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Archive for the tag “Counter-Terrorism”

The Congress Report into the Niger Ambush says very little!

The Capitol Hill report or the Congress Report Service (CRS) who are making studies into wished subjects of the Congress, has recently dropped and made a report into the United States Armed Mission in Niger. Not that it says much and it is shown to be careful with dropping intelligence, as this is a continued mission against Islamist insurgents and militants together with allies of the American government. Therefore, dropping to much intelligence and to much information would spoil the mission themselves. That is why the CRS isn’t saying much new, but shows the state of affairs and the reasoning of United States to interfere on foreign soil. They are even proving the capacity of forces and planned army base in Niger. As they are clearly now cooperating with other armies and camps, where they are based. Since they are building one in the northern town of Agadez. Take a look!

Following the October 4 attack, DOD officials have publicly cited a larger figure of 800 U.S. military personnel in Niger. 17 These figures presumably comprise personnel stationed in the capital, Niamey, as well as those deployed in more remote areas. Notably, a U.S. Air Force facility is under construction in the northern city of Agadez (Figure 1), which the Air Force has described as supporting U.S. logistical and intelligence capacities in the sub-region, and which U.S. diplomats have described as supporting the Niger government’s capacity to secure its borders” (…) “U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) describes the U.S. military presence in Niger, as in most places in Africa, as a “light footprint,” suggesting that a more extensive and/or conventional military mission could require more extensive airlift, close air support capacity, and contingency planning” (CRS, P: 4-5, 2017).

Advisory activities in which U.S. personnel are embedded with local security forces, as was apparently the case in the mission that came under attack on October 4, according to DOD officials” (CRS, P: 7, 2017).

The “golden hour” is described as the first 60 minutes following trauma or the onset of acute illness, where chances of a patient’s survival are considered greatest if advanced trauma life support can be provided. DOD notes that, “historically, wound data and casualty rates indicate that more than 90 percent of all casualties die within the first hour of severe wounding without advanced trauma life support.”58 U.S. military medical support is generally structured to meet this standard of one hour or less” (…) “In the case of the October 4 Niger ambush, at least one Special Forces medic (see below) was present, but he was killed during the ambush. DOD stated the two U.S. soldiers wounded during the ambush were medically evacuated by French air assets to Niamey during the firefight, and that this medical evacuation was “consistent with the casualty evacuation plan that was in place for this particular operation” (CRS, P: 12-13, 2017).

Niger’s Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum stated in a media interview on October 19 that those who carried out the attack were “youths under the influence of Abu Walid al Sahrawi” who were based in the Niger/Mali border region. Possibly reflecting the extremely complex nature of militant allegiances in the sub-region, Bazoum also suggested that the assailants were loyal to Iyad ag Ghali, a Malian national who heads the Al Qaeda-aligned JNIM, although some analysts portray JNIM and IS-GS as rivals rather than allies. The Interior Minister indicated in his remarks that Niger’s government had yet to identify the precise assailants” (CRS, P: 16, 2017).

We clearly will not know everything now, but there is openings and questions to be asked. There have already been questions over how long it took to get the bodies of the fallen American soldiers from the place of fire. Also, the aftermath of the ambush opening a lot of questions.

That we will know more with time and hope this get investigated, as there are many leads and many more questions arising, as the Department of Defense should have own intelligence on the ambush and the days before. Since, they are there together with the Niger’s own military and French soldiers, these are all in the Sahel region to clear militant Islamist’s there. Clearly, there are some intelligence that is left our or clearly not studied. Since the CRS report are a stripped report. There has already been reported about the ambushes and local chiefs interfering on behalf Islamist’s in the area. This has been overshadowed in this report.

That this report also not look into the failure of human intelligence, because of this Niger ambushed could have been warned against and the troubles in Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali. Together with the ambush of motorcycles and other reports, that has been neglected. Proves that the CRS are trying to stifle information or not investigate it at all. Just going by the information of different sources in the days after, you could get more intelligence of it, than by the CRS. Therefore, the report didn’t tell much, just showing what official sources within the DoD. Peace.

Reference:

Congressional Research Service – ‘Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers’ (27.10.2017)

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A look into the Niger Ambush!

