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A BBC report citing Israeli intelligence’s allegedly widespread recruitment of high-ranking Iranian officers points to one possible cause of a series of security failures in recent years. As well as alleged Israeli penetration, enemy action and internal disloyalty have contributed to security problems that have dogged Iran – in turn having a disruptive impact on security, scientific and other institutions, a GSN analyst concludes.

Israel | Iran
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A multi-billion dollar US scheme which has provided training to the Saudi Arabian National Guard (Sang) since the 1970s is being scaled back. The reasons for the change are unclear.

Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Arabian National Guard (Sang) minister Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar inaugurated the $560m National Guard Air Base at Dirab, south of Riyadh, on 17 January.

Saudi Arabia
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A series of missile and drone attacks on the UAE killed two people but unnerved many more local residents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as international allies. The strikes carried a clear political message, coming as the South Korean and Israeli presidents were visiting Mohammed Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi. The UAE has been quick to react by bombing Houthi missile launch sites in Yemen, but it is clear that Abu Dhabi’s efforts to distance itself from the conflict over the past three years have not succeeded.

Yemen | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Foreign security officials poured into Doha in late January to attend two events hosted by Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, celebrating graduation ceremonies at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) Police College and Al-Zaeem Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Attiyah Air College.

Qatar
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Abdullah Al-Owais has been given a senior role in the powerful Presidency of State Security. GSN reports on the move and spotlights key officials in the PSS hierarchy

Saudi Arabia
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Iranian officials including foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Islamic Republic of Iran Border Guards commander Brigadier General Ahmad Ali Goudarzi have been holding talks with senior figures from neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan against a backdrop of security incidents in Iran’s eastern border provinces

Iran
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Leaks from Israeli defence sources cited in London weekly The Jewish Chronicle on 2 December described how Israeli intelligence services set off an explosion in Iran’s underground centrifuge facility at Natanz in April, damaging most of the centrifuges there. Iran also operates similar facilities at Fordow and elsewhere, so the damage would have slowed rather than stopped operations.

Iran
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Numerous Peshmerga fighters were killed and injured in a series of confrontations with Islamic State (IS or Daesh) forces in northern Iraq in late November and early December. At least seven Peshmerga were killed and another seven injured in IS attacks north in Garmyan region, south of Sulemaniyah, in late November.

Iraq
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GSN Risk Grade: D↓4 Recent developments Election surprises: The general election on 10 October delivered some surprising results, including a strong showing from Muqtada Al-Sadr’s bloc, which emerged as the overall winner with 73 seats (up from 54 in the 2018 election), and a weak performance by the pro-Iran Fateh Alliance, which slumped from 48 seats last time to 15 this time.

Iraq
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Foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has invited his Azerbaijani counterpart to Tehran and said he will visit Baku “at the appropriate time”, in an apparent attempt to reduce tensions which have flared up amid military exercises by both countries and Iranian allegations that Azerbaijan is receiving military assistance from Israel.

Iran
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Public security director Lieutenant General Khaled Bin Qarar Al-Harbi was dismissed and referred to the Oversight and Anti- Corruption Authority (Nazaha) for investigation for committing “numerous violations and abuses aiming at embezzling public money and making personal benefits”, according to a royal order issued on 7 September.

Saudi Arabia
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Israeli defence minister Benny Ganz claimed Iran is using an airfield at Kashan, near Isfahan, to train its allies in using Iranian-built armed drones, after satellite imagery shown at a briefing on 12 September apparently captured two Kaman-22 armed drones on the airfield apron.

Israel | Iran
Free

Majed Bin Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Mazyad has been appointed National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) governor, at the rank of minister. The royal order was issued by King Salman Bin Abdelaziz on 12 September.

Saudi Arabia
Free

The scale of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US was unprecedented, but the likelihood of a major incident involving jihadists and what had become the American ‘hyperpower’ was no surprise. GSN observed in 1998, years after it had reported on the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden, that there was “little problem in gaining warning of the intentions of America’s foes to attack”. Here, GSN raids its huge archive to report on the run up to the horror of 20 years ago. A Part 2 will cover 9/11’s aftermath and George W Bush’s ‘global war on terror’, which removed the Taliban from Kabul but saw the US bogged down with devastating consequences in Iraq.