• Public placesSecuring Public Places in the Wake of Capitol Violence

    By Colleen Walsh

    In the wake of last week’s assault on the Capitol, experts are considering ways to secure such public spaces now and in the future; how added protective measures will affect public access to America’s most sacred shrines of democracy.

  • ExtremismFurious Extremists Call for More Violence Around Inauguration Day

    In the immediate aftermath of the November 2020 presidential election, pro-Trump and other extremists announced their initial plans to protest President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. While it is impossible for anyone to predict with certainty how the events of the next week may unfold, recent history has shown that we cannot ignore potential threats from political and other right-wing extremists.

  • ExtremismCapitol Siege Raises Questions over Extent of White Supremacist Infiltration of U.S. Police

    By Vida Johnson

    The apparent participation of off-duty officers in the rally that morphed into a siege on the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6 has revived fears about white supremacists within police departments. Reports of officers involved in an attack in which the symbols and language of white supremacy were clearly on display are concerning. But so too, I believe, is a policing culture that may have contributed to the downplaying of the risk of attack before it began and the apparent sympathetic response to attackers displayed by some police officers – they too hint at a wider problem.

  • ARGUMENT: Impeachment & mad kingsNecessary and Insufficient: The Problems Impeachment Does Not Solve

    Congress could not ignore President Donald Trump’s relentless, persistent campaign of Big Lies about the 3 November election—a pattern of behavior that culminated in the president’s move last week to assemble a mob in Washington and loose it on the Capitol. Benjamin Wittes writes that impeachment was, therefore, necessary – but “Impeachment is an awkward remedy in a more practical sense” since “It does nothing to disable Trump in the last seven days of his presidency.” “Congress can remove a president using impeachment but, in the meantime, has to leave the mad king in possession of all of his powers.”

  • SurveillanceFace Surveillance and the Capitol Attack

    By Jason Kelley

    After last week’s violent attack on the Capitol, law enforcement is working overtime to identify the perpetrators. This is critical to accountability for the attempted insurrection. Law enforcement has many, many tools at their disposal to do this, especially given the very public nature of most of the organizing. But the Electronic Frontier Foundations (EFF) says it objects to one method reportedly being used to determine who was involved: law enforcement using facial recognition technologies to compare photos of unidentified individuals from the Capitol attack to databases of photos of known individuals. “There are just too many risks and problems in this approach, both technically and legally, to justify its use,” the EFF says.

  • Democracy watchU.S. Prosecutors Expect to Charge Hundreds of Capitol Rioters

    By Masood Farivar

    U.S. prosecutors say they have identified more than 170 people for potential criminal charges in connection with the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol and that they expect that number to run into the hundreds in the coming weeks as a massive nationwide hunt for the pro-Trump rioters continues.  

  • Armed conflictAn Avalanche of Violence: Revealing Predictable Patterns in Armed Conflicts

    New research finds that human conflict exhibits remarkable regularity despite substantial geographic and cultural differences.

  • Domestic terrorismFBI Issues Alert about Extremists’ Plan to Disrupt Biden’s Inauguration

    The FBI is warning state and local and law enforcement around the country of plans for violent action by right-wing extremists in the day leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden on 20 January. According to the FBI, various right-wing extremist groups are planning a series of protests in the capitals of all fifty states between 16 and 20 January, and in Washington, D.C. between the 17 and 20 of January.

  • Democracy watchU.S. Capitol Mob Highlights 5 Reasons Not to Underestimate Far-Right Extremists

    By Alexander Hinton

    In the wake of the mob incursion that took over the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, it’s clear that many people are concerned about violence from far-right extremists. But they may not understand the real threat. While researching my forthcoming book, It Can Happen Here: White Power and the Rising Threat of Genocide in the U.S., I discovered that there are five key mistakes people make when thinking about far-right extremists. These mistakes obscure the extremists’ true danger.

  • ExtremismExtremists React to Pro-Trump Siege on Capitol

    On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, pro-Trump extremists, including some identified right-wing extremists, stormed the U.S. Capitol building, interrupting the Congressional session affirming the election results and forcing a partial evacuation. In chatrooms and other extremist forums, many people cheered the actions of those at the Capitol, praising the trespassers as patriots who were willing to “stand up” to politicians and the government. many users shared their belief that war is coming, and some encouraged people to be prepared for further action.

  • ExtremismCapitol Hill Riots Prompt Germany to Revisit Online Hate Speech Law

    Numerous social networks were quick to impose bans President Donald Trump, preventing him from continuing to disseminate lies on their platforms, and, more importantly, blocking him from using his social media accounts to incite violence. For many critics, these restrictions came four years too late. The assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters has led to fresh calls in Germany for more restrictions on extremist speech in Germany, too.

  • Democracy watchQAnon and the Storming of the U.S. Capitol: The Offline Effect of Online Conspiracy Theories

    By Marc-André Argentino

    What is the cost of propaganda, misinformation and conspiracy theories? Democracy and public safety, to name just two things. The United States has received a stark lesson on how online propaganda and misinformation have an offline impact.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Democracy watchCybersecurity and the Occupation of the Capitol

    On 6 January, a large number of pro-Trump rioters occupied portions of the U.S. Capitol building to protest and disrupt the counting and certification of electoral votes from the November 2020 election. Herb Lin writes that the significance of this event for American democracy, the rule of law, and the depths of extremism in the U.S. populace will be addressed by others, “but I am compelled to point out this siege has created potentially serious cyber risks for Congress and other affected offices.”

  • Parliament securityGermany Reviews Parliament Security after U.S. Capitol Riot

    The president of Germany’s lower legislative house, Wolfgang Schäuble, on Thursday said officials would examine improvements that could be made to parliamentary security in Germany after the storming of the U.S. Capitol building. Schäuble’s office said he would examine “what conclusions should be drawn from this for the protection of the Bundestag,” as the lower house is called, in light of the scenes from Washington.

  • Terrorism10 People to Stand Trial over 2016 Brussels Bombings

    Ten suspects will face court in the second half of next year over the 2016 Brussels terror attacks which left 32 people dead. One of the defendants was allegedly also involved in the 2015 Paris attacks.