National security wrap

Port of Calais

The Beat

Europol banding together to fight Daesh

Europol has launched a new counterterrorism centre in the wake of the Paris attacks. In anticipation of more terrorist attacks occurring across Europe, the new centre will allow EU member states’ law enforcement agencies to pool resources in order to increase information sharing and operational coordination. Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, launched the centre at the same time as launching the new Europol, ‘Changes in modus operandi of Islamic State terrorist attacks’. Catch up on the report’s key points here.

Policing presence on the 2016 Australia Day Honours

Three Australian Federal Police officers have been recognised with the Australian Police Medal for their distinguished service in this year’s Australia Day Honours list. Detective Sergeant Yvonne Crozier was awarded for her service in investigation and family liaison; Superintendent Mark McIntyre was awarded for his work with mission coordination for the MH17 crash; and Detective Sergeant Greg McLeod was awarded for his work in counterterrorism and national operations. Read the full honours list here.


CT Scan

Present and future jihadist threats

The Institute for the Study of War and the Critical Threats Project have released the first of a series of joint reports on Daesh and al-Qaeda. The reports will share the findings of an assessment of the threat posed by the two groups, and to evaluate possible strategies for defeating them. The first report makes the case that Salafi-jihadist groups like Daesh are a substantial threat, not only because they make direct attacks, but because they ‘accelerate the collapse of world order’. The authors also argue that Jabhat al Nusra (the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate group) is likely to be a ‘significant long-term threat,’ given the group’s exploits during the Syrian civil war.

US warns oil transports before strikes

In the campaign to destroy Daesh’s oil trade, US airstrikes have been targeting oil trucks for some time. However, since the trucks can be operated by civilians, US Air Force planes sometimes drop Arabic-language leaflets ahead of the strikes to reduce civilian casualties. An article at War is Boring looks at the content of some of those leaflets, which are produced by US Central Command.



French border security

A VICE News report examines conditions in the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in northern France as part of its Breaking Borders dispatches series. Many of the refugees living there intended to reach the UK, but have set up camp in Calais. The report follows last Saturday’s events, where a large activist demonstration took place in the area and a group of migrants stormed the local port to board a passenger ferry bound for the UK.

Daesh’s booming passport industry

The French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has revealed that Daesh has established a ‘real fake document industry’ and has urged for the creation of a special taskforce to identify and seize fake passports from potential terrorists entering Europe who are posing as migrants. With thousands of people arriving at European borders each day in the unprecedented migration crisis facing Europe, border authorities across Europe are struggling to the fraudulent passports.


First Responder

Prize money

The winners of the US’ National Disaster Resilience Competition were announced this week. The 16 month-long competition, run by the Department and Urban Development, offered US$1 billion in grants to states and cities that had been affected by natural disasters between 2011 and 2013. The initiative was designed to encourage resilience-focused policy and the principle of ‘building back better’. 13 winners were chosen, including in New York City, New Orleans, California, and Virginia, based on funding proposals outlining how they would counter the threat posed by climate change.

Bracing for El Niño

The Global Resilience Partnership has been discussing the projected impacts of the current El Niño on vulnerable communities around the world. The initiative, convened by the Rockefeller Foundation and USAID, is collating a range of articles on disaster mitigation, community resilience and international aid in the face of climate change.

Fire resilience

Following on from Australia’s bushfires this holiday season, this Sydney Morning Herald article discusses the government assistance being provided to expedite the reconstruction of houses lost in Wye River and Separation Creek. Similarly, the CSIRO Blog posted this article on the importance of national fire resilience. It emphasises that Australia’s bushfire risk is likely to continue increasing and as such, adaptation measures such as building protocols and landscape design must be implemented in susceptible areas.