The #Munich Security Conference is often seen as a chance for countries to renew ties and reaffirm their connections with allies. However, some leaders used it as a chance to call out other nations and make their positions known.
The Middle East was one area of primary focus, along with fundamentalism. The Iranian regime, with its fundamentalism and roots in spreading terrorism, was the target of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In his speech during the conference, he called out #Iran by holding up what he called a piece of an Iranian drone and saying, “Do you recognize this? You should. It’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.” He also noted that Israel would be willing to act not only against Iranian proxies attacking Israel, but also against Iran itself.
The Israeli military recently engaged in directly with the Iranian military in #Syria, and this strike was focused on a number of Iranian targets after Israel intercepted an Iranian drone in its airspace.
“I’ve made clear in word and deed that Israel has red lines it will enforce,” Netanyahu said on Sunday. “Israel will continue to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria. Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel.”
Part of Netanyahu’s speech included criticism of the 2015 nuclear deal, comparing it to the appeasement of Nazi Germany, associated with a treaty that was signed in Munich prior to World War II. While he didn’t actually equate Iran to #Nazi Germany, Netanyahu noted that there were some similarities between the two.
He also noted that Israel would act against terrorism, and also against any aggressive actions by Iran. Netanyahu also encouraged Europe to follow the lead of U.S. President Trump and his aggressive stance against Iran. When it comes to terrorism, however, the talks went beyond Iran to discuss a potential post-caliphate jihad.
Although #ISIS has been thwarted in its efforts to create a sovereign state in Syria, it still is putting out propaganda that motivates its blind adherents and maintains the dream of a utopia for which thousands are willing to give their lives.
#Jihad also lives on and although ISIS might be weakened, it is clear that other terror groups can take up the call of jihad and launch new attacks. While there were many disagreements at the conference, the attendees were in agreement that the fight against jihadism is not over and stressed the importance of sharing information among intelligence services.
Germany’s federal interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, emphasized the importance of international intelligence services cooperation in tracking down German jihadists who have fought for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, “Especially with America, but also with other agencies in the region that often give us tips. Those agencies are key to helping us protect German citizens.” Nevertheless, during the panel discussion on “Post-Caliphate Jihad,” he spoke of the many technical and legal hurdles impeding data exchange within the European Union itself. EU security commissioner Julian King assured the audience that the EU was dealing with such impediments effectively. He pointed out that the exchange of information among national anti-terror agencies had grown by 40 percent since 2015.
Others pointed to the fact that ISIS is regrouping in #Afghanistan, and this creates a new threat from ISIS. However, with Raqqa being liberated in Syria, there seems to be a sense that the international community needs to strategize before ISIS or these other groups can rebuild their power.