Chapter 9. International Terrorism: Threat Has Not Gone Away, Threat Has Lurked

April 15, 2024

The threat of terrorism remains one of the key challenges to global security. Radical organizations, despite the attempts of the international community to take the wind out of their sails, still have sufficient resources and influence on the minds of young people. In addition, high level of adaptability of jihadists to a new environment makes radical organizations virtually immortal, which is why the defeat of one center of power does not guarantee hailing victory over Islamists as a whole.

Has the jihadist movement truly entered the period of protracted crisis? Where is the terrorist threat ephemeral, and where, on the contrary, is it growing? How else can radicals respond to the destruction of their structures?

However, before getting to the point, it is necessary to note that a specific feature of the topic under consideration is its extreme politicization: in public discourse, the notion of terrorist activity often implies separatist groups (Sikh movements in India[1], Ansar Allah Houthi movement in Yemen[2], etc.), as well as government institutions and entities (for example, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran[3]) and even private companies[4]. In this regard, within the framework of the chapter, the focus will be laid on the activities of international terrorist organizations (ITOs), which are recognized as such at the global level – Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)[5]  and Al-Qaeda[6] – as well as their allied groups in other regions of the world. Such an interpretation of the terrorism concept[7] will allow us to focus on the activities of the major actors of the radical underground, as well as to avoid distorting the overall picture of the situation for the sake of political expediency.

Figure 11. Top 10 Deadliest Terrorist Groups in the World.
Compiled by Valdai Discussion Club

“Caliphate” [8] for a day

The main goal declared by the ideologists of both radical groups is the construction of a “caliphate” – a theocratically existing state lives in accordance with the precepts of Islam and is headed by the custodian of Muslim traditions (caliph). However, the interpretation of the concept of “caliphate” that jihadists adhere to differs significantly from the generally accepted one. Thus, radicals consider it acceptable to pursue the policy of aggressiveness towards neighbors (including fellow believers) even in the absence of a threat from them, and the authority of individuals (in this case, senior commanders) invariably dominates the interests of the Muslim community – which, as a rule, is justified by a special mission of the ITOs’ leaders[9]. In addition, the mandatory annual tax (zakat), which according to Islamic canons cannot exceed 2.5 percent, is set arbitrarily by the radicals and can be up to 30 percent, and also levied several times a year under the pretext of extreme necessity[10]. Moreover, in the territories controlled by terrorists, drug trafficking, arbitrary killings (including the murder of fellow believers) and other acts condemned by Islam traditionally flourish[11].

The growing scale of jihadist activity led to the fact that the leading spiritual authorities of the world (and first of all al-Azhar University) condemned the behavior of radicals in their fatwas (a formal ruling or interpretation on a provision of Islamic law made by a qualified legal scholar), and the project of “caliphate” was branded as barbaric and having nothing to do with the tenets of Islam[12]. However, despite criticism from spiritual authorities, the idea of ​​building a pan-Islamic state with a radical bias continues to resonate with young people not only in Arab countries, but also in other regions, since this concept is associated with strength, wealth, and power. In addition, radicals trying to whitewash their own reputation, invariably blame external forcescrusaders (a collective propagandistic name for representatives of the non-Islamic world) or apostates from among Muslims (meaning, first of all, Shiites)[13]. In addition, each new failure is dressed up as a test of faith, designed to weed out fighters who are not sufficiently faithful to radical ideas and form the backbone of the righteous army before the coming of Qiyamah (Judgment Day) and a triumphant return to the abandoned lands[14].

At the same time, the disunity, and the competition for the right to play a leading role, appropriate for the global Islamist underground, make the concept of terrorist “caliphates”very controversial. Since, according to Islamic tradition, there can only be one True Caliphate, the propagandists of each group claiming this honorable status seek to denigrate the concept of their competitors as much as possible and accuse them of heresy[15].

Rivalry for the highest ideals, however, also has practical grounds: the status of the True Caliphate significantly extends ITO’s legitimacy in the eyes of potential supporters, which greatly increases its mobilization resource, boosts the influence over local political and spiritual elites, general welfare, etc. This, in turn, explains why key radical groups that declare their readiness to build a “caliphate” tend to conflict with each other rather than fight government forces in a country where they are both presented.

The strategic interests of Al-Qaeda and ISIS today come into conflict in at least two dozen countries – in most of which the rivalry is intense. At the same time, the most violent clashes between two ITOs take place in African countries (Mali, Nigeria, Chad, Somalia), as well as in Afghanistan.

