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Association of Retired Senior IPS Officers (ARSIPSO)

This is with reference to my letter No. ARSIPSO/GS-BSD-4/2023 dated. 10/08/2023 on the 4th B.S. Das Memorial Lecture, which had to be rescheduled for unavoidable reasons.

The 4th B.S.Das Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Shri Anil Kumar Sinha, IAS (Retd.), on the subject Disaster Management: Creating Safer Communities, has now been rescheduled for October 14, 2023 as per the following:

Conference Room No. 2, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, October 14, 2023 (Saturday)



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  SECURITY SNIPPETS - (Extracts from ASIS International Security Management Daily e-Edition)  
 


Terrorist Attacks Rose Sharply in 2005, State Dept. Says
By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 29, 2006; Page A01

The number of terrorist attacks worldwide increased nearly fourfold in 2005 to 11,111, with strikes in Iraq accounting for 30 percent of the total, according to statistics released by U.S. counterterrorism officials yesterday.

Although only half of the incidents resulted in loss of life, more than 14,600 noncombatants were killed, a majority of them in Iraq alone and 80 percent in the Near East and South Asia. American nonmilitary deaths totaled 56.

The figures were compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and released with the annual State Department Country Reports on Terrorism.

Unlike those of previous years, the 2005 report included a "strategic assessment" of the war on terrorism, which concluded that while "al-Qaeda is not the organization it was four years ago," the group was "adaptive and resilient . . . and important members of its core cadre remained alive and were adjusting to our operational tempo."

"Overall," the 262-page report said, "we are still in the first phase of a potentially long war. The enemy's proven ability to adapt means we will probably go through several more cycles of action/reaction before the war's outcome is no longer in doubt. It is likely that we will face a resilient enemy for years to come."

The assessment was somewhat more grim than those offered by the White House in recent months. Although the struggle against global terrorism is far from over, President Bush said in a February speech at the Naval Academy that "we're winning."

The NCTC defines terrorist attacks as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets" but acknowledges that such terms are "open to interpretation." "Combatants" are defined as "military, paramilitary, militia, and police under military command and control in specific areas or regions where war zones or war-like settings exist."

Diplomats and other nonmilitary government "assets," as well as civilians, are considered noncombatants for counting purposes.

On the positive side, the report noted that al-Qaeda's leadership is "scattered and on the run," with its finances and logistics disrupted and its organizational networks increasingly decentralized.

But while Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were said to be "frustrated" by their lack of direct control over terrorist operations, the fact that they remained at large allowed them to "symbolize resistance to the international community, demonstrate they retain the capability to influence events, and inspire actual and potential terrorists."

The apparent inability of bin Laden and Zawahiri to orchestrate large-scale attacks -- and al-Qaeda's increasing "emphasis on ideological and propaganda activity" -- was one of several emerging trends, said Henry A. Crumpton, State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, in a briefing.

The number of "high fatality incidents" around the world, excluding Iraq, was among the few statistics in the report that decreased from 2004 -- when attacks in places such as Russia and Madrid killed hundreds -- to 2005.

But in Iraq, such incidents -- defined as those resulting in 10 or more deaths -- increased from 65 to 150, with a doubling of fatalities. Overall, there were 3,500 attacks in Iraq, up from 866 in 2004.

Most fatalities were attributed to armed attacks and bombings. None occurred in the United States or used weapons of mass destruction, and "no attacks approached the sophistication of those on 9/11," the NCTC statistical analysis concluded.

But "2005 saw many attacks perpetrated by relatively unskilled operatives." The State Department report noted an increase in "small, autonomous cells and individuals [that] drew on advanced technologies and the tools of globalization such as the Internet, satellite communications, and international commerce."

These "micro-actors," the report said, "were extremely difficult to detect or counter." Increasing use of the Internet among individuals and small groups disposed to terrorist acts, such as last July's suicide bombings in the London transport system, no longer requires central leadership or on-the-ground training.

In addition to those trends, NCTC Deputy Director Russ Travers offered three reasons for the significant statistical increases in both attacks and fatalities. The 2004 report was initially assembled under a narrower definition of terrorism, confined to attacks involving citizens or territory of more than one country. In July, NCTC released revised 2004 figures compiled under the new definition, Travers said, but the hurried nature of the work and a lack of analysts at the then-fledgling NCTC meant that "we missed thousands of incidents."

"The bottom line is that 2005 is a far more comprehensive data set," Travers said, "and limits the comparability of 2004 and 2005." Travers also pointed out that the overall figure of 11,111 incidents includes acts by designated terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda.

