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

Bin Laden and the Affiliates: The Evidence of the Abbottabad Documents (Part One)

bin-Laden---Zawahiri.jpg

A few weeks ago, documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed Usama Bin Ladin were released to the public for the first time. While only a tiny fraction of the total number captured in Abbottabad, the newly available documents offer a rare opportunity to reexamine a series of assumptions and conclusions about al-Qaeda (AQ), Bin Laden, and the U.S. war with AQ.

Continue reading
  13798 Hits
13798 Hits

Libya Failing

sirt-1_13xcv_20150227-200708_1.jpg

The murder of twenty-one Christians in Libya by an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) has brought the sad decline of that country back to international attention. A few months ago, I noted that the ongoing collapse of Libya was not random chaos, nor was it just the result of “militancy” or a lack of governance; rather there was purposeful action by al-Qaeda (AQ)-linked groups pushing the country in a direction that favors violent extremism.

Continue reading
  14602 Hits
14602 Hits

Is Syria Falling to Al-Qaeda?

Nusra-Training-Camp.png

There is a great deal of recent news from Syria, most of it bad. But first, the one bright spot: Kobani, a large city on the border with Turkey that has been under siege by the Islamic State (IS) for several months, has been liberated. A combination of U.S. airstrikes and Kurdish boots on the ground forced IS forces to abandon their attempt to take the city, although not before murdering hundreds (if not thousands) and forcing hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurds to flee into Turkey.

Continue reading
  17139 Hits
17139 Hits

The Immolation of Mu’adh al-Kasasibah

4.png

The Islamic State’s (IS) decision to burn alive the captured Jordanian pilot, Mu’adh al-Kasasibah, has sent shock waves around the world. In addition to the sheer brutality of the act, the decision by IS to distribute a video of their atrocity, and the fact that ordinary people in Raqqa—including children—were forced to watch his death, are all causes for horror and condemnation. Even some radical clerics—like Salman al-‘Awdah—have reacted with disgust and argued that burning people alive is forbidden by Islamic law (Shariah).

Continue reading
  20389 Hits
20389 Hits

Yemen Collapses: Why It Matters

AQAP_20150127-181353_1.jpg

Just a few months ago, President Obama could point to Yemen as a positive example of U.S. counter-terrorism policy. The resignation last week of Yemen’s President, Prime Minister, and cabinet has, however, thrown the future of the country, and U.S. counter-terrorism (CT) policy, into disarray.

Continue reading
  18326 Hits
18326 Hits