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Showing 5121 results for al-Qaeda sorted by

SnapshotsSep 24, 2020 | 19:59 GMT
COVID-19 Tests Jordan’s Stability
Jordan’s deteriorating social and economic conditions due to COVID-19 are driving support to Islamist parties, raising the risk of a government crackdown that could fan the flames of radicalism. Despite recording fewer than 5,000 COVID-19 cases since March, Jordan has taken a strict lockdown approach, with tight border controls and restricted incoming arrivals for tourist locations. The subsequent impact on business activity, and in particular tourism revenue (which accounts for nearly 20 percent of Jordan’s GDP), has in turn taken a steep toll country’s economy, with unemployment now expected to hit an all-time high of 25 percent by the end of this year. 
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On GeopoliticsSep 4, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A satellite image of the Middle East and North Africa. 
A New Brand of Nationalism Takes Root in the Middle East
Once the salve for crushed Middle Eastern empires, Pan-Islamism and its vision of a singular caliphate are now increasingly seen as a threat to stability in the region, with countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia turning toward nationalism to instead define their policies and behavior. Indeed, even the countries that still claim to embody the movement’s ideals, such as Qatar and Turkey, are only doing so as a means to a nationalist end, exploiting its preachings of Islamic unity to project their government’s strength at home and abroad. This trend has most recently been illuminated by the UAE-Israel normalization pact by dealing yet another blow to the idea that a global Muslim community, despite its many differences, could at the very least agree on issues such as the Palestinian question. 
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AssessmentsAug 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A vintage map of the Middle East.
What's Driving Muslim Countries to Normalize Their Ties With Israel?
The waning influence of the pan-Islamism and pan-Arabism movements, combined with increasing U.S. pressure, will cause Oman, Bahrain and Morocco to soon join the United Arab Emirates in formalizing ties with Israel, accelerating a longer-term normalization trend that no longer hinges on the formation of a Palestinian state. The allure of Israel's technology and defense capabilities could also compel other Muslim states with covert ties and limited histories of overt conflict with Israel, such as Pakistan, to follow suit. Israel will, in turn, see expanding global economic ties that strengthen its post-pandemic recovery, as well as stronger regional allies that bolster its position against Iran should the upcoming U.S. election yield a less hawkish administration in Washington.
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SnapshotsAug 20, 2020 | 16:42 GMT
In Mali, a Coup at the Core of the Sahel's Counterterrorism Fight
The overthrow of Mali's president in a military coup casts further doubt over the county's ability to sustain counterterrorism efforts, and while the new junta is promising national elections, longstanding civil-military tensions suggest international pressure will be instrumental in shaping the timeline for government formation. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation around midnight local time on Aug. 19 after being arrested by members of the military earlier in the day along with a number of other officials. Keita's downfall risks undermining French-led efforts to contain jihadist activity in the region by creating more space for international terrorism cooperation among the radical groups, including local al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates. While the most significant risk of increased terrorist activity is in Mali itself, reduced cooperation as a result of the president's forced exit will also undermine counterterrorism efforts in both Burkina Faso and Niger. 
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AssessmentsAug 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A soldier keeps guard near the Nigerian border in Maradi, Niger.
Security in the Sahel Is Poised to Worsen
Recent political upheaval in Mali and the Ivory Coast threatens to compound intensifying instability in the Sahel and could spill over into other West African countries. Structural weaknesses of governments in the Sahel will leave them vulnerable to bouts of political unrest, insurgent and terrorist activity and other disruptions. As instability in the Sahel continues to grow, jihadist groups will further undermine the security of these countries and pose an increasing threat to coastal West African countries. These groups do not yet pose a threat of attacks outside the region.
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SnapshotsJun 22, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
New U.S. Sanctions Will Keep Syria Firmly in Russia and Iran's Corner
New U.S. sanctions against the Syrian government will likely leave Damascus dependent on Russian and Iranian support, while deterring aid from potential future partners such as China and the United Arab Emirates. On June 17, the United States sanctioned 39 individuals associated with the Syrian government, including President Bashar al Assad and his wife. Washington also indicated that more sanctions were to come in order to force the Syrian government back into U.N.-led peace negotiations.  Countries that have shown interest in providing Syria aid in the past are unlikely to risk incurring potentially powerful U.S. sanctions in pursuit of economically limited reconstruction contracts in Syria, leaving Damascus with Russia and Iran as its primary links with the international community. The sanctions will also exacerbate Syria's already dire economic situation, which is producing dissent from inside Syrian loyalist territories, and increasingly threatens the stability of the al Assad family's hold on the state.
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PodcastsJun 1, 2020 | 20:37 GMT
Days of Rage With Author Bryan Burrough
Since 2001, the phrase domestic terrorism has dominated its fair share of U.S. headlines. But homegrown terrorism in the United States is not a new phenomenon, and certainly not inspired singularly by al Qaeda or other transnational terrorist groups. In fact, arguably the most prolific periods of domestic terrorism in the U.S. predate online radicalization and the blowback from wars waged by the United States in the Middle East and South Asia. Radical underground groups were all too common during the 1970s. The violent acts of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Weathermen and the Black Liberation Army, to name a few, helped define a bloody period of American history. Exploring the different groups and their ideologies and the FBI's efforts to suppress them, bestselling author Bryan Burrough's navigates a decade of America's experience of domestic terrorism in Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence.
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AssessmentsMay 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Fighters with Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) deploy in the city of Aden on April 26, 2020, after declaring self-rule of the country's south.
A New Layer of Disorder Emerges in Southern Yemen
Separatists in southern Yemen are inching ever closer to their goal of restoring an independent state. On April 29, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared emergency self-rule in the country's provisional capital of Aden, officially taking control from Yemen's U.N.-recognized government of President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi. As it takes further steps toward succession, the STC will have to increasingly compete with other Yemeni factions in the region, along with Hadi's Saudi-backed forces. The resulting uptick in instability will risk undermining regional efforts to stem the influence of both Houthi rebels and jihadist groups in the country. 
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GuidanceMar 19, 2020 | 15:38 GMT
This photo shows a lone Pakistani soldier patrolling the Line of Control, the de facto border between Pakistan and India, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Aug. 29, 2019.
COVID-19: Where Most See Crisis, Some See Opportunity
As the coronavirus pandemic monopolizes more of the world’s time, money and attention, the latest surge of violence in Kashmir between India and Pakistan highlights the potential for countries to act more aggressively with less scrutiny. But state actors aren't the only ones who will be tempted to capitalize on the current chaos. As more governments become bogged down by the virus and the economic fallout from containment efforts, jihadist groups and other non-state actors will also have the opportunity to advance their positions in security hotspots around the world. This could not only raise the risk for military escalations in those areas in the short term, but could allow militias to resurge once the global health crisis eventually subsides.
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PodcastsMar 12, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
'The Unexpected Spy' With Author Tracy Walder
In this episode of Stratfor's Pen and Sword podcast, host Fred Burton speaks with Tracy Walder, author of The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World's Most Notorious Terrorists. Walder was recruited into the CIA at a jobs fair during college, and has served on several high-profile counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda during the Iraq War. She then went on to work at the FBI, where she specialized in Chinese counterintelligence operations.
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On SecurityMar 3, 2020 | 15:54 GMT
'The Turner Diaries,' by National Alliance leader William Pierce, provides a blueprint for conducting terrorist operations as an underground organization.
The Right-Wing Extremist Threat in Context: External Extremist Actors
Last week I had the opportunity to speak with someone in the process of setting up a protective intelligence program at a large corporation. During our conversation about various concerns and threats, the topic of the current wave of right-wing extremist attacks arose. We discussed how that threat manifested itself differently when the actor was an outsider versus an insider, as well as steps the company could take to protect itself against these threats. After thinking about that conversation for some days, it occurred to me that there might be broader interest in the topic, and that it might be worth writing on it to place the threat posed by right-wing extremism into context. With that in mind, I have decided to address external right-wing extremist actors and insider extremists.
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AssessmentsMar 2, 2020 | 22:37 GMT
This photo shows the outline of a soldier standing guard at sunset in Niamey, Niger, on Dec. 22, 2019.
A Coordinated Jihadist Campaign Menaces the Sahel
The local al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates responsible for thousands of deaths in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa over the past year -- namely, Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara -- are now reportedly coordinating their operations. The emerging cooperation between jihadist fighters so far appears to be centered more on de-escalating tensions, rather than actually merging their efforts. But the worrying development nonetheless could empower the two groups to wreak even more havoc in the already unstable region and expand their influence across even greater swaths of Africa.
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GuidanceFeb 28, 2020 | 21:40 GMT
This photo shows a U.S. Chinook helicopter landing at a provincial capital in Afghanistan.
The U.S. and Taliban Prepare to Take a First Step Toward Peace in Afghanistan
After a weeklong reduction in violence in Afghanistan, the United States and the Taliban are set to sign a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29. Both sides hope the deal will be the first step toward ending U.S. involvement in the Afghan war and bringing peace to a land that has been in an almost constant state of war since 1979. Two of the most important points of the agreement include the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and a promise from the Taliban that it will not allow transnational militant groups to use the country as a base. Once it's signed, the next step will be talks among the Afghan government, the Taliban and other parties to establish a durable cease-fire and eventually end the country's war. But the road ahead will be strewn with pitfalls. 
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