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Militant Islamism and Jihadism after the End of the ‘Caliphate’

International conference on the future of the Islamic State and AL Qaeda

In 2017, the Islamic State was defeated militarily and lost its major strongholds in Syria and Iraq. The group and its extreme ideology, however, continue to destabilize great parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In fact, the Islamic State is currently undergoing a process of transformation – from a quasi-state actor and service provider to a terrorist group that operates from the underground and in provinces around the world. The same is true for Al Qaeda: While the Islamic State dominated the world’s attention, Al Qaeda has quietly regrouped and expanded its transnational network. more…

Nils Wörmer, Hannes Pichler | Event Reports | March 20, 2018

Establishment of an Iraqi National Center Against Hate Speech

KAS and Masarat hold interreligious and interethnic founding workshop

On March 15 and 16, the KAS Syria/Iraq office and Masarat for Cultural and Media Development (MCMD) held a two-day workshop in Beirut to establish and launch an Iraqi National Center Against Hate Speech. It brought together dedicated Iraqi journalists, religious clerics of different faiths and sects, civil society activists, bloggers, academics and social media activists, who signed a joint declaration to launch the Center for Countering Hate Speech in Iraq on March 16 in Beirut. more…

Nils Wörmer, Maha Haddad | Event Reports | March 16, 2018

Tribalism and Jihadist Movements

KAS and IFI hold a workshop on relations of tribes to jihadist groups

Tribes are of crucial importance in the societies of the Middle East. They are a socio-political unit that is powerful in exerting control over communities, land and resources. It is for that reason that authorities have, for centuries, been keen on gaining the loyalties of tribes and integrating them into their own power structures. This remains true for states in the Middle East, but also for non-state actors such as jihadist groups. On March 12th 2018, KAS and the Issam Fares Institute held a closed-door workshop in Beirut to analyze the relationship between tribes and jihadist groups. more…

Nils Wörmer, Hannes Pichler | Event Reports | March 13, 2018

Challenges to the Socioeconomic Development and Stability in Iraq

Workshop on political economy and soecioeconomic development in Iraq

In recent years, Iraq has faced severe challenges on its path to political and economic consolidation. Most prominently, the Islamic State has devastated large parts of the country and drawn Iraq into a war that has resulted in millions of refugees, displaced persons and destroyed economies. On March 7th and 8th, 2018 the KAS Syria/Iraq office, the Atlantic Council and Al-Nahrain Center held a workshop in Baghdad to discuss the political economy and socioeconomic development in Iraq. more…

Event Reports | March 8, 2018

Decision-makers from Baghdad visit Berlin

Iraqi delegation discusses the future of German engagement in Iraq

In December 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi officially declared the military defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq. Nevertheless, the organization continues to threaten the stability of the country with terror attacks. The mandate of the German army training mission in Erbil will expire in late April 2018. From 27 February to 2 March, an Iraqi delegation visited Berlin on invitation of KAS and discussed the future of the German support for the country. Moreover, the talks focused on the looming conflict between Baghdad and Erbil and the upcoming general elections in Iraq. more…

Nils Wörmer, Lucas Lamberty | Event Reports | March 8, 2018