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Nervous In North Africa
Articles - February 22, 2018

Officials in Morocco are apprehensive. "Africa is approaching a dangerous moment," one of the Kingdom's most senior political figures told me recently in Rabat. His bleak assessment, which I heard in virtually every meeting during my recent visit to the country, stems from what are essentially two factors.

Rocketing Toward War?
Articles - February 20, 2018

Military skirmishes and escalating threats between Iran and Israel of late are raising the risks of a catastrophic regional war, prompting questions about what the United States should do to prevent it.

To date, President Donald Trump has focused more attention on defeating the Islamic State group in Syria than on preventing Iran from filling the resulting void with its own military and proxy forces and, in the process, further implanting itself in Syria as part of its quest for a land corridor all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 49
Bulletins - February 16, 2018

Education, Taliban style;
The tip of the Taliban spear;
The Islamic State's new way of making money...;
...and a payday for its opponents;
Pressuring Pakistan

Trump's foreign policy pattern is all bark and no bite
Articles - January 8, 2018

Recent foreign policy moves by the Trump administration disclose a pattern of thought and action that merits being seen in its totality. Towards the end of 2017 the administration released a vigorous national security strategy that not only labeled China and Russia as adversaries but also “took no prisoners” in asserting that the U.S. would act vigorously against challenges.

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 48
Bulletins - December 7, 2017

Boko Haram: Down, but not out;
Dutch fears of female Jihadism;
The Afghan battleground;
Europe's new worry: Balkan radicalization;
Testing Saudi Arabia's new approach

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 47
Bulletins - November 27, 2017

A step backward in Jakarta;
Bracing for Islamism in the Caribbean...;
...and tightening up in Bulgaria;
Thailand's turmoil provides inroads for foreign jihadists

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 180
Bulletins - November 27, 2017

Iran's Afghan "Volunteers";
Khatami under fire...;
...while Larijani jockeys for position;
Iran continues its illicit procurement;
A helping hand from Moscow

Iran's Imperial Project
Articles - November 21, 2017

Iran is on the march in the Middle East.

Over the past year, a steady drumbeat of news reports from the Persian Gulf, intelligence assessments regarding Syria's civil war, and firsthand accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region.

A Saudi Shake-Up At Last
Articles - November 8, 2017

Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a long overdue housecleaning. The mass arrests of members of the government, royals and businessmen that have taken place in recent days are unprecedented in modern times, and the country's attorney general has promised that what has taken place so far is only "phase one."

The Russian War On Terror
Articles - November 3, 2017

Which country ranks as the largest source of foreign fighters for the Islamic State's "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq?

That dubious distinction doesn't belong to a Middle Eastern state, despite the fact that countries such as Saudi Arabia have historically been major contributors of radicals to the Islamic State's ranks. Nor is it a North African nation, even though Tunisia had previously served as the preeminent supplier of fighters for the Syrian front.

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 46
Bulletins - October 30, 2017

Ireland on Alert;
Target: America;
The Islamist timber trade;
The persistence of Palestinian "resistance";
Russia's role in the foreign fighter program

President Trump Takes A Wise Middle Course On The Iran Nuclear Deal
Articles - October 20, 2017

In his policy speech last Friday, President Trump did not scrap the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, as some prominent conservative thinkers had suggested he should. Nor did he simply leave the deal intact, as proponents of the agreement had previously counseled. Instead, the president charted a middle way intended to give America greater leverage over Iran's nuclear program and processes.

Trump Takes Aim At The IRGC
Articles - October 18, 2017

You wouldn't know it from the media coverage surrounding President Trump's October 13th speech on Iran, but the most notable element of the Administration's new, "comprehensive" strategy toward the Islamic Republic isn't its plan to revisit the 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 45
Bulletins - September 18, 2017

An ISIS call to arms;
Tunisia's progress sparks clerical pushback;
Preparing for the return of Russia's jihadis;

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 44
Bulletins - September 6, 2017

Hamas-Iran ties: Back on track;
ISIS eyes the Islamic Republic;
The blowback from Russia's Syria strategy;
Turkey's troubling new curriculum;
How not to discredit the Islamic State

Iran's Big Move
Articles - September 5, 2017

The western Asian nation of Iran is on the cusp of expanding its reach all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel's northern border - a drive that will make its nuclear pursuit, ballistic missile development and terror sponsorship that much more dangerous to the United States and its regional allies.

