Insurgency/Counterinsurgency

William C. Banks Speaks to Foreign Policy About Drone Raids

Victims of US Special Operations Raids Gone Wrong Are Lucky to Get a Sheep

(Foreign Policy, June 8, 2015) … In the new case, the families of the Yemeni men — Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber, the cleric, and Waleed bin Ali Jaber, his cousin and a cop — cite Obama’s April acknowledgement that American Warren Weinstein and an Italian aid worker, Giovanni Lo Porto, were mistakenly killed by a U.S. drone earlier this year. The lawsuit, which does not ask for money, wants a court to compel Obama to do the same for their loved ones.

William Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, told FP that it’s legally impossible to pry drone strike information from the administration.

“The lawsuit itself doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell,” he said …

To read the full article, click here.

The Accidental Counterinsurgent

Iraqi_insurgentBy Octavian Manea

(Re-published from Small Wars Journal, May 13, 2015) A discussion with Emma Sky, the author of the just published book The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq (Public Affairs, 2015).

SWJ: What prepared you for this Gertrude Bell kind of journey, for the role of the accidental counterinsurgent operating in a field where 80% is about politics (as Galula would remind us), doing a job where you had to “be more of a missionary than a soldier” (as one officer said)?

Emma Sky: When I went out in Iraq, the first time in 2003, I was not at all read or versed in counterinsurgency. It was not something that I was interested in or thought about, I had never worked with militaries. My background was in development and I had spent a decade working in Israel and Palestine and when you work in development and conflict mediation, people are very much at the center of what you do. The way I framed things had more to do with how the environment shapes people’s behavior. I think we are all products of our environments. If you change the environment, people’s behavior will change. This is the background that I came with. Everybody you meet, how you treat them, will affect whether they are your friend or your enemy. This is generally my approach to life.

SWJ: If I understand well the book, my impression is that you are at the other side of the spectrum from Rory Stewart who is highly critical about COIN and grandiose nation-building schemes. But there are times when we may need to embrace nation-building or state building. In this sense what are some of the necessary lessons that we need to have in mind next time?

Emma Sky: I am not that different than Rory Stewart on this. Rory may be at the far end of the spectrum, but I am closer to him. I am not a believer in big nation building efforts. When we look to Iraq today there is nothing to be seen from a decade of our efforts. So you have to ask why. Why after spending billions of dollars is nothing to be seen from it? I think part of the problem is that we are looking for technical solutions to things that are inherently political. It is all about politics. You quoted Galula saying it is 80% politics. I would say it is 90-95% politics.

The violence is an extension of politics. People use violence to achieve political ends. The main problem that we had is how we frame the situation and we framed it in terms of good guys/bad guys so good guys would be put in power and the bad guys would be excluded. In reality it is a power struggle between different groups. Probably civil war is a more accurate term than insurgency, because insurgency assumes that the government is legitimate. Civil war is more of a competition between a vast array of groups for power and resources. What we saw in Iraq was that those excluded from power tried to bring down the whole new order that we introduced and those that we empowered basically extracted the resources of the state for their own purposes, subverted the democratic institutions that we introduced and used the security forces that we trained and equipped to go after their political rivals.

Our focus should be much more on peace agreements, mediating between the different groups, because if you don’t get that right all the technical assistance that you provide is worthless in the end. Look how much we spent training and equipping the Iraqi army and the first time they were really tested by the Islamic State they fled. This had to do with the leadership, the governance of the security forces, there was so much politicization, so much corruption, so much political interference that completely undermined the chain of command. So conducting more training, providing more equipment does not deal with the problem of the governance of the security forces. So the issues are mostly political. We had all these plans to develop ‘them’ as if they were the passive recipients of our benevolence – and we don’t pay enough attention to the politics. In Iraq and Afghanistan we could have done much more right from the beginning to broker inclusive peace agreements.

SWJ: There is a lot of discussion about ancient hatred in the Middle East these days. Is this concept explaining anything? There was a moment during the 1990s when the collapse of the former Yugoslavia and the successive ethnic wars were perceived through similar lenses. George Kennan himself used the metaphor during the 1990s to advise against a Western intervention in the Balkans.

