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Chapter Seven: The Evolution of Jihadist Networks

Chapter Seven: The Evolution of Jihadist Networks

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Chapter Seven: The Evolution of Jihadist Networks

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  1. Chapter Seven:The Evolution of Jihadist Networks

  2. Religion and Militant Religion

  3. Religion and Militant Religion • The birth of al Qaeda • Born in the last stages of the Soviet-Afghan War • It grew until the U.S. took offensive in Afghanistan in October 2001 • Al Qaeda 2.0: a group that is defined by Peter Bergen as a decentralized alliance of al Qaeda terrorists spread throughout the world

  4. Religion and Militant Religion • Jihadist ideology • Islam has become corrupt and needs to be purified • Much of the corruption is due to the values and economic powers of the West • They are not necessarily affiliated and certainly not controlled by al Qaeda

  5. Religion and Militant Religion • Jihadists and the values of Islam • Many Muslims and Christians become upset when their faith is portrayed in terms of violent terrorism • Others point to violent sects in Islam • Confusions about mainstream Islam complicate attempts to understand Jihadists. Misunderstandings increase when Jihadists use religious rhetoric and language

  6. The Origins of Jihadist Networks

  7. The Origins of Jihadist Networks • The origins • Stretch back to religious interpretation and reform movements within Islam • Taqi al Din ibn Taymiyyah • An Islamic scholar • Called for the destruction of heretics and invaders, calling jihad the sixth pillar of Islam

  8. The Origins of Jihadist Networks • Five Pillars • A confession of faith in God and acceptance of Mohammed as God’s last and greatest prophet • Ritual prayers with the community • Giving alms • Fasting, especially during holy periods • Making a pilgrimage to Mohammed’s birthplace, Mecca

  9. The Origins of Jihadist Networks • Translation of Jihad • Translated as Holy War in European terms • In Arabic, jihad derives from the word jahada, which is defined as a struggle or effort against some type of power • Traditionally, many ulema believed that the original meaning of jihad focused on internal struggles, but it assumed a more military meaning when the early Muslim community faced threats from non-Muslims

  10. The Origins of Jihadist Networks • Reform movements throughout the history of Islam • In the late eighteenth century a purification movement started by Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, who was influenced by ibn Taymiyyah, took root in Arabia. Wahhab preached a puritanical strain of Islam that sought to rid the religion of practices added after the first few decades following Mohammed’s death • One hundred years after Wahhab a reform movement named after the elders if Islam, Salafiyya, grew from North Africa. It gave rise to the Muslim Brotherhood • The Brotherhood preached a message of purification similar to that of Wahhab. The Brothers were not militant • By 1950, a violent wing of the Brotherhood fell under the influence of Sayyid Qutb, a radical Muslim who called for the imposition of Islamic law

  11. The Origins of Jihadist Networks • John Colley • Believes the foundation of modern Jihadist power grew from the Cold War, and he blames the West for incubating the network

  12. The Origins of Jihadist Networks • The relationship between the United States and the mujahadeen during the Soviet-Afghan War • The United States helped Saudi Arabia develop a funding mechanism and underground arms network to supply the mujahadeen • The United States agreed to give most of the weapons and supplies to the Interservice Intelligence Agency (ISI), while the ISI built mujahadeen groups with little American participation • Islamic charities flourished in the United States, and their donations supported the mujahadeen • When the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, the United States rejoiced and abandoned war-torn Afghanistan

  13. Jihad Continues in Afghanistan

  14. Jihad Continues in Afghanistan • After the Soviet-Afghan War • The mujahadeen groups continued to fight for control of the country • Americans paid more attention to potential profits than the political problems brewing in Afghanistan • On another level, the United States simply ignored issues

  15. The Rise of Osama bin Laden

  16. The Rise of Osama bin Laden • Bin Laden’s influences • Bin laden was influenced by Sayyid Qutb’s thought • While in Afghanistan, bin Laden fell under the influences of Abdullah Azzam, a doctor of Islamic Law • Azzam came to believe that a purified form of Islam was the answer to questions of poverty and the loss of political power • The realm of Islam had been dominated by foreign powers for too long, and it was time for all Muslims to rise up and strike Satan

  17. The Rise of Osama bin Laden • Al Qaeda • Bin Laden and Azzam established what they called a base or foundation (al Qaeda) as a potential headquarters for future jihad • Bin Laden was its leader, and the organization included an intelligence component, a military committee, a political committee, and a committee in charge of media affairs and propaganda

  18. The Rise of Osama bin Laden • Funding of al Qaeda • The United States would hardly have considered funding al Qaeda, but the Pakistani ISI intervened • The ISI developed the structure that would support al Qaeda with U.S. and Saudi funds during the Soviet-Afghan War

