Terrorism

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Snapshot,
Robin Simcox

There are still those in the West who regard using military force against ISIS as a mistake, believing that, with the beheadings of Western journalists, ISIS was hoping to provoke a showdown with the United States all along. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Snapshot,
Michael O'Hanlon

The most important part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent speech about Iraq and Syria wasn’t how many air strikes the United States will conduct and when -- the elements that have dominated much of the analysis of the event. Rather, it was his call to form, from scratch, an Iraqi National Guard.

Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

Last week’s deadly U.S. strike on Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al Shabab, could be the group’s undoing. Even so, the region is not out of the woods.

Snapshot,
William McCants

Despite ISIS’ success in capturing jihadists’ imagination, the idea of an Islamic state has one fatal flaw: its physical incarnation makes it vulnerable to attack.

Snapshot,
Nathaniel Zelinsky

What does an ISIS militant mean when he raises his index finger? Or an Egyptian activist who raises four? Although Western observers have largely ignored them, such gestures provide a unique window into the evolving politics of the Middle East.

Snapshot,
Barak Mendelsohn

It is hard to believe ISIS did not understand that threatening the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan would mean directly challenging the U.S. alliance with the Kurds and potentially provoking it to fight. Indeed, it is likely that ISIS viewed the possibility as a win-win.

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

One form of terrorist financing, arguably the most profitable, has evaded the global counterterrorism effort: kidnapping for ransom. Most of the ransom payments appear to be funded by European governments, but all of them have evaded sanctions and international censure.

Snapshot,
Jason Pack

The violence tearing apart Libya might appear to be an ideological struggle. In fact, it is an economic competition between two rival criminal networks.

Snapshot,
Matthew Levitt

Soon after three Israel teenagers were kidnapped last month, Israeli officials leaked to the press the name of the Hamas operational commander who is believed to be behind a recent surge in kidnapping plots. It was a familiar one for those who follow Hamas closely: Salah al-Arouri, a longtime Hamas operative from the West Bank, who now lives openly in Turkey. 

Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

The political upheaval and conflict in Kenya could not be better for the Islamist militant group al Shabaab. Its continued attacks have successfully pitted the country’s two top politicians against each other in a game of political brinkmanship that could plunge Kenya into a toxic ethnic conflict -- exactly the kind of environment in which a group like al Shabaab can thrive.

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