Common Cause Against The Kurds
Articles - August 30, 2017

An odd partnership is taking shape in the Middle East, where Iran and Turkey - two countries that have historically been strategic competitors - are suddenly making common cause.

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 42
Bulletins - August 4, 2017

Taking on (some of) Boko Haram;
The Islamic State's fallback plan;
AQAP grows in the shadows;
Turkey's border wall

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 41
Bulletins - July 19, 2017

Astana's answer to radicalization;
Europe braces for ISIS returnees;
Turkey draws a red line;
China's social media clampdown

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 40
Bulletins - July 5, 2017

Qatar feels the heat;
Pakistan's clerics back official Jihad;
Afghan religious scholars in the cross hairs;
Boko Haram, back in action;
Fear and loathing in Jakarta

Qatar Was A Double Agent In War On Terror
Articles - June 6, 2017

Just weeks after the President Trump's inaugural tour of the Middle East, which included significant pressure on the Arab Gulf states to build a regional security architecture to combat the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and counterbalance Iran, the prospects for such a construct appear more distant than ever, at least at first glance. Over the weekend, five separate Arab states - Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain - all formally severed their diplomatic ties to the Emirate of Qatar over the latter's support of Islamic extremism in various forms.

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 39
Bulletins - May 31, 2017

Target: Manila;
Contextualizing ISIS' Afghan presence;
An incentive program for Palestinian terrorism;
England's enemy within

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 38
Bulletins - May 28, 2017

The air campaign against the Islamic state heats up...; ISIS focuses on unconventional defense;
ISIS rears its head in the Philippines;
An al-Qaeda call to arms;
...and the quiet campaign against the Bin Laden network;
A media clampdown in Cairo

Counter All Extremism
Articles - May 10, 2017

President Donald Trump's administration is currently undertaking a review of federal programs established under the rubric of "countering violent extremism." The White House, however, should take note that it is just as important to counter nonviolent extremism. 

How Qatar Helped Hamas Get Its Groove Back
Articles - May 2, 2017

On Monday, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that rules the Gaza Strip, thrust itself back into the international spotlight when it formally unveiled a new organizational charter. The long-discussed and much-debated document - launched with great fanfare by Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal at the upscale Sheraton Hotel in the Qatari capital of Doha - represents a new bid for relevance by the world's premier Palestinian Islamist movement. 

China Reform Monitor - No. 1278
Bulletins - April 18, 2017

Xi eyes his legacy;
Taiwan increasingly threatened by Chinese missiles

Terror In Stockholm
Articles - April 11, 2017

Last Friday, an ISIS supporter rammed a truck into a department store in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden, killing four people and injuring 15. That same evening, news broke that Swedish police had arrested a 39-year old man from Uzbekistan for complicity in the attack. By Sunday morning, Swedish media reported that the man's social media account indicated his support for both the Islamic State and the Islamic Party of Liberation, Hizb-ut-Tahrir. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 36
Bulletins - March 20, 2017

ISIS drones take flight;
Russia's Jihadi legion;
Afghan forces push back;
The economic state of the Islamic State;
An extreme education

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 35
Bulletins - January 18, 2017

Egypt's costly counterterrorism policy...;
...faces legislative limites;
Curtains for BH?;
Hamas' evolvng cyber capabilities;
The Taliban take the offensive;
Target: Turkey

Move The Embassy
Articles - January 10, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump's promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem provides a timely opportunity for the new president to make a sharp break with President Barack Obama's unwise, unjustified and ultimately ineffective hostility toward America's closest ally in the turbulent Middle East. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 34
Bulletins - December 26, 2016

Boko Haram's economic impact;
ISIS in Afghanistan: Down, but not out;
How the Taliban moves money;
Targeting the cyber caliphate;
ISIS seeks softer targets in Europe;
A helping hand from Riyadh

Next Year In Jerusalem?
Articles - December 21, 2016

In his March 2016 speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference, then-candidate Donald Trump promised that his administration would "move the U.S. embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem." Last week, ambassador to Israel designate David Friedman said he looks forward to working "from the U.S. embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem." Senior aide Kellyanne Conway has confirmed that the move is a "very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump." 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 33
Bulletins - November 21, 2016

The price of Russia's Syria policy;
Germany's vulnerable military;
A costly counterterrorism campaign;
Nigeria's foreign Islamists

