Viewing conflicts through the eye of Counterinsurgency COIN – Since 2007
Aimen Dean is an unusual example of a poacher turned gamekeeper. The talkative Bahraini is sought after for his understanding of the Islamic State, now expanding across Syria and Iraq in a campaign the US has warned could take decades to defeat. Dean’s insights are based on his own experience as an al-Qaida terrorist – but one who underwent a crisis of conscience and changed tack to spy for British intelligence.
With his neat haircut, dark suit and gold-rimmed glasses, Dean – not his real name – looked at ease amongst the academics and security policy wonks debating strategies for countering violent extremism at a conference in Qatar this week. But his years in the jihadi world – and his extraordinary journey out of it – inform his view of how to combat Isis, which is attracting thousands of young Muslimsfrom across the world to its “Caliphate” in…
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