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Perspectives

Why do terrorists hate the Ahmadis?

Thank God for reporters like Stewart Bell of the National Post.  Now that I am outside the realm of state secrets I have come to rely on people like him to do the investigative legwork that keeps me informed on what is going on in the world of terrorism, both in Canada and abroad.  Just […]

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Perspectives

How much tolerance is too much?

Living in a liberal democracy is generally a good thing.  Not that there are no problems that arise from time to time, but those who abide by liberal (in the classic sense of the word) values tend to be open to a lot of diversity.  They generally are okay with most things as long as […]

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Perspectives

Black and white and grey all over

Did you ever have one of those days where in a matter of minutes you were exposed to things that when you compared them turned out to be polar opposites?  I had one of those days today. I had traveled from The Hague to Utrecht in the Netherlands to meet with a university professor.  I […]

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Perspectives

Goading the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism

We in the West think highly of democracy and for good reason.  As Winston Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  It is not that bad of course and democracy remains the best current option we have for ensuring freedom and security.  We like it so much […]

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What happened in Orlando this morning?

We are getting all too used to this.  A man (usually, but very occasionally a woman) walks into a theatre/school/office/restaurant with a weapon that has no place other than a war zone and kills dozens.  Sandy Hook. Aurora.  Columbine High School.  San Bernardino. Now Orlando.  More mass shootings in the US than there were days […]

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Perspectives

What should we do with non-violent extremism?

One of the more interesting – and controversial – topics that came up at the Wilton Park conference on religion and radicalisation last month was the news that the UK is revisiting its counter terrorism strategy to include rules on how to deal with extremism that is not necessarily violent.  We have been inured to […]

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When will China learn?

I must admit I am getting tired of seeing nation states repeat the same mistakes they made previously in counter terrorism policy.   I suppose the only saving grace is that the officials making these errors are sometimes not the same ones who made the errors initially, but can’t they learn from previous ill-considered policies? […]

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Conning terrorism analysis

Like in most fields of study, terrorism analysis has made great contributions to our understanding of this violent phenomenon.  Whether it is in-depth examinations of the ideology or longitudinal data on whether or not de-radicalisation programmes work, we are better off than we would be in the absence of this knowledge. Unfortunately, however, terrorism analysis […]

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A new coalition of the willing against terrorism

I see that Saudi Arabia and 33 other Islamic nations have created an anti-terrorism coalition with an operational headquarters to be established in the Saudi capital, Riyadh (see story here).  The coalition will reportedly fight terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan. Three cheers for the Saudis and their allies, right?  On the one hand, […]

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Perspectives

Terrorism as political tool

Terrorism eats up a lot of our time as citizens and news consumers.  IS.  AQ.  Boko Haram.  Hizballah.  Hindu extremists.  Anti-abortion extremists.  Boy, things have really changed since I was a kid.  Sure there was the odd story about a hijacked airplane and the Troubles in Ireland, but it wasn’t a daily occurrence (maybe it […]