• ISIS

    By analyzing 26.2 million Twitter comments in the Arabic language, researchers found that despite losing territory, ISIS remains successful at inspiring low-level attacks because of its messaging for a “call for lone jihad.”

  • Perspective

    Who’s right: Cassandra or Dr. Pangloss? Are we on the brink of serious trouble, as Cassandra of Greek myth prophesied, or is all for the best “in this best of all possible worlds,” as the fictional Pangloss insisted in Voltaire’s Candide? “I’m generally a fairly upbeat guy, despite my realist proclivities and my recurring frustrations at the embarrassing state of U.S. foreign policy,” Stephen M. Walt writes in Foreign Policy. “But today I’m going to indulge my inner Cassandra and describe the five bad things that worry me today. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Perspective

    France and New Zealand spearheaded the adoption on May 15 of the Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist & Violent Extremist Content Online, a voluntary pledge endorsed by 18 countries and many tech companies (including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter). The United States refused to join, citing tofree speech concerns. The Christchurch Call was named after the city in New Zealand where a horrific terrorist attack killed 51 people and injured 50 at two mosques in March. That massacre was live-streamed on Facebook, spreading quickly on that platform as well as other social media sites and raising concerns about how such content goes viral. Evelyn Aswad writes in Just Security that U.S. isolation amidst close allies with respect to this initiative has led to questions about what were the First Amendment hurdles that prevented the U.S. from joining this pledge, especially given it constitutes a political commitment rather than a legally binding document.

  • Perspective

    After years of focusing on counterterrorism, a mainly kinetic threat, the U.S. intelligence community must now adapt to a long-term cyber struggle with nation-state adversaries. This struggle includes election interference and other socio-political disruption, cyber sabotage, theft of secrets, and competition in emerging technologies such as quantum computing and 5G wireless communications. David Kris writes in Lawfare that to succeed against these threats, the intelligence community must shift its approach in two related ways. First, it must focus on analytic superiority as well as cryptographic superiority—terms that I explain below but that basically require a shift in emphasis from accessing data to managing and using data. Second, to achieve analytic superiority, the intelligence community must develop stronger partnerships with the private sector and academia, and a broader base of external support with the American people.

  • Extremism & social media

    According to a whistleblower’s complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that was recently revealed in an AP investigation, Facebook has been misleading the public and its shareholders about the efficacy of its content moderation efforts.

  • Immigration & terrorism

    In the 43 years between 1975 and 2017, terrorists — foreign-born, native-born, and unknown – killed 3,518 Americans on U.S. soil (this includes the 9/11 attacks). During the same period, about 800,000 Americans were killed in homicides. Overall, the chance of being murdered by a foreign-born terrorist between 1975 and 2017 was about 1 in 3.8 million per year. The author of a new report says that the main lesson from the report is that there are very few terrorists of any ideology or origin who pose a threat to Americans on U.S. soil, and even fewer who manage to murder Americans. “The ideology, frequency, deadliness, and origins of terrorists are fascinating,” the author says, but these numbers are so small that it is difficult “to be overwhelmed by fear.”

  • Perspective

    What if Zika had been cooked up in a lab? Max Brooks, the author of World War Z, writes in Slate that in 2016, he asked that question in an op-ed for the New York Daily News. At the time, Zika was spreading across the country, and Congress seemed to be treating it like the common cold. But what about the next time? What if the next attack comes not from bacteria like anthrax but from a virus like the 1918 influenza? What if someone digs up a frozen, infected corpse or, like Amerithrax, smuggles the disease out of a lab? If we were caught by surprise by a natural outbreak like Zika—which is waning now but was devastating for those affected—how could we even hope to survive an artificial plague?

  • Terrorism

    A new study suggests that developed counties may see significant economic gains from their efforts to combat terrorist threats. Developing counties, in contrast, appear to suffer economically from counterterrorism threats.

  • Terrorism

    The first large-scale research project evaluating the characteristics of women involved in jihadism-inspired terrorism finds significant differences between men and women in both their backgrounds and their roles within terrorist groups.

  • Extremism

    Labour Against Antisemitism, a campaign by activists to force the party to address the increasing levels of anti-Jewish hate, has submitted a report containing 15,000 online screenshots showing examples of alleged anti-Semitism in the organization. The dossier was submitted to the U.K. Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The dossier, submitted to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), along with a request for a formal EHRC investigation.

  • Terrorism

    In wake of the attack at Chabad synagogue of Poway, California,  it is important to examine digital communications surrounding the shooting and what they suggest about future terrorist activity.

  • Extremism

    The authors of a new report on anti-Semitism around the world say that the most disturbing finding identified in 2018 is the sense of insecurity prevalent among Jews and confirmed by surveys. Jews do not feel an integral part of society anymore and sometimes they even sense a state of emergency. Anti-Semitism is mainstreaming, even normalized as a constant presence, in the public as well as in the private sphere. A rise of 13 percent in the number of major violent anti-Semitic incidents was registered; thirteen Jews were murdered.

  • Extremism

    In a fresh row over anti-Jewish sentiments in the British Labour Party, leader Jeremy Corbyn has been slammed for writing the foreword to a recent edition of a century-old book which contains overtly anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories.

  • Terrorism

    Russia and China have recently touted their progress in developing hypersonic vehicles, which fly much faster than the speed of sound, which is 767 mph. Hypersonic missiles are rocket-boosted to high altitude and may be launched from land, sea or air. Over the past 60 years, U.S. interest in hypersonic vehicles has waxed and waned. Now it seems the U.S. is back in the hypersonic effort in a serious way.

  • Terrorism

    A researcher recently published a book, Family Terror Networks, which addresses the phenomenon of family-linked terrorism, offering insight into the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed nearly 300 people and injured more than 500 others and included attackers and cell members from several family terror networks, including two sets of brothers, as well as a husband and wife.

  • Perspective

    The jihadists who carried out the Easter massacre in Sri Lanka were educated members of their country’s elite, a background that’s closer to the terrorist norm than the exception, Claude Berrebi and Owen Engel write in The Tablet. Researchers have been demonstrating for years that most terrorism is committed by individuals who are, on average, wealthier and better educated than the median level in their respective society.

  • Terrorism

    The FBI Monday said the agency had foiled a domestic terror plot by an American military veteran, who was aiming to attack “multiple targets” in Southern California, including Huntington Beach, the port of Long Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier. The suspect, identified as 26-year old Mark Steven Domingo of Reseda, California, is a recent convert to Islam. He said he was planning the attack in retribution for the attacks on mosques in New Zealand.

  • Terrorism

    Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is showing his face for the first time in five years, appearing on a video posted to the internet Monday by the terror group. Baghdadi acknowledges the fall of the last IS-held territory in Baghuz, Syria, and describes the terror group’s fight now as a “battle of attrition.”

  • Burkas

    Women in Sri Lanka will no longer be able to cover their faces under new emergency regulations which came into effect Monday. Sri Lanka issued the ban as part of a series of emergency measures enacted in the wake of the Easter Sunday suicide attacks.

  • Sri Lanka attacks

    Sri Lankan Islamic militant leader Zahran Hashim was apparently killed in one of the suicide attacks on Easter, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday. Police are now hunting for 140 people with suspected “Islamic State” ties.