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Returning champion Alexander Thurston rejoins the podcast to talk about his new book, Jihadists of North Africa and the Sahel: Local Politics and Rebel Groups. He’s offering a different way to understand jihadist organizations that challenges the dominant narratives of the War on Terror, which flatten those organizations into global monoliths at the macro level and simplistically treat their recruits as brainwashed dupes at the micro level. Alex instead focuses on the regional and local factors that create and sustain jihadist groups, emphasizing their roles as political actors and their interactions with the societies around them.