Monday, 11/12/2017 | 6:07 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire
  • The Manchester bombing: unknown unknowns and “hindsight bias”

    view counter

    TerrorismThe Manchester bombing: unknown unknowns and “hindsight bias”

    By Dan Lomas

    Published 6 December 2017

    The May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing could have been prevented, a report by the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has revealed.David Anderson QC’s report suggests there were opportunities to reopen the case, raising the possibility the attack could have been stopped. Newspaper headlines, however, are misleading, neglecting the nuance in Anderson’s report that the decision to ignore or misinterpret the intelligence on Abedi was “understandable” in the circumstances, overlooking the complex nature of counter-terror investigations. So, could the Manchester bombing really have been prevented?

    The May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing could have been prevented, a report by the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has revealed. The 22-year-old attacker Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people and injured 512 others, had been a “subject of interest” to Britain’s Security Service (MI5) in 2014 and 2015 but was classed as a “low residual risk” to national security and his case was closed.

    David Anderson QC’s report suggests there were opportunities to reopen the case, raising the possibility the attack could have been stopped. MI5 twice received intelligence reports which – had their significance been “properly understood” – would have reopened the investigation into Abedi. The intelligence was not “fully appreciated” and judged to “relate not to terrorism” but possible “nefarious activity or criminality”. Abedi was just one of a number of closed subjects of interest (SOI) whose case needed “further consideration”. A meeting to review the evidence was scheduled for 31 May 2017 – nine days after the Manchester Arena bombing.

    MI5 had also missed the opportunity to place a port alert on Abedi following a visit to Libya in April 2017. Had they done so, Abedi could have been questioned and searched by counter-terror police four days before the attack. As with the Westminster Bridge attacker, 52-year-old Khalid Masood, Abedi was judged to pose little threat, yet struck with devastating results.

    The findings form part of a review requested by Home Secretary Amber Rudd to provide “independent assurance” of internal reviews by the police and MI5, to assess intelligence and decisions before the attacks, and to “identify whether the processes and systems … can be improved”.

    Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said Anderson’s report would be a “difficult read” for Mancunians, adding: “It is clear that things could, and perhaps should, have been done differently and that wrong judgements have been made.”

    The report led to a series of headlines suggesting MI5 had been caught napping. BBC News claimed the attack “could have been stopped,” The Financial Times ran with the story that Abedi could have been “prevented”, while The Daily Mail suggested MI5 had missed a series of red lines and were “alerted months” before the Manchester Arena blast. One commentator concluded that Anderson’s conclusions are “damning for MI5.” The implication being a so-called “intelligence failure” had occurred.

    More Stories:

    Read more
  • The Manchester bombing: unknown unknowns and “hindsight bias”

    view counter

    TerrorismThe Manchester bombing: unknown unknowns and “hindsight bias”

    By Dan Lomas

    Published 6 December 2017

    The May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing could have been prevented, a report by the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has revealed.David Anderson QC’s report suggests there were opportunities to reopen the case, raising the possibility the attack could have been stopped. Newspaper headlines, however, are misleading, neglecting the nuance in Anderson’s report that the decision to ignore or misinterpret the intelligence on Abedi was “understandable” in the circumstances, overlooking the complex nature of counter-terror investigations. So, could the Manchester bombing really have been prevented?

    The May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing could have been prevented, a report by the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has revealed. The 22-year-old attacker Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people and injured 512 others, had been a “subject of interest” to Britain’s Security Service (MI5) in 2014 and 2015 but was classed as a “low residual risk” to national security and his case was closed.

    David Anderson QC’s report suggests there were opportunities to reopen the case, raising the possibility the attack could have been stopped. MI5 twice received intelligence reports which – had their significance been “properly understood” – would have reopened the investigation into Abedi. The intelligence was not “fully appreciated” and judged to “relate not to terrorism” but possible “nefarious activity or criminality”. Abedi was just one of a number of closed subjects of interest (SOI) whose case needed “further consideration”. A meeting to review the evidence was scheduled for 31 May 2017 – nine days after the Manchester Arena bombing.

    MI5 had also missed the opportunity to place a port alert on Abedi following a visit to Libya in April 2017. Had they done so, Abedi could have been questioned and searched by counter-terror police four days before the attack. As with the Westminster Bridge attacker, 52-year-old Khalid Masood, Abedi was judged to pose little threat, yet struck with devastating results.

    The findings form part of a review requested by Home Secretary Amber Rudd to provide “independent assurance” of internal reviews by the police and MI5, to assess intelligence and decisions before the attacks, and to “identify whether the processes and systems … can be improved”.

    Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said Anderson’s report would be a “difficult read” for Mancunians, adding: “It is clear that things could, and perhaps should, have been done differently and that wrong judgements have been made.”

    The report led to a series of headlines suggesting MI5 had been caught napping. BBC News claimed the attack “could have been stopped,” The Financial Times ran with the story that Abedi could have been “prevented”, while The Daily Mail suggested MI5 had missed a series of red lines and were “alerted months” before the Manchester Arena blast. One commentator concluded that Anderson’s conclusions are “damning for MI5.” The implication being a so-called “intelligence failure” had occurred.

    More Stories:

    Read more
  • Man appears in court accused of trying to kill British PM May

    NNA – A 20-year-old man appeared in court on Wednesday accused of plotting to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May by first detonating an explosive device to get into her Downing Street office.

    Naa‘imur Rahman, of north London, has been charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism. He was remanded in custody after a brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court.

    Prosecutor Mark Carroll told the court Rahman planned to detonate an improvised explosive device at the gates of Downing Street and gain access to May’s office in the ensuing chaos and kill her.

    “The secondary attack was to be carried out with a suicide vest, pepper spray and a knife,” he told the court.

    Rahman was carrying two inert explosive devices when he was arrested last week, the court heard.

    “His purpose was to attack, kill and cause explosions,” Carroll said.

    Rahman appeared with a co-defendant, 21-year-old Mohammed Imran, from Birmingham, who is also charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism. Carroll said Imran was accused of trying to join the Islamic State militant group in Libya.

    Rahman and Imran gave no indication as to their plea so a not guilty plea was entered on their behalf. There was no application for bail. The men will appear at London’s Old Bailey central criminal court on Dec. 20.

    No. 10 Downing Street is the official residence of British prime ministers. It is heavily guarded and there is a gate at the end of the street preventing members of the public from getting close to the house.

    In 1991, Irish Republican Army (IRA) militants launched a mortar bomb attack on No. 10. John Major, the prime minister at the time, was inside but not hurt.

    A Downing Street spokesman declined immediate comment on the case. —Reuters

    ==========R.A.H.

    Follow the latest National News Agency (NNA) news on Radio Lebanon 98.5, 98.1, and 96.2 FM

    Read more
  • Man appears in court accused of trying to kill British PM May

    NNA – A 20-year-old man appeared in court on Wednesday accused of plotting to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May by first detonating an explosive device to get into her Downing Street office.

    Naa‘imur Rahman, of north London, has been charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism. He was remanded in custody after a brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court.

    Prosecutor Mark Carroll told the court Rahman planned to detonate an improvised explosive device at the gates of Downing Street and gain access to May’s office in the ensuing chaos and kill her.

    “The secondary attack was to be carried out with a suicide vest, pepper spray and a knife,” he told the court.

    Rahman was carrying two inert explosive devices when he was arrested last week, the court heard.

    “His purpose was to attack, kill and cause explosions,” Carroll said.

    Rahman appeared with a co-defendant, 21-year-old Mohammed Imran, from Birmingham, who is also charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism. Carroll said Imran was accused of trying to join the Islamic State militant group in Libya.

    Rahman and Imran gave no indication as to their plea so a not guilty plea was entered on their behalf. There was no application for bail. The men will appear at London’s Old Bailey central criminal court on Dec. 20.

    No. 10 Downing Street is the official residence of British prime ministers. It is heavily guarded and there is a gate at the end of the street preventing members of the public from getting close to the house.

    In 1991, Irish Republican Army (IRA) militants launched a mortar bomb attack on No. 10. John Major, the prime minister at the time, was inside but not hurt.

    A Downing Street spokesman declined immediate comment on the case. —Reuters

    ==========R.A.H.

    Follow the latest National News Agency (NNA) news on Radio Lebanon 98.5, 98.1, and 96.2 FM

    Read more
  • Press Releases: Opening Remarks Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Administration Perspective

    SECRETARY TILLERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, distinguished members. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today. I know the Senate’s desire to understand the United States’ legal basis for military action is grounded in your constitutional role related to foreign policy and national security matters. I understand your sense of obligation to the American people well in this regard.

    In the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, Congress authorized the President to “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.” Congress granted the President this statutory authority “in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.”

    The 2001 AUMF provides statutory authority for ongoing U.S. military operations against al-Qaida, the Taliban, and associated forces, including against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

    The administration relies on the 2001 AUMF as a domestic legal authority for our own military actions against these entities, as well as the military actions we take in conjunction with our partners in the Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

    The 2001 AUMF provides a domestic legal basis for our detention operations at Guantanamo Bay, where the United States currently detains members of al-Qaida, the Taliban, and associated forces.

