Our picksContest in Cyberspace | Defusing Risk | Combatting Domestic Extremism, and more

Published 7 April 2021

·  Biden Steps Up Federal Efforts to Combat Domestic Extremism

·  Capitol Suspect Struggled Before Attack, but Motive Remains Unclear

·  Two Yemenis on Terror Watchlist Arrested Trying to Cross U.S.-Mexico Border

·  After a Career Shaped by Extremist Violence, Philly’s Acting U.S. Attorney Launches Network to Defuse Risk

·  Ivory Trade and Diamonds Funding ISIS Rise in Africa

·  Spate of Islamist Attacks Puts Sahel on Track for Deadliest Year

·  Army Begins Clinical Trials on Vaccine That May Be Effective Against All Coronaviruses

·  Covert Action, Espionage, and the Intelligence Contest in Cyberspace

·  Countering Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections

Biden Steps Up Federal Efforts to Combat Domestic Extremism  (Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Nicole Hong, New York Times)
The Biden administration is stepping up efforts to combat domestic extremism, increasing funding to prevent attacks, weighing strategies historically used against foreign terrorist groups and more openly warning the public about the threat. The attempts to more assertively grapple with the potential for violence from white supremacists and militias are a shift from President Donald J. Trump’s pressure on federal agencies to divert resources to target the antifa movement and leftist groups despite the conclusion by law enforcement authorities that far-right and militia violence was a more serious threat. President Biden’s approach also continues a slow acknowledgment that especially after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, the federal government needs to put more attention and money into tracking and heading off threats from inside the United States, after two decades in which it made foreign terrorism the security priority. In an intelligence report delivered to Congress last month, the administration labeled white supremacists and militia groups as top national security threats. The White House is also discussing with members of Congress the possibility of new domestic terrorism legislation and executive orders to update the criteria of terrorism watch lists to potentially include more homegrown extremists.

Capitol Suspect Struggled Before Attack, but Motive Remains Unclear  (Nicholas Fandos, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio and Aishvarya Kavi, New York Times)
On the football field at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, Noah R. Green was No. 21, a dependable and good-natured, if soft-spoken, presence in the defensive backfield. Off the field, he was laser-focused on Black economic empowerment, counseling teammates on financial management and plotting a career helping close the racial wealth gap. But by late March, after a bruising pandemic year that friends and family said left him isolated and mentally unmoored, Mr. Green’s life appeared increasingly to revolve around the Nation of Islam and its leader Louis Farrakhan, who has repeatedly promoted anti-Semitism. “Follower of Farrakhan,” Mr. Green labeled himself on Facebook, where he described leaving his job and grappling with “some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life.” (Cont.)