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Translation by CSIS. Islamic charitable foundations, or bonyads , have also been an important instrument of Iranian soft power. Some foundations existed prior to the revolution, including in the form of waqfs or religious endowments.


They provided humanitarian aid to the poor and other populations in need, though they also served as slush funds for some elites. The supreme leader appoints the directors of the bonyads. They are ostensibly non-profit organizations that provide social and public services, and they are legally exempt from taxation and some government regulations.

Yet many also engage in commercial and financial activities like banking, trade, and manufacturing. Now known as the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans, it gives specialized services such as in-kind transfers, educational support, and housing services to widows, orphans, and victims of Iranian wars.

One notable exception is Lebanon, where a sizable chunk of the population remains sympathetic to Iran and where Lebanese Hezbollah remains part of the government. Another is Iraq, where there is a majority Shia population and substantial Iranian influence. Meanwhile, Iraqi Shia who believe that Iran is a threat to Iraqi sovereignty jumped from 25 percent to 58 percent. This decline in Iraqi public opinion may be partially attributable to Najaf's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, whose "quietist" school of Iraqi Shiism shuns direct clerical participation in politics.

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Riyadh, for example, has established a political and economic relationship with Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi politician and Shia militia leader. There may be opportunities for Iraq to work with Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to further develop economic ties—including rail, road, and electricity links—with southern Iraqi cities like Basra The U. State Department's Internet freedom program—which seeks to counter the efforts of authoritarian regimes like Iran to censor, monitor, and control the Internet—has had some successes in helping individuals bypass firewalls by using tools and software like Tor.

In the s, the United States drastically increased its resources for information campaigns. And the U. Seth G. For example, about half of all terrorist attacks in the GTD are non-lethal, and although approximately one percent of attacks involve 25 or more fatalities, these highly lethal attacks killed more than , people in total between and The attacks in the GTD are attributed to more than 2, named perpetrator organizations and more than additional generic groupings such as "Tamil separatists. Likewise, only 20 perpetrator groups are responsible for half of all attacks from to for which a perpetrator was identified.

In general, patterns of terrorist attacks are very diverse across time and place and the GTD supports in-depth analysis of these patterns. START researchers use the GTD to conduct statistical analyses of patterns of terrorist attacks, perpetrator groups, and responses to terrorism using innovative analytical strategies. Selected findings from these analyses include: 1 the vast majority of terrorist attacks, including those attributed to organizations that represent the most serious foreign threat to the US, mostly attack domestic targets in their own countries; 2 conciliatory actions by the government are sometimes more effective at reducing terrorist attacks than are repressive actions, 3 perpetrator organizations can be classified into those that desist rapidly and those that desist gradually, if at all, based on the shape of their activity over time; and 4 the groups most likely to persist are those with a rapid pattern of onset, while those with a gradual pattern of onset are more likely to decline quickly.

The database—sourced by unclassified media articles—contains information on multiple dimensions of each event. Unstructured variables include summary descriptions of the attacks and more detailed information on the weapons used, specific motives of the attackers, property damage, and ransom demands where applicable. A multi-disciplinary team of University of Maryland faculty members developed the GTD data collection methodology by applying fundamentals of social sciences and computer and information sciences. The process starts with a pool of more than two million open-source media reports published each day.

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The GTD team combines automated and human workflows, leveraging the strengths and mitigating the limitations of each, to produce rich and reliable data. Detailed information including definitions of terms, and data collection methods can be found in the GTD Codebook. Users of the GTD should carefully consider the implications of data collection methods and, in particular, interpret trends over time with caution.

Country Reports on Terrorism - Statistical Annex. Terrorist Attacks on the Homeland. Distinctive Characteristics of Terrorist Groups. Modeling Risk of Future Terrorist Attacks. Predisposing Root Causes of Terrorism. Big, Allied, Dangerous, and Charitable? Guerilla Insurgency: The Springboard to Terrorism? Skip to main content. Erin Miller. Project Details Abstract:. Timeframe Project Period:.

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June to January More Information Related Projects:. Keywords Topics:. Selected Publications. Global Terrorism in Background Report. Overview: Terrorism in Background Report. Terrorism in Mali Fact Sheet. Policy Congressional Testimony. News References. Los Angeles Times: I study terrorism.

A New Report Has Answers. Global terrorism decreases in as recent uptick in U. The Washington Post: Just how bad is the white nationalist terrorism problem?

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The Conversation: Boko Haram deploys lots of women suicide bombers. NBC: Inside the U. Medium: Is Iran the biggest state sponsor of terrorism? But How Prepared Is the U. So Are Their Connections. The presence of a strong, educated middle class has been noted as a correlate to the success of the Arab Spring in different countries.

The strength of the middle class is, in turn, directly connected to the existing political, economic, and educational institutions in a country, and the middle class itself may be considered an informal institution. The bloodiest, most vicious, and most pertinent struggles occur squarely inside the Sunni world. Sectarianism is a politically expedient fable, conveniently used to cover up old-fashioned power struggles, maltreatment of minorities, and cruel totalitarian practices.

