Stephen Tankel

Stephen Tankel
American University Washington D.C. | AU · School of International Service

6.59
Research
Research items (11)
Article
Why did the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra (JN)—two groups that shared similar ideological preferences and were both initially part of the Al Qaeda network—take different paths in the Syrian conflict? Part of the answer lies in the fact that JN is primarily a Syrian organization, whereas Iraqis lead ISIS. A jihadist gr...
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States commonly take one of three approaches to militant groups on their soil: collaboration; benign neglect; or belligerence. All three approaches are present in Pakistan, where some groups also move back and forth among these categories. I employ the term “coopetition” to capture this fluidity. The dynamic nature of militancy in Pakistan makes th...
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Despite the growth of new programs and authorities to build partnership capacity in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and many other countries facing similar threats, the success of these efforts is often limited by structural and strategic deficiencies. This report identifies specific challenges policymakers must overcome and makes 10 recommendations for...
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Pakistan has a long history of patronizing militant proxies, and in recent years it has become a victim as well as a supporter of terrorism. The evolution of the jihadist insurgency in Pakistan's Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pashtun militants leading it, efforts to counter the insurgency, and th...
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India has been confronting jihadist violence for decades. Although expeditionary terrorism by Pakistani militants typically receives the most focus, indigenous actors, many benefitting from Pakistani support, are responsible for the majority of jihadist attacks in India. Yet the dynamics of Indian jihadism remain under-explored. This article examin...
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The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center's global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of...
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The most successful ‘terrorist spectacular’ against Western targets outside of Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan in the recent past was Lashkar-e-Taiba’s sixty-hour operation in Mumbai during the final days of November 2008. Those sixty hours brought Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT or Lashkar) to the attention of the world, but the group has played a role in thre...