• Marginalization, discrimination contribute to feelings of radicalization

    Muslim immigrants who feel marginalized and discriminated against in countries that expect them to integrate into their culture and society are more likely to experience psychological threats to their own significance that could be related to increased support of radicalism, according to new research. Marginalization and discrimination were found to predict feelings of insignificance, which became stronger with the experience of more discrimination and, in turn, predicted an attraction to fundamentalist groups and its extreme behavior, the research found.

  • ISIS and climate change leading security threats: Global survey

    People around the globe identify ISIS and climate change as the leading threats to national security, according to a new Pew Research Center report based on a survey of thirty-eight countries. The survey asked about eight possible threats: ISIS, global climate change, cyberattacks, the condition of the global economy, the large number of refugees leaving Iraq and Syria, and the power and influence of the United States, Russia, and China. While the level and focus of concern varies by region and country, ISIS and climate change clearly emerge as the most frequently cited security risks across the thirty-eight countries polled.

  • U.K. revokes citizenship of 150 jihadists to block influx of militants from Syria

    The United Kingdom has stripped more than 150 suspected jihadists and other criminals of their British citizenship in an effort to block them from returning. The government has issued what is called a “deprivation orders,” anticipating that the coming collapse of the Islamic State caliphate will leads to an influx of British Islamist militants from Syria.

  • EU's highest court keeps Hamas on EU terror list

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) earlier today (Wednesday) has rejected a request to take the Palestinian militant group Hamas off the EU’s list of terrorist organizations. The tribunal has referred the case back to a lower court. The decision overturns a 2014 ruling by the EU’s second-highest court to remove Hamas from the EU’s terror watch-list.

  • U.S. weapons main source of trade in illegal arms on the Dark Web

    New report, based on first-ever study, looks at the size and scope of the illegal arms trade on the dark web. European purchases of weapons on the dark web generate estimated revenues five times higher than the U.S. purchases. The dark web’s potential to anonymously arm criminals and terrorists, as well as vulnerable and fixated individuals, is “the most dangerous aspect.”

  • Self-help vigilante groups are reshaping security against Boko Haram

    Boko Haram militants have killed more than 20,000 people and displaced more than two million others in north east Nigeria since 2009. The militants left government and its security forces looking powerless and people in the region helpless. No place was safe. Rather than flee, join the insurgents, or risk being killed, some chose a fourth option – self- defense. People began to organize into emergency community vanguards to defend themselves. The involvement of vigilantes in counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria has been a subject of contentious debate. It’s apparent that they have contributed to improving security for some communities. But there are also concerns that in the long run they could pose a threat given their heavy-handed approach. Examples include extra-judicial killings, violation of human rights, extortion and criminal impunity.

  • ISIS created suicide brigade consisting of 173 European followers: Interpol

    Interpol, in a 27 May circular to European intelligence and law enforcement agencies, has listed of 173 ISIS militants the international police agency says could have been trained to launch mass-casualty suicide attacks in Europe. The agency says the purpose of the coming attacks is revenge for the jihadist group’s military defeats in the Middle East, defeats which will soon put an end to the group’s effort to create an Islamist caliphate.

  • German right-wing Reichsbürger movement a terror threat: German intelligence

    The German Federal Criminal Police (BKA) have reported that the followers of the right-wing Reichsbürger movement could engage in “extreme violence, including terror acts.” A comprehensive report, compiled by German law enforcement services, concluded that the movement is more dangerous to public safety than other right-wing and nationalist German political movements. The Reichsbürger movement – which is somewhat similar to the U.S. Sovereign Citizen movement – is not considered the most extreme right-wing politically, and its followers are not organized in the traditional sense.

  • Making gene editing safer

    Gene editing technologies have captured increasing attention from healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community leaders in recent years for their potential to cure disease, control mosquito populations, and much more. The potential national security applications and implications of these technologies are equally profound, including protection of troops against infectious disease, mitigation of threats posed by irresponsible or nefarious use of biological technologies, and enhanced development of new resources derived from synthetic biology, such as novel chemicals, materials, and coatings with useful, unique properties. DARPA is funding the efforts of seven teams aiming to develop new knowledge and tools to support responsible innovation in gene editing and protect against threats to genome integrity.

  • UMD team wins national competition to curb violent extremism

    The “It Takes Just One” campaign, launched by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) minor program students in September 2016, rose above forty-nine competing teams from across the United States to win the Peer to Peer Challenging Extremism Initiative on Tuesday,18 July. The competition is a U.S. government effort aimed at finding new ways to challenge extremism and is led by the Department of Homeland Security.

  • CIA ends its program supporting anti-Assad Syrian rebels

    The Trump administration has pulled the plug on the largely ineffective CIA’s covert program to equip and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad. The move will strengthen the regional position and influence of Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah – and would worry U.S. allies in the region such as Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States. Analysts say that the move was inevitable, and that the Obama administration was about to make the same decision.

  • Former Israeli security chief: Iranian land corridor, bases in Syria biggest threats to Israel

    Iran’s efforts to build a “direct corridor” from Baghdad to the Mediterranean Sea and further entrench itself militarily in Syria are two of Israel’s most pressing concerns, Israel’s former national security adviser said. The corridor, referred to as a “Shiite crescent” by Jordan’s King Abdullah, would place Israel’s borders in “direct connection to Iran—a long line but still very easy to move forces, capabilities and everything that the Iranians will want to build around Israel,” Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror said.

  • Terror informants in U.K. will now take lie detector tests

    The British intelligence and law enforcement agencies have begun subjecting informants to lie detection tests in an effort to improve the quality of information on terror suspects and plots. The use of lie detectors to verify the information provided by paid and unpaid sources of information has been implemented at the insistence of the Scotland Yard. It was taken after the police and counterterrorism officials began to suspect that some of the information provided by informants was, in fact, misinformation.

  • German intelligence: Iran still seeking illicit nuclear technology

    Reports from German intelligence agencies show that Iran is still attempt to procure illicit technology, including parts for the operation of its heavy water reactor, which was shuttered under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. Three German citizens were charged with violating export bans for sending 51 specialized valves to Iran. The parts can be used in Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor, which “can be used to develop plutonium for nuclear weapons” and was shut down as part of the nuclear deal.

  • Is it ever a good idea to arm violent nonstate actors?

    In May, President Donald Trump authorized a plan to arm the YPG, a Kurdish militia in Syria. A month later, the YPG and their Arab partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces began the fight to take the Syrian city of Raqqa back from the Islamic State. Is the Pentagon right that the benefits of arming the YPG outweigh the risks? Is it ever a good idea to increase the lethality of violent nonstate actors? My own research suggests that the arms and ammunition supplied to a combatant in wartime can perpetuate a state of insecurity in the region long after the war has officially ended. A recent study concludes that security force assistance can achieve some limited goals, but only if states make aid conditional and intrusively monitor recipients. The reality is the conditions under which the U.S. trains, equips and advises armed opposition groups are seldom conducive to either.