Latest in ISIL

ISIL

Anticipating an Increased U.S. Ground Combat Role against ISIL Based on "Self-Defense"

What, precisely, is the role of U.S. ground forces in the conflict with ISIL? In a post earlier this week, I described how the "train and assist" mission permits the presence of U.S. personnel on site when allies go into combat, and how this in turn can lead to direct involvement in those fights.

Foreign Policy Essay

Fall of the Brotherhood, Rise of the Salafis

Editor's Note: The 2013 coup in Egypt did not, as the story so often goes in the West, lead to the end of the Islamist role in Egyptian politics. Rather, it led the new regime to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood but accommodate a Salafi role in politics. Indeed, throughout the Middle East the Salafis have emerged as a potent political force, represented not only by radical groups like the Islamic State but also by a range of peaceful political and social organizations.

Foreign Policy Essay

Don’t (Completely) Blame America for Baghdadi

Editor’s Note: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the brutal leader of the world’s most brutal terrorist group, is an enigma to many Westerners. Unlike Osama bin Laden, Baghdadi does not grant long interviews to Western journalists. So when the group suddenly grabbed Western attention, rumors and false reports abounded. William McCants, the director of the Brookings Project on U.S.

Terrorism Investigations: Domestic

The Latest ISIL Support Prosecution Involving People Inside the United States

Another day, another ISIL material support case involving people within the United States. Like most such cases, the story of Ahmed Mohammed El Gammal's alleged offense conduct involves social media. Right now all that is out there is the DOJ press release plus an indictment that is thin on factual description, but from I can gather the charges seem largely to stem from the defendant’s role in facilitating a New York City man’s travel to train with and join ISIL.

Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Can ISIL Supporters Be Prosecuted for Providing Material Support to AQI?

DOJ sent out a notice earlier today involving yet another ISIL-related material support case, this one involving a California man who had hoped to get to Syria in order to join ISIL (United States v. Dundach). He has pled guilty to one false-statement charge, and one charge of material support to ISIL in violation of 18 USC 2339B.

Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Another Arrest of a U.S. Citizen Allegedly Inspired by ISIL to Plot an Attack

Matt Apuzzo and Michael Schmidt had a piece in the New York Times yesterday discussing the Justice Department's shift towards aggressive and early intervention in cases involving suspected ISIL followers in the United States (I've commented on this phenomenon--a revival (or at least reinvigoration) of the early post-9/11 preventive prosecution paradigm--here).

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