The car ramming attack that occurred in New York City on Oct. 31 killed eight people and reignited debate over what constitutes domestic and international terrorism. Terrorism has remained at the forefront of American national security concerns ever since the September 11 attacks. And as globalization continues to extend its ...

The Cipher Brief asked network experts from the NYPD, NCTC, CIA and FBI to weigh in on the deadly truck attack in New York that killed eight, carried out by a 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant, apparently inspired by the so-called Islamic State. Prosecutors said Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who was charged in ...

After the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, which killed 58 people, and the murder of an anti-fascist protester in Charlottesville this August, many people are asking what exactly qualifies as terrorism, and where the real difference lies between domestic and international acts of terror. The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge ...

Over the last decade and a half, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities have remained vigilant in their efforts to defend the homeland against terrorist adversaries. However, the evolution of terrorist group’s use of the internet and other technological means to disseminate their propaganda has presented a new type of ...

The Cipher Brief asked network expert Charlie Allen, former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, to react to the deadly vehicle attack on pedestrians near the World Trade Center Memorial in New York Tuesday. Charlie Allen: The attack has all of the hallmarks of ...

Terrorists used a car to mow down pedestrians on Thursday in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district, killing over a dozen people and leaving many more injured in a violent attack claimed by ISIS. The deadly incident in Spain marks the latest example of terrorists driving vehicles into a crowd to attack, ...

Attacks like Saturday’s one in London trigger information-sharing between allies, as well as domestic procedures to secure the homeland. Is there a concern about copycat attacks? What types of measures could U.S. authorities take? The Cipher Brief’s Leone Lakhani asked Todd Rosenblum, former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland ...

After violence broke out between white nationalist protestors and counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia over the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, a 20-year old man from Ohio drove his vehicle into a crowd, killing one counter-protestor and injuring several others. The echoes of a terrorist tactic the ...

The process of radicalization, by which disaffected members of society are convinced to embrace violent means to pursue the goals of a terrorist ideology, has been intensely studied since the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, the threat of international terrorism has become one of the ...

The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Charlie Allen, former Under Secretary for Security and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to discuss the continued threat that individuals who become radicalized pose to U.S. security. According to Allen, several factors drive people toward jihadist ideology including a ...

The man who carried out a deadly terrorist attack in London was British-born and had been previously known to authorities, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday. Police named Khalid Masood, 52, as the Westminster attacker, who mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer inside ...

How the Terrorist Watchlist Works In the wake of recent domestic terrorist incidents, the spotlight has once again fallen on the terrorist watchlist. What is it, how does the system actually work — and could the watchlist have been a means to prevent the attacks? The gunman in the Orlando ...

House Homeland Security Committee chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) on Tuesday will unveil his new counterterrorism strategy, a proposal meant to suggest ways to overhaul how the United States can confront the the threat of homegrown terrorism. A draft of the proposal, “A National Strategy to Win the War Against Islamist ...

The attack in Nice, France that killed at least 84 people poses new questions regarding ISIS claims of responsibility: Does the automatic assumption of ISIS involvement, even before the group makes an official statement, boost the group’s image and prestige? If proof of an oath of allegiance, known as bay’ah, ...

The first thing to state is that we are still not clear about Omar Mateen’s background. The FBI are still investigating possible motives – and it is an investigation that may take some time. People in Britain are shocked by the killings, which were almost as many as the game ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with former Director of Analysis at the NYPD, Mitch Silber, to discuss the fallout from the Orlando attack this past week. According to Silber, the attack benefitted ISIS primarily since it diverted attention away from the group’s battlefield losses in Iraq and Syria. Further, Silber ...

The choice of soft targets in recent terrorist attacks in Orlando, Paris, Brussels, and San Bernardino has raised questions about the safety and security of private businesses. What do the managers of typical soft targets — public gathering places such as nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, offices, or public transportation that are ...

As the investigation into the Orlando attack unfolds, authorities on Monday said it appears the shooting was not part of a plot directed from outside the United States and that the gunman was likely a homegrown extremist. FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama both said on Monday that ...

The Cipher Brief: Nothing is definitive yet, but Omar Mateen appears to be a case of a lone wolf - possibly inspired by ISIS, but so far with no direct connections - with an apparent hatred for gay people.   However, he was on the FBI’s radar.  Twice he was investigated, ...

At least 50 people were killed and 53 more were injured in an attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida this weekend, officials said, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, an American citizen born in New York, was shot and ...

In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing, terrorism expert Peter Bergen had a pressing question on his mind:  Who are these homegrown Islamist terrorists, and what has driven them to a life of jihad?  This week, he released his fifth book, The United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown ...

The Islamic State (ISIS) is the “preeminent global” threat and remains determined to execute direct attacks against the U.S. homeland, the top U.S. intelligence official told Senators at the annual Worldwide Threats hearings on Tuesday. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said ISIS “leaders are determined to strike the U.S. ...

Few things are more hotly debated in Washington and other capitals than the question of how to defeat the Islamic State. Ideas are all over the map, but a starting point for strategy has to be acceptance of the realities we face. Here are six: First, the context is totally ...

Over fifteen years ago, I spoke with someone in Gaza about a Hamas bomb maker who had been killed in an Israeli anti-terrorism operation. I told him, mockingly, “That’s the end of that terrorist.” The man said, “No, his words will live forever.” The Hamas bomb maker had recorded some ...

A great deal of attention in the U.S. has understandably been paid to how ISIS promotes its ideology, with a focus on ISIS’ social media prowess and its ability to reach a potentially limitless supply of lone wolf actors. Yet the medium is less important than the message, and specifically, ...

Last October, in an interview with “60 Minutes,” FBI director James Comey revealed that there were “a dozen or so” Americans fighting in Syria on the side of terrorists. Only nine months later, Comey revised those numbers when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that “upwards of 200 Americans have ...