Our picks5 Years after San Bernardino Terrorist Attack | The World’s COVID Anti-Vaxxer Epicenter | Border Wall, and more

Published 1 December 2020

·  Fired Director of U.S. Cyber Agency Chris Krebs Explains Why President Trump’s Claims of Election Interference Are False

·  Universities Urge Biden to End Curbs on Foreign Students

·  5 Years after San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, Unfinished Business in Courts and Capitols

·  Trump’s Border Wall Nearly 90 Percent Complete as CBP Races to Finish Before Biden Takes Office

·  Inside the World’s COVID Anti-Vaxxer Epicenter

·  How a Terror Group Recruited Budding Neo-Nazis

·  Are We Any Closer to Stopping the Next Usman Khan?

·  Largest Number of Prevent Referrals Related to Far-Right Extremism

·  Growing Far-Right Threat Should Spark New Approach to Extremism, Australian Expert Says

·  How Russian Disinformation Protects Violent Wagner Group Mercenaries in Africa

Fired Director of U.S. Cyber Agency Chris Krebs Explains Why President Trump’s Claims of Election Interference Are False(Scott Pelley, CBS NEWS)
Chris Krebs, a lifelong Republican, was put in charge of the agency handling election security by President Trump two years ago. When Krebs said the election was the country’s most secure ever, Trump fired him.
Trump thought he’d heard the last from Christopher Krebs when, last week, he fired the former top cybersecurity official via Twitter for not toeing the line on Trump’s “rigged” election narrative. But, in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes aired Sunday night, Krebs forensically picked apart Trump’s continued attempts to sow doubt about the election—and then Trump flipped out at him on Twitter again. In the interview, Krebs said: “There is no foreign power that is flipping votes. There’s no domestic actor flipping votes. I did it right. We did it right. This was a secure election.” After it aired, the president tweeted that it was a “ridiculous, one sided story,” and baselessly claimed that 2020 “was probably our least secure EVER!” As always, Trump produced no evidence to back up his unproven claims.

Universities Urge Biden to End Curbs on Foreign Students(Brendan O’Malley, University World News)
Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education (ACE), has written to United States President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on behalf of 43 US university associations calling on them to move to ensure that American colleges and universities are “once again, the destination of choice for the world’s best international students and scholars”.

5 Years after San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, Unfinished Business in Courts and Capitols(Brian Rokos, SB Sun)
Five years after the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, the survivors and the families of the 14 people killed are finally receiving some measure of justice as the court cases borne out of the investigation wind down.
Meanwhile, lawmakers and victim advocates continue to pursue new laws and regulations designed to make sure the next set of victims are properly taken care of.

Trump’s Border Wall Nearly 90 Percent Complete as CBP Races to Finish Before Biden Takes Office(Khaleda Rahman, Newsweek)
With President-elect Joe Biden set to take office in January, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been racing to fulfill the president’s promise of 450 miles of border wall before the end of 2020.
According to the CBP, 402 miles have been completed as of November 16.
Late October, the CBP celebrated reaching the milestone of 400 miles of new wall and noted that approximately 10 miles of new wall was being constructed per week.

Inside the World’s COVID Anti-Vaxxer Epicenter(Peter Yeung, Daily Beast)
Decades of vaccine opposition exacerbated by viral COVID conspiracy theories have left France with a serious dilemma that could hamper efforts to control the virus.

How a Terror Group Recruited Budding Neo-Nazis(Mack Lamoureux, Ben Makuch, and Ben Makuch, Vice)
Members of groups like Patriot Front and the Green Brigade told members of the Base they felt like the neo-Nazi terror cell was the next step.

Are We Any Closer to Stopping the Next Usman Khan?(Ian Acheson, The Spectator)
This weekend is the first anniversary of the London Bridge attack. Usman Khan murdered two young people at an event he was invited to, run by the ‘Learning Together’ scheme, which is part of the University of Cambridge. The conference was designed to celebrate the achievements of people like Khan who had joined the course while serving in high-security HMP Whitemoor. Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt were stabbed to death by the dedicated Islamist, supposedly on community supervision nearly a year after being released from prison for terrorism crimes. Twelve months later, are we any closer to understanding that fatal convergence of perpetrator and victims?
My organization, the Counter Extremism Project, in association with the University of Staffordshire has just launched a year-long study into the phenomenon of ‘Disguised compliance’ in terrorist offenders. Disguised compliance is what we criminology types call ‘deception.’

Largest Number of Prevent Referrals Related to Far-Right Extremism(Jamie Grierson and Dan Sabbagh, Guardian)
Of cases referred on to Channel, 43% were for rightwing and 30% for Islamist radicalization

Growing Far-Right Threat Should Spark New Approach to Extremism, Australian Expert Says(Nino Bucci, Guardian)
Push comes as the UK launches a program largely based on Prof Michele Grossman’s research to encourage reporting of possible extremism, regardless of the ideology

How Russian Disinformation Protects Violent Wagner Group Mercenaries in Africa(Philip Obaji Jr., Daily Beast)
Russia is using mercenaries to intimidate anyone looking into its activities in the Central African Republic—and pro-Russia disinformation campaigns are going viral in the country.