The topic of this Special Issue is one which raises key security concerns, both throughout the globe and in the Middle Eastern region. The Syrian Conflict, now in its sixth year, has developed into one of the most impactful and complex conflicts of modern times. What has apparently become a proxy war for the Middle East’s various powers has had tangible ramifications beyond the borders of the traditional conflict zone. Compounding this complexity is the involvement of a number of foreign powers and alliances, weighing in on the various sides.
The articles selected for this Special Issue of the Journal of Terrorism Research have stood out for their excellence and relevance to this important and current topic. The breadth of impact of this conflict is astonishing, and the scope for harm disheartening. Nonetheless, through important and engaging research, as presented by the authors in this Special Issue, we can at least ensure that potential resolutions to the multifarious challenges raised by the conflict, including understanding its complex and historical roots, are aired and disseminated.
The subject matter of these articles is wide-ranging and reflects both the impact of the Syrian Conflict as well as security challenges which can be seen as urgent in their own right. It is not surprising, then, to find a focus on the impact and issues surrounding ISIS throughout the papers. Ranging from cyber-terrorism, terrorism funding, security challenges, radicalisation and various analyses of ISIS as a group and its impact, these articles all place their unique and revealing perspectives on the table. The topic of the Special Issue is then addressed in an absorbing review of six insightful books on the range of issues relating to ISIS.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gillian Brunton and Joseph Easson for their support and assistance in putting this Special Issue together. I would also like to thank the reviewers who have taken time, on a voluntary basis, to review the many articles we received following the call for papers and provide their opinions and feedback. Finally, I would like to thank all of those who submitted articles, whether successful or unsuccessful. These enthusiastic contributions give me hope for the future that the brightest minds are being put to work to resolve some of the greatest challenges of our time.