July 13, 2011

Terror in Mumbai and the evolution of crisis communications

Several hours ago, three explosions hit the Indian city of Mumbai. At the current time (18h00 GMT), reports suggest seventeen people have been killed and 81 injured. Less than three years after the siege of 26/11, the citizens of Mumbai are facing the consequences of another terror attack. It is hardly a surprise that people […]

May 5, 2011

Osama bin Laden’s death: What difference will it make?

Watch the full event here.  By Patrick Smith On the day after al Qaeda’s “leader” Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in a daring raid on a nondescript compound outside Jalalabad, BBC Urdu sent out reporters into four cities across Afghanistan and Pakistan. Not to ask questions, but to observe. To sit at […]

May 4, 2011 7:00 PM

FULLY BOOKED A safer world? What does Osama bin Laden’s death mean for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the West?

View in iTunes After the tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden by a U.S. special operations team the questions have come thick and fast. At our May First Wednesday we are hoping to throw light on some of them: What impact will the death of Osama bin Laden have on Al Qaeda and […]

January 25, 2011

From the archive: Russia and terrorism

  Following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Moscow’s airport, this First Wednesday discussion provides a thorough analysis of Russia and terrorism in the wake of last year’s attacks on the city’s Metro. The panel were: Irina Demchenko, UK bureau chief of the Russian news agency RIA Novosti: Dr Bobo Lo, senior research fellow at the Centre […]

January 10, 2011

Guido’s Pakistan Road Trip and Afghan ‘Outdoor Look’

Journalists accompanying Germany’s Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, on his trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan this week had a few surprises. Thick fog prevented Mr Westerwelle’s plane from landing in Islamabad, forcing Germany’s top diplomat and journalists in tow to land 400 km away in Lahore. To keep to schedule, Plan B was to pile everyone […]

November 3, 2010

Al-Quaeda in Yemen and the response of the west

Following attempts at the weekend by al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to plant bombs on cargo planes and airliners bound to the US, a briefing paper has been published on the organisation’s aims by counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation. The authors of the paper Noman Benotman and James Brandon […]

September 1, 2010

Upcoming paper on the BBC’s coverage of the Mumbai attacks

Just a note to let you know that later this month I’ll be speaking about the BBC’s coverage of the Mumbai attacks in 2008. The paper is a case study of the BBC’s adoption of live text commentary to report breaking news. Indeed, Mumbai was the first time the BBC had used a ‘live-blogging’ format […]

July 29, 2010

Combatants for peace: Israelis and Palestinians fighting extremism together

Download this episode View in iTunes The intractable conflict between Israel and Hamas over territory, settlements, blockades and terror strikes can give outsiders the impression of a desperate situation. With no firm political, two-state solution in sight, will ordinary peaceful Israelis and Palestinians ever return to the kind of normal lives that we in the […]

July 12, 2010

Do images of the aftermath of an attack help insurgents?

Earlier today I came across an interesting blog post by Holly Pickett who recently finished her seven week rotation as the New York Times bureau photographer in Baghdad. She says: "It is nearly impossible to photograph the aftermath of a car bomb or street battle. In most cases, the scene is blocked by police, and cameras […]

April 8, 2010

First Wednesday: Exporting Russia’s radical Islam to the West

By Heather Christie Is Russia’s radical Muslim movement related to the global jihad movement? Or are the targeted attacks executed in Russia fundamentally different from those that take place in the West? That tricky question was debated at April’s First Wednesday event at the Frontline Club, after the recent Moscow metro bombings. If you couldn’t […]

April 6, 2010

Russia and the West: united against terrorism?

Download this episode View in iTunes The 5 April terrorist attack in the Republic of Ingushetia was the fifth to shake Russia in the past week. In response to the first bomb blasts in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told authorities to use tougher, "more brutal" measures against the perpetrators.   […]

April 6, 2010

Wikileaks video portrays the dangers of reporting the war on terror

By Ewan Palmer Last night Wikileaks revealed a shocking video of two US military helicopters killing a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad, including two staff members of Reuters. The footage was shot in 2007 and shows an unprovoked attack filmed from one of two Apache military helicopters. Two children were also […]

March 31, 2010

First Wednesday: Is there a common enemy?

By Julie Tomlin We’ve started putting together April’s First Wednesday event: After the bomb blasts in Moscow on 29 March and in Dagestan two days later, we will be talking about Russia and its response to the recent terrorist attacks. We are currently working on inviting guests to speak about that. The focus of the […]

March 31, 2010

Russian suicide attacks: Where does this leave the War on Terror?

