INTELWIRE.com -- Open-source intelligence, primary source documents, analysis by J.M. Berger, co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror, author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Got to War in the Name of Islam
               

SITE TOPICS INDEX

  • The Islamic State aka ISIS
  • American jihadists; Anwar Awlaki, Omar Hammami
  • Domestic U.S. extremists
  • Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
  • Social Media and Big Data
  • Law enforcement tactics against extremists
  • Primary Sources, 9/11, Al Qaeda and More
  • J.M. Berger biography
  • Recent video

    SELECTED WORKS ON ISIS

  • J.M. Berger, Senate testimony on ISIS recruitment
  • J.M. Berger, House testimony on ISIS social media
  • The Irregulars: Should we let ISIS claim just any attack?
  • ISIS vs. al Qaeda: The next jihadi superpower
  • Threat vs. Impact in Terrorism
  • ISIS Twitter: Resistible Force Meets Movable Object
  • IS/ISIS/ISIL: What's in a Name?
  • Zawahiri's Silence Raises Concerns With Nusra Supporters
  • Islamic State Massacre Provokes Backlash
  • The Daily Beast: ISIS Takes a Big Gamble
  • The Atlantic: How ISIS Games Twitter
  • Analysis: How Online Fundraising Networks Are Reacting to ISIS
  • A New Day for ISIS: Considerations
  • War on Error: Understanding the evolution of al Qaeda

    BIG DATA AND EXTREMISM

  • #Unfollow: Why Kicking Terrorists Off Twitter Works
  • How Metadata Works: What the NSA Does with Phone Records
  • Who Matters Online: Metrics for Monitoring Extremism Online
  • Foreign Policy: Fringe Following
  • Understanding the NSA's Location Data
  • Visualizing CVE Audiences
  • Recalculating the SPLC's Hate List

    COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM (CVE)

  • A Way Forward for CVE: The Five Ds
  • Monsters and Children: Politics And How We Talk About Muslims
  • The Value of Exposing Collaborators
  • The 'You Name It!' Problem
  • White House CVE Strategy Full of Sound and Fury
  • Terrorist Acts, Terrorist Thoughts

    ONLINE EXTREMISM AND CVE

  • 10 Things to Know About Reporting on Terrorists on Social Media
  • How the West made a laughable terrorist magazine into a success
  • Terrorists on Social Media: Arguments That Don't Impress Me
  • I've Got a Little List
  • Buzzfeed: How to Ruin Al Qaeda's Day on Twitter
  • #Unfollow: The Case for Kicking Terrorists Off Twitter
  • Who Matters Online: Metrics for Monitoring Extremism Online
  • Yellow and Black is the New Black Flag
  • Interview with Online Jihadist Abu Suleiman Al Nasser
  • Internet provides terrorists with tools -- just like everyone else
  • The Trolls of Jihad
  • Don't Be Evil: Why Terrorists Love Google Services

    FBI USE OF INFORMANTS

  • Sex as a Weapon: The Blurry Line Between Informants and Agents
  • Patriot Games: FBI Undercover Operations And Timothy McVeigh
  • White Paper: PATCON infiltration and Oklahoma City
  • Video: Panel on infiltration, New America Foundation
  • A Nation of Spies and Snitches

    ANWAR AWLAKI

  • The Enduring Appeal of Awlaqi's "Constants on the Path of Jihad"
  • The Myth of Anwar Awlaki
  • Gone But Not Forgotten
  • Anwar Al-Awlaki's Links to the September 11 Hijackers
  • Anwar Awlaki's Emails with Fort Hood Shooter
  • U.S. Gave Millions To Charity Linked To Al Qaeda, Anwar Awlaki

    OMAR HAMMAMI

  • Omar and Me: My Strange Relationship with an American Jihadi
  • Bum Rap: Omar Hammami Disavows Jihadist Raps
  • Best-Liked on the Most-Wanted
  • Former Jihadist Friend Rips Hammami in Online Post
  • Foreign Policy: Me against the World
  • Omar Hammami and the Trolls of Jihad

