Wednesday, December 17, 2014

EU Removes Hamas From Terror List Days After Rocket Parade

Another stunning intervention on international affairs from the European Union. The second highest court in Europe has today decreed that Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas be removed from the EU’s official terror blacklist, claiming the description of the group as terrorists is “based on conclusions derived from the media and internet, not sound legal rulings”. Just three days ago, masked Hamas gunmen marched through the streets of Gaza parading vehicle-mounted rockets supplied by Iran and burning effigies of Jews. Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq has praised the EU, saying: “This is the correction of an error and an injustice that was caused to Hamas“. Slow clap.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spooks Investigated Woolwich Terrorists SEVEN Times
Intelligence and Security Committee Report Key Findings
+++”Gov counter-terrorism programmes are not working”+++

This is fresh from the Cabinet Office:

  • The two men appeared, between them, in seven different Agency investigations – for the most part as low-level Subjects of Interest. There were errors in these operations, where processes were not followed, decisions not recorded, or delays encountered.
  • However we do not consider that any of these errors, taken individually, were significant enough to have made a difference.
  • We have also considered whether, taken together, these errors may have affected the outcome. We have concluded that, given what the Agencies knew at the time, they were not in a position to prevent the murder of Fusilier Rigby.
  • Michael Adebolajo was a high priority for MI5 during two operations: they put significant effort into investigating him and employed a broad range of intrusive techniques. None of these revealed any evidence of attack planning.
  • By contrast, Michael Adebowale was never more than a low level SoI and the Agencies took appropriate action based on the rigorous threshold set down in law: they had not received any intelligence that Adebowale was planning an attack and, based on that evidence, more intrusive action would not have been justified.

To put these investigations into perspective, it should be borne in mind that at any one time MI5 is investigating several thousand individuals who are linked to Islamic extremist activities in the UK.

The one issue which we have learned of which, in our view, could have been decisive only came to light after the attack. This was an online exchange in December 2012 between Adebowale and an extremist overseas, in which Adebowale expressed his intent to murder a soldier in the most graphic and emotive manner. This was highly significant. Had MI5 had access to this exchange at the time, Adebowale would have become a top priority. There is then a significant possibility that MI5 would have been able to prevent the attack.

We have examined whether the Agencies could have discovered this intelligence before the attack, had they had cause to do so: it is highly unlikely. What is clear is that the one party which could have made a difference was the company on whose system the exchange took place. However, this company does not regard themselves as under any obligation to ensure that they identify such threats, or to report them to the authorities. We find this unacceptable: however unintentionally, they are providing a safe haven for terrorists.

Our Report considers the wider relationship between law enforcement authorities and Communications Service Providers. None of the major US companies we approached proactively monitor and review suspicious content on their systems, largely relying on users to notify them of offensive or suspicious content. We also found that none of them regard themselves as compelled to comply with UK warrants obtained under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Therefore, even if MI5 had sought information – under a warrant – before the attack, the company might not have responded. They appear to accept no responsibility for the services they provide. This is of very serious concern: the capability of the Agencies to access the communications of their targets is essential to their ability to detect and prevent terrorist threats in the UK.

We note that the Government has already started to take action on these issues, through the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 and the appointment of the Special Envoy on intelligence and law enforcement data sharing. However, the problem is acute: until it is resolved the British public are exposed to a higher level of threat.

Whilst this is the major issue in our Report, we have also identified a number of lessons which the Agencies must learn. These are listed in the Report in detail. However, I wish to draw attention to two of them today, as they are particularly relevant to the current threats faced by the UK:

  1. i) We have seen in recent months the numbers of young British men and women who have travelled to Syria and Iraq to engage in terrorism. The scale of the problem indicates that the Government‟s counter-terrorism programmes are not working. Successfully diverting individuals from the radicalisation path is essential, yet Prevent programmes have not been given sufficient priority. We strongly urge our colleagues on the Home Affairs or Communities Select Committees to consider this issue as a matter of urgency, given the threat our country currently faces.
  1. ii) In the same context, we have also considered SIS‟s work to disrupt the link between UK extremists and terrorist organisations overseas. In the case of Adebolajo – a British citizen arrested overseas and suspected of trying to join a terrorist organisation – SIS‟s response was inadequate. They considered deportation (or voluntary departure) to be a sufficient solution; they failed to investigate his allegations of mistreatment; and neither they nor MI5 accorded him sufficient priority upon his return to the UK. Given the current situation in Syria and Iraq, we have very significant concerns in this regard.”

