The Myth of Lone-Wolf Terrorism

Politicians, government officials, and the media are often quick to describe the recent murderous attacks in Europe and America as the work of individuals who either commit violence for largely personal reasons or are inspired by reading jihadist propaganda online. In truth, argues Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, most have been recruited by Islamic State (IS) and have received operational assistance:

Jihadists plotting murders in the West used to congregate in person, meeting in small groups in underground mosques, houses, or other discreet locations. Radicalization occurred through in-person contact. Counterterrorism officials looked for physical hubs of recruitment, tapping phones and scanning videos for evidence that cells were meeting.

But with the social-media boom and the growth in encrypted communications, [both] radicalization and operational planning can easily take place entirely online. IS has capitalized on [developing] communications technologies, building cohesive online communities that foster a sense of “remote intimacy” and thus facilitate radicalization. The group has also established a team of “virtual planners” who use the Internet to identify recruits and to coordinate and direct attacks, often without meeting the perpetrators in person. [For instance], Junaid Hussain, a British IS operative who was killed in August 2015, played the role of virtual planner for the May 2015 strike against the “draw Mohammed ” contest in Garland, Texas.

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Read more at Defend Democracy

More about: Europe, ISIS, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism, U.S. Security

Distrust of the Supreme Court Led Likud Voters to Rally around Netanyahu

Jan. 17 2020

A few weeks ago, Benjamin Netanyahu handily won the Likud party’s primary election, receiving 72 percent of the votes. He won despite the fact that he is facing indictments on corruption charges that could interfere with his ability to govern if he remains Israel’s premier, and despite the credible challenge mounted by his opponent, Gideon Sa’ar. Evelyn Gordon credits the results not to love of Netanyahu but to resentment of Israel’s overweening Supreme Court:

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politics, Israeli Supreme Court