Mary Habeck is a Senior Fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Mary was also appointed to the Council on the Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities by President Bush and served as Special Advisor for Strategic Planning on the National Security Coun...cil staff. Dr. Habeck’s has authored several articles and books on foreign policy, including Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror and its forthcoming sequel, Attacking America: Al-Qa’ida’s Grand Strategy. You can follow Dr. Habeck on Twitter @MHabeck. More

The Spread of al-Nusra Front and the Continuing Threat from Al-Qaeda

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While most American attention has been on the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), another danger has been building over the past few months. Since early July, al-Qaeda’s (AQ) affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) or al-Nusra Front, has been quietly on the move.

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Fighting the Islamic State: Air Strikes Will Not Be Enough

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In my last post I outlined the ideology that underlies the atrocities carried out in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). I also noted that, while welcome on humanitarian and national security grounds, the actions taken so far by the Obama administration are insufficient to guarantee the defeat of the extremists.

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What the Islamic State “Caliphate” Means in Reality

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Over the past few weeks, the world has gotten its first look at how the Islamic State (IS) Caliphate would function, and it has not been a pretty sight.

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Libya after “Benghazi”: The Origins of the Current Chaos

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Libya is once again in the news as the collapse of the country continues apace.  Two weeks ago, the U.S. and other nations evacuated their diplomatic corps from the capital of Tripoli while fighting raged across the city and militants assaulted the international airport.   The weak central government in Tripoli has been incapable of stopping the violence; the parliament itself is being forced to hold sessions away from the capital. 

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Resisting the Caliphate

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Earlier, I posted on the declaration by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)—of a Caliphate that included territory in both Iraq and Syria.  The post made several points about this momentous event, including the real potential for resistance from both ordinary Iraqis and other militant groups.  As I noted then, everywhere that IS has attempted to implement their extremist version of shari’a on ordinary Muslims who do not support or affirm IS’s vision for the future of Islam, have fought against the militants.

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