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Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad

From Poet to Jihadi: The Story of a Somali American in Minnesota
Meira Svirsky

Warsame began watching videos of lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American Yemani imam described as the “Bin Laden of the internet.”  Awlaki, a high-level Al Qaeda operative, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, the first U.S. citizen to be so targeted. From a young man who had spoken out against violence, Warsame became enthralled with beheading videos. He came to conclude that as a devout Muslim, he must join the fight against the infidels.....

 

Their beliefs are rooted in fascist philosophers such as Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah and Sayyid Qutb. Ibn Taymiyyah asserted in the 1200-1300s that strict Shariah law must rule all governments, globally. Otherwise, God’s will could not be done. In the 1950s-‘60s, Muslim Brotherhood sage Qutb took Taymiyyah’s philosophy to a new level. He argued in his book, “Milestones,” that Western politics and lifestyles were literally attacking Islam, and that Islam had to defend itself with political subterfuge and violence. Subsequent Islamists have taken lines from the Koran, the Sunnah, and the Hadith to further justify their twisted goals...

In Dhaka, Islamists Are a Rising Force
Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Notably, before the court verdict, Hefazat-e-Islami, the radical umbrella organisation, had threatened chaos in the country if Islam was removed as the state religion....

Khalid Mehmood: The Accidental Jihadist
Owen Bennett-Jones

As he walked through Lahore he got diverted by a rally. This was a fair while ago now - in the months after 9/11 - and emotions were running high. It turned out the rally was organised by one of Pakistan's most formidable militant outfits, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and everyone was chanting anti-American slogans. There were announcements saying: "We need people to go to Afghanistan to fight the Americans!"....

 

Masood Azhar: The Man Who Brought Jihad to Britain
Masood Azhar, a Pakistani cleric

Within a few hours of his arrival he was giving the Friday sermon at Madina Mosque in Clapton, east London. His speech on the duty of jihad apparently moved some of the congregation to tears. Next stop - according to a report of the jihadist leader's own magazine - was a reception with a group of Islamic scholars where there was a long discussion on "jihad, its need, training and other related issues". The visiting preacher was Masood Azhar......

Radicalisation — the Mother of Militancy
Tariq Mahmud

These should be underpinned effectively and neutralised without buckling under any sort of pressure from the religious right wing. We must not only protect the precincts of our educational institutions from terror attacks, it is now also time to cleanse our syllabus and curricula of nefarious content, which work as a powder keg, disseminating toxic vibes against ethnic and religious minorities and the outside world....

 

The Ogres May As Well Be Anarchic Projections of What Lies Inside the Apologists: The Enemy Is Quite Literally Within
Nadeem F. Paracha

One can snicker at their foolhardy mutterings, but know this: The ogres can also be described as alter-egos of the apologists. It can be a TV anchor, a confused middle-class lad, a politician in the assembly, or even a rich aunt who has recently rediscovered piety. Truth is, the ogres may as well be anarchic projections of what lies inside the apologists; but is repressed. The enemy is quite literally within. ....

Countering Daesh Online
Colin P. Clarke and Isaac R. Porche III

Countering Daesh Online
Colin P. Clarke and Isaac R. Porche III

The group is also using the dark web to recruit and disseminate its propaganda to aspiring jihadists. For sympathetic audiences, an online push can sometimes be enough to spark violent action. This is especially true for individuals who are already radicalized.....

 
Death from Kabul to Brussels
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

Death from Kabul to Brussels
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

The night before he was killed, Massoud had an appointment with Belgian journalists. Prior to the meeting, his friend Massoud Khalili read out to him as usual the poetry of Hafez Shirazi. They had a habit of randomly choosing a page from a book of a collection of Shirazi’s poetry. Khalili read: “Enjoy this night which we will spend together. Days pass by, months go by and years come to an end, and you will never get to live this night again.”....

 

A former friend of Reda Nidalha who requested anonymity believes that the religious aspect probably played a lesser role in Reda Nidalha's case. “He never bothered about religion, and he had friends from many different cultures. Even when he was already in Syria, he used to talk to me sometimes on social media. I told him I did not agree with his decision. He told me he had a job there and was married.”....

 

The Bride of the Desert, Palmyra, Is Not a War Trophy
Chris Doyle

The Bride of the Desert has been fought over multiple times in her remarkable historical journey. Queen Zenobia held off the Romans until the latter sacked the city in 273. The remains of Diocletian’s Roman camp can still be seen on the edge of Palmyra. The Timurids did likewise in 1400. Plundering and looting are part of the story of this oasis, perhaps not a surprise given that Palmyra has always been an oasis on a great trading nexus.....

 

Who Will Become a Terrorist? Research Yields Few Clues
Matt Apuzzo

What turns people toward violence — and whether they can be steered away from it — are questions that have bedevilled governments around the world for generations. Those questions have taken on fresh urgency with the rise of the Islamic State and the string of attacks in Europe and the United States. Despite millions of dollars of government-sponsored research, and a much-publicized White House pledge to find answers, there is still nothing close to a consensus on why someone becomes a terrorist.....

