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Stratfor — The March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels come as the European Union is still reeling from the November Paris attacks and scrambling to solve the migrant crisis. More important, they come as nationalist forces are challenging key principles of the Continental bloc, including the free movement of labor and the Schengen Agreement, which eliminated border controls among several member states.
The atmosphere of fear and suspicion that is sure to follow will only worsen these social, political and economic crises. The first outcome of the Brussels attacks will be a fresh round of debate over EU border controls, in particular those in the Schengen zone.
The Schengen Agreement came under fire at the start of the migrant crisis in early 2015. The Paris attacks escalated the controversy, particularly because the perpetrators moved between France and Belgium without detection.
Stratfor — An old Arabic proverb says "my brother and I together against my cousin, and my cousin and I together against the other." In essence, it means that loose alliances can form in the face of common enemies, even if conflict exists between the united parties.
Nowhere is this truer than in Yemen, where many alliances of convenience have formed over the past year amid the country's protracted civil war.
But as a resolution to the fighting becomes an increasingly likely prospect, partnerships will crumble and allegiances will change, enabling old rivalries and problems to resurface. Even if a political deal emerges, it will not bring peace to Yemen.
Scott Stewart (Stratfor) — Three strands of terrorism currently have Turkey wrapped in a deadly embrace. One strand made its presence felt March 19, when a suicide bomber detonated his device among a group of tourists on Istiklal Street, one of Istanbul's main pedestrian shopping areas, killing at least four people and wounding dozens, including 24 foreigners.
The attack occurred near a local government office, in an area that includes restaurants, cafes and foreign consulates. Turkish authorities have since identified the bomber as a Turkish member of the Islamic State they had been seeking to arrest. Unfortunately, he was able to attack before he could be apprehended.
The second thread is the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a domestic militant group that seeks independence or autonomy in southeastern Turkey and that is a direct offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). On March 13, the TAK detonated a car bomb in a central Ankara neighborhood that killed 37, its second large vehicle bomb attack in the Turkish capital this year.
Omar Lamrani (Stratfor) — A new arms race is unfolding between the world's great powers. Hypersonic missiles, which are both accurate and extremely fast, stand to change the face of modern warfare by rendering the current generation of missile defense systems ineffective.
As competition heats up among Russia, China and the United States to be the first to deploy hypersonic missiles, each will become more vulnerable to attack by the others. If tensions rise, so will the risk of pre-emptive strikes among the longtime rivals.
Hypersonic missiles travel at least five times the speed of sound. Only a few other manmade devices are capable of reaching hypersonic speeds, including ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles and unmanned spacecraft such as the Boeing X-37. The only manned aircraft to achieve hypersonic speed is the rocket-powered North American X-15, which broke speed and altitude records when it was introduced in the 1960s.
Scott Stewart (Stratfor) — An American man was wounded March 10 in a knife attack in Fintas, Kuwait. A statement from the U.S. Embassy did not specifically label the attack an act of terrorism, but the wording intimated as much, warning of the threat of planned extremist actions against American and Western citizens.
The Fintas incident came on the heels of the March 8 killing of an American graduate student in Tel Aviv, the most recent episode in a long series of attacks in Israel that Hamas is calling the "knife intifada." This is not, however, something that happens only in the Middle East.
Since December, there have been several attacks employing edged weapons in and around the New York subway system, and on Feb. 11 a grassroots jihadist wielding a machete attacked patrons at a Mediterranean restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. Most recently, on March 14, a man with a knife attacked a Canadian armed forces recruitment center in North York, wounding two service members.