THE EUROPEAN FACE OF THE EXTREMIST THREAT
Keywords: non-state actors, Islamism, "Islamic State", "eurojihadism"
L. L. FITUNI
Doctor of Economics
I. O. ABRAMOVA
Doctor of Economics
Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences
In the years that have passed since the first riots in North Africa, the course of events and their consequences have taken an unfavorable turn for many State and non-State actors in world politics. They have seriously destabilized the international and domestic situation, including in countries located far beyond the region's borders. Some of these adverse effects seem to have been a planned element of the Big Game scenario, while others came as an unpleasant surprise.
Attempts at social engineering in Arab countries, the artificial implantation of political and ideological new formations alien to local societies, and the arrogant attitude towards local religious and cultural characteristics led to a prolonged drama of the "Arab Spring". Recently, the West's rhetoric regarding the origins, bloody course and tragic consequences of the events of the Arab Spring and other recent "revolutionary" cataclysms has ceased to be shamefully evasive. The United States and the EU are no longer so peremptorily saying that "everything that happened happened by itself, and we only supported the will of the rebellious population to the best of our ability."1
Today, the political line of the overseas inspirers of the "color" revolutions fits into the formula:"whether it's better or worse, but the job is done - now we need to bring what we started to its logical conclusion." The calculation is made to create conditions for the transformation of geostrategic paradigms in the entire vast latitudinal zone from Morocco to the borders of China.
The depth of transformations will vary from regime changes and / or their orientation to the "incubation" of new state and quasi-state entities in this region of the world. It is already obvious that the political, social and economic transit in this mega-city will last not years, but decades. It will be characterized by violent socio-political cataclysms and will certainly require all countries that find themselves in the transit zone - whether old or new-to divert a significant share of their available resources to overcome the side effects of a wide range: military-political, economic, ethno-confessional, etc., which inevitably arise during such transitions.
The article was prepared with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for National Research-project No. 14-07-00028 "Aggressive non-state participants in geostrategic competition in" Islamic Africa "and some aspects of Russian security after the"Arab Spring".
Map 1. The New Middle East map used for training purposes by the Pentagon (according to R. Peters, 2007).
DO I NEED TO "CALCULATE" ALL THE CONSEQUENCES?
With regard to North Africa and West Asia (hereinafter referred to as SAZA 2), we are talking about fundamental geopolitical transformations that Washington sees as a historic opportunity for the United States to form a new Middle East "for itself" politically and strategically, just as the current one was formed, in fact, following the results of the First World War by the main colonial powers under the the dominance of England in this process.
The reader may have a seemingly logical question: why did the United States start reformatting the SAZ only now, and not in the 1950s-1960s or, say, in the early 1990s, at the peak of its global power? Such a statement of the question will not be devoid of logic, but, in fact, it is not entirely correct.
To begin with, the formation of the modern borders of most of the states of the Middle East and North Africa as a result of the First World War, mainly in the colonial interests of England and France, also took place after these colonial powers passed the peak of their world power, which occurred at the end of the XIX century. At the time of the Treaties of Versailles (1918), Sevres (1920), and Lausanne (1923), these metropolises were still formally the most powerful powers, but it was obvious that they would soon have to cede the palm to the United States.
And Germany, Japan, and Russia, which were defeated or destroyed in the Great War, could soon become real economic and geopolitical rivals and competitors. In this sense, the redrawing of the political map of the world at that time (not only in Asia, but also in Europe), the carving of "new" states, was nothing more than an attempt by England and France, having strengthened their positions, to reverse the vector of history and freeze their world domination through new geopolitical constructs.
It is quite natural that in the interests of implementing the tasks of that time, England and France used objective trends and patterns of socio-economic development of the "reformed" countries and the hopes and aspirations of some of the peoples inhabiting them. But not all and not equally-that-
such as national liberation aspirations, the desire for their own statehood, the interest of the emerging local bourgeoisie in freeing themselves from the need to share part of their income with the "foreign treasury".
