"Killing in the name of Allah", Terrorist Groups: Structures, Trajectories and Ends

EPC | 05 Nov 2015

At a time when the world thought that terrorism has started to fade away with the retreat of al-Qaeda network by early 2010, this phenomenon has renewed, even gained momentum, fueled by protests of the Arab Spring in 2011. These protests have exacerbated divisions and polarization in some countries of the region and ignited civil wars in other countries, leading to the decline of the state’s authority and failure. One of the incidental results of these shifts was the rise of terrorist groups that surpass the traditional pattern of terrorist organizations, notably, the so-called Islamic State (IS) which controls vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and has declared the Islamic Caliphate in these areas in June 2014.


This paper studies the new terrorist phenomenon by dealing with patterns and geographical distribution of terrorist groups, highlight their strategies and various tactics, review international and national anti-terrorism policies, and attempt to foresee future trajectories of terrorism. The paper does not deal with organized terrorist groups only, but focusses on unorganized terrorism as well. In addition, it deals with Shiite militias as another dimension of the current phenomenon of terrorism.

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