• Terrorism

    The United States has designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization. The U.S. currently designates some sixty groups around the world as foreign terrorist organizations, but none of them is a state-run military like the IRGC.

  • Violent extremism

    As countries around the world develop countering violent extremism (CVE) programs to prevent homegrown terrorism, there is a dearth of understanding about what types of such programs exist and which approaches are most effective.

  • Radicalization

    Governments have been reaching into schools to try to nip violent extremism in the bud for some time. The Obama administration announced a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program in 2014. Programs like these have also been introduced without adequate evidence for their effectiveness. Delivering a program that hasn’t been properly evaluated could make the underlying issues worse. It could ultimately increase youth vulnerabilities (rather than resilience) to radicalization, and other antisocial behaviors.

  • Terrorism

    Germany will change its citizenship law to allow dual nationals to lose their citizenship if they fight for a foreign terrorist militia. The new law, approved Wednesday by the cabinet, will not be applied retroactively and will not apply to minors.

  • Fuel explosions

    When an act of terrorism or a vehicle or industrial accident ignites fuel, the resulting fire or explosion can be devastating. On Tuesday, scientists described how lengthy but microscopic chains of polymers could be added to fuel to significantly reduce the damage from these terrifying incidents without impacting performance.

  • Considered opinion: Far-right terrorism

    Five years ago, when U.S. law enforcement agencies were asked to identify the most serious violent extremist threats they faced in their respective jurisdictions, they cited far-right, anti-government extremists; followed by Salafi-Jihadi inspired extremist violence; radical environmentalists; and, racist, violent extremism. Terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman writes that “given the rise of violent white nationalism and far-right extremism, and the power of twenty-first-century communications platforms, the threat is evolving rapidly.”

  • Designer pathogens

    It was not so long ago that a NIH scientist stumbled across smallpox vials in a cold-storage room — and it was not during a time of increased concern for synthetic biology. Pandora Report notes that from CRISPR babies to garage DIY biohacking kits, it seems like the last few years have been inundated with synbio conversations.

  • Terrorism

    The UN Security Council voted to impose sanctions on countries which finance terror groups. The issue of terror financing has been partially addressed before, but Thursday resolution is the first comprehensive measure of its kind.

  • Terrorism

    Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday that the Austrian security services were investigating possible connections between Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terrorist, and the Austrian Identitarian Movement, a far-right, racist, anti-immigration party on the fringes of Austrian politics.

  • Terrorism & social media

    Just before his shooting spree at two Christchurch, New Zealand mosques, the alleged mass murderer posted a hate-filled manifesto on several file-sharing sites. Soon, the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence on platforms and decentralized tools like IPFS will mean that the online hate landscape will change. Combating online extremism in the future may be less about “meme wars” and user-banning, or “de-platforming,” and could instead look like the attack-and-defend, cat-and-mouse technical one-upsmanship that has defined the cybersecurity industry since the 1980s. No matter what technical challenges come up, one fact never changes: The world will always need more good, smart people working to counter hate than there are promoting it.

  • Terrorism past

    Former communist militant Cesare Battisti has admitted four murders carried out in the 1970s, during Italy’s so-called “Years of Lead,” weeks after being jailed in Italy for the killings that were part of a failed bid to spark a far-left revolution.

  • Extremism

    A new directory has been assembled from frameworks that have been developed in recent years to assess aspects of extremist violence, a term used to encompass terrorist violence that is framed by ideology and targeted violence that is framed by idiosyncratic beliefs. A new CREST report published today provides detail on several frameworks that are used to assess risks of extremist violence.

  • Terrorists & social media

    The shocking mass-shooting in Christchurch last Friday is notable for using livestreaming video technology to broadcast horrific first-person footage of the shooting on social media. The use of social media technology and livestreaming marks the attack as different from many other terrorist incidents. It is a form of violent “performance crime.” That is, the video streaming is a central component of the violence itself, it’s not somehow incidental to the crime, or a disgusting trophy for the perpetrator to re-watch later. In an era of social media, which is driven in large part by spectacle, we all have a role to play in ensuring that terrorists aren’t rewarded for their crimes with our clicks.

  • Terrorism

    How do terrorists use propaganda to entice people to join their ranks? Which personality types are the most influenced by it and what types of messaging are most effective in countering these recruitment campaigns? A DOD-funded research hopes to stem recruitment of individuals to terrorist cells – particularly young people age 18 to 26, the most targeted demographic.

  • Biothreats

    Over the past decade, the biotechnology economy has experienced remarkable growth, resulting in the rapid expansion of biological knowledge and application. These advances create openings for actors with malicious intent to harness readily available tools and techniques to create biological threats or bioweapons.

  • Lockerbie

    Hundreds were killed when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish village of Lockerbie in December 1988. Libya later took responsibility and paid compensation to the victims’ families — and one of its secret agents spent eleven years in jail for the attack. Scottish and German investigators, acting on newly revealed information, are now looking onto the possibility that agents of STASI — East Germany’s secret police — were involved.

  • Massacres

    Many of the world’s worst human rights abuses, including genocides, occur in areas that are difficult to observe. “Smallsat” — short for small satellite — technology can detect human rights abuses and violations. The information collected by this technology provides evidence that can be used to corroborate refugee accounts of atrocities in international courts.

  • Extremism

    The British Labour Party faced fresh accusations of anti-Semitism on Wednesday amid reports that leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Britain of “conceding to Zionist forces” in allowing the creation of the State of Israel.

  • Biothreats

    In the wake of the news from China about He Jiankui’s gene-edited babies, many scientists are calling for a moratorium on germline gene-editing. Nature considered the topic sufficiently important to publish the call by several top researchers and ethicists for a moratorium.

  • Extremism online

    Monitoring hateful content is always difficult and even the most advanced systems accidentally miss some. But during terrorist attacks the big platforms face particularly significant challenges. As research has shown, terrorist attacks precipitate huge spikes in online hate, overrunning platforms’ reporting systems. Lots of the people who upload and share this content also know how to deceive the platforms and get round their existing checks. So what can platforms do to take down extremist and hateful content immediately after terrorist attacks? I propose four special measures which are needed to specifically target the short term influx of hate.