• Foreign Fighters in Ukraine: What Concerns Should Really Be on the Agenda?

    A solid body of research had already explored the global rise in violent extremism and radicalization after battle-hardened fighters had returned home from the Middle East. Initially, there were concerns about similar cases radiating out from Ukraine, with a shade of right-wing extremism. Yet the current picture of foreign fighters in Ukraine differs both from the Middle East and from the fighting in the country’s east during the “gray-zone” phase of the conflict with Russia that began in 2014.

  • What Happened When Twitter and Other Social Media Platforms Cracked Down on Extremists

    In a Q&A with ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, former intelligence officer and data scientist Welton Chang explains how conspiracy theorists and violent racists fled to smaller platforms. Once there, their remarks festered and spread.

  • Antisemitic Incidents in United States Reached All-Time High in 2021

    Antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in the United States in 2021, with a total of 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism. This represents the highest number of incidents on record since 1979 – an average of more than seven incidents per day and a 34 percent increase year over year. Incidents reported in all 50 states. Attacks against synagogues and JCCs increased 61 percent.

  • U.S. Schools Increase Security, and Some Arm Teachers

    As classes are about to resume, many school districts have sought to boost security. Some are arming teachers to provide a line of defense against school shooters. It remains to be seen whether teachers toting firearms will save lives or do more harm than good.

  • Five Years After “Unite the Right”: Reflections on Charlottesville for Today’s Threat Landscape

    Five years ago, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists from across the United States traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia for the “Unite the Right” rally. Nicholas Rasmussen and Sarah Kenny write that “Unite the Right” is best appreciated as a watershed moment in U.S. politics. “With the clear vision of hindsight, the incidents in Charlottesville five years ago sounded a wakeup call about where the United States may be headed.” The very real threat “of political violence and radicalization that flow from the highly toxic political climate we currently live in, make for a turbulent domestic threat landscape in both city parks and virtual chatrooms.”

  • Mar-a-Lago Search Sparks Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories Online

    Antisemitic conspiracy theories circulated widely on social media after the search at Mar-a-Lago. Extremist groups and influencers have used the faith of the judge who signed the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, as ammunition to promote unfounded claims that Jewish individuals are controlling the FBI and other government entities in order to take down Donald Trump and defend the “deep state.”

  • Islamists Launch Three New Magazines to Succeed Notorious "Inspire"

    Islamist extremists online are taking note of three new English language publications—two linked to Al Qaeda and one from ISIS. All three magazines are positioned to fill the void left by the dissolution of Al Qaeda’s notorious Inspire magazine. 

  • U.S. Charges Iranian Operative with Plotting to Kill John Bolton

    The U.S. Justice Department has charged a member of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in connection with an alleged plot to kill former White House national-security adviser John Bolton.

  • A Century-and-a-Half Look at the Waves of Global Terrorism

    Twenty years ago, a 15-page article – “The Four Waves of Rebel Terrorism and September 11” — by terrorism expert David Rapoport helped students of terrorism place the 9/11 attacks in perspective. Rapoport has now published a 440-page book on the topic, and Tim Wilson writes that “[Rapoport’s] provocative sketch of how global terrorism emerged has continued to hold the field since the immediate aftermath of 9/11. And this new volume allows him to present it in fuller, and richer, brush-strokes.”

  • Experts Shed Light on Preventing Violence

    As the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at CU Boulder turns 30, its founder and current director share thoughts on the center’s legacy.

  • Rise of Precision Agriculture Exposes Food System to New Threats

    Farmers are adopting precision agriculture, using data collected by GPS, satellite imagery, internet-connected sensors and other technologies to farm more efficiently. These practices could help increase crop yields and reduce costs, but the technology behind the practices is creating opportunities for extremists, terrorists and adversarial governments to attack farming machinery, with the aim of disrupting food production.

  • Do Targeted Killings Weaken Terrorist Groups?

    Targeted operations by U.S. forces have eliminated notorious leaders of armed extremist groups, al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri the latest among them. But how much they disrupt these terrorist organizations is questionable.

  • FBI: Al-Qaida Determined to Strike at US Despite Leader's Killing

    The FBI remains worried about the potential for a large-scale attack planned or inspired by al-Qaida despite the killing of its top leader in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan last weekend. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who took over as al-Qaida leader after Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid in 2011, was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List with a $25 million reward for his capture.

  • Ayman al-Zawahri’s Killing, Kits Impact on al-Qaida, and U.S. Counterterrorism?

    The American withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 prompted questions over whether the U.S. could keep pressure on al-Qaida, ISIS-K and other militants in the country. U.S. officials explained that an “over-the-horizon” strategy would allow the U.S. to deal with problems that emerged, but many experts disagreed. The debate over capabilities continues, but for those who doubted whether the U.S. still had the desire to go after key terrorists in Afghanistan, the killing of al-Zawahri gives a clear answer.

  • What Zawahiri’s Killing Means for al-Qaeda

    Ayman al-Zawahiri leaves behind a robust network of strategically aligned but tactically independent al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.