Who Were/Are the Terrorists and What is their Current Status? Khadafi Abubakar Janjala-Philippine Jaber A. Elbaneh Yemeni Anas Al-Sabai Libyan Ali Saed Bin Ali Al Houri-Saudi Ramadan Shallah Palestinian Adapted from Understanding Terror Networks by Marc Sageman Abdul Rahman Yasin American Fazul Abdullah Mohammed-Kenya Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah-Egyptian Ali Atwa-Lebanese
Evidence Based Terrorism Research Application of scientific method to terrorism research • Started with 9/11 Perpetrators as index sample • 400 biographies of terrorists: Open Source information • Trial transcripts • US, France, Germany, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Canada • Press accounts: English, French, German, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Dutch • Academic publications • Internet (corroborated)
Global Salafi Jihad • Violent Islamist born-again social movement • Fight for justice & fairness: • Build a better world; utopia modeled on the community of the Prophet & his companions (Salaf) • Four phases: • Peaceful capture of a state (Afghanistan?) • Against the near enemy (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, etc.) • Global expansion of defensive jihad - Global offense against the far enemy (Western Nations) • Expel the West from the Middle East • Establish an Islamist state
Three processes of self-selection of the most militants: Evolution of al Qaeda - 1988-9: Militants come to fight the anti-Soviet jihad & could not go home stayed behind and formed al Qaeda - 1991-2: Most militants expelled from Pakistan went to Sudan - Switch of strategy from “near enemy” to “far enemy” 1996: 150 militants expelled from Sudan returned to Afghanistan - Control of “Golden Chain:” exclusive funding for terrorism - Control of training camps & establishment of shelter - Staff for planning & coordination - Afghanistan, as failed state, has little ability to control al Qaeda 1996-2001: Golden age of al Qaeda: • Al Qaeda controlled social movement & focused it on “far enemy”
GLOBAL SALAFI NETWORK Central Staff (38) Militants who formed bonds after the Soviets left Afghanistan Maghreb Arabs Tunisia Algeria Morroco (162) Southeast Asians Indonesia Malaysia (55) Core Arabs Arabian Peninsula Jordan Egypt (127)
Age • Average: 25.69 years • Southeast Asians: 29.35 years • Central Staff: 27.90 years • Core Arabs: 23.75 years
Family Status • 73% married • Most had children • All of Central Staff and Southeast Asian members were married • Most unmarried were students or too young • Consistent with Salafi Islam
Criminal Background • Vast Majority: no crime • Some major crime • Robbery (Roubaix gang, Kelkal gang, JI) • Petty crime: Maghreb logistic cells • Credit card fraud, false documents, insurance fraud • Drug traffic (more common now) • Those least likely to do harm individually are most able to do so collectively.
Mental Health • Very little evidence of mental illness • Very little evidence of personality disorder • No narcissism (willingness to sacrifice for the comrade & cause) • No pathological hatred • Very little trauma in family studies: usually overprotected youths Overall, “good kids,” except second generation Maghreb Arabs, who lived life of petty crime
Diaspora • Global Salafi Jihad is a Diaspora phenomenon • 84% of Global Salafi Mujahedin have joined the jihad, while living in a Diaspora (87% in Western Europe) Since the early 1960s, Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers have moved to Europe and slowly but steadily established a wide and well-organized network of mosques, charities and Islamic organizations. Its motto is telling: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
Joining the Jihad • Friendship (pre-existing): 68% • “Bunch of guys” collectively deciding to join • Joining childhood friends • Kinship: 20% • Fathers, brothers, first cousins • Importance of in-laws & marriage to cement friendship bonds Abu Bakar Bashir an Indonesian Muslim cleric and leader of the Indonesian Mujahedeen Council (MMI). Intelligence agencies claim he is the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and has links with Al Qaeda • Discipleship: 10% • Students of Sungkar & Baasyir from Jamaah Islamiyah
Trajectory of Core Arabs • Upwardly & geographically • mobile (“best & brightest”) • Mostly from religious, caring • & middle class families • Global citizens, conversant • in 3 or 4 languages, skilled in • computer technology • Separated from traditional bonds & culture • Homesick, lonely, marginalized & excluded from society • Seek friends • Drifted to mosques for companionship, not religion • Moved in together (halal food), formed cliques HATE THE HYPOCRACY OF THE ROYAL FAMILIES
The family home of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan AlNahyan, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu-Dhabi
Trajectory of Maghreb Arabs • Two main paths • Second generation in the West • Young economic immigrants to the West • Upwardly mobile, & completely secular background • Excluded from society in Europe • Dropped out of school • Petty crime (false documents & drug dealing) • Drug addiction Groups of friends, who grew up together & collectively drifted to religion to escape their situation
Suprême NTM (French Rap Group) We have nothing to lose for we have nothing In your place I would not sleep well The bourgeoisie should tremble, the gangstas are in town Not to party, but to burn the place down…. Where are our roots? Who are our models? You’ve burned the wings of a whole generation Shattered dreams, soiled the seed of hope. Oh! when I think about it It’s time to think; it’s time that France Deigns to take account of its crimes But in any event, the cup is full History teaches that our chances are nil So stop before it gets out of hand Or creates even more hatred Let’s unite and incinerate the system But why, why are we waiting to set the fire?
