• ISISIs the Islamic State finished? Five possible scenarios

    By James L. Gelvin

    Most military analysts believe it’s only a matter of time before Mosul falls. The next target on the coalition’s agenda is Raqqa, Syria, the capital of IS. It may only be a matter of time before IS’s territorial “caliphate” is no more. What then will be the fate of IS? Can the group survive without controlling any territory? Will it rebound? Or will it disappear? Whatever the case, history provides lessons on how effectively to deal with movements and individuals who wage war against the international order. For example, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, anarchists struck out at rulers and symbols of capitalism throughout the world. Then, suddenly, the wave of anarchist violence ceased. Historians point to a number of reasons the anarchist moment passed. Anarchism competed for hearts and minds with other dissident groups. Nations undertook political and social reforms that addressed the grievances of potential anarchists. They adopted new methods of policing and surveillance. Police agencies cooperated across borders. But perhaps most important was the fact that high-risk movements that attempt to realize the unrealizable have a short shelf life. Such might be the case for IS.

  • RadicalizationThe “blind spot” in extremist Web content

    In order better to understand the process of on-line radicalization, researchers examined the average monthly number of global searches and regional search frequencies conducted in Google for 287 Arabic and English keywords relating to violent and non-violent extremism. Further analysis was then conducted within the search results for forty-seven of the relevant keywords to understand placement of extremist and counter-narrative content.

  • view counter
  • RadicalizationRisk of student radicalization in Quebec low

    A new survey of CEGEP students found that the risk of violent radicalization among Quebec youth remains “very weak,” while incidents of racism and hate speech remain common. CEGEP is a network of publicly funded pre‑university colleges in the province of Quebec’s education system – similar to U.S. community colleges.

  • Fashion terrorParis venue of Victoria's Secret December show kept secret for fear of terrorism

    Victoria’s Secret officials admitted they were worried about a possible terrorist attack during their 5 December 2016 Fashion Show in Paris. The lingerie company typically announces its annual runway show in the spring of each year — but this year the company waited until Monday, 24 October, to announce this year’s location. Several venues in Paris were considered, until one was selected because the French security services concluded it would be easier to secure.

  • PrivacyCan you be anonymous on the Internet? No, you cannot

    If you still think you can be anonymous on the Internet, a team of Stanford and Princeton researchers has news for you: You cannot. Researchers say most people do not realize how much information they are leaving behind as they browse the Web. Online privacy risks are not new, but the researchers say their research is “another nail in the coffin” to the idea that the average person with the average Web browser can be private online.

  • SurveillanceWe are watching you: U.K. CCTV strategy

    There are over six million CCTV cameras in the United Kingdom – one CCTV camera for every ten citizens. This number does not include body-cam footage, unmanned aerial vehicles, or the automatic number plate recognition system. Britain has 20 percent of the world’s cameras despite being home to less than one percent of its population. In 2015, turnover for the video and CCTV surveillance sector topped £2.12 billion in the United Kingdom. The government has just released a draft national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales.

  • Hate groupsBavaria wants tighter monitoring of Reichsbürger movement extremists

    The government of the state of Bavaria wants the German federal government to monitor the far-right Reichsbürger movement more closely. The movement resembles the American sovereign citizen movement: It does not recognize the authority of the government in Berlin, and challenge the legality of the German political structure. The Reichsbürger claims that the last legitimate German government was the one elected in November 1932 – and which made Hitler chancellor on 30 January 1933 – and that all German governments since the surrender of Germany on 7 May 1945 have been illegitimate.

  • Hate groupsGermany's far-right, populist, xenophobic movements on the rise

    There have been many extremist right-wing, nationalist, populist, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigration groups and movements in Germany (and, earlier, West Germany). Currently, the German intelligence and law enforcement agencies are monitoring about three dozen groups, associations, fellowships, movements, open networks, and organized political parties. The German authorities say there are 22,600 registered members of right-wing extremist groups in Germany, and that 8,000 of them have proven themselves ready to use violence.

  • Chemical weaponsISIL uses toxic chemicals in its defense of Mosul

    In the run up to the U.S.-led coalition campaign to liberate Mosul, U.S. officials warned that ISIS would likely use chemical weapons to slow down the progress of coalition forces and terrorize the residents. Last Thursday ISIS took the first step in its chemical strategy by setting ablaze the Mishraq Chemical plant and sulphur mine, located thirty km south of Mosul. The toxic cloud includes lethal sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. When combined with residue from burning oil wells, it is deadly for people caught in the open or without gas masks. Military experts say health effects from the toxic fumes from oil and sulphur will likely subside in about eighteen months, but the toxic clouds could harm much of the plant and animal life in the area and make it difficult for local farmers to return to their fields until then.

  • Nuclear materialsSuspension of U.S.-Russia plutonium disposal agreement a setback: Expert

    Earlier this week the lower house of the Russian parliament approved President Vladimir Putin’s decree on suspending the U.S.-Russian Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA), which requires each nation to dispose of thirty-four metric tons of plutonium from its dismantled nuclear weapons and military stockpiles. Russia has claimed that the United States is violating the agreement by changing its disposition method from irradiating the plutonium as mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for commercial nuclear reactors to a process called dilute and dispose, but a nuclear expert says that the United States has not violated the terms of the PMDA by proposing that it change its plutonium disposition approach.

  • Manmade earthquakesWastewater disposal induced 2016 Magnitude 5.1 Oklahoma earthquake

    Distant wastewater disposal wells likely induced the third largest earthquake in recent Oklahoma record, the 13 February 2016, magnitude 5.1 event roughly thirty-two kilometers northwest of Fairview, Oklahoma. at the time, the Fairview earthquake was the largest event in the central and eastern United States since a 2011 magnitude 5.7 struck Prague, Oklahoma.

  • RefugeesRefugees and terrorism -- “No evidence of risk”: UN

    “Overly-restrictive migration policies introduced because of terrorism concerns are not justified and may in fact be damaging to state security,” warned the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, at the UN General Assembly in New York. The perception that there is a link between to flow of refugees and an increased risk of terrorism “is analytically and statistically unfounded, and must change,” he said.

  • OversightCalls for creating centralized congressional focus on homeland security

    In preparation for the organization of the 115th Congress, the co-chairs of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense last week delivered a letter to Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chair of the Committee on Rules, asking that special consideration be given to the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The letter says that current congressional oversight structure is severely fractured, resulting in reactive policymaking that threatens America’s ability to combat biological threats.

  • TerrorismArgentina requests extradition of former Iranian FM for role in 1994 Jewish Center bombing

    Argentina has requested the extradition of Iran’s former foreign minister due to his alleged role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aries. Argentinian authorities suspect five senior Iranian officials, including Ali Akbar Velayati and former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of being involved in the bombing, which killed eighty-five people and is the deadliest-ever terror attack on Argentinian soil.

  • BioterrorismFunding for broad spectrum prophylaxis, treatment for bioterrorism threats

    The U.K. Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has received funding of up to $6.9 million from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for a program entitled “Inhalational ciprofloxacin for improved protection against biowarfare agents.” The inhalational ciprofloxacin formulations used in this program are Aradigm’s proprietary investigational drugs Pulmaquin and Lipoquin.