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Terrorism Report for 2014!

 Interesting Article: "Terrorism in Syria: Turkey Deports More Than One Thousand European Al Qaeda Affiliated Mercenaries" by Global Research News, published December 4th, 2013.

An interesting article mentioned that Turkey has sent a report to European countries saying that it has deported 1,100 European citizens who came to Turkey to join al-Qaeda-linked groups fighting in Syria back to their own countries amid increasing allegations that Ankara is turning a blind eye to terrorists using its territory to cross into Syria, according to the Habertürk daily.

After other countries informed Turkey that their citizens were using Turkey as a transit country to take up arms in Syria, Turkey arrested 1,100 European Union citizens with the help of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Gendarmerie forces and police units in 41 operations in 2013. The report says there are still around 1,500 European citizens who want to go to Syria and fight on the front lines along with al-Qaeda and that Turkey has been on alert about suspected jihadists. The report states that intelligence sharing between Turkey and European countries on the suspected jihadists has been made through Interpol.

Would you like to know more?



The report also states that Turkey has carried out 141 operations against al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-linked groups in last three years and detained 518 suspects, imprisoning 217 them.
The participation of citizens from foreign countries in terrorist organizations clashing in Syria has been increasing day by day, according to reports in both the Turkish and international media. Apart from those who have come from European countries — mainly from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, there are also foreign fighters in Syria from Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to fight with the al-Qaeda-linked groups the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the al-Nusra Front.

Turkey has been exposed to critical barbs that it has been providing support and weapons to armed groups in Syria — principally the Sunni, al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front. Reports circulating mainly in the foreign media allege that before joining the war in Syria, hundreds of al-Qaeda members, particularly foreign volunteers, use apartments in Turkey’s southeastern cities as safe houses, creating a flow of foreign fighters in the war-torn country. Reports also allege that Turkey is allowing these groups in so they can help topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey has been deeply involved with the Syrian situation, and with Syria's destabilization, it is towards 2014 that the world looks at a middle east further destabilized and away from a peace process for all involved.

After reviewing the progress made vis-à-vis strategic ties, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to enhance cooperation in issues related to counter-terrorism and security.

Mr. Erdogan was on a two-day visit to Pakistan for discussions on enhancement of bilateral ties. Much of the focus during the visit had been on economic and commercial relationship.
A security cooperation protocol signed by the two countries provides for the framework for security and counter-terrorism cooperation.

A joint statement issued after the visit said the two countries would explore the possibility of joint defense production and research. It also expressed satisfaction over the “progress” in strategic ties. During their meetings, the leadership of both countries concurred that though the political relationship was in excellent shape, the trade ties did not match up. It was, therefore, agreed that good political relationship should underpin the economic and commercial ties.

“Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to provide a dynamic, future-orientated outlook to their strategic relationship. The two leaders also emphasized on the speedy implementation of the common economic agenda within the framework of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council for the welfare of the people of two brotherly countries,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said.
Turkish police and military intelligence officials are concerned about the hundreds of Turkish men (most in their 20s and 30s) who have gone to Syria to join Islamic terrorist groups fighting the Assad government. It is believed there are as many as 500 of these men and at least 10 percent have been killed (and 10-20 percent wounded or injured) so far. What the police are worried about are those who return to Turkey alive. There have long been small groups of Islamic terrorists in Turkey, and over a decade of pro-Islamic government has made all sorts of Islamic conservatives feel welcome in Turkey. That has made Turkey vulnerable, as it’s often difficult to tell if some Islamic conservatives are radicalized Moslems or just Turks who take their Islam seriously. 

This situation might change if more Turkish Islamic terrorists show up inside Turkey. Meanwhile, Turkey’s economy has been booming for the last decade, ever since an Islamic party took control in 2002, by promising to finally do something about the corruption that had long crippled the government and the economy. Economic growth usually leads to fewer Islamic terrorists. But the moderate Islamic politicians running the country have also sought better relations with Islamic states, especially Iran and neighboring Arab countries. That meant an end to the close economic and diplomatic relations with Israel. 

