ISIS’s Systematic Brutality Against Religious Communities Continues

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. 

ISIS and Al-Qaeda, Linked by Roots in Muslim Brotherhood, Discuss Alliance

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.

ISIS Church Bombings Fit Pattern of Targeting Christian, Jewish Sites

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 Condemns Truck Attack in Stockholm, Releases Resource on Vehicles as Terror Weapons

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. 

CEP Analysis: Converts Who Became Foreign Fighters, Recruiters, and Domestic Terrorists

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.  

Enduring Links: ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood

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.

One Year After San Bernardino Attack: Path to Radicalization Little Changed

CEP released a statement on the one-year anniversary of the terror attack in San Bernardino, California that killed 14 people. One of the attackers, Syed Rizwan Farook, Like a growing number of terrorists, was radicalized in part by the late al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whose lectures and sermons are ubiquitous online. This must change, or more tragedies like San Bernardino will occur.

CEP Issues Updated Resources on ISIS Online Recruiter Neil Prakash Following Arrest in Turkey

CEP is releasing updated resources on Neil Prakash, an Australian online recruiter and facilitator for ISIS, following his arrest in Turkey. Prakash was thought to have been killed by a U.S. airstrike in April. CEP has long tracked Prakash on various online platforms as he has worked to recruit Muslims to ISIS-held territory and incite them to violence domestically. 

Three of Nine Minnesota Men Sentenced For Roles in ISIS Conspiracy Case

CEP released updated reports on three Somali–American men from Minnesota who were sentenced by a federal judge in Minneapolis after pleading guilty to supporting and conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Prosecutors say in spring of 2014, a group of friends began inspiring and recruiting each other to join ISIS. At least two made it to Syria, but the remaining nine did not.