By Ewan Palmer How serious is the threat from terrorism to the modern world? The suicide bombings in Moscow and Dagestan this week altogether killed 51 and, despite the likely localised inspiration for the attacks, fears of more violence elsewhere in Europe have been raised once again. But is there any justification for the current […]

March 29, 2010

Reporting the Moscow Metro bombings

Посмотреть на Яндекс.Фотках (Link to Tatiana Krasnova’s album)   Two female suicide bombers were believed to be responsible for the deaths of 38 commuters in Moscow at rush hour this morning. Russian officials say that 60 people were also injured in the attacks at Lubyanka and Park Kultury Metro stations. There are more details here […]

December 8, 2009

Moon Market, Lahore Burns

I live in Iqbal Town, the same unfortunate town, where last two bomb blasts rocked one of its most crowded central markets named Moon Market. At 8:49 PM, I got a panic filled phone call saying the market had been targeted by two blasts, more than 100 shops were burnt, leaving more than 40 dead […]

October 19, 2009

WRL: Blogging, Milblogging and the London bombings

(Dusty history section) on the London bombings, 2005. I came across a couple of links on media coverage of the London bombings in July 2005 that I hadn’t previously discovered. Maybe you missed them too. Mike Thelwall did some research into bloggers and the bombings which ‘scratches the surface’ of the use of blogs to […]

October 17, 2009

Assault and despair, Lahore must live on

Three terror attacks killing almost 22 people, shook Lahore on Thursday morning. I was getting ready for work, when the text message from the Rescue headquarters informed me that FIA building at Famous temple road been under attack. While I was making a few calls to confirm the news, I got to know about the […]

October 12, 2009

Afghan and US commanders considering Kandahar & Quetta to be next big stops in insurgency fight

In recent recommendations by the top American commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, is exerting pressure to add another 40,000 troops on top of the 68,000 Americans already deployed there. The report by Gen McChrystal, last week got leaked to the media, in which he have assessed three main Taliban groups. The report identifies […]

June 20, 2009

Rising Confusion in Pakistan

The news rang on the cell phone of a beat reporter – Security agencies had notified police headquarters that more than one hundred buildings in Lahore were under security threat. A friend, who also works as the bureau chief for another news channel, and I were both sipping our evening chai at a cozy lounge […]

May 2, 2009

Baku shooting: some unanswered questions

According to Reuters on 30 April, 2009, a gunman entered State Oil Academy in Baku, Azerbaijan and “went from floor to floor firing on teachers and students after the bell rang for morning classes” before killing himself. According to official sources 13 people, including the gunman himself – Georgian citizen of Azeri descent, Farda Gadirov […]

April 1, 2009

Account of shootout in Police Training School, Lahore.

Munawan, Lahore: After 3/3, 30/3 was another event, filled with tragedy infused with confusion and terror. Lahore isn’t too used to taking all this. 7:30AM – 30/3: Another Terrorist attack—After Sri Lankan team, this time on Police Training school in Munawa, some 14 KM from Lahore, more towards Wagha Border between India and Pakistan. Flew […]

March 31, 2009

Account of shootout in Police Training School, Lahore.

Munawan, Lahore: After 3/3, 30/3 was another event, filled with tragedy infused with confusion and terror. Lahore isn’t too used to taking all this. 7:30AM – 30/3: Another Terrorist attack—After Sri Lankan team, this time on Police Training school in Munawa, some 14 KM from Lahore, more towards Wagha Border between India and Pakistan. Flew […]

February 16, 2009

Breakfast in Khartoum IV (Although I’m frankly not sure of the number)

Ozone is a quiet place these days. Ever since the US embassy in Khartoum warned its citizens to avoid places where expats tended to gather there have been fewer white faces here at the world’s best coffeeshop on a roundabout. Ozone is a particular target apparently. People are on tenterhooks waiting for the International Criminal […]

February 11, 2009

Mumbai ‘mesmerised’ the world’s media

Pretty obvious I suppose but there are some interesting bits and pieces in this RAND report into the terrorist attacks on Mumbai back in November 2008. Most of it concerns the implications for security strategy but there’s a few observations about media coverage and its relationship with terrorism.   1. The nature of the media […]

February 11, 2009

Saudi journalist on Saudi terror list

The latest addition to a list of terrorist suspects published by the Saudi Interior Ministry, includes a surprising addition according to the English language Arabic daily, Asharq Al-Awsat. Obaida Abdul-Rahman Al Otaibi, a journalist with a degree in journalism from the Imam Mohamed Bin Saud University, is the 50th name on the list of 85 […]

November 28, 2008

Is RICU trying to influence the media?

Recently, Dr Andrew Garner from RICU gave a talk at King’s College London about the government’s counter terrorism strategy. There’s more information and background about RICU in a previous post, but just to reiterate for the purposes of what appears below, this is Garner’s personal view and not that of RICU or the UK Government. […]

November 27, 2008

Mumbai – twitter, blogging, and social media

I’m collecting a series of links on how Mumbai has been covered by blogs and social media. You can find all the links on my delicious account.

November 24, 2008

“Happy to work ourselves out of a job”: An insight into the UK Government’s counter terrorism communications unit

This post is long overdue, but I wanted to make sure I had time to write it because it concerns a potentially sensitive subject. At the end of October, Dr Andrew Garner from the UK Government’s Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), very kindly gave a talk at King’s College, London. He pointed out that […]

August 12, 2008

Chasing Shadows

Today’s Standard splashes on mounting suspicion that someone in Kenya’s anti-terror police unit tipped off Fazul Abdulla Mohammed, a key terror suspect, just as officers were about to swoop. They arrested a family thought to be hosting Fazul in Malindi even as his dinner was cooling on the table. But there was no sign of […]