The Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) expanded rapidly in Afghanistan in 2015-17, but during 2018 the crisis of the Caliphate in Syria and Iraq started eventually to affect it. Although the number of IS members moving to Khorasan from Syria and Pakistan was at this stage still small, news of the state of near terminal crisis inevitably spread to the ranks of IS-K, affecting morale negatively. Even greater was the inability of the Caliphate to transfer funds to IS-K.
The military defeats of Islamic State’s (IS) fighters in Iraq and Syria led many to believe that the threat represented by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s organization was on the verge of extinction. The video-message by the “Caliph” in April 2019, however, denied the persistent rumors that circulated about his death and proved above all his growing attention to sub-Saharan Africa.
Five years ago, speaking from the pulpit of the ancient al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the rise of the “Islamic State” (IS). Under his personal guidance, the group was set to take control and expand its territories across Iraq and Syria, to establish a transnational “Caliphate” that was meant to be the home for all Muslims in the region and beyond. IS thus spread like wildfire all over the Middle East attracting foreign fighters from all over the world.
Jihadist mobilisation in the West is not a new phenomenon. However, it has witnessed a substantial increase in recent years – especially after the sudden rise of the so-called Islamic State (IS) or Daesh, which proclaimed its “Caliphate” on 29 June 2014.
In recent years, the threat posed by IS in the West has been manifested in at least two main ways: on the one hand, the increase of jihadist attacks in the region and, on the other hand, the unprecedented flow of foreign fighters heading to the territory of the Caliphate.
On June 29th, 2014, after the Islamic State captured Mosul, the goup's spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, shocked the world with the publishing of an audio message proclaiming the establishment of a “Caliphate”. Five years later, much has changed, as a number of military offensives have managed to free the territories that had been conquered by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
At the height of the Islamic State’s (IS) success, in 2013 and 2014, a constant flow of information emerged on social media about the group’s leaders.
Though not enough to endanger the group’s leadership, it did give a general idea of its chain of command. At times IS actively contributed to this through its propaganda, while exercising care not to compromise security.
On the very day of the proclamation of the “Caliphate”, on 29 June 2014, the so-called Islamic State (IS) published a video in English, through one of its official media channels, titled “The End of Sykes-Picot”. In this sophisticated video, a Chilean-Norwegian militant showed and narrated the destruction of a border crossing between Iraq and Syria as well as the hoisting of the “Caliphate”’s flag.
Radicalization in prison has long been a critical issue in the West (and beyond), where prisons have sometimes been turned in recruitment and proselytization hubs by different kinds of extremists, including jihadists. As is well known, one of the main concerns is that radicalized subjects may indoctrinate other common detainees. Italy has also been affected by this phenomenon and jihadist radicalization in prison represents a concrete threat.
In the past years, expulsions on the grounds of extremism have acquired a key role in the Italian strategy to counter the jihadist threat.1 2015 in particular, marked an important change in the use of this tool.
Italian legislation features different types of expulsions that can be used in the fight on extremism:
“A historical anomaly” is the starting point for analysing Thai history of the last two centuries: that is, unlike other Southeast Asian nations, Thailand has never been colonised. This is the theory of Yale University historian Eugene Ford.
Throughout much of their recent history, Indonesia and Malaysia have been celebrated by regional and global audiences alike as thriving examples of peaceful coexistence between different religions and backgrounds, thanks to the consolidation of a moderate, pluralistic, and generally accommodative Islam that proved de facto compatible with democratic principles and practices.
Since March 2017, the autonomous region of Xinjiang has gained, once again, media coverage because of the continuous clashes between the local Uyghur population and the Chinese government forces.