Terrorists’ moral judgment probed in psychology test — Manuel Noriega, Panama ex-strongman, dies at 83 — Why MI6 must share the blame for the jihadis in our midst — Russia inquiry expands to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
A project aiming to “scientifically understand the mindset of terrorists” has published insights that the scientists say could have implications for terror prevention.
Researchers worked with a group of 66 incarcerated ex-combatants from a paramilitary terrorist group in Colombia, a country with one of the greatest insurgency rates in the world.
This unique experiment revealed what the team described as an “abnormal pattern of moral judgment” in terrorists.
The scientists say a psychological “score” based on this could be an accurate way to discriminate between the mindset of a terrorist and that of a non-criminal.
The researchers, based in Argentina, the US, Colombia and Chile, published their findings in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.
A strong supporter of the United States, he became a key ally in Washington’s attempts to battle the influence of communism in central America.
But the US tired of his increasingly repressive role internally in Panama, and there were indications he was selling his services to other intelligence bodies, not to mention drug-trafficking organisations.
Noriega was indicted in a US federal court on drug-trafficking charges in 1988 and, after US observers declared he had stolen the 1989 election, President George HW Bush launched an invasion.
Noriega sought refuge in the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in Panama City.
US troops flushed him out was to play deafening pop and heavy metal music non-stop outside.
And why were repeated warnings about Abedi to the police via an anti-terrorist hotline ignored?
The official reason is that MI5 has been woefully overstretched, having to deal with managing 500 investigations into suspected terrorists, involving as many as 23,000 ‘subjects of interest’.
What is certainly true is that the police and MI5 have not been helped by the rogue activities of some of their foreign intelligence partners in MI6.
It is worth pointing out that I’m not the only one perturbed by such behaviour within MI6, which has traditionally been licensed by the government to break the law and carry out illicit acts, on the assumption that it always acts in the British national interest.
Former MI6 officer Alastair Crooke, who worked for the service for 30 years and who has vast experience in the Middle East and Afghanistan, is concerned that some of its operators are not working in the national interest.
He told me: ‘It is not right that, on one hand, domestic police services are straining every sinew to protect our societies by fighting terrorism, while, on the other hand, elements in our and America’s security services have been arming and training jihadists and colluding in terrorism.’
The worry — and it is a profound one — is that if Britain’s two intelligence agencies are working at cross purposes, we will never be able to make our streets safe from terrorists.
President Donald Trump’s lawyer has received requests for information from two congressional panels investigating alleged Russian political meddling.
Michael Cohen confirmed to US media that he had been asked to “provide information and testimony” about any contacts he had with the Kremlin.
Mr Cohen said he turned down the request because it was “overly broad” and “not capable of being answered”.
Last week Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was named in the Russia probe.
Mr Cohen is the latest Trump associate to rebuff the House and Senate investigations into the matter.
Following Mr Cohen’s comments on Tuesday, the House intelligence committee subpoenaed him as a part of its ongoing Russia probe, the AP reported, citing a congressional aide.
INTEL TODAY DIARY — May 31 2017