It was natural to take into account and use the complex of these factors, because the metropolises were managed by experienced politicians, whose policy was largely based on a deep, by then standards, analysis of existing opportunities and careful elaboration of foreign policy actions. This approach, however, has not in any way changed the self - serving nature of the geopolitical plans of world leaders, either in the past or now.
The historical analogy with the current positions of the United States is quite obvious. Returning to the specific aspects of the question formulated above about the time characteristics of the SAZ transformation process, it should be noted that the course towards it, like any geopolitical strategy and foreign policy line, did not arise spontaneously or simultaneously. It is necessary to separate the period of the "emergence of an idea", its design, awareness of its rationality and the need for implementation, and, finally, the implementation itself.
The idea of the need for a geopolitical transformation and redrawing of the political map in this region emerged in the United States in the late 1970s as a reaction to the Iranian Revolution. The design and theoretical justification took a period approximately from the mid-1980s to the second half of the 1990s. It would be possible to mark these time limits with a certain degree of convention by publishing two landmark works of Z. Brzezinski 3. In the most recent of them, the author uses the term "Eurasian Balkans", including the North Caucasus, Transcaucasia (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan) in this geostrategic zone, in conjunction with Iran and Turkey.
After that, the implementation of the idea in practice begins. What followed were the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the actual dismemberment of the latter. However, the actual concept of a New Middle East is being openly thrown into world politics only in 2006. It is believed that this term was first voiced by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Israel in June 2006.
In 2007, Rolf Peters, a retired lieutenant colonel who worked at the US National Military Academy, published a map of the updated prospective borders of the national states of the Greater Middle East region in the article "Bloody Borders" in the Armed Forces Journal. A bridge has emerged from the concept of the New Middle East to the doctrine of the New Middle East, where some of the existing countries may not find a place or will have to give up. New states may be created in the "liberated territories" (see map 1).
Peters ' most recent position is in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence at the U.S. Department of Defense. According to Russian analysts, he is one of the well-known Pentagon authors, who has published numerous works on strategy in US military and foreign policy journals.
Official Washington, including representatives of military departments, subsequently repeatedly repeated that this map does not reflect the Pentagon's point of view. However, according to informed sources, it was used in training programs for senior military officers of the NATO Defense College and, along with other maps, could well have been used by the National Military Academy and military planners. 4
In 2010, the "Arab Spring" broke out, resulting in a prolonged massacre in Syria, a permanent all-against-all civil war in Libya, a pendulum change of government in Yemen, and, finally, in the fighting of self-organized coalitions against the "Islamic State" (IS/ISIL)5 in Iraq and Syria and the Shiite Ansar Allah armies (Houthis) in Yemen.
The redrawing of the SAZ map began to take on more realistic and quite obvious forms.
On the African flank of the region, after the fall of Gaddafi, Libya as a single state virtually ceased to exist. The country faces the prospect of repeating the path of disintegration, following the example of another former Italian possession in Africa - Somalia.
On the Asian flank, the "spreading" IS/ISIL and the inexorably" spilling out " of the former borders of Iraq Kurdistan with varying degrees of legitimacy and recognition solve the same problem of actually changing the current configuration of border lines. And the result of this may not be the integration, respectively, of Sunnis and Kurds in a single state, but the further parceling of the region.
In 2013, the New York Times published Robin Wright's article "How Five Countries Became Fourteen" in its Sunday Review, accompanied by a map with new proposed "optimized" borders in SAZA 6 (see map 2).
We are far from thinking that every such publication is a product of official strategic planning. However, it cannot be denied that they reflect the direction of the dvi-
Map 2. Robin Wright's map of the fragmentation of 5 countries in the SAZA region (The New York Times, 2013).
At the very least, a certain segment of American politicians ' thoughts are being expressed. Let's add that these constructions are not so fantastic, and are not always a reflection of the views of only "hawks from Capitol Hill". Rather, it is an attempt to calculate possible geopolitical scenarios and choose the best one in your interests. On this basis, you can make a choice of which non-state actors-carriers of change to support or nurture with an eye to the future.
What is the meaning of the US strategy for parcel-building the region? How can redrawing the borders of local states and the emergence of quasi-State entities promote US interests in the region?
