04 December 2008
Exclusive: CRC Open-Source Intelligence Briefs
Maj. W. Thomas Smith Jr.,
Director of the Counterterrorism Research Center
MUMBAI, INDIA: According to a piece by Robert Spencer in Human Events, the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai reaffirmed not only India’s “unpreparedness” in terms of effectively confronting – much less thwarting – Jihadist terrorism, but America and the broader West’s inability to even understand “Jihad.”
Spencer writes: “The primary reason for this unpreparedness, of course, is the unwillingness or inability of government, law enforcement, and the mainstream media to confront the ideology of the jihadists and the Islamic doctrines that provide the foundation for that ideology. … ‘We have yet to see a distinguished popular condemnation in the traditional Arab or Muslim communities that strongly rejects what is happening in the name of Islam.’ So wrote the Kuwaiti columnist Khaled al-Jenfawi.”
SOMALIA: As I’ve often said, pirates on the high seas prefer targeting freighters more so than cruise ships for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are:
Cruise ships are considered more difficult to board than freighters
Too many passengers to control aboard cruise ships
Improved counterpiracy and counterterrorism technologies employed by luxury liners since 2005
Better trained shipboard security forces
Pirates are also considered to be territorial creatures, rarely striking targets beyond 200 nautical miles from the pirates’ coastal bases.
Both beliefs however were turned on their heads recently when pirates attacked a cruise ship this week, and in mid-November struck a freighter some 450 miles off the coast of Kenya (but “almost a thousand miles from their home ports,” according to Africa expert Dr. J. Peter Pham in a telephone call last week.)
Also – despite widely held beliefs about the relationship between pirates and Islamist terrorists – experts are pointing to credible intelligence indicating increased collaboration between pirates and Islamists (details here and here).
LEBANON: U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, CENTCOM commander, met this week with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Lt. Gen. Jean Kahwaji, commander-in-chief of Lebanon’s armed forces.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut: “The discussions focused on the United States’ continued assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces so it can maintain peace and stability, and safeguard the Lebanese people. The U.S. Government has provided over $410 million in military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces and it will continue to support the legitimate institutions of the Lebanese government and the Lebanese people as they seek to preserve their independence and security.”
Meanwhile, the Lebanese leadership continues to bow to the will of Iran, Syria, and Hizballah (details here, here, here, here, and here).
— Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr. at uswriter.com.
Obama's true agenda...Throw Israel Under the Bus
JOHN VOIGHT ON OBAMA'S DISTAIN FOR ISRAEL
A message to the Jewish people and the entire world
Chronicles I - 16:15-18: "Forever remember His covenant that he commanded forever; That He made with Abraham and swore to Isaac; and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant; saying to You I will give the Land of Cannan as your alloted heritage"