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Rise in Taliban Attacks: Following Through on a Promise

On September 17, 2019 a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at a political rally that President Ashraf Ghani was attending in the Parwan Province in Afghanistan. Following the dissolving of the peace talks between the United States and the Taliban during the week of September 9, 2019, the Taliban has renewed threats against American and Afghan troops in the region and due to this, President Ghani has been limiting his political campaigning to virtual options such as Skype. The Taliban claimed that the target was Afghan soldiers however, the group has made statements that any Afghan citizen who attends these rallies will be risking their safety and inviting violence against them. The

Jammu and Kashmir: Revocation of Article 370

On August 5, 2019, the Indian Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, announced that the Indian government would do away with Article 370 of the Indian constitution. Article 370, established in 1949, gave the region of Jammu and Kashmir autonomous control over certain aspects of society, namely the ability for the region to have its own constitution, its own flag, and control over all matters except for areas such as foreign policy and defense. Since its creation, Article 370 has formed the basis of Jammu and Kashmir’s “accession to the Indian Union at a time when erstwhile princely states had the choice to join either India or Pakistan after their independence from British rule,” and has been

Arakan Army Rapid Modernization: Weapons Advancement against Tatmadaw

Indian intelligence agencies have reported the increasing use of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology by the Arakan Army (AA) to trigger landmines against the Myanmar government and military. Remote-detonated explosive devices are not a new technique but has been a new technological advancement of AA. Landmines have been reported on the Myanmar-Bangladeshi border in Rakhine State. The location of landmines is of high concern to the Indian government because it is a threat to the Kaladan Project. The Kaladan Project is active in Mizoram, which focuses on connecting Myanmar and India through sea and land routes. The Myanmar military, Tatmadaw, have used jammers to neutralize the threats of landmines

Symbol Capture and the Alt-Right

Alt-right troll communities online are attempting to “claim” symbols (Pepe the frog, the “okay” hand gesture, clowns, etc.) in order to taint them by association with the alt-right and sow dissent among the political left, with the aim of controlling political discourse. The CTG describes this tactic as symbol capture. The communal think tank of symbol capture exists on the websites 4Chan (in particular the infamous board /pol/, or “politically incorrect”) and 8Chan. The adoption of clowns as a symbol in particular has also spawned pages such as r/ClownWorld and r/ClownWorldWar on Reddit. Symbol capture usually begins with a few members on 4Chan or 8Chan who create graphics or art to plaster

Threat from the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq

In recent months, concerns have been rising over the role of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), as the number of attacks that have likely been perpetrated by one of militias in Iraq has increased. On June 19, a rocket attack in Basra hit a compound housing workers of several large oil firms, including ExxonMobil. A few days prior, a separate attack north of Baghdad hit a US military base. In addition, a US intelligence source claimed on June 28 that the May 14 drone attack on the Saudi oil pipeline originated in Iraq, not Yemen. All these attacks highlight the capabilities and willingness of these militias to carry out attacks against foreign targets. Over the past month, a series of

The War Against Online Extremist Material

The internet is a natural home for extreme ideas. People with a viewpoint will always seek a community where that viewpoint is welcomed. Real life social morays usually prohibit discussing certain views deemed extreme or bigoted in person; the more extreme a viewpoint, the less likely its holder will have any real-life outlet for it. Therefore they seek a home online, where they can meet like-minded individuals in safety and anonymity. YouTube, which has long faced allegations that its lax standards create a haven of racist, supremacist, and conspiracy-theory laden videos, has announced that going forward, it will ban videos which promote “the superiority of one group over another” in matter

Catalysts of Terror: The Prevalence and Danger of Copycat Attacks

Communicating through a WhatsApp group titled ‘Christian White Militia,’ Morgan Seals and Gabriel Longo were devising horrific plans. Following the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 51 dead, the two had allegedly disseminated white-nationalist ideologies and bomb-making handbooks in an attempt to encourage the execution of a similar attack. These individuals, known as copy-cat attackers, draw from the inspiration of deadly terrorist acts and often take steps to carry out other acts of violence using similar methods and strategies. While copy-cat individuals are nothing new to the law enforcement community, concerns of more attacks following the deadly mass shootings in D

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