An Achilles Heel for Saudi Wahhabis?

by Mark Woodward* On September first the British on-line paper The Independent reported on alleged plans by the Saudi Arabian government to demolish the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb and move his body to an unmarked grave. The Prophet’s tomb is located in the mosque he built in Madinah in the seventh century and is the second most important Muslim holy site. Millions of pilgrims visit every year.   The Independent’s story was based on a 61 page […] Read more »

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 »

Recent Publications from CSC

Security vs. Liberty: The Discourse on Terrorism in the United States and Morocco and Its Societal Effects by Valentina Bartolucci, CSC Visiting Fellow Pre-press open access here. Abstract: This article first analyzes some of the main features of the political discourse on terrorism interlinked with the counterterrorism discourse as first instantiated under the Bush administration. It then focuses on the appropriation of the US-led discourse by the Moroccan government as well as on some of its major effects, […] Read more »

Boston Bombings: Rumor, Conspiracy, Denial

By Chris Lundry It has been over a week since the grisly bombing at the Boston Marathon, and with one perpetrator killed and another captured, analysts are now searching for the “why” and “how” answers. How did a seemingly well-adjusted young man fall under the influence of his brother and deign to commit such an act? Are others involved? Are there ties to a larger group in the US or abroad? Although some of these […] 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 »

Toppling Assad in Syria: A Western Plot?

By Chris Lundry Indonesian Islamist site syabab.com featured a story on Syria’s embattled leader Bashar al-Assad which states that his looming demise is the culmination of a “Western Plot.” This “news” is fascinating for those who have paid even just a little attention to events as they unfold in Syria. Didn’t the US and the West equivocate for months as Assad murdered his own people? Was that part of the plan? Was part of the […] Read more »

Extremist Opposition to Indonesia’s Densus 88

by Chris Lundry It’s been an active 2013 so far for anti-terrorism efforts in Indonesia, but actions of the authorities continue to spur debate. On December 20, 2012, armed civilians shot and killed four members of the Indonesian Police Mobile Brigades and injured three others in Poso, Sulawesi. The police response was quick, and several suspects were rounded up and allegedly tortured, including some found innocent of the charges. But that was not the end […] Read more »

Another Twist to the South China Sea Dispute

By Chris Lundry Various news organizations reported this week that both Vietnam and the Philippines are refusing to stamp new Chinese passports with a map of China’s claim to the entire South China Sea (VOA report here). India has joined the fray as well, angered because the map shows disputed parts of the Himalayas in Chinese possession as well. Although the dispute has simmered for years, with a status quo of unresolved competing claims and […] Read more »

U.S. Asia Policy: From Pivot to Pirouette to Pivot

by Norman Vasu* While the United States (US) government attempts to pivot towards Asia, China’s recent diplomatic and military moves suggests it is China who has the more robust and thoroughgoing strategy in the region. In effect, China’s latest moves leave the impression that the US pivot has become an aimless pirouette. At the foreign ministers’ meeting in July this year, China displayed how it has effectively become a de facto member of the Association […] Read more »

New White Paper on Rhetoric of Domestic Extremist Groups

by Steven R. Corman The CSC has released a new white paper by Bennett Furlow entitled Extremism and Victimhood in the U.S. Context.  The Executive Summary appears below, and the full white paper can be downloaded here. Political extremism is not a new phenomenon. From the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s to the Weather Underground of the 1960s, political extremism has been a present force on both the political right and left. This study looks […] Read more »