tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 20, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
afghan jihad mainly in london then spread across the region. the network expanded through constant interplay with success st groups operating out of zones. i mentioned the g.i.a. and algeria in the 1990s. various al qaeda and affiliates throughout the 2000s and i.s. today. hubs in the network the way i interpret it or formed around what i refer to as critical masses of militant activists who have authority, experience, and contacts. this is where the hubs have been forming in the network. in principle, i argue that hubs may emerge anywhere and under different circumstances. and they have. not only in british suburbs like
moll mollenbeck in belgium, also in university circles, in capitals, as well as in small towns and even in a scandinavian welfare state like norway, my country, without any suburbs and very few problems related to immigration and integration. at least when you compare to a country such as france, for instance. in my work, i also distinguish between two interlinked generations of terrorists operating in europe. the first generation was dominated by the veterans of the g.i.a. and al qaeda's african training camps. this was the first generation. what i refer to as a new generation emerged many the mid 2000s. in the uk. in london.
the iraq war was a main mobilizing cost for them. the movement which branched out in europe under labels like islam for or sharia for, such as sharia for belgium, was a main platform for the new generation. most of the foreign fighters in the middle east today could be seen as part of this new generation and this sharia for, islam for, movement. so are the people behind the paris/brussels, attack, i argue. however, at the same time, first-generation veterans of the networks remain playing roles in them. in the shadows behind the scenes in a sense. and also interacting with a new generation. as an illustration of the
network dimension and the generations of european jihad, this picture here is very interesting. it has not been confirmed, but it likely portrays the coordinatore eor of the paris/brussels network, embraced by a man named fareed maluk. maluk was part of the very first jihadi attacks in europe, in paris, by the algerian g.i.a. in 1995. this picture here is most likely taken in syria in 2014. most likely. fareed maluk escaped prosecution of the attacks in '95 in paris and went underground in belgium. and soon from there, he was operating support cells for al qaeda for which he was arrested, transferred to france, prosecuted and jailed.
now this here is another interesting picture taken by french spies in the contal region in south-central france in 2010. at the left, you can see fareed maluk again. and he's together on his -- on his left side you can see one of the brothers who attacked the offices of "charlie hebdo" in january 2015. sharif couchi. beside couchi is another g.i.a. veteran who became a recruiter for al qaeda whose name is begal. begal supervised a terrorist network plotting attacks against u.s. targets in europe in 2001 for which he was arrested and jailed. on this picture here, he was out of jail again. the man right of begal, again,
is ahmed liduni linked to begal's network operating baghdad. i don't have time to go into what's going on here obviously, but it's surely one of the most interesting cases i -- or episodes -- that i write about in the book and i think it's the best example of how the generations of european jihad collude in a sense. to explain terrorist cell formation within europe's jihad network, i identify some reoccurring components. all plots involve complex motives. social grievance, personal crisis, as well as political grievance or western interference in muslim countries such as the nation of iraq. nearly all of the terrorists had ties to radical preachers at some point before engaging in terrorism. this is a pattern that's
reoccurring. the brothers spent time together and socialized in mosques, in prisons, on the sports arena or online. social interaction seems to me highly, highly significant factor in radicalization and cell formation, and it is also reflected in that it's very -- or the examples of people operating as lone wolves or independently. examples of that are few and far between in the material i have looked at. also in the vast majority of plots, at least one person had foreign fighter experience. and nearly always there was a link to the conflict zone or some conflict zone. this is the pattern. at the same time, we know that scores of european muslims struggle with grievance related to the middle east or life in europe, but a tiny minority of
them resort to terrorism. many seek out radical preachers without becoming terrorists. all people meet face to face or online without that having any radicalizing effect in itself, and it's also true that it's only a minority among foreign fighters who move onto international terrorism. so this is why i emphasize the interdynamic of cells to explain why plots happen when and where they do. which is the main theoretical contribution i try to make in this book. i just think when i studied biographies of terrorist plot erst, i found, also as peter bergen pointed out in his work on the american jihadist that for few generalizations hold.
