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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Monday, January 25, 2016

INTELWIRE Weekly Brief, 1/25/16


Killing Range: Explaining Lethality Variance within a Terrorist Organization
This paper presents an analysis of the Provisional Irish Republican Army's (PIRA) brigade level behavior during the Northern Ireland Conflict (1970-1998) and identifies the organizational factors that impact a brigade's lethality as measured via terrorist attacks. By Victor Asal, Paul Gill, R. Karl Rethemeyer and John Horgan.


Islamic State video purports to show Paris attackers, threatens Britain
A video published on Sunday by the media centre of Islamic State purported to show images and last statements of nine of the people who took part in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people on Nov. 13.

What Does It Mean If An Attack Is 'ISIS-Inspired'?
Today's violent jihadist threat is very different from those associated with al-Qaida in the past. ISIS followers appear more troubled and more confused about their intentions and motivations than their al-Qaida predecessors.

Why Al-Shabab is not joining ISIS
Despite rumors of a growing ISIS presence in Somalia, East Africa’s main militant group is sticking with Al-Qaeda.

Al Qaeda and the Islamic State benefit as Yemen war drags on
Both groups vie for recruits and territory, and their competition could also spark attacks outside of Yemen as AQAP and the Islamic State attempt to demonstrate that they, and not their rival, are at the forefront of the jihadi movement. By Gregory D. Johnson.

Escaping ISIS: How French teen got free of terrorist recruiters
Thanks to her mother's intervention, Joanna is now one of the youngest participants in France's program (Centre de Prévention contre les Dérives Sectaires liées à l'islam, translated as Prevention Center against Sectarianism related to Islam) to bring Muslims back from the brink of radicalization.

The Jakarta attack and the Islamic State threat to Indoneisa
The January 14 attack in Jakarta shows the growing military capacity of Islamic State supporters in Indonesia. It also reveals the important role played by key Indonesians in Syria as a link to militant jihadis back home providing direction, possible finance and, above all, tapping into local grievances over the actions of the Indonesian state and police. By Kirsten E. Schulze.

The Hotel Attacks and militant realignment in the Sahara-Sahel Region
The attack on Bamako’s Radisson Blu Hotel in November 2015 shocked Mali and confirmed the reach of jihadist group al-Mourabitoun and the continued challenges to security in the region. The attack also marked the absorption of al-Mourabitoun into al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) amid tests to AQIM’s position from fighters who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. By Andrew Lebovich.

Dispute Over Opposition’s Seat at Table Threatens to Push Back Syria Peace Talks
Barely a month after the world’s most powerful countries agreed to an ambitious road map to end the five-year-old war in Syria, there is still no agreement on who, if anyone, will show up at the peace talks that are supposed to begin in Geneva Monday.

Seattle man charged in murder-terrorism case sentenced for robbery
A Seattle man – charged with a terrorism count for allegedly killing a New Jersey college student because he was angry about U.S. foreign policy – was sentenced Wednesday in an unrelated armed robbery case after refusing to take part in a court hearing.

How a prized daughter of the Westboro Baptist Church came to question its beliefs.

Taliban Attack at Bacha Khan University in Pakistan Renews Fears
On Wednesday, Pakistanis were drawn back into their national nightmare. At least four Taliban attackers stormed a university campus in another northwestern town, gunning down at least 20 people, most of them students and teachers.

Suicide bomber targets media bus, kills 7 in heart of Kabul
A suicide attacker on a motorcycle set off a deadly explosion near a bus carrying media professionals on Wednesday in the heart of Afghanistan's capital, officials said.


Jihadology Podcast: Islamic State Networks In Turkey
Aaron Stein comes on the show to talk about IS networks in Turkey. Some of the topics covered include how IS developed its network inside Turkey, recent attacks in Ankara and Istanbul and the networks behind them, and how these attacks have affected Turkish governmental policy. By Aaron Zelin with Aaron Stein.

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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PATCON: The FBI's Secret War on the Militia Movement

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Forgeries on the Jihadist Forums

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

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

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