• 3. The Emergence of Lone-Wolf Terrorism

    Recent years saw the emergence of different foreign and now domestic extremist movements — whether motivated by Jihadi preaching or white nationalism — which have adopted and actively advocated via social media a strategy which encourages “lone wolves” to engage in individual acts of violence against a large number of designated enemies.

  • 9. Iran’s Growing Middle East Sway

    The year which ends today saw growing tensions between Iran and the United States. The United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, but the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign, while causing some economic difficulties inside Iran, has failed to dissuade Iran from pursuing its two related strategic goals: Achieve regional hegemony in the Middle East, and shorten the nuclear weapons break-out time, that is, the time it would take Iran to build a functioning nuclear weapon once a decision to do so has been made.

  • ISIS Is Experimenting with This New Blockchain Messaging App

    The Islamic State has discovered blockchain. The technology which powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum promises to revolutionize almost all facets of society, from payment processing to online voting. David Gilbert writes that now ISIS is actively testing a blockchain-based messaging app that could provide everything it needs to thrive: secure, anonymous communication, a tamper-proof repository for beheading videos and other ISIS propaganda, and perhaps most ominously, the ability to transfer cryptocurrency anywhere in the world.

  • Blood and Brexit

    The Troubles is the name given to the bloody war between Nationalists and Unionists in Northern Ireland, a war which began in the late 1960s and ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. In a tiny country of a million and a half people, over three and a half thousand were killed in the Troubles. Almost fifty thousand were seriously injured. Nick Laird, a Northern Irish novelist and poet who experienced the inter-communal violence as a teenager, writes that unless care is taken, one of the consequences of Brexit might be the resumption of violence.

  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: The Politics of the Afghanistan Papers

    The Washington Post last week released 611 documents as part of an investigative project called “The Afghanistan Papers.” Carrie Lee writes that the revelations “are in many cases shocking”: “The trove — a combination of interview notes, memos, and emails — strongly suggests that the U.S. government systematically misled the American people about military, diplomatic, and economic progress in Afghanistan.”

  • A Surge in Referrals of Far-Right Extremists to U.K. Counter-Extremism Program

    The number of far-right radicals referred to the U.K. government’s Prevent counterextremism program has almost doubled in three years, official statistics show: 1,389 people were directed to Prevent in the year to March 2019 because of concerns about their radical-right activities, an annual increase of 6 percent — and a new record. That number is nearly double the figure from 2015-16. The number of suspected Islamist extremists being referred to Prevent in the year to March 2019 was 1,404, a drop of 56 percent in a year and considerably below the peak of 5,000 in 2015-16.

  • Containing Online Hate Speech as If It Were a Computer Virus

    Artificial intelligence is being developed which will allow advisory “quarantining” of hate speech in a manner akin to malware filters – offering users a way to control exposure to “hateful content” without resorting to censorship.

  • Turkey Allows Hamas Operatives in Turkey to Plan, Train for Attacks on Israel

    The Turkish government is allowing Hamas operatives to plan attacks against Israel from Turkey. Israel has, on numerous occasions recently, given the Turkish authorities detailed intelligence information that Hamas operative exploit Turkish hospitality to planning, and train for, attacks on Israeli targets. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is reported to have responded: “We will keep on supporting our brothers in Palestine.”

  • Germany Restructures Police, Intelligence to Fight Far-Right Violent Extremists

    German government statistics show that in 2018 there were more than 24,000 active right-wing extremists in Germany, with about 12,500 of them considered capable of carrying out violent acts. The total number of these extremists is expected to increase in 2019 by as much as a third, to 32,200, according to government documents obtained by the newspaperTagesspiegel. On Tuesday, The German government unveiled broad new measures to restructure domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies in 2020 in order to make the German intelligence and law enforcement services more capable to fight the rising threat of right-wing extremism.

  • What the Washington Post Gets Wrong About the United States and Afghanistan

    To accuse U.S. officials of deceit and duplicity in their dealings with the American people is a serious charge. Michael O’Hanlon writes that this is arguably what happened in Vietnam, to a large. Now, the Washington Post has accused U.S. officials of both parties and several recent administrations of a similar pattern of untruthfulness and deceit with regard to the American-led mission in Afghanistan since 2001. “Does this charge hold up?” O’Hanlom asks. His answer: “The short answer is no.”

  • Florida Attack Raises Concerns over Radicalization in Saudi Military

    The deadly shooting by a Saudi national last week at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has raised questions about radicalization in Saudi Arabia’s military ranks. According to the U.S. State Department, more than 5,500 temporary visas were issued to Saudi military personnel in 2019 alone. As of last week, 852 Saudi nationals were in the U.S. for Pentagon-sponsored training on security cooperation.

  • Islamists Kill 71 Soldiers in Niger as Terrorist Attacks in the Sahel Region Increase

    An attack Tuesday on a military base in west Niger left 71 dead and a score missing, according to a statement from the Niger Ministry of Defense. Jihadists have increased the frequency, scope, and boldness of their deadly attacks in the Sahel, particularly in Mali, Niger, and Burkina, despite the increased presence of French troops, now numbered around 4,500, who take part in the Barkhane operation, and the presence of more than 14,000 UN peacekeepers in the area.

  • How to Rehabilitate a Terrorist

    The question of how best to rehabilitate terrorists is becoming more acute: As Islamic State’s “caliphate” collapsed, hundreds of fighters and fellow travelers returned to European countries, including Britain – and jails in England and Wales house a churning population of hundreds convicted of terrorist offenses. Keeping terrorists behind bars for too short a time is risky – but so is keeping them for much longer periods. Either way, inmates must be released eventually, writes The Economist. “If extra years behind bars are poorly funded and structured, they ‘risk making bad people worse,’ says Nick Hardwick, an ex-boss of the parole board.”

  • London Bridge Attack Follows “Dumbing Down” of Freed Terrorist Scheme – Expert

    The architect of the U.K. government program for moving convicted terrorists from prison into the community says the current system lacks the “legitimacy and credibility” required to rehabilitate extremists safely. His assessment follows the attack at London Bridge by convicted terrorist Usman Khan, who was out on license from prison when he killed Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, and injured three others during a meeting of the Cambridge University rehabilitation initiative Learning Together on 29 November.

  • Telegram: The Latest Safe Haven for White Supremacists

    Telegram, the online social networking, may not be as popular in the U.S. as Twitter or Facebook, but with more than 200 million users, it has a significant audience. And it is gaining popularity. ADL reports that Telegram has become a popular online gathering place for the international white supremacist community and other extremist groups who have been displaced or banned from more popular sites.