August 5, 2011 Middle East Quarterly // Middle East Forum
It is too early to tell whether the revolutions sweeping across the Arab world will
prove the long awaited third wave of democratization or will merely substitute
Islamist totalitarianism for the existing secular, authoritarian regimes. It is clear, however,
that no regional regime is immune to their impact, not even the self-proclaimed
vanguard of permanent world revolutions, the Islamist regime in Tehran.
Perceptions in Iran of the nature of the Arab Spring vary. While describing it as an
Islamic awakening” inspired by Iran’s 1979 revolution, the clerics have not failed to
indicate their determination to suppress future dissent and to rebuff any foreign intervention.
By contrast, despite tracing the Arab revolts to Iran’s June 12, 2009 presidential
elections, the opposition has thus far refrained from publicly challenging the regime though
more radical forms of resistance may be brewing beneath the surface. Thus, the winds
of change have apparently radicalized both rival sides....
Bordering the largest oil-producing country in the world and controlling access to the Red Sea on the Bab al-Mandab strait, Yemen holds great geopolitical value. Its proximity to the Horn of Africa, the troubled hotspot, only increases Yemen’s worth as a transit and trafficking site.
The Houthis, a Zaydi sect of Shiism that ruled Yemen in a traditional imamate until the revolution of 1962, are entering into the sixth year of fighting against the central government in Sana’a. Some Houthis are now looking to exploit sectarianism and cast the ongoing conflict between themselves and Sana’a in a religious light. The Yemeni government claims that the Houthis seek to restore the imamate.
The ongoing instability in Yemen is worrisome for its neighbors in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Saudi Arabia. The Houthi rebellion is no longer a purely internal affair, but now infringes upon the security of other countries in the region. The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) support for the Yemeni government, and its statement that the security of Yemen, historically the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, is integral to the security of the larger region, shows that the GCC senses the danger of the situation and its potential repercussions. Without placing blame on any party, this article will examine how the struggle in Yemen among the national government in Sana’a, Houthi rebels, and Al-Qaeda is affected by the regional power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran....
Recent events in Iran involving the questionable election results that placed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into his second term as president have raised the levels of public outcry and consternation both inside Iran and internationally. The political pundits and policymakers are speculating on what this means for the future of Iran and how this situation will end. The debate is premature and largely facile at this point, but what is interesting is that the initial Iranian government reaction to the potential insurgency bubbling up from disgruntled Moussavi supporters provides a well-suited test case for some of the commonly accepted counterinsurgency (COIN) tenants. An embryonic insurgent movement borne of deep resentment against the Iranian government and the de facto rulers of Iran, the Supreme Council, coupled with an extremely harsh COIN reaction creates an experimental situation which allows scholars, practitioners, and policymakers a rare opportunity to analyze, in real time, COIN theory....
November 13, 2009 German Institute of Global and Area Studies // Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien
The Iranian revolution still appears to be a puzzle for theoretical approaches linking political
instability and/or violent conflict to the resource wealth of a country. It therefore
works well as a case study for the purposes of this paper: to show the necessity of a
broader approach to the resource‐violence link and to highlight the “context approach.”
The focus is on the violence that accompanied the events preceding the revolution, and
also on the fact that this violence was mainly exercised by the rulers and—excluding the
activities of militant groups—only very randomly by the masses. Many relevant contextual
conditions had an impact on the downfall of the shah’s regime: demographic (population
growth, urbanization) and cultural factors (religious tradition, national identity); the
vivid memory of several historical events; the personal preferences of central actors—
mainly both the shahs—which in combination brought the country to an impasse; and the
religious opposition to the regime. But upon closer examination, it becomes clear that
many of those factors were influenced by resource‐specific conditions such as the amount
and the use of oil income, sudden oil‐price drops, and external interference aimed mainly
at the domination of the oil sector. It was the specific interplay of these and other contextual
conditions—as much resource‐specific as general, and both within the country and on
an international scale—that finally brought about the downfall of the regime....