Emma Sky: When you look to the history of a country like Iraq, most of their history people have lived together, peacefully, they haven’t gone through sectarian wars like we had in Europe. There was not a 30 years war as in Europe. When we arrived in Baghdad in 2003, 30% of the population was intermarried. We blame ‘ancient hatreds’ for the violence partly to absolve ourselves of any responsibility for what’s happened and partly out of ignorance. People don’t understand what is going on in the Middle East so it is easy to say that everything has to do with Sunni and Shia. It is a simplistic explanation.

When you look at the conflict today, it has definitely become much more sectarian, so there is a new dynamic in the region. But the root causes have to do with power and the shifts in the balance of power which was caused by the Iraq war and the way in which we left Iraq which gave the impression that Iran was the victor, that Iran has driven America out of Iraq. Previously it was Iraq that acted as a bulwark against Iran’s expansion and without a strong Iraq, Iran is projecting its power through the region. Iran and the Gulf states have been supporting extreme sectarian actors, turning local grievances over poor governance into proxy wars against each other. That is what made the Middle East more sectarian and led to the break down of societies that coexisted for centuries …

To read the full article, click here.

Octavian Manea (MAIR ’13) was a Fulbright Junior Scholar at SU Maxwell School and a 2013 recipient of a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Security Studies through INSCT.

“Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947” Now Online

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bruce Hoffman spoke at the SU College of Law on March 18, 2015 on the subject of his latest book, Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947.

Among the lessons Hoffman gleaned from his extensive research into national archives in the US and Great Britain was the extent to which the assassination of Lord Moyne—British Minister of State in the Middle East and heir to the Guinness brewing empire—in Cairo in 1944 put the wind out of the sails of plan to partition Mandatory Palestine that then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill strongly supported.

Hoffman contends that Zionist acts such as this assassination—carried out by the Stern Gang, or Lehi—have been viewed by subsequent militant groups around the world as examples of how terrorist tactics can be used to sway the foreign policies of dominant nations and of how these tactics can be seen a necessary part of creating a nation. 

Ten Recommendations for Obama’s CVE Summit

Syria_and_Iraq_2014_mapBy Corri Zoli & Emily Schneider

(Re-published from Foreign Policy, Feb. 18, 2015) In light of recent attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, Paris — and now Copenhagen  — President Obama announced a White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) that begins on February 18 to discuss U.S. and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and would-be supporters from “radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups to commit acts of violence.” The White House has said the summit will build on current White House strategy. However, the White House would be wise to keep in mind these ten recommendations derived from the field of international security studies:

Convene international religious scholars at the Grand Mufti level to issue public statements that specifically identify what counts as Islamist extremism, how their own respective traditions and norms are different, and what we should do about rising extremism in our communities.

[pullquoteright]Too much of the public discussion on extremism, terrorism, and nonstate political violence is unsubstantiated—based on little or limited data.”[/pullquoteright]It’s time to move beyond the “Islam/not-Islam” dichotomy when it comes to extremist violence and realize that one key, authoritative counter-narrative against Islamist forms of extremism must come from religious authorities. As we have learned in our own recent visit to the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh at the invitation of Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, for our preparatory workshop, The Role of Shari’a and Islamic Laws of War in Contemporary Conflict, religious authorities in most Muslim-majority states are critical of any form of Islamic extremism, including groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Muslim societies are on the frontline of these acts of violence, and local communities are the victims.

Relatedly, religious authorities must make clear the distinction between religious conservatism, which is pronounced throughout many Arab and Muslim communities including in the West, and extremist precepts, practices, and organizations. Right now, Muslim religious authorities, even highly conservative ones, are rightfully concerned as they know (better than most) that their own publics are vulnerable to these ideologies and their destructive dynamics. Likewise, as recent Pew “Global Attitudes” surveys indicate, Muslim publics are increasingly concerned about extremism and their supporters.

Get your facts straight.

