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Analysis & Commentary - Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's Latest Articles

2nd April 2018 – War on the Rocks

The Emigrant Sisters Return: The Growing Role of the Islamic State’s Women

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In his latest op-ed for War on the Rocks, FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross details the roles of women throughout the timeline of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – highlighting how their role within the organization, specifically in military operations, seemed to increase as the caliphate weakened and eventually collapsed. This, Gartenstein-Ross illustrates, is a stark contrast to the roles previously held by women throughout the life of the caliphate – and this role may continue to grow. more...

20th March 2018 – Texas National Security Review

Policy Roundtable: What Is the Future of the Jihadist Movement?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In summer 2010, the National Intelligence Council organized a small, one-day conference with Europe-based academics to get their read on possible futures for the jihadist movement. I was one of the approximately twenty participants. Osama Bin Laden was still alive, but the core al-Qaeda organization was beginning to come under rising pressure in Pakistan as a result of increasingly intense drone strikes. more...

26th February 2018 – War on the Rocks

Spike in African Terrorism Highlights the Importance of Jihadist Innovation

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In War on the Rocks, FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross outlines how adaptability is crucial to the survival of jihadist groups in Africa. Although groups like Shabaab have increased their efforts independent of the Arab Spring, Gartenstein-Ross argues that “the chaos wrought by the revolutions provided jihadist groups with unprecedented opportunities in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Mali, and they capitalized.” more...

26th February 2018 – FDD Press

Evolving Terror: The Development of Jihadist Operations Targeting Western Interests in Africa

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

After the Arab Spring, North African countries experienced growing instability, and jihadist groups capitalized on both social unrest and local conflicts. As these groups strengthened, jihadists expanded their operations into the Sahel, and were able to propagate their transnational ideology to new audiences. more...

12th October 2017 – Interviewed by The Cipher Brief

Tens of Thousands of Syrian Rebels Poised to Regroup

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Al Qaeda’s role in the Syrian civil war drastically increased after the al Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) managed to take control of Syria’s northwestern Idlib province and position itself as the strongest rebel force battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. more...

9th September 2017 – Fortune

Terrorists Are Using Drones Now. And That’s Not the Worst of It.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Sixteen years after the 9/11 attacks and the onset of the “war on terror,” the jihadist movement has grown stronger in almost every measurable way. more...

28th August 2017 – War on the Rocks

Save the Terrorism Prevention Toolkit

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The images from Charlottesville captured the nation’s attention. Cameras showed Nazi salutes, swastikas, and militant antifa counter-protesters. As pepper spray and ramming vehicles supplanted debate, those events highlighted ideological strains different from the jihadist movement that dominates discussion of violent extremism in America. It may be surprising, then, that the U.S. government’s efforts to counter violent extremism of all ideological varieties has been the subject of growing controversy. more...

23rd May 2017 – The Atlantic

The Manchester Attack Shows How Terrorists Learn

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Yesterday’s terrorist attack that struck at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Britain’s Manchester Arena—leaving 22 people dead and 59 injured, by the latest count—feels perhaps even more callous and personal than other such recent atrocities. As The New York Times noted, the target was “a concert spilling over with girls in their teens or younger, with their lives ahead of them, out for a fun night.” more...

14th April 2017 – The Cipher Brief

AQIS Fits Into al Qaeda’s Global Strategy

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In the region, AQIS is a highly significant group. This is an assessment that’s shared by top officials within the U.S., such as General John Nicholson, Commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, who talked about this recently in an interview with CTC Sentinel. more...

27th March 2017 – Foreign Affairs

Lone Wolves No More

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The tactics used by British terrorist Khalid Masood in his horrifying attack on Wednesday outside London’s Parliament were typical of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS: an attacker plowing a vehicle through a crowd of pedestrians before slashing at police officers with a knife. more...

4th March 2017 – Foreign Affaris

The Coming Islamic Culture War

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Western observers are often blind to social currents within the Muslim world. During the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011, outside analysts confidently predicted that the uprisings would marginalize the jihadist movement in favor of more moderate and democratic reformers. In fact, the opposite happened—an unprecedented jihadist mobilization that has inspired legions of fighters from around the world and fragmented or threatened more than half a dozen countries. more...

20th February 2017 – FDD Press

Islamic State 2021

Islamic State 2021

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State (referred to in this report as ISIL) has seen its prospects in North and West Africa grow increasingly dim since early 2015. ISIL has experienced significant losses in North Africa in the past year, especially in Libya, which was once ISIL’s most valuable territory outside of Syria and Iraq, and was home to the group’s unofficial African capital. more...

6th February 2017 – Centre on Religion and Geopolitics

US Policy in Afghanistan: What to Expect from Trump

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Can Trump scale back involvement in Afghanistan while keeping his inauguration pledge to 'eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth?' Three analysts have their say. more...

15th January 2017 – Lawfare

Terrorists, Insurgents, Something Else? Clarifying and Classifying the “Generational Challenge”

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Trump administration’s appointments have signaled that it will continue to prioritize the fight against jihadist violent non-state actors (VNSAs)—a broad term that we find far more useful than an exclusive focus on terrorist groups, but a term in desperate need of clarification. In this article we provide a taxonomy of VNSAs that can be used to produce more rigorous discussion of them. more...

4th January 2017 – War on the Rocks

ISIL’s Virtual Planners: A Critical Terrorist Innovation

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

On December 19, Anis Amri plowed a hijacked truck through the Christmas market in one of Berlin’s main public squares, killing 12 people. The following day, the Amaq News Agency of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. more...

12th December 2016 – USIP Press

The Jihadi Threat

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross co-authored a report covering ISIS and al-Qaeda, exploring their movements, possible strategies, the future scenarios, and policy considerations. more...

11th December 2016 – Politico

Trump Wants to Shake Up the World Order? Here’s Where He Should Start

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Jonathan Schanzer

The specifics have often fluctuated, but the core of Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision has remained steady. He believes, as the Brookings Institution’s Thomas Wright has noted, “that America gets a raw deal from the liberal international order it helped to create and has led since World War II.” more...

8th December 2016 – The Cipher Brief

Al Qaeda Assessment Off the Mark

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Throughout his two terms in office, President Barack Obama faced an array of challenges from both al Qaeda and ISIS. In an interview with The Cipher Brief, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense, explained that the Obama Administration’s evaluation of al Qaeda was “not correct.” more...

10th November 2016 – War on the Rocks

How Will Jihadist Strategy Evolve as the Islamic State Declines?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Jihadist strategy has always been dynamic and opportunistic. Militant groups, which are typically outgunned and outspent by their state opponents, have long sought to exploit both adversaries’ errors and also changes in the operating environment. more...

28th October 2016 – The Cipher Brief

Iraq’s Grim Prospects Post ISIL

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In the coming months, and possibly weeks, the Iraqi Security Forces, with the help of a diverse group of fighters spanning the Iraqi political spectrum, will raise the Iraqi flag atop the Ninevah Provincial Government Center in Mosul. more...