Dr Robert Lambert, an academic at St Andrews University’s prestigious Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, has recently published an article in which he describes Anders Breivik as a “far right terrorist”. Lambert was previously in the globally renowned Metropolitan Police Special Branch. This proclamation by Lambert on the Breivik case raises an interesting question: aside from being a convicted criminal, would he have been labelled an extremist or terrorist if he had been British and committed his crimes in London instead of Oslo?
The first edition of the UK Terrorism Analysis was published in early February 2012 by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). One particular section of the report, ‘The Post Olympic Challenge – Staying Secure’ examines the potential reforms to the UK national counterterrorism (CT) community once the 2012 Olympics are over.
The two recent explosions within the Iranian nuclear establishment are the latest escalation in the war that is being fought between Israel and the US against Iran. The war is aimed at delaying and if possible preventing Iran from successfully completing its Shahab3 ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme. The tools being used by the anti-Iranian forces are targeted assassinations, sabotage and cyber weapons. However, it is unlikely that the war will stop the Iranian intent to develop its nuclear and ballistic weapons. At best it will significantly delay and interrupt their development.
Cyber technologies have become deeply embedded into modern life within the last two decades. For the vast majority of uses these are benevolent but for states eager to censor content and restrict access, they face the challenge of staying one step ahead of their citizens. The British government recently hosted an international conference in London in which the future of the Internet was debated. British and American delegations used the conference to take a strong line supporting online freedom of speech and to criticise governments, such as China and Russia, who censor online content. David Cameron insisted that “governments must not use cyber security as an excuse for censorship”.
Recent events in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey have demonstrated the continued prominence of questions about Kurdish autonomy and statehood. The Kurdish people can be found living in an area that stretches from Turkey, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and into Syria. They have aspired and struggled for centuries to have their own homeland, but so far they have failed to achieve this. This has led to decades of violence between the Kurds and various governments in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. As with many other nationalist aspirations to achieve independent statehood, for the Kurdish people time has solidified the sentiment passed from generation to generation that they must struggle to achieve what their grandfathers sang to them about as babes.
The terrible events in Oslo, perpetrated by Anders Breivik, a lone and deranged right wing extremist, are sadly reminiscent of similar tragic events that occurred in the UK in 1999 at the hands of another deluded neo Nazi, David Copeland. This, however, has not been the only recent burst of extremist behaviour within the public domain; a UK-based Islamic extremist group has begun a campaign to create an Islamic Emirate within the UK. This article will highlight similarities between not only Breivik and Copeland, but also between their campaigns and that of the supporters of the Islamic Emirate.
Simply put, terrorists are people who have made the decision to use violence for political purposes. Like the majority of other members of contemporary societies, they use a whole range of available electronic devices in their daily lives. For those tracking and hunting them, such as law enforcement and intelligence agencies, this providesa fertile area of investigation and enquiry as they attempt to gather sufficient intelligence and evidence to prevent violence and protect the public.