• Extremism

    There was a 50 percent increase in arrests and plots linked to domestic Islamist extremism in 2019, according to data released last week by ADL’s Center on Extremism. There were a total of 30 arrests linked to domestic Islamist extremism, nine of which were for terror plots. Of the nine individuals arrested for plotting attacks, seven were U.S. citizens. While there were no attacks or murders linked to domestic Islamist extremism last year, the findings indicate that Islamist extremism still poses a significant threat to the United States.

  • Extremism

    Germany saw a rise both far-right and far-left crimes in 2019, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. The country’s police recorded just over 41,000 cases of politically motivated crime last year, representing a rise of 14.2 percent compared to 2018, when there were just over 36,000. “The biggest threat comes from the far-right, we have to see that clearly,” Seehofer said.

  • Terrorism

    More than 13,000 citizens of European countries traveled to Syria and Iraq to join, fight, or work with ISIS. In addition to former fighters, this figure includes women and children. A new report from an EU-backed genocide investigation body says that adding war crimes and genocide to terrorism charges for IS fighters returning to the EU will lead to tougher sentences and “more justice” for victims.

  • Terrorism

    As the coronavirus reaches developing countries in Africa and Asia, the pandemic will have effects beyond public health and economic activity. As the disease wreaks its havoc in areas poorly equipped to handle its spread, terrorism likely will increase there as well.

  • Bioterrorism

    Terrorism experts are warning that the coronavirus pandemic could be used as a template for future biological attacks by either state or non-state actors. Security experts with the Council of Europe say that terrorists, assessing the impact of the coronavirus, would now recognize the fact that they can use biological weapons to inflict a major blow on Western countries (or, for that matter, on any country). According to these experts, the virus has exposed how vulnerable modern societies are.

  • Extremism

    Paul Golding, 38, the leader of the British far-right political group Britain First, has been found guilty of an offense under the Terrorism Act after refusing to give police access to his mobile phone on his return from a political trip to Russia.

  • Extremism

    Across the country, boogalooers are energized by resistance to lockdown restrictions, which they view as tyrannical government overreach. Boogaloo adherents have shown up at numerous lockdown protests, waving boogaloo signs, wearing Hawaiian shirts, and carrying firearms, sometimes illegally. These boogalooers are part of an embryonic, decentralized movement that organizes largely online but whose presence has increasingly been felt in the real world. While boogaloo supporters hail from a variety of movements, and include some white supremacists who advocate for race war, the lockdown protests have largely featured the anti-government version of the boogaloo favored by the militia, gun rights, and anarcho-capitalist movements. Boogaloo advocates are talking openly about providing protection for local businesses determined to reopen in violation of state mandates. The presence of these frequently armed protesters could escalate already tense situations.

  • Hemispheric security

    In early May, the Venezuelan military intercepted a group of dissidents and American mercenaries. These events in Venezuela echo past U.S. secret sponsorship of private armies to overthrow governments elsewhere. The U.S. has an extended history of sponsoring insurgents and mercenaries to undermine unwanted foreign regimes.

  • Perspective

    The study of viruses once challenged the world’s notion of what is “biological,” and for a time it was not clear whether viruses were regulated by the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Durward Johnson and James Kraska write that “SynBio and its convergence with emerging technologies may create weapons not currently banned by universal disarmament obligations or customary international law, and this legal gap raises the prospect of weaponization of nonbiological threat agents tailor-made to create targeted effects. These tactical biotechnological capabilities could have potentially strategic consequences and yet may fall outside the existing regime.”

  • Terrorism

    A new report reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic is already having a significant impact on terrorism around the world. “One genuine concern is that COVID-19 may lead to a resurgence in interest among terrorists for using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons,” says one expert. “While serious obstacles certainly remain, the huge impact of COVID-19 may re-ignite some interest in biological weapons.”

