The Soufan Group Morning Brief



New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton announced on Tuesday that he will retire from his post in September. At a city hall news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio praised Bratton’s four-decade career in public service, including his work in bolstering the department’s counterterrorism unit. NYPD Chief James O’Neill, a long-time colleague of Bratton, will take over as Commissioner. Bratton plans to join the risk division of the private advisory firm Teneo to work on cyber crime and terrorism issues. New York Times, Reuters, NBC, CBS

The Atlantic: Exit, Bill Bratton
New York Times: As Bratton’s Successor, O’Neill Is Rising to Critical Job at Key Time
Slate: Bill Bratton Is Stepping Down. Did His “Broken Windows” Policy Actually Work?
Politico: Bratton announces resignation, promises 'seamless' transition

On Tuesday, the Periodic Review Board convened to review the case of Guleed Hassan Ahmed, a 42-year-old Somali who is one of 15 remaining “high value detainees” held at Guantanamo Bay. Ahmed arrived at Guantanamo in 2006 and allegedly “served as a key member of Al Qaeda in East Africa’s (AQEA) network in Somalia,” according to his U.S. government profile. He has never been charged with a crime. Courthouse News Service, Human Rights First

Surveillance: The London-based watchdog group Privacy International launched a new searchable database on hundreds of surveillance companies around the world. The new database, called the Surveillance Industry Index, includes information about more than 520 surveillance companies and the technologies sold to government and telecom industry customers. The Verge

Michigan: FBI counterterrorism agents arrested 29-year-old Sebastian Gregerson after he allegedly attempted to buy grenades and amass an arsenal of potential mass-casualty weapons. Gregerson, who also goes by the name Abdurrahman Bin Mikaayl, was charged with unregistered possession of a destructive device and the unlicensed receipt of explosive materials. Reuters, CNN

According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 59 percent of voters trust Hillary Clinton on foreign policy issues compared to 36 percent for Donald Trump. The 23-point lead is a significant increase since a similar poll conducted last week, which had Clinton leading 50 to 45 percent on foreign policy. The Hill

On Tuesday, a car bomb targeting security forces in Benghazi, Libya killed at least 22 people and wounded 20 others, according to government officials. The blast occurred in the residential Guwarsha district, which has been the location of fighting between security forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government and the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, an alliance of Islamist militias and other groups that also claimed responsibility for the attack. Reuters

New York Times: U.S. Strikes Help Libyan Forces Against ISIS in Surt
Reuters: Obama says supporting Libya's fight with Islamic State is in U.S. interest

Yemen: Two U.S. counterterrorism air strikes killed seven Al Qaeda operatives in July, according to a statement by U.S. Central Command on Tuesday. A strike on July 8 killed one Al Qaeda member and another on July 16 strike killed six and injured one other. Reuters

Turkey: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied allegations made in a recent Amnesty International report that people being detained in connection with the recent failed coup attempt had been tortured. Erdogan insisted that his government follows a policy of “zero tolerance toward torture.” Washington Post

New York Times: The Scale of Turkey’s Purge Is Nearly Unprecedented

North Korea: On Tuesday, North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions. A South Korean news agency reported the missile was a Rodong-type medium-range missile. Reuters
Communities first: A national prevention network to defeat ISIS: “With the 16th anniversary of 9/11 just around the corner, and growing realization that we won’t be able to kill or arrest our way out of the problem, President Obama can mark the occasion by calling for the creation of a non-government-led ‘National Prevention Network’ to harness the efforts of the growing number of communities and professionals around the country interested in helping to prevent the violent radicalization of individuals in their communities,” writes Eric Rosand on The Hill. “Such a network could help to mobilize resources by leveraging corporate and philanthropic contributions to support local prevention and intervention projects and involve non-law enforcement professionals around the country with experience working on CVE or related fields (e.g., drug or broader crime prevention, mental health).”

Turkey’s tarnished model is the worst example to set: “So will the Muslim world still follow Turkey after the overwhelming suppression of the coup, the denigration of the moderate Sufi spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen, the purge of thousands of academics and journalists and the revamping of the state that is about be unleashed by Mr Erdogan?,” writes Ahmed Rashid in the Financial Times. “Turkey now provides an impetus for such countries to double down on their repression: if Ankara can get away with it, remain in Nato and still be taken seriously as a partner by the EU and the Americans, so can smaller, less visible states.”

The Government Response to Turkey’s Coup Is an Affront to Democracy: “It is vital for Washington and Turkey’s other international partners now to use all their influence to press Ankara to reverse course, to safeguards the rights of those caught up in the purge, and to strengthen rather than weaken the independence of the institutions that underpin it, including the courts, media, universities and parliament itself,” writes Benjamin Ward on Just Security. “Equally troubling have been the steps to set aside checks on the exercise of executive power. The government has declared a state of emergency that permits the executive to rule by decree with minimal oversight from parliament and none from the constitutional court.”

Call for Applicants: The Center on the Future of War at Arizona State University is seeking a full-time Research Fellow. This position offers opportunities for the fellow to pursue individual policy research while also contributing to collaborative projects with the institution. CV and Cover Letter must be submitted by August 15, 2016. For a full description of the position, click here.

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.

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