Cultural Vandalism and the Islamic State: Rethinking Our Connection to the Past

By Jennifer Morris

Last spring, I showed the students in my introductory art history class a slide of a lamassu taken from the Citadel of Sargon II in the ancient Assyrian city of Dur Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad, Iraq). They looked bemused as I explained how these colossal man-headed bulls with wings, most of which date to the late eighth century BCE, served as gateway guardians and protective spirits of fortresses and palaces. Their expressions promptly shifted, however, as I showed them an image of a bearded man shrouded in a black tunic chipping off the face of a lamassu with a jackhammer. With gaping mouths and indignantly furrowed brows, they listened as I described how the photo was a still from an Islamic State propaganda video chronicling ISIS militants’ sacking of the museum in Mosul. A moment of silence followed, then somebody piped up: “Let’s nuke ‘em.”

Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Extremism in Bangladesh: From Policy to Grassroots Activism

By Atif A. Choudhury

Holey Artisan Bakery is the kind of place where expats cure homesickness by indulging in a range of epicurean delights, while locals (especially kids) grab themselves a treat before fasting hours began. On July 1, during the waning days of Ramadan, seven heavily armed terrorists decided it was a suitable venue to rob 24 innocent people of their lives and to shock a nation of 170 million in the process.

Security forces may have killed the suspected Canadian-Bangladeshi plotter of Bangladesh’s worst terrorist attack. Yet the tragic saga of violent extremism and political violence is likely to continue.

A Human Security Approach to Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea

By Dr. Ian M. Ralby

The Gulf of Guinea – the coastal portion of West and Central Africa – is one of the most dynamic regions of the world in terms of both maritime criminal activity, and proactive efforts to counter maritime crime. The waters of the Gulf are plagued by a wide array of challenging threats including piracy, armed robbery at sea, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, trafficking of all sorts, dumping and other environmental crimes, and oil theft.