  • Terrorism

    Across Iraq and Syria there is a growing sense of unease that when it comes to the Islamic State terror group, data showing the jihadist force on its heels should not be trusted. While the U.S.-led military coalition argues Islamic State is a shadow of its former self, some officials with U.S. partner forces argue the terror group has actually become more powerful and more dangerous.

  • Extremism

    The American Jewish community experienced the highest level of anti-Semitic incidents last year since tracking began in 1979, with more than 2,100 acts of assault, vandalism and harassment reported across the United States. The record number of incidents came as the Jewish community grappled with violent and lethal anti-Semitic attacks against communities in Poway, Jersey City and Monsey, and a spree of violent assaults in Brooklyn.

  • Ethnic cleansing

    In a new report, Amnesty International offers details of a continuing Syrian and Russian campaign to destroy hospitals, clinics, and schools in the Sunni-majority province of Idlib, in order to drive as many Sunnis as possible out of Syria. Since 2011, the Assad regime has conducted the largest ethnic cleansing campaign since the Second World War, aiming to change the ethnic composition of Syria. “Even by the standards of Syria’s calamitous nine-year crisis, the displacement and humanitarian emergency sparked by the latest onslaught on Idlib has been unprecedented,” said Amnesty.

  • Extremism

    German lawmakers from across the political spectrum on Monday warned that the growing wave of anti-lockdown protests could provide fertile ground for radicalization and recruitment for far-right extremist groups and anti-vaccine campaigns. Over the weekend, thousands of people gathered in cities across Germany to demand an end to restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Hemispheric security

    Venezuela has aired a video in which captured American ex-serviceman Airon Berry said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was a target of a foiled raid on Sunday. This is the second video released by the Venezuelan government purporting to show the questioning of Berry and fellow American Luke Denman, both former members of the U.S. Special Forces. In the video aired Thursday, Berry said the Venezuelan Intelligence Services and the airport tower were also targets.

  • Terrorism

    Germany’s recent decision to ban the political activities of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has sparked a debate among experts, with some believing the move was necessary while others arguing it would have little impact on Hezbollah’s terrorist activities.

  • Iran

    Israeli defense officials told reporters Tuesday that Iranian forces are pulling out of Syria and closing military bases, arms depots, arms manufacturing facilities, and military research labs there. In recent months, Israel has intensified its air attacks against Iranian forces, and against Hezbollah targets, in Syria, as well as against the Assad regime forces protecting Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

  • Hemispheric security

    Jordan Goudreau, a former Green Beret soldier linked to a foiled or bungled plot to topple Venezuela’s leader, Nicolás Maduro, has insisted on Sunday that his troops are still in operation in Venezuela after launching what he described as “a daring amphibious raid” into economically and politically troubled country. The Venezuelan government said that in a short firefight, its forces killed eight members of the incursion force, which landed on the shore from three speedboats, and detained thirteen, two of them American citizens.

  • Terrorism

    In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic the crises of tomorrow can fester. A resurgence of Islamic State (IS) is likely to be one of them. The threat of a resurgent IS is mounting and governments around the world could be about to make the same mistake again of missing it and reacting too late.

  • Perspective

    Since the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. foreign policy, national security, and law enforcement have been dominated by counter-terrorism considerations, even while a number of counter-terrorism experts have cautioned against overemphasizing the terrorist threat. Lydia Khalil writes that, at the same time, for various reasons, U.S. law enforcement has found it more challenging to deal with the more serious threat of terrorism the United States is facing – far-right domestic terrorism – a threat which now eclipses the threat posed by foreign Islamist jihadists, and which is only going to grow. If anything could ever shake the United States out of its counter-terrorism fixation it would be a crisis of even greater magnitude than 9/11. It seemed like that moment finally came with the COVID-19 pandemic, “[y]et what we have seen so far is the opposite. Instead of reorienting toward other paradigms and reexamining its strategic priorities, the United States continues to reflexively overextend its counter-terrorism tools to deal with some of the more problematic aspects of the virus’ spread,” she writes.