The logic of managing the chaos created is as follows. Every country that already exists today, or that will emerge from the wreckage of states destroyed during the "Arab Spring", will inevitably seek its own (new) path. Under these conditions, the United States can directly or through its agents (local actors-translators of pro-American interests) shape this path, or at least largely determine its vectors. It is clear that this will require the implementation of a certain set of carefully thought-out strategies (not just one, but many complementary, and if necessary, in case of temporary failures, interchangeable substitute strategies!), based on the premise that local state and non-state actors will ultimately claim a sovereign future.7
Specific agents-translators can be very diverse and represent, depending on the specific circumstances, any groups of non - state actors-religious (Shiites, Sunnis, Christians), ethnic (Kurds, Turks, etc.), racial (negroid population of Arab countries), social, gender, etc., or a combination of them (for example, socio-ethnic groups). oppressed racial, ethnic, and gender groups). The created administrative objects also do not have to be uniform, from the point of view of subjectivity of international law, or, say, as potential carriers of state sovereignty.
Under the information and propaganda veil, UN member states, unrecognized governments and coalitions, quasi-state entities, and non-state actors can be put on the same level in order to achieve the national interests of the United States. Manipulation of state actors requires a lot of effort from the point of view of at least external compliance with international legality and justification of the legitimacy of their subsequent actions. And therefore, at present, non-state actors, while
all other things being equal, they look more attractive as translators of the corresponding ideas for managing the created chaos.
The stakes are high for the United States and its allies. Given the changed global balance of military, economic, and political forces, even the hypothetical "success" of what is planned in the region will still not be able to completely reverse the wheel of history and return the situation of Washington's monopolistic dominance. "Failure" will have significant negative long-term consequences for US interests, including those that America considers "vital".
But, on the other hand, the game is worth the candle, because, although not promising a radical historical reversal, the same global and geostrategic factors work in such a way that even limited and temporary successes can potentially give the United States very specific advantages. They can, under certain conditions and skilful play, extend indefinitely the claims of the United States to leadership in global governance and unconditional hegemony within the Western world.
Global trends are shaping up in such a way that the greatest economic opportunities for the United States and its junior partners from the EU in the coming decades are likely to gravitate to East and South Asia. In the White House's view, the region of North Africa and the Middle East will continue to be very much linked to threats and challenges to national security.
Most likely, some of these threats were largely "calculated" during the launch of the New Middle East project and the subsidiary country subprojects of the Arab Spring. Some of the threats to international security, such as separatism, inter-confessional, inter-ethnic and, more generally, "historically determined" tensions, were used as a detonator in self-sustaining local armed conflicts. In any case, the simultaneous movements of NATO partners along this path indirectly confirm this scenario.
"EUROJIHADISM" AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON
There are conflicting opinions about the degree of" miscalculation " of other consequences and threats that have worsened after the rampant "Arab Spring".
Today, two of them are particularly prominent, linked to militant Islamism. They concern the reformatting of the extremist-terrorist threat from an abstract amorphous Al-Qaeda to a concrete tangible Islamic State and the recently sharply defined threat of "Eurojihadism" - Islamist extremism and terrorism within Europe.
Some researchers believe that the emergence of this two-pronged threat is part of a global scenario for the formation of a situation of "controlled chaos"in key geostrategic zones. Often, those who voice this approach, as well as those who previously believed that Washington and Brussels were behind the" color revolutions "in their concrete historical manifestation, are referred with varying degrees of justification to the supporters of the" conspiracy theory " and do not enter into discussions on the merits of the arguments.
For example, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Wafd published an article entitled " The Islamic State is America's rabid wolf." It emphasizes that Washington created this organization with the support of the British intelligence services and Pakistani intelligence to achieve geopolitical goals in the Middle East, as was the case with Al-Qaeda.
