Terrorism

Must Read

The Atlantic: The New Terrorist Training Ground

Author: Yochi Dreazen

"In the summer of last year, an al‑Qaeda affiliate known as AQIM, for "al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," took over Gao and made it the capital of the rump state the group created after forcing the Malian army out of the north."

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Interactive

Timeline: Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab is a militant group fighting for the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state in Somalia. An African Union military campaign in recent years has weakened the group, yet it remains a threat in a politically volatile, war-torn state. Al-Shabab's activities have mainly focused on targets within Somalia, but it has also carried-out deadly strikes in the region. This interactive timeline looks at the recent history of Al-Shabab from 2004 to present.

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Must Read

The Washingtonian: FBI Director Bob Mueller’s “War on Terror” Comes to an End

Author: Garrett M. Graff

"Mueller has remade the Bureau from top to bottom, transforming its intelligence capabilities, focusing it on counterterrorism and cybercrime, and growing it internationally in ways Hoover never could have imagined. With little public note, the FBI under Mueller has become the first truly global police force, transforming the domestic agency created to combat interstate crime into one focused increasingly on transnational crime, especially in the arenas of cybercrime and counterterrorism."

See more in North America; Terrorism

Primary Sources

President Obama's Speech at National Defense University: The Future of our Fight against Terrorism, May 2013

President Barack Obama outlined on May 23, 2013, at the National Defense University, his administration's counterterrorism strategy, which include three areas: "targeted action against terrorists; effective partnerships; and diplomatic engagement and assistance." He discussed legal and moral concerns, and congressional oversight regarding the use of lethal targeted drone attacks and terrorist detention centers, and signed a policy directive to guide future operations.

See more in Terrorism and the Law; Counterterrorism; United States

Primary Sources

Attorney General Holder's Letter to Congress on Counterterrorism Operations, May 2013

Author: Eric H. Holder Jr.

Attorney General Eric Holder sent this letter on May 22, 2013, to U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, addressing accountability, transparency, and legality of U.S. counterterrorism operations. He discloses previously classified information regarding the deaths of four U.S. citizens involved in terrorist groups, who were "outside the area of active hostilities" and were targeted by lethal drone attacks. This letter came before President Obama's speech at the National Defense University and his Presidential Policy Directive, which outline the administration's policies regarding counterterrorism operations, including drones and terrorist detention camps. See also the Department of Justice Memo: Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa'ida or An Associated Force.

See more in Terrorism and the Law; Counterterrorism

Op-Ed

What the President Could Say in His Speech

Authors: Matthew C. Waxman and Robert Chesney
Lawfare

In President Obama's upcoming counterterrorism speech, Robert Chesney and Matthew Waxman explain that the president should focus on three areas that his administration has not followed through in a serious way: closing Guantanamo, working with Congress to put forceful counterterrorism actions on sound legal footing, and making targeted killing more transparent.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Counterterrorism

Must Read

CTC: Hizb Allah Resurrected: The Party of God’s Return to Tradecraft

Author: Matthew Levitt

The article also provides a detailed case study of Hossam Yaacoub—the convicted Hizb Allah operative now serving time in a Cypriot prison for his role in a plot targeting Israeli tourists—to show how Hizb Allah has resurrected its terrorist capabilities. Drawn from the police depositions of interviews with Yaacoub after his arrest, the case provides unique insights into how Hizb Allah recruits and trains new operatives.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Terrorism