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Perspectives

Harper’s Hyper Bowl

Our prime minister is quoted as saying that “jihadi terrorism is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced” (see article here). Really? Bigger than the threat of MAD during the Cold War? Bigger than the Nazi onslaught of the 1930s and 1940s? More dangerous than climate change or run-of-the-mill violence?  (homework […]

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Perspectives

Passport to freedom?

In the aftermath of the arrests of 10 Quebecers at Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport last weekend, the government has confiscated the passports of what it calls terrorism suspects (see story here).  Without passports, the aspiring youth cannot leave Canada (unless of course they procure false documentation). So, is this the best way to deal with […]

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Perspectives

Brothers at arms

According to Al Jazeera, the Islamic State recently claimed in an online statement that it carried out a deadly suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province of Qatif (see story here).  The eastern part of Saudi Arabia is largely Shia and tensions between the Sunni monarchy and its Shia residents have been […]

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Perspectives

risky business

One of the more futile pursuits in the field of terrorism studies is that of trying to determine why some people radicalize to violence and others don’t.  There have been many cases where some individuals in a given group (social, family, religious, etc.) go down the path to violence while others stay away.  We are […]

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Perspectives

Counterpoint

The CBC reported that the RCMP in Quebec arrested 10 young people last weekend on suspicion that the youth were seeking to leave the country to join ISIS (see here).  These arrests are but the latest example of Canadians trying to hook up with the terrorist group.  The reasons for the surge are varied and […]

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Perspectives

Another annoying selfie

I have often noted in my presentations that the terrorism analysis business is booming – pun intended.  By some estimates, more than 10,000 books on terrorism have been published since 9/11, and that is just counting the English-language ones. Many of these books are excellent and insightful: some are atrocious.  The same can be said for […]

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Perspectives

Welcome back Khadr? (with apologies to Elizabeth May)

I know, I know.  Not another op-ed piece on Omar Khadr, Canada’s most famous child soldier or terrorist scion (take your pick).  There are probably few Canadians more controversial or more polarizing than the son of a former (i.e. deceased) Al Qaeda lieutenant. What more can be said?  His family pedigree is well known (the […]

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Perspectives

What terrorism and Mark Twain have in common

I cannot count the number of times a news article or an op-ed piece has declared that a terrorist group is “on the run” or “dying” or “facing serious challenges”. These declarations are greatly exaggerated.

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Perspectives

Rusty spring

Reality has a nagging habit of interfering with theory and the last few years have shown quite clearly that early jubilation has yielded to despair as civil wars and insurgencies have arisen in Libya, Yemen, Syria and there is an unquestionable lack of freedom in many other countries.

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ISIS Perspectives War on terror

Heads I win…

Deaths merely provide opportunities for others to demonstrate their commitment and skillsets. Unchallenged ideology will inspire others to act.