30 April 2008

Wanted Colombia Drug Lord Killed

One of two Colombian brothers, Victor Mejia. Miguel survives him.

High tech pirates are no romantuc figures

Good overview of recent events by CNN. Calm and measured, unlike some of the journalism in our recent postings!

Fears of Snooping on Social Networks

Looks like everybody is under surveillance in Russia...and are we really surprised? But the threat to privacy is as much from private enterprise as it is from the FSU. The Moscow Times doesnt seem to have any human rights lawyers to interview on the protection of people's privacy. Anti-Kremlin activists are, however, quoted. Presumably if "THEY" are nosing through Russian social networking sites, they're at it over here too. So too will organised crime be. Ah well. One day, they will have nothing to fear but the press!

29 April 2008

Drugs for Guns: how the Heroin Trade Fuels the Taliban Insurgency

Independent article claims that drugs are exchanged for arms parts in Tajikistan. It gets confused in places, alleging that it is the Russian mafia that is behind everything. Which? Would be my first question. Sounds more like Tajik middlemen and there is no clear evidence given of who they deal with, or that the heroin is bound for the UK, as alleged elsewhere in the piece.
It's a great travellers tale. Three smugglers tell you about this deserted village where 300 shopkeepers sit around courtyards dealing arms parts for heroin....Mmmmm, out of the Arabian Nights? Given that there are insurgents allied to al Qaeda roaming the Tajik border areas, I cant imagine many Russians on the loose round there. Still it fits in nicely with the earlier posts from Helmand. Maybe the US marines should be looking at the Tajik border a little more closely?

Police arrest three in Tamil Tigers Inquiry

Arrests in Newtown, Powys, Mitcham and Surrey. First reports alleged/suggested there would be terrorist financing charges, but now looks like "commision, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism". BBC report quotes someone from "Scotland Yard" as alluding to finance http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7372883.stm

US marines surge into Taliban-held town

After the previous post, which was clearly a feature, in go the Americans to Gamsher today. Time to compare US and UK counter-insurgency strategies and tactics. Times has a headline: US Marines to stir things up in Helmand: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3835580.ece
"General McNeill said that he would like to see British troops double their six-month tour of duty to one year because the longer US deployments had helped to fight a war where knowledge of the local population was a key to winning their support and distancing them from militants."
Times article suggests US military wants UK to adopt their tactics.

Hamburger Hill: frontline base in a sea of poppies British troops dare not clear

All those promises that we were only going into Helmand on a drug eradication programme. We knew they were lies at the time, but this, even allowing for Grauniad excess, is crazy. See the previous post on Colombia. We engage in military intervention for one ostensible reason, then change it to another in order to justify staying. In the process, organised crime is the major beneficiary. Cui bono? Where are the policy evaluation metrics?

Why are we ignoring organised crime?

Surprisingly good article by Sean ONeill in the Times. Why are we spending all this money and reducing individual liberty when there's a much more serious threat than terrorism? Simple answer Sean. It's your redtop stablemates and the fear they induce amongst politicians. If they got on their high horse about organised crime, the political agenda would shift instantly. Sounds like another question on that final exam paper that I keep writing!
Actually, Sean's a good lad and has been known to buy his round! Hope this is the start of a series on the subject.

Virtual Kidnappings Exploit Real Fears

Mexican cellphone scam, often initiated by prisoners, give new twist to 417 frauds. Someone phones you and tells you they have kidnapped a member of your family and demands money and valuables. No-one has been kidnapped, but you hand stuff over, nevertheless.

28 April 2008

Funding Charges for Spain's al Qaeda Chief

Aberystwyth symposium delegates were asking for examples of prosecution of terror financing offences. Here's a Spanish example.

Last Call for Critical Criminology Conference

It's in Sydney. Take your Old Bailey transcripts!

Old Bailey Opens its Unseen Files

Not sure if the Guardian isnt the teensiest bit behind here. Family History buffs have been looking at these for a while. Still, historians of organised crime should have a field day. It must be today that the process of putting files online finishes. Go find your transported ancestors immediately! Then do some proper research on the O'Houlihans and their ilk.

