Saudi Arabia (HRW) – UN Envoy Criticizes Abuses Following Visit A United Nations official who recently visited Saudi Arabia has criticized the country’s use of its terrorism tribunal and counterterrorism law to unjustly prosecute human rights defenders, writers, and peaceful critics,…
According to a report from the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), European countries who are taking part in the US-led coalition against ISIS are more likely to suffer terrorist attacks at home– and the trend is expected to rise.
France ranked especially high on the list; Belgium, Germany, and the UK are also particularly susceptible to attacks. Ultimately however, the report also states that any country participating in the US-led coalition can expect a wave of “IS inspired attacks” from both organized groups and lone wolves. Attacks on European soil are not only expected to increase, but the ECTC expects attackers to shift away from symbolic targets and focus towards more soft targets with more civilian casualties. They expect the attacks carried out by organized groups to become more complex and could involve more car bomb style attacks similar to those in Iraq.
The threat posed by the Islamic State is frequently described as unprecedented and unique. Measured by the size of territory it once controlled, its wealth in terms of cash on hand and access to modern military material, and in its shocking brutality, the Islamic State has broken new ground as a terrorist organization. However, the Islamic State is not simply a terrorist organization, but is also a well-equipped insurgent army, and a quasi-state that seized and–with qualified success–operated the bureaucratic institutions of the territories it captured. The Islamic State is often contrasted with its ideological predecessor and operational competitor, al-Qaeda. Highlighting how these organizations differ is helpful in developing effective means of confronting them. In this article, we compare the Islamic State to another terrorist organization the Sendero Luminoso of Peru, to help understand the forces that gave rise to them, sustained them, and ultimately led to Sendero’s demise. Through this comparative analysis, we argue that understanding the Islamic State, not simply as a terrorist organization but also as a social movement, allows us to contextualize its violence within patterns evinced by other violent social movements. This approach will also allow us to better understand how the Islamic State might eventually end. Although the military defeat of the Islamic State may be inevitable, the socio-political conditions that gave rise to and sustained it will likely remain and its remnants may very well present a “traditional” terrorist threat for years to come.