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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Friday, August 14, 2015

INTELWIRE Weekly Brief, 8/14/2015, ISIS and Rape, Foreign Fighters, Zawahiri Returns and More


Returning foreign fighters: Criminalization or reintegration?
Over the past several years, thousands of foreign fighters have traveled to Syria and Iraq on a scale unprecedented in modern history. While most foreign fighters remain engaged in combat, some have begun to return, posing a real, if sometimes exaggerated, security threat to home countries. In such situations, how should governments aim to respond? By Charles Lister.


Jihadology Podcast: IS and Attacks in the West with Thomas Hegghammer
Thomas Hegghammer talks to Aaron Zelin about his new paper, “Assessing the Islamic State’s Commitment to Attacking the West,” in Perspectives on Terrorism, co-authored with Petter Nesser.


ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape
Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool. By Rukmini Callimachi.

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Sexually Abused American Hostage Kayla Mueller, Officials Say
Before her death earlier this year, American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly raped by the top leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to counter-terrorism officials.
The Jihadi Who Came in From the Cold
What one man’s journey from member of the Islamic State’s feared intelligence service to disillusioned defector tells us about the brutal extremist group.

When Cubs Become Lions: The Future of ISIS Child Soldiers
The Islamic State is bringing more and more young Muslim boys into its ranks—through methods ranging from inducement to coercion to abduction.

Meet two Indonesians who are training to join Islamic State
Southeast Asia is growing as a recruiting frontier for the terrorist group.

No bail for couple accused of trying to join Islamic State
A young Mississippi couple who are charged with attempting to join the Islamic State were ordered held without bail Tuesday, pending federal grand jury action on the charges.

Guantánamo now tracking captives’ interest in ISIS, founded after prison
U.S. intelligence analysts are gauging Guantánamo detainees’ interest in the Islamic State movement to analyze captives’ potential dangerousness if they are released from the prison camps in Cuba.

Obama's anti-ISIL push falls flat on social media
The White House has floundered in its attempt to enlist social media companies in the messaging war against ISIL as Washington seeks to counter the terrorist group’s prowess online.


The Oath Keepers Patrol Rooftops in Ferguson—The Facts Behind This ‘Mysterious’ Militia Group
As demonstrations and riots continue in Ferguson, an armed militia-esque group has appeared on rooftop patrols, pledging to protect private property. But given their anti-government rhetoric, the Oath Keepers' presence could inflame tensions further.

Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri pledges allegiance to new Taliban chief
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in an online audio message, pledged allegiance to the new head of the Afghan Taliban in a move that could bolster his accession after the death of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Change in Militant Tactics Puts Tunisians on Edge
Recent attacks have provoked a widening security crackdown, and left Tunisians wondering if their country can withstand the onslaught of terrorism without giving up the tentative freedoms they — alone in the region — earned with their revolution that set off the Arab Spring more than four years ago.

Al-Qaida in Syria Withdraws From Area Near Turkish Border
Al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria said Monday it is withdrawing from areas along the border with Turkey where Ankara and Washington hope to drive out the Islamic State group.

Afghanistan slams Pakistan over wave of bloody Kabul attacks
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan on Monday of sending "messages of war" and harbouring bombmaking camps, after a wave of devastating blasts in Kabul killed at least 56 people.

Buy the new book ISIS: The State of Terror by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger.

Buy J.M. Berger's seminal book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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", granular analysis..."

ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

More on ISIS: The State of Terror

"...a timely warning..."

Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

More on Jihad Joe


INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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