News

  • After Baghdadi: What Hurts the Islamic State May Help Al-Qaeda

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    By Bruce Hoffman, CFR Expert and Jacob Ware Originally Published by Council on Foreign Relations – October 29, 2019 Al-Qaeda could benefit from the death of the Islamic State’s leader, potentially regaining its worldwide reach and influence. The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, founder and leader of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, is a crushing blow to the […]

  • Halle Shooting: The New Terrorism Reality

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    By Bruce Hoffman, CFR Expert and Jacob Ware Originally published by Council on Foreign Relations – October 11, 2019 The attack in eastern Germany is another alarming example of how the terrorist threat is evolving, with more far-right perpetrators attempting to broadcast their brutality. As Stephan Balliet opened fire this week at a synagogue and kebab shop […]

  • The Domestic U.S. Terror Threat: What to Know

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    By Bruce Hoffman, CFR Expert Originally published by the Council on Foreign Relations – August 6, 2019 The latest mass shootings have prompted calls for more vigorous action by U.S. counterterrorism authorities but the target is elusive. The mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have revived concerns about domestic terrorism in the United […]

  • Sri Lanka Bombings: What We Know

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    More than three hundred people were killed in coordinated suicide bombings at Sri Lankan churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. Bruce Hoffman, CFR’s Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security, gives his assessment. Officials are blaming two local groups—National Thowheeth Jama’ath and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim—for the bombings. What do […]

  • ISIS’ Shifting Focus

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    ISIS has claimed responsibility for a series of Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed more than 300 people and injured 500 more.  Sri Lanka’s government is blaming the attacks on a local Islamist group, National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ).  A government official said an early investigation indicated the attacks could have been carried out […]

  • Indonesia Votes – Why We Should Pay More Attention

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    While the elections in India and Israel have grabbed recent headlines in the West, the upcoming vote in Indonesia—a country with vast natural resources, critical geo-political importance, and the fourth largest population in the world (including the largest number of Muslims)—has gone almost unnoticed. This is less a snub, perhaps, than an indication of how far […]

  • Back to the Future: The Return of Violent Far-Right Terrorism in the Age of Lone Wolves

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    “He is a terrorist.” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s unflinching description of the person responsible for the tragic attacks on Muslim worshippers in her country captured the changing nature of political violence in the 21st Century. In the past, a terrorist was mostly recognizable as someone committing violence at the direct behest or on […]

  • Extremism in 2019: New Approaches to Facing the Threat

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    Nearly two decades on, the war on terrorism continues without respite or resolution. The momentous question posed by General David Petraeus on the eve of the 2003 invasion of Iraq—“How does this end?”—has yet to be answered. Meanwhile, violent extremism and radicalisation efforts have both increased and intensified. More than 120 violently inclined Islamist extremist groups are active throughout […]

  • What to Do About Lone Wolf Terrorism? Examining Current Trends and Prevention Strategies

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    Unabomber Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski waged a solitary bombing campaign for almost two decades from a backwoods cabin in Montana, developing a unique and self-styled anti-technology ideology in near complete social isolation. He also bore little resemblance to most of today’s solitary attackers whose violence has, for the most part, been encouraged through like-minded online communities […]

  • Lone Wolves: Behind the Curve

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    As the tragic attacks last summer in Charleston, Chattanooga and aborted plots in Boston and other cities demonstrate, the threat of lone wolf terrorism is very real and rising. Yet, the U.S. government is behind the curve in crafting the type of comprehensive and innovative strategy required to counter this threat. Eight years ago the […]