Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Terrorism

YOU ARE IN: Home Page > Topics > Terrorism

 Nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far bigger threat than Islamic State

Nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far bigger threat than Islamic State Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iran, Iraq, Op-eds, Terrorism    

The Islamic State is certainly dangerous and must be "degraded and ultimately destroyed", in Obama's words. But nothing could damage long-term regional and wider global stability, and Australian and American interests in the region, more than to allow the fight against the Islamic State to become the distraction that allows Tehran to develop nuclear weapons capabilities or extend its regional sphere of influence...

Terror apologist Yvonne Ridley given a free ride on the ABC

Terror apologist Yvonne Ridley given a free ride on the ABC Author: Gabrielle Debinski and Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

On September 26, controversial British Muslim convert and journalist, Yvonne Ridley, delivered an address at a radical Islamic conference in Melbourne. Promoting her ‘speaking tour' in Australia, the contentious Ridley, who converted to Islam in 2003 after she was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, appeared on ABC Radio's "AM" program the following day. Ridley is well-known for her role as a former presenter and current frequent guest on Press TV, the Iranian government's English language station, notorious for its anti-Zionist, anti-Western propaganda, and for her apologetics - sometime sounding almost like justification - for Islamist and Arab terrorism.

Not that you would know any of this from the ABC interview itself.

Israel's New Northern Exposure

Israel's New Northern Exposure Author: Andrew J. Tabler Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel, Syria, Terrorism    

While the world focuses on the Islamic State's advances in Iraq and Syria, the Syrian war is spilling over into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. On Aug. 28, Syrian rebel groups, led by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, captured the old border city of Quneitra from the Syrian army and Iranian-backed National Defence Forces.

AIR
The Appeal of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia

The Appeal of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia Author: Giora Eliraz Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Terrorism    

A pivotal doctrinal slogan proclaimed by the militants of the Islamic State (IS) - formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - is re-establishment of a Caliphate (Khilafah) that binds together lands inhabited by Muslims under unified political rule, based on Sharia Islamic law. For this purpose, the ISIS declared itself in June 2014 as Islamic Caliphate; its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as Caliph, and changed its name.

Indonesia needs to "follow the money" Author: Zachary Abuza Categories: Asia, Middle East, Terrorism    

On September 11, the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre announced that it had frozen the assets of three terrorist suspects on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 list. Hambali, who masterminded the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, was a key conduit of al-Qaeda funds to its Southeast Asian affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah. He has been in US custody since August 2003. Umar Patek, also wanted in conjunction with the Bali bombing, was arrested in Abbotabad, Pakistan in January 2011 and extradited to Indonesia. The third individual, Zulkarnaen, is on the run. The three individuals, who are amongst 17 Indonesians on the UNSC 1267 list, held assets under US$100 each. The blogosphere and Twitter-universe were filled with guffaws.

The Last Word: The Darville in the Detail

The Last Word: The Darville in the Detail Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia, Terrorism    

Twenty years ago, this writer, academics, media personalities and political and ethnic community leaders were, to use the language of the time, "debating Demidenko" - after the respected Miles Franklin Prize was awarded to a book, purportedly written by an Australian of Ukrainian heritage, which sympathetically portrayed Nazi murderers and their supporters.

App
 Erez crossing attack illustrates Hamas' attitude to its own civilians

Erez crossing attack illustrates Hamas' attitude to its own civilians Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

The Erez Crossing is perhaps the most important lifeline for the provision of medical aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Tragically, Hamas repeatedly launched mortars at the crossing during the recent Gaza conflict, in blatant disregard for the safely and well-being of Gazans, even those who are the most vulnerable- the sick or injured.

The strange justice of William Schabas and the UNHRC

The strange justice of William Schabas and the UNHRC Author: Gabrielle Debinski Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

Many people, both within Israel and around the world, were unsurprised when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) announced that it was launching a formal investigation into "possible war crimes" committed by Israel during Operation Protective Edge, which was launched on July 8 in response to incessant rocket fire from Hamas in the Gaza Strip into Israeli cities.

It did so in a resolution passed on July 23 which never mentions Hamas but declares Israel guilty, stating that the council "condemns in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations" in the occupied territories...

AIJAC response to the Canberra Declaration on Gaza

AIJAC response to the Canberra Declaration on Gaza Author: AIJAC Categories: Australasia, Documents, Israel, Media Releases, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations    

71 current and five former members of Australian Federal and State parliaments, mostly Labor and Greens, but also Malcolm Fraser and some independents, have signed what they call the "Canberra Declaration on Gaza" (the Declaration), calling on "all Australian politicians to condemn the ongoing Israeli military bombardment and invasion of Gaza."

A link to the Declaration is here. The Declaration reflects a one-sided and misguided view of the current conflict in Gaza, and of the Israeli/Palestinian situation in general. This document explains why.

Israel continues to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, despite Hamas’ efforts

Israel continues to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, despite Hamas’ efforts Author: Gabrielle Debinski Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

In recent weeks, the media has focused overwhelmingly on the ‘humanitarian crisis' developing in Gaza. Interestingly, neither the media nor the UN or other ‘human rights' groups - quick to condemn Israel for imposing a partial ‘blockade' on the Gaza Strip - have made any mention of the thousands of trucks of humanitarian aid that have continued to pour in from Israel. They continued coming even in the face of incessant Hamas rocket fire hitting Israeli towns and cities, and they continued coming even as Hamas attacked the border crossing itself.

The truth about the population density of Gaza and Hamas tactics

The truth about the population density of Gaza and Hamas tactics Author: Robert Ellenhorn Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

The piece by former ABC correspondent Peter George, published in three Fairfax papers today, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times, is replete with misinformation, lack of knowledge, and dubious claims. This is not the place to confront all of them in detail, but one telling example is his repetition of an increasingly common but easily disproven myth - that Gaza is so densely populated, Hamas has no choice but to locate its military infrastructure and launch missiles from built up areas. 

Hundreds of Hamas Rockets Have Been Falling in Gaza

Hundreds of Hamas Rockets Have Been Falling in Gaza Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Many commentators discussing the recent conflict in Gaza do not realise that Hamas' indiscriminate rocket fire has meant that residents of Gaza, as well as Israelis, have been affected by Hamas' aggression. A sizeable minority of all the rockets that terrorist groups launched from Gaza at Israel never make it - and instead land inside the crowded Gaza Strip, where they can frequently cause considerable damage, deaths and injuries.

 What happened in Shujaiyeh?

What happened in Shujaiyeh? Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Ruth Pollard's report from Gaza on the Age ("Israel calls up 16,000 reservists after school hit," 1 Aug.) was accompanied by a UN satellite image of Shujaiyeh. The image highlighted large areas of destroyed structures. However, reports in Israeli media about Shujaiyeh provide important insight and context about the scope of destruction.

So what did happen in Shujaiyeh?

Tunnels provide yet more evidence of Hamas’ use of ostensibly civilian buildings for military purposes

Tunnels provide yet more evidence of Hamas’ use of ostensibly civilian buildings for military purposes Author: Robert Ellenhorn Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

As the war in Gaza moves into its fourth week, additional information about Hamas' extensive network of underground tunnels is beginning to surface. One thing that has become increasingly clear is that, in keeping with Hamas practice, the entrances to many tunnels are located in clinics, homes, and mosques (Some evidence of this Hamas policy was discussed by Sharyn Mittelman in a previous post). Meanwhile my post yesterday contained additional video evidence of sniper fire and rocket storage at Gaza's al-Wafa hospital - which is also alleged to have contained a terror tunnel complete with fake IDF uniforms to carry out terror attacks.

Hamas' Terror Tunnels: A Game Changer in “Operation Protective Edge”

Hamas' Terror Tunnels: A Game Changer in “Operation Protective Edge” Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Since Israel began its ground operation in Gaza as part of "Operation Protective Edge," the extent of Hamas' tunnel network stretching from Gaza into Israel has quite literally been exposed by the IDF. The vast network was built by Hamas to enter Israel and carry out terror attacks, and its extent has reportedly shocked both Israeli security analysts and the general public. It has now become one of Israel's primary goals in the current conflict to see the tunnels found and destroyed.

More evidence Gaza casualty figures are unreliable Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

My recent blog post pointed out how casualty data from Gaza is unreliable, noting that the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry is the main source of information about casualties in Gaza. In yet more evidence that commonly employed casualty claims are unreliable, it has now been shown that the al Jazeera casualty list includes numerous duplicate names.

AIR
Hamas’ other terror tactic: intimidating foreign journalists

Hamas’ other terror tactic: intimidating foreign journalists Author: Gabrielle Debinski Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Media/ Academia, NGOs, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas enters its third week, foreign journalists are increasingly flocking to the region, reporting from both Gaza and within Israel. In addition, more and more accounts of intimidation and abuse towards foreign journalists stationed in the Strip, both via social media as well as from Hamas operatives on the ground, are emerging.

In recent weeks several foreign journalists have released details of threats, intimidation and blackmail directed against them in the wake of their reporting on the reality as they see it in Gaza. Much of this abuse has stemmed from journalists' coverage of Hamas' tactic of firing rockets into Israel from civilian institutions or highly populated civilian areas. At the same time, reports relating to Hamas' use of Gaza's Shifa hospital - the largest and most important in the Gaza Strip - as a ‘hotbed' for storing weapons and launching rockets has also elicited intimidation from Hamas operatives in Gaza - as well as threats and abuse from pro-Palestinian advocates online.

Hamas accepting ceasefire is key

Hamas accepting ceasefire is key Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Israel, Op-eds, Terrorism    

THE difference between Israeli and Hamas tactics in the current Gaza conflict has been acknowledged by no less an authority than the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Ibrahim Khraishi, who recently stated: "I am not a candidate in any Palestinian elections, so I don't need to win popularity among the Palestinians. The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets."

Hamas’ targeting of Ben Gurion airport has large implications

Hamas’ targeting of Ben Gurion airport has large implications Author: Robert Ellenhorn Categories: Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Reports emerged on Wednesday of a Hamas rocket, fired into Israel that landed within 2 kilometres or so of Israel's Ben Gurion International airport. This prompted a US Federal Aviation Association (FAA) ban on American based airlines flying to the airport just outside of Tel Aviv as well as the cancellation of flights by other international airlines. Air traffic to and from Israel was reduced almost exclusively to El-Al flights, which continued operating - leaving thousands of travellers stranded. While the FAA ban was lifted today, the closure has both immediate and longer-term implications.

App
In first interview Netanyahu explains to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Israel’s war aims

In first interview Netanyahu explains to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Israel’s war aims Author: Gabrielle Debinski Categories: America, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

On July 20, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, gave his first formal media interview since Israel launched ‘Operation Protective Edge' in response to incessant Hamas rocket fire just over two weeks ago.

The full interview can be viewed here.

Speaking to CNN reporter, Wolf Blitzer, Netanyahu talked extensively for almost fifteen minutes about the objectives of Israel's operation, which has seen over 40,000 Israeli soldiers and reservists called up to deter Hamas from continuously firing rockets at Israeli cities from what has become a terrorist enclave in the Gaza Strip.

Why Gaza "civilian casualty" numbers should be taken with a grain of salt Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

One of the most often cited criticisms of Israeli military operations is the supposedly disproportionate civilian death toll, which is all too often based on unreliable or heavily biased sources.Several detailed analyses of the actual casualty figures confirm that it is clear that Israel is definitely not indicriminately targeting Gazans - despite the rhetoric one often hears about the Palestinian casualties.

How did the latest Gaza War start? Despite the claims of some, it is no mystery

How did the latest Gaza War start? Despite the claims of some, it is no mystery Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Ruth Pollard, while reporting on operation "Protective Edge", claimed that "Any attempt to mark a starting point in the latest hostilities is a fraught process."
Apparently the obvious idea that this war was caused by Hamas' decision to shoot rockets at Israel in vastly greater numbers is one that some reporters are simply unwilling to consider.

Hamas' undeniable terror trail

Hamas' undeniable terror trail Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

The discovery of the bodies of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists last night in Israel brought to a heartbreaking close the IDF's exhaustive search which began on June 13, some seven hours after they were taken while trying to make their way home from Gush Etzion by hitchhiking.

Some of the media's coverage of the kidnappings has been sceptical about Israel's claim that Hamas was responsible for the attack, however, a closer look at Hamas' own statements and actions shows that it is Hamas' denials that should be looked at sceptically.

Hamas seeks to inflame tension on two fronts

Hamas seeks to inflame tension on two fronts Author: Gabrielle Debinski Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

The manhunt for the three Israeli youths missing since June 12 drew to a close last night as three bodies were found in an open field outside Hebron. The search for the abducted youths in the West Bank over the past two-and-a-half weeks has coincided with a dramatic escalation of tensions in Gaza, as terrorist groups in the Strip have stepped-up attacks on southern Israel. While Hamas has not claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and killing of the three teens; Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaer and Naftali Frankel, Prime Minister Netanyahu has stressed that Israel is certain that Hamas is responsible. 

Exposing the Palestinian sub-culture of hate and incitement

Exposing the Palestinian sub-culture of hate and incitement Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Today’s Update looks at the destructive sub-culture in Palestinian society that legitimises hate for Israel and its people, and results in such all-too-familiar scenarios as the sickening kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenage boys, Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel. The trio who went missing 18 days ago, are believed to have been merely trying to hitchhike from the West Bank back to Israel and were abducted and murdered by Hamas members. Their deaths followed months of intense incitement by Hamas for Israelis to be abducted.

Fatah Gloats: Kidnapping and Palestinian Discourse

Fatah Gloats: Kidnapping and Palestinian Discourse Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, NGOs, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Immediately after reports emerged that three Israeli teens, Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, had apparently been abducted last Friday, speculation began as to who was responsible, and where blame lay for this crime. There is one aspect though, in the background of this event, which also deserves our attention - the disturbing reaction of official outlets of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Fatah movement.

