Bruce Hoffman - ISIS Is Here: Return of the Jihadi


Next month’s issue of the National Interest has as its cover story a piece by CSTPV Professor of Terrorism Studies Bruce Hoffman titled “Return of the Jihadi”.

“This is sort of the new normal,” FBI Director James Comey observed after the most recent Fourth of July. Comey was talking about the ten persons who were arrested in connection with a variety of plots linked to ISIS in the weeks leading up to that national holiday. But while the threat of homegrown violent extremism inspired by either ISIS or Al Qaeda is now accepted as fact, there is still surprisingly little consensus on the potentially far greater danger posed by radicalized foreign fighters trained by ISIS, returning to their native or adopted homelands in the West, ready to carry out terrorist actions—despite the attacks that occurred in Paris last November.

To read the full piece please visit the National Interest website.


CSTPV Events Semester Two, 2016

9 March 2016

Public Lecture:

Professor Bruce Hoffman (Georgetown University):
‘Winter Is Coming: ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Current Terrorist Threat’
5pm, School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle

14 April 2016

Public Lecture:

The Paul Wilkinson Memorial Lecture
Professor Martha Crenshaw (Stanford University):
‘ISIS, Its Adversaries, and Their Allies’
5pm, School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle

4 May 2016

Public Lecture:

Professor Anuradha Chenoy (JNU)
‘India’s Armed Conflicts: Three Narratives and their Complexities’
5pm, School I, St Salvator’s Quadrangle

All Welcome

New Publication: Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, edited by Richard English, just published by Oxford University Press.

Terrorism and counter-terrorism represent enduringly and globally important phenomena, and the mutually shaping relationship between non-state terrorism and state counter-terrorism continues to influence world politics. Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism brings together leading scholars in the field to analyse this relationship, and to do so in distinctive manner. The book sustainedly assesses the interaction of terrorism and counter-terrorism through drawing on a range of academic disciplines in dialogue with one another. It addresses the dynamics of counter-terrorism more interrogatively and concentratedly than is common in much of the scholarly literature, and it highlights a theme that is all too rarely considered in the field: namely, the shared and mutually-echoing failings and illusions involved in the politics of terrorism and counter-terrorism alike.



The Islamic State Wants the West to Over-React and Hasten Apocalypse

The Islamic State’s brutality has shifted targets – from expanding territorial control for a so-called caliphate in the Middle East to inspiring random attacks on soft targets in the West. The terrorist group emerged during Syria’s civil war, initially targeting Shia and other Muslims who resisted the primitive beliefs. By 2015, air attacks by the United States, Jordan and other nations combined with an offensive by Kurdish ground troops slowed the territorial expansion, pushing the jihadists from key cities like Kobani. Recruitment of foreigners fell, and many jihadists have tried to flee. The Islamic State yearns for a war between the West and Islam. Relying on social media, the extremists incite supporters to launch attacks anywhere in the world, as indicated by mass killings in Paris and San Bernardino, California. The Islamic State hopes to goad the United States and other countries to crack down on Muslims, prompting anger, fear and new waves of recruits for an apocalyptic battle anticipated by fundamentalists. Terrorism expert David Rapoport warns that over-reaction to terrorism, while common, could be disastrous. – YaleGlobal Read More...

Hoffman's 'Anonymous Soldiers' Earns Top Washington Institute Book Prize

The Handa CSTPV is delighted to report that CSTPV Professor of Terrorism Studies Dr Bruce Hoffman has won the prestigious Washington Institute Book Prize for his book ‘Anonymous Soldiers’.


The Washington Institute Book Prize is given annually to outstanding new books that have illuminated the Middle East for American readers. "The competition recognizes the pinnacle of new scholarship on the issues affecting the complex politics, history and society of the Middle East, encourages authors and publishers to produce outstanding works, and identifies 'must-reads' for people concerned about events and trends in the region, from the school house to the White House," said Institute Executive Director Dr. Robert Satloff, who is also the Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy.


Handa Studentships and Bursaries 2016

Applications are invited for the Dr Haruhisa Handa PhD Studentship and MLitt Bursary at the University of St Andrews for session 2016/17.

The deadline for applications is 25 April 2016.

Further details

Fear of terrorism must be kept in proportion - Richard English

Richard English in The Guardian, 2 December 2015.

The tragic events in Nairobi this week – where a simulated terror drill at a university was mistaken in panic for a genuine attack, with one person dying as a consequence and others being injured – reflect the many ways in which terrorism can affect societies. But are there patterns to our responses to the threat of non-state terrorism and, if so, might recognition of these patterns help us as we think of how best to react?

Read more…