New White Paper: The Narrative Landscape of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

CSC has released a new white paper: The Narrative Landscape of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Executive Summary This report presents the results of an analysis of the narrative landscape produced in texts by and about al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) from 2007 to 2013. We analyzed invocation of cultural master narrative use by the group, and then performed a detailed thematic study of the texts using Critical Discourse Analysis. This report is timely, […] Read more »

CSC Welcomes Dr. Valentina Bartolucci

by Steven R. Corman The CSC extends a warm welcome to Dr. Valentina Bartolucci. She is a Fulbright Research Scholar resident here during the 2013-2014 academic year, studying public diplomacy as anti-terrorism.  Dr. Bartolucci is an Associate Researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Science for Peace (Pisa), a Lecturer at the University of Pisa, Italy, and at the Marist college campus of Florence, Italy. Dr. Bartolucci is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of […] Read more »

African Development Surge Could Play into AQIM Narrative

by Nathaniel Greenberg The Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies at the Potomac Institute recently released a report entitled “Terrorism in North Africa and the Sahel in 2012: Global Reach and Implications.” It contains important proposals for addressing some of the humanitarian crises inflicting the region (including in the Western Sahara, which continues to divide our largest allies in the region). But it also recommends moving forward aggressive deregulation and privatization initiatives that could amplify the predominant grievance—and […] Read more »

Is the Ansar al-Shariah Crackdown a True About Face?

by Nathaniel Greenberg The Libyan consulate bombing has drifted into the twilight world of murder mystery and conspiracy theory, a talking point for American political pundits, and major source of frustration for leaders in the region. In Cairo a militant from Libya suspected of having participated in the Consulate attack was killed when Egyptian authorities raided his hideout in Nasser City earlier this week. But it is doubtful that this action represents a true change […] Read more »

The Extremist-Narco Nexus Unexplored

by Nathaniel Greenberg Counterterrorism officials indicated this week that JSOC, in coordination with the CIA and the Pentagon, had begun to narrow its search for the culprits behind the attack on the American Consulate in Libya. From their investigations, articulated by The New York Times, the group Ansar al-Sharia has emerged as the primary suspect. The New York Times characterizes this group as an aspirant, if not affiliate branch of Al-Qaeda, or rather, Al-Qaeda in […] Read more »

Film Protests Strengthen Extremists’ Hand

by Nathaniel Greenberg The Innocence of Muslims is not the first, nor will it be the last offensive depiction of Islam. Just today the French journal Charlie Hebdo released its new edition with an image of Mohamed in a wheel-chair being pushed by a farcical looking Hassidic Jew. Happy Rosh Hashanah! Most in the Muslim world are onto these games and understand that marketing gimmicks, like offending Muslims, help sell magazines and generate page views. […] Read more »

CSC Welcomes Dr. Nathaniel Greenberg

by Steven R. Corman The CSC welcomes Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Nathaniel Greenberg to our team. Nathaniel completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Washington and was the recipient of the 2012 Dean’s Medal for the Humanities, the University’s highest recognition for overall achievement in that division. His research focuses on modern Arabic, particularly Egyptian literature. But he has published on a range of subjects, from a study of the Palestinian artist Jabra […] Read more »

Mali Extremists Blunder, But Who Can Capitalize?

By Bennett Furlow and Jeffry Halverson Over the past week a militant Islamist group operating in Mali called Ansar Dine has destroyed a number of Sufi mausoleums and the legendary gate of a 600-year-old mosque in the fabled city of Timbuktu. Many news reports have compared these tragic events in Mali to the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban in 2001. There is a key difference though that could lead to dramatically […] Read more »

Invisible Children Film on LRA More Self Promotion than Expose

by R. Bennett Furlow On March 5th, 2012 the non-profit organization Invisible Children (IC) released a short film which quickly went viral. Kony 2012 is the name of the film and campaign by Invisible Children to raise the profile of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  However it does more to publicize IC and its leaders than to expose Kony. Founded in 2004, IC’s mission is to make people aware of the […] Read more »