Phil Hirschkorn examines the Trump administration’s claims about terrorism in the U.S. being perpetrated primarily by foreign nationals, the main justification for the executive order barring entry to people from certain countries. Statistics from a variety of governmental and research institutions refute Trump’s claims. The Center on National Security’s director Karen Greenberg said, “If you are looking to create a fact-based policy for making the country secure against terrorism, focusing on immigrants will not provide the answer. There is no predictive trend for any particular foreign nationality and terrorism in the United States. But the numbers do suggest that the United States could and should do a better job helping immigrant families adjust to life in the United States.”
“Improve your national security, terrorism reporting with these databases” International Journalists’ Network
Sherry Ricchiardi reports on resources to assist journalists with accurate reporting on terrorism and national security. She highlights the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School’s work on documenting ISIS prosecutions in the U.S. as well as the searchable database of domestic terrorism prosecutions.
Ted Sherman reports on a study on ISIS prosecutions in the U.S. by the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law. The report tracks motivation, citizenship, and types of action taken. Karen Greenberg says, “the new propaganda from ISIS is to do something where you are” rather than go overseas.
Karen Greenberg of Fordham University explains a report on ISIS prosecutions in the U.S. In an earlier interview with NPR, a lawmaker misidentified the report's numbers on refugees and attacks.
Nicole Hong writes that "federal judges this year faced the unprecedented challenge of sentencing dozens of Islamic State supporters across the country, with punishments ranging from no prison time to decades behind bars." Should judges give young Americans who support Islamic State a chance to turn their lives around, or a lengthy prison sentence to ensure public safety? For the most part, judges are choosing to be cautious, although some have begun considering alternatives to prison. Of the 39 Islamic State defendants who have been sentenced so far, the average prison sentence has been 13 years, according to Fordham University’s Center on National Security.
In sentencing nine young Somali-Minnesotans on terror conspiracy charges this week, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis closed a chapter in the federal government’s long, extraordinary investigation of ISIL recruitment in Minnesota. His sentencing decisions this week — ranging from time served for one defendant to up to 35 years in prison for another — signal that courts are beginning to figure out how to address terror cases with more nuance, said Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all,” she said. “There are ways to distinguish between one defendant and another.”
An experiment on how to punish those seduced by ISIS played out in a Minnesota courtroom, as a federal judge who has embraced a deradicalization program handed down a wide range of sentences to nine terrorist recruits — from time served to 35 years. Judge Michael Davis released one young Somali-American man who already has spent 21 months into a halfway house. But others who were part of the plot to become ISIS fighters in Syria got far harsher sentences of several decades. Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law, said Davis' nuanced approach to the sentences broke with the traditional throw-the-book-at-them framework of terrorism cases. "There's never been an attempt to see the gradations," she said. "What we're really seeing is terrorism cases finally beginning follow the pattern we see in other cases," Greenberg added. "The cooperator gets the best sentencing deal; those who go to trial are going to get the most punitive deals."
Nine Twin Cities men who were part of the nation's largest ISIS conspiracy case will learn their fates this week as a federal judge begins three days of sentencing on Monday. The hearings cap more than two years of a federal investigation that traced the movement of young Minnesotans to the Middle East to take up arms with the so-called Islamic State. The men who'll be sentenced never made it that far, but they still face hard prison time. In determining appropriate sentences, Karen Greenberg noted that judges presiding over ISIS cases used to dole out lighter punishment for younger offenders...and there's a growing sense among national security experts that the United States cannot solve the problem of terror recruitment through incarceration alone. The chances of young radicalized people receiving proper interventions in prison are slim.
Five years after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by an American drone strike, he keeps inspiring acts of terror. Terror experts say al-Awlaki remains a dangerous inciter of homegrown terror. Karen Greenberg, said a lively discussion is underway among public officials and those in the private sector to “find a way to take searches for jihadist propaganda and deflect it toward a counter-narrative.” She noted her center’s study of the first 101 Islamic State cases in federal courts, updated through June, showed more than 25 percent of the cases’ court records contained references to al-Awlaki’s influence.
In discussing Countering Violent Extremism and the government's effort to engage local Muslim communities, Muslimmatters. org cited the study produced by Fordham Law School’s Center on National Security which analyzes ISIS prosecutions in the United States. The study shows that 59% of all ISIS prosecutions in the US were determined to have involved informants or undercover agents (this, out of a paltry 101 cases in total).
