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On SecurityMar 22, 2017 | 13:33 GMT
The details of the Homeland Security device ban suggests some specific terrorist threat.
What Prompted the Electronic Devices Ban
On the afternoon of March 20, Royal Jordanian Airlines announced on Twitter that effective March 21, it would ban all electronic items from passenger cabins of its aircraft traveling directly to and from the United States with the exception of cellphones and medical devices. The announcement, which was later deleted from the airline’s Twitter account, noted that the security measures were being instituted at the request of “concerned U.S. Departments.” The U.S. government soon confirmed the ban and added that, in addition to Royal Jordanian, it applied to flights from eight other airlines originating from 10 airports in eight Middle Eastern countries.
On SecurityJan 12, 2017 | 08:03 GMT
The scene of an explosion on Aug. 20, 2016, in Gaziantep, Turkey, after a late-night militant attack on a wedding party that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Islamic State was behind.
The Islamic State in 2017: Rotting From the Outside In
The Islamic State has entered into a slow decline that will continue throughout 2017. After its inception, the group was able to energize the jihadist movement and draw thousands of enthusiastic foreign fighters by announcing the creation of a caliphate and assuring its followers that the end of the world was near. This enabled the Islamic State to rapidly amass manpower and capabilities -- at least at first. But both time and geography have worked against the organization since its initial proclamation of a caliphate and an impending apocalypse.
On SecuritySep 8, 2016 | 08:15 GMT
A man walks through the rubble left by the collapse of the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Remembering the Lessons of 9/11
Sunday will mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and it is incredible to think how much time has passed since that day. Like so many traumatic events, 9/11 has imprinted in most people's minds where they were and what they were doing when two airliners struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center that once dominated the New York City skyline and a third jet hit the Pentagon. In the weeks that followed, it was not uncommon to hear people say things like "the attacks changed everything" and "nothing will ever be the same." A sense of patriotism spread across the United States, and foreign leaders declared that the whole world was American. But in the years since, human nature and entropy have shown how fleeting such sentiments can be. One of the things that 9/11 supposedly changed forever was the United States' approach to national security and
AssessmentsJun 29, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
Examining the Jihadist Threat in Egypt
Assessing the Jihadist Threat in Egypt: The Sinai Peninsula
The history of radical Islamism in Egypt is long and bloody. But in the past few years, the threat posed by Egyptian jihadists has reached new heights. Many of the country's jihadists, held captive under former President Hosni Mubarak, were freed during the revolution that led to his ouster in 2011. These militants went on to play a leading role in forming groups such as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which by late 2013 had become the most active and deadly terrorist group in Egypt. Of course, any attempt to examine Egypt's militant threat must first acknowledge the vast difference between the threat environment on the Sinai Peninsula and that of mainland Egypt. The former is far more of an insurgency; Sinai militants employ hit-and-run attacks, ambushes, roadside bombings and indirect-fire attacks with rockets and mortars. By contrast, the militant threat on the mainland tends to more closely resemble urban terrorism.
AssessmentsMay 21, 2016 | 13:49 GMT
The Meaning of Jihadist Silence on the EgyptAir Crash
The Meaning of Jihadist Silence on the EgyptAir Crash
As the investigation into the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 continues and searchers begin to find evidence, the jihadist world has been strangely silent. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft early May 19 and we are now getting outside the timeframe in which jihadist groups have ordinarily taken credit for attacks. The one obvious explanation for this is that a catastrophic mechanical or electrical failure brought down the aircraft rather than a bomb, but given all of the indications that point to an attack, it is worth exploring the lack of a claim of responsibility and what that means for attributing the cause of the crash.
AssessmentsMay 19, 2016 | 05:11 GMT
Missing EgyptAir Flight Sparks Search for Clues
An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo went missing in the early hours of May 19 about 16 kilometers (10 miles) into Egyptian airspace, according to information released by the airline. The Airbus A320 was reportedly flying just under 37,000 feet at the time it disappeared from radar. A company official said the pilots did not make a distress call or indicate any trouble ahead of the plane's disappearance.
AssessmentsFeb 2, 2016 | 16:48 GMT
Somalia Shows the State of Air Travel in an Age of Terrorism
Shortly after Daallo Airlines Flight D3159 took off from Mogadishu, Somalia, on Feb. 2, an explosion aboard the aircraft forced it to return and make an emergency landing. If the explosion was indeed a suicide bombing attempt by jihadist groups in the region, it would serve as yet another reminder that airlines continue to be tempting targets for potential attacks.
On SecurityNov 19, 2015 | 08:00 GMT
A Weakening Islamic State Still Poses a Threat
A Weakening Islamic State Still Poses a Threat
Although not absolute, for the most part terrorism historically has been employed by a weak militant organization against a militarily stronger opponent. Organizations that are no longer capable of conventional warfare will often shift to fighting a less resource-intensive hit-and-run insurgency as a means to continue fighting. Likewise, militant groups that have taken losses on the battlefield often shift from insurgency to terrorism in an effort to remain relevant and continue to hit their opponents while conserving resources and attempting to rebuild so that they can return to larger-scale military efforts.
ReflectionsNov 18, 2015 | 01:41 GMT
France and Russia Focus on the Islamic State
Though the common cause of fighting the Islamic State does raise the prospect of tighter cooperation between Russia and the West (particularly France) in Syria, there are still very real limits to that cooperation. Russia is ramping up its campaign against the Islamic State, but overall it is likely to remain focused on fighting non-Islamic State rebels. After all, Russia is trying to maintain its strategic position in Syria, and in its view, to fully address the Islamic State threat the country first needs a viable government. So long as these rebels continue to pose a critical threat to the Syrian government, Russia will undoubtedly remain actively involved in sustaining its loyalist allies on the ground against rebel advances.
On SecurityNov 12, 2015 | 08:52 GMT
A bomb appears to have downed Metrojet Flight 9268 and many fear the Islamic State may have been behind it
Why the Attack on a Russian Airliner Changes Nothing
While the mystery of the Metrojet Flight 9268 crash has yet to be solved, a mounting pile of evidence points to the conclusion that it was taken down by a bomb. As the idea becomes more widely accepted, some are beginning to label the attack a "game changer;" others are starting to sow panic that the Islamic State may try to attack another airliner bearing tourists. But panic is the last thing the world needs right now, and it serves little purpose other than to contribute to terrible policy decisions. Instead, what we really need is a calm demeanor and a little perspective.
AssessmentsNov 2, 2015 | 19:14 GMT
What Downed Flight 9268?
Though many mysteries still surround the recent crash of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula, some explanations of what happened are more likely to be true than others. The most probable explanation for the downed plane is either catastrophic mechanical failure or the existence of an explosive device onboard. If a bomb did indeed bring down Flight 9268, the public must maintain a realistic expectation of aviation security efforts and remember that there will always be people who wish to do terrible things to other human beings; occasionally, they will succeed.
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