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Austere brand of Islam on rise in Europe, stirring concerns

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FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, May 26, 2015 a man makes a phone call as he walk past a mosque in Oullins outside Lyon, central France. The mosque won an unusual case last week against a Salafi worshipper taken to court after months of tension. The case was thought to be the first in France by Muslims against a Muslim invoking a 1905 law to guarantee secularism _ used by the government to pass bans on headscarves and face-covering veils. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

PARIS (AP) — Its imams preach austere piety, its tenets demand strict separation of sexes — and some of its most radical adherents are heeding the call of jihad. Salafism, an Islamic movement based on a literal reading of the Quran, is on the rise in France, Germany and Britain, security officials say, with Salafis sharply increasing their influence in mosques and on the streets.The trend worries European authorities, who see Salafism as one of the inspirational forces for young Europeans heading to Syria or Iraq to do battle for the Islamic State group. Experts, however, point out that the vast majority of Salafis are peace-loving.

In Germany, there are currently about 7,000 Salafis in the country — nearly double the 3,800 estimated four years ago, the Interior Ministry said last month. About 100 French mosques are now controlled by Salafis, a small number compared to the more than 2,000 Muslim houses of worship, but more than double the number four years ago, a senior security official told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. France does not do head-counts by religious practices or origins. Read the rest of this entry »

Spreading Tentacles: The Islamic State in Bangladesh

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Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 13 Issue: 3   February 6, 2015 11:08 AM

Samiun Rahman, a British man of Bangladeshi origin, was arrested due to his alledged involvement with recruting for terrorist organizations in Bangladesh (Source: Alamy).

Growing evidence suggests that the influence of the Islamic State organization has reached the South Asian, Muslim-majority country of Bangladesh. The country has long been home to small, but significant, numbers of radicals from both local militant groups, such as the Jama’at ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), the country’s most significant local jihadist group, and those linked to transnational jihadist formations, such as al-Qaeda. However, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate and the promise of it’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to return to all Muslims their “dignity, might, rights and leadership” seem to have infused a renewed Islamist fervor within a section of Bangladeshi youths and among existing radical elements. [1]

Arrests Expose Militant Links

One of the clearest indications of this development came in late September 2014 when the government’s arrest of a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, Samiun Rahman (a.k.a. Ibn Hamdan), who lived in the capital Dhaka’s Kamalapur area, unearthed an apparent Islamic State recruitment drive in the country (Daily Star [Dhaka], September 30, 2014). Read the rest of this entry »

Morocco Bans Publications Reprinting French Cartoons

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Sunday 11 January 2015 – 07:28

Morocco Bans Publications Reprinting French Cartoons

rabat – Morocco banned the distribution of foreign newspapers that have reprinted Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed.

Mustapha El Khalfi, Minister of Communications and Spokesperson of the Government said on Saturday that the government had rejected to offer distribution licenses to some foreign newspapers and magazines that had reprinted the offending cartoons, previously printed by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Read the rest of this entry »

Murder in Paris, revolution in Egypt

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By Herbert London, contributor

The former headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo w...
The former headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo weekly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The blood on the streets of Paris caused by Islamist gunmen is shocking and disturbing, but not surprising. Jihadists engaged in several prior attempts to shut down the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a newspaper that lampoons Islam, among others. In fact, Charlie Hebdo was an equal opportunity satirist.

Most significant is the fact that this murderous act is consistent with Islamic law and the tenets of sharia, notwithstanding public commentary that denies this reality. What Charlie Hebdo printed, which led to the bloodshed, is the savage truth.

Curiously, the week before this incident, the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, speaking before Al-Azhar University officials on the occasion of the prophet Mohammed’s upcoming birthday, offered a renewed vision of Islam, one that he insisted is necessary for Islam to coexist with the West and different traditions. In a sense, his words take on a certain poignancy because of the violence perpetrated against the Paris paper. Read the rest of this entry »

Tackling Nuclear Terrorism In South Asia

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Flag of India with Nuclear Power Plants, courtesy  Feroz Khan and Emily Burke believe that India and Pakistan need to cooperate more closely on countering the threat of nuclear terrorism. That means regular bilateral meetings between experts and leaders, exchanging radiation data, indefinitely extending all nuclear agreements, and more.

By Feroz Hassan Khan and Emily Burke for National Defense University Press

This article was originally published in Vol. 5, No. 1 (2014) of PRISM, a journal published by the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) at the National Defense University (NDU).

Since India and Pakistan conducted their nuclear tests in 1998, every danger associated with nuclear weapons – proliferation, instability, and terrorism – has been linked to the region. And despite nuclear deterrence and the modernization of nuclear forces, South Asia is a far cry from achieving stability. Indeed, the security situation in South Asia has deteriorated and violent extremism has surged to unprecedentedly high levels. In the past decades, both states have operationalized their nuclear deterrent forces, increased production of fissile material and nuclear delivery means, and developed plans to field a nuclear capable triad. Concurrently, both countries are expanding civilian nuclear facilities in their quests for a cleaner source of energy to combat current and future energy shortages. As tensions and violence in the region have increased, both states blame the other’s policy choices for the scourge of terrorism that has seized the region. New leadership in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan however, creates an opening to tackle the immediate scourge of violent extremist organizations and unresolved historic conflicts. Ironically the traditional stabilizing force in the region – the United States – is drawing down in Afghanistan and shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region and to Russia where new tensions have erupted. Within this security context, India and Pakistan will be left on their own to devise mechanisms to mitigate and eliminate the regional risk of terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »

Mercyhurst University’s Tom Ridge School Hosts Fourth Global Intelligence Forum

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English: Seal of the United States Department ...
English: Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



ERIE, Pa., Dec. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — From public health challenges like Ebola to the effect of climate change on food safety in the coming decades, international experts in public health, higher education, business and traditional intelligence will gather in Dungarvan, Ireland, for the fourth biennial Global Intelligence Forum — The Dungarvan Conference July 12-15, 2015.


Sponsored by the Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Science at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, the conference comes on the heels of highly successful summits that welcomed prominent intelligence leaders like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden; former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh; and Europol Director Rob Wainwright.


Panelists for this year’s expanded forum — “Intelligence-Informed Decision-Making to Build a More Secure Future” — will address how leaders can effectively establish intelligence practices to enhance decision-making as they address pressing global concerns.


Keynote speakers include one of the world’s leading experts on cybersecurity, Howard Schmidt, who served as cyber advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. He also held positions as vice president and chief information security officer for eBay Inc., and operated as chief security officer for Microsoft Corp. Currently, he is a partner with Tom Ridge in Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, an executive services firm that helps leaders in business and government navigate the increasing demands of cybersecurity. Read the rest of this entry »