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Sayyid Imam wraps up his new book today.  Much of his final criticism is aimed at Bin Laden, whom he describes as incurious and incapable of holding himself accountable for his errors.  Regarding the latter, Imam compares Bin Laden negatively to Hassan Nasrallah, who apologized and offered compensation to the Lebanese civilians whose homes had […]

The Impact Of The Denudation

Posted: 1st December 2008 by Will McCants in Egypt, Zawahiri
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When Sayyid Imam’s first book was released serially last year, CT pundits were split.  Some, like Lawrence Wright and Peter Bergen, said it was evidence of a serious fissure in the Jihadi Movement and would further divide it.  Others, like Michael Scheuer, said it was neither evidence of a fissure nor would it divide the […]

The Denudation Of The Exoneration: Part 12

Posted: 1st December 2008 by Will McCants in AQ Leadership, Egypt, Iraq, Zawahiri
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  Sayyid Imam has some surprising things to say about Sayyid Qutb and some interesting speculation on Zawahiri’s tenuous position in al-Qaeda.  He also observes that Libyan and Mauritanian students serve as Zawahiri’s primary research assistants.  I don’t know about their nationalities, but there’s no doubt Zawahiri has research assistants (as do many productive academics). […]

The Denudation Of The Exoneration: Part 11

Posted: 30th November 2008 by Will McCants in Egypt, Zawahiri
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In today’s installment, Sayyid Imam issues another mubahala, this time concerning the publication of his Compendium.  You’ll have to look at Zawahiri’s Exoneration to really understand what Sayyid Imam is reacting to, but in short he believes that Zawahiri plagarized his book.  There’s also some pointed barbs about Zawahiri’s hunger for media attention.  Imam connects […]

  Amidst the personal attacks on Zawahiri in part 10, Sayyid Imam mentions a few more interesting historical tidbits.  First, he notes the opposition of two prominent Jihadis, Abu Mus`ab al-Suri and `Abd al-Rahman al-Kindi (died in 2003), to the attacks on the U.S.  He also discloses that Zawahiri’s imprisoned brother, Muhammad, has been trying […]

Today, Sayyid Imam treats the issue of Palestine, arguing that a peace treaty with Israel is Islamically legitimate.  Although Imam also indicates that he wants it to be under Muslim control again, he argues that it won’t happen until the caliphate is reestablished.   In addition to the Palestinian issue, Sayyid Imam also explains more […]

In part 8, Sayyid Imam continues to hammer al-Qaeda for bringing disaster to the Middle East and for the hypocrisy of its leaders.  He puts forward the odd claim that AQ lied to the U.S. about WMD in Iraq and about AQ ties with Iraq to push the U.S. to invade observes that Iran and […]

In today’s installment, Sayyid Imam begins section three of his rebuttal in which he surveys the rhetorical tricks Zawahiri employs to misguide his readers.  Imam continues to portray Zawahiri as the student of Bin Laden, the inverse of the common description of their relationship.  To this end, Imam says that Zawahiri has adopted UBL’s obsession […]

The Denudation Of The Exoneration: Part 6

Posted: 24th November 2008 by Will McCants in Uncategorized

Sayyid Imam continues his rebuttal of Nasir al-Fahd; this time it’s for Fahd’s failure to differentiate his enemy.  In this regard, Imam adduces anti-war protests and British priests as examples of diverse political views in Western nations.  The most interesting bit comes toward the end when Imam takes up the subject of cursing the Prophet, […]

The Denudation Of The Exoneration: Part 5

Posted: 24th November 2008 by Will McCants in Uncategorized

In part 5, Sayyid Imam takes up one of the more clever arguments of his earlier book: visas are the equivalent of an Islamic pact of safe passage (aman), which means that Muslims on visas in foreign nations cannot attack the citizens of those nations.  Of course, Imam throws in a little spice as well, […]