Dipesh Gadher/ The Sunday Times & Robert Pursell / USJFCOM Public Affairs – 2007-04-24 23:00:26
NOTE: This story surfaced at the same time the US has scheduled four days of “simulated” nuclear terrorist scenarios in the US & Europe. The US was running several “simulated” aircraft hijacking exercises on 9/11 and a “simulated” terror bombing excercise was being conducted on the London Subway system on the same day that bombs killed scores of Londoners.
“From April, 23 to April 27, the elite echelon of the military are running Noble Resolve 07, a four-day marathon of “simulated” terror attacks across the US and Europe. This includes a simulated detonation of a “loose” ten-kiloton nuclear weapon Virginia harbor, smuggled in by a “foreign nation.”
• See EAW story: “Noble Resolve 07: Four Days of Nuke-Terror Wargames”
Al-Qaeda‘Planning Big British Attack’
Dipesh Gadher/ The Sunday Times
LONDON (April 22, 2007) — Al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq are planning the first “large-scale” terrorist attacks on Britain and other western targets with the help of supporters in Iran, according to a leaked intelligence report.
Spy chiefs warn that one operative had said he was planning an attack on “a par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki” in an attempt to “shake the Roman throne”, a reference to the West.
Another plot could be timed to coincide with Tony Blair stepping down as prime minister, an event described by Al-Qaeda planners as a “change in the head of the company”.
The report, produced earlier this month and seen by The Sunday Times, appears to provide evidence that Al-Qaeda is active in Iran and has ambitions far beyond the improvised attacks it has been waging against British and American soldiers in Iraq.
There is no evidence of a formal relationship between Al-Qaeda, a Sunni group, and the Shi’ite regime of President Mah-moud Ahmadinejad, but experts suggest that Iran’s leaders may be turning a blind eye to the terrorist organisation’s activities.
The intelligence report also makes it clear that senior Al-Qaeda figures in the region have been in recent contact with operatives in Britain.
It follows revelations last year that up to 150 Britons had travelled to Iraq to fight as part of Al-Qaeda’s “foreign legion”. A number are thought to have returned to the UK, after receiving terrorist training, to form sleeper cells.
The report was compiled by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) – based at MI5’s London headquarters – and provides a quarterly review of the international terror threat to Britain. It draws a distinction between Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda’s core leadership, who are thought to be hiding on the Afghan-Pakistan border, and affiliated organisations elsewhere.
The document states: “While networks linked to AQ [Al-Qaeda] Core pose the greatest threat to the UK, the intelligence during this quarter has highlighted the potential threat from other areas, particularly AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq].”
The report continues: “Recent reporting has described AQI’s Kurdish network in Iran planning what we believe may be a large-scale attack against a western target.
“A member of this network is reportedly involved in an operation which he believes requires AQ Core authorisation. He claims the operation will be on ‘a par with Hiroshima and Naga-saki’ and will ‘shake the Roman throne’. We assess that this operation is most likely to be a large-scale, mass casualty attack against the West.”
The report says there is “no indication” this attack would specifically target Britain, “although we are aware that AQI . . . networks are active in the UK”.
Analysts believe the reference to Hiroshima and Naga-saki, where more than 200,000 people died in nuclear attacks on Japan at the end of the second world war, is unlikely to be a literal boast.
“It could be just a reference to a huge explosion,” said a counter-terrorist source. “They [Al-Qaeda] have got to do something soon that is radical otherwise they start losing credibility.”
Despite aspiring to a nuclear capability, Al-Qaeda is not thought to have acquired weapons grade material. However, several plots involving “dirty bombs” – conventional explosive devices surrounded by radioactive material – have been foiled.
Last year Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq called on nuclear scientists to apply their knowledge of biological and radiological weapons to “the field of jihad”.
Details of a separate plot to attack Britain, “ideally” before Blair steps down this summer, were contained in a letter written by Abdul al-Hadi al-Iraqi, an Iraqi Kurd and senior Al-Qaeda commander.
According to the JTAC document, Hadi “stressed the need to take care to ensure that the attack was successful and on a large scale”. The plan was to be relayed to an Iran-based Al-Qaeda facilitator.
The Home Office declined to comment.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
Noble Resolve 07 Kicks Off
Robert Pursell / USJFCOM Public Affairs
(SUFFOLK, Va. – April 23, 2007) — U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) kicked off its series of experiments here today aimed at enhancing homeland defense measures and military support in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
Noble Resolve, sponsored by USJFCOM, is an experimentation campaign plan supported by U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) to develop solutions for U.S. agencies and organizations by providing the means to deter, prevent, and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the U.S., its territories, and interests.
This week’s event, known as Noble Resolve 07-1, is the first of what will be a series of experiments to be held over a number of years on this topic. The Noble Resolve campaign will be managed by USJFCOM’s Joint Innovation and Experimentation Directorate (J9).
Noble Resolve 07-1 is a week-long event that will bring more than 125 people from across the United States and a number of other countries to develop solutions to provide improved defense support to civil authorities and build upon global partnerships.
Throughout the Noble Resolve campaign, USJFCOM will also partner with the U.S. Transportation Command, and other federal agencies such as the Dept. of Homeland Security, the FBI and Customs and Border Protection. It will also team with individual states such as the Commonwealth of Virginia and Oregon, as well as multinational participants to include Canada, Germany, Singapore, Finland and Sweden, amongst others.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chris Oden, the military lead for Noble Resolve’s initial experiment which will last through the end of the week, explained the significance of the event.
“It’s the first homeland defense and defense support to civil authorities experiment that we’re conducting within J9 that has a lot of modeling and simulation support and potential that’s going to be built into the Noble Resolve campaign.”
Mark Wolfe, the civilian lead for Noble Resolve said the event is a product of Urban Resolve, another series of USJFCOM experiments which concluded this past winter.
He indicated the discoveries from that earlier event are now being applied to the homeland defense arena. One of the unique capabilities USJFCOM has come to understand it has that is of high value to this kind of work is their modeling and simulation capability.
Modeling and simulation is a huge player in this kind of work, according to Wolfe.
Wolfe said Noble Resolve provides the opportunity for USJFCOM to share this capability with NORTHCOM, as well as with the other partners and civil authorities.
Oden said this week’s focus will be on maritime domain awareness.
“Maritime domain is a big focus and when you start looking at vessels transiting, especially with man-made devices, it’s a huge problem to track over the ocean,” he said. “We’re trying to see if we do find something, can we track it and look at the information sharing that takes place and see how it affects us over here.”
Oden said the other piece of this is the defense support to civil authorities. For example, the commonwealth of Virginia will run its annual exercise called the Virginia Emergency Readiness Exercise simultaneously. Noble Resolve personnel will feed Virginia officials with information regarding a potential incoming nuclear device while they are dealing with their own problem of an incoming hurricane. They will evaluate how information during such a crisis is shared.
Oden said once this week’s phase of experiments wraps up, the results will be shared with Virginia officials, NORTHCOM, and all other Noble Resolve participants. The next phase will focus on a wider scope of participants.
“Right now we’re really just looking at the maritime domain awareness question and then how that affects information flow. So it’s a fairly narrow scope the first time out, but as we expand it in the number of players, it’ll become more distributed,” he said.
Oden said the next phase in August will focus on a threat in the Pacific theater. Those involved will include the state of Oregon, the city of Portland, the Oregon National Guard, as well as Joint Task Force Homeland Defense, located in Hawaii.