27 Feb 2015
Do-it-Yourself Islam? Views on the Religious Credibility of the Islamic State
The so-called Islamic State’s radical interpretation of Islam enjoys little support among leading Sunni and Salafist preachers, observe Erwin van Veen and Iba Abdo. At the same time, you shouldn’t expect these religious leaders to help stem the tide of disaffected Muslims making their way to IS strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
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25 Feb 2015
The Terror-Crime Nexus
How should the international community prevent groups such as Hezbollah from linking up with illicit crime networks for their own financial gain? Celina Realuyo’s answer stresses greater cross-border collaboration among military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies. More on «The Terror-Crime Nexus»
20 Feb 2015
Is the Islamic State a Secessionist Movement?
Is the so-called Islamic State more than just a secessionist movement? Tanisha Fazal believes so. While the group controls territory and challenges the authority of existing states, it also represents a formidable challenge to the Westphalian international system. More on «Is the Islamic State a Secessionist Movement?»
16 Feb 2015
The Geography of Boko Haram: More Deadly but More Remote
Is Boko Haram focusing more of its resources on Nigeria’s remote border areas than in previous years? Davin O’Regan thinks so. In the short-term, this shift represents an opportunity to contain and isolate the group. In the long-term, however, it represents a strategic threat to the largest city in northeastern Nigeria. More on «The Geography of Boko Haram: More Deadly but More Remote»
13 Feb 2015
Sony, the Internet of Things, and the Evolving Cyber-Threat
Do recent cyber-attacks – including North Korea’s against Sony and a Stuxnet-style attack against a German steel works – suggest that the nature of the cyber-threat is escalating? Chris Bronk thinks so. That’s because advances in computing and the revenue-driven culture of corporate hierarchies are undermining the implementation of much-needed security measures. More on «Sony, the Internet of Things, and the Evolving Cyber-Threat»
12 Feb 2015
Cyber Jihadists and Their Web
How can governments ensure that they play a leading role in the fight against cyber jihadists? Beatrice Berton and Patryk Pawlak think that an explicit and unquestioned commitment to keeping the internet open, safe and secure – as stated in the EU’s cyber-security strategy - might be part of the solution. More on «Cyber Jihadists and Their Web»
10 Feb 2015
Turkey's Peace Process with the PKK Faltering
Pinar Elman warns that several factors threaten to derail Turkey’s peace talks with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). These include rifts emerging within the PKK leadership, the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State along the Turkish border and more. More on «Turkey's Peace Process with the PKK Faltering»
4 Feb 2015
The Paris Attack: a Campaign and its Goals
Brian Dodwell believes that jihadi attacks on journalists and media outlets are not just symptoms of moral outrage. They’re also the perfect tool for 1) inspiring follow-on action by adherents, 2) exacerbating social divides, and 3) provoking heavy-handed and counterproductive responses from host governments. More on «The Paris Attack: a Campaign and its Goals»
28 Jan 2015
Can ISIL Be Copied?
Will like-minded extremist groups try to duplicate ISIL’s vision of an Islamic state? Florence Gaub thinks it’s unlikely, at least for now. However, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of groups such as al-Shabab trying to transform themselves into bigger organizations with similar ambitions. More on «Can ISIL Be Copied?»
23 Jan 2015
Is the Concept of Terrorism Still Useful?
Jarrod Hayes argues that there is nothing analytically distinctive about the tactics, perpetrators and psychology of ‘terrorism.’ As a result, he thinks scholars and policymakers should stop using the term, particularly since it tends to undermine our efforts to tackle political violence. More on «Is the Concept of Terrorism Still Useful?»