Hamas’ response to Palestinian unity deal: Urging kids to “shoot all the Jews”

Hamas’ response to Palestinian unity deal: Urging kids to “shoot all the Jews” Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Antisemitism, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

After Fatah and Hamas announced a Palestinian national reconciliation deal , Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other Fatah officials tried to argue that the deal means that Hamas would de facto recognise Israel, at least within pre-67' borders. It quickly became clear that Hamas had some very different ideas and views regarding the unity government, and very publicly contradicted the Fatah claims.

Essay: Why does Iran want nuclear weapons?

Essay: Why does Iran want nuclear weapons? Author: Emanuele Ottolenghi Categories: International Security, Iran, Terrorism    

During the past decade, Western diplomats have been engaged in protracted negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear program. Though a deal remains elusive, Western policymakers remain adamant that an agreement is possible. Much of their optimism is driven by a willingness to test the proposition, put forward by their Iranian counterparts, that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons on religious grounds.

Target: Israel

Target: Israel Author: Matthew Levitt Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel, Terrorism    

On January 22, Israeli officials announced that, several weeks before, they had disrupted what they described as an "advanced" al-Qaeda terrorist plot in Israel. Although al-Qaeda-inspired jihadists had targeted Israel before, this marked the first time that senior al-Qaeda leaders were directly involved in such plans.

AIR
Al-Qaeda in Northern Sinai

Al-Qaeda in Northern Sinai Author: Jonathan Spyer Categories: Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Northern Sinai has long played host to a variety of smuggling networks and jihadi organisations. Since General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi's military coup of July 3rd, 2013 in Egypt, however, there has been an exponential increase in attacks emanating from this area.

This increasingly lawless region is now the home ground for an emergent Islamist insurgency against the Egyptian authorities. Since July 2013, more than 300 reported attacks have taken place in Sinai.

Scribblings: Erdogan's Dubious Friends

Scribblings: Erdogan's Dubious Friends Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Turkey    

Here's a fascinating - and very telling - story from Turkey which has not really made it into the Australian media.

On Jan. 14, Turkish police staged a sweep in which they arrested 28 people alleged to be recruiting or otherwise working for al-Qaeda in raids across six provinces. Police also raided an office of the IHH, a Turkish Islamist NGO best known for coordinating the Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza in 2010.

Recasting the Sinai Triangle

Recasting the Sinai Triangle Author: Ehud Yaari Categories: Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Terrorism    

Over the past year, Israel and Egypt have used a little-known, legally permissible understanding - the Agreed Activities Mechanism - to bypass restrictions on the number and type of Egyptian forces permitted in much of the Sinai. As a result, considerable Egyptian army forces are now constantly deployed in central and eastern Sinai (Areas B and C of the peninsula, respectively), in a manner and scope never envisaged by the teams that negotiated the treaty more than three decades ago. Going forward, this new reality on the ground is unlikely to be reversed and is bound to have profound consequences for Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation, Cairo's ongoing counterterrorism campaign, and the fate of Hamas in the neighbouring Gaza Strip.

Biblio File: Hezbollah’s global reach

Biblio File: Hezbollah’s global reach Author: Paul Monk Categories: Lebanon, Terrorism    

One is left with the impression, by the close of Levitt's book, that the counter-terrorism struggle against Hezbollah is being won. He writes, "All told, more than twenty terror attacks by Hezbollah or Qods Force operatives were thwarted over the fifteen month period between May 2011 and July 2012; by another count, nine plots were uncovered over the first nine months of 2012." But the evidence in the book should lead us to two conclusions: that it has taken a concerted, large-scale and largely undercover international effort to thwart all these attacks and that Hezbollah remains as committed as ever to its violent jihadist agenda.

App
Video: Dr. Matthew Levitt on Hezbollah's global reach

Video: Dr. Matthew Levitt on Hezbollah's global reach Categories: Iran, Lebanon, Multimedia, Terrorism, Updates    

Dr. Matthew Levitt is Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence; and a former analyst and adviser on counterterrorism to the US Department of the Treasury, the State Department and the FBI.

He addressed AIJAC supporters in Melbourne on Hezbollah's global reach and the Iranian threat on December 9, 2013.

ABC, terrorists aren't soldiers

ABC, terrorists aren't soldiers Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

In a special year-end edition of ABC's Correspondents Report, host Elizabeth Jackson took her staff on the air with her for a "behind the scenes" look at the program and gave them a chance to discuss some of their favourite segments of the past year.

During the segment, Jackson recalled the most memorable report she heard in her seven years with the show. To her credit, it was a 2006 report by David Hardaker detailing a 1979 Palestinian terror attack on an Israeli family. Unfortunately, by erroneously describing the terrorist infiltrators as "soldiers", Jackson left listeners needlessly confused.

The Last Word: Shadows of Terror

The Last Word: Shadows of Terror Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Terrorism    

I have a very clear memory of September 11, 2001. Having represented the World Jewish Congress at the NGO Forum preceding the United Nations' now notorious "World Conference Against Racism" in Durban, South Africa, and been on the Australian Government delegation to the UN Conference, the Jewish community asked me to address a community meeting in Sydney...

Waiting to pay after filling my petrol tank at my local service station, I looked up at the television screen near the cash register to see the vision of smoke from the first tower.
A few minutes later I was at home, just as the second plane hit its target, and then joined so many people around the globe transfixed by the unfolding tragic events.

Three Anniversaries - Oslo, the Yom Kippur War and 9/11 Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update highlights the fact that we have just passed three important anniversaries in Middle Eastern and world history - the 20th anniversary of the original Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians (signed on Sept. 13, 1993), the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1973 Middle East war, which began on Yom Kippur, 1973, and of course, the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks in the US. We feature pieces discussing each of these anniversaries.

Duplicate stories, multiple personalities

Duplicate stories, multiple personalities Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

It is common for two different newspapers in the same country to present a wire story on Israel in two different ways. In such a case, one version can be interpreted as being subtly more pro-Palestinian or more pro-Israel than the other.

It is rare, however, for such a discrepancy to surface on the same wire story that appeared twice in the same paper on the same day. Such a bizarre occurrence, however, happened last week in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the paper The Press.

Essay: Winging It

Essay: Winging It Author: Jeni Willenzik Categories: International Security, Lebanon, Terrorism    

During a meeting of the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council on July 22, a consensus was reached among the 28 foreign ministers representing each of the EU's member states. After months of discussion, it was agreed to ban Hezbollah's military wing. In doing so they joined Australia, Canada, the United States and Israel, among other states, in condemning Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The move is likely considered a significant political achievement by Washington and Jerusalem, both of whom have long urged the EU to act to curtail Hezbollah's history of fundraising, garnering support and perpetrating violence in Europe.

However, like Australia, Europe chose only to implement a partial ban on Hezbollah, despite claims made by both Hezbollah's top leadership and counter-terrorism experts that no distinct factions exist within the greater unified organisation.

An Al-Qaeda Resurgence? / Iraq Deteriorates

An Al-Qaeda Resurgence? / Iraq Deteriorates Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Africa, Iraq, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update discusses the apparent resurgence of al-Qaeda after 22 US diplomatic missions across the Middle East were forced to close due to intelligence of a serious al-Qaeda plot allegedly originating in Yemen and ordered by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. It goes on to discuss the deteriorating situation in Iraq - in part due to al-Qaeda's increasing efforts there....

The EU's Partial Hezbollah Ban

The EU's Partial Hezbollah Ban Categories: Europe, Lebanon, Terrorism, Updates    

On Monday, the European Union agreed, after months of debate and negotiation, to ban the "military wing" of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah (Australia, of course, similarly bans only Hezbollah's "External Security Organisation"). This Update focuses on the background and implications of this decision - as well as the wisdom of banning only the "military wing", rather than the whole organisation.

AIR
A Teen's Life in Gaza - Terrorism training, with beatings for anyone sporting "cool" haircuts or skinny jeans

A Teen's Life in Gaza - Terrorism training, with beatings for anyone sporting "cool" haircuts or skinny jeans Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Islamic Extremism, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Much of the attention regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects have been focused on "hard" policy issues. Yet over-emphasising "hard" policy questions means that crucial precursors for both making peace and for the long term sustainability of any peace agreement end up being overlooked.

One such crucial aspect is the willingness of each side's general public to view the other side as a legitimate entity, and to engage in interaction with it by peaceful means. This is a key element in building stable and lasting peace. such a change in perceptions starts with education.

Education in the Palestinian territories has long been a major source of concern for analysts and commentators, who emphasised the dangers of ‘teaching hate,' and thus perpetuating the conflict. Nowhere is this ‘teaching hate' trend more troubling than in Gaza.

Media Week - A sprinkle of BDS;  Minority report

Media Week - A sprinkle of BDS; Minority report Author: Allon Lee Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

In a bizarre move, the hardcopy edition of the Daily Telegraph failed to run any coverage before or after a BDS protest on April 30 at the University of NSW against a planned Max Brenner outlet set to open on campus in June.

However, in the paper's "They Said It" section (May 1) which highlights quotes of the day, this appeared:

"‘These brigades have committed war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza and are involved in Israel's continual ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Students and staff of conscience demand that the Max Brenner be shut down! We don't want companies that endorse the apartheid state of Israel and it's apartheid practices.' A Facebook page set up by UNSW students opposes a campus chocolate shop."

App
Opposing radical Islamist terrorism is a moral duty

Opposing radical Islamist terrorism is a moral duty Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Islamic Extremism, Op-eds, Terrorism    

Some are now arguing that terrorism should be accepted as a normal hazard of modern life, like traffic accidents. Others draw false comparisons between terrorist acts and the rampages of mentally ill gunmen tragically endemic in the US. These sentiments fail to acknowledge the unique characteristics and goals of terrorism. Terror attacks are perpetrated by immoral ideologues, not the mentally ill. This is true whether the terrorist is acting alone or as an operative in an organised network.

As the instigator for terrorism, radical Islamism is not the only global actor, but it is a major player, and to deny this is to deny reality.

 

Editorial: A Reminder from Boston Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

The detonation of two potent bombs at the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three and injuring 282, demonstrated that the "age" of Islamist terrorism against Western civilian targets - launched by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks - is not over. The terrorist threat is neither a mere "irritant" nor a thing of the past.

The first step to combating terrorism is to accurately identify the motivations behind attacks. Therefore, in the immediate aftermath of Boston, when little was known, blind speculation about the perpetrator or motives was indeed counterproductive.

Boston, Chechens and “home-grown” terror

Boston, Chechens and “home-grown” terror Author: Ely Karmon Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

This is a kind of home-grown terrorism, but one that is based on the radicalisation of people coming from the Middle East, Central Asia, even Southeast Asia, that exists in the United States but happens also in Australia and Europe... Besides the nationalist aspect of Chechens, there is also a global jihadist aspect.

Five extreme reactions to the Boston Bombings

Five extreme reactions to the Boston Bombings Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

The confusion after the bombing of the Boston Marathon last week saw a number of reactions that were 'colourful' to say the least. Australians will be familiar with radio broadcaster Alan Jones' claim that the perpetrators were most likely "left-wing radical students", as well as Bob Ellis' rather bizarre speculation that "it seems to me likely that this was not al-Qaeda or a lone madman ... but more likely, much more likely, the NRA."

The most shocking reactions, however, did not come from Australians. Be it an unnerving sense of vindication or an incomprehensible conspiracy theory, AIJAC has compiled five of the most 'out-there' responses to the awful carnage that took place.

Boston Marathon bombing: Israel-trained medical team responds, extremists spread conspiracy theories

Boston Marathon bombing: Israel-trained medical team responds, extremists spread conspiracy theories Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: America, Antisemitism, Terrorism, Updates    

Australians woke up yesterday morning to the shocking news that two bombs had exploded in the streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon and had killed three people - Martin Richard an eight-year-old boy who was cheering on his father in the marathon, Krystle Campbell a 29-year-old woman described by her mother as having a "heart of gold", and a Chinese woman who was a student at Boston University. More than 183 people have been hospitalised, 13 people have had their limbs amputated, and 24 are in a critical condition.

Europa Europa: Riding the Tiger Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Israel, Terrorism    

Did the leaders of the European Union rise up in their wrath to condemn Hezbollah for taking - and plotting to take - Israeli lives on European territory? Did they, like the United States and others, declare Hezbollah to be an illegal terrorist organisation? Like hell they did.

Palestinian prisoner issue plagued by selective reporting

Palestinian prisoner issue plagued by selective reporting Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Who are Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh, the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners that have become the latest "cause célèbre" for pro-Palestinian activists?

(See our update on how the prisoner issue appears to be a deliberate pretext for creating unrest in an effort to push the Palestinian agenda prior to US President Barack Obama's visit to the region later this month).

Unfortunately, many recent news reports on the pair have neglected to report on the background of terror activity of these and other Palestinian prisoners. In doing so, the media has omitted crucial information to give perspective and balance to their coverage on a very contentious issue.

Editorial: Compelling Case for a Ban Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, International Security, Terrorism    

The recent announcement by Bulgarian authorities that two Hezbollah agents - including one Australian national - were being sought in connection with the deadly July 2012 Burgas bombing of a bus filled with Israeli tourists should serve as a wake up call for Australia, EU and the wider global community to list all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The justification for a ban is so compelling, the evidence so overwhelming, that it shouldn't be necessary to argue the case for proscribing the group.

Ban Hezbollah in all its guises or forever be victim to its terror

Ban Hezbollah in all its guises or forever be victim to its terror Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, International Security, Lebanon, Op-eds, Terrorism    

FOLLOWING revelations that an Australian passport holder is a terror suspect in the July 18, 2012, Burgas bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed six people, it is high time all countries, including Australia, banned Hezbollah in its entirety.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said in an update on the investigation into the bombing, "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects . . . What can be established as a well-grounded assumption is that the two persons whose real identity has been determined belonged to the military wing of Hezbollah."

