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This book analyzes the contributing factors responsible for the emergence of terrorism in the Middle East with specific case studies based on empirical data that anchors the analyses in real life observation and posits unbiased, bipartisan solutions. Terrorists are targeting civilian populations around the world and increasing pressure on civil liberties, public policy and democratic institutions. With the defeat of one terrorist organization several more take its place. This book includes case studies in public administration initiatives from various Middle Eastern countries, and investigates regulation, public information, monetary and financial responsibilities, security, and civic infrastructure as possible solutions to this ever-worsening problem. With terrorism emerging as a major global policy issue this book speaks to global security and public policy and administrative issues in the Middle East, and will be of interest to researchers in terrorism and security in the Middle East, public administration, international relations, political economy, and to government officials, security analysts and investors.​



Analysis of Terrorism in the Middle East


Chapter 1. Terrorism in the Middle East: Policy and Administrative Approach

This chapter looks at policy and administrative approaches in resolving issues of terrorism in the Middle East through sound governance. The chapter examines the social, economic, and political causes of terrorism in the Middle East; the rise of political Islam; and the variations in such a movement in manipulating regional and global interests/conflicts toward advancing their own agenda. In doing so, the chapter addresses policy and administrative challenges in the Middle East and best scenarios in addressing the cause of terrorism as a function of public policy and administration.
Alexander R. Dawoody

Chapter 2. Monitoring and Disrupting Dark Networks: A Bias Toward the Center and What It Costs Us

The goal of this chapter is to explore this analytic bias—how it is manifested, why it appears so extensive, and what unwitting limitations it imposes on our strategic options to counterterrorism. We use data from a study of the Syrian opposition network that was conducted in the CORE Lab at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California (Lucente and Wilson, Crossing the red line: social media and social network analysis for unconventional campaign planning, 2013). The original study sought to provide a window into the armed opposition units against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. This chapter proceeds as follows: We begin by reviewing the various strategies that can be used for disrupting dark networks. These can be broken down into two broad categories—kinetic and nonkinetic. The former uses coercive means for disruption while the latter seeks to undermine dark networks using with subtler applications of power. Drawing on a previous analysis, we illustrate how some of these strategies can be implemented, while at the same time highlighting our own bias in that study toward central actors. We then turn to an analysis of the Syrian opposition network, highlighting how a central focus can blind analysts to other important aspects of a network; in this case, elements that ultimately aligned themselves with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). We conclude with some implications for the future use of SNA to monitor and disrupt dark networks.
Nancy Roberts, Sean Everton

