• Renditions

    The U.K. highest court has ruled that former foreign secretary Jack Straw, MI6, and the U.K. government must stand trial for their participation in the 2004 kidnapping of a Libyan dissident and his wife. The unanimous ruling by the seven justices said that the rendition and torture of Abdel Hakim Belhaj breached rights enshrined in the Magna Carta, and should be put before an English court.

  • European security

    Sweeping new laws are driving Europe into a deep and dangerous state of permanent securitization, Amnesty International said on the publication of a comprehensive human rights analysis of counter-terrorism measures across fourteen EU member states. Amnesty International says that its latest report — Dangerously disproportionate: The ever-expanding national security state in Europe — reveals how a deluge of laws and amendments passed with break-neck speed, is undermining fundamental freedoms and dismantling hard-won human rights protections.

  • Mass murder

    If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people – no matter how angry they are – shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds. Yet mass shootings are on the rise, with the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport just the latest example. I’m fearful that what we’re seeing isn’t just an increase in violence, but the normalization of a habit, a new behavior recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are. That is, I’m afraid that mass murder may be becoming – to the horror of almost all of us, but to the liking of a violent few – a form of protest. The terrifying part is that once protest tools become part of the repertoire, they are diffused across movements and throughout society. Perhaps that’s why we see such a range of motivations among these mass murderers. It has become an obvious way to express an objection, and the discontented know they can get their point across.

  • Terrorism

    Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Mateen, the gunman who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when he killed forty-nine people at an Orlando, Florida, night club, was arrested by the FBI in San Francisco. she is expected to face charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice.

  • Terrorism

    An inquest into the shooting rampage in Tunisia that killed thirty Britons and other victims, was told that Tunisian security forces deliberately slowed down responding to the terrorist attack on holidaymakers in a beach hotel. A local investigation in Tunisia criticized the police for stalling on purpose as they made their way to the scene of the killings.

  • Terrorism

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) said that large-scale terrorist attacks – not only lone-wolf attacks — are among the likely threats for which states must prepare in 2017. This is the first time large-scale terrorist attacks have made it to the WEF’s annual “Global Risks” report since the report was first launched a dozen years ago:

  • Radicalization

    The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has released its latest data tool, the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) dataset. PIRUS is a cross-sectional, quantitative dataset of individuals in the United States who radicalized to the point of violent or non-violent ideologically motivated criminal activity, or ideologically motivated association with a foreign or domestic extremist organization from 1948 until 2013.

  • Latin America security

    The newly appointed vice president of Venezuela is suspected by American intelligence of drug smuggling as well as close ties to Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. The appointment of Tareck El Aissami, formerly the governor of Aragua state, means that he could become the country’s president if the increasingly embattled Nicholas Maduro is recalled or steps down.

  • Latin America security

    A glimmer of hope in the fight against Iranian-backed terrorism shone forth from Argentina during the final days of 2016. A federal appeals court ruled that former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will face a new investigation over allegations that she and her close colleagues made a secret pact with the Iranian regime over the probe into the July 1994 bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

  • Immigration

    Immigrant communities and their advocates are gearing up to challenge President-elect Donald Trump’s proposals for immigration policy. The U.S. federal system structure of government may be their best defense. Trump has said he will deport two to three million immigrants with criminal records. To find, apprehend, legally process, incarcerate, and return that many people to their home countries would require the cooperation of local law enforcement. Only 5,700 immigration enforcement agents work the entire geographical U.S. Although states and localities cannot evade enforcement of federal laws, they can refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in carrying out mass deportation.

  • Hamas

    The brother of a senior Hamas official gave Israeli officials information about Hamas’ extensive use of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, for military purposes. On Sunday, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal warned that the Gaza-based terrorist group is continuing to build up its arsenal and develop its tunnel infrastructure in preparation for another war against Israel.

  • Terrorism

    The Algerian justice ministry said that nearly 55,000 people accused of committing “terrorist offences” have faced legal proceedings in Algeria since the country’s bloody civil war in the 1990s. This was the first time the Algerian authorities openly discussed such numbers. The government uses the term “terrorists” for members of armed Islamist militias. These militias launched a vicious war against the country’s military and police – and against moderate s Algerians – in 1992, after the government cancelled the second round of the parliamentary elections for fear that the Islamist would win a majority.

