|NEW: Press Release on Arab Uprisings|
Recent Events in the Arab World
In the wake of the social upheavals currently shaking Tunisia, Egypt, and other Arab countries; widespread criticism has arisen accusing the Intelligence Community of failing to predict the crises.
Reported cases of such public criticism from leading political figures included President Obama, Admiral Mike Mullen, and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Critics argued that there should have been “more warning’’ in light of the fact that the protests were organized and planned over social networks.
While its clear that various intelligence agencies around the world (including, frankly, the agencies belonging to the affected nations) were caught off-guard by the protests; the Targeted Actionable Monitoring Center and its clients were not:
On 17 January 2011, eight days before the Egyptian unrest, TAMC sent a SEVERE alert to its subscribers warning that recently intercepted Arabic-language jihadist communications were discussing the coming protests. In this alert, TAMC analysts identified the start-date of the protests - 25 January 2011 - as well as specific social networks where much of the organizing was being done.
This TAMC alert also noted how the Egyptian unrest was inspired by the events in Tunisia, and furthermore warned of ‘‘widespread citizen actions against the government’’ in Egypt as well as potential participation by the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a followup alert on the Egyptian situation, the Targeted Actionable Monitoring Center sent out an alert on 1 February 2011 warning of specific jihadist targeting of a natural gas pipeline in the Egyptian Sinai. That very pipeline was attacked by jihadists on 5 February 2011.
Christians Within Egypt:
On 16 December 2010, 22 December 2010, and 28 December 2010 TAMC analysts warned clients about the increased threat to Christians within Egypt. The accuracy of the TAMC information was proven accurate by the deadly bombing of the Coptic Christian church in the early morning hours of 1 January 2011.
Concerning Tunisia, TAMC analysts had been closely monitoring events in that country throughout 2010 and, before the uprising began had warned its clients with assets in that country of growing anger towards the Ben Ali government, especially after the Wikileaks cables exposed the regime’s extravagant lifestyle.
On 17 January 2011, TAMC analysts issued an alert that jihadists were targeting Jewish assets in Tunisia. Two weeks later, on 31 January 2011, Tunisian Jewish leader Perez Trabelsi reported that unknown assailants had set fire to a synagogue in southern Tunisia.
The Targeted Actionable Monitoring Center is proud of its track record. We will continue to track global events and better protect our clients by providing timely, accurate, and actionable intelligence.