Walid Phares at the Italian Institute of International Affairs


As part of his activities as a Visiting Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, Dr Walid Phares delivered a lecture on the "Future of Salafi Jihadi Terrorism" at the Italian Institute of International Affairs (IAI) in Rome, Italy's leading strategic Think Tank. Dr. Phares, who was introducing his new book The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad, analyzed the global trends of the Jihadist movement, focusing on the Salafi networks.

The event, presented by IAI's President Prof. Stefano Silvestri was attended by Italian politicians and officials from the Italian armed and air forces, NATO, diplomats as well as other researchers and NGO representatives.

Phares reviewed the state of analysis on the rise of the Jihadi movement throughout the West in general and in Europe in particular. He led a discussion of the so-called lexicons proposed by several bureaucracies and proposed an alternative method of conducting strategic communications in Jihadi environments. "What is needed for European, and eventually North American, national security is a better understanding of the penetration strategies of the Jihadi-Salafi movements and thus a better design of the battle of ideas with their ideologies," said Phares. "If we give in and begin using the words their ideologues and strategists wants us to use or do not want us to use, then we will be defeated strategically."

After the debate Professor Phares held a meeting at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini Director General for the Mediterranean and the Middle East and Near East Diplomat Michele Tommasi. Dr Phares reviewed the global trends of the Terror groups in the Greater Middle East and their evolution across the Mediterranean. Ambassador Ragaglini explained the main Italian policies regarding Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and North Africa focusing also on the Arab-Israeli Peace Process.