Stories by Michael Morell

Expert Voices

Sri Lankan attacks underscore continued threat of jihadist groups

interior of a church after the bomb blast
Sri Lankan military officers inspecting damage from the bomb blast at St. Sebastian's Church, in Negombo, Sri Lanka, on April 22, 2019. Photo: Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The terrorist attack Sunday in Sri Lanka that killed 290 — including several U.S. citizens — and wounded another 500 was among the top 5 deadliest attacks outside of a war zone since 9/11. The group blamed by the Sri Lankan government for the attack, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, was not publicly known in the West.

Why it matters: The Sri Lankan attacks are an important reminder that jihadist terrorism remains a significant threat, especially in the region spanning West Africa to Southeast Asia. There are at least 3 times as many Islamic extremists in the world today as there were on 9/11. This form of terrorism could persist for generations.

Expert Voices

Chinese military expansion raises stakes of challenge to the U.S.

H-6K bomber with Chinese flag
H-6K bombers fly in formation during a military parade at Zhurihe military training base. Photo: Cui Nan/CHINA NEWS SERVICE/VCG via Getty Images

A Chinese H-6K bomber landed on Woody Island in the Parcels last week — the first time a Chinese military aircraft has touched down on one of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, and a strong assertion of sovereignty by Beijing.

Why it matters: China is not only restoring its place as the dominant power in Asia, but also extending its presence and influence far beyond. Along the way, it has become the most significant global competitor the U.S. has ever faced.

Expert Voices

Senate's Russia report proves Congress can still do bipartisanship

Senators Mark Warner and Richard Burr
Ranking Member Mark Warner and Chairman Richard Burr of the Senate Intelligence Committe. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) announced Wednesday, after 14 months of study, its conclusion that Moscow did indeed try to boost President Trump’s 2016 campaign by hacking emails and spreading disinformation via social media, aiming to sow discord and subvert free and fair elections.

Why it matters: Unlike the report from the House Intelligence Committee's Majority, the SSCI’s finding is supported by both sides of the aisle and consistent with the judgment of the Intelligence Community (IC). It’s the first time that a group of Republicans has challenged President Trump’s narrative on Russian interference. The White House has so far not responded to the news.