30 August 2010

Muslims "being turned into terrorists in jail"

This is a regular story that reflects some truth in that radicalisation is probably being attempted within UK prisons. Note that the Ministry of Justice does not agree and has a special unit in place to counter the process.

Bit alarmist for RUSI?

Massacre at Tamaulipas

"We have delegated to drug lords the job of managing our immigrant supply, just as they manage our supply of narcotics. The results are clear."

We arent quite so bad in Europe, but we need to learn from the mistakes being made on the US-Mexico border. We've only delegated our immigrant supply policy to organised crime as a whole...Do we have more civilised cartels? I doubt it.

29 August 2010

Three million cigarettes seized

Very brief story with the bare facts. Lorry stopped near Drogheda, possibly on the way to Northern Ireland. Cigarettes allegedly from UAE. Garda estimates gangs making 3 million euros a week from cigarette sales. It has long been anecdotal that more money is made from smuggling cigarettes in European countries than smuggling drugs. Time for some proper research. [see Klaus von Lampe's work and website http://www.organized-crime.de/ ]

26 August 2010

Shabwa: Blood Feuds and hospitality in al-Qaida's Yemeni outpost

Second of the Guardian's articles on al Qaida in the Yemen. More local colour than anything.

Military Computer Attack Confirmed

But not who did it or how successful it was. 2008. Somebody [a foreign intelligence agent] downloaded a programme from a flash drive onto the computers overseeing the combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The good news appears to be that the Russians are the main suspects...

Key Karzai Aide in Corruption Inquiry is linked to the CIA

The issue: does rooting out corruption destabilise the Karzai Government? Whoever is arguing this in the Obama Administration needs to be forced to watch a presentation on the degree to which CORRUPTION destabilises that same government. Both processes hurt the government, but not getting to grips with corruption loses popular support daily. Afghans still see the Taliban as scary but clean.

This New York Times article seems to be saying that investigation into the banking system has revealed the degree to which corruption is endemic. New Ansari has been moving money out of Afghanistan into Dubai for loads of people. Between a billion and 2 and a half billion dollars or 25% of GDP.

So, which destabilises Afghanistan more? Attacking corruption or ignoring it? Send your essays to the guy in the White House.

23 August 2010

Al Qaida in Yemen

First of two articles in the Guardian involving interviews with al Q militants in Yemen as well as local politicians.

Facing Afghan Mistrust, al Qaeda fighters take limited role in insurgency

Washington Post says analysis of the wikileaks documents show al Qaeda fighters marginal to war in Afghanistan. Given the other fronts spparently opened up, this may not be surprising. Or was al Qaeda a mirage? Or again, have US efforts to choke off financing by killing the financiers been effective?
The latter is unlikely. Money for operations, training, recruitment all seems to be available on all fronts. The ideas associated with al Qaeda have expanded, but there is no evidence of a powerful headquarters and command structure, just of links between various groups. After all, al Qaeda was just that when it first appeared; an agreement to work together.

20 August 2010

Court of Protection - Free will, Autonomy and Totalitarian Instincts.

Court of Protection - Free will, Autonomy and Totalitarian Instincts.
I think she's right...and as we age, we will find ourselves declared incapacitated and our money will be seized to put us in a home...

Gang of 50 hunted after illegal cockle poaching at Leasowe shoreline

There are laws on cockle picking...and you can be a cockle poacher. "Coming over here, poaching our cockles"...

19 August 2010

Project ACUMEN report

This is a .pdf which apparently hasnt been posted properly, but the document seems to be there and appears better on the tinyURL than it did on the .pdf given in the last post. Phew! This is the full text of Project Acumen: The trafficking of migrant women
in the England and Wales off-street prostitution sector.

"2,600 sex workers trafficked" says study

This is the ACPO report that was being attacked earlier in the week. The figure of 2,600 is much lower than the NGOs have claimed.
A copy of the report – Setting the Record – can be found here: http://www.acpo.police.uk/asp/policies/Data/Setting%20the%20Record%20(Project%20ACUMEN)%20Aug%202010.pdf

17 August 2010

Cannabis farm boom in UK

New ACPO report. Guardian sub editor goes for "violence"...but it turns out to be between gangs trying to nick each others' crops.

16 August 2010

Barclays Bank pays $298m to settle criminal charges

A federal judge has to approve the settlement. Basically, it's all about sanctions-busting.

15 August 2010

Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents

Mostly about the Yemen, but the first page of this New York Times article discusses the Obama administrations turn from the Bush invasive approach to a more assassination and "surgical strike" type of approach, in which there are no clearly defined rules and the Geneva Convention is completely ignored.
Since most US-military approaches nave eventually turned up in the "war on drugs" expect some of this nonsense to be deployed as strategy and tactics against organised rime in the not too distant future, if it isnt already being used in South America. Arrest? Trial? Forget it, dude...Welcome back to Dodge City!

Jessica Anne Jordan Burton: beauty queen defies cartel beasts in Bolivia's war on cocaine

Some information on Bolivia's borders and gang links to Mexico. As to the model...Its a death sentence if she's any good at the job.

Blood diamonds and Charles Taylor: the inside story

Fascinating background to the tabloid feeding frenzy this week. Story of the man who used to collect the blood diamonds from Sierra Leone.

Police report into brothels dismissed as "amateurish"

There is a debate about sex trafficking. It is certain that there is a sex industry. What is less certain is the degree of trafficking involved. There are those who argue that all prostitutes are victims and those who argue that there are prostitutes who are free independent women, choosing to sell sexual services. Quantitative research? Of course there isnt! All evidence so far is anecdotal at best. In truth, we don't know. But it's about time we found out! What's the evidence from the Netherlands and Sweden?

Revealed: the horrific trade in British children for sex

I think the first of these stories has been published before. Social services and the police do seem awfully confused about the law regarding minors. Reporter hints there is a racial element to the organised criminality here. But as I say, this reads like a re-hash of a former article in advance of a new report about to be published.

Met whistleblower forced out by officer he exposed

This stinks. OK, I know that we wont be getting the full story, but if the allegations here are correct, senior Met officers have been guilty of a variety of offences for which they should have been more severely disciplined.

14 August 2010

"Pink Panther" suspect being sent to Japan

Alleged member of Balkan based gang of jewel thieves being taken from Spain to Japan. The story still has a long way to go.

10 August 2010


As if there hadnt been enough problems with the European Arrest Warrant, here comes the European Investigation Order. This an almost totally UK oriented piece, leaning heavily on Statewatch.

European arrest warrant still "delivering injustice"

EU Observer pointing out that there is no way of stopping a European Arrest Warrant even if it is flawed. The system needs some new safeguards.

Tony Blair's 'naivete' risked Northern Ireland peace deal

Tony Blair's 'naivete' risked Northern Ireland peace deal | Politics | The Guardian

This is taken from a new book, about which I know nothing including which axes the author has to grind. Better find out more about Mary-Alice Clancy then! Surely even my little Tony wasnt this naive?

Our justice system must embrace innovation as a necessity

Report out from the Young Foundation suggesting innovations to the UK criminal justice system, which locks up many more people than the rest of Europe, apparently. Could it be anything to do with slavishly following the US, perhaps??