A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

From the Editor | Vol. 6 No. 3,  August 2016

The Combating Threats Exchange staff are happy to bring you the August 2016 issue of CTX.

Asset Publisher
Da’esh, Legitimacy, and the Rise of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

In early July 2015, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Da’esh (also known as ISIS), issued an important order to his chieftains regarding Da’esh’s grotesque prisoner execution videos. The explicit order quickly passed down throughout the organization’s lowest levels: fighters must no longer release any footage of violent and graphic executions. This order was issued less because ...

Read More

Radicalization and Deradicalization: Norwegian Foreign Fighters in Syria

A distinctive feature of certain armed conflicts over the last 30 years is the involvement of unpaid, radicalized Muslim foreign fighters who do not have any personal stake in the conflict besides a particular kind of religious belief. People become foreign fighters for reasons that depend on several factors that differ from one conflict to another.  ...

Read More

The 1990 Siege of Batticaloa: A Tribute to the Warriors of the Gemunu Watch

Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeast tip of India. Most of the land is flat and rolling, with mountains in the south-central region rising to over 8,000 feet (2,438 meters). The two nations are separated by the Palk Strait, which is only  ...

Read More

The Lumads of the Philippines: Struggling from Conflict toward Peace

Lumad is a Filipino-Bisaya term meaning “native” or “indigenous,” and is the self-ascription and collective identity of the non-Islamized peoples who are said to be the original habitants of the island of Mindanao. The term is short for Katawhang Lumad (literally, “indigenous peoples”), the autonym officially adopted  ...

Read More

Assessing Canada’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams: Can the Concept of INSETs Be Exported?

After the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States, several countries adjusted their counterterrorism and national security policies to better protect themselves against terrorist threats. The Canadian government took a proactive approach to counterterrorism by studying  ...

Read More


Brian Fishman, Center for International Security and Cooperation:   INTERVIEWED BY DOUGLAS BORER, US NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL: 

Read More


How to Read a (War) Comic:   The phrase “war comic” feels oxymoronic, doesn’t it? While war poetry, war novels, and war movies are long-accepted narrativeforms (the first ballads passed down in most oral traditions are war epics)—and despite the rampant humor some of those forms exhibit—somehow the words “war” and “comic” just don’t seem to go together ...

Read More


This journal is not an official DoD publication. The views expressed or implied within are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any governmental or nongovernmental organization or agency of the United States of America or any other country.


Copyright © 2023 by the author(s), except where otherwise noted. The Combating Threats Exchange journal (CTX) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal available free of charge to individuals and institutions. Copies of this journal and the articles contained herein may be printed or downloaded and redistributed for personal, research, or educational purposes free of charge and without permission, except if otherwise noted. Any commercial use of CTX or the articles published herein is expressly prohibited without the written consent of the copyright holder. The copyright of all articles published herein rests with the author(s) of the article, unless otherwise noted.


  • SALLY BAHO, Copy Editor
  • LAYOUT AND DESIGN, Graduate Education Advancement Center, Naval Postgraduate School


  • VICTOR ASAL, University of Albany SUNY
  • CHRIS HARMON, Marine Corps University
  • TROELS HENNINGSEN, Royal Danish Defense College
  • PETER MCCABE, Joint Special Operations University
  • RAJAN RAVINDRAN, Indian Army (Ret.)
  • IAN C. RICE, US Army (Ret.)
  • ANNA SIMONS, Naval Postgraduate School
  • SHYAMSUNDER TEKWANI, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
  • CRAIG WHITESIDE, Naval War College


  • AMINA KATOR-MUBAREZ, Naval Postgraduate School