The Environmental Message of Radical Islamic and Terrorist Groups

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the course of its activities, but especially in recent years, radical Islamic and terrorist groups throughout Asia and Africa have also been deploying climate change and control over natural resources, among other means, in order to achieve their aims. Thus, control over natural resources has proved to be a major source of income for some of these groups, such as Al-Shabaab. Control over water and land resources has also been used in the civil wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen as a means of preventing basic natural resources from enemies or punishing disobeying citizens. Moreover, terrorist groups have used the severe impacts of climate change, especially in the Sahel but also elsewhere, in order to recruit people who suffered from a loss of their livelihoods. Furthermore, some terrorist groups, such as Hizbullah, Al-Shabaab, Taliban, etc., have enacted environmental policies in the regions under their control. Some of these groups have deployed climate change and environmental rhetoric as another way of attacking the West and its corruption. Some of them, such as Al-Qaeda, have launched attacks against energy infrastructures in their fight against the local Muslims regimes as well as the West. This article will survey in detail this new phenomenon and will show that dealing with terrorist groups necessitates a comprehensive approach which includes development policies in addition to use of arms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDirections in International Terrorism
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Trends and Trajectories
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811633805
ISBN (Print)9789811633799
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021.


  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • ISIS
  • Terrorist groups
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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