Syria has become a magnet for foreign fighters coming from Iraq, the rebel forces of the Libyan city of Misrata, from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon. International media and many experts have attributed this massive affluence of foreign fighters to al-Qaida’s call on Muslims to join the Syrian revolution and fight against al-Assad’s regime. However, not all foreign fighters seem to be al-Qaida driven: another transnational Islamic democracy-based ideology is “recruiting” its combatants to help in the Syrian struggle.
Ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks the security instability in the greater Middle East persists. Which are the main challenges ahead that the international actors will have to deal with?
Immediately after the attack in Oslo everyone began speculating of Islamic terrorism and started analyzing Norwegian foreign policy to find possible reasons for another al Qaeda-related attack. It turned out, however, that this brutal crime was the work of a Muslim-hating native Norwegian. Perhaps the time has come to reflect on the western understanding of terrorism, so closely related to Islam in the last decade.
The death of Osama bin Laden has been – particularly on a symbolic level – marked as an important milestone in the US fight against terrorism. Nevertheless, its positive effects on the ground in Afghanistan will most likely be rather mince in the crucial time when the Afghan National Security Forces are preparing to take over security in various cities, districts and provinces.