The videos depicting beheadings of Western civilians by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have shocked audiences worldwide. But perhaps more surprising is something more mundane: the distinctly British accent of the English-speaking, knife-wielding militant.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted delegations from twenty-six countries to support Iraq in its efforts to eliminate the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The final communique, released September 15, 2014, acknowledged the newly formed government in Iraq and agreed to provide military assistance and to implementing UN Security Council resolutions regarding violations of human rights, recruitment and radicalization of terrorists, and terrorist financing.
The ties between American allies and Hamas—a terrorist organization—contribute to instability and violence, CFR Senior Fellow Steven A. Cook told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on the Middle East and North Africa and Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. Under political, financial, and military pressure from Israel, the United States, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Hamas has found relief in support from Qatar and Turkey.
Listen as CFR experts Ed Husain and Janine Davidson explain how Islamic extremism has led to the rise of ISIS and other radical militant groups and what the United States can do to respond to this threat.
Writing in Defense One, Janine Davidson analyzes intercepted and published letters between two Al-Qaeda affiliates. In doing so, she identifies some of the terror network's best practices and "lessons learned."
CFR's Daniel Markey sheds light on the two Taliban branches—the Afghan-based group that negotiated the release of a U.S. prisoner of war, and the Pakistani Taliban, which attacked the Karachi airport last weekend.
The appearance of mid-level Al Qaeda planners in Syria may represent efforts by Al Qaeda to shift its organization away from its current networked organization back to the more lethal structure it had before September 11, 2001.
Charles Berger discusses an al-Qaeda more Balkanized than unified and argues that instead of a single strategy which treats all of these groups as Al Qaeda, the United States needs tailored strategies for each.
Algerian and Western counterterrorism efforts, along with an African-led peacekeeping force in Mali, have shifted the North African al-Qaeda franchise's criminal and terrorist activities to remote areas of the Sahara and Sahel, explains this Backgrounder.
Hezbollah's long-standing resistance to Israel gained this Lebanon-based Shiite political party and militant group broad support, but its involvement in Syria's civil war may jeopardize its domestic standing.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »