Bandits or Terrorists?

The Abu Sayyaf Group between Economic Interests and Religious Ideals

The Abu Sayyaf Group was designated as a terrorist organisation by the U.S. State Department at the end of the 1990s. The Philippine authorities followed suit in September 2015, more than 15 years later. The group made several references to its links to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Nonetheless, this article argues against its reckless tagging as an “Islamic terrorist organisation” by some, thereby calling for a more scrupulous approach in dealing with the complex conflict situation on the ground.

Between Vision and Reality

Perception of the ASEAN Economic Community in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia

On 22 November 2015, the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) decided to form an economic community. The integration process thus initiated might unleash further growth potential in the already dynamic region. However, whether a regional consciousness or even a common regional identity will develop in the process, remains to be seen.

Dirty Entanglements

Global Terrorism and Organised Crime

Terrorist financing is now heavily reliant on diverse forms of criminal activity and illicit trade. Funding can result from petty crime such as seen in the recent attacks in Western Europe to multi-million dollar financing resulting from the Islamic State’s (IS) oil smuggling. Only multi-faceted approaches can seek to curtail this funding.


Preserving that which is worth preserving does not mean cementing the status quo. Anyone seeking to preserve something valuable in the long term must improve it cautiously, yet continuously. This applies as equally to politics as it does to a publication such as International Reports (IR), which is presenting itself in a new form in this issue with its focus on the "Globalisation of Terrorism".

From Local Actor to Global Threat

The So-Called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria

With the onset of the crises in Syria and Iraq, the political environment in the Levant has continued to sustain a steep security decline since 2011. The dreaded prospect of spillovers into neighboring countries at the beginning has now become a reality. The self-styled Islamic State and other international militant Islamist groups operating as belligerents in the Syria and Iraq crisis constitute a grave long-term challenge for the international community.

From Protest Movement to Terrorism

Origins and Goals of Boko Haram

In Western media the violence of Boko Haram has received considerable attention. Yet, little is known about its ideology and its aims. This article intends to close this gap while addressing the question as to which strategy is appropriate for dealing with the African jihadists.

Jihad instead of Democracy?

Tunisia’s Marginalised Youth and Islamist Terrorism

Five years ago, Tunisians brought down their authoritarian regime, triggering a series of protests and transformation processes in the Arab World, which in turn had a great impact on Europe. Tunisia remains to be the only country in the region that has successfully transitioned from authoritarian rule to democracy. Notwithstanding, radicalization among young people is posing a threat to the country’s democratic transition, as many feel barred from the country's life. Thus, for many of those lacking prospects, “jihad” – whether abroad or at home – is rendered an ostensibly luring alternative.

On the Path from Failed State to OECD Member?

Colombia’s Way towards a Brighter Future

Colombia is currently in the world’s attention because of the peace agreement between the government and the FARC guerrilla. However, it is not only progress in addressing this decades-old conflict which makes prospects for the Andean country pretty bright at the moment.

The Return of the Terror Tourists

Foreign Terrorist Fighters as a Challenge for Germany and Europe

The Paris and Brussels terror attacks proved the reality of a threat that the security authorities warned of long ago: European citizens who travel to conflict regions, for example, to fight in Syria for the so-called Islamic State return to Europe as perpetrators of terror attacks here. This article examines the causes of the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), and evaluates the best strategy for Germany and Europe to address the challenge.

Jahresregister 2015

Sämtliche Artikel der Auslandsinformationen 2015 - geordnet nach Autoren, Ländern und Themenschwerpunkten.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

Ordering Information

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung publishes four issues of International Reports per year. For more information please contact:

Subscribe to magazine and newsletter for free

You can subscribe to the German and English versions free of charge, either via our German-language newsletter or as a print product. If you would like to be informed for free by e-mail about the publication of new issues and contributions, please use our registration form.


Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of the Department International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Dr. Sören Soika


Editor-in-Chief International Reports (Ai) +49 30 26996 3388

Louisa Heuss

Gerrit Wilcke

Gerrit Wilcke

Desk Officer for Communication and Marketing +49 30 26996-3933

Fabian Wagener

Fabian Wagener

Desk Officer for Multimedia +49 30-26996-3943