Terrorism: June 1, 2005


: A lot is going on in the "Global War on Terror" that gets very little attention. In fact, much of what occurs outside of immediate the U.S. interests rarely gets mentioned by either U.S. government or military sources, and is hardly ever covered by the media -- including the "new" media. 

Consider the following developments in counter-terrorism over the last ten days in May,

Albania: Froze the assets of several groups cited by the U.N. as financing terrorism.

Algeria-Mauritania - The two countries initiated an agreement to cooperate against Islamic extremists.

Bahrain - The government publicly accepted the U.N.'s standard international counter-terrorism guidelines. A counter-terrorism command center was been established, and ties are being established with counter-terrorism programs in the other Gulf States.

Dominican Republic - Recent intelligence operations suggested that several domestic radical organizations may in communication with al Qaeda or other Islamist groups with the intention of securing assistance in mounting an attack against U.S. interests.

Egypt - Increased surveillance of suspected groups and individuals led to the uncovering of several explosives caches and some documents indicating a threat to the Suez Canal, resulting in a tightening of security arrangements along the waterway, the fourth most important in the world in terms of the number of transits.

France-Netherlands - Acting on information provided by Dutch security forces, the French arrested Islamist Bislan Ismaillen, wanted in the assassination of Dutch artist Theo van Gogh.

Germany - Initiated a new program to more closely scrutinize persons from the Middle East seeking political asylum or claiming refugees status and of persons wishing to travel to the Middle East, and has indicated that it will propose a similar program for the entire European Union.

Italy - Police raids netted nine North Africans suspected of ties to al Qaeda and five suspected members of a domestic anarchist organization.

Montenegro: Acting on tips from Albanian security forces, police arrested four men planning to sell MANPADS (portable surface-to-air missiles).

NATO - A special parliamentary commission met to discuss security measures against the threat of nuclear terrorism and develop procedures for consequences management should such an attack occur.

Panama - Security forces managed to break a cell that facilitated weapons smuggling and provided other logistical support to a Colombian narco-terrorist organization.

Saudi Arabia - Began a review of security along the nation's northern borders, which run for about 850 kilometers and touch Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait, but are currently patrolled by fewer than 2,500 border guards.

Spain - The Guardia Civil arrested an alleged member of the radical leftist group GRAPO, apparently attempting to cross the Franco-Spanish border.

Yemen - Government security forces conducted a series of raids that took down a number of Al-Houthi movement safe houses and weapons caches, in addition to rounding up several suspects, including Ibrahim Sharaf al-Din, one of the leading members of the movement.


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