Chapter 3. Terrorism Through the Looking Glass

Eradicating terrorism from the Middle East is a laudable aim that will obviously receive universal support. This chapter, however, presents six ideas that put the project and the wider concept of ‘terrorism’ in what is hoped to be more realistic perspective.
First, genuine terrorism is of moderate relative importance in terms of loss of life and security compared to other hazards. Notwithstanding sporadic attacks, the danger posed to Western societies in particular is minimal. Constructive international actions to build and not destroy societies merit a higher place on the agenda than obsessive ‘counterterrorism’ based on military action.
Second, most of the deaths attributed to terrorism in the countries where the activity is said to be rife have little to do with classic terrorism. State structures have been eroded, and deaths are caused in the main by warlords fighting over power and wealth and by those armed and funded by external powers to promote diverse regional or global interests. Civilians are not being killed primarily in pursuit of policy changes. There are hardly any remaining policies to change!
Third, ‘terrorism’ and ‘counterterrorism’ exist nowadays in a symbiotic relationship. Terrorist groups exaggerate their grievances and ‘achievements’ to attract recruits and funds. Those involved in counterterrorism need a perpetual enemy that is said to present a serious threat to security. This is especially necessary now that so many profit-seeking private companies are involved in providing counterterrorism services. Both sides thrive on publicity for terrorist actions. Evidence presented later shows that use of force is often useless in eradicating terrorism.
Fourth, groups seeking power set out to generate ‘group solidarity’ based on tribal and religious affiliations. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) offers ready schisms that are exploited by one and all, including regional and global powers. The region, as a result, has become a battleground for pseudo religious wars. Raw recruits might be motivated by religious mania, but to their leaders religion is little more than a means to an end. Islam serves their purpose to perfection.
Fifth, calls for improved governance and reforms aimed at affecting a social transformation are sensible and urgently needed. However, in the absence of effective state structures and in the presence of belligerent warlords and proxy wars, progress on these essential reforms is difficult.
Sixth, MENA has been the focus for intensive intrusion by regional and global powers for a very long time. Intentionally or otherwise, this intrusion has produced instability that in turn led to violence, including terrorist acts. In the process, state power in most of the countries in the region has been compromised; in some cases to a point where it has virtually disappeared.
This last point brings the discussion to a key issue. People in countries experiencing instability and terrorism are told, with some justification, “not to blame everyone else”. However, ‘everyone else’ is conspicuous by their presence and influence. This is nothing new. As Antonius (writing in 1938!) reported, disturbances in Syria and the Lebanon in 1860 “provided the European Powers with a pretext to justify their meddling openly in the internal affairs of Syria- a precedent which they were to invoke constantly in the next 50 years” (The Arab awakening, Safety Harbour, 59, 2001). The process goes on. As a report from the Baker Institute for Public Policy stated, “…the United States has routinely supported policies that have increased instability when it advanced the country’s other perceived interests in the region” (http://​bakerinstitute.​org/​media/​files/​files/​0b23aade/​CME-Pub-StrategyMiddleEa​st-061915.​pdf). Improved governance is often sought against powerful internal and external counterforces.
The principal point argued in this chapter is that ‘terrorism’ cannot be divorced from the above fundamental issues. There have been recent indications that the USA, as the leading power on earth, has come to the conclusion that wars are too costly as a means to pursue its national interests. The agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons, the settlement of the long running dispute with Cuba, and efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian situation have given hope for more constructive efforts to tackle MENA’s numerous problems. This presents an ideal opportunity for governmental and nongovernmental organisations to explore innovatory ideas for the welfare of the region.
Working within the above line of thought, the chapter ends by suggesting that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and possibly other areas in Africa, might benefit from a UN-operated scheme similar to the Marshal Plan that was funded and managed by the USA to help in the reconstruction of Europe following WWII. In extreme cases, this might even present a possibility for UN direct management of certain countries for limited periods of time.
Certainly, more military action by whatever authority is the least beneficial action that could be taken as past decades have amply demonstrated. Equally, reliance on present leaders to effect change is a forlorn hope. A change would not be in their interest. ‘Revolutions and popular uprisings’, similarly, would be quickly usurped as was seen in the Arab Spring.
Samir Rihani

Chapter 4. Reasons for Terrorism in the Middle East

The Middle East and terrorism are often used together in terrorism literature and have become synonymous with each other. Muslims worldwide confront multidimensional crises including economic, political, educational, cultural, and social problems. Experts are right to claim that most of the radical terrorist groups stem from this region and terrorism is not the only consequence of these factors. Therefore, in this study, we will approach the root causes of terrorism with a historic example of the first terrorist movement in this region, Kharijites, because it is necessary to understand the religious and ideological factors of radical groups who have misinterpreted the religion and spread this twisted ideology. History is being repeated by Neo Kharijism in the 21st century, represented by ISIS, originating with the Kharijites in the seventh century. The chronic problems of this region such as authoritarian regimes, education, unemployment and poverty are easily manipulated by such radical terrorist organizations. To end radical influence on youth, we recommend that a real approach of religion towards violence and radicalization should be promoted by mainstream Muslims and human rights and democratic values should be nurtured in educational curricula.
Serkan Tasgin, Taner Cam

Chapter 5. Impact of Islamophobia and Human Rights: The Radicalization of Muslim Communities

