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 13, Issue 02 (March 2021): The Changing Face of Terrorism amid Evolving Tactics and Emerging Trends
The face of terrorism is evolving amid the persistence of jihadist militancy and the rise and expansion of right-wing extremism in the West. One year on, the COVID-19 pandemic has acted more as an accelerant and a facilitator rather than a game-changer for various forms of terrorism across the ideological spectrum. Though there was an explosion of extremist rhetoric based on the coronavirus feeding into the broader misinformation and disinformation space, research indicates that the militant violence downward trajectory which started in 2016 has continued into 2020 as well. Likewise, no substantial variations were observable in terrorist recruitment and financing too. However, the long-term impact of COVID-19 on terrorism is hard to pinpoint. Extremist groups can potentially exploit the post-pandemic economic uncertainties and public disenfranchisement, particularly of youth, to forward their agendas and interests.
One of the key challenges that has gained prominence during COVID-19 is the threat of mixed ideologies where would-be-extremists, mostly self-radicalised, pick and choose disparate elements across the ideological spectrum to vent their anger and frustration. Identifying such individuals and specifying the nature of their threat to national security has been daunting. A case in point is the threat posed by the Involuntary Celibate (incel) movement. United by extreme misogyny or their hatred for women, incel members have moved from the fringes of the far-right extremist movement in the West into the mainstream.
Against this backdrop, this current issue has focused on the evolving and emerging terrorist threats amid uncertainties and confusion created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first article by Raffaello Pantucci examines the actual impact of the contagion on terrorism by looking at four distinct categories: militant violence, ideological narratives, recruitment and fundraising. The author notes that despite loud rhetoric and a plethora of conspiracy theories, the impact of the contagion on pre-existing trends of violent extremism has been somewhat limited. Though terrorist groups, across the ideological spectrum, initially jumped onto the COVID-19 bandwagon by incorporating it in their extremist propaganda for ideological substantiation and validation, their narratives in subsequent months were more about day-to-day affairs than the coronavirus. Likewise, government lockdowns restricted terrorist groups’ physical mobility and fundraising capabilities; yet, no significant change has been visible which could be attributed to the pandemic.
In the following article, Jacob Ware casts a spotlight on the threat from the incel (or involuntary celibates) movement in Asia. According to the author, while some extreme-right factions such as the incel have been growing and becoming more mainstream in the West, the threat remains limited in Asia. The incels have metastasised in recent years from a small online support network into a significant subculture of the online “manosphere.” The incel rhetoric has also become increasingly misogynistic, sexualised and violent. Although there have been several incel-linked attacks in North America and Europe to date, it remains largely a fringe threat that is isolated to the West. Nonetheless, the author argues that the international reach of online forums, including those pushing extremist subcultures, means the incels could find a receptive audience in some Asian societies. As such, regional law enforcement and security agencies need to be aware of the movement, its ideological and geographical trends and possibilities for incel-inspired violence.
In the third article, Reuben Ananthan Santhana Dass assesses the threat of bioterrorism in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the author, the devastating social, economic and physical impact of the global health crisis has potentially reignited interest among transnational extremist and terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS), in developing, acquiring and deploying biological weapons. However, while recent technological advances have arguably made the development of such weapons easier, cheaper and more accessible, the author argues it is unlikely that threat groups currently possess the know-how to plan and execute large-scale and centrally-directed bio-terror attacks. But the prospect of lone-actor driven and low-impact bio-terror attacks cannot be discounted. As such, countries need to fortify their bio-defense capabilities, especially as the pandemic has highlighted numerous preparedness gaps, including in data sharing, medical equipment availability and testing capacity.
Finally, Prakoso Permono and Muhamad Syauqillah examine the growing incidents of Indonesian pro-IS groups targeting the Chinese Indonesian community. The authors note that while there is a long history of the Chinese Indonesian community being targeted for attacks, there is a lack of official acknowledgment of or research into the problem, even though this has worsened over the last few years and during the pandemic. The authors cite both external and internal factors which have led to a growing number of anti-Chinese terrorist plots in the country. In the eyes of the jihadists, external crises involving overseas Muslims such as the fate of Uyghur and Rohingya Muslims in their respective countries are depicted as oppression by the Chinese or groups broadly associated with Chinese ethnicity. Indonesian jihadists do not distinguish between Chinese nationals and Indonesian Chinese and often target the latter for their retribution. The authors also highlight internal factors such as longstanding socio-economic disparities between the pribumi and Chinese communities, which are exacerbated by conspiracy theories which underpin extremist anti-Chinese narratives. In addition to newspaper sources, the authors use court verdicts on convicted Indonesian terrorists and information obtained through interviews to demonstrate the extent of anti-Chinese jihadist activity in Indonesia.
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Subscribing to CTTA
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- Noorita Mohd Noor Senior Editorial Advisor
- Amresh Gunasingham Editor
- Abdul Basit Associate Editor
- Kalicharan Veera Singam Assistant Editor
- Remy Mahzam Copy Editor
- Okkie Tanupradja Design and Layout
- Dr Jolene Jerard Adjunct Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
- Dr Rohan Gunaratna Professor of Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
- Dr Kumar Ramakrishna Associate Dean (Policy Studies), Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research & Research Adviser to National Security Studies Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
- Dr John Harrison Associate Editor Journal of Transportation Security
- Dr Marcin Styszynski, Assistant Professor, Adam Mickiewicz University, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies
- 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
- Dr Hamoon Khelghat-Doost, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Science University of Malaysia
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 2021
The Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) series for 2021 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 quarterly; submissions are accepted each month for consideration.
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 12 Issue 05 (September 2020)
- Volume 12 Issue 04 (June 2020)
- Volume 12 Issue 03 (April 2020)
- Volume 12 Issue 02 (March 2020)
- Volume 12 Issue 01 (January 2020)
- Volume 11 Issue 07 (September 2019)
- Volume 11 Issue 06 (June 2019)
- Volume 11 Issue 05 (May 2019)
- Volume 11 Issue 04 (April 2019)
- Volume 11 Issue 03 (March 2019)
- Volume 11 Issue 02 (February 2019)
- Volume 11 Issue 01 (January 2019)
- Volume 10, Issue 11 (November 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 09 (September 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 08 (August 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 07 (July 2018)
- Volume 10, Issue 06 (June 2018)
- 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 23/03/2021