AQ supporters assert that HTS’ leaders disobeyed Zawahiri and undertook steps without appropriate consultation. For example, prior to the formation of HTS in January 2017, Jabhat al-Nusra had rebranded itself as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham in July 2016, which was presented to the media as some kind of breaks with AQ.
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Central to the Saudi deradicalization approach is a process known as munassaha, which roughly translates as ‘counselling’. The process starts in prison and involves clerics engaging with convicts to persuade them that their notions of jihad are based on a misinterpretation of the Koran. However, the Saudi authorities say the success rate of their approach has been as high as 90 per cent
Samah Hadid, the deputy director of Amnesty International, said that most human rights activists in the country were either in prison or on trial, their whereabouts still undisclosed. The others, she added, risk arrest at any time. MBS is clearly remaking Saudi Arabia in his image, while proving to be just as authoritarian as the rulers before him.
Assad will happily take more freebies from the EU. For the regime, reconstruction is to serve, first and foremost, its own consolidation as well as ensure the permanenceof social and demographic shifts and strengthen the loyalty of its citizens. A view espoused by the Assad regime and echoed in international aid meetings warns that Europe will lose out to Moscow and Tehran unless European nations help in the reconstruction of Syria.
If the jihadi radicalization problem in Europe does indeed get worse, it may be worth considering radical new approaches, both of the soft and the hard kind. Perhaps Europe needs to spend significantly more to improve education in immigrant-heavy areas such as imposing longer prison sentences for terrorism offences
But due to (still relatively small) Iranian influence in Yemen, the Saudis and Emiratis will be obliged to work together in the medium term. As the Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel put it, ‘The war costs Tehran a few million dollars per month, while it costs Riyadh $6 billion per month.’ Any disagreement between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi could increase Iran’s influence.