GBS managements are praud to annouce the grand openning of 2 centres in North Caucasus district and Middle East. We are actively encouraging all businesses and active persons in these regions to contact us for a no obligation and hassle free exchange of info and security assesment consultation.August 23, 2015 | Read More
Iraqi army and militia Shiite fighter are preparing for one of the most important and game changing battles with the so called Islamic State IS. Iraqi army has been criticised by its allies and friends for showing lack of will and commitment in fighting against Islamic State. Whether these allegations are based on fair and accurate information or just an escape goat? “Iraqi army in its modern form was created by the United Kingdom during the Inter-War period of de facto British control of mandatory Iraq. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi army was rebuilt along American lines with enormous amounts of U.S. military assistance at every level.”
In many experts opinions it is still a young force under the shadow of U.S. military. In couple of my trips to Middle East, I have seen Iraqi Special Units in training. Although the Units were made of young soldiers I could see determination and courage in their faces. They were ready to sacrifice their precious life to protect their country. As famous quote from Napoleon Bonaparte “There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers.” Can we say the Iraqi army`s withdrawals in recent events blamed on Officers in control? I am afraid the answer is not as black and white as you might think. After all I think it is unfair to blame just the Iraqi army for Islamic State advances in recent months.
Who are Islamic State and where they come from? “Islamic State can trace its roots back to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who set up Tawhid wa al-Jihad in 2002. A year after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and formed al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which became a major force in the insurgency.” It was one of the myriad jihadist groups that incubated in Afghanistan during the 90s up until the US began dropping bombs there in 2001. Zarqawi and his militia left Afghanistan to take refuge with (ironically) the Kurdish branch of al-Qaeda, who was based in the northern mountain ranges of Iraq. Zarqawi’s stated aim was to precipitate a sectarian civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. With the power vacuum left by Saddam’s fall, it appeared Zarqawi had plenty of space to manoeuvre and craft such a venomous milieu. Zarqawi still had problems with legitimacy and funding in Iraq. The issue of legitimacy arose from the persistent nationalist angle perpetuated by Sunni Iraqis, as well as his lack of religious authority. Zarqawi was killed in a targeted killing by a Joint US force on June 7, 2006, while attending a meeting in an isolated safehouse approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) north of Baqubah. By this time, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had risen steadily through the group to become a trusted aide to its leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, and his deputy, the Egyptian jihadist Abu Ayub al-Masri. It was at this point, that Isis made an approach to the Ba’athist remnants of the old regime – ideological opponents who shared a common enemy in the US and the Shia-led government it backed. The deaths of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri were a serious blow to Isis. When Abu Omar was killed, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was made leader.
Upon conquering northern and central Iraq, ISIS changed its name to the Islamic State (IS), and declared Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as Caliph Ibrahim. Upon declaration of the restoration of the Caliphate, the Kurds also formally announced their plans to break from the Iraqi central government, hearkening the subsequent rebirth of Kurdistan.
When [the civil war in] Syria became serious it wasn’t difficult to transfer all that expertise to a different battle zone. The Iraqis are the most important people on the military and Shura councils in Isis now, and that is because of all of those years preparing for such an event.
Life with Isis means power, money, wives and status – all attractive lures for young firebrands with a cause – but it also means killing and dominating for a worldview. Leaving the group would mean that them and their family would certainly be killed. Staying and enforcing the group’s brutal vision.
ISIS began operations on Kurdistan in late July of this year, but prior to the commencement of those hostilities, they had been rooting out religious minorities under their dominion in Mosul and Anbar province. The message to the non-Sunnis was to convert to Islam or pay a “jizya,” which is essentially a tax for not being a Sunni Muslim. After a short period, ISIS arbitrarily changed the message to “leave or die,” thus triggering an exodus of Christians from northern Iraq.
