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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Friday, June 5, 2015

INTELWIRE Weekly Brief, 6/5/15, Al Nusra Evolves, Another ISIS 'Lone Wolf,' and More


ISIS: The State of Terror, Portuguese edition, at the Lisbon Book Fair.


An Internal Struggle: Al Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Is Grappling With Its Identity
What does Jabhat al-Nusra actually represent today? By Charles Lister

Quietly, al-Qaeda offshoots expand in Yemen and Syria
Al-Qaeda affiliates are significantly expanding their footholds in Syria and Yemen, using the chaos of civil wars to acquire territory and increase their influence, according to analysts, residents and intelligence officials.


The Islamic State's Saudi Chess Match
By attacking Shiite targets in Yemen and Saudi Arabia and potentially drawing Iran into the fray, the group is playing a complicated game aimed at delegitimizing the royal family and destabilizing the kingdom. By Aaron Zelin

Usaamah Rahim's Boston terror plot: How deep does his network run?
Authorities are now trying to determine the depth of Rahim's network. Officers have raided locations in Massachusetts, where Rahim lived, and a Rhode Island home belonging to another of his associates.

Purported Boston terrorism plot targeting Pamela Geller was 'wishful thinking,' official says
Controversial anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller was mentioned as a possible target for beheading by a man who was shot and killed by a counter-terrorism task force this week, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said Thursday, but he characterized it as "more along the lines of wishful thinking."

ISIS Aims New Recruitment Video at Balkan Muslims
ISIS launched a new push to reel in disaffected Muslims as fighters in Syria and Iraq with a new video posted online Thursday, offering them a "stronghold" there to worship freely -- and to fight for. The 20-minute video by the core-ISIS propaganda machine, Al-Hayat Media Center, starred a group of camouflage-clad mujahideen from the Balkans region of Eastern Europe pleading for their countrymen to join brothers in the "caliphate."
Tweets as weapons: How 'Islamic State' is fighting its battles... digitally
Terrorist organization "Islamic State" is more than just simply savvy when it comes to using the internet as a propaganda tool. But what can be used to fight against such a profound social media strategy and smart users?

What an Estimate of 10,000 ISIS Fighters Killed Doesn’t Tell Us

It’s been more than eight months since the United States mobilized a coalition and launched a campaign of airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Despite the strikes hitting more than 6,200 targets, it has been difficult to measure the coalition’s success against ISIS.

ISIS movie maker, documentary producer said 'killed' in Iraq airstrike
The Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the death of dozens of ISIS terrorists in an air strike in the west of Anbar province, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Sunday.

In Minnesota, ISIS Offers a Different Allure
While it can be tempting to compare a recent round of would-be jihadis attempting to join the Islamic State group's campaign in the Middle East to previous instances of Somalis leaving to fight for al-Shabab in Somalia, key differences have made countering the extremist pull this time around all the more difficult.


Jihadism in Africa: Local Causes, Regional Expansion, International Alliances
The transnational terrorism of the twenty-first century feeds on local and regional conflicts, without which most terrorist groups would never have appeared in the first place. By Guido Steinberg and Annette Weber

Economic growth and terrorism: domestic, international, and suicide
This study evaluates the controversial issue of whether economic growth exerts a dampening effect on terrorism. By Seung-Whan Choi

Buy the new book ISIS: The State of Terror by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger. 

Buy J.M. Berger's seminal book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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", granular analysis..."

ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

More on ISIS: The State of Terror

"...a timely warning..."

Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

More on Jihad Joe


INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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FBI Records Reveal Details Of Nixon-Era Racial Profiling Program Targeting Arabs

Gaza Flotilla Official Was Foreign Fighter in Bosnia War

U.S. Had 'High Confidence' Of UBL Attack In June 2001

Behind the Handshake: The Rumsfeld-Saddam Meeting