RESEARCH

April 04, 2022

Foreign Fighters, Volunteers, and Mercenaries: Non-State Actors and Narratives in Ukraine

When Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine was launched to pursue the “de-Nazification” of Ukraine, it evoked a level of “gaslighting”—attempting to make others question their own reality—that has come to define the Kremlin’s approach to geopolitics. Just as Russia bombed hospitals in Aleppo and casually blamed the atrocities on “terrorists,” Moscow now seeks to stoke the flames of transnational far-right extremism and violence in support…...

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February 07, 2022

Promoting Democracy and Security in Africa: Don’t Forget Cities

Speaking in Abuja last fall, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken implored African governments to enact reforms in response to their citizens’ demands for better governance. The ongoing crises in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Burkina Faso together with recent allegations of Nigerian police brutality and a growing awareness of the connections between weak or failed governance and terrorism and other political violence across the continent underscore the need for change. Communities across Africa…...

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October 04, 2021

A Perfect Storm: Insurrection, Incitement, And The Violent Far-Right Movement

The Capitol Insurrection in the United States on January 6, 2021, sent shockwaves around the world. From London to Canberra, and Ottawa to Auckland, millions watched as a mob of far-right violent extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol seeking to overturn the results of a free and fair presidential election that had already been certified many times as both legitimate and credible. Dozens of Capitol Police officers were injured and attacked with racist…...

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September 11, 2021

The Road to 9/11 and the Dangers Ahead

Twenty years ago, in the fall of 2001, having already spent years chasing Osama bin Laden, I found myself near Kabul, standing in one of the al-Qaeda leader’s safehouses—or what remained of it. Intense coalition bombardment had reduced the building to rubble. Together with my fellow investigators, I sifted through the remains, looking for evidence that might lead us to the al-Qaeda leader or his lieutenants. Toward the end of our search,…...

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September 10, 2021

Diminished, but not Defeated: The Evolution of al-Qaeda Since September 11, 2001

Over the past twenty years, al-Qaeda has proven to be resilient and adaptive in its efforts to survive the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Twenty years after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, perpetrated by al-Qaeda, the organization looks much different than it did at the time. “We are no longer dealing with the same terrorist threat, or even the same al-Qaeda, as we did on September 11,”…...

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