The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last. Although there are still some fringe terrorist groups in the western Sahel or other rural areas that do not supplement their violence digitally, it is only a matter of time before they also go online.
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The Islamic Republic of Iran has no real intention to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with coauthor Reuel Marc Gerecht. The Islamic State’s exacerbation of sectarian divisions is advantageous to Iran as it continues to manipulate Sunni-Shiite relations to extend its power and help its allies.
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After generations of authoritarian stagnation punctuated by moments of domestic repression and interstate war, in recent years, the Middle East has begun to move.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Targets for Terrorists
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See more in Iraq; Territorial Disputes; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last.
See more in Iraq; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
In June 2014, a small force of Islamic extremists routed the Iraqi army and seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
See more in Iraq; Terrorism and Technology
U.S. President Barack Obama came into office determined to end a seemingly endless war on terrorism. Obama pledged to make his counterterrorism policies more nimble, more transparent, and more ethical than the ones pursued by the George W. Bush administration. Obama wanted to get away from the overreliance on force that characterized the Bush era, which led to the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
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ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.
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Although the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are far from the costliest the United States has ever fought in terms of either blood or treasure, they have exacted a much greater toll than the relatively bloodless wars Americans had gotten used to fighting in the 1990s.
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On May 24, 2014, a man opened fire inside the Jewish Museum in Brussels, quickly killing three people and fatally wounding a fourth before disappearing into the city’s streets. The alleged perpetrator, a French citizen named Mehdi Nemmouche, who has since been arrested and charged with murder, had spent the previous year fighting with jihadist opposition groups in Syria.
See more in Global; Terrorism
Richard A. Falkenrath says Showtime's blockbuster series Homeland is great television, but not a useful guide to real-world homeland security. Hint: we always tap the suspect's cell phone.
See more in Counterterrorism; United States; Homeland Security
Israeli authorities in the West Bank have long worried about stopping Palestinian terrorism.
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On 9/11, the global jihadist movement burst into the world's consciousness, but a decade later, thanks in part to the Arab Spring and the killing of Osama bin Laden, it is in crisis.
See more in Nation Building; Terrorism
John Campbell says diplomacy and democracy--not firepower--is the best way to undermine Nigeria's growing Islamist threat.
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Although last winter's peaceful popular uprisings damaged the jihadist brand, they also gave terrorist groups greater operational freedom.
See more in Terrorism; Middle East and North Africa; Political Movements and Protests
Richard A. Falkenrath says that with Osama bin Laden gone, life is about to become more complicated for U.S. policymakers trying to combat terrorism.
See more in Afghanistan; Counterterrorism; Terrorist Leaders
Al Qaeda is stronger today than when it carried out the 9/11 attacks.
See more in Terrorism; Afghanistan
Is it possible to deradicalize terrorists?
See more in Terrorism; Middle East and North Africa