Author Biography

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine and Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). She is also the author of Talking to Terrorists, Bride of ISIS, and co-author of the newly released ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate, Undercover Jihadi, and Warrior Princess. Dr. Speckhard has interviewed nearly 500 terrorists, their family members, and supporters in various parts of the world including Gaza, West Bank, Russia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and many countries in Europe. In 2007, she was responsible for designing the psychological and Islamic challenge aspects of the Detainee Rehabilitation Program in Iraq to be applied to 20,000 + detainees and 800 juveniles. For a complete list of publications for Anne Speckhard see: https://georgetown.academia.edu/AnneSpeckhard and www.icsve.org

Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. is the Deputy Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). He is also Adj. Professor at the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and formerly served as Professor and the Chair of the Sociology Department at Harran University in Turkey. Dr. Yayla earned both his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Criminal Justice and Information Science from the University of North Texas in the United States. Dr. Yayla served as the Chief of Counterterrorism and Operations Division for the Turkish National Police. See http://www.icsve.org/staff-member/ahmet-s-yayla-2/

Ardian Shajkovci, Ph.D., is Research Director/Senior Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). See http://www.icsve.org/staff-member/ardian-shajkovci-2/



Subject Area Keywords

Counterterrorism, Cybersecurity, Homeland security, National security, Security policy, Security studies, Terrorism / counterterrorism, Violent extremism


The United States and its allies continue to achieve significant military victories against ISIS (otherwise known as ISIL or the “Islamic State”). The loss of territories resulting from military victories is especially important given that ISIS relies in part on recruits from the territories it controls. Efforts have also been directed at killing the group’s core leadership; stemming the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria through tightening up border security and surveillance; and targeting militant jihadi narratives and propaganda that is pushed out by ISIS on a twenty-four/seven basis via the Internet and social media platforms. In such a complicated security landscape, a new discourse on ISIS is born—its allure, threat, grandeur, lawlessness, and violence have emerged as the “new normal” in Syria and Iraq, and recently have spilled out to Western Europe and beyond in home grown and ISIS directed attacks. While cognizant of the progress achieved in the fight against ISIS, this article, in particular, highlights the dangers emanating from the group’s continuing online, as well as face-to-face, recruiting success in the West and the apparent stagnation in the fight for dominance in the digital battlefield where ISIS is currently winning.