The Arab Spring protests that swept across many parts of the world since 2011 have radically reshaped the social, political and economic environments of the countries in the concerned regions. There has also been a significant increase in radicalisation and extremism, emergence of new groups, or transformation of existing groups and new battlefields, which have enhanced terrorist violence affecting various regions and the world at large. The articles in this issue provide a survey of post-Arab Spring events and developments and projections for the future from a range of perspectives.
Mekki Uludag provides a factsheet on the developments in Syria, which arguably, has become the epicentre of the current phase of extremism and terrorism that radiates across the world.
Jennifer Ogbogu traces the emergence, or the metamorphosis of terrorist groups, and the resultant instability in the North African region. She also highlights how terrorist violence in North Africa has posed significant economic and infrastructural, along with security challenges, for the countries in the region.
Abu Amin examines the crisis in Yemen following the initiation of air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi insurgents. These trends include the competing rivalries involving the tribal groups in Yemen for power, and the tussle between regional stakeholders such as Saudi Arabia and Iran for greater influence in the country and in the region.
Drawing upon his experience in Iraq and in Afghanistan, Paul Lushenko addresses five fallacies associated with the current discourse on high value targeting from both operational and conceptual perspectives. He argues that the tactic must remain an integral part of the overall fight against terrorism, together with other measures like countering radicalisation and extremism.
Aida Arosoaie explores how the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and Al Qaeda interpret and implement key concepts in Salafi ideology, which include al-wala’ wa al-bara’, takfir and jihad. She makes a case for policy makers to consider divergences in the jihadi-Salafi principles and practices of ISIS and Al Qaeda, so as to counter the threats from these groups and to blunt their support bases more effectively.
Commentaries / Conflict and Stability / Middle East and North Africa (MENA) / Terrorism Studies
Last updated on 17/08/2015