How did the small island nation wind up with one of the highest rates of recruitment for the Islamic State?
Latest in counterterrorism
Threats new and old, at home and from abroad.
The U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria and the subsequent Turkish invasion of the region has brought new urgency to the question of how to handle the foreign fighters who are now detained in Syria and Iraq.
Human rights and counterterrorism have been dramatically politicized and undermined at the United Nations over the past 18 months. In a spate of recent resolutions, the 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York have both retreated markedly from many of the hard-won normative gains in their earlier resolutions after 9/11, following concerted lobbying by the likes of Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia—regimes not known for respecting rights in counterterrorism.
Editor’s Note: Perhaps the biggest counterterrorism challenge facing European states is how to handle their citizens who went to fight in Iraq and Syria and now seek to return. Europe's response has been muddled, with many states reluctant to take responsibility for their nationals yet not advancing an alternative policy. Thomas Renard and Rik Coolsaet of the Egmont Institute assess the problems European states face and outline ways to make the return of foreign fighters less risky and more sustainable.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
Eighteen years after the 9/11 attacks, the al-Qaeda organization that carried them out is a shell of its previous self. The global campaign against Osama bin Laden’s creation has achieved notable success. The ideas that inspired bin Laden and his followers have lost some, but not all, of their attractiveness. There is no place for complacency, but the threat is different.
Editor’s Note: To the surprise of many observers, the al-Qaeda core under Ayman al-Zawahiri has not launched a major terrorist attack in the West for years, and the rise of the Islamic State seemed to signal the group’s further decline. Asfandyar Mir of Stanford argues that this lack of focus is a mistake. He contends that al-Qaeda remains resilient and that the group continues to pose a major terrorism threat.
Editor’s Note: Mozambique has a small terrorism problem, but the government’s response threatens to make it a big one. Hilary Matfess of Yale University and Alexander Noyes of RAND Corp. contend that Mozambique is overreacting to the danger with a heavy-handed crackdown that is inflaming tension while doing little to disrupt the most radical elements there. Indeed, they argue that Mozambique risks following the path of Nigeria, where a ham-fisted government response to a radical sect led to a surge in support for the group that became Boko Haram.
Editor’s Note: As Brexit looms, predictions of chaos dominate the headlines. Brexit’s critics have expressed fears of financial disaster, the collapse of key services and risks to the security of the United Kingdom. Richard English of Queen’s University assesses how Brexit might affect U.K. and European counterterrorism. He argues that counterterrorism cooperation is likely to continue and that, on this issue at least, the danger of Brexit to the United Kingdom is minimal.
Editor’s Note: Yemen's civil war has dragged on for years, and the destruction and suffering there intensified after the Saudi and UAE intervention in 2015. Although Riyadh's role gets far more attention than Abu Dhabi's, it was UAE forces that often had the biggest impact on the ground. Earlier this year, however, the UAE announced it was suddenly ending its intervention. Michael Knights of the Washington Institute spent considerable time with UAE forces in Yemen, and he assesses the lessons that the UAE is learning, and should learn, from its intervention.