Agha and Molley point out that even in Syria there has been a misrepresentation of the conflict, that the Assad regime relied on an alliance that included middle class Sunnis along with other religious minorities. Prior to the uprising, the Syrian regime enjoyed some financial and political support from Sunni Gulf states.

The "select rich urban bourgeoisie, the Sunni Damascene in particular," according to Tokyo University researcher Housam Darwisheh, "now has a direct interest in preserving stability and their relations with the regime as long as their businesses prosper. What is remarkable is that very few analysts of the Arab societies foresaw a mass movement on such a scale that might threaten the existing order.

In his sociological study of the Arab societies, culture and state, Barakat stated confidently that "one should expect the first Arab popular revolution to take place in Egypt or Tunisia. This does not, however, exclude the possibility that revolutions may occur in more pluralistic societies as well. One of which was a "spring of despotic states that receive assistance and legitimacy from a world system centered around stability. Two months into the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings, The Economist magazine in a leader article spoke about a new generation of young people, idealists, "inspired by democracy" made revolutions Those revolutions, the article stated, "are going the right way, with a hopeful new mood prevailing and free elections in the offing.

Some observers, however, have questioned the revolutionary nature of the 'Arab Spring'. Social theorist, specialising in social movements and social change in the Middle East, Asef Bayat , has provided an analysis based on his decades-long of research as "a participant-observer" his own words.

In his appraisal of the Arab revolutions, Bayat discerns a remarkable difference between these revolutions and the revolutions of the s and s in countries like Yemen, Nicaragua and Iran. The Arab revolutions, argues Bayat, "lacked any associated intellectual anchor" and the predominant voices, "secular and Islamists alike, took free market, property relations, and neoliberal rationality for granted" and uncritically. Thus their "political objective is not to capture the state", a fundamental feature in the twentieth-century revolutionary movements. Wael Ghonim , an Internet activist who would later gain an international fame, acknowledged that what he had intended by founding a Facebook page was a "simple reaction to the events in Tunisia" and that "there was no master plans or strategies" a priori.

It called for "coalition and co-operation between all factions and national forces to reach the reform and the peaceful change of the conditions of Egypt. According to Cambridge sociologist Hazem Kandil, the Muslim Brotherhood did not aim at taking power during the events leading up to the toppling of Mubarak.

The biggest and most organised organisation in Egypt in fact negotiated with the regime in "infamous talks between Morsi and the then vice-president Omar Suleiman ," and "an informal deal was reached: withdraw your members from Tahrir Square, and we allow you to form a political party.

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The Brotherhood and the Salafists went all-out to keep the existing constitution—originating under Sadat— with a few amendments. The result was irrelevant, because the military scrapped the old constitution anyway. But the Brothers managed to persuade over 70 per cent of the voters, so it became clear to the military that they had far more sway on the street than the secular revolutionaries who had brought down Mubarak, yet seemed incapable of much organization once they had done so.

For SCAF, the priority was to bring the street under control, so it decided to start working with the Brotherhood to stabilize the country. He characterises the uprisings as "largely unsuccessful revolution" and that they "bare a family resemblance to the 'negotiated revolutions' Negotiated revolutions Although Egyptian intellectualls enjoyed a bigger margin of freedom than their counterparts in Tunisia, cultural figures sought protection from political players, and instead of leading criticism, they complied.

The post-Cold War era saw the emergence of the idea and practice of gradual reform and liberal agenda. It saw an influx of humanitarian projects, NGOs and charity work, liberal think tanks and emphasis on civil society work. This new juncture seemed to have made the idea and prospect of revolution an outdated project.

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The focus instead shifted to individual freedoms and free market. The new idea of civil society was different from the kind of civil society Antonio Gramsci , for instance, envisaged: 'a revolution before the revolution'. In her field study in Yemen, anthropologist Bogumila Hall depicts the effects of what she terms as "the marketization of civil society and its heavy reliance on donors," which "led to a largely depoliticized form of activism that by passed, rather than confronted, the state.

When Arab regimes viewed NGOs' leaders and other similar organisations with suspicion, accusing Western governments of providing funding and training to 'illegal organisations' and formenting revolution, deplomatic cables reported "how American officials frequently assured skeptical governments that the training was aimed at reform, not promoting revolutions. Former ambassador to Egypt Frank G. Wisner publicly suggested that Mr. Mubarak had to be at the center of any change, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned that any transition would take time.

Thus Otpur, in line with these organisations' advocacies, "pushed for political reform through nonradical, electoral, and market-driven language and practices. Early witnessed two uprisings: one in Algeria and another in Sudan. In Algeria under pressure of weeks of protests, the head of the army forced the ailing twenty-year-serving president Abdelaziz Bouteflika , was forced to abdicate. In Sudan, after 4 months of protests, the Sudani defense minister ousted the long-time President Omar al-Bashir in a coup.