Un analisi breve ma incisiva del problema terrorismo e Foreign-Fighters provenienti dalla Bosnia.
Inutile dire che non solo lo condivido pienamente, ma che bisognerebbe approfondire il problema e cercare oggi di trovare possibili soluzioni prima che lo stesso diventi ingestibile!
Per saperne di più: il terrorismo dai Balcani.
Da quando in Siria si è inizato a combattere seriamente l’Isis, uno spettro si aggira per l’Europa: la paura che centinaia di volontari europei al jihad possano tornare ai loro paesi d’origine e l’impatto, in termini di terrorismo, che potrebbero avere su di essi.
Forse in nessun luogo il potenziale pericolo è maggiore rispetto ai Balcani perché, secondo vari studi, la Bosnia ha fornito più volontari pro capite per il jihad siriana rispetto a qualsiasi altro Paese europeo. Questo non è un caso, la nascita e la crescita dell’islamismo militante in Europa sud-orientale è il risultato di sforzi a lungo termine da parte di estremisti per radicalizzare le popolazioni locali.
Nel corso degli ultimi decenni, il movimento militante islamista in Europa sud-orientale ha creato una sofisticata infrastruttura composta da rifugi sicuri in villaggi isolati e in moschee controllate da Imam radicali, che copre un’ampia gamma di attiività che foniscono supporto ai vari fronti del jihad come una rete di distribuzione di periodici, librerie, siti web, e video su YouTube che diffondono l’intolleranza religiosa e glorificano la violenza. Librerie islamiste da Belgrado a Novi Pazar distribuiscono trattati da parte di estremisti come l’ideologo islamista Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Siti web islamisti promuovono il jihad, attentati suicidi, e l’uccisione di non-musulmani.
Questi siti web riportano anche notizie da altri fronti jihadisti, sermoni di predicatori estremisti provenienti dal Medio Oriente e messaggi da parte dei leader di al-Qaeda. Tutto questo, è generosamente finanziato da donatori del Medio Oriente e sostenuto da piccoli gruppi di estremisti locali che si sono infiltrati in istituzioni politiche, religiose e sociali.
L’Unione Europea è giustamente preoccupata per la capacità dell’Isis di organizzare e lanciare attacchi terroristici in Europa. Tuttavia, è ormai chiaro che il terrorismo è una minaccia globale e i Balcani hanno un ruolo importante in questa minaccia, rappresentando un percorso per l’ingresso in Europa e un ponte per il finanziamento dei terroristi, e non solo per l’Isis ma anche per altri gruppi islamisti radicali.
Non si sa con certezza quanti siano i combattenti della regione che hanno raggiunto i gruppi Jihadisti in Siria, anhe se le stime parlano di oltre 850 persone. Molti sono già stati uccisi in combattimento in Iraq e Siria e alcuni hanno fatto video di propaganda che rivelano la loro identità.
Tutto questo dimostra la portata della loro radicalizzazione e l’impegno per la causa islamista. Infatti, militanti islamisti dei Balcani non si preoccupano di nascondere le loro intenzioni a lungo termine, come un combattente jihadista bosniaco in Siria ha recentemente dichiarato in un video:
“Ho lasciato la Bosnia con l’intenzione di tornare con le armi in mano. …questa è la mattina dell’Islam. . . le agenzie di intelligence hanno fatto un errore pensando che si sarebbero liberati di noi (permettendoci di lasciare la Bosnia) tuttavia, il problema per loro sarà il ritorno di persone addestrate per la guerra “.
Una volta tornati, essi rappresenteranno una gravie minaccia per le nostre società anche perché la maggior parte di loro hanno passaporti che consentono l’accesso all’UE a causa della liberalizzazione dei visti e l’accordo di Schengen, estendendo in tal modo la geografia della minaccia.
