• Terrorism

    The new  Global Terrorism Overview highlights trends in worldwide terrorism in 2019. In 2019, there were nearly 8,500 terrorist attacks around the world, which killed more than 20,300 people, including 5,460 perpetrators and 14,840 victims. 2019 was the fifth consecutive year of declining global terrorism since terrorist violence peaked in 2014 at nearly 17,000 attacks and more than 44,000 total deaths. The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide decreased 50 percent between 2014 and 2019, and the total number of deaths decreased 54 percent.

  • Extremism

    The U.K. Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) has published a report Thursday, looking at the way in which extremists have sought to exploit the current pandemic. The CCE say that the government needs to ensure that their response to dealing with COVID-19 and future crises takes into account the significant threat of hateful extremism and the dangerous narratives spread by conspiracy theories.

  • Bioweapons

    The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) and Sandia National Laboratories convened experts and thought leaders in government, academia, and the private sector to discuss the ways to make a future in which the threat of biological weapons is greatly reduced.

  • Extremism

    A new report by Germany’s domestic intelligence (BfV) agency says right-wing extremism now poses the greatest threat to security in the country. BfV said that the number of right-wing extremists in Germany has increased from 24,100 in 2018 to 32,000 in 2019. As worrisome, the number of extremists who are prepared to use violence to achieve their aims keeps growing, and now stands at 13,000. The number of left-wing extremists has increased from 32,000 to 33,500 but only 9,000 of them are regarded as committed to violence. Anti-Semitism continues to be central to right-wing extremist movement, and 94 percent of anti-Semitic crimes in Germany in 2019 were committed by members of these movements. Islamist terrorism is still a threat, but it is declining: 28,000 Germans are affiliated with Islamist Jihadist groups, but only 650 are regarded as potentially violent.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Vehicular attacks

    Vehicles are becoming increasingly popular weapons that terrorists and other extremists around the globe use to intimidate, harm and kill. Cars and trucks are easily accessible, require little skill to operate and can facilitate unpredictable attacks with mass casualties.

  • Terrorism

    The George Washington University on Monday launched its ISIS Files repository. The virtual public repository features a selection of the 15,000 digitized pages from the documents collected in Iraq by New York Times journalist Rukmini Callimachi and a team of Iraqi translators.

  • Terrorism

    The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism releases an annual report on terrorism across the globe. The 2019 report begins with a discussion of notable successes in the counterterrorism landscape, and then identifies the persistent terrorist threats that will dominate counterterrorism policy in 2020.

  • Hemispheric security

    U.S. prosecutors have filed a lawsuit to seize the gasoline aboard four tankers that Iran is currently shipping to Venezuela, the latest attempt to increase pressure on the two sanctioned anti-American allies. The civil-forfeiture complaint filed in the District of Columbia federal court late on 1 July claims the sale was arranged by an Iranian businessman with ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.

  • Extremism

    The District of Nevada’s U.S. Attorney’s Office announced charges against three followers of the far-right, anti-government Boogaloo movement for trying to use the Floyd protests in Las Vegas as cover for inciting violence and causing destruction with improvised incendiary devices. The prosecutors said that the goal of the three was similar to other instances of Boogaloo followers’ provocations in other cities: “hijacked peaceful protests and demonstrations across the country, including Nevada, exploiting the real and legitimate outrage over Mr. Floyd’s death for their own radical agendas.”

  • Extremism

    Germany’s Special Forces Command (KSK) will not be immediately disbanded over ties of several officers and soldiers to far-right, neo-Nazi groups. Instead, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced on Wednesday, the unit will be given three months to prove it can change from within. If KSK fails to do so, it will be disbanded.

  • Domestic terrorism

    A new report by terrorism experts at the conservative-leaning CSIS thinktank says that the United States faces a growing terrorism problem which will likely worsen over the next year. The most significant threat likely comes from white supremacists, though anarchists and religious extremists inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda could present a potential threat as well. Right-wing attacks and plots account for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of right-wing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years. Right-wing extremists perpetrated two thirds of the attacks and plots in the United States in 2019 and over 90 percent between 1 January and 8 May 2020. Over the rest of 2020, the terrorist threat in the United States will likely rise based on several factors, including the November 2020 presidential election.

