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International community needs to effectively address religious extremism’s roots and potential future forms. SARA ALMARZOOQI
Director, Sawab Center


Sawab Center is a think tank dedicated to combating terrorism and extremism that is based on a radical understanding of religion.


Daesh Impactful ResearchDaesh Impactful Research


Daesh is a transnational Salafi-jihadist armed group that controlled large swathes of Iraq and Syria at the height of its power in 2015. Daesh is one of the most dangerous, heavily armed, well funded and impactful Salafi-jihadist organisations in history. It is still seen as a major threat to the national security of many countries in West Asia, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and South-East Asia. Research has shown that in addition to its transnational aspirations to capture, hold and control territory and populations in the Muslim world, Daesh also calls on its lone-wolf followers living in non-Muslim countries to conduct terror attacks. Since 2014, Daesh has been responsible for some of the worst terrorist atrocities in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Houthis Impactful ResearchHouthis Impactful Research


The Houthi movement is a heavily armed extremist group based in Yemen. It is a well-organized force that controls 13 of the country’s 21 governorates, where roughly 70% of the population resides. The Houthis – or Ansar Allah (Partisans of God) as they refer to themselves – are predominantly Zaidi Shiites. The group came to global prominence when it toppled the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was forced into exile in Saudi Arabia. The movement has been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Its random shelling, rocket attacks and planting of explosive devices has led to the deaths of thousands of civilians

Impactful Research Muslim BrotherhoodImpactful Research Muslim Brotherhood


Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood is the most influential Islamist movement in the world. It aims to establish a pan-Islamic state (Caliphate) reuniting Muslim countries under one Islamist leadership. The organization strongly believes it should deploy the necessary efforts not only to rule according to Sharia law but also to Islamize society, laws, governance, and all aspects of life. The group is the inspirational source for almost all violent Islamist organizations in existence today. The extremist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the violence perpetuated in the name of religion across the Muslim world and beyond. Its fundamentalist interpretation of Islam has directly influenced hundreds of jihadist leaders in the past 60 years. The jihadism of terrorist leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri and Abdullah Azzam’s was rooted in theological framework provided by the Muslim Brotherhood.



Media 03.24.2023

Media ‘framing’ of terror attacks shapes impact of terrorism: Study

The paper examined how terrorism is framed in three countries (Egypt, France, and Britain) that have experienced a high number of terrorist attacks, and in three languages (Arabic, French, and English), to identify similarities and differences in framing. Sawab found that media reporting that sensationalises or promotes division can increase the impact of terrorism, while responsible reporting can fulfill the public’s right to know about security threats without promoting terrorists’ agenda.

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Media 10.07.2022

Countering extremism should remain a top priority

COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are pivotal moments in international geopolitics. The pandemic’s mid and long-term economic impact will be significant. COVID-19 shockwaves have already cost developing countries years of socioeconomic progress, led to a surge in national debt around the world and further damaged international trade flows.

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    📰 11 Syrian soldiers were killed in tunnel attack by Ansar Al Tawhid & Turkestan Islamic Party terror groups in Idlib province. Attack occurred a day after Russia conducted air strikes on near Idlib. Both groups are affiliated to Hayat Tahrir Al Sham.

    Extremists reserve particular ire for cultural heritage. By destroying it, they seek to erase more than just history — they aim to eradicate soul of a culture & rewrite narratives that assert their dominance. It’s important to protect treasures that connect us to our past & defy…

    📰 Mozambique has announced killing of Bonomade Machude Omar, leader of Daesh-linked group. Two other senior members of group also killed. Omar was designated terrorist leader by @StateDept in 2021 for attacks in Cabo Delgado province.

    Emotions possess incredible power—they can either fuel hatred or dismantle it. In the realm of religious understanding, compassion and empathy stand as barriers against intolerance.



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