Confronting an ISIS Emir: ICSVE’s Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter-Narrative Videos​

Most experts agree that the most successful counter-messaging campaigns against ISIS are the ones that utilize the voices of insiders: the voices of ISIS victims and ISIS cadres themselves who have first-hand knowledge of the group’s brutality, corruption, religious manipulation, and deception. In this regard, we at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) have spent the last two years … [Read more...]

My Memories Of September 11

This article has little to do with aviation security other than September 11 was an aviation security event and I was sent to New York to manage Qantas’ on-ground response. My experience was minor in the scope of the events and restricted to Qantas operations, but it was a defining time. This article is dedicated to Qantas JFK Airport Manager Joe Ward and the JFK Qantas staff on duty on September 11, 2001. They were all … [Read more...]

ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate

ICSVE is proud to announce their new book! The authors hadn’t intended to put themselves in danger but that’s what happened as they interviewed an unprecedented thirty-two battle-hardened defectors about the gritty details of life inside ISIS. With unparalleled breadth, depth and access, ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate offers a compelling view of ISIS from men, women and teens now in hiding, … [Read more...]

ISIS’s Revenues include Sales of Oil to the al-Assad Regime

For months now disaffected Syrian, ISIS defectors we have been interviewing in our ISIS Defectors Interview Project have been telling us that one of the many reasons that they became disenchanted with ISIS was that their leaders were directly negotiating and selling oil to their enemy, Bashar al-Assad—oil that was then used in barrel bombs that rained back down on the Sunnis uprising against the Assad regime.[1] This week … [Read more...]

If Popularity Trumps Security

It is not entirely clear quite when it happened but, at some point over the last three months, the improbable became likely. Indeed, barring a spectacular collapse in popular support, or convoluted Machiavellian contortions at the Republican convention, it looks likely that Donald Trump will be the GOP (Grand Old Party – a term used to refer to the Republican Party) candidate for president later this year. The GOP … [Read more...]

Former German Soldiers Now Fighting for ISIS

by Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. & Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. A report written by the German Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) indicated that twenty-nine former German soldiers left their countries to fight for rebel groups, including ISIS, in Syria or Iraq, as reported by local German news .[i] It also claimed that sixty-five German soldiers are now under investigation for having Islamist sympathies. Since 2007, … [Read more...]

Issue #84 Cover Story: Preventing Home Grown Terrorism: Lessons learned from the Boston Bombings

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. In April of 2013 Americans suffered another al Qaeda related terrorist attack—two nearly simultaneous bombings at the Boston Marathon that resulted in the killing of three and injury of hundreds more.  It wasn’t the worst al Qaeda related terrorist attack on U.S. soil - 9-11 has that distinction.  Nor was it among the first.  There have been many—including a previous attack on the World Trade … [Read more...]

Beyond Bin Laden: The Implications Of Osama Bin Laden’s Death For Counter Terrorism Over The Longer Term. PART TWO

By Kenneth Barker. In the previous article (see Beyond Bin Laden – posted 2/5/12), we began our two-part series by examining the events surrounding the death of the former al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. We also examined bin Laden’s actual role and influence within al-Qaeda in the period preceding his death, the leadership structure of al-Qaeda and the possibility of retribution in the wake of bin Laden’s death. In … [Read more...]

The Death Of Bin Laden – What Does It Mean For Security In The West?

By Mat Hardy. When Osama bin Laden’s lifeless body was committed to the Indian Ocean last May, many in the Western world, particularly in the USA, felt a sense of relief tinged with satisfied revenge. The death of the former leader of al-Qaeda marked, for many, the closing of a long and bloody chapter in the history of modern western conflict. However, in reality, bin Laden’s death raised more questions than it … [Read more...]

Beyond Bin Laden: The Implications of Osama Bin Laden’s Death For Counter Terrorism Over The Longer Term

By Kenneth Barker. The following looks at the implications posed for counter-terrorism by the killing of Osama Bin Laden on 1st May, 2011, by a covert US Special Forces team inserted into Pakistani sovereign territory without Pakistan’s prior approval or knowledge. This action raised several uncertainties that will have varying consequences for Western societies. 1st of May 2011, a team of highly trained US Navy Seals … [Read more...]