Small Wars Journal

CTC Sentinel - March 2019 - Volume 12, Issue 3, Now Online

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 12:45pm

CTC Sentinel - March 2019 - Volume 12, Issue 3, Now Online


From the Editor


In our cover article, Matthew Levitt examines Hezbollah’s procurement channels, documenting how the group has been leveraging an international network of companies and brokers, including Hezbollah operatives and criminal facilitators, to procure weapons, dual-use items, and other equipment for the group and sometimes Iran. Levitt details how in the context of the war in Syria, “some of Hezbollah’s most significant procurement agents—such as Muhammad Qasir—have teamed up with Iran’s Quds Force to develop integrated and efficient weapons procurement and logistics pipelines through Syria and into Lebanon that can be leveraged to greatly expand Hezbollah’s international weapons procurement capabilities.” Levitt reveals Qasir appeared in footage of meetings last month between Syria’s President Assad and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, underscoring the importance Damascus and Tehran attach to Qasir’s efforts.


Our interview is with Vayl S. Oxford, the director of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The Islamic State threat to Europe has grown less acute since the Islamic State lost much of its territory in Syria and Iraq, but a significant threat remains. Petter Nesser identifies three factors that explain why the most recent wave of terrorism in Europe rose so high: the participation of European countries in the anti-Islamic State coalition, the strong reach of jihadi-terror networks into Europe, and the efforts of “terrorist entrepreneurs.” He warns anger among European Islamist extremists caused by the military intervention against the Islamic State, networks created in the jihadi battlegrounds of Syria and Iraq, and veteran European foreign fighters intent on orchestrating terror back home could combine to inflict new waves of terrorism in Europe. Lachlan Wilson and Jason Pack outline how the Islamic State in Libya has rebounded since its loss of Sirte in 2016 by fighting a twin-track war of attrition involving attacks on state institutions along the coast and a guerrilla insurgency in Libya’s interior deserts. Geoff Porter outlines how counterterrorism efforts in Algeria and low support for jihadism among Algerians has significantly weakened the Algerian chapter of al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).


Lastly, we’re very pleased to announce that Don Rassler, the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Combating Terrorism Center, has joined the CTC Sentinel editorial board.


Paul Cruickshank, Editor in Chief




Hezbollah’s Procurement Channels: Leveraging Criminal Networks and Partnering with Iran by Matthew Levitt


A View from the CT Foxhole: Vayl S. Oxford, Director, Defense Threat Reduction Agency by Kristina Hummel


Military Interventions, Jihadi Networks, and Terrorist Entrepreneurs: How the Islamic State Terror Wave Rose So High in Europe  by Petter Nesser


The Islamic State’s Revitalization in Libya and its Post-2016 War of Attrition  by Lachlan Wilson and Jason Pack


AQIM Pleads for Relevance in Algeria by Geoff D. Porter