A First Look at the LIFG Revisions

(Editor’s note: This piece is a sneak preview of our second guest blogger: Vahid Brown from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He will not start writing regularly until October, and I will present him more formally then, but he has already written this important piece, which for obvious reasons cannot wait.) I have just looked at the first three installments of the LIFG Revisions posted to the internet, and though these initial releases amount to less than ten percent of the work, we can already see that this is a very sweeping repudiation not just of salafi jihadism but of all forms of revolutionary Islamism in general. The text is remarkably broad in its scope, and strikes me as a 21st-century Sahwist renewal of the 1970s-era Muslim Brotherhood rejection of Qutbist Islamism. Indeed, the phrase in the last sentence of the excerpt below, about the authors being “preachers

Read More »

Libyan Jihad Revisions

There is a very significant development taking place in the so-called war of ideas. Senior leaders of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), who recently laid down their arms, are publishing a Dr. Fadl-like treatise revising their previous understanding of jihad. The text, entitled “the Book of Correctional Studies” (kitab al-dirasat al-tashihiyya), is being published as a nine-part series on the website www.oealibya.com. You can find the first three chapters here, here and here. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to look at it in detail, but Jarret Brachman will be covering the story. He already has some interesting background info and analysis. The text in itself is probably not a landmark work of Islamic jurisprudence, but it is important because it adds to what may now be called a corpus of treatises by former militants challenging al-Qaida on theological grounds. The trend started with al-Gamaa al-Islamiya in Egypt, continued

Read More »

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

Read More »
Latest Jihadica