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On SecurityDec 29, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
FBI and first responders work on the scene after an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee, on Dec. 25, 2020. According to initial reports, a vehicle exploded downtown in the early morning hours of Christmas Day.
The Nashville Bombing and the Risk of Copycat Attacks
Investigations into the Dec. 25 bombing near an AT&T facility in Nashville are exploring the suspect’s potential links to conspiracy theories surrounding 5G wireless technology. Regardless of the assailant’s actual motive, the widespread disruption caused to telecommunications networks in Tennessee and nearby states, as well as growing online speculation of the attack’s connection to 5G conspiracies, will likely contribute to an uptick in threats against other communications infrastructure. Organizations operating in the telecommunications industry are potential targets and should thus prepare for an increase in threat activity. 
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On SecurityNov 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Emergency personnel on Oct. 31, 2020, in Lyon, France, at the scene of an attack on a Greek Orthodox priest.
How Satirical Cartoons Have Become a Flashpoint for Violence in Europe and Abroad
Recent attacks and unrest in Europe and across the Muslim world are part of a pattern of violence associated with the Mohamed cartoon controversy that has recently flared up due to an ongoing trial in Paris. Attacks in September and early October focused on individuals and symbols directly linked to the cartoons, but the target set expanded as initial attacks spawned more violence, along with apparent retaliation to the initial attacks. In Europe, the return of the cartoon controversy comes amid rising concerns over Islamophobia and associated attacks. Verdicts in the trial that began the latest chapter of the controversy are expected in December, potentially providing motivation for even more attacks. The continual reemergence of the Mohammed cartoon controversy suggests that this issue will remain an issue that motivates violence for years to come.
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SnapshotsOct 30, 2020 | 19:35 GMT
People walk past campaign billboards ahead of the upcoming constitutional referendum on a street in Algiers, Algeria, on Oct. 22, 2020.
What to Expect From Algeria’s Constitutional Referendum
The small revisions proposed in Algeria’s Nov. 1 constitutional referendum are unlikely to motivate enough Algerians to turn out and vote against the changes. But while likely to pass, the amendments nonetheless remain controversial among activists and protesters in the country, which portends continued unrest. After months of consultations with constitutional scholars and political parties following the resignation of longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April 2019, the Algerian government is holding a final vote on amendments that would see a slight expansion of executive power and more politicization of the military, as well as ensure some additional protections around civil freedoms such as voting and learning in the local Amazigh language. Amending the constitution has been a primary goal of President Abdelmajid Tebboune’s new government since he was elected in December 2019 after popular protests ousted Bouteflika. Constitutional reforms have also been a key focus of the Hirak anti-corruption protest movement,
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On GeopoliticsSep 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A damaged EU flag is seen in Brenzone, Italy, on Aug. 14, 2019. 
The Quest for European Unity: No End of History
Europe faces a challenge of identity and international role over the next decade. For nearly 500 years, Europe sat at the center of the international system, its internal competitions rippling out across the globe. But the relative balance of global power and influence has shifted. And rather than being the driving force of global dynamics, Europe is increasingly caught between major powers: the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and now the United States and China. Internally, Europe still strives for the creation of a continental union, though those dreams have been eroded by financial crises, Brexit and a resurgence of nationalism in recent years. Externally, Europe remains fragmented in its foreign policy and prioritization. The shifting patterns of global competition will compel Europe to rethink its internal structures and to come to grips with defining its interests abroad. Otherwise, it will find itself drifting further
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On GeopoliticsSep 24, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A model of a customs road sign is seen at the mock U.K.-EU border, with a mock Big Ben in the background, at the Mini-Europe theme park in Brussels, Belgium, on May 20, 2020.
Why EU-U.K. Trade Talks Feel Like Brexit Deja Vu
If the current tensions in the trade talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union feel like a repetition of the 2019 disputes, when Britain negotiated its exit from the bloc, it’s because they are. Once more, a no-deal Brexit looms on the horizon, because unless Brussels and London reach an agreement, bilateral trade will happen under World Trade Organization tariffs starting next year. Like last year, both sides are exchanging threats and accusing each other of acting in bad faith. And, in the most notable deja vu from 2019, the status of Northern Ireland has reemerged as an obstacle to a deal. The explanation for this situation is simple: there are fundamental issues that the arrangements of 2019 left unresolved and have come back to jeopardize the negotiations in 2020. 
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On GeopoliticsSep 4, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A satellite image of the Middle East and North Africa. 
