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Terrorism

How to defeat ISIS

Alexander Athos

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Show them ‘humiliation and degradation’ at their strongholds and so God’s judgment of their apostasy and inhumanity.

The agenda of ISIS:
The stated objective of ISIS apart from imposing a Caliphate based on their version of Sharia law is “enmity and hatred for the ‘cross worshippers (Christians), the apostates (Shia), their crosses, their borders and their ballot-boxes and pledge allegiance to the Khilafah” enforcement of strict Sharia law.” (see magazine Daqiq Issue 3 1435 Shawwal)” https://ia801401.us.archive.org/11/items/Dabiq03_en/dbq03_en.pdf

The greatest fear of ISIS:
The greatest fear of ISIS apart from bombs is to be seen as illegitimate on the wrong ‘path’, committing ‘Kabira’ (gross sin), to be exposed as “dogs of hellfire”, Wahhabi Salafi Takfiri Jihadi or the “Horns of Satan” as Mohammed described them and the sect from Najd, modern day “Khawarij” Arabic: خوارج‎ The Wahhabi movement has been referred to as the modern Khawarij by 18th century Hanafi scholar Ibn Abidin. Kharijites insist that any Muslim could be a leader of the Muslim community and had the right to revolt against any ruler who deviated from their interpretation of Islam. The Kharijites believed that the act of sinning is analogous to Kufr (disbelief) and that every grave sinner was regarded as a Kāfir (disbeliever) unless he repents. Kharijite’s like ISIS have a strong desire for martyrdom and dying for the sake of their cults beliefs. ISIS are modern day Kharijite’s. Continue the bombing but concentrate it on their military and spiritual leadership and strongholds on the ground.

What the world needs to do:
Call them out for what they are:
A heretical bloodthirsty sect on their own murderous path, apostates, not true Muslims, “dogs of hellfire”, Wahhabi Salafi Takfiri Jihadi or the “Horns of Satan”, “Khawarij” so the Muslim youth are not brainwashed to support Satanic cult as they surrender to Shaytan and their suicide sends them straight to hell as their deeds are sinful (Kabira ) and evil.
The Muslim communities are already having the courage to speak this out (no doubt as most of ISIS supporters have left for the battlefield unable to harass and physically intimidate the Mosque leaders). The recent Fatwa issued by the Islamic Council of UK’s in a statement issued on 31 August 2014, by mufti Abu Layth along with 5 other Muslim leaders.  

To defeat ISIS we must psychologically target their ideological strongholds and those physical places that have ideological significance. Beat them like the Red Army beat the Nazi’s at Stalingrad. Utterly destroy their will at key strongholds. Attack them at places that mean so much to them ideologically and destroy their power and so discredit them in the eyes of the Ummah. For example take them out in key cities and regions that they hold dear like: Dabiq in the northern countryside of Halab which they see as central to their fight against the West (al-Malhamah al-Kubra). Deal with them at their strongholds so the Ummah sees that Allah has abandoned them as apostates and not ‘brothers’. The Muslims will see Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi as a self-proclaimed false Caliph, someone who does not submit to Allah but arrogantly sets himself up as God murdering innocents in His name and so is a minister of ‘Shaytan’ and a false Messiah and the ideology of ISIS as ‘shirk’ and heresy. Destroy them ideologically so the Islamic world sees ISIS destroyed ‘like salt melts into water’ so too evil will be cleansed from the earth. Destroying ISIS is commanding the good and forbidding the evil that they do wherever their black flags stain the desert with the red blood of innocents.
ISIS described the beheading execution of journalist James Foley as “ a cooling balm for the believer’s hearts.” Anyone who felt that can only be described as “apes and swine”…the worst of people. They will be cast out. Allah will hate them. Allow the Muslims to execute Allah’s judgment on their gross sin, expose their leaders as apostates. ‘Arm’ the true Muslims, equip them to fight ideologically and militarily.

Learn about ISIS plans by studying ISIS heroes?
Abu Dujana al-Khurasani aka Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi aka  Homam Khaleel Mohammad Abu Mallal aka  (25 December 1977 – 30 December 2009) is praised in the recent ISIS magazine Dabiq.

