Posts Tagged “Al-Qaeda”

Expert Witness, UK Defence Select Committee, 3 November 2015

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Expert Witness, UK Defence Select Committee, 3 November 2015

  On 3 November 2015, I gave expert testimony to the UK Parliament.  Ahead of the publication of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, I briefed the UK Defence Select Committee on potential threats from North Africa and the Middle East. Below is a record of my opening remarks. Phil Wilson MP: What specific threats to the UK and its interests are…

‘ISIS and Global Jihad’, 18 May 2015

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‘ISIS and Global Jihad’, 18 May 2015

For the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and on the eve of the launch of its new publication, Armed Conflict Survey, I examine the two seemingly contradictory effects of ISIS on global jihad.  I argue that the competing tendencies of unity and fragmentation create a dialectical tension that will drive the evolution of global jihadism in…

‘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…

‘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

‘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…

‘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…

‘Al-Qaeda in a Changing Region’, 11 September 2012

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‘Al-Qaeda in a Changing Region’, 11 September 2012

In this policy brief for Institut français des relations internationales, I argue that, while al-Qaeda has been on the backfoot in recent years, there are four areas of promise for the organisation: the opportunity to capitalise on any chaos which ensues from the Arab Awakening; the recent development of a common consciousness among previously unconnected…

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