• 3D printing & weapons

    Additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing — could benefit military adversaries, violent extremists and even street criminals, who could produce their own weapons for use and sale. As this technology further develops, and without proper controls, violent actors might be able to replicate more sophisticated weapons systems, print lethal drones, and even produce jamming devices or cheap decoys that disrupt intelligence collection.

  • Drones

    New technology can provide advances in the way we do things, expanding areas previously left unexplored and simplifying previously burdensome tasks. This is true with advancements in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones. Given their rapid technology advancement and proliferation, the public safety and homeland security communities must address the fact that drones can be used nefariously or maliciously to hurt people, disrupt activities and damage infrastructure.

  • Israel-Iran

    Iranian forces in Syria did not ask the Syrian government for permission, or even notify Syrian leaders, before launching twenty missiles at Israel. Fox News said it had learn from European sources that, “The Iranian major general in charge of the Al-Quds Force in Syria, Qassem Soleimani, launched last night’s attack against Israel without the knowledge or the consent of the Assad regime.” Moreover, Iran launched the twenty missiles at Israel after being warned by Russia not to do so.

  • Israel-Iran

    On Wednesday night, in the largest Israeli air campaign against Syria since the 1973 war, and the largest-ever direct clash between the Iranian and Israeli militaries, Israel launched 70 missiles – 60 air-to-ground missiles fired from 28 F-15 and F-16 flying over Syria and Lebanon, and 10 surface-to-surface missiles launched from inside Israel — at key Iranian military targets all across Syria. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the Israel had destroyed “nearly all” of Iran’s military infrastructure sites in Syria.

  • Hezbollah

    The Iranian-controlled group Hezbollah and its political allies scored significant gains in Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Lebanon, the first to be held in nine years. “Hezbollah will continue to act, to behave as if there is no Lebanese state, as if there is no Lebanese government, as if it is an entirely independent entity,” says one expert.

  • Civil defense

    The conflict between Israel and Iran emerged from the shadows early Thursday morning. Israel is worried about Iran’s deployment of missiles in Syria – and about Hezbollah’s 100,000 to 150,000 rockets. Other countries face rocket and missile threats too. It’s not surprising then that missile interceptors are in fashion. Israel credited its Iron Dome system with intercepting four rockets on Thursday. Civil defenses like warning sirens and bomb shelters receive less press coverage. Spectacular interceptor launches are more photogenic than concrete block houses. But Israel’s own experience shows civil defenses deserve at least as much attention as interceptors.

  • Ethnic conflict

    Whether in Bosnia, Liberia, or Rwanda, violent conflicts have suddenly broken out between ethnic groups that have lived peacefully together for a long time. So far, there is no satisfactory scientific explanation as to why aggression can repeatedly develop such a dynamic. In a recent study, researchers report their findings that if people act hostile toward other ethnic groups, they easily find imitators – much more so than when they exhibit hostility toward co-ethnics.

  • Iran

    The steady growth of Iran’s influence in the Middle East is continuing. After the victories of Iran’s allies in Iraq and Syria, and the growing influence of Iran-supported groups in Yemen, Sunday brought more good news for Iran. The Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its allies are expected to take more than half the seats in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections. Reuters reports that results from Lebanon’s parliamentary elections indicate that the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its political allies would gain a simple majority.

  • Iran

    An Israeli government minister on Monday threatened that Israel could kill Syrian President Bashar Assad if his government does not prevent Iranian forces from launching attacks against Israel from Syrian territory. “If Assad continues to let the Iranians operate from Syrian soil, he should know that he signed his own death warrant and that it will be his end. We will topple his regime,” Yuval Steinitz, a member of the security cabinet and a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said.

  • Syria

    “Syria could have been the Arab Spring at its best,” says Stanford University’s Russell Berman. “It became complicated, however, because propping up Assad was necessary for Iranian expansionist ambitions, and this amplified the problem of a Shia-versus-Sunni conflict. What’s more, Iran’s entry took place at a point in time when the Obama administration was eager to avoid any conflict with Tehran, so it could negotiate the nuclear deal. This gave Iran and Assad a free hand. In other words, success with Tehran meant bloodshed in Damascus.”

