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About Oliver Scanlan

Oliver Scanlan lives in Parbatipur, Bangladesh where he works for a local NGO which advocates for indigenous peoplesâÛª rights. He has studied Chinese and spent a year studying in Beijing, which inspired his twin passions for global affairs and tricky languages. He is an intern for oD's terrorism and security section.

Articles by Oliver Scanlan

This week’s front page editor

Clare Sambrook

Clare Sambrook, investigative journalist, co-edits Shine a Light.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Libyan rebel military chief assassinated

The commander of Libyan rebel military forces has been murdered in Benghazi. Israeli President Shimon Peres is reportedly engaged in clandestine talks with Palestinian representatives. In Afghanistan, 23 people have been reported killed by roadside bombs. All in today’s security update.

Spectre of US-China tensions as budget crisis continues

The US’ most senior military officer criticises China military posture as deficit deadlock continues. Afghan civilian casualties reach record high. Hizbollah strikes a defiant tone over Lebanon’s gas reserves. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Tensions rise between Israel and Hizbollah after Hariri indictiments

All eyes are on the Hizbollah-dominated Lebanese government as the UN indicts senior members over the Hariri killing. Referendum begins on Morocco’s revised constitution. US applying pressure on Syrian opposition to engage with Assad. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Yemen on the verge of collapse

Endemic violence continues across Yemen as tribal forces contest with loyalist troops for control of the capital. Nato extends its campaign in Libya as high level defections from the Gaddafi regime continue. A former Mossad chief criticises the Israeli government’s security posture. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Bin laden ‘revenge’ suicide bombing kills 80 in Pakistan

Eighty people die in the first Bin Laden revenge killing by the Pakistani Taliban as coalition leaders consider expedited troop draw down. Libyan rebel leaders are in Washington to seek US recognition and financial support. Colombian rebels are implicated in assassination attempts against political rivals of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Israeli Foreign Minister urges boycott of PA – Hamas government

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calls on the International Community to boycott potential Hamas – PA government. Syrian crackdown intensifies as demonstrators continue to defy the regime. Clashes continue between Thai and Cambodian troops over a disputed border region. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Armed drone attacks sanctioned in Libya

The United States begins using drones in Libya as Europe sends in military advisers. Syrian regime appears increasingly vulnerable as Assad ends 48 years of emergency rule. Communal violence continues in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Confusion continues as NATO assumes leadership of Libya no-fly zone

NATO’s assumption of command over the Libya no-fly zone increases confusion over the aims of the allied campaign against Gaddafi. Davis incident has potentially eviscerated US intelligence operations in Pakistan. Jerusalem faces its first terrorist attack in six years. All this and more, in today’s security briefing.

International commission calls for inquest into Bangladesh ethnic violence

The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission calls for an impartial commission of inquiry to investigate ethnic unrest in Bangladesh’s restive Chittagong Hill Tracts region. Libya stands on the brink of civil war as the international community begins to respond. Iranian warships have docked at a Syrian port as Israel accuses Iran of making a ‘provocation’.

Contested narratives and security implications as protests continue across the Arab world

Western commentary is divided as Obama rebukes Mubarak’s intransigence. Hizbollah and Iran laud the protesters as the PA and Hamas join other Arab governments in clamping down on displays of support. Israeli security policy is in disarray in the face of international pressure and domestic strife. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Little optimism as Turkey hosts Iran nuclear talks

Expectations are low in latest round of Iranian nuclear talks. US threat to redeploy military forces instrumental in Beijing clamping down on Pyongyang. South Sudan set to ‘overwhelmingly’ vote for independence. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Hariri returns to Beirut as Lebanon teeters on the brink of chaos

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri returns to Beirut in the face of opposition demands that he remain in exile. Years of political repression in Tunisia may be at an end as President Ben Ali flees the country. Iraqi soldiers shoot US counterparts, wounding three. All this and much more, in today’s security update…

The year in security

openSecurity's briefings team highlight a selection of security developments from the past year and the clues they hold for 2011.

China seeks to calm Pakistan over closer India ties

China seeks to allay Pakistan’s concerns over closer ties to India. India is implicated in mass human rights abuses of Kashmiri detainees. EU foreign ministers keep pressure on Israeli over settlements and Gaza. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Burma implicated in nuclear weapons construction

The Myanmar military government is allegedly attempting to gain nuclear weapons with the aid of North Korea. Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia. A major new pipeline is set to be agreed on by central and south Asian leaders in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Korean peninsula on ‘the brink of war’

On Friday, the official news service of North Korea accused the US and South Korea of pushing the peninsula to the brink of war. Israeli armed forces have been witnessed demolishing a mosque and other buildings in the occupied West Bank. Nouri al-Maliki has been asked by the Iraqi President to form a new government as bomb blasts across Iraq kill nine and injure over fifteen. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Confusion over US-Israel settlement deal

The US and Israel deadlocked over settlement negotiations. The speaker of the Lebanese National Assembly has said the Israeli withdrawal from Ghajar does not mean the end of resistance. French President Sarkozy is under increasing pressure to speak out over his complicity in using funds from arms sales to Pakistan to fund a Presidential campaign. NATO chiefs meet at a crucial summit in Lisbon. All this and more in today’s security update…

