The Islamic State and Donald Trump’s Delusion

November 01, 2019

Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), US President Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate. “Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place,” the...

A Shadow Caliphate Emerges from the Ruins

March 27, 2019

The extent to which the Islamic State has re-established itself in a country where it was supposedly defeated is testament to its resilience and to the appeal of its extremist ideology. The narrative is an appealing one. The Islamic State (IS or ISIS) was cornered and down to defending a single...

The Caliphate of Trump

June 13, 2018

Try to imagine America as an extreme nation or even, to put it as extremely as possible, the ISIS of superpowers. They are the extremists. If you need proof, look no further than the Afghan capital, Kabul, where the latest wave of suicide bombings has proven devastating. Recently, for...

Saving the “Cubs of the Caliphate”

June 05, 2018

Iraq has the potential to harness youth in countering violent extremism and the establishment of future peaceful coexistence. With the defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq announced in December 2017, the country faces critical questions about how it will emerge from and address the...

How Are Sovereign Wealth Fund Decisions Made?

December 22, 2017

Over the last eight years, considerations of politics and national security have come to play an influential role in the decision-making of Gulf sovereign wealth funds. In 2015, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) — Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) — declared its intention to invest...

Gangster Jihadists: The Crime-Terror Nexus

November 29, 2017

Nobody really knows for sure whether today’s terrorists are really yesterday’s criminals, thugs and gangsters. It seems that studying terrorism and terrorists through the prism of past criminal activities has become particularly fashionable. Western media outlets have been awash with...

The Virtual Islamic State Is Next

November 24, 2017

The Islamic State is increasingly going online to ensure its survival. Cyberspace is the ideal platform for terrorists because, unlike conventional warfare, barriers to entry into cyberspace are much lower. The price of entry is an internet connection. The surreptitious use of the internet to...

For Emmanuel Macron, Is Africa Just PR?

November 23, 2017

Some of Macron’s diplomatic initiatives are in danger of looking more like convenient photo opportunities if they fail to deliver results. French President Emmanuel Macron rarely admits that he lacks experience when it comes to high office and foreign affairs. He may have demurred from...

The Fall of the House of ISIS

October 26, 2017

ISIS is on the decline, but the catastrophic political divisions in Iraq and Syria that gave rise to it are no closer to being mended. The Middle East today is enduring a replay of World War II, with the Islamic State in the role of Nazi Germany. Having seized much of Europe and parts of the...

Kurdexit: More Trouble than it’s Worth?

September 11, 2017

A yes vote in the Kurdish independence referendum might bring more trouble to the region. When on June 7 Masoud Barzani, Kurdistan’s incumbent president, announced a referendum on independence from Iraq for September 25, a wave of internal backlashes followed, questioning Barzani’s...

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