young men dominate the picture but beyond that, exceptions from the stereotypes were too many to ignore. many weren't disaffected, jobless, losers. many weren't criminals. many weren't particularly young and there were also quite a few examples of women involved in relation to plots historically speaking. i decided to focus on roles and interpersonal dynamic whether that personal profile. i developed a model of a terrorist cell. it is based on my interpretation of what the plotters said and did and how others depicted them. i distinguished between the entrepreneur, his protege, and what i dub misfits and drifters. and the 7/07 cell on the slide
here matches this pattern almost perfectly as i see it. the entrepreneur is more resourceful than the others and he has been radicalized through political, religious process, through activism, through reading, discussion. in some cases almost intellectually. not only reading jihadi ideology, but also other types of literature. he's committed, with talent. he's is one of the main features of the entrepreneurs. he has a talent for manipulating others. the entrepreneur is the one that binds together the various components of terrorist plots. he builds the cell. he recruits and socialize the others and he functions as the link between the cell, transnational networks and conflict zones. the entrepreneur is the one that transnationalizes the phenomenon
and he brings structure and organization to the other types involved, this affected majority. the protege is very similar to the entrepreneur and he's usually functioning as a second in command or he also has certain skills that a cell needs for some purposes. for instance, technical education or the like. as for the misfit, he's drawn into a cell from a different life position. he is the outsider. he may suffer personal crisis, have experienced problematic childhood, come from a broken family. he may have dabbled in crime or he may have been into drug abuse. for the misfit, terrorism becomes a way out from despair and meaninglessness in a sense. there may also be an element of cleansing one's self from sin especially when you come from a traditional muslim background and you have done things that
does not conform with islam in a sense. so it becomes kind of a turnaround operation. the drifter has no specific characteristics beyond the social tie to insiders. it could be a brother. a brother-in-law. a friend. or a role model that draws the misfit -- or the drifter into the cell. so for the drifter, the social network and community kind of attracts them and puts pressure on them to confirm with the practices, activities, the ideology of the cell. i find that in the last two categories, the misfits and the drifters, the nonideological elements seem more significant. there's fascination with violence, there's youth rebellion, there's adventurisad culture aspects that draw them
and so forth. this, to me, gives three main pathways to the terrorist cell. its ideology, grievances, and community. also this kind of deconstruction of a cell helps to explain why seemingly unideological youths and acting according to the ideology of groups such as al qaeda and i.s. is also has bridged a gap between models that portray the phenomenon as leader led or leaderless. a dichotomy. here, leader led and leaderless aspects converge within the cell, so you have both leaderless and leader led assets but i find the leader led aspect is more important in shaping the actions of the cell. even though we only know the contours of the i.s. -- i.s.'
paris/brussels network for now, we recognize the pattern. most misfits and drifters, criminals as foot soldiers and entrepreneurs in coordinating roles both within the attack cell, itself, but also in the surrounding networks. the terrorist plots i examine illustrate an intricate interplay between foreign, social, ideological drivers, and -- radicalization usually starts at home but it's given direction and capable by actors abroad. attackers do not differ from control groups. their main difference is their tie to transnational jihadists and they have come under the influence of entrepreneurs. the key ingredient for a terrorist plot to occur.
so when i emphasize this, i say that no terrorist cell forms in the absence of the entrepreneur which may be an exaggeration, but it makes -- it makes the point clear. in such a perspective, european jihad is driven forward by a -- this makes the threat more external than internal and more organized than many assume. networks emerge and behave similarly in different countries under different circumstances over time. to me, this means that when explaining the occurrence of jihadi terrorism in europe, network dynamics and international conflict dynamics are more significant than local societal conditions. such as the level of integration and socioeconomics, for instance.
