Welcome from the Editor

Dear Reader,

We are pleased to announce the release of Volume X, Issue 1 (February 2016) of Perspectives on Terrorism at www.terrorismanalysts.com.  Our free online journal is a joint publication of the Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI), headquartered in Vienna (Austria), and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS), headquartered at the Lowell Campus of the University of Massachusetts (United States).

Now entering its tenth year, Perspectives on Terrorism has, by the latest count, 6,117 regular subscribers and many more occasional readers and visitors worldwide. The Articles of its six annual issues are fully peer-reviewed by external referees while Research Notes and other content are subject to review by the Editorial Team.

This issue features four Articles. The first consists of an effort to profile Islamist militants in Bangladesh by Ali Riaz. He finds that many of them have a middle class and university background rather than coming from madrassahs. The second article by Joshua Wright explores why most religious terrorism is linked to Islam rather than to other religions. Then Christopher Wright looks at the threat emanating from foreign fighters returning to the United States, comparing them with homegrown jihadis who never went abroad. In the last article, James Adewunmi Falode  looks at the kind of hybrid war Boko Haram has fought over the last five years in Nigeria, making it as deadly as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The four articles are followed by an Interview Stefano Bonino had with Morten Storm, the Danish convert to Islam who gained the confidence of Al Qaeda but suddenly lost faith in his new religion after he searched online for ‘contradictions in the Koran’ and found hundreds of them. He immediately lost faith in Islam and soon thereafter began to work for Western intelligence services. The interview provides a fascinating account of radicalisation and de-radicalisation.

This issue of our journal continues with a Research Note by François Lopez that explores whether ‘old’ and ‘new’ terrorism treat the media that give them the ‘oxygen of publicity’ in different ways.

The Resources section introduces ‘Counting Lives Lost’–the monitoring of the Islamic State’s extrajudicial executions by Judith Tinnes. It also features from her hand another extensive bibliography, this time on the most researched terrorists in the world, those in Northern Ireland.

The Book Reviews section features a review by Brian Williams of Michael Morell’s surprisingly frank memoirs on how the CIA fought Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Our regular book reviews editor, Joshua Sinai, introduces twenty books on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Finally, the editor reminds PhD thesis writers and their supervisors that the deadline for submitting doctoral dissertations completed or defended last year for TRI’s Best Thesis Award 2015 is only one month away.

This issue of Perspectives on Terrorism was prepared in the European offices of the Terrorism Research Initiative by the editor-in-chief. The April issue (PT X 2) will be prepared by the co-editor, Prof. James Forest, at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.


Prof. em. Alex P. Schmid


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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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