    DOMESTIC EXTREMISM

  • Newtown and the Doomsday Preppers
  • White Nationalists See Opportunity After Election
  • How the Recession Helps Extremists
  • Recalculating the SPLC's Hate List
  • New York Times: Has threat from hate groups been overlooked?
  • J.M. Berger: Temple shooting suspect linked to Florida terror probe
  • Did You Hear The One About U.S. Internment Camps?
  • Unplaying the Race Card in the Patriot Movement
  • The Evolution of Race in the Patriot Movement
  • Mongol Hordes Take Manhattan

    AMERICAN JIHADISTS

  • Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam
  • Exclusive: Omar Hammami on why Al Shabab wants to kill him
  • Bun Rap: Omar Hammami Disavows Propaganda Beats
  • The Boy Who Cried Lone Wolf
  • Why U.S. Terrorists Reject the Al Qaeda Playbook
  • Baltimore's Jamaat al-Muslimeen: Radical But Disciplined
  • Al Qaeda's Gun Fixation
  • The History of Chechen Jihadists in Boston

    EXCLUSIVE PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTS

  • FBI's Investigative Files on 9/11
  • CIA records on Al Qaeda and bin Laden
  • Beatings and Bureaucracy: Al Qaeda's Founding Memos
  • State Department Secretly Met With Followers of Blind Sheikh
  • Oklahoma City Bombing Documents
  • The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

    J.M. BERGER

    JIHAD JOE


  • NEW PUBLICATION

    CVE as Process Disruption

    One of the biggest barriers to designing a comprehensive Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programme is defining its scope. This paper argues for a narrow approach, focusing on disengagement and the disruption of recruitment. The author develops a simplified model of radicalisation and the concurrent terrorist recruitment process, proposing concrete themes for disruptive intervention and messaging. After analysing case studies of disengagement, the author offers recommendations for specific action to accomplish CVE goals by disrupting recruitment processes and deploying targeted messaging within the framework of the correlated models.

    Read the full paper (PDF)

    RECENT VIDEO



    BOOKS BY J.M. BERGER

    "...smart, granular analysis..."

    ISIS: The State of Terror
    "Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

  • Foreign Affairs: Best books of 2015
  • Wall Street Journal: Must-reads on terrorism
  • Washington Post: Notable nonfiction of 2015
  • New York Times: The top books of 2015

    More on ISIS: The State of Terror

    "...a timely warning..."

    Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
    "At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

    More on Jihad Joe

    RECENT UPDATES

  • All recent posts
  • Latest INTELWIRE Weekly Brief
  • Politico: The Dog-Days of Terrorism
  • Politico: Misunderestimating ISIS
  • Politico: Al Qaeda's American Dream Ends
  • ISIS: State of Terror Review Roundup
  • Social Media: An Evolving Battleground
  • Documents: Garland shooter's jihadist history
  • Berger's Rule of Radicalization
  • About J.M. Berger


    EXCLUSIVE: THE 9/11 ARCHIVE

    FBI Documents on 9/11:

  • By 9/11 Report Chapter
  • 1995 to 2000
  • 1/1/2001 to 9/10/2001
  • 9/11/2001
  • 9/12/2001
  • 9/13/2001 to 9/30/2001
  • 10/01/2001 to 12/31/2001
  • 01/01/2002 to 04/30/2002
  • 5/2002 to 12/2002
  • 1/2003 to 12/2003
  • 1/2004 to FBI FOIA complete

    CIA Documents on 9/11:

  • Binder 1
  • Binder 2

    Spotlight documents:

  • FBI Chronology of Hijackers' Activities
  • FBI Timeline of Investigation, Sept. 12-13, 2001
  • June 2001 Warning of Terrorist Attack
  • State Dept. Secret Post-9/11 Briefing to World Leaders
  • Al Qaeda Internal Records of Its Founding in 1988
  • 1994 State Dept. Document Referencing Al Qaeda
  • Anwar Awlaki FBI Investigative Documents
  • Descriptions of U.S. Border Security Programs
  • 9/11 Commission Memoranda, State Dept. Interviews
  • 9/11 Commission Memoranda, CIA Budget
  • 9/11 Commission Memoranda, Extremism In Pakistan
  • 9/11 Commission Memoranda, Various Interviews
  • 9/11 Commission Memoranda, FBI Interviews, Part I
  • 9/11 Commission Memoranda, 1990s CT Policy
  • State Department Analysis: Exporting Terrorist Tactics From Iraq


  • ARTICLES BY J.M. BERGER

    Al Qaeda's American Dream Ends
    The public first met Adam Gadahn in October 2004, under the name "Azzam the American," in an Al Qaeda video Q&A that seems almost quaint by today's gruesome standards. Gadahn's real name and strange life story soon emerged. A Jew raised on a California goat farm who dabbled in heavy metal before converting to Islam and subsequently joining Al Qaeda, he became one of the most prominent members of the pantheon of Americans in the terror group. His death closes a chapter. Al Qaeda's array of American recruits once inspired alarm at the highest levels of government; today they are a spent force.

