Archive for Terrorist Groups

Inspire Magazine’s 10th Issue

Assessing Inspire Magazine’s 10th Edition

By Scott Stewart  [ VP of Analysis at STRATFOR ]

Republished with permission of Stratfor.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released the 10th edition of its English-language magazine, Inspire, on March 1. After discussing its contents with our analytical team, initially I decided not to write about it. I concluded that Inspire 10 conformed closely to the previous nine editions and that our analysis of the magazine, from its inception to its re-emergence after the death of editor Samir Khan, was more than adequate.

Since making that decision, however, I have been very surprised at how the media and other analysts have received the magazine. Some have overhyped the magazine even as others have downplayed — even ridiculed — its content. I have heard others say the magazine revealed nothing about al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. All these reactions are misguided. So in response, I’ve endeavored to provide a more balanced assessment that can be placed in a more appropriate perspective.

» Continue reading “Inspire Magazine’s 10th Issue”

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America’s Far-Right Extremists

An excellent new report on violent far-right extremists, published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, is available here.

This study provides a conceptual foundation for understanding different far-right groups and then presents the empirical analysis of violent incidents to identify those perpetrating attacks and their associated trends. Through a comprehensive look at the data, this study addresses three core questions: (1) What are the main current characteristics of the violence produced by the far right? (2) What type of far-right groups are more prone than others to engage in violence? How are characteristics of particular far-right groups correlated with their tendency to engage in violence? and (3) What are the social and political factors associated with the level of far-right violence? Are there political or social conditions that foster or discourage violence?



Also of related interest, the report and data on Homegrown Terrorism Cases, 2001-2011 by the New America Foundation and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. URL:

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New book – Crime and Terror Intersections

My newest book has just been released by Taylor and Francis. Details are available online at:

Crime and Terror Intersections

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Terrorist Group Decision-Making

Click here for free access to the recent special issue of Perspectives on Terrorism (2012, Vol. 6, No. 4-5) containing several high quality research articles on terrorist group decision-making. You can also download the entire PDF file (186 pages) at this link.

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New book: The Terrorism Lectures

Information about my new book. The Terrorism Lectures, is now available at the publisher’s website:

You can also view the new Facebook page for the book, at

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Crime & Terror Pipelines speech

Here are my remarks and slides from this morning’s speech at the TransAtlantic Dialogue meeting.


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Nigeria’s Boko Haram Attacks

My Op-Ed piece, co-authored with Vanda Felbab-Brown, is available online at the Brookings website [ Click Here ]

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Re: Boko Haram in Nigeria

Here are two recent perspectives on the increasing Boko Haram-related violence in northern Nigeria:

  1. The Economist (Jan. 14 2012 issue):
  1. an Op-Ed that I co-authored (Jan. 12 2012):

I’ve also just completed a monograph on Boko Haram, for Joint Special Operations University Press, currently under final review. Quite a terrorism hotspot these days . . .

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Terrorism in Africa

Here is a link to the recent special issue of the journal Perspectives on Terrorism, which addresses Terrorism in Africa.

Terrorism and Political Violence in Africa: Contemporary Trends in a Shifting Terrain
James J.F. Forest, Jennifer Giroux

Terrorism in Liberation Struggles: Interrogating the Engagement Tactics of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
Ibaba Samuel Ibaba

‘Forcing the Horse to Drink or Making it Realise its Thirst’? Understanding the Enactment of Anti-Terrorism Legislation (ATL) in Nigeria
Isaac Terwase Sampson, Freedom C. Onuoha

Opportunity Costs or Costly Opportunities? The Arab Spring, Osama Bin Laden, and Al-Qaeda’s African Affiliates
Alex S. Wilner

Al-Qaeda’s Influence in Sub-Saharan Africa: Myths, Realities and Possibilities
James J.F. Forest

From Theory to Practice: Exploring the Organised Crime-Terror Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa
Annette Hübschle

The Paradox of Terrorism, Armed Conflict and Natural Resources in Africa: an Analysis of Cabinda in Angola
Victor Ojakorotu

You can also download the entire issue (in PDF) at the following link:

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Article on State Weakness

Just published a piece in the Netherlands-based NATO journal Atlantic Perspective. Here’s a link to the issue:

Ungoverned Territories: Engaging local nongovernmental entities in U.S. security strategy

State weakness has become a prime concern for U.S. national security, and so-called ‘ungoverned territories’ are central to this concern. However, we need to differentiate between different kinds of ungoverned territories, and give special attention to zones of competing governance – places that are governed by entities other than the forces of an established nation-state – and the hierarchy of loyalties within them. This article describes key characteristics of these areas, and offers implications organized around three activities: research (more refined analysis and clarity of terms are needed), policy (improving state legitimacy may be more important than addressing weaknesses in capacity or will), and strategy (we must consider alternatives to our state-centric strategies for tackling non-state security threats).

Click here for the complete article

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