i question the truthfulness of talking about a homegrown threat. and i don't believe much in the lone wolf. in my view, immigration patterns and level of integration are poor indicators of who might become a terrorist. and i think i'll stop with that and leave the floor open for discussion. thank you. >> thank you. i'll ask a few questions and then we'll have the mike go around and get some of your questions. so before we dig into a few of the particular cases and historical examples you talk about, lately there's been this debate or reports that regarding the paris and brussels network that security services and the analytic community, perhaps,
really missed the boat and that there was an organized system of cells directed by foreign fighters who had gone to syria and come back directed quite specifically by isis. given your research on the history of terrorism in europe or jihadist terrorism in europe, do you think it's correct to say there was an analytic or security service failure in not identifying publicly, at least, earlier that this was organized and more top-down than might have been thought? >> i think the european security services have been well aware of these kind of -- the historical evolution of the networks because i've worked on the cases for many years and disrupted many networks and they
kept track of the people going to the conflict zone early, during the outbreak of the syrian war. i think the main issue here is that the scope of the phenomenon grew so large that the terrorists were experiencing capacity problems. i don't think that there's an analytical failure. i think that the services were well aware that the threat is not only won by independent actors but a threat that emanates from quite highly organized networks. yeah. >> and in today's environment, to what extent does the current threat being driven by the syrian crisis have other conflicts abroad? from the threat or still mobilizing people but we're just not paying attention in the news cycle to them because isis is --
>> i think -- the moderations can't be tied to one conflict only. like the networks, it has evolved, you know, over many years and many of the people i was trying to say in my presentation that traveled to syria when the conflict broke out there were already pre-radicalized during the 2000s. mainly of the iraq war. but, of course, there's no doubt that a main mobilizing cause for the european jihad networks today is what is going on in syria and the mobilization around the islamic state and against the coalition against them. >> so in our research at new america, one of our findings is that the u.s. contact seems to
actually be very different from what you've laid out, that we haven't really seen -- to anywhere near the same extent foreign fighters returning from previous conflicts to organize inside the u.s. it's mostly driven pretty close by, mediated online. what do you think explains difference between europe and the u.s., if there is one, in your owenon? is that geographic, culture, that's a network, just not extended its tentacles to the u.s. but would develop here if allowed? >> i think there's a huge difference regarding the strength of the networks. and the historical embeddedness of the network and when we're comparing europe and the u.s. there have also, of course, been hubs in historically and many
cases i know many important figures that have been sending time in the u.s. and have been acting as ideologues and propagandists and so forth. the level of it -- the scope of it all, it's on a different scale in europe in a sense. i think there are both similarities and differences between the european scene and the american scene. and, of course, geography, as you said, is very important because one of the main reasons that we now have or at least i've had up to 6,000 european foreign fighters in syria is that it has been easy to go to the conflict zone. >> so what's fall bapull back t of the historical cases before throwing it open. so why did algeria become sort
of the central beginning case? was it the particular connections between the conflicts? why didn't other -- was it just the intensity of the conflict that it was only big one at the moment? what makes that sort of after the afghan war the initial place where the network appears? >> the algerian war was symbolically the most important mobilizing cost for the jihadists at that time. and especially the community of militant ideologues and propagandists in london that were spending, you know, most of their resources on supporting the militants in algeria, particularly the g.i.a. and the g.i.a. was extending support networks in france and
belgium for gun running, for finances and propaganda and also recruitment. and that -- they did that from the very start of the conflict. but over time, as the leadership changed in among the algerian g.i.a., they became more and more set on punishing france and deterring france from interfering in algeria. and that's when the campaign was ordered in 1994. which ended with the first bomb attacks in paris. and what is fascinating when you look at it from a historical perspective, you see those people that were involved in those networks, they were arrested. they spent time in jail. they came out again and into the networks and started kind of recruiting others, working as