The main goal of the IS, as the newspaper notes, is the destruction of Syria and Iraq. The newspaper calls the American war against ISIS a "big lie" that justifies Washington's intervention in the region as part of its military strategy. The militant invasion of Iraq in June 2014 is described as one of the components of a military intelligence operation that was carefully planned with the tacit support of the United States and NATO. 8
IS / ISIL also sees the redrawing of the map of the Old World as a political goal, similar to the above-described US policy line in the SAZA region. Surprisingly, in some places the planned "desirable" new state entities on the American and Islamist maps coincide (see map 3).
However, most analysts tend to include the WHO-
Map 3. Map of the provinces of the future "restored "" Islamic State "(Caliphate) according to the plans of the IG/ISIL.
the emergence of the IS/ISIL phenomenon, and "eurojihadism" to the "unread" consequences of the "Arab Spring".
In our opinion, the connection of both social phenomena with the "Arab Spring" is the most direct. However, the revolutionary and pseudo-revolutionary processes in the Arab world were not the primary source, but only a powerful catalyst for the explosion of militant Islamism. ISIS in the Arab world and "Eurojihadism" outside of it have become negative manifestations of the natural growth of political consciousness, self-esteem and self-identification of a part of the Muslim population, respectively, in Arab countries and Muslim diasporas in Europe. An additional boost to the growth of all three of the above " self -..." indeed, the "Arab spring" gave. It unleashed the destructive impulses that were dormant in slow-moving and patient Muslim societies.
For a long time, the Arab Spring has shown the Muslim masses in the SAZA region, who have endured in silence and in various ways dissatisfied with their situation, and their co-religionists in European diasporas that the existing order can be changed by force, contrary to tradition and behavioral stereotypes of the older generation. The policy of the West and the global information background created by it strongly encouraged such approaches, pushing the target audience to radicalize.9 In fact, the global media, day after day of the "Arab Spring", pushed the young generation of Arabs (and not only them) an existential question that tormented Raskolnikov: "Am I a trembling creature or do I have the right?"
However, unlike the Christian tradition, Islam resolves this contradiction by directly pointing out how, obeying the will of the Almighty, the "patient" can realize himself as a "entitled person". Surah 47 of the Qur'an, which bears the name of the Prophet, reads::
"...31. We will certainly put you to the test until We know those of you who fight and are patient, and We will verify your messages..."
"...35. Do not show weakness and do not call for peace, because you are above the rest. Allah is with you and will not detract from your deeds."
Thus, for a young Muslim, a step away from revolutionary revolt in the name of social progress and democracy towards Islamic radicalism is civilizationally natural, ideologically grounded, and internally non-contradictory. To paraphrase Marx, it was precisely through the Arab Spring that young people in the SAZ and diasporas, deprived of their rights and opportunities, began to transform from " Muslims in themselves "to"Muslims for themselves".
At the same time, it is clear that, like any social phenomenon, these phenomena were not born in one moment from scratch. The prerequisites for the development of such processes were formed and developed before the last wave of the Arab troubles.
The question of the genesis and epistemological roots of intraregional religious radicalization and "Eurojihadism" is not scholastic theorizing. Understanding this issue may provide clues to solving or at least reducing the severity of extremely urgent problems of international security and the development of individual States.
The Islamic State organization is now becoming, in fact, a key link of radical Islam in the Middle East region and tends to grow further.
The total area of the territory controlled by IS/ISIL, as of 2014, was estimated at 40-90 thousand square kilometers, and the population living in it, mainly consisting of Sunnis , was estimated at 8 million people. By the beginning of the summer of 2015, after the fighting, IS / ISIL had lost 25-30% (8-10 thousand square kilometers) of the original territories captured in Iraq. According to estimates of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, the "Islamic State" formations operating in Syria and Iraq already include up to 70,000 militants of various nationalities.10
The Islamic State claims to be a Muslim civilizational response to the concept of civil society proposed by Western civilization.
According to its propagandists, the value base of the Islamic State is social justice, which is supposedly immanent in "true Islam". Despite the extreme manifestations of irreconcilability towards enemies, which in our eyes show signs of barbarism and savagery, the fundamental ideological platform of the IG is a state of social justice based on the dogmas of Islam, where everyone is equal before Allah.-
lam is an open religion, and IG is a network state, a "state without borders", a supposedly ideal state of Muslim believers, a community of communities, and not a pyramid-shaped social structure typical of most civilized states built on the Western model.
