A decision by four Britons to plead guilty to terrorist offences including a plan to bomb the London Stock Exchange sheds new light on the current terrorist threat to the UK. It also gives fresh insight into the work of counter terrorism officers in the UK, and of their coverage of extremist networks.
Somalia will continue to dominate the 2012 agenda for East African states as the humanitarian impact of famine and ongoing fighting pulls in regional and international actors. Now embroiled in military operations, Kenya also faces a big year for domestic politics. Other regional dynamics are tying together Uganda and South Sudan, and Kenya and Eritrea, who are all facing political challenges.
With fewer elections scheduled for 2012 in West Africa, the emphasis will shift to regional security and dealing with complex security threats. Terrorist groups and local militias are still a major problem, while religious conflict and instability threaten the region’s largest economy; Nigeria.
The attack marks beyond any doubt seepage between Pakistan’s political and security woes. Serious doubts must now shroud the practical feasibility of Pakistan holding its parliamentary elections in three months time.
This week a group of survivors and relatives of those killed in the July 7 London bombings have applied for a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to hold an inquiry into the attacks.
Lawyers for the group said the action was being taken to ensure lessons were learned for the future and that legal proceedings would be stopped if an independent and public inquiry was launched.