Rethinking political Islam
2017 U.S.-Islamic World Forum
The exile: The stunning inside story of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida in flight
ISIS is also keen to target Italy now because it’s one of the few major European countries it hasn’t yet struck. They’re hoping to inspire violence there so that they can say, in effect, 'we’ve already attacked your capitals in London, in Paris, and in Barcelona, and now we’ve attacked Rome. There’s nowhere we can’t reach.'
The [Trump administration's] proposals don't call for constant monitoring once someone is in the country. It seems like [Saipov, the NYC attacker] became much more radical relatively recently. So the ideas on the table don't seem particularly relevant to this attack.
This is a movement that historically has been highly divided. One thing Osama had been doing is trying to be a unifier. He was very comfortable working with people who agreed with him on one issue and disagreed with him on five. Toward the end of his life, a lot of what he was trying to do was to get groups to work together.
Such unthinking measures [that target Muslims] might benefit Trump politically while inadvertently helping the terrorists operationally.
The challenge for do-it-yourself terrorism is pretty significant. They download the app, they might click on a hashtag and then they're one or two more taps away from connecting to someone who could point them in a violent direction.