Too much of the public discussion on extremism, terrorism, and nonstate political violence is unsubstantiated — based on little or limited data. The limits of good data in academic terrorism studies is the subject of a recent debate in the Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence and Marc Sageman’s “The Stagnation in Terrorism Research.”  Despite hefty government R&D funding, a deluge of academic newcomers, and no shortage of scholarly books and articles, we are no closer to building rigorous datasets to help answer basic questions, like: “What makes a person turn to political violence?” Or  “When and why is terrorist violence used as a preferred political tactic?” Although, some studies have tried to answer these questions, they are now outdated and the uptick in foreign fighters joining conflicts like those in Iraq and Syria deserves fresh attention.

Without an evidentiary baseline, false assumptions and notions take precedence, such as the idea that poverty causes terrorism — it doesn’t.  Given such concerns and building on the University of Maryland’s START data, and spin off data projects from the quantitative armed conflict literature, the U.S. government should fund more data scholarship, support more robust academic partnerships, and release more data for empirical study …

To read the complete article, click here

Corri Zoli is INSCT’s Director of Research/Research Assistant Professor. Emily Schneider (LAW ’13) is a Research Associate at New America and a 2013 INSCT graduate.

Violence in the Name of Religion: The Jewish Perspective on the Crisis of ISIS

(L to R) Professor Miriam F. Elman of SU’s Maxwell School;  Tanweer Haq, former Islamic Chaplain, SU Hendricks Chapel; and Fr. Linus DeSantis, Alibrandi Catholic Center, at the Abraham’s Table Discussion at Interfaith Works, Syracuse, NY on Feb. 10, 2015.
(L to R) Professor Miriam F. Elman of SU’s Maxwell School;  Fr. Linus DeSantis, Alibrandi Catholic Center; and Tanweer Haq, former Islamic Chaplain, SU Hendricks Chapel, at the Abraham’s Table Discussion at InterFaith Works, Syracuse, NY on Feb. 10, 2015.

By Miriam F. Elman

(Remarks made on Feb. 10, 2015 at an Abraham’s Table Discussion, InterFaith Works, Syracuse, NY) In preparing my remarks for tonight, I’ve thought a lot about the crisis of ISIS (also called ISIL, the Islamic State, or Daesh—as it’s known in Arabic).

But I’ve also thought a great deal about the courageous men and women who refuse to be intimidated into silence and, often at great risk to themselves and to their families, are standing up for a different Islam—one that can co-exist with the fundamental human rights of liberty, freedom, pluralism, and the rights of women, of the child, and of all religious minorities.

And so, I’m left asking myself: am I doing enough to help these brave men and women? Or am I just free-riding on their hard work? What is my responsibility—as a Jew, as an American, and as a human being? I’d like to make four general points.

First, what we are witnessing today is a global crisis of much larger proportions than just ISIS.

ISIS is currently a grave threat to the Middle East region. But my own view is that, just like Al Qaeda’s reign of terror in Iraq eventually ended, so too we will see the demise of ISIS. It too will overstep; it too will exact such a high cost on society that people will rise up against it.

ISIS will come and go, but its ideology is a mass brand that will outlast its demise. It would be a relief if we only had to worry about a handful of jihadists involved in terrorism. But it’s time that we stopped living in denial. The first step to defeating Islamic radicalism is acknowledging that there is a problem.

My second point is that we need to recognize that this crisis is not just about religion.

ISIS and other radical Islamist groups view jihad as a religious duty. But it’s important to realize that, even within the writings of the Salafists, the justification for deliberate attacks on civilians, especially those living in democracies, is quite recent.

So today’s radical Islamism represents an unprecedented re-interpretation of jihad. But the current crisis of is also about money and power, and marketing a message.

We need to do a better job of countering these powerful messages. But we shouldn’t bother trying to out-Twitter the radicals.

Instead, we should promote a counter-narrative through community-based programs that involve parents, teachers, religious, and community leaders working in groups and one-on-one to move potential killers toward non-violence.

My third point is that unless we empower moderate Muslims to address underlying grievances—the factors that gave rise to ISIS in the first place—we will soon face another permutation of ISIS.

