Reports & Analysis


Briefing Note

In Their Own Words: Why ISIS Hates the West

In the latest edition of its English-language magazine Dabiq, ISIS discusses its reasons for targeting the west, and its hatred of Christians.

01 Aug 2016

Briefing Note

Why Would ISIS Target Istanbul?

At least 42 people were killed in an attack on Istanbul's main international airport, with Turkish authorities blaming ISIS. 'Constantinople' has ideological, as well as operational, relevance to the group’s aims.

29 Jun 2016

Briefing Note

What is Behind the Orlando Shooting?

The murder of 49 people at an LGBT nightclub by a gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS reinforces the danger of the group's appeal to lone attackers.

14 Jun 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Magazine Targets Sunni 'Apostates'

The latest issue of ISIS' English-language magazine, Dabiq, pursues a starkly intra-Sunni sectarian agenda in contrast to the previous edition, which focused on Sunni-Shia sectarianism.

13 Apr 2016

Briefing Note

What is the Jihadi Threat to Belgium?

The seemingly coordinated attacks on an airport and metro station in Brussels have once again drawn attention to Belgium, which is no stranger to jihadi groups.

22 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

Côte d'Ivoire Attack Was A Matter of Time

The assault by al-Qaeda gunmen on a beach resort in the African nation follows an existing pattern of jihadi violence against soft foreign targets.

14 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

Tunisia Border Clashes Show ISIS' Destabilising Force

Fighting between security forces and suspected ISIS militants on the Tunisia-Libya border highlights the acute threat the group poses to the region.

07 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

Syria's Delicate Truce Underpinned By Mistrust

The two-week partial ceasefire in Syria is largely holding since it took effect on 27 February, but who will benefit if it lasts?

04 Mar 2016

Briefing Note

Syria's partial 'truce': A nod to pragmatism?

The Munich agreement on a 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria is a rare show of unity between world powers on the conflict, but the situation on the ground may prevent its implementation.

16 Feb 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Attack on Damascus Shia Shrine Opens Deep Wounds

The triple blast at the shrine of Sayyida Zaynab in the Syrian capital has a deeper significance within a history dating back much further than the five-year conflict.

01 Feb 2016

Briefing Note

What Does ISIS Stand to Gain in Libya?

Despite the overwhelming international focus on Iraq and Syria, Libya has emerged as a key battleground for the so-called caliphate.

01 Feb 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Exploits the Sunni-Shia Split

The latest issue of ISIS' English-language magazine Dabiq focuses on sectarian divisions, hot on the heels of Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shia cleric.

20 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

Malian Spillover in Burkina Faso

AQIM's deadly attack on a hotel and cafe in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso highlights the country's fragility to jihadi attack – and the vulnerability of its position as host to global partners fighting regional extremism.

19 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

Indonesian Attacks Follow ISIS Warning Signs

Eight people were killed in the Indonesian capital Jakarta following a series of targeted explosions. The attacks have been claimed by ISIS, and follow a number of prior warnings against the region.

18 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

ISIS Video: A Change of Tack?

A recently released ISIS video features a masked jihadi with a noticeable British accent directing threats at Britain. What does it reveal about the group after recent setbacks?

04 Jan 2016

Briefing Note

What Next After Myanmar's Elections?

Myanmar's general election took place on 8 November 2015, amid concerns over the status of ethnic and religious minorities.

Anthony Measures

26 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Dynamics of Paris Attacks Come into Focus

As the context of the Paris attacks become clearer, it is crucial that lessons are learned for European countries building resilience against extremist ideologies.

23 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Mali Hotel Attack: Who Are The Prime Suspects?

Tracing a situation of chronic insecurity that has been ongoing since 2012 and seen several hotels and public spaces being targeted, we take a look at the different actors operating in the country.

23 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

After the Terror, the Propaganda

ISIS' latest propaganda magazine, Dabiq, focuses on the tragic Paris attacks and Russian airliner bombing. But its content, like the group's ideology, goes beyond simply glorifying acts of terror.

18 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

What is Behind the Paris Attacks?

Friday's attacks in Paris, which killed at least 129 people, demonstrate the particular threat that France faces from jihadi groups in the Middle East.

16 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Textbooks of Terror: ISIS Releases its Curriculum

ISIS' efforts to show its state-like credentials has seen the group release a series of textbooks, the content of which gives an insight into how the group is using education to indoctrinate the next generation of jihadis.

13 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

What are the Challenges Facing Turkey's AKP?

The AKP's success in the second set of elections this year returns Turkey to a single-party government, but will the party's strong track record be enough to deal with the country's growing challenges?

02 Nov 2015

Briefing Note

Al-Risalah: A Letter from al-Qaeda to ISIS

The latest issue of 'Al-Risalah,' the magazine of al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, aims to present al-Qaeda as the true representatives of global Islam, featuring articles by Abu Qatada and Western foreign fighters.

