• Intelligence Failure or Not, the Israeli Military Was Unprepared to Respond to Hamas’ Surprise Attack

    Intelligence can only do so much. The other key piece of defense is understanding how your enemy thinks and operates. And there the Israelis also appeared to struggle.

  • Fringe-Left Groups Express Support for Hamas’s Invasion and Brutal Attacks in Israel

    Some fringe-left groups are aligning with anti-Zionist organizations in the wake of Hamas’s attack on Israel, by expressing support for Hamas’s atrocities in the name of “resistance” and “liberation.”

  • Antisemitism Surges Around World as Israel, Hamas Clash

    As the conflict between Israel and Hamas rages for another day, many Jews around the world face a familiar threat: a surge in antisemitism. From New York to London, St. Louis to Sydney, Jewish communities are grappling with hate and bigotry that often flare up whenever the Middle East erupts.

  • How Did Israeli Intelligence Miss Hamas’ Preparations to Attack? A U.S. Counterterrorism Expert Explains How Israeli Intelligence Works

    Hamas is on Israel’s doorstep. One would think Israel could better understand what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank, as opposed to 1,000 miles away in Iran. How did Israel not see something this advanced right next door? Some Israeli officials have said they believed Hamas was already deterred by recent Israeli counterterrorism operations, and that the group lacked the capability to launch an attack on the scope and scale of what occurred.

  • Israel’s War on Hamas: What to Know

    Israel will seek to eliminate the threat posed by the Palestinian militant group for good, but its campaign in Gaza could draw in other adversaries, including Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.

  • What Role Did Russia Play in Hamas's Attack on Israel?

    Russia’s ties to Hamas are well-documented, as are its ties to Hamas’s main backer, Iran. For some observers and commentators of the ongoing bloodshed in Israel, that in itself is cause for blaming Moscow, accusing it of having a direct hand in the spiraling violence. That’s not correct, said Hanna Notte, a Berlin-based expert on Russian policy in the Middle East.

  • Hamas Assault Echoes 1973 Arab-Israeli War – a Shock Attack and Questions of Political, Intelligence Culpability

    The parallels were striking – and surely not coincidental. Exactly 50 years and a day after being taken completely off guard by a coordinated military attack by its neighbors – Egypt and Syria – Israel was again caught by surprise. The invasion of southern Israel by Hamas militants on 7 October 2023 will probably be even more traumatic for Israelis than the 1973 war was because while in 1973 it was members of the military bearing the brunt of the surprise assault, this time it is Israeli civilians who have been captured and killed, and on sovereign Israeli territory. In this crucial respect, then, this war is unlike the one in 1973.

  • Hamas Attacks Israel

    While I am always wary of predicting the course of a war, we can be reasonably sure of one thing. The political backlash within Israel will be harsh and will go beyond inquiries into the intelligence failure. Not yet, for the country will come together as the fighting continues and partisan differences will be put aside. But once the dust settles. Not only has the coalition’s policies on judicial reform left Israeli society deeply divided, something of which Hamas will have been well aware, but also its active support of extremist groups stirring up trouble in the West Bank and Jerusalem meant that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were diverted to protect them. This is one explanation for the empty guard posts and thin lines of defense on the border with Gaza, which affected the ability to respond to the attacks.

  • The Southern Border Poses Terrorism Risks. Homegrown Threats Still Loom Larger.

    The fears of terrorists entering the U.S. illegally can never be completely dismissed, but to date they have been mostly hypothetical, as there is scant evidence that illegal immigrants have committed acts of terrorism in the United States. For now, the most serious terrorist danger still comes from lone-actor racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs), radicalized online here inside the United States, attacking soft targets using firearms.

  • Assessing the Risks of Existential Terrorism and AI

    Professor Gary Ackerman, associate dean at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) at SUNY-Albany, recently published an article, “Existential Terrorism: Can Terrorists Destroy Humanity?” which he co-authored with Zachary Kallenborn of CSIS. The article explores the plausibility of terrorist organizations using emerging technologies such as AI to enact existential harm, including human extinction.

  • Extremists Have Turned Texas into a Hotbed for Hate: Report

    Texas continues to be a hotbed for extremism and antisemitism, driven by the heavy presence of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and anti-LGBTQ+ groups that are headquartered or active in the state.

  • How Local Police Could Help Prevent Another January 6th-Style Insurrection

    As scholars who study street gangs and far-right groups, we see that the larger law enforcement community continues to focus – we believe mistakenly – on the belief that, like terrorist groups, white supremacists are coordinated in ideology and intent. Evidence shows that perception actually diverts local police agencies’ attention from identifying and managing these groups. We believe that if police had treated Proud Boys as members of a street gang from the group’s inception in 2016, the events of Jan. 6, 2021, might have been avoided, or at least reduced in severity.

  • “High Risk” from Foreign, Domestic Terrorists: U.S.

    DHS warned Thursday of a “high risk” from domestic and foreign terrorists for the coming year. The department’s threat assessment points to the prevalence of conspiracy theories, personal grievances and what it describes as “enduring racial, ethnic, religious, and anti-government ideologies,” often shared in online forums, all serving to motivate small groups and individuals within the U.S.

  • Afghanistan, the Taliban and the Legacy of 9/11

    Al-Qaeda’s terrorist attacks on the US were unprecedented. So too was America’s intervention in Afghanistan. The US action, backed by NATO and non-NATO allies, as the first salvo in what was declared a ‘war on terror’, was aimed at transforming a highly traditional and conflict-ravaged Afghanistan into a stable and secure state with a functioning democratic system of governance. The U.S. action which eventually failed, enabling the extremist Taliban to regain power after two decades of fighting.

  • How We Uncovered the Shared Personality Profile of Violent Extremists

    Why do some people resort to violence for their cause? If we take a closer look at the rhetoric of known terrorists, they appear to have one thing in common. They all feel that their group, or a group they support, is unjustly disadvantaged. But not everyone who thinks that their group is unjustly disadvantaged resorts to violence. This begs the question of whether basic personality traits are at play.