This is a return to the past. Until 1924, the Sultan of the Turks was the Caliph (technically, the leader of all Moslems). But in the 1920s, Turkey turned itself into a secular state. Although Turkey became a major economic power in the Middle East, with one of the best educated populations in the region, it was still hobbled by corruption and mismanagement. The Islamic politicians promised to attack the corruption (which they have) and return religion to a central place in Turkish culture (a work in progress). This has upset a lot of secular Turks. But it's fashionable to hate Israel these days over the Israeli efforts to cope with Palestinian terrorism. Now Turks are noticing that the Islamic politicians are beginning to act like the corrupt and incompetent aristocrats that brought down the empire, which had turned from “The Pride of The Turks” to a shameful and dysfunctional organization that is not missed.

The possibility that young Turkish Islamic conservatives, radicalized in Syria and returning home with murderous intent might be one of several recent trends that are sending Turks back to secularism. For over three decades most of the terrorist violence in Turkey came from Kurdish nationalists, but that is declining as the government makes peace with the nationalist movements.

There was always some terrorist activity from Turkish nationalists, Armenian nationalists, and Islamic or Arab terrorists. With the two years of fighting in neighboring Syria, many Turkish Arabs and Shia Moslems have become radicalized, and now there is fear that ethnic Turkish Sunnis are also becoming radicalized. The number of Turkish Sunni radicals are still small but they have been growing for two years and it’s unclear what a lot of these newly radicalized Turks will do once the war in Syria is over.  

Turkish foreign minister has said Ankara will always stand by its southern neighbor Iraq in its fight against terrorism, Today's Zaman reported.

Ahmet Davutoglu's remarks came during a joint press conference with Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Arshad Salihi, who survived an assassination attempt last week. Davutoglu expressed regret over the attack, adding that the security of Turkmens, their participation in political system and their economic prosperity is an indispensable element of the Iraqi politics.
"We always stand by Iraq in its struggle against terrorism," Davutoglu stressed.

The foreign minister noted that Turkmens are founding elements of the war-torn country rather than the temporary part of the country. He urged the Turkmens to preserve their language in education and local administrations, adding that this is important for Iraq's unity and integrity.

The world of terrorism in 2014 is not going away. Sochi Games are what the world is currently looking at. When Russia's bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics was successful almost seven years ago, it was already obvious that the risks were high. Russia would be open to western pressure or even a boycott because of human rights issues as the event approached, just as it was with the Moscow games in 1980. Second, there was the technical gamble: Sochi, although a pleasant place, was also a remote one, lacking in the necessary infrastructure. Everything, not only the sporting facilities themselves, would have to be built almost from scratch. Fiascos involving accommodation, transport, or equipment breakdown could easily be imagined.

Third, there was the risk of the kind of terrorist attacks that all major sporting events attract, compounded in Russia's case by the impact of the Chechen wars. The Beslan school massacre had shocked the world only three years before the Sochi bid.

President Vladimir Putin made a few concessions to western opinion when he released the Greenpeace protestors, members of the Pussy Riot band and the businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky. But, even before that, it was clear there would be no effective boycott, although a few heads of state and government will not attend. In Sochi itself, there were delays, unforeseen difficulties, such as avalanche protection, and rumors of much corruption. Still, the work is more or less on schedule.
It is on the third front, sadly, that the worst fears could turn out to be justified. Sunday's apparent suicide bombing of the main Volgograd railway station, with many dead and injured, was the second such atrocity in two months in that city; there was a car bomb in another south Russian city on Friday. Volgograd lies just above the North Caucasus region, the mainly Muslim region from which many of Russia's Islamist extremists come, and which includes both Chechnya and Dagestan. It is more than 400 miles from Sochi, but it is a transport hub for people travelling to the south. In any case, there is good reason to suppose the bombings were related to the Sochi Games, since security there has become so intense, according to one former member of Russia's anti-terrorist forces, that the extremist groups trying to disrupt the event are switching to more distant targets.

In the United States, the war of terrorism is still on. More than 12 years after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the constitutional side of the federal government’s war on terrorism still raises many unanswered questions: Will the war crimes cases against the 9/11 suspects ever reach a verdict?  Will President Obama’s plan to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ever happen?  Will the planned end of an active U.S. military role in Afghanistan make a difference to the prisoners held in a prison near Kabul?  Will the government’s massive, global collection of telephone calling data, in pursuit of leads to terrorists, be restricted, either by the courts or by Congress, or both?

