Strategic Theory of the Second Generation of Jihadis

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.

Filed under:
Share this:
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on telegram
Share on email
Share on print

6 Responses

  1. Ok so this guy al-Sunni’s idea on economic warfare seems to gel with Daveed Garstein-Ross new book Bin Laden’s Legacy. Also he seems to be the embodiment of Rami Khouri’s theory of the arab/muslim street vs arab/muslim basement. In that the way to garner supporters is to draw on their legitimately held concerns, thereby enticing them into the basement, where radicalization occurs. Al-Sunni seems to be favouring the hearts and minds approach as well, in that he eschews targeting civilians? Or am i reading too much into the second point. Does he draw a distinction between civilians of the ummah and non-muslims ?

  2. The main narrative here in al-Sunni’s ideas seems to constantly return to the critical need for a common ground of agreement on the state of the ummah, the plight of “oppressed” Muslims, etc. Because without this common ground there can be no next step, or basement radicalization as RepStones so aptly puts it.

    What is interesting here to see is how the emphasis in al-Sunni’s advice centers on “other Muslims” i.e non-Salafis Muslims who share common views with hardline Salafis, yet there is no entrance or gate into the arena of jihad for these non-Salafis. The discussions on jihad amongst Muslims youth inevitably double-up as discussions on topics like correct aqidah, fiqh and so on. How can the jihad be “normalized” amongst all concerned Muslims without resorting to alienation is what I’m seeing here, but go ahead with corrections if need be.

  3. “I command you ten things. Learn them by heart: Don’t betray, defraud (by stealing the spoils of war), or break treaties. Don’t mutilate, kill women, young children, or the elderly. Do not uproot or burn palm trees. Do not cut down fruitful trees, slaughter sheep, cows or camels except for eating. You will come across people secluded in monasteries, so leave them and what they are devoted to.” (Tabari, Vol.3)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Jihadica