    Europe's New Crackdown
    They can take our lives, but can they also take our freedom? The Charlie Hebdo assault in Paris last week is only the latest chapter in a months-long series of attacks, which built in turn on a yearlong escalation of concerns about the extraordinary number of Europeans traveling to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State, al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, and a host of other jihadi groups.

    The Islamic State's Irregulars
    In a number of recent cases, it's unclear whether jihadist-style attacks were inspired by the Islamic State and its extremist ideology, or whether IS provided a convenient excuse for violence that was already brewing in the hearts of the perpetrators.

    Full story at Foreign Policy

    INTELWIRE EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS

  • Al Qaeda's Founding Documents
  • FBI Investigative Files on 9/11
  • CIA records on Al Qaeda and bin Laden
  • State Dept. Meetings With Followers of Blind Sheikh
  • Oklahoma City Bombing Documents
  • The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

  • TOP STORIES AND RESEARCH


    THE ISIS TWITTER CENSUS

    In a groundbreaking study for the Brookings Institution's Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, , J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan identified 20,000 ISIS-supporting Twitter accounts and analyzed their characteristics, profiles, locations and tweeting activity. The study estimates a minimum of 46,000 ISIS-supporting accounts were active in October and November 2014, and provides data and insights on how the suspension of thousands of accounts have impacted the performance of the network. For more reporting on ISIS and its use of media, read ISIS: The State of Terror, the new book by J.M. Berger and Jessica Stern, on sale everywhere.

    Full report | News story | ISIS: State of Terror




    WHO MATTERS ONLINE: METRICS FOR ANALYZING EXTREMIST SOCIAL NETWORKS

    Through the analysis of thousands of Twitter accounts following prominent white nationalists and anarchists, "Who Matters Online: Measuring influence, Evaluating Content and Countering Violent Extremism in Online Social Networks" offers new quantitative tools to identify highly engaged extremists in large social networks and to evaluate tactics for combating violent extremism (CVE) online. Authored by ICSR Associate Fellow J.M. Berger and Bill Strathearn, Who Matters Online: Measuring influence, Evaluating Content and Countering Violent Extremism in Online Social Networks demonstrates how quantitative analysis can identify highly engaged extremists in large social networks.

    Full report


  • Al Qaeda's American Dream Ends
  • The Islamic State's Irregulars
  • War on Error: The New Shape of Al Qaeda
  • What Intelligence Agencies Do With Metadata
  • Monsters and Children: Politicians and Muslims

    ABOUT J.M. BERGER

    J.M. Berger is a fellow with George Washington University's Program on Extremism. He is researcher, analyst and consultant, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and use of social media. Berger is co-author of the critically acclaimed The State of Terror with Jessica Stern and author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement.

    Berger publishes the web site Intelwire.com and has written for Politico, The Atlantic and Foreign Policy, among many others. He was previously a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World and an associate fellow with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.

    In addition to writing for the media, Berger consults for and trains private companies and government agencies on issues related to homegrown terrorism, online extremism, foreign fighters and advanced social media analysis. He has lectured at Harvard University, American University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was keynote speaker and a panelist at the 2015 conference of the Society for Terrorism Study, hosted by the University of Massachusetts.



    J.M. BERGER RESEARCH AREAS

  • Homegrown violent extremism (HVE and CVE)
  • Terrorist and extremist use of the Internet
  • Lone wolf and loosely networked terrorism
  • American jihadists including Anwar Awlaki
  • History of jihadist terrorism in the U.S.
  • History of right-wing extremism in the U.S.
  • Al Qaeda infiltration and targeting of U.S. military
  • Early Al Qaeda history and structure
  • Terrorist tactics and financing
  • Jihadist activity during Bosnian civil war
  • Document research and FOIA