entrepreneurs and making the phenomenon sustained. >> so on your chart, the plotting appears to go from spiking as a result of the algerian war to a prolonged period when there's few, if any, plots in sort of late '90s then it begins to pick up again. can you explain a bit about the reasons for what, in retrospect, looks like a relatively peaceful time in terms of -- >> yeah. >> -- jihadist plotting in europe. >> i mean, that's very interesting because you can see that pattern. there is a spike and then there's a downturn in the activity level. and it says something also about the scope of this phenomenon because, you know, we're talking about a variation between, you know, three or four incidents up to mostly 16 incidents, right? it's not like a huge, enormous phenomenon and when the networks are disrupted after an attack
campaign, the attack activity level will go down for a bit. and then it will pick up again. when you have new mobilization because they find new causes to mobilize around basically. >> before we turn it over, can you talk a bit about the pakistan connection in the mid 2000s and what the role of the conflict in pakistan was, how that devolved the european/jihadist scene and whether that's now disappeared and shifted to isis or if you expect another upsurge as pakistan-linked plots in the near future? >> the pakistani dimension dominated the phenomenon throughout the 2000s when al qaeda and affiliates were
operating camps. it also -- there was a successful effort by the jihadists to mobilize among p k pakista pakistani, british-pakistani youth in a community in london. a movement that would later turn into sharia for, islam for, and the islam for movement. i think, of course, this is one of the events in the history of jihadist terrorism in europe that kind of shows that military means can have an effect against the networks because -- exactly because it affected the attack
activity and also the threat patterns and also the attacks by the militants because when al qaeda came under severe pressure, that was when we saw the shift toward more single-actor operations. although the people operating were not necessarily lone wolves or they were seldom lone wolves. they were usually part of networks but it was all part of a strategy of the group being under pressure. >> let's take some questions. let's start with the gentleman here. >> in your research -- oh, sorry. in your research, did you take a look at financial and logistic support and how is that organized and where does it come from? >> yeah, a colleague of mine at
the ffi wrote a report on the financing of jihadi terrorist cells in europe where she went through the most well-documented cases and looked at financing. and what she found in her study was basically that many of these cells are self-financed or at least that is what characterizes a majority of the plots. at the same time, we don't -- we work with open sources and i think some of the -- some of the aspects of financing is, perhaps, hard or difficult or perhaps impossible to kind of research sufficiently by the use of open sources. but in general, the terrorist plots in europe have been quite cheap, you know, they haven't -- it is not like very costly operations and usually the plotters have been using their
own means. maxed out credit cards, things like that. in some cases, there are examples of transfers via western union and other transferring means as well. but you didn't find many examples on, for instance, the use of the network which is quite surprising when you look at the literature on terrorism financing where that gets a lot of attention. there were some indications that the latest attackers in paris/brussels made use of networks but that's not confirmed and i don't know if that was the case. >> let's get -- >> herb rose. i understand that the first cartoon published concerning muhammad and the bomb and the turbi
turbine turban, in denmark in 2008. the response to that in the muslim world was a boycott of danish products and i understand that denmark actually sold more danish hams abroad that year than they had in the past. but there was no jihadist activity -- maybe there were small incidents -- until last year. what do you account for the lack of activity in denmark as a result of the publication of the original cartoon? >> yeah. the cartoons were published in 2005. and the first response by bin laden came i think in march 2006, the first video where he was actually urging all the followers to punish the
cartoonists and denmark for allowing the publication. as i document in my book, there are have been numerous plots ever since also between the publication in 2005 and the attacks on "charlie hebdo" as i think you were referring to. there are many plots but they have not been executed. they have been disrupted at an earlier stage in the planning process. when you look at the information about these plots you will see that the cartoons have been a main driver and that that was basically what would cost, you know, as i try to explain, the plot in scandinavia to increase to a level higher than france in this period, 2005 to 2013. >> do you have a sense of why the cartoons seem to be the
single instance where domestic issue really spiked the number of plots rather than a conflict abroad? >> i mean, we would think it has to do with al qaeda's position at that point. you know, they were under pressure and -- or increasingly under pressure. and punishment for people who have insulted the prophet muhammad, you can find theological justification for that quite easily within -- within the religious sources. and al qaeda was using attacks by a medieval syrian ideologue, using it in the propaganda and in statements that prescribe the death penalty for people who insulted the prophet muhammad.
