Last month, President Trump claimed the defeat of the Islamic State as justification for his decision to withdraw American troops from Syria. In 2014, at the height of its reign, the Sunni insurgent group governed an estimated 10 million people and 34,000 square miles of territory.
The Islamic State no longer controls significant territory in Iraq and Syria. But during a visit to Baghdad in December, the question being asked by Iraqi government officials was not if the Islamic State is making a comeback, but how soon the group will again be strong enough to recapture and hold territory.
How the Iraqi government is fueling anger
In Iraq, the government’s harsh counterterrorism strategy, which is widely perceived as collectively punishing the Sunnis, is generating new grievances that could increase local support for an Islamic State 2.0.… Seguir leyendo »
The United States is at risk of another “Mission Accomplished” moment. On Wednesday, President Trump declared by tweet, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency.” President Trump is right that the United States has made tremendous progress against the Islamic State, and we’ve been honored to support that mission from the White House across two administrations as senior counterterrorism officials. But the Islamic State has not been “defeated” — and our mission in Syria has not been fully accomplished.
The recent Christmas market terrorist attack in Strasbourg that left five dead and at least a dozen injured serves as an all-too-vivid reminder that the threat posed by the Islamic State persists.… Seguir leyendo »
Una década después de que el Sahel irrumpiese con fuerza en la agenda exterior española, dos son los ejes principales que actualmente vertebran su contribución al desarrollo de capacidades antiterroristas en el Sahel: la mejora del control de espacios y fronteras y el establecimiento o desarrollo de canales de información.
Además de la capacitación de las contrapartes locales en diferentes aspectos de la lucha antiterrorista, dos son los ejes principales que actualmente vertebran la contribución española a la lucha contra el terrorismo en el Sahel: la mejora del control de espacios y fronteras y el establecimiento o desarrollo de canales de información.… Seguir leyendo »
I have defended men and women on death row for nearly all of my thirty years as a lawyer, and have represented people caught up in the excesses of the “war on terror” since very shortly after that war was launched. For more than a decade, I have been counsel for Zayn al-Abedin Muhammad Hussein, known more widely as Abu Zubaydah. Abu Zubaydah was the first person immured in a “black site,” the clandestine prisons operated around the globe by the CIA from early 2002 to late 2006. He was the first prisoner to have his interrogation “enhanced,” and the only person subjected to all the DOJ-approved interrogation techniques, as well as a number that were never approved (including, for example, rectal rehydration).… Seguir leyendo »
LA amenaza que plantea el terrorismo en Europa es, sin duda, más clara que nunca en este momento, cuando está próximo el primer aniversario de los terribles sucesos de Barcelona y Cambrils. Lamentablemente, los atentados perpetrados el 17-A, que se saldaron con 16 personas inocentes asesinadas, más de 150 heridos y otros muchos afectados, distan de ser únicos. Europa ha sufrido numerosos atentados terroristas en los últimos años, y uno de los factores que liga a casi todos, ya los inspire Daesh, Al Qaida o cualquier otro grupo terrorista, es el uso de internet por parte de sus autores para difundir su mensaje de odio, facilitar información sobre la manera de perpetrar las atrocidades y ensalzar sus mortíferos resultados.… Seguir leyendo »
Combatir el terrorismo que amenaza a una sociedad en forma sistemática es una obligación de todos. Sin embargo, precisamente porque vivimos gobernados en un Estado de derecho y nos movemos dentro de los límites que nos marca, no podemos utilizar cualesquiera métodos, instrumentos o medios para conseguir el fin de la seguridad perfecta. Desafortunadamente, esa seguridad no existe más que en la pura teoría.
Pero debemos avanzar y aprender de los golpes recibidos. Quizás por ello, y porque está próximo el 14 aniversario del atentado más brutal sufrido en España, cuando cuatro trenes de Cercanías fueron reventados por sendas bombas que segaron la vida de 193 personas (la última víctima murió en 2104 tras un prolongado estado de coma) e hirieron a más de 2.000, debemos hacer una reflexión y una autocrítica para tomar impulso y ver por donde debemos ir a fin de dar la mayor tranquilidad posible a la ciudadanía.… Seguir leyendo »
The United States is bound to the Middle East by interests, but Turkey shares about 800 miles of border with Syria and Iraq alone. In this geography and beyond, Turkey and the United States share the goal of defeating terrorist organizations that threaten our nations. Daesh (or the so-called Islamic State) has been our common enemy, and the victory against the group could not have been possible without Turkey’s active contributions.