In fact, the Islamic State is a replacement for the niche occupied in the minds of people, primarily the disadvantaged, by the socialist ideology before the collapse of the USSR. Therefore, the Islamic State has supporters not only in the Muslim world, but also in Christian countries that do not accept bourgeois values and, in their opinion, by joining the Islamic State, they are fighting against the injustice in the world, which is supported by the countries of the "golden billion".
Many people today tend to underestimate the scale and potential depth of this threat. They say that all this applies to the southern regions and Muslim countries, as well as states bordering the latter.
Let us disagree with this approach. The current crisis with illegal migrants to Western Europe is only the "first call".
The speed with which IS is spreading geographically and attracting a growing number of supporters is evidence of our concern. In support of our words, we will give an example from recent history. When, just over 150 years ago, the native of Trier first put his communist ideas in the form of a manifesto, the number of members of his cell was limited to a few dozen people. The ideas of socialization and the abolition of private property seemed to the absolute majority of his contemporaries no less wild and uncivilized than the postulates of the Islamic State.
But the element of social justice - the liberation of the proletariat, overcoming the exploitation of man by man - attracted many. Including (and sometimes mostly) those who were not proletarians. The network structure created by a handful of like - minded people - the International-solved the problem of global dissemination of an idea that was socially alien to most classes of the planet at that time, and over the next 100 years, after a series of bloody twists and turns, created a powerful global system, part of which is still alive and thriving today.
FROM "LONDONISTAN " TO"LONDONGRAD"
On a visible but still limited scale, jihadism began to penetrate Western Europe in the 1980s and early 1990s11 By this time, a critical mass of political activists, their leaders, ideological inspirers and breadwinners had formed here - all those whose well-being, and sometimes their very existence, depended on anti-government protests and uprisings local conflicts and civil wars, those who proclaimed themselves fighters against foreign oppressors in the Arab countries, Afghanistan, Hindustan (Kashmir), Chechnya, Yugoslavia, Xinjiang, etc.
Although "politically active Muslim oppositionists" settled in many EU countries during this period, the main center of attraction, control and at the same time a transit hub for militant Islamists is the United Kingdom.
It was then that the term "Londonistan", which refers to parts of the British capital populated mainly by immigrants from Muslim Asian countries, penetrates the media from the jargon of the special services. But even outside the metropolitan area, in the Muslim neighborhoods of major cities and hidden in the idyllic English countryside of old manors belonging to important state institutions, painstaking work was underway to use political Islam in the interests of the triumph of Western democracy in the world.
It was a time of "squeezing" the main geostrategic rival for the West - the Soviet Union. Militant Islam played a key role in this task, which was the most important for the capitalist world. The Afghan war was designed not only to bleed the USSR out economically, but also to deprive it of influence and support from a large number of countries around the world, primarily those whose population professes Islam. Inciting and maintaining inter-confessional conflicts, religious and ethnic separatism within the Soviet state itself was intended to ensure its collapse.
Simultaneously created for-
A new world order and a renewed system of global governance were created - the political maps of Europe, Asia, and Africa were redrawn, new borders were drawn, agreements were reached, and promises of political recognition were made for new states with names that few people knew for the time being. In return, future political leaders were asked about their future economic policies and policies.
In this sense, "Londonistan" was the most important, and perhaps, in those geopolitical realities, a necessary condition for the appearance of "Londongrad" a decade and a half later - a large, very well-off Russian diaspora that formed its fortunes after the collapse of the USSR in the course of dubious manipulations with property. As well as later "settlers" who make money in Russia, but prefer to live with their children and household members on the shores of Foggy Albion.
"Londonistan " and" Londongrad " have small overlapping segments. Part of the Islamist emigration is represented by separatists and extremists who come from the Muslim republics of Russia, and some representatives of "Londongrad" recently made a fortune in the war in Chechnya, and then played a significant role in financing extremist and terrorist activities in the Russian Federation.
