Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tanzanian police arrest Muslim cleric for incitement

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Top headlines this week from IHS Jane's news & analysis team

Jane's Intelligence Weekly

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US troops arrive in Israel for major air defence exercise
1,000 US troops are being deployed to Israel to take part in the exercise, although 2,000 more based in Europe and the mainland United States will participate remotely; 3,000 Israeli troops will also take part. The exercise, named 'Austere Challenge 12', will test the integration of a number of Israeli missile defence systems such as Arrow II, Iron Dome and Patriot

[first posted on 18 October 2012]

Tanzanian police arrest Muslim cleric for incitement
Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda, who is the Secretary-General of the Jumuiya ya wa Islamu (Council of Islamic Organisations) was arrested for "incitement to violence and disturbance of the peace", police chief Suleiman Kova said in a statement, according to the AFP news agency. The arrest is connected to the violent demonstrations by Muslim youths in Dar es Salaam's Mbagala suburb on 12 October, about the alleged defilement of the Koran by a 14-year-old boy, during which they attacked churches and other places of worship used by Christians

[first posted on 18 October 2012]

Senegal begins peace talks with separatist group
News of the two-day meeting on 13-14 October was disclosed by Rome-based negotiators, who said the delegations "met in the presence of the mediators of the Sant'Egidio community to make possible a return to peace in Casamance". The Sant'Egidio statement said the groups had agreed to meet again in Rome to continue talks, but there was no indication of who the MFDC had sent, with the insurgency movement having split into factions some years ago

[first posted on 18 October 2012]

Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor
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OSINT Summary: Militant opposition establishes Syrian National Army
Several unnamed Syrian anti-government militant sources told Reuters news agency on 16 October that a large number of militant groups had agreed on 14 October to establish a unified leadership and command structure under the name of the Syrian National Army (SNA). The sources claimed the SNA would bring together senior militant leaders, including Free Syrian Army (FSA) leader Riyad al-Asad, his rival for FSA leadership General Mustafa al-Sheikh, recently defected General Mohammed Hussein al-Haj Ali, and most opposition provincial military councils across Syria

[first posted on 18 October 2012]

JTIC Brief: Philippine government signs peace deal with MILF
At a ceremony at the presidential palace in the Philippine capital Manila on 15 October, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) formally signed a framework agreement peace deal, aiming to end the group's 35-year insurgency in the southern region of Mindanao. At the ceremony, President Benigno Aquino III said: "I ask the entire world, to join me in imagining a Mindanao finally free from strife." The sentiment was echoed by MILF leader Murad Ibrahim, who described the deal as a "historic agreement..

[first posted on 18 October 2012]

OSINT Summary: Jamaat Tawhid wal Jihad fi Gharb Afriqa threatens France
In a statement issued to Reuters on 13 October, Jamaat Tawhid wal Jihad fi Gharb Afriqa spokesman Oumar Ould Hamaha threatened to "open the doors of hell" to French nationals if their government continued to press for armed intervention in Islamist militant-held northern Mali. The statement by Hamaha, who is also a military commander for Harakat Ansar al-Din, came hours after a meeting of French-speaking African nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) capital Kinshasa at which French President Francois Hollande underlined his "determination to stand by our position of fighting terrorism" in Mali

[first posted on 16 October 2012]

Jane's Intelligence Review
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Return of the Comrade - Venezuela re-elects Hugo Chávez
A final, yet supremely important, challenge for Chávez in his next term will be to tackle the problem of rising crime and delinquency in Venezuela. The country now ranks as the most murderous in South America, with violent crime levels in urban localities - most particularly in Caracas, but also in Maracaibo and Valencia - leading to a de facto fortification of middle-class neighbourhoods and a complete absence of the rule of law in poorer areas

[first posted on 18 October 2012]

Fuelling the demand - Nuclear power in Asia
APLN's second recommendation is the adoption of binding nuclear security standards beyond the current broad standards of the CPPNM and the non-binding frameworks in place through the IAEA. The CPPNM is important, but its scope is broad and there needs to be greater focus on the detailed nature of nuclear security

[first posted on 16 October 2012]

Under the thumb? - Anti-mainland sentiment in Hong Kong
On the evening of 8 September, barely 13 hours before the Legislative Council election was to begin, Hong Kong's new chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, called a press conference to announce the government's capitulation on the emotive issue of a proposed national education programme aimed at fostering a sense of unity with mainland China among the student population. As Leung made the announcement, the Hong Kong government's headquarters was under siege, with 120,000 people occupying the area directly in front of the building

[first posted on 15 October 2012]

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