Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Russian Roulette, Afghanistan, Mukhabarat, Multiple Explosions In Mumbai, Power Struggle In Brazil, China Security Memo...and more.

Total’s Russian roulette
French oil giant Total is desperately seeking a way out of an arbitration case that could set it back by $1 billion, and in which it is curiously powerless to defend itself. The case is being brought by a small Russian company Interneft and the regional authorities of Saratov and Volgograd, which claim breach of an exploration and production contract signed 19 years ago by Elf Neftegaz, a subsidiary of Elf Aquitaine that later became part of Total. (...) Read more

FSB faces Taliban over Tajik border
Moscow is negotiating a deal with the authorities in Tajikistan to monitor the country’s border with Afghanistan, threatened with an influx of Taliban being flushed out of Afghanistan by NATO troops. (...)Read more

Satellites: Ultra-high orbit revolution
EADS subsidiary Astrium has become the first company to get into the development of 36,000-km ultra-high orbit optical and radar observation, with the launch at the Paris Air Show last week of its GO-35 geostationary observation satellite. Moving at the same speed and in the same direction as Earth, the satellites are conceived to stay in a fixed position above a particular region, rather than passing over it several times a day. (...) Read more

Mukhabarat and the desert prison
The Palmyre prison, or Tadmor in Arabic, which closed in 2001, has recently reopened according to Intelligence Online’s sources in the adjacent town. (...) Read more

All the above...source...
Global Strategic Intelligence

Red Alert: Multiple Explosions in Mumbai

July 13, 2011
Three explosions were reported in Mumbai on July 13 in the crowded Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar areas of the city. The explosions began around 7:10 p.m. and occurred within minutes of each other. There are reports that a fourth bomb, likely at the Roxy Theater, failed to detonate. Current casualty estimates indicate five people have been killed and 100 injured thus far.

This marks the first major attack in India since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. Though the magnitude of these attacks has yet to be determined, this attack does not appear to be as sophisticated as the 2008 attacks, which involved an assault team consisting of a number of militants that coordinated 10 shooting and bombing attacks across the city. The July 13 attack, by contrast, appears to have not involved suicide attackers but consisted of explosives placed in a taxi, a meter box and locations where they could be remotely detonated. This tactic is much more in line with those used by more amateurish groups, such the Indian Mujahideen, who have targeted crowded urban areas before.

Nonetheless, the attack comes at a critical juncture in U.S.-Pakistani relations as the United States is trying to accelerate a withdrawal of its military forces in Afghanistan. The 2008 Mumbai attacks revealed the extent to which traditional Pakistan-based Islamist militant groups, such as elements from the defunct Lashkar-e-Taiba, had collaborated with transnational jihadist elements like al Qaeda in trying to instigate a crisis between Islamabad and New Delhi. Such a crisis would complicate U.S.-Pakistani dealings on Afghanistan, potentially serving the interests of al Qaeda as well as factions within Pakistan trying to derail a negotiation between the United States and Pakistan. Follow our coverage »
July 13, 2011 1934 GMT
A weekly approximation of the current locations of U.S. Carrier Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups, based on available open-source information. (With STRATFOR map)[more]

July 13, 2011 1147 GMT
This is the 15th in a series of monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs. (With STRATFOR maps) [more]

July 13, 2011 1144 GMT
A renewed effort is under way by U.S. authorities to investigate Chinese auditors involved in accrediting Chinese firms for listing on American stock exchanges. (With STRATFOR interactive map.)[more]


At least 13 people were killed and 81 were injured when three explosive devices detonated within 10 minutes of each other July 13 in Mumbai, India.

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