• Iran nukes

    Reports from German intelligence agencies show that Iran is still attempt to procure illicit technology, including parts for the operation of its heavy water reactor, which was shuttered under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. Three German citizens were charged with violating export bans for sending 51 specialized valves to Iran. The parts can be used in Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor, which “can be used to develop plutonium for nuclear weapons” and was shut down as part of the nuclear deal.

  • Non-state actors

    In May, President Donald Trump authorized a plan to arm the YPG, a Kurdish militia in Syria. A month later, the YPG and their Arab partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces began the fight to take the Syrian city of Raqqa back from the Islamic State. Is the Pentagon right that the benefits of arming the YPG outweigh the risks? Is it ever a good idea to increase the lethality of violent nonstate actors? My own research suggests that the arms and ammunition supplied to a combatant in wartime can perpetuate a state of insecurity in the region long after the war has officially ended. A recent study concludes that security force assistance can achieve some limited goals, but only if states make aid conditional and intrusively monitor recipients. The reality is the conditions under which the U.S. trains, equips and advises armed opposition groups are seldom conducive to either.

  • Radicalization

    A British study has found that Saudi Arabia plays a key role in the radicalization of Muslims. “The findings do not surprise me at all,” says an academic authority on Islam. “It has long been known that Saudi Arabia has been exporting Wahhabist ideology - largely similar to the ideology of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS). Propaganda material and organizational expertise are being sent along with money. People are being hired to build mosques, educational institutions, cultural centers and similar organizations, so that Wahhabist theology can reach the public – with great success.”

  • Urban warfare

    The Israeli military is purchasing an unspecified number of small, multi-rotor drones that can be armed and have sufficient mobility to perform well in urban combat situations. The TIKAD drone is made by Duke Robotics, a Florida-based company that was co-founded by Lt. Col. Raziel “Razi” Atuar, a 20-year IDF veteran.

  • ISIS

    Among the many atrocities Islamic State (IS) has committed, their violence against the Yezidis, a small religious minority in Iraq and Syria, can be classed as genocide. They have subjected the Yezidis to killing, serious bodily or mental harm, and the infliction of conditions calculated to bring about their physical destruction. The crimes against Yezidi women, especially, have the potential to permanently destroy a population’s capacity to rebuild itself as a stable and active group. Familial relationships break down and the victims of these crimes become ostracized, and are unable to marry or have children. It is something that the perpetrators of genocide have known for centuries. A group can be destroyed – if you also destroy their ability to reproduce.

  • Funding terrorism

    The authors of a new report say it highlights the need for a public inquiry into the foreign-based funding of Islamist extremism. The report covers a growing body of evidence on the considerable impact that foreign funding has had on advancing Islamist extremism in Britain and other Western countries. The foreign funding for Islamist extremism in Britain primarily comes from governments and government linked foundations based in the Gulf, as well as Iran.

  • Terrorism & media coverage

    The U.S. media covers terror attacks in the United States carried out by Muslims more than five times as much as the coverage by the same media of terrorist attacks carried out by non-Muslims, a new study finds. The researchers analyzed the coverage of all terrorist attacks in the United States between 2011 and 2015, and found there was a 449 percent increase in media coverage when the perpetrator was Muslim relative to acts of terrorism perpetrated by non-Muslims. Muslims committed 12.4 percent of terrorist attacks in the United States between 2011 and 2015 — but received 41.4 percent of news coverage.

  • IEDs

    In July of 2016, a refrigerator truck packed with explosives detonated next to a crowded apartment block in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood. The blast killed 323 people and was one of the worst Vehicle–Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED also known as car bombs) attacks ever recorded. On 30 May 2017, a VBIED in a tanker truck ripped through the embassy quarter of Kabul, killing more than 150 people. DHS S&T has taken measures to address this threat directly.

  • Cybersecurity

    The head of Israel’s internal security service has revealed that Israel is successfully fighting back against cyberterrorism and prevented thousands of potential so-called “lone wolf” attacks with the aid of technology. The Shin Bet head revealed that Israel used technological and intelligence methods to identify and prevent over 2,000 potential “lone wolf” attacks since the beginning of 2016.

