The fight against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) is, in part, a war of ideas. ISIS pushes a radical ideology that claims to justify murder, rape and other atrocities. In the United States, we must counter this narrative. As a part of that effort, fellow Security Debrief contributor Erroll Southers and I have been working on a Countering Violent Extremism project in Minneapolis.
By Dr. Doron Pely
In the wake of the recent wave of Islamists-led terror attacks around the world, there is a palpable sense of despair amongst Western experts and citizens who are all asking: “Where do we go from here in our relations with Islam?” It seems that we are running out of options, and the only way forward is outright conflict, but before we cross that Sambation, here is an alternative proposal that may show some promise.
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.
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.
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.
On the eve of the 2014 Passover, Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. shouted “Heil Hitler” from the back of a police car after killing three people at two Jewish Centers in Overland Park, Kansas. Cross has been charged with a hate crime, even though his attack was clearly an act of terrorism. Why does there seem to be this national reticence to call a spade a spade, a terrorist a terrorist?
Today marks the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. One year later, Boston is preparing for the marathon, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev awaits trail on murder and terrorism charges. The country may be healing but the threat from domestic terrorism remains.
The Justice Department announced this week that it will seek the death penalty in the trial against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It seems clear the verdict will be guilty and the punishment will be death. For some, this may seem appropriate, but in executing Tsarnaev, we will lose a big opportunity to better understand radicalization and terrorism.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, the 23-year-old who shot TSA agents at LAX, made his first court appearance this month. Since the shooting, news outlets have reported on the attack itself, on Ciancia’s mental state and on methods for improving security. Yet, in the extensive coverage of the shooter’s actions, there is one word that is conspicuously and erroneously absent: terrorist.