• The “Sore Loser Effect”: Rejecting Election Results Can Destabilize Democracy and Drive Terrorism

    Acceptance of electoral defeat, something political scientists call “loser’s consent,” is essential for stability and order in democracies. The refusal by a candidate or a party to accept defeat a potentially dangerous situation for the United States. New research shows that when politicians refuse to accept a free and fair democratic election’s outcome, and instead choose to promote a popular narrative of a stolen or dirty election, they place their people in physical danger. Popular tolerance for terrorism grows, and so does terrorist activity itself.

  • Mass Shooting in Denver

    Lyndon McLeod, who killed five people in Denver on 27 December, subscribed to a variety of right-wing beliefs, but remarks in his social media posts, novels and interviews signal his place in the broader misogynistic ecosystem — the “manosphere.” McLeod adhered to a smaller subset of the manosphere that focuses on hyper-masculinity. Typically, advocates of hypermasculinity believe themselves to be “alpha males” and are frustrated they are not given the respect, deference or position in society they believe they are due. Adherents believe a degeneration of modern society has allowed weak “beta males” and women to usurp power from the “alphas.”

  • Examining the Denver Shooter’s Ideological Views

    On 27 December 2021, Lyndon McLeod shot and killed five individuals in Denver, Colorado before being shot and killed by a Denver police officer. Matthew Kriner, H. E. Upchurch and W. Aaron write that “Evidence suggests McLeod was deeply influenced by the misogynistic pro-masculinity culture which pervades the alt-right’s so-called manosphere.” Describing himself and his fellow extremists on his social media blog, McLeod wrote: “There are certain men who maybe only represent[s] a small percentage of men – maybe only 10-15% – but who have a disproportionate impact on the world when they get even with their enemies.”

  • Follow the Money: Bringing IS Extremists to Justice

    Financing terror, chemical weapons, forensics and digital archives: The ex-German prosecutor now heading the UN’s special team on crimes of the “Islamic State” explains where the search for justice will focus.

  • DOD Releases Report on Countering Extremist Activities

    DOD last week issued a report on addressing the challenge of extremist activities in the ranks. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that “We believe only a very few violate this oath by participating in extremist activities, but even the actions of a few can have an outsized impact on unit cohesion, morale and readiness - and the physical harm some of these activities can engender can undermine the safety of our people.”

  • Blurry Ideologies and Strange Coalitions: The Evolving Landscape of Domestic Extremism

    Students of extremism and domestic terrorism have noticed an intriguing phenomenon: the convergence of far right and far left extremists and the breakdown of old ideological walls. Far-right extremists have valorized the Unabomber and praised the Taliban; a re-launched white supremacist group announced a new “Bolshevik focus” calling for the liquidation of the capitalist class; a growing ecofascist youth subculture joins with extreme racists in a call for the creation of a white ethnostate. “These trends highlight the strange and unanticipated ways in which domestic violent extremism scenes in the United States are fragmenting and reassembling,” they write.

  • Moral Echo Chambers on Social Media May Boost Radicalization: Study

    As Congress continues to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, psychologists are examining how online communities can foster radical thoughts and intentions. A new study finds that that social media echo chambers can create a strong bond and increase the likelihood of radicalization.

  • Train Engineer Inspired by Covid-19 Conspiracy Theory to Intentionally Derail Locomotive

    A train engineer at the Port of Los Angeles pleaded guilty last week to a federal terrorism charge for intentionally running a locomotive at full speed off the end of railroad to “wake people up” to a government plot to use Covid-19 as a pretext to “take over” the country.

  • Problems in Regulating Social Media Companies’ Extremist, Terrorist Content Removal Policies

    The U.S. government’s ability to meaningfully regulate major social media companies’ terrorist and extremist content removal policies is limited.

  • Securing U.S. Democracy

    Most of the homeland security architecture built in the past twenty years has been devoted to protecting Americans from an act of international terrorism. Carrie Cordero writes that as a result, Americans are safer than they were twenty years ago from a terrorist attack directed or inspired by foreign groups on U.S. soil. She says, though, that more significantly, the threats to American safety and security have compounded in the past two decades. “These disparate threats and circumstances have challenged the effectiveness of the homeland security enterprise.”

  • Foreign Disinformation Effort Raises Fears of Violence in U.S.

    Foreign intelligence services and global terrorist organizations are engaged in a broad effort to seed the United States with disinformation, and this effort appears to be working, raising new fears of a terrorist attack in the coming weeks, according to a senior DHS official.

  • Female Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Repatriation, Prosecution, and Rehabilitation Challenges

    Following the territorial defeat of ISIS, an estimated 1,840 to 1,912 total female foreign terrorist fighters returned to Western Europe and another 59 returned to the United States. Criminal justice systems have steadily began to treat women as violent extremists, but they have been slower to provide adequate repatriation, rehabilitation, and reintegration support for women seeking to return to their home countries.

  • Antisemitism Disseminated Across Social Media Platforms

    Gab, a self-described “free speech” platform, has a long history as a haven for antisemites, extremists and conspiracy theorists. On Gab, and on Gab’s Twitter account, extremists promote a range of antisemitic tropes, such as Jews having dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel, that Jews are to blame for the crucifixion of Jesus and that Jews control the U.S. government.

     

  • Hate Speech on Social Media Fueled By Users’ Shared Values, Moral Concerns

    People whose moral beliefs and values align closely with other members of their online communities — including those on social networks Gab and Reddit — are more prone to radicalization, according to new research.

  • The Impact of Drone Warfare on World Order

    Much of the current literature on armed drones focuses on their proliferation across countries, effectiveness against terrorists, and the legal, moral, and ethical impacts of their use. A new collection of essays examines the trade-offs imposed by drone warfare for global order.