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ISIS: THE STATE OF TERRORJessica Stern and J.M. Berger co-author the forthcoming book, "ISIS: The State of Terror," from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, which will debut in early 2015, will examine the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, its potential fall, how it is transforming the nature of extremist movements, and how we should evaluate the threat it presents. Jessica Stern is a Harvard lecturer on terrorism and the author of the seminal text Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. J.M. Berger is author of the definitive book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, and editor of Intelwire.com.
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THREAT VERSUS IMPACTGiven the robust discussion of the relevance/irrelevance of al Qaeda Central, al Qaeda affiliates, the Islamic State, the Khorasan Group (if it is in fact anything but just plain old AQC), it's worth pointing out a fundamental tenet of terrorism, which one could be forgiven for having forgotten, given how much energy we spend fighting terrorism on the big stage.
Terrorism is asymmetrical. Recruit five guys and their last week's paychecks, and you can make headlines for months. Recruit 20 guys and their life's savings, and you can make headlines for years. All it takes is some creativity, psychology and street smarts about how you approach your attack. Fortunately for us, terrorist groups and individual terrorist actors don't usually tend to apply all three at the same time to accomplish a task effectively.
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RECENT MEDIA APPEARANCES
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J.M. Berger reports on Hammami:
JIHAD JOE BOOK EVENT AT NEW AMERICA
J.M. Berger appeared at the New America Foundation to discuss his book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, with CNN terrorism analyst and bestselling author Peter Bergen.
AQ VS. ISIS: STATE OF PLAY
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THE FBI'S SECRET WAR WITH THE PATRIOTS
An FBI undercover program known as PATCON spent more than two years collecting intelligence on the Patriot movement, without producing a single conviction. Timothy McVeigh was in contact with members of the targeted groups at the time of the investigation, but those links escaped notice, even after the Oklahoma City bombing.
PANEL DISCUSSION ON AL QAEDA FRACTURES
EXCLUSIVE NEW DOCUMENTS ON AWLAKIINTELWIRE has obtained almost 2,000 pages of files related to Anwar Awlaki under the Freedom of Information Act, including minute entries from the FBI's surveillance of Awlaki after 9/11 and lavish details of his encounters with prostitutes.
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The concept of "privacy" is fluid, subjective, contextual, and self-referential -- shifting sands that have come to the forefront in our torturous public debate about NSA surveillance. But our inability to clearly define the concept leaves the door open for abuses.
Full story at Foreign Policy
J.M. BERGER ON TWITTER EXTREMISM:
AN OPEN LETTER TO JIHADISI've spent some years now reading what you write and say to each other, and talking to you directly from time to time. I've been thinking about those conversations a lot, and I have a few things I want to say.
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RECALCULATING THE SPLC'S HATE LISTThe Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual "Year in Hate and Extremism" report last week, and as usual, it was terrifying. In an article for the SPLC's Intelligence Report magazine, researchers said they had identified an "all-time high" of 1,360 antigovernment groups active during 2012 and about the same staggering number of hate groups as last year, a total of 1,007. But those numbers are not what they seem.
Full Story at Foreign Policy
BHUTTO ASSASSINATION: EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS
Just weeks before Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, she told U.S. State Department officials that Pakistani police had pulled back their protection on her home after a suicide attack on one of her rallies, according to new documents obtained by INTELWIRE through the Freedom of Information Act.
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THE ROOTS OF RADICALIZATION
The Stream, on Al Jazeera English, hosted a discussion of radicalization with Haris Tarin, director of the Washington office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Mubin Shaikh, a former undercover operative with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS); and Intelwire's J.M. Berger.
JIHAD JOE: THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE ON AMERICAN JIHADISTSJihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam, the critically acclaimed book by INTELWIRE's J.M. Berger, is now available in both Kindle and hardcover editions. Order today! To understand the Americans now fighting in the ranks of the brutal Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, it is important to understand the long and surprising history of American participation in military jihad. Read Jihad Joe, the only comprehensive history of the American jihadist movement, from 1979 through the 21st Century.
INTELWIRE DOCUMENTS: THE 9/11 ATTACKSFBI Documents on 9/11:
CIA Documents on 9/11:
JIHAD JOEJihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam, the new book by INTELWIRE's J.M. Berger, is now available in both Kindle and hardcover editions. Order today!
Jihad Joe is the first comprehensive history of the American jihadist movement, from 1979 through the present. Click here to read more about the critical acclaim Jihad Joe has earned so far, including from the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, Redstate.com and more.
BIG DATA AND EXTREMISM
COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM (CVE)
ONLINE EXTREMISM AND CVE
FBI USE OF INFORMANTS