Transnational organised crime monthly briefing, May 2015: Fighters from Caribbean travelling to fight with extremists in Syria and Iraq

  • Source: Intelligence unit
  • Filed: 14 May 2015

Monthly intelligence briefing on transnational organised crime from Open Briefing. This month: fighters from the Caribbean region are travelling to fight with extremists in Syria and Iraq; how law enforcement agencies must develop an understanding of the business structures of organised criminal gangs if such organisations are to be effectively undermined; political corruption and money laundering in Nigeria; and more. Read more

Transnational organised crime monthly briefing, April 2015: Australian government launches task force to combat crystal meth epidemic dubbed country’s ‘worst-ever drug crisis’

  • Source: Intelligence unit
  • Filed: 15 April 2015

Monthly intelligence briefing on transnational organised crime from Dr Mary Young. This month includes the task force the Australian government has launched to combat the crystal meth epidemic in the country, how El Salvador is struggling to cope with the collapse of the truce between the MS-13 and Calle 18 gangs, discussion of transnational organised crime by leaders at the US-CARICOM summit in Jamaica, and more. Read more

Hack on Sony Pictures highlights key challenges in cyber security and conflict

  • Source: Blog
  • Filed: 30 January 2015

The international relations fallout from the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014 steadily increased through December and into January. The potential for miscalculation in cyber conflict is significant due to the absence of international norms or consensus, lack of shared understanding of relative offensive capabilities and limitations in attribution. As such, the Sony Pictures hack has highlighted far-wider issues than initially apparent. Read more

Why the EU wants Pakistan to condemn Russia. (And why it probably won’t.)

  • Author: Shazad Ali
  • Published: 23 January 2015

In December 2014, the EU envoy to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, urged the country to condemn Russia over what he characterised as ‘violations by a very aggressive Russia against Ukraine’. His intervention has been made at a time when there is a thaw in Pakistan-Russia relations after decades of animosity and mistrust. While the new friendship with Moscow is attractive for Islamabad, Wigemark’s warning puts Pakistan in a difficult position. Read more

India: Jostling for geopolitical control in Afghanistan

  • Author: Shazad Ali
  • Published: 27 March 2014

In this article co-published with openDemocracy, Open Briefing contributing analyst Shazad Ali argues that the international community has somewhat ignored India’s role in Afghanistan’s future, which, in fact, will be pivotal as US forces drawdown in the country by the end of the year. Read more

How Israel should approach Iran’s nuclear programme

  • Author: Kevjn Lim
  • Published: 20 March 2014

In this article for the Jerusalem Post, Open Briefing Middle East analyst Kevjn Lim proposes a controversial three-part strategy to strengthen Israel’s ‘Iron Wall’ by bringing a nuclear-threshold Iran under firm international constraints, restoring Israel’s conventional deterrence, and closing the gap with Israel’s closest allies. Read more

The weekly briefing, 28 October 2013

  • Source: Open Briefing
  • Filed: 28 October 2013

Political and security risk updates from the Open Briefing intelligence desks. Includes the German and French plans to renegotiate intelligence cooperation with the United States and the NGO reports that have renewed concerns over US drone strike programmes in Pakistan and Yemen. Read more

US drone strikes in Pakistan: Ineffective and illegitimate

  • Author: Shazad Ali and Chris Abbott
  • Published: 24 October 2013

In this article co-published with, Shazad Ali and Chris Abbott argue that lack of transparency, dubious effectiveness, civilian casualties and negative consequences for US national security means that Washington needs to re-evaluate its drone strikes programme in Pakistan. Read more