RUSI in the News - Week closing 13 March 2016


Emil Dall on North Korea’s nuclear programme, ABC 24 9 March

Shashank Joshi on the US and Libya, Sky News 10 March

Raffaello Pantucci on Daesh files, The Guardian 10 March

Op-Eds by RUSI staff and fellows

Building support for the Belt and Road
‘Xi Jinping has laid out what is going to be the defining foreign policy vision of his leadership in the form of the Belt and Road. An all-encompassing initiative, it is something that repeated Chinese leaders have said they want to engage with foreign partners on, in particular with European capitals given the vision is one that starts in China and ends in Europe.’

Raffaello Pantucci for European Council on Foreign Relations 8 March

Islamic State: The struggle to stay rich
‘Whilst most people decry the validity inferred from the name of IS as a "state", the group's financing is certainly more reminiscent of a state than that of organisations such as al-Qaeda that relied heavily on donations to fund their operations.’

Tom Keatinge for the BBC 8 March

Merkel’s refugee deal ‘aimed at protecting political career’
‘Dr Merkel may live to regret her conduct this week, for she needs the cooperation of all her EU colleagues to make the Turkish deal stick. And this now looks highly unlikely.’

Jonathan Eyal for The Straits Times 10 March

Iran's missiles: How big a threat to regional rivals?
‘However, since each ballistic missile only carries a single 1000kg payload, whereas a fighter can carry multiple bombs and rockets, the impact of a conventional-warhead from a Qadr or Shahab missile would be less than the strike power of a single F-15E or F-16 fighter bomber.’

Justin Bronk for Al Jazeera  and The Manila Times 10 March

Quoted in the Media

Daesh files revealed

Islamic State Files: ‘ Goldmine of Information’
"It will give them an indication of not just who they are, where they come from, but will be able to potentially to lead them to the individuals who radicalised these individuals as well as facilitated their departure."

Afzal Ashraf for Sky News , AP and The Sun 9 March 

Islamic State defector brings 'goldmine' of details on 22,000 supporters
"It seems a bit dated. Very interesting though and a real gift for researchers into understanding the group more," he added. "The key for me in many ways is how this highlights the bureaucracy of the organisation once again - kinda like al Qaeda in fact."

Raffaello Pantucci for Reuters 11 March

Thousands of secret Isis recruitment files leaked
Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said that the haul was similar to a discovery of jihadist service records from al-Qaeda in Iraq by US special forces in 2007. Those proved vital in building a picture of the organisation.

Raffaello Pantucci for The Times 10 March

Germany says stolen Islamic State files ‘probably genuine’
Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank, told the Press Association the papers could be "incredibly important". He said: "It is a law enforcement gold mine. It means it might make it easier to prosecute those who have returned."

Shashank Joshi for The BBC, Huffington Post, The Daily Mail and Ezspk 11 March

Fighting against Daesh

Poisonous war: Low-tech chemical rockets become growing IS threat
"The method of delivery is so crude it tends to dissipate the chemicals before they can be focused into an area concentrated enough to kill people. They lack sufficient bursting technology to make their weapons more lethal," said Michael Stephens, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Michael Stephens for Middle East Eye 8 March


Jihadi John biographer pulls out of speaking event over 'gagging' fears
“It’s a very difficult space,” he said. “Individuals have to make their own decisions about this. But part of the issue is that it hasn’t always been clearly indicated by Government who it is that schools are meant to be keeping out.”

Raffaello Pantucci for The Independent 11 March

Security in Egypt

Egypt escalates crackdown on dissent
“What we’ve been seeing in Egypt over the past two years is the attempt of each institution to consolidate its own power, in pursuit of what it sees as its role in the Egyptian arena,” he said. “At the same time, state institutions are not consolidated under a single cohesive individual or regime and thus, the security establishment may not feel it has to answer to any other authority, which might otherwise restrain it.”

HA Hellyer for The Financial Times 11 March

Why Almost No One Believes Egypt’s Security Services
“Many analysts speculate the most likely culprits behind the assassination were rogue pro-MB [Muslim Brotherhood] elements—but that doesn’t mean the Egyptian Ministry of Interior’s latest release will be taken particularly seriously,”

HA Hellyer for Time Magazine 8 March

European parliament condemns killing of Giulio Regeni in Egypt
“In the member states it’s likely to make even less difference. However, it certainly creates a certain amount of moral pressure, but nothing that’s going to change the policy in the short term at all,” Hellyer said.

HA Hellyer for The Guardian 10 March

North Korean Sanctions

Seoul adds new sanctions on North Korea
“The significance of additional limited South Korean sanctions at this stage is primarily symbolic and political,” said Andrea Berger, deputy director of proliferation at the Royal United Services Institute. Such an action reasserts that (South Korean) President Park (Geun-hye) is willing to go beyond UN requirements and respond to North Korean behaviour with sticks as well as the carrots that she promoted earlier in her tenure.”

Andrea Berger in NK News 8 March

U.N. Panel: North Korea Used Chinese Bank to Evade Nuclear Sanctions
“China has agreed to sanctions packages in the past, each harsher than the last,” she said. “Yet on each occasion, it has also failed to follow up by systematically enforcing the measures, encouraging the private sector to do the requisite due diligence to flag prohibited trade, and acting when they do not.”

Andrea Berger in Foreign Policy 7 March

UK action on Libya

Barack Obama blasts David Cameron for letting Libya plunge into a 'mess'
Mr Joshi added that Mr Obama's attack on countries not doing enough militarily was not solely aimed at Britain but Chancellor George Osborne might not have committed to the Nato spending target had Mr Obama and his aides not "shamed" the UK into it.

Shashank Joshi for The Express 10 March

United Nations Relief and Works Agency

Pro-Israel NGO puts pressure on UNRWA for aiding Palestinian refugees
“It shows how the humanitarian sector has become so politicised - when it starts to involve UN agencies, you’ve got a problem,” Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the RUSI security think tank in London, told Middle East Eye.

Tom Keatinge for Middle East Eye 7 March

Cyber Security

Pawn Storm targets Turkish government, says Trend Micro
“The interesting question remains as to the extent that this is being directed or organised by the Russian state and in particular those close to the leadership.”

Ewan Lawson for SC Magazine 9 March

Lynne Owens, Director General, NCA at RUSI

The Guardian: National Crime Agency vows to crack down on ‘Mr Big’ criminals

Police Oracle: Untouchable criminals will have no place to hide, says NCA director

The Telegraph: New crackdown on 'untouchable' crimelords

WiredGov: So-called untouchables will be NCA’s absolute focus says Director General

Mohammed Nahavandian, Chief of Staff to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at RUSI

Reuters: Iran calls for full access to international banking, sees UK role

Parliamentary Appearances

Peter Roberts: LSC - Operation Sophia: What steps could EU take?

Igor Sutyagin: PSC - Defence: Russia: Implications for UK defence and security

Helena Wood: PSC - Home Affairs: Proceeds of crime

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