Thomas Hegghammer is a specialist in Islamist terrorism whose research I addressed in The Religious Thrill and Bond of the Islamic State. Hegghammer was interviewed by BillMoyers.com in late 2014 and what he says is still relevant. The interview:
Of particular interest:
his comparison of the Western volunteers and the local Syrian resistance (he says the Westerners are more ideological and hard-set against compromise than the local fighters)
his analysis of the threat ISIS terrorism poses the West (not as direct as many seem to think)
the difficulty of directly attacking ISIS (ISIS changes tactics to adapt to new threats — e.g. more merging with civilians and guerrilla war)
what might put Westerners at greater risk of ISIS inspired terrorist attacks (the recent Paris shootings and ISIS’s response appear to show ISIS read Hegghammer’s script)
the least-bad options for reducing the power of ISIS . . . .
And that last point segues sadly/depressingly into the next post recently highlighted on J.M. Berger’s IntelWire site: Continue reading “Why Westerners Are Joining ISIS — and the Caliphate stretching to Libya”