 Worrying.

Monday, November 17, 2014

WATCH: RAF Tornado Destroys ISIS Vehicle

“Man, it’s gonna be hell, when you hear Mother Freedom start ringin’ her bell…”

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Noes to the Left

Labour (24 ):

Diane Abbott
Graham Allen
Anne Begg
Ronnie Campbell
Martin Caton
Katy Clark
Ian Davidson
Paul Flynn
Stephen Hepburn
Kate Hoey
Kelvin Hopkins
Sian James
Mark Lazraowicz
John Mc Donnell
Iain McKenzie
Austin Mitchell
Grahame Morris
George Mudie
Linda Riordan
Barry Sheerman
Dennis Skinner
Graham Stringer
Mike Wood
Jeremy Corbyn (Teller)

Plus:
Rushanara Ali (Formal abstention)

Conservatives (6 ):

Richard Bacon
John Baron
Gordon Henderson
Adam Holloway
Nigel Mills
Mark Reckless

Lib Dems (1 ):

Julian Huppert

SDLP (3):

Mark Durkan
Alasdair McDonnell
Margaret Ritchie

PC (2):

Jonathan Edwards
Hywel Williams

Respect (1):

George Gallway

SNP (5 and teller):

Stewart Hosie
Angus Roberton
Mike Weir
Eilidh Whiteford
Angus Brendan McNeill
Mike Wishart (Teller)

Green:

Caroline Lucas

Monday, September 8, 2014

TORY WARS: Home Office Threat Level Raised to Severe

The Tory threat level has been raised to ‘severe’ as the rumbling conflict between the Home Office and Downing Street goes nuclear. Theresa May is struggling to disguise her contempt for the Craig Oliver and, as revealed in yesterday’s Sun, it boiled over recently with the Super Spinner doing himself no favours by going shouty crackers and demanding the Home Secretary show him some respect. Eye rolls all round. “Craig did a great job briefing the counter terrorism statement,” says a Home Office source.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Labour’s Shadow Europe Minister Thinks Gibraltar is an Island

Gareth Thomas, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Europe, was banging on last week that the government wasn’t doing enough for Gibraltar. He boasts that he has “visited the island twice in the last six months” whilst whilst no Foreign Office Minister has visited since 2011. He is calling on “a Foreign Office Minister to visit the island as soon as possible to witness first hand the unnecessary delays and disruption to travellers trying to cross the border.”

Embarrassingly Gibraltar is, as any schoolboy knows, not an island. That border Gareth is talking about is a land border three-quarters of a mile long with Spain.

If he wants to be Europe minister he should probably get an atlas first.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WAR: Britain Protests Spanish Incursion Into Gibraltar Waters

The Foreign Office has confirmed that “there was an incursion into British waters near Gibraltar by Spanish Navy on 18 February, during a Royal Navy exercise”. HMS Sabre saw off Spanish Navy warship SPS Vigia after it disrupted a British exercise. Britain is to make a formal protest to Spain. The stretched twig of peace is once again at melting point. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mission Accomplished: The Bush Line Dave Should Have Used

It was an obvious question, but one with no correct answer for the PM. Asked if it was “mission accomplished” for returning troops by The Sun, Dave couldn’t very well say no, yet might come to regret his bluntness:

“Yes, I think they do. I think they can come home with their heads held high.”

Quite what the completed mission in Afghanistan looks like, we do not know. Dave should have taken a page out of George W Bush’s 2003 Mission Accomplished speech, which banner aside, gave far more wriggle room:

“The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory.”

Let’s pray that the line does not come back to haunt the PM.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

FCO Minister Lidington Bends Over in Front of Spain

Foreign Office native David Lidington is getting taken apart from all sides of the House for accepting Spain’s two-fingered excuse that their opening of British diplomatic bags was a “mistake”. Labour’s Gerald Kaufman warned “the softly softly approach of this government is not working”, with never knowingly off message Bob Neill accusing the Spanish of “stooping to the level of Franco”. Peter Bone wants a “couple of gunboats” and Col Bob Stewart ominously asked for “any other measures”. But it was Lidington’s exchange with Andrew Rosindell that summed it up:

AR: “Is it time to send the Spanish Ambassador back to Madrid?”

DL: “No, Mr Speaker.”

The first time an EU country has attacked another member in such away and our cowardly Foreign Office beg for more.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WAR: Video of Disastrous Spanish Invasion (and Retreat)


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