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Countering al-Shabaab Recruitment in Minnesota

Al-Shabaab remains a major recruiter of U.S. citizens, particularly in Minnesota. One man, Mohamed Ahmed, is doing his part to counter the terrorist messages, offering an alternative view of what really happens when someone joins a jihadist group.

One Year After Westgate Terrorist Attack

September 21 marks the one-year anniversary of the Nairobi Westgate Attack in Kenya. The brutal terrorist and hostage attempt carried out by al-Shabaab terrorists killed 65 people and included a standoff that lasted four days. Kenya has turned a corner in the global battle against terrorism, and there are lessons here for the United States.

Modern Threats to Airliners and the World at Large

By Kevin McCarthy
Less then a month ago, a second massive tragedy struck Malaysia Airlines – the shoot down of MH17 over Ukraine. Was MH17 targeted specifically, an indiscriminate act of violence, or a major tactical error with global consequences? Is this a new global threat that should keep us up at night?

The ISIS Fight – Do We Have Your Attention Yet?

There are no words to describe the horror of the video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS. Today, radicalization is spreading, and religious, civic, and cultural leaders on every continent have a responsibility to step forward to address it. Sadly, those voices don’t seem to be as loud or as savvy as the video we all saw last week.

How Should the U.S. Respond in Iraq?

The self-titled Islamic State (aka ISIS) continues its push against targets in Iraq, Syria and even Lebanon, while U.S. airstrikes begin to degrade their capabilities. Is it enough? Here are some important questions we should be asking about the situation in Iraq and the threat from ISIS.

Who is Supplying Terrorists with US-Made Technologies?

While ISIS is capturing national concern, Iraq is not the only place where terrorist activities are happening this month. Earlier in June, Tarheek-e Taliban attacked the Karachi, Pakistan airport. What is striking is the terrorists were found with a gunshot wound U.S. military technology called XStat, which had only just been approved by the FDA. How did terrorists get this new technology?

Deals with the Devil – The Release of Sgt. Bergdahl

The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American POW in Afghanistan, ends a more than dozen-year American conflict in Afghanistan. The five senior Taliban leaders exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl, however, will continue to set off debates on the left and right sides of the political aisles.

Welcome to the (Internet) Balkans

“Balkanization” is a splitting into many opposed factions closely located in one area. It ain’t good to be Balkanized, but that is what is happening to the Internet, and there is nothing Washington can do about it. The Obama Administration’s move to let go of U.S. government control over the naming rights of Internet sites is being viewed as the latest in a long line of U.S. withdrawals from control of the Internet.

DHS Secretary Johnson’s First Time Before House Homeland Security Committee

The House Homeland Security Committee did something yesterday it has not done in the past several years, for anyone: it came out in full force for DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s maiden appearance before the committee. It was a positive performance by the Secretary, who showed himself adept at answering questions, even as his lawyer’s instincts kept him from falling into political traps.

At Sports Events, Some Security Tactics Drive Cynicism, Risk

Security is high for the Sochi Olympics, but the TSA’s ban on toothpaste and other gels on flights to Russia is not so much a deterrent as it is an insurance policy against blame should something happen. Meanwhile, metal detectors will be in use at Major League Baseball stadiums come 2015. For both Sochi and U.S. baseball, I am worried we are creating bigger problems down the road in terms of public cynicism and policies that actually increase risk.