Beyond the Cusp

March 30, 2016

Not as Simple as America Safe Europe Not

 

There has been much discussion over the lapses in security follow-through by Belgium Security Forces which may have contributed to both the Paris attack and the more recent Brussels bombing as Molenbeek neighborhood produced both terror cells and much of the planning for both attacks were carried out there. Additionally, the leader of the Paris attacks was captured by Police in that same area. We have heard that Turkey had deported a number of Belgians who had been arrested attempting to enter Syria presumably to join the Islamic State and that the Belgian authorities did little if any follow-through and allowed these people to slip from view of enforcement personnel. There was told that the United States and Israel had both warned Brussels of the coming attack with some information pointing to Molenbeek and bombing of the airport and main subway station, the exact targets. Still, the Belgians did little if anything.

 

From this one might think that the situation in Belgium in general and in Brussels particularly was excessively lax considering the warnings received. What many may not have caught is that much of Europe and the world are similarly not well protected from terrorism. Egypt had a Russian jet loaded with a bomb explode over the Sinai and just this week had another aircraft hijacked by a disturbed individual. Though the hijacking was not technically terrorism, the people suffered through an ordeal which for all intents and purposes was an act of terror. The number of attacks across Europe since 9/11 has far outstripped that of the United States, a fact that almost every news coverage stressed, especially those based in the United States. This begs a few questions as to what are the differences between Europe and the United States which might account for this difference.

 

Could it be as simple as availability as most terrorists can walk to Europe from the Middle East or Northern Africa (MENA) where the United States would take a deal of swimming. That makes entry into the United States more regulated despite its presumed porous southern border with Mexico. One fact many are not aware of is that the southern border of Mexico is heavily guarded and short of bribery one does not cross without proper authorizations which in a strange manner makes that porous southern border of the United States a little safer. But there is a greater difference and it has to do with dividing the authority and assignment for responsibility to prevent terrorist strikes. The fact that the United States has an overriding security apparatus which operates nationally while each state operates locally makes all the difference. When one police force in Europe gets any evidence of a terrorist cell operating within their area, they would hopefully monitor them. But what if their plans are being sent cryptically to a cell the other end of Europe, what would the interaction appear as. Would it be as the Turkish, Israeli and American security warned the Belgians. Even with warnings, would there be in existence the infrastructure in their police to handle such intelligence. Very likely not and this needs to be made evident to those in the United States of their good fortune for being a republic binding the fifty states together in cooperation with set rules and assignments and this is their security which is lacking in Europe.

 

Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine the United States never did become one nation and instead became fifty nations just as Europe has different nations. There would be different languages spoken in some of the nations due to the primary immigrants and no universal English preferred as was the case for over two centuries. How well would the individual nation states be at handling security? Would they have in place a unified method of securing their airports? Would they have the funding for expensive scanners and detectors for every air terminal? What would they do with individual bits of information from the many varied individual nation states to figure out a grand scale the targets for terror strikes? Remember that the United States had the CIA, the FBI, Military Intelligences, all the individual state, county, city and rural police. All together they might have been able to piece together the 9/11 attacks and prevented them. They had all the pieces and even the computer of one of the conspirators along with all their levels of security and they missed it! Europe has no overriding law enforcement which can operate freely and without any interference from local authorities. Don’t even try to claim INTERPOL which puts out its Ten Most Wanted lists and attempts to coordinate two hands clapping patty-cake from two people across the room from each other, it does not mesh well.

 

 

INTERPOL shield

 

 

