A week after the atrocity in Manchester, it is now possible to draw some preliminary conclusions: there clearly was a breakdown in the intelligence flow that led to suicide bomber Salman Abedi slipping through the net; there are enduring questions about the UK’s Prevent anti-terrorism strategy; and, finally, there are the weaknesses of ‘soft targets’ that such an attack invariably expose.
The investigation into the 3 April terrorist attack on the St Petersburg metro has focused on a man of Central Asian origin with possible ties to Syrian rebel groups. The attack raises concerns about the threat posed both by Daesh and extremists within Russia’s sizeable Central Asian community.
As the longest war in US history rumbles on, Moscow looks at the Afghanistan conflict with interest. Allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the country, particularly its aid to the Taliban, raise questions over Russia’s geopolitical interests in Afghanistan, with the Kremlin’s mixed strategy reflecting how it is also precariously balanced.
In view of the terrorist threat and diversity of funding efforts, counter-terrorist financing efforts should aim to address the modus operandi of any given target, placing greater emphasis on the intelligence value that finance provides.