This chapter explorers the specifics of Islamophobia in Europe, mainly in several EU countries (United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Denmark), using results of case studies in the UK. Special focus is on at-risk youth groups and measures to prevent and counter-radicalization of the groups. Also, the chapter examines the current situation of Muslim communities in terms of the international human rights law, because it is evident that violations of human rights, including discrimination, racism, and xenophobia against Muslims destabilize situation both in Europe and Middle East. In the Europe of today there is a hazardous intertwining of two vulnerable factors: on the one hand, increasing political role of far-right parties and racial discrimination; from the other hand, the Muslim communities in Europe also face the process of radicalization and rise of intolerance.
Vadim R. Atnashev

Chapter 6. How Do Terrorist Organizations Use Information Technologies? Understanding Cyberterrorism

Globalization with advanced information technologies has changed the life of the people in the world. When something occurs in one part of the world, other part of the world can be informed easily within seconds. Current information technologies such as the internet, social media, blogs, and news channels have enabled people to create virtual groups all over the world and to disseminate information easily.
Most of the states, governments, public, and private institutions have been using the advantage of the information technologies to serve their citizens and customers. Concurrently, criminals are also using the advantage of information technologies while committing crime. In other words, everything including crime and criminals has changed their structures to be compatible with the advanced information technologies.
Recently, lots of terrorist organizations have erupted especially in the Middle East and their networks are spreading out with the use of technology. Most of the terrorist organizations have been using the technology for military training of their militants, preparation, and recruitment processes. Especially the internet is almost a virtual training slot for terrorist groups. Recent studies (Weimann, Stud Confl Terrori 29(7): 623–639, 2006; Rothenberger, Rom J Commun Public Relat 14(3):7–23, 2012) have revealed that the internet is served as the library for the terrorist groups to provide instruction manuals and videos on technical and tactical areas such as making a bomb, taking hostages, and guerilla combat. As it has an appropriate space for interaction activities, potential terrorists use the advantage of interaction face of the internet to learn how to make a bomb and send instant messages to the instructors teaching illegal issues.
Thus, security forces in the face of all these developments should take the necessary precautions to fight against the terrorist organizations by standing one step ahead on the use of technology. Standing one step ahead can only be achieved by understanding the phenomena and ceaselessly updating the knowledge. Otherwise, security forces will fail if they maintain the use of old technique and tactic to fight against the terrorist groups in this technology epoch.
Based on this point of view, this study focuses on understanding the use of technology to fight terrorism. Furthermore, the study investigates some of the terrorist organizations’ use of technology to commit crime. The study attempts to shed light on the fact that different technologies have been used against humanity by terrorist groups although most of the people are not aware of that reality.
Fatih Tombul, Hüseyin Akdoğan

Chapter 7. Root Causes of Conflict and Terrorism in the Middle East

Without political, socio-economic, territorial or ethnic and sectarian conflict and problems, it is hard to find even one nation-state. Conflict and terrorism has always existed throughout the world. But, no place is nowadays more appropriate for the emergence of terrorist activities than the Middle East. The current global wave of terrorist violence, in many ways, was fuelled by conflicts and events in the Middle East, particularly the enduring Arab-Israeli conflict and issue of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Addressing the motives and factors that give rise to terrorism and sustain it is often more effective than trying to combat its symptoms and effects. This chapter examines the root causes of conflicts and terrorism in the Middle East.
Sadık Kirazlı

Chapter 8. Conflict Resolution and Peace in the Middle East: Prospects and Challenges

The unresolved international conflicts over the years clearly indicate that current policies and practices in world politics failed in bringing peace to every part of the world. The failure of peace efforts in the Middle East was a major disappointment for the entire world, but its impact was mostly felt by the Palestinian and the Israeli people. This study depicts the prevailing process shaped mainly on the problematic relations between Israel and Palestine. After analyzing the dead ends in the peace negotiations, the challenges and prospects are presented by reviewing the literature and multiculturalism theory. The study proposes that reconstruction of the conditions that makes cooperation possible and effective between conflicted parties is necessary to evaluate the distortions that impede the dialogue and cause terrorism.
Ali Can

