When seeking to place an attack like the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing into context, it is helpful to classify the actors responsible, if possible. Such a classification can help us understand how an attack fits into the analytical narrative of what is happening and what is likely to come.
There are long, historical ties between the Muslim world and Europe. But this close relationship has not been without friction. Though a large portion of Muslims in Europe come from families who have lived there for four or five generations, many have not become integrated into European society and frequently live in isolated, Muslim-dominated areas.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released the 10th edition of its English-language magazine, Inspire, in March.
Rampant unemployment will, eventually, give way to a political crisis as austerity measures galvanize radical political parties opposed to the status quo.
People sometimes obsess over the potential threat posed by terrorist attacks that could include chemical weapons, electromagnetic pulses or dirty bombs. Yet they tend to discount the less exciting but very real threats.
The attack on the U.S. diplomatic office in Benghazi and the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens led to months of media coverage that has included televised congressional hearings and fierce partisan and bureaucratic squabbles in the media. It was the terrorist equivalent of winning the lottery.
The Feb. 1 bombing of the US Embassy serves as a timely reminder of several facts that tend to be overlooked. It also reminds us of the underlying terrorist threat in Turkey.
There will be repercussions for the partial intervention approach in Syria. Those consequences are becoming more apparent as the crisis drags on.
The recent jihadist attack on the Tigantourine natural gas facility near In Amenas, Algeria, and the subsequent hostage situation there have prompted some knee-jerk discussions among media punditry.
In 2013, violence in Mexico likely will remain a significant threat nationwide to bystanders, law enforcement, military and local businesses. Overall levels of violence decreased during 2011, but cartel operations and competition continued to afflict several regions of Mexico throughout 2012.
As we analyze the Mexican cartels, we recognize that to understand their actions and the interactions between them, we need to acknowledge that at their core they are businesses and not politically motivated militant organizations.
The highly critical report and the subsequent personnel reassignments are not simply a low watermark for the State Department; rather, the events following the attack signify another phase in the diplomatic security funding cycle.
The group has killed roughly 770 people this year, leading many to conclude that Boko Haram has become more dangerous.
During his campaign, he pledged to cut Mexico's murder rate in half by the end of his six-year term, to increase the number of federal police officers and to create a new gendarmerie to use in place of military troops to combat heavily armed criminals in Mexico's most violent locations.
Unlike traditional security measures that react to threats, protective intelligence teams proactively search for evidence of hostile activity before an attack can be planned and launched.
A widely propagated myth would have us believe that Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera and his Sinaloa Federation are less violent than many of their competitors.
When law enforcement officers arrest someone, they conduct a thorough search of the suspect and his or her immediate possessions. This is referred to as a "search incident to arrest," and items discovered during this search are considered admissible as evidence in U.S. courts.
The jihadist threat will persist regardless of who is elected president, so understanding the actors involved is critical. But a true understanding of those actors requires taxonomical acuity. It seems worthwhile, then, to revisit Stratfor's definitions of al Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement.
While geopolitical changes may cause a shift in the actors who employ terrorism as a tactic, terrorism will continue to be used no matter what the next geopolitical cycle brings.
The mechanics of terrorism go far beyond target selection and the method of attack. This is especially true of aspiring transnational terrorists. Basic military skills may be helpful in waging terrorist attacks in areas where a militant group has access to men, weapons and targets -- such was the case with Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, Libya -- but an entirely different set of skills is required to operate in a hostile environment or at a distance.
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