Burgas findings reveal Australian involved and puts EU under pressure to ban Hezbollah

Burgas findings reveal Australian involved and puts EU under pressure to ban Hezbollah Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Europe, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Following Bulgaria's findings that Hezbollah was involved in the 18 July 2012 terrorist attack in Burgas that killed six people - five Israeli tourists and a local Bulgarian bus driver, the European Union (EU) is now under increasing pressure to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

Providing an update on its findings into the investigation of the bus bombing, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said: "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects..." and that "the two suspects with Canadian and Australian passports had been living in Lebanon, one since 2006 and the other since 2010."

An Australian Hezbollah terrorist? No great surprise

An Australian Hezbollah terrorist? No great surprise Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Europe, International Security, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

Revelations by Bulgarian investigators that one of the suspects in last July's terrorist bombing of a bus carrying an Israeli tour group near the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria last July was both a Hezbollah operative and an Australian national should unfortunately not come as any great surprise.

Those who have closely followed the operations of Iran's terror proxy in southeast Asia and Australasia in recent years know that its presence in the region is substantial, and that Australia is regularly listed as one of the countries in which Hezbollah operates.

ABC interviews offer informed perspectives on Syria weapons strike

ABC interviews offer informed perspectives on Syria weapons strike Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

In the aftermath of reports of an Israeli attack on a Syrian weapons convoy, ABC Radio carried two interviews on Friday worthy of special notice.

On Radio National's Breakfast program, Fran Kelly spoke with Israeli Channel 2's esteemed journalist and analyst Ehud Yaari, who of course recently visited Australia and spoke at an AIJAC function, video available here

Hours later, on The World Today, Simon Santow interviewed former CIA operative Robert Baer.

AIR
Getting inside the head of Khaled Meshal

Getting inside the head of Khaled Meshal Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Islamic Extremism, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

December 7th was a big day for Khaled Meshal, head of Hamas political bureau. Hamas marked its 25th anniversary, and on the occasion Meshal made his first ever visit to Gaza, which was not only a personal experience, but also his opportunity for a political resurrection.

In his speech, Meshal proved once again that he is just as committed to the "resistance" and "liberation" of Palestine as the most extreme voices. He also proved that not much has changed in the 25 years since Hamas first emerged, with its hateful, antisemitic charter and the call for the annihilation of Israel.

Journalist or terrorist? Why choose when you can be both!

Journalist or terrorist? Why choose when you can be both! Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Recently it has been reported that the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, blaming Israel for allegedly targeting Palestinian journalists during operation "Pillar of Defence" in the Gaza Strip. New York Times journalist David Carr went even further, as he accused Israel of intentionally targeting journalists.

Two main issues are mixed up in the story. Firstly, the use of journalists and press as human shields for terrorist activity, further endangering journalists reporting from conflict zones. And secondly, terrorists' use of journalist status to cover up for their violent activities.

Tel Aviv bus bomb terror suspect - a case of "family reunification terrorism"

Tel Aviv bus bomb terror suspect - a case of "family reunification terrorism" Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Israel has now arrested suspects responsible for the Tel Aviv bus bomb attack on November 21 that injured 28 people, three seriously.

One suspect is an Israeli-Arab formerly from the West Bank who obtained Israeli citizenship on reunification grounds.  Therefore, this latest terrorist attack has again put the spotlight on how family reunification laws can be exploited by terrorists to gain entry into Israel to commit their crimes.

Did the current round of violence start because of the death of a 13-year-old boy on November 8?

Did the current round of violence start because of the death of a 13-year-old boy on November 8? Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

In the first few days of the current escalation in Southern Israel and Gaza (which hopefully may now be coming to an end) most of the media reported that the violence escalated after a Kornet anti-tank missile was launched at an Israeli military jeep on November 10, injuring four soldiers. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) took responsibility for the attack. Shortly afterwards, a barrage of dozens of rockets aimed at Israeli cities and towns was launched from Gaza.

Perhaps the 10 days that have passed since that incident has blurred the memory of some reporters. Some media reports are now framed around the assumption that this whole thing began on the 14 with the strike on Jabari. And even more bizarrely, other reporter and commentators are stating or implying that it was the death of 13-year-old Hamid Younis Abu Dika on Nov. 8 near Khan Younis that sparked the current round of violence.

App
Human rights NGOs, and their half-hearted, belated, and weasel-worded condemnations of rocket attacks

Human rights NGOs, and their half-hearted, belated, and weasel-worded condemnations of rocket attacks Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, NGOs, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Human rights organisations are supposed to advance a universal approach, according to which every person in entitled to certain rights and liberties, based simply on his or her humanity. The most basic of these rights is the right to life. Yet time after time those very same organisations prove that some humans - those from groups they personally identify or sympathise with - have more rights than others. Most recently, this double-standard was evident in the response by various human rights organisations to the ongoing rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza on Israeli cities and towns. In between 'code red' sirens, you could almost hear the silence of human rights organisations.

Antisemitism in France still trending upward

Antisemitism in France still trending upward Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

The last two months have seen a wave of disturbing antisemitic attacks in France, including a grenade exploding in a kosher store. French antisemitism is even sweeping the ‘Twitter-sphere', where this week's top trending words on French language tweets was the hashtag #unbonjuif, which in English means "a good Jew". This led thousands of Twitter users to enter what the French daily Le Monde called "a competition of anti-Semitic jokes."  Meanwhile, DNA from the grenade attack led French police to conduct raids across France which uncovered a dangerous terror network of home grown radical Islamists with bomb making material and weapons that were planning their next attack.

10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings

10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Asia, Australasia, Terrorism, Updates    

Today marks ten years since the ‘Bali Bombings', which tragically killed 202 people, including 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians, and injured more than 240.

For many Australians, the memory of the Bali bombings are now part of our collective national consciousness, an acute awareness of the evil of terrorism in its ability to destroy innocent lives indiscriminately - both those who were murdered without reason and those who have been grieving for their loved ones ever since.

The Last Word: A History of Violence

The Last Word: A History of Violence Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

I look forward to the time when the antisemitic ratbags who claim Islamic authority, together with those who seek to create a wider conflict with all Western society, are clearly and unambiguously told that they have no call on solidarity with co-religionists - and when the prominent voices condemning promoters of conspiracy theories and group defamations include, as a matter of course, the same level of senior Muslim community leaders who condemned Sydney's September skirmishers.

Media Week - And they called it Pappe love; Randa does the rounds

Media Week - And they called it Pappe love; Randa does the rounds Author: Allon Lee Categories: Anti-Zionism, Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe told Geraldine Doogue on ABC Radio National's "Breakfast" program  (17/9) that the "mainstream Zionist leadership from the very beginning understood that... they could not have a Jewish state as long as the Palestinians remained in Palestine".

The fact is that the mainstream Zionist leadership accepted and still accepts partitioning the disputed territory into Jewish and Arab states - in 1922 (when Jordan was created), 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008.

Moreover, Zionist documents have always discussed the expectation that the Jewish state would have a non-Jewish minority.

Forty years later, new revelations on the Munich massacre

Forty years later, new revelations on the Munich massacre Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

Today marks forty years since the Munich massacre - when eleven Israeli Olympic athletes, coaches and officials, as well as a German police officer, were killed at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games by Palestinian terrorist group Black September. This tragedy has recently been given renewed attention following the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) defiance of an international campaign to hold a minute's silence to remember those killed at this year's London Olympic's opening and closing ceremonies.

Four decades later and the many unanswered questions about the attack has fuelled rumours, criticism and conspiracy theories.  Now Germany and Israel have recently released once classified documents that shed new light on some of these questions.

Antisemitism going up, not down, in France following Toulouse attack

Antisemitism going up, not down, in France following Toulouse attack Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

France's Jewish communities are deeply concerned by the rise in antisemitic incidents since last March's deadly shootings of a seven-year-old girl, and a Rabbi and his two children at the entrance to a Jewish school in Toulouse by radical Islamist Mohammed Merah.

One might expect that following the Toulouse attack, condemned by all political leaders and societal elites, it would inspire greater reflection and tolerance towards Jews. However the opposite appears to be occurring. Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris Shmuel Trigano said, "There is a before - and after-Merah... Despite the widespread condemnation of the killings, there was, among certain people in France, a desire to see this type of violence continue."

Shameful rejection betrays the Olympic ideal

Shameful rejection betrays the Olympic ideal Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Op-eds, Terrorism    

The London Olympic opening ceremony should have commemorated the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes, killed by the Palestinian terrorist group ''Black September'' at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Shamefully it did not. An official Olympic commemoration was rejected despite a global petition to hold a minute's silence at the opening ceremony to remember the Munich victims, a campaign supported by world leaders including Prime Minister Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, and numerous national parliaments, including Australia's.

AIR
Olympic opening ceremony reveals hypocrisy of the IOC refusal to honour Munich massacre victims

Olympic opening ceremony reveals hypocrisy of the IOC refusal to honour Munich massacre victims Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

As expected, the Olympic opening ceremony was held on July 28 without a minute's silence to honour the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes, who were brutally murdered by members of the Palestinian terrorist group ‘Black September' forty years ago at the Munich Olympics.

However, many were disgusted by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) refusal to agree to such a tribute and provided their own remembrance of Munich. In support of the cause, during the American broadcast, Bob Costas silenced his microphone for five seconds to honour the Munich victims. In another show of solidarity, some 30 members of the Italian Olympic delegation held a moment of silence at the entrance to the Israeli delegation's residential compound in London.

Editorial: Ignoring the Obvious Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iran, Israel, Terrorism    

The explosion that ripped through a tour bus full of Israeli tourists in the seaside resort of Burgas, Bulgaria on July 18, killing six people - including a pregnant woman - was only the latest in a series of terror attacks perpetrated against Israelis abroad over the past decades.

Unfortunately, despite the Herculean efforts of Israel's intelligence services, it will likely not be the last. However, it is not too late for the world to learn a crucial lesson from the atrocity, the internalisation of which might potentially prevent a catastrophe of a far greater magnitude.

The Last Word: Dangerous Ideas

The Last Word: Dangerous Ideas Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Terrorism    

It would be comforting to imagine that individuals who seek to cause harm to other individuals would be regarded as "dangerous."

It would be comforting to imagine that responsible, ethical people would do what they could to protect the intended victims of such "dangerous" people.

It would be comforting if the media and organised groups within civil society would respectively cast a spotlight on dangerous individuals and create a social environment which was unfriendly to those who intimidate, bully and constitute threats to others.

App
Continued IOC refusal to remember Munich darkens tomorrow’s Olympic Opening Ceremony

Continued IOC refusal to remember Munich darkens tomorrow’s Olympic Opening Ceremony Author: Andrea Nadel Categories: Europe, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Despite calls from the victims' families and world leaders across the globe, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will reportedly not honour the memory of the 11 Israeli Olympians and one West German police officer murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich at the opening ceremony for the London games tomorrow.

Bulgaria attack underscores the absurdity of Israel's exclusion from new Counterterrorism Forum

Bulgaria attack underscores the absurdity of Israel's exclusion from new Counterterrorism Forum Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Kochava and Yitzhak Shriki were supposed to be celebrating right now. They recently found out that after years of fertility treatments their greatest wish was being granted - 44-year-old Kochava was finally pregnant with their first child. They were on their way to a short summer vacation in Burgas, Bulgaria. A few hours later, the Shriki's dream has turned into a horrible nightmare when a suicide bomber exploded near a Bulgarian airport, right next to tourist buses packed with Israelis on their way from the airport to their hotels. Seven people were killed, five of them Israeli. One of them was Kochava.

Media Week - Remembering Shamir; Grave doubts; Over the top

Media Week - Remembering Shamir; Grave doubts; Over the top Author: Allon Lee Categories: Australasia, Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Ruth Pollard in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald (2/7) asserted that former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir's "most criticised decision...was to undermine the 1987 agreement on Palestine reached by his foreign minister Shimon Peres and Jordan's King Hussein".

Contrary to Pollard's implication, the agreement would not have created an independent Palestine but seen a resumption of Jordanian rule over the West Bank.

Motion for one minute’s silence unanimously passed in Australian Parliament

Motion for one minute’s silence unanimously passed in Australian Parliament Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

A motion calling upon the International Olympic Committee to observe a minute's silence at next month's London Olympics for the 11 Israelis killed in the 1972 Munich massacre, has today been unanimously passed in the House of Representatives.

The motion was moved by Paul Fletcher (Bradfield, Lib.) and seconded by the Josh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Lib.).

Hamas: We're responsible for major new outbreak of rocket attacks

Hamas: We're responsible for major new outbreak of rocket attacks Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Dozens of rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel during a new outbreak of fighting this week. Also, in a new twist, Hamas has taken responsibility for the attacks, rather than merely passively permitting other groups such as Islamic Jihad to launch rockets from its territory - a policy that had been in place for the past year.

UNRWA and Refugees/ More Glorifying of Terrorism

UNRWA and Refugees/ More Glorifying of Terrorism Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

There has been considerable comment of late, both in Australia and the UN, about the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in the wake of a legislative proposal being discussed in Washington, and a recent grant of increased aid provided to UNRWA in Canberra. This Update provides some background on the controversy over UNRWA, and the idea behind the UNRWA-related legislative amendment which passed out of a Committee in the US Senate last week.

First up is a backgrounder on the American UNRWA proposal, sponsored by Senator Mark Kirk, written by American scholars Alexander Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky (Mr. Romirowsky is currently visiting Australia to speak at the annual Limmud Oz conference of Jewish educators.) They make it clear that the intent of the Kirk legislation is not to cut off Palestinians from needed aid, but to provide some clarity about the state of UNRWA's clients, the vast majority of whom are not refugees by the standards applied to every other refugee population in the world.

US clamping-down on terror supporters and war criminals

US clamping-down on terror supporters and war criminals Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, Holocaust/ War Crimes, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

After frequent calls on this blog for some action against Sudanese President Omar Bashir, it is welcome news that the US Congress is committing to halt aid to any country that hosts the indicted war criminal.