Chapter 9. The Changing Nature of Global Arm Conflict

After the demise of the Soviet Union, the world entered into a new era. In this new era where the United States has remained the only superpower in the globe, the unipolar trend was only challenged by emerging new threats such as global terrorism. The transition period was not a peaceful one since the newly established states in Eastern Europe and some failed states in Africa and the Middle East have seriously challenged security of the developed countries both in Europe and the Americas. On the other hand, some states in Africa and elsewhere had long lacked the colonial backing as a result of the decolonization process starting in the 1960s. After the end of the Cold War, some of these states were further left without support from either bloc. In this situation, many states have failed because of lacking political, economic, and authoritative capacity to meet their people’s needs, triggering intra-state wars rather than previous interstate wars. The most important threat for both domestic and international stability came from asymmetric warfare including terrorism. Among them, the 9/11 attacks marked a new period in which transnational terrorism changed the nature of armed conflict greatly, thanks to facilitating factors of globalization. In addition, advanced technology made conventional wars obsolete, triggering a revolution in military affairs.
Ozcan Ozkan

Case Studies


Chapter 10. The Interplay Between Policy and Politics in Combatting Terrorism: The Case of Lebanon (2011–2015)

This chapter is an exploratory study on the interplay between politics and policy in combatting terrorism in Lebanon. It aims at investigating the contributing factors to the absence of counterterrorism policies by analyzing the relation between the peculiar Lebanese politics and policy formulation in the country. Based on the three most widely used definitions of terrorism, this chapter starts by offering an operational definition of terrorism followed by a brief history of terrorism within Lebanon through the lens of what we conceive to be the two main factors or drivers behind terrorism in the country. This contextual description provides the background to enter into the discussion of the field of counterterrorism and what policies, if any, Lebanon is undertaking to counter these ever-persisting threats arising both from within its borders and just beyond. After briefly identifying the political, social, and economic factors that perpetuates terrorism in Lebanon, this research will answer the following two key questions: what role does the Lebanese government and civil society play in combatting terrorist acts? And what are the main obstacles (political and administrative) that hinder developing comprehensive counterterrorism policies in the country? This is the first academic study that has investigated the interplay between politics and policy as it relates to domestic and transnational terrorism from a governance perspective. The analysis undertaken in this chapter lays the foundation for much needed future studies on the country’s and the region’s counterterrorism policies by identifying some of participants, mapping out the process and providing policy recommendations for a more effective and efficient policies.
Hiba Khodr

Chapter 11. State-Sponsored Terrorism and Its Effects on Lebanese Policy and Politics

How does state-sponsored terrorism affect Lebanese policy and politics? How does it affect the stability of fragile state? Does terrorism cause such weak or fragile government to fail prematurely and/or does it enhance the probability that such government will stay in office longer than it otherwise would? According to this chapter using a duration model on a sample of 53 Lebanese governments between 1943 and 2015, state-sponsored terrorism exacerbates the likelihood of government failure for some governments but not others. The main principal finding is that right-oriented governments are able to keep their hold on power more than left-wing governments when confronted with state-sponsored terrorism. However, both types of governments will most likely collapse when faced with the pressure of state-sponsored terrorism and consequently, they fail to deliver adequate services to their citizens which leads to their erosion of public support and eventually collapse.
Khodr M. Zaarour

Chapter 12. Iran and Its Policy Against Terrorism

The appearance of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, al-Nusra Front is the culmination of terrorism. Iran, particularly after the Islamic Revolution, has been subjected to brutal terrorist attacks. Based on the facts and figures, only due to the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) attacks, more than 16,000 people have been killed ( Additionally, the formation and activities of terrorist groups in recent years, especially in marginal areas and cross-borders has been caused many losses of life and property to people and government of Iran. This chapter addresses the history of terrorism in Iran, followed by an investigation of terrorist threats against Iran while examining the concept of terrorism in Iranian laws and regulations. Then, the chapter concludes with measures needed to be taken by Iran’s national security to counter-terrorism.
Hamid Reza Qasemi

Chapter 13. Policy Initiatives That Steer Terrorism: A Case Study of L. Paul Bremer’s De-Ba’athification of the Iraqi Army

