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 14, Issue 02 (March 2022): Evolving Global Threat Landscape Requires Continued Vigilance
Six months on from the Taliban’s sudden takeover of Afghanistan, the global threat landscape has not been significantly transformed beyond an upsurge in jihadists’ online propaganda replete with celebratory triumphalism. The United Nations Security Council’s February 2022 report on Al-Qaeda (AQ) and the Islamic State (IS) highlights no notable movement of jihadist militants from different parts of the world to Afghanistan to date. Thus, the notion surrounding Afghanistan’s slide back into a hub of transnational terrorism seems exaggerated. At the same time, experts warn it remains premature to evaluate Afghanistan’s potential as a terrorist sanctuary given various jihadist groups, particularly AQ, could take between twelve to eighteen months to revive and relaunch their activities. As such, while diplomatic engagement with the Taliban regime is necessary to avert Afghanistan’s slide into a civil war, the international community needs to carefully monitor the trajectory of different jihadist groups still sheltered in the country.
On February 3, the global jihadist movement suffered a significant blow when US Special Operation Forces eliminated the reclusive IS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi in Syria’s Idlib province. Though largely a ceremonial figurehead, unlike the charismatic personality of his predecessor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Qurashi’s elimination still represents a major setback for the already embattled IS. Presently, IS’ franchises in Africa and Asia are stronger than the core group based in Iraq and Syria.
Taken together, the emerging global threat picture is paradoxically static yet evolving, which is inspiring various jihadist groups ideologically without translating into an immediate tangible threat. The counter-terrorism and counter-extremism community needs to stay vigilant to carefully track the trajectory of global threats and respond pro-actively. This is even as we are presently witnessing an epoch in the evolution of global terrorism where there is more noise and less action as well as more groups but less terrorism.
Against this backdrop, the March issue of the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA), comprising four articles, looks at some trends in radicalisation in Indonesia and Malaysia and the impact of broader violent extremist threats resulting from the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan for Malaysia and China respectively.
In the first article, V. Arianti and Amresh Gunasingham assess the state of youth militancy in Indonesia. The article identifies a range of neuropsychological, family and socio-economic factors in addition to the role of transnational Islamist movements to explain radicalisation among youth. According to the authors, the case study of Indonesia is instructive given youth perpetrators have featured prominently in recent terrorist plots and attacks in the country. In particular, the role of the family has been significant in enabling the transmission and perpetuation of radical sentiments to younger generations, and is situated within the wider social milieu in Indonesia where extremist and terrorist organisations thrive. Finally, while progress has been made in Indonesia’s “soft” approach and civil society responses in rehabilitating and constructively engaging young perpetrators, several challenges remain.
Next, Akil Yunus discusses the challenges posed by and ongoing efforts in countering online radicalisation in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there has been a reduction in the physical activities of terrorist organisations in Malaysia, terrorist propaganda accentuated by conspiracy theories and racial and ethnically motivated violent extremism has been proliferating in the cyber domain. The article suggests that “hard” approaches will be insufficient; instead, it postulates that a multi-stakeholder “soft” approach involving government agencies, civil society, youth and media will yield better results in confronting extremist threats in the cyber space. Given the limitations in traditional “soft” approaches, the author emphasises “digital resilience” as a potential long term and sustainable solution to the problem of online radicalisation.
In the third article, Stefanie Kam examines China’s principal security interests in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal. The author notes that Beijing’s main purpose in the post-US Afghanistan is to prevent the destabilisation of its Xinjiang province arising from the potential cross-border infiltration of the Turkestan Islamic Party. Furthermore, she notes that terrorist groups such as IS and Al-Qaeda, which have also targeted China in their propaganda in the past, also factor into China’s security calculus. In view of the Islamic State of Khorasan’s more assertive messaging targeting Beijing in the October 2021 Kunduz attack, the intensity of the terrorist threat to Chinese interests would be shaped by the dynamics between the militant groups and Beijing.
Finally, Mohd Mizan Aslam examines the impact of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan on the Malaysian and regional security landscapes. According to the author, in addition to motivating Malaysian fighters to travel to the Afghan theatre, the Taliban victory could potentially rekindle Al-Qaeda’s association with Taliban-allied Southeast Asian jihadist groups such as the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The article suggests a possible increase in the militant activities of the pro-Taliban elements and sympathy from political entities in Malaysia that attempt to normalise Kuala Lumpur’s diplomatic relations with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Such developments, the author argues, could invite counter-attacks from rival IS-affiliated groups. In addition, the challenges posed by online recruitment, recidivism, and poorly governed areas in Malaysia and the wider region could continue to be exploited by extremist groups.
Please click HERE to read the full issue
Subscribing to CTTA
To be added to the CTTA mailing list, please email your full name, organisation and designation, with the subject ‘CTTA Subscription’ to [email protected].
- Noorita Mohd Noor Senior Editorial Advisor
- Amresh Gunasingham Editor
- Abdul Basit Associate Editor
- Kalicharan Veera Singam Assistant 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, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Uskudar University
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 2022
The Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) series for 2022 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 13 Issue 04 (September 2021)
- Volume 13 Issue 03 (June 2021)
- Volume 13 Issue 02 (March 2021)
- Volume 13 Issue 01 (January 2021)
- 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 04/04/2022