Posts Tagged ‘Terrorist Target List’

Terrorism: The UK on Standby as ISIS Plans Hits

January 31, 2016

christopher_lee180-11

1 February 2016

London

British Intelligence believes ISIS is planning to hit the UK sometime soon.  ISIS likes that.  It like MI5, MI6, GCHQ, police counter terrorism groups, Europol and the other agencies working overtime. It says to the people that it is a threat.

Simply warning of an attack when a Minister says the Security State is, say, Severe is part of the deal for ISIS.  Terrorism is about terrorising. A bit of video apparently showing the Paris attack organiser Abdelhamid Abaaod saying “we are already in your lands.  We will slaughter you inside your homes” is terrifying enough for many and therefore is terrorism succeeding in some form.

Even more terrorising would have ISIS saying we are coming to get you in your National Gallery where you show the Christian Adoration of the Magi. Or how about we’re coming to get you in your City of Birmingham Concert Hall?  Or try this: we are going to slaughter you and your Queen on her 90th birthday in April.

All of this is credible because in a generation brought up on IRA atrocities anything terrorism promises often comes to pass in some form. The dark side of that is that a nation like the British recover inside the week.

After 9/11 it was not uncommon for a few Muslim-looking guys, smartly dressed, to pretend they had lost their wallet on a train, then spot it and then tell their clearly English carriage companion that as a thank-you for helping to find the wallet they would break an oath and warn them to stay away from the tube on the coming first anniversary of 9/11. Some probably fell for it.

But what about a Paris-type hit.  Do the British believe it?  Sure they do. The newspapers tell readers this is so.  The reader believes it because there is evidence world wide that it happens. No one suggests that the story  is nothing more than a reporter with “sources who cannot be named” trying to get a page one story under his or her by-line.

The behaviour of the cynical prankster or the reporter maybe using a half truth that Intelligence people really are working overtime to identify an ISIS cell in Birmingham, London or wherever.

The chilling acceptance is that people in major cities and towns now accept that within their societies men and women are planning their worst atrocities.  There is something approaching resignation. There is no great social media discussion. People do not change their work patterns and journeys. Newspaper warnings rarely make Page I. Why should they? After all Paris was a high hit possibility but it did not make the splash until it happened.

Last week with a little knowledge about these matters I did a walk round ten London targets.

I checked CCTV street, approaches and buildings, access in and quick exits, doors front back and side, mobile and radio signal back spots, stairways, getting immediately to crowds in buildings who would by panic trap themselves on which floors, street traffic flows and vehicle congestion that would hold up response teams, street area panic streams – which way, overflow and dead ends.  I added for good measure, symbolism of the building and contents.

Simple really.

 

 

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World War III on Terror – But What Is ISIL’s Next Target?

November 8, 2015

christopher_lee180-11

9th November 2015

London

There are people in the UK who want the chance to put a bomb in a British passenger jet flying out of Heathrow. That is the Intelligence briefing to senior ministers including the political head of MI6, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. In other words the 31 October Russian Metrojet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh was not the only target for terrorists.

In the BFBS Radio current affairs programme Sitrep last week the UK’s most recent ambassador to Cairo John Watt  told presenter Kate Gerbeau that he was certain that the Russians were the exclusive target when the bomb went off 21 minutes after take off from Sharm. Was he right?

Go through some of the dark on-line pages of jihadists after the hit for example al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) Inspire and what you will see is predictable. Inspire, just two months ago was given an 88-page handout on assassinations.

A simple message such as telling sleepers as well as activists to go out and kill is not a hidden message.  There are no hidden agendas. The message is clearly given, it is clearly understood and when what we call a tragedy occurs, the sites are alive with celebrations.  This war on terror is that simple.

So it must be that the most important question is what is the next target.

The websites and mobile chatter loops are not telling terrorists go get a Russian plane or an American or a British holiday jet.  They are not explaining that an attack will reduce profits at Sharm el-Sheikh by 70%, or beach resort bookings in Tunisia by 62%. They are not saying that every believer working air-side at Gatwick, Heathrow, JFK, Schiphol, Paris CDG or wherever should be ready to slip in a primed detonator into the hold at loading point.  It is all simpler.

If a terrorist goes for a big picture target the longer term impact is a thing about anniversaries instead of what is intended: striking long term and terror to damage and disrupt and then question governments ability to keep populations safe.

Read the dark pages again and think what may happen if the next attack were to be, say, a happy holiday jet to Majorca and an Isle of Wight Ferry and a Christmas department store and a Cathedral family Christingle service – all on the same day.  In other words anyone is a target. No one gets to fly, ferry, go Christmas shopping, go to Carols round the Crib.  That is not going for anti IS USA, Russia, UK. That is going for the power-bring bystanders. That is terrorism.  That is where we are heading.

A reactively simple operation splits allies and makes populations nervous or in some cases downright frightened. That means, it succeeds in terrorising and people start to ask why great powers are unable to stop ISIL?

Metrojet proved if we needed proof that there has been a strategic step change in the battle against IS and its like. The Global Coalition was established in September 2014 “to Degrade and Defeat ISIL” Some 65 states joined the Coalition. Thus one third of the world, including the nuclear powers, has joined against ISIL. In any one’s language that is World War III. For the moment it is not going so well.