Terrorismo yihadista

Protesters calling for an overhaul of Iraq’s political system in Baghdad on Friday. Instability in Iraq could open the way for an Islamic State resurgence there.Credit...Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

In 2016, Donald Trump, then a candidate for president, described Barack Obama as the “founder of ISIS.” In the end, it may be Mr. Trump who comes to be known not as the terrorist group’s founder, but as its savior.

The Islamic State has been weakened considerably since its peak in 2015, when it controlled a territory the size of Britain, but the Trump administration’s targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani may have poised the group for a comeback. Just as the misguided American invasion of Iraq in 2003 revitalized Al Qaeda, some 17 years later, a return to chaos in the same country may yet do the same for the Islamic State.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Nov. 29, London Bridge was the site of another terrorist attack. Usman Khan, a 28-year-old convicted on terrorism offences in 2012 and then released from jail last year, stabbed two people to death and injured three others. British police shot and killed Khan, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack the following day.

A week later, a Saudi trainee at a Navy base in Pensacola, Fla., murdered three sailors before military security shot him dead. The Navy grounded nearly 300 Saudi trainees while the FBI investigated the incident as a presumed terrorist attack.

These two acts jolted Western governments and security agencies to the risk of jihadist terrorism.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Imam of the Great Mosque of Niamey, Cheikh Djabir Ismaël(C), who led the funeral prayer, stands in front of the bodies of military personnel at the Niamey Airforce Base in Niamey, on December 13, 2019. AFP/Boureima Hama

What happened in Niger?

On 10 December, assailants struck a Nigerien military camp close to the settlement of Inates on the border with Mali, killing more than 70 soldiers in the deadliest attack on security forces in the country’s history. The Islamic State’s affiliate in Mali and Niger claimed responsibility for the attack. Its fighters reportedly used mortars and kamikaze vehicles to storm the base. In its statement, the Islamic State said it had captured weapons, ammunition, vehicles and even “a number of tanks”. This claim could not be independently confirmed.

The attack by the Islamic State affiliate, which has escalated its campaign in the area around Inates since April, is part of an emerging trend of large-scale jihadist operations against military outposts in the central Sahel.…  Seguir leyendo »

Children stood behind the fence in the foreigners’ section at Al-Hol detention camp in Kurdish controlled northern Syria.

Children peer out from behind the bars into the light, scarred by intense trauma and uncertain of their future, terrified both of their prison and the outside world. The images and stories of these youngsters, robbed of their childhood by the extreme violence of life under the Islamic State, are harrowing. Many are unaccompanied, the large majority are under 12. They now find themselves abandoned in appalling conditions in rudimentary camps in Syria. Governments have to do better: This is not the way to treat children who are also victims of terrorism. Nor is it effective counterterrorism policy.

Tens of thousands of men, women and children with an alleged connection to the Islamic State are currently held in camps in northeastern Syria.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le 11 novembre a été inauguré, à Paris, un monument en mémoire des soldats « morts pour la France » loin de leur pays depuis 1963. Si on examine le contexte dans lequel sont morts les 549, et hélas bientôt 562, soldats dont le nom y est inscrit, on s’apercevra que presque tous sont tombés en luttant non contre des Etats, mais contre des organisations armées. Aujourd’hui, et pour ne considérer que le Sahel, nous affrontons Ansar Eddine, Al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique (AQMI), la katiba Macina et la katiba Al-Mourabitoune réunies dans un Groupe pour le soutien de l’islam et des musulmans (GSIM), ainsi que l’Etat islamique dans le Grand Sahara (EIGS).…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2014, Lamya Haji Bashar was a 15-year-old woman in Kocho, a sleepy Yazidi farming village in northern Iraq. On Sunday, August 3, 2014, her life changed forever when ISIS swept through the region.

ISIS fighters killed her neighbors and friends, entire families, women and children. Thousands of Yazidis fell victim to mass executions and disappeared into mass graves. And thousands of Yazidi women and girls were sold into slavery. The UN would later recognize ISIS as the perpetrator of a genocide against the Yazidi community.

Bashar herself was sold as a modern-day slave to ISIS. She escaped and is now sharing the brutal truth of violence against women.…  Seguir leyendo »

«Fuera todos los yihadistas extranjeros. Turquía “no es un hotel”». Con estas palabras, pese a su habitual estilo irritante, Ankara plantea un problema legítimo, aunque durante años haya sido “la autopista de la yihad”. Ahora, la idea del Gobierno de Recep Tayyip Erdogan de enviar repentinamente a los llamados “combatientes extranjeros” a sus países de origen es lo que ha hecho estallar el caso.

