Confronting an ISIS Emir: ICSVE’s Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter-Narrative Videos​

Most experts agree that the most successful counter-messaging campaigns against ISIS are the ones that utilize the voices of insiders: the voices of ISIS victims and ISIS cadres themselves who have first-hand knowledge of the group’s brutality, corruption, religious manipulation, and deception. In this regard, we at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) have spent the last two years … [Read more...]

ICSVE’s New “Breaking the ISIS Brand” Video Clip – The Promises of ad-Dawlah to Women

By Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. Laura Passoni left Belgium with her young son to join ISIS in Syria in June 2014 after being jilted by her partner. Newly married to man who also wanted to join ISIS, the two took a cruise boat from Venice to Izmir and crossed Turkey by taxi and made their way (unimpeded by Turkish authorities) into Syria. None of the promises of her Belgian recruiter turned out true and Laura ended up a … [Read more...]

What to Expect Following a Military Defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq?

By Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., Ardian Shajkovci, Ph.D. & Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. In the struggle against ISIS and the so-called Islamic State, the United States and its allies continue to achieve significant military victories, as evidenced by the ongoing efforts to liberate the city of Mosul in Iraq. What happens next with the returning or migrating foreign fighters and with whatever remains of ISIS’ influence in the … [Read more...]

How do we Defeat ISIS?

In light of this morning's tragic events and what appear's, at this stage, to be yet another attack on innocent civilians by members of ISIS, I felt this most recent article by Dr Anne Speckhard of the International Centre for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) offers some timely and interesting insights. - John Bigelow ISIS has gone unchallenged in one arena for far too long and the longer we let it slide, the … [Read more...]

ISIS’s Revenues include Sales of Oil to the al-Assad Regime

For months now disaffected Syrian, ISIS defectors we have been interviewing in our ISIS Defectors Interview Project have been telling us that one of the many reasons that they became disenchanted with ISIS was that their leaders were directly negotiating and selling oil to their enemy, Bashar al-Assad—oil that was then used in barrel bombs that rained back down on the Sunnis uprising against the Assad regime.[1] This week … [Read more...]

Former German Soldiers Now Fighting for ISIS

by Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. & Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. A report written by the German Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) indicated that twenty-nine former German soldiers left their countries to fight for rebel groups, including ISIS, in Syria or Iraq, as reported by local German news .[i] It also claimed that sixty-five German soldiers are now under investigation for having Islamist sympathies. Since 2007, … [Read more...]

Khalid Zerkani: Terrorist Instigator

by  Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. “He is a sorcerer… He is Satan.” Hawa Keita, an immigrant mother from Mali in Brussels said of the man who influenced her son, Yoni Mayne, in only a few months time into leaving Belgium for “jihad” in Syria. She believes her son died in 2014 during a battle in Syria. Interviewing parents in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe these past few months (for our ISIS Defectors Interviews Project) … [Read more...]