• U.S. diplomats call for "targeted military air strikes" against Assad's government

    More than fifty U.S. diplomats have circulated an internal memo to fellow Department of State employees, criticizing the administration’s policies in Syria and calling for air strikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s government forces. The “dissent channel cable” was signed by fifty-one mid-to high-level State Department officials involved in advising on Syria policy. The document calls for “targeted military air strikes” against Assad’s government.

  • ISIS has committed a genocide against the Yazidis: UN

    ISIS has committed the crime of genocide as well as multiple crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Yazidis, thousands of whom are held captive in the Syrian Arab Republic where they are subjected to almost unimaginable horrors. A new UN report says ISIS has sought to destroy the Yazidis through killings, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm, and the infliction of conditions of life that bring about a slow death.

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  • Former IDF general: Hezbollah could fire 1,200 rockets daily into Israel during next war

    A former IDF general warned Israelis earlier this week that the next war with the Iran-backed Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah would lead to a barrage of rockets into Israel on an order of magnitude higher than anything Israel has yet faced. Major General (res.) Yitzhak Gershon said that the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah featured up to 160 rockets per day fired at Israel’s north. But given Hezbollah’s military buildup, “we need to expect up to 1,200 rockets in a day– it will be a completely different scenario from anything we’ve known.”

  • Labor MP killed near Leeds by gunman shouting “Britain First!”

    Jo Cox, 41, a Labor MP for Batley and Spen, has been shot and stabbed to death Thursday by a man shouting “Britain First!” She was attacked outside a library in the town of Birstall, West Yorkshire. Cox has been campaigning for the United Kingdom to stay in the EU – the referendum on this question is to be held Thursday, 23 June. Britain First, founded in 2011, is a far-right political party campaigning against immigration, multiculturalism, and what it sees as the Islamization of Britain. Members of Britain First conduct what they call “Christian patrols” outside of mosques and the homes of Muslim leaders.

  • Jo Cox’s killer is a neo-Nazi with ties to U.S., South African White supremacist groups

    Thomas Mair, the 52-year old Briton who on Thursday killed Jo Cox, the Labor MP, was a neo-Nazi with ties to U.S. and South African White supremacist groups. Mair has also purchased books from a U.S.-based neo-Nazi group, including manuals on how to build homemade guns and explosives. The police found a manual in his home on how to make a homemade pistol. Mair mail-ordered the books and manuals from National Vanguard Books in Hillsboro, West Virginia. The bookstore is owned by the National Alliance, which advocates the creation of an all-white homeland and the eradication of Jewish people.

  • The Orlando shooting: exploring the link between hate crimes and terrorism

    Some are calling the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub an act of terrorism. Others are calling it a hate crime against the LGBT community. President Obama declared it an “act of terror and an act of hate.” Can it be both? The Orlando tragedy demonstrates the importance of exploring difficult questions. For example, are terrorists who commit acts of hate and terrorists who target the government radicalized the same way? Are perpetrators motivated by far-right extremist views similar to those motivated by jihadist extremism? What factors helped push these perpetrators to violence, and what steps can be taken to stop it from occurring again? Answering these questions may help law enforcement identify, investigate, prosecute, and ideally thwart those who seek to turn to violence to achieve their goals.

  • “We don't have religious tests here”: Obama slams Trump’s call for singling out Muslims – including Muslim Americans -- for a different treatment

    On Tuesday, following a meeting with the National Security Council, President Barack Obama delivered remarks on the U.S. fight against ISIS. Obama used the second part of his speech for a pointed, and compelling, lecture on how, during the current political season, Americans should be careful to take the measure of politicians whose proposals evince no grasp or appreciation of the country’s core values and founding principles. This careful consideration is required because, in the name of securing the country against terrorism, there are simplistic, even absurd, nostrums being recklessly put forth as a panacea.

  • Germans should watch for signs of radicalization among their acquaintances: German interior minister

    The German and French interior ministers discuss cooperation between the two countries in the war in terror. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has encouraged Germans to share evidence of radicalization. He said that radicalization of potential terrorists takes places not only online, but also often begins in a person’s social sphere.

  • Report: Hezbollah has more rockets than 27 NATO countries combined

    Any future war between Israel and Hezbollah will take a devastating toll on civilians due to the Iran-backed terrorist group’s practice of embedding its military assets in residential areas, military analysts say. Hezbollah currently has a stockpile of over 130,000 rockets, more than the combined arsenal of all NATO countries, with the exception of the United States.

  • Terrorism and tourism: what cities should do to prepare for an attack

    Citizens of the U.S. and the world were deeply shocked and saddened when a gunman shot and killed about fifty patrons at an Orlando nightclub this past weekend. While the shooter’s primary targets were the people enjoying an evening out, a secondary object of such incidents is typically tourism, with the aim of terrorizing a population so much that people don’t travel there, thereby harming the economy. An examination of how cities and other destinations react to shootings and other situations that negatively affect tourism reveals that there are several important lessons about what cities can do to assure tourists they can maintain their safety. Destinations that take a greater leadership role and provide accurate, relevant, and timely information to their visitors are more likely to win in this zero sum game. Those that are unorganized or silent are more likely to lose. Ultimately, tourists vote with their pocketbooks, and a destination’s relative safety may determine where they take their next trip.

  • French police commander, partner killed by ISIS follower

    Larossi Abballa, a 25-year old French man who had served time for taking part in a jihadi recruitment network and claiming allegiance to IS, stabbed a Paris police commander and his partner at their home, in front of the 3-year old child, before being killed by a SWAT team which stormed their home. ISIS claimed the killing was part of a new campaign targeting French law enforcement personnel.

  • Orlando shooter may have struggled with his sexual orientation

    U.S. law enforcement is looking into a new angle to the Orlando massacre: Mateen’s sexual orientation. The former wife and acquaintances of Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed forty-nine people in an Orlando club, have said he may have struggled with his sexual orientation. Mateeen had been a regular at the Pulse, and tried to pick up men on gay chats and gay dating apps. “We are working to understand what role anti-gay bigotry may have played in motivating this attack,” FBI director James Comey said, adding: “But we are highly confident that this killer was radicalized and at least in some part through the Internet.”

  • 9/11 Report’s 28-page classified section will clear Saudi Arabia: CIA director

    CIA director John O. Brennan said that if the still-classified twenty-eight pages of the 9/11 Commission Report are published, they will clear Saudi Arabia of any involvement in the terrorist attack. Brennan told Saudi-owned Arabiya TV: “I think the 28 pages will be published, and I support their publication. Everyone will see the evidence that the Saudi government had nothing to do with it.”

  • More than 8,000 arrested in Bangladesh in anti-Islamist crackdown

    Security forces in Bangladesh have arrested 3,245 people in the last twenty-four hours as part of broad campaign to put an end to a wave of Islamist violence against minorities, human rights activists, and pro-democracy bloggers. The total number of Islamists, and those suspected of Islamist sympathies, arrested since the campaign began last Friday no stands at 8,192, according the Bangladesh government sources.

  • More mass killings, violent repression in Africa as Islamist groups expand operations

    Africa dominates the list of states that have risen most prominently in the Peoples Under Threat index this year as conflicts involving Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, and ISIS-affiliated forces affect more states, while numerous old conflicts are reactivated. While a significant rise in the Peoples under Threat index provides early indication of risk in the future, the mass killing of civilians is already under way in the African states at the top of the index.