Este es un tema embarazoso. Lleno de implicaciones jurídicas, dificultades logísticas y aspectos morales relacionados con las familias de los terroristas. Suponiendo que todos lo sean. La cuestión de los combatientes extranjeros de la “guerra santa”, procedentes sobre todo de Asia y África, pero entre los que también hay muchos de Europa y Estados Unidos, es la fruta envenenada del octavo año de conflicto en Siria.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers sit at a watch post next to the runway inside Mogadishu airport’s secure perimeter, where international organizations such as the United Nations and European Union are based, in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Dai Kurokawa/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

On Oct. 13, al-Shabab sent mortar rounds into the United Nations base at the Mogadishu airport, one of the most fortified areas in Somalia. A July hotel attack and car bombing in a Somali port town left more than 26 dead. In May, al-Shabab detonated a car bomb near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, killing nine people.

Al-Shabab is an Islamist extremist group affiliated with al-Qaeda, seeking to oust the Western-backed federal government of Somalia and install an Islamic government instituting sharia law. Despite coalition efforts to counter this militant group, al-Shabab continues to demonstrate resiliency and the ability to launch attacks both domestically and cross-border into Kenya.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Oct. 26, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, arguably the most wanted terrorist in the world, detonated a suicide belt to avoid capture by U.S. forces. His death, an important and symbolic event in the fight against the Islamic State, was soon followed by the announcement of a successor last Thursday.

ISIS has suffered significant setbacks over the past two years, losing most of its territorial control, and has returned to its roots as an insurgent organization. Although the group no longer operates as a proto-state governing vast amounts of land, it remains active with estimates of between 10,000 and 15,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria.…  Seguir leyendo »

Au terme d’une traque sans relâche étalée sur près d’une décennie, Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, «calife» autoproclamé du groupe Etat islamique, était tué le 26 octobre dans un raid des forces américaines en Syrie au côté de son porte-parole, Abou Hassan al-Mouhajir. Au-delà du discours triomphaliste déployé le lendemain même par le président Donald Trump, cette disparition ne signifie guère l’arrêt de la menace jihadiste, et encore moins celle de l’idéologie qui la sous-tend. Au cœur de celle-ci, un profond ressentiment ayant façonné toute une génération de radicaux et dont la prise en considération permet, a posteriori, de faire la pleine lumière sur les circonstances d’émergence du groupe terroriste en 2006, de même que sur l’extension continue de sa cause depuis cette période et son intarissable potentiel de mobilisation.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the most recent Democratic debate, an animated Joe Biden exclaimed that ISIS «is going to come here» as a result of Trump’s decision to abandon the Syrian Kurds and withdraw nearly all US troops from Syria.

After Trump’s orders to withdraw, however, another wave of American troops entered Syria, leaving as many as 900 forces in the country. Still, the break in our alliance with the Kurds and the weakening in US counter-terror policy will undoubtedly allow gains for ISIS and other jihadi groups.

Is Biden right? Has Trump paved the way for ISIS to launch attacks on American soil?…  Seguir leyendo »

This image released by the Department of Defense on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, and displayed at a Pentagon briefing, shows an image of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Department of Defense via AP

The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caused by a raid by Army Delta Force operators based in Iraq, was an enormous but not fatal blow to that dangerous terrorist network. Others among the ISIS leadership are being hunted and killed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was outraged that President Trump didn’t notify Congress before the raid, though he did notify Russia. Custom, not the law or the U.S. Constitution requires notifying Congress, so she’s way off base. The sad fact is that we had to notify Russia because Russia controls the airspace our Delta guys had to fly through to get to their target.…  Seguir leyendo »

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being interviewed by his group's Al-Furqan media outlet for a video released on April 29. (AP)

The self-proclaimed Islamic State has just named its new leader. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qorashi takes the place of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who declared the so-called Islamic State “caliphate” in the Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014. The U.S. military killed Baghdadi on Oct. 26, ending a five-year manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist.

The new Islamic State leader faces a major challenge: how to make himself appear legitimate in the eyes of the group’s followers and the broader community of Muslim believers. Baghdadi’s appeal, of course, rested on his claim to be restoring the caliphate from the early centuries of Islam.…  Seguir leyendo »

US military vehicles after withdrawing from a key base in northern Syria.

They are good at dismay, the Europeans. Their cheek-clutching horror at US President Donald Trump’s abandonment of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was worthy of Munch’s «The Scream.»