28 Oct 2015

Briefing Note

What's Behind the Growing Violence in Jerusalem?

As tensions over access to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem become increasingly violent, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics contextualises a conflict imbued with growing religious significance.

13 Oct 2015

Briefing Note

Turkey's Dilemma in Syria

The bombing in Ankara on 10 October, which killed 102 people, shows the threat Turkey faces as it seeks to manage the perceived threats of the Kurds, Assad and ISIS on its southern border.

11 Oct 2015

Briefing Note

Al-Qaeda Leader Breaks His Silence

Two audio messages from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the elusive leader of al-Qaeda, have been released in the space of a week.

15 Sep 2015

Briefing Note

Unlikely Coalitions: ISIS' Portrayal of its Enemies

In the latest edition of ISIS' propaganda magazine, Dabiq, the group promotes an image of itself as an underdog against a global coalition, and condemns the flow of migrants rushing towards Europe.

11 Sep 2015

Briefing Note

Taliban Succession: Turmoil or Transition?

The release of a biography of the Taliban's new leader provides an insight into the challenges faced by the movement. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics explores what the propaganda tells us about a Taliban in transition.

02 Sep 2015

Briefing Note

Sri Lanka Elects: The Role of Ethnic and Religious Tensions

Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections are on 17 August 2015. Religion & Geopolitics looks at how the country's legacy of ethnic and religious conflict could influence voters' actions.

14 Aug 2015

Briefing Note

‘Price Tag’ Attacks and Jewish Extremism

The killing of a Palestinian infant in an arson attack and of an Israeli youth at a gay pride march highlight the threat of Jewish extremism to Israel's national security. Such attacks are not a new phenomenon.

06 Aug 2015

Briefing Note

Mullah Omar Central to Taliban’s Claim of Religious Authority

The death of Mullah Omar comes at a pivotal moment for the Taliban as it struggles to make progress with peace talks and faces up to the growing threat of ISIS in Afghanistan.

29 Jul 2015

Briefing Note

Propaganda Wars: 'State of Baghdadi' and 'Jolani Front'

Jihadi propaganda is increasingly focused on undermining the claims of rivals, whilst demonstrating its own legitimacy. This briefing note examines two recent publications demonstrating this trend.

15 Jul 2015

Briefing Note

Briefing Note: Jihadi Threat in Tunisia

June's ISIS-claimed attack in Sousse, following the Bardo Museum assault in March, shows the threat Tunisia faces from jihadism. This briefing note examines the context of radicalisation in the country.

01 Jul 2015

Briefing Note

ISIS and the Taliban: A Battle of Ideas

A major attack on the Afghan Parliament may have been an attempt by the Taliban to demonstrate its dominance of the Afghan jihad against a rising threat from ISIS.

22 Jun 2015

Briefing Note

Briefing Note: Plots, Conspiracies and Misinterpretations

The latest edition of ISIS' propaganda magazine, Dabiq, includes an unapologetic defence of its actions, including the sexual slavery of Yezidi women, and emphasises a 'duty' to migrate to the 'caliphate.'

22 May 2015

Briefing Note

ISIS' Second Message of Weakness

After a defensive audio message in November 2014, the latest recording purportedly from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi contains a renewed call for migration to the 'caliphate.' This briefing note analyses the message's ideology.

15 May 2015

Briefing Note

Global Response to Rise in Religious Violence

The debate over countering extremism is increasingly driven by those countries most affected by the violence. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at what this trend might mean for international policymaking.

29 Apr 2015

Briefing Note

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Role of the Caliph

Amid reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been wounded in an airstrike, an examination of the role he plays as 'caliph' of ISIS and the implications in the event of his replacement are useful.

23 Apr 2015

Briefing Note

The Rise of Jihad in Syria's Four Year War

Four years into the Syrian conflict, the religious and sectarian tones continue to rise. This briefing note looks at how the growth of jihad explains the motivations and justifications of its protagonists.

13 Mar 2015

Briefing Note

Paris Attack in Context

Following a horrific assault by jihadi gunmen on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo, this briefing note examines the wider Salafi-jihadi ideological current.

07 Jan 2015

Briefing Note

Parliamentary Elections in Bahrain

The November 2014 parliamentary elections in Bahrain took place against a background of continuing sectarian tensions in the country. This briefing note looks at the context of these elections and the controversy that they have raised.

27 Nov 2014

Briefing Note

The Temple Mount / al-Haram al-Sharif

High tensions continue to develop from controversy around the issue of access to the Temple Mount / al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. The Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at the significance of the site, and its symbolic importance to conflict in the region.

18 Nov 2014

Briefing Note

Jihadi Developments

In the first of a new series of Briefing Notes on the role of religion in conflict, the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics looks at recent developments in global jihadi movements, focusing particularly on tactical changes, increased factionalism and a notable generational shift in fighters.

29 Aug 2014

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