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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘counter terrorism’

Upgraded Counter Terrorism Bill Passes First Knesset Reading

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

An upgraded counter terrorism law passed its first reading Thursday in the Knesset plenum.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) sponsored the bill. She told journalists it was intended to provide authorities with the many tools needed to “lead an effective battle against terrorist organizations, both in fighting their expanding activities and the funding that enables such activity.

“We believe that passing the Terror Act, in its current version is a necessary and vital step to advance the fight against terror,” she said. “In this fight, there is no ‘Left’ and ‘Right,’” she emphasized.

The proposal for the bill was formulated originally during the term of former justice minister Tzipi Livni. It gathers all current legislation dealing with counter terrorism into one measure, and broadens the definition of what constitutes a terrorist organization.

Under the new law, administrative detentions will be legalized, and those who support terrorism will receive up to three years’ imprisonment. The definition of terror support will include posting praises of terrorism online, waving flags connected with terror activity, etc.

In addition, accomplices to such crimes will receive the same penalties as perpetrators.

The maximum prison term will be raised to 30 years for terror-related crimes as well.

The notes of explanation that accompany the legislation point out: “The legislation’s objective is to give state authorities the proper legal, criminal and public tools to deal with the terror threats the State of Israel is facing… This is due to the unique nature of this type of crime, which is reflected in the severity of the infringement, on the one hand, and the difficulty of fighting it because of its scope and complexity on the other hand.”

The measure passed by a vote of 45-14.

It now moves to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for amendments and changes prior to a second and third, final reading.

US Officials Warn of ISIS Attacks on July 4

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

American police forces from coast to coast are on alert from federal officials that the Islamic State (ISIS) is planning to terrorize the country during the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Homeland Security, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center sent an intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies.

No specific plots were spelled out, according to CNN, but there was a general warning because of the holiday and the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Friday, following multiple ISIS-linked attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia:

Particularly with the upcoming July 4th holiday here in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI continue to communicate with state and local law enforcement about what we know and see.

We are encouraging all law enforcement to be vigilant and prepared. We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people.

In Britain, the ISIS targeted the annual Armed Forces Day parade on Saturday, but intelligence officials foiled the plot, which was discovered by an undercover British agent who was recruited by the terrorist group.

The ISIS had told the investigator, according to the London Sun, “It will be big. We will hit the kuffar (unbelievers) hard InshAllah. Hit their soldiers in their own land. InshAllah. Soldiers that served in Iraq and Afghanistan will be present. Jump in the crowd and detonate the bomb.

“They think they can kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan then come back to the UK and be safe. We’ll hit them hard InshAllah.”

The multiple attacks on Friday indicate, whether coordinated or not, are clear signs that the Islamic State’s declared war on the world is more than rhetoric.

Dismissing the murderers as “lone wolves,” as some of Israel’s security officials and leftist media try to do in order to play down Palestinian Authority-incited terror, is not going to satisfy the nationwide American fear of the ISIS.

Earn an MA in Homeland Security, Counter-Terrorism, Diplomacy and Government

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Besides swiftly becoming one of Israel’s leading academic institutions, the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya has also become a beacon thanks to the iconic annual Herzliya Conference – organized by the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS), and the IDC’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) – a joint forum that organizes seminars, workshops and forums for policy makers from all over the world. Alongside its program in Political Psychology and Decision Making (POPDM) and the workshop series on “Improving Public Policy in Israel” – these represent the core within the IDC’s prestigious MA Program in Government. This is where the next generation of Israeli and global leaders, scholars and educators are being educated.

Students at the program study with leading lecturers in the field and gain an all-encompassing introduction to the State of Israel. Theofani Tzakiri from Greece is a Merit Scholarship student. In addition to learning key theories, models, and concepts in government, she receives the analytical and practical tools needed to conduct policy-relevant research and deal with policy dilemmas, challenges and problems. “Studying at IDC is a lifetime experience,” she says. “The cultural and social student mix creates a beautiful and fascinating background that needs to be experienced; and the warm and welcoming environment provides a home where I can study and work peacefully to acquire the knowledge and skills I need to focus on issues of international concern.”

Many of IDC’s graduates have found positions at the UN, in Israeli government offices, international security consultancies and NGOs, or have continued to prestigious PhD programs abroad. Students network with leaders, policymakers and colleagues from dozens of countries around the world. They meet with heads of state, foreign ministers, negotiators, journalists, and others. And they even go on field trips to peace-keeping forces in the region (UNDOF, UNIFIL), and visit NATO headquarters in Brussels. The IDC’s prize-winning debate club, college-associated public advocacy groups and the development of entrepreneurial skills are amongst the many extracurricular activities that nurture leadership.

Eric Schorr

Eric Schorr

Eric Schorr was a member of the 2013 IDC Hult Prize team that participated in the Semi-Final Competition in London; he is currently working at the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response in Jerusalem. “I’ve been passionate about counter-terrorism for most of my adult life,” he says. What I loved most at IDC was how the professors, research, and projects we did highlighted aspects of the subject I had never thought about before. It’s a truly unique program in terms of graduate studies.”

