Archive for April 5th, 2015

What does the Garissa attack mean for the fight against ISIS?

J.M. Berger
April 3, 2015

The horrifying and lethal Al-Shabab attack on Garissa University this week and its Mogadishu hotel siege last week highlight one of the fundamental difficulties that arise when jihadi movements metastasize from terrorism to insurgency and devolve back again.

Purely terrorist groups, such al-Qaeda before 9/11, are typically small. Insurgencies generally require much more manpower. Taking and holding a given town or a province takes hundreds or thousands of fighters. When a terrorist group adopts an insurgent approach with any degree of success, its ranks typically swell. If the insurgency fails but is not definitively crushed, it can free up potentially thousands of experienced fighters for terrorist activities.

And as Garissa shows, killing civilians requires far fewer people than taking and governing territory. It only takes a handful of fighters to create a tragedy of massive proportions. Even a small insurgency, transformed, makes for a huge terrorist capability. Read the rest of this entry »

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Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University

New York Times
APRIL 2, 2015

NAIROBI, Kenya — Somali militants burst into a university in eastern Kenya on Thursday and killed nearly 150 students in the worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy here, laying bare the nation’s continuing vulnerability after years of battling Islamist extremism.

A small group of militants, most likely between four and 10, roved from dorm to dorm, separating Christian from Muslim students and killing the Christians, the authorities said. Students described being awakened before dawn by the sound of gunfire and fleeing for their lives as masked attackers closed in.

Officials said that by the time Kenyan commandos cornered and killed the attackers on an upper floor, 147 people lay dead.

Despite new security laws, significant Western help and a heightened state of vigilance that has already put police officers on almost every major street corner in the capital, Nairobi, Kenya remains squarely in the cross hairs of the Shabab, the Somali terrorist group that immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Zahid should not assume that although Pakatan Rakyat is opposed to IS and Islamic extremism, he has a blank cheque to enact anti-terrorism laws without proper consultation with the Opposition and the civil society

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi is mistaken if he thinks that although Pakatan Rakyat is opposed to Islamic State and Islamic extremism, he has a blank cheque to enact a spate of anti-terrorism laws without proper consultation with the Opposition and the civil society.

I am quite disturbed by Zahid’s complacency and cavalier attitude as reflected by his statement after the presentation of the spate of anti-terrorism bills like the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015 (POTA) that he is confident the opposition will back POTA and that rejection would most likely come from activists and human rights’ lawyers.

Up to now, in finalizing the spate of anti-terrorism bills, Zahid has never bothered to consult with Pakatan Rakyat MPs and the civil society or seek their views on adequate safeguards against abuses of far-reaching powers. Read the rest of this entry »


The final stillbirth after 17 days of “labour pains” of the Prime Minister’s statement declaring UMNO/BN opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation – and the five-step metamorphosis of MCA stand

Has the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement declaring UMNO/Barisan Nasional opposition to PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation suffered “still birth” after 17 days of prolonged “labour pain”?

Seventeen days ago, the MCA President was so cocksure that the Prime Minister would declare the UMNO/BN stand opposing Hadi’s private member’s bill that the “news” was leaked to a Chinese national daily which published the “exclusive news” on the front page, but which proved to be the major false news leak in the history of Malaysian journalism.

The MCA President’s cocksure confidence that Najib would be making a statement within 24 hours on UMNO/BN’s opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill has under gone a five-step metamorphosis in the past 17 days of “labour pains” of the Prime Minister, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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Let Khalid reveal who were the police officers sent to Sydney to question Sirul and when to prove Sirul was wrong in accusing the IGP of lying

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar is on the losing side in his spat with former police commando, convicted murderer of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and fugitive in Australia, Sirul Azhar Umar.

Sirul had accused the IGP of lying when the police chief said that he had sent his men to Australia to meet the fugitive.

Sirul, who is currently held in the immigration detention centre in Villawood, Sydney, has categorically denied this in his phone interview with Malaysiakini, declaring unequivocally:

“Let me tell you, there were no officers or police personnel who met me in Australia.

“He (IGP) is lying to the police force and lying to the public with his claims, and is trying to protect his boss.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Desperate times at 1MDB

By P Gunasegaram
Apr 3, 2015

QUESTION TIME Recent developments at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have raised fresh concerns over the self-styled national strategic development company, on top of the numerous longstanding concerns it already has.

The changes in decision, flip-flops, contradictory statements and so on indicate an atmosphere of increasing desperation, the overriding reason for the anxiety being money, or more precisely the lack of it.

That is a rather dangerous situation for 1MDB to be in. At last count, end-March 2014, using figures from its annual report, it had borrowings, including some payables, of a massive RM46 billion, liabilities of RM48 billion and assets of RM51 billion.

With RM46 billion in borrowings and only RM13 billion in solid assets in power generation, why is 1MDB so illiquid? It should be floating in a veritable sea of liquidity instead of scrounging around to pay for loans which are coming due. Read the rest of this entry »