In 2009, this Kuwaiti born suicide bomber terrorist murdered 9 Western, Jordanian and Afghan intelligence personnel at Camp Chapman Eastern Afghan city of Khost, which is about 10 miles northwest of the Pakistani border.
al-Khurasani trained in Istanbul as a doctor of medicine and married a Turkish journalist. He trained and was radicalized at the Islamic Brotherhood’s University of Jordan hospital in Aman Jordan. He worked at a clinic for Palestinian refugee women and children in the Marka refugee camp near Amman, Jordan He was a contributor to al-Hesbah, an online forum run by Islamist extremists.
He was a known associate of Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh aka Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (“Emir of Al Qaeda in the Country of Two Rivers” )as the two were from the same Jordanian town of Zarqa. al-Zarqawi  grew up as a drunkard and thug in Jordan before experiencing a religious conversion to Wahhabi Salafi Takfiri Jihadism, al-Zarqawi then was enlisted by the Wahhabi Salafi Takfiri’s to run terrorist (Jund al-Sham , al-Tawhid wal-Jihad later named AQI now called ISIS)  camps in Herat Afghanistan and Iraq. He was said to be behind the hotel bombings in Amman Jordan in 2005 Hotel Radisson). Zarqawi also helped plan a series of deadly bomb attacks in Casablanca, Morocco and Istanbul, Turkey in 2003. This terrorist, organized the February 2006 attack on the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra., On 7 May 2004, he beheaded American civilian contractor in Bagdad,  Nick Berg .  

Zarqawi stated :
“We have declared a bitter war against democracy and all those who seek to enact it…Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion [and that is] against the rule of Allah.”

He died when a US F-16 500 pound bomb was dropped on him on 7 June 2006 in Baqubah Iraq (Baqubah is a Sunni stronghold http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baqubah  and also part of the story of the Assyrian genocide by Ottomans Sunnis and Kurds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_genocide ).  
On June 23, 2006, Al-Jazeera aired a video in which Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, stated that
“Zarqawi was “a soldier, a hero, an imam and the prince of martyrs, [and his death] has defined the struggle between the crusaders and Islam in Iraq.”

al-Khurasani had been invited to FOB Chapman after claiming to Jordanian secret service (as their supposed double agent) to have information related to senior al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
 Instead he detonated explosives sewn into his vest. The Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda claimed responsibility, saying they helped al-Khurasani with the attack…. Out of the 9 people murdered, 7 were CIA personnel. It was the second largest single-day loss in the CIA’s history, after the 1983 United States Embassy bombing in Beirut, Lebanon killed eight CIA agents.
ISIS in their magazine Dabiq Issue 3 praise al-Khurasani as someone whose love for Jihad should be emulated. He left his home Kwait, travelled extensively for Jiad ( a call to hijrah) .Featuring  al-Khurasani may also be code for the way in which Wahhabi Salafi Takfifi Jihadi’s may be encouraged  to commit lone wolf suicide (fi sabilillah) attacks on Western targets when returning to their Western cities (bombs sewn in vests or Burkas) after their ‘Hijrah’.

So this is how one defeats ISIS.
Learn from history. How were the Nazi’s defeated in WWII? How could they have been defeated earlier before killing millions? How were the Japanese fanatics defeated in WWII? Follow the lead of The Association of British Muslims, encourage similar statements by Muslim leaders in every country. Show up the Kharijite nature of ISIS. Attack their ideological strongholds and discredit their heroes. Defeat them heavily in the places they think they are strongest and thus humiliate them.  They laugh and joke as they behead, play soccer with heads or bury alive Christian children. They are not human. Take out their Chechen military leadership. Switch off their twitter accounts. Isolate them. Support all Counter Terrorism laws from UN to nation states. Prosecute every ISIS member who survives the battlefield for War Crimes and prosecute everyone who supports them directly or indirectly. Support all Muslim groups who oppose them but be careful whom you arm. Not even the Kurds can be trusted. Learn from history and remember the Assyrian genocide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_genocide. The only people the West should arm are the Christians, no one else can be trusted given their historical track record. Consider allying for limited military defeat of ISIS with ISIS enemies, the Shia in Iran who have in the past helped Christian communities from genocide. Encourage transition in Iran to democracy for long term stability in the Middle East. Allow Turkey a greater role in leadership of Islamic countries conditional on their abiding by International Law, including a U N Security Council unanimous resolution 2170 (2014). Perhaps a joint military operation between Turkey, the Kurds, Iraq and Iran with NATO air support but under UN command could quickly and effortlessly destroy ISIS and conduct War Crime Tribunal hearings on the ground as soon as towns are liberated so as to thwart insurgency.

