James Brandon

James Brandon is a political and security risk analyst. He was Director of Research at the Quilliam Foundation, a UK-based think-tank, from 2008-2011, and was a journalist for print, broadcast and online media between 2002-2007, reporting on terrorism and Islamism from around the Middle East and Europe. He has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and is an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) at Kings’ College, London. He currently works for a leading political risk and security consultancy and is based in Singapore and London. He has been quoted widely in the international media and has conducted research projects for a wide range of western governments.

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    Articles by James Brandon

    Ireland Faces Conundrum of Jihadist Returnees

    During the past few months, the mainly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured several jihadists of Irish nationality, forcing Ireland to confront the fact that up to several dozen of

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    AL-SHABAAB ATTACKS IN SOMALIA SUGGEST NEW HARDLINE STRATEGY Al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist militant group, has conducted a range of attacks during the last few weeks, significant both in their scale

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    CAN TUNISIA'S JIHADISTS CAPITALIZE ON COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC CRISIS? Two militants were killed and at least one member of the Tunisian security forces was injured on February 1 during clashes in

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    AL-SHABAAB ATTACK KEEPS PRESSURE ON KENYAN MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT On January 15, the Somali militant group al-Shabaab carried out one of its most significant attacks on the forces of the

    Ireland’s Foreign Fighters

    Since the start of the Syrian uprising in 2012, around 30 to 50 Irish citizens are believed to have traveled to the country to join various Sunni rebel groups. At

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    FRESH MILITANT VIOLENCE IN PHILIPPINES ILLUSTRATES CONTINUING JIHADIST PRESENCE James Brandon Armed members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) kidnapped and killed nine Christian farmers in the southern Philippines island

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    BANGLADESH ATTACKS SHOW INCREASING ISLAMIC STATE INFLUENCE James Brandon In the last six weeks, Bangladesh has been hit by a near-unprecedented series of Islamist militant attacks targeting foreigners and local

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    BOKO HARAM SURVIVES REGIONAL OFFENSIVES AND STRIKES BACK James Brandon Rumors of the demise of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram appear to have been greatly exaggerated, as indicated by

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    HOUTHI INCURSIONS, IRANIAN PROPAGANDA TARGET SAUDI ARABIA’S NAJRAN PROVINCE James Brandon During the last month, a series of developments in Najran, both a province and its capital city in southwestern

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    GARISSA UNIVERSITY ATTACKS HIGHLIGHT AL-SHABAAB’S RESILIENCY Kathryn Basinsky The Garissa University attacks have demonstrated al-Shabaab’s resiliency despite growing evidence that international efforts against al-Shabaab have been paying off. In the

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    HOUTHIS OPEN DOOR TO GREATER IRANIAN ROLE IN YEMEN James Brandon Internal sectarian and political divisions have continued to deepen in Yemen in recent weeks, creating fresh instability and uncertainty.

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    BELGIUM: TRIAL UNCOVERS EUROPE’S FORGOTTEN JIHADISTS James Brandon One of Europe’s largest ever Islamism-related anti-terrorism trials concluded on February 11 with the conviction of Fouad Belkacem, the leader of Sharia4Belgium,

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    ISLAMIC STATE DEFEAT IN KOBANE HIGHLIGHTS LONG STRUGGLE AHEAD James Brandon The Islamic State endured one of its most significant and high-profile defeats to date in January when it was

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    SAUDI ATTACKS UNDERLINE GROWING JIHADIST CHALLENGE James Brandon Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said on January 5 that three border guards had been killed in clashes with four attackers near the

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    AIRSTRIKES, GROUND OFFENSIVES PUT ISLAMIC STATE ON THE BACK FOOT James Brandon During the last two weeks, a series of mainly military developments have inflicted significant damage on the Islamic

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    FRENCH JIHADISTS NAMED AFTER ISLAMIC STATE KILLINGS James Brandon The videotaped execution of 18 Syrian soldiers and the U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig by the Islamic State organization garnered fresh

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    HOUTHIS CONTINUE TO CONSOLIDATE CONTROL IN YEMEN James Brandon During the last fortnight, Yemen’s Houthi movement has continued to expand and consolidate its control over the country’s central and western

    PJAK Faces Turkish-Iranian Storm

    The last year has seen steadily increasing violence between Turkey and the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). On October 21, 2007 a group of PKK fighters killed 12 Turkish soldiers and

    Hizb-ut-Tahrir Under Increasing Pressure in the UK

    In recent months, Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT), a global Islamist group which aims to re-establish the caliphate, has come under increasing pressure in the United Kingdom from several sources: through the high-profile

    UK Plot Highlights Growing Arab Radicalism

    The arrests of seven men and one woman in connection with the two attempted car bombings in London and an attack on the Glasgow airport have highlighted the spread of

    PKK Survives EU Arrests

    In early February 2006, French and Belgian police arrested more than a dozen senior members of the PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party), a militant group fighting for greater political, social and

    PJAK Claims Fresh Attacks in Iran

    In recent months, fighters from the Iranian Kurdish group, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), have clashed several times with Iranian government forces. At the end of

    The PKK and Syria’s Kurds

    In January, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) appointed "Doctor Bahoz," the nom de guerre of Fehman Huseyin, a Syrian Kurd, to lead the People's Defense Forces (the HPG), putting him

    Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s Growing Appeal in the Arab World

    Hizb-ut-Tahrir (or Hizb al-Tahrir) is an ostensibly non-violent Islamic political movement dedicated to the recreation of a global caliphate. Although founded in Jordanian-ruled Jerusalem in 1953, it has traditionally been