and i think for al qaeda at that point, it was a very useful tool to recruit beyond the usual kind of recruitment potential. they could recruit more broadly because they had a cause that they could find a better justification within islam. >> hi. thank you. in looking at the chart that you showed earlier of plots over the years, it seems to be that there's an unmistakable upward trajectory particularly since the start of the syrian conflict and we've seen comments from many european political officials and security services remarking about sort of an unprecedented threat level. in wyour view, is there anythin that european political leaders or security services could be doing that, perhaps, they're not doing or, you know, should be doing to try to mitigate the
current threat environment? >> thank you for the question. i think what needs to be done is more of what has been done in the past because the threat europe is facing now is essentially much of the same. only wider in scope. there's not -- there haven't been any shifts or at least very clear shift in targeting, in the tactics used. al qaeda and i.s. are pursuing basically the same ideology and they have basically the same strategic goal. so there's not so much new. i mean, the main problem now is that the number of foreign fighters in syria has reached an
unprecedented level and that makes for a huge capacity for a potent militant terrorist group with territorial control in syria and iraq. so i think, yeah, more -- of course, more has to be done to cooperate across the borders. intelligence cooperation. and the efforts to continue to prevent misfits and drifters from coming under the influence of the networks and entrepreneurs needs to continue, but more intensively. >> how important is military action against islamic state and syria? do you think their territorial holdings shrink or their training camp capacity were to
be significantly reduced that the plot numbers would decrease in europe or has the increase we've seen in recent years been locked in by a greater development of the network, that if it's not syria, will return to yemen or pakistan or even domestically trained now? >> i think -- it's a question about long-term effects and short-term effects and i think the al qaeda and pakistan case show that military efforts against the networks and the camps will -- will make them operate differently or less successful in executing successful attacks. at the same time, the phenomenon is generally transnational and i think that if i.s. is facing much more pressure in the -- in syria and iraq today, i think
their focus and activities will change to other conflict zones, absolutely. >> sir? >> thank you. is there any mention in your book about one of the leaders of ansar islam in 2003, after 2003 in iraq. now he's now spending some time in prison in norway. and what do you think of, like, some people criticize the laws in norway that they're being too lenient against terrorism, especially international terrorists. thank you. >> i do mention him in my book because he was one of the inspirational figures for a community of extremists that emerged with the outbreak of the war in syria. and it resulted in kind of a
version of the islam for movement in norway. and it also resulted in the recruitment of some 80 to 90 in the region foreign fighters. he was an inspirational figure for them although he has spent much time in jail lately. i don't think -- i think among the scandinavian countries, i think norway is the country that has prosecuted most of the returned foreign fighters at this point. there have been some changes in law making, making it ease your for prosecuting potential terrorists. >> up front. or actually let's do in the back. >> hi.
thank you. one of the questions that this raises with your -- sort of the question of entrepreneurs and these sort of drifter types, and i'm sure you've thought about it or certainly been asked about it, is what would people don't most effectively, or what could people do, states or non-state ngo types do in order to prevent, say, the drifters and those petty criminals and so on from coming into contact or falling under the sway of these more entrepreneurial figures? do you think that the onus lies on getting the entrepreneurial figures and somehow getting them, i don't know, by one means or another away from them or do you think that -- because one of the things you hear often in the cve circles is, you know, look, i mean, building football pitches is not the key. you know, like soccer pitches or whatever. bullet then listening to, i thought, well maybe it is,
right? these drifters and so on. maybe they need a little bit more football in their lives. you know what i mean? what's your thought on that, how you could prevent some these folks from falling into that orbit? thank you. >> thank you. that's a great question and difficult question. i think one of the -- the value added of looking at the interplay or also makes it all the more difficult because you can't do one thing. you need to follow up with -- you need to introduce measures both to prevent the misfits and drifters from getting in contact with this organized circles. at the same time, contain the entrepreneurs, right? and how do you do that? it's highly difficult because many of the activities, the entrepreneurs are involved in aren't possible to prosecute,
right? they don't break any laws. so that's a major challenge. so there needs to be a combination. i don't really know. >> let's get some -- there. >> okay. thank you. you showed examples of spikes in terrorist activity and there are times that are lower, so i'm interested in policies that reduce tension and reverse cycles of violence and i think it's easier to know what increases it than what decreases it, but certainly, like, humiliation and asymmetrical power dynamics, but could you suggest policy recommendations -- policies we can do that can reverse cycles of violence and motivation, i guess, mostly among, directed
toward the entrepreneurs, or anybody? >> yeah. again, my research doesn't kind of -- i don't work specifically on countermeasures and on measuring the effect of policies that could, you know, reduce or increase the -- [ inaudible ] >> what policies would reduce the threat. i mean, of course, we see that interference in muslim countries. will increase the threat activity. that's just how it is and that's not unexpected because that's what the militant groups have said they -- that's the way they will respond to that. so that's obviously a factor.
