Authors: Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. & Ardian Shajkovci, Ph.D.

D
uring the 2016 campaign and in the early months of his presidency, President Trump made “defeating radical Islamic terrorism” a key part of his counterterrorism strategy. He also pledged to intensify operations against terrorist groups like ISIS/Daesh and al-Qaeda as well as refrain from large-scale military interventions that could put the lives of American soldiers in harm’s way.

Published in Terrorism

Authors: Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. & Ardian Shajkovci, Ph.D.

M
ost experts agree that the most successful counter-messaging campaigns against ISIS are the ones that utilize the voices of insiders: the voices of ISIS victims and ISIS cadres themselves who have first-hand knowledge of the group’s brutality, corruption, religious manipulation, and deception.

Published in Terrorism

Authors: Asaad H. Almohammad, Ph.D. & Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.

B
efore deploying sources to collect information on the roles and functions of women in ISIS-held territories, a number of Syrian women rights activists were contacted. Approaching any topic that relates to violent jihadists and radicalization in Raqqa is often explained by the locals in terms of before and after ISIS takeover of the city.

Published in Intelligence

Asaad Almohammad, Ph.D. & Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.

T
he use of drones by terrorist organizations has been documented for over a decade [[1],[2], & [3]]. During November 2004, Hezbollah used Mirsad-1, an Iranian made drone, for reconnaissance over Israeli territories, for 20 minutes without being intercepted. Hezbollah operatives managed to fly the drone back to Lebanon.

Published in Intelligence

Authors: Lorand Bodo, M.A. & Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.

A
s ISIS is rapidly losing its territory in Syria and Iraq they continue to win on the digital battlefield, maintaining a strong recruiting presence in the digital space[1]. As ISIS cadres inspire and even direct terrorist attacks on different continents, the West must realize that it is long past due to mount a strong and resolute digital battle against ISIS—to stop them radicalizing and guiding the world’s terror plots from afar[2].

Published in Intelligence

Authors: Asaad H. Almohammad, Ph.D. & Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.

I
f ISIS were the German Nazis, the Emni (al-Amnyah in proper Arabic), i.e. the ISIS security/intelligence forces would be the Gestapo and the Abwehr combined. The civilians in its held territories would be the Imperial Japanese Army’s comfort women. The Emni is feared by ISIS members and civilians alike. As one of the most ruthless non-state actors,

Published in Intelligence

S
hooting from the hip with unerring accuracy was the Wild West according to Hollywood. As anyone who has ever fired a pistol will tell you it is improbable, and historically the West's few gun duels were rather unremarkable. The latest hip-shooter is of course Donald J. Trump whose foreign policy seems to turn on a dime -- from not interested in removing Bashar al-Assad to his having no place in a future Syria, all within a week.

Published in Middle East

Authors: Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. and Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.

L
ike every other recent technological advancement, commercial aerial drones entered to our daily lives swiftly for a variety of practical uses. Drones have become widely available and fairly inexpensive over the years. Furthermore, there are constant technological improvements with drones from enabling their applications in different areas to extending their capacities and ranges.

Published in Intelligence
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