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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Monday, December 14, 2015

INTELWIRE Weekly Brief, 12/14/15. ISIS in Yemen, More US Arrests, KKK's 'Slick' Propaganda and More


Containing ISIS: What Would George Kennan Do?
Barry Posen rightly argues for a containment strategy. But just as important as what to do is what to avoid. By Jessica Stern.

Islamic State Gains Strength in Yemen, Rivaling Al Qaeda
Nine months of war between a Saudi-led military coalition and a Yemeni rebel group have left thousands of civilians dead, a nation gravely polarized and the land strewn with debris, mines and unexploded bombs.

Sophisticated IS recruitment methods lured Jordanian woman
A Jordanian woman who came close to joining the Islamic State group described a sophisticated 14-month recruitment process by the extremists that she said landed her in a secret IS compound in Turkey with dozens of other women.

What a leaked Thai police document says about ISIS in Southeast Asia
A document released in Thailand reveals a new plot by Islamic State to target Russian tourists in Thailand.

10th ISIS terror suspect a surprise to Twin Cities Somali community
To prosecutors, Abdirizak Warsame is the 10th Minnesota man to face terror charges for conspiring to join ISIS, but to people in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, he is the last person they expected to get into trouble.

Judge orders psychiatric evaluation for Cuban ISIS sympathizer
A federal magistrate judge has ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Harlem Suárez, the second South Florida Cuban arrested by FBI agents after expressing support for the Islamic State.


San Bernardino Attackers Were Radicalized Before Meeting, FBI Director Says
The husband-and-wife team who killed 14 people during a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, Calif., had been radicalized before they "started courting or dating each other online," FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday.

San Bernardino shooter used friend to dodge gun check, may have planned larger attack, sources say
Syed Rizwan Farook asked a friend to buy two rifles used in the attack so he could dodge a federal background check and also may have been planning an even larger assault, according to government sources familiar with the ever-widening investigation.

Enrique Marquez said he and Farook built pipe bombs as hobby
Enrique Marquez, a former neighbor of Farook, told investigators he and his friend previously built pipe bombs, law enforcement officials said.

Brother of San Bernardino killer Tashfeen Malik says family in Saudi Arabia is devastated
"We don’t have any idea about what happened over there,” Saad Gulzar Malik, who lives in Riyadh, said in a phone interview Friday. “We are only learning about it from news reports.”


Planned Parenthood suspect: 'I am a warrior for the babies'
The man accused of killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic stunned a courtroom Wednesday when he declared himself a "warrior for the babies" and said he was guilty and won't go to trial.

Riyadh, Rumeilan, and Damascus: All You Need to Know About Syria’s Opposition Conferences
It’s conference time in the Syrian opposition. All of a sudden, three rival meetings have kicked off, all claiming to represent the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

With US help, Saudi Arabia is obliterating Yemen
Airstrikes have been relentless since March, a period now of eight months. They are supposed to be targeting a local rebel group, but appear largely indiscriminate, regularly hitting civilian targets. Thousands of people have been killed. Human rights groups say some of these strikes amount to war crimes.

How the Ku Klux Klan seized cinema to become a force in America
A century on and the dark days when the Klan recruited millions of members across America to its divisive and racist creed may seem like history, but the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment around the world is a sobering reminder of how the media can be used to spread division in society.

State Department belatedly finds 1,300 emails on Anwar Al-Awlaki
The State Department has belatedly discovered about 1,300 emails relating to deceased Islamic cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki in official accounts belonging to top aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

White supremacist groups see Trump bump
The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s.

Muslims report more bias cases across USA
Anti-Muslim attacks are on the rise since and recent comments by presidential candidate Donald Trump could make the situation worse, Muslim and Arab-American leaders said Tuesday.

Obama appeals to Silicon Valley to help prevent terrorist attacks
What might a new Silicon-to-Pentagon type relationship might look like, and would it be likely to protect Americans from further attacks, or further erode Americans' privacy?


Jihadology Podcast: Americans in the Islamic State
Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes come on the show to talk about their new report ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa. Some of the topics covered include background on the American jihadi scene, the demographics of Americans who’ve traveled to join the Islamic State and the three roles American Islamic State supporters play on social media. By Aaron Zelin with Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes.

Tunisian Jihadism
Bridget Moreng comes on the show to discuss jihadism in Tunisia. Some of the topics covered include what factors lead to the growth of jihadism after Ben Ali and Tunisian government efforts to combat jihadist groups. By Karl Morand with Bridget Moreng.

Countering Violent Extremism: a discussion with Seamus Hughes
Seamus Hughes and Chelsea Daymon discuss all things CVE.

Counterterrorism Experts Face Challenges Recognizing 'Lone Wolf' Terrorists
NPR's Audie Cornish interviews John Horgan, a professor at Georgia State University's Global Studies Institute, who studies how ISIS inspires "lone wolf" supporters.


Crossing the Ideological Divide? Egypt's Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood after the Arab Spring
This article examines the shifts that have occurred within these two movements in Egypt since the Arab Spring. It specifically asks whether approximations between them in terms of strategies of actions have been paralleled by ideological approximations. By Annette Ranko & Justyna Nedza.

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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The Utility of Lone Wolves

Interview with Online Jihadist Abu Suleiman Al Nasser

A Way Forward for CVE: The Five Ds

How Terrorists Use The Internet: Just Like You

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Forgeries on the Jihadist Forums

U.S. Gave Millions To Charity Linked To Al Qaeda, Anwar Awlaki

State Department Secretly Met With Followers of Blind Sheikh

State Department Put 'Political Pressure' On FBI To Deport Brother-in-Law Of Osama Bin Laden In 1995

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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