NATO / ACO
EUROPOL / INTERPOL
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JOINT ACTION TO TACKLE WEST AFRICAN HUMAN TRAFFICKING NETWORKS
12 June 2014
The second pan-European operation to combat the trafficking of human beings from West Africa was carried out by law enforcement authorities in fifteen European countries on the 11th of June and lasted until early morning of the following day. The operation was aimed at targeting Nigerian criminal networks operating across Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
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Canada requests INTERPOL global alert for dangerous escaped prisoners after helicopter jailbreak
LYON, France – At the request of Canada, INTERPOL has issued an international alert, or Orange Notice, after three prisoners escaped from a detention centre in Quebec using a helicopter.The three men, Yves Denis, aged 35, Denis Lefebvre, aged 53, and 49-year-old Serge Pomerleau who escaped on Saturday 7 June, were awaiting trial on charges related to drug...
Worsening Violence in Iraq Threatens Regional Security
Battles continue to rage across northern Iraq, pitting jihadist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant against Iraqi security forces and their allies. The growing reach of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has escalated an already brutal campaign in Iraq. Alarmingly quick advances by the militants across an important region of the Middle East could draw in regional powers as well as the United States.
Utilizing hit-and-run tactics, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, has sought to keep Iraqi security forces under pressure and dispersed. ISIL has achieved this by striking at areas where security forces are weak and withdrawing from areas where Baghdad has concentrated its combat power. The jihadists have been working hard at improving their tradecraft by developing skill sets ranging from the staging of complex ambushes to using Iraqi army equipment effectively in surprise raids. ISIL has also sought to better develop its ties with local Sunni communities.
As far back as the days of al Qaeda in Iraq and its predecessor, Jamaat Tawheed wa al-Jihad, founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, militancy has had a presence in Anbar province -- and indeed in Mosul. During the Iraq War, the U.S. military considered Mosul one of the key gateways for foreign al Qaeda in Iraq fighters to enter the country. ISIL operations in Mosul and the wider Nineveh Province are unsurprising. What is surprising is the degree of success that ISIL has managed to achieve in its latest offensive in the region.
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Analysis: Should government spies target foreign firms?
Last month, the government of the United Statesindicted five officers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, economic espionage, and theft of trade secrets, among other charges. In indicting the five PLA officers, the US Department of Justice went to great pains to ensure that it did not accuse the suspects of engaging in cyberespionage in defense of China’s national security. What sparked the indictments was that the accused hackers allegedly employed intelligence resources belonging to the Chinese state in order to give a competitive advantage to Chinese companies vying for international contracts against American firms. In the words of US Attorney General Eric Holder, the operational difference between American and Chinese cyberespionage, as revealed in the case against the five PLA officers, is that “we do not collect intelligence to provide a competitive advantage to US companies, or US commercial sectors”, whereas China engages in the practice “for no reason other than to advantage state-owned companies and other interests in China”. I recently authored a working paper that was published by the Cyberdefense and Cybersecurity Chair of France’s Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, in which I argued that the American distinction between public and private spheres of economic activity is not shared by PLA. The Chinese see both state and corporate cyberespionage targets as fair game and as an essential means of competing globally with the United States and other adversaries. In the paper, I argue that Beijing sees the demarcation between state and private economic activity as a conceptual model deliberately devised by the US to disadvantage China’s intelligence-collection ability. Read more of this post
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Justiça e Assuntos Internos (JAI):
[size=31]Iraqi Militants Press Beyond Mosul[/size]
Sunni insurgents who captured Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, extended their control southward on Wednesday to an area that includes the country's largest oil refinery at Baiji. Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari called the offensive by ISIS, a breakaway al-Qaeda group, a "mortal threat," and said Iraqi security forces would work with Kurdish Peshmerga forces (Reuters) to wrest back control. The Iraqi army's retreat from Mosul left insurgents with a windfall of arms, munitions, and equipment supplied by the United States, while highlighting the toll of endemic desertion: Prior to the Mosul assault, the army was losing some three hundred soldiers a day (NYT). Half a million residents of Mosul have been displaced or fled from their homes, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday (AFP).
"While other Syrian rebel groups were focused primarily on fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, ISIS invested as much energy in establishing the 'state'referenced by its name. It quickly asserted control over the province of Raqqah and late last year declared the city of Raqqah the capital of its state. Moderate rebel groups complain that ISIS's rise has been aided by the relative disinterest shown by Syrian government forces in the areas under the group's control, which are rarely subjected to airstrikes and bombardment. That has helped the group set up its own version of a government. It runs courts, schools and services, flying its ubiquitous black-and-white flag over every facility it controls. In Raqqah, it recently launched a consumer protection authority to uphold food standards," writes Liz Sly in the Washington Post.
