Terrorism

July 23, 2017
Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department issued a memorandum stating that foreign countries are required to provide increased information and data about their citizens who are seeking to travel to the U.S.
July 13, 2017
The U.S. government imposes sanctions on individuals, companies, and nations for a variety of reasons, but the practical consequences are always the same: U.S. sanctions make doing business as usual a lot harder.
July 6, 2017
For the last 15 years, the U.S. and Pakistan have struggled to navigate the murky nature of their relationship as they strive to bring security to South Asia.
July 5, 2017
When a suicide bomber in Manchester, England detonated a backpack full of explosives in May, killing 22 people at a concert venue, the National Counterterrorism Center took more than a passing interest.
June 23, 2017
The U.S. war in Afghanistan has entered into its 16th year with no end in sight.
June 23, 2017
The American war in Afghanistan is in its 16th year. It was preceded by 12 years of civil war, and before that by the Soviet Union’s war. So the country itself has been in, more or less, continuous conflict since 1979. 
June 23, 2017
The U.S. continues to face a daunting challenge in Afghanistan, as it aims to bring stability to a country that has been plagued by conflict for decades. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Anthony Cordesman, Arleigh A.
June 11, 2017
Terrorists’ tactics evolve with the times. Just as we have seen an adaption of terrorist methods for sowing fear and distrust, so, too, we have seen their propaganda machines evolve to inspire audiences globally. Gone are the days of printed manifestos, pamphlets, or fuzzy VHS tapes.
June 9, 2017
ISIS has become infamous for using the Internet to radicalize and recruit individuals worldwide. Lesser known, however, are the tech-savvy ISIS supporters who dedicate their time and resources not only to advancing the group’s goals but also to safeguarding its online operations.
June 4, 2017
As the United Kingdom grapples with its third terrorist attack in three months, international counterterrorism cooperation and intelligence sharing will be vital to confront the “new normal” of the evolving global threat of terrorism, experts told The Cipher Brief.
June 4, 2017
The investigation into London’s Saturday attack is moving quickly with police arresting at least a dozen people in connection to the incident. It came less than two weeks after a suicide bombing in Manchester left 22 people dead.
June 4, 2017
The weekend’s London attacks is the third in the UK this year and came as the UK was still reeling from a suicide bombing in Manchester on May 22nd that left 22 people dead.
June 4, 2017
Tragedy in London after a series of terror attacks on Saturday left at least seven people dead and dozens injured, less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people in Manchester. It follows a series of dizzying events around the world last week.
May 11, 2017
The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel spoke with retired Ambassador Phil Carter, former Senior Advisor, Acting Assistant Secretary, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the State Department’s Africa Bureau, to discuss Sudan’s progress on counterterrorism and whether State should continue
May 11, 2017
As with comedy, timing is everything for the politics of being a state sponsor of terrorism. Political considerations, as much as supposed improvements in counterterrorism efforts, saw Cuba, North Korea, and Libya removed in recent years from the U.S.
May 11, 2017
Sudan, along with Iran and Syria, remains one of three countries listed as a state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. State Department. However, after years of increased counterterrorism cooperation between the Sudanese and U.S.
April 27, 2017
In February, reports emerged that the administration of President Donald Trump was considering rebranding the Obama-era Countering Violent Extremism program to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.” This idea quickly sparked a public backlash from rights groups and Democratic congressional r
April 27, 2017
U.S. counterterrorism efforts have achieved their fair share of successes – killing terrorist leaders with drone strikes and commando raids, keeping terrorist cells on the run so they can’t plot future attacks, and destroying militants’ underground bases and infrastructure.
April 27, 2017
The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel spoke with Michael Leiter, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, about U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism.
April 26, 2017
There has been talk for decades of creating an overarching intelligence structure that works to keep the continent secure, but it has taken on new urgency with the recent increase in terror attacks in Europe.   However, doing so is easier said than done.
April 26, 2017
In March, the Trump Administration imposed a new set of restrictions targeting carry-on luggage arriving on planes from several Muslim-majority countries after intelligence reports indicated that terrorist organizations have been perfecting techniques to conceal explosive devices in laptop ba
April 15, 2017
On Thursday, the United States carried out an airstrike targeting ISIS in Afghanistan, dropping a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) on a tunnel and cave complex.
April 14, 2017
While al Qaeda’s affiliates in North Africa, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen continue to grab headlines, the terrorist network has surreptitiously expanded eastward, entrenching itself throughout the Indian subcontinent.