When IDC’s founders established Israel’s first private university, their goal was to create an institution where personal achievement is fostered alongside social responsibility, and where academics are studied alongside practical, hands-on training and experience. Thus, IDC’s involvement with the community, as well as its interaction with the myriad of enterprises located in the nearby Herzliya Industrial zone have become a model now emulated in many other institutions.

Ayal Feinberg

Ayal Feinberg

Diplomacy MA student, Ayal Feinberg – a Trinity College graduate, believes that “the single greatest feature of IDC-Herzliya is its people. The classroom environment, created by a combination of remarkable faculty and eager students, allows for unparalleled intellectual growth. Whether pursuing a degree with the goal of becoming a practitioner or continuing on to academia, you will leave IDC with all the tools necessary to be a success.”

For more information, visit the IDC-Herzliya website.



Hecklers Flee Israeli Speaker at U of Florida

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Anat Berko is a small-framed woman known for her ubiquitous yards long braid.  She is also one of the world’s leading counter terrorism experts who has sat in prison cells next to some of the most dangerous serial killers and attempted homicide bombers who ever lived.

A handful of anti-Israel University of Florida students chose the wrong speaker to interrupt.

Berko was at the Gainesville campus on Thursday, Oct. 10, as the guest of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

According to CAMERA fellow Avia Gridi, with approximately 7,000 Jewish students, the University of Florida has the single largest number of Jewish students at any university in the United States.

This is Gridi’s first year as a CAMERA fellow and the “More Hummus, Less Hamas” evening with Berko was her first event.

The Smarter Bomb is Berko’s second book about homicide bombers.  In it she tells the story of the women and children who are induced to attempt to become homicide bombers.  Berko knows the experience of those women well.  She spent decades inside Israeli prisons interviewing the women who failed to martyr themselves either because of a technical malfunction or because the authorities were able to disrupt the plans.

Berko gained the trust of dozens of such women in Israeli cells. Her particular interest in writing The Smarter Bomb was to uncover the motivation of the women and children to attempt to commmit such acts, especially the difference in motivations between women and men.

Having as your laboratory the prison cells of people who attempted to kill – they say “martyr” – themselves in order to murder Israeli men, women and children is not the choice of someone who is easily frightened.  But in addition to being a social scientist, Berko is also a Lieutenant Colonel (Res) in the Israel Defense Forces. That is also not a career choice for people who are easily intimidated. And Berko isn’t.

So eight minutes after Berko began speaking at Pugh Hall last Thursday night, when four students, who had arrived late, suddenly stood up, removed their outer shirts and began chanting accusations, Berko was having none of it.

“Hamas is not the Problem, the Israeli Occupation Is!” and “The IDF kills women and children!” were the slogans drawn on the students shirts, and chanted by the students.

“What is wrong with you?” Berko sharply addressed the four. “Sit down and listen to what I have to say and wait for the question and answer portion of this event to raise your issues!”

But the four students who later identified themselves as members of the seemingly ubiquitous, but certainly infamous, Students for Justice in Palestine were not interested in listening to Berko.  They came to make their own voices heard.

“She seemed disgusted by the display,” Gridi told The Jewish Press.

And then Berko really let them have it.

“You think the IDF kills children? You should go to Syria, where everyone knows they are murdering thousands of children with gas and other cruel weapons!  Go to Syria where there are actually thousands of real refugees. They need you to demonstrate in Syria, go!” Berko lectured the SJP hecklers.

And with that, the hecklers left the room and Berko continued her lecture. The people who came to hear about what could possibly motivate women and children (that’s the “smart bomb” Berko means) to want to kill themselves were able to hear from her first hand observations and watch video clips of many who attempted to be smart bombs.

And the four hecklers? They left the room with their tails between their legs, unable to grab the spotlight for their inane chants, unable to disrupt a carefully prepared evening of education which Gridi and CAMERA’s co-sponsors for the event, the ICC, MEMRI and the Gainesville Hillel put on.

“I’m used to sitting in jail cells with serial killers, did they think I would be intimidated by some American college students?” Berko said in a phone interview on Wednesday evening with The Jewish Press.

When asked about the Berko event, Gridi was both pleased and a bit nonplussed.

“The event went really well, although none of it went as expected.”

Saturday’s Chicago Bar Car Bomb Latest in Ongoing Muslim Attacks on American Targets

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Adel Daoud, an 18 year-old from the leafy Chicago neighbourhood of Hillside was charged on Saturday with crimes arising from terrorism after months of surveillance by undercover federal agents.

