It is important for the state, researchers, and tech companies to place more attention on the cultural practices of the radical online milieus from which right-wing extremist or racist terrorist perpetrators come from. | Photo: Unsplash, Annette Batista Day | Free use

A New Wave of Right-Wing Terrorism

Right-wing terrorism is a growing threat for democratic societies globally. With rising numbers in death tolls and far-right narratives creeping into the mainstream, the extreme right assumed a new face through the digital dissemination of extremist propaganda and trivialising violence – thereby attracting new audiences. Greater cooperation is required between the state, researchers, and tech companies to address the manipulative strategies used by these groups.

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Fahndungsplakat des US State Departments (2003) | Plakatausschnitt, Public Domain.

Félicien Kabuga: Der meistgesuchte Mann des Völkerstrafrechts und seine Flucht durch Frankfurt

Am 16. Mai 2020 wurde der mutmaßliche Hauptfinanzier des Völkermordes in Ruanda, Félicien Kabuga, in einem Pariser Vorort festgenommen. Dem wohl meistgesuchten Mann der internationalen Strafjustiz gelang es 26 Jahre lang, sämtlichen staatlichen und internationalen Behörden zu entgehen. Die Spur des heute Mittachtzigjährigen führte zwischen 1994 und 2020 aus Ruanda nach Frankreich, unter anderem über die Demokratische Republik Kongo, die Schweiz und Kenia – und auch über Frankfurt am Main.

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Similar mortar grenades produced by Denel, the South African subsidiary of German defense giant Rheinmetall, are currently being used in Libya. | Photo: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, 2011 | CC BY-ND 2.0

Brennglas einer problematischen Rüstungsexportpolitik: Der Bürgerkrieg in Libyen

Die deutsche Bundesregierung betont stets ihre „restriktive Rüstungsexportpolitik“. Doch gerade die Staaten im Nahen und Mittleren Osten (MENA-Region) zählen mit zu den größten Kunden deutscher Rüstungsproduzenten. Die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE) gehören 2017 zu den Top-10 der Empfänger deutscher Rüstungsexporte und auch die Türkei ist regelmäßig Abnehmer deutscher Waffentechnologie. Ein Expertenbericht zur Umsetzung der UN-Sicherheitsratsresolution 1973 nennt beide Staaten zusammen mit Jordanien als diejenigen Staaten, die verschiedene Kriegsparteien in Libyen mit Ausrüstung und Waffen versorgen. Damit brechen sie das seit 2011 verhängte UN-Waffenembargo. Deutsche Rüstungsexporte an solche Empfängerstaaten bergen die Gefahr, ins Bürgerkriegsgebiet nach Libyen zu gelangen und dürfen deshalb nicht von der Bundesregierung genehmigt werden.

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The in-depth analysis of social media contributions within radicalisation dynamics of radical groups is a worthwile approach for radicalisation research. | Photo: Unsplash, Patrick Tomasso | Free use

Social Media as a Mirror of External Circumstances: Insights into the Perception of a Radical Group

Radicalisation processes take place in a field of tension between the actor and the outside world. External reactions and circumstances can have a supportive but also a rather negative and escalating effect on the dynamics of group development, depending on how they are perceived. Radical groups often react to circumstances in the outside world, incorporate them into their own discourse and provide their followers with a processed interpretation of them. This can be observed particularly well on social media. Within the scope of a thematic content analysis, we analysed how external circumstances were received within the community and what influence they had on the dynamics of the group Millatu Ibrahim.

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The PANDORA research group gained interesting insights into the nexus of online and offline radicalization processes.
The PANDORA research group gained interesting insights into the nexus of online and offline radicalization processes. | Photo: Peakpx | Free use

The Great Divide? The Online-Offline Nexus and Insights from Research on the Far-Right in Germany

Research financed in the framework of the BMBF’s public security programme is still predominantly occupied with two issues: “online-radicalization” and “international terrorism”. The emphasis on „international terrorism“ still leads to an exclusive focus on “Islamist terrorism” and completely ignores the discussion of and a stronger need for research on right-wing terrorism. The emphasis on “online-radicalization” on the other hand misses the importance of also looking at the offline dimension of any phenomena under investigation.