  • Aviation

    The United States will impose tough new security measures on all international flights bound for the United States. DHS officials said 280 airports in 105 countries would be affected by the tightened security, affecting around 2,000 flights a day. Airlines have been warned that a failure to comply with these enhanced security measures would carry consequences, including banning laptops altogether on the airlines’ U.S.-bound flights.

  • Syria

    The United States has charged that the Assad regime was preparing to launch another large-scale chemical weapons attack on Sunni Syrians — warning that the Syrian regime would “pay a heavy price” if it went ahead with the attack. The White House, in a statement released late Monday, said that the United States had noticed Syrian military preparations similar to those the Syrian military had undertaken ahead of the 4 April chemical attack which killed eighty-seven Syrian civilians.

  • Surveillance

    In the aftermath of the Christmas 2016 market attacks in Berlin last December, the German government written several sweeping surveillance and data retention laws, which were narrowly passed by the Bundestag. Many of these laws will go into effect 1 July. Civil libertarians, opposition parties, and some security experts have criticized the new powers as diminishing privacy without adding much to security. These politicians and NGOs say that a spate of security measures just go too far.

  • Terrorism

    It is a rare opportunity when public policy professionals have information at their fingertips for comparing public views around a traumatic event before implementing new policies. A new study examine how those exposed to local terrorist acts through media sources perceive the risk of terrorism before and immediately after an event—and discuss how that difference in perception may shape measures that are proposed in response.

  • Hezbollah

    The IDF’s chief of staff said on Tuesday that the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah has a presence in “every third or fourth house” in southern Lebanon, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for the removal of all armed groups from the area. Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said that Hezbollah was ensconced in some 240 villages and towns in southern Lebanon, and remains the most immediate threat to Israel.

  • Terrorism

    The latest attacks in London and Manchester – like last year’s attacks in Orlando, Florida and St. Cloud, Minnesota — epitomize what I call the newest form of terrorism. The newest terrorists aim to kill as many people as possible, as frequently as possible, as horrifically as possible, intimately, suicidally, with the most accessible weapons, in the most accessible public spaces. Terrorism will get much worse before it gets better. Religious ideologies, access to weaponizable materials and ease of communications, along with the massing of targets, are all moving in the wrong direction. This makes terrorism easier and counterterrorism harder.

  • In the trenches

    As nation-state and non-state adversaries adapt and apply commercially available state-of-the-art technology in urban conflict, expeditionary U.S. forces face a shrinking operational advantage. New program aims to develop advanced battle management/command and control tools and a comprehensive interactive virtual environment to test novel concepts for future expeditionary combat operations.

  • Terrorism

    In 2016, a total of 142 failed, foiled and completed attacks were reported by eight EU member states. 142 victims died in terrorist attacks, and 379 were injured in the EU. Although there was a large number of terrorist attacks not connected with jihadism, the latter accounts for the most serious forms of terrorist activity as nearly all reported fatalities and most of the casualties were the result of jihadist terrorist attacks. Explosives were used in 40 percent of the attacks and women and young adults, and even children, are playing increasingly operational roles in committing terrorist activities independently in the EU.

  • African security

    According to U.S. officials and U.N.-based diplomats, the Trump administration is considering vetoing a French Security Council resolution authorizing the 5,000-man African counterterrorism force, the G-5, to operate in the Sahel. In principle, the United States, supported by the United Kingdom, backs the French - African counterterrorism commitment but does not see the need for the U.N. to authorize it. France, to fill the security vacuum created by the fall of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s government in 2011, has led international counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel, and now wants countries in the region to make more of a contribution to these efforts.

  • ISIS

    Russia’s Defense Ministry is investigating whether a 28 May airstrike in Syria killed ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The strike targeted a high-level meeting of ISIS leaders, who were discussing ISIS’s withdrawal from Raqqa. Thirty mid-level militant leaders and around 300 other fighters were killed in the heavy strike.

  • Urban security

    London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan sought Israel’s advice to “find new ways to protect ourselves” after a series of terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom. Khan said that both his office and Met Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of the counter-terrorism police, have been in touch with Israeli officials to discuss how to better combat urban terrorism.