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15 February 2018




Middle East


Tillerson urges Lebanon to distance itself from the Hezbollah militia


Author/Source: Carol Morello, The Washington Post


“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Lebanon on Thursday to distance itself from the Hezbollah militia as he met with senior government officials, including political allies of the group the United States considers a terrorist organization…”




At U.S. urging, NATO agrees training mission in Iraq


Author/Source: Robin Emmott and Idrees Ali, Reuters


“NATO defense ministers agreed on Thursday a bigger ‘train-and-advise’ mission in Iraq after a U.S. call for the alliance to help stabilize the country after three years of war against Islamic State…”




Donor conference pledges $30bn to help Iraq rebuild after Isis


Author/Source: Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian


“A global donor conference has pledged almost $30bn (£21bn) to help Iraq rebuild after the ravages of Islamic State, about a third of what the country estimates it will need long term…”




Israel detains 30 Palestinians in West Bank, East Jerusalem raids


Author/Source: Harry Fawcett, Al Jazeera


“Israel has detained more than 30 Palestinians in raids across the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinian officials say it is escalating a policy of aggression…”




Jordan's economic crisis threatens political stability


Author/Source: Ali Younes, Al Jazeera


“Angry at the decision to increase food prices last month, restive Jordanians are demanding the government's resignation and the dissolution of parliament…”




Turkey Rejects Israel’s Claim Ankara Helps Hamas


Author/Source: Anna Ahronheim, The Jerusalem Post


“Turkey has rejected Israel’s accusations that it helped Hamas gain in military strength, calling them “incompatible with reality,” after a Turkish citizen was arrested and deported…”




Fifteen Russian contractors killed in explosion at base in Syria, as violence escalates


Author/Source: The Telegraph


“Fifteen Russians employed in Syria by a private security company were killed when an unexplained explosion rocked an arms depot at their base in the war-torn country…”




Oman minister makes rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem holy site


Author/Source: Arab News


“Oman’s foreign minister made a rare visit by an Arab official to a Jerusalem holy site on Thursday after holding talks with Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank…”




Strikes hit yet another hospital in Syria’s Idlib


Author/Source: Arab News


“Air strikes have hit a hospital in Syria’s last province beyond government control, in the seventh such raid on a medical facility there by the regime or its ally Russia in two weeks…”




Central Asia


US threatens Armenia with sanctions for purchase of Russian weapons


Author/Source: News.Az


“The US warned Armenia about possible sanctions in case of concluding transactions with the banned Russian companies…”




Russian officer, militant, die in shootout in Caucasus


Author/Source: Fox News


“Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee says a special forces officer has been killed in a shootout with a militant that also left the fighter dead…”




South Asia


Afghan officials: Attacks kill 10 police; blast kills 2 kids


Author/Source: ABC News


“Attacks blamed on the Taliban in northern and western Afghanistan killed at least 10 members of the country's security forces…”




Pakistan asks Trump to help fund border fence with Afghanistan


Author/Source: The Guardian


Pakistan is building a fence along its border with Afghanistan, and it wants Donald Trump to pay for it – or at least some of it…”




Afghan suicide attacks killed record numbers in 2017


Author/Source: The National


“A surge in suicide attacks and bombings in Afghanistan killed a record number of civilians - almost 2,300 - last year…”




Southeast Asia


Harry Harris, Trump's pick for Australia envoy, slams Beijing's Asia ambitions


Author/Souce: Ben Westcott, CNN


“China is seeking to "undermine" the international order in the Asia Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris, US President Donald Trump's nominee for ambassador to Australia, said in Washington on Wednesday…”




Philippines says it will ignore China and name land features at underwater plateau


Author/Source: The Strait Times


“The Philippines is assigning names to land features at a vast underwater plateau on its continental shelf, ignoring the fact that China has named four seamounts and a hill in the area…”



East Asia


China Angered as Indian PM Visits Disputed Border Region


Author/Source: US News


China on Thursday expressed anger over a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the remote Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China also claims…”






Fighting between Rwanda, Congolese troops in eastern DRC


Author/Source: News24


“Heavy fighting broke out between the Rwandan and Congolese military in troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after an incursion by Rwandan troops…”




Cyril Ramaphosa succeeds Zuma as South African president


Author/Source: BBC


“Cyril Ramaphosa has become South Africa's president a day after embattled leader Jacob Zuma resigned…”




Libyan army says agreement to unify military institution to be signed soon


Author/Source: Al Arabiya English


“Libya’s armed forces spokesperson, Colonel Ahmed al-Mesmari, said that discussions aimed at unifying Libya’s military institution will continue in Cairo on Thursday, adding that most clauses were agreed upon in a draft agreement which will be signed soon…”




Egypt urged to halt cluster-bombs use in North Sinai


Author/Source: Al Jazeera


“Amnesty International has said Egypt must cease use of cluster bombs "immediately" after the weapons had featured in an official video by the country's military on their recent operations in North Sinai…”




Ethiopia's Prime Minister resigns amidst political crisis


Author/Source: Daniel Mumbere, Africa News


Ethiopia’s prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn has offered to resign from his position as premier of the country and chairman of the ruling coalition…”




