The ideology of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that conquered substantial parts of Syria and Iraq has been described as based on Salafi-jihadism. The group has rapidly become a security threat to Middle Eastern countries, as it has challenged the Middle Eastern order and attempted to redraw the map of the region; additionally, it has threatened Western countries, encouraging murders, suicide killings, and spreading fear among the populace.

Published in Intelligence

Remarks at ISAS Panel Discussion: Pakistan in challenging times, 25 August 2017

The facetious answer to the question, what security challenges Pakistan faces is where does one start. One place to start is with the structural issues that underlie the multiple dangers Pakistan confronts. What that does, is help Pakistan as well as the various external powers involved in Pakistani security understand drivers and formulate policies. It also lays bare some uncomfortable truths, truths many Pakistanis prefer not to acknowledge.

Published in South Asia

Buried in the Gulf crisis is a major development likely to reshape international relations as well as power dynamics in the Middle East: the coming out of small states capable of punching far above their weight with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, a driver of the crisis, locked into an epic struggle to rewrite the region’s political map.

Published in Middle East

How did members of opposition emerge as jihadist?

Often, the authorities of the Central Asian states fight against supporters of the so-called "Islamic states" by using the actions of their political opponents to prosecute their family members. In particular, under the slogan of combating Islamic extremism Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has been repressing the leaders of Islamic Revolutionary Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) and their family more than two years.

Published in Central Asia

The crisis between Qatar and much of the new "Sunni" NATO - as some US media already call it today - consists in a formal series of 13 requests  that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, the Emirates, Bahrain, and even Mauritius, have made - as an ultimatum - to Qatar:

Published in Middle East

By all accounts the Islamic State is on track to lose the majority of its real estate in Iraq and Syria by the end of this year. That will be cause for celebrations, but it will not mean that the goal of eradicating ISIS has been achieved.

Published in Terrorism

A
series of Salafist, jihadi terrorist attacks erupting at the onset of 2017 Ramadan portends a summer of terror for the West. Britain went to the polls Thursday on the heels of double attacks -- Manchester and London – and two days ago ISIS targeted the Iranian Parliament. And now Al-Qaeda has stepped out of the ISIS shadow and seeks to be the premier mentor for Salafist assassins everywhere.

Published in Terrorism

S
audi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain - a small Shiite-majority State governed by the Sunnis - Eastern Libya of Haftar and the "Council" of Cyrenaica, the Maldives, Yemen and the Mauritius have all broken off any political, diplomatic and economic relations with the Qatar Emirate, governed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Published in Middle East
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