• The American Military Strategy to Combat the ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria: Assumptions, Tactics and Effectiveness

    The American strategy to combat the ‘Islamic State’ rests on four pillars. The first is to conduct systematic air campaigns against the terrorists. The second involves increasing support for forces fighting the jihadists on the ground. The third is based on the strengthening of international cooperation in counter–terrorism operations. The fourth involves the provision of humanitarian aid to civilians displaced from the territories occupied by the jihadists. This article analyzes the assumptions, tactics, the most important decisions and actions of the American administration to combat the ‘Islamic State’. It is an attempt to provide answers to the questions: why has there been a growth of extremism in the Middle East? Why is the ‘Islamic State’ a new form of terrorist threat? How does it differ from other terrorist organizations? How was the ‘Islamic State’ created? What actions have been taken by the international coalition led by the United States in the fight against the jihadists in the Middle East? Is the strategy taken up by the United States effective? Does the defeat of the ‘Islamic State’ require the involvement of US ground forces in Iraq and Syria?

  • The Need for New Research on Terrorism

    Terrorist attacks in various parts of the world evidence’s what a complex and dangerous problem we are facing, even though a great number of states and organizations have committed themselves to combating it, deploying a  variety of resources and mechanisms for this purpose. Ne vertheless, there is no fully efficient method or system to counter terrorism. It is no use hoping that it will emerge soon (or ever), either. Therefore, combating terrorism resembles the struggle of the ‘global community’ with a globally operating enemy.

  • The United Kingdom's Legal Response to Terrorism

    Terrorist violence has a long history in the United Kingdom and the Government has a long experience in adopting the legal measures to counter the danger. It was the Irish terrorist activity, which started in the XIX century and continued almost till the end of the XX century, that caused the developing of a well – regarded competency in counter – terrorism in the UK. Nevertheless, the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 and attacks in Great Britain on 7 and 21 of July 2005 compiled the UK Government to change its counter – terrorism policy. The UK had to provide legislation which could deal with the new terror provided by extreme radical Islamic networks waging a global jihad. The UK Government started to deal with this new international terrorism, by introducing the new anti – terrorist acts in 2001, 2005 and 2006. The Islamic terrorist treat started to reform the institutions for domestic counter – terrorism and create new international relations among the CT activities of national governments.

  • Book Review: Sebastian Wojciechowski, The Hybridity of Terrorism, Logos, Berlin 2013, pp. 216

    The issue of modern terrorism is a significant subject of academic research. For decades the representatives of many branches of science, ranging from psychology and sociology, through history, law and political science to criminology, in particular, have been trying to find basic answers to a number of fundamental questions concerning the nature, manifestations, evolution of terrorism, and combating it. A definite majority of studies that have been around are fragmentary, selective or descriptive, and they do not make a significant contribution to the state of knowledge. There are very few studies that discuss the matter in question in a comprehensive, in-depth and original manner. This cognitive gap has clearly been to some extent filled by the latest publication by Professor Sebastian Wojciechowski, entitled The Hybridity of Terrorism. While the title may seem somewhat general, it actually points to a crucial feature (or a set of features) of the phenomenon it analyzes. In the simplest terms, dealing with terrorism we come across a cluster of elements, and relations between them, that sometimes are independent from one another, sometimes coexist side by side, and most frequently complement each other, constituting terrorism and influencing its evolution.

  • Why is it so Difficult to Define Terrorism?

    The term ‘terrorism’ is among the most frequently used words. It accompanies us on an everyday basis. It is apparently understood in a similar manner throughout the world, but it is actually interpreted and defined in different ways. “All vogue words appear to share a similar fate: the more experiences they pretend to make transparent, the more they themselves become opaque”. Terrorism is no exception to that rule. This has become particularly apparent following the events of September 11, Bali, Madrid and London. Terrorism is characterized not only by its manifold nature and complexity but also by the problem with its definition.


      The article analyses the legitimacy of citizens telecommunications data retention usage in the fight against terrorism. Data retention, that is the preventive storage of information on the source, data, hour and duration of a connection, type of the connection, communication tool and location of a recipient, is a powerful source of knowledge about citizens and their use should be soundly justified. However, both the European Union and Polish practices show that behind this interference in privacy there is neither a guarantee that the data stored would be used exclusively to fight terrorism and severe crimes, nor a sufficient access control mechanism. The efficiency of data use in the fight against organized crimes, including terrorism, is also dubious.
      In her work the author analyses Polish studies concerning information disclosure issues, Internet publications of the European Union and American reports on retention programmes, as well as Polish and foreign positions of non-governmental organizations engaged in the civil rights protection in this respect.


    In order to describe the environment surrounding us, so complex in terms of relations resulting from using violence, we easily employ terms such as ‘partisan’ or ‘militant’, just in order to define the very same ones as terrorists a while later. Probably the benchmark of contemporary description, especially of political action is the lack of clear-cut attitudes. Terrorism is nothing new, and this statement in itself is not very revealing. However, for many contemporary researchers of this issue, there is never too much information. Terrorism has always accompanied the history of oppressive regimes as well as resistance movements and uprisings. All the same, within the anti- colonial insurrectionary movements of the mid-20th century which led to the fall of European colonial empires over a short period of time, terrorism achieved new quality. It should also be emphasized that it achieved considerable political successes compared to the social-revolutionary terrorism of the late 19th century. The attribute ‘terrorist’ serves as an excluding one in different relations. By employing such term, one that their cause is an unconventional one – leastways as long as specific ways of using violence are applied. On the other hand, groups classified as terrorist ones often describe themselves as partisans who are fighting for the liberation of certain social or ethnic groups and who have to employ “unconventional” methods of using force because of the military superiority of the oppressive regime. By describing certain actions as ‘terrorist’ one usually intends on bereaving it of every sort of political legitimation. Is there any aspect that terrorism and guerrilla actions have in common? In certain socio-revolutionary or ethno-separatist strategies of violence, the concept of terrorism consists in the idea of a ‘starter’ which is to create the conditions to commence the guerrilla war. There could also be groups acting as partisans on one front line, and as terrorists on the other. The example is Al-Qaeda: in Central Asia its network operated only temporarily, as a kind of guerrilla, while in the global scale it employed terrorist strategy.


    The prospect of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism poses a danger for contemporary societies. However, the incidents related to an application of weapons of mass destruction (that is, nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons) by non-state actors are relatively rare. The aim of the paper is to present recent incidents and to estimate the threat from particular types of WMD. The author focuses both on the question of motivation to undertake these operations and on the problem of technological capabilities. To sum up, the risk of a massive WMD terrorist attack should be perceived as quite moderate due to the technological barrier, but selective attacks carry a greater potential risk because of their higher probability and significant psychological effect.

  • Sekurytyzacja islamu w Azji Centralnej

    Securitization of Islam in Central Asia

    The aim of the article is to analyse mechanisms of constructing Islam in the discourse and practices of undemocratic Central Asian countries. This objective will be accomplished through the references to securitization theory located within the framework of the constructivist paradigm. The major argument of the paper is that the discursive transformation of various dimensions of Islam’s existence into a homogeneous threat to the security was an important securitizing move. Its relevance is related to the national and international level of legitimacy. The strength of the securitizing move results from the amount of resources of the authoritarian Central Asian elites as the dominant securitizing actors. In the first part, the text critically discusses the radicalization of Muslims in Central Asia thesis and the practices of the state structures towards Islam. In the next part it will present various manifestations and dimensions of the securitization of Islam in the discourse and practice of the incumbent elites in Central Asia countries.

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