Senior Researcher and Project Manager, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel
Dr. Michael Barak is a researcher at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) of Lauder School of Government Diplomacy and Strategy, at The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, and serves as the Team Leader of the Global Jihad & Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group and the Team Research Manager of the ICT Cyber-Desk In addition, He teaches as well in IDC courses on Terrorism and Islamic radical movements.
Dr. Michael also serves a researcher and a member of the Social Media Networks in the Arab World (Beehive) research board at The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC) in Tel Aviv University (TAU).
Prior to his current post he was the Team Leader of the Arabic, Turkish & Persian Online Media at The Arabic Press Archive of MDS, and a researcher assistant on Palestinian issues at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at TAU .
He has been teaching Spoken and Colloquial Arabic for more than a decade at various institutes including the Arabic Language department at TAU, the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel, as well others.
Dr. Barak holds both a B.A. and an M.A. degree in “Middle Eastern Studies” and “Arabic Language” from Tel Aviv University. He has finished his PhD at the School of History in Middle Eastern and African Studies, TAU. His PhD dissertation is concerned with “Sufism in Wahhabi and Salafi Polemic Discourse in Egypt and the Mashriq (Arab East) 1967-2001”.
He has published several articles in Hebrew and English on Modern Salafism and Sufism in Egypt and on prominent trends in the Social Media Networks in the Arab World. He has lectured in several research forums including the IDC, TAU, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
He has participated in several international programs including: “Study of Turkish Language and Culture” at Boğziçi University, Istanbul (2006) and “Study of the US National Security Policymaking” at the Institute for Training & Development (Amherst), USA (2014).
The US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, planned to end at the end of August 2021, the rapid Taliban takeover of tens of provinces in the war-torn country and the meddling of regional actors, such as Russia, Pakistan, Iran, and China, in the Afghani affairs, have worrying strategic ramifications for the future of the country and poses political and security challenges for its neighbors.
The following document focuses on al-Tajammu al-Arabi wal-lslami li-Da'm Khiyyar al-Muqawma (“the Arab and Islamic Union Supporting the Resistance Option”) which serves as an international pro-Iranian platform to leverage the resistance axis against the US, Israel and their allies. This Lebanon based pro-Iranian organization, has tight connections with Hezbollah and Shiite militias in Iraq and Yemen, as well as with other terrorist organizations such as PIJ and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The organization managed to cultivate a global network whose members are radical organizations and persons, either religious or secular, who share a similar world view and interests the chief of which is a struggle with Imperialism and Zionism. As some members attested the network is meant to strengthen the resistance axis and weaken its enemies.