The courts, from the Supreme Court on down, will play a central role in moving toward answers to each of these questions, but there will be other central actors, too.  By the end of 2014, the constitutional landscape may have changed markedly from what it was on New Year’s Day.

By all measures, the one response to the 9/11 terrorist assaults on American soil that has come close to total failure is the attempt – first by the Bush Administration and then by the Obama Administration – to create a functioning war crimes tribunal system to “bring to justice” those charged with responsibility for planning the attacks.

As the new year opens, it is still not clear when a military commission at Guantanamo will actually get started on the trial of five men – led by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – who stand accused by the military of planning and supervising the 9/11 attacks.  The proceedings have bogged down repeatedly, and no amount of legal tinkering seems to move them forward to any significant degree.
The most profound constitutional change that could affect the government’s campaign against terrorism could come in the form of new limits on its power to use highly sophisticated new technology to monitor telephone and other communications traffic that might turn up leads to potential terrorists.  A federal judge’s recent decision forecasting the nullification of the National Security Agency’s gathering of calling data generated by virtually everyone on in America may be only the first move toward new restraints.

Constitutionally speaking, the year 2014 may bring profound alterations in the way that the government summons its legal machinery to continue confronting the global threat of terrorism.
As Iraq closes out one of its bloodiest years since the 2003 U.S. invasion, fears are mounting that the national elections next April will foreshadow more violence and perhaps even another descent into the sectarian conflict that enveloped the country and cost tens of thousands of lives.

These will be the first national elections since the U.S. military withdrawal in 2011. Then, violence was at a relative lull, and reconciliation between ethnic groups seemed to be within reach. Since that time, however, violent attacks have sharply increased. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is under pressure from his allies in and outside Iraq to demonstrate inclusiveness in his government, and his actions after the virtually certain victory for his Shia bloc will be critical.
The past week began with a series of car bombings that killed nearly 100 people; over the past month, more than 260 people have died in similar attacks. The number of dead so far this year now rivals 2006 and 2007 figures, when sectarian fighting was at its most feverish, tit-for-tat attacks drove millions of people from their homes, and at least a million refugees left the country.

The majority of the recent attacks have been carried out against the majority Shia population by Sunni groups led, primarily, by a branch of Al-Qaeda that has folded in Al-Qaeda in Iraq with its affiliates in Syria to become known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria (AQIS). The group continues to absorb fighters filing across the 400-mile border the two countries share. Attacks on Iraqi security forces, simultaneous bomb attacks in different locations, and mass prison breaks have rapidly escalated in the past 12 months.
"Since 2010 AQIS has been self-funding through organized crime rackets involving kidnap for ransom, protection payments from large Iraqi companies, plus trucking, smuggling and real estate portfolios," Knights said.

That Al-Qaeda fighters are crossing borders to perpetrate attacks in Iraq and Syria strengthens Maliki’s mandate to crack down on what he deems security threats. In comments broadcast in August on Iraqi state television he warned that "no one should imagine that he can interfere and set a country and its people on fire" while escaping "the interference of others in their affairs."

Looking at the Middle East for 2014:


For the most part, Arabs will be happy to see the back of 2013, as the year was marked by violence, political turmoil, human rights abuses, economic decline, social division and public discontent throughout much of the region.

“I would say good riddance 2013, because it was a bad year for human rights and freedom around the world, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, and a good year for despots and the perpetrators of mass killings,” wrote Hisham Melhem, the bureau chief of Al Arabiya News Channel in Washington, DC.

The problem is, there is no indication that the situation will improve in 2014. In some countries, things are almost certain to deteriorate further. “Never believe things can’t get worse in the Middle East,” wrote Bill Neely, international editor for Britain’s ITV News. “The story of 2013 is that in the world’s most dangerous region, they usually do.”

This is in stark contrast to the early months of the Arab Spring, when people dared to hope that if they stood up to their leaders, they would finally be able to enjoy the fundamental freedoms and rights that others around the world take for granted.