    The 2001 AUMF also authorizes the use of necessary and appropriate force to defend U.S., Coalition, and partner forces engaged in the campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In Syria, the efforts of the U.S.-led Coalition are aimed at the defeat of ISIS; the United States does not seek to fight the Syrian Government or pro-Syrian-Government forces. However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., Coalition, or partner forces engaged in the campaign against ISIS.

    The President’s authority to use force against ISIS is further reinforced by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, or, in more plain terms, the “2002 AUMF.”

    In addition to authorities granted to the President by statute, the President has the power under Article II of the Constitution to use military force in certain circumstances to advance important U.S. national interests, including to defend the United States against terrorist attacks. As an example, President Reagan relied on his authority as Commander-in-Chief in 1986 when he ordered airstrikes against terrorist facilities and military installations in Libya following a terrorist attack by Libya in West Berlin which killed and wounded both civilians and U.S. military personnel.

    The United States has the legal authority to prosecute campaigns against the Taliban, al-Qaida, and associated forces, including ISIS, and is not currently seeking any new or additional congressional authorization for the use of force. The 2001 AUMF remains a cornerstone for ongoing U.S. military operations and continues to provide legal authority relied upon to defeat this threat.

    However, should Congress decide to write new AUMF legislation, I submit to you several recommendations that the administration would consider necessary to a new AUMF:

    First, new AUMF authorities must be in place prior to or simultaneous with the repeal of old ones. Failure to do so could cause operational paralysis and confusion in our military operations. Diplomatically speaking, it could cause our allies in the Global Coalition to question our commitment to defeating ISIS. And potential repeal of the 2001 AUMF without an immediate and appropriate replacement could raise question about the domestic legal basis for the United States’ full range of military activities against the Taliban, al-Qaida, and associated forces, including against ISIS, as well as our detention operations at Guantanamo Bay.

    Second, any new authorization should not be time-constrained. Legislation which would arbitrarily terminate the authorization to use force would be inconsistent with a conditions-based approach and could unintentionally embolden our enemies with the goal of outlasting us. Any oversight mechanism in a new AUMF also would have to allow the United States the freedom to quickly move against our enemies without being constrained by a feedback loop.

    Third, a new AUMF must not be geographically restricted. As is the case under the current AUMF, the administration would need to retain the statutory authority to use military force against an enemy that does not respect or limit itself based on geographic boundaries. As ISIS’s fraudulent caliphate in Iraq and Syria has crumbled, it has tried to gain footholds in new locations.

    As was discussed with the Senate during a closed defeat-ISIS briefing in July, the United States has a limited military presence in the Lake Chad Basin to support partners, including France, in their counterterrorism operations in the region. This information has also been conveyed to you in multiple periodic reports submitted to Congress consistent with the War Power Resolution. The collapse of ISIS’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria means it will attempt to burrow into new countries and find new safe havens. Our legal authorities for heading off a transnational threat like ISIS cannot be constrained by geographic boundaries. Otherwise, ISIS may re-establish itself and gain strength in vulnerable spaces.

    The United States must retain the proper legal authorities to ensure that nothing restricts or delays our ability to respond effectively and rapidly to terrorist threats to the United States. Secretary Mattis and I, along with the rest of the administration, are completely aligned on this issue. We fully recognize the need for transparency with you as we respond to what will be a dynamic regional and global issue. We will contend to – continue to regularly update Congress and to make sure you and the American people understand our foreign policy goals, military operations, and national security objectives.

    I thank the Committee for supporting our efforts and look forward to your questions.

    Read more
  • Pence says 1983 bombing was opening salvo in �war on terror�

    NNA – US Vice President Mike Pence described the 1983 bombing of a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut as the opening shots of the “war of terror” Monday, as he issued fresh warnings to Iran and Hezbollah.

    Speaking during a ceremony at another building used to house Marines in Washington, Pence berated Tehran and framed the attack that killed 241 Americans as part of a series of outrages that included 9/11.

    “Thirty-four years ago today, America was thrust into war with an enemy unlike any we had ever faced,” said Pence — who is the father and brother of US Marines.

    “The Beirut barracks bombing was the opening salvo in a war that we have waged ever since — the global war on terror,” he said.

    “It’s a conflict that has taken American troops across the wider world — from Lebanon to Libya, from Nigeria to Afghanistan, from Somalia to Iraq, and many other battlefields in between.”

