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Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

As ISIS falls, what counter-terrorism policy to build for Europe?

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – As ISIS slowly disintegrates, a new danger is appearing: what will become of its surviving fighters who do not remain in the region, but return to their countries of origin, including the nations of Europe? On 18 May, Jean-Paul Laborde, head of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, briefed journalists on the challenges of returning foreign fights. The good news? “The flow of foreign fighters to the area [ISIS territory] has decreased, and decreased enormously. We estimate that the number has decreased by 90 percent” over the past 18 months, he said. But the down side of the subject is that...

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Online jihadist propaganda: how can Europe respond?

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – As the devastating 23 May suicide bombing in Manchester demonstrated, radicalised youths are among Europe’s greatest domestic security threats. Born in the city he attacked, 22-year-old Salman Abedi showed signs of his turn towards terror, though UK authorities failed to act. Now that the dust has cleared, the familiar question remains: How do security forces detect radicalisation before it leads to terrorism, particularly among those who hold EU member-state passports and can leave and return to their countries of birth as they please? A week before the bombing on 17 May, terrorism experts and policymakers gathered at the European Policy Centre to discuss how to counter Jihadist propaganda. Their solutions included...

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“Remembrance of lessons learnt past” for the internet of things

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – In the wake of the WannaCry ransomware worm in mid-May that criminally encrypted some 230,000 computers in 150 countries, artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science experts from across the world gathered at the Digital Festival here on 1 June. Among the take-aways: 1) the entire country of Estonia could digitally exist even if its territory was conquered, and 2) it’s not enough to...

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Experts dissect French elections, find a contagion of fake news

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – It’s widely suspected that Russia tried to influence the French presidential elections in May, following their success in helping swing the United States presidential elections towards their favoured candidate, Donald J. Trump, in November 2016. But the extent of that effort — engineered in part through the distribution of ‘fake news’ on social media — is only now becoming known, thanks in part to the efforts of Saper Vedere, a communications firm based in Brussels. A blueprint for election subversion, the carefully prepared line of attack used the two Russian...

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One year later, where do my Brexit predictions stand?

Euro-View: Brooks Tigner on Brexit BRUSSELS – A year ago in May 2016 – one month before the UK’s ill-calculated 23 June referendum on “Brexit” – I made a list of 10 predictions about what would happen if the British voted in favour of leaving the EU. How many of these happened, how many are coming true, and how many …

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Conservative MEPs want EU to bear down on illegal immigrants

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – “The biggest mistake you can make is not realising that you made a mistake,” said Bernd Kölmel, German Liberal-Conservative member of the European Parliament (MEP), quoting the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle. He added: “We’ve made mistakes by taking action, and by not taking action. The real challenge is: how can we see to it that, once again, we have control of our European Union, so we can see who’s coming in?” Kölmel and other EU decision-makers addressed their comments to a 7 June conference here on immigration policy. The German MEP advocated an EU-wide legal system whereby illegal immigrants would be...

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (19/06/2017)

1. Chartering aircraft and related services for return operations The provision for Frontex of chartered aircraft, properly manned, maintained, equipped, fuelled and fully insured, in order to carry out return flights. The estimated value of this contract is EUR 20 000 000 Deadline: 17 July 2017 Contact: Frontex — European Border and Coast Guard Agency Email: procurement@frontex.europa.eu Call documentation and …

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (19/06/2017)

NEWLY AWARDED PROJECTS: MARISA: Maritime Integrated Surveillance Awareness Combating irregular migration, human smuggling, terrorism at sea, piracy, as well as arms and drug trafficking has become a high priority on Europe’s security agenda. Securing the sea requires day-to-day collaboration activities among European actors of maritime surveillance, Member States’ administrations and European agencies. A significant number of initiatives are being taken …

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Upcoming European security conferences & exhibits (19/06/2017)

Here are some upcoming events related to European civil security we think readers should be aware of: European Union Institute for Security Studies: Implementing the EU Global Strategy 20-21 June 2017, Brussels, Belgium Fourth ENSREG Conference on Nuclear Safety 28-29 June 2017, Brussels, Belgium Workshop on EASA regulatory proposal for UAS operations in the open and specific category 5 July …

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Both “sides” of Brussels moving rapidly to counter hybrid threats

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – Because hybrid warfare observes no rules, both the EU and NATO have necessarily had to play catch-up with Russia, a country that has a long history of not playing by the rules when it comes to sabotage – which is simply what the fancy term of hybrid warfare actually means.Moscow’s obfuscating propaganda leading up to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, its cat-and-mouse military tactics in eastern Ukraine and its cyber and informational interference in the media and electoral processes in Europe and elsewhere have been the defining examples.While NATO and the EU cannot match the propaganda resource of Russia, they are finally starting to throw up the kind of defences and counter-responses needed to keep the threat at bay, if not contain it. Each is developing new capabilities to do this and both are modulating their annual crisis management scenarios to simulate cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure, for example.More strategically, they are working on...

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