That is the problem in Europe, no coordinating body which can gather all the information and coordinate efforts. Even if INTERPOL had the smoking gun they would still require local police and security personnel to act to prevent any catastrophe. There was one article which got the solution correct, but it will require the nations of Europe to make a decision. Will the nations of Europe actually make an effort to cooperate if an overseeing agency is activated and placed responsible for tracking all things terror related and to whom these individual police and security agencies would necessarily need to report all leads and respond to any inquiries. Without their agreement in advance there is no reason for going through the actions as full coordination and cooperation is the key to success, just as it works, mostly, in the United States. What would rankle the nerves of the Europeans the most is that the overriding group would be NATO and would necessarily coordinate with Israeli security services in order to gain the whole picture. There would also be coordination with Egypt, Jordan and any other government willing to share solid and good information and intelligence. We all know that the European will do almost anything not to appear to react as Israel acts. They view the Israelis as paranoid lunatics who howl at the full moon and other imaginary threats. The Europeans are convinced that through respect and deference they can avoid terrorism like has been levelled against Israel, justifiably by most European thinking. Well, that same snake which the Europeans have been financing for decades has finally come home to roost and is killing Europeans and not just Jews. The time has passed where Europe needed to awaken to the threat levels they are facing and it is not too late, but it is imperative that action start and start soon to fight this rising menace. Either Europe will learn from the United States for coordinating across state lines and from the Israelis on how to implement smart security.

 

A final note on air safety. We have done our share of international flying in the past five years and have seen differing levels of security in the United States and elsewhere. We also have had more than sufficient relations with others including one friend whose plane landed in Brussels minutes after the terror attack, their ordeal was harrowing at best and maybe, just maybe, their luggage will find them again some day in the not too distant future. United, American, Southwest and whatever airlines you care to mention with one exception rely on whatever security the airport at which they fly from provides. That is pure insanity as that does not guarantee a level of expertise or efficiency that provides a safe environment for their passengers and employees. Many of these airlines met with Israeli representatives who described the means by which very few El Al aircraft has ever been successfully hijacked. The solution explained by El Al have always been regarded as the best methods for protecting passengers and aircrews but also too expensive and man-hour intensive to be utilized by these other major carriers. They claim passengers would refuse to pay the extra required for such screening while El Al does the multi-layered screening of passengers and background test their crews leading to the safest flying experience possible. Even further, the El Al aircraft are fit with Elbit Systems C-MUSIC anti-missile Protection systems, and that alone is worth the price of the fare.

 

 

 

 

The people at El Al take these incidents very personally. One of the most daring and astonishing stories is well worth reading titled How to thwart a gunman at 29,000 feet, by the only pilot who ever did. Please take the time and read this true story of one pilot who asked the right questions and used every bit of resources he had to foil an armed hijacking using guile, skill and a large dose of chutzpah. Meanwhile, if Europe is going to get a handle on the terror threat they prefer to pretend is not real, they are going to have to accept facts and deal intelligently with the threat and find a means for a coordinated effort by whatever means. NATO is simply the best suited with its current configuration and technical abilities and was designed to protect Europe from threats, that may as well include current terror threats, and let us all realize that maybe the Israelis actually know what they are dealing with and one might learn a thing or two.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 27, 2014

Turkey Requests Interpol Issue Arrest Warrants on Israelis

Does anybody remember the truth of the events surrounding the Mavi Marmara and the flotilla it led in an attempt to break a universally recognized and legal blockade of Hamas and the Gaza Strip in which this terror organization rules? Every other ship in that flotilla which had carried at least items that would have qualified as humanitarian aid had all of the medicines and much of the other items not already passed any effective use date but the Mavi Marmara carried no such excuse for aid and was manned by terrorists armed with steel and iron bars, wooden bats, knives and a few firearms. The IDF troops attempted to board the ship when she refused to change course and set to port in Ashdod for inspection where any aid, had there been any on board, would have been inspected and passed on overland later that day or the next at the latest. Instead these terrorists manning the ship set upon the IDF soldiers who were armed with paintball guns and pepper balls for use as riot control and proved inadequate against the more heavily armed terrorists. This eventually led to the use of live fire as the terrorists had already severely injured a number of soldiers and had abducted one and taken him below decks and was in the process of throwing others overboard. The result was four IDF soldiers severely injured who sustained serious enough injuries that they were discharged due to disability and others who required medical attention after the battle was over and nine terrorists lay dead (a tenth has recently died in a Turkish hospital). This event caused a rift which appears to persist and may prove permanent between former friendly nations of Turkey and Israel. There are those, myself among them, who believe that this rift is just another sign of the desire of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to move Turkey from a secular valued nation to an Islamist nation fashioned around Sharia and completely opposed to the values instilled in the founding of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

