Articles on jihadists

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The heavy truck that was driven into a crowd at high speed killing scores on Bastille Day in Nice. Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Making sense of the local soldiers of the global jihad

The Bastille Day attack in Nice – committed by an individual unknown to French security services – marks the evolution of radicalisation in many ways.
Without the perfect-storm conditions of post-invasion insurgency, this most potent expression of al-Qaedaism yet would never have risen to dominate both the Middle East and the world in the way that it does. Reuters/Stringer

Out of the ashes of Afghanistan and Iraq: the rise and rise of Islamic State

The final article of our series on the historical roots of Islamic State examines the role recent Western intervention in the Middle East played in the group's inexorable rise.
French police stand guard outside the national soccer stadium Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Paris: the war with IS enters a new stage

Under pressure in the Middle East, ISIS is turning to terrorism in Europe with a new set of predictable goals.
Moroccan woman Samira Yerou is arrested at Barcelona airport in March on suspicion of attempting to join IS militants in Syria. REUTERS/Spanish Interior Ministry/Handout via Reuters

How narratives around violent women warp our view of female jihadis

Western media tropes of black widows, deviant sexuality and unthinking compliance fail to explain why violence crosses the gender divide.
The dogmas of ruling and rebel groups in Africa conflate political conflict and spirituality. Reuters/Alain Amontchi

What lies behind the rise of jihadist movements in Africa

The failure of African states to adequately address their racial, ethnic, cultural, religious and economic differences provided the fertile ground on which rebel groups now prosper.
President Barack Obama and his inner circle follow the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which made headlines worldwide but is seemingly unimportant four years on. EPA/Pete Souza/White House handout

Osamacide, ‘justice’ and the deadly legacy of Bin Laden

Memories of the killing of Osama bin Laden are fading, but the legacies of al-Qaeda and the war on terror's many 'own goals' haunt us in the form of multiplying threats and lost civil liberties.
When Australians hear about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s dire warnings and counter-terrorism raids, they could lose historical perspective on the threat posed by Islamic State. AAP/Mal Fairclough

With jihadists among us, is IS more of a threat than communism was?

Dire government warnings and counter-terrorism raids in our suburbs paint a picture of the worst threat Western nations have ever faced. A little historical perspective is in order.
Families cross the Euphrates River seeking the relative safety of Baghdad as Islamic State fighters advance with the goal of creating such violence that people turn from the government to any force capable of restoring peace. EPA/Ahmed Jalil

Islamic State theoreticians have honed plans for battle and a state

Islamic State is a project built on solid foundations by jihadist theorists with decades of experience. The savagery of terrorism precedes the next stage of a caliphate that delivers longed-for order.
Security conscious. Behind Boris Johnson’s analysis of terror. BackBoris2012 Campaign Team

Boris’s jihadi ‘wankers’ mark a real shift in western terrorism

Last week, London’s mayor Boris Johnson generated a largely negative reaction when he described European jihadis as “wankers” – people who feel they are failures and that the world is against them. Now…
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

The kind of toughness we need now

I grew up in London during the IRA bombing campaign of the 1970s. I lived in Pittsburgh during the 9/11 attacks when United Flight 93 was forced down not far from the city. I’m currently in Paris where…
Are these members of the Nusra Front fighting in Syria still loyal to Al-Qaeda? Hosam Katan/Reuters

Was Al-Qaeda a winner or loser from the Arab uprisings?

At first glance it appears that the Arab uprisings have strengthened Al-Qaeda and similar groups that fly the black banner. With the possible exception of Tunisia, the rest of the “Arab Spring” countries…
The Ottoman Chief Eunuch was an influential figure. In this and other caliphates, eunuchs supervised the harem, the princes, the financial affairs of the palace and the mosques, as well as controlling access to the ruler. Photo postcard 1912

Islamic State lacks key ingredient to make ‘caliphate’ work: eunuchs

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed Islamic State (IS) as a Muslim caliphate on June 29, 2014, with himself as caliph, a term reserved for a successor to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His would be the newest…

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