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Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category

CRS — Terrorism Risk Insurance Legislation: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis (December 11, 2014)

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Terrorism Risk Insurance Legislation: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, insurance covering terrorism losses was normally included in commercial insurance policies without additional cost to the policyholders. Following the attacks, this ceased to be the case as insurers and reinsurers pulled back from offering terrorism coverage. It was feared that a lack of insurance against terrorism loss would have a wider economic impact, particularly because insurance coverage can be a significant factor in lending decisions.

This report briefly outlines the issues involved with terrorism insurance, summarizes the extension legislation, and includes a side-by-side of the current TRIA law and the bills that have been passed by the Senate (S. 2244), reported by the House Committee on Financial Services (H.R. 4871), and passed by the House (S. 2244 with a substitute amendment). For more a more in-depth treatment of the issues surrounding TRIA, please see CRS Report R42716, Terrorism
Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program, by Baird Webel.

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CRS — The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy (December 8, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Islamic State is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013. It threatens the governments of both countries and potentially several other countries in the region. The emerging international response to the threat is multifaceted and includes coalition military strikes and assistance plans. There is debate over the degree to which the Islamic State organization might represent a direct terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland or to U.S. facilities and personnel in the region.

CRS — FY2015 Budget Requests to Counter Ebola and the Islamic State (IS) (December 4, 2014 )

December 17, 2014 Comments off

FY2015 Budget Requests to Counter Ebola and the Islamic State (IS) (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Center)

The lame-duck session of the 113th Congress may consider appropriations measures that include recent emergency funding requests. In 2014, two major global threats — the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East — caused serious concern within the Obama Administration and among Members of Congress. In November 2014, the President requested a total of $11.68 billion for responding to the Ebola crisis and combatting the Islamic State.

CRS — Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions (December 11, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The United States has led the international community in imposing economic sanctions on Iran, in an effort to change the government of that country’s support of acts of international terrorism, poor human rights record, weapons and missile development and acquisition, role in regional instability, and development of a nuclear program.

This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. It will be updated if and when new legislation is enacted, or, in the case of executive orders, if and when the President takes additional steps to change U.S. policy toward Iran.

CRS — U.S. – EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (December 1, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

U.S. – EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the subsequent revelation of Al Qaeda cells in Europe gave new momentum to European Union (EU) initiatives to combat terrorism and improve police, judicial, and intelligence cooperation among its member states. Other deadly incidents in Europe, such as the Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005 respectively, injected further urgency into strengthening EU counterterrorism capabilities and reducing barriers among national law enforcement authorities so that information could be meaningfully shared and suspects apprehended expeditiously. Among other steps, the EU has established a common definition of terrorism and a common list of terrorist groups, an EU arrest warrant, enhanced tools to stem terrorist financing, and new measures to strengthen external EU border controls and improve transport security. Over the years, the EU has also encouraged member states to devote resources to countering radicalization and terrorist recruitment, issues that have been receiving renewed attention in light of growing European concerns about the possible threats posed by European fighters returning from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Legitimate Weapon Systems or Unlawful Angels of Death?

December 11, 2014 Comments off

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Legitimate Weapon Systems or Unlawful Angels of Death?
Source: Pace International Law Review

Since the invasion of Afghanistan, the United States has utilized Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to locate, surveil and kill members of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and its associated forces. Such killings have decimated the leadership of these groups and disrupted their operations. However, there are collateral effects from UAV killings including civilian deaths. These deaths increase resentment and hatred toward the US, which is channeled by terrorist groups to recruit new members and for local support. Moreover, targeted killings outside a combat zone have political and diplomatic consequences. This paper argues that the current uses of UAV are legal under international and domestic law. However, it proposes amended targeting criteria, greater transparency and increased checks on the executive branch for future use of UAVs.

Jerusalem: Recent Israeli-Palestinian Tensions and Violence, CRS Insights (November 20, 2014)

December 9, 2014 Comments off

Jerusalem: Recent Israeli-Palestinian Tensions and Violence, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The status of Jerusalem and its holy sites has been a long-standing issue of political and religious contention between Jews and Muslims. Recently, tensions have intensified owing to various factors, including:

+ Efforts by some Israelis, including an anticipated Knesset bill, to emphasize Israel’s claim to the Temple Mount (known by Muslims as the Haram al Sharif or Noble Sanctuary) and to gain greater Jewish access to and worship permissions on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif (“Mount/Haram”), which have elicited negative reactions from Palestinians and other Arabs.

+ Various indications of direct or tacit Israeli official backing for greater Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, including via announcements relating to construction of Jewish residential housing that is widely opposed internationally.

+ A spiraling pattern of unrest and violence, including attacks and security responses that have killed or injured Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and some Arab communities in Israel.

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