  • Terrorism

    Donald Trump’s election ushers in a new challenge for homeland security and counterterrorism both at home and abroad. Trump owns, has a stake in, or has lent his name to scores of properties all over the United States and the world. A terrorist could decide to target a Trump Tower in Stuttgart, a Trump hotel in South Korea, or a Trump golf resort in Dubai. A terrorist might even decide to target the famous carousel in Central Park, which Trump also owns. These are “soft targets” without any of the serious security measures surrounding American embassies or other government buildings. Even better (for the terrorists), most of these targets have the president’s name on them in huge letters. Clearly the symbolic damage of such an attack would be immense.

  • Terrorism

    The Danish government has launched a campaign to recover thousands of dollars worth of benefit money from a few dozens of Danish citizens who have left Denmark to join ISIS in Syria. At least thirty-four Danes who traveled to Syria to fight in ISIS ranks have continued to receive unemployment benefits. Last year, thirty-two Danes were identified as having continued to receive government assistance while being active members of the terrorist organization.

  • Terrorism

    Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, warned that ISIS may be trying to manipulate refugees into carrying out terrorist attacks in Europe. The border agency said that its officials were also worried about ISIS sneaking in trained fighters among the mass movements of people fleeing war, hunger, and extreme poverty. Europol, the EU law enforcement agency,  noted that as of April 2016, there have been approximately 300 cases in which ISIS tried to recruit refugees entering Europe.

  • Terrorism

    In just one weekend in December, a series of terrorist attacks killed nearly 200 people in five different countries – Germany, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, and Somalia. This is a horrific spate of attacks, but while the resultant headlines are certainly alarming, all the attacks occurred in countries facing very specific challenges. Rolling them all together into one “wave” of violence is misguided, and misunderstands the real nature of global terrorist threats. Terrorism’s preeminent effects are psychological rather than a physical; it has a way of skewing our perceptions, meaning we perceive a bigger menace than actually exists. To fight it, we need to fight back against these psychological tricks. So long as we go on assuming that terrorist attacks are connected and trying to link them to a global extremist threat looming on our doorstep, we misunderstand the unique problems facing each country – and what’s needed to defang them.

  • Berlin terror attack

    Klaus Bouillon, the interior minister in the German state of Saarland, said that “It is time to eliminate the barriers to monitoring suspects’ telephone conversations.” He also urged the revamping of a law for monitoring popular online encrypted messaging services, such as WhatsApp, and said that next month he would make a formal proposal to that effect. Bouillon, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said, “It cannot be the case that a company can make billions with WhatsApp, while at the same allowing criminals to organize, direct young people and obstruct our authorities by not providing the necessary encryption codes.”

  • Berlin terror attack

    The Christmas market truck assault in Berlin, which has left twelve dead and dozens injured, is a disturbing echo of the truck-borne attack on Bastille Day celebrants on the Nice promenade in July. How could such events be allowed to happen? Why weren’t intelligence agencies in Germany and France able to stay one step ahead of the perpetrators? The role of the security and intelligence agencies to remain vigilant and seek to monitor extremist elements will undoubtedly endure. The secret of their success will continue to be keeping their successes secret. However, this does not absolve the rest of society from remaining engaged in community, by being inclusive, welcoming, and helpful, while also maintaining a level of vigilance many had come to associate with a bygone era.

  • Tourism

    The Mail Online, the Web site of the British newspaper Daily Mail, has issued an apology for running stories depicting a Muslim family as extremists, after family members were denied entry to the United States last year for a vacation in Disneyland. Two articles by Mail reporter Katie Hopkins suggested that Mohammed Tariq Mahmood and his brother, Mohammed Zahid Mahmood, were extremists with links to al Qaeda.The Mail Online has agreed to pay “substantial damages” totaling £150,000 to the Mahmood family. Hopkins also tweeted an apology on Monday.

  • Terrorism

    At least nine people were killed and more than fifty injured when a truck plowed into a crowd at the popular Christmas Market in Berlin two hours ago (Monday afternoon EST). The attack happened in Breitscheidplatz, a major square in the center of the German capital. The Mirror notes that every year, the city of Berlin hosts a Christmas market at the square. The market consists of “more than 100 beautifully decorated market stands and Christmas booths as well as 70 fairground rides,” according to the city’s Web site.