"The Shi'a-Sunni sectarian divide has become the reflexive shorthand for explaining events in the Middle East. Commentary surrounding Iraq's recent national election is representative. Even as experienced a reporter as the New Yorker's Dexter Filkins concluded that Iraq's internal slaughter continues because Sunni and Shi'a '[have] never really learned how to live with each other.' Yet, this narrative of Middle Eastern politics distorts the reality that state collapse produces sectarianism—not the other way around," writes James Fromson in the National Interest.
"Washington should provide the military support that Mr. Maliki desires—drone strikes, weapons, reconnaissance assets, targeting assistance, improved and expanded training for his forces, even manned airstrikes. But only if he and Iraq's leading politicians agree to settle the deep sectarian conflicts that have brought the country to its present plight. Iraq's growing crisis is not due to the civil war in Syria or the infiltration of terrorist fighters from abroad. It is rather the fear that Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites have of each other. Each community feels that the others seek to oppress, if not massacre, it and will do so if given half a chance. They also fear a central government with unrestrained power, controlled by one of those communities—in other words, what the Maliki government has become," writes Keneth M. Pollack in the Wall Street Journal.
South Korean Police Raid Religious Compound
Several thousand police officers on Wednesday raided a religious compound to arrest aidessuspected of helping fugitive billionaire Yoo Byung-eun flee (Korea Times). Yoo is wanted by prosecutors on charges related to the sinking of the ferry Sewol (BBC).
PHILIPPINES: Security forces on Wednesday arrested an alleged top commander and financier of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group, Khair Mundos, who is on the U.S. State Department's list of most wanted terrorists (AP).
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
Pakistan to Intensify Airstrikes on Militant Havens
Pakistani army chief Raheel Sharif on Wednesday said the military would intensify its airstrikes on militant redoubts (Dawn) as Uzbek gunmen claimed involvement in the Pakistani Taliban's siege of Karachi's international airport on Sunday (AFP).
The Pakistani and Afghan Taliban are pursuing different interests, CFR's Daniel Markeyexplains.
INDIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid out his policy priorities in his first address to the Indian parliament (Times of India).
Israeli Parliament Elects Hard-Liner President
Israel's parliament on Tuesday chose ex-speaker Reuven Rivlin to succeed Shimon Peres as president. Though the position is largely ceremonial, Peres had given it new clout; Rivlin is opposed to the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state and a hard-line rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (WaPo).
IRAQ: The trial of four Blackwater contractors on charges of shooting fourteen civilians dead in Baghdad in 2007 begins in Washington with jury selection on Wednesday (WSJ).
Walter Ladwig reviews the new U.S. army counterinsurgency field manual, revised based on lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Breakthrough Seen in South Sudan Agreement
South Sudanese president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar on Tuesday committed to forming a transitional unity government within sixty days and ensuring humanitarian access (Sudan Tribune). The rivals met in Ethiopia on the sidelines of a summit of the East African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, which threatened sanctions if the agreement fails (BBC).
MALI: Three rebel groups from northern Mali on Tuesday pledged to pursue a peace agreement with the central government (Al Jazeera). Tuareg separatists seized control of the country's north in 2012, but were driven out by a French intervention.
EU to Probe Multinationals’ Tax Advantages
European Commission antitrust regulators announced Wednesday they had opened investigations into tax deals made with Apple in Ireland, Fiat in Luxembourg, and Starbucks in the Netherlands, which the body says may amount to illegal state aid (MarketWatch).
CFR's interactive Global Governance Monitor evaluates regulatory regimes for international finance.
Colombia’s Santos Announces Widened Peace Bid Ahead of Election
Colombia is in peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed Tuesday, saying an exploratory phase of talks with the guerrilla group, Colombia's second largest, began in January (Colombia Reports). The announcement comes days ahead of a presidential election in which ongoing talks with the FARC have been a defining issue (FT).
CHILE: Ministers revoked approval for an $8 billion Patagonia dam project that would have dammed two rivers and erected one thousand miles of power lines (AP), citing insufficient environmental impact research. Advocates of the project, who say it could supply up to a fifth of the country's energy needs, are expected to appeal (Santiago Times).