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Perspectives

A bold prediction for 2019: more terrorism!

Every end of year we are inundated with two phenomena in our newspapers, TV broadcasts and Web sites. These two are: the year that was and the year that will be. The former recaps the important events of the 12 months drawing to an end and always includes, and I am not sure why, a […]

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Perspectives

Just how useful is terrorism research? The problem of pay-per-view

Once a month or so I get an email entitled “Updates on Radicalisation Research” from something called ‘Radicalisationresearch.org’ ( I assume it is from the UK because of the way ‘radicalisation’ is spelled – either that or Canadian although I doubt that).  This newsletter usually lists a dozen or so papers written in a number […]

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Perspectives

The rise of environmental violent extremism could be merely a matter of time

There is a lot of debate these days about what is more important when it comes to terrorism: Islamist extremism (i.e. jihadis) or right wing extremists.  The truth is that both pose a threat but which one is scarier depends on what part of the world you are talking about.  In the US it is […]

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How to determine terrorist threat levels

On November 13, 2015 I was in France, Paris to be precise.  If that date reminds you of something, let me refresh your memory.  That was of course  the day – or more accurately the evening – when a group of Islamist terrorists struck in the core of the country’s capital, attacking the national sports […]

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Perspectives

Yes, Iran can be a victim of terrorism too

Word association test time!   Quick, what is the first thing that comes into mind when I give you the word…..Iran.  Rogue state?  Terrorist sponsor?  Religious fanaticism?  How about terrorist victim? Wait, what?  Iran as a victim and not a sponsor of terrorism? No, that can’t be!  You must have your facts wrong or you must […]

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Perspectives

A terrorist tells us why he did it – why should we believe him?

One of the harshest criticisms over a lot of stuff that is written about terrorism is the distinct lack of reliable and primary sources.  Papers and books are written in an academic style with little use of actual data, although as my friend Bart Schuurman in the Netherlands has stated things are looking up as […]

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Another cartoon crisis and what it says about freedom and Islam

I have a confession to make.  I do not like Geert Wilders.  The platinum blond Dutch politician is, in my humble opinion, a self-focussed, attention-seeking, grandstanding man.  In other words, I think he is a jerk.  He is not the only jerk out there of course and it is important to stress that there is […]

An End to the War on Terrorism

Why are we still at ‘war’ with terror 16 years after 9/11? This book looks at a variety of approaches and responses to international Islamist extremism, ranging from military and security/law enforcement action to government policies, community measures and religious efforts, with a goal to determining what has worked and what has not. The examples […]

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Violent vegans? Now I have heard everything!

Quick!  What is your favourite oxymoron?  Awfully good?  Peacekeeping missile?  Tight slacks?  Jumbo fried shrimp? Military intelligence? How about ‘violent vegans’? I suppose there is a wide variety of opinion on veganism in many societies ranging from admiration for their campaign to get us to eat less meat in order to save the planet to […]

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Perspectives

A worrisome rise in intolerant Islam in Indonesia

As I -and many others – have mentioned before, Indonesia is by far the largest Muslim nation on Earth.  This often comes to a surprise to many as the southeast Asian country is not located within the ‘normal’ region we associate with Islam (i.e. the Middle East) and is surrounded by nations that are most […]