October 5, 2009 Institute for National Security Studies // Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies
The Middle East remains one of the world’s stormier regions, with fault
lines running across ethnic groups, nation-states, communities, and
religions. Even a cursory overview of the region yields a long list of active and nascent strength in the nuclear realm as the most severe threat to their security.
Over the course of 2008 Iraq witnessed an improvement in security, but
there is still no guarantee that this achievement is stable or that it will be
possible to maintain it once American forces leave the country. At the same time, the conflict in Afghanistan is intensifying anew, and the growing involvement of NATO and US forces is expected to increase even further.
Over the last three years, Israel was involved in two armed confrontations
that were characterized as wars, both against sub-state organizations and
elements supported by Iran. The weight of non-state players in military
confrontations is growing, and military confrontations between countries
are becoming rarer.
Against this background, there is little wonder that the Middle East
remains a region characterized by ever-growing national armed forces
and non-state militias, and remains one of the largest customers of various
types of weaponry....
MEI is honored to host a special panel presentation on the past, present and future of the Iranian Revolution with both distinguished retired U.S. foreign service officers who served in Iran during the late 1970s and scholars on Iran.
Alex Vatanka is an Adjunct Scholar at the Middle East Institute. He is the US Security Editor of Jane’s Information Group in Washington D.C., Managing Editor of Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst and Jane’s Intelligence Digest. Vatanka was a Political risk analyst at Jane’s Information Group (London) (2001 to 2006) and is an Adjunct lecturer at the US Air Force Special Operations School.
Trita Parsi is an Adjunct Scholar at the Middle East Institute. He is the author of Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press, 2007), recipient of the Council on Foreign Relation's 2008 Arthur Ross Silver Medallion....
February 11, 2009 Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior
FRIDE expert Robert Matthews, along with Shirin Ebadi, lawyer and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, and former Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr, analyse in Radio France Internationale the thirty years of the Ayatollah Revolution.
In 1979, the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran was overthrown by Islamic radicals, led by Ayatollah Khomeini. Later that year, a group of 11 Kurdish men were lined up and shot to death, accused of various crimes. Their executions at a municipal airport in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan, followed a brief trial during which no evidence was presented. A photograph capturing this event was published and eventually won a Pulitzer Prize, but the photographer's identity was kept secret to protect him. An account Saturday in The Wall Street Journal reveals the photographer's name -- Jahangir Razmi -- and story....
May 12, 2011 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
The wave of popular uprisings sweeping across the Arab world has caught the region’s most entrenched authoritarian regimes off guard. Yet unlike Tunisia, Egypt, and other custodians of an undemocratic status quo, Yemen is no stranger to instability. Long before protesters took to the streets of Sana`a on January 20, 2011 to demand political reforms, the 32-year-old regime of President Ali Abdullah Salih was already struggling to contain a daunting array of security, economic, and governance challenges. Yet Yemen’s current political crisis has been heightened by the convergence of numerous security threats, the cumulative effect of which may soon overwhelm the government in Sana`a. With government security forces already overextended by the challenge of containing mass demonstrations, AQAP is taking advantage of the opportunity to consolidate its position in Yemen by proclaiming solidarity with anti-government protesters and intensifying its attacks on security targets.
This issue covers:
Accuracy of the U.S. Drone Campaign: The Views of a Pakistani General;
Haqqani Network Influence in Kurram and its Implications for Afghanistan;
Recent Highlights in Terrorist Activity
The Factors Behind Rebellion in Iranian Kurdistan;
The Risks of Supporting Tribal Militias in Pakistan
The Unraveling of the Salih Regime in Yemen;
Using Google Insights to Assess Egypt’s Jasmine Revolution
The Sentinel is a monthly, independent publication that leverages the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence....
This issue includes the following articles:
- Terrorist Awakening in Sweden?
