Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses
Building a Global Network for Security
The Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) carries articles with in-depth analysis of topical issues on terrorism and counter-terrorism, broadly structured around a common theme. CTTA brings perspectives from counter-terrorism researchers and practitioners with a view to produce policy relevant analysis. Launched in 2009, Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses is the journal of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. The CTTA has a circulation of more than 11,000 subscribers.
Articles in this Latest Issue
Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2018): The Post-IS Global Threat Landscape
The recent spate of terrorist attacks in Indonesia, the continuing battle between the military and IS-remnants in southern Philippines, and the thwarting of over one dozen attacks in Malaysia, underscore the continuous terrorist threat from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group and its worldwide affiliates and associates. This also means that while IS is presently weak at the centre (Levant), it is stronger at the periphery (wilayat or governorates). These attacks are consistent with IS strategy of spreading terror and mayhem during the Islamic month of Ramadan, using its worldwide networks of supporters and sympathisers.
Operationally, IS has privatised and urbanised the global terrorist threat to maximise the impact of terrorist attacks and minimise the losses and costs. This is exemplified by the use of families and individuals as perpetrators of terrorist attacks which prevents early detection and fuels the group’s online propaganda. The families involved in the multiple attacks in Indonesia — Church bombing and motorcycle-borne twin suicide attacks on a police check post in Surabaya followed by a sword-and-suicide attack in Pekanbaru, Sumatra on regional police headquarters — belonged to the IS-linked militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) which was designated a terrorist group by the US State Department in January 2017.
The trend of using radicalised families for terrorist attacks is not entirely new. In a recent article, eminent Southeast Asia terrorism expert, Sidney Jones has noted, “IS has always been a family affair where women are the lionesses and children are the cubs of [so-called] Caliphate.” In retrospect, the Paris and San Bernardino attacks in late 2015 were carried out by two brothers (Abdeslam brothers) and a husband-wife-team (Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook) respectively. Similarly, the Charlie Hebdo attack in October 2015 was carried out by two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi. Likewise, the Boston marathon bombing in 2013 was also the work of two brothers of Kazakh origin, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Given such familial links, in addition to the search for individual factors for radicalisation, the academic community should also look into kinship and peer-to-peer factors in radicalisation where family members and friends can transpose extremist ideas on an individual, bypassing several stages of radicalisation and motivating them to act out of love, loyalty and trust.
The other dimension of these attacks is the urbanisation of terrorist attacks which has been the main feature of global terrorism since 9/11. Cities are not just the targets but also incubators and sanctuaries for terrorist groups. Moreover, attacks in cities are high-impact and generate a lot of ‘favourable’ propaganda for terrorists. Terrorism is propaganda by the deed and by targeting police check posts, places of worships, shopping malls, pedestrians and other public places, IS is gaining ‘revenge’ and making up for the territorial losses in Iraq and Syria. By doing so, it is forcing the home countries to ‘[over] react’ with strict counter-terrorism policies which in turn breeds resentment and fuels more violence It also gives more publicity to IS and creates the impression that despite heavy losses the group remains strong and retains its global outreach. Moreover, in its propaganda literature, IS glorifies these attackers as martyrs, heroes and icons to encourage others to emulate similar tactics.
In this issue, two feature articles, discuss different aspects of the terrorist threat in Indonesia, the recent spate of attacks, including the prison siege and the motivations of the JAD detainees. In addition, they also trace the evolution of the terrorist threat in the country from being Jemaah Islamiyah dominated to ‘Islamic State’ focused. The articles titled, The Terrorist Threat in Indonesia: From Jemaah Islamiyah to the ‘Islamic State’ and Jamaah Ansharud Daulah and the Terrorist Threat in Indonesia argue for greater cooperation and collaboration between Southeast Asian states to mitigate the growing domestic terrorist threat. Considering the string of attacks perpetrated by JAD members and supporters, it is evident that IS has not been mortally wounded and has instead morphed into a stronger entity in isolated geographical centres through its affiliates. This points towards a decentralisation of the threat and a need to focus on issues such as proliferation of smaller IS-linked networks and cells, family-based radicalisation and the involvement of children in terrorism.
Another dimension of IS growing strength in the periphery is the issue of returning Terrorist Foreign Fighters (FTFs) who pose a clear and present danger to the security of several countries. This has generated an academic and policy debate on how to deal with returning FTFs. The problem is further compounded by the lack of credible data on FTTs. Against this backdrop, Sylvene See’s article sheds light on areas where returning FTFs could leverage strongly-knit pockets of domestic support in various countries to conduct attacks. They could also serve as catalysts for recidivism or reactivation of disengaged terrorists, by playing the role of recruiters, propagandists and trainers. According to the author, these developments could increase the risk of disengaged terrorists re-engaging with their former networks and activities, in comparison to de-radicalised terrorists.
Lastly, Nodirbek Soliev focuses on the surge of IS online propaganda threatening attacks on the upcoming World Cup event in Russia from June to July 2018. Russian authorities have stepped up counter-terrorism efforts to thwart attacks targeting civilians, public transportation systems and other locations during and in the run up to the event. The author states that the terrorist threat in Russia could come from three major categories. First, IS’ Wilayah Qawqaz in the North Caucasus has conducted multiple suicide bombings and knife attacks, indicating the group’s ability and intention to target the event. Second, in April 2017, Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants claimed their first attack in Russia, suggesting that Al-Qaeda could seek competition with IS’ local affiliate in the North Caucasus. Lastly, the radicalisation of segments of the Central Asian diaspora highlights the possibility of small-scale lone-wolf attacks targeting the event. It remains critical for Russia to ensure security during the event and maintain local support for involvement in the Syrian civil war.