Il Post originale al link:
Since the early 1980s, vehicles have been used as a weapon in numerous terrorist attacks. The basic ‘model’ had vehicles delivering explosives to a target and then detonating them, causing death and injury. The normal saloon/sedan car has historically been seen as too small to carry out attacks. But like any other terrorist weapon, terrorists have seen greater potential in their usage.
We have now seen a different type and style of attack, after the December 19, 2016 terrorist attack in Berlin, Germany. A large heavy lorry was driven into a crowded Christmas market and has left many wondering where it is safe from such an attack and what to do should one happen.
The use of a vehicle as a terrorist weapon has its origins in 1980’s Lebanon with multiple attacks using vehicles as a tactic. The first was on April 18, 1983 when a van packed with explosives detonated outside the United States Embassy in Beirut killing 63 people.
The attacks at the time were attributed to the Islamic Jihad which was thought to be backed by Iran.Later the use of a vehicle as terrorist weapon was used again in Beirut, where large vehicles were driven into the American Marines barracks. On the October 23, 1983 a large Mercedes van was driven next to the barracks of the Marines and detonated were large numbers of soldiers were sleeping. The explosion left 146 American Marines dead. On the same day and nearly at the same time a French barracks which housed the Parachute Chasseur Regiment in Beirut was attacked using the same tactic which resulted in 58 soldiers dying.
In December 1989 the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) used a large dump truck which they armoured to attack a permanent British Army checkpoint between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland border at Derryard near Rosslea, County Fermanagh. Inside the armoured vehicle, the terrorists had various weapons, including machine guns, rockets, grenades and a flame thrower, which they used to attack a small detachment of eight British soldiers and one member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).
Two soldiers died and one was severely wounded.In May 1992 PIRA carried out a three part coordinated attack on different security force locations in Northern Ireland. Two were carried out using a Human Proxy Bomb, where cars were used with large amounts of explosives, but failed in their attempt to blow up their target. The third location at Cloghoge vehicle checkpoint manned by the British Army was attacked using a large van which was packed with a large amount of explosives and detonated.
The attack showed remarkable ingenuity. The South Armagh Brigade of PIRA fitted a van with wheels that could be driven along a railway track. The vehicle was “driven” on the railway track until it was very close to the checkpoint. The vehicle was then detonated using a mile long wire. The explosion killed one soldier but twenty three that were inside a fortified bunker survived with injuries.
On February 26, 1993, Ramzi Yousef, who was born from Pakistani-Palestinian parents, drove a van loaded with a 1,310-lb (590kg) bomb of urea nitrate-hydrogen gas enhanced device under Tower one of the World Trade Centre in New York, United States. His intention was to destroy the tower, and hoped that it would fall onto the second tower thus destroying the World Trade Centre. He failed but events in September 11, 2001 sadly succeeded.
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, an American citizen, used a Ryder truck to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma United States. The explosives consisted of several tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and a large quantity of fuel oil, which was detonated by McVeigh igniting a two minute fuse. The explosion resulted in the destruction of the entire north wall of the building along with other buildings in the area and causing many deaths.
Near the end of 2004, hostilities had died down in the Iraq war, but on December 25, 2004 terrorists found a new way of using a large vehicle to attack a target. A large fuel tanker was driven towards the Jordanian Embassy in the Mansour district of Baghdad. The vehicle failed to detonate with any truly destructive force and merely left an orange glow that lit the evening up. The vehicle split in half with one half of the tanker lodged in the gates of the Libyan Embassy and the other half landing in the small courtyard of a house approximately 75 metres away.
In Nice, France on July 14, 2016, Bastille Day, a 19 tonne lorry driven by lone wolf Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhel was driven into a celebrating crowd. He killed 84 people before being stopped. The Islamic State of the Levant, or Da’esh, had discovered a new way to use a large vehicle as a terrorist weapon.
For some time al-Qaeda and Da’esh had been using its online magazines Dabiq and Inspire to conduct lone attacks against the West using any method possible, but since the attack in Nice they have called for their followers to use large vehicles and encouraged them to drive them into large crowds. Certainly Anis Amri who drove the latest heavy vehicle in the Berlin attack listened to them.