Not all Islamic State fighters are from Iraq, More than 11,000 people have travelled from abroad to fight in Syria, officials suggest, although some have gone back home again. They ally themselves with different factions, and sometimes change loyalties as groups merge, disband or change allegiances. Naturally, countries with bigger Muslim populations tend to send the largest number of fighters. But some countries with relatively small Muslim populations have sent a disproportionately large number of jihadis. Finland and Ireland have the highest number of foreign fighters per capita — nearly one per 1,400 Muslims living in those countries has gone to Syria. Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, but tiny numbers of fighters going to Syria. And even countries closer to the conflict such as Turkey, Algeria and Morocco have sent relatively few. (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, which all have more Muslims than any country other than Indonesia, have not issued official estimates of how many of their citizens, if any, have gone to Syria.). Britain and France have comparable percentages of local Muslims going to fight in Syria — just over one in 6,000 British Muslims and one in 6,666 French Muslims have gone to Syria, governments say. The figures in the Netherlands are not far off, around one in 7,700. American Muslims are going to Syria at a much lower rate, closer to one in 25,000.
It’s not just men who are lured to join Islamic State, the exact number of women who have joined jihadist groups in Syria is impossible to ascertain, but terrorism analysts at London’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation estimate there are some 30 European women in Iraq and Syria who either accompanied their jihadist husbands or have gone with the intention to marry members of ISIS and other militant groups. That may be less than 10% of the number of Western men currently estimated to be fighting in Syria and Iraq, but the fear is that the number of women involved may grow more quickly. Women have always played a role in war, if not in actual combat then in the vital areas of intelligence gathering, medical care, food preparation and support. ISIS’s vicious campaign to carve out a state ruled by a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law is no different, though its strict laws prohibiting mixing between genders has limited women’s presence on the front lines. Instead, women are drawn — or recruited — into vital support roles through effective social-media campaigns that promise devout jihadist husbands, a home in a true Islamic state and the opportunity to devote their lives to their religion and their God.
Baghdadi believes that the world’s Muslims should live under one Islamic state ruled by sharia law, the first step towards which is establishing a caliphate spanning Syria and Iraq. Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, Doha, wrote in a paper last month: “Isis now presents itself as an ideologically superior alternative to al-Qaida within the jihadi community and it has publicly challenged the legitimacy of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. As such it has increasingly become a transnational movement with immediate objectives far beyond Iraq and Syria.”
The question of who can stop the IS-terror is becoming more and more urgent. When Mosul was taken, it became clear that the Iraqi army had hardly anything to oppose the well-equipped and optimally financed IS-fighters with. The army practically left the city to the militants without a fight.
The jihadists’ most recent campaigns show that the highly praised fighting power of the Kurdish Peshmerga militias is limited as well. The Kurds have started a counteroffensive, the results of which remain to be seen. And this time around, they are supported by the Iraqi air force. But so far, they have had to accept bitter defeats and, most importantly, they weren’t able to protect the region’s population.
The US is reported to be preparing to open a direct dialogue with Iran about how to deal with Isis. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Washington was set to open talks with Tehran on ways to push back the militants. Whether this will extend to military coordination – US air strikes, or drone intelligence in support of Iranian Revolutionary Guards or Iraqi units – is up in the air. In Iraq, the Iranians themselves have played a key role in countering IS. Revolutionary Guards have advised Iraqi security forces, Iranian pilots have carried out air strikes, and Iranian-backed Shia militia have been mobilised.
Saudi Arabia also views the Islamic State as a serious threat because the group harbours a number of jihadists from the Gulf, and the return of those militants to their home countries would bring with it the prospect of further regional instability.
Defeating the Islamic State Requires a Saudi-Iranian Compromise.
Information on this article has been gathered from different sources.June 16, 2015 | Read More
A new area for pirates, South East Asia have become a new hot spot for Pirates, there have been confirmed reduction of Piracy in Somali but increase of high jacking and extortion in South East Asia.
