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‘The Islamic State in Libya: Between Unity and Fragmentation’, 5 April 2015

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‘The Islamic State in Libya: Between Unity and Fragmentation’, 5 April 2015

For PS21, a new global think tank founded by Reuters Global Defence Correspondent Peter Apps, I examine the rise of the Islamic State in Libya. The Islamic State in Libya: Between Unity and Fragmentation ‘We have an appointment with Rome, God willing’, reads one Twitter entry for the Islamic State (IS) hashtag #Immigration to the State…

‘What Strategy for Tikrit, Mosul and Beyond?’, 12 March 2015

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‘What Strategy for Tikrit, Mosul and Beyond?’, 12 March 2015

For Al-Jazeera, I argue that, to bring meaningful progress against the so-called Islamic State, the ‘spring offensive’ in Iraq must serve a broader political strategy. The very recent histories of both Iraq and Syria suggest that the solution to a political crisis cannot be military It is important, therefore, that the agents who attempt to retake…

‘Gaza: No Innocent Victims?’, 27 July 2014

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‘Gaza: No Innocent Victims?’, 27 July 2014

I argue on Al Jazeera that, in the manner of al-Qaeda and the nineteenth century Anarchists, Israelis increasingly deploy dehumanising arguments to justify targeting innocent Palestinians (12,000+ ‘Likes’).   ‘In 1894, a young anarchist left a bomb outside the offices of a mining company in Paris.  Before he met the guillotine, Emile Henri claimed that his…

‘Unleash Diplomacy, Not Missiles, in Syria’, 1 September 2013

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‘Unleash Diplomacy, Not Missiles, in Syria’, 1 September 2013

For my Al Jazeera opinion column, I argue that the use of chemical weapons as a trigger for a US strike on Syria seems morally and legally arbitrary. At the same time, responding only to the chemical weapons dimension promises to leave the fundamental dynamics behind the horrific cycles of violence untouched. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/08/2013831192052577528.html

‘Supreme Emergency at Guantanamo Bay’, 18 April 2013

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‘Supreme Emergency at Guantanamo Bay’, 18 April 2013

In light of the ongoing hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay, I consider the Bush administration’s defence of this controversial detention facility which rested on the notion of a ‘supreme emergency’ and posited an existential threat to civilisation. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/04/2013417122912694944.html

‘Iraq: You Didn’t Fall… We Pushed You’, 21 March 2013

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‘Iraq: You Didn’t Fall… We Pushed You’, 21 March 2013

On the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, I review the Bush administration’s case for war against Saddam Hussein, which involved arguments about WMD, the assertion of an al-Qaeda-Saddam connection, and the claim to be liberating Iraqis.  Since 2005, the dominant justification for the invasion of Iraq has been the overthrow of a…

‘Inspiring Extremism’, 27 March 2013

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‘Inspiring Extremism’, 27 March 2013

For Al-Majalla, I explore the latest (tenth) edition of Al-Qaeda’s English-langauge magazine, Inspire.  Despite being sent on the run by the new government in Yemen, and having lost Inspire’s key architects to drone strikes, its producers remain committed to this labor- and resource-intensive publication. ‘A number of new jihadi fronts for recruitment and combat have opened…

‘Syria: Talks or a Fight to the End?’, 4 March 2013

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‘Syria: Talks or a Fight to the End?’, 4 March 2013

In my latest opinion column for Al Jazeera, I argue that, alongside a clash between the narratives and policies of the US and Russia with regard to the Syria crisis, there has been a discernible gulf between each power’s discourse and their actions.       Syria: Talks or a fight to the end?  …

‘Jihadi Opportunism’, 5 February 2013

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‘Jihadi Opportunism’, 5 February 2013

For Al Majalla, I explore the wider context of the French intervention in Mali and the Algerian hostage crisis.  I argue that the Islamist takeover of northern Mali and the subsequent French action occurred in the context of longstanding governance failures by Bamako, the unresolved problem of Algerian militancy, an emerging subscription to global jihad…

‘Al-Qaeda Resurgent?’ 18 November 2012

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‘Al-Qaeda Resurgent?’  18 November 2012

In this opinion piece for Al-Jazeera English, I consider how al-Qaeda and its allies have come to control half of Mali, posing what western leaders seen as an intolerable threat to Europe’s southern flank, and consider the prospects for foreign intervention.  I also argue that an increasingly disarrayed al-Qaeda is taking advantage of the Arab…

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