• Perspective

    Senior United States military and intelligence officials are sharply divided over how much of a threat the Islamic State in Afghanistan poses to the West, a critical point in the Trump administration’s debate over whether American troops stay or withdraw after nearly 18 years of war. American military commanders in Afghanistan have described the Islamic State affiliate there as a growing problem that is capable of inspiring and directing attacks in Western countries, including the United States. But intelligence officials in Washington disagree.

  • Terrorism

    Hamza bin Laden, the son and heir of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, has been killed in a U.S.-supported operation, according to different media reports. U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, on Wednesday confirmed the death of Hamza bin Laden, who was in his early 30s. The younger bin Laden had been killed within the past two years, in an operation in which the United States was involved in some capacity. U.S. refused to provide any details on the operation.

  • Perspective

    Facebook Inc. doesn’t have to face a lawsuit by victims of Hamas attacks and their relatives who claimed that the social network unlawfully assisted the terror group, a federal appeals court ruled. the lawsuit was among several around the U.S. testing whether victims of terrorist attacks and their families can hold social-media companies to account for allowing violent extremists to use their platforms to recruit followers. The terrorism victims attempted for the first time to argue that social-media companies could be held liable under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.

  • Home-grown terrorism

    In an Instagram post made not long before he attacked a food festival in California on 28 July, Santiago Legan quoted the book Might is Right, and urged people to read it. The book, originally published in 1896, has had an enduring history on the fringes of American thought and ideology. The book’s most appreciative modern audience, however, may be white supremacists.  Though Might is Right is not itself a work designed to promote or advance white supremacy, it contains many passages full of racist and anti-Semitic vitriol.

     

  • Terrorism

    The Islamic State terror group’s self-declared caliphate may be dead, but its leaders are hanging on in Syria and Iraq, dreaming of the day when they can again direct attacks on targets around the world. The conclusion is part of a sobering assessment in a newly released quarterly United Nations report on IS which warns the epicenter for the terror group’s budding renaissance is Iraq, “where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and most of the ISIL leadership are now based.”

  • Perspective: Long wars

    In 2016, Colombia achieved a remarkable success by seemingly bringing to an end the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running insurgency. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has been at war with government forces for more than fifty years. And yet here was a negotiated settlement by which two parties that had been fighting for generations agreed to lay down their arms—by which the guerrilla organization itself would be brought into the government’s formal power structures. The case raises important questions—not least for a U.S. government that watches the clock on its own counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan tick ever closer to two decades. How was this possible? And are there lessons that can be exported and applied to other intransigent conflicts, like Afghanistan?

  • Perspective: Cyber wars

    Richard Clarke knows some things about clear and present dangers. As the first U.S. counterterrorism czar, he tried to alert important White House decision-makers before September 11 about the threat of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, but those warnings were largely ignored; afterwards, he famously apologized publicly for the government’s failures. These days, Clarke is trying to get people to think hard about the next big attack—the cyber version—and all the ones that have already happened.

  • Counterterrorism

    It is known that much terrorist activity utilizes the power and immediacy of online social media and social networking tools to coordinate its attacks, rally support and spread the various agendas of the different groups and networks. Researchers explains how we might turn the tables on the terrorists and use those tools to analyze terrorist activity and make predictions about future scenarios, and so have the tools to thwart them in their deadly endeavors.

  • Perspective

    A new book by a former CIA analyst is an important contribution to our understanding of the intelligence wars that erupted in 2001 over Iraq’s alleged connections to the 9/11 attacks and the George W. Bush administration’s bungled efforts to stabilize Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

  • Perspective: Financing terrorism

    Prosecuting money launderers is the best way to stamp out terrorism and corruption. For too long, counterterrorism operations have focused narrowly on disrupting attacks. Without aggressive prosecution of those who carry out the groups’ financial transactions, the illicit networks that provide financial and logistical support for Hezbollah are likely to remain intact.

  • Radiation risks

    If a radiological dispersal device (RDD), or “dirty bomb,” ever explodes in the United States, emergency crews may be better prepared because researchers have developed a new simulator, which show first responders what an optimal response to an RDD would look like.

  • Anthrax

    Anthrax is a deadly and highly resilient disease, caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Historically, it was a major cause of death in humans and cattle. has shown that removing the armor of the bacterium that causes anthrax slows its growth and negatively affects its ability to cause disease.

  • Terrorism

    The United States is backing a renewed Argentine effort to prosecute Iranian and Hezbollah agents accused of plotting a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. In Latin America’s deadliest terrorist attack, a suicide car bomber struck the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) center in the Argentine capital, 18 July 1994, killing 85 people.

  • Terrorism

    After reports earlier this week that the Palestinian Authority (PA) stepped up its support for the “pay-to-slay” policy by which it pays monthly salaries to terrorist prisoners and their families, it now emerged that the PA also doubled the monthly salary it pays to convicted terrorist Hussam Kawasme, who was responsible for the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens.

  • Counterterrorism

    The rapidly evolving, diverse terrorist threat continually exploits technological advances to adapt the nature and expand the reach of its tactics. DHS S&T announces $35 million funding opportunity for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). TPCR will support academic-led innovation that supports DHS in staying a step ahead of emerging terrorist tactics.

  • Considered opinion: Left-populism & Anti-Semitism

    “Anti-Semitism is populism in perhaps its purest and most distilled form. It says that politics is indeed a battle between the virtuous masses and a nefarious, corrupt elite – and that that elite is ‘the Jews’. That’s why anti-Semitism carries so many of populism’s distinguishing features, from the fear of an enemy within, to its insistence that the media is bent on distorting reality,” Jonathan Freedland writes. Earlier this year a global study “found that a distinguishing feature of those with a populist worldview is a willingness to believe conspiracy theories, whether on the climate crisis, vaccines, or aliens from outer space. Anti-Semitism is nothing if not an all-encompassing conspiracy theory, suggesting that Jews are the secret rulers of the world.”

  • Perspective: Extremism

    In France and other Western societies, the proliferation of new political forces that challenge the established liberal order—from both the right and the left—has revived old patterns of vilifying the Jews as the embodiment of the corrupt elites supposedly responsible for society’s ills. Until the past few years, the biggest threat to Jews in Europe came from Islamists and disaffected Muslim youths. The West’s new wave of anti-Semitism, however, is increasingly coming from new quarters: from the nativist far right, with its fear of “the other” and dreams of racial purity, and from the extreme left, which often identifies Jews with the capitalist elites it seeks to destroy and glorifies Palestinian militants.

  • Perspective: Extremism

    The death threats started in 2015, when Walter Lübcke defended the refugee policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel.On June 2, Mr. Lübcke was fatally shot in the head on his front porch, in what appears to be Germany’s first far-right political assassination since the Nazi era.

  • Perspective: Extremism

    Right-wing terrorism has grabbed public attention in the Trump era, thanks to a series of bloody attacks on synagogues, black churches, and mosques. The violence itself is shocking enough, but President Donald Trump’s reaction to it—a mix of denial and equivocation—proved even more galling to many Americans. For white supremacists themselves, the Trump era is a golden one, reversing the steady marginalization the cause had suffered since the civil rights era. But for those hoping that right-wing terrorism will decline should Trump leave office after 2020, the reverse is more likely.

  • Extremism & social media

    Twitter said Tuesday that it was requiring anti-Semitic hate preacher and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to delete a 2018 anti-Semitic tweet that compared Jews to termites. The move came as the social media giant introduced new rules prohibiting “language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.”