A US House of Representatives press release reports that the House Appropriations Committee has adopted an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for 2013 to this effect, proposed by Representative Frank Wolf...

Media Week - Unbelievable, because it's wrong!; New Blood; Not so popular front

Media Week - Unbelievable, because it's wrong!; New Blood; Not so popular front Author: Allon Lee Categories: Anti-Zionism, Australasia, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

The Australian's John Lyons (5/5) reported on an Israeli law passed during the Second Intifada in 2003 designed to prevent terrorists exploiting family reunion laws to enter Israel.

This has meant Israeli Arab Taiseer Khatib's wife, Lana, who is from Jenin on the West Bank, can only stay in Israel on a temporary residency visa, something Khatib denounces as "beyond apartheid".

The newspaper offensively headlined the piece Living under the cloud of Israel's cruel apartheid implying this was a statement of fact rather than Taiseer Khatib's opinion. The online edition has since rectified this error.

AIR
Olympic Disdain

Olympic Disdain Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

This year marks forty years since the ‘Munich Massacre' - when during the 1972 Munich Olympics, Palestinian terrorists disguised as athletes attacked the dormitory housing the Israeli delegation and took Israeli athletes, coaches and officials hostages.  By the end of the ordeal, the terrorists had killed eleven Israelis and a German police officer.

For the past four decades, families of the victims have repeatedly sought to persuade the International Olympic Committee to incorporate a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies of the games to commemorate the Munich Massacre.  This year the IOC has again rejected their request.

Thailand's slow-burn insurgency heats up

Thailand's slow-burn insurgency heats up Author: Zachary Abuza Categories: Asia, Terrorism    

On March 31, a series of coordinated bombings, the likes that have not been seen since 2007, rocked the Southern Thai cities of Yala and Hat Yai.

These attacks were spectacular and garnered both domestic and international media attention. While a wakeup call to the international community and the Thai political elite, the attacks do not portend the insurgency entering into a new stage, but rather they are a reminder of a conflict that is now in its ninth year; a slow-burn insurgency in the heart of prosperous Southeast Asia, which has claimed the lives of 5,100 people, wounded approximately 9,000 in more than 11,000 incidents of violence.

 

What's wrong with the 'Black Box' view of terrorism?

What's wrong with the 'Black Box' view of terrorism? Author: Tzvi Fleischer and Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Islamic Extremism, Op-eds, Terrorism    

Rachel Woodlock's latest contribution to the debate about terrorism following the crimes of Mohamed Merah in Toulouse last month is unfortunately a good illustration of the problem we were trying to call attention to in our initial response.

She clearly is very uncomfortable with anyone discussing the extremist ideology that motivates individuals like Merah. Moreover, when the issue is raised, her response appears to be to relate any such discussion to "anti-Muslim stereotyping."

Toulouse gunman lone wolf?

Toulouse gunman lone wolf? Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Terrorism, Updates    

Following the tragic shootings in Toulouse last week that resulted in the deaths of a Rabbi, three children and three soldiers by a Frenchman of Algerian dissent Mohammed Merah, many in the media have been quick to paint Merah as a ‘lone wolf' and his actions as an isolated incident, the actions of one crazed individual, with no wider implications.

There has also been little media discussion/reflection on the dangers of antisemitism and the growth of jidhadi networks operating in the West including the indoctrination that can occur in prisons - where petty criminal Merah reportedly converted to radical Islamic beliefs.

App
Toulouse school's decision to cut security may have implications on Australia

Toulouse school's decision to cut security may have implications on Australia Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Media/ Academia, Terrorism, Updates    

In this post last month, I argued that the Jewish community in Australia does have the unfortunate need for security at Jewish schools, which remain a target for terrorists, a statement that I later affirmed after the Toulouse attacks. This was to rebut statements made by former Australian Jewish News editor Dan Goldberg, reported in The Age in January - well before the attack in Toulouse - suggesting that the money could be better spent elsewhere:

[Former AJN editor Dan] Goldberg suggested the rising costs of security were helping push up education fees so that ever more money would be spent on protecting ever fewer children...

Road to Toulouse paved with incitement

Road to Toulouse paved with incitement Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

The massacre of three students and a teacher (and father of two of the children) at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France has understandably prompted condemnations and statements of outrage from world leaders, diplomats and pundits that have followed similar anti-Semitic atrocities in the past.

Some analysts, however, have discerned a troubling equivocation in some of these responses. By failing to acknowledge the underlying antisemitism and anti-Israel incitement that fuelled the attack, the commentators said, a festering hatred is allowed to persist, and the next attack is only a matter of time.

On Toulouse shootings, Sydney Morning Herald editorial writers fail to read their own coverage

On Toulouse shootings, Sydney Morning Herald editorial writers fail to read their own coverage Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, Islamic Extremism, Media/ Academia, Terrorism, Updates    

The Sydney Morning Herald editorialised this morning on the possible identity of the Toulouse shooter and pondered what group he may have been affiliated to. Curiously, these questions seem to have been answered just three pages earlier.

...As to whether he [the shooter] is a deranged loner or a fanatical terrorist acting for some group is unclear.  While this week's school attack was an atrocity against Jews, anti-Semitism alone does not seem to account for last week's murders in which the paratrooper victims were dark-skinned, hailing from either Muslim North Africa or the West Indies. One notion is that the gunman thought he was striking a blow for the Palestinian cause - French paratroops have served in Afghanistan...

Terror attack on Jewish school in France a stark reminder of antisemitic threat

Terror attack on Jewish school in France a stark reminder of antisemitic threat Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Far Right, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

Last month, I wrote in defence of the security concerns of Australia's Jewish community. With a heavy heart, I must note that these concerns have been unfortunately vindicated once again. Last night, a shooting attack outside Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish school in Toulouse, killed much-loved schoolteacher Yonatan Sandler, as well as his two sons -- Aryeh, age five, and Gavriel, age four -- as well as Miriam Monsonego, age seven. Another boy was injured.

According to the chilling AFP report, a masked gunman dismounted from a Yamaha scooter and began shooting, hitting Sandler as he tried in vain to sheild his sons. The shooter then chased after Miriam as she ran into the school, grabbing her and killing her at close range...

The facts and the hearsay on Israel

The facts and the hearsay on Israel Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Op-eds, Palestinians, Terrorism    

Terror sponsorship has been around for as long as terrorism.

It's a phenomenon that has been widely recognised, which allows a group to use terrorism as a tool while insulating themselves from direct responsibility. As an added benefit, in some cases it allows for additional logistical possibilities in planning a terror attack.

Naturally, nobody should be fooled: a terror sponsor who provides planning and support for a terror attack is as responsible as those who are sent to pull the trigger.

Assad's Email, Iran and the Palestinians

Assad's Email, Iran and the Palestinians Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Documents, Iran, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

As has been widely reported in the Australian press today, on Wednesday the Guardian went public with a trove of messages that they had obtained which purportedly had been mined out of Syrian President Bashar Assad's personal email account.

What was less widely reported was that, as a key strategy, in the emails the Iranians told the Alawite Assad to shore up his image among the country's majority Sunni Muslim population by fashioning himself as an uncompromising opponent of concessions to Israel and as a defender of Jerusalem.

Gaza Academic: Israel's targeted killing policy works

Gaza Academic: Israel's targeted killing policy works Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Israel, which has sometimes been criticised in the media for targeting terror kingpins in Gazan airstrikes, has received a validation of the policy's effectiveness in curbing terrorism from an unlikely source: A Gazan university professor.

Mukhaimer Abu Saada, professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City, told the AFP in an article published March 12 that Israel's strategy has been very successful.

 

Australian terror twist following arrest in India for embassy attack

Australian terror twist following arrest in India for embassy attack Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, India, Iran, Terrorism, Updates    

Delhi Police have arrested an Indian journalist, Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, a Shi'ite with connections to Iran for his alleged role in facilitating the February 13 bombing of an Israeli Embassy car. See previous AIJAC blog post on background on the attack.

Interestingly, reporting on this arrest has featured discussion of a previous alleged plot by Iranian proxies to prepare terror attacks in Australia...

Peace through falsehood

Peace through falsehood Author: Allon Lee Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Context is king and without it the most outrageous slurs can be given legitimacy.

Unfortunately, some pro-Palestinian activists are prone to only offer facts in isolation to give their false allegations the air of authenticity and aid the ongoing campaign to delegitimise Israel.

The most recent example of this appeared on Tuesday in an op-ed hosted on the ABC "Unleashed" website from Professor Stuart Rees called "Palestine matters, not Gillard-Rudd soapies"...

World Vision involved in alleged terror links - again

World Vision involved in alleged terror links - again Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, NGOs, Terrorism, Updates    

As has been widely reported, there has been controversy over support by World Vision and AusAID for a Palestinian group with alleged links to a terrorist organisation. While the current complaint is now being investigated by World Vision, it is worth recalling that this is not the first time that World Vision has been accused of making a controversial funding decision in the Palestinian Authority areas.

In the latest complaint, the Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Centre) wrote letters to AusAID and World Vision requesting that they discontinue their support of the Palestinian aid organisation the Union of Agricultural Work Committee, which it alleges is a subsidiary of the terrorist organisation the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine...

Hamas doubles down on intransigence

Hamas doubles down on intransigence Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Iran, Palestinians, Terrorism    

Following up on yesterday's post on the extreme statements of Hamas Prime Minister Ismael Haniyah in Iran, The Jerusalem Post reports that Haniyeh made some additional extreme statements on his final day in the country - vowing Hamas will continue to rely on violence against Israel and reject compromise.

Bangkok terror attack - a pattern of failures?

Bangkok terror attack - a pattern of failures? Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Iran, Terrorism, Updates    

Yesterday there was another failed act of terrorism in Bangkok, likely to be linked to Iran and Hezbollah.  This latest failed terrorist attack follows attacks on Israeli embassy personnel in India and Georgia a day earlier (see previous blog post). It also follows a string of attempted terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets that have thankfully been thwarted in places including Bangkok and Baku, Azerbaijan.

The question many are grappling with is that if Iran and Hezbollah, generally both thought to have dangerously competent cover operation wings, are behind these terrorists attacks, why weren't they more effective?

AIR
Israeli Embassy attacks - What do they mean?

Israeli Embassy attacks - What do they mean? Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Iran, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

As was widely reported, Israeli embassy personnel were attacked in Georgia and India yesterday.

In the first attack, Tal Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of an Israeli Defense Ministry official and an employee of the embassy in India was wounded when a bomb exploded in her car.  In the second attack, an embassy staffer in Tbilisi discovered a bomb underneath his car as he was driving to the embassy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of being responsible for the attacks, which occurred one day after the fourth anniversary of the killing of a senior Hezbollah official, Imad Mughniyeh. Both Hezbollah and Iran have blamed Israel for Mughniyeh's assassination, and Hezbollah has repeatedly sworn revenge.

This blog post recommends analysis on what these attacks could mean...

Australia's Jewish community has legitimate security concerns

Australia's Jewish community has legitimate security concerns Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, International Jewry, Terrorism, Updates    

In yesterday's Age, Barney Zwartz has reported on a former editor of the Australian Jewish News questioning the amount that the community spends each year on security.

Goldberg is undoubtedly correct in one regard: the community could benefit from extra funding for education. That said, the unfortunate reality is that the money spent every year on security for the Jewish community goes to countering a very real threat.

For starters...

Palestinian rights activist confirms Hamas puts terror bases in civilian areas

Palestinian rights activist confirms Hamas puts terror bases in civilian areas Author: Allon Lee Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations    

A Palestinian human rights activist has inadvertently confirmed what Israel has always insisted, that terrorist groups live, train, operate and run riot throughout the Gaza Strip's residential neighbourhoods.

In a piece written for the Palestinian website Maan, Gaza human rights activist Mahmoud Abu Rahma reveals that the "resistance movements" are so entrenched and widespread in residential areas that civilians are suffering frequent injuries because of their activities.

 

App
 PA continues to glorify terrorists

PA continues to glorify terrorists Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Despite its claimed opposition to terrorism, the PA continues to glorify terrorists.

This was reinforced again when Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas met with freed Palestinian terrorist Amna Muna in Turkey on December 21, along with ten other Palestinians freed and exiled to Turkey as part of the deal to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in October.

Muna is a 35-year-old West Bank woman who was serving a life sentence for using an Internet promise of romance to lure 16-year-old Israeli Ophir Rahum to the West Bank, where he was killed by waiting militants in 2001.

According to a PA statement Abbas "praised the prisoners for remaining steadfast in the face of Israeli wardens' mastery."

Hamas and Hezbollah in Flux/ Sanctioning Iran's Central Bank

Hamas and Hezbollah in Flux/ Sanctioning Iran's Central Bank Categories: Iran, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update features two pieces on how Damascus-dependent terrorist organisations Hamas and Hezbollah have coped with the possible loss of President Bashar al-Assad as a key ally in the wake of the recent unrest in Syria.

First up is veteran Israeli Arab Affairs analyst Pinhas Inbari, who looks at Hamas' situation in the wake of the uncertain future in Syria and also Egypt. He notes that the leadership of Hamas is quite happy to be moving its alliance from Damascus to a Cairo dominated by their Muslim Brotherhood allies, as looks likely to eventuate.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon should broaden its focus

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon should broaden its focus Author: Michael Immerman Categories: International Security, Iran, Lebanon, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

In the latest development from the ongoing saga surrounding the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, the UN will be holding off on the prosecution of the suspected assassins for the time being.

As reported, legal proceedings against Mustafa Badreddine, Salam Ayyash, Hussein Anaissi and Assad Sabra, Hezbollah members considered responsible for the assassination of Hariri, will not proceed in absentia.

Rather, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the UN-backed body tasked with prosecuting and resolving this matter, will wait for Lebanese authorities to arrest the four suspects.

