Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

Lessons learned from mass shootings

May 4, 2017

This article reviews the 2015 San Bernardino and 2016 Orlando mass shootings and subsequent police responses, along with lessons learned. It notes that “In both instances, patrol and traffic officers, investigators, and command personnel—not tactical teams—were the first law enforcement personnel to arrive on scene” and considers whether current active shooter protocols need to be adapted to fit terrorist, IED, and suicide-bomber scenarios.

ISIS in Turkey

March 10, 2017

This article provides an in-depth analysis of the New Year’s Eve nightclub massacre in Istanbul that left 39 dead and 71 wounded. The attack was carried out by an ethnic Uzbek “sleeper operative,” born in Kyrgyzstan, on orders from his handler in Syria, with logistical support from an extensive ISIS network within Turkey. The country’s traditional focus on the Kurdish PKK may have deflected attention away from the ISIS threat, plus a purge of police and military officials has weakened its counter-terror capacity.

San Francisco suspends participation in JTTF

February 3, 2017

San Francisco PD has suspended participation in the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force while a mandatory review of the 10-year-old memorandum of understanding is conducted, according to this article. Activists have pressured the PD not to aid federal agencies in surveillance related to immigration and 1st amendment activities.

Terrorism & mental health

January 23, 2017

Following incidents as recent as the Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, this article provides a timely summary of studies examining the linkage between mental health and terrorism. Mental disorders do seem to be more prevalent among lone-wolf actors inspired by extremist ideologies than among terrorists following directions or acting as a group. The causal relationship between the individual’s mental illness and the commission of a terrorist act is not so clear, however.

The jihadi threat

December 14, 2016

The respected US Institute of Peace has released a report on terrorism, violent extremism, and the jihadi threat based on the views of 20 experts representing 17 think tanks and universities. The report describes the emergence of ISIS, traces the evolution of al-Qaeda, and offers a range of short- and long-term policy considerations.

After-action review of San Bernardino

September 10, 2016

The COPS Office and Police Foundation have completed an after-action review of police and emergency response to the San Bernardino terror attack of December 2015. A condensed graphical version is available here and the complete report is here.

Counter-terrorism in 2016

March 18, 2016

Here is an interview with the NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence and counter-terrorism discussing the nature of current threats and how they have evolved over the last 10-20 years.

Faith in the rule of law

February 22, 2016

In this 18-minute video, Mark Fallon discusses the virtue of keeping faith in the rule of law, even in the face of terrorism. He was directly involved in U.S. counter-terrorism before and after 9/11 and is a leading critic of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques that were authorized and utilized after 2001.

The San Bernardino terrorist attack

February 20, 2016

This article reports background information on the two individuals who committed the San Bernardino attack on December 2nd, their friend who purchased the weapons, and some of the victims. Which of the two killers was the real mastermind, and whether the motivation was mainly personal animosity or ISIL-inspired, remains murky.

European Counter Terrorism Center

January 25, 2016

This article reports the establishment of a European Counter Terrorism Center in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, along with other steps being taken by Europol to enhance prevention and investigation capabilities throughout the EU.