But to have reacted with surprise at this much-telegraphed decision reveals a staggering level of naivety. Worse still, their failure to anticipate the behavior of America’s mercurial President reveals both cowardice and stupidity — not among the tiny number of special forces from the United Kingdom, France, Denmark and elsewhere, who were sent to help with the defeat of ISIS, of course. But certainly among the leaders of wealthy western nations that have the greatest strategic interest in what happens in the Middle East.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!” The instructions to the Delta team in pursuit of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were probably less direct than that of the Mexican crime lord in the Sam Peckinpah splatter movie but there’s little doubt that it was effectively an American hit job. In the end, the trapped leader of the Islamic State death cult blew himself up, sparing the need for an awkward debate about the ethics of targeted assassinations.

The problem, though, is that most modern terror organisations cannot be decapitated. When Osama bin Laden was eventually run to ground in Pakistan in 2011, a cache of porn and works by Noam Chomsky on the bookshelves of his hideout, it became clear he had become largely irrelevant to the daily proceedings of al-Qaeda.…  Seguir leyendo »

An image grab from a video released in 2014 shows Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching at a mosque in Mosul. Photo by Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi does not mean the automatic end of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). But the immediate future of ISIS depends more on local dynamics in Syria than on whether it still has a leader or not.

Baghdadi was a powerful tool for ISIS, especially at a time when the organisation was planning to establish a so-called state. Considering that there could not be a caliphate without a caliph, ISIS put Baghdadi in the public eye to give its supporters around the world an identifiable figurehead.

Despite the military defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, its supporters still saw in the presence of Baghdadi hope of restoring the caliphate one day.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Badrid, rebautizado como Abu Bakar al Bagdadi. AAP/EPA/ al Furqan ISIS media

Si el 29 de junio de 2014 estuvo marcado por la proclamación del Califato en la Mezquita de Al Nuri en Mosul, el 26 de octubre de 2019 será recordado por el obituario de su líder, el autoproclamado Califa Ibrahim que murió en la ciudad siria de Barisha.

Nacido como Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Badrid, este iraquí originario de Samarra adoptó el nombre de Abu Bakar al Bagdadi como forma de atribuirse el carisma del que fuera el primer sucesor de Mahoma. Su vida es una incógnita o, en mejor de los casos, una gran conjetura. Incluso después de muerto poco se sabe de este terrorista que supo poner en jaque a Europa entre los años 2015 y 2017 con atentados tan crueles como los de París, Bruselas o Barcelona.…  Seguir leyendo »

Que faire ? Les attentats succèdent aux attentats. Les djihadistes reculent au Moyen-Orient et avancent en France. Pendant ce temps, l’organisation de l’islam dans notre pays piétine. Le Conseil français du culte musulman (CFCM) est divisé, les financements étrangers continuent à structurer l’islam de France et l’islamisme s’ancre dans les territoires. L’image des musulmans se dégrade. L’ultradroite menace. En ne parvenant pas à se composer, notre société se décompose.

Faut-il renoncer aux valeurs de la République et organiser la séparation du reste de la société française d’avec certains quartiers peuplés majoritairement de musulmans ? Faut-il donner cette victoire aux salafistes qui jugent la société occidentale corrompue et perverse ?…  Seguir leyendo »

Les récents meurtres de policiers à Paris semblent avoir représenté un moment critique du débat national sur le terrorisme et, pour faire simple, sur la radicalisation djihadiste. Certains s’arc-boutent un moment sur la fragile santé mentale de l’assaillant, d’autres sur la stigmatisation, alors que la focale est toujours individuelle, jamais collective ; on s’égare dans l’exégèse des « signaux faibles et forts ».

Le mot « radicalisation », délicat dans ses usages politiques et médiatiques, a probablement atteint désormais son apogée, tant font florès ses usages à tort et à travers, y compris, au passage, pour dénigrer les propos d’adversaires électoraux n’ayant rien à voir avec l’extrémisme violent et le terrorisme.…  Seguir leyendo »

Afghan police inspect the site of a suicide attack in northern Parwan province, Afghanistan, on Sept. 17 in which a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeted presidential guards at a campaign rally. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

Late last month, Afghan and U.S. forces targeted Asim Umar, chief of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), at a Taliban compound in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. While the fate of Umar is unknown, several militants were reportedly killed during the operation, including the Taliban’s local explosives expert and Umar’s courier, who transported messages to al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

This development raises serious questions about the Taliban’s promises, made during the now-frozen U.S.-Taliban talks, to break ties with its longtime partner al-Qaeda. It suggests that the American hope of detaching the Taliban from its al-Qaeda allies, before making a deal with the Taliban, is nowhere near to being fulfilled.…  Seguir leyendo »