Figure 12. Country Presence and the Competition between ISIS and Al-Qaeda, 2023.
Compiled by the author based on Global Terrorism Index 

Jihadists often resort to subterfuges and form tactical alliances with other local forces that are not terrorist but pursue similar political goals. For example, in Mali, the group Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen[16] which is within the sphere of influence of Al-Qaeda, is increasingly operating in conjunction with the Arab-Tuareg alliance (Coordination of Azawad Movements) and conducting joint operations both against government forces and against agents of influence of ISIS[17].

The dynamics of the situation development is indicative of the ITOs’ leaders’ desire to achieve two goals at once. Firstly, to ensure the presence of their cells in the maximum number of countries in the world (and thereby reaffirm the propaganda thesis about waging global jihad), and, secondly, to balance out the influence of a competitor. In addition, such radical bipolarity is intended to somewhat defuse tensions between the key ITOs and to maximally outline the conquered zones of influence – propagandists of both groups periodically speak out in support of the idea of ​​forming an appropriate balance of power, albeit cryptically.

Is the old school crisis deepening?

After the fall of the radical “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, the global terrorist underground, which had previously experienced an unprecedented rise, plunged into internal crisis, from which the jihadists still cannot fully recover.

For ISIS the main problem has always lied in the inability to protect its own high-ranking officials. As statistics from recent years show, the average term of reign of ISIS leaders has noticeably decreased – from five years (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) to 4.5 months (Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurayshi)[18]. In addition, the international community has intensified the hunt for the so-called governors (heads of ITOs’ branches in other countries), which led to a series of high-profile losses in the ranks of the Islamists. As a result, authoritative jihadists (primarily representatives of the so-called old school of jihad, who positioned themselves as adepts of Osama bin Laden’s traditions) were knocked out one after another, and the new generation of radicals had not yet managed to gain sufficient authority among their comrades. Moreover, the generation of young jihadi often fell out of favor with the militants who had survived but lost influence, and they tried to challenge the legitimacy of the new radical managers at any opportunity[19]. For this reason, each time the election of a new ITO’s leader has been accompanied by an increasing number of internal conflicts and clashes of interest.

Al-Qaeda faced similar problems. Since the liquidation of Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2022, the group has not decided on an official successor to the deceased “emir”[20]. Moreover, the lingering electoral pause led to the unrest in the regional branches of the ITO – in the Indian subcontinent and in Sub-Saharan Africa[21]. And, although the Al-Qaeda leadership was ultimately able to rein in its supporters, keeping them from separating but dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in the ranks of the jihadists continues to grow.

On the other hand, the lack of personification of the jihadist movement by Al-Qaeda is not entirely identical to its collapse. On the contrary, gradual retreating into the shadows of key figures of the radical underground may be indicative of an intention to gradually weaken the managerial role of an individual and thereby keep the group from fragmentation in the event of loss of its media high-profile nature. Radicals have probably learned lessons from the mistakes of ISIS, which over the past few years has successively lost four of its “caliphs” (the last one ruled for less than six months), as well as, according to various estimates, from 40 to 60 percent of celebrities among field commanders[22].

In this regard, it can be expected that jihadists in the foreseeable future will increasingly rely on strengthening the positions of the Shura (Council), which includes the most respected and authoritative jihadists and makes decisions collectively. As for the leader (“emir”, “caliph”, etc.), he will fulfil above all a propaganda function and will be supposed to legitimize the decisions taken by the Shura, becoming their confessor.

Transfiguration instead of pretense

In addition to ISIS and Al-Qaeda, which are strongly associated with global terrorism, special attention of the international community is focused on the Salafist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)[23]. The group managed to both cooperate and fight with the two poles of global terrorism, and today it has taken a neutral position. Despite the fact that HTS’s zone of influence is limited only to the Idlib province in Syria, given that the group constantly has to fight for control over this zone with other small factions and movements, its clout is quite comparable to other regional forces.

Recently, there has been more talk in the expert community about the prospects for the Talibanization[24] of this radical group – especially in light of its attempts to push out emissaries of terrorist organizations from Idlib and conduct behind-the-scenes negotiations with regional anti-terrorist forces (Türkiye and the United States)[25]. The idea was partly germinated by the recent palace coup within HTS, as a result of which one of the organization’s ideologists, Abu Maria Al-Qahtani[26], was removed from power. HTS leader Al-Julani, having thus concentrated all power in his hands, is quite capable of turning the group into an alternative force, equidistant from both the centers of global jihad and non-radical participants in the Syrian conflict (USA, Türkiye, Iran, and etc.), and use this semi-neutral position in various geopolitical combinations.

