COUNTER TERRORISM: French Response to Paris Attacks, New DHS C-T Measures, Nigeria Attacks

January 12, 2015 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

After Paris.

Paris  (Photo courtesy the Eiffel Tower website)

Paris
(Photo courtesy the Eiffel Tower website)

More than 10,000 troops are guarding “sensitive sites” around France including synagogues, railway stations, airports and tourist attractions in the wake of last week’s terrorism incidents in Paris that left 17 people dead — including three alleged attackers.

Nearly half the soldiers – about 4,700 – will be assigned to protect France’s 717 Jewish schools, the Washington Post reported January 12.
“I’m glad the soldiers are here. But the fact they’re here means something is very wrong,” said the director of on Jewish school in Paris. “It shouldn’t be this way,” the school official told the Post. Some mosques will also receive government protection, following more than a dozen attacks on Islamic buildings since January 7.

That’s when masked gunmen stormed a satirical weekly magazine killing 12 people including a Muslim French police officer. The alleged gunmen, two bohers, originally from Algeria, were killed by police January 9 during a hostage rescue raid outside Paris. Five cartoonists and three other staffers were killed at the weekly, Charlie Hebdo, which has outraged Muslims in the past with cartoons and satirical copy about the Prophet Muhammad. Charlie Hebdo plans to print 3 million copies, rather than the usual 600,00  of its next issue, which will a drawing of Muhammad on the front page.

Four more people, and a female police officer were killed by another radicalized Muslim man who took hostages at a kosher market in Paris before he, too, was shot by police January 9.

*** *** ***

Homeland Security

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (DHS photo)

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson
(DHS photo)

In response to the Paris attacks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to increase random screenings of passengers at airports as well as ordering the Transportation Security Administration to conduct a short-term review of whether more security measures are needed.

“We have no specific, credible intelligence of an attack of the kind in Paris last week being planned by terrorist organizations in this country,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement, the POLITICO website reported.

DHS said the latest security measures are being taken as part of “precautionary” steps following the attacks in Paris, just as they were following recent incidents in Sydney and Ottawa. Johnson also urged Congress not to pass a funding bill for DHS with any restrictions on spending. House Republicans have said they plan to restrict U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a DHS unit, from implementing President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The Paris attack seems to have had some affect on Republicans’ strategy, however. While Republicans will still try to block Obama from implementing his immigration overhaul — they won’t risk funding for the Department of Homeland Security to do it, says Texas Republican senator John Cornyn, according to CNN.

Cornyn said January 11 on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Republicans will try to “address and defund” what he called an “unconstitutional” executive action to limit deportations for the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens. “But we’re not going to take any chances with the homeland,” Cornyn said.

*** *** ***

Boko Haram

Nigeria says 150 people lost their lives in an assault by Boko Haram militants on the town of Baga last week.

The Nigerian defense ministry says this figure includes “many of the terrorists” who had attacked the town in Borno state and faced resistance by troops. Local officials earlier estimated the number of deaths at as many as 2,000, the BBC reported. Nigeria has often been accused of underestimating casualty figures to downplay the threat of Boko Haram.

Earlier, the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, in central Nigeria, accused the West of ignoring the threat posed by Boko Haram. Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama said the world had to show more determination to halt the group’s advance in Nigeria. The archbishop told the BBC that the slaughter in Baga had shown that the Nigerian military was unable to tackle Boko Haram.

Meanwhile, at least 23 people were killed at the weekend by three female suicide bombers, one reported to be 10 years old.

 

Nigeria (CIA World factbook)

Nigeria
(CIA World Factbook)

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Entry filed under: Africa, Counter Terrorism, Homeland Security, International Crime, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Photos, Technology, Unconventional Warfare, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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