The use of such vehicles to carry out this style of attack is likely to continue as they are easily obtained by either hijack, hired, stolen or simply purchased. The stopping of such a vehicle especially when fully laden would defy most barriers and although the small Jersey Barriers would not necessarily stop the vehicle it would certainly slow them down.
In Iraq after the 2003 invasion, and some years after, large vehicles were used to crash through various locations. In order to stop them Jersey barriers were put in place but the terrorists found that they could be breeched. In places where these barriers were in use, several suicide vehicles were used to gain entry to each level. For example on October 24, 2003 three suicide bombers in large vehicles were used to breech the barriers outside the Palestine and Sheridan Hotels in Baghdad, Iraq. This included a cement truck filled with explosives.
The first was used to breech the first layer of barriers; the second to do the same but was mistimed and missed the target. The third driver who was driving around the roundabout waiting his turn saw the explosion and drove his vehicle through the first level, thinking the second had been broken through. He was caught up and rather than being able to detonate his vehicle between the two hotels causing immense damage and death, the driver detonated the device where it had stopped causing little damage.
The lessons learnt from this were several; first where the metal handles were in the top of the barrier, a long thick ‘metal rope’ was placed and woven into all the barriers at that location. Any attempt to drive through them they would be stopped as it would be impossible to drag all the barriers. The second lesson was that where possible, a large wide trench should be dug to prevent access to the barriers.
Of course in a city these types of defence maybe impossible but it would be possible to have points of entry away from main roads and the barriers could be linked together. Another form of defence that could be used in cities is to educate the public by having some sort of air alarm that would be sounded at the start of an attack.
The types of vehicles used in recent attacks are easier to obtain than aircraft and the ability to cause mass casualties is still great but not on the same scale. Authorities are not able to do much in regards to spotting who would carry out such attacks. It is extremely important that all counter-terrorist organisations and Intelligence agencies share and pool knowledge in this area so as to limit those who are on the radar from escaping and eventually stopped before a terrorist act is carried out.
Europe is under siege at the moment and attacks of this type are likely to occur again. Strong measures must be taken to protect the public. Admitted the security forces are doing their best but with so many to watch someone somewhere will escape the net and be able to carry out another dreadful terrorist attack similar to those in Nice and Berlin. The next phase could be the use of plant vehicles such as a JCB which could scoop barriers out the way and drive through causing many fatalities.
Mosul, Iraq – As fighting raged in eastern Mosul on a recent afternoon, a black Humvee arrived at an Iraqi army command post with a collection of plastics, electronics and rotor blades lashed to its back.
Soldiers leaped to unload the cargo, which comprised the remnants of the latest tool in ISIL’s armoury: drones.
The haul included a number of small devices of the kind favoured by filmmakers and hobbyists, costing a few hundred dollars apiece. But there were also larger, fixed-wing craft fashioned out of corrugated plastic and duct tape, apparently made by the fighters themselves.
Since mid-2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group has held Mosul, after sweeping through northern Iraq in a shock offensive.
It is now their last urban stronghold in the country, and for more than two months, the Iraqi army’s operation to retake the city has met fierce resistance, including snipers, ambushes and suicide attacks using explosive-laden trucks. Drones have been used for reconnaissance and to relay instructions to suicide bombers, said General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, a commander with the elite counterterrorism service in eastern Mosul.
“They use them to give directions to suicide car bombs coming towards us, as well as to take pictures of our forces,” Saadi told Al Jazeera.
In the past, ISIL has used drones in Iraq and Syria for general intelligence-gathering, as spotters for mortar firing, and even for filming propaganda videos. Soldiers have regularly spotted these drones over army positions on the outskirts of Mosul, prompting bursts of gunfire skywards.