- British Universities Continue to Breed Extremists
- Improving Airline Security in the United States
- Al-Qa`ida’s Yemeni Expatriate Faction in Pakistan
- Understanding Al-Qa`ida’s Business Model
- Disengagement or Deradicalization: A Look at Prison Programs for Jailed Terrorists
- Recent Highlights in Terrorist Activity
December 6, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles:
- AQAP’s Soft Power Strategy in Yemen
- Developing Policy Options for the
AQAP Threat in Yemen
- The Role of Non-Violent Islamists
- The Evolution of Iran’s Special
Groups in Iraq
- Fragmentation in the North Caucasus
- Assessing the Success of Leadership
- Revolution Muslim:
Downfall or Respite?
September 7, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles: The Mysterious Relationship Between Al-Qa`ida and Iran, by Bruce Riedel; Al-Shabab’s Agenda in the Wake of the Kampala Suicide Attacks, by Tim Pippard; The Punjabi Taliban: Causes and Consequences of Turning Against the State, by Ben Brandt; The Ghazi Force: A Threat to Pakistan’s Urban Centers, by Syed Manzar Abbas Zaidi; Pakistan’s Challenges in Orakzai Agency, by Tayyab Ali Shah; The Growing Threat of Female Suicide Attacks in Western Countries, by Houriya Ahmed; Countering Terrorist Financing: Successes and Setbacks in the Years Since 9/11, by Michael Jonsson....
March 31, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles: Anwar al-`Awlaqi: Profile of a Jihadi Radicalizer, by Christopher Heffelfinger; The Taliban Arrest Wave in Pakistan: Reasserting Strategic Depth?, by Thomas Ruttig; Untangling the Punjabi Taliban Network, by Raheel Khan; Insight into a Suicide Bomber Training Camp in Waziristan, by S.H. Tajik; Iran’s Ambiguous Role in Afghanistan, by Sajjan M. Gohel; The Nexus Between Salafism and Jihadism in the Netherlands, by Beatrice de Graaf; Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Courts, by Huma Yusuf....
A leading Iranian expert, Shaul Bakhash, says despite the crackdown against the Iranian opposition, "the crisis isn't over" in Iran. Bakhash says what had been a fairly cautious speech by former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, as well as a call for a referendum from another former president, Mohammad Khatami, have given new life to the opposition. He says "the reaction [to Rafsanjani's speech] has been quite electric and perhaps unintentionally, he reopened the whole debate." As for U.S. policy, he says he supports the Obama administration's expressed desire to negotiate with Iran, but "what the administration has advanced is clearly now problematical. How do you sit with representatives of a government that hasn't won a legitimate election and which has brutally suppressed peaceful demonstrations and protests?"...
Karim Sadjadpour, a leading Iranian analyst who worked for four years in Iran for the International Crisis Group, says that given the "unprecedented" scale of protests in Iran over the presidential election results, "it's very difficult to see how the status quo ante could prevail no matter what happens." However, he believes the United States should continue trying to stay out of the political infighting in Iran. "This is extremely delicate and the situation is so dynamic," Sadjadpour says. "We clearly have to be on the right side of history here, but if we try to insert ourselves into the momentous internal Iranian drama that's unfolding we may unwittingly undermine those whom we're trying to strengthen."...
The U.S. Government is taking several major actions to counter Iran\'s bid for nuclear capabilities and support for terrorism by exposing Iranian banks, companies and individuals that have been involved in these dangerous activities and by cutting them off from the U.S. financial system.
An animated map of recent protests in the Middle East as they spread from country to country, updated with the most recent events. Particular outcomes indicated with descriptions of the progression of events for each nation.
National, bilateral and multilateral conflicts overlap in Central Asia. Moscow's influence has waned, especially in Afghanistan, where the Taliban came to power with the support of Washington. In the east and south, the various border disputes between India, China and Pakistan make the region eve#n more dangerous, because of the presence of nuclear weapons.
Sources : The Military Balance 1999-2000, IISS, Brassey's, London, 1999; The World Bank Atlas 1999-2000, World Bank, Washington, 1999.
January 27, 2011 International Relations and Security Network
While no group has yet claimed responsibility, the Domodevo bombing earlier this week appears to demonstrate the continued ability of Chechen separatists to strike terror deep in the heart of Russia. Largely overlooked by commentators, however, is the resource driving the 16-year old conflict: oil.