A New Brand of Nationalism Takes Root in the Middle East
Once the salve for crushed Middle Eastern empires, Pan-Islamism and its vision of a singular caliphate are now increasingly seen as a threat to stability in the region, with countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia turning toward nationalism to instead define their policies and behavior. Indeed, even the countries that still claim to embody the movement’s ideals, such as Qatar and Turkey, are only doing so as a means to a nationalist end, exploiting its preachings of Islamic unity to project their government’s strength at home and abroad. This trend has most recently been illuminated by the UAE-Israel normalization pact by dealing yet another blow to the idea that a global Muslim community, despite its many differences, could at the very least agree on issues such as the Palestinian question. 
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AssessmentsAug 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A vintage map of the Middle East.
What's Driving Muslim Countries to Normalize Their Ties With Israel?
The waning influence of the pan-Islamism and pan-Arabism movements, combined with increasing U.S. pressure, will cause Oman, Bahrain and Morocco to soon join the United Arab Emirates in formalizing ties with Israel, accelerating a longer-term normalization trend that no longer hinges on the formation of a Palestinian state. The allure of Israel's technology and defense capabilities could also compel other Muslim states with covert ties and limited histories of overt conflict with Israel, such as Pakistan, to follow suit. Israel will, in turn, see expanding global economic ties that strengthen its post-pandemic recovery, as well as stronger regional allies that bolster its position against Iran should the upcoming U.S. election yield a less hawkish administration in Washington.
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SnapshotsAug 20, 2020 | 16:42 GMT
In Mali, a Coup at the Core of the Sahel's Counterterrorism Fight
The overthrow of Mali's president in a military coup casts further doubt over the county's ability to sustain counterterrorism efforts, and while the new junta is promising national elections, longstanding civil-military tensions suggest international pressure will be instrumental in shaping the timeline for government formation. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation around midnight local time on Aug. 19 after being arrested by members of the military earlier in the day along with a number of other officials. Keita's downfall risks undermining French-led efforts to contain jihadist activity in the region by creating more space for international terrorism cooperation among the radical groups, including local al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates. While the most significant risk of increased terrorist activity is in Mali itself, reduced cooperation as a result of the president's forced exit will also undermine counterterrorism efforts in both Burkina Faso and Niger. 
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MemosJul 2, 2020 | 18:32 GMT
Fred Burton's Summer Reading List
Fred Burton has put together a few books to add to your warm weather reading list. Some are classics and others are brand new — I can’t wait to read Brad Thor’s new thriller NEAR DARK. The Scot Harvath series never disappoints.
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PodcastsJun 1, 2020 | 20:37 GMT
Days of Rage With Author Bryan Burrough
Since 2001, the phrase domestic terrorism has dominated its fair share of U.S. headlines. But homegrown terrorism in the United States is not a new phenomenon, and certainly not inspired singularly by al Qaeda or other transnational terrorist groups. In fact, arguably the most prolific periods of domestic terrorism in the U.S. predate online radicalization and the blowback from wars waged by the United States in the Middle East and South Asia. Radical underground groups were all too common during the 1970s. The violent acts of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Weathermen and the Black Liberation Army, to name a few, helped define a bloody period of American history. Exploring the different groups and their ideologies and the FBI's efforts to suppress them, bestselling author Bryan Burrough's navigates a decade of America's experience of domestic terrorism in Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence.
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On SecurityMay 19, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image of the Islamic State flag overlays a map of Iraq.
Rumblings of an Islamic State Resurgence in Iraq
The Islamic State may have faded from international headlines, but the group remains a potent threat capable of returning with force in its core territory. Since beginning its initial resurgence in Iraq during 2011, the Islamic State has morphed from a local insurgent group to a global movement, with branches that have continued to launch attacks in areas ranging from West Africa to Afghanistan. And without sustained pressure from its adversaries, including the United States and Iraq, the group is well-positioned to continue its resurgence in its core territory -- a development with potentially grave global consequences.
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SITUATION REPORTApr 22, 2020 | 19:23 GMT
Israel, Palestinian Territories: Twin Incidents in West Bank Highlight Enduring Militant Threat
A Palestinian militant rammed a security checkpoint near the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and attempted to stab an officer before he was shot dead, The Times of Israel reported April 23. Three Hamas militants planning attacks in the Jerusalem and Ramallah areas were also arrested in a separate incident, according to The Jerusalem Post. 
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