But there is a fresh threat, Saadi said: ISIL has begun to use the drones themselves as weapons. “They also use a new tactic, where the drone itself has a bomb attached to it,” he explained.
This has already proven lethal. Last October, after Kurdish Peshmerga fighters downed an ISIL drone north of Mosul and began transporting it back to their base for examination, a small amount of explosive material inside the device detonated, killing two Kurdish fighters and injuring two French special forces soldiers with whom they had been working. These were the first reported casualties from one of ISIL’s weaponised drones.
Several of Iraq’s allies, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have long flown drones in the country for both attacks and observation. Even Saadi’s own men use small craft for reconnaissance, he said.
But American forces leading the anti-ISIL coalition have been slow to realise the threat posed by the armed group’s drone use, said PW Singer, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and an expert in robotic warfare. “We’ve known of non-state actors … using drones for years,” he told Al Jazeera. “We’ve also known that the commercial spread of the technology made it possible for anyone to buy [them],” yet the rush towards countermeasures began only recently, he added.
The defence department last July asked Congress for an extra $20m to help tackle the threat posed by ISIL’s use of unmanned aircraft, and Lieutenant General Michael Shields, director of the US Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, told reporters in October that there was “a sense of urgency” in equipping US troops with anti-drone technology.
New countermeasures have been implemented, including Battelle’s Drone Defender, a hand-held directed-energy device that can knock drones out of the sky at a distance of 400 metres. The device has already been deployed with US troops in Iraq.
Saadi, meanwhile, says that his soldiers are usually able to disable ISIL’s drones by using sniper rifles or machine guns.
“We don’t think that it is very dangerous. ISIL collects information about our forces, and we destroy the drones before they come to us,” he said.
Although ISIL’s drone fleet so far appears relatively basic, it could be developed further in the months ahead. Researchers from the UK-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group documented an ISIL “drone workshop” in Ramadi last February, where fighters had been attempting to build larger drones with potent explosive payloads crafted from the warheads of anti-aircraft missiles.
This suggests that commercially available drones are not fitting ISIL’s tactical needs, said CAR’s managing director, Marcus Wilson.
“The other models they’re trying to build are predominantly fixed-wing craft, which might allow for increased range or provide the ability to add a payload rather than just surveillance abilities, which is what we’ve observed in [our] report,” Wilson told Al Jazeera.
He said that further development seems likely, especially given ISIL’s history of designing complex components for weapons such as improvised explosive devices and producing them on an industrial scale.
“If they continue along this path, then we should be worried, because they still have a strong research and development capacity, have advanced their production abilities in the past, and still have the workshops capable of building sophisticated devices,” Wilson said.
Still, even with further development, ISIL would likely be unable to produce more than what Singer describes as “small aerial IEDs” – unlikely to cause mass casualties or alter the balance of power.
An exceptional nine-minute Navy video of a UFO displaying highly unusual behavior, studied by Chilean authorities for the last two years, is now being released to the public. The CEFAA – the Chilean government agency which investigates UFOs, or UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena), has been in charge of the investigation. Located within the DGAC, the equivalent of our FAA but under the jurisdiction of the Chilean Air Force, CEFAA has committees of military experts, technicians and academics from many disciplines. None of them have been able to explain the strange flying object captured by two experienced Navy officers from a helicopter.
The Chilean government agency always makes its cases public when an investigation is complete, and acknowledges the existence of UAP when a case merits such a conclusion.
General Ricardo Bermúdez, Director of CEFAA during the investigation, told me that “We do not know what it was, but we do know what it was not.” And “what it is not” comprises a long list of conventional explanations. Here is what happened:
On November 11, 2014, a Chilean Navy helicopter (Airbus Cougar AS-532) was on a routine daytime patrol mission flying north along the coast, west of Santiago. On board were the pilot, a Navy Captain with many years of flying experience, and a Navy technician who was testing a WESCAM’s MX-15 HD Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) camera, used most often for “medium-altitude covert intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” according to the product website. The aircraft was flying at an altitude of approximately 4,500 feet on a clear afternoon with unlimited horizontal visibility, and the air temperature at that height was 50 degrees F (10 C). There was a cloud base above at 10,000 feet, and a layer of stratuscumulos clouds below. The helicopter was flying at about 132 knots, or 152 mph.
