24 Items

Omar al-Shishani

AP Photo/militant social media account via AP video

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Chechens of Syria

| Sep. 07, 2017

"...[D]espite the disparities in military training before arriving in Syria, Chechens in Syria will now leave with significant experience. Right now, the Kadyrovtsy that remain in Chechnya have the upper hand because most of the main opposition has left for Syria. But that could change as the bulk of foreign fighters trickle back home."

mosul

AP

Magazine Article - New Scientist

Anatomy of Terror: What Makes Normal People Become Extremists?

    Author:
  • Peter Byrne
| Aug. 16, 2017

"Mironova trained as a mathematician, game theorist and behavioural economist....she is one of few researchers to venture directly into combat zones to examine the roots of jihadist terror. Her work has been funded variously by the US National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), George Soros's Open Society Foundations, the United Nations and the World Bank."

Volunteers of the Aidar battalion burn tires in front of the Ministry of Defense in Kiev

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

How Ukraine Reined In Its Militias

| Aug. 01, 2017

"When the conflict in Ukraine began in early 2014, a disturbing number of armed groups—from looting gangs to militias with ties to European white supremacy movements—sprang up from the chaos. Although the role and origin of those pro-Ukrainian militias has been hotly debated, one thing is clear: several years after the start of the conflict, the Ukrainian government has managed to stifle the independent armed groups fighting on its side. Its success offers lessons for other countries attempting to demobilize populations after a war."

Isis fighters in Mosul

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Names of Jihad

| July 14, 2017

"Although noms de guerre have been a common practice in combat for centuries, fighters in Syria and Iraq have turned them into an art, stringing together elements that identify a great deal, real and imagined, about the fighter. Unlike the short pseudonyms of other conflicts, Syrian pseudonyms are long, with elements that vary between the groups."

Shiite popular mobilization forces parade with a captured Islamic State vehicle in Mosul

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Fearing ISIS in the Shadows

| Apr. 20, 2017

The six-month Mosul operation will soon come to an end. Civilians and soldiers alike are eager to turn over a new page after years of ISIS control over the city. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this will come to pass. The security problems that will follow are already visible in other Iraqi cities of Iraq, such as Falluja and Ramadi, which had been liberated from ISIS prior to the Mosul operation.

Sunni Guard in Mosul

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Land Grabs in Iraq

| Apr. 10, 2017

"With the fall of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) seemingly imminent, nearly every Iraqi political group and its associated militia have been rushing to take control of the newly liberated territories in the governorates of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Nineveh, and Salahadin."

Mosul Destroyed Mosque of the Prophet Younis

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Cracks in the Islamic State

| Feb. 15, 2017

The ISIS members most affected by the impending collapse of Mosul are foreign fighters. As their forces crumble, they have few options. Unlike local members, they cannot remain in Iraq because they stand out among locals and do not speak the language. For the same reason, it is difficult for them to blend in with refugees. They understand that they will most likely die, and soon. As a result, some foreign fighters have responded to this grim reality with a renewed religious fervor, as they believe doing so will allow them to die a shaheed, or one who has died fulfilling a religious commandment.

Russian bombers targeting ISIS around Deir el-Zour

Russian Defense Ministry Press Service Photo via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

ISIS’ New Frontier

| Feb. 01, 2017

"Conveniently located between Raqqa and Mosul, Deir ez-Zor is strategically positioned to serve as a military and supply hub for ISIS. Flanked by mountains and divided by the enormous Euphrates river, the town is a natural fortress, which will make it more difficult for ground troops to launch a surprise attack, and airstrikes alone may not be very effective."

Mosul, Iraq ISIS workshop drone documents

AP

Journal Article - CTC Perspectives

The Islamic State's Drone Documents: Management, Acquisitions, and DIY Tradecraft

| Jan. 31, 2017

Much has been made of the Islamic State drone threat ever since the group killed two Kurdish soldiers in October 2016 with a bomb hidden within one of its drones that Kurdish forces downed in Iraq. The Islamic State was able to achieve this feat through an act of deception, as the two Kurdish soldiers were killed by the bomb after they had taken the drone back to their base to inspect it. Since this type of attack had not been conducted before, the drone was an unassuming place for the Islamic State to hide an improvised explosive device. But that trick only works occasionally, and it likely has a limited shelf life.