Sudden jump in odds on Iran attack

Sudden jump in odds on Iran attack Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Kingdom, Updates    

A whole series of events last night made an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities suddenly seem far closer than had previously been the case. After a week of speculation in the Israeli press, Haaretz reported yesterday that the Prime Minister and Defence Minister are trying to gain cabinet support for a strike.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are trying to muster a majority in the cabinet in favor of military action against Iran, a senior Israeli official has said. According to the official, there is a "small advantage" in the cabinet for the opponents of such an attack.

Netanyahu and Barak recently persuaded Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking Iran, to support such a move.

This report coincided with the test-firing of a new long-range Israeli missile, which could be capable of reaching targets in Iran...

Scribblings: Poster Child for Palestinian Terror

Scribblings: Poster Child for Palestinian Terror Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism    

The Gilad Shalit deal led to the release of many heinous murderers, and one cannot but feel enormous sympathy for the distress this caused the families of those they murdered.

But if there is one individual who symbolises the incomprehensibly ugly belief system, the determination to murder at all costs, behind the Palestinian cult of suicide terrorism, it is female releasee Wafa al-Bis.

 

Asia Watch: The Elephant in the Room Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Concerns about growing religious intolerance in Indonesia have been heightened in recent weeks in the wake of violent attacks and restrictive local laws, but legislative moves appear unlikely to address the core problem.

Some recent scene-setting events demonstrate the scope of the problem.
More than a decade after Christian-Muslim clashes killed thousands across Indonesia's Maluku Islands, violence erupted in Ambon on September 11 after a fatal traffic accident in which an ojek (motorcycle-taxi) driven by a Muslim teenager was struck by an automobile driven by a Christian.

The Price: Palestinian Prisoners released Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism    

Four hundred and seventy seven Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel in the deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive by Hamas since 2006, with another 550 to be released in November. The prisoners include some of the most notorious terrorists perpetrators against Israel including individuals involved in the Sbarro and Café Moment suicide bombings, murderers of Nachshon Wachsman and the videotaped October 2000 lynching of IDF reservists Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami in Ramallah.

Somali-American suicide bomber calls for Muslims to fight Jihad in Australia

Somali-American suicide bomber calls for Muslims to fight Jihad in Australia Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Somalia, Terrorism, Updates    

Abdisalan Hussein Ali, a 22-year-old Somali who grew up in America and is believed to be one of two suicide bombers who struck African Union forces on Saturday, called for jihad against Australia in a recording obtained by The New York Times. In the recording, Ali repeats the Al-Qaeda mantra that jihad is an obligation from God incumbent on every Muslim and then calls for his "brothers and sisters" to fight jihad in America, Canada, England, "anywhere in Europe", in Asia, Africa, China and Australia.

As noted in the Times article, Ali was seemingly an average, well-adjusted American teenager...

[Post continues]

The Shalit prisoner swap agreement - The Arab reaction

The Shalit prisoner swap agreement - The Arab reaction Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

Many reactions in the Palestinian street and media to the release of prisoners in exchange for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit reveal a worrying and disturbing narrative of glorification of the returning terrorists and support for their heinous crimes and violent ways. Calls for future abductions of Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips for future prisoner releases were also common.

Does Australia have the strength to show weakness like Israel?

Does Australia have the strength to show weakness like Israel? Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Interviewed last night by ABC Lateline's Ali Moore, former Haaretz editor David Landau, who once infamously told then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that he wished to see Israel "raped" in a US intervention forcibly imposing a settlement to the conflict, expressed his horror at the "weakness" that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is displaying to the world. According to Landau, Netanyahu did so through his sudden reversal of his previous refusal to agree to a prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit.

I find myself in a strange and invidious situation because I'm not naturally of the right. I'm very much of the peace camp of the side of the sort of, so to speak, political spectrum that's always encouraged dealing with the Palestinians in the hope of making a final peace deal with the Palestinians, yet I find myself frankly horrified and, as an Israeli, also mortified by this shameless turnabout by the prime minister, Mr Netanyahu...

[Post continues]

AIR
Iran’s alleged Washington plot re-examined

Iran’s alleged Washington plot re-examined Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Iran, Terrorism, Updates    

As noted in the last Update, the recently exposed alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US at a Washington restaurant - and commit a number of the other terror attacks in the US - is a big story which has provoked much commentary and analysis.

Some of that analysis, such as by former CIA agent Robert Baer on ABC-TV's "Lateline" has cast doubt on the story, arguing the alleged plot, as outlined, appears too amateurish and slapdash to be the work of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp.

What price to free one man?

What price to free one man? Author: Allon Lee Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

As the five-year hostage ordeal of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit draws to a close, we offer up some of the standout commentary from the last week on the merits of the deal reached by the Israeli government with Hamas.

The tension in the debate concerns the personal interest and the national interest and how these two forces interact have caused intense heartache and headaches for Israel.

 

Palestinians prisoners to be released - many with blood on their hands

Palestinians prisoners to be released - many with blood on their hands Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Israel released the names of the Palestinian prisoners to be released in deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit who has been held captive by Hamas since 2006. The prisoners include some of the most notorious terrorists perpetrators against Israel including individuals involved in the Sbarro and Café Moment suicide bombings, murderers of Nachshon Wachsman and the video taped October 2000 lynch of IDF reservists Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami in Ramallah.

Yesterday, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected four petitions against the prisoner swap deal to free Shalit. The petitions were filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Association and relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks.

Post continues

Breakdown of Iranian attempted assassination of Saudi official on US soil

Breakdown of Iranian attempted assassination of Saudi official on US soil Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, Updates    

This morning (Australian time), US Attorney-General Eric Holder announced that two men had been charged with attempting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US and, more significantly, doing so on behalf of the Iranian government. The two men were Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalised US citizen of Iranian origin, and Gholam Shakuri, who is believed to be in Iran. Incredibly, Arbabsiar cooperated with the US authorities once arrested and so much of the information on the assassination plot was collected from his testimony.

Naturally, the Iranian government has denied the allegations and blamed a Zionist conspiracy.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast called the claims a "prefabricated scenario" and a "ridiculous show...

[Post continues]

App
Iran's Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracies becoming "stale"

Iran's Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracies becoming "stale" Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Europe, Iran, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

In an amusing slip up captured by Foreign Policy's Colum Lynch, Dr Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been photographed sitting behind the Israeli desk. As Lynch notes, Iran rejects Israel's existence to such an extent that Iranian representatives are not permitted to utter the word "Israel" and rather refer to the "Zionist entity", making the photo (above) sadly ironic.

In fact, Iran seems to have been making the headlines a little over the last two days. Continuing the trend of leaving the important issues to the last minute, Iran's nuclear program is again on the agenda while the world's leaders are still gathered in New York. Graham Allison argues in today's Washington Post that the US should take-up the offer Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made at the beginning of last month to stop enriching uranium in exchange for being sold pre-enriched uranium...

[Post continues]

Ahmadinejad commemorates 9/11

Ahmadinejad commemorates 9/11 Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Iran, Terrorism, Updates    

While the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks were being commemorated around the globe, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad chose to participate in the remembrances in his inimitable and subtle way - that is, by re-iterating his belief that it was all a US plot to have an excuse to kill Muslims.

9/11 Ten Years Later

9/11 Ten Years Later Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update is devoted to three different pieces reflecting on where the world now is,  ten years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks - both in terms of the current understanding of those events and in terms of the their consequences.

First up is noted journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who reflects on the understanding that he think needs to be preserved of those events ten years ago - primarily that they were very simple, or at least should be understood in very simple terms. He take strong issue with the idea that it is the job of intellectuals to always introduce complexity into discussions of events - in this case, he says, these efforts end up as "as half-baked obfuscations or distractions." He continues to argue that what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 was " a direct confrontation with the totalitarian idea, expressed in its most vicious and unvarnished form."

Ten years on, 9/11 Conspiracies still Rampant in the Middle East

Ten years on, 9/11 Conspiracies still Rampant in the Middle East Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Antisemitism, Middle East, Terrorism, Updates    

Following the 2001 9/11 attacks, it was widely reported that, in the Middle East, conspiracy theories were rampant that the attacks were actually plots by the American government, the Israelis, or both. Ten years down the track, there is less reporting of such beliefs, but have they faded away through the passage of time and the give and take of debate?

Sadly, as recent polls make clear, the reality is very much the opposite...

 

Rocket Attacks, Hamas and Israeli Deterrence

Rocket Attacks, Hamas and Israeli Deterrence Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Egypt, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Rockets continue to be fired at Israel from Gaza, despite yet another ceasefire being called...

AIJAC recommends a new twitter feed - QassamCount - which provides realtime info on all of the rocket attacks, including where they hit and any damage done.

Most commentators seem to think that Gaza's Hamas rulers want a ceasefire and they certainly keep calling them... So why do rockets keep falling?

Video - Ehud Yaari on Iran's Gaza Missile Gambit, Trouble in Cairo and more Categories: Egypt, Iran, Israel, Multimedia, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Israel's respected Middle East Analyst Ehud Yaari speaks to Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Weisenthal Centre on the main reason behind Iran's Gaza Missile Gambit; Why Hezbollah is quiet (so far); Post-Tahrir Sq trouble in Cairo, as over 100 groups urge government to sever ties with Israel; Iron Dome's surprising and promising results...

The Debate over Re-militarising the Sinai

The Debate over Re-militarising the Sinai Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Egypt, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Following the recent outbreak of terror attacks on the porous border between Egypt, Israel and Gaza, debate in Israel has been focussed on how best to prevent this violence from reoccurring. Egypt has been engaged in similar considerations, deploying 1,500 troops in the Sinai yesterday, supposedly to prevent a terror attack by Islamic Jihad that intelligence had warned of. Furthermore, according to MEMRI, reports surfaced last night that the Egyptian Government was considering implementing a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in a bid to crack down on the weapons smuggling that has become rife over the last few months; although these reports were swiftly denied. The Economist gave a good summary this week of the position that Israel finds itself in:

Israel faces a dilemma with far-reaching strategic consequences. Thirty years of peace with Egypt have rested, above all, on a demilitarised Sinai. The peninsula is patrolled by an international force and monitored by America from the air, to ensure that both sides keep their armies out, even though Sinai is sovereign Egyptian soil. Until now, Israel had said no to Egyptian demands to let more troops on to the peninsula...

[Post continues]

Gaza, Hamas and the PRC

Gaza, Hamas and the PRC Author: Jonathan D. Halevi Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism    

The terrorist attack in southern Israel on August 18 in which eight Israelis were killed - six civilians and two from the security forces - was initiated and executed by the Palestinian terrorist organisation known as the "Popular Resistance Committees", which operate as a terrorist arm of Hamas. The operation represents a change in the approach of Hamas toward the issue of the "Arab Spring", from acting only passively as an observer, limiting itself to damage control, to an entirely new stance in an attempt to reshape reality in the Middle East.

The Biblio File: Suicide by Bomb

The Biblio File: Suicide by Bomb Author: Max Boot Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Ah, social science. All those numbers. All those technical terms. How comforting. How reassuring.

How definitive.

If only.

Case in point: Robert A. Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, who made a big splash with Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2005). He began with a sweeping claim to scientific certitude, informing readers, "I have compiled a database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003 - 315 attacks in all." And what did all those numbers prove? That "there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism... Rather what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland."

The Last Word: Ten Years After

The Last Word: Ten Years After Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, NGOs, Terrorism    

It was late evening in Sydney.

Not many hours earlier, I had arrived home from South Africa, having participated in the World Conference Against Racism ("Durban I") and the NGO Forum which had preceded it.

The Jewish community in Sydney had asked me to provide a first hand account of the events, given the reports which they had heard of antisemitism, anti-Israel extremism, bullying and thuggery.

So I found myself giving what I had thought was a dry, unemotional recounting of the lows and highs of my previous two weeks.

Terrorist attack in south Tel Aviv

Terrorist attack in south Tel Aviv Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Early Monday morning eight people were injured in south Tel Aviv, when a 20 year old from Nablus in the West Bank, hijacked a taxi and rammed it into a police road block protecting a Tel Aviv nightclub.  He then exited the vehicle and stabbed additional people screaming "Allah Akbar" [god is great]. The suspect was tackled to the ground by Border Police officers and taken into custody.

Tel Aviv District Commander Aharon Eksol said the attack was "definitely an act of terror". Israel Radio reported that the attack was coordinated to target a large youth party being held in the nightclub.

AIR
Terror Attack near Eilat/ Settlement Controversies again

Terror Attack near Eilat/ Settlement Controversies again Categories: Egypt, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

As readers are probably aware, there was a major terror attack in southern Israel yesterday, the most serious in a number of years, in which 8 Israelis were killed by a group of terrorists who apparently crossed from Gaza into Sinai, and then into Israel (a useful timeline on the attack is here). Israel responded with airstrikes in Gaza that reportedly killed the leader of the group believed responsible, together with five other terrorists.

The attack raises questions about diminished Egyptian control of Sinai, as well as the growth of extreme Salafist Islamist groups in both the Sinai and Gaza. As Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak stated: " The incident reflects the weakness of Egypt’s hold over Sinai and the spread of terrorist elements."

The PA should listen to the silence

The PA should listen to the silence Author: Allon Lee Categories: Israel, Middle East, NGOs, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

If called upon to march on Israel's borders from the West Bank in the event a Palestinian state is unilaterally established on the 1967 borders come September; are Palestinians going to spoil their leaders' party by not providing the numbers?

But what do you do if you hold a rally and the main beneficiaries of the event won't show?

Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is worried because his own people are currently disinterested in attending anti-settlement protests.

H is for hate. H is for Hamas

H is for hate. H is for Hamas Author: Allon Lee Categories: Antisemitism, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Anyone naïve enough to divine any signs of Hamas moderation in its quest for Israel's elimination or that it will play nice for the Palestinian Authority's September UN statehood bid, needs the services of a top ophthalmologist (although preferably not Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asad, who is a little busy at the moment anyhow).