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Eine General Atomics MQ-9 "Reaper" der United States Air Force in Afghanistan | Photo: Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0

Die Drohne kommt.
Was die aktuelle #Drohnendebatte2020 noch bringen kann – und was nicht

Deutschland debattiert über bewaffnete Drohnen. Mitte Mai übertrug das Bundesministerium der Verteidigung einen ganzen Nachmittag lang Live-Podiumsdiskussionen im Internet, die das Thema Drohnen aus ethischer, völkerrechtlicher und politischer Sicht beleuchteten. Unter dem Hashtag #Drohnendebatte2020 fand auf Twitter eine intensive Debatte statt. Allerdings geht es nicht mehr um die Frage, ob man Drohnen beschaffen soll, die bewaffnet werden können. Diese Entscheidung ist bereits 2018 mit der Festlegung auf das System Heron TP gefallen. Jetzt wird darüber diskutiert, ob man bewaffnungsfähige Drohnen auch tatsächlich bewaffnen soll.

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For security authorities, automated monitoring of social media is gaining increasing importance.
For security authorities, automated monitoring of social media is gaining increasing importance. | Photo: Dollar Gill on Unsplash

Early Warning? Opportunities and Limitations of Automated Internet Monitoring

Policymakers have invested considerable effort and research funding to understand the role of the Internet in radicalisation processes and attack planning. This includes approaches to identify radicalisation or “weak signals” for terrorist intentions in online behaviour. As a result, security authorities have become increasingly interested in approaches to computer science including Artificial Intelligence. Nevertheless, what results have research efforts thus far yielded? Can computer science prove useful? And what are the possibilities and limitations of automated tools?

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Yezidi women from different parts of the Kurdistan region waiting for the daily communal lunch in the holy Yezidi temple Lalish. | Photo: Rosa Burç
Yezidi women from different parts of the Kurdistan region waiting for the daily communal lunch in the holy Yezidi temple Lalish. | Photo: © Rosa Burç

Endangered Future: Yezidis in Post-Genocide Iraq and the Need for International Support

As the international memory of ISIS’ genocide against the Yezidi population of Şengal in Northern Iraq recedes, its victims have been left to languish increasingly hopelessly, in refugee camps with little realistic prospect of returning to their homes. Tens of thousands of displaced Yezidis remain dispersed across Northern Iraq, hundreds of kidnapped Yezidi girls and women are unaccounted for and the fates of many of their male relatives unknown. In the short term, there is an urgent need for international protection from further attacks, the recognition of a political status for Şengal and immediate aid for refugee camps to create the conditions for Yezidi genocide survivors to return, resettle and gain a sense of political stability and empowerment.

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Stoppschild | Photo: Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Wenn das „Feld“ geschlossen ist: (Feld-)Forschung als Krisenpraxis in Zeiten von Corona

Die weltweite Ausbreitung der Corona-Pandemie und die damit verbundenen restriktiven Maßnahmen gefährden all jene Forschung, für die menschliche Interaktion und Präsenz ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Wissensproduktion ist. Anhand unserer eigenen Erfahrungen mit einer abgebrochenen Feldforschung in Burkina Faso diskutieren wir, wie in der aktuellen Krise das Forschen selbst zur Krisenpraxis wird und welche Konsequenzen geschlossene „Felder“ und Unplanbarkeiten in Zeiten von Corona für die (Feld-)Forschungspraxis der Friedens- und Konfliktforschung haben.

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte at the Caraga State University in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte. | Photo: Joey Dalumpines | Public Domain

Duterte, Estrada, Thaksin and the Battle Cry of Populism

The current and former leaders of the Philippines and Thailand, Rodrigo Duterte, Joseph Estrada, and Thaksin Shinawatra and their policies have in varying degrees been described and explained through the distinct lens of populism. I argue that in these East Asian cases, this category does neither fit the leaders nor their policies. To members of the domestic establishment elites and upper middle class intellectuals it rather serves as a political weapon to fend off political alternatives that threaten to sideline them.

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