It should be noted that the gradual rebirth of HTS is being watched with equal interest not only in Ankara and Washington, but also on the Arabian Peninsula. In particular, Saudi Arabia may well use the transformed group led by Al-Julani to implement its own long-term plans in Syria – as a counterweight to Iran’s growing influence in the public sphere[27]. In the future, other groups that are distinguished by a high level of independence in decision-making may follow HTS’s suit, for example, the Somali Al-Shabab[28]. However, without the support of external actors they will be obviously losing in their confrontation with the ITO.

Where to look for a new center of jihad?

The defeat of a terrorist quasi-state in the Middle East and the gradual squeezing out jihadist cells from Syria, Iraq and Yemen coupled with a series of high-impact removals of key figures in the international Islamist movement, have led a certain part of the world community to the conviction of an imminent victory over global terrorism. This is partly true because the position of the ITOs has been shaken in the Middle East, which has long been positioned as the heart of the jihadist movement. However, there are still several areas in which radical Islamists can make their appearance. Thus, the current level of ITOs’ activity in various countries around the world indicates that the focus of jihadists has shifted to Sub-Saharan Africa. Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Central African Republic, Kenya, and a number of other countries in the region have been under attack.

The most strained situation on the African continent is observed in Somalia, where government troops, despite active external support, are still unable to deal with the threat posed by the Islamist group Al-Shabab which is within the sphere of influence of Al-Qaeda[29]. Among other things, Al-Shabab militants take advantage of the fact that ordinary Somalis are increasingly dissatisfied with the socio-economic situation in the country and generously finance the basic needs of local communities, thereby expanding and strengthening their own zone of control[30].

Unlike the henchmen of ISIS, whose positions in Africa, in most cases, are characterized by precariousness (with the exception of Mozambique), the emissaries of Al-Qaeda consistently strengthen the managerial vertical in the region and strive to unite the warring cells into a united front – both through the military authority of their field commanders and the use of financial and propagandistic tools. In this context, a new “caliphate” can be possibly built in Africa – with an eye on the peculiarities of Al-Qaeda’s interpretation of its image.

Map 4. Terrorist Threat Level, Breakdown by Countries.
Compiled by the author based on Global Terrorism Index,corrected by the Author as of September 2023

Tension is growing in Afghanistan, where the number of terrorist attacks has increased several times over the past eighteen months – both ISIS and Al-Qaeda have intensified their efforts to regain control over these territories[31].

The situation in Afghanistan is further complicated by the transition of the conflict to an all against all state: in addition to terrorist groups, ethnic militias, armed opposition alliances and proxy groups of other states are also involved in the fight. This situation, on the one hand, does not give any of the ITOs the opportunity to achieve strategic supremacy in Afghanistan, and, on the other hand, greatly increases the level of instability in the region. In turn, its own bit is done by all Central Asian powers (and, first of all, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), which the emissaries of terrorist organizations regularly visit with the aim of recruiting neophytes and creating sleeper cells, including the militants who already have experience in underground struggle in Afghanistan[32].

Map 5. Areas of Significant Activity of Main Opposing Forces in Afghanistan (as for August 2023).
Compiled by the author based on open sources

Certain concerns are also raised by the situation in South-East Asia. After the defeat of the “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, militants from Asian countries (the third largest group in the ranks of ISIS) returned to their homeland, where they concentrated their efforts on expanding the branches of the ITO[33].  The emissaries of Al-Qaeda also rushed there, and although neither side was able to build a “caliphate 2.0”, the positions of both groups have strengthened many times after the fall of the democratic government in Afghanistan in 2021[34].

At the same time, Indonesia (the country with the largest Muslim population in the world)[35] and the Philippines (the country with a large number of unresolved internal contradictions)[36], as well as Malaysia (a transit point for radicals)[37], remain the most vulnerable to the terrorist threat. In addition, Pakistan has been targeted by both ITOs[38].

The European direction of radical activity should not be overlooked either. Despite the fact that the EU countries are mostly in the green zone, the threat of sleeper cells in the region has grown in recent months. Thus, high-impact events with the burning of the Quran in Sweden and Denmark led to a natural surge of negativity in the Muslim environment[39]. ITO propagandists, in turn, hastened to take advantage of such unrest, calling on supporters to take retaliatory actions against Europe[40]. Of course, unlike African countries or Afghanistan, the intensity of jihadist activity in the eurozone will not be as high – and is unlikely to reach the levels of 2015-2017. However, the fear factor accompanying the threat can seriously affect public sentiment in the EU countries and provoke a surge in Islamophobia, which again will give trump cards to radical recruiters and propagandists.