According to an August 4 briefing paper from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, Hamas' top echelon repeated in different forums their opposition to Israel's existence or compromise in late July.

 

US funding for Somali aid may go to terrorists

US funding for Somali aid may go to terrorists Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Africa, America, Somalia, Terrorism, Updates    

As explained in a previous post, the drought that is currently besetting East Africa has become a full-scale humanitarian disaster in Somalia, mostly because of the rejection of foreign aid by Somali terrorist group Al-Shabab, who have rejected claims that there is a famine whilst waging a violent campaign against international aid organisations. AP has reported that, in order to combat the ongoing humanitarian crisis, the US will be loosening its counter-terrorism laws to allow bribes and other payments to Al-Shabab in return for US-funded aid organisations being permitted to operate in Somalia...

App
The Unholy Alliance of Iran and al-Qaeda

The Unholy Alliance of Iran and al-Qaeda Author: Allon Lee Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, America, Iran, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Terrorism, Updates    

The Obama Administration has released explosive details of how Iran has become a safe haven for al-Qaeda.

It comes as the Administration is reportedly interested in refocusing world attention on, in the words of US Treasury Department's Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen, Iran's "unmatched support for terrorism" as well as its ongoing nuclear weapons program.

 

The Iranian Regime’s Summer of Discontent

The Iranian Regime’s Summer of Discontent Author: Allon Lee Categories: International Security, Iran, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Russia, Terrorism, Updates    

Not far away from the headline-grabbing Arab Spring, a power struggle is playing out under the Iranian summer sun as fissures in the one-time partnership between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shatter into an unbridgeable abyss.

Veteran Iranian analyst Dr. Abbas Milani of Stanford University has written a follow-up to his June piece when it seemed Ahmadinejad would be impeached for sedition.

 

Scribblings: The Significance of the Oslo Terrorist Attack Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Europe, Terrorism    

A horrific event, like the July 22 mass-murder of 76 people in Oslo, Norway by far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, inevitably calls forth huge amounts of commentary attempting to explain how it could have happened and what it means. Some of what is said is insightful, useful, knowledgeable, comforting andor thought-provoking. But, inevitably, some is also questionable, misleading, self-serving, ill-informed, foolish, morally dubious and/or just plain ugly. Having read much of what is being said about this sickening crime, I wanted to call attention to some common themes I have seen - especially those exemplifying the latter kind of commentary.

Al-Qaeda on the Ropes?

Al-Qaeda on the Ropes? Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

The Washington Post reported last week that US counter-terrorism officials

...are increasingly convinced that the killing of Osama bin Laden and the toll of seven years of CIA drone strikes have pushed al­Qaeda to the brink of collapse. The assessment reflects a widespread view at the CIA and other agencies that a relatively small number of additional blows could effectively extinguish the Pakistan-based organization that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks...

While this is certainly very good news if true, it's also important that such a claim not be misunderstood or over-dramatised...

 

The Last Word: Malice and analysis

The Last Word: Malice and analysis Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Terrorism    

A few days before this article was written, it is doubtful many, if any, readers were familiar with the name Anders Behring Breivik.

Perhaps some of my international colleagues who research and attempt to understand the various personalities that participate in the shadowy world of European extremism may have stumbled upon his rantings and rationalisations, but the dispassionate mass murderer had not been flagged as a person of any influence or likely impact, even though he had reportedly been on a Norwegian government watch list since March.

Now he is notorious - as a callous mass murderer.

 

Iranian kettle meets pot

Iranian kettle meets pot Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, Iran, Terrorism, Updates    

Press TV, an Iranian state-controlled media outlet, has reported Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seemingly blaming some kind of pro-Israel conspiracy for the anti-Iranian sentiment permeating the Middle East, 

"In the final days of their existence, plotters intend to cause difference and clash in our region to save the Zionist regime (Israel)," said President Ahmadinejad in the southwestern city of Ahvaz on Thursday...

Norway Massacre Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Antisemitism, Terrorism, Updates    

Following on from Daniel's blog post about the tragic massacre in Norway where Anders Breivik killed 76 people, readers may be interested in some additional commentary and analysis on the attack beyond that in Australian media coverage.

This blog post looks at:

Dave Rich's blog post which examines Breivik's antisemitism;

Jonathan Kay's article which discusses the influence of the 'Unabomber' and 'The Turner Diaries' on Breivik's manifesto;

Alex Stern who criticises the way in which the Norway massacre has been used for political purposes to attack conservative theorists and Israel;

Barry Rubin's blog criticising an editorial in the New York Daily News, which minimises the threat of Islamic terrorism; and

Scott Stewart's article on the lessons that can be learnt from a lone wolf attaker.

Ruthless terrorist group behind Somali famine

Ruthless terrorist group behind Somali famine Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Africa, Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Somalia, Terrorism, Updates    

The catastrophic drought in East Africa has created an all-but unprecedented humanitarian disaster. Commendably, many world leaders - including Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd - have called for the international community to provide immediate aid relief to the millions who are suffering.

When describing the tragic situation in Somalia, Michel Gabaudan, the president of Refugees International, has made the allegation that the Somali famine is "man-made". Gabaudan provides a pertinent reminder of the recent anarchic history of the war-ravaged nation...

On the Oslo attacks: Neo-Nazis and Islamist extremists share a worldview

On the Oslo attacks: Neo-Nazis and Islamist extremists share a worldview Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Europe, Far Right, International Security, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Israel's leaders certainly know where Israel sits with regard to the horrific massacre that took place in Oslo over the weekend. Both President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have expressed their sorrow over the tragic events and expressed Israel's empathy with the Norwegian people, given the terrorist attacks that Israel is all too used to facing. As The Jerusalem Post reports:

After sending a message of condolence to King Harald V of Norway on Saturday, President Shimon Peres on Sunday followed up with a phone call to the King to personally voice his own and the nation's condolences...

Gaza Arms Smuggling Thrives After Mubarak’s Fall

Gaza Arms Smuggling Thrives After Mubarak’s Fall Author: Geoffrey Levin Categories: Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

The fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February led to a sharp increase in weapons smuggling to the Gaza Strip and continues today, according to a recent piece by Israeli security correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai. In the past six months alone, Bedouin smugglers have transferred three times the quantity of industrial explosives to Gaza as they did in all of 2010, as Gaza's terrorist organisations roughly doubled their number of rockets to an estimate 10,000, an amount equivalent to Hezbollah's arsenal at the start of the 2006 War.

Can Hamas be coaxed into changing its tune?

Can Hamas be coaxed into changing its tune? Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Libya, Terrorism, Updates    

Lawlessness in North Africa appears to have opened up a new route for weapons smuggling into Gaza. Reuters has reported Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon explaining that weapons are now being smuggled from Libya through Egypt and into the Palestinian enclave.

"Weapons are available in Libya as a result of the unstable situation there, and Hamas has exploited it to buy weapons from Libyan smugglers," Yaalon told foreign journalists in a briefing, without elaborating on the kind of munitions involved.

The prospect of more weapons being funneled to Hamas is rather grim for Israel, suggesting that the conflict will never end...

Another anti-Israel rant by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Another anti-Israel rant by Randa Abdel-Fattah Author: Allon Lee Categories: Anti-Zionism, Australasia, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

On Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald featured a rant by Australian-born-Egyptian-Muslim-Palestinian pro-Palestinian activist Randa Abdel-Fattah arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the latters' ongoing suffering stems from Israel supposedly seeking to safeguard the ''purity'' of a Jewish-only state.

The ostensible motivation for her article was a desire to share the numerous experiences of racism she claims to have witnessed when visiting Israel and the West Bank in May. Yet nowhere in the article is she able to recount a single example of the alleged racism because her real motive is to justify her support for a one-state solution.

AIR
Darshan-Leitner takes on Gaza flotillas

Darshan-Leitner takes on Gaza flotillas Author: Allon Lee Categories: America, Anti-Zionism, International Security, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Israeli civil rights organisation director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner has written a good primer in the Jerusalem Post on why the blockade of Gaza is legal and how flotilla activists are likely breaking US law.

Pursuant to the Oslo Accords ... the Palestinians agreed that the Gaza coastline would be placed under Israeli control and that no foreign ships would be allowed closer than 12 nautical miles from the shore.

Israel demanded this out of concern over widespread import of conventional and unconventional weapons into Gaza.

 

Syria’s Iraqi refugees flee Syria, highlighting regional changes

Syria’s Iraqi refugees flee Syria, highlighting regional changes Author: Geoffrey Levin Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

While Turkey has attracted much media attention for its willingness to take in Syrian refugees in the camps it has set up near the border, many Syrians have fled to other neighbouring countries such as Iraq. Thousands of Iraqi refugees who fled Iraq for Syria due to the war are now fleeing Syria, heading back to their home country. Agence France-Presse reports:

Hayat Saad, legal officer at the Baghdad Refugee Centre, said "every day we deal with between 60 to 70 cases of families who have returned to the country...Daily, about 20 come from Syria -- the largest contingent -- followed by Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Libya," she added.

 

App
Kassams fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel

Kassams fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

While the border between Gaza and Israel has been relatively calm since mid-April, the latest rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza suggest that violence in that area may again escalate.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Wednesday morning a Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in a field near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. On Tuesday evening, two Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza, exploding in Sdot Negev Regional Council. One of the rockets lightly damaged a home, exploding just a few metres away from it, while the other landed in open space. Late last week, an IDF soldier was lightly wounded by an explosive device that was detonated near his vehicle along the Gaza border fence.

 

US cuts funding to Pakistan

US cuts funding to Pakistan Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, America, Terrorism, Updates    

Relations between the USA and Pakistan have been cool for some time, especially when it was revealed that the al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden had been hiding for at least five years in Abbottabad - a town at the centre of Pakistan's military infrastructure. This revelation prompted a new round of accusations about Pakistani complicity with al-Qaeda.

The US has now announced that it is withholding $800 million ($A748 million) of cash and equipment to Pakistan's military. On July 10, William Daley, President Obama's Chief of Staff, said that the US had decided to withhold more than a third of the more than $2 billion annual package in protest at Pakistan's decision to cut back on counter-terrorism co-operation after Osama bin Laden's killing.

 

UN-backed Tribunal indicts Hezbollah members for 2005 Hariri murder Author: Geoffrey Levin Categories: Lebanon, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a United Nations-backed court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, has issued indictments against four members of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Daily Star reports.

The indictments and arrest warrants have been delivered to the Lebanese cabinet - which has been Hezbollah-dominated since early this month. Some officials have tried to downplay the news. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said that the announcement was not very important, as it is "just an indictment, and not a final verdict." Yet the results of this tribunal may have profound effects on Lebanon, as many have claimed the conviction of Hezbollah in the trial would be "explosive" for the small and politically unstable nation.

 

The Flotilla and its Hamas connections Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Terrorism, Updates    

Despite assurances that the Second Flotilla to Gaza is a ‘humanitarian' mission that has no connection to Hamas, reports suggest otherwise.

NGO Monitor translated a Dutch news story "Pers vertrouwt Gazaboot niet" ("The Media Doesn't Trust Gaza Boat") about a number of Dutch journalists who abandoned their plans to participate in the Flotilla.

The Dutch journalists were frustrated by the secrecy of Flotilla organisers and dismayed by the appearance during preparations of Amin Abou Rashed - an operative who has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas - after both journalists and activists were assured the Flotilla had nothing to do with Hamas.

The Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs also published an article by Israeli analyst Ehud Rosen, highlighting the second Flotilla's Hamas connections.

More Foxes Guarding Henhouses at the UN Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Asia, Iran, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

The United Nations, in its infinite wisdom, has just allowed North Korea to become the chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament....

This UN decision follows the election last week of Iran as one of the Vice-Presidents of the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly (with Qatar as President). Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon controversially made a statement appearing to endorse an Iranian conference on “Terrorism” where not only were the US, Britain and Israel accused of fomenting terrorism, but  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly alleged that Washington manufactured the Holocaust and the 9/11 attacks as pretexts to put down Muslims.

Taliban show Obama what they think of the troop withdrawal

Taliban show Obama what they think of the troop withdrawal Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, America, Terrorism, Updates    

Just a few days after US President Barack Obama controversially announced a major withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban have struck the Intercontinental Hotel in the heart of Kabul.The ABC has reported that at least 6 gunmen and one suicide bomber attacked the hotel and holed-up for several hours, before they were eventually taken-out by NATO helicopters. The death toll currently sits at a minumum of 10. 

Witness Sayed Hussain said he was inside the hotel compound when the attack started.

"I saw five to six men in civilian clothing armed with rifles who started shooting when they entered,'' he said, speaking close to the scene. "I lay down on the ground and soon after the police arrived.''

Asia Watch: New Broom Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Terrorism    

With Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim still detained by a farcical trial and Prime Minister Najib Razak's sclerotic UMNO-led coalition firmly in control, the entrenched political stalemate could yet be upset from a surprising direction. Long viewed as a promoter of fundamentalist Islam in politics, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) is undergoing something of a renovation that could turn the fortunes of the struggling opposition coalition.

The real obstacles to the peace process? Look further than settlements

The real obstacles to the peace process? Look further than settlements Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Middle East, Terrorism, Updates    

Former US Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams has written a piece in this month's Foreign Affairs magazine that brilliantly outlines the history and current political issue of the settlements in the West Bank and the relevant policies of the US, Israel and the Palestinians. In the piece, Abrams reviews two books - Occupation of the Territories: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies 2000-2010 by Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence and The Settlers: And the Struggle Over the Meaning of Zionism by Gadi Taub.

After Bin Laden Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update focuses on additional, under-reported features of the killing of Osama bin Laden last week.

We lead with noted Canadian Muslim reformer Irshad Manji, who while congratulating US President Barack Obama, takes issue with his statement that bin Laden was "not a Muslim leader." She insists that bin Laden and his followers do represent a real interpretation of Islam, and the only long-term solution is to challenge that interpretation "relentlessly and visibly".

AIR
Hamas - the key to Peace?