  19. The Rise of Osama bin Laden • Al Zawahiri • Leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad • Persuaded bin Laden that an umbrella organization was the type of organization to take control of Afghanistan and spread the new Islamic empire • After Azzam was killed by a remote-controlled car bomb, bin Laden and al Zawahiri became the undisputed leaders of al Qaeda

  20. The Rise of Osama bin Laden • The enemies • The United States • The West • Israel • Muslims who refused to accept Jihadist theology

  21. The Rise of Osama bin Laden • Iraq invades Kuwait (1990) • Bin Laden was infuriated when the U.S. joined Saudi Arabia in a large international coalition • As thousands on non-Muslim troops arrived in Saudi Arabia, radical Muslims were appalled to find Muslims fighting Muslims under U.S. leadership • The U.S.-led coalition called this military buildup Desert Shield, and it became Desert Storm in February 1991 when American, Brittish, and other allied forces poured into Iraq and Kuwait • After Desert Storm, the Saudi government allowed U.S. troops to be stationed in Saudi Arabia

  22. Declaring War on the United States

  23. Declaring War on the United States • Hasan al Turabi • After fleeing Saudi Arabia, bin Laden found friends in Sudan’s radical government formed under the influence of Hasan al Turabi • Bin Laden and Turabi formed a helpful alliance: Turabi served as the philosopher while bin Laden provided the organizational skills

  24. Declaring War on the United States • December 1992 • A bomb exploded in a hotel in Yemen that had been housing American troops • It was the opening shot in bin Laden’s war against the United States and an international campaign of terror

  25. Declaring War on the United States • Financing al Qaeda • In the 1980s, terrorism was frequently associated with a particular state • Bin Laden transcended from the state and operated on his own • Shahar argues that bin Laden’s entrepreneurial efforts gave him the freedom to finance and command the al Qaeda terror network • The 9-11 Commission Report believes bin Laden was and remains funded by wealthy sympathizers

  26. Declaring War on the United States • 1993 • Using his contacts in Sudan, bin Laden began searching for weapons of mass destruction • In October 1993, a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter was downed

  27. Declaring War on the United States • Bin Laden and assassination attempts • In 1993, bin Laden’s Afghans tried to murder Prince Abdullah (now King Abdullah) of Jordan • In 1995, U.S. sources believe bin Laden was behind the attempted assassination of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak

  28. Declaring War on the United States • The evolving nature of the al Qaeda campaign • The actions of al Qaeda were not the result of a mastermind terrorist pulling the strings, but rather a loose confederation of like-minded people who had limited interactions • Individual Jihadist operators took actions within the aura of al Qaeda • Declaration of War • Bin Laden declared war on the United States in 1996

  29. Declaring War on the United States • The nature of al Qaeda and bin Laden • Bin Laden represents a new phase in Middle Eastern terrorism. He is intent on spreading the realm of Islam with a transnational group • Bin Laden uses Islam to call for religious violence • Bin Laden wants to cause death

  30. Declaring War on the United States • Further terrorist actions • In August 1998, bin Laden’s terrorists bombed the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania • For the first time, al Qaeda could operate a cell planted in a country hundreds of miles away from training camps • Then came the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, a failed millennium plot, and the attacks of September 11, 2001

  31. Declaring War on the United States • Al Qaeda affiliates and other attacks • Affiliates attacked other areas including: • Bali (2000) • The U.S. Compounds in Riyadh (May 2003) • Morocco (August 2003) • Madrid (March 2004)

  32. Declaring War on the United States • Michael Doran • Jihadists were fueled by local issues and diverse goals • The different Jihadist organizations say they all believe in the same thing, but when local situations are examines, Jihadist causes are varied

  33. Declaring War on the United States • The results of counterterrorist efforts • Irm Haleem • U.S. operations in Afghanistan caused al Qaeda to completely decentralize • Al Qaeda reformed from an umbrella or hub into a series of autonomous organizations driven by local concerns • John Arquilla • Chain organization: al Qaeda serves as more of an inspiration than a hub • Jessica Stern • By decentralizing to a chain organization, supporting terrorist allies, and maintaining the ability to threaten the world, al Qaeda was more dangerous than ever

  34. Declaring War on the United States • Operation Iraqi Freedom • The invasion that intended to preempt Hussein from launching a terrorist attack on the United States • Two suppositions by Bush administration supported the invasion: • That Iraq was holding weapons of mass destruction • Hussein had established ties with al Qaeda

  35. Declaring War on the United States • Responses to the decision to go to war • Robert Kagan argues that the long-range issue should focus on building international political hegemony in Iraq. • According to Kagen, Jihadist network takes strength from two main factors: • The dynamic nature of the network • Its ability to create so much hatred for the United States that difference between Jihadists disappear • Another opinion suggests that the United States has alienated the Arab world and many millions of Muslims for launching the wrong war against the wrong target • This argument maintains that the United States needs to fight terrorism by allying with the international community and alienating terrorists from potential support