A key objective of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was to bring democracy to Iraq by severing all links with Saddam Hussein’s toppled regime. As we’ve now discovered however, this “de-Ba’athization” policy was terribly shortsighted and led to horrific sectarian fighting in Iraq, attacks on U.S. troops when they were occupying the country, and eventually the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc on the region today. We will delve into the complicated political, ethnic, and religious dynamics that exist in Iraq to examine why, rather than leading to peace, the dismantling of the Ba’ath infrastructure instead unleashed instability on the Iraqi people soon followed by utter chaos and incalculable suffering for the population of Iraq (and even outside its borders) that continues to this day. We all know the famous Santayana quote that those who fail to learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. The question is do we have the political will and wherewithal to put that wise advice to practical use in our current and future foreign policy.
Ali G. Awadi

Chapter 14. Assessment of Policy and Institutional Approaches to International Terrorism in Uganda

Introduction Uganda is one of the countries that have suffered the consequences of international terrorism and remains among those targeted for more terrorist attacks. Different approaches have been used to contain international terrorism and domestic collaborators in Uganda. Particularly lethal terrorist groups for whom policy and administrative responses were formulated in the case o Uganda inlude al-Shabaab, the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Using an intensive desk review methodology the study established first, that almost all terrorist groups operating in Uganda and East Africa in general seem to draw material support, training and profound inspiration from the Middle East terrorist organizations. Indeed, the local terrorist groups have adopted the same terrorist strategies such as use of female and child suicide bombers against civilian targets, use of suicide vests, and making of declarations of alllegiance to Middle East based terrorist outfits. Second, the major policy and institutional approaches employed include those which accentuate continuous efforts to design and execute antiterrorist legal instruments, establishment of specialist security, administrative, and legal agencies. Third, results suggest that reforming existing administrative structures, procedural responses to terrorism, and coordination of government agencies’ security roles with those of other countries through Interpol constituted yet another strategic response against terrorism. Fourth, the policy and institutional approaches which have been used in Uganda appear to have been boosted by recent successful operations against terrorist networks in East Africa, including Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. Overall, results suggest that the security and legal responses, their levels of success, and the challenges encountered will continue to provide the basis for appropriate terrorism policy responses which must be coordinated at national, regional, and global levels.
John Mary Kanyamurwa

Chapter 15. Turkey’s Struggle with the Kurdish Question: Roots, Evolution, and Changing National, Regional, and International Contexts

The Kurdish question in Turkey is a deep-rooted issue that dates back to the Ottoman times. The most current and bloodiest Kurdish insurgency group, the PKK, caused not only a high volume of violence, but also social and political instability in the recent political history of modern Turkey. To curb the PKK problem, Turkey employed a wide variety of countermeasures throughout the conflict. Embracing different paradigms as the conflict unfolded, Turkey’s countering policies emerged as “Iron-fist” oriented intense securitization and repression and led to the PKK’s military defeat in 1993. Turkey then embraced accommodating, “motive-focused” oriented policies to remove certain legitimate identity-related grievances after Ocalan’s capture in 1999 (Unal 2011). Meantime, the PKK also employed significant shifts in its strategy, i.e., from a top-down military approach to a bottom-up politico military campaign, to coerce Turkey into a political concession in a long lasted tit-for-tat struggle. This study argues that, despite the military defeat, the PKK has been able to maintain its threat level during the entire span of the conflict that has culminated in Turkey’s recognizing the stalemate and shifting to a conflict resolution paradigm in 2007. However, what led Turkey to commence a peace process toward a negotiated settlement has been, in addition to the perceived stalemate, the critical developments in the Middle Eastern Region—i.e., Arab Spring, Syrian Civil War, and, most importantly, the changing role of the PYD, a non-state Kurdish actor in Northern Syria, affiliated with the PKK, that would lead to power shifts among actors (both state and non-state) in the region.
Mustafa Coşar Ünal, Fatih Mehmet Harmanci

