Violence comes home: an interview

ISIS’s recruits are not corrupted by ideology but by the end of ideology. More radicalisation, in the genuine sense of the word, is the solution, not the problem. After the Paris attacks, what are the logical and tragic consequences of war with no geographical limits? In this interview, published by openDemocracy, the ramifications of the…

Some of Europe’s politicians are doing ISIL’s work for them

On June 26, an ISIL-supporting gunman trained in Libya carried out a massacre on a Tunisian beach. Over the course of 47 minutes, Seifeddine Rezgui shot and killed 38 holidaymakers, including 30 British tourists. It was the worst terrorist attack targeting British civilians since the 7/7 bombings on London’s transport system a decade ago. As…

Dirty Wars: the World is a Battlefield

A review of Dirty Wars: the World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill (New York, Nation Books, 2013). During his first term in office, Obama’s primary achievement in national security policy was the creation of silence. After the loud, divisive controversies of the Bush years, a bipartisan, media-endorsed consensus emerged. The official line was that invasions, torture, secret…

Homeland and the Imagination of National Security

Homeland’s key accomplishment is to naturalize the workings of the national security state in the Obama era. The show Homeland began its third season with record-breaking ratings. The show’s creators Alex Ganza and Howard Gordon, who previously collaborated on the wildly popular series 24, seem to have worked out a successful narrative for the War on Terror during the Obama era. If 24 reflected the…

Missing the best chance to prevent terror bombing

Since the bombing of the Boston marathon – in which three people, including a child, were killed and more than 200 injured – attention has naturally focused on what could have been done to prevent it. Some, such as Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, have argued for increased surveillance of Muslims…

Blind Spot? Security narratives and far-Right violence in Europe

This paper discusses the challenges of countering far-Right political violence in the wake of the terrorist attack carried out by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in July 2011. With brief case studies of Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium, it argues that classic neo-Nazi groups are being supplemented by new ‘counter-jihadist’ far-Right movements, which use…

Islamism and the roots of liberal rage

As the neoconservative idea of a clash of civilisations is increasingly challenged, a number of liberal writers — Paul Berman, Nick Cohen, Martin Amis, Andrew Anthony, Bernard Henry-Lévy and Christopher Hitchens — are rethinking the ‘war on terror’ as a cold war against Islamism, defined as a totalitarian political movement analogous to fascism or Stalinism.…