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Then and Now: Right-Wing Extremism in 1995 and 2015

July 6, 2015 Comments off

Then and Now: Right-Wing Extremism in 1995 and 2015 (PDF)
Source: Anti-Defamation League

In April 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing delivered unprecedented death and destruction to America’s heartland – and focused the country’s attention on the problem of right‐wing extremism. Just six years later, however, the 9/11 terror attacks understandably diverted America’s consciousness away from the extreme right. In the intervening years, extreme right‐wing movements have managed to fly largely under the radar of public awareness.

The 20th anniversary of the bombing is an opportunity for Americans to take stock: How has the extreme right changed in the past two decades? Is it more dangerous? Less dangerous? Could something like the Oklahoma City bombing happen today?

Extreme political or social movements, when based on fundamental rather than passing concerns, often tend to be cyclical. They wax and wane depending on the viability of the political and social environment, the occurrence of spurring or triggering events, and the presence of energetic leadership. Extreme right‐ wing movements in the United States have largely followed such cycles, with surges occurring during the Great Depression, during the era of desegregation and the early Cold War, and in the early 1980s.

When extremist movements surge, their adherents become agitated and angry, and are more likely to take action, including violent action. Often, though not always, their membership will see a marked increase. In some cases, extremist movements can even temporarily penetrate into the mainstream and get some degree of support or sympathy there.

Homegrown Islamic Extremism in 2014

July 6, 2015 Comments off

Homegrown Islamic Extremism in 2014
Source: Anti-Defamation League

Read what ADL has discovered about homegrown Islamic extremism and the influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). This new report from ADL’s Center on Extremism provides information on:

  • Americans implicated in terror-related activity
  • How terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda leverage social media to recruit Americans
  • The role of anti-Semitism in terrorist narratives

Fatal Attraction: Western Muslimas and ISIS

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Fatal Attraction: Western Muslimas and ISIS
Source: Perspectives on Terrorism

More than 550 Muslim women from Western countries have joined ISIS and moved to its proclaimed ‘Caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq. No extremist group has been able to attract so many female Western recruits so far, and their number continues to grow. This article is intended to explain the reasons behind such unprecedented success, the motivation of Western Muslimas to join ISIS and their roles in the ‘Islamic State’. It also compares living conditions under ISIS’ rule with the expectation induced by ISIS’ recruiters in women from the West who had shown an interest to make hijra and join ISIS. Understanding these factors is vital to figure out how to stop this trend and to assess the security threat posed to the West by possible female returnees, or radicalized sympathizers who are unable to leave their countries of residence.

Law Enforcement Assessment of the Violent Extremism Threat

June 30, 2015 Comments off

Law Enforcement Assessment of the Violent Extremism Threat (PDF)
Source: Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (Duke University/University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

Key Findings & Methods:

  • Law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face.
  • They perceive violent extremism to be a much more severe threat nationally than the threat of violent extremism in their own jurisdictions.
  • And a large majority of law enforcement agencies rank the threat of all forms of violent extremism in their own jurisdictions as moderate or lower (3 or less on a 1-5 scale).
  • These findings emerge from a survey we conducted with the Police Executive Research Forum in 2014, with funding from the National Institute of Justice. The sampling frame was all 480 state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies with more than 200 sworn officers, plus 63 additional county and municipal agencies with 200 or fewer sworn officers in selected jurisdictions that experienced an incident or prosecution for violent extremism in recent years. The survey yielded responses from 339 of the larger agencies (a 71 percent response rate) and 43 of the smaller agencies (a 68 percent response rate), for a total of 382 law enforcement agencies (a 70 percent response rate), including 35 state agencies, 141 county agencies, and 206 municipal agencies, whose combined jurisdictions cover 86 percent of the U.S. population.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014

June 29, 2015 Comments off

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014
Source: U.S. Department of State

The fundamental struggle for dignity has been a driving force in human history worldwide, and what drives us toward it is a set of universal values and aspirations.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are ideals that cannot be contained by national boundaries or ocean shores.

That is why it is especially troubling that so many people in so many places face grotesque restrictions on their freedoms and rights from their own governments.

For far too many people, 2014 was defined by suffering and abuse perpetrated by terrorist groups exploiting religious discourse and divisions to advance their totalitarian ideology, or by governments, such as Syria, sometimes acting in the name of combatting terrorism.

Global Publics Back U.S. on Fighting ISIS, but Are Critical of Post-9/11 Torture

June 24, 2015 Comments off

Global Publics Back U.S. on Fighting ISIS, but Are Critical of Post-9/11 Torture
Source: Pew Research Center

The rise of ISIS has generated strong concerns in nations around the world, and a new Pew Research Center survey finds broad global support for American military efforts against the terrorist group. And unlike the Iraq War a decade ago, the current U.S. air campaign in Iraq and Syria is backed by majorities in America’s European allies and endorsed by publics in key Middle Eastern nations.

However, global publics mostly oppose another element of recent U.S. national security policy: the harsh interrogation methods used against suspected terrorists in the wake of 9/11 that many consider torture. A median of 50% across 40 nations surveyed say they oppose these practices, which were detailed in a widely publicized U.S. Senate report in December 2014. Only 35% believe they were justified. Americans disagree – nearly six-in-ten (58%) say they were justified.

Country Reports on Terrorism 2014

June 22, 2015 Comments off

Country Reports on Terrorism 2014
Source: U.S. Department of State
From briefing:

Today the State Department is issuing the Country Reports on Terrorism 2014, which fulfills an important congressional mandate and provides us also with an opportunity to review the state of terrorism worldwide and to find the nature and the scope of the terrorist threat. Doing so also allows us to assess our effectiveness and to best calibrate our strategy and our response.

Reviewing how involved and engaged countries are in the various aspects of their counterterrorism efforts, which comprises really the bulk of this report, helps us to make informed assessments about our priorities and where to place resources in our various capacity-building programs.

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