Radical Islam in the Middle East and North Africa won’t be defeated unless the underlying drivers of conflict are confronted: non-representative governments, under-development, and the increasing negative impacts of climate change. But to do that, we’re going to have to give moderate Muslims the help that they desperately need. As Lee Smith of the Hudson Institute recently notes, rhetorical support by the White House and other Western policymakers is just cheap talk that leaves the field free to extremists.

My final point is that we have to stop blaming ourselves for radical Islam.

The notion that radical Islamist attacks are a reaction to provocations from the West is not only patently false, but also plays into the hands of extremists whose ideological underpinnings rest on the claim that Judeo-Christianity represses Islam. Instead of violent extremism being the West’s fault, terrorism is triggered by a particular framing of contemporary Muslim life as a combination of humiliations at home and militaristic policies abroad.

To conclude, I’d like to offer some remarks on violence in the name of religion from the Jewish perspective.

The Torah tells us that when Adam and Eve went against the Lord G-d’s command and ate from the Tree of Knowledge, Hashem called out to Adam and said: “Where are you?” Of course, as Rashi, the great medieval Torah commentator, tells us: G-d knows everything and knew exactly where Adam was. But He was giving Adam the chance to explain, to take responsibility, to speak up. The Rabbis of the Gemara teach a similar message: “Silence is agreement.”

Yet the world, too often during attacks on Jews, is silent. This is the Jewish perspective.

For Elman’s full remarks, click here.

How the Kouachi Brothers Turned to Terrorism

Je_suis_CharlieBy Peter Bergen & Emily Schneider (LAW ’14)

(Re-printed from CNN, Jan. 9, 2015) Said and Cherif Kouachi, who are the leading suspects in Wednesday’s attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, grew up in a world of poor job prospects, life in the French equivalent of the projects and prison time that is not untypical for the French “underclass,” which is disproportionately Muslim.

On Friday, the two brothers were killed in a shootout with police, achieving their goal of a supposedly heroic “martyrdom.” Before they died, one of the brothers spoke on the phone to a journalist from the French news network BFM saying, “We are just telling you that we are the defenders of Prophet Mohammed. I was sent, me, Cherif Kouachi, by al Qaeda in Yemen. I went there and Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki financed my trip… before he was killed.”

Anwar al-Awlaki was a Yemeni American cleric born in New Mexico who spent much of his life in his native United States, but he left in 2002 when he became the subject of intense FBI scrutiny. He traveled first to the United Kingdom and then to Yemen, where he joined al Qaeda, eventually rising to become the head of its operations to target the West.

Al-Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.

Cherif Kouachi, the younger of the brothers had dreams of being a successful rapper that fizzled and later worked in a series of menial jobs, including as a pizza delivery guy. He fell under the spell of a militant cleric in the 19th arrondissement, a gritty immigrant-dominated suburb of northeastern Paris that has little in common with the glamorous French capital city that is known to tourists.

He was arrested by French authorities in 2005 when he was about to leave to fight in Iraq.

He planned to travel to Iraq via Syria. This appears to be quite significant as the pipeline of Western “foreign fighters” traveling to Syria and then to Iraq during this time period was dominated by “al Qaeda in Iraq,” which was a precursor both of the Nusra Front, which is al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, and also of ISIS, which broke away from al Qaeda early last year.

He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2008 for recruiting fighters to join in the Iraq War alongside the notorious leader of the al Qaeda affiliate there, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, but didn’t serve any time after the conviction; the judge ruled that his pretrial detention had been enough.

Nonetheless, Cherif’s time in prison awaiting trial seems to have not only solidified his radicalization, but also connected him to people who were important in French militant circles While in pretrial detention, Cherif met Djamel Beghal, who was in prison for his role in an attempted attack against the U.S. Embassy in Paris in 2001.

Cherif and Beghal became friends and in 2010, when Beghal was released, he and Cherif allegedly planned the jail break of another radical Islamist who was serving a life sentence for his involvement in the bombing of the Musee d’Orsay train station in Paris in October 1995 that wounded 29 people.

But prosecutors couldn’t prove the conspiracy, and Cherif was released.