https://ia801401.us.archive.org/11/items/Dabiq03_en/dbq03_en.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khawarij
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Berg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humam_Khalil_Abu-Mulal_al-Balawi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Chapman_attack
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Musab_al-Zarqawi
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-06-23-zarqawi_x.htm?csp=34
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_genocide
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2014/sc11520.doc.htm

Alexander Athos is a writer and businessman.He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (European History) Personal background Alexander was christened Orthodox brought up Catholic and now Evangelical Christian with an acceptance of the best in Christian tradition and a respect for genuine people of faith from other cultures. Political inclinations: Christian intellectual who has an eclectic predisposition to understanding global and national political and social trends and seeking to influence them for good by thoughtful and persuasive discourse.

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Terrorism

Beyond Bombs and Bullets: A Comprehensive Approach Needed to Defeat ISIS

Zakir Gul, Ph.D.

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Many articles with similar ideas have been written about the current situation with ISIS and what will happen to the terrorist organization in the future. Most of these articles, however, ask incomplete or incorrect questions, which leads to inaccurate assessments of the safety of the world when ISIS is defeated. The articles typically ask questions such as: Can it be claimed that removal of ISIS from the territory in which it operates mean the end to ISIS, or is it only the displacement of terrorism? Shall we celebrate the defeat of ISIS or still be concerned about it? These questions, unfortunately, are incomplete and do not address key elements of the issue. The critical, and more appropriate, questions to ask are: Will the violent and extreme mindset and ideology end when ISIS is defeated? Is it possible that ISIS will transform itself or merges with another terrorist group? Is hard power the solution?

ISIS is just another body into which the violent and extremist ideology of jihadi Salafism has entered. The body dies, but the soul does not. When the body dies, the bad soul will enter another body of a different name. In the case of a defeated ISIS, the organization will die physically but survive as others take up its cause. As long as the violent and extremist ideology and dark soul of ISIS survives, there will always be a body for the soul to wear. The jihadi Salafist ideology will live a new life in a body transformed into another shape and structure.

Failure to ask the right questions means being unable to see and diagnose the problem correctly, intervene correctly, respond correctly, offer the correct solutions, and correctly assess the outcome rightly. In other words, a mistaken first step often leads to subsequent missteps and dire consequences in the long run. For example, when tar is on fire, the expected and first response would be to douse the fire with water; however, the compounds in the tar render water ineffective in putting out the fire and may even make the situation worse.In terms of terrorism, ISIS is the tar, and the commonsense first response would be to use all power available to eradicate the organization.

The literature on terrorism acknowledges that terrorism and radicalization are complex and multidimensional concepts that involve social, psychological, political, financial, and educational issues. Given this mix of factors, could a military and/or law enforcement intervention be the solution to terrorism and radicalization? The answer is “no.” Could the hard power be the solution to some psychological factors (i.e., alienation) or political factors (i.e., political exclusion and oppression) of joining terrorist groups? Again, the answer is “no.” The answer will always be “no” until the solution offered addresses the multiple dimensions of the problem with a comprehensive, but individualized, approach. A reliance on bombs, bullets, and warfare alone will not suffice.