27 April 2008

Gang fixers "picked over police"

"community fixers" being chosen to deliver justice rather than the police, says the Chief constable of Leicester:
"I do recognise that you get a limited number of people at a more criminal level who seek to build a power base in communities by intimidation, by controlling the drugs, by being seen, if you like, almost to bring a sense of peace.

"In my experience the people that are criminal fixers are actually feathering their own nest."

Since 2001, a Dramatic Increase in Suicide Bombings

Article on the anniversary of the embassy bombing in Beirut 25 years ago [April 18th]. Figures included. 658 attacks last year, 542 of them in Iraq and Afghanistan. 1,840 incidents in past 25 years, 86% of them since 2001. Sounds like an exponential curve. 920 in Iraq and over 260 in Afghanistan. Seems a long time since we could say that the majority of incidents were in Sri Lanka, but its only 7 years. Figure given are unpublished so I'm putting them here in case Washington Post site moves.

From Mexico, Drug Violence Spills over into US

This article would have been written for the Washington Post before news broke of today's gun battles in Tijuana. Real "state within a state" stuff. Also introduces a displacement argument. Someone has recently argued that you have to work out where crime is going to be displaced to before you start to intervene and provide the resources there too.

Cousin of Colmbian President Arrested in Death Squad Probe

Story of investigation into links between members of Congress, paramilitary Death Squads and Narco-trafficking...and we arent talking about FARC here. We're talking about the Colmbian elite and its killers. There's a book, apparently called "Parapolitics", cooauthored by a Claudia Lopez. Death squads go back as far as the 1980s.
So let me see...according tho the Washingto Post, the US has been paying people who traffic cocaine to the US to kill people who may be involved with FARC, who the administration accuses of trafficking in cocaine. Hm...Sounds like capitalism to me. Pay someone to expand their market share. Are there any good guys in all this?

Luck Runs Out for Fugitive Drug Lord

Colourful account of el Nene, a Ceuta-based drug smuggler. Ceuta is a Spanish enclave in North Africa.

Hizbollah Builds up Fighting Force

Again, the headline in this Guardian/Observer article is misleading. Everyone expects a new round of fighting between Hizbollah and Israel. This piece offers an insight into the fact. It also gives evidence that there were far fewer fighters than previous estimates, but there will now be a whole generation trained in camps in other countries. The article is based on a chat with a single person, it needs to be said. An untitled "US military study" describes the military wing as autonomous and completely decentralised. Intriguing piece, though to be treated with caution.

How Savage Pirates Reign on the World's High Seas

Breathless headline from the sub editor here. The story is actually about Somali waters, where, according to the last couple of paragraphs of the article, a lot of boats are fishing illegally. On the other hand, there is no reliable government to issue permits. Warlords or the Islamic courts: there's your choice.

26 April 2008

Hackers warn High Street Chains

BBC report on the "Hackers' Panel" at the InfoSecurity Conference. Interesting argument about role for ISPs in policing botnets and claims that neither China nor Russia responsible for recent attacks. Both private individuals and murky Western agencies routing their attacks through those countries to disguise the origin of attacks. Sounds like trouble in cyberspace. Commercial companies good targets because their security is so poor.

25 April 2008

Updated Drugs and Drving Website

Public info website including advice about the impact of individual drugs on driving ability.

Counting the Costs of Crime in Australia: a 2005 Update

Don't be fooled. The small print says it relies on US and UK data. Important stuff for researchers here, including new challenges like cybercrime.

FBI wants to move hunt for criminals into internet backbone

Thanks Monty for this link to an important article. One quote:

"The current debate over who gets to do what and how with network hubs is akin to the foundational debates over property and taxes with which we started America, so it's important that we have it in the light of day and that we all participate."

You'd better all go look at this and think about it! Today's three hour essay question."What is the optimum balance between the threat to individual liberties from terrorism and organised crime and the threat from the government and security service response to it?"

Get setting that for your final year students. A three hour one question essay.

