The role of intelligence in the fight against Salafist jihadist terrorism

Publication date:
Gustavo Díaz Mateym, gestor de inteligencia, ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones; profesor asociado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

There is clear academic and political consensus on the importance of the intelligence services to the fight against the terrorist threat, but the development of so-called “global terrorism” has substantially altered the way the threat can be contained and, as a result, certain practices of the intelligence services have changed too. This article studies how the terrorist threat has changed over recent years focusing on the specific case of Salafist jihadist terrorism. It analyses the main consequences of these changes for the intelligence services both internally (processes of obtaining information and analysis) and externally (in terms of cooperation). Finally, it shows the importance of reaching a proper understanding as the basis for driving measures in the medium and long term that allow the intelligence services to pre-empt the evolution of ideas based on radicalisation and the use of extreme political violence.

Key words: intelligence, terrorism, prevention, Islamic State, jihad


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