Egypt's military says kills 53 militants in week-long offensive


Author/Source: Nadine Awadalla, Reuters


“Egypt’s milita Egypt’s military and police forces have killed a total of 53 Islamist militants and arrested 680 suspects in a week-long offensive to crush insurgents that is focused on the Sinai Peninsula…”






EU split over expansion into Western Balkans


Author/Source: Gabriela Baczynska and Peter Maushagen, Reuters


“European Union foreign ministers disagreed on Thursday over a proposal by the bloc’s executive to push for expansion into the Western Balkans…”



Russian opposition leader slams Instagram for caving in to the government


Author/Source: Anton Troianovski, The Washington Post


“U.S. tech giants were thrust in the middle of the battle for Russian Internet freedom on Thursday as the country’s most prominent opposition leader blamed Instagram for bowing to a government request to remove posts that embarrassed an oligarch and a top government official...”




UK blames Russia for 'malicious' NotPetya cyber-attac


Author/Source: BBC


“The Russian military was directly behind a "malicious" cyber-attack on Ukraine last summer that spread across Europe…”




UK police raids in Milton Keynes rescue modern slavery victims


Author/Source: DW


Police raided car washes and houses in Milton Keynes, north of London in coordinated raids targeting organized crime groups trafficking people and drugs…”




US & Canada


A top al-Qaeda operative is about to be sentenced for killing U.S. troops 15 years ago in Afghanistan


Author/Source: Ellen Nakashima and Missy Ryan, The Washington Post


“A senior al-Qaeda member is set to be sentenced Friday in a Brooklyn court for conspiring to kill two American service members 15 years ago in Afghanistan and later plotting to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria…”




Preliminary findings on U.S. diplomats’ health problems in Cuba: real but still a


Author/Source: Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald


“Two University of Pennsylvania researchers who examined diplomatic personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Havana confirm they suffered brain injuries, but said the cases weren’t accompanied by head trauma as would have been expected…”




Accused gunman to face 17 murder counts for Florida high school attack


Author/Source: Sara Shaynian, United Press International


“The 19-year-old man accused of shooting 17 people dead at a South Florida high school will face numerous counts of premeditated murder at his initial court appearance Thursday…”




Florida shooting suspect trained with white nationalist militia, Anti-Defamation League says


Author/Source: Molly Hennesy-Fiske, Matt Pearce, and Jenny Jarvie, The Los Angeles Times


“The expelled student accused of killing 17 people at his former South Florida high school had previously trained with a white nationalist militia in the state, participating in paramilitary drills in Tallahassee…”




Any U.S. talks with North Korea would press denuclearization demand: Pence


Author/Source: Roberta Rampton, Reuters


“The United States is open to talks with North Korea, but only to convey the U.S. stance that “the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet” must give up its nuclear weapons, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday…”




South and Central America and the Caribbean


UN mediation effort on Honduras political crisis stalls


Author/Source: AFP


“Bitter divisions over a contested presidential election in Honduras have dimmed prospects for talks mediated by the United Nations to defuse the crisis…”




Rio Carnival Is Marred by Violence as City’s Security Troubles Worsen


Author/Source: The New York Times


“Muggings, armed robberies and confrontations during Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro are underscoring the deteriorating security situation in the city…”




Mexican police destroy 1,190 acres of opium poppies


Author/Source: Arab News


“Mexican federal police say they have found and destroyed about 1,190 acres (482 hectares) of opium poppies in raids in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero…”



IUCTS Highlights



February 9, 2018

Combating Terrorism: Reflections over the Generations


January 31, 2018

National, Regional, and Global Terrorism: An Israeli Perspective


December 19, 2017

Security Challenges in the Balkans: Quo Vadis?


December 7, 2017

Egypt-U.S. Strategic Partnership


November 20, 2017

Spanish-U.S. Strategic Partnership


November 13, 2017

Czech Republic-U.S. Strategic Partnership


October 31, 2017

Can the State System and Separatism Co-Exist?


September 11, 2017

Al-Qa'ida: Sixteen Years After 9/11 and Beyond


August 24, 2017

Combating Biological Terrorism: Roadmaps for Global Strategies


June 29, 2017

The Role of Diplomacy in Combating Terrorism


June 9, 2017

European and U.S. Counter-Terrorism Strategies: Quo Vadis?


May 24, 2017

"Is a New Middle East Strategic Order Emerging?"


April 20, 2017

"Terrorism and the Media: Dilemmas for Government, Journalists, and the Public"


April 13, 2017

"Security Challenges in Africa: Review of 2016 and Outlook for 2017"


March 23, 2017

"Preventing WMD Terrorism: Past Lessons and Future Outlook" 


February 23, 2017

"International Cooperation in Combating Terrorism: Review of 2016 and Outlook for 2017"


December 16, 2016

"Latin America's Security Outlook: Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-Castro Era"


Additional past events 



The Times of Israel on October 25, 2017: "Nuclear Terrorism: Before its too late" by Prof. Yonah Alexander and Dr. Milton Hoenig