Indonesia as an Analogue for Egypt

by Mark Woodward More than a decade ago hundreds of thousands of Indonesians, most of them young people, came to the streets demanding the end to a dictatorial regime that had lasted for more than three decades. Today we see much the same in Egypt. We see also see the same reaction in Western media, the fear that protests may lead to the rise of an Islamist regime. There are few signs that this may […] Read more »

Controlling the Narrative of January 25 – Part II

by Jeffry R. Halverson Events rapidly accelerated in Egypt on Friday, January 28, as expected. On Thursday night, the regime shut down internet access. This startling graphic by Craig Labovitz shows the precipitous drop in online traffic. Over the course of the day, the U.S. government repeatedly modified its official stance after making questionable remarks during the two days prior. Meanwhile, a Time Magazine article quoted a member of Netanyahu’s government in Israel expressing support […] Read more »

Democracy, God, the People, and the Pharaoh: A Master Narrative’s Work is Never Done

by Bud Goodall The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia last week beget further democracy uprisings in Egypt and Yemen this week, as well as protests in Jordan and Mauritania.  If the protesters are finally successful in Egypt and President Hosni Mubarak is forced out, this eruption of game-changing scenarios inspired by deep conflicts between the people and their leaders, and enabled by the velocity and spread of social media, poses a whole new set of communication […] Read more »

Controlling the Narrative of January 25

by Jeffry R. Halverson The protests in Egypt that began on January 25 are the culmination of a long simmering struggle between the police state of Hosni Mubarak and the common people it seeks to control. The state claims that its longstanding “security measures” protect the country from the ever-present threat of Islamist extremists, such as those that murdered Anwar Sadat in 1981 or massacred 58 foreign tourists and 4 Egyptians in Luxor in 1997. […] Read more »

Al-Qaeda’s renewed focus to inflict terrorist atrocities on British soil reflects a pervasive weakness in their strategy

Britain, Europe and the US can expect an increase in attempts by al-Qaeda to attack their interests.  However, these efforts should be understood as part of al-Qaeda’s pervasive weakness rather than its strength.  Al-Qaeda’s leaders, particularly in Yemen, know that … Continue reading Read more »

Elections, mass media and short-termism in foreign policy making: the case of Afghan war

On 16 December, President Obama claimed that U.S. Afghan strategy is “on track” and that U.S. can embark upon a “responsible” troop withdrawal by July 2011. This has already made a vast number of Afghan observers, particularly from within Afghanistan, … Continue reading Read more »

Youths in Violent Extremist Discourse

by Steven R. Corman CSC researchers Pauline Cheong and Jeff Halverson have just published a paper in the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism that will be of interest to readers of this blog.  The paper examines al Qaeda texts from 1996-2009 to determine strategies used by the group to construct a pro-radical identity for young Muslims.  The paper abstract is reproduced below.  The full article is available here (subscription required). This article examines the […] Read more »