It looks like 2014 may have been the most dangerous year for Asian seafarers in almost a decade. According to the Singapore-based Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), 183 actual or attempted attacks took place in Southeast Asian waters during 2014. This figure represents a marked increase from 150 in 2013 and 133 in 2012, and is the highest since 2006.
The latest figures released by the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Center corroborate ReCAAP’s findings and show a similar increase in attacks in 2013 and 2014. Since a total of 245 attacks took place worldwide in 2014, Asia now accounts for up to 75 percent of all piracy and armed robbery (PAR) incidents in the world, up from 60 percent in 2013. The continent’s share in global PAR statistics is rapidly increasing as the number of attacks in other parts of the world – most notably the Gulf of Aden – continues to decline.
The surge in incidents in Southeast Asia underscores a worrying trend, one that has seen attacks steadily proliferate since 2013, following a brief decline between 2010 and 2012. Even though PAR is by no means a new phenomenon in the region – Southeast Asia has been known as a piracy hotspot for centuries – the sheer increase in the volume of attacks will perhaps nudge countries in the most affected areas to action. The shipping industry is likely to exert additional pressure on regional governments, as a sustained increase in attacks will put ships and crew at greater risk and is certain to drive up the cost of insurance premiums.
A Closer Look
Over one third of all shipping traverses the Strait of Malacca each year, with an estimated 15.2 million barrels of crude oil transported through this strategic chokepoint every day. Although spikes in attacks had disrupted shipping through the strait in the past (famously prompting the Lloyd’s Market Association to declare it a warzone in 2005), PAR in Asian waters traditionally slipped in and out of (Western) public consciousness and rarely captured global headlines. This is despite the fact that many Westerners – particularly Europeans – would be among the first to feel the effects of major disruption to shipping in the region. The European Union relies heavily on sea-borne trade with countries in the Asia-Pacific – six of its biggest 20 trading partners are located in the region.
However, there are at least three reasons for a lack of significant international attention. First, unlike their more famous counterparts in the Gulf of Aden, pirates in Southeast Asia use violence as a tool less frequently, and there are fewer instances of boarding with firearms. Second, the majority of attacks are directed against small local ships that are easily boarded, rather than major oil tankers or cargo vessels. Third, a large proportion of all attacks consist of petty thefts and crimes of opportunity against ships in ports. Major (and violent) hijackings are a much rarer occurrence than in the Gulf of Aden or the Gulf of Guinea.
Although the share of violent incidents rose substantially in 2014 (more on this below), most PAR attacks still conformed to the three aforementioned characteristics. Still, given the breadth of Asian waters and sea lanes, some areas are bound to be more at risk than others. In order to more accurately assess the PAR threat in Southeast Asia, it is imperative to delve deeper into the numbers.
The Bad News
In Asia, maritime PAR has traditionally been concentrated in the southeast, predominantly in the Strait of Malacca. In recent years, multilateral patrols and organizations such as ReCAAP – which facilitates information sharing and capacity building among its 20 contracting parties in Europe, the Asia-Pacific and North America – have succeeded in reducing PAR in the Strait. However, as counter-piracy efforts intensified in one area, most of the attacks shifted eastward toward the Singapore Strait, the South China Sea, and particularly the waters and harbors of Indonesia.
According to the IMB’s 2014 Annual Report, the number of attacks increased across Southeast Asia, with no areas registering a noticeable decline from the year before. The vast majority (100) of all actual and attempted attacks took place in and around Indonesia, with many occurring in the narrow strip of sea separating the Indonesian island of Pulau Karimun Besar from Singapore. Over half of all attacks were carried out in just five of Indonesia’s ports and anchorages, with the most (35) taking place on the island of Pulau Bintan. Although the number of incidents was down slightly from 106 in 2013, the figure is still more than double the 40 attacks reported in 2010.
