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.
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.
Since the attacks of 11 September 2001 on New York and Washington DC there has been an ongoing controversy about whether the real threat of global terrorism is posed by al-Qaeda, its territorial extensions and affiliated organisations, or by decentralised groups inspired by, but unconnected to, such entities. The 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings are often held up as the archetype of an independent local cell at work, and the perpetrators depicted as self-recruited, leaderless terrorists. Six years after the blasts, however, new evidence connecting some of the most notorious members of the Madrid bombing network with al-Qaeda’s senior leadership, along with features of the terrorist network itself and distinctive elements of the likely strategy behind the blasts, suggest that these assumptions are misleading. Judicial documentation now fully accessible at Spain’s National Court and other relevant primary or secondary sources can help us better understand what the attacks can tell us about al-Qaeda and a global terrorism in transition, as well as about the changing nature of the threat to open societies.
First published in: Survival | vol. 52 no. 2 | April–May 2010