For example, if an individual joins a terrorist group because of a family issue—such as forced marriage, domestic violence, or alienation from close relatives, lack of love and respect among family members—then the approach should focus on family structures and family environments. If an individual whose spouse, children, or extended family members were killed by government security forces longs for revenge and is recruited as a suicide bomber, a military/law enforcement solution alone will not solve the underlying problem. Nor is it the correct approach when an individual has joined a terrorist organization in response to the lack of democratic and human rights. If militants are recruited and exposed to propaganda in virtual environments, then the counterterrorism approach should address those virtual environments to neutralize the terrorist indoctrination. If potential militants are easily swayed by radicals misinterpreting and exploiting religious scriptures because they are poorly educated and lack religious awareness and knowledge, then the counterterrorism approach should focus on counter-narratives and religion-awareness programs. A continued emphasis on tanks, gunfire, and bombs, is a waste of precious money, time, and effort, and lives and, worse yet, justification of terrorist narratives.

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Terrorism

Jihadists of Katibat Imam al Bukhari are afraid of the US strike

Uran Botobekov

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The US State Department added Central Asian jihadist group Katibat Imam al Bukhari (KIB) to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorist organizations on March 22, 2018.

As noted in the statement “the Department of State has designated KIB as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes strict sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. This designation seeks to deny KIB the resources it needs to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of the group’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.”

It is already common knowledge that,KIB is fighting in Syria as part of the al Qaeda-linked rebel coalition Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham. The KIB detachment was created in Afghanistan on the basis of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. KIB also operates in Afghanistan and has pledged loyalty to the Taliban, who are in turn tight allies with al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network. After the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2012, KIB, on the recommendation of Al-Qaeda, moved to the province of Idlib and distinguished itself as one of the major rebel groups fighting against the regime of Bashar Assad. A group of the jihadists of the KIB is also based in Afghanistan today and is fighting together with the Taliban. About 200 militants are known to fight in the KIB. The propaganda materials of the group are actively disseminated in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Three days after the decision of the US State Department to include KIB in the list of global terrorist organizations, Shura of the KIB issued its own statementin response. In itsown statement, which was released via Telegram on March 25, 2018, KIB protested their designation as terrorists by the State Department. KIB states that it “was surprised by the American resolution to enlist the Imam al Bukhari Brigade on the world terror list notwithstanding that we do not have ideological or intellectual ties with any faction internationally enlisted.”

It is most interesting that Shura of the KIB, for its protection, used a lot of peaceful terms in their response such as «international law», «rights of freedom», “murderous Assad regime”, “struggle for а decent life of the Syrian people”, etc.

KIB claimed in their response, that their volunteers from many Central Asian countries, including Uzbekistan, formed their brigade “as a result of the war’s long duration in Syria and the increasing number of expats.”Shura of the KIB described his mission in the Middle East as protecting the simple and peaceful Syrian people from the bloody regime of Assad and his external sponsors, Hezbollah, Iranian Shiite militants and Russia.

KIB also claimed that they’ve been fighting with the Free Syrian Army to protect civilians against threats like ISIS, “which pushed ISIS to assassinate our previous leader (Sheikh Salahuddin).””The classification of Imam al-Bukhari Brigade by U.S., turns a blind eye on thousands of the Iranian-backed foreign Shiite militias that commit war crimes against the Syrians, and proves that the U.S. applies double standards and it is only concerned about its interests,” KIB continued.The Shura of group vowed to stay the course “in spite of pains and problems whether in our country or by the world order.”

In this regard, it should be noted that the “justifiable arguments” of the KIB that its fighters are fighting against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and precisely because of this fact they should not be included in the list of world terrorist groups does not make sense.Firstly, not only the numerous factions of armed revolutionaries and the fragmentary Syrian opposition are fighting against the regime of Bashar Assad, but also the world jihadist groups ISIS and Al-Qaeda.However, their goals are completely different. If the peaceful Syrian opposition wants to build a democratic state in Syria in the future, then ISIS and Al Qaeda are fighting for the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East.Al-Qaeda backed KIB that affiliated with Jabhat al Nusra, completely shares the position of his patrons.

Secondly, radical Salafism and militant Takfirism are the fundamental basis of the jihadi ideology of the KIB.In accordance with the ideological doctrine of KIB that was recently published on its Telegram channel, the group considers its goal the construction of an Islamic state in Central Asia, the overthrow of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and the protection and spread of jihadi ideology around the world by force.