The Closed Society • Ethnic/Race/Class Exploitation • The aim of a closed society is to ensure the supremacy of one class (or race or group) over another • To bridge the gap, an elaborate set of explanations and ideas are needed which is, by definition, at variance with the facts SEGREGATION, APARTHIED, ROYALTY, ETC.
European Social Conditions • Alienated young Muslims, who became radicalized in Europe • Lack of alternative expression of social protest • Utopian vision for Justice & Fairness (Communist, Salafist…) • Demise of old Left in Europe (same people attracted to both) • Failure of European integration policy for Muslim populations • - Rapid immigration growth post WWII • - Vulnerable to economic crises • Rigid social structure in Europe • - Lack of bottom up integration • - Failure of top down policy (France, Germany & Britain) • Europe v. countries built on immigration • - No “European Dream” but an alienation & radicalization of the younger generation
What Mobilizes Them? • Spontaneously self-organized “bunches of guys” of trusted friends, from the bottom up • No top down Al Qaeda recruitment program • No campaign, or budget dedicated to recruitment Social bonds came before ideological commitment No evidence of “brainwashing”: they simply acquired the beliefs of their friends
Motivation • Insidious process • Low risk participation with an increasingly closer set of • friends • Importance of specific script for the global Salafi • jihad: 12 Islamist institutions generated 50% of sample • Complete transformation of values • Self-sacrifice for comrades and the cause • Dynamics of dense social networks promotes in-group love • Salafi ideology: new values (Islam & ummah) • - Greater jihad: “born again”, imitate Salaf through • personal example • - Faith & commitment grounded in intense small • group dynamics • - Gradual development of a collective identity
Out-group hate • Grounded in everyday experience of discrimination & exclusion from highest levels of society • Endemic in Middle East & Western Europe • Grounded in group dynamics: • “Bunch of guys” escalation of mutual complaints about the unfairness & injustice in society • Endorse conspiracy theories • Endorse takfir doctrine naming unbelievers and sanctions commission of crimes against them
Group Dynamics • Explanation in normal group dynamics, rather than individual mental pathology • Once in the movement, difficult to abandon it without betraying close friends & family • This natural & intense loyalty to the group, inspired by a violent Salafi script, transforms alienated young Muslims into fanatic terrorists • High risk terrorist operation • The Formula • In-group love + out-group hate (under specific violent script, often religious) mass murder + suicide
Continued Evolution • Success of Post 9/11 Counter-Terrorism campaign • Elimination of sanctuary, funding, communication & key leaders • Neutralization of al Qaeda proper • Physical break up of formal global Salafi jihad networks • Expansion of home-grown initiative due to lack of leadership & restraints • Local autonomy, self-financing & self-training • Informal communications, difficult to monitor • Fuzzy boundaries: no formal initiation or fixed numbers • New local, more aggressive & reckless leadership
Present Status Four types of networks existing in parallel: • The old al Qaeda organization: • Effectively neutralized (sanctuary denial, monitored) • The organized affiliated groups, now more autonomous: • Zarqawi’s organization; JI/Philippines; MILF/Mindanao; GSPC/Algeria • Unaffiliated informal groups: • Madrid group; “Salafia Jihadia” (Morocco); Hofstad group; Benchellali group (Algerian/Ricen); London groups; Khan al-Khalili and Taba resorts (Egypt); Istanbul group • Singletons: • Osman Petmezci – Turk in Germany • Kamel Bourgass – London Poison Plot
Effectiveness of U.S. Counterterrorism campaign pressures Global Salafi Jihad to evolve into the last two types of networks. • Unaffiliated informal groups • Singletons • Forces migration of the Jihad to the Internet • Virtually connected via Internet • World Wide Web: mass medium (passive, informative) • Internet: interactive transformation of the jihad
Mass Medium for the Jihad • WWW impacts the substance of the Salafi message • Diffusion of Salafi message, bypassing traditional imams • Selective sound bite version of Islam • Rejection of traditions fosters unique interpretation of the Quran • No more need for “preachers of hate” • Jihadi message alive on WWW • WWW is home to war of narratives, fought on the • battlefield of interpretations
Impact of WWW • Virtual anonymous market place for providers (ideologues) & consumers (home-grown volunteers) of ideas: goals, strategy & tactics • No need for leaders or training camps • Co-existence of multiple competing websites • Peaceful co-existence of rivals on competing sites: • decrease of internal dissent • Consumers pick & choose preferred sites & messages • (inspiration & activation) • Inversion of power pyramid: followers are in control • Natural selection of most persuasive sites Rapid evolution toward a “Leaderless Jihad”
Toward a Global “Leaderless” Jihad • Decentralized, loosely connected network • Mobilized and motivated autonomously • No more 9/11, but lots of 3/11 (Spain) or 7/7 (London), especially in Europe • Threat to the West from Western Europe • Military role (no hard targets) • Sanctuary denial in potential failed or friendly states • Coordination of local CT activities • Virtual “Invisible Hand” Organizing Terrorist Operations • Vision Of Salafi Utopia Unites The Leaderless Jihad • Ideological Battleground – A War Of Ideas