While there is no particular economic profile of terrorists — some are from privileged backgrounds and others are not — it’s interesting to note some of the similarities between the Kouachi brothers and the Tsarnaev brothers, who are alleged to have carried out the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

The Tsarnaev brothers grew up in a working-class household in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The elder brother Tamerlan had dreams of becoming a world-class boxer but was unemployed when he carried out the Boston attacks.

He had traveled to Dagestan in Russia in 2011 in an attempt to meet up with militants there. He also felt alienated from American society, telling an interviewer, “I don’t have a single American friend.” The Tsarnaevs were influenced by the jihadist propaganda of Awlaki.

The Tsarnaevs, however, are not typical of American Muslims. For Muslims in the United States the “American Dream” has, on average, worked fairly well. They are as educated as most Americans and have similar incomes.

This is often not the case for the Muslims of France, who make up the largest Muslim population of any country in the West. Consider that around 12% of the French population is Muslim, but as much as an astonishing 70% of itsprison population is Muslim.

According to a researcher at Stanford University, Muslim immigrants in France are two-and-a-half times less likely to be called for a job interview than a similar Christian candidate and Muslim incomes are around 15% below their Christian counterparts …

For the complete story, click here.

Peter Bergen is CNN’s National Security Analyst, Vice President at New America Foundation, and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. He is the author ofManhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden—From 9/11 to Abbottabad. Emily Schneider (LAW ’13) is a Research Associate at New America and a 2013 INSCT graduate.

“Countering Political Violence in the US & UK,” with Michael Newell

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WHAT: “Countering Political Violence in the US & UK: The Fenians & the 1880s Dynamite Campaign,” with Michael Newell

WHO: Mike Newell, SU Maxwell School

WHERE: Eggers 060 (Global Collaboratory)

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2015 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

SPONSORED BY THE ANDREW BERLIN FAMILY NATIONAL SECURITY RESEARCH FUND

[/infobox]

Where do contemporary responses to terrorism come from? Mike Newell explores the history and relationship between the political meaning of “terrorism” and the choice of particular counterterrorism responses. He uses his analysis as a lens through which to view modern counterterrorism practices and to argue that the global “post-9/11” world is not necessarily distinct from any other historical periods.

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Michael Newell is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University and a recipient of an M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago.

At SU, Newell studies international relations and comparative politics, with specific interests in security studies, constructivism, critical theory, and qualitative methodology.

His dissertation seeks to identify the historical origins of contemporary counterterrorism policies. To this end, Newell is researching developments in British and American security and law enforcement institutions in response to Irish Republican and anarchist political violence in the late 19th to early 20th Centuries. This historical focus investigates not only the roots of contemporary responses to terrorism but also the process by which state officials attach meaning and significance to security threats and rely on these meanings to guide policy responses.

[button link=”https://securitypolicylaw.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Newell_Berlin_Presentation-021015.pdf” size=”medium” color=”grey” rounded=”yes”]Download the presentation[/button]

Why ISIS Is Spreading Across the Muslim World

ISIS.territoryBy Peter Bergen & Emily Schneider

(Re-published from CNN Opinion, November 19, 2014)

In the many media stories about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, much of the focus has rightly been on the thousands of foreign fighters ISIS has attracted, its brutal tactics and its robust social media presence.

But an arguably even more important development has not received the attention it deserves: the group’s widening influence across the Muslim world, driven by the numerous terrorist and insurgent organizations that have recently sworn loyalty to it.

In the past six months, ISIS has drawn into its fold some dozen groups from Algeria to Pakistan. Al Qaeda, in contrast, had been in existence for a decade before it recruited its first affiliate, Egypt’s Jihad Group, in 1998.

[pullquoteright]Three other groups—al-Mujahidin in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Mujahidin in Libya and al-Mujahidin in Yemen—also recorded statements of allegiance to ISIS in November.”[/pullquoteright]And, in its 2½-decade existence, al Qaeda has only manged to add some half dozen affiliates, one of which was al Qaeda in Iraq, the parent organization of ISIS that has now split off from the core al Qaeda organization.

Indeed, just this week, an ISIS delegation met with leaders of a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban to talk about how to unify Pakistani militants, The Associated Press reported.

