Taking Stock of the Homegrown

A new RAND report by Brian Jenkins provides a much-needed overview of jihadi radicalization cases and terrorism plots in the United States since 2001. The study pairs up very nicely with Petter Nesser’s equally indispensable overview of plots in Europe. Apart from offering a comprehensive list of cases, Jenkins makes a number of very pertinent observations, not least regarding the scale of the problem. How many of you knew that 1970s America saw 15 to 20 times as many terrorist incidents as the post 9/11 period?

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Justifiying Martyrdom in German

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 martyr operations. The text is essentially a significantly expanded translation of an English-language document published by Tibyan Publications a few years ago and attributed to the Saudi ideologue Yusuf al-Uyayri (d. 2003). The Tibyan text in turn was based on an Arabic text that al-Uyayri wrote for the Sawt al-Qawqaz website in late 2000 following the first suicide bombing in Chechnya (perpetrated by a woman named Khava Baraeva). Signed by “your brothers of the German Taliban Mujahideen”, the document has two parts. The first is a translation of the abovementioned Tibyan text. The second part

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Jihad in Saudi Arabia

What’s the point of editing a blog if you can’t use it for shameless self promotion? My book Jihad in Saudi Arabia is finally out in the US. I am marking the occasion with a book launch at George Washington University today at 4pm, so if you are in the DC area, please come along.

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Guest Post: The Story of Eric Breininger

[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 posted on several German jihadist websites. Breininger, who travelled to the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the winter 2007, was one of the most infamous German jihadists. From Waziristan Breininger, a.k.a. “Abdul Ghaffar al-Almani”, sent several videotaped messages to the jihadist community in Germany, asking them to join the jihad or at least to support it financially. Since September 2008 the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) searched for Breininger, based on his assumed affiliation with a foreign terrorist organization. A day after the announcement of his death, Breininger’s alleged autobiography, entitled Mein

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Homegrown Literature

Since the topic of homegrown militancy is very much in focus these days, I wanted to flag a very interesting series of reports on radicalization in various European countries produced by the Centre for Studies of Islamism and Radicalisation at Aarhus University in Denmark. The Centre’s mission is to bridge the gap between the fields of terrorism studies and Islamism studies, and their reports do that quite nicely.

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Good Insights

The latest issue of the journal Arab Insight has two particularly interesting articles: one on al-Qaida in Yemen by Abdul Elah Shayea (the guy who interviews AQAP people) and another on the decline of the global jihad by Murad al-Shishani. Those of you who don’t know the journal should check out past issues; there are lots of very interesting pieces.

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Preview: Autobiography of a German Jihadist

The memoirs of Erik Breininger, the German jihadist who was allegedly recently killed in Waziristan, have reportedly appeared online. I haven’t seen them myself yet, but if their authenticity can be established, we are dealing with an extremely valuable document. Jihadica will bring you more details soon.

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What’s the Minbar doing in Moscow? (Part 1)

Although I’m awfully late in paying attention to it, there is an interesting dimension to the Moscow metro attacks that occurred just over a month ago that is relevant for jihad watchers but has not been dealt with in the media or blogs as far as I know. While attention has obviously focused on the attacks themselves and on the video claim of responsibility by the leader of the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus, Dokku ‘Umarov, I have not seen any references to a written statement by the same man posted on the online jihadi library Minbar al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad (the Pulpit of the Unity of God and Jihad). This statement – and particularly the fact that it was posted on the Minbar, the largest jihadi online library – is interesting. It indicates a development of potentially great significance to the future of jihadi ideological production. This post is the first

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