Washington Post article on a court case involving two young Muslims who took videos of sites in Washington, allegedly to prove they were worth further training to become fighters. Some information on internet contacts, but it may be early days in the trial. Basically an account of the Government’s case against them and a little of their defence. Evidence will be given of alleged contacts with British extremists.


This is a post for John MacFarlane down there in Australia. Guardian article, which has several details about the Real IRA. But why on earth are they trying to buy arms in Lithuania? I know its a Catholic country, but its time someone realised that Eastern Europe is a den of fraudsters and thick with undercover police. Still the beer is good, and if anyone would like to bring me a bottle of Dainava, we would be friends for life.


Washington Post article, mostly on the Sinaloa cartel and its apparent move into Mexico City. The article alleges that hit men from the Pacific cartel have been found in safe houses of the Sinaola cartel along with huge arms caches. Real “state within a state” stuff.


New book from the Council of Europe.

Synopsis [taken from website]

Cyberterrorism and the misuse of Internet for terrorist purposes represents a serious threat, since many essential aspects of today’s society are completely dependent upon the functioning of computer systems and the Internet.

Further to the adoption by the Council of Europe of the Cybercrime Convention (2001) and the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (2005), its Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) has been studying this matter and surveying the situation in member states to evaluate whether existing legal instruments are sufficient to combat this emerging form of crime.

This publication contains an expert report prepared by the Max Planck Institute, which evaluates the main problems that arise in the context of cyberterrorism and provides recommendations, together with reports on the situation in the member and observer states of the Council of Europe and the relevant Council of Europe conventions.


New York Times article on the relationship between police and informants. The case is ongoing, so, as usual, one has to be careful about a newspaper account. The allegation is that the officers used confiscated drugs to pay informants. There are questions about the quantities involved, as well as the supervision of the officers concerned.


Frattini is the EU security commissioner, apparently [what happened to “freedom, security and justice”, by the way? Didn’t take long for the important two to get dropped!] He appears to be announcing that the EU will follow the US in making entry more difficult.


British-Irish Section of the European Group for the
Study of Deviance and Social Control

Capital, Culture, Power:
Criminalisation and Resistance

2-4 July, 2008, Liverpool

Call for Papers

The year 2008 marks Liverpool’s celebration of its status as European Capital of
Culture. In preparation, Liverpool has been undergoing a physical and cultural
regeneration. The centre of the City has been in many ways transformed as private capital
has poured in, overseen by a public-private coalition constituting a local growth machine
– one which has partly been constructed under the rubric of crime control and community
safety, and one which has also attempted, of course, to co-opt academics.

There are significant undersides to this regeneration and the culture it seeks to impose
– undersides which do not figure in the official celebration of 2008, but which need
exposing in 2008 more than any other year. Many parts of Liverpool remain, and will stay,
untouched by this ‘regeneration’. Much of the city and its surrounding areas remain
scarred by poverty, under-employment, and racism. On almost any official indicator of
‘deprivation’, areas in and around the City figure prominently in national
rankings. At the same time, whilst the marginalised are subjected to criminalisation, the
social and criminal justice supports for the victims of the crimes and harms of the
powerful either remain virtually non-existent or under threat. Much may have changed, but
how much has changed?

It is clear that the drive to commercialise the city in preparation for 2008 has produced
further, widespread victimisation – local residents moved on via compulsory purchase, the
homeless and socially marginalised intimidated out of the city centre (not least through
the strategy of criminalisation), small and ‘alternative’ businesses hounded out to
make way for the internationally recognised leisure and retail brands, and the
proliferation of social and physical harms to those who work and live in the City.

If the regeneration of the City has entrenched power differentials, so too will the form
of culture, and access to it, which will mark the year itself be a reflection of dominant
representations of the city. A key, unanswered question remains the ways in which, and the
extent to which, strident capital and its culture can and will be resisted.

This year, then, represents an opportune moment for social scientists and campaigners to
raise critical voices around the refashioning of this and other cities, whether under the
mantle of the Capital of Culture, as in Liverpool, or under some other hegemonic banner,
in ways which entrench and extend existing inequalities. To this end, the British-Irish
Section of the ‘European Group’ welcomes papers on a number of themes, including, but
not limited to, the following:

Ø The social impacts of ‘urban renewal’ and regeneration
Ø Capital-driven homogenisation and the commodification of ‘culture’
Ø Poverty and social marginalisation in the neo-liberal city
Ø Representations of, and official approaches to, urban crime
Ø ‘Community’ and crime control
Ø The criminalisation of political dissent and spectacles of ‘difference’ in the
Ø Local regulation of crimes of the powerful
Ø Migrant workers, casualisation and the urban labour market
Ø The control and colonisation of city spaces
Ø The legacies of slavery and imperialism upon urban crime control and social
Ø The conscription of social scientists into the local growth machine
Ø Governance and social regulation of ‘race’, ‘age’, ‘gender’, and ‘sexuality’
in urban contexts

Please submit abstracts of 100-200 words by Friday 4th April to any of the following, all
of whom can also be contacted for further details:

Roy Coleman roy.coleman@
Lynn Hancock
Joe Sim
Steve Tombs
Joe Yates j.yates1@ljDave Whyte


SOCA today revealed details of an important people smuggling network based in Leicester and involving India, South Africa and even Canada and the United States. The network had several different modus operandi. The revelations come at the end of a series of trials in Leicester Crown Court.


Article from Washington Post on Department of Homeland Security’s information sharing system and its problems. Previous post on European Union refers. Usual problems of vulnerability to hacking and lack of security as public and private partners become involved. Its worth looking at the Bichard Report and Bichard’s follow-ups on implementation of his recommendations. Sharing intelligence is a tricky problem. Using the same system for multiple purposes with multiple users is not as simple as the software salesmen claim.


There may be legal issues involved in this Supreme Court decision that will affect some of the terrorist financing cases referred to obliquely in the previous entry. In particular cases where banks and other financial institutions are being sued for handling accounts that may or may not have been used by individuals or charities whose funds may have ended up in some way with individuals or groups allegedly involved in transferring funds to other individuals or groups who could be considered to have committed terrorist acts. AGain, watch this space. Might even be worth visiting the American Bar Association site.

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