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sarinphoto1Seymour M. Hersh
(Investigative journalist and political writer based in Washington D.C. USA. He is a long time contributor to The New Yorker magazine on national security matters and has also written for the London Review of Books since 2013)

Copyright: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

Note: RIEAS received permission from the Author, Mr. Seymour M. Hersh and the London Review of Books to post the article.

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad. Read more

isis72Kyle Orton
(Author)

Copyright: The Henry Jackson Society (UK) – www.henryjacksonsociety.org - Publication on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 26 March 2017.

Terrorist attacks by the Islamic State (IS) around the world have, since IS established its "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria in June 2014, become an increasingly regular feature of the international news landscape. But IS began its efforts to conduct foreign attacks before that, with several plots discovered earlier in 2014, and a trail of violence in Europe and beyond back to 2002, when IS had entered Iraq and the United States had not. Read more

socialmedia71Rukmini Callimachi
(Author, Asharq al-Awsat, Saudi Arabia,.London)

Copyright: http://english.aawsat.com/

Hyderabad, India — When ISIS identified a promising young recruit willing to carry out an attack in one of India’s major tech hubs, the group made sure to arrange everything down to the bullets he needed to kill victims.For 17 months, terrorist operatives guided the recruit, a young engineer named Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani, through every step of what they planned to be ISIS’ first strike on Indian soil.They vetted each new member of the cell as Yazdani recruited helpers. They taught him how to pledge allegiance to the terrorist group and securely send the statement. Read more

ectc17One year of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) at Europol

Copyright: https://www.europol.europa.eu/

Europe is facing its most serious terrorist threat for over 10 years. The attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 marked a shift towards a broader strategy of Jihadist terrorism, and the so-called IS in particular, to intimidate Western countries with successive terror attacks across Europe. The potential increase of returnees from conflict zones requires vigilance from all involved actors. The launch of the ECTC in January 2016 was the EU’s answer to this new threat. Its establishment, including the Internet Referral Unit (IRU) as a new capability to tackle unprecedented levels of online terrorism propaganda, was a major milestone for the EU security architecture. For the first time in the EU there was consensus, in the counter terrorism policy context, that a cornerstone for cooperation at EU level was needed to support national counter terrorism efforts. Read more

kos14Joseph Fitsanakis
(Senior Editor, IntelNews)

Copyright: https://intelnews.org Publication at RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 10 December 2016

A German retiree living in Greece, who admitted in court that he was part of a network of German and other Western European residents of Greece recruited as spies by Turkish intelligence, has been jailed for 14 years. The 65-year-old man, who has not been named, was arrested two years ago in the southeastern Aegean island of Kos. He was born in Cold-War-era East Germany and worked as a locksmith before serving for 15 years in the East German National People’s Army. From 2009 to 2012, he lived in Turkey before moving permanently to Greece. Read more

greek82Ioannis Mantzikos
(Security analyst based in Athens, Greece. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the Free State University in South Africa and a senior analyst at the Research Institute for European and American Studies. His recent book with Dr. Denise Baken is entitled The Transformation of Al-Qaeda in the Middle East and North Africa).

Copyright: https://www.usma.edu - Publication at RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 15 October 2016

Greece has become a crossroads for extremists trying to reach Syria and Iraq from Europe and for fighters returning home. The fact that several members of the Paris and Brussels attack cell transited through the Greek island of Leros illustrates the Islamic State’s ability to exploit refugee flows in order to move fighters into Europe. Although Greece’s migrant crisis has eased recently, a persistent economic crisis has left the Greek government with limited resources and capability for border security and counterterrorism efforts. At a time of growing radicalization and Islamist extremist activity within Greece’s own borders, this has led to concern that the Islamic State may take advantage by launching attacks against Western or Russian tourists or interests on Greek soil. Read more

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