Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Homegrown Terrorism in Scandinavia

The recent spate of Scandinavian terror-threats have caught the eye of the Jamestown Foundation. They have just published an article that is basically a compilation of recent reports and articles in Scandinavian media: The Danger of Homegrown Terrorism to Scandinavia.

"Denmark, Sweden and Norway have seen a limited presence of "traditional" organized terrorist groups since the beginning of the 1990s, with outfits such as the Algerian GSPC or the Egyptian Gama'a al-Islamiyya using the countries as convenient bases of logistical support for their activities in North Africa and the Middle East. While some of these groups are still operating today, the overwhelming majority of terrorist activities taking place in Scandinavia currently are carried out by homegrown networks."


Nye tekster om informationsoperationer

Den snævre skare af tekster der handler om Informationsoperationer (Information Operations, INFO OPS) er blevet udvidet med den seneste buket specialer fra Forsvarsakademiet.

Mest oplagt er kaptajn T. Egidiussens Informationsoperationer. Specialet bygger på og kritiserer Dan B. Termansens rapporter fra DIIS og mit speciale fra King's College London. Han sætter sig for at svare på spørgsmålet:

?Hvordan skal en småstat som Danmark forholde sig til Information Operations??

Det er et spørgsmål som vi nok kan blive ved med at gruble over indtil der er politikere som tager skridtet og prøver at institutionalisere det på een eller anden måde.

Et andet interessant værk er M.M. Rosenkrands' "Danske CIMIC-operationer i rammen af ?Information Operations? under Irak-konflikten" (PDF) der er en komparativ analyse af dansk Infoops/CIMIC:

Med udgangspunkt i henholdsvis en deskriptiv analyse af sammenhænge mellem INFO OPS og CIMIC og en empirisk deskriptiv analyse af de danske CIMIC-operationer ved henholdsvis hold 2 og hold 6 ønskes det belyst, hvorvidt indførelsen af Samtænkningsprincippet havde indflydelse pa? de danske CIMIC-operationers understøttende effekt i forhold til INFO OPS i Irak.

E-learning bio-warfare

As I'll be getting into e-learning sometimes soon, I am quite aware of all the places where International Security and aspects of it is taught digitally somehow.

The good and benevolent people at the Federation of American Scientists have made a e-learning module in the Dual Use Biological Research - or how solid, upstanding, butter-fly wearing professors and their students might end up making dual-use technology and science that could be used for biological warfare - by terrorists and other culprits.

The module consists of an introduction and three case-studies that show the wild ways that reseach might go if not conducted in a sound scientifical and biosecure spirit, contains some illustrative flash-graphics and video-interviews with the scientists themselves. The module is free to use for all interested.


Silobreaker - Open Source Intelligence

Yesterday I was made aware of the Open Source Intelligence softwareSilobreaker. Silobreaker is an interesting internet search-engine and news aggregator designed for OSINT (Open Source Intelligence)collection and analysis. On their homepage you can get a free trial, and I took the offer.

The system works by trawling and aggregating a lot of open news. Where it gets interesting, is the features that you can use to make sense of all that information and order it. One of the neat features is that you can make an analysis chart, linking all the mentioned places, people and companies in one or more articles. You can then add to this from the next article in a web-like manner.

The Silobreaker also lets you see chain of events. However this feature would use a bit of work, as it is rather erratic, failing to make longer historical leaps. This is probably not a problem with fast evovlving events, but could be a bit cumbersome if you research events stretched over a longer time.

All in all it is most interesting - and having a web-based interface it is easy to pick up and go - I was searching 3 minutes after I had signed up for the free trial.


North Korea - wave it in the air, like you just don't care

The yield of the nuclear device that North Korea detonated last night was a small one - at best the size of Hieroshima's Little Boy (1KT). Furthermore it is yet not clear if it was a weaponised device or only at test-bed. That's a fact that is hardly reported on - and rightly so, for Korea's nuclear test was a political one rather than a military one, a nuance that was also lost on my radio among grave MA students, commenting on the military tradition and strategy of DPRK.

Stratfor puts it best:

"With elections set for 2007 in South Korea and U.S. midterm elections only weeks away, the political magnitude of the North's test might exceed what was actually measured on the Richter scale."


Nuclear presence

I have recently had the joy of studying Perelman's notion of "presence" as well as Bitzers thoughts on "Rhetorical Situation" again. Pair that with the international situation and you have yourself a riot:

North Korea is a place that most people would rather be able to forget and let crumble in its own good time. But that is exactly what the DPRK fears and thus they have developed a tried-and-tested tactic of presence. By waving their nuclear arms around - like they just did with this statement on nuclear tests, they keep themselves within the international system's observation box. However, as the statement shows, they can't be seen to be wanting attention, so they try to define the situation as a question of threats to national security:

"Under the present situation in which the US moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK have reached the worst phase, going beyond the extremity, the DPRK can no longer remain an on-looker to the developments." we have to direct attention to ourselves. This is a game that will go on as long as the regieme in Pyongyang is in power - and I guess it will be an effective one for them as well, getting oil, food and development aid as well as maintaining their status as a force to be reconed with.