 

How ISIS Built the Machinery of Terror under Europe’s Gaze
Rukmini Callimachi

One of the first clues that the Islamic State was getting into the business of international terrorism came at 12:10 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2014, when the Greek police pulled over a taxi in the town of Orestiada, less than four miles from the Turkish border. Inside was a 23-year-old French citizen named Ibrahim Boudina, who was returning from Syria. In his luggage, the officers found 1,500 Euros, or almost $1,700, and a French document titled “How to Make Artisanal Bombs in the Name of Allah.” But there was no warrant for his arrest in Europe, so the Greeks let him go....

 

What Did ISIS Destroy In Palmyra?
Euan McKirdy

But images taken in the aftermath of Syrian troops' regaining of the city show many of the structures -- which date from the first and second centuries and marry Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences -- remain in place, bolstering hopes that ISIS didn't completely raze the ancient site....

 

Jihadi Online Forums Intensify Plot to Exploit ‘Turmoil’ In India
Abhinandan Mishra

“Regarding the students protests in Delhi and India, remember the strategy, the Mujahideen-guide shared earlier says that turmoil is an important factor (to spread jihad) and it should be used beneficially by the Mujahideens. The riots of Delhi students are now getting national attention. So here’s an apparent opportunity. O Grandsons of Khalid bin Waleed, Remember what happened in Gujarat, Assam and Kashmir... Don’t let the blood of Martyrs of Ghazwa Hind go waste.”.....

A Revived Challenge to Islam as Bangladesh’s State Religion Goes to Court
Maher Sattar

The past year has brought rising fears about Sunni Muslim extremism in Bangladesh, as domestic militant networks appeared to regroup after a period of inactivity. Six writers and intellectuals who campaigned against Islam were killed in 2015, most of them hacked to death with machetes......

The state news agency said army units and allied fighters had retaken the ancient citadel, a 13th century castle perched atop a city whose 2,000-year-old antiquities have become some of the most devastating casualties of the occupation. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Palmyra was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world; its storied ruins include more than 1,000 columns, a Roman aqueduct and a necropolis of more than 500 tombs......

 

Brussels Attack: The Molenbeek Myth
Praveen Swami

To cast the problem of Jihadism as one emerging from the wider Muslim community has three damaging consequences: First, it compels many ordinary Muslims, fearful of consequences for the community, to defend jihadists, breeding conspiratorialism and paranoia. It also allows Islamists to cast themselves as defenders of a vulnerable, besieged community. And it compromises anti-Islamist secularists, since critiques of a politics are read as attacks on a people......

Tech, Fear, Hate Drive Islamic State’s India Foray
Praveen Swami

The new Jund-ul-Khalifa al-Hind, or the Army of the Caliph in India, followed a template unknown in India. Indian Mujahideen operations had relied on men trained at the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s camps in Pakistan, first using plastic explosive brought in from Bangladesh and then black-market ammonium nitrate slurry. It drew its cadre from the Students Islamic Movement of India, and from personal linkages....

 

For ISIS, Virtual Is the Real as It Scouts For India Recruits
Praveen Swami

In the summer of 2006, a young web-designer, who his friends called Muddy, entered the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s office in Mumbai’s Byculla area. He walked up to a greying man sitting alone near the entrance with a request for information: How might one sign up for the jihad in Afghanistan? “I heard him patiently,” the Jamaat office worker recalls, “and then suggested that perhaps his energy and enthusiasm could be put to better use serving the poor in our community. I never saw him again.”.....

 
Islamic Republic of Pakistan versus Islamic State
A Hussain, U. Farooq, G. Dastageer and S. A. Khan

Bushra Cheema started a madrasa named Noor ul Huda, a couple of years ago, on the premises of Masjid al-Aqsa even though construction had just started on the mosque itself. The madrasa aimed at providing free religious education to girls and women in the neighbourhood. “We called her Halima Apa even though she was younger than many of us,” says an elderly housewife, living near the mosque, who has attended many religious lectures delivered by Bushra Cheema at Noor ul Huda.....

 

Have the Afghan Taliban Chewed through Pakistan’s Leash?
S. Mubashir Noor, New Age Islam

The fact that Afghan insurgents of late have begun moving in contradiction to Islamabad's geopolitical interests suggests the latter either oversells its influence over the current Taliban leadership, or that shifting power dynamics within the group have marginalized its pro-Pakistan elements…..

 

Western Muslims should be aware of such plans, lest we are deceived into traps of sectarianism which compromise the foundations of our religion. We need to increase our efforts against such extremists who are directly and indirectly responsible for the spilling of blood of our brothers and sisters in our Motherlands. This same sectarian violence can easily spread here if we are not vigilant and assertive of our ideological stand.....

 

Announcing a caliphate has huge significance and resonance within Islam. While it remains the ideal, Bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders had always shied away from it, for fear of failure. Now Baghdadi was trumping the parent organisation, setting IS up in direct competition with it for the leadership of global jihadism.

 
Terrorism Grips Bangladesh
S.Mubashir Noor, New Age Islam

Terrorism Grips Bangladesh
S.Mubashir Noor, New Age Islam

British newspaper the Daily Mail reported on March 2 that Bangladesh’s supreme court is reviewing a petition to remove Islam as the state religion. It will decide whether former President Muhammad Ershad’s 1988 decision to designate Islam as such was illegal. A hearing scheduled for late March takes place against the backdrop of rising extremism in Bangladesh and the emergence of a local Islamic State (IS) faction. Christians, Hindus and Shiite Muslims alike were targeted through 2015 by way of machete attacks and homemade bombs.



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