SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW Weekly Assessments & Briefings Volume 12, No. 38, March 24, 2014

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
ASSESSMENT
AFGHANISTAN

Critical Cusp
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

With less than a fortnight to go for the all important Presidential Elections scheduled to be held on April 5, 2014, a wave of terror strikes has enveloped the length and breadth of Afghanistan. In the most recent of major incidents (each resulting in three or more fatalities) at least nine persons, including four foreigners and five Afghans (including two children and two women), were shot dead by Taliban terrorists inside the luxurious Serena Hotel complex in national capital Kabul, in the night of March 20, 2014. The attackers managed to smuggle pistols past security checkpoints and then hid in a bathroom, eventually springing out and opening fire on guests and hotel guards. All the four terrorists were killed in the subsequent operation by the Security Forces (SFs). The attack took place despite recent security reports rating Serena Hotel, guarded round the clock by dozens of security guards armed with assault weapons, among the highest-risk locales in the city. The hotel is frequented by foreign officials and the Afghan elite. Continue reading

Ukrainian navy decimated by Russian move into Crimea

Tim Ripley, London – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly
25 March 2014

UkraineOfficers of the Ukrainian navy Grisha V-class frigate Lutsk raise the Russian naval ensign on 20 March. Source: PA Photos
Ukraine’s maritime forces have been dealt a heavy blow by the Russian intervention in Crimea, with 12 of its 17 major warships and much of its naval aviation assets falling under Moscow’s control.
In the eight days since the controversial referendum on 16 March that opened the door for Crimea to be absorbed in the Russian Federation, almost every Ukrainian naval base and ship on the peninsula has been seized by Russian forces or local pro-Moscow self defence units.
The scale of the crisis facing the Ukrainian navy is apparent from the fact that around 12,000 of its 15,450 personnel were based in Crimea when Russia intervened on 27 February. Over the past three weeks, the majority of the Ukrainian military personnel on Crimea have defected to the Russian military or resigned from military service, according to announcements by the new pro-Kremlin administration in Crimea. Some independent media reports appear to broadly support Russian claims in this regard. Continue reading

Ukrainian Authorities plan to Attract `US Private Military Company Greystone ‘ according to the Ukrainian Secret Service ‘

#AceWorldNews – DNEPROPETROVSK – March 25 – Ukrainian authorities plan to attract US private military company Greystone Limited to suppress protest moods of the mostly Russian-speaking population in the east of the country.

According to Ukrainian Security Service, mercenaries will be engaged in political search and protection of state security over inability of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies to curb on leaders and activists of pro-Russian movement independently.

This initiative was put forward by oligarchs Ihor Kolomoyskyi, a co-owner of Ukraine’s PrivatBank, and Serhiy Taruta, head of the industrial union of Donbass, a coal basin in eastern Ukraine, as these business tycoons were appointed as governors in central Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region and eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, respectively.

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Ukraine quits CIS, sets visa regime with Russia, wants Crimea as ‘demilitarized zone’

Published time: March 19, 2014 17:55
Edited time: March 21, 2014 10:15

Members of a "Maidan" self-defense unit stand guard in front of a Ukrainian parliament building in Kiev March 17, 2014. (Reuters / Alex Kuzmin)

Members of a “Maidan” self-defense unit stand guard in front of a Ukrainian parliament building in Kiev March 17, 2014. (Reuters / Alex Kuzmin)

The interim government in Kiev says Ukraine will leave the commonwealth of post-Soviet states and force Russians to apply for entry visas, and plans to ask the United Nations to make Crimea a demilitarized zone.

The raft of measures – a response to Russia’s incorporation of Crimea into its territory following Sunday’s referendum – was announced by National Security and Defense Council chief Andrey Parubiy during a press briefing in Kiev.

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was founded to maintain economic and security links between former Soviet republics when they became independent states in 1991. It initially included the 12 non-Baltic countries, though Georgia quit after the Ossetian conflict in 2008.

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Hizbollah’s Political and Security Situation: Existing and Emerging Challenges

Download PDF Print         INSS Insight No. 529, March 19, 2014
Since the beginning of the bloody civil war in Syria three years ago, Hizbollah’s political and security environment has grown far more complex, with the Lebanese Shiite organization involved in a prolonged civil war that has strong regional implications, and with its status within Lebanon increasingly contested. Thus while Hizbollah remains the single most powerful military organization in Lebanon, both its freedom of action and its capacity to project power have been constrained. Currently, Hizbollah must deal with challenges at both the domestic and regional levels.
Since the beginning of the bloody civil war in Syria three years ago, Hizbollah’s political and security environment has grown far more complex, with the Lebanese Shiite organization involved in a prolonged civil war that has strong regional implications, and with its status within Lebanon increasingly contested. Thus while Hizbollah remains the single most powerful military organization in Lebanon, both its freedom of action and its capacity to project power have been constrained. Currently, Hizbollah must deal with challenges at both the domestic and regional levels.

Funeral of a Hizbollah fighter killed in Syria, March 3, 2014; AFP/Getty Images

Within Lebanon, Hizbollah is grappling with a prolonged period of instability, with the country ever-more polarized between pro-and anti-Bashar al-Assad supporters. Adding to the complexity of the situation is the pressure on Lebanon caused by the steady influx of Syrian refugees, numbering one million by late 2013 - more than 20 percent of Lebanon’s total population - a number expected to rise to 1.5 million by the end of 2014.  Continue reading

Terrorism, Insurgency & Non-State Armed Groups – Review & Outlook

Tate Nurkin, Director of Research, IHS Aerospace, Defence & Security

09 February 2014

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Terror and suicide attacks by country and militant fatalities Source: IHS

Geographic concentration in Middle East and South Asia

In January 2014, Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak noted that “the phenomenon of terrorism is global in nature. So, wherever you are, you might become a target.”

While this statement is not false – the threat of terrorism remains global, even if most of the activity in 2013 was locally focused – the data for 2013 strongly suggests the more practical conclusion that terrorism and insurgency activity in 2013 was overwhelmingly concentrated in a relatively small handful of roughly geographically proximate states. Indeed, 85% of all 2013 fatalities occurred in five states: Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

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SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW

Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 12, No. 31, February 3, 2014

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal

ASSESSMENT

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PAKISTAN

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Terror Unbridled
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

Terrorism in Pakistan has already resulted in at least 460 fatalities, including 241 civilians, 86 Security Force (SF) personnel and 133 militants in just the first month of 2014, according to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP). 38 major incidents (each resulting in three or more fatalities) have inflicted at least 309 fatalities, and 70 explosions have also been recorded, accounting for 167 deaths. In one of the worst attacks of 2014 targeting civilians, at least 24 Shia pilgrims returning from Iran were killed and another 40 were injured in a bomb attack targeting their bus in the Khusak area of Kanak in the Mastung District of Balochistan Province, on January 21, 2014. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Clearly, the ‘terror industry’ that was established by Islamabad decades ago with the primary intention of exporting mujahideen into neighbouring countries, including India and Afghanistan, to secure Pakistan‘s perceived ‘strategic interests’, continues to thrive. This vast misadventure, however, turned progressively against its very creators, and, since 9/11, Pakistan has itself become the increasing target of several formerly state sponsored terrorist formations that have ‘gone rogue’, even as international pressure has forced Islamabad to undertake visibly reluctant operations against some of these groups. The process escalated after the creation of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the aftermath of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) operations in 2007, causing a spiral of violence that now threatens the very existence of the country. Pakistan’s undiminished tolerance for religious extremists has not just destroyed lives and alienated entire communities; it is destroying Pakistani society and the very idea and edifice of the nation.

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