April 14, 2017
While al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) may be regionally focused, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, says “that doesn’t mean AQIS can be divorced from al Qaeda’s aspirations to attack the West.” In an interview with The C
April 14, 2017
The Cipher Brief sat down with Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, to discuss the threat posed by al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
April 4, 2017
On Sunday, March 26, widespread protests broke out in more than 80 cities in the Russian Federation, apparently in response to the government's inability or unwillingness to deal with the problem of endemic corruption.
April 4, 2017
Vladimir Putin is portrayed in the West as the master manipulator in foreign policy, creating turmoil in U.S. and European elections and outfoxing his rivals in the Ukraine and Syria.
March 23, 2017
While the U.S. remains focused on defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, al Qaeda in Syria is accumulating strength at an alarming pace and may eventually pose the most daunting counterterrorism challenge that the U.S. has ever faced.
March 23, 2017
The Cipher Brief sat down with Charles Lister, Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute, to discuss al Qaeda in Syria’s latest rebranding, how the group is expanding its influence across the country, and the implications for U.S. security.
February 16, 2017
As part of the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) during the Obama administration, Michael Ortiz helped develop and launch a new CVE strategy and also worked to build the case internationally for those efforts.
February 16, 2017
With the recent U.S.
February 16, 2017
The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani, spoke with Haras Rafiq, CEO of Quilliam, to discuss how the organization works to counter the narratives propagated by extremist groups.
February 9, 2017
The Cipher Brief sat down with Michele Dunne, Director and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Middle East Center, to discuss the potential implications of the U.S. State Department designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
February 9, 2017
The Muslim Brotherhood preaches a violent, exclusivist ideology.
February 9, 2017
The Trump Administration is considering whether to designate the Muslim Brotherhood – a movement that espouses a doctrine of political Islam and has millions of supporters across the Middle East – as a terrorist organization.
February 2, 2017
On January 25, 2017, during his first post-election press interview, President Donald Trump was asked, “do you want waterboarding?” In his response, the President said, “I will say this, I will rely on [Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike] Pompeo and [Secretary of Defense James] Matt
February 1, 2017
International sanctions and poor relations with neighbors have left Eritrea largely isolated in East Africa. Relations between the U.S. and Eritrea are tense, partially due to alleged human rights abuses by the Eritrean government.
February 1, 2017
The U.S. and Eritrea do not have strong bilateral relations. Ever since UN sanctions were imposed in 2009 and again in 2013, doing business in Eritrea, let alone having strong diplomatic ties, has become more difficult.
January 12, 2017
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) propensity for kidnapping was back on display earlier this week, as al Qaeda’s North African branch released a video of Swiss Christian missionary Beatrice Stockly, who has been held captive by the terrorist group for more than a year.
January 8, 2017
Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th president, subscribed to the philosophy, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” a line attributed to Sun Tzu, the famous sixth-century Chinese military strategist. Mr.
December 1, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly said that fighting Islamic extremism is one of his administration's top priorities.
December 1, 2016
The Cipher Brief sat down with former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann to discuss some of the challenges that the incoming Trump Administration will face in Afghanistan and the steps the U.S. government can take to reaffirm its commitment to stability in Afghanistan.
December 1, 2016
With the Trump Administration set to take office next month, The Cipher Brief spoke with Robert Grenier, former CIA Chief of Station in Pakistan and Afghanistan and author of the book, “88 Days to Kandahar,” to discuss ways for the U.S.
November 25, 2016
There has been a downward trend in large-scale warfare on the African continent since the number of wars peaked in the mid 1990s. However, new forms of violence are now replacing mass warfare in many of America’s key African allies.
September 27, 2016
Over the last several years, China has learned that its borders and people are not immune to the threat of terrorism.
September 27, 2016
On September 10th in the restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China, as many as 10 people were killed or injured when police investigated the house of suspected terrorists.
September 15, 2016
In the aftermath of 9/11, every major security, law enforcement, and intelligence organization initiated changes to address the looming terrorist threat. None made more profound changes to its intelligence structure, operations, and culture than the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
September 8, 2016
In August, U.S. President Barack Obama reassured the Pentagon that the Islamic State will “inevitably be defeated.” U.S.
July 28, 2016
The threat of terrorism in West Africa appears to be growing, creating concerns about whether it is safe to do business there.
July 26, 2016
The terrorist attack at Holey Bakery in Dhaka earlier this month deviated in important ways from the previous trend of assassination-style attacks against specific individuals in Bangladesh.

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