From the Welfare State to the Caliphate

From the Welfare State to the Caliphate

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — When he was 3 years old, Ahmed arrived in southern Sweden from Iraq, together with his older brother and parents. The family settled in one of their new country’s cut-off suburbs, where its many new immigrants come to live, but mostly to be forgotten.

The family found a home in one of the many rows of gray, faceless apartment buildings that make up these deeply segregated suburbs that ring Sweden’s urban centers — in Angered, outside Gothenburg. As he grew into his teenage years, Ahmed began to scold his siblings to be more religious. He spent considerable time in front of his computer, becoming engrossed in graphic, violent videos from the civil war in Syria. Inspired, he read the biographies of martyrs who had died in battle, waging jihad in the holy land. And gradually he turned inward, withdrawing from society and his former life. Continue reading

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The Maldives-Syria Connection: Jihad in Paradise?

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 22
November 21, 2014 04:03 PM

 

Screenshot from Abu Turab video in Divehi (Source: YouTube)

The Maldives, the Muslim-majority archipelago country in the Indian Ocean, is going through a tumultuous time, facing increasing Islamist activities at home, an exodus of radicalized youth to join the jihad in Syria and a growing domestic clamor for the implementation of Shari’a law. This has been accompanied by the targeted abduction and intimidation of local Maldivians who hold progressive ideals and secular values. Although the country is better known as a romantic honeymoon destination, these developments – which include the establishment of the “Islamic State of the Maldives” (ISM) group – have exposed the deep extremist undercurrents in Maldivian society and are increasingly drawing the attention of local and international security forces. Continue reading

Cyberspace in the Service of ISIS

Flag of islamic state of iraq

Flag of islamic state of iraq (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

By INSS Gabi Siboni  September 4, 2014

 

While not much is known about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, otherwise known as the Islamic State), because it has no centralized control, and its size and command structure, along with the identity of its leaders, are unclear,  it is already obvious we are only at the beginning of a new fierce war in cyberspace. Indeed, while embodying the evil spirit of fanaticism, the organization’s activity demonstrates the duality between what appears to be primitivism and 21st century cyber warfare. In turn, in a step that aroused much criticism, organizations affiliated with Anonymous announced late last week a full scale cyber war against the Islamic State (Operation Ice ISIS), intended to attack ISIS supporters using social media for propaganda purposes. Continue reading

Where does the Islamic State’s fetish with beheading people come from?

Terror group’s tactics create fear out of all proportion to its military size
An IS militant with a man purported to be US journalist Steven Sotloff, in a still from the group's video

An IS militant with a man purported to be US journalist Steven Sotloff, in a still from the group’s video

Why does the Islamic State engage in beheadings and crucifixions? Of course, the practice of beheading is invoked in the Koran, but only the most extreme Islamic militants carry it out in the modern day.

We might identify three parts to this. First, psychological warfare is a key part of the Islamic State’s military strategy. Even where outnumbered, as they were in Mosul in June, the Islamic State’s fighters have used their reputation for terror to dissuade Iraqi forces from ever seeking battle. Which poorly paid soldier wishes to risk decapitation, impalement, or amputation for the sake of a distant, crumbling government? Fear is a uniquely effective weapon. Continue reading

Turkey not asking NATO for help with ISIS


SPAIN/

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is seen through a viewfinder as he addresses the media during a joint news conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (not pictured) in Madrid, June 12, 2014.  (photo by REUTERS/Susana Vera)

On June 11, NATO ambassadors gathered in an emergency meeting at Turkey’s request to discuss the rapid expansion of radical Sunni Islamist militants in northern Iraq in which they took control of Mosul and Tikrit. That same day, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an al-Qaeda spin-off group fighting in both Iraq and Syria, seized Turkey’s Mosul consulate, taking the consul general and his 48 staff members hostage. Earlier in the week, ISIS also took 31 Turkish truck drivers hostage.

Summary- Turkey briefed NATO ambassadors regarding the seizure of its Mosul consulate, but it did not ask for any NATO involvement, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to be engaged directly in the hostage negotiations.

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What to do in Iraq

Reuters

Members of the Iraqi security forces patrol an area near the borders between Karbala Province and Anbar Province, June 16, 2014

It’s widely agreed that the collapse of Iraq would be a disaster for American interests and security in the Middle East and around the world. It also seems to be widely assumed either that there’s nothing we can now do to avert that disaster, or that our best bet is supporting Iran against al Qaeda. Both assumptions are wrong. It would be irresponsible to embrace a premature fatalism with respect to Iraq. And it would be damaging and counterproductive to accept a transformation of our alliances and relationships in the Middle East to the benefit of the regime in Tehran. There is a third alternative. Continue reading

Ankara denies presence of al-Qaeda bases on Turkish soil

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According to claims there is a camp for training of Syrian opposition fighters in the western province of Bolu. (Photo: Today’s Zaman, Üsame Arı)

30 January 2014 /ANKARA, TODAY’S ZAMAN

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has denied allegations by Israel’s military intelligence chief that there are al-Qaeda bases in Turkey, calling such claims “groundless.”

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç dismissed the Israeli claims, saying that Turkey had been subjected to al-Qaeda attacks in the past and is still under threat. Bilgiç also added that as a result of the drawn-out Syrian crisis, some groups sympathetic to the al-Qaeda ideology have found fertile ground in the war-torn country and that those group’s activities also posed a threat to Turkey.

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