At 1:52 pm, while filming the terrain, the technician observed a strange object flying to the left over the ocean. Soon both men observed it with the naked eye. They noticed that the velocity and the altitude of the object appeared to be about the same as the helicopter, and estimated that the object was approximately 35 to 40 miles (55-65 km) away. It was traveling W/NW, according to the Captain. The technician aimed the camera at the object immediately and zoomed in with the infra red (IR) for better clarity.
Shortly thereafter, the pilot contacted two radar stations – one close by on the coast, and the other the main DGAC Control system (Ground Primary Radar) in Santiago – to report the unknown traffic. Neither station could detect it on radar, although both easily picked up the helicopter. (The object was well within the range of radar detection.) Air traffic controllers confirmed that no traffic, either civilian or military, had been reported in the area, and that no aircraft had been authorized to fly in the controlled air space where the object was located. The on-board radar was also unable to detect the object and the camera’s radar could not lock onto it.
The pilot tried several times to communicate with the UAP, using the multi-national, civilian bandwidth designed for this purpose. He received no reply.
The technician filmed the object for nine minutes and twelve seconds, mainly in IR. This sensor produces a black and white video in which the black, white and grey tones are directly related to temperature. IR detects heat, and the hotter the material being filmed, the darker it appears on the image. The officers stopped the camera when they had to return to the base and the object disappeared behind the clouds.
The Navy immediately turned over the footage to the CEFAA, and General Bermúdez, accompanied by nuclear chemist Mario Avila, a CEFAA scientific committee member, conducted interviews with the two officers at their Navy base. “I was very impressed by these witnesses,” Avila told me. “They were highly trained professionals with many years experience, and they were absolutely certain that they could not explain what they saw.” Both offiicers also provided written reports at the base, as is required, and for CEFAA.
The Navy Captain stated that the object was a “flat, elongated structure” with “two thermal spotlights like discharges that did not coincide with the axel of motion.” The technician described it as as “white with a semi-oval shape on the horizontal axis.”
But there is one additional component that makes this footage particularly unique: “In two instances it discharged some type of gas or liquid with a high thermal track or signal,” the technician stated. After filming for about eight minutes, the stunning ejection of a massive plume of a very hot material is captured on the video, trailing behind the object. (The plume blended into the clouds when seen in HD.) Another ejection occurred moments later. It is indeed bizarre to watch this on the video.
Following are the three key video excerpts in chronological order; later I include the full ten minute video. Note that at times the camera switches from IR to HD mode. I recommend watching these silent video clips on a large monitor.
… … … … Keep reading and watch the video at: … … … …
One of the key issues facing Antonio Guterres, the UN’s newly installed secretary-general, will be to address critical failures in African peacekeeping operations.
With this is mind, he will surely be asking himself whether the vast organisation he is now leading needs to chart a different course.
The UN spends close to $8bn (£6.5bn) every year on peacekeeping around the world, with the bulk going to missions in Africa.A new report by the Geneva-based research group Small Arms Survey has accused the UN’s mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) of lacking neutrality by giving arms to rebels in the town of Bentiu in 2013.
It blames Unmiss for underreporting arms confiscated from fleeing soldiers and handing over the weapons to soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) on more than one occasion.
The report also claims that shortly after this transfer of arms, the rebels went on to carry out a massacre of civilians.Failure to protectThe operations of the UN’s mission in South Sudan came into sharp focus after embarrassing revelations that its troops failed to protect civilians following clashes between government forces and former rebels in July 2016.A damning internal investigation found that its peacekeeping mission in the capital, Juba had failed to achieve one of its core mandates, namely “to protect civilians under threat of physical violence […] with specific protection for women and children”.