EUROMATRASHKA IN HIJAB
In Western typologies of constructing translational actors, the "matryoshka effect" is quite clearly traced: inside the structures put forward as opponents or opponents, there is always a primordial backbone, which, as it turns out over time, was created, nurtured, supported or financed by the United States or its allies at earlier stages. From a historical point of view, it is difficult to call such dependencies completely new. This was the case in the past with the Bolsheviks, with the German and Italian fascists, with Bandera, with the Afghan Mujahideen, with Al-Qaeda, and with the progenitors of the IG/ISIL.
The West nurtures, finances, and strengthens the cadre of organizations and structures it needs to fight its geopolitical rivals. At a certain stage, students gain independence and often go on the offensive against their teachers and teachers. The degree of truth and sincerity of their confrontation, the reliability of the antagonism that has suddenly formed between them, is rather difficult to determine: the system of their connections and real interdependencies is mostly hidden from the eyes of an outsider.
The "matryoshka doll" outlined above began to "try on the hijab" even before the events of the "Arab Spring". The special services of the European Union and Europol countries kept an eye on the Islamist migrants and tried to use them openly or secretly for their own purposes.
EUROPE FINANCES JIHADISM...
It is important to keep in mind that the hidden threads of global interests of Western geopolitics "Londonistan" and "Londongrad", in addition to their political and ideological content, have a very specific financial and economic content-both in terms of the huge cash flows associated with them, and in terms of using them to ensure the West's access to real resources. assets, natural resources, technologies, and other riches of their countries of origin.
However, certain investments are unavoidable to ensure such an economic return. They are received both through secret channels of funding from interested states (naturally, through several intermediaries), and from non-state sources - local diasporas, charitable foundations, non-governmental organizations, etc.
According to the Charity Commission, the UK government's regulator of charities and organizations, funds sent to entities under its supervision "may be misappropriated by Islamists and diverted to Syria and Iraq to help militants" 12.
Commission Chairman William Shawcross believes that some of the donated funds may have been sent directly to Islamic State militants. In 2014, of the 86 charities under the Commission's suspicion, 37 raised funds in the UK and sent them in the form of humanitarian aid to Syria. In 2014, the Commission received an additional £ 8 million in public funding to improve efforts to counter the financing of jihadist structures through charitable organizations.
According to the above-mentioned head of the kingdom's supervisory authority, a total of about 500 British charities claim that they work in one form or another in Syria. At the same time, about 200 of them were registered after the beginning of the armed conflict there. In particular, the Regulator is concerned that "where goods and supplies are delivered by humanitarian convoys, there cannot be proper control" 13.
In other words, commodity and financial flows can, in fact, become capital investments in structures controlled by aggressive non-State actors engaged in terrorist or extremist activities.
THE SECRET FRUIT OF ARAB SPRING
Meanwhile, the effect of undesirable consequences increases. At the beginning of 2015, Europol, the joint law enforcement agency of the European Union, announced that the level of the terrorist threat posed by immigrants from Europe, by joining the European Union, is higher than in the previous year.-
The level of resistance to Islamists is the highest since September 2001. According to the European police, from 3 to 5 thousand citizens of EU countries take part in the fighting in the Middle East in the ranks of Islamist groups.
In Western Europe, France is the leader in the number of people who have joined Islamists: 1,200 French people participate in their activities. France is followed by the United Kingdom and Germany, where between 500 and 600 people have joined the Islamists. The smallest number of "Euro-jihadists" is in Ireland - about 30 people. This is less than, for example, the total in the Baltic States. Based on the ratio of the number of Islamist supporters per million people, Belgium is the leader, with about 40 supporters of Islamist groups per 1 million people. It is followed by Denmark (27) and Sweden (19).
Most of them are young people who, as is rightly feared in the united Europe, may return back, having intentions and opportunities to commit terrorist acts, and maybe something worse. Of the above-mentioned number of Euro-jihadists, the EU authorities managed to identify about 2.5 thousand. suspected of terrorist activities. Earlier, Europol reported that in the ranks of Islamists in the Middle East, in total, up to 12 thousand foreign mercenaries can fight. Unfortunately, there are also Russians and citizens of other republics neighboring our country.