Digital battle front of global terrorism: the threat is growing?

More attention should be paid to cyberspace as a potential zone of activity for radical Islamists. The digital component of ITOs activities has long been treated with skepticism, in light of the low level of qualifications of jihadist hackers and the stiff rejection of radical ideas by the vast majority of the world’s hacktivists. In addition, the ambiguous attitude towards cyberspace on the part of the movement’s leadership was often cited as a deterrent factor. In particular, high-ranking jihadists have tended until recently to adhere to the position that the Internet is a platform for propaganda, and to consider other possible areas of activity only as auxiliary[41].

Figure 13. Dynamics of Terrorist Attacks in Cyberspace (2001-2022).
Compiled by the author based on open sources

After the defeat of the digital units of ISIS (United Cyber Caliphate) and Al-Qaeda (Digital Battalion) by the end of the 2010s, the prospects for implementing a Cyber 9/11 scenario, implying a crushing blow in cyberspace, were assessed by radical ideologists as dubious, which is why the idea of the applied role of digital tools has taken root even more firmly[42]. However, with the inevitable rejuvenation of the leadership of the ITOs, the approach to the struggle is changing. The importance of digital space is gradually growing, and more and more radical ideologists in their appeals draw parallels not only with the physical, but also with the digital world. It is important to note that in these matters, radicals prefer to appeal to the works of contemporaries – Khalid al-Rashed, Nasir al-Fahd, Suleiman bin Nasir al-Alwan, Hamud bin Uqla’ ash-Shu’aybi, Omar bin Ahmed al-Hazimi, Ali bin Khidr al-Hudiara et al[43].
The lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic have quite clearly demonstrated that jihadists are able to quickly reorient their structures to new conditions and use digital tools not only for propaganda and recruitment work, but also for planning attacks – in particular, radicals are demonstrating success in mastering open-source intelligence technologies (OSINT)[44]. In this regard, the transition to cyber jihad is unlikely to take long.  The build-up of a combined strike capacity is also not far off, especially in light of the refusal of both groups to use the tactics of individual digital terror. In the wake of a renewed surge in interest in cyber weapons, jihadists may well try to reboot their own digital armies, capitalizing on the positive experience of the hacker units of other movements including non-radical ones.

The adaptability of the ITOs propaganda apparatus should not be underestimated. One of the most enduring concepts spread among radical ideologists is the digital “caliphate” – a projection of the physical model of the state onto cyberspace. This model has a number of visible advantages compared to its physical counterpart, in particular, it allows you to transfer the main work online and thereby minimize personal meetings of top functionaries of the radical movement. In addition, the use of the digital “caliphate” brand (as an ephemeral digital union of righteous fighters that has no borders and, as a result, a priori incapable of being destroyed)[45] will allow radicals to work with potential supporters, including by criticizing the actions of Muslim countries in cyberspace. One of the areas of criticism, in particular, may be the growing popularity of Metaverse projects in the countries of the Islamic world – as one of the markers of growing disbelief[46]. In this context, the beginning of the next wave of digital jihad and the emphasis on the digital factor of the struggle will no longer be perceived as a consequence of the defeat of the ITOs, but as their adaptation to modern conditions of struggle.


Despite many painful blows dealt to the terrorist underground in recent years (both in the physical and spiritual worlds), the ITOs have remained a serious opponent and has significant potential for revival. The idea of building a “caliphate”, which is illusory at first glance, still dominates the minds of the masses, and the temporary departure from the cradle of Islam (the Middle East region) does not in the least prevent jihadists from strengthening their positions in other parts of the world and preparing for revenge. Moreover, the idea of recapturing what was lost serves as an additional rallying factor and allows field commanders to avoid a crisis of ideas.

Of course, objective factors are holding radicals back from effective and rapid expansion, first of all, the crisis of ideas and disunity characteristic of the radical movement as a whole, etc. At the same time, jihadists have enough resources and motivation to deliver a new blow to the non-radical world – and another spiral of tension may already take place in the medium term. In addition to the attempts to revive the physical component of the “caliphate” (by creating radical enclaves in Africa or Asia), jihadists may well once again reconsider their approach to actions in cyberspace and try to relaunch strikes against the critical infrastructure of their opponents.