  • Homegrown terrorism

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) the other day released new data and analysis of 98 Islamist extremist plots and attacks in the United States over the past sixteen years. Among the key findings: the vast majority — a full 90 percent — of the plots and attacks were carried out by U.S. citizens or individuals living in the country with lawful permanent or temporary status.

  • Syria

    As Syrian president Bashar al-Assad prosecutes his 18th year in office, he is presenting himself as a secular leader in a sea of Islamist extremism and terror. But his record makes a mockery of that claim. However long he stays in office, he will forever be remembered a president who oversaw the devastation of his country and resorted to hideous attacks on civilians in order to remain in power. And as for Assad’s pretentions to secularism, the foundations of his government’s supposed ideology were cast away even before he succeeded his father as president.

  • Terrorism

    The Basque militant group ETA has announced it would disband and end its “political initiative” after a 60-year campaign for independence of the Basque region from Spain and France. Spanish officials, however, said they would keep pursuing ETA “terrorists.”

  • African security

    Moroccow on Tuesday cut diplomatic ties with Iran after Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita accused Iran and its Lebanese Shi’ite ally, Hezbollah, of training and arming fighters of the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement, with surface-to-air missiles since 2016.

  • Climate & conflict

    Over the last fifty years, climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research. “Terms such as climate migrants and climate wars have increasingly been used to describe displacement and conflict, however these terms imply that climate change is the main cause. Our research suggests that socio-political factors are the primary cause while climate change is a threat multiplier,” said one researcher.

  • ISIS

    Oil was never as important to ISIS terrorists as many thought, despite media reports of an oil-related income of as much as $28 million a week, according to a new study. This knowledge supports efforts to weaken terrorist organizations like ISIS, by first understanding how they are funded and how financially stable they are.

  • Radicalization

    “It is difficult to quantify the extent of Muslim youth radicalization in Britain. Also, we have to be clear about the definition of radicalization. Are we talking about people who are joining extremist organizations or those who just have extremist views? But I agree that there is definitely a general sense that things are not going well here” says an expert on radicalization. “There is no single factor that is driving the youth toward extremism. The issues of identity, alienation, peer pressure, search for a cause, frustration with modernity and acceptance of certain mythological aspects of the Muslim history are all contributing factors.”

  • Syria

    Attacks on health facilities and health workers in Syria are likely more common than previously reported, and local data collectors can help researchers more accurately to measure the extent and frequency of these attacks, according to a new study. The researchers found that in 2016 alone, there were more than 200 attacks on healthcare-related targets in four northern governorates of Syria, with 176 of the attacks targeting hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

  • Syria

    An overnight Israeli air strike destroyed more than 200 Iranian mid-range missiles which Iran stored at Syrian military bases near Hama. These missiles were more accurate, and were capable of carrying a bigger warhead, than other missiles available to Hezbollah and the Syrian military. The attack killed 26 military personnel, including 18 Iranian officers. Bashar-al-Assad’s victory in the civil war in Syria has opened the door for Iran, his main ally, to try and turn Syria into an Iranian forward military base against Israel.

  • Syria

    The Assad regime has issued a decree aiming to complete one of the largest ethnic cleansing campaigns since the end of the Second World War. The key to Assad’s plan is codifying in law the massive dispossession of millions of Syria’s Sunnis. Those who started the rebellion against Assad in 2011 were Sunnis inspired by the Arab Spring. To reduce the influence of Sunnis in Syria, the Assad regime killed about 420,000 Sunni civilians (the war’s 500,000 death toll includes about 80,000 combatants on all sides), and systematically destroyed the infrastructure of Sunni towns, villages, and neighborhoods, forcing more than 11 million Sunnis out of their homes (5.6 million Syrians have fled the country, and 6.1 million have been internally displaced). Assad’s latest decree is viewed as essentially the last step in the regime’s ethnic cleansing campaign.