Wael Ghonim, Product Guy / Fellow @ Harvard Ash Center
Glad to have you on Parlio! Were you involved in negotiations with the terrorist groups like ISIS and AlNusra? If so, how was that experience?
Thanks Wael. A number of Security Council resolutions have designated ISIL and Al Nusra as terrorist organizations, hence the UN cannot be involved in political negotiations with either. However, in some instances and for humanitarian purposes, a kind of contact took place. I cannot disclose much about that, but I would say that Nusra is way different from ISIL, in its composition, behavior and scope of activities. I would also say that it's not about groups of innately violent psychopaths. A degree of pragmatism was shown when needed, especially with Nusra. Military context, financial capabilities, geographical location, ratio of foreign fighters and pre-existing local culture have a strong impact on the attitudes and behaviors of the groups, which might appear sometimes as if several Nusras and ISILs, with varying characteristics, exist. Continue reading...