we need to think about when and how to interfere in conflict in muslim countries. i -- i'm thinking a lot about, you know, the de facto structural factors about the role of the socioeconomics, the role of integration, because these are factors that are not unimportant, of course, because it -- it affects the pool of potential recruits for the networks. but at the same time, i think if you somehow pushed a magic button and dramatically increased the socioeconomic level and integration of european muslims, the terrorist threat would remain because we are talking about quite limited
militant organized networks operating out of conflict zones. cooperating wie ining with, of extremists inside europe as well. but it's -- in my work, i put more emphasis on agency and structure is secondary, right? i don't see what kind of large-scale structural policy change we could do that will kind of have an immediate or good effect on the terrorist threat. >> good. here. >> hi, everybody. my name is muhammad, one voice movement. my question is two parts. so the first one is when you talk about the history of terrorism in europe and we look back, let's say, since the beginning of '80s until probably
2010 or 2011, there were very, very few number of terrorist attacks in europe. i can't think of more than one in france during the '80s, one during the 90s, so on, as long as i know. those terrorist attacks have been around the world but lastly we see an increase. so what history exactly this terrorism has in europe and why did the terrorists use, or target those countries in specific which is france and the uk? why many european countries when they -- because they actually traveled sometimes from syria, through greece, then italy, then to go to france and so on. so why those two countries in specific, in addition to the u.s.? so that's the first part. the second part, is there anything in your research about
european terrorism that also the other way around which started even before -- since the crisis started in syria, there were hundreds of europeans who came to syria and even before some of them to iraq. but is there anything also done to stop them from traveling from europe to the middle east or just the policies to stop those who go from middle east or return to europe? thank you. >> yeah. i mean, of course, terrorism in europe is a huge topic and it's been a long history with separatists, terrorism by the ira and eta in spain and other groups as well. but my work focuses only on, you know, the plots and attacks that can be attributed to actors i define as jihadi. so it's -- and it's a specific
time period from 1994 when the first attacks that could be defined as such happened and until today. so -- so -- and i also, in my work, i have focused on attacks within europe and i've not looked at the activities of the foreign fighters abroad. there are other studies looking more and what the foreign fighters are doing in the conflict zone. as for the policies to try and prevent the foreign fighter flows from happening, i think they are improving by the hour now. more -- it's becoming e ining m more difficult for foreign fighters to two from europe to the middle east and the number of foreign fighters have dropped dramatically over the -- in the
recent times. but at the start of the conflict, it was very easy to get to the conflict zone. and it was nearly encouraged, you know, by -- not by the authorities as such, but at least it was not discouraged to the extent we see now. and also because of the atrocities of the syrian regime. there was a lot of sympathy, of course, for people who wanted to go to syria to fight assad. which also affected kind of the number of people going. and we know from research on foreign fighting and the relationship between foreign fighting and international terrorism that these are somewhat different phenomenon. and that a minority among people who go to conflict zones will continue to international
terrorism. so it's -- it seems to be a higher threshold for going into international terrorism than to go to a conflict zone. and that we know, also, of course, from ideological kind of perspective as well. there's a lot of justification from going to fight on behalf of muslim sisters and brothers in -- against a ruler, dictatorial ruler in a muslim country. whereas i have looked at also ideological aspects of launching terrorist attacks in europe and it's -- there are some thresholds, ideological thresholds also for doing that which also contributes to the international terrorism phenomenon being smaller in a sense than fighting in conflict zones. >> was there any conflicts that
involved jihadists abroad that you were surprised to see didn't produce plotting or didn't really produce any plotting in europe? >> in particular -- >> i may be wrong here, but it looked like al shabaab in the somalia conflict didn't really produce much plotting in europe. >> no, that's true. there haven't been many incidents linked to al shabaab in europe. there have been some -- some examples of people going from europe joining shabaab and becoming involved in attacks in the region and there have been at least one of the plots against one of the cartoonists of the muhammad -- he also had ties to shabaab.