Terror Talk: no more islamist jihads

Oh dear. The neo-cons don't even seem to understand that their use of the terms actually causes offence and diminishes them in the eyes of the Muslim world. So what terms are we allowed to use in this Orwellian world? The term "terrorist" isnt very helpful either. All it means is "people the US government doesnt like."
An interesting challenge for academics here. Perhaps a competition for some new concepts?

24 April 2008

EU deal on Immigrant Detentions

This means that all EU member states have agreed a 6 month maximum for detention of illegal immigrants and a readmission deal before sending them home. But in essence, it means that illegal immigrants will all now be returned to their country of origin. There is some opposition from the Socialist group of MEPs and this is the BBC spin on the decision, rather then the EUObserver report, which I will hope to post tomorrow.

UK Asylum Stistics for Fourth Quarter

Too much detail to summarise. Applications slightly down year on year, slightly up quarter on quarter. Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan areas from which largest number of asylum applicants originate.
Journalists might like to write a short essay on the difference between asylum-seekers, legal immigrants, trafficked human beings and illegal immigrants. Hah! That will be the day!

Crime in England and Wales; Quarterly Update to December 2007

Recorded Crime continues to fall. BCS also shows risk of being a victim of crime lowest since figure first gathered in 1981. Major increase in drug offences, due to new power to issue caution for cannabis. You would never believe this if you were a newspaper reader. Let's panic the elderly!

Still a fear of anti-social behaviour, though, the figures show.

Web Site Unites Pirated Databases

Moscow Times article on US-based website allegedly offering personal data on Russian citizens. Apparently there are pirated disc shops in Moscow selling details details from individual ministries. This "private detective" site does the lot!
Question: are there such shops in the UK, the US and other European countries? Where are our fearless investigative reporters? Too busy finding anti-Gordon Brown stories?

Terror asset freezing "Unlawful"

Process by which UN legislation implemented in UK found unlawful by Court. Blair Government found to have broken the law yet again.

Second extract from Book about Chinese illegal migrants

Deals with the problems of paying debts to the snakeheads. Gives statistics about the size of the pirate DVD trade in the UK. Calculates 10,000 Chinese out there selling, in a business worth £500,000 per annum. Also gives details of the way gangs exploit illegal immigrants in ways other than the sex industry, which gets the headlines.

23 April 2008

Kadyrov is the Better of Two Chechen Evils

Surreal article on power in Chechnya. Enjoy, especially after reading the previous post!

There is nothing normal about corruption

Anders Aslund on Corruption in Russia. Article in the Moscow Times. So it cant be all bad! At least it was published!

Net card fraud underestimated

Though important, this post comes with the caveat that it is a puff for a BBC documentary this evening. In other words its not "really" news. It seems to say that "failed" attempts should be included in the figures and then they would be a lot higher. Well..doh!

Lost 400 children may have been trafficked into sex or drugs trade

I remember attending a conference in Brussels some years ago in which the Dutch police made a presentation about a special unit to investigate disappearances of immigrant children arriving on their own. There still isn't enough information exchange among European forces at lower levels.

22 April 2008

Report on provision of services to the indigeneous population in Australia

Includes justice delivery along with other public services. Probably worth looking at for the evaluation models used as well as the data.

In Baghdad, Struggle Ties Security to Basic Services

Oh dear. Another sad story of counter-insurgency. Leave the militias to provide services and blow the ones that work to bits.
“He who is able to fix the public utilities holds the keys to the kingdom in terms of winning the support of the Iraqi people and ultimately ending this conflict,” said Sgt. Alex J. Plitsas of the 312th Psychological Operations Company, who met with Sadr City representatives.
Just about sums it up really.

Extract from bok on Chinese immigrants

Hsiao Hung-pai "Chinese Whispers, the True Story Behind Britain's Hidden Army of Labour". Published by Penguin. This extract is about work in the sex industry in the uK.

21 April 2008

Jemaah Islamiya Leaders Jailed

Abu Dujana and Zarkasih, leaders of Indonesian group with links to Malaysian groups and al Qaeda receive 15 year prison sentences. Some background in the article too.