Chapter 16. Fighting Terrorism Through Community Policing

This study examines the role of community policing in counterterrorism based on data collected from interviews with police officers working in the southeast region of Turkey. This case shows that community policing programs provide effective ways of establishing trust between the police/state and citizens while overcoming bilateral prejudgments, increasing citizens’ willingness to seek assistance from the police, and preventing young people from engaging in crime, violence, and terrorist activities. The results of the analysis indicate the positive role of community policing in decreasing insurgency among citizens and offers community policing as an alternative approach in the fight against terrorism.
Ali Sevinc, Ahmet Guler

Chapter 17. Money-Laundering Activities of the PKK

There are numerous terrorist organizations that use sophisticated methods to move their illicit funds through financial systems both at home and across the globe. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê, PKK), an ethno-nationalist terrorist organization rooted in Turkey but operating in various countries including Turkey’s neighbors such as Iran, Syria, and Iraq, as well as in Europe has benefited from similar kinds of terrorism-financing activities for a long time. To finance its activities, it has engaged in terrorist-financing methods and laundered its illicitly gained funds by cash couriers or front companies through which it collects money under the name of donation or aid particularly in Europe, where its financial infrastructure heavily relies upon. The PKK has long been known to have engaged in various methods to find funding for its activities. While the main concern is not money itself for the group, financial activities have forced the PKK to find ways to maintain relationship with drug and weapons dealers as well as human traffickers from whom it takes commission charges. The financing activities of the PKK particularly in Europe make it necessary for the group to deal with financial management including setting up front organizations for money laundering. Using various kinds of NGOs and media organizations has allowed the PKK to engage in money-laundering activities. However, since the organization prefers not to use open financial institutions to move the funds, and its illegal money usually comes in the form of cash, it is becoming harder for law enforcement agencies to track money-laundering activities of the group.
Ozcan Ozkan

Chapter 18. Bullets for Ballots: Electoral Violence in Insurgencies

Political institutions are “weapons” in the struggle for political power. Since the elections can provide insurgent political power and access resource, the insurgent has good reasons to engage in electoral politics. And this chapter is an attempt to explore the rationales of the insurgent/terrorist organizations to engage in electoral politics and electoral violence. The first section explores the importance of elections for the insurgent. The second section analyzes election violence from several aspects and identifies actors and rationales of it. The third section deals with pre-election violence and establishes a theoretical framework by introducing four main reasons of pre-election violence and five factors that could replace the government. And the final section focuses on the post-election and its main reason, electoral results.
Nadir Gergin

Chapter 19. Is Democracy a Cure for Human Rights Violations? An Analysis of Macro Variables

Are democracy and a good economy a cure for human rights violations? Some studies (Int J Human Rights 8(4):399–411, 2004; Globalization and human rights: the effects of integration on state repression in developing countries, 1976–2000. The University of Arizona, 2005) answer this question positively and explain that democratic institutions can be developed in democratic states with good economic conditions. This, therefore, reduces human right violations. Some others (Int Stud Q 53(3):715–736, 2009; Am Polit Sci Rev 88(04):853–872, 1994) answer this question differently; these studies explain that countries under democratic governments develop complaint mechanisms for their citizens. Therefore, citizens can enjoy these mechanisms and make their voices heard.
This chapter analyzes the potential correlations between some macro variables, such as democracy level, economic status of countries, and human rights violations, in the framework of both the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, ratified respectively by the first and the second article of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). These two articles “enshrine one of the basic values of democratic societies making up the Council of Europe” (Application no. 21986/93. The analysis presents some interesting findings in the correlation between human rights violations and population, economic development, crimes, number of terrorist incidents, and democratic level of a country.
Hüseyin Akdoğan, Fatih Tombul

Chapter 20. Manufacturing Terrorism

Terrorism in the Middle East is becoming a puzzle. How is it possible for few ragtag thugs with little or no military and intelligence training confront the forces of several states in the Middle East in addition to two superpowers (the United States and Russia) and yet keep winning by gaining territory, funding, and manpower? This chapter examines the hidden elements behind the terror groups and the suspected elements behind them.
Alexander R. Dawoody


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