Jihadists of Katibat in training

Thirdly, jihad is the main tool for KIB in achieving its goals, that is, in building the Islamic Caliphate.In their propaganda materials, KIB leaders urge Muslims to wage jihad against the godless regimes of Central Asia and the West.After President Trump decided the U.S. Embassy would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, KIB leader Abu Yusuf Muhojir posted on his Telegram page a pledge to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque and wage jihad on the West.

The Syrian Liberation Front (SLF) — a joint venture formed by Ahrar al-Sham and the Nur al-Din al-Zanki Movement in February — has joined KIB in denouncing the State Department’s designation as well.In its statement the SLF argues that the KIB is an “independent” faction comprised of Uzbeks who were “forced out of their country” and who now fight against the Assad regime and ISIS. It is known that Ahrar al-Sham is an al Qaeda backed Salafi-jihadi group who fought alongside Al Nusrah Front in the past.The SLF also points to the assassination of KIB leader Sheikh Salahuddinlast year, alleging that ISIS cooperated with “Russian intelligence” in the killing.

In this regard, it should be noted that the assassination of the leader of KIB Sheikh Salahuddin is related to the confrontation between ISIS and al-Qaida, which led to internal fighting among the Central Asian jihadists in Syria.His real name was Akmal Jurabaev and he was born and grew up in the Uzbek town of Namangan. He shared the religious views and Salafi ideology of the Taliban and al Qaeda. On April 27, 2017, during the evening prayer in the mosque of a Syrian city of Idlib, Sheikh Salahuddin was killed by an Uzbek militant who was a member of ISIS. The Islamic State distributed the following statement via Telegram messenger in this regard, “The emir of detachment of Katibat al-Imam Bukhari, Sheikh Salahuddin, was punished according to the Sharia law for all the betrayals he committed.”

The Uzbek militant from Tajikistan, known as Abu Yusuf Muhojir, was appointed the new leader of the group. The Uzbek social networks have characterized him as the distinguished military strategist who has implemented a series of successful operations against the army of Bashar Assad. After the comprehensive analysis of his public speeches in the audio format published on the Telegram, we can draw the following conclusions: Abu Yusuf Muhojirhas the deep religious knowledge, knew the nuances of the Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) and jihad.

It is no accident that in their statements, KIB and SLF appealed to the fact that the leader of the Uzbek jihadists, Sheikh Salahuddin,was assassinated by ISIS militants.Using this argument that Uzbek militants are fighting with ISIS and their leader has fallen by the hands of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi supporters, KIB is trying to justify its terrorist activities and to avoid international persecution in accordance with the US list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

This is not the first time that the United States has designateda Central Asian jihadist group on the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) list.After designation of a terrorist group in the list of global terrorists, the US special services are allowed to carry out operations to eliminate the leaders of those terrorist groups, to take decisive measures to destroy financial schemes and to effectively put international pressure on them.

As is already known, the US State Department has designated the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan(IMU) in the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list on September 25, 2000.As a result, the leader of the group Tahir Yuldash (2009) and the military commander of the group Juma Namangoni (2001) were killed as a result of US missile airstrike.

On June 17, 2005, the US State Department designated the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) to the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.The IJU is a splinter faction of the IMU, and a substantial number of its members are from Central Asia.The IJU has been waging jihad in the Afghan-Pakistan region for more than a decade. It maintains close ties with al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. The US has killed several top IJU leaders, including its emir, Najmuddin Jalolov, in drone strikes in North Waziristan 2009.

On December 29, 2004, the US State Department designated Uyghur Salafi-jihadi group the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (the Turkestan Islamic Party) to the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL).As a result, leaders of the Turkestan Islamic Party Hassan Mahsum (2003) and Abdul Shakur al-Turkistani (2012) were killed in US drone strike.

Based on this, we can assume what fate awaits the leaders and militants of the KIB in the near future. The designation of the KIB in the Specially Designated Global Terrorist list testifies to the US Government’s determination to combat the jihadist ideology of Salafism worldwide.This is a tangible support to the governments of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, which are facing a real threat of transnational terrorism.After all, the backbone of the KIB is made up of people from the Ferghana Valley of Central Asia, mainly of Uzbek nationality.