26th International Symposium on Economic Crime Programme

The Symposium wil take place at Jesus College Cambridge, between Sunday 31st August and Sunday 7th September. This year's title is "Banking on Trouble".

"The Twenty-Sixth Symposium will focus on the threats confronting from both inside and outside, the stability, integrity and viability of banking and other financial institutions. Our programme which consists of keynote and plenary sessions, supported by numerous workshops, will address those areas of risk thrown up not just by crime and terror, but also our responses to such threats, in the context of protecting and creating wealth. This year we will give particular attention to initiatives designed to address the problems resulting from serious corruption and its control. However, there will also be a focus on the impact of highly profitable crimes on the system and in particular those who are responsible for minding other people’s wealth. In the result the programme provides a unique opportunity at a very practical level, to share the experiences of over 300 specialist speakers and panellists in the prevention and control of risks to the integrity of the financial system, government and our societies."

Arrests by Child Sex Abuse Units Triple in a Year

CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Protection Centre [http://www.ceop.gov.uk/] reports on its work. Full Annual review available from the website today. Headlines:

20 April 2008

Police Raids Over Online Brothels

BBC piece on Operation Gib, an operation aimed at a sex-trafficking operation involving Thai women. There will doubtless be more on the outcome in the press next week. An internet escort agency was allegedly being used as a front for organised prostitution.

19 April 2008

Homeless People: Their risk of Victimisation

Paper in AICrime Reduction Series

Homelessness, Drug Use and Offending

Publication in the AIC Crime Facts series

The Illegal Trade in Timber and Timber-related Products in the Asia-Pacific Region

By Andreas Schloenhardt, who usually produces quality stuff. Another AIC paper.

EU tightens anti-terrorism laws

Agreement between EU Justice and Interior Ministers to create punishable offences throughout EU. Targets incitement via internet amongst other activities.

15 April 2008

Chechen Crime Boss Abducted

Movladi Atlangeriyev, head of Lazanskaya crime group, kidnapped. Associate of Nukharyev and is supposed to have worked with him to unify Chechen gangs, the article from the Moscow Times says. The dreaded words "someone in Chechnya wants a word with you" spring to mind. Watch this space.

Armed Gang Raids South Africa Court

There's a longer story here. Documents stolen relating to high-profile cases. The abolition of the Scorpions, the anti-organised crime unit also shows that there is corruption in the centre of power. Dangerous times ahead.

Rita Borsellino: Anti-Mafia campaigner

Some covert warnings in this piece from the BBC about the political connections of the Sicilian Mafia. Rita is the sister of Paolo, an anti-Mafia magistrate killed by the Mafia.

14 April 2008

Poppy for Medicine

An integrated counter-narcotics, development and counter-insurgency model for Afghanistan. Looks like we're all counter-insurgency specialists now!

Latest edition of ANZSOC Newlsetter out

Available from the Home Page. Downloadable as a large .pdf

A call for Action on Tax Scams

Washington Post article demonstrating how identity theft can be used to steal tax refunds. Fascinating process. Puts the theft of laptops with databases on them into perspective. Also covers illegal immigrant identity fraud. IRS setting up facility to assist victims of identity fraud. Anybody got similar information about such frauds in the EU?

11 April 2008

Abuse trails Central American Girls Into Gangs

There's a reference to a Swedish-funded study into Central American gang members. The article is a little lurid. It would be useful to find the actual research report.

10 April 2008

Serious Fraud Office Wrong to drop British Aerospace inquiry, Court Rules

Now let's watch the DPP shuffle out of the case anyway. Ive used the Guardian's post, as it's likely to be the most disgustingly partisan. Will see if the BBC is more restrained. Then will giggle at the Murdoch "press".

Officials Find Child Pornography on 20,000 Virginia Computers

The paedophilia enterprise is huge. Operation Fairplay provides tracking software now used by 18 countries. Article incoherent in places. A quick google search shows that the last Operation Fairplay was Zia ul Haq'a coupd'etat against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Hmmmm.
There appear to be issues here: http://www.protect.org/newswire/pdf/deconflictionwp.pdf
The link is to a white paper from the National Association to Protect Children. Canada has a Microsoft designed system, but the US was using one developed in Wyoming, but now wants to start again.
Without wanting to sound like a conspiracy theorist, you always wonder how far up the tree these people go. The DoJ initiative sounds like a great way to buy a year to regroup for the paedophila networks...Oh, cynical, cynical!