    Pence’s remarks come amid a broad Trump administration effort to ratchet up pressure on Iran.

    Since coming to office, Trump has stepped back from a deal curbing Iran’s nuclear weapons and vowed to push back against Tehran’s influence across the Middle East.

    The White House argues the nuclear deal — forged by president Barack Obama — resulted in America turning a blind eye to Iran’s support of militia groups and terror financing across the region.

    “This president will not sit idly by while the ayatollahs in Tehran plot more attacks like the horrific attack that we remember today,” Pence said.

    Many of Trump’s inner circle, from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to National Security Advisor HR McMaster have tangled with Iranian-backed militia in Iraq during their military service.

    According to officials, Pence’s appearance came after an invitation transmitted by the National Security Council.

    But the inclusion of Iran in the “war on terror” is likely to raise questions.

    For much of the last two decades, that “war” declared after 9/11 has become synonymous with US efforts to unravel predominantly Sunni terror groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

    The 1983 attack was blamed on Shia militia group Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.
    “The brutal act that brings us here today was planned and perpetrated by the terrorists of Hezbollah,” said Pence, taking aim at the premier Iranian-backed armed group, which remains powerful in Lebanon and Syria.

    “Under President Trump’s leadership, we’ve redoubled our commitment to cripple Hezbollah’s terrorist network and bring its leaders to justice,” Pence said.

    Earlier this month, the Trump administration offered $7 million for information that leads to Talal Hamiyah, alleged head of Hezbollah’s “External Security Organization.”

    A further $5 million was offered for leads on Fuad Shukr, “a senior military commander” of Hezbollah in Lebanon, who Pence described as “one of the masterminds behind the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks.”

    “But as we all know, that terrorist group is merely a proxy for the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Pence said, referring to Iran.

    “President Donald Trump has put Iran on notice that we will no longer tolerate their destabilizing activities or their support of terrorism across the region and across the world.”

    Pence said “Iran’s theocratic rulers aided and abetted the Beirut bombers 34 years ago. And even now, Iran praises the attackers and remembers them as martyrs.”

    “Worse yet, the Iranian regime continues to funnel funds and weapons to its terrorist minions, with the goal of shedding blood and sowing chaos throughout the wider world,” the US vice president added. —AFP

    ========R.A.H.

    Follow the latest National News Agency (NNA) news on Radio Lebanon 98.5, 98.1, and 96.2 FM

    Read more
  • Egyptian air force says strikes arms convoy at Libya border

    NNA – The Egyptian military said on Monday its air force hit eight four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying arms and explosives at Egypt’s western border with Libya, killing the militants on board.

    A military statement gave no details of the number of fatalities or about which militant group it suspected was transporting the arms.

    Last Friday Egypt’s security forces suffered one of their deadliest attacks, when militants killed police officers using rockets and explosives in a remote area about 135 km (85 miles) southwest of Cairo.

    Egyptian security forces have been battling an insurgency by Islamic State that was largely concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula but has in recent months extended to other parts of the country.

    Egypt has carried out air strikes in Libya occasionally since its neighbor descended into factional fighting in the years following the 2011 civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. —Reuters

    ===========R.A.H.

    Follow the latest National News Agency (NNA) news on Radio Lebanon 98.5, 98.1, and 96.2 FM

    Read more
  • Egyptian air force says strikes arms convoy at Libya border

    NNA – The Egyptian military said on Monday its air force hit eight four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying arms and explosives at Egypt’s western border with Libya, killing the militants on board.

    A military statement gave no details of the number of fatalities or about which militant group it suspected was transporting the arms.

    Last Friday Egypt’s security forces suffered one of their deadliest attacks, when militants killed police officers using rockets and explosives in a remote area about 135 km (85 miles) southwest of Cairo.

    Egyptian security forces have been battling an insurgency by Islamic State that was largely concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula but has in recent months extended to other parts of the country.

    Egypt has carried out air strikes in Libya occasionally since its neighbor descended into factional fighting in the years following the 2011 civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. —Reuters

    ===========R.A.H.

    Follow the latest National News Agency (NNA) news on Radio Lebanon 98.5, 98.1, and 96.2 FM

    Read more

We share news on our website despite being worried about its size, means that we do not differentiate in news whether it is a small or any big news. Each news that is affecting people’s lives has to be published and discussed in different forums. With this state of mind, we share news on our website, because our ultimate goal is to witness that concerned authorities taking notice of the issue which has been raised in the shape of news on our website.

Read More!

Monthly Archives