Three days ago, Abu Hafs al-Sunni al-Sunni, a member of the Atahadi forum, posted an article he titled, “The Strategic Theory of the Second Generation of Jihadis: Propagandistic Foundations and Operational Methods.” Despite the title, it is less about strategy and operations and more about the public relations problems plaguing the jihadis. Here are his main points:
- The first generation of jihadis did not do an adequate job of winning over ordinary Muslims. This left the field open to the quietist Salafis. Jihadis need to engage commoners by showing them videos of the suffering of Muslims and gauging their interest in doing something about it. However, one has to be careful so as not to be accused of inciting terrorism.
- Jihadis need to avoid actions that alienate the masses, like beheadings, and demonstrate how much more ethical they are in waging war than the Americans.
- The second generation of jihadis is woefully ignorant of Islamic scripture and law, which makes it easy for quietist Salafis to discredit them.
- Be polite when disagreeing with non-jihadi Salafis and the clerics they follow. Many of these clerics agree with the jihadis on most things, like the Egyptian Salafi cleric Abu Ishaq al-Huwayni.
- Focus on destroying the economy of the infidel. Burn their forests and damage their power grids.