Briefings 1 to 20

Corruption and organized crime in Central America's countries
The Briefing examines the current political situations and ongoing organized crime operations on Central American's countries that have impacted security in the region and the Migration Crisis.
The evolution of the terrorist threat in DR Congo
The Islamic State has showed its presence in Central Africa, and particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the group has claimed a new province province in a territory already occupied by a dangerous group, such as the ADF. The presence of the group in this specific territory raises question of a possible collaboration between the 2 groups.
Hayʼat Taḥrīr al-Shām, (BBC, 2017) "Organization for the Liberation of the Levant" or "Levant Liberation Committee", commonly referred to as Tahrir al-Sham and abbreviated HTS (ITCT, 2018), is classified as a Salafist jihadist terrorist group involved in the Syrian conflict. HTS currently stands as the largest Salafist entity in the Idlib region, making it a direct threat for all external and internal actors involved in the strategic management of the Syrian conflict and especially - considering their geographic proximity - for the Turkish and Syrian Government. The following brief analyses the presence of the HTS and its relationship with other groups within the Syrian scenario. It further aims to portray the gradual development of the group within the Syrian conflict and the geographical expansion of its influence. In order to thoroughly examine the organisation, the present analysis will be broken down into 5 distinct yet interrelated sections. Additionally, specific cases via the ESISC database are examined as examples in order to portray a more solid visualisation of the group in the contemporary condition of the Syrian conflict. Finally, this report will argue why HTS should be perceived as one of the most important internal actors in the Syrian conflict.
Ethiopia: Recent turmoil in the Somali State region risks to jeopardize the security and political situation as ethnic tensions spread across the country
Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most-populous country, has suffered military rule, civil war, and cata-strophic famine over the past half century. Yet, in recent years it has emerged as a beacon of stability in the Horn of Africa enjoying one of the world’s fastest economic growth and an increasing strategic importance in the region. However, starting from 2015, a surge in political turmoil rooted in an in-creasingly repressive ruling party and in the disenfranchisement of various ethnic groups threatened the country’s progress.
Yemen: The battle for Al-Hudaydah as a turning point in the civil war
On June 13, 2018, pro-Hadi government forces with the backing of the Sau-di Arabia and the United Arab Emirates entered the city port of Al-Hudaydah in an effort to dislodge Houthi forces. Due to the risk of a human-itarian crisis, the United Nations has attempted to secure an agreement with the Houthis to place the port under UN control, but has been unsuccessful.
ESISC and WSIC: transatlantic cooperation for two think-tanks
ESISC, based for the past 16 years in Brussels, the European capital, is pleased to announce it reached an agreement with the Washington Strategic Intelligence Center (WSIC), a new American think-tank based in McLean (Virginia, USA).
Transmigration in Belgium: An issue crossing borders
The issue of transmigration is literally and figuratively crossing borders. In the recent years, due to do the dismantlement of the Jungle migrants camp in Calais (France) and a general increase of migrants traveling to Europe, the number of transmigrants has been steadily increasing in Belgium. As a consequence, the concerns regarding the security challenges of transmigration have been growing.
Germany: Evolution of national counter-terrorism measures to tackle Islamist terror threat
Since the beginning of 2018, a series of reports were issued by German security authorities demonstrating the evolution of national counter-terrorism policies since the Berlin truck attack in December 2016, which clearly marked a turning point in Germany's approach to the threat posed by Islamist terrorists. The first part of this briefing provides an overview of recently implemented counter-terrorism strategies and the second part outlines some challenges in relation to women and child returnees from areas (formerly) controlled by jihadists.
Quelques réflexions au sujet de la tragédie de Bir al-Abed
L’attentat commis contre une mosquée dans le petit village de Bir al-Abed (2500 habitants), non loin d’el-Arish, dans le Nord-Sinaï est effrayant à plus d’un titre. D’abord, bien entendu, il s’agit de la pire attaque terroriste de l’histoire égyptienne : samedi matin, le bilan, toujours provisoire, était de 305 morts (dont 27 enfants) et d’au moins 28 blessés. Il est un niveau auquel les chiffres se valent et il est vain de comparer ou de tenter d’établir un sinistre palmarès de l’horreur terroriste - un mort, bien entendu, c’est déjà un mort de trop – mais disons seulement, pour bien donner l’ampleur de cette tragédie que 305 morts, c’est, en une seule frappe, davantage de victimes que l’ensemble de celles tuées en Europe depuis le 7 janvier 2015 par le salafisme djihadiste.
