Lebanon: In the Mouth of the Dragon

Posted: 9th May 2008 by Will McCants in Hezbollah, Lebanon
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The Jihadi forums are buzzing today about the impending civil war in Lebanon, which they ominously refer to as being “in the mouth of the dragon.” There were two items of particular interest. One was advice from a Jihadi name al-Jawahir to militants in Lebanon:


He counsels his brothers to operate in secret, shun reporters, gather armor-piercing weaponry, and refuse to help either the Lebanese Army or Hezbollah. The bit about shunning reporters does not seem consistent with Zawahiri’s type of revolutionary vanguardism, which is very dependent on the media.

The second item is a short post recommending that the mujahids in Lebanon read Abu Bakr Naji’s Management of Savagery (you can find my translation of it here). Naji is probably dead (I’ll save that for another post), but this is the second time his ideas have been trotted out before a Muslim civil war; Iraq was the first. His main idea is that Jihadis should move into security vacuums and establish rudimentary governments that provide basic services to the people, which will win them the support of the locals. They can then network and coordinate with one another for common objectives, even if the areas they control (which he calls “regions of savagery”) are not contiguous.  These areas need not be large; they can be as small as city blocks. Combined with the advice above, this seems a plausible scenario for some Jihadi groups in Lebanon if the country descends into a full civil war.


  1. […] critical of their religious leaders, who are sitting on their hands. Sarim acknowledges, as I wrote a few days ago, that some Ekhlaas members endorse this tactical neutrality in order to prepare for […]

  2. […] local tyrant. Soon after, an insurgent group mobilizes, a “region of savagery” appears (Abu Bakr Naji’s term for a security vacuum), and the tyrant loses control of the region. This is what will […]