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Subscribing to CTTA
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- Sara Mahmood Editor
- Abdul Basit Associate Editor
- Vijayalakshmi Menon Editor
- Jennifer Dhanaraj Copywriter
- Sylvene See Copywriter
- Okkie Tanupradja Design and Layout
- Dr Rohan Gunaratna Professor of Security Studies, Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Research
- Dr Jolene Jerard Research Fellow, Deputy Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Research
- Dr John Harrison Associate Editor Journal of Transportation Security
- Dr Kumar Ramakrishna Associate Professor, Head of Policy Studies & Coordinator of National Security Studies Programme
- Dr. Fernando Reinares Director, Program on Global Terrorism, Elcano Royal Institute
Professor of Security Studies, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
- Dr. Stephen Sloan Professor Emeritus, The University of Oklahoma Lawrence J. Chastang, Distinguished Professor of Terrorism Studies, The University of Central Florida
Call for Contributions
Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) welcomes contributions from researchers and practitioners in political violence and terrorism, security and other related fields.
Issue Calendar 2018
The Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) series for 2018 welcomes topical, timely and relevant policy-oriented articles that allow readers to gain an in-depth understanding of the overall global and regional threat landscape. This could include strategic counter-terrorism issues, regionally focused articles as well as specialised topics.
Themes of Interest:
- Rise of right-wing extremist movements in North America, Europe, Australia and other regions.
- Analysis and policy responses to ethno-nationalist, separatist and non-Islamist extremist/terrorist organisations.
- Developing areas including cyber terrorism, cyber security, innovative policing techniques and evolving counter-terrorism responses.
CTTA Submission Guidelines/ Editorial Style and Policy
Please email your submissions to [email protected].
Submission deadlines: The CTTA is published monthly; submissions should be made by the 5th of each month for inclusion in the following month’s issue.
Preferred file format: MS Word document. Please do not submit in PDF format.
Originality: The author should only submit her or his original work. The author should not submit concurrent manuscripts (or manuscripts essentially describing the same subject matter) to multiple journals. The author must first seek editorial permission, if he or she would like to submit an article which has previously been published elsewhere.
Editors are entitled to request the author to provide the raw data for her or his research for convenience of editorial review.
Manuscript title: The title should be limited to 15 words or less; the title should be a brief phrase describing the contents of the paper.
Abstract: The abstract should summarise the manuscript content in 70-100 words. The abstract should be informative and self-explanatory, and should state the argument of the article and its major conclusions. Standard nomenclature should be used, and if abbreviations are used they must be defined at their first mention.
Word length: We publish articles within three different categories with varied word lengths. This includes, (i) commentaries: between 1,000 to 1,500 words, (ii) regular articles: between 2,000 to 3,000 words, and (iii) in-depth feature articles: between 4,000 to 5,000 words.
Structure: Please divide your article into subtopics with subheadings.
Style: British spelling and language style are used for the CTTA (as with other publications of ICPVTR and RSIS).
References and citations: Chicago Manual of Style (Footnoting system) is used.
If the author has used work, ideas and/or words of others, appropriate citations are required within the text of the article. Author should provide a list of references to indicate all sources that have supported the research at the end of the article.
Author information: Please include complete names and affiliation/ and or experience of author(s) in a few lines at the end of the article; contact email address of author(s) can be included.
The author should give due acknowledgement to all individuals who have made contributions to the research, and those who have contributed significantly to the research should be listed as co-authors. The author should ensure that all co-authors have affirmed the final version of the paper and have agreed on its final publication.
Copyright: The copyright of a published article will remain with the author(s); the author(s) agree to require that the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis (CTTA) journal be given credit as the original publisher in any republication of the article authorised by the author(s). Such credit shall include a proper citation to the article’s publication in the CTTA, including the author(s), the journal, the volume and issue numbers, the year of the article’s publication in the journal and the internet address for the issue.
The Editorial Team reserves the right to make changes to the content of submissions for publication and/or reject a submission at its discretion.
Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any queries pertaining to the CTTA submission guidelines or editorial style and policy.
- Volume 10, Issue 05 (May 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 04 (April 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 03 (March 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 02 (February 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 01 (January 2018)
- Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2017)
- Volume 9, Issue 10 (October 2017)
- Volume 9, Issue 09 (September 2017)
- Volume 9, Issue 08 (August 2017)
- Volume 9,Issue 07 (July 2017)
- Volume 9,Issue 06 (June 2017)
- Volume 9,Issue 05 (May 2017)
- Volume 9.Issue 04 (April 2017)
- Volume 9,Issue 03 (March 2017)
- Volume 9,Issue 02 (February 2017)
- Volume 9,Issue 01 (January 2017)
- Volume 8, Issue 11 (November 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 8 (August 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 6 (June 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 4 (April 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2016)
- Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2016)
- Volume 7, Issue 10 (November 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 9 (October 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 8 (September 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 7 (August 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 6 (July 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 5 (June 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 4 (May 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 3 (April 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 2 (March 2015)
- Volume 7, Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 2015)
- Volume 6, Issue 10 (November 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 9 (October 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 8 (September 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 7 (August 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 6 (July 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 5 (June 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 4 (May 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 3 (April 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 2 (March 2014)
- Volume 6, Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 2014)
- Volume 5, Issue 11 (November 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue10 (October 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 9 (September 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 8 (August 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 7 (July 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 6 (June 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 5 (May 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 4 (April 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 3 (March 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 2 (February 2013)
- Volume 5, Issue 1 (January 2013)
- Volume 4, Issue 11 (November 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 10 (October 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 9 (September 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 8 (August 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 7 (July 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 6 (June 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 5 (May 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 4 (April 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 3 (March 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 2 (February 2012)
- Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 2012)
Last updated on 06/06/2018