  • Domestic terrorism

    The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), together with FBI and DHS, held a conference to examine the U.S. government’s approach to confronting the threat of domestic terrorism (DT) and to inform future DT policy. The conference explored four themes: Terminology, Authorities, Operations, and Expanding Partnerships.

  • Extremism

    The coronavirus epidemic has been accompanied by what the WHO described as “infodemic” – an avalanche of conspiracy theories and disinformation which has spread on social networks. As is often the case, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are prominent in this infodemic, and a new report offers an analysis of the phenomenon.

  • Extremism

    Acts of terrorism committed by the far-right have increased by 320 percent over the past five years, supported by an increasingly connected and internationalist community of right-wing extremism. Canada has not been isolated from this trend and in recent years the number of hate groups operating in the country has tripled.

  • Domestic terrorism

    As U.S. politics heat up in advance of the November election, it’s not surprising that extremist groups across the political spectrum are becoming more active and engaged in acts of political violence. A growing number of scholars and policymakers suggest this problem should be dealt with by designating violent groups as “domestic terrorist” organizations. As someone who has studied democracies’ response to domestic terrorism for almost 20 years, I believe that legally designating domestic extremist groups as terrorist organizations will have limited benefits, if any at all.

  • Perspective

    The Boogaloo movement, an extremist, right-leaning and libertarian, anti-government militia with online roots which is increasingly organizing attacks in the real world. Alex Goldenberg, Joel Finkelstein, and John Farmer Jr. write that “Like an American version of the Islamic State, their mythology attempts to recapture a glorious revolutionary American past in a mythological confrontation. The Boogaloo movement seeks to co-opt grievances across the political and racial spectrum and funnel them into an anti-government mob with tactical and technological capacities that look a lot like an American version of the Islamic State or al Qaeda.” The authors add: “The hope of these militants is to incite violence sufficient for society to betray the American civic tradition by forcing immense violence to protect it.”

  • Knife attacks

    Six people, including an injured police officer, are in hospital after a Sudanese asylum seeker stabbed them in and around a hotel which houses asylum seekers in Glasgow, Scotland. The incident follows a similar multi-victim knife attack near London last week. The suspect went on a rampage after complaining about the hotel meals served to him during the COVID-19 pandemic. The knifeman had threatened violence against other refugees and complained he was “very hungry” in recent days after being re-housed in the hotel.

  • Holy pandemic

    An Islamic State group online publication in India has called for its supporters to spread the coronavirus, saying “every brother and sister, even children, can contribute to Allah’s cause by becoming the carriers of this disease and striking the colonies of the disbelievers.” The group claims that devout Muslims will not be sickened, because “no disease can harm even a hair of a believer.” It is the latest in an effort by the Islamic State group and its followers to take advantage of the pandemic and general civic instability in the West. Brian Glyn Williams writes in The Conversation that Islamic State followers are excited at the prospect of a massive Western death toll from the coronavirus, which they defined as “God’s smallest soldier.” They also see the virus at work in U.S. military pullbacks related to the coronavirus – such as the March announcement from the Pentagon that it would stop sending troops to Iraq for at least two months. In addition, the U.S. pulled some troops out of Iraq, withdrew many more from six frontline operating bases and ordered the troops remaining in the country to stay on their bases – moves that ended most joint missions with local Iraqi and Kurdish troops.

  • Argument

    Alarmism about nuclear weapons is common coin in the foreign policy establishment, John Mueller writes. He notes that during the course of the Cold War, for example, the chief concern was that the weapons would somehow go off, by accident or by intention, devastating the planet in the process. More recently, the worry has been that terrorists would get their hands on nuclear weapons. Concerns about the dangers inherent in nuclear proliferation and in nuclear terrorism certainly seem overwrought, Mueller writes, concluding: “There may be reason for concern, or at least for interest and watchfulness. But alarm and hysteria (not to mention sleeplessness) are hardly called for.”

  • Terrorism

    The Trump administration, noting significant victories against global terrorism, says Iran continues to increase its support for extremists, while IS is increasing its presence in Africa and Southeast Asia. Attacks by white supremacists are on the rise, and the terrorism threat posed by white nationalists is of particular concern.