Can the two key ITOs – ISIS and Al-Qaeda – join forces in order to another time take revenge? The question remains open. On the one hand, the demand for the consolidation of the jihadist underground, which emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, is once again growing stronger – young radicals, not familiar with the root causes of the conflict between al-Baghdadi and al-Zawahiri, for the most part no longer see a big problem in forming a tactical alliance for the sake of achieving a common goal. On the other hand, the leadership of both ITOs is still dominated by alarmist sentiments: the ideologists of both groups are well aware that excessive gullibility can claim high costs, and therefore prefer to preach the idea of unity for a common cause in their sermons as little as possible. For this reason, it is much more likely that ISIS and Al-Qaeda, even in the event of revenge, will continue to act separately from each other, but will reduce mutual attacks within the framework of the emerging status quo.

[1] Sikh Terrorism in the Struggle for Khalistan // US Department of Justice. URL:

[2] Yemen’s National Defense Council labels Houthis as terror group // Anadolu, October 23, 2022.

[3] Foreign Terrorist Organizations // US Department of State. URL:

[4] Wagner Group Proscribed // UK Government. URL:

[5] There and below: The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation. – Editor’s Note.

[6] There and below: The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation. – Editor’s Note.

[7] At the same time, to define the framework of the terrorism concept, we will use the generally accepted definition: premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. See: Defining terrorism // UNODC. URL:

[8] Due to the fact that radical Islamists, in the opinion of most theologians, cannot be purveyors of the true values of the Islamic world, some terms (caliphate, emir, etc.) will be deliberately placed in quotation marks by the author.

[9] Bar S. The Religious Sources of Islamic Terrorism // Policy Review; Jun/Jul 2004; Pp. 28, 30, 32; The Muslim Word after 9/11 // RAND Corporation. URL: RAND Corporation is included by Russia in the List of foreign and international nongovernmental organizations whose activities are recognized as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation – Editor’s Note.; Al-Tamimi Caliphs of the Shadows: The Islamic State’s Leaders Post-Mawla // Combating Terrorism Center, August 10, 2023. URL:

[10] Тагиров Т. Современный терроризм: идеология и противоречия Исламу // Российский совет по международным делам, 21 июля 2020 г. URL:

[11] Al-Tamimi Caliphs of the Shadows: The Islamic State’s Leaders Post-Mawla // Combating Terrorism Center, August 10, 2023; ISIS is not Islam. Collection of Materials to Help Imams and Government Officials (in Russian) // Ural State University, 2015. URL:

[12] Al-Azhar Refuses to Consider the Islamic State an Apostate // Al-Monitor, February 12, 2015.

[13] The Islamic State Threatened the Shi’a Community in the Islamic Republic of Iran // Special Eurasia, September 26, 2023. URL:

[14] Jihadists used similar techniques during the COVID-19 pandemic, when they blamed apostates for its beginning (and positioned their destruction as a contribution to the fight against evil), and the pandemic itself was called a harbinger of the appearance of Sufyani (Antichrist). See: COVID-19 and Terrorism in the Middle East: New Impulse fir an Old Threat // Materials of the Youth Section of the Primakov Readings “Global Problems of the Post-Covid World Order: New Challenges and Leaders”, 2022 (In Russian) // IMEMO RAS. URL:

[15] Kidway S. Al-Qaeda vs ISIS: Competitive Extremism and Turf Wars // IDSA, May 23, 2023.
 URL:; Vasiliev A., Zherlitsyna N. The Evolution of Al-Qaeda: Between Regional Conflicts and a Globalist Perspective // NCBI, May 10, 2023. URL:

[16] There and below: The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation. – Editor’s Note.

[17] Mali: ex-CMA Rebels Say They Are “In Wartime” with the Junta // Africa News, September 12, 2023. URL:

[18] The assessment does not consider the term of reign of the 5th “caliph” of ISIS Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, who took office in August 2023: at the time of writing (October 2023), the term of his reign is about 3 months, and the process of oath of allegiance to the new “caliph” by the leaders of regional cells is still ongoing.

[19] Decimated Daesh/ISIS: How Feared Terror Group’s Leaders Were Taken Down // Anadolu, May 1, 2023. URL:

[20] Byman D. Whatever Happened to Al Qaeda? // Foreign Policy, July 31, 2023. URL:

[21] Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent: Still a Threat to India? // Geopolitical Monitor, January 25, 2023. URL:; How Al-Qaeda’s Recent Growth in Africa Poses a Threat to Global Security // Modern Diplomacy, May, 29, 2023. URL:

[22] ISIL Confirms Death of Leader Abu Hussein Al-Qurashi, Names Successor // Al Jazeera, August 3, 2023. URL: instead of pretense.