By the end of the summer of 2015, the first alarming reports began to appear in the Western press with reference to defected militants about the existence of "sleeping" IG/ISIL cells in Europe, ready for action immediately after receiving the necessary instructions. According to sources, the cells do not necessarily include only those who were among the IS fighters, but also people who have never been in conflict zones.14
In Spain, for example, the activities of jihadists have been a constant reality for the past two decades. If the frequency of police operations against local Islamic activists and the intensity of media coverage of this problem are taken as indicators of its activation or decline, then the periodic ups and downs of the "acuteness of the issue"will be clearly visible on the timeline.
From March 1995 to January 2015, more than 80 security operations were conducted against Islamist cells in the country. However, the number of actual bloody terrorist attacks carried out by Islamists (unlike other groups) in the country is small. The loudest of these was the January 2004 Atocha train station explosion in Madrid, which killed 191 people from 17 countries. Although the "Islamic footprint" in it has been officially confirmed by the Spanish authorities, there are discrepancies as to which organizations are responsible for it. The authorities first blamed it on Basque separatists, then on the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM).
MEANWHILE, IN RUSSIA...
The problem has not spared Russia. The international terrorist group "Islamic State", banned in Russia, is trying to recruit supporters in the North Caucasus. The danger of IS is that its emissaries and fighters are beginning to infiltrate other terrorist organizations. They, for example, show interest in the terrorist organization "Caucasus Emirate", some field commanders of which even swore allegiance to the"Islamic State". According to the FSB data released in the summer of 2015, there are about 1,700 Russians in the ranks of the Islamic State group, but their number may be more. The competent authorities of Tajikistan have information that up to 300 of their citizens may be in the ranks of IS15.
Russia is taking steps to counter the growth of violent radicalism both at the national and international levels. Cooperation on this issue within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has proved fruitful. For several years now, Russian and Uzbek law enforcement agencies have been working effectively to curb the criminal activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir. A joint group has been created that works continuously.
Within the framework of the comprehensive plan for countering the ideology of terrorism, mechanisms for protecting the Russian information space are being actively developed and the basics of propaganda and counter-propaganda work are being improved. One of the key elements of the fight against terrorism in the Russian Federation is the formation of a strong rejection of views and ideas that justify the use of acts of violence and intimidation to influence the authorities and society.
In the regions, the infrastructure for carrying out information and propaganda work is mainly formed. Civil servants and other specialists are being trained, including within the framework of the federal target program "Antiterror". In a number of regions, commissions for adaptation to peaceful life of gang members who voluntarily refused to continue their criminal activities are effectively operating.
At the same time, according to the FSB leadership, in some regions there are still prerequisites for radicalization of the population associated with unemployment, corruption, low living standards, as well as underestimation in some cases of the threats of spreading extremist ideas. In a number of foreign countries, terrorist and extremist websites are actively operating, which aggressively target the Russian audience. Recruitment of Russian citizens by international terrorist organizations in gangs continues-
companies operating not only in the North Caucasus region, but also on the territory of third countries, in particular, in Syria. The practice of training preachers from among Russian citizens in foreign Islamic educational centers who, upon their return to their homeland, promote destructive religious ideas, has acquired, according to the FSB leadership, a "streaming character". In this regard, "the issue of developing a system of high-quality spiritual teaching of traditional Islam on the basis of domestic religious institutions is long overdue." 16
Thus, increasing efforts against the replenishment of the bandit underground with new members does not lose relevance. In this struggle, it is necessary to unite the efforts of not only the power bloc, but also all the institutions of our society.
Unfortunately, the described processes in the post-Soviet space, including the recently actively discussed problem of recruiting extremist structures, including the notorious "Islamic State", are one of the sides of the problem of" Euro - Jihadism", albeit with"domestic specifics". Moreover, in our opinion, both problems (non-state and quasi-state actors and the problem of "Eurojihadism") are interrelated, and from the point of view of their genesis, their origins, at least in today's forms, directly go back to the"Arab Spring". In a broader sense, the evolutionary milestones are September 11, 2001, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
After much debate about the fundamental causes and true mechanisms of the Arab Spring, the role of an external factor in the tragic events in North Africa and the Middle East has finally begun to be recognized, even by those who initially tried to turn away from this perspective of the problem. Today, it is already difficult to dismiss the facts of interference, external pressure, secret and explicit financing, and often direct control of the course of events by the United States and its junior partners from the EU that have become public.