Well, there is often now, when it comes to the assistance and the help from United States Army, it is less planned, but more erratic just like their President. The Commander-in-Chief, President Donald J. Trump is behind the mess created and the death, he is the last to order and sanction the violence. If the US Army is behind a mess in Yemen, it is on his hour, if its done bad in Niger, it is still on his watch.

Just like Hillary Clinton was in a mess in Libya, this is a story of how the United States might have inflicted much harm in Niger, without intelligence and backgrounds checks. Clearly, it must have been something gone wrong, when they are ambushed happen and there are conflicting reports of it. We cannot know everything now. Since the investigations of the different security organization will start. As well, as the Trump Administration are in high gear of deflections and trying to silence the story. Because, this is damaging reports. Not only his lack of compassion to the families of the lost soldiers in battle, but also the lack of collecting intelligence before striking at the enemies during conflict.

Here is some of the key aspects we can for now take from the Niger ambush. This is not the whole story, but some pieces of the puzzle, to make sense of the manner, the Special Forces operated and the AFRICOM Battalion that is stationed in Niger. Hope this gives you some sense of it all.

Context:

News reports indicate that the attack occurred near the town of Tongo Tongo (see Figure 1), in a border region where a number of armed groups are active. These include locally-led factions affiliated Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization, ethnic militias, separatist rebels, drug traffickers, smugglers, and bandits, with the lines between these categories often blurred. (See CRS In Focus IF10172, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Related Groups.) Islamist armed groups regularly conduct attacks against local targets—notably focusing on government officials, prisons, schools, and individuals accused of collaborating with the state or with French-led counterterrorism operations —and against U.N. peacekeepers in Mali. Some analysts assert that the often heavy-handed counterterrorism approach of local security forces has contributed to worsening instability” (Arieff, 2017)

First Official statement:

On Oct. 4, three (3) U.S. service members and one partner nation member were killed while the U.S. was providing advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations, approximately 200 km north of Niamey, in southwest Niger. Additionally, two U.S. service members were injured and evacuated in stable condition to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany” (U.S. Embassy in Niger, 2017).

Niger Ministry of Defense Statement:

On Tuesday, October 03, 2017, a patrol of the defense and security forces and US partners operating in the Mali-Niger border zone was ambushed by terrorist elements on board a dozen vehicles and twenty motorcycles. height of Tongo Tongo village located about 80 km northwest of Ouallam. After intense fighting during which the elements of the joint patrol showed courage and an exemplary combativeness, the balance is established as follows: FDS four (4) dead, eight (8) wounded, partners American three (3) dead, two (2) wounded. In this painful circumstance, the President of the Republic, Head of State, Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and the Government offer their deepest condolences to the families of the disappeared and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. They welcome the commitment of the American partners alongside our defense and security forces, they reiterate their strong support and encouragement to the entire defense and security forces in their mission of defending the integrity of the national territory and strategic partners for their continued support for peace and stability in the region” (FAN, 2017).

Report in LA Times the day after:

Officials hoped the missing U.S. Army Special Forces operative might still be hiding in the dense brush, rather than taken captive, and launched a massive search-and-rescue mission with aerial drones and other aircraft, as well as Nigerien ground forces. The death of four Green Berets in remote West Africa marks the worst single loss of U.S. forces under fire since President Trump took office. The president was briefed on the search and the discovery of the body, officials said. The casualties came as a heavy blow to the insular special operations community that increasingly shoulders the burden of America’s counter-terrorism operations overseas. The four fatalities, as well as two wounded Green Berets, were in the 3rd Special Forces Group based in Ft. Bragg, N.C” (Hennigan, 2017).

Chad Pulls out troops:

The development comes after the US slammed a travel ban on its citizens. Chad defence officials have not given a reason for this action, but it is believed that it could weaken the fight against the insurgents. Residents say the withdrawal of the troops had already impacted on Niger’s Diffa region, which has seen a series of attacks by Boko Haram crossing over from their base in Nigeria” (NAN, 2017).

