The Making of a Martyr: Who Killed Boris Nemtsov and Why Did Putin Name Himself to Head the Investigation?

Through Nemtsov’s murder they have also just created a martyr - a potentially powerful symbol to rally the opposition. And yes, there still is an opposition. The several hundred thousand person march in Nemtsov’s honor that took place on Sunday in front of the Kremlin Walls that ended at the memorial on the bridge where Nemtsov was shot demonstrates as much. Could Putin and his acolytes have finally bitten off more than even they can chew? Read more »

Tsarnaev, Congress and the FSB – Unanswered Questions Remain Unanswered

The April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was made to order television drama operating in nearly Aristotelian time from the beginning through the bizarre car chase, shoot out and round-up of the one suspect still alive. The script was almost all too 24/7 media friendly. Perhaps because of this alone, conspiracy theorists abound. So do a myriad of unanswered questions as well as the display of peculiar naivety displayed by several members of Congress who embarked on a recent “fact-finding mission” to the Russian Federation where the highlight of their visit was apparently a high level briefing at Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters (otherwise known as the KGB). This according to The New York Times. Read more »

Boston Bombers Highlight Difficulties of Countering Isolated Terror Cells

Finally catching up on some old posting – this is a second piece I wrote for my new Institute RUSI. Boston Bombers Highlight Difficulties of Countering Isolated Terror Cells RUSI Analysis, 24 Apr 2013 By Raffaello Pantucci, Senior Research Fellow As motives and operational set-up of the Boston bombers become known, urgent questions will be asked […] Read more »

Boston Bombings: Rumor, Conspiracy, Denial

By Chris Lundry It has been over a week since the grisly bombing at the Boston Marathon, and with one perpetrator killed and another captured, analysts are now searching for the “why” and “how” answers. How did a seemingly well-adjusted young man fall under the influence of his brother and deign to commit such an act? Are others involved? Are there ties to a larger group in the US or abroad? Although some of these […] Read more »

The Ballads of Global Jihad

A longer post for a new outlet, the blog of my excellent English publisher, Hurst. Draws on material that I have gone into in much more depth in the text of my book, and touches upon the theme of Shabaab’s use of media for recruitment that I have written about before (and am working on [...] Read more »