Those contributions continue even though the group has been defeated militarily in both Iraq and Syria. The Turkish military was crucial in the liberation of the northern Syrian city of Jarabulus from Daesh in 2016.… Seguir leyendo »
As ISIS lost one of its last villages in Iraq, Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the coalition battling the group, took to Twitter for a victory lap. The organization’s ‘phony “caliphate”‘, he wrote, is ‘coming to an end’.
It is true that ISIS has lost the vast majority of its territory, which at its peak in 2014 included about one-third of Iraq and half of Syria. Once dubbed ‘the world’s richest terrorist organization’ by the United Nations, it has also lost an estimated 80 per cent of the funds it acquired by conquering territory and mimicking the functions of a state, collecting taxes and tariffs from the citizens under its control.… Seguir leyendo »
On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to extend martial law — for a second time — in his home region of Mindanao. Two days later, Congress did just that. Mindanao is a restive southern province and home to 94 percent of the country’s Muslim population. Martial law is part of Duterte’s plan to ensure the “total eradication” of Islamist extremists — but this approach can backfire. Here’s why.
Why did Duterte first declare martial law?
In May, Duterte declared 60 days of martial law after security forces raided a suspected terrorist hideout. The raid was a failure: Instead of capturing the leader of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, Philippine troops found themselves in a firefight with different Islamists, the Maute group.… Seguir leyendo »
La batalla contra el terrorismo del siglo XXI se libra en Internet. El Estado Islámico (IS) puede haber perdido su centro de gravedad territorial en Raqqa, pero mantiene todo su vigor en Internet. Su propaganda, clandestina e infecciosa, disemina de una plataforma a otra un mensaje de odio, una interpretación nihilista del Islam e instrucciones detalladas sobre cómo asesinar a ciudadanos inocentes. La mayoría de los atentados perpetrados recientemente en Europa y los Estados Unidos fueron concebidos por residentes en esos territorios: los autores de los atentados no estuvieron nunca en Siria o Irak y su proceso de fanatización y captación para el terrorismo se llevó a cabo a través de las redes.… Seguir leyendo »
Este análisis repasa la cooperación bilateral de España y Portugal en materia de lucha contra el terrorismo yihadista y prevención de la radicalización violenta.
La cooperación antiterrorista entre España y Portugal es descrita en los mejores términos por las autoridades a ambos lados de la frontera. Existe una clara convergencia tanto en el ámbito estratégico y político como en el operativo. En la actualidad, la lucha contra el terrorismo yihadista así como la prevención de la radicalización violenta –relacionada no sólo, pero principalmente, con la ideología del salafismo yihadista– son ejes clave para la relación bilateral entre ambos Estados, del mismo modo que lo son para el conjunto de los países de la UE en todos los niveles.… Seguir leyendo »
An attack at a Sufi mosque in the northern Sinai Peninsula in Egypt killed at least 235 people on Friday. It was the first time that Islamist militants — who have been attacking security forces and Christian churches for years — have gone after Muslim worshipers.
The carnage and audacity were horrific. According to witnesses, dozens of gunmen in off-road vehicles bombed the mosque, which was packed with worshipers at Friday Prayers. The assailants then opened fire as people tried to flee, and set fire to parked vehicles to block off access to the mosque.
It is unclear who carried out the attack, though groups claiming affiliation with the Islamic State are known to operate in the area.… Seguir leyendo »
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump made a pledge to fill the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay with “bad dudes.” He brought up Guantánamo again on Nov. 1, a day after the Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov was arrested on a charge of killing eight people in a terror attack in New York. Mr. Trump said that authorities should send the suspect to the prison because the American justice system is a “laughingstock.”
But the next day Mr. Trump apparently changed his mind, indicating a preference for trying Mr. Saipov in New York. He said in a tweet that he’d “love” to send him to Guantánamo but “that process takes much longer than going through the federal system.”
Perhaps the president’s shift means he is questioning his earlier commitment to the unlawful and immoral experiment that is Guantánamo.… Seguir leyendo »
One month ago, on October 4, four members of US Special Operations Forces were killed and two wounded in an attack in western Niger, an emerging hot spot of Islamist terrorist activity. If an Islamist armed group was responsible, as some reports suggest, this would be the first known incident in which such a group has killed US soldiers on active duty in the Sahel. Western civilians, including US civilians, have died however in a recent series of mass-casualty attacks by Islamist extremists in regional African capitals. A number of French military have lost their life too.
Such groups conduct regular attacks against local targets: their focus includes government officials, prisons, schools and individuals accused of collaborating with the state or French-led counter terrorism operations – and against UN peacekeepers in Mali.… Seguir leyendo »
On Friday, Egyptians were startled to hear an announcement from a hitherto unknown terrorist group calling itself “Ansar al-Islam.” The group proudly claimed responsibility for a devastating attack on security forces that took place two weeks ago in the desert west of Cairo. Sixteen policemen were killed.
Although little was known about the group that committed the attack or the actual number of Egyptian lives lost, one detail was clear. The Egyptian government had suffered an embarrassing defeat.
The attack was followed by an equally unprecedented reshuffle at the top of the security forces. Last weekend came the sacking of Mahmoud Hegazy, the armed forces chief of staff.… Seguir leyendo »
On Oct. 23, the defense secretary of the Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana, announced the end of combat operations in the southern city of Marawi, after the armed forces spent 154 days fighting local and regional Islamist terrorists. At last, victory — of a sort.
Marawi, which declared itself an “Islamic city” in 1980, is the capital of Lanao del Sur province, on the island of Mindanao, and the religious center of the Maranao, a tight-knit indigenous Muslim community. Marawi and the Maranao have been at the forefront of a decades-long insurgency against the central government in Manila. In recent years, however, disgruntled factions have splintered off, some embracing gangsterism or Islamist terrorism.… Seguir leyendo »
Earlier this month, the French parliament voted overwhelmingly to convert a number of emergency police powers into permanent laws as the country tries to face up to the continuing threat of home grown terrorism. Three quarters of MPs backed a bill which will allow police officers to continue to use powers that largely mirror those granted under the state of emergency, which was declared after the Bataclan attacks on November 13, 2015, and extended six times finally expires.
The bill gives police the right to restrict the movement of terror suspects without judicial approval and shut down places of worship if they are deemed by intelligence services to be encouraging terrorism.… Seguir leyendo »
The recent Parsons Green terrorist attack is just the latest in a number of serious incidents in the UK and Europe this year but – while these attacks have certainly been grave – they do also offer insight that tighter restrictions on explosive materials can be successful in limiting the options available to perpetrators.
The IED planted at Parsons Green appears, according to Ben Wallace MP, to have been homemade using an explosive such as Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP) as its base. TATP can be an effective high explosive having been used extensively by terrorists including in the Manchester and Barcelona bombings earlier this year.… Seguir leyendo »
In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks — 16 years ago on Monday — President George W. Bush declared a war on terrorism that he pledged would not end until every terrorist group of global reach was defeated. Bush drew a line in the sand, telling every nation, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” The Bush administration was more flexible than this rhetoric suggested, but it still evinced a strong willingness to act unilaterally.
President Barack Obama sought to make U.S. counterterrorism efforts more sustainable, and thereby enable the United States to focus more on other challenges.… Seguir leyendo »
Depuis les attentats de janvier et novembre 2015 en France, et les différentes répliques plus ou moins meurtrières enregistrées dans notre pays ainsi qu’un peu partout ailleurs en Europe de l’Ouest, plusieurs chercheurs français en sciences sociales se disputent le bon diagnostic sur les racines profondes du terrorisme qui frappe aveuglément, et les motivations des individus qui en sont à l’origine.
Dans une tribune récente («Antiterrorisme, où en est-on ?», parue dans Libération du 28 août 2017), le politiste François Burgat met en cause certains traits des politiques antiterroristes actuelles, dans la focalisation sur les conséquences davantage que sur les causes.… Seguir leyendo »