The dialectic of the development of the processes under consideration in SAZA is that the West tried to use the objective conditions, needs and social dynamics of the region in order to achieve its own geopolitical goals and promote its ideological attitudes and dogmas, which resulted in a sequence of events of the "Arab Spring". However, in practice, taking into account the objective conditions and assessing the real possibilities of social transformation in the SAZA turned out to be incorrect or, at least, insufficient.
The Arab Spring has awakened social and political processes that have made the United States and the EU need to retroactively adapt to what is happening and look for ways to minimize political and strategic costs. This does not mean a complete failure of global approaches to the region, but it requires the conditional Washington and Brussels to correct their behavior. It seems that the current deterioration of the security situation in the SAZA region is a consequence of attempts at such a correction. This creates a threat of continuing negative trends here in the medium term, which, in turn, creates favorable conditions for the further spread of "Eurojihadism" and its increasing influence on internal political processes in Europe.
1 For more information, see: Fituni L. L., Solodovnikov V. G. The uprising in the Arab world: crops and shoots. Towards the "Arab Winter": emerging political and economic trends in North Africa // Asia and Africa today. 2012, N 6. Pp. 2-9. (Fituni L. L., Solodovnikov V. G. 2012. Vosstanie v arabskom mire: posevy i vskhody... // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 6) (in Russian)
2 The use of the term Greater Middle East, for all its journalistic appeal, often causes an ambiguous interpretation, since it carries a share of geographical uncertainty and is strongly associated with the American foreign policy doctrine of the time of George W. Bush. In addition, BBV is often confused with the concept of a New Middle East, although these are not identical concepts. To avoid ambiguity, we use a geographically specific term in the article - the North Africa and West Asia Region (SAZA).
Brzezinski Z. 3 Game Plan: A Geostrategic Framework for the Conduct of the U.S. -Soviet Contest. Atlantic Monthly Press. 1986; Brzezinski Z. The grand chessboard: American primacy and its geostrategic imperatives. New York: Basic books, October 1997.
5 In the Russian literature, two names currently co - exist in relation to the group under consideration and the territory controlled by it - "Islamic State" (IS) and the earlier "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL). The first one is objected to by many representatives of the Muslim community, the second one is actually outdated, and the use of its Arabic equivalent ("Da'ish") in the territories controlled by Islamists is punishable by 70 lashes.
6 How 5 Countries Could Become 14. Slowly, the map of the Middle East could be redrawn. An analysis by Robin Wright // The New York Times. Sunday Review. September 28, 2013 - http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/09/29/sunday-review/how-5-countries-could-become-14.html?ref=sunday
Fituni L. L. 7, Abramova I. O. Aggressive non-state participants of geostrategic rivalry in "Islamic Africa" / / Asia and Africa Today. 2014, N 12 (689). С. 8-15. (Fituni L.L., Abramova l.O. 2014. Agressivnye negosudarstvennye uchastniki geostrategicheskogo sopernichestva v "islamskoy Afrike" // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 12) (in Russian)
9 For more information about information impact technologies in the SAZA region, see: Abramova I., Pelikanov D. Africa in the Information Technology Age: the possibility of a breakthrough. 2001. N 8. С. 19. (Abramova I., Pelikanov D. 2001. Afrika v vek informatsionnykh tekhologiy: vozmozhnost proryva // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 6) (in Russian)
Abramova I. O. 11 Afrikanskaya migratsiya: opyt sistemogo analiza. M., 2009, p. 76. (Abramova I. O. 2009. Afrikanskaya migratsiya: opyt systemnogo analiza. M.) (in Russian)
12 The Daily Telegraph. November 1, 2014.
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