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It’s normal to feel distressed after a such an attack, but this generally reduces in the following days and weeks. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Social supports build resilience and reduce distress after trauma

People in Sydney and the broader community are feeling shocked, anxious, and sad about the actions of a lone, unstable person that led to the tragic loss of lives in the siege early this week. But there’s…
A scene of devastation after the Taliban attack in Peshawar. EPA/Bilawal Arbab

Explainer: who are the Pakistani Taliban?

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on a school in Peshawar that killed more than 130 children. The militants planned the massacre to take revenge on the Pakistan army. They murdered…
Man Haron Monis, the hostage-taker in the Sydney siege, in 2009. AAP/Sergio Dionisio

Radicalisation and the lone wolf: what we do and don’t know

The events of the Sydney siege this week evolved amid a torrent of speculation and theorising about the motivations and intent of the hostage-taker Man Haron Monis. Some media reporting during the Sydney…
Man Haron Monis, the perpetrator of the Sydney hostage siege, appeared to be unaware of basic Islamic theology. AAP/Dean Lewins

Sydney siege shows the rise of a new form of extremism

Man Haron Monis, the sole perpetrator of the Sydney hostage siege, is but one example of the recent development of a new form of Islamic extremist radicalisation. In recent years, Islamic extremism has…
In the age of social media, misinformation travels rapidly around the globe. AAP

How rumours about the Sydney siege spread on social media

It has become one of the hallmarks of the news now. Whenever there is a dramatic event, social media instantly comes alive with comment and conjecture as facts vie for attention with fiction. Alongside…
It is hard to police ‘soft targets’ for violent, lone wolf actors without becoming an overpoliced state. AAP/Dean Lewins

Q&A: what we can learn from the Sydney siege, and what next

Sydney is slowly returning to normal after police brought an end to a 16-hour siege in a Martin Place cafe in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The perpetrator, Man Haron Monis, and two hostages, Katrina…
New norms for what goes on inside this room. image from www.shutterstock.com

Using science to improve the practice of interrogation

The release of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program documents the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) against terrorism…
The printed word or waving flags, such as this ISIS banner, can only reach so many people. EPA

How terrorists use Twitter to become ‘brand ambassadors’

On an overcast afternoon in London in May 2013, an off-duty soldier named Lee Rigby was murdered near his barracks in Woolwich, southeast London. Rigby’s killers were two young British men of Nigerian…
Prior to the introduction of jets, most commercial airplanes were propeller driven, like the DC-3 pictured here. These planes had a limited cruising altitude – and experienced much more turbulence. NOAA Photo Library

Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

Long lines at security checkpoints, tiny plastic cups of soda, small bags of pretzels, planes filled to capacity, fees attached to every amenity – all reflect the realities of 21st century commercial air…
In matters of ‘security’ social problems, the persistent undesirable condition has been that of the ‘boat people’. AAP/Scott Fisher

Defining deviance: four steps in constructing a threat to security

In matters of national security, who is deviant and poses a threat to our safety depends on the claims made by those in positions of power and the sociopolitical climate. The news media are crucial in…
Mohammad Ali Baryalei is believed to have died fighting for Islamic State overseas. Proposed new laws could have provided for the targeted killings of people like him by Australian defence and security agencies. AAP/Youtube

Security bill opens door to targeted killings and broader control orders

The government introduced its third set of national security laws last week. The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1) 2014 valuably empowers the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Intelligence…
In the lead-up to the London G20 summit in 2009, many businesses were boarded up, and some removed company logos from their premises. Scott Burnham/Flickr

When the G20 rolls into Brisbane, what are businesses insured for?

When the G20/G8 summits moved on from Toronto in 2010, they left an US$11 million bill in business compensation claims. To minimise the effect of preparations on businesses preparing for next month’s G20…
Sydney teenager Abdullah Elmir, who uses the alias Abu Khaled, speaking in an Islamic State video. ABC News

Foreign fighters need more than punishment – they also need rehab

New powers targeting foreign fighters and political “hate crimes” are set to be amended, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed in the hope of pushing the legislation through parliament next week. But…
The Ottoman Chief Eunuch was an influential figure. In this and other caliphates, eunuchs supervised the harem, the princes, the financial affairs of the palace and the mosques, as well as controlling access to the ruler. Photo postcard 1912

Islamic State lacks key ingredient to make ‘caliphate’ work: eunuchs

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed Islamic State (IS) as a Muslim caliphate on June 29, 2014, with himself as caliph, a term reserved for a successor to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His would be the newest…
Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop has backed down on her proposal to segregate people wearing head coverings in Parliament. Lukas Coch/AAP

Bishop backs down on burqas, with a twist

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Senate President Stephen Parry have reversed their decision to segregate veiled women watching…

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