It described the troops’ response as chaotic and ineffective.
Eyewitnesses said women and girls were raped near UN compounds with no action from peacekeepers.
Not far away, foreign aid workers suffered similar sexual violence at their residence. Their case gained much international condemnation, but it is dwarfed by the scale of the atrocities South Sudanese civilians have long experienced.
In a recent report to the Security Council, the outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered little hope.
“There is a very real risk of mass atrocities being committed in South Sudan,” he said.
“[…] The secretariat will continue to make every effort to implement the mandated task of protecting civilians through the use of ‘all necessary means’.
“[But] it must be clearly understood that United Nations peacekeeping operations do not have the appropriate reach, manpower or capabilities to stop mass atrocities,” his statement said.
In February, gunmen killed 30 internally displaced people and wounded more than 120 others within one of the UN’s designated Protection of Civilian compounds in the north-western South Sudanese town of Malakal.
The irony of the facility failing to live up to its name was not lost on the mission’s critics.
The UN later accepted responsibility for its failure to prevent the bloodbath.
In the Central African Republic (CAR), the UN mission (Minusca) has also been accused of inaction when, for example, more than 75 people including civilians were killed in the north during an outbreak of violence in September 2016.
The rights group, Amnesty International, reflected on this case, saying Minusca was poorly trained and “lacks the resources it needs to adequately protect civilians.”
Jean-Serge Bokassa, the Interior Minister of CAR, accused the peacekeepers of colluding with armed militias.
“What is the role of the Pakistani contingent in Kaga-Bandoro?” he asked. “Their collusion with armed groups has gone too long.”
A week later, four people died in the capital Bangui during anti-UN protests.
In the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, similar disdain for the UN and its peacekeeping mission Monusco (which replaced the dysfunctional Monuc), has led to violent demonstrations and attacks by civilians in the past.
Most of the anti-UN protests have taken place in the eastern region of Kivu, where armed groups continue to commit massacres, especially in the Beni region.
Peacekeepers have often been referred to as tourists because they are associated with helicopters and 4×4 vehicles.
Charles Bambara, the spokesman for Monusco, says the task of the mission is so enormous that it’s easy to underestimate progress being made.
“This country was divided into three: one armed group was controlling Goma area, another one controlling Kisangani and another one controlling the capital city and the west of the country,” he says.
“So the aim when this mission was established was to reunite the country. This has now been done, with the support of the DRC armed forces. We need the support of the international community.
“This is a very difficult mission. There are probably 40 or 50 armed groups present in this country, which is as big as Western Europe, so we cannot be everywhere and that’s why we’re targeting these groups one after the other.”
One notorious and repeated blight on the UN peacekeeping scorecard has been that of the discipline – or the lack of it – of troops.
A UN inquiry has named 41 peacekeepers in relation to alleged sexual abuse and exploitation in the Central African Republic between 2014 and 2015.
Women and even minors were reportedly abused in exchange for food and clothing. The UN has taken very little action against the individual soldiers.
Prosecutors in Paris said this week that charges would not be brought against six French peacekeepers following a criminal investigation into similar allegations.
Each country is responsible for charging its implicated troops but guilty verdicts might not be in a nation’s best interests as that would taint its reputation in peacekeeping – although these track records are not officially considered when selecting which countries contribute to the missions.
The UN undersecretary for peacekeeping operations, Herve Ladsous, recently denied there was a crisis in UN peacekeeping.
“Some operations are working very well. For instance, we are a few months away from an end to the operations in Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia. Their success enables us to withdraw,” he said.
“However, some operations are working less well, frequently because of factors linked to the local political situation and local players, rather than to the shortcomings of our operations themselves.”
The take of an ex-UN insider
Keep reding at: The UN’s peacekeeping nightmare in Africa – BBC News