Iran’s sustained crackdown on critical voices and China’s brutal suppression of ethnic journalism have pushed the number of journalists imprisoned worldwide to its highest level since 1996, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, CPJ identified 145 reporters, editors, and photojournalists behind bars on December 1, an increase of nine from the 2009 tally.
Iran and China, with 34 imprisoned journalists apiece, are the world’s worst jailers of the press, together constituting nearly half of the worldwide total. Eritrea, Burma, and Uzbekistan round out the five worst jailers from among the 28 nations that imprison journalists....
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is urging the complete demilitarisation of the rebel province of Balochistan, as a precondition for a negotiated political settlement to end six decades of economic neglect, ethnic persecution and military repression by successive governments in Islamabad. The region has been under military occupation ever since 1948, after the Khan of Kalat state (which made up part of what is now Balochistan) acceded to Pakistan under pressure from the Muslim League and threats from the government in Islamabad, just nine months after the long-autonomous principality secured its independence from Britain. The Kalat state's parliament voted against incorporation into Pakistan. The people never agreed to give up their independence. They were not allowed a referendum. Sixty-plus years of rebellion have followed. Echoing the criticisms of Baloch national leaders, the HRCP says the Pakistan’s peace and reconciliation proposals are undermined by on-going military operations and human rights abuses. It points out that 4,000 Baloch people have been arrested and then disappeared. Only a handful have been released since the western-backed military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, was replaced by a democratically-elected civilian government in 2008....
The international summit on Afghanistan’s future held in London on 28 January 2010 produced three main outcomes: a very clear willingness to negotiate with the insurgents, the provision of substantial funding ($140 million) to lure elements of the insurgency from their campaign, and a focus on more rapid training of Afghan security forces. At the same time, it is reported that elements of the Taliban are already engaged in informal talks with United Nations officials.
These proposals represent a remarkable change from the policy of the George W Bush administration, driven by a search for clear military victory in Afghanistan. Barack Obama and his team take a different view: they recognise that the war cannot be won and that compromise is essential. But they also make a concession to the Bush approach in believing that a position of military strength is route to securing the best compromise possible - hence the military “surge” that is currently underway. There remains a large question over the effectiveness of this approach; the infusion of more foreign troops could provoke increased resistance by Afghans who see them as occupiers.
Behind the coalition’s shift in policy is the concern that public opinion in the United States and Britain is moving against the war, and that more people in both countries increasingly want their forces to leave. Many other Nato countries may be involved in Afghanistan, but these two states are pivotal: the US for its political and military leadership, and Britain for the size of its own involvement (it has more than twice the number of soldiers in Afghanistan as any other European state), which helps make it a marker for European attitudes as a whole....
Iran’s green wave remains defiant and undiminished. Across the country on 7 December 2009, thousands of people took advantage of the official students’ day to voice their adamant opposition to the “dictator” and his cohorts whom they charge both with stealing the presidential election of 12 June 2009 and with inhumane repression of peaceful protestors thereafter. The astonishing bravery of these demonstrating Iranians - knowing the probable fate that awaits them if they are arrested - is itself a potent indication of the depths of the crisis facing a desperate Tehran regime.
Moreover, when it looks for support within its own circles of influence this regime can find little respite. A landmark survey of 11,000 Iranians conducted by scholars in Iran after the presidential election - published by InsideIran.org - reveals that support is draining from the state’s most prominent figureheads in their own heartlands: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president, in rural areas; Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, among high-ranking clerics.
The survey finds that 39% of young people and 23% of the older age- group who had voted for Ahmadinejad now regretted their vote. The stated reasons? “The raping, killing, and torture of young men and women who had participated in demonstrations after the June elections and the realisation that Ahmadinejad was to blame for the economic situation.”
These - in additions to endemic economic worries and human insecurity - are the ingredients of a ferocious crisis of regime legitimacy....
