Returning foreign fighters will return to the criminal networks they knew before going to Iraq and Syria. That's where European authorities should be looking for them.
Latest in Jabhat al Nusra
Gulf States Limit Diplomatic Fallout, Jihadists Gain More Control in Idlib, and Saudi Arabia’s Shiite Diplomacy
The Gulf states want to keep the feud with Qatar in the family, Turkey and Iran consider what to do about Idlib, and Saudi Arabia cracks down at home but reaches out to Shiites in Iraq.
With less than two months to go before it hands over power to the Trump administration, the Obama administration is continuing to fine-tune the legal, policy, and institutional architectures that guide its approach to the ongoing conflict with al Qaeda. Under that heading, I want to flag some important recent developments.
1. AUMF expansion: al Shabaab is now a full-fledged "associated force"
Jabhat al-Nusra's split with Al Qaeda and name change is a risky strategy.
A review of Charles Lister's The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency (Oxford, 2015).
Clint Watts argues the U.S. should try to fracture the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front in Syria and then negotiate with the splinter groups as a way to secure a more viable ground force against Assad and the Islamic State and halt al-Qaida's advance in Syria.
“As has become obvious, the Obama administration’s response to the Syrian crisis is an abject failure.”