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AQ < ISIS < Boko Haram

[ by Charles Cameron — a ladder of escalation? a question of quality vs quantity? — it’s hard to judge ]



  • In single event death toll, al-Qaida has set 9/11 as the high water mark.
  • In terms of territory captured (and enslaved) ISIS had conjoint swathes of Iraq and Syria.
  • In terms of repudiation, Boko Haram has been repudiated for excessive violence by ISIS.
  • Note also that depending on whether your definition of terrorist includes state-sponsored groups, insurgents in occupied lands, etc or not, the list of “most violent” may also include the Quds Force, Haqqani Network, and Kataib Hezbollah

    And one 2014 list of The Most Violent Terrorist Groups in the World Right Now listed Al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia, Hamas, Lashkar-e Taiba, Palestine Islamic Jihad, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Abu Sayyaf Group, Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party, Hezbollah, Taliban, FARC, and Boko Haram — though the inclusion of FARC illustrates just how tricky formulating (and updating!) such lists can be..

    One Response to “AQ < ISIS < Boko Haram”

    1. Charles Cameron Says:

      From Joas Wagemarker’s lecture (link is to video, quote is from the 15.45 mark to 1616, though the whole talk is fascinating):

      And there is a very interesting internal debate going on, between what you might call – and I mean this between scare quotes – the moderate Islamic State scholars and the ones who are, well, perhaps less so, who are claimed by other members of the Islamic State as being Khawarij – so even within the Islamic State there is discussion about this, and some people have actually been executed for being extremists. And if members of the Islamic State think you’re extremists, well..

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