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 32
Bulletins - October 26, 2016

The Islamic State's resilient financial infrastructure;
Fear and loathing in Astana;
A new ISIS tactic: Exploding drones

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 31
Bulletins - October 7, 2016

A step forward for religious for religious pluralism in Cairo;
In Afghanistan, a tactical peace...;
...and militant gains;
Technical innovation against terror 

Morocco's Liberal Challengers
Articles - October 5, 2016

Ilyas El Omari is on the offensive. The bespectacled 49-year-old activist who heads Morocco's Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) has spent years honing PAM's political message and worldview. Now, with the Kingdom heading into what is shaping up to be a decisive general election on October 7, Omari senses a political opening. 

Egypt's Economy Is In Big Trouble
Articles - September 29, 2016

Three years ago this summer, Egyptians took to the streets en masse to vent their frustration at the government of then president Mohamed Morsi. The source of their discontent was the widespread economic stagnation and ideologically driven policies that came to punctuate Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government. The result was nothing short of a counterrevolution, as Morsi was ousted by the country's powerful military in an almost-coup led by his then minister of defense, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 29
Bulletins - September 6, 2016

Who killed Muhammad al-Adnani?;
German hunkers down...;
...while Italy banks on culture;
Extremists south of the U.S. border

The Uncomfortable Alliance
Articles - September 6, 2016

Greater cooperation with Russia in the struggle to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and other extremist elements in the Muslim World is now being urged by a number of prominent Americans. Russia and America both have a problem with Islamists, goes the argument, so we should work together to defeat the common enemy. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 28
Bulletins - August 15, 2016

Israel braces for the next war;
A leadership change for Boko Haram...;
...and a setback for ABM;
an al-Qaeda/NUSRA split? 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 27
Bulletins - August 8, 2016


Jihadists push for Palestinian recruits...; Hamas prepares political power play;
China's Jihadists;
Uzbekistan's resilient radicalism;
France rethinks its relationship with Islam;
New insights into ISIS tactics


Global Islamism Monitor - No. 26
Bulletins - July 29, 2016

Sisi's appeal;
Terrorism and the internet of things;
The Islamic State's shifting strategy;
Jittery in Seoul;
Al-Qaeda reemerges in South Asia;
ISIS targets African youth

Come At The King, You Best Not Miss
Articles - July 19, 2016

Machiavelli counseled, "never do an enemy a small injury." Ralph Waldo Emerson rendered the same thought as, "never strike a king unless you are sure you shall kill him." The coup plotters in Turkey can ponder these aphorisms from their cells while they await their potentially grisly fates. 

The Sun Force: Life on the Frontlines With the Peshmerga's Female Fighters
Articles - June 30, 2016

Late last year, Captain Khatoon Ali Krdr, 36, the commander of an all-female Kurdish peshmerga unit, visited a family in the village of Kocho in northern Iraqi Kurdistan to see a woman who'd had nearly everything taken away by the Islamic State (ISIS). Like Khatoon, the woman and her surviving family members are Yezidis, an ethno-religious Kurdish minority group. ISIS has long enslaved, tortured, and killed, Yezidi women. Khatoon tried to speak to the woman, but she could not answer. These days, she is mute and can only stare ahead. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 25
Bulletins - June 14, 2016

Islamist synergy in the Sinai;
France's African outpost;
Islamism's rising tide in the Americas;
A Jihadist sanctuary in Pakistan

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 24
Bulletins - June 6, 2016

Palestinian terror groups eye drone warfare;
The Kosovo crucible;
Al-Qaeda's new method of economic warfare;
Rising terrorist activity within the United States;
For ISIS, necessity is the mother of invention;
Walling off Jordan

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 23
Bulletins - May 23, 2016

Hamas, out to sea;
Pushing back in Pakistan;
Penetrating the Taliban;
London's indoctrination central;
A shrinking caliphate

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 22
Bulletins - May 18, 2016

ISIS diversifies its portfolio;
Kabul finds no help from Islamabad;
A new role for Hamas;
Al-Qaeda's northern front;
Hezbollah:All in the family



The Uncomfortable Alliance
Articles - September 6, 2015

Greater cooperation with Russia in the struggle to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and other extremist elements in the Muslim World is now being urged by a number of prominent Americans. Russia and America both have a problem with Islamists, goes the argument, so we should work together to defeat the common enemy.