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  • Author: Lars Erslev Anderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This article investigates the developments of al-Qaida and The Islamic State in the context of the war on terror. The Iraq war 2003–2010, including the US Counterinsurgency strategy implemented in Iraq in 2007 onwards, together with the political developments in Iraq after the US withdrawal of combat troops at the end of 2011 is seen as the breeding ground for Islamic State in Iraq and thus for establishment of the Nusra Front (al-Qaida) in Syria. The chapter argues that without political developments based on reliable states in the Arab Middle East there is no solution in sight for ending the conflicts and wars in the region.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Jakob Skovgaard
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This article investigates references to early Muslim history by al-Qaeda and Islamic State, and notes a remarkable difference. While al-Qaeda has traditionally referred to the battles of the early Muslims during the time of the prophet Muhammad, the Islamic State centers its references on the successor to the prophet, the caliph Abu Bakr. Hence, Al-Qaeda, in line with Sayyed Qutb’s notion of a “Qur’anic program,” evokes a mythical past as if it is relived today. The Islamic State, in turn, takes a somewhat more pragmatic line, arguing that events today, like those of the earliest caliphs, are merely the outcomes of human decisions in a post-prophetic and post-Qur’anic age.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Manni Crone
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The article examines Islamic State’s expansion into North Africa and Sahel and the subsequent rivalry between Islamic State and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb − the regional Al Qaeda group. Although IS managed to establish a province in Libya from 2014 through 2016, its presence in North Africa and Sahel (Libya, Sinai, Nigeria) is fragile. AQIM in contrast has a longstanding presence in the region, which appears to be much more consolidated. The rivalry between IS and AQ in this region has incited AQ splinter-groups to unite around AQIM, and in 2016 these groups stepped up their attacks on Western targets.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: North Africa, Sahel, Africa
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: While Russia’s military involvement in the war in Syria has received great attention, less focus has been directed at the foreign fighters from Russia and other post-Soviet states who have joined the Islamic State and other Jihadist groups. The emergence of these Jihadists has been a gradual process, which began in the 1990s, and it has now led to a situation where an estimated 7,000 Russians and 3,000 Central Asians are fighting in Syria. These figures present a challenge for the various states fighting the Jihadist groups, but they pose a much greater problem for the Russian and other national authorities, who will have to handle the fighters, when they return home.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Islamic State, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Maja Touzari Greenwood
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This article reviews important differences in how Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham perceive the role of the foreign fighter and outlines local dilemmas integrating foreign fighters entails for the three movements. It shows how, in addition to boosting fighting capacity, a high number of foreigners might also represent a crucial weakness.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mona Kanal Sheikh
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Islamic State (IS) movement has opened a new chapter in the Afpak region, changing the landscape of militant movements in the area. This article looks at the patterns of rivalry and collaboration between the Islamic State on one side and Al-Qaeda and Taliban-related movements on the other. It also surveys the way Al-Qaeda has developed during the past years where most of the international attention has been devoted to the formation of IS in Iraq/Syria, and shows that Al-Qaeda is still active, though it has become more locally oriented. Finally, the article looks at the prospects for the further expansion of IS especially in Pakistan where, on one side, a range of sectarian anti-Shia movements that resonate with parts of the IS agenda while, on the other side, there is no ideological tradition for embracing the kind of caliphate-jihadism that the IS advocates.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Maria-Louise Clausen
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Yemeni state has all but collapsed as the political transition that followed the popular protests in 2011 has been derailed. This has left Yemen without a functioning central government and thus provided a ripe context for the expansion of both al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State in Yemen. This article focuses on the balance of power between AQAP and Islamic State in Yemen. Yemen is an interest- ing case of the international competition between al-Qaeda and Islamic State as the branch of al-Qaeda in Yemen, AQAP, is one of the strongest. The article argues that AQAP has sought to establish stronger local ties by enmeshing itself with the still strong tribal structures in Yemen whereas IS has sought to carve out a place for itself in Yemen by challenging AQAP on its religi
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Nazia Hussain, Louise Shelley
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Crime and terror groups are key non-state actors in Karachi and employ crime and violence to achieve political and economic gains. They have a different relationship with the state than crime groups in Italy where the state has more resources to share with the crime groups. Instead, much more complex relationships exist between the state and the non-state actors in this difficult environment where crime and terror groups have become a part of diffuse governance of the city, including provision of housing and water. Our analysis differs from others who suggest that crime and terror groups have stepped into a power void. We suggest that the political parties rather than the crime and terror groups are at the forefront of violent and criminalized politics. Therefore, violent non-state actors are not the ultimate arbiters of the political order. Crime and terror groups remain vulnerable as they may lose the state’s support and without this they face difficulty surviving in this highly competitive environment.
  • Topic: Crime, Terrorism, Non State Actors, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East, Karachi
  • Author: Aneta Nowakowska-Krystman
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The features of successful criminal organizations, including maritime piracy organizations, seem to be consistent with those that have been observed in business organizations. Research has proved that the sources of advantage and value creation in business organizations are intangible factors, including leadership, obsession for action, and creativity, among others. The idea behind this presentation of maritime piracy is based on the theory of the resources, skills and competencies of strategic management. According to the classification which has been adopted, it has been observed that the success factors of maritime piracy are: skill capital, innovative capital, and client capital. The observations were made using office-based research and a diagnostic survey.
  • Topic: Crime, Terrorism, Maritime, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sam Mullins, James K. Wither
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This article begins with an assessment of the similarities and differences between terrorists and criminals, including profiles, methods, systems of organization and motives. Notably, the article identifies seven categories of crimes committed by terrorists: 1) Inherent/violent, 2) Preparation/facilitation, 3) Funding, 4) Specialized terrorism offenses, 5) Vigilantism/public relations, 6) Miscellaneous/Spontaneous/Unrelated Offences, and 7) Previous criminal records. Next, the crime-terror nexus is discussed and four types of relationships between terrorists and criminals are identified: 1) Interaction, 2) Appropriation, 3) Assimilation, and 4) Transformation. The article concludes with a discussion of the concept of convergence between terrorism and organized crime, and implications for counter-terrorism and law-enforcement.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Law Enforcement, Counter-terrorism, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Global Focus