Tag "terrorism"

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Middle East/North Africa Security

The Future of Afghanistan: Social Media Companies and the Taliban

Many political figures and analysts have made statements regarding their skeptical eye towards the progressive sentiments being shared on social media platforms by the Taliban. Yet, the terrorist group is still able to post freely facing barely any difficulties. The mass amounts of Taliban propaganda being spread online may increase the group’s political popularity, expand their member-base as well as international support, and ultimately, solidify their control in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s utilization of media platforms could potentially ignite a revitalized global Islamist militant movement and must be taken more seriously by social media companies.

Europe Finance

Towards a Digital Euro: What Does It Mean for the Safety of Europe?

The digitalization of the economy and the rapid spread of virtual currencies have created unprecedented opportunities for cross-border illicit activities. The most recent proposal of the European Central Bank for the development of a central bank digital currency is no exception. Known as a digital euro, the project is envisioned to differ from crypto-assets and stable coins in its centralized oversight and control of digital transactions. Hence, by allowing a central banking authority to monitor and verify online transactions, a digital euro could facilitate the fight against organized crime in the EU. Yet, the currently proposed design possibilities of a digital euro reveal vulnerabilities to compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations, as well as pose a significant threat to the safety of children in the digital space. 

Middle East/North Africa Politics

China in a post-US Afghanistan: A paradigm shift in foreign policy?

China’s long-standing policy of non-interference is challenged by the cruel geopolitical realities and developments in the country with which it shares its smallest border. The U.S. military withdrawal, coupled with Afghanistan’s seizure by the Taliban, have marked a major turning point, presenting China with both opportunities and challenges. It seems Beijing can no longer afford to stay away from the region.

Middle East/North Africa Security

Symbioses of power in Iraq and the Popular Mobilisation Units

In my first article I discussed the risk of perpetual violence in Iraq and Syria fuelled by both numerous non-state actors there and the increasingly cronyistic authoritarian system in which they operate. This was followed by a more detailed look into the illicit economic activities of militias across Iraq and Syria. Leading on from this, today’s commentary will shift from an economic to a more political focus, exploring the symbioses of power in Iraq and the role of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU).

Middle East/North Africa Security

Iraq and Syria: The Local and Regional Impact of Illicit Economies

In my previous article, I discussed the risk of Iraq and Syria entering a state of perpetual violence brought about by militias, to sustain their presence and maintain their profits. High rates of unemployment and increasing militarisation of governance and the economy, have meant that forming, joining and sustaining militias has become one of the few profitable rent-seeking methods. This article examines their illicit economic activities in greater detail showing the impact on a local to regional scale and the wider reverberating consequences.

Security Sub-Saharan Africa

The Political Economy of Mozambique’s ‘Faceless Insurgency’

Since 2017, Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province has grappled with a brutal jihadist insurgency which threatens to spiral out of control and precipitate destabilising effects across East Africa. Ansar al-Sunnah, the militant group behind the escalating insurgency, has often been described as ‘more criminal than jihadi’, highlighting the centrality of the crime-terror nexus and underlying socioeconomic grievances as structural drivers of conflict that must be fully unpacked in order to respond effectively to Mozambique’s ‘Faceless Insurgency’. 

Europe Insights

Future Trends: Far-Right Terrorism in the UK – A Major Threat?

Since the late 1990s, the threat to UK security from far-right terrorism has been considered to have been of minor concern compared to Islamist or Northern Ireland-related terror. However, within the past few years there has been a growth in concern about rising levels of far-right extremism. With the ideology spreading via the internet amongst a young audience, is it possible that far-right terrorism could become the major domestic threat to UK security?

Middle East/North Africa Security

Middle East – The resurgence of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq

Islamic State (IS) rarely makes the mainstream media headlines these days. After losing the last of their territory during the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani in early 2019, the “caliphate was declared “defeated”. However, 2020 saw a significant growth in IS attacks in their traditional heartlands of Syria and Iraq, as well as a growing presence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and across large parts of the African continent continent. Despite the loss of territory, the ideology of ISIS was not defeated, and although it’s difficult to put a precise number on their manpower, there is evidence that they are re-establishing themselves in the Middle East.

Europe Politics

Macron’s fight for Freedom of Speech

President Emmanuel Macron used a warlike tone following the recent terrorist attacks that have hit France. Assuring that fear would change sides, the President’s position has sparked a strong response with a call to boycott in several Muslim countries, and several communities have led ‘anti-France’ movements. 

International Security

300,000 Sailors Stranded at Sea Amid Global Pandemic

The UN has recently called for the international community to rescue the crews of commercial ships, gas and oil platforms, and other workers out at sea who have been instructed to keep working, without relief, due to Covid-19.