UGS MarSec Digest 19 June 2014


UGS MarSec Digest 19/06/2014 By Ilias Papadopoulos Master in International Relations & Strategic Studies               Last week saw the rise of an unexpected danger in the Middle East, the radical Islamic ISIL (Islamic State for Iraq and the Levante), an offshoot of al Qaeda that operates in Iraq and Syria. Iraq is a country populated by three distinct groups, Sunni Muslims, Shi’a Muslims and Kurds, with the Shi’a being the majority. After the US intervention in the country in 2003 the later came to power and conducted along with their US allies counterterrorist operations against the radical Sunnis (then called al Qaeda in Iraq).             However two factors changed the largely successful approach in the country. The first was … Continue reading

UGS Weekly Digest 12 – 18 May 2014


Illicit Trade by al Shabaab Bringing Terrorism to the Indian Ocean By Ilias Papadopoulos Master in International Relations & Strategic Studies               In 15/05, an Australian Navy warship, HMAS Darwin, patrolling the coast of Somalia seized a total of 449kg of heroin ($123 mn value). This brought to the forefront again the ways that Somali terrorist groups, particularly al Shabaab, an al Qaeda offshoot, operating in southern Somalia acquire their financing.             Initially the goal of al Shabaab being strictly politico-religious forbade it from embarking in petty crime. Thus their source of financing until 2010 was from other states that either supported their radical cause (e.g. Saudi Arabia), or that wanted to destabilize the targets of the terrorist group … Continue reading