• 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

    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”

    “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

    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.

  • Protecting Soft Targets

    There is a need to construct a versatile system designed to protect the vast array of so-called soft targets such as stadiums, schools, and places of worship. After an eight-month competition among the nation’s biggest universities, DHS awarded Northeastern University a $36 million, ten-year contract to develop such a system.

  • In 9/11 Video, Al Qaeda Doubles Down on Enmity toward Jews and Israel

    Each year, to commemorate the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Al Qaeda releases a video featuring one of the group’s senior leaders who typically reiterates the significance and impact of those deadly events from their warped perspective. Al Qaeda’s 2021 video provides crucial context for the group’s extremist agenda, underscoring that Al Qaeda is particularly focused on a strike against Israel, and that anti-Semitism remains an animating element of Al Qaeda’s worldview.

  • Official Reject Claims of Terrorists Infiltrating U.S. From Mexico

    DHS Counterterrorism Coordinator said that fears the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan could reinvigorate terror groups like al-Qaida and Islamic State, and lead to a surge of attempted infiltrations along the southern U.S. border, have not been realized. “It is just factually inaccurate to frame the southern border as a place where we are seeing a significant number of al-Qaida or ISIS-related terrorists or foreign terrorists,” he said.

  • Examining the Practically Nonfunctional Federal Biowatch Program

    The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense’s new report addresses inadequacies of BioWatch, the DHS environmental biodetection program. The report, released on the 20th anniversary of the anthrax attacks, shows that BioWatch system remains ineffective after nearly two decades of operation.

  • Criticism Mount of U.K. Counter-Extremism Programs

    There is a “fundamental mismatch” between the threat posed by Islamist terrorism and the attention afforded to it by Prevent, the U.K. government’s counter-extremism program, according to a new report.The report finds that despite the finding of the government’s independent reviewer that the United Kingdom faces the greatest terroristic threat from Islamists, far more resources are being devoted to other forms of extremism.

  • FBI Works to Increase Hate Crimes Awareness

    The United States recorded nearly 7,500 hate crimes in 2020, the highest level in more than a decade. As eye-popping as the yearly total may be, researchers note the vast majority of hate crimes are never reported to police. In October, the FBI launched a nationwide awareness campaign to encourage victims and witnesses to report hate crimes to law enforcement.

  • Why Right-Wing Extremists Love the Unabomber

    Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, was an American domestic terrorist whose 17-year bombing campaign killed three people and injured 23 others. Seeking to protect wilderness and destroy technology, he targeted scientists and businessmen. Kiernan Christ writes “Kaczynski’s contemporary influence, however, is not strongest among environmental activists. Rather, his manifesto and ideology have found a home on far-right websites, where Kaczynski is cited as a key radicalizing influence and thought leader in spaces generally extremely hostile to modern environmentalism.”