The Insurgent Sanctuary in Pakistan

  By Steth G Jones Centre for Strategic & International Studies Dated: September 11, 2018   The Issue Despite tough talk from Washington, Taliban leaders continue to enjoy a sanctuary in Pakistan and support from Pakistan security agencies. A review of insurgencies since World War II suggests that groups like the Taliban, which retain a sanctuary in neighboring states, either win insurgencies or successfully drag them out. If Washington is serious about ending the war in Afghanistan—including through a peace settlement—it needs to put significant pressure on the Taliban and…

US stops publicising Taliban, IS body counts

By Anwar Iqbal, The Dawn Dated: September 25, 2018       The United States has stopped publicising body counts of Taliban and IS fighters, a decision indicative of major change in policy of forcing the Taliban to participate in the US-backed peace process. Diplomatic sources in Washington point out that decision to discontinue highlighting enemy deaths in Afghanistan coincides with renewed efforts to encourage direct talks between US and Taliban officials. In July, US diplomats held face-to-face talks with Taliban officials in Qatar, the first in many years. The…

From Caliphate to Caves: The Islamic State’s Asymmetric War in Northern Iraq

  By Derek Henry Flood Combating Terrorism Centre Volume 11, Issue 08 September 2018   Abstract Cave and tunnel complexes, which the Islamic State started constructing in the Hamrin mountain region well before the collapse of the caliphate, have become key to the group’s insurgent campaign in northern Iraq. With a new government yet to form following parliamentary elections in May 2018, there is a risk that focus in Baghdad will ebb on clearing out these mountain safe havens straddling Kirkuk, Salah ad-Din, and Diyala governorates. Cave and tunnel complexes…

He was a teenage terrorist. Now he’s fighting extremism

  By John Taylor, The Guardian Dated: June 03, 2018   he moment he was slammed against a wall by an FBI agent on the doorstep of his parents’ home and taken away in handcuffs, the distorted world Mohammed Khalid had constructed for himself came crashing down.   He was about to become notorious as the youngest person ever to be prosecuted for terrorism offences in the US and would be sentenced to five years in prison for his part in an online jihadist plot to kill an artist from…

The Demographics of Southeast Asian Jihadism

  By Daveed Gartenstein,Valens Global War on the Rocks September 05, 2018     Shortly after sunrise on July 31, soldiers at a military checkpoint outside Lamitan City in the Philippines’ Basilan province were hailed over to inspect a white 10-seat van suspected of bearing an improvised explosive device. Moments later, the bomb in the vehicle detonated, killing at least 10 people. Among the dead were four civilians, including women and a child.   The brief interactions between the van’s driver and soldiers prior to the blast suggested that the…

Time for Peace Talks With ISIS and Al Qaeda?

  By Martha Crenshaw Dated: September 19, 2018   After almost 17 years of focusing on the threat from terrorists, the U.S. defense community has, under President Donald Trump, set its sights back on powerful states. But that might be myopic; terrorism committed by jihadi groups or inspired by jihadi propaganda remains a potent threat. If anything, the future is likely to bring more conflicts that combine transnational terrorism and civil war, more collaboration between jihadis and local non-jihadi rebels, and more splintering and diffusion within the jihadi universe—not less.…