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean consists of four technical divisions headed by directors reporting to Deputy Regional Director/Regional Director. They are: Health Protection and Promotion (DHP), Health Systems and Services Development (DHS), Communicable Disease Control (DCD), General Management (DAF). There are two departments in the office of the Assistant Regional Director and they report directly to the Assistant Regional Director. The two departments are Knowledge Management & Sharing and Policy & Strategy Support. Five priority programmes are supervised by the Regional Directory/Deputy Regional Director while reporting through their respective divisional directors. The priority programmes are the Tobacco Free Initiative, Roll Back Malaria, Stop TB, Community-based Initiatives, Women in Health and Development. Further, the regional office runs a special programmes on Polio Eradication, which reports directly to the Regional Director. Another is the UNAIDS Inter-Country Programme. It gives support to the development of an expanded response to HIV/AIDS through the coordinated action of the UN theme groups on HIV/AIDS as well as the process of national strategic planning; collaborates with EMRO in the joint response to HIV/AIDS at the regional and country level; strengthens partnerships with UNAIDS cosponsers through joint regional initiatives in HIV/AIDS priority areas.
The Foundation is committed to the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and in other internationally recognized human rights instruments. Taking as a starting point the fundamental equality of all human beings, the Foundation seeks to ensure that human rights in Iran are promoted and protected without discrimination, whether it be on the basis of one's gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. Guided by the belief that unremedied human rights violations are a major obstacle to the establishment of a stable democracy, the Foundation is committed to the right of all victims of human rights abuses to justice and public recognition.
Based on the foregoing principles, the Foundation adopts as its mandate the promotion of public awareness of issues concerning democracy and human rights in Iran. Through its programs of research, documentation, publications, and outreach, the Foundation hopes to help restore the dignity of Iran's countless victims of human rights violations....
The Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution was created to understand the process and prospects for democracy in Iran and the rest of the Middle East. The central goal is to help the West understand the complexities of the Muslim world, and to map out possible trajectories for transitions to democracy and free markets in the Middle East, beginning with Iran. The project also seeks to identify, analyze, and offer policy options on the existing obstacles to democratic transition and ways to remove them and to ensure that policy makers in Washington receive advice that is non-partisan and reliable....
Database contains information on illegal drugs in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), in Russia, and in the Golden Triangle (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan). The data covers drug production and drug trafficking dynamics within the aforementioned countries starting from 1995 up to the present time.
Despite the centrality of state action to an understanding of state-society contentious interaction, disaggregated data on repression and accommodation is either poor or nonexistent. PIWAR investigates the causes and consequences of state tactics (repression and accommodation) and opposition activity in post-revolutionary states in four post-revolutionary states: Bolivia (1952-1964); Cuba (1959-1971); Iran (1979-1991); Nicaragua (1979-1991).
This is a transcript of an event held on 5 October at Chatham House. The panellists, drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts, examined the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict was embarked on in September 2010, the regional ramifications of the much-interrupted peace process have never appeared more important. State actors close to the conflict such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and non-state actors such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, all have a stake in the outcome of the peace talks. Together with the wider Arab League membership and Iran, not all of them wish the process to succeed, or succeed on the terms envisaged by the US and its allies in the European Union.
This panel drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts will examine what is at stake for the regional neighbours of Israel and the Palestinians. What influence have they had over the initial progress of the negotiations? Are their actions critical in helping or hindering the outcome of the bilateral talks? What alternatives or reactions might they envisage should this latest attempt at peace fail?...
The recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations....
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to provide measured support to Taliban insurgents battling U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. However, Iran also maintains close and constructive relations with the same Afghan central government that is battling Taliban forces. Iran's complex and, at times, contradictory set of cultural, religious, political, and security interests shapes its behavior in Afghanistan, to the benefit and detriment of U.S. objectives. This paper examines Iran's objectives and interests in Afghanistan and the consequent Iranian policies affecting U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The authors find that Iran appears to be pursuing at times contradictory objectives in Afghanistan; that the Baluchi insurgency in Iran is an important factor in determining Iran's behavior in Afghanistan; and that increasing tensions with the United States could lead to more-significant Iranian aid to the Taliban....
