Jessica gives a presentation at the 2011 TEDx Amsterdam Women Conference. She reveals a revolutionary idea with the potential to transform counterterrorism. The project is aimed at amplifying the voices of former terrorists who have left their terrorist organizations.
The Washington Post names “ISIS: The State of Terror” notable non-fiction of 2015. November 18, 2015.
The Wall Street Journal names “ISIS: The State of Terror” “one of ten must-read books on the evolution of terrorism in the Middle East.” November 17, 2015.
Boston University profiles Jessica’s new appointment as a Research Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies. November 11, 2015.
Nieman Scholar cites “Denial: A Memoir of Terror” as a must read narrative. Septmeber 9, 2014.
Appearance on PBS NewsHour on foreign fighters in the Islamic State.
Interview with Gluck Radio on the realities of PTSD. August 1, 2014.
Interview with NPR’s Rachel Martin on the meaning of Al-Qaeda’s split with the Islamic State of Iraq in Syria. February 9, 2014.
Keynote lecture at the Symposium on Guilt and Shame in Amsterdam, Netherlands. January 15, 2014.
Appearance on the BBC’s NewsHour program discussing Al Qaeda’s revival and the extent to which it is linked to the Arab Spring. January 3, 2014.
Why France in particular? Salafi jihadists are enraged by France: According to the Summer 2015 issue of al-Qaida’s English-language magazine “Inspire,” “It is France that has committed crimes in Mali and the Islamic Maghreb. It is France that supports the annihilation of Muslims in Central Africa in the name of race cleansing. They are the party of Satan, the enemies of Allah the Almighty and the enemies of His Prophets – peace be upon them.” France was a colonial power. There are 4.7 million Muslims living in France, many of them in poverty. An estimated 1,550 French citizens have left for Syria or Iraq; and some 11,400 citizens have been identified as radical Islamists by French surveillance data. Salafi jihadists also consider France to be especially corrupt.
Until now, we have mostly seen relatively unsophisticated self-starters in the West, inspired by the Islamic State ideology but not directed by its leadership. But it was only a matter of time before the Islamic State would be able to coordinate attacks outside its territory. To do so requires not only trained labor and weaponry, but most importantly intelligence and counter-intelligence, the latter greatly enhanced by a Snowden-inspired anti-surveillance mood. We are likely to see Islamic State-trained operatives working together with local personnel, who know the targeted city or facility. Over time, we will likely see more use of insiders, as we may have seen in the explosion of the Russian airliner on October 31.
Read Jessica’s article on PBS NewsHour: Why the Islamic State Hates France. November 18, 2015.