Newsletter 28 May 2021 No 12

This week’s CTCB State of Play Newsletter No.12 provides a snapshot of Japan for use in considering contemporary challenges. This includes left-right/West-Not ideological polarisation, mass shootings, incels, frenzy for isolation & censorship, and the politicised radicalisation of religious figures and materials. Theme 1 covers the case of author Yukio Mishima, storming a demilitarised base to …

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Commentary Crisis24 Domestic Violent Extremism

Technological Enablement – Terrorists do not require hierarchies or authority to function lethally. Wider span of potential attackers, including teenagers. Rising unpredictability of violent extremist acts and challenge for law enforcement and security apparatus to counter. From the Left less danger, presently more along the lines of reactive activists. They deliberately avoid fatalities in bombings, …

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CTCB Industry Trends: Attacks & Survivability [ Case Studies ] – Physical Security for Religious Buildings

Although travel restrictions have reduced some international terrorism activity, domestic risks due to security force overstretch, economic problems, and cyber tools & diffusion are rising. Pent-up hostility and continued ethno-territorial & religious tensions may mobilise more lone actors in the developed world, seen recently in France and Singapore. Several recent attempts and attacks of this …

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CTCB Industry Trends: Counter Terrorism Centre – Nigeria

This article will cover: Nigeria’s human and physical security practices & challenges HUMINT & the Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism Programme (PCVE) Socio-cultural resources and history of countering terrorism Current state & tactics of Boko Haram Recent announcements on policy for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The Federation of Nigeria has 36 states, over 400 …

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CTCB State of Play Newsletter No. 10

DAMAGED-DISPLACED Violent revolutions interventions & terrorism often declare a greater good, with fallout as humanitarian and infrastructural catastrophe — hopefully temporary. Experience of these conditions will certainly spread globally as conflicts shrink and urbanise. Mass rapid repair is needed for stabilisation. In March, the 2nd Libyan civil war (s. 2014] reached a major milestone by …

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CTCB State of Play No. 9: Rwanda, Neighbour Fighters, Eyes on You

The week spanning 31st March to the 6th of April marks two instances of mass mobilisation, on the basis of very simple directives transmitted across low-information contexts. On 31st March 1146, Bernard of Clairvaux preached in Vezelay for participants in a Second Crusade. This speech is famous for the phrase Deus Vult, which is popular …

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CTCB State of Play No. 8: Taliban, Pope & Iraq, Economic Drivers

There are several concepts to keep in mind for CTCB State of Play Newsletter No. 8.

Sweeping identity labels, kinship, ideology as a substitute for political institutions, and lack of security and employment as driving crime and combat. Theme 3 of this issue, on the possible economic causes of illicit violence, can be applied to Afghanistan and Iraq. These remain poorly regulated
conflict zones with significant asset damage and instability. Employment with militias and other forms of armed service is a pull factor, but many are also pushed to seek protection or allegiance with perceived kin groups.

That’s for the earthly realm. Economic analysis for some cultures requires calculating the cost-benefit not just in the market today, but the Hereafter. Think of this as a muhtasib and mullah format, with recognition of human selfishness. Had Pope Urban II not claimed cleansing of all worldly sin and
assured immediate entry to Heaven for joining the First Crusade (1095 CE speech), the People’s Crusade as directed by Peter the Hermit may not have gone rampaging across Europe, killing dissimilar religious sects on the way to recapture Jerusalem.

Incidentally, the feudal, criminally bloody, and impoverished Europe of this time had similarities with current day Afghanistan. The holy regulator in this case, Mullah Omar (d. 2013), prohibited the Taliban from tactics such as kidnappings and pressure-plate IEDs (UNAMA, 2021). In another conflict
zone, Syria, the two market levels have supported an industry of amateur archaeology supervised by local terrorist organisations, with administered matters including jinn safety, and defacing smuggled idols to mitigate their ‘blasphemous potency’ (Moos, 2020).

Caveat: Before getting too enthusiastic about G. Schiffman’s (Roberts, 2020) economic drivers of violence, even if grounded if historic fact and great for targeted countering of group ops and capability, there are many instances to which a biologist could go ‘Hah! Too simplified and thus inaccurate!
…But continue to curb your enthusiasm.’ (Sapolsky, 2018). However, the clear validity of this lens remains for a successful counter-insurgency campaign – stabilisation stage – and regional security and development. The value of economics for resource efficiency, demobilisation, and reconstruction
lies in separating the driven from the wicked, and ending a tit-for-tat spiral.