Arrest of Cigarette Seller is a Coup, Brooklyn Officials Say

New York Times article, but warning, defending lawyer is certain client has been set up. So these are all allegations ans may not shed any light on counterfeit cigarettes in the US. The alleged trail runs from China via an Indian reservation to Brooklyn. Or are there two separate trails? But high taxation as usual lies at the root of the problem.
Apparently there is no taxation on cigarettes sold on Indian reservations, nut sellers are supposed to tax non-Indians.... Is this another of those weird US law structures like the one that bans financial shenanigans everywhere...except for three states, so that the US has internal financial crime havens? Ah, federalism!

09 April 2008

Brussels calls for "urgent action" against organised crime in Bulgaria

Several unprosecuted shootings have happened over the last couple of years. This piece int eh EU Observer follows on an earlier post about problems in Romania and Bulgaria. Not clear what the solution is going to be, if the governments concerned aren't going to be proactive. Having visited one of the countries concerned, the problem appears to be with the prosecutors rather than the police, but that is anecdotal evidence, of course.

How to do Business like the Mafia

This seems to follow on seamlessly from the two previous posts. Clare Longrigg analyses the letters of Bernardo Provenzano, jailed Cosa Nostra boss, from prison. Discussion of a convergence between licit and illicit businesses and their methods. The article is really a book promotion: Boss of Bosses: How Bernardo Provenzano saved the Mafia. Since it doesnt tell us the author, it must be by the "reviewer".

Mystery over who hired mole

Sordid story about a fellow planted on a bunch of airport activists called "Plane Stupid". Allegedly behaved like an agent provocateur and planted his own wilder suggestions in the Evening Standard. Will Plod be investigating him? Or has no law been broken?

In Justice Shift, Corporate Deals Replace Trials

If you know the white collar crime literature, you wont be surprised, but this seems to be a shift towards the City of London approach. El Presidente and his henchmen prepare their corporate niches for retirement? Wonder what Wolfowitz made of it all? One of the cases cited here by the Washington Post rather undermines any World Bank attempt to stop bribery to gain a market advantage. Read and weep!

08 April 2008

Mitigating the trade-based money laundering risk

Interesting article by John Zdanowicz with lots of data in it for Klaus von Lampe to discuss.
ALso a plug for the site: moneylaundering.com

Blanco pide al PP que crea el PSOE cuando dice que no hay posibilidad de dialogo con ETA

Given the amount of EU terrorism that is ETA related, maybe this is a mistake. Its certainly an unreasonably long headline! Lead Story on today's Cambio Siglo XXI. The Gen Sec of the Spanish Socialists, Mr. White [Sr. Blanco] is telling the "Popular Party" [the right wing] that there is no way they will return to negotiations with ETA.

Never say never, Chalky!

Le CNIL veut cotroler la videosurveillance de lieux publiques

Yippee! This is the lead article today in Le Monde.

Thank goodness someone wants to control video surveillance of public places, somewhere!
CNIL is the National Commission for Information and Freedom [loose translation!] Theyve noticed the move from analog to digital storing of pictures and the consequences of this for searching.

Bad news is that the French are about to triple their number of cameras. Judge Dredd here we come!

Sorry, I know the commentary should have been in French too. Article raises a number of issues that the Anglo-Saxons don't understand. The Bulger images legitimised video surveilance in the UK and no-one seems terribly interested any more. There's another discuss question lurking here.

Homegrown terorism rising in EU, Europol says

Nope. Not what you think at all. Number of detained Muslim extremists dropped from 257 in 2006 to 201 in 2007, so headline is misleading. 89% of all terrorist attacks linked to separatism on Spain or France.