As in previous years, the report cited Iran as "the most active state sponsor of terrorism." This activity included the direct involvement of its intelligence service and Islamic Revolutionary Guard in planning and supporting terrorist acts, and Iran's backing and encouragement of terrorist groups operating in Syria and Lebanon and against Israel. In addition, the Revolutionary Guard was said to be "increasingly involved in supplying lethal assistance" to violent Shiite militias in Iraq.

There were no changes to last year's list of known terrorist groups or to the list of six countries considered "state sponsors" of terrorism: Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Cuba and Libya.

Libya, which has renounced weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, had made progress, Crumpton said, and "we're at the point right now of continuing our discussions, verifying some issues and moving forward." Only Iraq, which was removed last year, has ever been taken off the list.

Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

chron.com

White Muslims Recruited for Bombings
EDIT: SK Sharma

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - His code name was Maximus, and he held secret meetings in a shabby room at the Banana City Hotel on the outskirts of Sarajevo.

Bosnian police put him under surveillance, and in a raid last fall on his apartment on Poligonska Street, authorities seized explosives, a suicide bomber belt and a videotape of masked men begging Allah's forgiveness for what they were about to do.

What they planned, investigators believe, was to blow up a European embassy. But compounding their concern, they say, was the ringleader's background: Maximus turned out to be Mirsad Bektasevic, a 19-year-old Swedish citizen of Serbian origin with ties to a senior al-Qaida operative.

Terrorists have been working to recruit non-Arab sympathizers — so-called "white Muslims" with Western features who theoretically could more easily blend into European cities and execute attacks — accordingto classified intelligence documents obtained by the Associated Press.

Intelligence report

A 252-page confidential report, compiled by Croatian and U.S. intelligence on potentially dangerous Islamic groups in Bosnia, suggests the recruitment may have begun as long as four years ago, when Arab militants ran up against tough post-9/11 security obstacles.

"They judge that it is high time that their job on this territory should be taken over by new local forces ... people who are born here and live here have an advantage which would make their job easier. By their appearance, they are less obvious," the report reads.

Arabs, it adds, "have become too obvious, which has made their job difficult."

Bosnia's minister of security, Barisa Colak, acknowledged the existence of the intelligence report but said authorities had no concrete evidence that recruitment efforts are widespread. There are no known cases of a Balkan "white Muslim" recruit being involved in an actualattack.

Breeding ground

Even if systematic recruitment has been occurring, citizens of the former Yugoslavia need visas to travel to Western Europe or the U.S. — a complicated process.

Dragan Lukac, the deputy director of SIPA — Bosnia's equivalent of the FBI — said counterterrorism agents have placed dozens of suspects under24-hour surveillance and the country is "very intensively" sharing information with the FBI, the CIA, Scotland Yard and other agencies.

"Bosnia has become a breeding ground for terrorists, including some on international wanted lists. We can clearly say that," Lukac told the AP.

Some disaffected young Bosnians may be receptive to the terrorist message: After the U.S.-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was considered "almost ashionable" to spout extremist sentiment in public, Lukac said.

Authorities who arrested Bektasevic and several alleged associates last October tipped off police in Britain, who quickly arrested three suspected British Muslim accomplices. They also alerted authorities in Denmark, who took seven others into custody. Investigators say theysince have established that Bektasevic maintained close ties to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Since the 2001 attacks on the United States, Bosnia has deported dozens of Arabs and other foreign Muslims for suspected ties to terrorist groups or alleged involvement in dummy charities believed to have raised cash to bankroll attacks.

In February, Bosnia began an exhaustive review of cases in which citizenship was granted to foreigners dating back to 1992, and vowed to deport any with links to terrorism.

The vast majority of Bosnia's Muslims reject the mujahedeen's fiery brand of Islam. Yet men frustrated with 40 percent joblessness and angered by real or perceived insults to Islam can be open to hard-line dogma, the Prague-based think tank Transitions Online said in a report.

"A pool of potential white recruits carrying Bosnian or even Western passports would presumably be of great value to terrorists," it said.

Mustafa Ceric, the leader of Bosnia's Islamic community, insisted there was no stomach for extremist violence after years of ethnic conflict.

"If we wanted terrorism, we had a chance to do so in the heat of our suffering, and we did not," he said in an interview.

Brought to you by the HoustonChronicle.com

 


The views and facts stated above are entirely the responsibility of the author and do not reflect the views of this Association in any manner.

 
     
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