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  • Author: Christopher Boucek
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is not the biggest problem -- or even the biggest security challenge -- facing the Yemeni government, the United States and much of the international community still place it above other issues. Successful counterterrorism is directly linked to state stability. If Yemen becomes a failed state within the next few decades, U.S. counterterrorism objectives would be decisively undermined. The challenge for U.S. policy is finding a way to bolster the struggle against AQAP without exacerbating other aspects of Yemen's overlapping security, economic, and political crises.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Yemen, Arab Countries
  • Author: Hassan Barari
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In early September, three senior leaders of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood (MB) resigned from the organization's executive bureau after it voted to dissolve the MB political department -- one of the few remaining components of the organization controlled by moderates. The resignations were a protest against not only the executive bureau's decision, but also the MB's increasingly close affiliation with Hamas. Today, the Jordanian MB is facing an unprecedented internal crisis, pitting the traditional moderate East Bank leadership -- Jordanians who are not originally Palestinian -- against the powerful pro-Hamas Palestinian-led element. Lately, these divisions have been aggravated by Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mashal's apparent efforts to exploit the shifting balance of power within the MB to further his own organization's agenda in Amman. Ironically, Jordanian authorities -- who have long prided themselves on managing the Islamist issue -- have done little to stem the tide.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Islam, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli authorities on September 27 announced the arrest of an Israeli-Arab Hamas activist who played central militant, political, and financing roles for the group in coordination with what Israeli authorities described as a “Hamas command in Saudi Arabia.” The arrest is just the latest evidence that support for Hamas in particular and Islamic extremism in general continues to emanate from within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Today, President George W. Bush will sign the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), which represents the most dramatic and fundamental changes to the U.S. intelligence community since 1947, when the CIA was created. While public and media attention has been focused on the establishment of a director of national intelligence and a National Counterterrorism Center, other equally important aspects of IRTPA have received far less attention. Perhaps of greatest significance, IRTPA will improve the FBI and Justice Department's ability to combat international terrorism in a variety of ways.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush will enter his second term leading a country that is at war on five fronts at once. Four are clear: in Iraq and Afghanistan, against al-Qaeda and its global affiliates, and within the homeland. The fifth front, however, is the poor stepsister to the other four. It is being fought with an arsenal of outmoded and dysfunctional weaponry, a set of confused and self-defeating battlefield tactics, and no clear strategy for victory. Such is the status of the U.S. effort to fight the "battle of ideas" -- the ideological war to prevent Islamists and their sympathizers from capturing the social, cultural, economic, and political high ground in Muslim societies around the world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Measures being taken by Saudi Arabia to stop terrorist financing have been welcomed by top U.S. officials. But the main test for the new rules announced on December 3 will be in Saudi Arabia itself, where zakat (giving to Islamic charities) is a religious duty and where measures that please Washington are increasingly regarded as objectionable. As often happens in the kingdom, the theory behind the new rules may well differ from how they are actually implemented.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The annual conference of the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) concludes today in Riyadh. Although it claims to be a charitable organization espousing moderate Islam, WAMY is actually one of many such organizations that, while closely linked to the Saudi government and royal family (e.g., WAMY's president is Sheikh Saleh al-Sheikh, the Saudi minister of Islamic affairs), also have documented links to international terrorism. Others include the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, the Muslim World League, and the Benevolence International Foundation.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Thursday, October 24, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a new terrorist threat alert (this time warning of attacks on transportation systems), highlighting once more why attention has been focused on al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups since September 11, 2001. A year on, however, other Middle Eastern terrorist groups and state sponsors of terrorism still receive inconsistent attention despite a sharp rise in their activity. In fact, militant Islamist groups from al-Qaeda to Hamas interact and support one another in an international matrix of logistical, financial, and sometimes operational terrorist activity. Inattention to any one part of the web of militant Islamist terror undermines the effectiveness of measures taken against other parts of that web.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 2001, Yemen has worked hard to shed its image as a hotbed of Islamist terrorism. That image, however, was reinforced when London's al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic daily reported that the Islamic Army of Aden (IAA, or Aden-Abyan Islamic Army), an al-Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility for an explosion that crippled a French tanker on October 6 in the Yemeni harbor of Mina' al-Dabba. Moreover, a recent letter allegedly written by Osama bin Laden praises the "bold heroic jihad operations . . . against the crusader's oil tanker." The attack, which killed one crewman, underscores Yemen's importance as an area of concern in the U.S. government's "war on terror."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, London, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With its longstanding support for terrorism, Syria poses an exceptional challenge to U.S. antiterror policy. On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush declared that "from this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This declaration implicitly offered state sponsors a virtual amnesty for previous actions if they would cease sponsoring terror, an offer that Syria has thus far rejected. In June 2002, the president directly called on Syria to "choose the right side in the war on terror by closing terrorist camps and expelling terrorist organizations."