France’s Terror Backlash Raises Questions of Security and Identity
Last Friday in Paris, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazenueve issued a complaint to his counterparts across the continent that will be recalled in the annals of European counterterrorism — with all their resources and supposed vigilance about the jihadist threat, none had managed to help him determine the whereabouts... Read more
Indonesia Targets Islamic State’s Pacific Smuggling Network
Authorities in Southeast Asia have been reporting more traffic — both suspected and confirmed — of radicals traveling to and from Syria in Iraq. Recently, Indonesia’s Counter-Terrorism Agency mapped out what it believes is the militant group’s people smuggling network between Malaysia and Indonesia. “Indonesians arriving from fighting for ISIS... Read more
U.S. Intelligence Powers French Air Strikes
On Nov. 15, French warplanes flying from bases in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates pounded Islamic State base camps in the group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa. The strikes followed a horrendous series of terrorist attacks that left at least 129 people dead in Paris two days earlier. In... Read more
Don’t Mess With the French Military
Here’s how to put the scale of Islamic State’s attacks into perspective. Within a span of few weeks, the radical Islamist group carried out the deadliest terror attack in modern French history, killing 129 people, and the deadliest attack in modern Turkish history — the Oct. 10 Ankara bombing,... Read more
Gunfire, Blood, Panic — A Bataclan Survivor Recalls Paris Nightmare
Guillaume Maurice, a 40-year-old school teacher from Rouen, in northern France, is a self-described “metal head.” So when Eagles of Death Metal, an American rock band, came to the Bataclan theater in north-central Paris, Guillaume and his wife made plans to attend. A few hours later, Guillaume and his... Read more
Al Qaeda Is Taking Advantage of Islamic State’s Bad Reputation
Al Qaeda knows it has an image problem. To set itself apart from its rival Islamic State, the terrorist organization’s propagandists are trying to portray their group as relatively moderate. Emphasis on relatively. That’s all according to the second issue of the English-language Syrian jihadist magazine Al Risalah, Arabic for “the... Read more
The Drug War Taught the U.S. Military How to Hunt Terrorists
When American troops go after terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, the tactics they use owe a great deal to lessons from Washington’s equally controversial War on Drugs. Today, the Pentagon still uses drones, spy planes and other intelligence sources – along with a lot of the same... Read more
Gaddafi’s Legacy Haunts Libya and the World
A little more than four years ago, one of the world’s most extroverted, flamboyant and brutal dictators, Muammar Gaddafi, was dragged from a drainage pipe near the Libyan town of Sirte and lynched. In turn demonized and schmoozed by Western governments, Gaddafi’s death involved a Predator drone, French Rafale fighter jets, a... Read more
‘Body Counts’ Are Back at the Pentagon
For well over a decade, American troops have launched strikes around the world against often vague extremist groups. Despite serious concerns about the strategy’s effectiveness, Washington has increasingly focused on killing or capturing specific people, commonly referred to as high-value individuals or HVIs. “Targeted strikes against I.S. leadership and... Read more
Nigeria’s Terrorist Threats Are Bigger Than Boko Haram
If you heard about Nigeria in recent years, chances are that it was in the context of the Boko Haram insurgency that has plunged the northeastern part of the country into mayhem. The Council on Foreign Relations estimates that at least 19,807 people have died in the war. “Boko... Read more