A Mujahid’s Bookbag

Earlier this month a new and expanded edition of a popular jihadi text collection was released on the forums (e.g., here). Called “A Mujahid’s Bookbag” (Haqibatu’l-Mujahid), the collection of over 2000 jihadi texts was compiled by Zubayr al-Ghazi, a functionary of the Falluja forums, and consists of searchable, indexed Word files. Some of these texts are thousands of pages long, others are brief letters, fatwas or interview transcripts.  The list of authors whose works are compiled here is of note, and provides a useful benchmark for currently-influential ideologues in the Arabophone Salafi jihadi movement.  When cross-referenced to the Militant Ideology Atlas (MIA), our best benchmark of influence circa 2006, I found that 21 of the 53 named authors in this collection were not cited in the works we canvassed for the MIA. I also cross-referenced the list of 19 scholars identified by Zawahiri in the Exoneration as supportive of al-Qa’ida; 8 of those scholars are included in the Mujahid’s Bookbag.

Most of the prominent new names not found in the MIA research have emerged on the Salafi jihadi scene since 2006. These include Abu’l-Nur al-Maqdisi, the late ideologue of the Jund Ansar Allah jihadi tanzim in Gaza.  Several of the new names come out of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), indicating that al-Qa’ida’s Iraqi jihad has lead to the rise of some influential jihadi voices.  There are however no new voices here from AQAP, AQIM or the Horn of Africa, nor are any contemporary South Asian authors included. Note also that Mustafa Abu’l-Yazid is missing from this list, underlining his operational rather than ideological importance in the movement. Other al-Qa’ida senior leadership (AQSL) voices represented here include Bin Ladin, Zawahiri, Abu’l-Walid al-Ansari (not to be confused with Abu’l-Walid al-Masri), Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (AQI), Abu Yahya al-Libi, and Sulayman Abu’l-Ghayth (in GITMO); one could add a few more to this list, such as QAP’s ‘Uyayri, but of course the lines quickly get blurred in this select group of jihadists. The prominent presence of Dr. Fadl (as ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Abd al-‘Aziz) underscores the continued importance of his massive literary output for the jihadi movement, despite the recent disavowal of his earlier positions; not surprisingly, his newer “revisionist” writings are not included in the Bookbag.

As in the MIA, three names stand out – here for their disproportionate share of the total volumes collected: Abu Basir al-Tartusi, with nearly 200 titles represented; Abu Qatada al-Filistini, with about 180; and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, with around 175 titles. Maqdisi continues to have the highest profile in the Salafi jihadi movement, and has emerged lately as a distinct pole of influence vying with AQSL within the larger Salafi jihadi milieu. Zawahiri’s recent output via al-Sahab has taken a noticably Maqdisian tone, and is very clearly echoing Maqdisi’s seminal work Millat Ibrahim in its articulation of an Abrahamic model for shari’a-state revolutionaries.  For instance, in both of his recently-released messages “The Idol of National Unity” and The Dawn and Lamp, Zawahiri prominently uses the opening verses about Abraham from Qur’an 60 (surat al-mumtahinah) to situate his position vis-à-vis the illegitimacy of constitutional politics, the same verses from which Maqdisi developed his ideologically innovative positions on these issues in Millat Ibrahim in mid-’90s Peshawar.

The following is the list of authors in the Mujahid’s Bookbag, in the table of contents’ alphabetical order of appearance. Authors not cited in MIA are indicated with an asterisk after their names, while authors appearing in Zawahiri’s Exoneration list are identified with a “(Z)”. The number of works by each author included in the Mujahid’s Bookbag are also indicated:

Abu Ahmad ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Masri*
21 works

Abu’l-Ala al-Mawdudi
9 works

Abu’l-Nur al-Maqdisi*
3 works

Abu’l-Walid al-Ansari* (Z)
31 main works, 7 letters, 12 articles from a series of lectures

Abu Basir al-Tartusi
161 main works (with 12 smaller works of excerpts from these); 19 volumes of compendia of legal opinions on a variety of issues; 28 further collections of legal opinions on various issues.

Abu Bakr Naji*
4 works

Abu Jandal al-Azdi (sometimes Azadi)
20 works

Abu Hafs al-Jaza’iri*
6 works

Abu Hamza al-Muhajir*
4 works

Abu Sa’d al-‘Amili
42 works

Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Athari Sultan al-‘Utaybi*
10 works

Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Tunisi*
9 works

Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Sa’di*
13 works

Abu ‘Umar al-Sayf
15 works

Abu ‘Amr ‘Abd al-Hakim Hasan* (Z)
25 works

Abu Qatada al-Filistini (Z)
81 main works; 98 articles under the title “articles between the two ideologies” (maqalat bayn minhajayn); 13 collections of hadith

Abu Mariya al-Qurashi*
10 works

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (Z)
4 interviews; 18 collections of poetry; 35 collections of fatwas and polemics (rudud); 23 books and studies; 2 pamphlets; 60 articles and letters; 9 works drawn from Maqdisi’s prison diaries; 7 works of jihadi hagiography; 4 debates; 5 personal letters; 3 addresses to imprisoned comrades; 7 statements on ideology/methodology (minhaj) 

Abu Mus’ab al-Suri (‘Umar ‘Abd al-Hakim) (Z)
51 works

Abu Hajir al-Libi*
3 works

Abu Humam Bakr bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Athari*
23 works

Abu Yahya al-Libi* (Z)
32 works

Abu Yunis al-‘Abbasi*
40 works

Abi Anas al-Shami (‘Umar Hadid, ‘Umar Yusuf Jum’a)*
15 works

Ahmad bin Hammud al-Khalidi
11 works

Ahmad Shakir
4 works

Usama bin Ladin (“God protect him”)
26 works

Ayman al-Zawahiri (“God protect him”)
37 works

Bakr Abu Zayd
36 works

Jama’at al-Tawhid wa’l-Jihad and Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi*
4 works

Juhayman bin Sayf al-‘Utaybi
8 works

Hamid al-‘Ali
39 works

Husayn bin Mahmud
57 works

Hammud bin ‘Uqla al-Shu’aybi
59 works, 20 hagiographies about Shu’aybi

Khalid ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Husaynan*
3 works

Dr. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al ‘Abd al-Latif
19 works

Rifa’i Surur*
12 works (one of them – “On the Soul and Preaching” – broken out into nine separate files/parts)

Sulayman Abu’l-Ghayth*
9 works

Sulayman al-‘Alwan (“may God break his bonds”)
101 works

Sayyid Qutb
10 works (with “In the Shade of the Qur’an” broken out into 18 files)

‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Salih al-Jarbu’
20 works

‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Nasir al-Jalil
9 works

‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Abd al-‘Aziz  (Z)
14 works (with al-Jami’ – “The Compendium” – broken into 8 files)

‘Abd Allah al-Rashud
13 works

‘Abd Allah bin Nasir al-Rashid
24 works

‘Abd Allah ‘Azzam
50 works

‘Ali bin Khudayr al-Khudayr
45 works

Muhammad Qutb
21 works

Muhammad Mustafa al-Muqri*
23 works

Nasir al-Fahd (Z)
46 works

Hani al-Siba’i
33 works

Wasim Fath Allah*
36 works

Yusuf al-‘Uyayri [sometimes ‘Ayiri, etc.]
30 works, and 13 biographies and hagiographies

[A further 197 miscellaneous works are then listed, many of them written anonymously]

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