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Global Watch

 Terrorism is largely blamed on Muslim fanatics and extremists who act in the name of Islam. They do not always agree on their respective version of Islam and often fight their own turf wars. 


While tangible measures are applied to terminating it, the repulsive behaviour of ISIS ought also to be an invitation to the civilized world to fix its gaze on the mirror, and parse its patterns of inconsistency.

By Musa Khan Jalalzai   The current war of interests in Ukraine is prompting many problems between Russia and the UK. Britain, which is one of the guarantors of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, is being heavily criticised for its flawed approach to the expanding flare-ups along Europe’s borders. In the Euro-committee of the House of Lords, the Cameron administration was deeply criticised for a ‘catastrophic misreading’ of the mood in Russia. As the recent growing political tension in Ukraine changed the parameters of Russian and US priorities, the intelligence war in the UK and the US also appeared with its evolving face. Being a US ally, the UK is facing the challenge of Russian intelligence networks on its soil while the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) is becoming more aggressive with the intensification of its cyber terrorism against our state institutions.   Intelligence experts in London say the Russian intelligence war has returned to the Cold War era levels as the FSB is treating Britain with an aggressive mood. Interestingly, in 2010, I wrote an article in which I had raised the issue of the Russian intelligence and its espionage network in Britain. A month later, the FBI busted a Russian spy ring, and some people were also arrested in the UK, but the spy network remained intact. One of the most important functions performed by British intelligence is to provide timely warnings of hostile intelligence agencies present in the country. In the 1980s and 2000s, MI5 and MI6 were aware of the Russian intelligence networks in Britain. In 1981, the KGB and the Soviet military intelligence (GRU) had been assigned a special intelligence task that included monitoring the workings of 10 Downing Street, the Ministry of Defence, the FCO, the headquarters of the British intelligence agencies and their countrywide contacts with different firms and personalities. In fact, intelligence relations between the UK and Russia have deteriorated since 2006, following the murder of the former KGB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, in London. Alexander Litvinenko was a former FSB officer who arrived in the UK fearing court prosecution. He supported a wanted Russian businessman, Boris Berezovsky, in his media campaign. In 2006, Mr Litvinenko was poisoned in a hotel and died.   Intelligence cooperation between the FSB, MI5 and MI6 ended. In 2013, when the British Prime Minister visited Moscow, the intelligence agencies of both sides agreed to renew limited cooperation but could not proceed. In July 2007, the Crown Prosecution said that the Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky would not face trial in Britain for talking to The Guardian newspaper about plotting a “revolution” in his homeland. He was wanted in Russia for corruption cases till his death in 2013. In 2008, the Russian government closed the offices of two British Councils. However, their intelligence relationship turned hostile with the Euro imposition of sanctions against Russia and the UK criticism of the Crimea annexation. In March 2014, Britain suspended all military cooperation with Russia. The most recent incidents of espionage and an intelligence war in Britain are a matter of great concern. These unexpected incidents revolve around foreign espionage networks, an issue that seemingly refused to die out with the end of the Cold War. On January 24, 2015, the FBI charged three men with serving as agents for Russia in New York. These agents had been directed to collect intelligence about the US sanctions against Russia.   As Britain has become the battleground of foreign intelligence and espionage networks, Russian intelligence agencies (KGB, FBS and GRU) have also arrived to join the chorus. The activities of these hostile intelligence lords pose a threat to the national security of the country. With the inception of the new cold war, after the worsening crisis in Ukraine, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the intelligence war between Russia, UK, and the US is being fought in cyberspace. Last month, Britain’s powerful intelligence agency (SIS) issued an unprecedented warning that Russian intelligence is targeting British spies and former agents in an aggressive way. According to The Sunday Times report: “A memo was sent to the staff and former employees of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) with a warning that Russian agents will undermine their businesses and apply pressure to ‘close relations’ to gain classified information or recruit double agents.”   In Britain, senior policy makers view these initiatives as a policy change towards Russian intelligence operations here. The security service (MI5) has directed the counter-espionage branch to step up surveillance against Putin-backed agents on the streets of London. The UK security services have begun to recruit a new generation of Russian-speaking spies to help monitor Vladimir Putin's undercover agents as relations worsen between the two states. Moreover, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also warned that the country's spy agencies were stepping up efforts to counter the FSB and GRU networks. “We are in familiar territory for anyone over the age of about 50 with Russia's aggressive behaviour as a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security,” Hammond said.   Intelligence practice in the UK, as traditionally assessed in the area of policing, defence and national security, has undergone significant ordeals during the last decade. In newspapers and television debates, commentators focus on the intelligence infrastructure of Britain with different perspectives. In contrast to the Eye Five Agreement countries, British intelligence is well organised and updated. The changing security environment has also been important in influencing the changing tactics of the UK intelligence agencies. Since 9/11, there has been an increasing amount of literature on how to improve the practice of the intelligence mechanism in the country. Experts suggested that building a better and effective intelligence infrastructure requires getting both the key enabling activities and core intelligence processes. In this regard, the agencies serve a function similar to that of the new media, and the range of information they cover depends on the scope of the nation’s intelligence interest. Indeed, the more recent public discussion of intelligence has been characterised by a neglect of fundamental questions about the proper role of intelligence and secrecy in a country. During the last 100 years, British intelligence performed an exceptional role in times of war and peace.     (The writer is the author of Punjabi Taliban and can be reached at zai.musakhan222@gmail.com)   The Daily Times, March 24, 2015