EU nationals being recruited for activity in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Now, children...are we perhaps overreacting? Compare what is going on with the 1970s and ask yourself

a. are there as many incidents in Europe today as there were then?
b. Are the "Muslim extremists" anything like as serious a threat as our homegrown anarchists, Trotskyites and Maoists were?
c. Is the amount of separatist violence as widespread as it was then?
d. Is the only difference that something has happened in the USA?
e. Why are we restricting freedoms and rights so much more now than we did then?

Its a full exam paper today.

UK bank details for sale for £5

Symantec's twice -yearly Internet Security Threat Report is out. [http://tinyurl.com/3z4lsm ]
Details of the recent TK Maxx scam at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6511927.stm
Plenty of food for thought.

07 April 2008

Venezuela Steps up Efforts to Thwart Cocaine Traffic

Washington Post piece on Venezuela's realisation that US scoring propaganda points on the cocaine issue that undermine Chavez's revolutionary credentials. Lots of accusation and counter-accusation. But if the US wont let Venezuela buy planes, bit difficult for them to intercept traffickers except on the ground. Bit slow really.
The real audience is the rest of Latin America. Cross-border crime is increasingly a political pawn rather than something to be defeated by transnational cooperation. Sometimes you wonder who benefits from all the noise?

Estonia prepares for repeat of cyberattacks on anniversary

Brief article on hackers attacking government websites in Estonia consequent on moving of Soviet war memorial. Even briefer reference to cyberwar and to a group called "Titan rain" based in China...allegedly. Sounds like the Hong Kong Bolndes in a double bluff to me, but what would I know? Titan rain? Surely there would be better Chinese heroes to refer to then the enemies of Olympus? But again, what would I know?

Internet Crime Complaint Centre's 2007 Report

Link takes you to links to past reports as well. Known as IC3 the Centre fields complaints about internet crimes for the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Centre [http://www.nw3c.org/ ]. Report packed full of stats.

A paper I would like to hear, but sadly it's in Queensland Australia

Title: Determining how journeys-to-crime vary: Measuring inter- and intra-offender crime trip distributions

Abstract: Journey to crime studies have attempted to illuminate aspects of offender decision making that have implications for theory and practice. This article argues that our current understanding of journey to crime is incomplete as the aggregate distribution of crime trips (commonly known as the distance decay) does not take into account the considerable variation that exists between individual offenders’ crime trip distributions. Moreover, the common assumption of statistical independence between observations that make up a distribution is something that, until now, has yet to be tested for distributions of crime trips of multiple offenders. In order to explore these issues, three years of burglary data from a UK police force were linked to thirty-two prolific offenders to generate journey to crime distributions at the aggregate and offender levels. Using multi-level models it was demonstrated that the bulk (65%) of the variation of journeys to crime exists at the offender level, indicating that individual crime trips are not statistically independent. In addition the distance decay pattern found at the aggregate level was not, in the main, observed at the offender level – a result that runs counter to conventional wisdom. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Dr. Michael Townsley is a Lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University. He has previously held research positions at the UCL Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, University College London and University of Liverpool. Michael's research interests include problem oriented policing, crime analysis and crime prevention. He completed his PhD in 2001 on spatial and temporal distributions of residential burglary.

Nexus Policing: Binding Research to Practice

Bit of a scary title: you will research what we do! [and find it good!] Sounds like the dear old British Home Office [see previous post]. But this one, I wish I had the money to visit. Lot of good research and researchers down under.

2008 Crime Science Conference

In danger of becoming a "buy my software" sort of gig, but if you have the money in your conference budget, an experience worth having.

06 April 2008

Rise in City Police in bid to stop fraud

This is not "Scotland Yard", home of the Metropolitan Police. This is the City of London police, another of those quaint British mediaeval anomalies. The important seachange is near he bottom of the article: Mark Pieth, the chairman of the OECD working group on bribery, said: 'The findings from this research are remarkable. Those surveyed are employed to protect their companies from prosecution; calling for more prosecutions is not in their self-interest. But companies' integrity has been called into question by the failure of authorities to properly investigate and prosecute instances of bribery. Nowhere is this more acute than in the UK where, despite high profile cases, no prosecution has been brought in the 10 years since the UK government adopted the OECD anti-bribery convention.'
The research is a survey of legal and compliance officers in the City of London [the Square Mile] part of the European Survey of Corporate Integrity [oxymoron there, surely?] This must be the first time these people have actively supported intervention against insider trading. They'll be getting ethics next!

