• ExtremismWhite Supremacist Groups Thriving on Facebook

    Dozens of white supremacist groups are operating freely on Facebook, allowing them to spread their message and recruit new members. The findings, more than two years after Facebook hosted an event page for the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, cast doubt on the company’s claims that it’s effectively monitoring and dealing with hate groups. What’s more, Facebook’s algorithms create an echo chamber that reinforces the views of white supremacists and helps them connect with each other.

  • ExtremismSocial Media Platforms Can Contribute to Dehumanizing Other People

    A recent analysis of discourse on Facebook highlights how social media and an individual’s sense of identity can be used to dehumanize entire groups of people. “Fundamentally, we wanted to examine how online platforms can normalize hatred and contribute to dehumanization,” says one researcher. “And we found that an established model of the role identity plays in intractable conflicts seems to explain a great deal of this behavior.”

  • ExtremismU.S. Domestic Islamist Extremism 2019

    There was a 50 percent increase in arrests and plots linked to domestic Islamist extremism in 2019, according to data released last week by ADL’s Center on Extremism. There were a total of 30 arrests linked to domestic Islamist extremism, nine of which were for terror plots. Of the nine individuals arrested for plotting attacks, seven were U.S. citizens. While there were no attacks or murders linked to domestic Islamist extremism last year, the findings indicate that Islamist extremism still poses a significant threat to the United States.

  • ExtremismGermany Sees Rise in Anti-Semitic, Political Crimes

    Germany saw a rise both far-right and far-left crimes in 2019, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. The country’s police recorded just over 41,000 cases of politically motivated crime last year, representing a rise of 14.2 percent compared to 2018, when there were just over 36,000. “The biggest threat comes from the far-right, we have to see that clearly,” Seehofer said.

  • TerrorismIS Returnees Should Be Charged with War Crimes: EU Agency

    More than 13,000 citizens of European countries traveled to Syria and Iraq to join, fight, or work with ISIS. In addition to former fighters, this figure includes women and children. A new report from an EU-backed genocide investigation body says that adding war crimes and genocide to terrorism charges for IS fighters returning to the EU will lead to tougher sentences and “more justice” for victims.

  • TerrorismHow the Coronavirus Increases Terrorism Threats in the Developing World

    By Nisha Bellinger and Kyle Kattelman

    As the coronavirus reaches developing countries in Africa and Asia, the pandemic will have effects beyond public health and economic activity. As the disease wreaks its havoc in areas poorly equipped to handle its spread, terrorism likely will increase there as well.

  • BioterrorismTerrorists could use coronavirus as example for future biological attack

    Terrorism experts are warning that the coronavirus pandemic could be used as a template for future biological attacks by either state or non-state actors. Security experts with the Council of Europe say that terrorists, assessing the impact of the coronavirus, would now recognize the fact that they can use biological weapons to inflict a major blow on Western countries (or, for that matter, on any country). According to these experts, the virus has exposed how vulnerable modern societies are.

  • ExtremismLeader of British Far-Right Group Convicted under Terrorism Law

    Paul Golding, 38, the leader of the British far-right political group Britain First, has been found guilty of an offense under the Terrorism Act after refusing to give police access to his mobile phone on his return from a political trip to Russia.

  • ExtremismBoogaloo Supporters Animated by Lockdown Protests, Recent Incidents

    Across the country, boogalooers are energized by resistance to lockdown restrictions, which they view as tyrannical government overreach. Boogaloo adherents have shown up at numerous lockdown protests, waving boogaloo signs, wearing Hawaiian shirts, and carrying firearms, sometimes illegally. These boogalooers are part of an embryonic, decentralized movement that organizes largely online but whose presence has increasingly been felt in the real world. While boogaloo supporters hail from a variety of movements, and include some white supremacists who advocate for race war, the lockdown protests have largely featured the anti-government version of the boogaloo favored by the militia, gun rights, and anarcho-capitalist movements. Boogaloo advocates are talking openly about providing protection for local businesses determined to reopen in violation of state mandates. The presence of these frequently armed protesters could escalate already tense situations.

  • Hemispheric securityVenezuela Failed Raid: U.S. Has a History of Using Mercenaries to Undermine Other Regimes

    By Andrew Thomson

    In early May, the Venezuelan military intercepted a group of dissidents and American mercenaries. These events in Venezuela echo past U.S. secret sponsorship of private armies to overthrow governments elsewhere. The U.S. has an extended history of sponsoring insurgents and mercenaries to undermine unwanted foreign regimes.

  • PerspectiveSome Synthetic Biology May Not be Covered by the Biological Weapons Convention

    The study of viruses once challenged the world’s notion of what is “biological,” and for a time it was not clear whether viruses were regulated by the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Durward Johnson and James Kraska write that “SynBio and its convergence with emerging technologies may create weapons not currently banned by universal disarmament obligations or customary international law, and this legal gap raises the prospect of weaponization of nonbiological threat agents tailor-made to create targeted effects. These tactical biotechnological capabilities could have potentially strategic consequences and yet may fall outside the existing regime.”

  • TerrorismCOVID-19 and Terrorism: Assessing the Short and Long-Term Impacts

    A new report reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic is already having a significant impact on terrorism around the world. “One genuine concern is that COVID-19 may lead to a resurgence in interest among terrorists for using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons,” says one expert. “While serious obstacles certainly remain, the huge impact of COVID-19 may re-ignite some interest in biological weapons.”

  • TerrorismData on Islamic State Attacks Could be Masking Growing Problem, Some Fear

    By Jeff Seldin

    Across Iraq and Syria there is a growing sense of unease that when it comes to the Islamic State terror group, data showing the jihadist force on its heels should not be trusted. While the U.S.-led military coalition argues Islamic State is a shadow of its former self, some officials with U.S. partner forces argue the terror group has actually become more powerful and more dangerous.

  • ExtremismAnti-Semitic Incidents in U.S. Hit All-Time High in 2019

    The American Jewish community experienced the highest level of anti-Semitic incidents last year since tracking began in 1979, with more than 2,100 acts of assault, vandalism and harassment reported across the United States. The record number of incidents came as the Jewish community grappled with violent and lethal anti-Semitic attacks against communities in Poway, Jersey City and Monsey, and a spree of violent assaults in Brooklyn.

  • Ethnic cleansingRussian, Syrian Forces Continue a Campaign of War Crimes in Syria: Amnesty

    In a new report, Amnesty International offers details of a continuing Syrian and Russian campaign to destroy hospitals, clinics, and schools in the Sunni-majority province of Idlib, in order to drive as many Sunnis as possible out of Syria. Since 2011, the Assad regime has conducted the largest ethnic cleansing campaign since the Second World War, aiming to change the ethnic composition of Syria. “Even by the standards of Syria’s calamitous nine-year crisis, the displacement and humanitarian emergency sparked by the latest onslaught on Idlib has been unprecedented,” said Amnesty.