• Lessons from a former Somali refugee on the fight against Islamist extremism

    Nobody could seriously argue that Islam is a united body. It is more accurately understood as a culture in the grip of a brutal civil war—between Shi’a and Sunni, between secular authoritarians and radical clerics, between competing jihadi schools—that is simultaneously linked, ideologically and operationally, to monstrous acts of terrorism against non-Muslims inside and outside the Muslim world. We need to learn from the past by understanding that Islam’s internal fissures can work to our advantage. But there is nothing to be gained from a situation in which the very word “refugee” becomes a pejorative, as is more and more the case in America, or when we face legislative proposals that could, for example, prevent Kurdish Muslims from Iraq and Syria—traditionally our close allies—from entering our country.

  • Sharper focus on the young could help combat terrorism: Experts

    Field research, especially on the ground with youths engaged in violent extremism or susceptible to it, is needed to inform machine learning in mining vast amounts of field data that could improve an understanding of the terrorist threat of groups, such as Islamic State and Al Qaeda, suggests a new research paper.

  • Expert: Conviction of Hezbollah suspect in Peru could unravel Iran’s local terror network

    A successful conviction in the ongoing trial of a suspected Hezbollah operative in Peru could help authorities “unravel the network of operatives and supporters that Hezbollah has erected throughout the country,” an expert says. Mohammad Hamdar was detained in Lima in the fall of 2014 and tested positive for traces of nitroglycerin, an ingredient commonly used in the production of explosives. Authorities believe he may have been seeking soft targets for a terrorist attack, possibly during the U.N. Climate Change Summit in December 2014.

  • “Anonymized” Web browsing history may not be anonymous after all

    Raising further questions about privacy on the internet, researchers have released a study showing that a specific person’s online behavior can be identified by linking anonymous Web browsing histories with social media profiles. The new research shows that anyone with access to browsing histories — a great number of companies and organizations —can identify many users by analyzing public information from social media accounts.

  • At least 32 Jewish Community Centers targeted in second wave of bomb threats

    At least 32 Jewish Community Centers across the United States were subjected to bomb threats on Wednesday, less than ten days after sixteen more JCCs were evacuated after similar threats. JCCs and other Jewish institutions were targeted in the Boston, Miami, Detroit, Cincinnati, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Orlando metro areas, among others. The Anti-Defamation League says that anti-Semitic incidents have spiked since the presidential election.

  • Personal technology aids in criminal proceedings, but poses privacy, rights risks

    Personal technology such as fitness trackers and smartphones that record users’ daily activities are likely to be used increasingly in criminal investigations, raising questions about individuals’ rights that the legal system is not yet fully prepared to address. Information such as location, travel patterns, and even physiological details such as heart rate and activity levels could be retrieved from devices as a part of criminal investigations. Such technology offers new tools to law enforcement, but raises unique issues regarding important constitutional rights such as self-incrimination, according to the report.

  • Islamic radicalization in Central Asia is not one-dimensional: Expert

    As Turkish authorities have arrested an Uzbek man as the alleged gunman accused of killing thirty-nine people on New Year’s Day at an Istanbul nightclub, a researcher who studies Central Asia said it would be a mistake in response to view Islamic radicalization as one-dimensional in the former Soviet states.

  • U.K. government must face kidnapping, torture claims in rendition case: U.K. court

    The U.K. highest court has ruled that former foreign secretary Jack Straw, MI6, and the U.K. government must stand trial for their participation in the 2004 kidnapping of a Libyan dissident and his wife. The unanimous ruling by the seven justices said that the rendition and torture of Abdel Hakim Belhaj breached rights enshrined in the Magna Carta, and should be put before an English court.

  • EU’s counterterrorism laws are Orwellian: Amnesty

    Sweeping new laws are driving Europe into a deep and dangerous state of permanent securitization, Amnesty International said on the publication of a comprehensive human rights analysis of counter-terrorism measures across fourteen EU member states. Amnesty International says that its latest report — Dangerously disproportionate: The ever-expanding national security state in Europe — reveals how a deluge of laws and amendments passed with break-neck speed, is undermining fundamental freedoms and dismantling hard-won human rights protections.

  • Is mass murder becoming a form of protest?

    If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people – no matter how angry they are – shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds. Yet mass shootings are on the rise, with the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport just the latest example. I’m fearful that what we’re seeing isn’t just an increase in violence, but the normalization of a habit, a new behavior recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are. That is, I’m afraid that mass murder may be becoming – to the horror of almost all of us, but to the liking of a violent few – a form of protest. The terrifying part is that once protest tools become part of the repertoire, they are diffused across movements and throughout society. Perhaps that’s why we see such a range of motivations among these mass murderers. It has become an obvious way to express an objection, and the discontented know they can get their point across.

  • FBI arrests wife of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen

    Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Mateen, the gunman who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when he killed forty-nine people at an Orlando, Florida, night club, was arrested by the FBI in San Francisco. she is expected to face charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice.

  • Tunisian police deliberately delayed responding to 2015 terrorist massacre at beach resort

    An inquest into the shooting rampage in Tunisia that killed thirty Britons and other victims, was told that Tunisian security forces deliberately slowed down responding to the terrorist attack on holidaymakers in a beach hotel. A local investigation in Tunisia criticized the police for stalling on purpose as they made their way to the scene of the killings.

  • Six years after first attempt, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed

    Bills targeting “sanctuary cities” failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2015, but similar efforts this session have better chances of making it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

  • Whether or not Trump claims are true, Russia is still using sex for spying

    Plenty of observers have justifiably questioned the accuracy of the story about the dossier the Russian intelligence services are supposed to be holding, a dossier allegedly containing compromising personal and business information about Donald Trump. The story’s claims are, after all, both remarkably lurid and conveniently topical, and it is notably light on specific sources. Whatever the truth regarding allegations against Trump, sexual entrapment was, and is, a tool frequently used by the Soviet intelligence services and their modern-day Russian descendants. The claims in the dossier are lurid and unproven, but they draw on very real precedents.

  • High likelihood of large-scale terrorist attacks in 2017: WEF

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) said that large-scale terrorist attacks – not only lone-wolf attacks — are among the likely threats for which states must prepare in 2017. This is the first time large-scale terrorist attacks have made it to the WEF’s annual “Global Risks” report since the report was first launched a dozen years ago: