Archive for April, 2008

The UK Liquid Plot

Posted: April 25, 2008 in HSToday
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A new article for HSToday. Not quite my most eloquent, but oh well.

The UK Liquid Explosives Plot

by Raffaello Pantucci

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The plotters discussed bringing their wives, infant children on boardAs of August 2006, those of us traveling on airplanes have faced the new inconvenience of being unable to bring on large bottles containing liquid or other gel-like substances. The genesis of this new layer of protective security on our travel was a plot uncovered by the British Security Services in late July 2006 to blow up in mid flight some eight transatlantic airlines with liquid based explosive devices. 

It wasn’t until earlier this month that specific details of the conspiracy began to emerge as the trial for eight individuals at the heart of the plot got underway.

The eight were drawn from what is a depressing typical (though by no means universal) profile for British t (more…)

Have been being slow about this again. Trying to get actual writing done. Only half happening. Anyway, here is an article i wrote for a German magazine (but in English) about what the UK is doing in counter-terrorism terms: – this is actually the entire edition, but mine is buried in there with a pretty apalling picture. I am also in the middle of completing another article for these people, so watch this space…

This is a paper i wrote again with my friend Alexandros Petersen, this time looking at the EU’s policy towards Central Asia. This was written during the German Presidency of the EU when there was a sort of push by the European’s – it has since dropped off a touch, but the German’s have always been natural leaders of sort in this field (they have Embassies in all five states, as well as a relationship with the Russians, one of the other big players in the region, etc). The paper was written for the Henry Jackson Society – a smallish think-tank still finding their way, but doing so very optimistically.

This is a longer journal article that i co-wrote with a friend at the American Enterprise Institute for SAIS Review (an academic journal) last year that ran in Vol. XXVII no. 1 Winter-Spring 2007. I was looking at European affairs and transatlantic things back then, and he is an Asia expert, so we plumped looking at the US-EU-China triangular relationship under the heading of “A Treacherous Triangle? China and the Transatlantic Relationship.” This came out a little after the panicked flurry that occured after the European’s announced that they might lift their arms embargo to China (they didn’t in the end, but still say they will sometime in the near future.” The entire article can be found:


Moscow Times

Posted: April 7, 2008 in Moscow Times
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I have co-written a couple of pieces for the Moscow Times ( with my friend Alexandros Petersen (whose title has oscilated somewhat). Unfortunately, they charge to see them, so they are reproduced below. Both were also re-treaded in the St Petersburg Times. The most recent was written at around the time of the G8 Summit and chided Russia for fixating on the U.S. when their main issue should be their relations with the EU, and the older one instead examines the EU’s growing role in Eurasia, specifically Central Asia – a pet fixation of mine.

Bypassing Europe is a Mistake

June 6, 2007

By Raffaello Pantucci and Alexandros Petersen
This week’s Group of Eight summit is one that is likely to be a triumph of process over substance. The reasons for this are many and multifaceted, but at their core lie two fundamental problems.


Fritz the Holy Warrior

Posted: April 7, 2008 in HSToday
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My latest HST article. I had planned to use the title of this posting, but they insisted otherwise. It looks at Germany Turkish population and their growing links to international terrorism, some editorial decisions i am not totally sure i would agree with.


European Voice

Posted: April 7, 2008 in European Voice
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Here are a couple of op-eds that i wrote for the European Voice ( an off-shoot of the Economist. Can’t link to them directly, as they have a charge on their website. The most recent looks at China’s march on Africa while the EU fiddles around, and the second calls for the Europeans to come together with some semblance of a coherence strategy on Russia.

Now i am simply going to start dumping things here without much method or madness in terms of order. Just needs to be done really. This is a recent article i wrote for the Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor: – it examines radicalization and problems the British prison system is having adjusting to having an increasing amount of terrorist lifers to deal with.

Britain’s Prison Dilemma: Issues and Concerns in Islamic Radicalization

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 6
March 24, 2008 07:26 PM Age: 248 days
Category: Terrorism Monitor, Europe

The increasingly rapid tempo of arrests and convictions of terrorist plotters by the British security services has had the concurrent effect of increasing the number of terrorist prisoners now incarcerated in the United Kingdom’s penal system. This influx of hardened terrorists into the system has started to alarm many in the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office who are concerned about the “disruptive impact of terrorists on prison regimes” (Guardian, March 3). Fears are focused on two main concerns: clashes between groups of Muslim prisoners and others in the general prison population, and the potential for high-profile terrorist prisoners to radicalize susceptible imprisoned youths.


HS Today

Posted: April 6, 2008 in HSToday
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As well as my day job, i am also the London correspondent for a U.S. based magazine called HS Today (as in Homeland Security Today). As you can imagine most of the writing focuses on terrorism and counter-terrorism issues, my page there is currently:

Not possible to leave comments here i’m afraid.

New Statesman

Posted: April 6, 2008 in New Statesman

So, to get this rolling at last, i am going to start by simply placing links to certain previous works i have done. I write occasionally for the New Statesman, a British political magazine, and my writings for them can be found at:

Please visit and leave comments, offensive or otherwise.