According to the Soufan Group, out of 5,000 people who left Central Asia for Syria and Iraq, about 500 jihadists in the ISIS ranks went back to their homes. But among the returnees, there are almost no militants KIB, Katibat al-Tawhidwal Jihad (KTJ), IJU and TIP, which are affiliated with al Qaeda. After the fall of ISIS, it is the militants linked with the al Qaeda that pose a big threat to the countries of Central Asia. Therefore, the emergence of two theatres of war for al Qaeda backed Central Asian militants in Syria and Afghanistan and the relative ease of transit between these two theatres via Turkey increases the threat that jihadists can return to Central Asia at an opportune moment, such as at a time of political, social or economic crises.This would be dangerous for the regimes of Central Asia.

Therefore, the designation of the KIB by the US government into the list of global terrorist organizations gives a positive impetus to the efforts of the Central Asian countries in respect to counterterrorism.But so far the Central Asian governments have not openly reacted to the initiative of the US State Department. Perhaps such a reaction followed through diplomatic channels, which are closed to the public.

The war in Afghanistan and in the Middle East over the past 17 years has shown that the United States is in the forefront of the fight against transnational terrorism and religious extremism. Therefore, it would be difficult for the Governments of Central Asia to do without US assistance in combating the radical ideology of Salafism and world jihadism.

The Central Asian states are in a bind insofar as there is little they can do to stymie the growth of the KIB, KTJ, IJU and TIP in Syria given their lack of influenceand likely also their lack of intelligence.As a result, the Central Asian governments will likely need to develop comprehensive national security strategies with allies both within the region and abroad to manage the complexities of emerging threats.To achieve results in the fight against jihadism, the Central Asian countries need to solve three main tasks.

First, to intensify cooperation with the United States and the exchange of intelligence data.Successful coordination between law enforcement agencies will help to block the channels of financial, material and military assistance to the jihadist groups from Central Asia, affiliated with al Qaeda.Joint cooperation will contribute to the dismantling of bases, camps and training centers for Central Asian jihadist groups in Syria and Afghanistan, neutralizing prominent leaders and identifying commercial organizations and foundations that subsidize them. The fight against Al Qaeda is a more difficult than with ISIS, as it does not have its own territory, which can be hit. In the fight against Al-Qaeda, the United States has significant anti-terrorist experience, effective intelligence tools and advanced technical capabilities.

Secondly, given the increased role of another Uzbek group Katibat al-Tawhidwal Jihad in the global jihad and their successful terrorist acts in Russia (the explosion of the metro in St. Petersburg) and in Kyrgyzstan (the explosion of the Chinese embassy in Bishkek), the governments of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan should lobby the US to include the KTJ in the list of global terrorist organizations.

Thirdly, for successful international coordination of anti-terrorist efforts, security agencies and special services of the countries of Central Asia need to get rid of block thinking and anti-American sentiment, which is a legacy of the Soviet empire and which is being initiated by Russia.Kremlinis known to consider Central Asia as an area of its influence. Putin is imposing its anti-American ideology on the countries of the region, which impedes the joint struggle against world jihadism. The confrontation between Russia and the West on the activities of the Taliban and the future regime of Bashar al-Assad enable jihadist groups from Central Asia to successfully assimilate into a global jihad. Therefore, the governments of Central Asia must work out their own self-position, which allows them to actively cooperate with the US in the fight against the global jihadist threat in the world and stop being a Putin’s “whipping boy”.

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Terrorism

How to stop terrorism: EU measures explained

MD Staff

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Stopping terrorism requires tackling issues such as foreign fighters, border controls and cutting off funds. Learn about the EU’s counter terrorism policies.

Security is a major concern for Europeans: the vast majority (80%) want the EU to do more to fight terrorism. However, European policy makers also realise that terrorism has no borders.

