The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 5 January 2017

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Each section focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events […]

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 15 December 2016

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Each section focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events […]

The Islamic State and Terrorist Attacks: License to Kill

As the Islamic State loses ground in Mesopotamia, in the west in Syria with the defeat in Palmyra (e.g. Adam Withnall The Independent, 27 March 2016), in the north with an increasingly large territory recaptured by the Kurds (e.g. Avi Asher-Schapiro, Vice News, 22 Dec 2015) and in the east in Iraq, first with the battle of Ramadi (“Battle of Ramadi (2015–16)“, Wikipedia) and now with the start of Iraqi “Operation Conquest” to free Mosul (Paul D. Shinkman, US News, 24 March 2016), it could be tempting to discard the Islamic State and its Khilafah as a bygone threat and a now inconsequential enemy  . If this string of victories against the Islamic State is definitely important and crucial in the war against the Khilafah, […]

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An Updated Guide to the Islamic State Psyops

 last update: selected 10 videos… updated dates for all the latest issue of magazines, Amaq in Bengali, al-Bayan in Bengali. The defeated attack by the Islamic State on Ben Guerdane in Tunisia on 7 March 2016 probably indicated a worrying shift in tactics and strategy, which must be considered (e.g. Vanessa Szakal, “Mainstream Media on Ben Guerdane: victory and foreboding in Tunisia“, Nawaa, 11 March 2016). This attack may be seen as having been heralded by a significant call made by the Islamic State to the Islamic Maghreb through five psyops videos published over two days (19-20 January 2016). In parallel, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb started  to copycat the Islamic State’s type of videos (Andrea Spada, “Al-Qaeda tries to imitate Daesh in new threatening […]

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The Islamic State Recruitment Psyops – From the Balkans to France

Since we published our sub-series on the Islamic State psyops products and foreign fighters (The Foreign Fighters’ Threat; Attracting Foreign Fighters (1), 23 March 2015, and Foreign Fighters’ Complexes (2) 30 March 2015), new psyops products related to this theme have been released. Below is an update considering the new products, with implications in terms of geographical expansion and deepening of message for selected targeted audience. The list of the videos is given at the bottom of the post. It is all the more important to consider these new products and impacts that some complacency of a sort appears to be developing in North America – and potentially Europe? – regarding the Islamic State: one could, somehow, accommodate a potentially winning Islamic State (e.g. Ronald Tiersky, “ISIS Could […]

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The Islamic State Psyops – Foreign Fighters’ Complexes (2)

After having seen the threats linked to the existence of foreign fighters within the Islamic State (The Foreign Fighters’ Threat), we focused on identifying the reasons why those foreign fighters would join the Islamic State, using the latter psyops products and locating them within the framework of existing findings (Attracting Foreign Fighters (1)). With that post, we presented the psyops “recruiting” products used for this study, then, taking stock of the research done on foreign fighters  by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation  and Political Violence (ICSR) and by the Sufan Group, we focused on two core elements that are meant to be present for all recruited foreign fighters: a quest for meaning and purpose and a need for belonging. Using the Islamic State […]

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The Islamic State Psyops – Attracting Foreign Fighters (1)

After having pointed out the main risks entailed by the existence of foreign fighters within the ranks of the Islamic State and by their rising numbers (see The Islamic State Psyops – The Foreign Fighters’ Threat), we shall now turn to the reasons that push individuals to join the Islamic State. Within the framework of existing findings resulting from current research, notably by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation  and Political Violence (ICSR) and by the Sufan Group, we shall analyse the Islamic State psyops products and underline the specific points utilised in the recruitment effort. Indeed, the increase in foreign fighters mobilization as underlined previously would tend to imply that the Islamic State is relatively successful in recruiting, thus that it knows well enough […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 195 – Tunisia Museum Attack, Global Jihadi Threat and Public Indifference?

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Read the 19 March scan →  World – The deadly attack on the Bardo museum in Tunisia, on 18 March, reminded the world that the Salafi-Jihadi threat is far from being overcome, despite some lassitude displayed by crowds and media over such attacks. One of the interesting signals to notice here, is the small number of crowdsourced articles referring to the attack. Only three articles found their way in The Weekly, when the casualties are far more important than those of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris or of the shooting in Denmark, to say nothing of the impacts to Tunisia’s economy and more broadly polity, and in terms of spread of Jihadi attacks, threat […]

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The Islamic State Psyops – The Foreign Fighters’ Threat

One of the many issues that needs to be addressed regarding the Islamic State is that it attracts foreign fighters, as abundantly reported in the media. This issue is also one of the focuses of the latest issue of the Islamic State psyops product, Dabiq 7 (12 Feb 2015), as it features in five articles: “Major operations in Libya and Sinai” (foreign fighters from Tunisia and Sudan), pp. 40-41; “Among the believers are men: Abu Qudamah al-Misri” (foreign fighters from the UK), pp. 46-49; “A brief interview with Umm Basir al-Muhajirah” (foreign fighter from France), pp. 50-51; “The good example of Abu Basir al-Afriqi” (foreign fighter from France), pp. 68-71; “Interview with Abu Umar al-Baljiki” (foreign fighters from Belgium), pp. 72-75. This […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 192 – Denying the Islamism of the Islamic State

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… We present below some of the most interesting or relevant features for each section. Read the 19 February scan →  World (all matters related to war, international and national security) – The focus this week stems from the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism currently held in Washington D.C. (see White House Fact sheet). First, in a very “Washingtonian” way, the summit leads to the publication of a host of reports and articles, as think tanks, newspapers, researchers, experts and pundits try to have their voices heard by policy-makers, some of them having been crowd-sourced here and worth checking and reading. Second, the summit forces the various actors to face an issue that […]

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