The regional status quo is now so dire that many who wholeheartedly embraced the Arab Spring are now openly questioning whether it was worth it, and whether it is doomed to fail altogether. Long-time dictators who not long ago feared for their survival are now sitting much more comfortably.
They have either ruthlessly crushed dissent, thrown money at the problem, made just enough cosmetic reforms to keep people quiet, or their populations have been cowed by the devastation of Syria, and the turmoil engulfing every one of the Arab states that overthrew their autocrats. Coming into 2014, it is difficult to envisage any positive regional developments.

The country most devoid of any hope for the coming year is Syria. Every indicator of misery - death, destruction, disease, displacement, and so on - looks set to worsen considerably as the conflict drags on with no end in sight. Peace talks scheduled for January are almost certain to go nowhere, if they even take place at all.
Africa

Though both sides of Egypt’s political divide claim to represent and maintain the original revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, that revolution no longer exists, and both sides are to blame for its demise.

“Each successive administration has demonstrated both an inability to handle criticism or opposition, and a tendency to rely on heavy-handed security solutions to political problems... The implications for Egypt’s apparent democratic regression are particularly dire,” wrote Ashraf Khalil, author of “Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation.”
Egypt today is a police state, little different from that which existed under Mubarak. Dissent of any sort - not just from supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi - is being met with brute force and draconian laws, and sustained by a pliant media and public. However, the repression is only stoking further bloodshed and polarization, the very things that those who ousted Mursi claim they wanted to avoid.

With the Brotherhood having just been designated a terrorist group, people flouting a new law banning unauthorized protests, and neither side willing to find common ground, expect the turmoil engulfing the country to worsen.

Egypt’s neighbor Libya is still struggling to disband and co-opt its myriad warring militias into the national army, some two and a half years after the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi. As such, the government has little control over the country. One of many stark examples of its weakness is the kidnapping in October of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan by a group supposedly allied with the government.

There is increasing public frustration at the lawlessness and insecurity in Libya, whose very territorial integrity is under threat, with two of its three provinces declaring autonomy in 2013 amid accusations of economic and political marginalization.

Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, is arguably the most promising of the countries facing upheaval, because for now at least, both sides are working within the political process to resolve their differences. However, the situation is so precarious that the continuation of this process is by no means guaranteed.

In East Africa, Sudan’s economy has taken a nose-dive since the South’s secession in July 2011, resulting in bouts of public protests that are likely to increase in frequency and scale. Meanwhile, Somalia continues to be a country in name only, with territorial splits, no functioning government, and the continuation of a civil war that is spilling over into neighboring states.
Yemen is plagued by serious, long-term problems. These include dire poverty (it is the poorest Arab country), shrinking oil reserves, severe water shortages (its capital is predicted to be the world’s first to run out of water), high unemployment, a strong Al Qaeda presence, tribal conflict, a secessionist movement in the south, a Shia insurrection in the north, frequent U.S. drone strikes, and a refugee influx from Somalia. None of these are likely to be resolved anytime soon.

With the exception of Bahrain, the Gulf States have not experienced the level of public unrest witnessed elsewhere in the Arab world. That does not mean that they are not facing important political, economic and social challenges, but with relative prosperity and stability amid nearby regional turmoil, their populations will likely think long and hard before rocking the boat, despite their yearning for meaningful reforms.

We look for a hopeful 2014, but in the end, the world has much to deal with in terms of terrorism, and we want to remember the Americans within the Intelligence Community and the U.S Military Special Forces and all the Military arms that work every day to protect our freedom and keep us from another 9/11. God Bless the men and women of the U.S Intelligence Community and the U.S Military.

References:
http://www.dawn.com/news/1076292/pakistan-turkey-to-bolster-counter-terrorism-cooperation
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htterr/articles/20131206.aspx
http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/2219369.html
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/29/terrorism-russia-road-sochi-editorial
http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/12/the-constitution-in-2014-the-war-on-terrorism/
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/21/iraq-in-2014-backtocivilwar.html
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2013/12/30/For-Arabs-a-bad-2013-leaves-little-hope-for-2014.html

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