05 April 2008

Somali pirates sieze French luxury yacht

Today's concession to non-English readers. Piece from Le Monde about French authorities intentions, which may include intervention by the Gendarmerie's specialist unit. Ive missed this item in the UK press, but there have been others on the increasing threat of piracy in the area. Bring back Julius Caesar!

CNN has the story here: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/04/04/cruiseship.pirates.ap/index.html

04 April 2008

Court Annuls Decision to put PKK on EU terror list

Wow! This is a big one! Follows two previous decisions, in favour of the Iranian Mujahedin and the al Aqsa foundation.
Court of First Instance acting here, not the European Court of Human Rights. US observers may need a tutorial on supranational law in Europe. ECHR is a court that applies the Convention on Human Rights, signed back in 1951, to all states in Europe who signed it. Court of First instance is the second highest court in the European Union [which is not the whole of Europe, OK????]

Rising leader for next Phase of Al Qaeda's War

Interesting piece, suggesting that al Qaeda is preparing a strategy against counter-radicalisation initiatives around the world. Bin Laden is seen amongst radicals as a great jihadist, but not a great scholar. Here we have a scholar who has also made a daring escape from Bagram air base/prison in Afghanistan. A more coherent argument with mainstream scholars will now take place and could prove decisive in the recruitment process.
Abu Yahya al-Libi will be a major target for security forces around the world now.

01 April 2008

Crime research boycott call

Researchers from King's College London say the Home Office is ignoring or manipulating research on crime. The trouble is, boycott the Home Office and all the research will go to thr big commercial consultnacies who will tell them what they want to hear. Its the old "rock and a hard place" Scenario.

The actual report is available at: http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/evidencebasedpolicy.html

title is: Critical thinking about the uses of research. Basic argument is that new Labour promised evidence based policy but is back to the same old political considerations. I dont know whether it says that red top editors are more powerful than peofessors....but that would be a truism....wouldn't it?

2nd Symposium on Money Laundering at Aberystwyth

International Law Research Forum
presents the
Second Symposium on Money Laundering: Combating the Financing of Terrorism
April 18th 2008 @10am, Law Conference Room Department of Law and Criminology
Aberystwyth University

Department), DR MARCO ODELLO (ILRF Coordinator) & MARY ALICE LORD
(Symposium Coordinator))

Shareable lessons from banking, the remittance industry, and the
international strategy/policy debate.

Hawala (underground banking).

11.30 COFFEE

The Problem of "Terrorist Money Laundering" as a Separate Offence.


Terrorism in the Caribbean

The relationship between financing structures and paramilitary structures
and the implications for counter-terrorism


Contact Mary Alice Lord at mal06@aber.ac.uk for more information

Bin Laden and the 1986 Arms Deal

Lots of references to books on bin Laden and some of the content of Steve Coll's latest book about who funded bin Laden to buy what.

US Attorney General: Piracy Funds Terror

Always a relief to find that there are dissenting voices in the US and people who have noticed that there is a tendency to link everything to terror these days. Worth a read as it brings out some of the blurring in the argument of the present Administartion.

GAO Report on State Department's antiterrorism programme

"Needs Improved Guidance and more Systematic Assessments of Outcomes". Sounds reasonable to me. Appears to cover provision of assistance to "foreign partners". 40 page report.

EU, NATO to tackle cybercrime

Actually, its a conference organised by the Council of Europe, and either the journalist or the participants seem confused as to whether they are talking about cybercrime, cyberterrorism or cyberwarfare. Doesnt inspire confidence! It then turns out that a separate discussion is on the NATO meeting agenda in Romania. Both turning out "guidlines for cooperation" ie bullying ISPs into submission to the state. Once the information superhighway turned into the first caravanserai, big business wanted the police in there too!