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SIS: combating terrorism-overriding global problem

... a considerable worsening of the state of antiterrorist security in the majority of countries has been registered this year. The most affected areas remain to be the Middle East, Central Asia and Northwest Africa, there was an intensification of attacks...

 

The scourge of terrorism has substantially extended in recent years, currently, reaching considerable proportions and affecting nearly every region on the political map. Developments demonstrate that terrorism continues to be the main factor with a major impact on the state of security, the threats coming from some well-known organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al Qaeda (AQ). At the same time, there has been noted a negative trend of activation of terrorist entities, relatively, passive until recently and reactivation of new theatres of terrorist operation.

The main event in the realm of security at the regional level was the proliferation of terrorist activity on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. In this context, the Security and Intelligence Service of the Republic of Moldova has busted a transit network of elements related to international terrorism. The Service has thwarted the attempt of a group of foreigners, natives of the Russian Federation and Tajikistan, to cross the country, having Syria as possible point of final destination. Meanwhile, the SIS jointly with the MIA undertook a complex of special antiterrorist measures after which a cell with terrorist elements, composed of foreign nationals, suspected of being members ISIS intending to move to Syria, was identified and annihilated.

The European continent continued to represent one of the main areas affected by terrorist activities, the most significant risks constituting radicalization of the population and the movement of people towards conflict theatres from the Middle East. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain and Sweden are among the countries that have experienced a resurgence of antiterrorist state of antiterrorist security, declaring a high-level terror alert.

In this regard, the specialized authorities have undertaken ample antiterrorist operations and raids. As a result of that, there were identified and arrested persons who were planning to commit terrorist acts within the EU. At the same time, there were detected and curbed attempts of people from European countries to travel to conflict zones of the Middle East. Actually, the most serious threats to the security of the European community remain to be illegal migration to /from theatres of conflict and terrorist attacks including cyber ones. In this context, government authorities have adopted a series of legislative and security measures to prevent and combat the proliferation of terrorist activity on the regional scale.

The Community of Independent States faced the same problem concerning radicalization and recruitment of its own nationals, in this regard, being registered a significant worsening in the realm of security. Thus, there were documented several cases of involvement of foreign militant terrorists (foreign terrorist fighters) from the CIS in the actions conducted by ISIS network and the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A sensitive aspect of the fight against terrorism was the recruitment of a high-ranking commander of special forces in Tajikistan and his adherence to ISIS organization.

The CIS special services undertook a complex of special measures, as a result of which affiliated persons and local cells of terrorist organizations Hizb ut-Tahrir and Nusrat Front were identified. The most significant event in the concerned area was determined by the formation in the period of reference of a local province of ISIS - Wilayat Caucasus. Approximation of a Sunni organization to the CIS borders, along with worsening situation in Kunduz and Badghis regions of Afghanistan, confer a specific connotation to the security situation in the region.

A growing level of extremist-terrorist threat has emerged on the North American continent. This is mainly due to proliferation of ISIS followers’ activities that carried out an attack on an office where a contest of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed was held. It is worth mentioning that Dzhohar Tsarnaev responsible for the terrorist attack in Boston in 2013 was recognized guilty and sentenced to death. At the same time, the Canadian authorities approved a draft law (Bill C-51) that gives additional powers to the Canadian Intelligence and Security Service in combating terrorism.

The regions of Western and Northern Africa registered a negative trend with regard to antiterrorist security situation, there existing indices of intensification and expansion of terrorist phenomenon. Boko Haram organization, recently renamed the "Islamic State Province in West Africa", continued attacks in Nigeria and neighboring countries, generating considerable casualties among the civilian population.

During the reporting period, a reactivation of new theatres of terrorist operations in Somalia and Kenya was noticed following the activity led by Al-Shabaab organization. Meanwhile, indices on restructuring and reorganization of groups affiliated to AQ in the Sahel and Maghreb regions were recorded, the security status being predominantly influenced by the activity of Al-Qaida network in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI).

It should be also noted that a negative tendency was observed in Libya owing to territorial advancement of the ISIS local network. Sunni militants have managed to occupy a large number of towns and commit multiple attacks on the civilian population, as well as on enemies among local Islamist militias.

The terrorist danger posed by Libya entails a special connotation because local situation constitutes a threat to regional and European security. Terrorist camps of instruction, located in the area, provide the required military training for jihadists involved in regional attacks and the local ISIS network organizes illegal migration of militants to the European continent.

The security status in the Middle East remains to be tense, being influenced further on by major expansion of ISIS influence on the Iraqi and Syrian territories including Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The Sunni organization has conquered a number of Sunni cities in Iraq (provincial capital Anbar - the city of Ramadi) and Syria (Palmyra town), currently, holding control over about a half of Syria's territory. Meanwhile, a series of attacks in Egypt led by ISIS network - Wilayat Sinai were reported.

Central Asia also recorded a negative trend in the evolution of terrorist manifestations. This fact was generated by internal instability of the Taliban Movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan and by incursions from the outside of ISIS. Strained relations between local Jihadist groups and the struggle for domination determined the unfolding of extensive terrorist operations and conducting of a series of attacks, preponderantly, against civil officials and representatives of the special forces. Triggering of spring operation by the Taliban led to a considerable worsening of security status, particularly, in Kunduz and Badghis regions, bordering with some CIS countries.

The peril deriving from radicalization and recruitment of persons by terrorist organizations was felt in Australia, too. Although it is far from the theatres of terrorist operations, Australia is facing the terrorist threat on its own territories.

In this respect, there have been multiple cases of Australian citizens’ involvement in the activity of ISIS organization and displacement, particularly, of women to theatres of conflict in the Middle East. Young females leave for fictitious marriages, usually, getting under conditions of sexual slavery. Given the formed conjuncture, government authorities have developed a complex of antiterrorist legislative and administrative measures with a view of preventing and combating the terrorist phenomenon.

The second quarter of the year 2015 was marked by a considerable worsening of antiterrorist security status in the most countries throughout the world. The most affected areas remain to be the Middle East, Central Asia and Northwest Africa. In June, on the eve of Muslim fasting Ramadan, an intensification of attacks was registered after the admonition voiced by ISIS to punish the wrongdoers. Sunni organization and its affiliates, together with AQ and Taliban constitute the main threat to global and regional peace and security.