In recognition of the major security challenges posed by explosive devices and targeted assassinations around the world, a sizeable portion of our Certified Counter Terrorism Practitioner (CCTP) preparatory course and testing is allocated to these topics. CCTP preparatory materials will soon be
available on our ONDEMAND platform. Stay tuned. If you have any special interests or requests, do let us know.

Some terms that may be of interest as you explore the material:

Haala: in Osama Bin Laden’s unaired interview with Allouni of al-Jazeera in 2002, he states: “There is a very huge awe [haala] about America, which it uses to scare people before it engages the battle.”. Awe is a complex emotion linguistically linked to terror and respect for an authority. It can be
elicited by things as diverse as mountain views, massive destruction, and fantastic feats of structural engineering. If a combatant inspires awe, it usually inspires the adversary to flee or submit before it is surely destroyed. This is closely linked to the strategic and tactical value of deterrence, audacite,
and overwhelm by communicating, in a very primitive way, the terrible cost of even trying.

Pseudo / Fictive Kinship: A deliberate or naturally occurring process in which persons are made to believe they are more alike and linked than their genetic or geographic reality. This applies to phenomena such as patriotism, religion, gangs, and football team supporters. In trade and security, you are
likelier to trust your actual and fictive kin.

Pseudospeciation: This is the step past and mirror of pseudo kinship. It involves considering anyone outside your in-group a lesser ‘species’. This is represented more often in nationalism, exclusionary politics, and punishing violence. Example of theory using this concept is Stevens, A. (2004). The
roots of war and terror. NY: Continuum, and Sapolsky (2018).

CTCB State of Play No. 7: Anti-Scenes and Theodore Kaczynski . . . Based.

This week in history, on 1st March 1562, the Massacre of Vassy took place, beginning 36 years of the French Wars of Religion and use of the word ‘massacre’ as we know it. Symbolic politico-religious spaces and furious, mass casualty
attacks against defenceless (often worshipping) civilians characterised this period. Like many historic uprisings, what preceded such incidents in England and France were creeping cultural-religious restrictions imposed by the nation
state. For the persecuted, co-existence looked increasingly unlikely and the choice seemed to be system destruction, doom, or departure.

Funnily enough, the 1st of March was also the day Pioneer Missionary Hudson Taylor landed in Shanghai in 1854. Taylor popularised the approach of missionaries living and dressing like the people they seek to evangelise.
Community-building efforts by a church in modern Virginia also relied on a nuanced understanding of populations to achieve growth (Ponder, 2021).

CTCB State of Play Newsletter No. 7 explores political violence as a human behavioural pattern: In cults, culture, and scene-making materials. The role of authority figures, often those deemed to have special knowledge or morality,
features prominently. Public figures and cleverly publicised texts can catalyse and cohere widespread dissatisfaction and aggression into movements against a defined evil.

Historic incidents of terrorism and suicide extremism are able to violate the status quo of societies and initiate a restructuring of relations and authority. This means chaos for the incumbent or dominant culture, and manifest dreams
of progress for the oppressed. As the saying goes, “Blood makes the grass grow greener,” yielding a bountiful harvest for survival.

The anti-scenic effect of an abnormally violent event for most leads to a sense that: This is not Paris (Saint Medard riot, Applebaum, 2015), this is not America (Capitol incident in Carlin, 2021), and this is not New Zealand
(post-Tarrant, picture in Thorpe, 2019). For some, it may be a call to “March Forth”.

We hope you enjoy the March fifth issue, and have provided a summary and some extras for the material recommended in Theme 1, as the panel discussion is quite long.

Credit to Christianity Today for the service ‘Today in Christian History’

Porter, D. (2021, February 23). Reading While Not Black. Christianity Today.

CTCB State of Play No. 6: Gaps, Flat World, Weak States, and the Fog of War

This week’s CTCB State of Play Newsletter No 6 addresses hybrid power arrangements, opportunistic criminal activity in areas of reduced state sovereignty, and societal and police paramilitarisation. Soft power initiatives, diffused social hierarchies, and security voids seem to be contributing to the phenomenon of cultural militarisation and citizen militia formation. It is interesting to note …

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