Breaking news, primary source research, and critical analysis
concerning terrorism, homegrown extremism, and national security

BY J.M. BERGER

Exclusive printable chart:

Jihadist fractures and alliances:

Click here for the full-size chart tracking competition between al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
     

MENU

About J.M. Berger
Daily Brief
Latest Posts
Latest Headlines
Latest Video
Recent Work
Jihad Joe
Sourcebooks

TAGS

American Terrorists
Anwar Awlaki
Al Qaeda
AQAP
Americans in Al Qaeda
Inspire Magazine
Revolution Muslim
OKBOMB

LINKS

Blogs of War
Flashpoint
Gunpowder & Lead
Internet Haganah
Jihadica
Jihadology
Lawfare
Leah Farrall
Making Sense of Jihad
The Monkey Cage
Registan
Selected Wisdom
20 Committee
Views/Occident
Waq-Al-Waq
Zenpundit

AL QAEDA VS. THE ISLAMIC STATE



Islamic State Backlash Spills Onto Jabhat al Nusra

More on ISIS:

  • Updated al Qaeda vs. IS fractures chart
  • The State of the Caliphate is 'Meh'
  • ISIS Risks Everything on Caliphate Declaration
  • How Twitter Games ISIS, by J.M. Berger for The Atlantic
  • Analysis: How Online Fundraising Networks Are Reacting to ISIS
  • A New Day for ISIS: Considerations
  • War on Error: Understanding the evolution of al Qaeda

    IN THE PRESS:

  • NYT: Iraq Insurgents Reaping Wealth as They Advance
  • NPR: How ISIS uses social media
  • CNN: Social media battle augments Iraq bloodshed
  • CBS: Jihadists on the move with weapons, hashtags
  • Daily Beast: Twitter Snitch Spills ISIS Secrets

    PANEL DISCUSSION ON AL QAEDA FRACTURES



    AL QAEDA FRACTURES


    Click here for a frequently updated chart tracking splits in the broad Al Qaeda network.

    EXCLUSIVE NEW DOCUMENTS ON AWLAKI

    INTELWIRE 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.

    Click here for more

    IS SOCIAL MEDIA A GAME CHANGER?


    J.M. Berger, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Kelsey Atheron discussed the impact of social media on terrorism, extremism and Middle Eastern conflicts at a panel hosted by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy.

    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.


    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

    TWITTER DROPS THE BALL ON TERRORISM

    The Westgate mall siege by al-Shabab has once again raised red flags about terrorist use of social media thanks to the al Qaeda affiliate's brazen use of Twitter to promote its attack and threaten Kenyan civilians, during and after the bloody massacre. In the wake of the crisis, the social media service has returned to its policy of studied indifference about the content posted by its users, allowing threats of further violence against Kenyan civilians by al-Shabab, after a brief crackdown during the crisis itself. That's a mistake.

    Full story on Foreign Policy

    J.M. BERGER ON TWITTER EXTREMISM:

  • Terrorists on Social Media: Arguments That Don't Impress Me
  • I've Got a Little List
  • Zero Degrees of Al Qaeda
  • Yellow and Black is the New Black Flag
  • #Unfollow: The Case for Kicking Terrorists Off Twitter
  • Who Matters Online: Metrics for Monitoring Extremism Online
  • Buzzfeed: How to Ruin Al Qaeda's Day on Twitter
  • Reflections of a Troll



    AN OPEN LETTER TO JIHADIS

    I'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.

    Read the full article



    Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



    Over the last week, critics and defenders of the National Security Agency have heatedly debated the merits of metadata -- information about the phone activity of millions of Americans that was given to the government via a secret court order. For some, the collection of these data represent a grave violation of the privacy of American citizens. For others, the privacy issue is negligible, as long as it helps keep us safe from terrorism. There are indeed privacy issues at play here, but they aren't necessarily the obvious ones.

    Read the full story at Foreign Policy

    RECENT STORIES AND BLOG POSTS

  • The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Inspire
  • Myths of Radicalization
  • Forecasting Terrorist Attacks With Big Data
  • A Modest Test: Forecasting with Google Trends
  • Extremist Chatter on Boston Massacre
  • J.M. Berger on Marathon Bombings
  • Marathon Bombing: Issues to Watch
  • On Comparing White Nationalists to Anarchists

    J.M. Berger discussed the Boston Marathon bombing with BBC television and radio, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Berger also wrote about the attack for Foreign Policy and spoke with reporters from The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, the Christian Science Monitor, Radio Australia, AFP and many others.

    RECALCULATING THE SPLC'S HATE LIST

    The 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


    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.

  • Special report by J.M. Berger for Foreign Policy (shorter)
  • Special report by J.M. Berger for the New America Foundation (longer)

    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.

    Read the story

    Additional documents:

  • Binder 1 (very large PDF)
  • Binder 2 (very large PDF)
  • 12/12/2001: The Kashmir Equation Post-September 11
  • 9/11/2002: Pakistan's Elections, A Primer
  • 11/01/2002: Bhutto meeting with Assistant Secretary of State
  • 9/20/2004: Urgent request on Bhutto eligibility for a US visa
  • 11/6/2004: Bhutto "depressed" over re-election of U.S. President Bush
  • 11/2004: Assistant Secretary of State Rocca responds to Bhutto's letter to President Bush congratulating him on his re-election
  • 2007: Musharraf Keeps Opposition Parties Off Balance
  • 11/27/2007: Bhutto Assassination Aftermath


  • 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.



    Read the full story at Foreign Policy

    Al Shabab social media sources reported early Thursday that Omar Hammmami, an Alabama native who had joined the Somali terrorist group, had been killed. INTELWIRE editor J.M. Berger rates the reports of Hammami's death and subsequent media reporting as highly credible, making it nearly certain that Hammami's long strange path had come to an end.

    Reports on Hammami's death, quoting J.M. Berger:

  • New York Times: American Jihadist Is Believed Killed by Ex-Allies in Somalia
  • Associated Press:Most Wanted American jihadi killed in Somalia reports say
  • Washington Post: American jihadist believed to be killed in Somalia
  • ABC News: American Jihadist Omar Hammami Likely Killed in Somalia, Father Reacts

    J.M. Berger reports on Hammami:

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

    INTELWIRE DOCUMENTS: THE 9/11 ATTACKS

    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:

  • Major Document: FBI Chronology of Hijackers' Activities
  • FBI Timeline of Investigation for September 12-13, 2001
  • State Department Documents Cited In 9/11 Commission Report
  • June 2001 Warning About Terrorist Attack From Afghanistan
  • State Department's Secret Post-9/11 Briefing to World Leaders
  • Al Qaeda's Internal Records of Its Founding in 1988
  • 1994 State Department Document Referencing Al Qaeda
  • Anwar Awlaki FBI Investigative Documents
  • Descriptions of U.S. Border Security Programs, TIP, PISCES
  • 9/11 Commission Memoranda, State Department 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 Interviews
  • State Department Analysis: Exporting Terrorist Tactics From Iraq

    JIHAD JOE

    Jihad Joe by J.M. BergerJihad 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

  • How Metadata Works: What the NSA Does with Phone Records
  • Who Matters Online: Metrics for Monitoring Extremism Online
  • #Unfollow: Why Kicking Terrorists Off Twitter Works
  • 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

  • How the West made a laughable terrorist magazine into a success
  • 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

    DOMESTIC EXTREMISM

  • Newtown and the Doomsday Preppers
  • White Nationalists See Opportunity After Election
  • How the Recession Helps Extremists
  • 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

    AMERICAN JIHADISTS

  • The History of Chechen Jihadists in Boston
  • 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