• Hezbollah and allies win majority in Lebanon elections

    The steady growth of Iran’s influence in the Middle East is continuing. After the victories of Iran’s allies in Iraq and Syria, and the growing influence of Iran-supported groups in Yemen, Sunday brought more good news for Iran. The Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its allies are expected to take more than half the seats in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections. Reuters reports that results from Lebanon’s parliamentary elections indicate that the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its political allies would gain a simple majority.

  • Assad will be killed, his regime toppled if Iran attacks from Syria: Israeli official

    An Israeli government minister on Monday threatened that Israel could kill Syrian President Bashar Assad if his government does not prevent Iranian forces from launching attacks against Israel from Syrian territory. “If Assad continues to let the Iranians operate from Syrian soil, he should know that he signed his own death warrant and that it will be his end. We will topple his regime,” Yuval Steinitz, a member of the security cabinet and a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said.

  • Ahead of nuke deadline, Israeli company detects unusual activity at Iranian enrichment site

    An Israeli satellite company has published photographs of “unusual” activity at an Iranian enrichment facility, a week before President Donald Trump will make a decision whether or not to continue America’s participation in the 2015 nuclear deal.

  • The crisis in Syria – and how to resolve it

    “Syria could have been the Arab Spring at its best,” says Stanford University’s Russell Berman. “It became complicated, however, because propping up Assad was necessary for Iranian expansionist ambitions, and this amplified the problem of a Shia-versus-Sunni conflict. What’s more, Iran’s entry took place at a point in time when the Obama administration was eager to avoid any conflict with Tehran, so it could negotiate the nuclear deal. This gave Iran and Assad a free hand. In other words, success with Tehran meant bloodshed in Damascus.”

  • U.S. citizens responsible for vast majority of Islamist terror plots in the U.S.

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) the other day released new data and analysis of 98 Islamist extremist plots and attacks in the United States over the past sixteen years. Among the key findings: the vast majority — a full 90 percent — of the plots and attacks were carried out by U.S. citizens or individuals living in the country with lawful permanent or temporary status.

  • “Assadism” is destroying Syria – here’s where it came from

    As Syrian president Bashar al-Assad prosecutes his 18th year in office, he is presenting himself as a secular leader in a sea of Islamist extremism and terror. But his record makes a mockery of that claim. However long he stays in office, he will forever be remembered a president who oversaw the devastation of his country and resorted to hideous attacks on civilians in order to remain in power. And as for Assad’s pretentions to secularism, the foundations of his government’s supposed ideology were cast away even before he succeeded his father as president.

  • Fake news, the First Amendment, and failure in the marketplace of ideas

    The rise of social media and fake news challenge long-held assumptions about the First Amendment and are undermining the functioning of the “the marketplace of ideas,” a Duke professor argues. “There are a number of very specific ways in which the structure and operation of today’s digital media ecosystem favors falsity over truth; and this shifting balance raises some troubling implications for how we think about the First Amendment,” he says.

  • As drought returns, experts say Texas cities aren't conserving enough water

    Three years after one of the worst droughts in Wichita Falls history, life is returning to normal. But as Texas creeps back into a drought, water experts say residents in the city and around the state can do more to conserve water and prepare for the next shortage, which is always on the horizon.

  • Basque ETA separatists announce they are 'completely' dissolving

    The Basque militant group ETA has announced it would disband and end its “political initiative” after a 60-year campaign for independence of the Basque region from Spain and France. Spanish officials, however, said they would keep pursuing ETA “terrorists.”

  • Morocco cuts ties with Iran over Western Sahara independence

    Moroccow on Tuesday cut diplomatic ties with Iran after Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita accused Iran and its Lebanese Shi’ite ally, Hezbollah, of training and arming fighters of the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement, with surface-to-air missiles since 2016.

  • DHS S&T awards first Phase 4 award for IOT security

    Atlanta-based Ionic Security is the first company to successfully complete prototype testing and move to the pilot deployment phase as part of DHS S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). SVIP offers up to $800,000 in non-dilutive funding to eligible companies.

  • Climate change not the key driver of conflict, displacement in East Africa

    Over the last fifty years, climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research. “Terms such as climate migrants and climate wars have increasingly been used to describe displacement and conflict, however these terms imply that climate change is the main cause. Our research suggests that socio-political factors are the primary cause while climate change is a threat multiplier,” said one researcher.

  • IAEA saw no “credible evidence” Iran was working on nuclear weapon after 2009

    In December 2015, following a series of inspections, the IAEA issued a report saying that the agency had “no credible” evidence Iran was working on developing a nuclear “explosive device” after 2009 and that the UN’s nuclear watchdog considered the issue “closed.” The IAEA said today (1 May) that the agency stands by those conclusions. The IAEA’s statement ccame after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on 30 April that Israel had documents that showed new “proof” of an Iranian nuclear-weapons plan that could be activated at any time.

  • ISIS not funded by oil: Study

    Oil was never as important to ISIS terrorists as many thought, despite media reports of an oil-related income of as much as $28 million a week, according to a new study. This knowledge supports efforts to weaken terrorist organizations like ISIS, by first understanding how they are funded and how financially stable they are.

  • Muslim radicalization in Britain

    “It is difficult to quantify the extent of Muslim youth radicalization in Britain. Also, we have to be clear about the definition of radicalization. Are we talking about people who are joining extremist organizations or those who just have extremist views? But I agree that there is definitely a general sense that things are not going well here” says an expert on radicalization. “There is no single factor that is driving the youth toward extremism. The issues of identity, alienation, peer pressure, search for a cause, frustration with modernity and acceptance of certain mythological aspects of the Muslim history are all contributing factors.”