[ by Charles Cameron — Leah Farrall on the state of counterterrorism ]
Until recently, friend and blog-friend Leah Farrall‘s highly-regarded blog carried this header:
Leah, the former al-Qaeda subject matter specialist and senior Counter Terrorism Intelligence Analyst with the Australian Federal Police — Andrew Exum once called her the “Aussie goddess of all things counter-terrorism” — hasn’t been blogging a whole lot recently.
Today, the header of her blog looks just a little different. It now reads:
To understand why, you’ll want to read the series of seven posts she uploaded today under the new header.
The title for the series goes with the first post:
The series continues:
II: The situation of children born into jihad
III: Bin Laden’s children
IV The situation of other children and the lack of options
V Understanding the pressures against leaving and the dangers it can entail
VI Addressing this issue without exploiting already traumatized victims
Leah concludes the series with a post in which she lays out a more general critique of the field, and explains the reasoning behind her decision to change the name of her blog:
Caitlin Fitz Gerald (@caidid) was among the first to note Leah’s posts on Twitter, and wrote:
Confirmed: @allthingsct series is required reading. Set aside some time this weekend, start here and read all 7.
J.M. Berger (@intelwire) took the time to do so, and tweeted:
Just finished the entirety of @allthingsct’s epic series starting here and I cannot stress enough that you shld read it.
It is a great exposition of something rarely discussed, with broader implications as well. Also very human.
Leah has written a moving and courageous essay: I commend it highly.
I have also invited Leah to write a guest-post for us here at Zenpundit expanding on her critique of current trends in counterterrorism, and she’s agreed. So that’s something to keep an keen eye out for, date uncertain at this point.