To give some ideological context for the jihadi hostage-taking at the Algerian gas facility, readers might be interested in two jihadi documents on the permissibility and advisability of attacking oil installations. Such attacks are not universally popular in jihadi circles–even Bin Laden vacillated on this point–because they harm the local economy, which alienates the Muslim public. But some jihadis have argued that there are upsides as well.
One such jihadi is `Abd Allah b. Nasir al-Rashid, who wrote a fatwa explaining the benefits of attacking oil installations:
- It harms the infidels’ economy by raising oil prices.
- Although this rise in oil prices is good for apostate Arab countries that produce oil, the rise in prices makes the infidels dislike those countries more.
- States and companies have to dedicate more resources to protecting oil infrastructure.
- Attacking an oil installation causes the local government to commit more resources to protecting oil infrastructure. That means there will be less financial and human resources available to guard against jihadi incursions into undergoverned spaces. (p.19)
- It harms the American economy. (p.41)
- Kidnapping an infidel working at the oil installation can be a great way to publicize your cause. (p.43)