Radicalization, polarization and xenophobia: the growing influence of the Nordic Resistance Movement in Sweden and Finland
Europe has seen a steady increase in far-right movements in recent years, gaining prominence in politics and becoming more vocal and violent in protests and tar-geted attacks. The same phenomenon can be observed in Finland and Swe-den, where a salient shift in both the ideology and conduct of Neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) indicates an increasing radicaliza-tion in the far-right movement. Observed in tandem with an increase in popularity, the development indicates a growing polarization in society.
Europe: Private solutions to secure public spaces evolve in response to increasing vehicular attacks
Since July 2016 vehicular attacks have fast become the deadliest and most widespread type of terrorist attacks in Western Europe, representing nearly 80 percent of fatal casualties in all terrorist incidents that happened at that period. Although this trend is far from new - Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch had encouraged its Western recruits to use trucks as weapons as early as 2010 - the phenomenon has proliferated since the Nice promenade truck attack on July 14, 2016, which killed 84 people and maimed 434 others, becoming an ‘inspirational exam-ple’ for the Islamic State propaganda and its followers
The diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf as a symptom of the shift in regional power dynamics
The diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf, initiated by the severance of diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, has rapidly escalated into the most serious rift among the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) since its creation in 1981. While marking the culmination of long-standing tensions between Qatar and its GCC neighbors over security and energy matters, the diplomatic crisis underscored the Iranian-Saudi rivalry in the region and highlighted the Iranian-Turkish role in the upcoming shift in power dynamics in the Gulf.
Germany and nuclear power: who lives by the sword, dies by the sword
In 2011, the German government imposed a tax on processing nuclear fuel amounting to 145 euros per gram to be paid by the nuclear producers. The decision has now been declared unconstitutional and forces the government to pay a 6.3 billion euro refund.
German working parents’ struggle for Kindergarten places
In the last few years, German working parents have had to fight to get their children a place in one of the childhood care institutions. The State’s efforts to cope with the problem have been undermined by massive immigration and have left the country’s citizens in utter dismay.
Social inequality is not an issue for German retirement system
The German pension system is only an average performer among OECD countries and has to go through further reforms. A good starting point might be erasing the privileges of the civil servants.
The re-emergence of Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis in Egypt illustrates the internal divisions of the IS Wilayat Sinai
On May 3, a senior leader of the jihadist group Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis (ABM) Abu Hashem al-Tarbani issued an audio statement in which he criticized the ongoing conflict between the IS-affiliated Wilayat Sinai and the Tarabin tribe in North Sinai governorate. This statement underscored the recent return of the ABM group to the Egyptian jihadist scene and further disproved the notion of Wilayat Sinai being the only jihadist actor in the region.
President Maduro isolates himself domestically and internationally amidst rising civil unrest
Since the beginning of April, Venezuela has been rocked by violent protests that have resulted in the death of at least 39 people and the arrests of over 1500 demonstrators and opposition activists. The brutality of the demonstrations and anti-riot police response has been condemned nationally and internationally, with experts and politicians calling into question the stability of the country’s democracy. Opposition activists are denouncing the executive and judiciary government branches’ overreach. While Venezuela’s unrest is not recent, a decision by the Supreme Court to adopt the National Assembly’s jurisdiction in giving President Maduro extended executive powers sparked a wave of dissent throughout the country which has not been subdued by the subsequent reversal the order.
Erdoğan’s months of long knives on the way to the Turkish constitutional referendum
In the last months the Turkish regime has carried out a strategy of silencing the “No” referendum campaigners axed on five targets (political opposition, Kurds, media, intellectuals and security agencies) to pave the way towards a strengthened authoritarian rule.
The clock is ticking for Turkish secularization and EU membership
Turkey is heading towards a controversial referendum on constitutional changes that will concentrate powers in the office of Presidency. If passed, the reform would lead to an authoritarian shift in the country that would sweep away the Kemalist Revolution and strain the relationships with the EU and NATO in a heartbeat.
Recent ship hijackings by Somali pirates illustrate a new increase of piracy threat in the Gulf of Aden
On March 13 and March 24, 2017, 2 ship hijackings took place in Somali waters. These incidents highlighted the re-emergence of the piracy threat in the Gulf of Aden after a period of relative stability in the area. While the presence of international and regional naval forces has defused the piracy threat to a large extent since its peak in 2011, the phenomenon is far from being mitigated and the new increase in the Somali pirates’ activity has been observed particularly for the last 2 years.
Briefings 20-40 »


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