Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi Question and Answer

The Shamukh al-Islam forums have initiated an “Open Interview” with Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. For those unfamiliar with online jihadi interviews, the usual format is for readers to post questions on the forum and then the person being interviewed posts his responses, normally all at once after many questions have been posted. To process the questions, the Shamukh administration has started a separate forum called, “You Ask and the Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi Answers,” where members can post questions that will only be visible to al-Maqdisi, the member who posted it, and the administration. However, the administration has indicated that al-Maqdisi’s answers will be public. Even though the period to ask questions will only be a week, it may take several weeks for al-Maqdisi to answer the questions. We will continue to monitor for when he releases his answers.

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New Sada al-Jihad and Islamic Turkistan Journals

A couple of Jihadi journals have been released recently. To get an idea of what they cover, I have roughly translated their tables of contents. The Global Islamic Media Front released the 35th volume of “Sada al-Jihad” or “Echo of Jihad.” The table of contents includes: “The Jihadi Movements and the Sweet Harvest – The Fruits of the Siege” “Obama: A Repeat Copy of Bush” “So We Understand the Balances of the Apostate Regime in Algeria” “The Pakistani Regime and the Conflict with the Taliban: The Flight Forward” “The Iranian Elections and Signs of the Iranian Program’s Regression” “The Tragedy of the Muslims in Egypt’s al-Wadi al-Jadid Prison” “The Fate of Karzai will be Worse than his Traitor Forefathers” by Qari Muhammad Yusuf the spokesman for the Taliban “The Abandoners of Loyalty” “Civil Strife: The Adaptation of Reality” “Security Warnings (Negatives)” The Turkistan Islamic Party released the fourth volume of

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The Non-Strategic “Special Strategic Study”

The “Falluja Think Tank” recently published the “Special Strategic Study of the Global Battle and the Jihadi Movement’s Place in It.” Like Thomas, I had high expectations, but was disappointed in the end because the study amounted to little more than general summaries of U.S. and jihadi history. However, the author did state that divine providence allowed 9/11 to happen, which caused the U.S. to abandon its principles of democracy and human rights. The author started by establishing that the battle between the United States and the jihadis is religious in nature rather than geopolitical or for acquiring resources. He commented that today’s “crusaders” are not only supported by their governments, but also by the “dogmatists” like the Knights Templar and the Knights of Malta, who, he claimed, “resemble the mujahedeen because they fight for faith.” He went on to chart America’s “path” to global dominance and then gave a

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The Posts That Never Were

Apologies for the slow publication pace here at Jihadica, but deadlines and an upcoming house move mean I can only dream about serious blogging these days. This does not mean forums are quiet. Every morning this past week I found things on the forums that deserved commentary. In a dream world, here’s what I would have written about had I had the time: –    France is taking heat. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb published a statement declaring “France the mother of all evils”, and other posts fumed over the recent French plans to ban the niqab or the burka. I suspect the Americans and the Brits (who of course have long argued that France is the mother of all evils)  are happy to share the burden of jihadi attention. Unfortunately for the Anglo-Saxons, however, I don’t think the veil weighs nearly as heavy in the jihadi basket of grievances as

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Abu al-Yazid Mending Fences with Hamas

It’s late, I know, but I couldn’t let Mustafa Abu al-Yazid’s interview with al-Jazeera go uncommented. I found it absolutely fascinating. My hat is off to Ahmad Zaydan for finding Mustafa and asking him excellent questions. International media focused on the A-bomb remark, but this was neither a very significant or surprising part of the interview (here I agree with Dan Drezner). It was just a quick unrehearsed side comment in an answer to a question about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. The most significant part of the interview was Abu al-Yazid’s endorsement of Hamas. “We support the sincere mujahidin in Palestine, even the mujahidin of Hamas. We support them and help them; they are our brothers; we and they have the same ideology and the same method,” Abu al-Yazid said. This is quite a different message from that of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who have been

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Last Man Standing

I promised you more on Abd al-Aziz al-Julayyil, the Saudi author of the article on Obama being more dangerous than Bush. The reason I find al-Julayyil interesting is that he is among the last remaining Saudi sheikhs to play an active ideological role for the jihadi movement. Back in the good old days of the early 2000s, there was a whole community of Saudi jihad scholars: Hamud al-Shu’aybi, Nasir al-Fahd, Ali al-Khudayr, Abd al-Rahman al-Jarbu’, Sulayman al-Alwan and many others (who all feature prominently in my forthcoming book). Around 2002 these guys were churning out pro-al-Qaida fatwas faster than you could say “al-wala’ wa’l-bara’”. But then came the 2003 terrorism campaign in Saudi Arabia, and most of them were sent to the cooler. This is why you have not heard from many radical Saudi clerics in the past five years. This is also why I have been arguing in the

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Shishani on Salafi-Jihadism in the Levant

On 29 June 2009, the Jordanian journalist Murad Batal al-Shishani published an article in al-Hayat titled “Salafi–Jihadism: A New Face in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria’s Palestinian Camps.” The article talks about the new generation of “neo-Zarqawis” and the increasing radicalization of Palestinian refugees. This radicalisation, he argues, stems from the failure to resolve the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the deterioration of the PLO and its control over the refugee camps, the political ramifications of the Fatah-Hamas conflict, and rising poverty and unemployment. Al-Shishani states that attacks such as the 2008 incident in Jordan where Thaer al-Wahidi, a refugee from the al-Baq’ah refugee camp, assaulted a Lebanese classical music troupe, are emblematic of this phenomenon. Al-Shishani argues that the Salafi-jihadi ideology in the refugee camps has come in three phases. The first was the establishment of the ideology in the mid-1980s. The establishment of ‘Usbat al-Ansar in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in

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