Archive for the ‘tactics’ Category

Jihadi Encryption

Posted: 9th February 2011 by Thomas Hegghammer in Europe, Recruitment, tactics, technology, Terrorism trials, U.K.

The Wall Street Journal ran a fascinating story on Monday about the encryption methods employed by radical Islamist activists. The details emerged in the ongoing UK trial of Rajib Karim. The article is a reminder that there is more to online jihadism than what we see published on radical websites.


Posted: 12th September 2009 by Jean-Pierre Filiu in Strategy, tactics

So we all managed to survive a new celebration of 9/11. But why should Al-Qaida commemorate 9/11 in the first place? I am not referring to the heavy debates that raged among its leadership about the strategic relevance of striking US territory and that Vahid Brown documented in his landmark study Cracks in the foundation. […]

We have heard Bin Ladin and Zawahiri’s comments, and Marc Lynch and others will tell us how the Arab mainstream reacted. But what are the grassroot jihadis saying about Obama’s Mideast tour in general and his Cairo speech in particular? Let me begin by lowering your expectations. For a start, we should not expect to […]

As most Jihadica readers probably know, the jihadi internet is used for many things, but not for operational planning. I have yet to come across online discussions or instructions for concrete operations by professional militants. However, once in a while you see amateurs proposing specific operations – “prêt a porter plots” – for others to […]

The US military has given CNN letters that Zawahiri wrote in March 2008 to senior al-Qaeda commanders in Iraq (hat tip SK). Much of the content has been filtered through an MNFI spokesman so it’s hard to use CNN’s summary to assess al-Qaeda’s fortunes in Iraq. Nevertheless, since the summary fits with the bleak picture […]

Cold vs. Hot Terrorism

Posted: 4th September 2008 by Will McCants in Strategy, tactics, terrorism, Uncategorized
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Hesbah pundit `Abd al-Rahman al-Faqir has been writing a series of essays he collectively calls “Real War vs. Symbolic War.” The point of the essays is to explain the difference between terrorist attacks (symbolic war) and other types of military violence (real war). One of his essays, “Cold Terrorism,” examines the decision-making of groups choosing […]

This one is for all those who believe that Jihadis act strictly according to the Qur’an and the Sunna.  It’s a detailed study by Abu al-Harith al-Ansari of the various types of warfare and the prophetic precedents for each.  There are 41 kinds in all, including “media warfare,” “economic warfare,” “secret warfare,” “war of attrition,” […]

Poll of Potentional Foreign Fighters

Posted: 30th July 2008 by Will McCants in Motivations, tactics
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Periodically, Ekhlaas members poll the forum. Usually, the questions are inane (“How much do you love the Islamic State of Iraq?”). But a recent poll posted two months ago caught my eye. The voting seems to be coming to an end, so I’m posting the results. The question is, “After you arrive in the theaters […]

I’ve been collecting news stories on the terror suspects arrested in Saudi Arabia. Much of the reporting relies on Saudi security personnel and the Interior Ministry’s statement last week, so it should be read with due skepticism. There’s a lot to discuss, but I’ll save my comments for later. For the moment it’s worth noting […]

Al-Qaeda and the Battle for Oil

Posted: 17th June 2008 by Will McCants in Oil, Strategy, tactics
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Algihadya, an Egyptian Jihadi blogger, has posted an essay by Zadi al-Taqwa titled “Al-Qaeda and the Battle for Oil.” I don’t know where Zadi usually hangs his electronic hat, but his essay is making the rounds on the forums. Zadi argues that AQ has focused on attacking U.S. oil interests since its inception in 1998 […]