Hamas - the key to Peace? Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel, Op-eds, Palestinians, Terrorism    

In Amin Saikal's article "Palestinians' High Hopes" (May 6) he naively describes the Fatah-Hamas unity pact as likely to enhance prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. In fact, the effect is very much likely to be the reverse.

Saikal, like some other analysts, implores Israel to negotiate with Hamas and insists the internationally-designated terrorist group has become "pragmatic." Yet he makes no suggestion that Hamas should be required to amend its Charter to recognise Israel and abide by the pre-conditions for participation in the peace process established by the International Quartet (the UN, US, European Union and Russia) in 2006. Hamas has refused to accept these eminently sensible pre-conditions for a seat at the table, namely: recognition of Israel, renouncing terror and accepting all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements and obligations.

 

Bin Laden's bloodied prints have stained the globe Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Islamic Extremism, Op-eds, Terrorism    

OSAMA bin Laden's demise has dealt a severe blow to Islamist terrorism, achieving a measure of justice for its many global victims.

Notorious as the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks, his bloodied fingerprints stain al-Qaeda-linked terror the world over, from Bali, London, Madrid, Mumbai, Pakistan and Jakarta to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and beyond.

He waged war on thousands of innocent civilians - including many Australians, Jews and Muslims - for an ideology, Islamism, which promotes a religious duty to fight all in order to create a worldwide caliphate based on an idealised version of seventh-century Arabia.

Bin Laden's death and its implications

Bin Laden's death and its implications Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, International Security, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

There is so much material being published on the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday by US forces that this Update will not attempt to duplicate the widely reported news. Instead, it will focus on pieces providing an unusual perspective or analysing some under-reported elements and implications of this event.

First up is Barry Rubin who, in his usual insightful fashion, tries to place this event in some sort of historical context of the larger Islamist movement. Importantly, he argues that the Islamist movement extends way beyond the fate of al-Qaeda, and that other Islamist groups which are seeking to exploit state power - including Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - may be even more important and more dangerous in the long run.

Scribblings: A Rocket from Nowhere?

Scribblings: A Rocket from Nowhere? Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism    

There was no possible mistake; the Hamas operative who fired it hit exactly what he was aiming at - a clearly identifiable, distinctively yellow school bus.

This was not a weapon Hamas could ever hope to manufacture for itself in Gaza. In fact, the Kornet is made only in Russia by KBP Industries, and then sold only under licence from the Russian Government - usually exclusively to states.

So how did Hamas get one? Very likely from Syria, which has bought Kornets from Russia, and is known to pass on advanced weapons to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. It was probably smuggled via Egypt and through the tunnels under the Sinai border into Gaza.

App

School Bus attack near Gaza/ Responding to Palestinian Unilateralism Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

As readers may or may not have heard, there was a particularly heinous attack from Gaza on an Israeli school bus yesterday, which fortunately did not kill anyone, but did wound one child severely, as well as the bus driver. Reports says Hamas' military wing claimed responsibility. This was accompanied by a large rocket and mortar barrage on Israel from Gaza.

The Itamar Attack/ Libya and US Foreign Policy Categories: Israel, Libya, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update focuses on the implications and aftermath of the Itamar terrorist attack on Friday night, when assailants entered a home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar and murdered five members of the Fogel family, including a three-month-old baby and two other children. This horrific attack has political implications, because, as Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post documents, the Palestinian Authority's initial response appeared half-hearted, leading to both an American implication that more was expected, and some critical words from Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu. Moreover, official Palestinian media claimed that it was not Palestinians who carried out the attack.

New Terrorism Trends/ Palestinian Refugees Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

With additional terrorism attempts again in the news, first a bombing plot on Washington subways, and then an apparent attempt to bring down cargo planes with package bombs from Yemen, plus earlier reported efforts to stage Mumbai-style attacks in Europe, this Update concentrates on new trends in terrorism.

Essay: Modern Martyrdom Author: Benjamin Acosta Categories: Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Terrorism    

Increasingly, the role of martyrdom has taken a central position in violent campaigns conducted by Islamic groups. The suicide bomber has become the ideal of Islamic martyrdom, simultaneously appalling Western audiences and captivating Islamic ones.

Moral Victory

Moral Victory Author: Walter Russell Mead Categories: America, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Terrorism    

And the Sunni Arabs of Iraq made a choice. They saw al-Qaeda at its best - volunteer freedom fighters come from around the world to fight for them - and they saw America at its worst, incompetent, insensitive, vacillating and violent. And they chose the United States. They decided that the future of their families, their children and their values was better served by aligning with the United States against the terrorists and against the fanatics.

AIR

Hamas, Israeli Security and Peacemaking Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

Following the Israeli-Palestinian Summit in Washington yesterday (in which the details of discussions were kept discreet), this Update features some comments on Hamas' role as a potential spoiler in the wake of the Hamas terror attack Tuesday, which left four Israeli civilians dead, and a second non-fatal attack Wednesday night - with the Palestinian Authority predicting more such efforts by Hamas.

Scribblings: The BBC Pre-empts Flotilla Inquiries Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism, Turkey    

Israelis have been much focused in recent weeks on the testimony of various top officials to the Turkel inquiry - looking into the flotilla clash off Gaza on May 31 that left nine Turkish activists dead. On top of this, the Israeli government has made an unprecedented decision to cooperate with an inquiry under former New Zealand PM Geoffrey Palmer set up by the UN Secretary-General.

Fall of the Teflon Terrorist? Author: Zachary Abuza Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

On Aug. 9, 2010, members of Indonesia's elite counter-terrorist police force arrested the militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir as part of their ongoing investigations into a terrorist training camp discovered in February 2010 in Aceh, plots to kill President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and scheme to launch Mumbai-style attacks in Jakarta. While the government had previously alleged that Bashir was a financier of the cell and training camp, the arrest and his role in terrorist operations took many by surprise. The ongoing counter-terrorist operations, including Bashir's arrest, says much about the state and metastasisation of Jemaah Islamiah.

Israel's Endangered Deterrence Author: Bren Carlill Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism    

There are few journalists specialising in strategic and security affairs more experienced than Ron Ben Yishai. After fighting as a paratrooper in the Six Day War, Ben Yishai turned to journalism full time. Since then he has covered, from the battlefield, the Yom Kippur War, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the first and second Lebanon wars, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the NATO operation in Kosovo, the Russian-Chechen violence in 2000 and more. He has been wounded three times while covering various battlefields from the front line.

App

Europa Europa: Terrorists before Citizens Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Under cross-examination, Hamza declared that Jews control the British Foreign Office, the media and the money supply in Britain and the US. In sentencing Hamza, the trial judge said he had "helped to create an atmosphere in which to kill has become regarded by some as not only a legitimate course but a moral and religious duty in pursuit of perceived justice." Hamza is due for parole next year.

Election Face-off Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Security, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Terrorism    

Despite the obvious concern that accompanies any change of government - particularly one that had ruled for 11 years - by and large the changeover to the Australian Labor Party saw a continuity of bipartisanship on a raft of Israel and Jewish communal issues. The sudden change of the prime ministership from Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard in late-June does not dramatically change this calculus and may even strengthen it, with the latter's long standing commitment to the Jewish State and the Australian Jewish community not in question. Indeed, Gillard reaffirmed her support for Israel upon assuming the leadership...

US Policy and the Peace Process / Talking about Islam and Terrorism Categories: America, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update features some new analysis of the likely future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the wake of the Obama/Netanyahu summit last week. First up is Washington Institute analyst and former US National Security Council Middle East expert Michael Singh looking at what happens if and when direct Israeli-Palestinian talks resume.

Terrorist as Role Model Author: Palestinian Media Watch Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism    

The Palestinian Authority has named numerous locations and events after Palestinian terrorists responsible for killing Israeli civilians. In this special report, Palestinian Media Watch investigates the breadth of this phenomenon and to what extent it continues in 2010.

Deconstruction Zone: A job well done Author: Bren Carlill Categories: International Security, Israel, Terrorism    

These attacks, while morally justified, tend to contravene the laws of the countries in which the operations are carried out. Those who criticise Israel's apparent disregard for legal niceties in these matters would have Israel sit on its hands while its citizens die left, right and centre. Any Israeli government that did so would be deservedly thrown out of office.

White paper should tackle terrorist television Author: Bren Carlill Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Media/ Academia, Op-eds, Terrorism    

Concern about domestic radicalisation and home-grown terrorism is a big part of the government's white paper on counter-terrorism released last week. So why haven't successive governments banned Hezbollah's television station, al-Manar, from screening in Australia? After all, al-Manar is all about radicalising its viewers.

Scribblings: Getting terrorism mostly right Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Terrorism    

Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to study the Australian government's new Counter-Terrorism White Paper, released on Feb. 22, as closely as I would have liked before press time. However, on a quick reading, I can say that I do think it got the main focus largely right in identifying the seriousness and nature of the threat.

AIR

Editorial: Terrorism - tactics and strategy Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

We cannot adequately address the tactical problem of terrorism without acknowledging and understanding this strategic threat - an ideological movement in some ways akin to Fascism and Marxism-Leninism in its desire to violently and completely transform society, and worship of such a revolutionary transformation as the ultimate value, legitimising almost any means to attain it.

The Great Leap Forward Author: Zachary Abuza Categories: Asia, Terrorism    

No country deserves more credit for improving its counter-terrorism operations and capabilities than Indonesia. While terrorism will never be eliminated, Indonesia has developed a strong and effective counter-terrorist force, while at the same time consolidating its democratic transition.

App

Talking About Terrorism Author: Allon Lee Categories: Terrorism    

A little noticed debate that has started in in the United States, Great Britain and Australia over the correct official language to apply when referring to terrorists who say they act in the name of Islam.

Editorial: Talking Terrorism Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Australia, the West and many other countries, including many in the Arab and Muslim world, are engaged, against their will, in a struggle with groups that use violence in the name of an ideology rooted in one interpretation of a major world religion. This reality must be stated clearly – it cannot be obfuscated.

The Jakarta Bombings/ Understanding the Taliban Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Asia, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Terrorism, Updates    

Today, we offer an interpretation of the most recent Jakarta hotel bombings from one of the world's top experts on extremist terrorism in Southeast Asia, Dr. Zachary Abuza of Simmons College in the US. Abuza agrees with the dominant view that Malaysian-born terrorist Noordin Mohammed Top was likely behind the latest bombings but takes issue with arguments, particularly in the Australian media, that Top is operating largely independently of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

AIR

Essay: The Rebound Author: Zachary Abuza Categories: Asia, Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

Jemaah Islamiah has for more than 15 years fought to transform Indonesia into an Islamist state. In recent years, its terrorist campaign has suffered setbacks. As Jemaah Islamiah regroups, it builds upon the experience of Middle East terrorist groups.

Scribblings: Inventing International Law Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: International Security, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism    

In terms of the legal argument, the Geneva Conventions are not a suicide pact. They do set forth the fundamental ideal that both sides of a conflict should distinguish both their own and enemy combatants from civilians, but are also very clear that when civilian facilities are used for military purposes they become legitimate military targets.

App

Yes, We Can Author: Frederick W. Kagan, Max Boot & Kimberly Kagan Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism    

Fears of impending disaster are hard to sustain, however, if you actually spend some time in Afghanistan, as we did recently at the invitation of General David Petraeus, chief of US Central Command. We spent eight days travelling from the snow-capped peaks of Kunar province near the border with Pakistan in the east to the wind-blown deserts of Farah province in the west near the border with Iran.

Australia and Israel have common concern with terrorism Categories: Australasia, Israel, Media Releases, Palestinians, Terrorism    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council today welcomed Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard's recognition that the terrorist organisation Hamas' act of aggression in firing rockets and mortars in to Israel unilaterally breached the ceasefire and is responsible for the end of the truce in Gaza, with Israel responding to Hamas' actions and threats.

Essay: India's Forgotten Jihadist Categories: Asia, India, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

Until his death in 1979, Mawdudi was the critical link between the various theatres of transnational activism, between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Revolution, between Kashmir and Western Europe. Mawdudi's thinking was South Asian in origin and character, as was the international Islamist movement he inspired – a movement whose flowering we are still watching today.

Media Microscope: Lessons from Mumbai Author: Jamie Hyams Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia, Terrorism    

As tends to be the case after any major terrorist attack, media commentators and editorial writers reacted to the Mumbai atrocity by trying to extract lessons for the benefit of their loyal readers. Two Age editorials were careful to appropriately condemn the terrorists, but still inappropriately put the onus on the civilised world.

Asia Watch: Signing On Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism    

Indonesia continues to play an intriguing role in Israeli-Palestinian matters, issuing the time-honoured declarations of support for Palestinian self-determination and condemnations of Israeli conduct, while at the same time developing further unofficial links with the Jewish state.

The JI Files Author: Allon Lee Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

In the six years since Jemaah Islamiah (JI) carried out the deadly October 12 bombing of a Bali nightclub that claimed 202 lives, Indonesia has made great strides in tackling terror. But according to some of the world's top terrorism experts, the job will remain incomplete until Indonesia proscribes JI as an official terror group.

Cast out terror TV Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Lebanon, Media/ Academia, Op-eds, Syria, Terrorism    

HEZBOLLAH'S terrorist television station is once again being beamed into Australia. Al-Manar, translated as "the beacon", has been called more accurately a beacon of hatred and violence. It is to be hoped that the Rudd Government and the Australian Communications and Media Authority are doing everything in their power to block the station.

Is It Over? Author: Max Boot Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism    

The thinning of its ranks and the loss of central direction have had an obvious impact on al-Qaeda's operational effectiveness. A new study from Simon Fraser University ... finds that since 2001, there has been a net decline of 40% in casualties from terrorism around the world.

AIR

Essay: Dying To Kill Author: Michael Horowitz Categories: Terrorism    

There are two important questions to consider in studying suicide terrorism. First, why has suicide terrorism emerged in the last few decades as such a potent weapon? Second, why is it that some terrorist groups use suicide terrorism, while others have not?

