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 03 (June 2021): Facing New And Old Terrorist Threats and the Need for Broadening CT and PCVE Frameworks
In recent years, new forms of political violence and terrorist threats have emerged, amplified by technological innovations and advancements, while the old ones persist, albeit in an evolved manner. The power of social media and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have fostered an operational environment conducive for the proliferation of conspiracy theories, misinformation and disinformation, and their intersection with violent extremism. This has resulted, among others, in the emergence of novel challenges such as “mixed” and “salad-bar” ideologies, whose adherents do not conform to one particular set of extremist ideologies. Instead, they pick from across the extremist spectrum, underscoring the “individualised” and “privatised” nature of the contemporary terrorist threat. Indeed, the US’ new domestic counterterrorism strategy, primarily focused on Racially Motived Violent Extremism (RMVE) and Militia Violent Extremism (MVE), highlights the need for new and enhanced Counter-Terrorism (CT) and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) frameworks.
At the same time, the traditional threat from terrorist violence persists. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 2021 has once again revived the old concern of transnational jihadism’s revival as witnessed by al-Qaeda’s formation and rise after the USSR retreated from Afghanistan in the late 1980s, and the emergence of the Islamic State following the US’ retreat from Iraq in 2011 In Indonesia, the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) jihadist outfit has suffered a series of operational setbacks over the past year, but retains the capacity to revive and adopt a more militant posture. Further, the ongoing pandemic has, in contrasting ways, altered the abilities and incentives of terror-sponsoring states to harbour and support violent extremism and terrorism. Hence, it is prudent and timely to assess how various militant groups and state sponsors of violence are adjusting to evolving geopolitical, geostrategic and technological trends, and their likely consequences.
Against this backdrop, the current issue features different aspects of new and old evolving terrorist threats. The first article by Abdul Basit explores the nexus between conspiracy theories and violent extremism enabled by social media platforms and amplified by the coronavirus’ outbreak. Though conspiracy theories’ role in causing violent extremism is hard to underpin, the former plays an important social, political and functional role. Almost all terrorist groups use conspiracy theories to fuel their narratives and attract recruits without necessarily being conspiracists. According to the author, the likely consequences of this nexus are more detrimental for socially less resilient states. The author proposes critical thinking in digital literacy, pre-bunking and government-tech companies partnerships, mediated by civil society organisations, to curb the proliferation of conspiracy-theories-linked violent extremism.
In the second article, Farhan Zahid examines the expected after-effects of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan for jihadist militancy in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The author notes that despite giving counterterrorism guarantees to the US in the Doha Agreement 2020, the Taliban are still closely allied to al-Qaeda and continue to shelter them. According to him, the Taliban are adamant to take over Kabul militarily and are extending a triumphant jihadist narrative that can inspire regional jihadist groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, among others. The author foresees the rise of militant jihadism in Pakistan and Afghanistan due to the US withdrawal and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
Next, V. Arianti assesses the prospects for the JI’s revival, amidst the Indonesian authorities’ intensified counter-terrorism campaign over the past year, which has yielded scores of arrests of influential JI leaders and cadres. According to the author, despite these setbacks, JI has continued its recruitment and education activities, and appears organisationally resilient. In this respect, JI’s adherence to a hierarchical structure provides the group with a strong agenda-setting capacity as well as the ability to exercise accountability and specialisation across the rank and file. Going forward, the advantages accruing from this organisational resiliency could enable JI to plan and execute attacks of greater lethality than the more diffused and loosely organised terrorist outfits, such as the pro-Islamic State networks, that operate in Indonesia.
Lastly, Kalicharan Veera Singam and Kyler Ong argue that the prognosis for State Sponsored Terrorism (SST) in the pandemic era is mixed. On the one hand, SST has been on a prolonged downward trend in the post 9/11 era, due to factors such as the US’ military counter-operations and economic pressures, as well as the emergence of transnational jihadist networks to the forefront. According to the authors, SST has likely declined further since the onset of COVID-19, as the devastating socio-economic impact felt globally has affected some states’ abilities, motivations and willingness to sponsor terrorist activity. At the same time, the pressure to prop up their flagging economies could spur others to partake in illicit activities, including selling arms to terrorist groups and orchestrating cybercrimes.
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- 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, 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 02/07/2021