The reported killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a Special Operations Forces raid is an important milestone in the war against the Islamic State—and, more generally, in the struggle against terrorism. President Trump, who announced al-Baghdadi’s death in remarks on Oct.
Daniel Byman is foreign policy editor of Lawfare. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he focuses on counterterrorism and Middle East security. He is also a professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
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“My problem isn’t terrorists, it’s the KKK,” a senior social media company executive told us. We’d asked him about the challenges of countering terrorist groups like the Islamic State, only to receive an education about the difficulties of countering nonviolent hate groups. He had a point.
On August 3, a shooter opened fire at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people. Shortly beforehand, it seems that he posted a screed on the online messageboard 8chan, framing the shooting as an act of terrorism against what he saw as the increasing Latino population of Texas.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the horrific terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday on churches in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 300 people. It appears that the group may have worked with a local radical Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, mixing the resources and capabilities of both.
This post originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran has proved one of the most consequential events in the history of modern terrorism. The revolution led to a surge in Iranian-backed terrorism that continues, albeit in quite different forms, to this day. Less noticed, but equally significant, the revolution provoked a response by Saudi Arabia and various Sunni militant groups that set the stage for the rise in Sunni jihadism. Finally, the revolution sparked fundamental changes in American counterterrorism institutions and attitudes.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president tweeted to explain his sudden decision to withdraw the several thousand U.S. troops stationed in Syria within 30 days. Trump’s decision has a few potential positives, but overall the decision is a poor one—made far worse by the lack of a process and preparation.