Hizbollah chief urges Lebanese to boycott Hariri investigation

Hassan Nasrallah calls for a boycott of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. A diplomatic row between China and Japan over disputed island territories flares up at an Asean summit. Iran has agreed to renew negotiations over its nuclear programme. Gunfire breaks out along the border between North and South Korea. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Israeli-Palestinian peace will isolate Iran, suggests Peres

Israeli President calls for Israeli-Palestinian peace as a means to isolate Iran. As the US and Pakistan foreign ministers meet to agree a new arms package, it is reported that the US will severe military aid to Pakistan army units implicated in committing atrocities in the Swat valley. Six Pakistan troops are killed in a roadside blast on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Arab League may seek direct UN recognition of Palestinian state

Members of the Arab League may seek direct United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state as Netanyahu approved further settlement construction in East Jerusalem. The US expresses its concerns over UK defence cuts. Aid workers are kidnapped in Somalia. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Chinese dissident wins nobel peace prize

The Nobel Peace prize is awarded to one of China’s foremost dissidents. Mohammad Abbas is set to seek Arab League backing for suspending dialogue with Israel over settlement construction. For the first time, a civilian peacekeeper has been abducted in the capital of Darfur. All this and more, in today’s security update…

North Ossetia suicide bombing kills eighteen

A suicide bombing in the restless north caucasian province of North Ossetia kills at least 18 people. A protest in Afghanistan against the proposed burning of Qurans by Florida Pastor Terry Jones leads to bloodshed. Street gangs shut down El Salvador’s public transport for a third day. A suicide attack against Mogadishu airport claims more lives as militant Islamist group Al Shabab tightens its grip on the Somali capital. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Taliban propose joint committee to investigate civilian deaths

The Taliban propose a joint committee to investigate civilian deaths in Afghanistan. Pakistan has announced a crackdown on charities connected with Islamist militants. Israel and Palestinian Authority are on the brink of direct talks. The South African government uses a heavy hand to suppress the national strike. All this an more, in today’s security update.

Head of UN Lebanon force calls for calm

The commander officer of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon has appealed for calm in resolving disputes between peace keeping troops and local residents. The US and Russia are exchanging convicted spies. Pakistan has been struck again by a multiple bomb attack and the new head of US Central Command has been quoted as saying ‘it’s a hell of a lot of fun’ shooting Taliban.

Israel foreign minister ‘furious’ over being sidelined

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is reportedly furious after being excluded from secret talks between Israel and Turkey. A massive suicide attack in Lahore leave dozens dead and scores wounded. The Taliban attack a US development contractor to welcome the new commander of US and ISAF troops. A Yemeni intelligence officer is assassinated outside his home. All this and more, in today’s security update…

US ‘disappointed’ with Turkey on Iran sanctions

The US Secretary of Defence voices disappointment over Turkey. A terrorist strike hits Kandahar. Scores are dead in Kyrgyzstan clashes. A bomb attack hits an Algerian police barracks. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Turkey reviews Israel ties after flotilla assault

Turkey looks to minimise its ties to Israel after the IDF raid on the peace flotilla. In Afghanistan the peace jirga endorses President Karzai’s peace plan. The Japanese Prime Minister resigns after failing to shift US bases from Okinawa. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Europe faces stark choice between dissolution and cohesion after Greek crisis

The Greek crisis may spur further integration in the EU, rather than signal its downfall.

Afghan civilian shot dead during protest

A protester is shot dead as hundreds march against civilian casualties caused in a recent night raid in Afghanistan. President Obama asks Congress to fund an Israeli missile shield. At least five people have been killed in clashes in Bangkok. Russian security forces have killed three of the organisers of the March terrorist bombing of the Moscow metro. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Hung Parliament raises questions on UK security policy

The outcome of the UK general election raises serious concerns regarding foreign and security policy. North Korea is committed to resuming negotiations over its nuclear weapons programme. The political alliance set to become the new government of Iraq is bitterly criticised as being sectarian and ‘Iran-orchestrated’. All this and more, in today’s security update…

US walks diplomatic tightrope in Arab-Israeli conflict

The United States treads a narrow tightrope in Middle East diplomacy. Over a hundred insurgents are killed in a bloody clash in Chad. South Korean and Chinese Presidents discuss the sinking of the Cheonan. Five rebels are killed in the Philippines ahead of national elections. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Middle east peace unlikely, acknowledges Obama

The US president confesses inability to influence the Israel-Palestine conflict. South Korean investigators confirm that the Cheonan was sunk by an ‘external explosion’. A UN commission concludes Benazir Bhutto’s death could have been avoided. Ousted Kyrgyz President Bakiyev resigns. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Potential compromise over renminbi may avert US-China trade war

Signs of a compromise in the long-running dispute between the US and China over the renminbi. The followers of Moqtada al Sadr reject both of the leading candidates for the Iraqi premiership. The Israeli Prime Minister pulls out of a US nuclear summit. Kim Jong-il is absent from the annual meeting of the North Korean parliament. All this and more, in today’s security update.

US appeals to China over Iran sanctions

Obama calls Hu Jintao to urge a tougher stance on Iran. Israel threatens another military operation against Gaza. Harmid Karzai launches an unprecedented attack on the international community. The South Korean President urges restraint over the sinking of a warship in the waters off North Korea. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Iraq election tensions threaten renewed instability

The close race in Iraq’s elections sparks heightened tensions. The head of NATO calls for a missile defence pact targeting Iran. A South Korean vessel sinks off the coast of North Korea. All this and more, in today’s security update.
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