• Islamist separatism

    Fighting “Islamist separatism” in France, but without stigmatizing the Muslims of France: These were the two themes in a major speech given by President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, 18 February. “Islamist separatism is incompatible with freedom and equality, incompatible with the indivisibility of the Republic and the necessary unity of the nation,” Macron said, adding: “In the Republic, we cannot accept the refusal to shake a woman’s hand because she is a woman; in the Republic, we cannot accept that someone refuses to be treated or educated by someone else;… in the Republic, certificates of virginity cannot be required [as a condition for] marriage; in the Republic, one should never accept that the laws of religion are superior to the laws of the Republic. It’s that simple.”

  • Terrorism

    German authorities say that members of an extremist far-right terrorist cell – called The Hard Core — arrested Friday were planning large-scale attacks on mosques. The group reasoned that killing a large number of Muslims would lead to counter-violence by Muslims in Germany, which may lead the federal and state governments to impose harsh measures to try and stem the violence, plunging Germany into chaos (or “circumstances akin to civil war,” in the words of prosecutors). Such a situation, not for the first time in German history, would then be ripe for the emergence of a “strong man” who would restore order and civic peace by dispensing with the more “onerous” aspects of a liberal, pluralistic democracy and by forcing “undesirable elements” out of Germany.

  • Terrorism

    German police said a group of far-right plotters were planning attacks against politicians, asylum seekers, and Muslims. The ultimate goal of the group, of which several members were arrested, was to instigate a civil war in the country.

  • African security

    The United States is starting to change its force posture in Africa, announcing it is bringing home part of an infantry brigade and replacing them with specialized military trainers. Pentagon officials described the move as “the first of many” that will impact the way the U.S. military operates on the continent, as it shifts its focus from counterterrorism to the great power competition. The shift comes as a new U.S. report warns the danger from terrorist groups in Africa is spreading and that many African forces are not ready to take on the terror threat alone.

  • Climate & terrorism

    In many vulnerable regions of the world, the climate crisis has exacerbated loss of farmable land and increased water scarcity, fueling rural-urban migration, civil unrest, and violence. As a result, worsening geopolitical instability has aided the rise of terrorism and violence in the Middle East, Guatemala, and the Lake Chad Basin of Africa. Yet when people hear the words, “global warming,” they typically don’t think of terrorism. If they did, politicians would be far more likely to undertake drastic action to address the climate crisis.

  • Argument

    The truth about so-called domestic terrorism? There is nothing domestic about it. The old distinction between two types of terrorism – Islamist terrorism being regarded as “international” terrorism, while far-right terrorism is considered to be “domestic” terrorism – is not only no longer relevant: it obscures an emerging reality of an international far-right terrorism, thus hobbling efforts to fight it effectively, Max Rose and Ali H. Soufan write. “The truth about so-called domestic terrorism? There is nothing domestic about it.”

  • Extremism

    White supremacist propaganda distribution more than doubled in 2019 over the previous year, making it the highest year on record for such activity in the United States. The data in a new report shows a substantial increase of incidents both on- and off-campus. A total of 2,713 cases of literature distribution – an average of more than four per day – were reported nationwide, compared to 1,214 in 2018. This is nearly 160 percent increase in U.S. campus propaganda incidents during the fall semester.

  • Mass shootings

    In the last decade, thousands have been killed or injured as a result of mass violence in the United States. Such acts take many forms, including family massacres, terrorist attacks, shootings, and gang violence. Yet it is indiscriminate mass public shootings, often directed at strangers, that has generated the most public alarm. Now, 41 scholars have contributed 16 articles on the topic to a special issue of Criminology & Public Policy.

  • Travel ban

    Over the past two decades, how many people have been killed in the U.S. by extremists from the six countries on the Trump administration’s new travel ban list? The answer is zero, according to data from Department of Justice. The same is true for the original travel bans imposed in 2017. There were, and still are, zero fatalities in the United States caused by extremists from the countries on those lists, too.