 

Now a Turkish court has issued warrants for the arrest and has filed a plea with Interpol to issue international arrest warrants for the four Israeli military leaders. The warrants requested are for former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, IAF intelligence chief Avishai Levi and naval forces commander Eliezer Marom. This move will very likely put an end to any further progress in the negotiations between Israel and Turkey for arranging measures and reparations from Israel to the family members of those who died during the altercation and only serve to inflame a wound that has been difficult to mend as it was. This is simply another step in the same ilk as the recent statement by the IHH terror group which planned the Mavi Marmara flotilla who insists that no amount of payment from Israel would be acceptable and the only acceptable action Israel could make would be to completely end the blockade of the Gaza Strip allowing any and all aid to reach Hamas and the other terrorist groups which have taken possession of the Gaza Strip. Such an allowance would allow for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror outfits within the Gaza Strip to import any type, size and capability of rockets and missiles and warheads and other munitions increasing the destructive capabilities of the projectiles and attacks which already strike Israel multiple times each week leading to a massive increase in the lethality of such attacks. Such increases in the quality, quantity and range of the armaments would place most if not all of Israel within the striking range of the attacks which currently only threaten the areas of southern Israel bordering the Gaza Strip. Such increase in the quality of the weaponry in the hands of the Gaza terrorists would place Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Dimona, Beersheba, Eilat and the heavily built central plains of Israel well within range and facing potential lethal barrages which would threaten seventy percent or more of Israeli industry and a similar percentage of her population. That would be the result should Israel kowtow to the IHH Turkish terrorists’ demands.

 

Meanwhile, all Israel can do is protest the requested warrants and plead their case before Interpol. Should Interpol actually agree and issue arrest warrants for these Israeli military leaders, then it could be expected that the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and numerous anti-Israel NGOs to attempt to also have Interpol issue arrest warrants for not only Israeli military leadership but also Israeli political leadership. Agreeing to issue these warrants requested by Turkey would open the floodgates to further requests for warrants which would very likely be requested for Prime Minister Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Yaalon, former Minister of Defense Barak and likely numerous other political and military Israeli leaders. Fairly soon much of the Israeli political and military command structure, both past and present, would find themselves restricted to remaining in Israel as stepping outside Israeli borders would result in arrest and trial. Such trials would be administered by enemies of Israel who would hold malice resulting in a verdict steeped in bile and contempt. These Israeli leading figures would not be given a fair trial as their guilt would be presumed and no amount of evidence could ever prove them otherwise in any such trial of Israeli military or political leadership whether their trial was held in Turkey or any other Arab or Muslim nations which would follow suit in issuing international warrants through whatever international law enforcement organization they wished to avail themselves. There have been incidents where Israeli military and political leadership has had to cancel appearances after learning that some organization or NGO had sworn out a warrant for their arrest in countries such as Britain, Spain and other European nations under their universal claims to jurisdiction over any war crimes or crimes against humanity irrespective of the location of the perceived commission of the crime. Some nations, Spain among them, have restricted their initial universal jurisdiction laws making such politically inspired arrest warrant requests no longer so easily qualified to receive as they found such laws being misused and almost universally and solely utilized against Israelis. Should Interpol accept the Turkish request, then expect a litany of additional requests to flood Interpol in the nearest future. We had predicted that Turkey would become a burden to the rest of NATO in an article titled The Turkey Problem for NATO and should be forced from the group as a defense against the changes which would prove to turn Turkey against the rest of Europe and eventually lead to the predicament where NATO would be drawn into a conflict which it would prefer not to enter or to which the rest of NATO would normally and naturally have taken the side opposing Turkey. Will Interpol fall into the Turkish trap or will they decline to issue these politically motivated warrants. Judging by recent events throughout Europe the probability for Interpol taking the high and honorable road sure seems unlikely, but maybe hope will turn out to spring eternal, maybe.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2014