Malaysia and the adjacent portion of the South China Sea have seen the largest year-on-year increase in attacks. The IMB registered 24 incidents in 2014, almost three times as many (9) as in 2013. During the same period, ReCAAP registered 23 incidents, up from just one the year before. Most attacks took place off of the southeastern tip of the Malay Peninsula.
Bangladesh is fast becoming another notable flashpoint, with the IMB recording 21 reported incidents, up from 12 the year before. During the same year, ReCAAP registered 14 incidents, more than double the six it had logged the year before. Almost all of the attacks (18) were armed robberies that took place in Chittagong Port.
The surge in the number of PAR incidents throughout the year was accompanied by a notable rise in attacks against larger ships and the use of firearms, particularly in Indonesia. According to ReCAAP, the number of “very significant” incidents – those that result in substantial economic damage and/or are particularly violent – increased substantially, largely owing to more widespread (and lucrative) siphoning of fuel and oil. Such siphoning requires complex planning and greater operational capacity, suggesting a growing importance of organized crime groups. The most common targets of siphoning attacks are product or oil tankers under 5000 gross tons (GT).
According to the IMB, attackers were armed with guns in 34 instances; almost triple the 13 in 2012. This proliferation of small arms resulted in three deaths, most recently on December 8, 2014, when an engineer aboard a Vietnamese tanker was shot by armed attackers. Three fatalities within a year is an exceptionally high number for Southeast Asia, and may signify the beginning of a possible shift from the prevailing modus operandi whereby attackers usually flee if caught red-handed by the crew.
The Good News
Fortunately, 2014 was not all bad news. According to ReCAAP’s Assistant Director Lee Yin Hui, over half of all incidents were logged as petty thefts. This means that most pirate attacks or robberies resulted in minor economic damage and did not lead to crew injuries. Most attacks remained opportunistic in nature and predominantly targeted tug boats, barges, cargo ships, and other vessels, with the intent of stealing cash, crews’ personal effects, or scrap metal. According to Lee Yin Hui, most incidents resulted in no economic loss at all, while the attackers generally fled after being discovered. Moreover, despite the more frequent use of firearms, the vast majority of attackers still remained unarmed or carried “just” knives or machetes.
There is another potential silver lining. The numbers of attacks recorded by organizations such as the IMB and ReCAAP frequently diverge, owing to differences in geographic designations and data collection methods. However, both institutions rely on one single decisive factor when compiling their statistics: reporting.
Shipowners may be reluctant to report attacks for a number of reasons, including concerns over the company’s safety record, potential liability, or simply to avoid higher insurance premiums. As a rule, many attacks go unreported worldwide. Even though it is impossible to determine the extent of underreporting, at least a part of last year’s surge in recorded incidents may be due to more diligent shipowners. If true, this may possibly indicate an increase in awareness of the importance of reporting successful or attempted attacks.
Stemming the Tide
As 2014 drew to a close, it revealed the full extent of Southeast Asia’s piracy headache. The number of incidents soared, attacks became more deadly, and strikes against larger targets suggest an increasing presence of well-organized criminal groups. Although the majority of attacks continue to be small scale and cause little direct physical and economic damage, the potential indirect impact of the piracy surge should be enough to prompt regional countries into action. Even minor disruptions to trade routes can have global economic consequences, drive up insurance premiums, and lead to expensive rerouting and additional security costs.
Below are some suggestions that might help stem the rising tide:
Devote more attention to PAR within multilateral organizations and forums. Setting piracy higher on the agenda within existing forums could be the fastest and cheapest way to more multilateral exercises, capacity building an information sharing. For example, counter-piracy could be prioritized in one or more of the ASEAN Regional Forum’s (ARF) many bodies, such as the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security or the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting- Plus.
Expand and strengthen existing counter-piracy frameworks. ReCAAP has made an important contribution in fostering mutual trust and promoting information sharing between 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. However, its limited budget and capabilities may leave it ill-equipped to stem the rising tide of well-armed and organized sea raiders. The organization’s founding document gives it a broad mandate that includes the possibility of tailored bilateral and multilateral cooperation. If the political will within its 20 member countries exists, ReCAAP could serve as an effective platform for joint counter-piracy exercises or capacity building programs.
