February 2021

CTCB Industry Trends: Stakeholder Conflict

Security-By-Design – Stakeholder Conflict Resolution In our interview with a land transport security manager, the project design phase was identified as their most difficult work issue. The sheer number of parties involved in a contemporary building project, as well as the uncertainty surrounding human threats, can make it difficult for an appointed professional to get …

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CTCB Interview with Land Transport Authority (LTA) Professional

Certified Counter Terrorism Practitioners work in a variety of industries, including land transport security. The CTCB was able to conduct a brief interview with a former Certified Practitioner, and ask a few things about their experience in the field in Southeast Asia. Public transit terminals and vehicles have been attractive to terrorist organisations seeking mass …

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Will new waves of radicalization in the North Caucasus be prevented? Conflict Analysis and Prevention Center.

Armed conflict in the North Caucasus, which has seen ebbs and flows of violence since the mid-90s, has now significantly quieted. The armed insurgency first emerged as the militant wing of a post-Soviet separatist movement in Chechnya, it gradually transformed into a regional jihadist project that was consolidated by Imarat Kavkaz (IK) in 2007, and in June 2015 experienced its third reincarnation.

CTCB State of Play No 5: The Great Replacement, Base Rate Fallacies & Crypto Funders

This week’s CTCB State of Play Newsletter No. 5 addresses the arrest of a Great Replacement teen acolyte in Singapore, the lack of percentage-based perspective in the presentation of terrorism and terrorists, and how digital and cryptocurrency markets influence support and activities. Some
excerpts of terrorist manifestos are provided, which enable placement of the current strategic landscape into an enemy’s strategic perspective. Hopefully, wider use of such documents by practitioners will be able to mitigate policy backlash and rationalise intelligence resources.

Latest prevalence and youth participation rates may need a re-look in terms of messaging design and delivery, and consideration as to how to compete with violent ideologies in addressing the same cognitive vulnerabilities.

As the causes and levels of terrorism participation are so varied, disentangling who to punish becomes harder. As far as counter-terrorism practice goes: What’s best to focus on? Entire entities or individuals? Someone involved in flagrant public displays like Enrique Tarrio, or lurking peripherals like
McVeigh, Breivik, and Minassian?

The technologies capable of countering and facilitating terrorism continue to evolve rapidly, encompassing social media, messaging apps, and cryptocurrency. When combined with global socio-political upheaval, gathered data looks less and less representative – the wildness lies in wait. This has
significant implications for the viability and ethicality of data led intelligence and punishments going forward, especially as the mass-threat approach will necessitate dependence on non-human analytics.

P. S., if you would like a little extra, here are some helpful concepts with simplified definitions. The ideas may be useful for you as you go through the materials for the week.

Reinforced Grouping: A loose affiliation experiences hostility or exclusion. They then move closer to those with shared beliefs or identifiers for protection and to fulfil economic or social needs – as simple as having someone to talk to. This happens in ‘extremist’ forums, prisons, urban gangs, or as a
result of profile-based policy. It is mostly a reactive process.

Altruistic Punishment: The willingness to punish a social or moral norm violator increases when the punisher perceives them as similar to themselves, or as from within their own group. Consider how churches reacted to the Singapore attack planner, and how Muslim nations and religious leaders
condemn jihadists, or how so many of the most publicly radical and violent ‘anti-fascists’ are white, including the Weather Underground. A practical motivator of this is a desire to prevent negative stereotyping and collective treatment / punishment.

Collective Punishment: As an extreme example, burning down a village for harbouring two militants. Nowadays, this occurs more in the policy realm via terror group designation or untargeted sanctions.

Entitativity: How alike members of a ‘group’ are perceived to be. The media has a large role to play here. If a movement is presented as undifferentiated, with limited knowledge of or attention to individual variation within its membership, willingness to collectively punish increases. It has overlap
with aspects of dehumanisation.

Proactive Aggression: Aggression exists in two forms, reactive and proactive. Definitions of terrorism generally mean the proactive kind, so the specific acts are planned in advance. Mobs, riots, and spontaneous or escalatory confrontations do not quite count as proactive aggression, neither does
‘armed and ready’. There is usually also an instrumental aspect, as in, ‘I shall do this to achieve this’, although moral violence formats like punishment (e.g. kill the useless, shallow femoids) can occur too.

The role of drones in bolstering the operational efficiency of today’s security measures.

The physical security market is set to be worth $120.3 billion by 2025, according to a new market research report by MarketsandMarkets. While the figure is huge, it is perhaps unsurprising. The rising number of terrorist attacks, and technological advancements of wireless technology in security systems over the last few years, have been major drivers behind the increasing number of physical security solutions.

CTCB State of Play No 4: Open Channels, Political CPTED and Your Amygdala

The usual major themes in political violence continue to affect global governance. Intellectual resistance to control & censorship approaches are currently limited, hence the rise of ire
and will to physically object and retaliate amongst disenfranchised publics.

The week’s CTCB State of Play Newsletter, No. 4, touches on the advantages and disadvantages of free speech versus censoring crackdowns. Whether this is ultimately accelerating or
mitigating aggregate violent incidents is unknown, but the effects on public spaces are changing best-practice for urban design in the developed world.

Previously relying on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) for security against jihadist and school shooter attacks, the changing trend of mass unrest will determine a
new format of political violence. Riots and barricade-sieges versus lone actor attacks may rise proportionally, for example. It will take a variety of context-based information, perhaps
from conflict zones or traditional architecture, to determine what physical structures will generate better sociopolitical norms and facilitate peaceful state and public actions.

Lastly, some food for thought on a brain structure that plays a role in threat learning, detection, and response. The amygdala and its effect on information processing and aversive
behaviour is probably one significantly involved in political radicalisation. Due to current circumstances of uncertainty, prolonged stress, and media sensationalism, this organ may be
becoming more influential in the minds of people around the world.

How Iraq’s economic crisis affects its traditional and non-traditional security sector.

As Iraq enters 2021, an economic crisis looms on the horizon, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the drop in oil prices. For months now, signs of this crisis have surfaced through delays in payment of public salaries and pensions, and most recently, a decision by the Central Bank of Iraq to devalue the Iraqi dinar, pegged to the U.S. dollar, by 23%.

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