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

A nail-biting Iranian-Syrian World Cup qualifier has sent political ripples far beyond the Azadi Stadium’s soccer pitch in Tehran. In a boost for the regime of President Syrian Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian squad’s 2-2 draw was enough for the Syrian team to maintain hopes of Syria reaching the World Cup finals for the first time in its history. 

Published in Middle East

Despite the opposition of the central government in Baghdad, Kurdish political parties agreed to hold a referendum in the region on September 25th, 2017. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said that the referendum includes disputed areas, such as oil-rich province of Kirkuk, which is claimed by the Kurds and Baghdad.

Published in Middle East

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

A teenage girl from rural Syria dreamed of becoming a doctor, but the war and the so-called Islamic State made her something very different, and very frightening.

Published in Terrorism

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

A teenage girl from rural Syria dreamed of becoming a doctor, but the war and the so-called Islamic State made her something very different, and very frightening.

 “I’m from Raqqa,” says Umm Rashid as her months-old baby cries in her arms. She bumps him up and down trying to get him to settle. “I was born in 1995. I’m 21 years old, from a family of four. I have a younger sister,” she says. “My father was crippled, so my mother worked to feed the family. We are farmers. Also, my mother cleaned the schools.”

Published in Terrorism

Europe has experienced an increasing influx of people since 2014, most of them migrants and refugees from conflict-affected areas like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. However, this has also seen an entry to Europe for a lot of people who do not qualify for political asylum with people who in fact do.

Published in Europe

The record is substantially positive. This is how Cardinal Parolin has summarized the results of his recent visit to the Russian Federation.Firstly, there is the Russian Catholic community to protect,  with 300 parishes and 270 priests - mostly non-Russians, but Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Ukrainians - as well as an Archbishop of Moscow, namely the Italian Paolo Pezzi, coming from the movement of "Communion and Liberation", who is an expert in Russian political, cultural and religious issues.

Published in Europe

When a little boy who looked and sounded American appeared in propaganda video put out by the failing Islamic State this week, threatening “Trump: puppet of the Jews,” it caused a sensation as, of course, it was meant to do.

Published in Intelligence
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