• Homegrown violent extremists

    New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) now regards white supremacist extremists as posing a threat which is equal or greater than that posed by terrorists inspired by Islamist fundamentalism (in both cases, homegrown violent extremists [HVEs] pose a far greater threat than foreign terrorists). “Homeland security and law enforcement professionals at all levels have taken notice of the rise in activity from white supremacist extremists,” NJOHSP says in an introduction to the annual Terrorism Threat Assessment issued by the office. “New Jersey is committed to protecting the diversity of culture and faith that shapes our great State. For that reason, NJOHSP increased the threat posed by white supremacist extremists from moderate to high in 2020, joining homegrown violent extremists as the most persistent hostile actors in New Jersey.”

  • Accelerationism

    Accelerationism is a term white supremacists have assigned to their desire to hasten the collapse of society as we know it. The term is widely used by those on the fringes of the movement, who employ it openly and enthusiastically on mainstream platforms, as well as in the shadows of private, encrypted chat rooms. 

  • Terrorism

    DHS S&T has awarded the University of Nebraska at Omaha a 10-year, $36 million grant to establish a DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). TPCR will lead a consortium of academic, industry, government, and laboratory partners aiming to gain better understanding of terrorism and its sources, and help fashion effective counterterrorism policies.

  • Terror in Germany

    On Friday, Horst Seehofer, Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior, was visibly distraught when, two days after Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Hanau, he told a hushed press conference that “The threat posed by right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism is very high in Germany.” He added: “I would like to emphasize that right-wing extremism poses the greatest threat in our country.”

  • Agroterrorism

    For years, interest groups, academics, and policymakers have sounded the alarm on the vulnerability of U.S. crops to a terrorist attack. This article briefly reviews the history, risks, and consequences of agroterrorism attacks targeting crop yields and suggests how the recently established DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office could play a role in countering this threat.

  • Terror in Germany

    A far-right terrorist killed nine people late Wednesday in attacks on two shisha bars in the city of Hanau, near Frankfurt. Shisha bars are popular meeting places for Germans of Kurdish origin. The killer – who killed his mother and then committed suicide after the attacks – left a letter in which he took responsibility for the killing. In the letter, and in posts on social media – in German on Facebook, and in English on YouTube – the gunman railed against the “mainstream media” and expressed his belief in several conspiracy theories popular in far-right circles around the world. Wednesday attacks continue a worrisome trend of a sharp increase in far-right terrorism in Germany, a trend which has brought about a reorientation of counterterrorism efforts in Germany; the creation of a new unit within the German domestic intelligence service – staffed with 600 counterterrorism specialists — dedicated to monitoring far-right extremism in the country, the expansion of police surveillance powers; and the tightening of gun-ownership laws.

  • Terror in Germany

    Tobias R., the 43-year of gunman who killed nine people in Hanau was active online: He published a 24-page “manifesto” on his Facebook page, and posted a video on his YouTube channel (his postings have been removed from the web). His postings repeat many of the conspiracy theories popular in far-right circles, but experts say that unlike other far-right terrorists – most recently at Christchurch, Poway, El Paso, and Halle – he was probably not part of the 8chan and 4chan image board radical right scene. In the hours after the attack, many users on these boards complained that because he failed to run a live video of his attack, there would be few imitators who would follow him, and complained that the fact that he shot into two crowded restaurants but managed to kill only nine people would make white terrorists look like idiots. Tobias R. appears to be obsessed with the idea that an unknown, all-knowing secret service is not only spying on his every move: that secret service can also read his mind.

  • Terror in Germany

    Wednesday’s massacre in the German town of Hanau, 25 kilometers east of Frankfurt confirmed the worst fears of Germany’s top security officials. They have been preparing for months for more far-right violence, and the shooting by a lone wolf gunman in Hanau, leaving nine dead at two hookah bars, is the type of attack that’s been preoccupying them. From Germany to Britain, alarm has been rising across Europe about the terror threat from fringe far-right groups and their supporters. Analysts and intelligence officials say the groups have been studying the tactics of jihadist factions, such as the Islamic State terror group, and copying their bomb-making methods and social-media propaganda techniques, using YouTube and messaging platforms to radicalize others and to shape their own lone wolf killers.

  • 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.