Also this month, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, one of the most violent militant groups in Egypt, pledged allegiance to ISIS, The New York Times reported. ABM is believed to have been responsible for an attack on a police checkpoint near Gaza last month that killed 30 Egyptian soldiers.

And ISIS has continued to expand its geographical reach. Three other groups—al-Mujahidin in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Mujahidin in Libya and al-Mujahidin in Yemen—also recorded statements of allegiance to ISIS in November, which ISIS broadcast online. Meanwhile, ISIS now controls the eastern Libyan city of Derna, not far from the Egyptian border.

And last month, six Pakistani Taliban leaders reportedly swore allegiance to ISIS in an audio message, although Shahidullah Shahid, the Pakistani Taliban’s official spokesman, said he was speaking for himself and five other Taliban leaders in the message, not for the rest of the Pakistani Taliban.

The Taliban reacted by firing Shahid, but a senior Taliban official told the BBC that “he was the most important of the five who have left us” and said that the leaders had defected because they were unhappy with senior Taliban leaders …

To read the full article, click here.

Peter Bergen is CNN’s National Security Analyst, Vice President at New America Foundation, and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. He is the author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden—From 9/11 to Abbottabad. Emily Schneider (LAW ’13) is a Research Associate at New America and a 2013 INSCT graduate.

What We Learn from ISIS’ Online Magazine

Islamic_State_FightersBy Peter Bergen & Emily Schneider

(Re-Published from CNN, Oct. 20, 2014) ISIS is looking to take over a good chunk of the Middle East — if not the entire Muslim world. At least, that’s the message the terrorist movement is sending in its English online magazine, Dabiq.

In Dabiq’s first issue, which debuted in early July, the magazine declared that a “new era has arrived” for Muslims. Photographs in the webzine of ISIS militants in American armored vehicles rolling through Iraq seemed to buttress that claim.

Graphic photos of dead soldiers from Iraqi forces litter the pages of each of the issues of Dabiq, and articles detail skirmishes across Iraq and Syria.

Each issue of the magazine — there have been four so far, appearing at roughly monthly intervals — starts with a foreword that contains an inspirational message for readers, before diving into longer pieces that extol the virtues of ISIS and provide updates on the group’s military campaign. ISIS members fervently believe that they have established a true “caliphate” in the areas that they control, a supposed distant echo of the perfect Islamic rule of the Prophet Mohammed and his immediate successors in the seventh century.

[pullquoteright]Other articles aim to reassure readers that ISIS, which in June renamed itself the Islamic State, is an actual state that provides social services and reconstructs critical infrastructure.”[/pullquoteright]Overall, the magazine is quite religious in tone. Excerpts from rulings by Muslim scholars are included in every issue, as are religious rationales for the actions of ISIS.

In the most recent issue, an ISIS writer reasoned that capturing women from the Yazidis, an Iraqi minority group, to use as sex slaves was acceptable under ISIS’ version of Sharia law, since the Yazidis are polytheists, a great heresy in Islam. Showing some convoluted logic, the ISIS writer also asserted that enslaving Yazidi women is a good way to stop adultery, since a man having sex with a concubine is legal under ISIS’ interpretation of Islamic law, but sexual relations outside of marriage with free women are forbidden.

The magazines are also, unsurprisingly, highly sectarian, repeatedly showing images of Shia shrines and tombs that have been blown up by ISIS, a organization made up of members of the Sunni sect. ISIS believes these sites to be idolatrous. Iraqi Army soldiers — who are generally Shia — are referred to as “apostates” and graphic photos of their executions by ISIS fighters are a staple of the magazine.

Other articles aim to reassure readers that ISIS, which in June renamed itself the Islamic State, is an actual state that provides social services and reconstructs critical infrastructure. The magazine asserts that administrators govern towns after the main ISIS fighting force moves on and the most recent issue of Dabiq includes photos with captions showing “services for Muslims,” including street cleaning, electricity repairs, care homes for the elderly and cancer treatment centers for children …

For the complete article, click here.

Peter Bergen is CNN’s National Security Analyst, a Vice President at New America, and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. Emily Schneider (LAW ’13) is a Research Associate at New America and an INSCT alumna.