ICT’s Research and Publications include short analyses and in-depth publications on a wide variety of topics including: terrorism, counter-terrorism, homeland security, radicalization process, cyber-terrorism, reviews from Jihadi Websites and insights from our database.
While Nigeria is no stranger to violence, it is being torn apart, perhaps irreparably so, by a sophisticated Salafi-Jihadist Muslim group in the north that has managed to exploit longstanding ethnic and religious divisions and bring the fragile democracy to the brink of war. The group, commonly referred to as “Boko Haram,” is officially named “Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal Jihad” or “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.” Despite numerous factors that may have suppressed the movement, Boko Haram has managed not only to continue their operations, but to grow and evolve as an organization. What are the factors behind Boko Haram’s rise and continued success in its violent, ideologically-driven campaign that continues to affect Nigeria?
This paper intends to prove that with the combination of several character traits and/or behavioral patterns, as well as motivational elements, presented as independent variables, ‘home-grown’ Islamic terrorism is a potential outcome. This will be proven via a sample of analyzed case studies. By determining certain characteristics, perhaps the act of profiling suspected individuals will help in terrorism prevention.
First published in the CST Blog
When Anders Behring Breivik set out to commit mass murder last Friday, he left behind a huge amount of material explaining his motivations, intentions and preparations: mainly in the form of a 1,516-page written manifesto and a 12 minute video. There is something very unpleasant about poring over Breivik’s political testimony, knowing that this is precisely what he wants everybody to be doing; but nonetheless, it contains important pointers to his motivations and the new kind of far right politics he represents.
The manifesto covers a huge amount of ground. Titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, it is designed as a handbook for what Breivik believes will be a European civil war between the “cultural Marxists” who currently control Europe, and the “cultural conservatives” like himself who will overthrow them. This war, he believes, began in 1999 and will end in 2083. The manifesto is written in English, under an English-pseudonym (Andrew Berwick of London), and has a particular focus on the United Kingdom and France as key countries for his struggle.
First published by Perspectives on Terrorism - Volume 5, Issue 2
In recent years, Al-Qaeda has suffered a number of setbacks, but has also successfully spawned an expansionist global jihadist movement that will survive the death of Osama bin Laden. This article describes how the multifaceted threat posed by global jihadism has evolved over the last decade. It first recounts some of the more salient examples of Al-Qaeda’s post-9/11 strategic, ideological, and structural adaptations, and then offers a balance sheet of Al-Qaeda’s contemporary strengths and weaknesses. Al-Qaeda continues to enable the violence of others, orient that violence towards the United States and its allies in a distributed game of attrition warfare, and foster a dichotomous “us versus them” narrative between the Muslim world and the rest of the international community. Despite this overarching consistency, Al-Qaeda shepherds a different phenomenon than it did ten years ago. The aggregation of the movement’s strategic, ideological, and structural adaptations has fundamentally changed the nature of the jihadist threat to the West. This evolved threat is not inherently more dangerous, as counterterrorism efforts today focus on and disrupt capability earlier and more consistently than prior to September 2001. This multifaceted global jihad will, however, continue to produce greater numbers of attacks in more locations, from a more diverse cadre of individuals spanning a wider ideological spectrum.
Only by understanding and accepting the very real distortions of offensive jihad, will people begin to understand how little Qutb’s idea has to do with the majority of Muslims and with what Islam truly commands and demands from its followers.