numerous nations, from Denmark to Indonesia, have developed methods for nudging young men and women back from the extremist brink—a process known as deradicalization ... many of those ventures lack any kind of scientific rigor. Some, like Saudi Arabia’s government-run counseling program for prison inmates, claim suspiciously high success rates yet don’t permit any outside scrutiny; others are staffed by people who act on intuition rather than in ways validated by data.
as the rebels became increasingly radicalized, many began to see groups like ISIS as the bigger threat. Hezbollah morphed from needless aggressor to the only entity standing between Lebanon and a fundamentalist Islamic state ... And while Syria’s brutal civil war isn’t over—and the group faces enemies, both from within and without—Hezbollah has solidified its standing as the most powerful force in Lebanon. Once dependent on Assad for its survival, the group is now stronger than he is.
The Islamic State, which is run by a deviant strain of Sunni fanatics, has been a disaster for all Sunnis across the region. Sunnis account for as much as ninety per cent of the Arab population and almost a fifth of the global population ... Now their world is in ruins. They have suffered the largest losses in lives and property and make up the largest percentage of refugees. They are under attack from other sects and have little to fall back on politically, despite their numbers.
US President-elect Donald Trump has spoken frequently of his interest to work with Russia to fight IS, and he suggested he is inclined to cut US support for Syrian rebel groups that oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. By contrast, the... Obama administration, while avoiding direct escalation against the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian backers, has steadfastly refused... cooperation with the Assad regime and has said it believes he lost the legitimacy to govern Syria.
In a kind of jihadi shell game, this summer the Nusra Front rebranded itself as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or J.F.S., which means the Front for the Liberation of Sham, an area that includes Syria and parts of neighboring countries. It announced that it no longer had ties with any external group. Al Qaeda publicly concurred ... In jihadi-speak, this is known as “marbling”: local groups variegate their formal ties with global movements when strategically or financially convenient.
The Obama administration is giving the elite Joint Special Operations Command...expanded power to track, plan and potentially launch attacks on terrorist cells around the globe ... it will elevate JSOC from being a highly-valued strike tool used by regional military commands to leading a new multiagency intelligence and action force ... The missions could occur well beyond the battlefields...where Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has carried out clandestine operations in the past.
U.S. officials have warned the country will likely face a higher risk of... attacks as IS urges supporters to launch attacks at home instead of joining its fight in the Middle East. Even if Trump tones down his anti-Muslim comments... analysts say his statements during the campaign trail were enough to fuel the militants' propaganda machine. "Militant groups... depend on... convincing Muslims in the Western world that the West hates them and won't ever accept them as part of their society."
social media has empowered isis recruiting, helping the group draw at least 30,000 foreign fighters, from some 100 countries, to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. It has aided the seeding of new franchises in places ranging from Libya and Afghanistan to Nigeria and Bangladesh. It was the vehicle isis used to declare war on the United States ... So intertwined are the Islamic State’s online propaganda and real-life operations that one can hardly be separated from the other
With an estimated 20 million Muslims (14 percent of the population), Russia is the largest Muslim country in Europe outside of Turkey both in absolute terms and as a share of the population. In 2002, the numbers were 14.5 million and 10 percent respectively. The 40 percent increase since 2002 is due mostly to migrants laborers from Central Asia and Azerbaijan ... Between 1.5 and 2 million migrants have also made Moscow the second largest Muslim city in Europe behind Istanbul.
Lawmakers in Europe and the US have called on tech companies to more proactively police terrorist propaganda over the past year, following a spate of high-profile attacks ... a nonprofit organization has developed an algorithm that it says can automate the removal of terrorist-related content ... Digital rights groups have long expressed concerns over allowing Facebook and Twitter to be arbiters of free speech, and they fear that an automated system would lead to more widespread censorship.