Small Wars Journal

ISIS

USIP: Guns, Camps and Deradicalization: Violent Extremists in Conflict Zones

Link: https://www.usip.org/publications/2021/03/guns-camps-and-deradicalization-violent-extremists-conflict-zones

 

What are the differences between disengagement and rehabilitation programs in stable settings and in conflict zones?

Violent extremists make civil conflicts more complex and less manageable. Whether in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia, one of the many problems presented by conflicts involving violent extremists is how to deal with these combatants and associates when they surrender or are captured. There have been many attempts to disengage, deradicalize, rehabilitate and reintegrate violent extremists around the world, but most research focuses on stable settings such as Western Europe and North America. What, then, do we know about how to do this in the middle of conflict?

It’s one thing to put a terrorist offender in a Western prison through a disengagement and rehabilitation program. But the challenges are far greater in a location such as northeast Syria. The territorial defeat of the Islamic State group (ISIS) left around 10,000 former combatants and thousands of family members in the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and its political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC).

But what is the status of the former combatants? Are they criminals or prisoners of war? Are their families displaced victims, or should they be viewed as suspected perpetrators? How should they be treated, and by whom? The SDF and SDC may have de facto jurisdiction, but they are not recognized as sovereign by any country and are under military and political pressure on all sides. And as several political controversies in recent years have shown, few states seem interested in taking responsibility for even the most vulnerable and most victimized of their own citizens in northeast Syria.

Riley.C.Murray Tue, 03/30/2021 - 11:28pm
Lead Inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve Quarterly Report to the United States Congress | October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020

A roundup of the conflict in against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

Topics Include:

Partner Forces

The state of ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Troop Reductions

 

 

Link: https://www.dodig.mil/In-the-Spotlight/Article/2497908/lead-inspector-general-for-operation-inherent-resolve-quarterly-report-to-the-u/

Riley.C.Murray Thu, 02/11/2021 - 7:48pm

ISIS’ New Leader and the Group’s Regeneration

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 1:11am
Newfound breathing room has emboldened ISIS to release the name of its new leader and increase the pace and audacity of insurgent attacks against Kurdish, Syrian government, and Iraqi targets, pointing to the conclusion that this aspect of the Syrian Civil War has merely transformed into a new phase.

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Salafi Jihadism and Chemical Weapons Attacks: Ideological Contrasts and Strategic Constraints SWJED Thu, 06/27/2019 - 1:07am
Chemical weapons attacks remain an uncommon choice for militant and terrorist organizations targeting Western countries. Their rarity makes them an attractive option, as the shock factor associated chemical weapons attacks plays into the main goal of any terrorist attack: to instill fear and insecurity in the population.

Getting off: The Implications of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues Among Former ISIS Fighters for Counterterrorism and Deradicalization

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:33am
One essential aspect affecting individual risk is mental health, such as for example the role of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, that has been found to significantly increase the threat posed by returning foreign fighters. Furthermore, as it happened throughout history when fighting forces were facing superior opponents and ultimate defeat on the battlefield during “final stands”, the use of drugs to enhance fanaticism, physical strength and to prevent fatigue, hunger, thirst and exhaustion was also reportedly present among IS’s fighters. The substance of choice for IS, Captagon or fenethylline, was so famous among the group’s fighters, that it was used even during terror attacks, for example in the November 2015 Paris attacks.

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Treasury Designates Key Nodes of ISIS’s Financial Network Stretching Across the Middle East, Europe, and East Africa SWJED Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:11pm
U.S. Department of the Treasury Report: "Action Targets ISIS Financial Facilitators and Money Transfer Company"
Primer: Terrorist Usage of Twitter and Social Media SWJED Thu, 03/28/2019 - 3:56am
"As terror groups such as ISIS gain more experience using social media platforms, the structure of posts and the methods used to promote the posts are becoming similar to the strategies a business would use to promote a product on those platforms. Although, the groups can’t directly mimic a business. They generally are blocked from using straightforward promotion tools put in place by the platform, such as advertisements or paid promotions. Groups like ISIS also tend to violate the terms of service for the social media platforms they are using. Much like the battle between cyber attacks and cyber security, terrorist organizations are continually adapting to circumvent detection and removal by the platforms they are using."
It Ain’t Over Til’ it’s Over - Key States Must Form and Implement a Rehabilitation Policy and Strategy for Third Party Refugees of the Islamic State - Now SWJED Wed, 03/27/2019 - 4:08am
With limited resources and policy that was constructed as it was being implemented, the US supported a coalition of Syrian forces known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF and their anti-Islamic State coalition liberated Kobane and Manbij in 2016, and then moved onto to Raqqa in 2017, and finally Baghouz in 2019 beating the Islamic State into a corner of Syria. Despite this massive military accomplishment and territorial success, the heartbeat behind the ideology isn’t dead, in fact it might be growing stronger.

Rehabilitating the Children of ISIS: A Comparative Case Study of Armed Groups and Child Soldier Reintegration

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 10:47am
As ISIS members are displaced through battlefield losses, reintegration of former ISIS members remains a key challenge globally. ISIS has frequently used children as a part of its military operations, and hundreds of these children have been indoctrinated into ISIS ideology. The international community now faces a critical issue with the rehabilitation of ISIS children. This population was raised in a hyper-violent environment and has largely never been exposed or integrated into conventional society. As these children and their families flee to non-ISIS controlled areas or home countries, they pose a lifelong terrorism threat to the international community.

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