From Al Qaeda to ISIS The Evolution of Terrorism

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NE Maryland Security Council

12 October 2016

From Al Qaeda to ISIS:

The Evolution of Terrorism

Dr Sebastian Gorka

Vice President & Professor of Strategy and Irregular Warfare

INSTITUTE of WORLD POLITICS

Chairman

THREAT KNOWLEDGE GROUP


Why ISIS-The Islamic State is

much worse than Al Qaeda

- It is a fully-fledged TRANSREGIONAL

insurgency not just a terrorist group like AQ

- It is the richest non-state threat group in

modern history

- It has recruited 36,000+ foreign fighters

in just months

- It has declared Caliphate after 90 years absence

How is ISIS / IS Doing this?


5


Why ISIS-The Islamic State is

much worse than Al Qaeda

- It is a fully-fledged TRANSREGIONAL

insurgency not just a terrorist group like AQ

- It is the richest non-state threat group in

modern history

- It has recruited 36,000+ foreign fighters

in just months

- It has declared Caliphate after 90 years absence

How is ISIS / IS Doing this?


American

jihadis

fighting in

Iraq and

Syria


Why ISIS-The Islamic State is

much worse than Al Qaeda

- It is a fully-fledged TRANSREGIONAL

insurgency not just a terrorist group like AQ

- It is the richest non-state threat group in

modern history

- It has recruited 36,000+ foreign fighters

in just months

- It has declared Caliphate after 90 years absence

How is ISIS / IS Doing this?


Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi:

A New Kind of Threat Commander


Al Shaam:

The Power of a Name


What Does Abu Bakr al

Baghdadi Really Want?


How Much Religion Matters

1


IS & Religious Genocide

1


THE ISIS THREAT TO U.S.

1


ISIS-Related Interdictions Per Month

19

11

11

3

1

0

1 1 1

0

7

4

1

4

2

7

3

5

2

0

3

7

6

3

0

1 1

3

6

3

2

1

Mar 2014

Apr 2014

May 2014

Jun 2014

Jul 2014

Aug 2014

Sep 2014

Oct 2014

Nov 2014

Dec 2014

Jan 2015

Feb 2015

Mar 2015

Apr 2015

May 2015

Jun 2015

Jul 2015

Aug 2015

Sep 2015

Oct 2015

Nov 2015

Dec 2015

Jan 2016

Feb 2016

Mar 2016

Apr 2016

May 2016

Jun 2016

Jul 2016

Aug 2016

Sep 2016

Oct 2016

2014 2015

2016


ISIS-Related Interdictions in US (2014-present)

Where the jihadist lived

MT

WY

ID

WA

OR

NV

UT

CA

AZ

ND

SD

NE

CO

NM

TX

OK

KS

AR

LA

MO

IA

MN

WI

IL

IN

KY

TN

MS

AL

GA

FL

SC

NC

VA

WV

OH

MI

NY

PA

MD

DE

NJ

CT

RI

MA

ME

VT

NH

1

0

1

4

5

5

9

4

4

9

1

8

8

3

5

4

2

1

1

4

1

5

2

2

1

1

1


KURZMAN: Muslim American Involvement in Violent

Extremism, 2015 (Duke)


ISIS Supporters in the U.S.

20.16%

Foreign

Fighter

Aspirants

42.02%

Domestic

Plotters

37.82%

Facilitators

Nearly 38% of arrests so far have been ISIS supporters who

believed they could best serve the cause by carrying out attacks

within the United States


Social Media: Broadcasting Support Online

Broadcast on

Social Media

42.02%

57.98%


How are ISIS Supporters Being Interdicted?

36

3

Detected because of social media posts about ISIS, their intentions to join ISIS or stage

an attack, or their contact with known ISIS affiliates on social media

27

21

17

15

Detected in connection with another case

Turned in by someone they know (friend, family, teacher, etc.)

Unknowingly contacted by or were in contact with an undercover FBI agent or

informant

Unknowingly contacted by or were in contact with an undercover FBI agent or

informant

Turned in by a stranger


What are domestic plotters targeting?

14

Military

9

Police and/or FBI

1

Bar

1

Workplace

1

1

Shopping Mall

New York City streets

3

Pamela Geller

1

Public Beach (Florida)

2

University Campus

1

Athletic Stadium (Miami)

1

Church

1

US Capitol

1

Synagogue

1

LA Subway System

1

Gay Nightclub

1

The Pope


What the Terrorists Believe

The World as Heretical, to be

cleansed forcibly by Holy

War.

Sayyed QUTB

Jihad as a Global Brand.

All believers must fight.

Abdullah AZZAM

War’s Objective is God’s

Sovereignty on Earth.

Terror is the best weapon in war

Brigadier S.K. Malik


The Threat is REAL

Between March 2014 and September 2016, 110 Americans

have been arrested or charged for some connection to ISIS

(including 6 unnamed minors), whether traveling to fight,

recruiting, fundraising or planning to travel.

That is a 300% increase of ISIS recruits over Al

Qaeda recruits over a comparable period

23


So What?

The Enemy is motivated by a religious

narrative

• We cannot defeat him unless we understand

how religion informs his operations and

defines his strategic objectives and TTPs

ISIS and the GJM tell their recruits what they

want them to do. Their Enemy Threat Doctrine

must be incorporated into our Intell. Cycle.

(Use Open Source!)

• Self-Censoring the above truths endangers

our citizens and operators and will prolong

the war.


GOING DEEPER


Email: seb.gorka@gmail.com

RELEVANT SITES:

www.TheGorkaBriefing.com

www.ThreatKnowledge.org

www.CouncilOnGlobalSecurity.org


BACK-UP


But Why is ISIS-IS So Popular?

1924 Caliphate Dissolved

1928 Creation of the Muslim Brotherhood

1948 Creation of Israel, loss of Palestine

1979 Soviet Invasion of AFG

Iranian Revolution and

the Siege of Mecca

(MAK, proto-AQ, created)

1989 Soviet Withdrawal from AFG

1990/1 Fall of USSR and Gulf War I

– Modern Jihad goes from Int. Unconventional

Warfare Organization to

Global Terrorist Ideology and Brand

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