Expand and strengthen existing counter-piracy patrols. As pirates shift their attention to the south and east of the Strait of Malacca, initiatives such as the highly effective Malacca Strait Patrols (MSP), conducted by Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, should follow suit.
Take the initiative. Southeast Asia’s counter-piracy efforts seem to lack decisive leadership. When Japan hosted the Asia Anti-Piracy Conference in Tokyo in 2000, it proved that a little bit of initiative can even lead to substantial results, such as the establishment of the world’s first intergovernmental body created solely to combat piracy. There is no reason why a country like pirate-beleaguered Indonesia, under its decisive new President Joko Widodo, could not emerge as a candidate for just such leadership.
Although “significant and worrying,” the problem is still manageable, and for the most part restricted to several geographic locales. Just the same, Southeast Asian states will need to act or risk their piracy headache spiraling out of control sooner rather than later.
Miha Hribernik is a political risk analyst based in the United Kingdom.
TopicsFeaturesSecuritySoutheast AsiaApril 21, 2015 | Read More
TagsMalacca Straitpiracypiracy and armed robberyRegional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia
Sakher Abou El Oun, AFP
As hoards of excited fans scramble to reach Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf, they are pushed back by a group of tough-looking men in shades – the face of Gaza’s first private security firm.
Guarding the young singer on a rare trip back to his hometown is the very first assignment for “Secure Land,” a newly-formed team of bodyguards whose mandate covers everything from minding VIPs, securing hotels and businesses to ensuring the safe delivery of cash in transit.
“This is our first day on the job and we are securing Arab Idol star Mohammed Assaf,” Secure Land’s executive director Bilal al-Arabid told AFP.
“We have a team of 18 people protecting him, not including the drivers. This is our first mission protecting such a personality.”
As Assaf drove up to Palestine University in a UN car, his Secure Land minders followed in their own vehicle, a white-and-red company logo plastered to the door: “Secure Land. We make it happen,” it reads, all in English.
It’s a family business and Arabid’s father, Abdel Kader, serves as its chief executive.
“We thought seriously about this service after we talked to institutions, companies and people, and found they accepted the idea because this sort of service is just not available in Gaza,” the father said.
But getting a permit to operate such a business from the Hamas-run government was not easy – largely because none of the employees belong to any of Gaza’s many armed factions.
“The permits for the business were late coming because of the ‘sensitivity’ of the issue,” he said, explaining it was the first time that Hamas had allowed such a company to operate.
In Gaza, Hamas does not allow private individuals except in special rare cases to carry arms – unless they are a card-carrying member of one of the factions.
By taking over the protection of many civilian institutions, Secure Land can even help to “ease the burden” on the Hamas police and security forces, because such operations “demand a lot of manpower,” Arabid said.July 3, 2014 | Read More
Counter Terror Expo 29-30 April 2014, Olympia, London is the premier international event delivering buyers and specifiers from across the world within Government, Military, Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, Critical National Infrastructure, Private Sector and the Security Services. Picture GBS Team in CT Expo London 2014.April 30, 2014 | Read More
Global Bodyguard Service is pleased to announce a branch office in France. With the rapid growth in United Kingdom, we are opening a new office to provide you with one of the most advanced security training courses. Please bring all your security training requirements to GBS HQ, the finest professionals in the business.December 3, 2013 | Read More
Author: MehdiOctober 18, 2013 | Read More
Author: MehdiAugust 11, 2013 | Read More
GBS has helped with instruction and training of 4th CTG training in Ukraine with police special forces and Spetsnaz. Mehdi Khamseh has been awarded a medal by Specia Police forces ( Ministry of Interior ).| Read More
Author: Mehdi| Read More