Rebuttal to Comment made by NAME WITHHELD on the Counter Terrorism & Geopolitical Security Forum on LinkedIn regarding TMG Corporate Services’ blog post Schengen: Compromising Europe’s internal security by “democratic consent” Authors: Graham Penrose, Owner, TMG Corporate Services & Mr. Douglas Straun, Senior Risk Analyst & Defence Consultant
Thank you Sir for your opinion and comments – please allow me to address them in the order in which they are made and to also rebut the conclusion which you have arrived at.
Before doing so I would like to state that I find your commentary offensive – as it does not attempt to debate the issue but offers sweeping unsubstantiated generalisations, introduces emotion, concludes with an insult and in its entirety calls into question my integrity and that of my team:
1. Your comment in quotes: “This is really an unqualified opinion based on simple assumptions. The results in my opinion are inaccurate.”
Our Response: In the first instance this is a blog post and as stated in the body of the post is one of a series of posts to follow – each subsequent post elaborating and extrapolating on the statements made in the current post and offering evidence to prove the veracity of what we have written. It is not nor does it purport to be an academic treatise drawing the premise from introduction through all stages of proof with references ending in a comprehensive set of findings and conclusions – that is because – as we clearly stated within the body of the post (which I am not sure that you actually read in full based on your comments):
How much more destructive, effective and demoralising will these new attacks be when executed by seasoned extremists, tested fighters and ideologues who are natives of the regions in question sent directly from the heart of the conflict in Syria & Iraq, who have likely seen family and friends die during the recent conflicts and who have been tutored personally by the extremist leadership of these organisations? As opposed to first or second generation Western European radical Islamists who learned their trade by distance education, short visits to training camps and likely had no personal tragedies to call upon to escalate and motivate their actions and extremism in the name of Radical Islam. A bold claim – the evidence for which TMG Corporate Services holds and will publish in a series of blog posts over the coming weeks and months including names, locations, former affiliations, current affiliations, current aliases and likely objectives.
2. Your comment in quotes: “Remember any conclusion depends on the validity of the evidence. In this case we are establishing if groups of terrorists are infiltrating into Europe hidden among refugees. The purpose of these terrorists is to establish sleeper networks and prepare for armed attacks. As there is no evidence to support this we have to evaluate if it is possible and as easy as it seems.”
Our Response: See (1) above and also please be aware that we are not in the business of conducting amateurish analysis and therefore I can assure you that this introductory post is a “scene setter” for the evidence, which we possess, to validate the assertions that we are making. This evidence is not Google search based desk jockey academic theory but field based and first hand experience combined with accounts from eye witnesses and parties to the planning of this process which we discuss in our post.
3. Your comment in quotes: “As there is no factual data we have to judge whether these assumption are reasonable. The first consideration is will the genuine refugees protect the identity of any terrorists or foreign fighter. Remember these refugees are not unknown individuals. They are made up of families and friends from the same region. In most cases all running from ISIS. The majority will be in non-combatant professions or academics. Will they jeopardise there safety for a terrorist?”
Our Response: We cannot allow you to make the allegations that you have made about our lack of evidence and then not challenge you on this statement especially “The majority will be in non-combatant professions or academics.” On what basis do you come to this conclusion?
It is our experience that you are incorrect. With respect to the rest of the content of this section of your argument I would offer you the following links relating to a recent high profile incident involving an alleged legitimate “refugee” to refute your belief that those travelling with extremists are all aware of each others previous history and affiliations in-country – please see https://www.rt.com/news/316124-refugee-camerawoman-kicked-militant/ and http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/200921#.VgIGn2Ttmko and http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/20092015 .
The assertions that you make in this section of your comment – even in the absence of the example in the links above – would leave even a credulous individual having difficulty accepting that extremists travelling in the company of genuine refugees would be as easily identifiable as you claim.
It is akin to claiming that a bank clerk from North London would instantly recognise an Islamic extremist from South London while travelling on the same tube in the underground. Really? – you feel that the identity of every radicalised Islamist is known by all and sundry in their company?
Additionally, a cursory glance at the make up of the refugee groups in Macedonia, Croatia and Hungary – not the images you view on TV which concentrate on women and young children – but the views we have seen on the ground show large groups of unaccompanied men travelling in hoodies and face masks and not family units as you assert. This is in part evidenced in the videos we embedded within our post.
4. Your comment in quotes: “Next- when refugees enter a country they undergo a structured examination to asses credibility. The primary investigation includes interview’s by academic experts, country ands language analysts, security and religious experts mainly from the claimants country of origin. In effect they undergo a security assessment, which under current policies a person with any discrepancies can be detained indefinitely. If accepted they are effectively on parole with weekly visits and are monitored. So can a foreign fighter claim to be Syrian pass these interviews?”
Our Response: This Sir is entirely inaccurate – even a novice observer of recent events is aware that the Italians ceased six months ago to register rescued migrants from boating disasters in the Mediterranean and rather – because of a lack of assistance from their EU colleagues – unilaterally decides to allow the rescued migrants to choose their reception country and register at time of entry with the authorities there.
At least there was a modicum of traceability surrounding that process. However – migrants and refugees are currently passing unregistered and unidentified from Serbia and Croatia in to the EU and onwards.
Are you seriously suggesting that any sleeper / infiltrator is then going to proceed directly to a registration point and submit themselves to the processes you describe. If they even existed, which they do not in the form you describe, the backlog would mean lengthy delays in processing.
And are the migrants being held in secure camps on arrival in the EU in the country of their choice – no they are not Sir. Therefore I submit to you that this section of your argument is nonsensical notwithstanding the fact that within the current chaos any sleeper / infiltrator – even the most inexperienced – would have little difficulty avoiding detection and moving through Europe at will and undetected or even identified.
5. Your comment in quotes: “The next assumption is there is a terrorist reception infrastructure? Also safe houses with secure communications, arms and equipment waiting for these terrorists. ????? The more we drill down we tend to see this article is guesswork resulting in scaremongering.”
Our Response: Guesswork? – your entire comment is a series of fictional statements. Yes, there is a “terrorist reception infrastructure” to coin your phrase and it does provide accommodation, logistical support, planning capabilities and a supply of weaponry.
With respect to the secure communications – why don’t you google some of these keywords below and educate yourself regarding how advanced those comms capabilities are and have been for quite some time now and which have evolved significantly – in terms of eavesdropping counter measures and engineered backdoor detection – since the revelations by traitorous Snowden and Assange. Google the following:
1. Al-Fajr Technical Committee
2. Al-Fajr Android App For Secure Communication
3. Al-Fajr Announces New Website
4. Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology
5. The Impact Of Edward Snowden on Terrorist Comms Tech
6. The Cyber & Jihad Lab – Presented by MEMRI
7. Inspire Asrar Instructions
8. How Al-Qaeda Uses Encryption Post-Snowden (Part 1)
9. How Al-Qaeda Uses Encryption Post-Snowden (Part 2)
To conclude – the “scaremongering” that you accuse us of is clearly based on an ill thought out set of assumptions and yours are the words of a naive and inexperienced individual regarding these matters.
Your veneer thin assessment of our post and your knowledge of current jihadi affairs and strategy is the type of misguided and uninformed mindset that will allow these people to succeed in their objectives if there were not others more qualified than you taking the required actions.
I will leave you with a quote from Charles Bukowski – “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”