Al-Qaeda Today/ Syria's Nuclear Secrets Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Multimedia, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

Today's Update features two new pieces detailing expert debates about the current status and capabilities of al-Qaeda. First up, Peter Bergen discusses the controversy between analysts who argue that the organisation has become largely localised and leaderless and those who argue that the central organisation in northern Pakistan is getting stronger.

Israel debates Hezbollah Prisoner Deal Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

Israelis are intensely debating at the moment the pros and cons of prisoner swap overnight with Hezbollah, which includes Israel trading five Lebanese prisoners, including the notorious child-killer Samir Kuntar, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, abducted in the raid which sparked the 2006 war.

App

Terrorism in Jerusalem Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

Today's Update opens with a discussion of Wednesday's terrorist attack on one of Jerusalem’s busiest streets, when a Palestinian construction worker from eastern Jerusalem ploughed a bulldozer into cars and buses. Three people were killed and 66 wounded in the attack.

Counter-Terror Contretemps Author: Allon Lee Categories: Australasia, Terrorism    

The study has since been repeatedly cited in the Australian media as having "proved" that community policing is the key to counter-terrorism. However, the empirical portion of the study cannot support such sweeping claims, and its conclusions are rejected at least in part by many of the country's top counter-terrorism experts.

Future Tense in Beirut Author: Yehonathan Tommer Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

The Doha Agreement restored a tense quiet to Lebanon, pulling its rival ethnic communities back from the brink of an unwanted civil war. But, in the longer term, it represented a major step forward in Hezbollah's creeping efforts to assert hegemony over the country.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq "at its weakest" Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism, Updates    

According to the latest US reports and statistics, last week Iraq saw the lowest casualty figures, civilian and military, for four years. According to US military sources, part of the explanation is that al-Qaeda in Iraq is at its "weakest", especially in the wake of the recent military operations which cleared al-Qaeda out of Mosul, its last major stronghold in Iraq.

Countering Iran/Jimmy Carter and Hamas Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Iran, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update leads with some comment from the Washington Post on the latest revelations about the degree of Iranian involvement in the violence in Iraq. The editorial notes that the testimony of US Commander in Iraq General David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker about the role of Iranian "special groups" in recent fighting in Iraq only adds to a general profile of Iranian regional aggression, including in Gaza and on the nuclear front.

Hamas' Build-up and Tactics/ Terrorism and Tribalism Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

A new study has come out detailing the military build-up Hamas has been undertaking in Gaza. Among its findings are that Hamas has brought 80 tons of explosives into Gaza since last summer, that it now has 20,000 men under arms, hundreds of whom have been trained in Iran, Syria and Lebanon, and has established a special suicide bomb unit.

Counterinsurgency 101 Author: Frederick Kagan & Kimberley Kagan Categories: Iraq, Terrorism    

Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno took command of Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) on December 14, 2006. Iraq was in flames. Insurgents and death squads were killing 3,000 civilians a month. Coalition forces were sustaining more than 1,200 attacks per week.

AIR

Essay: Radical Evolution Author: Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Kyle Dabruzzi Categories: Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

Government officials, scholars, and analysts continue to debate the extent to which al-Qaeda's central leadership remains relevant to today's battle against terrorism. After US forces eliminated the group's safe haven in Afghanistan in late 2001, many argued that al-Qaeda had transformed into a decentralised organisation with little vertical hierarchy

Iran's Parliamentary Election/ Iraq and Al-Qaeda Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Iran, Iraq, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update opens with a good backgrounder and summary on the Iranian parliamentary elections, held last Friday. Prepared by the British/Israel Communications and Research Institute (BICOM), the backgrounder makes it clear that these elections must be seen in the context of the Iranian political system, where the parliament has very limited power and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, predominates.

Iran and Israel / Iran and Iraq Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update leads with an important new piece by the top Israeli writer Yossi Klein Halevi, in which he points out that the current Israeli conflict with Palestinian terror groups, and standoff with Hezbollah in Lebanon, can rightly be seen as a limited war with Iran.

Terrorism remains the problem Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Op-eds, Palestinians, Terrorism    

LATE on Thursday night a Palestinian terrorist killed eight Jewish students and wounded 11 others when he unleashed a hail of bullets inside a religious school in Jerusalem. It is the worst terrorist attack in a major Israel city in two years.

App

Scribblings: Saddam's Confession Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism    

The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 1) has pointed to some important revelations made on the American version of "60 Minutes" by George Piro. Piro is an Arabic-speaking FBI agent who was responsible for questioning Saddam Hussein between his Dec. 2003 capture and his handing over to the Iraqi government for trial in 2006.

Live by the sword... Author: Eyal Zisser Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

On late Tuesday evening, February 12, 2008, Imad Mugniyah, the head of the military wing of the Lebanese Hezbollah organisation, was killed in a car-bomb attack in Damascus. Mugniyah's body was taken to Beirut, where he was buried two days later in an impressive ceremony organised by Hezbollah.

Political Crisis in Lebanon/ The case for "Jihadism" Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Multimedia, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

As readers may be aware, Lebanon has had no president since last week. The term of the last president, pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud, ended on Nov. 23. However, no successor has been elected because of a stand-off between the pro-Syrian opposition, led by Hezbollah, and the anti-Syrian government, led by PM Fouad Sinora and Saad Hariri, son of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

AIR

Editorial: Mention the War Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, International Security, Terrorism    

A few weeks ago, former High Court Chief Justice Sir Gerard Brennan told a Law Council of Australia conference that some incursions on individual freedom and the values of the common law as part of counter-terrorism laws may be essential to combat the risk of terror.

Head to Head Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, International Security, Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism, United Nations    

As has become traditional in the lead-up to a federal election, the Australia/Israel Review posed a series of questions to Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd focusing on international security, the Middle East, and domestic polices of special interest to the Australian Jewish community.

App

Dealing with Gaza and Hamas Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism    

The Qassam rocket from Gaza that struck a military camp and wounded 67 soldiers last week has given additional intensity to an already robust Israeli debate about how to cope with the problem of rocket attacks and other security threats emanating from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Hezbollah and Lebanon Updates Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

This Update features three pieces on the state of Hezbollah efforts within Lebanon to prepare militarily for another round of conflict with Israel, and politically, to gain control of the Lebanese government.

Editorial: Lessons Learned Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism    

The Winograd Committee's Interim Report, assessing Israel's performance in the first days of last year's Hezbollah-Israel conflict, has strongly criticised Israel's prime minister, defence minister and former military chief of staff for setting impossible-to-achieve objectives and for moving without adequate planning.

AIR App

Trouble along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border/ Holocaust Inversion Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Antisemitism, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

As widely reported, a major renewal of fighting in Afghanistan is expected shortly. The Taliban, based across the border with Pakistan, are expected to make large scale incursions as soon as the mountain snows allow. This Update leads with two pieces on Pakistan's invidious role in encouraging this problem.

The Turbulent Territories Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Palestinians, Terrorism    

This Update focuses on the lessons of the Eilat suicide bombing in which a terrorist from the Gaza Strip killed three civilians when he blew himself up in a bakery and explodes one of the new myths about Palestinian suffering - that the international blockade is reducing them to poverty.

Thai-ed Down Author: Zachary Abuza Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

On 4 January 2004, a group of armed men raided a Thai Army camp. They were equipped with acetylene torches and bolt cutters; in all they made off with more than 300 M-16s, ammunition and other weaponry. It is the date most commonly used to mark the current manifestation of the insurgency in Thailand's restive south, dominated by Muslim Malays.

AMIA Revisited Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: America, Europe, International Jewry, Iran, Terrorism    

On November 9, there was an extraordinary development in an 11-year old case of terrorist mass murder. Argentina finally identified and named the Lebanese Hezbollah member, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, allegedly responsible for the suicide bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Aid Association (AMIA) Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in July 1994.

Terrorism Teheran Style Author: Ted Lapkin Categories: International Jewry, Iran, Op-eds, Terrorism    

YOU know it's not business as usual when prosecutors from one country file a criminal indictment against another country's head of state. But that's precisely what happened late last year when Argentine authorities laid terrorism charges against former Iranian president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani.

Proposed anti-terrorism broadcasting standards need to be implemented Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Media Releases, Media/ Academia, Terrorism    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) welcomes the Australian Communications and Media Authority's (ACMA) proposed new standards that will prohibit broadcasts that directly support terrorist organisations.

The ACMA decision to ban programs that are "directly recruiting persons to join, or participate in, the activities of a terrorist organization" or that are "soliciting or assisting in the collection or provision of funds for a terrorist organization" come as a result of a lengthy investigation following an AIJAC complaint into the broadcast of Hezbollah television "al-Manar" in Australia by satellite company TARBS in 2003.

AIR App

Corrupt regimes are the source of extremism and terrorism Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Op-eds, Terrorism    

After five years, we have avoided some of our worst post-9/11 fears. We have seen Bali, Madrid, London, Mumbai, and many smaller attacks by terrorists driven by the same Islamist totalitarian ideology that inspired the September 11 atrocities. But despite some attempts, there has been no successful attack on a similar scale since then. Moreover, the nightmare scenario - a terrorist attack on a major Western city with non-conventional weapons - has not come to pass.

Yes, the Problem is "Islamic Fascism" Author: External author Categories: Iran, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

It took US President George W. Bush to tell the truth to Britain about the massive plot to blow US-bound airliners out of the sky. In his first comment on the apparently foiled attempt to explode airliners flying from Britain to the US, Bush put it simply: "This was a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists."

Editorial: The Axis of Terror Acts Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

Israel has once again been dragged into a war it did not want and did not start. Just as was predicted in May's Australia/Israel Review editorial, Iran's rulers have apparently used their control over Hezbollah and influence over Hamas to create a crisis...

Autonomy key to peace in Lebanon Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Op-eds, Syria, Terrorism    

IN AN extraordinary statement, the editor of a Kuwaiti newspaper, the Arab Times, argued last week that ``the operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community''. Milder statements in the same vein, blaming Hezbollah for the violence, have come from across the Arab world, including the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

AIR

Scribblings: The Crucial Assymetry Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Terrorism    

It was interesting to note an exchange that took place between Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the aftermath of the Gaza beach explosion that killed seven Palestinian civilians on June 9.

App

Morally right to kill threats Author: Bren Carlill Categories: Israel, Op-eds, Palestinians, Terrorism    

THE Arab-Israeli conflict rolls on, confusing as ever. Earlier this month Australian newspapers reported an impending reconciliation referendum for the Palestinian population. But after a family was killed last week on a Gaza beach, apparently by a Hamas mine (though Israel was blamed), the terrorist organisation cancelled a 15-month unilateral ceasefire and resumed attacks against Israel.

Editorial: The Axis of Terror Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism    

Those still arguing that Iran poses no danger to the outside world should take note of an article that ran on April 23 in London's Sunday Times. The paper reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a breather from uttering verbal threats against Israel to go on a trip to see what he could do about putting those words into action.

AIR App

Everything but the truth Author: Ted Lapkin Categories: Israel, Op-eds, Palestinians, Terrorism    

Last December, I received an invitation to attend a free preview screening of Steven Spielberg's new film, Munich. My shorthand reaction to the movie is that it was worth every penny that I paid to see it. But given Spielberg's moral ambitions for this flick, as well as the splash it is making in the media, I suppose that it deserves something more than mere flippancy and sarcasm.

A Tale of Two Agencies Author: External author Categories: International Security, Palestinians, Terrorism    

The plight of the Palestinian refugees is, at first glance, fairly surprising. Whereas the rest of the world?s refugees are the concern of the UNHCR, the Palestinians are the sole group of refugees with a UN agency dedicated exclusively to their care: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which operates independently of the Convention on refugees.

Beyond Bali Author: External author Categories: Asia, Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

On September 27, Gareth Evans -? president of the respected International Crisis Group (ICG) and former Australian foreign minister -? gave a keynote address in Australia in which he proclaimed, "JI no longer poses a serious threat in Indonesia or elsewhere". Four days later, three suicide bombers walked into crowded restaurants in the Indonesian resort island of Bali and detonated their devices.

Dangers Down Under Author: External author Categories: Australasia, Terrorism    

The Federal Government's proposed anti-terror laws have dominated media headlines in recent months. Both sides of the debate have been argued passionately in newspaper columns, and on television and radio programs.

Fratricide Author: External author Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Iraq, Israel, Terrorism    

In the Middle East last month the cats came out of their bags. The truth is out, with teeth bared and claws flashing to reveal the direction of an extremism far too mainstream in the region. But first it is important to emphasise that the main problem in the area is not terrorism. Indeed, the concept of terrorism is starting to get in the way of understanding what is actually happening.

AIR

Native Sons Author: External author Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

The July suicide bombings in London �� some or all of whose perpetrators were Muslims born and reared in Britain �� are likely to produce in the United Kingdom the same intellectual reflection on Muslim identity in Europe that is already underway in nearby countries. The French began this reflection in earnest ten years ago, after bomb-happy, lyc�©e-educated, French-born Islamic holy warriors terrorised France.

Party Games Author: External author Categories: Iran, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Multimedia, Syria, Terrorism    

Since the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah was created by Iran in 1982, it has metamorphosed from its early beginnings as a localised terrorist organisation into a significant armed presence in Lebanon that has demonstrated its ability to carry out terror attacks far beyond the borders of the Middle East. Today Hezbollah is the only armed force that controls a political party in Lebanon. For its supporters in Lebanon, Hezbollah is the sponsor of social welfare agencies that provide education, health care, employment, and other services. Hezbollah uses these institutions as a mechanism for indoctrination and a pool for recruiting new members.

App

Essay: The Right Questions Author: AIJAC External authors Categories: America, Terrorism    

It didn't take long for interrogators in the war on terror to realise that their part was not going according to script. Pentagon doctrine, honed over decades of cold-war planning, held that 95 percent of prisoners would break upon straightforward questioning.