Articles on Jihad

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Yemen’s al-Qaida branch, called al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is the most dangerous and sophisticated offshoot of the terror group Osama bin Laden founded in Afghanistan in 1988. AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

Al-Qaida is stronger today than it was on 9/11

Bin Laden's extremist group had less than a hundred members in September 2001. Today it's a transnational terror organization with 40,000 fighters across the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
This term ‘jihad’ can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

So, what really is jihad?

Violent radicals are often described as jihadists. A scholar explains what the word means and why those using the word to justify terrorism are often misrepresenting their sources.
Soldiers stand guard near coffins containing the bodies of victims of an explosion that took place inside a catholic cathedral, in southern island of Mindanao on January 28, 2019. NICKEE BUTLANGAN / AFP

Why is peace failing in the Philippines?

After a civil conflict, within five years the majority of modern peace agreements fail. What is causing these negotiated settlements to fall apart?
Three British teenagers, including Shamima Begum, center, left the U.K. to join the Islamic State in 2015. Begum wants to return home now. AP/Metropolitan Police

Is it more dangerous to let Islamic State foreign fighters from the West return or prevent them from coming back?

Many of the men and women who left homes in the West to join ISIS or similar terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq as fighters or supporters now want to come home. Should they be allowed back?
A person lights a candle to remember the victims of the Madrid train bombings in 2004. About 200 people were killed and over 1,800 were injured in a series of commuter train bombings in the Spanish capital March 11, 2004. (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)

The group dynamics that make terrorist teams work

There is a common misconception in the West that leaders of al-Qaida and ISIS are recruiting and brainwashing people into giving up their lives for the Jihad. This is an incorrect model.
The World Trade Center burns after being hit by planes in New York Sept. 11, 2001. Reuters/Sara K. Schwittek

Why al-Qaida is still strong 17 years after 9/11

An unprecedented onslaught from the US hasn't destroyed the terrorist organization. What is the secret of its resilience?
The attacks in Manchester and London can be categorized as ‘newest’ terrorism, which is more lethal and public than previous forms of terrorism. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Why the latest wave of terrorism will get worse before it gets better

The latest wave of terrorism aims to kill as many people as possible, as horrifically as possible, with new tools and methods. That makes fighting back more difficult.
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.
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.

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