• Syria

    An overnight Israeli air strike destroyed more than 200 Iranian mid-range missiles which Iran stored at Syrian military bases near Hama. These missiles were more accurate, and were capable of carrying a bigger warhead, than other missiles available to Hezbollah and the Syrian military. The attack killed 26 military personnel, including 18 Iranian officers. Bashar-al-Assad’s victory in the civil war in Syria has opened the door for Iran, his main ally, to try and turn Syria into an Iranian forward military base against Israel.

  • Syria

    The Assad regime has issued a decree aiming to complete one of the largest ethnic cleansing campaigns since the end of the Second World War. The key to Assad’s plan is codifying in law the massive dispossession of millions of Syria’s Sunnis. Those who started the rebellion against Assad in 2011 were Sunnis inspired by the Arab Spring. To reduce the influence of Sunnis in Syria, the Assad regime killed about 420,000 Sunni civilians (the war’s 500,000 death toll includes about 80,000 combatants on all sides), and systematically destroyed the infrastructure of Sunni towns, villages, and neighborhoods, forcing more than 11 million Sunnis out of their homes (5.6 million Syrians have fled the country, and 6.1 million have been internally displaced). Assad’s latest decree is viewed as essentially the last step in the regime’s ethnic cleansing campaign.

  • Iraq

    Around 80,000 Iran-backed Shi’ite militia members are currently operating in Iraq, a U.S. military official said. “The effect of the Obama administration’s policy has been to replace American boots on the ground with the Iranians,” Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News. “As Iran advances, one anti-American actor is being replaced with another.”

  • Toronto van attack

    Like other Canadians, I was horrified upon learning of a van attack along Toronto’s famed Yonge Street this week. Struggling to make sense of it, my first question was: “Why?” As it turns out, the attack was possibly a disturbing reprise of a similar massacre, targeting mostly women and perceptively “sexually active” men in the California community of Isla Vista in May 2014.

  • Terrorism

    A Palestinian engineer whom Hamas claimed worked for them, was shot and killed by unknown assailants in Malaysia where he taught. Hamas, the terrorist organization that exercises complete political and military control over the Gaza Strip blamed Israel for killing Fadi al-Batsh, who was described by the terrorist group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, as a member of Hamas with “an honorable reputation in science.”

  • Terrorism

    Salah Abdeslam, the mastermind of the 13 November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, has been found guilty of attempted terrorist murder in a separate trial in Brussels, and sentenced to twenty years in prison. The Brussels trial revolved around the 15 March 2016 shootout in Brussels, which capped a 5-month search for Abdeslam. Abdeslam is to stand trial in France for his involvement in the attacks in Paris.

  • Extreme vetting

    In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has tightened the vetting of immigrants and foreign travelers. The post-9/11 system has worked: From 2002 to 2016, the vetting system failed and permitted the entry of 1 radicalized terrorist for every 29 million visa or status approvals. Only 1 of the 13 post-9/11 vetting failures resulted in a deadly attack in the United States. Thus, the rate for deadly terrorists was 1 for every 379 million visa or status approvals from 2002 through 2016. During this same period, the chance of an American being killed in an attack committed by a terrorist who entered as a result of a vetting failure was 1 in 328 million per year.

  • ETA apology

    The Basque militant group ETA, which had conducted a four-decade campaign of violence and terrorism for the creation of an independent Basque state (the Basque region straddles the Spanish-French border), apologized to the victims of its violence. Over 800 people were killed by ETA during the conflict which officially ended in 2011. Victims of the group’s violence have rejected the apology.

  • Terrorism

    The face of terrorism in the United States has changed dramatically following 9/11. According to a report by the New America Foundation, every jihadist who has conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 2001 has come from inside the country, already having established citizenship or legal residency. DARPA has launched an ambitious new program called Modeling Adversarial Activity (MAA) which aims to transform the way national security organizations identify emerging threats.

  • Hate groups

    The staff of the German Bundestag have denied an entry card to a German soldier recruited by an opposition far-right parliamentarian. The soldier was suspected of being a member of a right-wing, nationalist network within the German military plotting to kill politicians supporting liberal immigration policies – and then blame Muslim immigrants for the killings.

  • Terror tunnels

    Following the discovery and destruction of the longest and deepest terror tunnel extending into Israeli territory, over the weekend, the IDF revealed a new “laboratory,” where it employs advanced technology to detect tunnels.

  • Iran

    The Israeli military said that the Iranian drone that entered into Israeli airspace in February was armed with explosives and demonstrated “an Iranian intent to carry out an attack” inside Israel. According Air Force Chief of Staff Brigadier General Tomer Bar, the drone was an advanced model and had a signature that Israel had not previously encountered.

  • ISIS

    There is a fundamental difference between IS’s use of child soldiers and the practice elsewhere. IS hasn’t just recruited child soldiers. It systematically militarized the education systems of captured Iraqi and Syrian territory to turn the region’s children into ideological timebombs. The regular processes of identifying child combatants, disarming and reintegrating them into their communities through rehabilitation and reconciliation are all necessary. But they are vastly insufficient in this instance.

  • Hate on the left

    Israel’s Labor Party announced on Tuesday that it had cut all formal ties with the leader of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, over his “hostility” towards the Jewish community, Reuters reported. Corbyn is facing allegations of turning a blind eye to rampant anti-Semitism and has failed to take adequate actions to combat rising anti-Jewish sentiments in his party.

  • Hate on the left

    The current crisis in the Labor party has exposed some profound fault lines on the left, with considerable evidence of mounting anti-Semitism inside the party. The far right was the most radical in its enthusiasm to solve the “Jewish Question” through the Holocaust, but the notion that there is such a question has been shared by some on the left, too. There has always been, on the left, a view of the world which projects all the problems of society (at the national or international level) onto Jews. It’s a view which not only fails to grasp the threat posed by anti-Semitism but condones and colludes with it. It’s a view that others (sadly) on the left need to challenge.

  • Chemical weapons

    A German company involved in Syrian chemical attacks has defied a warning from the United States and continues trading with Iran. A Syrian photographer had found parts made by German company Krempel in Iranian-produced chemical rockets that were used in chemical warfare against Syrian civilians in January and February.

  • Hate groups

    In preparation for the Qatari Emir’s visit this week to Washington, the White House last week thanked the monarch for his country’s “continuing commitment” to countering extremism. However, in the last year Qatar’s government has actually continued to use its prominent platforms to promote strident anti-Semitic preachers.

  • Hate groups

    An increase in suspected far-right incidents within the German army, the Bundeswehr, has prompted the opposition Left party to demand commanders “dry out the brown sump.” Over 400 cases are currently under investigation. Germany’s Bundeswehr currently has 180,000 active-duty solders, including 61, 000 in its army ranks, 28,000 in its air force, and some 16,000 in its navy.

  • ISIS

    Through five trips to Iraq, a team of journalists from the New York Times uncovered a trove of Islamic State documents that explain how the group took control of Iraq and Syria. Taken together, the documents show how ISIS, for a short period of time, established its own government, or caliphate.

  • Quick takes // By Ben Frankel

    Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon launched missiles at a Syrian regime airbase in the desert east of the city of Homs. Israel has attacked an Iranian command-and-control center at the airbase back in February. The attack on T-4, or Tiyas, was not related to the Saturday Syrian army chemical weapons attack against civilian neighborhood in the town of Douma. Rather, it is part of an on-going, intensifying Israeli campaign against the growing Iranian military presence in Syria.