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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Monday, January 11, 2016

INTELWIRE Weekly Brief, 1/11/2016, Misinfo, Malheur, ISIS Updates, More


The spreading of misinformation online
The wide availability of user-provided content in online social media facilitates the aggregation of people around common interests, worldviews, and narratives. However, the World Wide Web (WWW) also allows for the rapid dissemination of unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories that often elicit rapid, large, but naive social responses such as the recent case of Jade Helm 15––where a simple military exercise turned out to be perceived as the beginning of a new civil war in the United States. By Michela Del Vicario, Alessandro Bessi, Fabiana Zollo, Fabio Petroni, Antonio Scala, Guido Caldarelli, H. Eugene Stanley, and Walter Quattrociocchi.


What Do the Oregon Ranchers Really Believe?
A field guide to their radical, diverse—and often contradictory—ideologies. By J.M. Berger

Oregon Occupiers Bolster Cause Of Other Anti-Government Militants
There's growing concern among former federal land managers that the government's inaction against one Nevada rancher is helping the cause of armed anti-government militants elsewhere in the West.

Oregon standoff: Idaho group arrives to 'secure perimeter, prevent Waco-style situation'
Members of a group from outside Oregon arrived on Friday at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to "secure a perimeter" around the compound and prevent "a Waco-style situation."


Gunmen storm Iraqi mall, killing at least 18 and wounding 50
Gunmen stormed into a Baghdad mall on Monday after setting off a car bomb and launching a suicide attack at its entrance, killing at least 18 people and wounding 50 in the city's mainly Shiite east, Iraqi officials said.
Why the U.S. Can’t Make a Magazine Like ISIS
ISIS’s propaganda success isn’t just online. Its magazine, Dabiq, is read all over the world. If only the U.S. government was so creative and effective. By Clint Watts and Will McCants

Philadelphia police probe possible extremist ties in police shooting
Philadelphia police said on Sunday they were seriously pursuing a tip that the man suspected of shooting and wounding a police officer had ties to a group with "radical beliefs."

Frenchman returning from Syria warned of attack at rock concert
Months before the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, which included a siege at the Bataclan venue, a Parisian who had returned from Syria told French intelligence that the Islamic State group was planning to attack a rock concert, according to French media.

Australian Isis sympathiser preaching online again after 2014 arrest
Musa Cerantonio participated in an online event on 25 December hosted by Abdullah el-Faisal, a Jamaican champion of Isis who served four years in a British prison for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.

Militant in Islamic State video believed to be British bouncy castle salesman
The masked militant in an Islamic State video showing the killing of five men accused by the group of being Western spies is believed to be a Londoner known as Sid who once sold inflatable bouncy castles.

Obama administration plans shake-up in propaganda war against ISIS
The Obama administration is overhauling its faltering efforts to combat the online propaganda of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, U.S. officials said, reflecting rising White House frustration with largely ineffective efforts so far to cut into ISIS’s use of social media to draw recruits and incite attacks.


Iran’s Martyrdom Machine Springs to Life
Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shiite cleric has put the Middle East on edge — and set up Tehran for its favorite role. By Philip Smyth

Does Twitter bridge the Sunni-Shiite divide or make it worse?

From fiery sermons to diplomatic spars, Twitter is abuzz with derogatory anti-Shiite and anti-Sunni rhetoric.

America may have unlocked a key to fighting terrorism — and it doesn’t involve drones
Speaking to graduating West Point cadets in 2014, the president announced the creation of the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF).

Egypt attack: Three tourists stabbed at Hurghada hotel
Three foreign tourists have been stabbed by two suspected Islamic State militants who stormed into a hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Republican politicians jumped the gun on terrorism suspect's arrest: sources
Two Texas politicians made public details of an investigation into a terrorism suspect while it was still in progress, potentially jeopardizing the inquiry, three sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.


Iran-Saudi Arabia Conflict and Its Regional Effects
Phillip Smyth comes on the show to discuss many issues surrounding the current Iran-Saudi Arabia tensions, covering a variety of topics, particularly on the Iranian and Shia side of the conflict, such as: The regional reactions and effects of the current crisis, detailed background on Nimr al-Nimr, and Iran's desire to represent all Shia. By Karl Morand with Phillip Smyth.

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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