Thinking that he had loaded a car bomb into the Jeep Cherokee that he was driving, he parked it outside a bar in downtown Chicago and walked away into an alley after doing everything he thought necessary for it to detonate. Safely distant, he then pressed the trigger mechanism in the presence of the agent, intending an explosion and deaths to follow. He was then arrested. Unknown to him, the bomb was inert and was designed not to explode. A preliminary hearing is set for Monday at a U.S. courthouse in Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune’s report says Daoud is a U.S. citizen. It’s alleged that he had been sharing information online about killing Americans in a terrorist attack since last October when he was presumably just 17. The affidavit accompanying the charge sheet [the legal papers are here] says Daoud believes the U.S. is at war with Islam and Muslims. That’s evidently why he wanted his attack to be recognized as terrorism and to be as deadly as possible:

“If it’s only like five, 10 people, I’m not gonna feel that good… I wanted something that’s… massive; I want something that’s gonna make it in the news like tonight.”

Ordinary people living in this terrorist thug’s neighbourhood or in others anywhere else in the United States are, in our view, left to take one of two views:

  1. The US authorities are completely on top of the situation and have all the religiously fanatical wanne-be jihadists and Osama Bin Laden followers under surveillance. They will pounce just in time to prevent the next massacre of innocent Americans whose crime is to believe in something other than what these creatures believe. And the attempted massacre after that, and after that and so on. So there’s nothing to worry about; Or
  2. No one really knows where the next mass-killer is going to come from. In fact, there may be lots of them – a completely unknown number, living in completely unpredictable locations, and they will look perfectly ordinary and will be undetectable until the bombs go off.

Take your pick. For our part, there’s no doubt. America has been lucky, and we need to pray the luck stays good. And to ignore the role that Islamist religious indoctrination is having on parts of American society is simply insane.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Nervous Anticipation of Iranian Terror Attack over Holiday Season; Israeli Soccer Team under Heavy Restrictions Abroad

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Over the past few weeks, the Israeli counter terrorism command approached national security forces in Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, and Thailand, requesting that they increase both the overt overt security for Israeli tourists who will be traveling to these countries during the Tishrei holiday period (Rosh Hashanah through Simchat Torah) when hundreds of thousands of Israelis are expected to visit abroad, Israel Today reported.

According to a senior official in the counter terrorism command, “Iran is conducting a terror campaign against Israelis abroad, utilizing its satellite, the Hizbollah.”

According to him, “the terror campaign did not top at Burgas, Bulgaria.” In addition to concrete warnings about a possible terrorist attack on Israelis in the Sinai, there is no other alert about plans for a terror attack in the immediate future anywhere else.

According to the counter terrorism official, the Sinai peninsula is today under the most serious terror threats. He estimates that there are thousands of Israelis in the Sinai, most of them Arab-Israelis, and only a small number of Jews. “True, there aren’t many, but one or two is enough for them to kidnap to Gaza or some other place,” he stated. “The terror organizations in Gaza as well as other forces are continuing their operations there, with a focus on kidnapping Israelis in the Sinai in the immediate future.”

The command noted that for Rosh Hashanah approximately 30,000 Israelis are traveling to Uman in the Ukraine, to celebrate the high holiday near the tomb of Reb Nachman of Breslov. Israel has already requested the Ukrainian government to increase security in the area.

However, there are no new travel warnings for Israelis and no new countries added to the list where Israelis may not travel.

The counter terrorism command remarked that in the end the responsibility for Israeli tourists falls on their host countries. The official said that the counter terrorism command is trying to involve travel agents as well, although they are also not responsible for the security of the tourists.

Maariv reported that an entire airport was closed as Eli Gutman, coach of Israel’s national soccer team, and his players, landed in Azerbaijan for Friday’s 7 PM game in the early rounds of the 2014 world Cup.

All traffic in the airport was brought to a standstill, enabling the Israelis to move under heavy security from the plane to their hotel in Baku. The team received strict security instructions because of an active terror alert. The players were asked not to leave their hotel.

During the security briefing in the hotel, the staff and the athletes were told: “Be patient. You see the security here. It’s not for no naught. There are warnings, even hot warnings. You are being asked not to leave the hotel. You will have practice and then come right back to the hotel. You will go out to a game – and then right back. There’s just no other way.”

The security briefing was conducted as soon as the team arrived at the hotel.

Practice will take place Thursday at the stadium where the game is scheduled to take place Friday. 30,000 Azerbaijani spectators have already reserved seats for the game.

With Toughest Counter-Terrorism Laws on the Books, French Add Restrictions

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Just ahead of France’s presidential and legislative elections, the conservative French government Wednesday unveiled new counter-terrorism measures intended to restrain visits to extremist websites and travel to weapons-training camps abroad.

The new measures will be presented to Parliament in the coming days, and may face resistance from the Socialists, who suggest France already has enough counter-terrorism laws on the books, and accuse the government of using the new proposal to boost President Nicolas Sarkozy’s stance at the polls.

French Justice Minister Michel Mercier admitted that France’s laws against terrorism are among the toughest in the western world, but says they can always be improved, particularly in order to enable Police to identify and track down “lone wolf” terrorists.

“There are not just networks, there are also terrorists who act alone, who train by themselves,” Mercier told reporters. “So we’re reinforcing our legislation.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/with-toughest-counter-terrorism-laws-on-the-books-french-add-restrictions/2012/04/11/

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