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For each enemy, his challenge (written just yesterday)

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For each enemy, his challenge (written just yesterday)

The most important challenge is overturning the stereotype of the terrorist defined over the last three decades; especially now that they have young people with Western appearance and accents

Suddenly many of us are asking questions about the unexpected birth of ISIS and the so-called Islamic State. You could also say that many would like to understand the fundamental differences between the Islamic state and Al Qaeda. While there are no true ideological differences between the two factions, their methods of operation provide a clear distinction between the two  organizations, both of which ultimately share the objective of achieving a Caliphate. Al Qaeda believes that the time for proclaiming the caliphate will come in a later phase, one preceded by numerous preparatory phases for building a solid basis and consolidated instruments in countries considered part of that organization’s ambitious design. The Islamic State, on the other hand, favors the immediate establishment of the caliphate followed by a strategy of expansion, starting in Syria and then moving on to Iraq, which, it believes to be a starting point for future expansion. This explains the birth of the organization known as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which then transformed rapidly into ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean).
It finally became IS, the Islamic State, especially after the organization’s announcement of a strategy of future expansion.

More attention to Western security  This desire for rapid expansion represents a direct threat for many countries, and these threats can be divided into two phases. In the first there are the countries neighboring Iraq and Syria, those where the organization has substantial roots, such as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan. The second phase involves Western countries the organization considers part of its future territory, according to strategies regularly published and distributed on the group’s web site. The organization’s expansionist ideology has given the entire world food for thought regarding international security, especially if you consider that estimates indicate that affiliates of the organization exist in many countries and members reside in more than 70 nations. The most important challenge is overturning the stereotype of the terrorist defined over the last three decades. The factors determining the birth of modern terrorism cannot be found in global poverty and ignorance and do not belong to a particular geographic area or to a single language, e.g., Arabic. Today, many affiliates of these organizations come from diverse societies, including many European-born, who were educated in and speak the language of their native countries, with Great Britain and France leading the way in this regard. This new form of terrorism has spread widely over recent years and will require new ways and means of countering terrorism, in particular the use of technology to offset the groups’ use of information technologies and other sophisticated methods of communication. Another thing that cannot be ignored is that the Islamic State has huge sums of money for buying the trust of security officers and the military forces of its selected country. Estimates suggest that the organization can adopt this technique thanks to the large quantity of money it has available to facilitate movements of the organization’s members and position them to make their operations effective. Another serious emerging threat is represented by the community cohesion that is a factor of the organization and the ideology of many countries, especially after the proclamation of the caliphate. Where this ideology cannot be accessed, the intentions of the Arab communities is to remedy it and reaching this phase is considered a natural product of the policy for the Islamization of communities that has been in place in the region, especially following World War II. History shows that the majority of Arab communities have lived in a state of cultural liberalism and have been implicitly associated with left wing tendencies and secular nationalism. But the transformation of these tendencies following the World War II concern the spread of the ideology of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and the sanctification of his leadership, which in the end looked toward Moscow. The United States and its allies consider these tendencies a real threat to its interests as they have led to the birth of coalitions between religious ideologies (theology) and government regimes (dictatorship) and to a significant change in the educational and administrative rules of the country and a radical change of the community. Now these characteristics are part of the composition of communities and details of the daily lives of citizens.

Syrian and Iraqi energy under the control of the Caliphate Together with these challenges to security in the Middle East, there is the question of energy, especially with ISIS controlling many oil wells and refineries in Syria and Iraq, and the attendant possibility of terrorist attacks against those sites if ISIS begins to lose territory. The organization, with its vast wealth derived from the sale of crude at very low prices, can use its energy wealth to foment chaos, and, of course, can directly destroy these sources if they risk losing them. As noted above, many experts believe that the internal and external organization of the Islamic State is not that of a traditional terrorist group. This can be seen in its vast network of Al Qaeda affiliates distributed throughout the world. The Al Qaeda affiliates see in ISIS a huge opportunity for relaunching their ideas and resuming terrorist activities. This now typical and new modus operandi of ISIS has surprised global antiterrorism experts, who in recent years have become accustomed to acting according to a traditional idea in which terrorists came from abroad rather than from within countries. The enemy is no longer coming from overseas but is already within; especially now that they have young people with Western appearance and accents, who are in fact a product of that Western society itself: mastering the language and learning its customs and traditions. Now they are the main enemy of the Western societies from which they come. Some experts attribute the birth and rapid proliferation of the Islamic State to the direct support of sympathetic groups in other countries. Therefore, to counter this organization, it is necessary first of all to have genuine international will to forbid any type of direct or indirect support of such organizations, both by countries and individuals. It is clear that a high percentage of the finance of these groups comes from businessmen from the Persian Gulf, Europe and America. Furthermore, many terrorist organizations adopt kidnapping for finance purposes. Reports suggest that many countries secretly pay huge amounts to local intermediaries to free their kidnapped citizens. There are also reports of the increasingly widespread practice of selling women from areas which have fallen under the organization’s control into sexual slavery. Furthermore, these organizations received significant financial and logistical aid from many countries during the years of the Syrian crisis, in an attempt to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The solution is not military alone A common mistake is to believe that military confrontation is the only way for tackling the growing threat of these terrorist organizations. In fact, the world now needs to undertake the most effective routes for containing the threat of these organizations and their ideologies—adopting educational, economic and social  strategies worldwide. ISIS and its affiliates have become a real problem for the United States, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Europe. For this reason, it is necessary to build an international coalition to tackle the problem, one composed of all countries that believe in a better future for all people on Earth. ISIS represents a genuine threat to everyone, and the Middle East in particular, as this organization’s ideology does not recognize any geographical border between states under the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. Moreover, the proclamation of the caliphate entails doing away with the concept of a national state and political geographical borders, and today this represents a high danger especially for the people of this region who, since the fall of Iraq in 2003, have lived in fear of ethnic and religious segregation accompanied by a psychological war of fragmentation and discrimination.


Amer Al Sabaileh

International Public Relation, Goverment Sector, Business and Human Develpoment, Strategic Analysis.

Member of the teaching staff department of the European languages and Studies University of Jordan – Amman.

Doctorate, Italian Studies University of Pisa “ Arabic and Islamic influence on the other’ s life concepts in the Mediterranean area in the medieval age.

Peace Building and Reconciliation University of Coventry, UK

Master’s degree, Education to peace , International Co – operation, Human Rights and the Politics of the European Union.

Bachelor’s degree-higher diploma, Italian and English literature-Douple Major.

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