Jordanian Salafism and the Jihad in Syria

Kirk Sowell comes back on the show to talk about his new paper Jordanian Salafism and the Jihad in Syria. We covered a lot of information including:

  • What is Salafism and Salafi-Jihadism?
  • Who is Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, and how did he come to play a central role in these issues?
  • The split between Maqdisi and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
  • Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists turn towards Syria and Jabhat al-Nusra
  • The effects of the ISIS-JaN split on Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists
  • What the Jordanian government lets the Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists do, and why
  • Maqdisi’s role in the efforts to free Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh
  • What could be next for Maqdisi and the Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists


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The Shiite Jihad in Syria and Its Regional Effects

Phillip Smyth comes back on the show to talk about The Shiite Jihad in Syria and Its Regional Effects, his recent monograph for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Topics covered include:

  • Why Shiite jihadi groups don’t receive nearly as much attention as Sunni ones
  • Recruitment methods used by Shiite militia groups
  • Risks faced by not addressing the issue of Shiite jihadi groups
  • Phillip’s policy recommendations presented in his monograph


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Countering Violent Extremism

Humera Khan comes on the show to discuss countering violent extremism (CVE) and de-radicalisation. We talked about CVE strategies, how CVE differs from counter-terrorism, the role of social media in CVE, and much more.

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Caliphate Declaration: Risks, Rewards & Reactions

Thomas Hegghammer comes back on the show to discuss the ISIS caliphate declaration, including the risks and rewards of the declaration, and the reactions thus far from the jihadi community. – information about the new site and the Kickstarter campaign to support it.
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Gulf Donors to Jihadi Groups

Elizabeth Dickinson comes back on the show to discuss Gulf funding for jihadi groups in light of recent advances by ISIS in Iraq.

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ISIS & the Developing Situation in Iraq

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi comes on the show to discuss the recent operations by ISIS in Iraq, other insurgent groups affecting the situation on the ground, and the interactions between the various Jihadi groups.

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Smarter Counterterrorism

Clint Watts comes on the show to discuss his recent “Smarter Counterterrorism” series of articles for FPRI.

Clint’s FPRI series:

  1. Smarter Counterterrorism in The Age of Competing Al Qaeda’s
  2. Treating America’s al Qaeda Addiction
  3. Jihadi Competition After al Qaeda Hegemony – The ‘Old Guard’, Team ISIS & The Battle For Jihadi Hearts & Minds
  4. ISIS’s Rise After al Qaeda’s House of Cards
  5. How does the U.S. counter al Qaeda while al Qaeda fights itself?

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Jihadis on Twitter

J.M. Berger discusses jihadi groups use of Twitter, and social media in general. Topics include how jihadi organizations and individuals take advantage of the medium, responses of social media companies to terrorist activity on their platforms, and how governments have responded to the growth in social media use by jihadis.

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Gulf Politics & Jihadi Internet Forums

Elizabeth Dickinson joins me to discuss recent GCC political news, and her work studying private Gulf fundraising for Syrian rebel groups. Thomas Hegghammer returns to the show to talk about jihadi use of internet forums and social media, in particular the interpersonal trust issues jihadis face online.

Elizabeth Dickinson

Thomas Hegghammer

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Jihadi Activity Online

Aaron Zelin of joins me to discuss how jihadi groups are using the web. Zelin’s recent New America Foundation paper “The State of Global Jihad Online” provided the basis for our discussion. Some of the topics covered include:

  • History of jihadi web usage
  • How web activity translates into real action
  • Use of private forums vs. social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Tracking jihadi web activity by intel agencies and academics
  • What happens when jihadi forums and accounts are taken down
  • English vs. Arabic jihadi activity online
  • The potential future of jihadi web activity

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