EU measures to prevent new attacks run from more thorough checks at Europe’s borders, to better police and judicial cooperation on tracing suspects and pursuing perpetrators, cutting the financing of terrorism, tackling organised crime, addressing radicalisation and others.

Improving  border controls

In order to safeguard security within the Schengen zone, systematic checks at the EU’s external borders on all people entering the EU – including EU citizens – were introduced in April 2017.

To record the movements of non-EU citizens across the Schengen area and speed up controls, a new entry and exit registration system was agreed by Parliament and EU ministers on 30 November 2017. These new external border controls are expected to become fully functional by 2020 at the latest.

Stopping foreign terrorist fighters

At least 7,800 Europeans from 24 countries are believed to have travelled to conflict areas in Syria and Iraq to join jihadist terrorist groups, according to Europol. Although there is a decrease in travel, the number of returning foreign fighters is expected to rise if Islamic State is defeated militarily or collapses.

In order to criminalise acts such as undertaking training or travelling for terrorist purposes, as well as organising or facilitating such travel, Europe put in place  EU-wide legislation on terrorism that, together with new controls at the external borders, will help to tackle the foreign fighter phenomenon.

Making use of air passenger data

Airlines operating flights to and from the EU are  obliged to hand national authorities the data of their passengers such as names, travel dates, itinerary and payment method.

This so-called PNR data  is used to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist offences and serious crimes. Negotiations took more than five years and Parliament insisted on safeguards for sensitive data (revealing racial origin, religion, political opinion, health or sexual orientation) and data protection.

Stepping up the exchange of information

The man who carried out the Berlin Christmas market attack used multiple identities to evade border and law enforcement authorities. This, and other similar cases, show the importance of effective information sharing between different authorities (law enforcement, judicial, intelligence) in EU countries.

The EU already has many databases and information systems for border management and internal security. The Parliament is currently focusing on rules that will enable the interoperability of the databases and allow for the simultaneous consultation of the different systems.

Europol, the EU’s police agency, supports the exchange of information between national police authorities as the EU criminal information hub. In May 2016 the Parliament agreed to give more powers to Europol  to step up the fight against terrorism as well as to set up specialised units such as the European counter terrorism centre, which was launched on 25 January 2016.

Tackling the financing of terrorism

An effective measure to stop terrorists is to cut their sources of revenue and disrupt logistics. The Parliament wants EU countries to track suspicious financial transactions and charities and also look into the trafficking of oil, cigarettes, gold, gems and works of art.

MEPs have completed the latest update of the EU’s anti-money laundering directive, which tightens the rules on virtual currency platforms and anonymous prepaid cards.

MEPs also managed to secure additional resources in the EU’s 2018 budget to better fight terrorism and organised crime. The European Commission recently set up a blockchain observatory in response to Parliament calls to monitor virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, to prevent them being used to finance terrorism.

Reducing access to dangerous weapons

The EU does everything possible to prevent dangerous weapons falling into the hands of the wrong people. The revised firearms directive closed legal loopholes that allowed terrorists to use reconverted weapons, for example in the Paris 2015 attacks. It requires EU countries to have a proper monitoring system, while keeping exemptions for hunters, museums and collectors.

Parliament is also pushing for better control of arms exports  and an embargo on arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Preventing radicalisation

Most of the terrorist attacks in Europe were perpetrated by home-grown terrorists. Parliament therefore proposed measures to fight radicalisation and extremism in prisons and online by making use of education and social inclusion.

The EU’s added value

The EU level is the main forum for cooperation between member states in the fight against terrorism, even though counter-terrorism policies are to a large extent the responsability of countries..

MEPs decide on a par with EU ministers on major EU counter-terrorism laws. Traditionally, Parliament makes sure fundamental rights and data protection are respected.

The EU’s counter-terrorism strategy is based on four strands: prevent, protect, pursue and respond. The current framework that the European Commission follows in its proposals is the European Agenda on Security 2015-2020, which aims to facilitate cooperation between EU countries in the fight against terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime.

In recent years there have been many EU policies on counter-terrorism and it involves many people, organisations and strategies. The Parliament set up a special committee  to suggest ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the EU’s response to terrorism.

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