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cbrne15Briefing – December 2015

Beatrix Immenkamp
(Author, European Parliamentary Research Service – EPRS)

Copyright:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2015)572806 – Republication on RIEAS (www.rieas.gr) on 14 December 2015

The European Union and its Member States must prepare for the possibility of a chemical or biological attack on their territory by the self-styled 'Islamic State' in Iraq and the Levant (known variously as IS, ISIS or ISIL and by the Arabic acronym 'Da'esh'). Since the beginning of October 2015, terrorist attacks in Ankara, the Sinai Peninsula, Beirut, Paris, and Tunis, for which ISIL/Da'esh has claimed responsibility, have cost the lives of 500 people. Immediately following the latest attack in Paris, the jihadist terrorist group threatened further attacks in European cities. Read more

ira15Alexandros Kassidiaris
(Security Analyst, Postgraduate from the Department of War Studies, King's College London, UK)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 24 October 2015

The phenomenon of piracy attacks in the Horn of Africa against commercial vessels by mostly Somali-based pirates is not a new one. From 2008 to 2012 this kind of assaults presented an excessive incline creating a major problem for international commercial shipping in this part of East Africa and onwards. The continuous instability in this area and the strong feeling of insecurity and anxiety of the seafarers sailing through this route and especially in the Gulf of Aden created a certain necessity for some official anti-piracy action. Under those circumstances a specific region has been characterized as the Piracy High Risk Area and detailed instructions have been issued for the ships that would approach it.... Read more

bokoharam71Ioannis Mantzikos
(RIEAS Senior Analyst)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 29 March 2015)

Elections have always been high-stakes affairs in Nigeria but the build-up to the 2015 elections has been accompanied by unprecedented levels of tension and anxiety. Two closely matched parties—the People's Democratic Party (PDP) of President Goodluck Jonathan and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) led by General Muhammadu Buhari—appear confident of securing victory. The national elections in 2011 accelerated the general northern alienation from the Abuja government that feeds Boko Haram...Read more

analysisintelGeorgios Tsichritzis
(Postgraduate Student, Intelligence and Security Studies,Brunel University, UK)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication Date: 23 March 2015

This article examines in what degree, the conduct of intelligence by paramilitary groups resemble or differ from national intelligence. Paramilitary is a militarised force whose function, is similar to a professional military but is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces. Specifically, this essay will focus on terrorist intelligence. It will trace different terrorist groups, examining the basic rational and doctrine that precedes its operational actions. The article will prove that the level of sophistication and meticulously planning of operations of a lot of sub-state groups can be compared with this of their state counterparts. While some "hostile reconnaissance" is amateurish, and easily detected, a significant amount is professional and very difficult to detect. It seems that a lot of sub state actors have learned that in order for an operation to be successful, good intelligence plays a vital role. The article will analyse and explore the doctrine, intentions and organization of well-known terrorist and paramilitary groups: Al-Qaeda, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), (Irish Republican Army) IRA, and Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)...Read more

bookreview15By Ioannis Mantzikos
(PhD candidate at the Free State University of South Africa & RIEAS Research Associate)

Copyright: http://warontherocks.com/2014/11/joining-and-betraying-al-qaeda-a-how-to-guide/ Publication Date on RIEAS (www.rieas.gr) on 5 March 2015

Agent Storm feels like a James Bond story or one of John Le Carre's marvelous spy-thrillers. Yet, the story written by CNN's Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister is a true account. The journey of Morten Storm provides valuable insights into high-stakes intelligence operations, as well as the social issues surrounding radicalization and extremism. It is a first-rate account of how a troubled young Danish Christian, with a history of petty criminality, incarceration and drug use converted to Islam and entered into its most extremist jihadi circles in Denmark and Britain, ultimately becoming a trusted member of al-Qaeda (AQ). Storm represents the highest level of Western intelligence penetration of AQ's most dangerous affiliate – al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP...Read more

canadaYannick Veilleux-Lepage

(PhD candidate at the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, located at the University of St. Andrews. His doctoral research focuses on the historical antecedents, and the evolution of, modern terrorism. He holds a Masters of Arts in International Affairs (Conflict Analysis) and a Bachelors of Arts in Directed Interdisciplinary Studies (Security Studies) from Carleton University, Canada).

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date on 31 January 2015.

In recent months, western intelligence officials and policy makers have been continuing to grow increasingly concerned that a new wave of terrorism will soon sweep over Europe, driven by the civil war in Syria and the continuing instability in Iraq. Many of these concerns stem from upwards of 3,000 foreign fighters travelling from Western countries to swell the ranks of the Islamic State (IS) and the fear of 'blowback' ("Islamic State crisis," 2014). Ultimately, the concern is that westerners who have joined the Islamic State will return further radicalized, battle-hardened, and influenced by extensive radical networks and that they might be more likely to commit terrorist attack on their home soil. The recent attacks on the Jewish Museum in Brussels, allegedly committed by a French national returning from fighting in Syria, seems to confirm that these fears may indeed be founding in reality.... Read more

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