Awlaki's presence in terrorism cases has been "constant" since 2007, when he was identified as an influence in a planned terrorist attack on Ft. Dix in New Jersey, according to Karen Greenberg of Fordham Law School's Center on National Security. The center surveyed 287 jihadist cases from 2007 to 2015 at the request of NBC News and found some tie to Awlaki or his rhetoric in 65 of them, according to government documents and media reports.
Law enforcement officials moved swiftly to apprehend 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami. Rahami was captured in Linden, New Jersey in connection with the series of bombings across the tri-state area over the weekend. Karen Greenberg joins WNYC The Takeaway to discuss what determines the markers of success in the age of terror.
Islamic State militants rarely miss a chance, however tenuous the link, to claim at least partial credit for apparent terrorist attacks on U.S soil, from June's deadly mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, to the stabbing of 10 people in a Minnesota shopping mall Saturday. Some militant groups, including al-Qaida, are more reluctant about associating themselves with attackers unless it is clear they adhere to their core beliefs, Byman said. But Islamic State appears to be less discriminating, requiring little information about attackers, said Karen Greenberg, the director of the Fordham Law School's Center on National Security in New York.
ISIS militants frequently take credit for terror attacks on U.S. soil, despite only having loose, if any, ties to the attackers. Karen J. Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law said that in many cases, “if they find out the person is Muslim—that alone might be enough for [ISIS] to claim credit.” Many believe ISIS is quick to take credit for attacks in order to catch headlines and drive recruitment, even if it is unclear whether the person was directly in contact with the group or adheres to the group’s core beliefs.
Recent initiatives by technology companies to push back against Islamic State's social-media messaging highlight a sobering fact: The U.S. government's battle on that front has mostly sputtered. Since early 2014, approximately 100 individuals have been arrested in the US on charges related to providing support to the Islamic State. In 69% of the cases, officials found the individuals had watched or read the group's electronic dispatches, according to the Center on National Security's report, Case by Case: ISIS Prosecutions in the United States. The government's countermessaging efforts so far have been scattershot and, some close to the government think, largely ineffective.
As the Obama administration downsizes the number of captives, the Pentagon has not reduced the Guantanamo prison staff. As of August 25th, there are at least 33 soldiers and civilians for every prisoner at the Detention Center Zone, compared to 14 staff per prisoner at the height of the crippling 2013 hunger strike. CNS Director, Karen Greenberg, called the today's staff-to-prisoner ratio "ridiculous," and suggested there could be a politically motivated lack of will to downsize the staff by the Obama administration.
Chicago terrorism suspect, Adel Daoud, has been found mentally unfit to stand trial, a judge concluded on August 25th in a rare federal ruling. Out of almost 500 terrorism-related cases tracked by the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, director Karen Greenberg said this was among just a few where judges declared a terrorism suspect mentally unfit. Terrorism-case lawyers elsewhere are likely to cite it as they seek similar rulings.
A man in the CIA used as a guinea pig for its post-9/11 torture program will please his case for freedom from Guantanamo Bay later this month, the Pentagon announced. Zayn al-Ibidin Muhammed Husayn, better known as Abu Zubaydah, is one of three men the CIA acknowledged that it waterboarded. Karen Greenberg noted that the decision to permit Abu Zubaydah a hearing represented a boldness by the White House in its internal and congressional battles over closing Guantanamo. "Abu Zubaydah is at the heart of everything that keeps Gitmo from closing: the issue of torture." Greenberg said.
"FBI Agent Goaded Garland Shooter to 'Tear Up Texas,' Raising New Alarms about Bureau's Methods", The Intercept
Discussing FBI sting operations, Karen Greenberg says, "These cases always have a lot of gray area and there has always been a question of how far the FBI should go when they get involved in these sting operations...but if you're going to target potentially unstable, vulnerable individuals in undercover sting operations, you have to examine the potential consequences of having these types of discussions with them"
Stephen Xenakis, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, discusses what draws individuals to ISIS and that solutions are not only a conventional military problem but a public health problem. The Center on National Security has identified many traits found in the men and women recruited by ISIL. For a start, they are overwhelmingly young, disillusioned and impulsive, and they live on the margins of both Western and Muslim societies. These observations and others help generally orient law enforcement, but they do not zero in on the potential killers in our communities.