[23] There and below: The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation – Editor’s Note.

[24] The term was introduced by K. Semenov and implies that the radicals will follow the path of the Taliban Movement (The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation – Editor’s Note), trying to become the only organization, suppressing all others (including more moderate ones) in the opposition areas of Syria and forcing external actors to reckon with themselves, despite the possible preservation of the terrorist status organizations. See: Семенов К. Идлиб сегодня: «талибанизация» ХТШ и фрагментация Сирийской национальной армии // Российский совет по международным делам, 28 июля 2022 г. URL: instead of pretense.

[25] Shift in Religious Discourse, Will Al-Jolani Clash with HTS Sharia Scholars? // Enab Baladi, May 17, 2023. URL:

[26] Syria: HTS Confirms Suspension of Co-Founder Abu Maria Al-Qahtani // The New Arab, August 18, 2023. URL:

[27] How Has the Saudi-Iran Divide Affected the Middle East? // Al Jazeera, April 7, 2023. URL:

[28] There and below: The organization is recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation – Editor’s Note.

[29] As Foreign Troops Withdraw, How Likely is an Al-Shabab Takeover in Somalia? // The New Arab, September 18, 2023. URL:

[30] Al-Shabab’s Grip on Somalia Loosening // VOA News, January 29, 2023. URL:

[31] Asfandyar M. Two Years Under the Taliban: Is Afghanistan a Terrorist Safe Haven Once Again? // United States Institute of Peace, August 15, 2023. URL:

[32] В ФСБ рассказали о планах террористов захватить власть в Центральной Азии //, 11 октября 2023 г.URL:

[33] Халифат 2.0: Юго-Восточная Азия ожидает притока тысячи игиловцев // Известия, 31 октября 2019 г. URL:

[34] Terrorism in South Asia after Fall of Afghanistan // War on the Rocks, August 23, 2021. URL:

[35] В Индонезии ликвидирован самый разыскиваемый в стране террорист // Российская газета, 19 сентября 2021 г. URL:

[36] How “War on Terror” Was Fought and Won in Southeast Asia – for Now // Al Jazeera, September 15, 2023. URL: 

[37] Малайзию назвали основным пунктом транзита террористов в Азии // ТАСС, 6 ноября 2019 г. URL:

[38] Кто стал главной целью джихадистов в Пакистане // Независимая газета, 20 сентября 2023 г. URL:

[39] Why Quran Burning Is Making Sweden and Denmark So Anxious // Time, August 17, 2023.

[40] Jihadi Reactions to Quran Burning in Stockholm: Condemnation, Calls to Execute Perpetrator, Expel Swedish Ambassadors, Carry Out Attacks Inspired by 2015 “Charlie Hebdo” Shooting // Memri, June 29, 2023. URL:

[41] Online Jihadist Propaganda – 2021 in Review // Europol, May 24, 2022. URL:

[42] More information about the stages of development of the digital component of the radical struggle of key ITOs can be found in the author’s paper “The Ups and Downs of the Cyber Caliphate: Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Digital Space”. See: Цуканов Л.В. Взлеты и падения Киберхалифата: Аль-Каида* и ИГИЛ* в цифровом пространстве / Ред. Е.Г. Чобанян. М.: ПИР-Пресс, 2022. – 39 с. – (Индекс Безопасности – Научные записки). URL:

[43] Hasan S. “Islamic State”: Ideological Roots and Political Context of Interfaith Hostility // Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, December 27, 2016. URL: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is included by the Russian Ministry of Justice to the register of foreign agents. – Editor’s Note.

[44] Azani E., Haberfeld D. Media Jihad Campaign: The Islamic State’s Response to Deplatforming // International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, July 10, 2023. URL:

[45] Borgonovo F. Strategies, Disinformation Techniques and Cognitive Warfare of Jihadist Organizations // Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units, December 10, 2022. URL:

[46] According to the observations of a number of theologians, the development of the Metaverse system calls into question the idea of ​​the primacy of Allah over all worlds (See: Quran 1:2, 28:30, 7:54). Moreover, the concept of creating digital avatars is also condemned by traditionalists. See: Is the Metaverse the New Online Frontier for Halal Brands? // Muslim Network, August 11, 2021. URL:

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