Conflicting reports:

Eventually, after talking to the village chief, the troops got into their vehicles to return to their base, a two-hour drive. But less than five minutes after they drove out of the village, the convoy was ambushed by a group that outnumbered them two to one. About 100 armed insurgents, many of whom were on motorbikes — two or three people a bike — as well as others in about 10 sport utility vehicles, surrounded the convoy. They were armed with heavy weapons, including anti aircraft weaponry as well as rocket-propelled grenades, according to a Nigerien official. Soldiers in the joint patrol were riding in military vehicles as well as civilian Land Cruisers from the American Embassy. The firefight lasted two to three hours, the Nigerien official said, until a response unit from the military base arrived for reinforcements. French helicopters arrived to evacuate the dead and wounded as well as other soldiers” (Searcey, Cooper & Schmitt, 2017).

Lack of Intelligence in West Africa:

That very same evaluation additionally raised concern that solely 20-30 per cent of the US ISR’s intelligence, surveillance and recognition necessities have been met. UU. of the US (ISR). “This limits situational understanding, assist operations and presents no risk indications and warnings,” the command warned, including that the state of affairs is most severe in West Africa, the place the military of states United has roughly 1,000 individuals concerned in a dozen operations in a area of 9 nations. Nigerian officers have stated that the ambush on four October was on account of a “failure of human intelligence.” This useful resource hole “forces our workers to return to pricey and ineffective advert hoc options,” the command instructed lawmakers” (DrFeed, 2017)

I think these clips from different sources say a lot and shows that the neglect and the importance of collecting intelligence. As well, as knowing the intent of the locals and their loyalty towards the insurgents. Therefore, the joint-command brigade was ambushed. There will come more intelligence and more information, that will show the damaging information that is for now left out. Unless, the United States wants to hide their acts. The dead soldiers will not return, not matter what you do, but to see the causes and the reasons for their demise could be learning curve for the military and their operatives.

We cannot know everything now, but we will with time, as the investigations and the revealing intelligence will come to forward. Clearly, the White House wouldn’t touch this in the beginning, because they knew of the their misbehavior and has since tried to deflect it. Especially, since their own President has assaulted Clinton for her actions in Libya, this could be seen as similar and be alike. Therefore, the smear-campaign and questionable acts was taken to Congress in various committees, the same should appear in this case. But don’t expect it, because the Republican are still loyal to their President. However, if that turns and their show compassion and care for their Republic. They would have dozens of investigations and also look into the ambush. The reasons and the orders that was given, also why the people lost their lives in the village of Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali, inside Niger. Peace.

Reference:

Arieff, Alexis – ‘Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress’ (05.10.2017) link:https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IN10797.pdf

DrFeed – ‘Months Before Niger Attack, The US Military Warned Congress It Needed More Resources’ (20.10.2017) link: https://drfeed.com/months-before-niger-attack-the-us-military-warned-congress-it-needed-more-resources/

NAN – ‘Chad withdraws troops fighting Boko Haram in Niger’ (13.10.2017) link: https://www.google.no/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=16&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi0heD73YHXAhVFEpoKHTj5CMA4ChAWCEswBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecable.ng%2Fchad-withdraws-troops-fighting-boko-haram-niger&usg=AOvVaw3ux55sdZINC2y_S7jgE1zH

Hennigan, W.J. -’Missing U.S. commando found dead in Niger desert two days after deadly ambush’ (06.10.2017) link: http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-missing-soldier-found-20171006-story.html

Searcey, Dionne, Cooper, Helene & Eric Schmitt – ‘Conflicting Accounts in Niger Ambush Are Subject of Pentagon Investigation’ (20.10.2017) link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/world/africa/niger-ambush-conflicting-accounts.html

FAN – ‘Communiqué du Ministère de la Défense Nationale du Niger suite à l’attaque des FDS à Tongo tongo’ (05.10.2017) link: http://www.iciniger.com/communique-ministere-de-defense-nationale-niger-suite-a-lattaque-fds-a-tongo-tongo/

U.S. Embassy in Niger – ‘U.S. Africa Command Statement on Situation in Niger’ (05.10.2017) link: https://ne.usembassy.gov/u-s-africa-command-statement-situation-niger/

Opinion: Theresa May is wrong, no need to suspend Human Rights Laws, there are provisions for the State to keep their citizens safe!

I’m clear: if human rights laws get in the way of tackling extremism and terrorism, we will change those laws to keep British people safe. After the London Bridge attack, I said “enough is enough”, and that things need to change to tackle the threat we face. And tonight I set out what that means: longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences; deporting foreign terror suspects back to their own countries; restricting the freedom and movements of terrorist suspects when we have evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough to prosecute them in court” – Theresa May (06.06.2017 – at a rally at Slough, United Kingdom).