As the global civil war tearing the Islamic world apart intensifies, there’s understandably deep pessimism over the future of Islam. 


The agreeable weather in Lausanne, Switzerland, may have helped, but an agreement may still elude the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in the current round of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear capability


A surly European Union has engineered the scrapping of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels. It should not be cause for concern given the growing irrelevance of Europe.


On Tuesday, US allies — Germany, France, and Italy — agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) launched by China. Last week one of America's staunchest allies, the UK, became the first Western nation to join the new bank. 


In fact, President Obama is not alone in supporting a nuclear deal with Iran, as the Republican Party seems to falsely believe. The US is among five other countries that support the same: China, Russia, France, the UK and Germany.


The Islamic State wants to force all humanity to believe in its vision of a religious and social utopia existing in the first days of Islam.

The liberal-Left’s response to Islamic terror exposes the cracks in its discourse surrounding violence perpetrated by religious zealots.

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spotlight image Ties between India and Japan are probably at their best ever, Japanese Ambassador to India H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu told India Review & Analysis’ Nilova Roy Chaudhury, as he outlined how the two countries have moved closer. Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit
India will on September 26 dispatch around 900 tonnes of relief material for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh which is being loaded on to Indian Naval Ship Gharial at Kakinada port in Andhra Pradesh.
That regional cooperation in South Asia is lower than optimal levels is well accepted. It is usually ascribed to – the asymmetry in size between India and the rest, conflicts and historical political tensions, a trust deficit, limited transport connectivity, and onerous logistics, among many other factors.
Reflections on September evoke a host of memories.
  During the budget session of the legislative assembly, the Chief Minister informed the  House about state’s missing children. According to her, as many as 162 children have gone missing in the past three years.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is expected to amend its constitution at the upcoming national congress.
An atmospheric test by Pyongyang  would ensure that North Korea could become a pariah state for the rest of Kim Jong-Un’s lifetime...However, their technologies in terms of making nuclear and thermonuclear bombs and rocketry that was acquired from late Pakistani scientist A Q Khan network and the Chinese/Soviet sources merit
The apprehension was justified. US President Donald Trump’s disregard for institutions and fondness for reckless rhetoric meant that his maiden appearance at the annual UN General Assembly was a closely watched affair.
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...


As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.


Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.


This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...


History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

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