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04-19-2013, 11:54 AM
Der Jaeger
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This is what I've been studying about for the past two years in grad school. Couple thoughts after seeing initial reports:

It's going to be interesting how this group is connected to other networks. How these types of groups come about is very complex. They might be trained and funded from overseas, non-state actors, but aside from that, they get little to no direction. Or at least that's how it can work. Guidance might be to attack on an important date, and that's it.

Some of these groups go underground and become difficult to track. If you're familiar with the Rodney Stark - Donatella Della Porta - Michel Wieviorka model on how these groups develop, you're familiar with the choice in clandestinity that a group makes. After they decide to end contact and no longer recruit, they are essentially like guided missiles that have received their terminal guidance, and need nothing more. That makes them hard to track, because the only communication they have in intra-group. If they're already in the United States, that's very hard to track.

I think there will be a connection to an overseas network. Making pressure cooker bombs can be learned over the internet. Suicide vests are harder. Coordinated strikes where bombs go off simultaneously is very hard. I'd guess these guys were radicalized (maybe on their own), offered up to recruitment (or got recruited), received guidance and training, received equipment, and then went clandestine.

It's going to be interesting how US - Russian relations work from here. This give Russia more reasons to intervene in places it wants to go anyway.

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