That Prime Minister Theresa May are obliged to amend her laws and ask for provisions to change them through Parliament. She is fine to do so and follow the procedures of the state, to make the most draconian laws able. As the Tories already before the grand-elections started to unleash laws of old, that we’re in the fashion of King Henry IV. These laws was amend and gives more powers to the government over the Parliament. So the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom has already shown force and will of taking the powers in their hands.

Theresa May isn’t the first to use terrorism to control and to suspend laws to gain more power. That is usually a sign of oppressive behavior and of the Orwellian society. Clearly, a human being like May should consider her words. If not she really wants to show that she can act so much, that she wants to take away freedom and liberties from her own citizens. Instead of believing in the set freedoms and provisions done by the United Nations Charter and ratified legal framework that the United Kingdom must have.

Still, there are enough signs that she doesn’t need to do so, as the provisions that are in place has not and will not overpower a sovereign, neither will it create interference of state control in troubling time. That is if she really cares about the liberties and the just societies the United Nations legal framework put in place.

OHCHR own Fact Sheet on Human Rights and Terrorism:

International and regional human rights law makes clear that States have both a right and a duty to protect individuals under their jurisdiction from terrorist attacks. This stems from the general duty of States to protect individuals under their jurisdiction against interference in the enjoyment of human rights. More specifically, this duty is recognized as part of States’ obligations to ensure respect for the right to life and the right to security” OHCHR, P: 8, 2008).

These challenges are not insurmountable. States can effectively meet their obligations under international law by using the flexibilities built into the international human rights law framework. Human rights law allows for limitations on certain rights and, in a very limited set of exceptional circumstances, for derogations from certain human rights provisions. These two types of restrictions are specifically conceived to provide States with the necessary flexibility to deal with exceptional circumstances, while at the same time—provided a number of conditions are fulfilled—complying with their obligations under international human rights law” (OHCHR, P: 23, 2008).

Than it is the United Nation Security Council own definition:

Security Council Resolution 1963 (2010) reiterates that effective counter-terrorism measures and respect for human rights are complementary and mutually reinforcing, and are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort, and it notes the importance of respect for the rule of law so as to effectively combat terrorism. Resolution 1963 (2010) “thus encourages CTED to further develop its activities in this area, to ensure that all human rights issues relevant to the implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) are addressed consistently and even-handedly including, as appropriate, on country visits that are organized with the consent of the visited member State”.

(UNSC, 2015)

It is really serious when the United Nations and the OHCHR are saying there no issues between respecting the Human Rights Law legal framework and countering terrorism. Even if the resolutions and legal framework are critical and makes the state more bound to respect the terrorists. This still, doesn’t stop them from having provisions and having strict security in the Member States. The Member State themselves are putting forward rule of law and also has to incriminate inside their territory. However, the security is for the reason of the liberty and freedom of all citizens and all rights to all human beings. It is strange that Prime Minister Theresa May wants to suspend it, while the UNSC and OHCHR are saying it is possible.

That she has to go this far to gain support. Seems more like she could join Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttal, than following the Conservative leadership of the past. These words would not have come from David Cameron or anyone of his kind. This shows how fragile and how hell-bent is on winning this election by any means. That she has to promise on the final leap to suspend rule of law and take away basic human rigths. As the Police Service and Security Organization in our time cannot be able fight terrorism by the means and the values, that most of Europe see as natural. That the Police and Army get stronger laws and more draconian ones to make sure the United Kingdom can oppress and silence freedoms. Instead of fighting it through the means of strengthening the Police and the Intelligence, as the UK has one of the most sophisticated Security Organization in the world. It should have the capacity and if the Conservative had been serious about it, they would have fixed the issue during the last 8 years. Peace.

Reference:

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – ‘Human Rights, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism – Fact Sheet No. 32’ (July 2008)

link: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/Factsheet32EN.pdf

United Nation Security Council – ‘PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS WHILE COUNTERING TERRORISM’ (10.09.2015) link: http://www.un.org/en/sc/ctc/rights.html

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