Dr. Pieter Van Ostaeyen. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your book « Staat van terror, De jihadistische revolutie » you mention among others the Arab Spring and the genesis of the conflict in Syria with the emergence of different terrorist groups. In your opinion, why those who took advantage of the chaos that prevailed after the Arab Spring are the terrorist groups?
Dr. Pieter Van Ostaeyen: In countries that came out of the Arab revolutions in utter chaos (Libya, Syria) jihadi groups profited from the complete lack of control by a central government and used the anarchy and chaos to build up a support network. In Syria one cannot deny the fact that long-time, well-known, jihadists were released from al-Assad’s prisons. Remember that Assad always said he was fighting terrorists, not rebels. These jihadi’s soon took the lead over the rebellion with the current situation as a result. Lire la suite »
Dr. Tewfik Hamel. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your reading of the trial of strength which is currently confronting Saudi Arabia and its allies with Qatar? Some sources even mention the risk of war in the region. What do you think?
Dr. Tewfik Hamel: Many points overlap and deserve to be highlighted, notably the period of change in the Arab world which will not be short, but a constant struggle between the forces that are trying to define the future of the region. Internal conflicts are partly associated with these changes. Then there is the intellectual confusion surrounding the nature of this hostility. Added to this, are the rise of Iran and a sense of insecurity of Saudis that can not be appeased. Finally, the role of the United States:
Tewfik Hamel: We don’t fight against mosquitoes with a Kalashnikov, but in « cleaning the swamp » that support them
Tewfik Hamel. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: According to you, Daesh is it not operating a tactical retreat in particular in Syria and in Iraq, especially when we see cities as Falloujah falling so easily, what the western media present as a defeat of Daesh?
Tewfik Hamel: It’s still early to speak about the defeat of Daesh. In Syria, in Iraq as in Libya, neither the worst nor the best is inevitable. The situation is very complex. These countries are experiencing what is called in military jargon « war amongst the populations » where traditional concepts of the decisive victory may have less meaning. In this type of conflict, non-state armed groups of all kinds, draw their strength and freedom of action mainly of their capacity to manipulate, intimidate and mobilize populations, and they do this by using a variety of methods ranging from constraint to persuasion. Lire la suite »
Pr. Simon Petermann. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Were the Brussels terrorist attacks of this March 22nd predictable?
Professor Simon Petermann: Unfortunately, I think that these attacks were predictable. So far, Belgium is regarded by jihadists as a fallback basis with its huge Muslim population, mostly of North African origin (in Molenbeek a lot of Muslims are from the Rif region in Morocco), grouped or ghettoized in some areas of large cities (Brussels, Antwerp, etc.). A minority of youngsters, mostly born in Belgium, frustrated and resentful against our society for many reasons, are receptive to radical ideas. Lire la suite »