• Consortium to Combat Targeted Crowd Attacks

    Ten universities formed a consortium to combat terrorist and criminal attacks on soft targets such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls and sports stadiums. “The challenges of keeping people safe in soft targets and crowded spaces gets more complicated every day,” said one expert.

  • The Historian’s Approach to Understanding Terrorism

    Too often the United States and its allies find themselves in a counterterrorism policy version of the movie “Groundhog Day,” repeating their past mistakes without end. There are many reasons for these failures, but one is the reluctance of historians to weigh in on contemporary policy debates.

  • How Has COVID-19 Changed the Violent Extremist Landscape?

    By Michele Grossman

    Coronavirus has highlighted how anxiety, uncertainty, and the reordering of democratic state-citizen relations can breed susceptibility to violent extremist thinking and action.

  • German Police Investigating Anti-Vax Assassination Plot against German Politician

    A group of conspiracy theorists used Telegram to call for an armed response to Saxony’s state premier Michael Kretschmer’s restrictions on the unvaccinated. The right-wing extremism branch of Saxony’s anti-terror unit is investigating.

  • Israel Completes Wall along Gaza Border

    Israel says the new barrier extends underground and uses high-tech sensors to prevent Hamas fighters from using tunnels to enter Israeli territory.

  • Michigan School Shooting Shows How Violence Can Transition from Online Threats to Real-World Tragedy

    By Mia Bloom and Volkan Topalli

    It is, perhaps, easy to look back at the postings of a mass shooter after the event and highlight the red flags that were potentially missed. But how do you know when a young person is writing offensive, threatening or disturbing posts merely to garner attention or to blow off steam, rather than presenting a threat to themselves or others? And at what point in the transition from online threats to real-world harm should concerns by teachers, parents or peers be deemed actionable by law enforcement and other officials?

  • Afghanistan: Taliban Kill, “Disappear” Ex-Officials

    Taliban forces in Afghanistan have summarily executed or forcibly disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officers in just four provinces since taking over the country on 15 August 2021. The Taliban leadership has directed members of surrendering security force units to register to receive a letter guaranteeing their safety. However, Taliban forces have used these screenings to detain and summarily execute or forcibly disappear people within days after they register, leaving their bodies for their relatives or communities to find.

  • Former Islamic State Member Found Guilty of Genocide in German Court

    A German court has found a former Islamic State member guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity for the 2015 killing of a 5-year-old girl, sentencing him to life in prison. The Frankfurt case is the first in the world to decide whether a former member of the Islamic State group played a role in the attempted genocide of the Yazidi religious group.

  • Sines v. Kessler: Reckoning and Weaponization

    On 23 November 2021, a jury returned guilty verdicts against the organizers of the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. But while the trial put the defendants’ bigotry, antisemitism and racism on full display, it also provided them a stage to share their bigotry and hate with a large, captive audience, while aggressively harassing their critics.

  • SUV Tragedy in Wisconsin Shows How Vehicles Can Be Used as a Weapon of Mass Killing – Intentionally or Not

    By Mia Bloom

    Cars, SUVs and trucks can be an efficient means of mass killing, and one that can be virtually impossible to prepare against. Furthermore, it is becoming harder to prosecute the driver involved in such fatalities in some states.

  • Research Reveals Potential New Way to Fight Radicalization in “True Believers”

    By Suzanna Burgelman

    “True believers” who exhibit extreme behavior are driven by the degree to which their identity is fused with a cause or belief, finds a new study. The results suggest that an effective strategy for deradicalization could be to bring true believers to believe in new avenues of thought rather than to force them to renounce their ideas.

  • Addressing Natural and Deliberate Biological Threats: Early Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

    “Infectious disease threats will continue to emerge, whether naturally, by accident, or deliberately. Stopping them from spreading and causing mass effects is possible even today, but we have much work to do bringing our assets to bear” said Andy Weber, Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR).

  • Counterterrorism Successes Against Foreign Fighters

    The fear of foreign fighters — jihadists who travel abroad to fight and train – has been rekindled with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover there. “Such concerns, however, neglect the tremendous progress the United States and its allies have made in the post-9/11 era in combating the foreign fighter scourge and limiting the danger they pose to the United States, Canada and Europe,” Byman writes. “Still, foreign fighters remain a powerful jihadist force worth understanding.”

  • Biological Weapons in the “Shadow War”

    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to renewed discussion of biological weapons, but Glenn Cross, a former deputy national intelligence officer for Weapons of Mass Destruction responsible for biological weapons analysis, argues that the development and possession of biological weapons is trending dramatically downward since the end of World War II. “Nations likely no longer see utility in developing or possessing biological weapons for use in large-scale, offensive military operations given the devastating capabilities of today’s advanced conventional weapons,” he writes.

  • U.S. Supreme Court Hears Case of Surveillance of Muslims

    By Ken Bredemeier

    A decade ago, three Muslim men filed suit against the FBI, alleging the Bureau deployed a confidential informant who claimed to be a convert to Islam to spy on them based solely on their religious identity. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard the argument by the administration that it has the right to invoke the protection of “state secrets” to withhold information from the plaintiffs.