From the Editor
This summer marks the end of an era for us. Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price, the Combating Terrorism Center’s longest-serving director, is retiring after 20 years of service in the Army, the last six at the helm of the CTC. During that time, he was a tireless champion for the CTC and its staff and cemented its status as one of the leading research institutions in the terrorism studies field. In a conversation with Brian Dodwell, who is taking over as director, LTC Price reflects on his service at the CTC and the essential need for rigorous research to understand the evolving threat landscape.
There is concern that Islamic State-linked terror is on the rise in Southeast Asia. On Sunday, May 13, 2018, three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia, were targeted by suicide bombers comprising one single family of six. The following day, a family of five rode two motorbikes to the entrance of the city’s police headquarters where they blew themselves up. The attacks saw the confluence of several trends in jihadi terrorist plotting—an increased reliance on family networks and an increased embrace of women and children in combat roles. In our cover article, Kirsten Schulze outlines the evolving threat from pro-Islamic State militants in Southeast Asia’s most populous country.
Dakota Foster and Daniel Milton build on the the CTC’s previous analysis on the personnel records of just over 4,100 Islamic State foreign fighters to focus on what the records reveal about the smaller subset of 267 children. David Sterman also analyzes the Islamic State’s personnel records to compare and contrast the profile of recruits with previous experience in Libya and Afghanistan. Robin Simcox documents an alleged terrorist conspiracy by an all-female cell guided by an Islamic State cybercoach to plot attacks in the Paris area in 2016.
Paul Cruickshank, Editor in Chief