Editor’s Note: Programs to counter violent extremism (CVE) are often focused on established communities in the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world. However, refugees are among the most at-risk communities, often trapped in a world of violence and despair. Maira Seeley of Princeton University examines the risk of radicalization for refugee populations and finds that they have different needs for CVE programs than their host communities. She lays out a series of recommendations on how to design CVE better for the millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war.
Latest in radicalization
On Jan. 9, the People’s Defense Units (YPG) announced the capture of eight individuals, ostensibly foreign fighters for the Islamic State, in a series of operations conducted by the group near the town of Deir-ez-Zor in eastern Syria. Reportedly among the captured are fighters from seven different countries.
Editor’s Note: The Islamic State and al-Qaeda are often, correctly, portrayed as bitter rivals: They compete for recruits and money, and in Syria their forces have repeatedly turned their guns on each other. Yet the line is blurrier when it comes to international terrorism. Prachi Vyas of GWU's Program on Extremism examines an array of American jihadists and describes how many Islamic State enthusiasts are inspired by al-Qaeda ideologues.
Editor's Note: Jordan occupies a contradictory space in the US struggle against the Islamic State. On the one hand, it is a vital source of basing, intelligence, and other support for the military and intelligence campaign against the group. On the other hand, many Jordanians have joined the Islamic State’s ranks. Sean Yom and Katrina Sammour, two experts based in Jordan, explain why so many Jordanians are taking up arms, finding that the fault lies in the country’s disastrous educational system.
Editor's Note: The Islamic State emerged as social media was taking off around the globe, and endless news stories and pundit commentary discusses its skill at mastering this new form of communication. While the ubiquity of Islamic State social media propaganda is clear, its effect is more contested. Seamus Hughes of George Washington's Program on Extremism argues the role of the Internet is real but overblown. If we want to stop terrorist recruitment, it still requires a focus on stopping in-person contact.