Podcast: navigating the #ISIS challenge

Cover of the new book

A new book on ISIS has just been published by William McCants, who is currently a fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institute.

Called The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State”, the book uses a wide variety of sources, including numerous primary sources in Arabic to describe the meteoric rise of ISIS, which has only been around since 2014! His sources include “secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen”.

In a recent Podcast, Mr McCants talks about where ISIS came from, what developments inside Al Qaeda inadvertently helped to create organization, and how some of Assad’s own actions, such as emptying out Syria’s jails including numerous Jihadis at the beginning of the uprising in Syria helped Jihadi organizations. Apparently Assad did this in order to create a worst alternative to his regime, as a tool to convince the international community especially the West that he is the best alternative to all the others.

I will be putting Mr McCant’s book on my reading list. It sounds fascinating.

You can listen to the Podcast below. Other podcast guests include David Ignatius of The Washington Post and Ryan Evans who hosted the show.



Al Qaeda vs #ISIS

Abu Qatada is an important authority in Al Qaeda

What if I were to tell you that right now as we speak, Al Qaeda and ISIS are involved in an unprecedented power struggle.

What if I were then to tell you that ISIS is attracting so much money away from Al Qaeda that in the Waziristan region of Pakistan, Al Qaeda:

“was reduced at one point last year to selling its laptops and cars to buy food and pay rent.”

Would you believe me?

How did that happen? How can a relatively new organization such as ISIS beat an established organization such as Al Qaeda in the race to attract money and support from Jihad supporters around the world?

This article from The Guardian explains. Its 10 pages, so make a cup of coffee, print a copy and enjoy one of the most interesting articles on the contemporary world of Jihad.

How ISIS crippled Al Qaeda