i was more intrigued by the absence of plots linked to the conflict in the balkans, boss f went there and very few with foreign fighter experience from bosnia have been involved in plots in europe. >> is that because it was before the breaking of the covenant of security that you talk about? >> it might be, yeah. i think that is -- >> can you explain that for those who might not know. >> the covenant of security is an ideological concept that has been preached among some of the militant networks in europe. especially the el mow haji movement around bali and said when a muslim lives in a muslim
country and receives protection, when it is not a -- one is not allowed to attack that particular country. but unless -- and there are three criteria. that country is engaging milt tearily against the muslim country, arrests muslims on a large scale or, third, insults the prophet muhammad and islam. and this was a ideological concept that seems to have had an affect on some of the followers of omar and others in london. but in january of 2005, he anulled this pact for his followers. and of course the causal effect, i don't know. but still it's effected some
other people involved with his network that began attack activity after that. >> any last questions? let's get this one here. >> well, thanks. i'm curious what you might foresee in terms of trends, and whether you sense any deeper trends in the idealogical formation of milt tant islam and jihadism. because while there is in some senses continuity from '94 to the present, there is also an increasing, if you will intensity and selectiveness in that ideology which makes it almost impossible to imagine
grievance free scenarios so is a particular nation intervening in the caliphate zones for exam bel pell -- example. but are they by other policy moves insulting islam that would call for retribution. so against the historical back drop of incidental conflicts that you describe, is there an accelerant here that has to do with, if you will, an increasingly fundamental and intolerant woe habism that is more normal than it had been. and so what do you see in the future in terms of patterns? should syria simmer down, for example? does this largely go away? >> i can answer. >> yes, thank you.
it is a very difficult question. i don't see -- i don't see the i.s. threat to europe, as i know it, kind of involves any -- any particular new idealogical trends. the ideology of i.s. and almost is quite similar and they have the similar -- within different groups, of the idealogical landscapes there are similar defends like the purist and the more muslim brotherhood political islamish people like osama bin laden and other political oriented leaders within al qaeda.
and within the i.s., it seems more extreme and more purist. i don't see at this point any political current within that landscape at all. i mean, that also may have to do with what kind of level or what kind of stage of evolution the i.s. is in the at the moment. but for the threat to europe, i don't see kind of -- they are quite similar. i think the ideology is equally useful or -- it can justify attacks in europe the same way, yeah. >> one final question here.
>> why are you so dismissive of lone wolves at the end of your remarks? >> yeah, thank you. um, it's because the lone wolf creates a sense of this kind of volatile and unpredictable threat, that you basically see terrorists crawling out of the woodwork. and i think it doesn't rhyme with how i interpret the threat that i have studied. it's more organized. and even those who operate quite independently are under influence, strong influence. and they usually have interacted with people.
so i just prefer to call them solo terrorists because that was a -- a name adopted i think by the danish police intelligence service to denote people who operate alone but on behalf of organized networks. that has to do with our understanding how the strategy behind it and the -- and also now i think much of the -- the debate on terrorism in europe is conflating a different phenomenon that are interlinked but still different. there is extremism, there is foreign fighting, there is terrorism. and it's interlinked but it is not -- it's not identical. and i think it is one of the most important thing i want to do in my work is to kind of distinguish between these phenomenon so that we don't
conflate the role and try to use the same counter-policy because i don't think what works against terrorism necessarily will work against foreign fighting or extremism more broadly. >> do you have any concluding remarks? >> i think -- no. >> well, thanks to dr. necessarier for talking to us. his book is on sale outside. and i'm sure he'd be happy to answer any questions you might not have gotten in or sign books after this. >> would you like to say thank you all for coming and listening to me. thank you very much. [ applause ] [ hearing concluded ]
now a hearing on the telephone consumer protection act of 1991. specifically members looked at the rules for solicitation and information dissemination and debt collection and other forms of telemarketing. the senate commerce committee hosted the event. from earlier this week. it runs an hour and 40 minutes.