"The liberation of Mosul and the inevitable, approaching liberation of Raqqa in Syria will not be the end of the Islamic State and its evil ideology. But they crush the group’s pretense to having an actual “state” based upon it. As its surviving leaders scurry to the corners of the desert, no longer can they claim to head a winning movement. Their defeat diminishes the inspiration for violent extremists, or simply lost souls on social media, to attack Americans and our friends. This is a necessary step forward in combating terrorism. Americans are safer for it."
Christopher Anzalone is a pre-doctoral research fellow in the Belfer Center's International Security Program and a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. His dissertation, which he will be working on during his fellowship, examines the intersection of social movement and organizational dynamics, ideology, and political and economic goals and how these affect the utilization and presentation of violence, and particularly the "violence of control," by jihadi-insurgent groups with cross-regional bases and support networks with a special focus on Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and Al-Shabab in Somalia. It also looks at the strategic and symbolic dimensions of this violence and how it impacts and is impacted by organizational structure, cohesion, and culture.
His research interests include political Islam, militancy and political violence, terrorism, Shi'ite Islam, and Islamic visual cultures and narratives of martyrdom and self-sacrifice. He has an M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington and a B.A. in history and religious studies from George Mason University. He has published articles on political Islam, jihadi groups and ideologies, and Shi'ite Islam.Last Updated: Mar 10, 2017, 12:41pm