I have been busy the past two weeks, but the jihadis have been busier. Bin Ladin has issued two audio statements, one proposing practical steps to liberate Palestine and the other about the treacherous government in Somalia. Al-Zawahiri warned against the forthcoming Crusader attack on Sudan, while Mustafa Abu al-Yazid has addressed the people of Pakistan. Abu Umar al-Baghdadi has spoken about the US plan to withdraw from Iraq, but he does not seem to get the same attention from the online community as his colleagues in Afghanistan. Abu Qatada has issued a statement from prison about the decision to extradite him to Jordan. Fatah al-Islam sharia officer Abu Abdallah al-Maqdisi has been taking questions since Monday, but nobody is allowed to ask about Shakir al-Absi or Asad al-Jihad2 (hmm).

On the magazine front, Sumud 33  has been out for a little while. Fortunately Sada al-Malahim 8 came out on Sunday so now Greg can sleep again. Turkestan al-Islamiyya 3 came out earlier this week, adding to the past month’s increasing flow of Uighur jihadi propaganda.

We have also seen the publication of a couple of unusual videos featuring Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, one with him delivering a funeral sermon in front of a crowd of several hundred people, and another showing him at a large wedding alongside half the jihadi community in Zarqa.  I suspect these videos are part of an attempt to bolster al-Maqdisi’s legitimacy by showing that he is enjoying freedom of movement and expression. By the way I highly recommend the 2-hour wedding video. It offers a fascinating inside look into the sociology of Islamism. It serves as a great illustration of a point I made in a recent article about Zarqa, namely that you cannot deradicalise entire communities. The film may depress you, but you might enjoy the songs.

I will be back soon with a report from the jihadi roundtable in Oslo.

Update (27 March): The Christian Science Monitor became the first Western newspaper to report on the Maqdisi controversy today – and Jihadica is mentioned.

Document (Arabic): 03-26-09-shouraa-mustafa-abu-al-yazid
Document (Arabic):
03-19-09-shouraa-abu-qatada-statement
Document (Arabic):
03-23-09-shamikh-abu-abdallah-al-maqdisi-qa
Document (Arabic): 03-22-09-shouraa-sada-al-malahim-8
Document (Arabic): 03-25-09-shouraa-turkestan-al-islamiyya-3
Document (Arabic): 03-12-09-faloja-maqdisi-fima-kuntum
Document (Arabic): 03-12-09-ansar-maqdisi-wedding-video

  1. isa says:

    dear doctor,
    do you experience sympathy with the jihadists after learning about them? or is your view that they are terrorists that need to be eradicated?

  2. Thomas says:

    Neither, in fact. I just want to understand the causes of their radicalisation and the differences among them. I do want to help bring down the level of violence, but I don’t think eradication is always the best answer.

  3. Hesperado says:

    “eradication” is not the only way to manage the problem of Islam in ways that probably necessarily involve violence — there is also the “Iron Veil” proposal:

    http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/05/iron-veil.html