Dr. Husham Al-Hashimi was a leading researcher on ideological security and extremist movements, and he was an expert on terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS and their branches and supporters in the Middle East.
He was a writer, observer, and commentator on current affairs, with frequent TV appearances on major Iraqi and Arab channels. He published three books: “Daesh’s World,” “Daesh, A Look From the Inside,” and “Extremism.” He had more than 1,000 articles and research papers published in Iraqi, Arab, and foreign journals on security and extremist groups.
Dr. Al-Hashimi worked closely with many of the world’s leading think tanks and research centers, such as Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, the American University in Iraq Sulaymaniyah, Al-Rafidain Centre for Dialogue, and al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies. Dr. Al-Hashimi had also advised many different Iraqi organizations, such as the National Reconciliation Team at the prime minister’s office, the speaker of parliament, and UNAMI.
The Islamic State’s new leaders are emerging from defeat with an adaptable mindset and ideological flexibility that will allow them to remain ensconced within the core ISIS territories of Iraq and Syria, especially by focusing on local alliances and outreach to other jihadist groups.
A money-and-death triangle is emerging in the area to the north and east of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Absent any monitoring, intelligence legwork, or other broader security and political economic interventions, this oil-rich area stands to become a hotbed of terrorist operations and money harvesting and could see the return of activities that could again kick up dust storms of sectarianism.
The rise of surprise ISIS attacks and the increasing number of raids on remote villages and barracks belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and tribal mobilization forces in the last four months claimed the lives of dozens of Iraqis. As a result of this realization, al-Kadhimi assembled a team to reconfigure the country’s counterterrorism strategy.
Throughout much of Iraq, residents and authorities consider these families potential enablers of renewed ISIS activities. Despite local officials’ and entities’ intensive efforts to reintegrate these families with their communities, security concerns, tribal and sectarian issues, and other formidable obstacles remain.