Turkey – On the 3 Oct 14 The Turkish Parliament authorized the government to use Turkish forces in operations in Syria and Iraq. It also approved foreign forces to use Turkish airbases. One senior official said Turkey is unlikely to permit armed aircraft to use the bases for attacks. Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz told the media, "Don't expect any immediate steps." The head of the Kurdish insurgent movement in Turkey, the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) said that if the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani experiences a massacre by the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the PKK will resume its insurgency in south-eastern Turkey. Turkish leaders show little enthusiasm for attacking ISIL. Their behaviour and statements suggest that their immediate concern is to control refugees and then to steer the Coalition to overthrowing the Ba'athist government in Damascus. They exhibit no interest in preventing ISIL from defeating the Kurds at Kobani. News reporters on the Turkish side of the border stated on the 3 Oct that they can see ISIL artillery, armour and force positions near Kobani. President Erdogan said in parliament on the 3 Oct that "we will fight effectively against both ISIL and other terrorist organizations." Some commentators have described Erdogan as having had a change of heart about ISIL. The view is that Turkish policy has not changed. The leaders in Ankara still want Asad out and the Kurds eliminated. At no time has Erdogan said that Turkish policy is to degrade and destroy ISIL.
Throughout the reporting period the town of Kobane has been repeatedly attacked. The use of air-strikes has helped the Kurds who are fighting there but the strikes are doing little use according to sources on the ground. The town is in desperate need of ground forces but who will provide them? Turkey has banned Kurds from crossing the border to assist. Tensions are high in Turkey as Kurds there accuse the Turkish government of failing to assist due to their race. America cannot and will not assist as it would mean placing boots on the ground. To place soldiers there would break the remit that the United Nations and other countries have signed. The Arab countries in the region will not lift a finger to assist so it’s only a matter of time before the town falls. The Islamic state is reportedly pouring more reserves into the area. 361 COMMENT: If the town falls then those who are captured will be murdered. The possibility of the prisoners lined up and shot in sight of the Turkish border cannot be ruled out. This will be seen by the Islamic State as goading the west to send in troops to attack them thus achieving a goal of putting boots on the ground. COMMENT ENDS
United Kingdom – Dissident republicans have been blamed for a pipe bomb thrown at police in north Belfast last night which has been described as an "attempt to kill officers". The bomb was discovered at the gates of Holy Cross Catholic Church on the Crumlin Road in the early hours of the 7 Oct 14. It's understood it was thrown at a police vehicle patrolling the area. The device - which had been made safe after failing to go off - has been described as both 'advanced' and 'sophisticated'. Police said the bomb was "capable of killing the police officers in the vehicle had it exploded". A PSNI spokesman said the attack "bears the hallmarks of dissident republicans". 361 COMMENT: Tensions will be high due to the ongoing structuring of the Belfast Parade Panel. COMMENT ENDS
London police arrested four men on the 7 Oct 14 in an ongoing terror investigation. They were involved in an alleged plot involving beheading people on the streets of London. Authorities said the men, who are in their early 20s, were arrested after warrants were executed at various addresses. One of the men was tasered, but did not require medical attention. Gretchen Carlson talked to UK Telegraph defence editor Con Coughlin, who confirmed that the plot was to behead innocent people in public, citing Scotland Yard and intelligence officials. Coughlin said the plot involved jihadists who had come back from Syria. He likened the horrific plot to the brutal public murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013. “This is an ISIS plot. This is the first ISIS plot we’ve had on the streets of London,” he said….
British counterterrorism forces are monitoring "thousands" of potential extremists in the capital's metropolitan area, London Mayor Boris Johnson said in a newspaper interview published on the 11 Oct 14 as police continue to question five men arrested on suspicion of terrorist offenses. His comments came as police chiefs warned police officers throughout Britain to use extra care because of an increased threat to their personal safety. The Daily Telegraph newspaper quoted Johnson as saying the security forces in the London area are involved in "thousands of operations" every day. He said the number of people being watched is in the low thousands. "In London we're very, very vigilant and very, very concerned," he said, adding that the national threat level had recently been raised. It is now listed as "severe," meaning an attack is viewed as highly likely. Johnson's comments suggested the number of potential extremists is higher than had been previously believed. He said many of the estimated 500 fighters who had gone from Britain to Syria to support Islamic State group militants there had come from the greater London area — posing a security threat if they return after having received training in explosives and weapons use. Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley, a director of counterterrorism efforts, said the new warning to police officers about their safety was made because "the threat level to police officers and staff has been raised." 361 COMMENT: In other areas of Islamic State operations they have began with the targeting of police and security forces along with ministerial personnel. Although the west has a different set up in this regard there are similarities. It is these similarities that those returning maybe attempting to copy. The threat to the police appears to be similar to that of Australia who recently arrested people who had returned from Syria/Iraq. There is a report that Denmark who has joined the coalition has warned its military personnel not to wear uniform in public as it will identify them. The three reported incidents maybe the trend that the Islamic State is attempting to pursue. COMMENT ENDS
Six pipe bombs, 500kg of fertiliser and home-made explosives packs were among items found during a search of a farm in County Fermanagh, police have said. A four-day security operation at the farm in Kinawley ended on the evening of the 11 Oct 14. Police said bomb timers, detonators and fuses were also seized, as well as a gun, 100 rounds of ammunition and forensic suits and gloves. A 43-year-old man arrested on the 8 Oct 14 remained in custody. Police have linked the weapons to dissident republicans. Neighbours said they heard what sounded like three controlled explosions on Friday evening. They said there had been no sign of activity at the farm before the security operation. 361 COMMENT: The explosions that were heard were probably the terrorists testing a device prior to a terrorist attack or future operation. The police may have thwarted a major terrorist campaign or a single spectacular. COMMENT ENDS