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Study shows that Islamic State terror cells in Europe are led by former al-Qaida terrorists

A recent study conducted by the Henry Jackson Society shows that the former Al-Qaida terrorists are training Islamic State cells in europe

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ISIS. Wikimedia Commons
  • Henry Jackson Society, a London-based research institution, looked at the al-Qaida-linked terror networks in Europe and compared them to current networks linked to Islamic State
  • Many of the elder members of former al-Qaida networks had traveled to fight in Afghanistan the previous decade, and passed on their knowledge
  • Former al-Qaida operatives also passed on expertise in how to evade detection on their return to Europe

There are direct links between the al-Qaida terror networks of the last decade, and the Islamic State-linked terror cells in Europe that have carried out a series of attacks in recent months, according to a new report.

The study by the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based research institution, looked at the al-Qaida-linked terror networks in Europe in the early 2000s, around the time of the NATO-led invasion of Afghanistan, and the current networks linked to Islamic State that were responsible for the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels. Time and again, the same names appeared.

‘Training and grooming’

“The recidivism of those individuals who had originally been convicted of al-Qaida activism, almost training and grooming those individuals who would go on to be involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks,” said Rupert Sutton, co-author of the report.

Those individuals included Abdelhamid Abaaoud, chief coordinator of the Paris attacks in November 2015, and Najeem Laachraoui, one of the network’s chief bomb makers, who detonated a suicide bomb at Brussels airport in March.

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“They were connected to a number of individuals with previous convictions for al-Qaida activity, and to a cleric called Khalid Zerkani, who acted almost as a father figure to a number of these individuals. He was actually known as ‘Papa Noel’ [Father Christmas] because he used the proceeds of his petty crime to shower them with gifts and look after them at the same time as radicalizing them,” Sutton said.

Many of the elder members of former al-Qaida networks had traveled to fight in Afghanistan the previous decade, and passed on their knowledge to embryonic terror cells in Europe as the Syrian civil war became a rallying call for jihadist fighters.

“Providing them with expertise on bomb-making or network formation, but also providing them with advice on perhaps how to travel to a conflict zone to gain training, how to gain combat experience and how to use those conflict zones as areas in which you can formulate your own ideas and formulate your own attacks,” Sutton said.

Combat experience

He added combat experience appears key, as the most serious Islamic State-linked terror plots in Europe have been planned by European citizens returning from the Syrian frontline, however, those individuals are often beneath intelligence radars.

“Often these individuals perhaps haven’t come into contact with the authorities in the past. So whilst there are direct connections between the two networks, the individuals that are recruited by those veterans perhaps have only come into contact with the police through a record of petty crime,” he said.

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Sutton said former al-Qaida operatives also passed on expertise in how to evade detection on their return to Europe. “Perhaps one of the most worrying factors is that a number of these individuals were stopped by police on their returns, showed fake identities and gave fake names, and were able to continue on their journey.”

The report’s authors say the links show the need to improve efforts to challenge radicalization in prisons and develop better ways of preventing offenders from being drawn into terrorism. (VOA)

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Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) Decides To Train Mothers in Technology

The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has decided to train mothers in technology to make them able to help their children

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technology, women, training, Kerala, empower
During the training programmes, mothers would be introduced to better use of resources in the textbooks by scanning QR codes. Pixabay

In a path-breaking initiative, the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has decided to train mothers in technology to make them able to help their children in school education.

K. Anvar Sadath, head of the KITE, said one of the main objectives of training mothers, which will start next month, is to ensure better use of smart phones at home for education purposes.

“The KITE initiative to empower mothers in technology is to benefit from the increased usage of internet through mobile. Necessary applications will be deployed for the smart phones owned by parents in advance,” said Sadath.

During the training programmes, mothers would be introduced to better use of resources in the textbooks by scanning QR codes, familiarisation with the new classroom learning process besides focus on creating a favourable opportunity at home for students to make use of Samagra resource portal.

technology, women, training, Kerala, empower
The KITE will also facilitate publishing of school details in the form of QR codes for general public. Pixabay

The KITE will also facilitate publishing of school details in the form of QR codes for general public.

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Now boards put up near main school entrances will also display QR code, which will carry link to school details on Sametham website (www.sametham.kite.kerala.gov.in) to help people know about the school. (IANS)