeman? They might be terrorism, but they can also be acts of rebellion or ordinary crimes, depending on the circumstances and who was involved. Drawing those lines is not always easy. The problem gets even more complicated when we try and understand the causes of terrorism. Why in one village is one young man tempted to join an extremist network while his neighbor, of the exact same age, education, religious training and economic background, is not?

FULL TEXT (Crisis Group)

Photo: Dmitry Valberg/Flickr

14 Jan
French-Led Strikes on Mali Islamists Threaten Revenge Attacks | Bloomberg
By Franz Wild & Pauline Bax
French and West African military intervention in Mali runs the risk of provoking revenge attacks by Islamic militants, spreading instability in a region rich in gold, uranium and cocoa, said analysts from Dakar to London.
“When you send troops to the north of Mali there is the possibility of reprisals in terms of terrorist attacks,” Gilles Yabi, the West Africa program director of Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said today in an interview from the Senegalese capital, Dakar. “These countries don’t have the level of security and protection that western countries have. France itself is taking a risk, in terms of the hostages and in terms of terrorist attacks.”
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: Magharebia/Flickr 

French-Led Strikes on Mali Islamists Threaten Revenge Attacks | Bloomberg

By Franz Wild & Pauline Bax

French and West African military intervention in Mali runs the risk of provoking revenge attacks by Islamic militants, spreading instability in a region rich in gold, uranium and cocoa, said analysts from Dakar to London.

“When you send troops to the north of Mali there is the possibility of reprisals in terms of terrorist attacks,” Gilles Yabi, the West Africa program director of Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said today in an interview from the Senegalese capital, Dakar. “These countries don’t have the level of security and protection that western countries have. France itself is taking a risk, in terms of the hostages and in terms of terrorist attacks.”

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Photo: Magharebia/Flickr 

1 Dec
"As Indonesian democracy has matured, it has given rise to a whole range of groups, including some very hard-line, one could say anti-democratic Islamist forces, which engage in low-level violence in the name of anti-vice campaigns."

—Sidney Jones, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Senior Adviser, speaking with ABC Radio Australia’s Karon Snowdon on terrorism in Indonesia: Indonesia complacent about emerging extremists, says rights group