ISIS’s loss of Mosul after a three-year reign of terror does not end the group’s presence in Iraq and Syria, nor its ability to spread its extremist ideology targeting women, gay people, and members of other religions through affiliates in Africa and Southeast Asia. In Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group still controls Tal Afar, Hawija, large parts of Anbar Province and towns in the the Euphrates River valley.
On July 14, 2016, 31-year-old Tunisian Mohamed Lahouajej-Bouhlel rammed a truck into a crowd of people watching a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice, France, killing 86 people. In the year since the Nice attack, at least nine high-profile terrorist incidents were carried out using motor vehicles as the primary weapon. CEP's Remembering the Nice Attack brings together detailed information about the attack, the perpetrator, and subsequent vehicle attacks.
Several days after the June 29, 2014, declaration of a caliphate spanning large areas of eastern Syria and western Iraq, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered his first sermon as "Caliph Ibrahim" from the pulpit of al-Nuri mosque in Mosul. Three years later, ISIS militants have destroyed the 800-year-old mosque as Iraqi forces continue to drive the terror group from Mosul. As ISIS continues to evolve, policymakers will need to consider how to address the changing threat.
The suicide attack that claimed the lives of at least 22 people outside the Manchester Arena on May 22 fits a pattern of terrorists targeting crowded areas to maximize civilian casualties, CEP said, in releasing updated reports on terror targets and extremism and counter-extremism in the United Kingdom.
As Pope Francis prepares for a peace-building trip to Egypt, CEP released a new report detailing the extent of ISIS’s ongoing campaign of genocidal violence and incendiary rhetoric against Muslims, Yazidis, Christians, and Mandaeans, and other religious minorities.
Rivals ISIS and al-Qaeda, are reportedly discussing forging an alliance. Although they split in 2014 and have been competing since, CEP notes that their shared origins in the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology based on the writings of Sayyid Qutb, could allow leaders of the two groups to overcome their differences and potentially join forces. Before ascending to the highest positions of ISIS and al-Qaeda, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood, which served—as it does today—as a bridge between young Islamists and more violent jihadist groups.
The April 9 ISIS bombings at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt that killed 49 people fit a grisly pattern of extremists targeting Christian and Jewish sites, CEP noted, in releasing its new analysis report, Terror Targets in the West: Where and Why. The report includes detailed case studies of al-Qaeda and ISIS attacks and their justifications for choosing their targets.
CEP today released a statement in response to a vehicular attack in downtown Stockholm, Sweden, and a new resource on the use of cars and trucks as weapons of terrorism. The resource notes that attacks using vehicles were carried out beginning in 2006 in London, Quebec, Dijon, Nantes, Jerusalem, and North Carolina and terror groups like al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Hamas have called for or claimed responsibility for them.
As terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda continue to search for new followers capable of being radicalized to violence, CEP is releasing a new report that explores the diverse backgrounds of 131 American, Canadian, European, and Australian converts to Islam who have attempted or succeeded in becoming foreign fighters, propagandists or recruiters, and domestic terrorists.
CEP released a new report detailing the historical and contemporary ties between the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, and al-Qaeda. Before becoming the leaders of ISIS and al-Qaeda, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al-Zawahiri belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood, which continues to serve as a bridge between young Islamists and more violent jihadist groups. The report details levels of cooperation existing between the three groups today, as well their shared ideology and vision for a global caliphate governed by Islamic law.