• Two Boogaloo Followers Charged with Trying to Sell Weapons to, Become Mercenaries for Hamas

    Federal prosecutors charged two self-proclaimed “Boogaloo Boys” with trying to sell weapons to someone they believed was a member of the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas for the purpose of attacking Israeli and U.S. soldiers. Prosecutors said that the two also considered becoming “mercenaries” for Hamas in order to raise funds for and boost the reputation of the Boogaloo movement.

  • To Prevent Extremist Violence in the United States, Think Beyond the Homeland Security Box

    Over the past decade, with the FBI focused on surveilling and otherwise investigating suspected terrorists, the United States has relied on the Department of Homeland Security to work with local law enforcement, municipalities and communities to strengthen their capacity to prevent violent extremism. “Our research and experience shows that the department’s emphasis on security can be counterproductive and that the most promising strategies can be found in models and partnerships led by actors not involved in security,” Eric Rosand, and Stevan Weine write.

  • As Trial Begins in Paris for Charlie Hebdo Attack, the Magazine Republishes Cartoons of Mohammed

    Yesterday (Wednesday, 2 September 2020), the trial of fourteen people, accused of participating in the plot to attack the editorial offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015, begins in a Paris court. As the trial begins, the magazine is reposting the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad who had made the satirical weekly a target of jihadists.

  • Charlie Hebdo, Freedom or Death

    The pencil against the Kalashnikov, the schoolboy humor against the holy war … At first glance, yes, the battle is lost. The more so as a constant cowardice dressed in silliness makes entire sections of society fall into the trap of the fight against “Islamophobia.” Saint Matthew said that “It is the violent who win.” Our enemies choose the targets, not the other way around. That’s why we must not give up. History bears witness to this: it is when it is sure of its strength, of its rights, that the free country prevails over the “violent.”

  • How Do Terrorists Make Decisions?

    A new guide, released by CREST, focuses on the insights criminology can provide into terrorist decision-making. It looks at what terrorists do and how they do it. The guide addresses the following questions: How do men and women decide to commit an act of terrorism? Do they plan wisely? How do they choose their targets? How do they evaluate the risk of a single operation? How is decision-making affected by the emotions felt during planning and operational phases? Can law enforcement be usefully informed by what we know about the behaviors of those who commit other kinds of crimes?

  • Watchdog Warns of ‘Limited Progress’ in Africa Counterterror Fight

    Terrorist organizations appear to be tightening their grip on multiple regions of Africa, despite ongoing efforts by the United States and its allies to degrade their capabilities and limit their reach. The findings, part of a new report released Tuesday from the Defense Department inspector general, come as U.S.-led efforts have been forced to adjust, and in some cases, scale back activities because of the coronavirus making its way across the continent.

  • Antifa Protester Suspected of Killing Trump Supporter in Oregon

    For the first time, a self-identified member of the militant movement known as antifa has been implicated in a fatal shooting and is reportedly under investigation in the killing of a supporter of President Donald Trump on Saturday in Portland, Oregon. If Reinoehl is implicated in the case, it would mark the first time in recent years that an antifa supporter has been charged with homicide, said Brian Levin, an expert on terrorism and extremist movements. Gary LaFree, a University of Maryland criminologist, says “We’re getting these situations where people with opposing perspectives are going in as volunteers” to enforce their views in violent ways, while the police “are not exactly sure what to do in this circumstance,” he said. “I think it’s going to be inevitable if you keep having situations like this, things are going to get out of hand.”

  • What – or Who – Is Antifa?

    The movement called “antifa” gets its name from a short form of “anti-fascist,” which is about the only thing its members agree on. Antifa as a decentralized collection of individual activists who mostly use nonviolent methods to achieve their ends. There are more militant anti-fascists, too, who mostly engage in non-militant activism but are willing, at times, to use more confrontational tactics. These people are more open to counterprotesting, sabotage and the use of force, which includes acts of violence.

  • Something Is Happening Here: The Portland Killing, Pt. 1

    On Saturday, a follower of antifa allegedly shot and killed Aaron Danielson, a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer. Experts on terrorism and extremist movements note that if the charges against the alleged shooter are proven, then, as far as can be ascertained, this will be the first killing by an antifa follower. The important question is whether the killing is a one-off, or whether it signifies something deeper and more menacing. Gary LaFree, a University of Maryland criminologist, said: “We’re getting these situations where people with opposing perspectives are going in as volunteers” to enforce their views in violent ways. “I think it’s going to be inevitable if you keep having situations like this, things are going to get out of hand.”

  • Germany: 1980 Oktoberfest Bombing a “Far-Right Attack”

    Investigators had initially thought the attacker’s personal stress led to one of the deadliest attacks in Germany’s post-war history. But authorities now officially say he was deeply involved with far-right extremism.

  • Brother of Manchester Bomber Given 55-years Jail Sentence

    A court in Britain on Thursday sentenced Hashem Abedi, the younger brother of the suicide bomber who set off an explosion on 22 May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, to a minimum of 55 years in jail. Among the 22 killed were seven children, the youngest aged eight. The blast injured 237 people while hundreds more were reported to have suffered from psychological trauma.

  • In COVID’s Shadow, Global Terrorism Goes Quiet. But We Have Seen This Before, and Should Be Wary

    Have we flattened the curve of global terrorism? In our COVID-19-obsessed news cycle, stories about terrorism and terrorist attacks have largely disappeared. But as is the case with epidemics, terrorism works as a phenomenon that depends on social contact and exchange, and expands rapidly in an opportunistic fashion when defenses are lowered. In fact, we have contributed, through military campaigns, to weakening the body politic of host countries in which groups like al-Qaeda, IS and other violent extremist groups have a parasitic presence. We now need to face the inconvenient truth that toxic identity politics and the tribal dynamics of hate have infected Western democracies. Limiting the scope for terrorist attacks is difficult. Eliminating the viral spread of hateful extremism is much harder, but ultimately even more important.

  • How a New Administration Might Better Fight White Supremacist Violence

    In the last four years, violence linked to white supremacy has eclipsed jihadi violence as the predominant form of terrorism in the United States, the Brookings Institution’s Dan Byman writes. “U.S. bureaucracies are slowly moving forward despite discouragement or indifference from on high,” he writes, noting that DHS has elevated the importance of white supremacist violence, and that the State Department has designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), an ultranationalist white supremacist group, as a terrorist organization — the first time the State Department ever designated a white supremacist group as such. What might a new administration do to more effectively target white supremacist violence? Byman highlight seven areas in which the new administration may want to take action

  • Islamic State Holding on in Philippines, Despite Millions in U.S. Spending

    Hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars and hundreds of hours spent working with and training Philippine government forces appear to be doing little to dislodge Islamic State fighters entrenched in the country’s south. The assessment, part of a just-released Pentagon report, warns that at best, U.S.-supported efforts in the Philippines have fought IS and other terror groups to a stalemate, with Philippine forces unable to gain the upper hand.

  • How Do We Know Whether a Virus Is Bioengineered?

    Since the onset of the pandemic, theories – or, rather, conspiracy theories – and no-evidence assertions argued that the coronavirus was intentionally engineered by Chinese scientists as a potential bioweapon, despite the consensus of scientists and intelligence experts that the virus’s genetics indicate that it is most likely a zoonotic pathogen. The scientists relied on a Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) analysis to reach their conclusion, but there are other detection tools – trouble is, these other tools may be used to engineer viruses for bioattacks.