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Geopolitics

Islamization Of Crime: How ISIS Recruits Seasoned Criminals

Even as ISIS loses ground in Syria and Iraq, its jihadists are bringing the war to Europe's capitals in minutely planned terror attacks. It is a scenario driven by a new kind of criminal profile.

The arrest in Brussels of Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam
The arrest in Brussels of Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam
Amateur video screenshot
Florian Flade and Alfred Hackensberger

BERLIN — A dangerous game of hide and seek between ISIS and European intelligence and security agencies has begun, and the latter have so far been foiled. More than 160 dead and over 700 wounded in ISIS terror attacks in Europe since Nov. 13. The jihadists have quite successfully brought scenes of war to the democratic cities of the Old Continent.

The terror attacks were not only planned long in advance but had also been announced to the world. European intelligence services hadn't been very concerned when ISIS started its lethal campaign in Syria and Iraq more than two years ago. Its agenda was confined to "regional … conquest of more territory," to "gain more area in which to exert their influence." Al-Qaeda, so intelligence officials surmised, was still a much more dangerous and better organized adversary than ISIS.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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