Paris and the Threat of the Islamic State: Background and Context
The gruesome acts of violence perpetrated against innocent civilians in Paris last Friday night have fixed the world’s attention on the Islamic State. With an estimated 129 killed and nearly three times as many injured, the international community has responded with grief, outrage, and shows of solidarity with the people of France. France, Europe, and the wider Western world are now faced with harrowing questions: How did this happen? And could we be next?
In an attempt to address these question as well as the origins and rise of the Islamic State, the Homeland Security Digital Library has compiled a number of resources, including but not limited to the following:
- Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s recent statement on Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel
In his remarks on September 30, 2015, Secretary Johnson outlined the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to prevent foreign fighters from traveling to the U.S.
- CFR Backgrounders: The Islamic State
The Council on Foreign Relations explains the origins, expansion, and threat of the Islamic State.
- Understanding the Threat: What Data Tell Us about U.S. Foreign Fighters
This report from START (the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) offers detailed analysis of American citizens that have attempted to or joined the ranks of ISIS.
- Understanding Why People Flock to the Islamic State
This article from the Foreign Policy Research Institute applies social theory to the phenomenon of foreign fighters in order to illuminate why so many are drawn to the Islamic State.
- The Identity-Extremism Nexus: Countering Islamist Extremism in the West
This Occasional Paper from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism analyzes the radicalization process and provides recommendations on how to counter it.
- Contextualizing Islam in Europe and North America: Challenges and Opportunities
A publication of the Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic Word, this paper compares the experiences of minority and immigrant Muslim populations in Europe and the U.S. In the words of its authors, “The purpose here was not to ‘reform Islam,’ but to think of how the reform […] of Muslims’ understanding and practice of Islam may play a role in answering some of the challenges that they face in the modern world.”
Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/paris-and-the-threat-of-the-islamic-state-br-background-and-context