Will Europe and EU Still Intend to Cripple and Destroy Israel

I will have to give credit to the European Union with special kudos to their Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton for not even flinching or showing the slightest doubt over whether there might be some logical consideration of the consequences of Hamas being included in the Palestinian governance concerning forcing Israel to continue to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority. Their immediate response was that Israel must continue to negotiate, terrorists across the table or whatever. Quoting the Lady Catherine Ashton, England made her a lady as her lack of compassion might otherwise have caused some to harbor doubts, she insisted, “Negotiations are the best way forward. The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste. The EU calls on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-state solution.” Further commentary from the Lady Ashton speaking hope against all logic and historical evidence stated, “The EU expects any new government to uphold the principle of non-violence, to remain committed to achieving a two-state solution and to a negotiated peaceful settlement … including Israel’s legitimate right to exist. The fact that President Abbas will remain fully in charge of the negotiation process and have a mandate to negotiate in the name of all Palestinians provides further assurance that the peace negotiations can and must proceed.” Perhaps Ms. Aston missed the part where Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and agreed that new elections would need to be scheduled within six months from the formation of a temporary unity government. Elections, contrary to Ms. Ashton’s apparent guarantee, means that there is some possibility that somebody from Hamas could win the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority and the new negotiators from the Palestinians could easily be a member of Hamas. For the Lady Ashton’s illumination, Hamas is a near universally recognized terrorist entity which the majority of Western nations would refuse to hold negotiations yet here the Foreign Policy Chief of the European Union appears to ignore or not know this salient fact, something which might force most people to believe that she is completely unqualified for the position she holds or to be so lacking in good judgment to also make her ill qualified for her position.

 

But this is not the end of the opportunities for Europe as a community to exemplify their seeming unlimited ability to lose all sense of reason as soon as the subject turns towards anything to do with Israel and the Palestinians. Already there have been numerous United Nations and European agencies and conventions which have accepted Palestinian applications for membership. These were all executed and placed for consideration before the unification agreement was signed in Gaza by Fatah with both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the very same Islamic Jihad which many consider an equally violent terror group as Hamas or even al-Qaeda, which set up the necessary steps for implementing the merger of Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the Palestinian Authority transforming the Palestinian ruling body into just another group of terrorist organizations. Since the grand signing ceremony making recognized terror groups the majority membership in the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has also added another application for the consideration of another prestigious European headquartered organization. Making this application for a group which includes what many would attest to as three terrorist groups as its principle members, Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, even more preposterous is this application was made to an international law enforcement agency. Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials announced that they had finished their application process for a renowned law enforcement agency, the International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL.

 

Will European officials reject the Palestinian Authority or will they be unable to reject the Palestinian application simply because it would have the potential to impose great difficulties for Israeli government and military officials. How would accepting the Palestinian Authority into INTERPOL make life difficult for Israeli officials you ask? INTERPOL members can add names of people accused of serious crimes onto the INTERPOL most wanted listing known as issuing a Red Notice which acts as a universal wanted posting. It doesn’t take much imagination, or leaps of logic, to figure out what mischief the Palestinian Authority might utilize given the ability to take out warrants for arrest of leading Israeli leaders, especially IDF officers and even soldiers along with Israeli Minister of the Knesset and those members of the Prime Minister’s Security Cabinet as well as the Prime Minister himself thus virtually preventing their ability to travel anywhere in the world honoring such an INTERPOL Red Notice. There have already been incidents where Israeli officials and IDF officers have found it necessary to cancel visits, appearances, and even forced an IDF General to remain on the El Al jetliner on a London airstrip and return to Israel after a pro-Palestinian NGO had sworn out a warrant for war crimes in an English court under the British claim to universal jurisdiction for such crimes. These incidents had become so frequent and interfered with numerous Israelis across a plethora of European courts that many nations decided to limit their jurisdictions and those who are permitted to swear out such warrants. This was done in Britain after Tzipi Livni was unable to make an appearance when invited to give a commencement speech but had to cancel due to the threat of having a warrant sworn out for supposed war crimes committed while she was Israeli Foreign Minister. The Palestinian Authority permitted such access to INTERPOL and their arrest mechanisms is a nightmare simply waiting to come to fruition. How could European INTERPOL officials ever resist such an opportunity?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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