Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

If the Bahraini jihadi ideologue Turki al-Bin`ali personifies “the caliphate’s scholar-in-arms” for the Islamic State, one would find difficult to name a similar leading figure in al-Qa`ida’s ranks. Indeed, although most of the senior jihadi scholars sided with Ayman al-Zawahiri in his conflict with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, none of them actually belong to the organization. [...]

Many authors have tried to fill in the gaps in the historical account of how al-Qa’ida’s central leadership came to reside in Jalalabad for part of 1996, with mixed results. Yunus Khalis has become a fixture in these narratives largely because he was the best known person that Bin Laden interacted with in the summer [...]

Western authors commenting on various mujahidin leaders involved with Usama bin Laden often seem to go out of their way to make the individuals in question seem extra villainous. This has been especially clear in the case of Yunus Khalis. In English works on al-Qa’ida, we learn little about Khalis except that he a) helped [...]

Much of the secondary literature in the West depicts Professor Ghulam Niazi as the progenitor of the mujahidin movement in Afghanistan in the 1960s. For a variety of reasons this contradicts primary sources that focus more on the various resistance efforts elsewhere in Afghanistan during this period. Of course, the primary sources are also influenced [...]

A Jihadi Homeopath

Posted: 4th December 2012 by Kevin in Afghanistan, Jihad culture, Pakistan
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[Editor's note: We are very pleased to welcome Kevin Bell to Jihadica. Kevin has lived in Afghanistan and Tajikistan for a number of years and recently wrote a master's thesis on Yunis Khalis for Princeton's Near Eastern Studies Department. He's hunting for a job in Afghanistan--probably not for long given his proficiency in Pashto. You [...]

AQ’s Enabler

Posted: 19th July 2011 by Will McCants in Afghanistan, AQ Central, Pakistan

Don Rassler and Vahid Brown have written one helluva report on the Haqqani network, the folks who have been providing aid and sanctuary to AQ Central for decades. Based on thousands of pages of primary source documents–many not previously released to the public–Rassler and Brown explain how the Haqqanis did (and do) it. Still not sure [...]

NYU Report on AQ and Taliban

Posted: 8th February 2011 by Thomas Hegghammer in Afghanistan, AQ Central, Taliban

NYU’s Center on International Cooperation has just published a new report by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn on Taliban-al-Qaida relations and implications for US policy. Few people are better informed than Alex and Felix about this topic. How many Western civilians do you know who has spent the past few years living in Qandahar?

From the Pen to the Sword

Posted: 3rd January 2011 by Joas Wagemakers in Afghanistan, AQ Central, Better Know a Forum, Jordan, propaganda, terrorism

One of the things that struck me about the Stockholm bomber, Taimour Abdalwahhab, was that he was apparently active on the internet as a radical before he decided to engage in actual terrorism (see Thomas’ posts below for more details). This transition reminded me of a similar but much more serious process by someone who [...]

Justifiying Martyrdom in German

Posted: 21st May 2010 by Nico Prucha in Afghanistan, Converts, Germany, Suicide bombings

Editor’s note: I am glad to introduce Nico Prucha as a new regular contributor to Jihadica. Nico is an German Arabist who has followed the jihadi Internet for a long time and has written several articles on the topic for Jane’s and other publications.] In mid-April Elif Medya published a 30-page document in German justifying [...]

[Editor's note: This post was written by Christopher Radler and Behnam Said, who are intelligence analysts based in Hamburg, Germany. For links to the original document, see the comments to the preview post.] On 3 May a message announcing the death of Eric Breininger (b. 3 August 1987) and three of his fellow combatants was [...]