  • Terrorism

    The present policy adopted by most European countries assumes that terrorism is not only a political or criminality problem, but also a societal problem that calls for societal solutions. That is why social workers, healthcare professionals and teachers are involved. “But the way these professional groups are involved in current terrorism policy can have negative consequences for fundamental human rights, such as privacy, freedom of religion and freedom of expression,” says one expert.

  • Islamic State

    U.S. defense and intelligence officials say the special forces operation that killed former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria last October has done little to hinder the terror group. Instead, the Defense Intelligence Agency warns the organization’s command and control structure, as well as many of its clandestine networks remain intact, and recent turmoil in the region due to Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria has played to its advantage.

  • Syria

    Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said that Turkish airstrikes in northwest Syria killed up to thirty-five Syrian soldiers. The Turkish strikes came in retaliation for airstrikes conducted by the Assad regime against Turkish troops deployed inside Syria in the Idlib province. The Assad regime has agreed to Turkish military operations on Syrian soil against the Syrian Kurds, but it is opposed to Turkey’s plan to settle one million Syrian Sunni refugees, now in tent cities in Turkey, in Idlib Province.

  • Considered opinion: Early release of terrorists

    On Sunday, 20-year old Sudesh Amman, who had been released from prison on 22 January after being jailed for terror-related offense, stabbed two people in a south London store before being shot and killed by the police. Amman served less than half his three-year, four-month sentence for terrorism offenses. The security services had concerns about his behavior, including language that suggested he continued to hold extremist views, but he had to be released under current laws. Calls are growing for changing these laws.

  • Perspective

    On 9 October 2019, a terrorist motivated by anti-Semitic beliefs descended on a synagogue in Halle, Germany, where people were observing the Yom Kippur holiday. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Colin P. Clarke, and Matt Shear write that Baillet’s use of steel, wood and 3-D-printed plastic components to manufacture three weapons is an example of how violent nonstate actors (VNSAs) adopt new technologies. “As new technologies proliferate, there will invariably be individuals trying to figure out how to use these technologies to kill,” they write.

  • Terrorism

    The London police shot and killed a terrorist who stabbed two people in a store in south London store. The perpetrator was wearing a fake suicide vest. The attacker, identified as 20-year old Sudesh Amman, had been under surveillance by the British counterterrorism unit, and was from prison at the end of January after serving only half of a 3-year and four-month prison sentence for the “possession and distribution of extremist material.”

  • African security

    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the Pentagon does not intend to remove all its forces from Africa, amid concerns from allies that Washington could abandon the continent militarily while China and Russia “aggressively” look to increase their influence and as the extremist threat remains. Esper is carrying out a global troop review meant to find ways to free up more resources to address challenges from China’s military in Asia.

  • Perspective

    Islamic State fighters have staged a series of guerilla attacks in Iraq and Syria during a pause in American and British operations, experts have said. David Rose writes that “ISIS sleeper cells have stepped up ambushes and terror attacks in recent weeks, killing and wounding dozens of soldiers and civilians. The attacks have raised fears that the jihadi group could regroup and recover if western forces leave the region.”

  • Perspective

    A criminal gang operating out of Turkey has fueled one of West Africa’s deadliest conflicts by smuggling in vast amounts of high-powered pump action shotguns, a study by arm control experts has found. The gangsters have smuggled thousands of the weapons into Nigeria, where they have ended up being used in the escalating violence between nomadic herders and settled farmers in the country’s north and central belts. Weapons of the same specification have also turned up in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and the Central African Republic.

  • Xenophobia

    Who — or what — is to blame for the xenophobia, political intolerance and radical political parties spreading through Germany and the rest of Europe? A new study shows a major factor is people’s proximity to former Nazi concentration camps.

  • African security

    Burkina Faso has been experiencing regular attacks led by armed terrorist groups from neighboring countries. Surrounded by six countries, it is the northern part bordering Mali and Niger – particularly the Soum province – that has been most affected. And the security situation is only getting worse. But now the country faces a new terrorist threat. Terrorist groups are also flourishing within its borders.