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...]

Will Rhetoric Trump Security?

On 8th November 2016, global politics went into a tailspin. A world still struggling to come to terms with the shock of Brexit was confronted by the Donald Trump bandwagon rolling into Washington, D.C. on the back of a mainly white, some would say racist, backlash against the political, intellectual and economic establishment. Such was the shock of Trump’s victory against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that it is … [Read more...]

Homegrown ISIS Inspired and Directed Terror Attacks—the New Normal?

As the Syrian and Iraqi battlefields come under heavy siege and ISIS continues to sustain substantial losses, it leaders are calling for and even directing, via encrypted social media apps, homegrown terrorism in the West. As a rest, we have seen airports attacked in Brussels and Istanbul; pedestrians mown-down in Nice; an attempted IED explosion in Canada; a massacre in Bangladesh - the list goes on. And it begs the … [Read more...]

Security And Safety

A few years ago, I was invited to talk about security and crowd safety to the board of directors at a major oil company headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland. Since this was my home town, I did not think I would have any security problems when checking into the building. However, at reception, I had to produce two photographic ID references (passport and drivers licence), was checked with a wand (metal detector scan), … [Read more...]

When The War Is Over: Security And Risks To Consider When Working In Post-Conflict Environments

The successful execution of any project depends on the ability to identify the risks to delivery and the plan to mitigate them both at the outset and during implementation. However, when it comes to businesses entering and working in post-conflict environments, the risks to delivery are likely to be even more diverse, acute and difficult. As well as the general difficulties of carrying out operations in any … [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...]

If Popularity Trumps Security

It is not entirely clear quite when it happened but, at some point over the last three months, the improbable became likely. Indeed, barring a spectacular collapse in popular support, or convoluted Machiavellian contortions at the Republican convention, it looks likely that Donald Trump will be the GOP (Grand Old Party – a term used to refer to the Republican Party) candidate for president later this year. The GOP … [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...]

ISIS Once Again Silences its Enemies in Turkey

  ICSVE's new Brief Report by Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. & Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. Once again ISIS cadres have penetrated from Syria into Turkey and carried out an assault on those brave enough to speak out against them.  Monday evening (April 10th), thirty-six year-old Syrian journalist, Muhammed Zahir al Serkat, was shot in the center of Gaziantep (a Turkish town near the border of Syria) on Doktor Kemal Ahi … [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...]