• White Supremacists Embrace "Accelerationism"

    Accelerationism is a term white supremacists have assigned to their desire to hasten the collapse of society as we know it. The term is widely used by those on the fringes of the movement, who employ it openly and enthusiastically on mainstream platforms, as well as in the shadows of private, encrypted chat rooms. 

  • Pentagon Report: U.S. Pullout from Syria Strengthens Terrorists

    The hasty decision by President Trump to pull most U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria in early October has strengthened the Islamic State terrorist group in that country, despite the U.S. military’s recent killing of the group’s leader, according to a new Pentagon assessment.

  • The Cost of the Global War on terror: $6.4 trillion, 801,000 Lives

    The estimated cost to the United States of America’s counterterrorism efforts, launched nearly two decades ago in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, stands at $6.4 trillion. An estimated $5.4 trillion of that total has funded, and will continue to fund, counterterrorism wars and smaller operations in more than 80 countries; an additional minimum of $1 trillion will provide care for veterans of those wars through the next several decades.

  • Do People Regard Terrorism More Important after Major Attacks?

    Paris, Brussels, Nice, Manchester and Barcelona: over the past years, the European Union has regularly been shaken by terrorist attacks. But what is the true impact of terrorism? Researchers looked at ten jihadi attacks and concluded that there are major differences between European countries.

  • Accelerationism: The Obscure Idea Inspiring White Supremacist Killers around the World

    In late July, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases in the United States “are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.” Recent white supremacist terrorists were often linked to the alt-right, but Zack Beauchamp writes that these killers “are more tightly connected to a newer and more radical white supremacist ideology”: It’s called “accelerationism.”

  • Worried about an Islamic State Comeback? Here's Why That's Unlikely

    When President Trump hastily decided to withdrew U.S. forces from northern Syria, giving a green light for Turkey to invade, many, including those not typically critical of the president, worried that a U.S. withdrawal would give the Islamic State a chance to rise again. “The Islamic State may make modest gains with the United States gone — but as the Baghdadi raid reveals, the U.S.-led counterterrorism campaign will not end and a full comeback is unlikely,” Daniel Byman writes.

  • Trinidad’s Islamic State Problem

    One of the most alarming aspects of the Islamic State has been its ability to draw recruits and sympathizers from around the world, but not only from countries known as hotbeds of radicalism. It may come as a surprise to many that, on a per-capita basis, Trinidad was one of the largest providers of volunteers for the caliphate. How did Trinidad get to this point in the first place?

  • FBI Releases Lone Offender Terrorism Report

    The FBI’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Center (BTAC) on Wednesday released its Lone Offender Terrorism Report. The study, reflecting BTAC’s focus on past terrorism and targeted violence events, reviewed 52 lone offender terrorist attacks within the United States between 1972 and 2015. The BTAC study compared numerous offender motivational factors encompassing their backgrounds, family and social networks, behavioral characteristics, radicalization, attack planning, and bystander observations.

  • Germany: Far-Right Lawmaker Punished over Anti-Semitism

    German lawmakers on Wednesday, in a move which is unprecedented in modern German history, removed a far-right politician from his position as the chairman of the powerful Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag. The move came after the politician, Stephan Brandner, has repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments. All the parties in the Bundestag, except his own AfD party, voted to strip him of the committee’s chairmanship.

  • The Fractured Terrorism Threat to America

    The Islamic State and its formerly held territory are no longer the incandescent bug lamp for the jihadist scene. “It is clear that the jihadist threat has become fractured, with new and old hazards facing the United States concurrently,” Seamus Hughes and Devorah Margolin write. 

  • The Senate Examines Threats to the Homeland

    On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the evolving threats facing the United States. In their written and opening remarks, the witnesses outlined a dizzyingly broad array of threats—from domestic and international terrorism to transnational organized crime, cyber and economic espionage, election interference, data insecurity, and potential chemical and biological attacks on the homeland. As the hearing wore on, senators’ questions and witness testimony narrowed in scope, focusing primarily on three aspects of America’s security challenges: how to optimize information sharing to combat domestic terrorism; how to counter Chinese cyber and counterintelligence operations; and how to address the growing problems posed by new technologies, namely, ransomware, cryptocurrency and unmanned aerial systems (UASs).

  • Why a 1972 Northern Ireland Murder Matters So Much to Historians

    In a recent decision, a court in Northern Ireland ruled that evidence from an oral history project could not be considered in a 1972 murder case, clearing 82-year-old Ivor Bell of soliciting the killing of Jean McConville. Evidence from the Belfast Project, an oral history of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, indicated Bell and other members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) kidnapped and murdered McConville because they incorrectly believed she had provided information to the British Army about IRA activity in Belfast. This evidence played an important role in Bell’s indictment and trial in the McConville case. This ordeal strained the relationship between legal justice and historical truth, Donald M. Beaudette and Laura Weinstein write. “Though in court, lawyers, judges and juries assess the guilt of alleged offenders according to well-honed rules of evidence and interpretations of the law, assessing historical truth is more complex,” they write. They argue that scholars “can and must write and speak more broadly about how historical interpretation works, so citizens are better equipped to understand that the dominant interpretation of history is not the only one, nor is it necessarily the correct one.”

  • West Has No Response to Iran’s Increasing Dominance of the Middle East

    A new, detailed study says that over the past forty years Iran has built a network of nonstate alliances which has allowed it to turn the balance of “effective” power in the region “in its favor.” In a report released today (7 November), the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) says the United States and its regional allies retain superiority in conventional forces over Iran, but that Iran has been able to counter both the U.S. military superiority and the ever-more-severe economic sanctions imposed on Iran by building “networks of influence” with proxies which allow Tehran to have a major influence over the affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen.

  • Salad Bars and Water Systems Are Easy Targets for Bioterrorists – and America’s Monitoring System Is Woefully Inadequate

    By Ana Santos Rutschman

    I teach food and drug law at Saint Louis University’s Center for Health Law Studies. While monitoring pathogens likely to pose severe threats to public health, my colleagues and I spend a lot of time studying viruses and bacteria that are very hard to obtain, like anthrax or the plague. One less-known facet of bioterrorism, however, is that simpler pathogens like salmonella, a bacterium found in many types of food, can also be used to deliberately harm people. In fact, the largest bioterrorism attack in American history started at the salad bars of a handful of restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

  • The Realists Are Wrong About Syria

    Trump’s 6 October peremptory decision to pull back about 100 U.S. soldiers from their positions embedded with Kurdish forces in northern Syria was met with scathing criticism across the political spectrum – with one notable exception: Qualified words of praise for Trump’s Syria policy came from one corner of the U.S. foreign-policy discourse: academics who embrace an approach to U.S. foreign policy variously called restraint, offshore balancing, neorealism, or defensive realism.