The Soufan Group Morning Brief



The nearly 100 U.S. residents accused of attempting to support ISIS share certain characteristics that may have made them more vulnerable to radicalization, according to a new report from the Center on National Security at Fordham Law. Many of the suspects expressed some form of social alienation, loneliness, or identity issues, according to legal documents analyzed by the Center. The report also found that more than three quarters of the suspects were motivated by dissatisfaction with American society and at least half expressed resentment over the worldwide oppression of Muslims. Karen J. Greenberg, Director of the Center, said “these individuals seemed to be looking to attach to something that can help define them as well as give them a cause worth fighting for.” The suspects’ cases also include frequent references to Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born radical Muslim cleric, who was one of Al Qaeda’s leading propagandists before being killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. New York Times

Center on National Security at Fordham Law: Case by Case: ISIS Prosecutions in the United States

A former National Guardsman was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS on Tuesday. Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, 26, from Sterling, Virginia, was arrested on Sunday after he allegedly attempted to assist “in the procurement of weapons” for an ISIS-inspired attack on U.S. soil, according to the Department of Justice. Jallo reportedly quit the National Guard after listening to lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki. Washington Post, CNN, ABC

Minnesota deradicalization: U.S. District Judge Michael Davis denied the requests of two men convicted of plotting to join ISIS abroad to receive an assessment from German deradicalization expert Daniel Koehler. Instead, Abdirahman Daud and Guled Omar will be evaluated by officers from the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office who have been trained by Koehler as part of a deradicalization program. MPR, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Pentagon: The U.S. military is not changing its strategy against ISIS in Iraq, despite the group claiming responsibility for the deadliest attack in Baghdad since 2003 on Sunday. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said “this was clearly a devastating attack and a painful reminder of the lethal capabilities of ISIL. But it does not alter the strategy here, and that is to go after ISIL in Iraq [and] in Syria.” The Hill

FBI Director James Comey said on Tuesday that his agency will not seek criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email address and server while she was Secretary of State. However, Comey said Clinton had been “extremely careless,” questioned her judgment, and contradicted her previous statements about her email practices. New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal

New York Times: F.B.I. Findings Damage Many of Hillary Clinton’s Claims
Washington Post: FBI: No evidence Clinton’s email was hacked by foreign powers, but it could have been

Trump comments: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump praised former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein at a campaign rally on Tuesday, saying that he had done a good job of killing terrorists. Trump said Saddam was a “really bad guy..but you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. It was over.” New York Times

Former Guantanamo detainee Airat Vakhitov is among the 30 people Turkish authorities say they have arrested in connection with last week’s terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport, according to a source in the small North Caucasus Muslim diaspora in Turkey. The Turkish government has not confirmed the report. Vakhitov was held for two years at Guantanamo before being released to Russia in 2004. Voice of America

Iraq: A Shiite militia that fought alongside the Iraqi Army against ISIS may have kidnapped 900 civilians and executed at least 50 people, some by beheadings and torture, according to the United Nations. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said there was strong evidence that the Shiite militia Ketaeb Hezbollah committed reprisals and atrocities against Sunnis during the offensive to retake the city of Fallujah. AFP

Syria: The Syrian military called for a 72-hour temporary ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Officials called for a “regime of calm” throughout Syria from 1:00 am on July 6 until midnight on July 8, 2016. Reuters

Syria: Some Syrian opposition groups have adopted methods of abuse and torture similar to those used by the Syrian government and Assad regime, according to a new report by Amnesty International. The abuses occurred over the last four years by five armed groups, including some backed by the United States, as well as Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front. AP

France: Lawmakers in France are calling for several reforms to national counterterrorism efforts, including the creation of a U.S.-style counter-terrorism agency similar to the National Counterterrorism Center established after the 9/11 attacks. Lawmakers investigating last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris laid out a long list of intelligence failures including “dropping surveillance of several of the attackers.” NPR, New York Times

United Kingdom: A long-awaited report by the Iraq Inquiry Committee, led by John Chilcot, offers a sharp critique of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The report finds that Blair led Britain into the Iraq War on the basis of unchallenged, flawed intelligence, a shaky legal rationale, “wholly inadequate” planning, and exaggerated public statements. New York Times, AP

Belgium: A Belgian judge sentenced 15 people on Tuesday for their involvement in a foiled terrorist plot in early 2015. The plot was reportedly led by Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the ringleader of the November Paris attacks. Nine of the 15 people convicted as part of the Verviers terror cell were tried in absentia, because they were still on the run, ill, or dead. New York Times, Wall Street Journal

Bangladesh: Bangladeshi police said on Tuesday that security forces may have accidentally shot and killed one of the hostages during a siege of a Dhaka cafe last Friday, believing he was one of the attackers. Reuters

Indonesia: A suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up outside an Indonesian police station on Tuesday, injuring one officer. Officials said the attack in the city of Solo was linked to ISIS. AFP
ISIS: The Cornered Beast: “The real lesson for the Iraqi government and its allies—as well as its counterparts across the that it will take much more than military victories and the recapture of territory to defeat ISIS,” writes Ahmed Rashid in The New York Review of Books. “It will take even more to cut off all the branches of extremism that ISIS has established around the world, and that could become a primary focus of the group as the territory under its control rapidly shrinks.”

Fighting ISIS as It Shifts Tactics: "The latest attacks reveal an enemy that is adapting, becoming more sophisticated than Al Qaeda, and nurturing a far-flung network of operations, including in the West. A complex response is needed,” writes The New York Times in an editorial. “Bombing isn’t the only recourse. Improved intelligence, coordinated operations to find terrorists before they strike and better strategies to counter extremist propaganda are equally needed."

The United States of Islamophobia: “What makes someone call the police and report a suspected terrorist when they see traditional Arab clothing and hear Arabic? Yes, there may be legitimate reasons to be on edge...but don’t discount Americans’ constant exposure to years of news coverage, movies, and political rhetoric that portrays Arabs and Muslims as menacing outsiders,” writes Kim Ghattas on Foreign Policy. “All this shapes America’s collective subconscious and helps normalize racist attitudes. And while Trump’s blunt racism has gotten the most attention, the recent campaign abounds with examples of innuendos and casual bigotry.”

Al Qaeda Reaps Rewards of U.S. Policy Failures on Syria: “The principal benefactor of Assad’s survival is not Assad, nor Russia, Iran, Hezbollah or even ISIS—it is Al-Qaeda. Having spent the past five years embedding itself within broader revolutionary forces and strategically choosing to limit and very slowly reveal its extremist face, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra is reaping the rewards of our failures to solve the Syrian crisis,” writes Charles Lister on The Daily Beast. “According to sources close to the group, al-Nusra has accepted more than 3,000 Syrians from Idlib and southern Aleppo into its ranks since February alone. That is an extraordinary rate of recruitment from within a territory roughly the size of Connecticut.”

Out Now: Karen Greenberg's newest book, Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State, is the definitive account of how America's War on Terror sparked a decade-long assault on the rule of law, weakening our courts and our Constitution in the name of national security.

For cutting-edge analysis of the geopolitical events shaping global affairs, read today’s TSG IntelBrief: The Many Messages of Islamic State Attacks

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