May 10, 2011 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
As the first decade of the 21st century nears its end, issues surrounding militancy among the Shi‛a community in the Shi‛a heartland and beyond continue to occupy scholars and policymakers. During the past year, Iran has continued its efforts to extend its influence abroad by strengthening strategic ties with key players in international affairs, including Brazil and Turkey. Iran also continues to defy the international community through its tenacious pursuit of a nuclear program. The Lebanese Shi‛a militant group Hizballah, meanwhile, persists in its efforts to expand its regional role while stockpiling ever more advanced weapons. Sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi‛a has escalated in places like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and not least, Pakistan.
As a hotbed of violent extremism, Pakistan, along with its Afghan neighbor, has lately received unprecedented amounts of attention among academics and policymakers alike. While the vast majority of contemporary analysis on Pakistan focuses on Sunni extremist groups such as the Pakistani Taliban or the Haqqani Network—arguably the main threat to domestic and regional security emanating from within Pakistan’s border—sectarian tensions in this country have attracted relatively little scholarship to date.
This monograph is published as part of the CTC’s Shi‛a Militancy Program, established in 2008, which dedicates efforts toward investigating the real or potential emergence of Shi‛a militancy, as well as its causes, nature, and potential implications for U.S. national security....
The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression.
In reporting news from the world’s most troubled nations, journalists have made a seismic shift this year in their reliance on the Internet and other digital tools. Blogging, video sharing, text messaging, and live-streaming from cellphones brought images of popular unrest from the central square of Cairo and the main boulevard of Tunis to the rest of the world. Yet the technology used to report the news has been matched in many ways by the tools used to suppress information. Many of the oppressors’ tactics show an increasing sophistication, from the state-supported email in China designed to take over journalists’ personal computers, to the carefully timed cyber-attacks on news websites in Belarus. Still other tools in the oppressor’s kit are as old as the press itself, including imprisonment of online writers in Syria, and the use of violence against bloggers in Russia.
To mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the Committee to Protect Journalists is examining the 10 prevailing tactics of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. What is most surprising about these Online Oppressors is not who they are—they are all nations with long records of repression—but how swiftly they adapted old strategies to the online world.
In two nations we cite, Egypt and Tunisia, the regimes have changed, but their successors have not categorically broken with past repressive practices. The tactics of other nations—such as Iran, which employs sophisticated tools to destroy anti-censorship technology, and Ethiopia, which exerts monopolistic control over the Internet—are being watched, and emulated, by repressive regimes worldwide.
Here are the 10 prevalent tools for online oppression....
September 29, 2008 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
The Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) dataset is a subsidiary of the
Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project. The purpose of this project is to answer fundamental
questions focusing on the identification of those factors that motivate some members of ethnic
minorities to become radicalized, to form activist organizations, and to move from conventional
means of politics and protest into violence and terrorism. Focusing initially on the Middle East
and North Africa, the MAROB project provides information on the characteristics of those
ethnopolitical organizations most likely to employ violence and terrorism in the pursuit of their
perceived grievances with local, national, or international authority structures. The project has
identified 118 organizations representing the interests of all 22 ethnopolitical groups in 16
countries of the Middle East and North Africa, operating between 1980 and 2004. The project developed a set of criteria for the inclusion of organizations into the MAROB dataset. These are as
• The organization makes explicit claims to represent the interests of one or more ethnic groups and/or the
organization’s members are primarily members of a specific ethnic minority.
• The organization is political in its goals and activities.
• The organization is active at a regional and/or national level.
• The organization was not created by a government.
• The organization is active for at least three consecutive years between 1980 and 2006.
• Umbrella organizations (coalitions/alliances) are NOT coded. Instead, member organizations are coded.
Organizations were selected on the basis of their basic longevity. This was operationalized in the following manner:
The first year that an organization is mentioned in a source as being active, it is put on a “watchlist” for potential
inclusion. Once the organization is mentioned in sources for three consecutive years, it is included in the dataset,
coded from the first year of the three consecutive years. If an organization included in the dataset disappears from
source material for five consecutive years, it is no longer coded for following years. If after that time, it is again
mentioned for three consecutive years, it is again included but as a separate organization....