National security wrap

Tijuana International Airport from above at 10,000

The Beat

Flaws in global efforts to counter money laundering

A new report on the consultation between Britain’s National Crime Agency and businesses was released this week, which informed the NCA’s recent national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing. Closer to home, Australian private industry is also reacting to scrutiny by Austrac, the financial intelligence unit. In this case, gambling corporation Tabcorp has appointed a new ‘chief risk officer’ to ensure its compliance with regulations as it handles 875 million bets per year. Countering financial crime is a major issue—one we’ll covering in more depth in 2016. We think the focus comes at an important time.

Scots weigh in on strategic policing priorities

The Scottish police force have launched their biggest ever initiative to encourage the public to weigh in on discussions about the future of strategic policing in Scotland. The Police Scotland are encouraging the public to submit their ideas on what law enforcement priorities should be, and what the public would like to see from their local police force.

CT Scan

Daesh vs China

In a rare move, Daesh has released a new Chinese-language propaganda video. The Mandarin Chinese audio comes in the form of a song encouraging Muslims to rebel, with the same video released in English, Russian, French and Turkish. China mightn’t be as high on Daesh’s target list as the US or Russia, but the group executed a Chinese citizen last month alongside a Norwegian. If you want to learn more about China’s Muslim minorities, a new piece at VICE News gives a fascinating account of ethnic and religious tensions on the ground in China’s Xinjiang province.

Malaysia–Australia CT cooperation

Malaysia has offered to send counterterrorism experts from the Royal Malaysian Police, the Prisons Department, the Islamic Development Department and academia to Australia in 2016 to share both countries’ experiences. Active in seeking regional counterterrorism cooperation, Malaysia will be hosting a new deradicalisation conference in January with ASEAN members and dialogue partners including Australia, China, the US and Russia. Malaysian officials claim to have arrested more than 100 citizens with suspected links to Daesh, and as many as 39 Malaysian citizens are fighting with the terror group in Iraq and Syria.


Turkey’s Syrian border security in numbers

As the US urges Turkey to do more to control the border with Syria, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) captured 909 foreign fighters from 54 different countries this year thanks to ramped up border security efforts, the Daily Sabah reported. TSK efforts included the construction of a 23km long concrete wall, a 108km long fence, 386kms of ditches, an 80km long embankment and 423kms of electricity provided where illegal trespassing could occur—for the cost of USD$102.77 million.

Cross border tool-bridges instead of walls

As of yesterday, travellers can now walk on a purple pedestrian bridge between two terminals that link Tijuana International Airport and San Diego over the US–Mexico border, the LA Times reported. The Cross Border Xpress is the first project to join a site in the US with a foreign airport terminal. The bridge will be open 24/7 for airline ticketed passengers, who can take the five-minute walk across the border for only US$18. Located 22 miles from downtown San Diego, the Tijuana airport is the second most-connected airport in Mexico, with flights to more than 30 Mexican destinations.

First Responder

A new resilience and adaptation strategy for Australia

Last week, the Australian Government announced its 2015 National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy. The document highlights the need for a dualistic approach: taking steps to mitigate climate change where possible and simultaneously ensuring we adapt to changes already in motion. It addresses resilience initiatives across a variety of sectors, including coastlines, water resources, disaster risk management and urban environments.

Insuring the future

The Insurance Council of Australia welcomed the new strategy’s acknowledgement of the vital role the insurance industry plays in disaster risk management. This role is also explored in the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Global Resilience Project. The project’s final report, ‘Collaborating for resilience’ (PDF) was released last week.

Resilience in Paris

The third day of the UN climate change talks in Paris was deemed ‘Resilience Day’. Led by the governments of France and Peru, the UN meetings announced major international partnerships, policies and finance packages to address the growing threat of climate impacts. The Peruvian environment minister emphasised the importance of resilience and moving away from carbon-based economies to continued growth and productivity.