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Like that of its predecessor, the Bush administration's policy toward Iraq appears to focus on the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of Saddam Husayn's regime. Some suggest that U.S. policy should emphasize the resumption of inspections, suspended since 1998. However, there are strong reasons to doubt that inspections would reduce the threat of Iraqi WMD.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Psyops and propaganda activities that aim to diminish Saddam in the eyes of his supporters, exacerbate existing strains between his inner circle and the military, stir up popular discontent, and embolden opponents of the regime are a crucial component of any policy that seeks regime change in Baghdad. Such efforts could keep Saddam on the defensive and create an atmosphere of crisis and tension, forcing the regime to divert assets to deal with internal security, and leaving fewer resources available for clandestine technology procurement or trouble-making elsewhere. Such efforts could transform the psychological environment in the country, creating an atmosphere in which a coup or uprising might occur.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Before September 11, U.S. policymakers would have been hard-pressed to justify significant military action against Iraq without a major provocation. The events of September 11 and the subsequent anthrax incidents, however, have highlighted the dangers of "business as usual" in an age of sophisticated terrorism and weapons proliferation, and the potentially high costs of ignoring the likes of Saddam Hussein; that is true whether or not Iraq was associated with these events. The risks of perpetuating a faltering containment policy, and the imperative of regime change in Iraq have never been clearer.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Akbar Ahmed, Emmanuel Sivan
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 6, 2001, Akbar Ahmed and Emmanuel Sivan addressed the Washington Institute's Policy Forum. Professor Ahmed holds the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University's School of International Service and has most recently authored Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World. Professor Sivan is professor of Islamic history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written the book Radical Islam. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: To win the war against terrorism, the U.S. government must pursue with equal vigor both the short-term imperative to root out terrorist groups, including their international support networks, and the longer-term objective of advancing a positive vision for the Arab world, one that offers an alternative to the destructive ideology of the terrorists. Both efforts are essential; focusing on the former at the expense of the latter will almost surely prove self-defeating.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 11, the Bush administration has issued seven different lists of terrorist groups, including terrorist organizations, front companies, and individuals. In its effort to prosecute the war on terrorism, the administration has articulated the goal of eradicating Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network and its Taliban hosts rather clearly. However, the goals of the broader war on terrorism, beyond Al Qaeda and the Taliban, remain ill defined. An examination of the administration's various terrorist lists underlines the developing nature of its strategic vision for dealing with international terrorism beyond Al Qaeda. The lists are a telling component of the administration's emerging policy regarding its war on terrorism writ large.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In Washington, the debate over Iraq is shifting from the simple question of whether it should be targeted in phase II of the antiterror war, to how we should deal with a country that continually refuses to fulfill its UN obligations and surrender weapons of mass destruction (WMD). From the latter viewpoint, options for Iraqi policy are not confined to the extremes of either complete inactivity or dispatching 500,000 troops for a ground campaign. There are numerous approaches that the Bush administration can take if it is determined to increase pressure on Saddam Husayn's regime. President Bush spoke on Monday about the importance of resuming UN-mandated arms-control inspections in Iraq, and the Security Council has been considering this week whether to revitalize sanctions on Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Josef Joffe
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 6, 2001, Josef Joffe addressed the Institute's Special Policy Forum about the many faces of European politics and policy in the context of September 11. Dr. Joffe, a special visiting fellow of The Washington Institute, is publisher-editor of the German weekly Die Zeit, and a contributing editor of Time (International). A frequent commentator on U.S., British, and German radio and television, his essays and reviews have appeared in such publications as Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, New York Times Magazine, New Republic, and the Weekly Standard. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On October 30, Iranian parliamentarian Elaheh Kula'i appeared before the Majlis and warned that a reluctance to implement UN resolutions regarding terrorism could result in "consequences" for the Islamic republic. Kula'i was specifically referring to UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 1373, which outlines the financial and legal measures that UN member-states must take against terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. That an Iranian official would express such anxiety over a UN resolution highlights its potential as a tool for assembling "all necessary means," force if need be, to pressure terror-supporting states.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Avi Jorisch
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, will begin on November 16. Some in the United States and abroad have suggested that a moratorium in military operations would be appropriate. Others see no reason to stop. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has stated that "history is replete with instances where Muslims have fought Muslims and Muslims have fought non-Muslims throughout all of the various holy days, including Ramadan." What, then, is the Muslim sentiment regarding fighting during Ramadan? Is there historical precedent or religious requirement for the cessation of hostilities?
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries